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ple than you have a right to acquire, hold, and manage cannon or fleets or to raise armies for the sake of keeping in subjection and under your control an alien people. All these things are means: and means to constitutional and not to unconstitutional ends.
The Constitution of the United States sets forth certain specific objects and confers certain specific powers upon the Government it creates. All powers necessary or reasonably convenient to accomplishing these specific objects and exercising these specific powers are granted by implication. In my judgment the Constitution should be liberally construed in determining the extent of such powers. In that I agree with Webster and Hamilton and Lincoln and Washington and Marshall, and not with Calhoun or the Democrats of the time of the War of the Rebellion and since. But the most liberal statesman or jurist never went further than the rule I have stated in claiming constitutional powers for our Government. The Constitution says that Congress may make rules and regulations for the government of the territory and other property of the United States. That implies that we may acquire and regulate territory as we may acquire and use other property, such as our ships of war, our cannon or forts or arsenals. But
territory, like other property, can only be acquired for constitutional purposes, and cannot be acquired and governed for unconstitutional purposes. Now, one constitutional purpose is to admit new States to the Union. That is one of the objects for which the Constitution was framed. So we may acquire and hold and govern territory with that object in view. But governing subject peoples, and holding them for that purpose, is not a constitutional end. On the contrary, it is an end which the generation which framed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence declared was unrighteous and abhorrent. So, in my opinion, we have no constitutional power to acquire territory for the purpose of holding it in subjugation, in a state of vassalage or serfdom, against the will of its people.
FOURTH CLASS -- LEGISLATIVE
CUBA MUST BE FREE
JOHN M. THURSTON
John Mellen Thurston was born at Montpelier, Vermont, August 21, 1847. His ancestors were Puritans, their settlement in this country dating back to 1636. His grandfather Mellen and great-grandfather Thurston were both soldiers in the Revolutionary War. He journeyed with his parents to the West in 1854, making his home in Madison,
Wisconsin. By intelligence and hard work he rose from farm laborer to lawyer, having been 'admitted to the bar May 21, 1869, and in October of the same year located in Omaha, Nebraska, where he began the practice of his profession. He rose by successive steps from City Councillor of Omaha in 1872, to member of the Nebraska legislature in 1875; temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention in 1888; president of the Republican League of the United States, 1889 to 1891; United States Senator from Nebraska 1895 to 1901. As an advocate, ex-Senator Thurston is eloquent and convincing, and as a political speaker he is one of the best that the Republican party has possessed. The following extract is from a speech delivered in the United States Senate, March 24, 1898.
M R. President, there are those who say that the 111 affairs of Cuba are not the affairs of the United States, who insist that we can stand idly by and see that island devastated and depopulated, its business interests destroyed, its commercial intercourse with us cut off, its people starved, degraded, and enslaved. It may be the naked legal right of the United States to stand thus idly by.
I have the legal right to pass along the street and see a helpless dog stamped into the earth under the heels of a ruffian. I can pass by and say that is not my dog. I can sit in my comfortable parlor with my loved ones gathered about me, and through my plate glass window see a fiend outraging a helpless woman nearby, and I can legally say this is no affair of mine — it is not happening on my premises ; and I can turn away and take my little
ones in my arms, and, with the memory of their sainted mother in my heart, look up to the motto on the wall and read, “ God bless our home.”
But if I do, I am a coward and a cur unfit to live, and, God knows, unfit to die. And yet I cannot protect the dog nor save the woman without the exercise of force.
We cannot intervene and save Cuba without the exercise of force, and force means war; war means blood. The lowly Nazarene on the shores of Galilee preached the divine doctrine of love, “ Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Not peace on earth at the expense of liberty and humanity. Not good will toward men who despoil, enslave, degrade, and starve to death their fellow men. I believe in the doctrine of Christ. I believe in the doctrine of peace; but, Mr. President, men must have liberty before there can come abiding peace.
Intervention means force. Force means war. War means blood. But it will be God's force. When has a battle for humanity and liberty ever been won except by force? What barricade of wrong, injustice, and oppression has ever been carried except by force?
Force compelled the signature of unwilling royalty to the great Magna Charta; force put life into the Declaration of Independence and made effective the Emancipation Proclamation; force beat with naked hands upon the iron gateway of the Bastile and made reprisal in one awful hour for centuries of kingly crime; force waved the flag of revolution over Bunker Hill and marked the snows of Valley Forge with blood-stained feet; force held the broken line at Shiloh, climbed the flame-swept hill at Chattanooga, and stormed the clouds on Lookout heights; force marched with Sherman to the sea, rode with Sheridan in the valley of the Shenandoah, and gave Grant victory at Appomattox; force saved the Union, kept the stars in the flag, made “ niggers ” men. The time for God's force has come again. Let the impassioned lips of American patriots once more take up the song: