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under the supervision of the towns. These primary officers of government have the jurisdiction of the peace of community,--provide for the necessities of the poor,-regulate the educational interests, administer justice in all minor matters, and superintend generally such domestic concerns of state, as cannot, with propriety, be intrusted to individuals, or the higher officers of government. Town government is one of the main pillars of all well regulated nations; and, in America, it has been enlarged, improved, and perfected, -until it far excels all other republics; and is the chief corner-stone of the American Union. These little republics are the nurseries of the nation; where sound public opinion, republican principles, public improvements, and public men originate. The town was the first branch of government organ-' ized by the Pilgrim Fathers; and has ever remained inviolate.
The next important branch of popular government in the history of the American Union, is the power of the County. This department of state is composed of several towns; and was organized for the purpose of superintending and controlling such general and conflicting interests of the several towns as they cannot well manage themselves. In process of time, these counties became so numerous, their business so onerous, and their interests in some instances so conflicting, that State organizations were necessary. The power of the State is supreme over the towns and counties, in all matters conferred by the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land. The States, which compose the American Union, are supreme independent nations in all things; except so far as they have voluntarily surrendered their sovereignty to the supreme control of the Republic. The States, in
the course of time, learned by experience, that their powers were inadequate in many respects, to carry out and enforce the popular will; and the people, therefore, organized the American Union, with such powers as could not well be exercised by the States, for the general protection and benefit of the whole body-politic. The national government, is not a mere confederation of States, but it is a Republic, a national unity,—and a free and sovereign nation, as much so, as the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Over all these several departments of united government, the people, in their sovereignty, exercise a supreme control, by improving and correcting each according to law. These several governments, in many respects, are independent of each other in the discharge of their respective duties; subject, however, to those laws of review which the counties have over the towns, the States over the counties,— the federal government over the States, -and the people over the whole. By these general divisions of government, so wisely constructed upon the philosophical principles of dividing labor, the people are so completely surrounded and bound together by the network of law and government, that dissolution is impossible.
This salutary principle of dividing the labors of government into its separate and appropriate departments; while every organ of the public body performs its peculiar function, in harmony with each other, and the whole system, in analogy with the vegetable and animal economy,- -no where displays more wisdom and stability, than in the independence and union of Church and State. While the people have assigned to the State the temporal duties of government; and those matters which are under the control of legal
coercion and military force; they have, with equal propriety, reserved for the Church, which is the nursery of an enlightened and sound public opinion, the spiritual interests of community, and the power of moral suasion, under the united influence of learning and religion. Although, these two prominent departments of government move in different orbits; each having different spheres of usefulness; yet, their interests are the same; and, like the Siamese twins, live, feel, and act, for the mutual good and happiness of each other, in a wonderful existence, both individual and social, which never can be amalgamated nor separated.
It is the province of the American Church, to control by kindness, benevolence, and public opinion, the educational, moral, and religious interests of the country; while the State passes into permanent laws, such principles, as the good sense, morals, and wisdom of the people suggest; and as the interests of the country require. And while the power of the government is made to bear on the rebellious and disobedient few, in sustaining and promoting the best interests of the country, the learning of the schools, in harmony with the voice of the press, and the eloquence of the pulpit, are daily wielded with a moral power, in favor of the general good of all, and the spiritual interests of each individual,-vastly more effective than all the other powers of the nation.
by moral influence alone. The great secret of maintaining a separate, and yet, a united Church and State; each having its peculiar duties and jurisdiction, --while both pursue the general and best good of each other, and of all the country,-depends upon the well known, philosophy of a judicious division of labor, and is well understood by the people generally. To build a watch skillfully and profitably, requires the skill of forty-three different trades; and the labor is divided between two hundred and fifteen different mechanics; each confined to his own peculiar department, in harmonious relations with all the others. By their united and separate labors, the surprising mechanism of a watch is produced, in the perfection of the art. A watch consists of nine hundred and ninety-two pieces; and forty-three different trades are employed in their construction. A chain, eight inches in length, has one hundred and sixty-five links; each containing three plates and two pins; making, in all, eight hundred and twenty-five pieces; and passes through fifteen hands, before it is finished,―embracing three trades, allowing five hands to each trade. So in the American Government; instead of the oneman-power, which controls aearly all other nations, the duties of government are divided by the people into numerous separate departments; while it is administered by thousands of different public officers; where each performs its own appropriate labors in harmony with all the others. And this union and independence explain the relation of Church and State, and form one of the strongest bonds of the American Union.
One of the strongest ligaments of the American Union, is its wisely balanced powers. The division of both Federal and State Government into legislative, executive, and judicial
The great mass of the American people are governed,---or govern themselves,-by sound principles and moral duties,—without the legal coercion of the State; and, hence it is, that the few cases of disobedience, which are corrected by the power of State, leave, comparatively, very little for the government to do, in controlling those temporal interests, which must be reached
departments; each of which is again subdivided into several branches, in such proportions, and with such mutual and reciprocal checks upon each other, that no one or more of the public officers or departments of State, can subvert or corrupt the others; while all move on in their several orbits without any collision or disturbing forces; forming one beautiful, symmetrical, and harmonious whole,-is a government not found in any other nation, ancient or modern.
As an additional safeguara, our American Fathers, at a very early day, adopted the republican principle of rotation, or change in office. The abuse of long-continued power, seems to be a common failing of human nature. The corrupting influence of political power, both on rulers and subjects,--exposed as it is to all the frailties and temptations of public life; and the uniformity of its dangerous consequences, as attested in all history and all nations,-early suggested to the founders of our government, the divine principle, of frequently changing the officers of State. That an ounce of preventive is better than a pound of cure, is an elementary principle in the science of government, as well as in medical science. This republican principle, which is originally American, places it beyond the power of any public officer to mature and execute any treasonable plan within the short time of his continuance in office. No American President has ever held his station more than eight years; and the majority of them only four.
The limited period of senators, from two to six years; while the judiciary and others retain their power for limited periods, or during good beha.vior-constitute a political organization, as free from dangerous innova
tion and rebellious treason, as can possibly be expected. And hence it is, that the American Government presents the only example in the history of nations, where no act of treason has ever been committed since the organization of the Republic; except the present servile rebellion, which will soon be subdued and punished. The Government is so wisely constructed, that no temptation to treason exists. The principle of official rotation, the abolition of feudal tenures, the prevention of noble titles, and the small salaries, merely sufficient for expenses with the best economy, are sufficient preventives against treason and corruption.
In addition to all these elements of national stability, we have the institution of free and universal suffrage The right of suffrage extends generally to all male citizens, who are twenty-one years of age, without any property qualification; and this liberal law is so equitably framed, as to allow all citizens and'subjects, both male and female, who are excluded from the ballot-box, to be fully and fairly represented in every branch of both State and national Government. Nor should it by any means be overlooked, in estimating our invaluable rights of suffrage, that every voter can quietly repair to the polls, and deposit his vote, without any fear, or corruption,-after fully canvassing the comparative merits of the public candidates, and the measures submitted for his approval or rejection. As additional safeguards for the protection and purity of popular elections, where the majority rule, the fundamental law has secured the right of petition, the freedom of the press, and the liberty of speech.
America can boast of a jurisprudence, equal, in all respects, and superior in many, to any other nation. Her judi
cial codes combine every salutary principle of law, ever known in ancient or modern states, worthy of being retained by a free people. And in addition to all these, American wisdom has adopted many laws of the first importance, which have not heretofore adorned the judiciary of any other people. One of the chief excellences of American jurisprudence, is its strict conformity to natural and moral law; which are the foundation of justice and natural rights. With such a wise adaptation of things, where the union of justice and equity, interest and duty, are the elements of jurisprudence, where the Government requires nothing more of any citizen, than to promote his individual interest, in harmony with the general good of all, we should expect to find precisely such a state of society as exists in the United States. The laws are made for the greatest good of the greatest number; in conformity with individual interests. without favoritism or monopoly.
bility; where every man, woman, and child, has an interest in the soil, which no power on earth can filch from its happy owner. That country is safe,-doubly safe,-where the laws throw her tender and parental arms around every citizen and subject, from his embryo existence to the last quiet slumbers of the tomb; where the government and people are reciprocally bound together by the indissoluble ties of "Home, sweet home!" Such a system of law, says Hooker, "Has her seat in the bosom of God, and her voice is the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her hoinage; the very least as feeling her care; and the greatest are not exempt from her power. Both angels, men, and creatures, of what condition soever,-though each in different sort and manner,-yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy."
The physical structure of the United States bears on its face the most striking features of national unity and stability. Every foot of American territory, on land or water, mountain or valley, in city or country, is wisely adapted to the numerous and various wants of the people. The country seems to have been orginally designed by the Creator for the people who inhabit it, and the government which rules it. With an extent of territory, measuring three thousand millions of acres, the largest national domain in the civilized world; where every acre of land can be tilled,—where every valley can be made an Eden,where every mountain can be terraced with vegetation or worked for minerals,-where every morass can be cultivated and every yard of water profitably used for navigation, irrigation, or hydraulic purposes; with thirty millions of able-bodied, industrious ci
No country can boast of so pure, so excellent, and so useful a system of land-law. Every American citizen has, or can have, a homestead of personal and real property, sufficient to secure to himself and family all the necessaries and comforts of life, with economy and industry; free from all feudal tenures; protected from the improvidence and misfortune of debt; and exempt from taxes,-except a few shillings for the expenses of State Every citizen, with one year's labor, can purchase of the government as good a farm of one hundred acres as the sun ever shone on. The unlimited right of owning property in fee, both personal and real, which descends equally to heirs, constitutes a system of jurisprudence, which is peculiarly an American institution. This American home-system forms one of the principal elements of national sta
tizens, to cultivate the soil, navigate the waters, work the mines, and conduct the manufactures,-how it is possible to imagine or even dream of the dissolution of the Union.
in a shipping of four millions of ton
This vast extent of territory, embracing one-sixteenth of the whole land-surface of the globe; for the purposes of commerce and wealth, is most conveniently divided,—by two great ranges of mountains,--running from north to south,-into three great natural sections,-called the Atlantic slope, the Mississippi valley, and the Pacific slope. The Alleghany chain is more distinguished for its length than its height; and there is no tract of country in the world, that preserves the mountain character over so great a space, with so little elevation. Their mean height varies from two to three thousand feet; nearly one-half of which consists of the elevation of the mountains above their base; and the other, of the elevation of the adjoining country above the sea. Thus the country rises to this height, by an almost imperceptible acclivity from the ocean, at a distance of two or three hundred miles on the one side, and from the channel of the Mississippi, at nearly an equal distance on the other.
A gradual elevation of one thousand, or twelve hundred feet, upon a horizontal surface of two or three hundred miles, would give the surface of the country on the eastern slope, an average rise of from three to four feet in a mile; and from two to three feet on the western side; making due allowance for the height of the channel of the Mississippi above the sea. To this small degree of inclination, the people of the United States are indebted for their unparalleled extent of inland navigation. By the course of the Mississippi, and its branches of the Missouri, the Ohio, the Alleghany, and other tributary rivers,-in connection with the law above stated, vessels ascend over an inclined plane of between
Nor is this all. This land of the beautiful, home of the brave, and country of the free,-extending from the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on the west,—from the awful plunge of Niagara on the north, to the golden sands of California on the south,-in almost equal distances of two thousand miles each,--is nearly surrounded on all sides by navigable waters; with a sea-coast on the east, south, and west, of more than ten thousand miles; including the lake, and river coast on the north, rivaling that of the ocean. The whole interior of the country is conveniently divided, traversed, and intersected, by more than twenty-five thousand miles of navigable rivers, lakes, and gulfs; and five thousand miles of canals; together with more than ten thousand miles of railroads; all connected by good public roads, traversing every part of the country, passing every man's door, and accommodating every market.
All this extensive country is covered with a fertile soil,—carpeted with every variety of vegetation;-enriched with a salubrious climate above, and with inexhaustible resources of all kinds of valuable minerals beneath. The whole surface of the American Union is usefully, beautifully, and sublimely arched at convenient distances, with mountains and hills, gradually sloping from their lofty summits down their sunny sides, to the valleys between them; through which the great American rivers bear on their swelling bosoms the rich produce of the fertile soil, amourting to more than one hundred and fifty millions of annual exports; with a much larger amount of imports;