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Genera] Jackson had attempted, by removing so many persons from office, there was not much difference of sentiment as to the impropriety of his using the opportunities thus created for rewarding the electioneering services of his partisans. And in consequence, several of the nominations were rejected, and in some instances the vote rejecting them was so large as to convey a decided censure upon the course adopted by the executive.
In regard to the other point, of which the dominant party had said a good deal, that of retrenchment, considerable activity was manifested. No fewer than ten bills were brought forward in the House; but to very little purpose; and nothing of moment resulted from this movement. Bills for reforming the mode of publishing the laws, the appointment of postmasters, the displacement of defaulters, etc., introduced by Mr. Benton in the Senate, met with no better success. So too a resolution upon General Jackson's recommendation to amend the constitutional mode of electing the president and vice-president, did not meet the approbation of Congress.. Whereat the opposition sarcastically said; "These subjects of excitement had subserved the purposes for which they were intended, and the object of the agitation being answered in the triumph of their party, the instruments by which they had accomplished their ends were laid aside as no longer necessary."
The question respecting the Indians in the south-west, (p. 356,) and their removal beyond the Mississippi, again came before Congress. Georgia, in par
ticular, was determined to have possession of the Indian lands, and to effect the removal of the Indian tribes within her borders. The poor aborigines memorialized Congress, and hoped for protection and justice; but in general, the legislature and the executive were opposed to their wishes, and emigration seemed to be the only thing left to them. In June, the governor of Georgia issued a proclamation, declaring that the laws of the state were in force over the Indian territory, and threatening penalties for any violation of them. Congress also passed an act for the purchase of a region west of the Mississippi, beyond the limits of the states and organized territories, to which the Indians were to be removed within a year, and where they were to be protected against other tribes in the vicinity. The sum of $500,000 was appropriated for carrying this act into effect. The troubles that grew out of this Indian question, occupied the attention of Congress and the people for several years subsequently.
That portion of the president's message which we have quoted respecting the Bank of the United States, was referred, in the House, to the committee of ways and means. The movement of the executive was looked upon as rather surprising, seeing that the charter of the bank had some seven years yet to run, and seeing also that it had made no application for a renewal of its charter. Strictly speaking, it was difficult to perceive what Congress had to do with the question in its present position. However, as the president had seen fit to speak of it in the
1830. Ch. L]
manner which he did in his message, the supporters of his administration could not well pass over the subject in silence. The committee of ways and means, accordingly, through Mr. M'Duffie, their chairman, in an' able report, took ground against the president's view; claimed that the bank had faithfully performed its duties; that it was essential to the correct management of the national finances, etc. And as to General Jackson's suggestion of a government national bank, to be furnished with capital from the treasury, the report declared, that it could hardly furnish a currency without branches; whilst "with branches it would be still more objectionable, as it invested the federal government with patronage of most extensive influence, and embracing the control of all the bank accommodations to the standing amount of $50,000,000. Such a control would introduce more corruption in the government than all the patronage now belonging to it. It was a desperate financial experiment, without parallel in the history of the world." To the same effect, though not so much in detail, Mr. Smith, of Maryland, in behalf of the committee of finance, in the Senate, reported against the suggestions of the president;—circumstances which might have shaken the resolution of any ordinary man. But Andrew Jackson was not an ordinary man, and having set his mind upon a certain view of this matter, he was not to be driven from it by any doubts or hesitation, as to whether he might not possibly be wrong, in a question wherein the learning, and experience, and ability of
statesmen and financiers, of his own party, too, were, with scarce an exception, arrayed against him.
After the performance of a great deal of business, notwithstanding the long and ardent debates, this busy session of Congress was terminated on the 31st of May, 1830 *
The fifth decennial census of the United States was taken this year, with the following results. Of free whites, there were, under twenty years of age, males, 2,996,405; females, 2,907,347; —between twenty and forty, males, 1,548,697; females, 1,473,648; — between forty and sixty, males, 597,009; females, 579,456;— above sixty, males, 210,967; females, 209,803; in all, according to Mr. Tucker, 10,537,378. The number of free colored persons amounted to 319,599; and there were 2,009,043 slaves. The grand total of the population, consequently, as given by the tables in Mr. Tucker's work on this subject, was, 12,866,020.
The increase of the population, when compared with the numbers ascertained in 1820, was just thirty-three and a quarter per cent.; but, compared with those in 1790, the increase was above three hundred and twenty-seven per cent. The decennial increase in the Atlantic states, in 1830, was above twenty-nine and three quarters per
* General Jackson, it was noted, used the veto power of his office four times during the session; whereas, looking back, it was found, that Washington used this power only twice, during his eight years; John Adams and Jefferson, not at all; Madison, four times; Monroe, once; and John Quincy Adams, not at all. From all which it became tolerably evident, that executive power, in Jackson's hands, was a real thing, which he meant to exercise as he judged best.
THE FIFTH CENSUS.
cent., and in the western states, above sixty-three and a half; whilst in the free states it was above thirty-five and three quarters, and in the slave-holding states under thirty per cent.
During the recess, a sort of quarrel among the members of the cabinet and the president, made considerable progress, and it became evident, that the friendly political relations existing between Mr. Calhoun and General Jackson were about to be ruptured. Mr. Van Buren was charged with fomenting this quarrel, having perceived that his political advancement would be promoted by it. But we do not pretend, in our limited space, to enter into any discussion of the secret history of the times.
The second session of the twenty-first Congress began on the 6th of December. The message, which was sent in the next day, spoke of the bills which the president had retained at the close of the last session, on the ground that he had not had time to consider them properly, and which were now returned without his approval. The necessity of amending the Constitution, in relation to the election of president and vice-president, was again urged. "I cannot," said he, "too earnestly invite your attention to the propriety of promoting such an amendment of the Constitution, as will render him ineligible after one term of service."
The Indian question was next spoken of, and the progress of the removal scheme; and then came the tariff. The effects of the existing law, said the message, were "doubtless overrated, both in its evils and in its advantages."
"To make this great question," the president remarked, "which unhappily so much divides and excites the public mind, subservient to the short-sighted views of faction, must destroy all hope of settling it satisfactorily to the great body of the people, and for the general interest. I cannot, therefore, too earnestly for my own feelings of the common good, warn you against the blighting consequences of such a course."
The financial report was in every respect most favorable. The receipts for the year were expected to exceed $24,160,000, being about $300,000 more than had been reckoned upon when the last annual report was presented. The expenditure amounted to over $13,742,000, beside payments on account of the public debt, falling little short of $11,500,000. And the balance in the treasury at the end of the year, was expected to be above $4,819,000.
First in importance of the legislative business of the session prescribed by the message, were the measures for the promotion of internal improvement, which, in complete neglect of the president's scruples, were passed by Congress. Nor was this practical resistance to Jackson's views offered without consideration; a committee sat upon the objections by which he had justified his vetoes, and the report presented by it, through one of the supporters of the administration, strongly and pointedly condemned his opinions, and concluded by a resolution, affirming the expediency of continuing the prosecution of internal improvements by appropriations of money, and by subscriptions for stock, in companies incorporated in the
states wherein the improvements might be effected, on the part of the general government.
So decisive were the majorities in both branches of the legislature, by which the bills with this object in view were passed, that "the president and his cabinet found themselves compelled to yield to public opinion," and approve them, in spite of the decided disapprobation which they had expressed, for measures of precisely the same character and intention. And it was considered that this course of policy was now established as that of the nation, nothing being required to carry it most beneficially into effect, but prudence and harmony on the part of the different sections of the government.
The other measures of the session deserving mention, were,—an act to amend the laws of copy-right, extending the term to twenty-eight years; and for fourteen years, if the author, etc., should be living, or have left widow or child living, at the conclusion of that term; —one for the relief of certain insolvent debtors of the United States;—another for finally adjusting and settling the claims of James Monroe, the late president, against the United States ;* and various appropriations for internal improvement, as that for carrying on the Cumberland Road, and that for improving the navigation of the Ohio. The session closed on the 3d of March, 1831.
Soon after the breaking up of Congress, a rather tart correspondence was
* Mr. Monroe, we may note here, died on the 4th ef July, 1881, in the seventy-second year of his age.
published, in which both writers, the president and vice-president, clearly manifested that a schism had taken place in the party, and that several political changes must result from this dispute. The details are not important in this place. A great deal was said in public and private on the subject, and charges and countercharges were freely made on both sides. The president, finding that he could not bring the members of the cabinet to his view on certain questions of etiquette and propriety, in matters of social intercourse, was, naturally enough, displeased, and as he was not a man who bore opposition very meekly, the gentlemen associated with him as constitutional advisers found it expedient to resign, which they did in the month of April.* General Jackson, accordingly, set about a reorganization of his cabinet; and during the summer, he completed it as follows: Edward Livingston, of Louisiana, was made secretary of state; Louis M'Lane, of Delaware, secretary of the treasury; Lewis Cass, of Ohio, secretary of war; Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire, secretary of the navy; Roger B.Taney, of Maryland, attorney-general.
A strong opposition to General Jackson's re-election began gradually to acquire head; and using the designation of "national republican," it was determined to support Henry Clay as its candidate for the presidency.
* Mr. Van Buren, who had resigned the post of secretary of state, was appointed by the president minister to England; and embarked for London, in August 188L
The twenty-second Congress began ite first session on the 5th of December, 1831. Stevenson was elected speaker by a bare majority; and the president's message was read to both Houses on the following day. This document was largely occupied with an account of foreign affairs at that date. The relation of the administration to the Indian tribes was also fully discussed. "It is confidently believed," said the president, "that perseverance for a few years in the present policy of the government, will extinguish the Indian title to all lands lying within the states composing our Federal Union, and remove beyond their limits, every Indian who is not willing to submit to their laws."
The amount of the revenue was anticipated as not less than $27,700,000; whilst the total expenditure was no more than $14,700,000. More than $16,500,000 had been applied to the reduction of the public debt, and the payment of interest upon it. So that in the three years that Jackson had been at the head of affairs, nearly $40,000,000 had been applied to this important object; certainly a just cause for gratulation.
Few recommendations were offered to Congress; but amongst them we find renewed those for "a modification of the tariff," justice to the interests of the merchant being observed, as well as to those of the manufacturer; "a more liberal policy towards unfortunate debtors to the government;" the amendment [ of the Constitution, in the article regui§3l ^&^nS tne TMode of electing the president and vice-president; and further and careful attention to the
position of the Bank of the United States. New ones were presented respecting the complications of the system of keeping the public accounts; the reorganization of the District of Columbia; and correction of anomalies in the distribution of the circuit courts.
The president's appointments, made during the recess, were sent in to the Senate early in December, and after considerable discussion, were confirmed on the 13th of January, 1832, excepting that of Mr. Van Buren, minister to England. This was laid on the table by the casting vote of the vice-president, and was finally rejected by the same vote. How much mere party considerations had to do with this result, we stop not to inquire; but certainly, the opponents of the administration made a great mistake in not leaving Mr. Van Buren where he was, instead of forcing his return, and giving him a claim to further advancement in the ranks of the demo- 1832, cratic party. The consequence was, that the late secretary of state was placed on the same ticket with Andrew Jackson, for vice-president; was secure of being elected to that office; and had also every reason to hope for the honor of being made his successor.
The apportionment cf Representatives under the census of 1830, was warmly debated in Congress. The committee, early in January, through Mr. Polk, suggested forty-eight thousand as the ratio. After a large number of conflicting propositions by way of amendment, the numbers suggested varying from sixty thousand to fortyfour; and several motions having had