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out bitterness that you are not defending a right
It is in vain! You are engaged in an unequal contest with the spirit of civilization, with milder manners, with progress. You have against you the resistance of the inmost heart of man; you have against you all the principles in the light of which for sixty years France has walked and also caused the world to walk the inviolability of human life, the brotherhood of the ignorant classes, and the doctrine of amelioration in place of the doctrine of retaliation.
You have against you all that illuminates reason, all that vibrates in the soul, philosophy as well as religion; on the one side Voltaire, on the other Jesus Christ. Your labor is in vain, this frightful service that the scaffold has the pretension to render society, society abhors and rejects. Your labor is in vain, the upholders of capital punishment labor in vain, and you see we do not confound them with society, it is useless for them, they will never take away the guilt of the old law of retaliation. They will never wash away those hideous words upon which for so many centuries has trickled down the blood from heads severed by the executioner's knife.
Gentlemen, I have done!
THIRD CLASS — FORENSIC
NO RIGHT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
TO HOLD SUBJECT STATES
GEORGE F. HOAR
George Frisbie Hoar was born at Concord, Mass., August 29, 1826, and died at Worcester, Mass., September 30, 1904. He studied in early youth at Concord Academy; was graduated at Harvard College in 1846; studied law and was graduated at the Dane Law School in 1860; was elected representative to the Forty-first, Forty-second, Forty-third, and Forty-fourth Congresses, after having served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1852 and of the State Senate in 1857. He received the degree of Doctor of Laws from William and Mary, Amherst, Yale, and Harvard Colleges, and was a member of many historical societies. He was a United States Senator from Massachusetts from March 5, 1877, to the day of his death. Senator Hoar was at his best in argumentative oratory, as his reasoning was profound, his logic clear, and his style dignified and convincing. He was considered one of the best forensic orators of his day. The following is an extract from a speech delivered in the Senate of the United States, April 17, 1900.
THE constitutional question is: Has Congress
to subjection unwilling vassal States ?
The question of international law is: Can any nation rightfully convey to another, sovereignty over an unwilling people who have thrown off its dominion, asserted their independence, established a government of their own; over whom it has at the time no practical control, from whose territory it has been disseized, and which it is beyond its power to deliver?
The question of justice and righteousness is: Have we the right to crush and hold under our feet an unwilling and subject people whom we had treated as allies, whose independence we are bound in good faith to respect, who had established their own free government, and who had trusted us?
The question of public expediency is: Is it for our advantage to promote our trade at the cannon's mouth and at the point of the bayonet? All these questions can be put in a way of
prac. tical illustration by inquiring whether we ought to do what we have done, are doing, and mean to do in the case of Cuba; or what we have done, are doing, and some of you mean to do in the case of the Philippine Islands.
It does not seem to me to be worth while to state again at length the constitutional argument which I have addressed to the Senate heretofore. It has been encountered with eloquence, with clearness, and beauty of statement, and, I have no doubt, with absolute sincerity by Senators who have spoken on the other side. But the issue between them and me can be summed up in a sentence or two, and if, so stated, it cannot be made clear to any man's apprehension, I despair of making it clear by any elaboration or amplification.
I admit that the United States may acquire and hold property, and may make rules and regulations for its disposition.
I admit that, like other property, the United States may acquire and hold land. It may acquire it by purchase. It may acquire it by treaty. It may acquire it by conquest. And it may make rules and regulations for its disposition and government, however it be acquired.
When there are inhabitants upon the land so acquired it may make laws for their government. But the question between me and the gentlemen on the other side is this: Is this acquisition of territory, of land or other property, whether gained by purchase, conquest, or treaty, a constitutional end or only a means to a constitutional end? May you acquire, hold, and govern territory, or other property, as an end for which our Constitution was framed, or is it only a means towards some other and further end? May you acquire, hold, and govern property by conquest, treaty, or purchase for the sole object of so holding and governing it, without the consideration of any further constitutional purpose; or must you hold it for a constitutional purpose only, such as the making of new States, the national defence and security, the establishment of a seat of government, or the construction of forts, harbors, and like works, which, of course, are themselves for the national defence and security?
I hold that this acquisition, holding, and governing can only be a means for a constitutional end
the creation of new States or some other of the constitutional purposes to which I have adverted. And I maintain that you can no more hold and govern territory than you can hold and manage cannon or fleets for any other than a constitutional end; and I maintain that the holding in subjection an alien people, governing them against their will for any fancied advantage to them, is not only not an end provided for by the Constitution, but is an end prohibited therein.
Now, with due respect to the gentlemen who have discussed this matter, I do not find that they have answered this proposition or undertaken to answer it. I do not find that they have understood it. You have, in my judgment, under your admitted power to acquire, own, and govern territory, which is just like your admitted power to govern, own, and control ships or guns, no more right under the Constitution to hold that territory for the sake of keeping in subjection an alien peo