of the people.
was the hero of New Orleans and the conqueror of Florida
was pledged to retrenchment and reform.
Against vociferation of this kind, what availed the fact
, evident, incontrovertible, that the affairs of the government were conducted with dignity, judgment and moderation?—that the country enjoyed prosperity at home, and the respect of the world?— that the claims of American citizens against foreign governments were prosecuted with diligence and success?—that treaties highly advantageous to American interests were negotiated with leading nations in Europe
and South America
?—that the public revenue was greater than it had ever been before?—that the resources of the country were made accessible by a liberal system of internal improvement?—that, nevertheless, there were surplus millions in the treasury?—that the administration nobly disdained to employ the executive patronage as a means of securing its continuance in power?—All this availed nothing.
“ Hurrah for Jackson
” carried the day. The Last of the Gentlemen of the Revolutionary school
The era of wire-pulling began.
That deadly element was introduced into our political system which rendered it so exquisitely vicious, that thenceforth it worked to corruption by an irresistible necessity!
It is called Rotation in Office.
It is embodied in the maxim, “To the victors belong the spoils.”
It has made the word office-holder
synonymous with the word sneak
. It has thronged the capital with greedy sycophants.
It has made politics a game of cunning, with enough of chance in it to render it interesting to the low crew that play.
It has made the president a pawn with which to make the first move—a puppet to keep the people amused while their pockets are picked.
It has excluded from the service of the State
nearly every man of ability and worth, and enabled bloated and beastly demagogues, without a ray of talent, without a sentiment of magnanimity, illiterate, vulgar, insensible to shame, to exert a power
in this republic, which its greatest statesmen in their greatest days never wielded.
In the loud contentions of the period, the reader can easily believe that our argumentative apprentice took an intense interest.
The village of East Poultney
cast little more—if any more—than half a dozen votes for Jackson
, but how much this result was owing the efforts of Horace Greeley
cannot now be ascertained.