previous next

[161] the surplus crops of the farmers were consumed by those engaged in other occupations, while southern farmers had to seek a market in foreign lands. Mr. Grady, therefore, contends that under these circumstances the South was subjected to two wrongs by the operation of federal laws: ‘First, foreign prices had to be accepted for her crops whether sold abroad or in the United States, and tariff laws compelled her to purchase her supplies of manufactured articles at prices considerably above those charged in foreign markets, and, second, every act of Congress designed to counteract hostile commercial legislation by any foreign government—most of the tariff acts included—led to further restrictions on exports from the United States, of which the South furnished from 80 to 90 per cent.’

In successive chapters Mr. Grady undertakes to show how the northern States secured special and undue advantages from fishing bounties, the assumption by the general government of the war debts of the several States, the establishment of the Bank of the United States, the disproportionate distribution of pensions for service in the Revolution, and the unjust and the unconstitutional disposal of the public lands; but these separate charges, all embraced in the statement of the case against the South, must be dismissed with a bare mention in this brief review. It may be remarked, however, that nearly all the laws enacted by Congress for the special benefit of the North have been defended by loose constructions of the constitution. The disposition to enlarge the power of Congress by evading the limitations which a strict construction of that instrument would impose was the vice of the old federalist party as it is of its legitimate successor, the Republican party of to-day. Justin Winsor, in the Narrative and Critical History of America, edited by him, compares written and unwritten constitution. Prof. Diman, in the New Englander, May, 1878, and Woodrow Wilson in his Congressional Government, ‘have not failed,’ he says, ‘to show that the difference of form of the written and unwritten constitutions is reduced to a small divergence through the elasticity and adaptibility secured in the American document from its elementary character.’ Von Holst, a German publicist, whose writings upon the political history of this country seem to be much admired in certain quarters, seems to regard it as unfortunate that the discussion of important measures in Congress should be so much occupied with the question of constitutionality. There seems, indeed, to be growing into vogue a theory of historical development in the interpretation of organic law, and it has even been intimated that the country has outgrown

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (3)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
B. F. Grady (2)
Justin Winsor (1)
Woodrow Wilson (1)
Von Holst (1)
Diman (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May, 1878 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: