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senses. I know that all is not gold that glitters, that there is a difference between a specious and a solid prosperity. I know that a part of the present prosperity is apparent only, the effect of an increase of fifty millions of paper money forced into circulation by one thousand banks; but, after making due allowance for this fictitious and delusive excess, the real prosperity of the country is still unprecedently and transcendently great. I know that every flow must be followed by its ebb, that every expansion must be followed by its contraction. I know that a revulsion in the paper system is inevitable; but I know, also, that these seventy-five millions of gold and silver are the bulwark of the country, and will enable every honest bank to meet its liabilities, and every prudent citizen to take care of himself.
Turning to some points in the civil administration of Presi. dent Jackson, and how much do we not find to admire! The great cause of the Constitution has been vindicated from an imputation of more than forty years' duration. He has demonstrated, by the fact itself, that a national bank is not necessary » to the fiscal operations of the Federal government, and in that demonstration he has upset the argument of General Hamilton, and the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, and all that ever has been said in favor of the constitutionality of a national bank. All this argument and decision rested upon the single assumption of the “necessity of that institution to the Federal government. He has shown it is not necessary”; that the currency of the Constitution, and especially a gold currency, is all that the Federal government wants, and that she can get that whenever she pleases. In this single act he has vindicated the Constitution from an unjust imputation, and knocked from under the decision of the Supreme Court the assumed fact on which it rested. He has prepared the way for the reversal of that decision; and it is a question for lawyers to answer, whether the case is not ripe for the application of that writ of most remedial nature, as Lord Coke calls it, and which was invented lest in any case there should be an oppressive defect of justice the venerable writ of audita querela defendentis — to ascertain the truth of a fact happening since the judgment, and upon the due finding of which the judgment will be vacated. Let the lawyers bring their books, and answer us if there is not a case here presented for the application of that ancient and most remedial writ.
From President Jackson the country has first learned the true theory and practical intent of the Constitution, in giving to the Executive a qualified negative on the legislative power of Congress. Far from being an odious, dangerous, or kingly preroga. tive, this power, as vested in the President, is nothing but a qualified copy of the famous veto power vested in the tribunes of the people among the Romans, and intended to suspend the passage of a law until the people themselves should have time to consider it. The qualified veto of the President destroys nothing; it only delays the passage of a law, and refers it to the people for their consideration and decision. It is the reference of the law, not to a committee of the House, or of the whole House, but to the committee of the whole Union. It is a recommitment of the bill to the people, for them to examine and consider; and if, upon this examination, they are content to pass it, it will pass at the next session. The delay of a few months is the only effect of a veto in a case where the people shall ultimately approve a law; where they do not approve it, the interposition of the veto is the barrier which saves them the infliction of a law, the repeal of which might afterwards be almost impossible. The qualified negative is, therefore, a beneficent power, intended, as General Hamilton expressly declares in the Federalist, to protect, first, the executive department from the encroachments of the legislative department; and, secondly, to preserve the people from hasty, dangerous, or criminal legislation on the part of their representatives. This is the design and intention of the veto power; and the fear expressed by General Hamilton was, that Presidents, so far from exercising it too often, would not exercise it as often as the safety of the people required; they might lack the moral courage to stake themselves in opposition to a favorite measure of the majority of the two houses of Congress, and thus deprive the people, in many instances, of their right to pass upon a bill before it becomes a final law. The cases in which President Jackson has exercised the veto power has shown the soundness of these observations. No ordinary President would have staked himself against the Bank of the United States and the two houses of Congress in 1832. It required President Jackson to confront that power, to stem that torrent, to stay the progress of that charter, and to refer it to the people for their decision. His moral courage was equal to the crisis. He arrested the charter until it could go to the people, and they have arrested it forever. Had he not done so, the charter would have become law, and its repeal almost impossible. The people of the whole Union would now have been in the condition of the people of Penn. sylvania, bestrode by the monster, in daily conflict with him, and maintaining a doubtful contest for supremacy between the gov. ernment of a State and the directory of a moneyed corporation.
To detail specific acts which adorn the administration of President Jackson, and illustrate the intuitive sagacity of his intellect, the firmness of his mind, his disregard of personal popularity, and his entire devotion to the public good, would be inconsistent with this rapid sketch, intended merely to present general views, and not to detail single actions, howsoever worthy they may be of a splendid page in the volume of history. But how can we pass over the great measure of the removal of the public moneys from the Bank of the United States in the autumn of 1833 ?- that wise, heroic, and masterly measure of prevention, which has rescued an empire from the fangs of a merciless, revengeful, greedy, insatiate, implacable, moneyed power. It is a remark for which I am indebted to the philosophic observation of my most esteemed colleague and friend (pointing to Dr. Linn), that, while it requires far greater talent to foresee an evil before it happens, and to arrest it by precautionary meas. ures, than it requires to apply an adequate remedy to the same evil after it has happened, yet the applause bestowed by the world is always greatest in the latter case. Of this the removal of the public moneys from the Bank of the United States is an eminent instance. The veto of 1832, which arrested the charter which Congress had granted, immediately received the applause and approbation of a majority of the Union; the removal of the deposits, which prevented the bank from forcing a recharter, was disapproved by a large majority of the country, and even of his own friends; yet the veto would have been unavailing, and the bank would inevitably have been rechartered, if the deposits had not been removed. The immense sums of public money since accumulated would have enabled the bank, if she had retained the possession of it, to have coerced a recharter. Nothing but the removal could have prevented her from extorting a re. charter from the sufferings and terrors of the people. If it had not been for that measure, the previous veto would have been unavailing; the bank would have been again installed in power, and this entire Federal government would have been held as an appendage to that bank, and administered according to her directions and by her nominees. That great measure of prevention, the removal of the deposits, though feebly and faintly supported by friends at first, has expelled the bank from the field, and driven her into abeyance under a State charter. She is not dead, but, holding her capital and stockholders together under a State charter, she has taken a position to watch events and to profit by them. The royal tiger has gone into the jungle, and, crouched on his belly, he awaits the favorable moment for emerging from his cover and springing on the body of the unsuspicious traveler!
The Treasury order for excluding paper money from the land offices is another wise measure, originating in an enlightened forecast and preventing great mischiefs. The President foresaw the evils of suffering a thousand streams of paper money, issuing from a thousand different banks, to discharge themselves on the national domain. He foresaw that, if these currents were allowed to run their course, the public lands would be swept away, the treasury would be filled with irredeemable paper, a vast number of banks must be broken by their folly, and the cry set up that nothing but a national bank could regulate the currency. He stopped the course of these streams of paper, and, in so doing, has saved the country from a great calamity, and excited anew the machinations of those whose schemes of gain and mischief have been disappointed, and who had counted on a new edition of panic and pressure, and again saluting Congress with the old story of confidence destroyed, currency ruined, prosperity annihilated, and distress produced, by the tyranny of one man. They began their lugubrious song; but ridicule and contempt have proved too strong for money and insolence, and the panic letter of the ex-president of the denationalized bank, after limping about for a few days, has shrunk from the lash of public scorn, and disappeared from the forum of public debate.
The difficulty with France: what an instance it presents to the superior sagacity of President Jackson over all the commonplace politicians who beset and impede his administration at home! That difficulty, inflamed and aggravated by domestic faction, wore, at one time, a portentous aspect; the skill, firmness, elevation of purpose, and manly frankness of the President avoided the danger, accomplished the object, commanded the admiration of Europe, and retained the friendship of France. He conducted the delicate affair to a successful and mutually honorable issue. All is amicably and happily terminated, leaving not a wound, nor even a scar, behind; leaving the Frenchman and American on the ground on which they have stood for fifty years, and should forever stand - the ground of friendship, respect, good will, and mutual wishes for the honor, happiness, and prosperity of each other.
But why this specification ? So beneficent and so glorious has been the administration of this President, that where to begin and where to end, in the enumeration of great measures, would be the embarrassment of him who has his eulogy to make. He came into office the first of generals; he goes out the first of statesmen. His civil competitors have shared the fate of his military opponents; and Washington city has been to the American politicians who have assailed him what New Orleans was to the British generals who attacked his lines. Repulsed! driven back! discomfited! crushed! has been the fate of all assailants, foreign and domestic, civil and military. At home and abroad the impress of his genius and of his character is felt. He has impressed upon the age in which he lives the stamp of his arms, of his diplomacy, and of his domestic policy. In a word, so transcendent have been the merits of his administration that they have operated a miracle upon the minds of his most inveterate opponents. He has expunged their objections to military chieftains! He has shown them that they were mistaken; that military men were not the dangerous rulers they had imagined, but safe and prosperous conductors of the vessel of State. He has changed their fear into love. With visible signs they admit their error, and, instead of deprecating, they now invoke the reign of chieftains. They labored hard to procure a military successor to the present incumbent; and if their love goes on increasing at the same rate, the Republic may be put to the expense of periodical wars, to breed a perpetual succession of these chieftains to rule over them and their posterity forever.
To drop this irony, which the inconsistency of mad opponents has provoked, and to return to the plain delineations of historical painting, the mind instinctively dwells on the vast and unprecedented popularity of this President. Great is the influence, great the power, greater than any man ever before possessed in our America, which he has acquired over the public mind. And how has he acquired it ? Not by the arts of intrigue, or the