of the United States
is no longer a government of a confederated republic, but of a consolidated democracy.
It is no longer a free government, but a despotism.
It is, in fact, such a government as Great Britain
attempted to set over our fathers, and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years struggle for independence.
The Revolution of 1776 turned upon one great principle, self-government and self-taxation, the criterion of self-government.
Where the interests of two people united together under one government are different, each must have the power to protect its interests by the organization of the government or be free.
The interests of Great Britain
and of the colonies were different and antagonistic.
was desirous of carrying out the policy of all nations toward their colonies, of making them tributary to their wealth and power.
She had vast and complicated relations with the whole world.
Her policy towards her North American colonies was to identify them with her in all these complicated relations, and to make them bear, in common with the rest of the empire, the full burden of her obligations and necessities.
She had a vast public debt; she had a European policy and Asiatic policy, which had occasioned the accumulation of her public debt, and which kept her in continual wars.
The North American colonies saw their interests, political and commercial, sacrificed by such a policy.
Their interests required that they should not be identified with the burdens and wars of the mother country.
They had been settled under charters which gave them self-government, at least so far as their property was concerned.
They had taxed themselves, and had never been taxed by the government of Great Britain
To make them a part of a consolidated empire, the Parliament were of Great Britain
determined to assume the power of legislating for the colonies in all cases whatsoever.
Our ancestors resisted the pretension.
They refused to be a part of the consolidated government of Great Britain
The Southern States now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States
that our ancestors in the colonies did towards Great Britain
The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British Parliament. “The general welfare,” is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British Parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation this “general welfare” requires.
Thus the Government
of the United States
has become a consolidated Government, and the people of the Southern States
are compelled to meet the very despotism their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.
The consolidation of the Government
of Great Britain
over the colonies was attempted to be carried out by the taxes.
The British Parliament undertook to tax the colonies to promote British interests.
Our fathers resisted this pretension.
They claimed the right of self-taxation through their colonial legislatures.
They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightly be taxed by its legislature.
The British Government, however, offered them a representative in the British Parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused it. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference.
By neither would the colonies tax themselves.
Hence they cannot they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British Parliament.
The Southern States now stand in the same relation towards the Northern States
, in the vital matter of taxation, that our ancestors stood towards the people of Great Britain
They are in a minority in Congress.
Their representation in Congress is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North
for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain
taxed our ancestors in the British Parliament for their benefit.
For the last forty years the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North
The people of the South
have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue — to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.
There is another evil in the condition of the Southern
towards the Northern States
, which our ancestors refused to bear towards Great Britain
Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them expended amongst them.
Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government
, the taxes collected from them would have been expended on other parts of the British
They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure.
To prevent the evils of such a policy was one of the motives which drove them on to revolution.
Yet this British policy has been fully realized towards the Southern States
by the Northern States
The people of the Southern States
are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States
, but after the taxes are collected three-fourths of them are expended at the North
This cause, with others connected with the operation of the General Government
, has provincialized the cities of the South
Their growth is paralyzed, whilst they are mere suburbs of Northern cities.
The basis of the foreign commerce of the United States
are the agricultural productions of the South
; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade is almost annihilated.
In 1740 there were five ship yards in