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[23] so on popular choice. This Government was not imposed upon the People by a foreign conqueror; it is not an inheritance descending from barbarous ages, laden with traditionary abuses, which create a painful ever-recurring necessity of reform; it is not the conceit of heated enthusiasts in the spasms of a revolution. It is the recent and voluntary frame-work of an enlightened age, compacted by wise and good men, with deliberation and care, working upon materials prepared by long Colonial discipline. In framing it, they sought to combine the merits and to avoid the defects of former systems of government. The greatest possible liberty of the citizen is the basis; just representation the ruling principle, reconciling with rare ingenuity the federal equality of the States, with the proportionate influence of numbers. Its legislative and executive magistrates are freely chosen at short periods; its judiciary alone holding office by a more permanent, but still sufficiently responsible, tenure. No money flows into or out of the Treasury but under the direct sanction of the representatives of the People, on whom also all the great functions of Government for peace and war, within the limits already indicated, are devolved. No hereditary titles or privileges, no distinction of ranks, no established church, no courts of high commission, no censorship of the press, are known to the system; not a drop of blood has ever flowed under its authority for a political offence; but this tyrannical and oppressive Government has certainly exhibited a more perfect development of equal republican principles, than has ever before existed on any considerable scale. Under its benign influence, the country, every part of the country, has prospered beyond all former example. Its population has increased; its commerce, agriculture, and manufactures have flourished; manners, arts, education, letters, all that dignifies and ennobles man, have in a shorter period attained a higher point of cultivation than has ever before been witnessed in a newly settled region. The consequence has been consideration and influence abroad and marvellous well-being at home. The world has looked with admiration upon the Country's progress; we have ourselves contemplated it, perhaps, with undue self-complacency. Armies without conscription; navies without impressment, and neither army nor navy swelled to an oppressive size; an over-flowing treasury without direct taxation or oppressive taxation of any kind; churches without number and with no denominational preferences on the part of the State; schools and colleges accessible to all the people; a free and a cheap press;--all the great institutions of social life extending their benefits to the mass of the community. Such, no one can deny, is the general character of this oppressive and tyrannical government.

But perhaps this Government, however wisely planned, however beneficial even in its operation, may have been rendered distasteful, or may have become oppressive in one part of the country and to one portion of the people, in consequence of the control of affairs having been monopolized or unequally shared by another portion. In a Confederacy, the people of one section are not well pleased to be even mildly governed by an exclusive domination of the other. In point of fact this is the allegation, the persistent allegation of the South, that from the foundation of the Government it has been wielded by the people of the North for their special, often exclusive, benefit, and to the injury and oppression of the South. Let us see. Out of seventy-two years since the organization of the Government, the Executive chair has, for sixty-four years, been filled nearly all the time by Southern

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