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the parties is to judge for himself-does that mean that he shall judge for the others, too? A compact between States is as binding, as a compact between individuals—it creates what is called by text writers " perfect obligation "-there is no doubt but that a sovereignty is obliged before God and man scrupulously to fulfil the conditions of its agreements. But sovereignties with regard to each other are in a state of nature they have no common superior to enforce compliance with their covenants; and if any difference arise as to their rights and liabilities under them, what says the law of nature and nations? Why what can it say, but that each shall do as he pleases—or that force shall decide the controversy? Is there any imaginable alternative between the law and the sword, between the judgment of some regularly constituted umpire, chosen beforehand by the common consent of the contracting parties, and the ultima ratio regum? Sir, we have been told that State sovereignty is and ought to be governed by nothing but its own "feelings of honorable justice"-it comes up in the declamation of the day, to the description of that irrascible, imperious and reckless hero, whose wrath and the woes it brought upon his country are an admirable theme for an epic or a tragic song, but would not, I suppose, be recommended as the very highest of all possible examples in morality. Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer

Jura negat sibi nata, nihil non arrogat armis.

Yet strange to say, the very men who paint to us the sovereignty of the States in such colors, and would cavil about the ninth part of a hair where their own rights and interests are concerned, forget entirely that there are any other parties to the compact but South Carolina, or that those parties have any rights to exercise, or any interests to maintain ! "We have a right to judge for ourselves," say they, "how far we are bound by the Constitution, or how far we shall comply with it." Grant it. But what of the other twenty-three parties? Are they bound by our decision? Shall they not think for themselves, because we say that an act, which they have all declared (or the great majority of them) to be within the meaning of the treaty and binding upon us, is not so? If our opinion is just we are not bound. Admit it. But if their's is just we are bound. Now the whole fallacy of the argument on the other side consists in coolly taking for granted the very matter in dispute-in blotting out this if-in denying to others the very right of judging which we claim for ourselves—and in expecting them, exacting it of them, to act upon our convictions instead of their own.

Sir, it may be that they will do so. Instances upon instances have been laboriously compiled of late by a writer in one of the leading journals of the country, to show how often the government has been forced, right or wrong, to`yield to the resistance of the States. I shall


say nothing of these examples-except that some of them have never been mentioned until recently but with scorn and indignation. But I maintain that not one of them-no, not one-goes to show that the other parties to the compact might not, if they had been so minded, have rightfully insisted upon enforcing their construction of the contract. I will only remark as to Georgia and the Cherokees, that as that State was clearly right in her pretensions from first to last, so she maintained her rights by open force, and made no scruple about professing to do so.

Mr. President, the argument which I now advance is too clear for controversy. It addresses itself to the common sense of mankind, and the bare stating of it is sufficient to show how incongruous and absurd the doctrine of the veto is, so far as it rests upon general reasonings and the law of nature-the only law acknowledged by sovereigns. But if any authority be wanted to confirm it, then is abundance of it at hand. Look into the writings of publicists-they are all full of it. By the established law of nations, each party construes a treaty for itself; but then it allows the other to do the same, and if the difference between them be deemed important enough that other has the option either of rescinding the whole treaty (in the case before us, putting the State out of the Union,) or making war to enforce it. "If one of the allies fails in his engagements (says Vattel), the other may constrain him to fulfil them; this is the right derived from a perfect promise. But if he has no other way but that of arms to constrain an ally to keep his word, it is sometimes more expedient to disengage himself from his promises and break the treaty. He has undoubtedly a right to do this; having promised only on condition that his ally shall accomplish on his side every thing he is obliged to perform. The ally, offended or injured in what relates to the treaty, may then choose either to oblige the perfidious ally to fulfil his engagements or declare the treaty broken by the violation." Vatt. Sec. 200. This civilian then proceeds to lay down the rule that the violation of one article of the treaty is a violation of the whole. He admits that it ought not to be rashly done, and says that the sovereign deeming himself aggrieved "is permitted to threaten the other to renounce the entire treaty-a menace that may be lawfully put into execution if it be despised. Such is, doubtless, the conduct which prudence, moderation, the love of peace and charity would commonly prescribe to nations. Who will deny this, and madly advance that sovereigns are allowed suddenly to have recourse to arms or only to break every treaty of alliance for the least subject of complaint? But the case here is about a right, and not about the steps that ought to be taken besides the principle upon which such a [contrary] decision is founded, is absolutely unsupportable," &c., and he goes on to demonstrate this more at large. He quotes Grotius to show that the clause is sometimes inserted,

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"that a violation of some one of the articles shall not break the whole in order that one of the parties should not get rid of the engagement on account of a small offense."-See Sec. 202.

Now it would be mere cavilling to say that Vattel allows of this appeal to arms only where the party that has recourse to such measures is, in fact, injured; for the question recurs who is to judge of that? Each party judges for itself at its peril, and war alone can "arbitrate the event," or if a peaceful course be preferred, the whole compact is at an end.

Shall I be told, in answer to this reasoning and the concurring opinions of all publicists of respectability, that Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson did not think so in '98? Sir, if they taught any other doctrine, I leave it to those who have better understanding than mine, to explain what they meant. But if it be affirmed that the purport of their resolutions was, that by the inherent attribute of sovereignty, any single party to the Federal compact may interpose in order to prevent the execution of a law passed by the rest, and that the others may not maintain their construction of the Constitution, either by coercing that single State into acquiescence, or shutting her out of the Union altogether, at their option, then I have no hesitation in declaring it, as my opinion, that they advanced a proposition, inconsistent with every principle of public law, without a shadow of foundation in the Constitution of the United States, and utterly repugnant to the common sense of mankind. And what, if they did advance such a paradox, so novel, so singular, so incomprehensible? Are the opinions of two men-however respectable and distinguished-speculative opinions, too, for neither Virginia nor Kentucky made a case by acting upon these notions-are the adventurous and speculative opinions of two individuals, conceived and put forth in a time of great excitement, to settle the public law of this country, every thing in our Constitution, and our books, and our common sense to the contrary, notwithstanding? Why, sir, even under the feudal system-a scheme of organized anarchy, if I may use the expression-the most that an injured feudatory ever claimed was the right to make war upon his lord, who denied him justice, without incurring the penalties of treason. But it was reserved for the nineteenth century to discover that great secret of international law and to deduce it, too, by abstract reasoning, upon the fitness of things—a right of war in one party out of twenty-four, whenever the mood prompts, or of doing what amounts to an act of war, accompanied by the duty of implicit acquiescence in all the rest! But the truth is, that neither Mr. Jefferson nor Mr. Madison had any such wild and chimerical conceits; as, I think, perfectly demonstrable from the very text cited, to maintain the opposite opinion.

I have had occasion, frequently, to examine this subject, and I speak with confidence upon it. And, assuredly, that confidence is not dimin


ished by the emphatic declaration of Mr. Madison himself-by the contemporaneous exposition of the resolutions in the Virginia Assemblyby the disavowal of the doctrine by all the leading members of the Democratic party, with Mr. Livingston at their head-and by the unfeigned surprise which the whole country, Virginia and Kentucky included, expressed upon the first propounding of this extraordinary proposition in 1823. The Virginia resolutions talk of the right to interpose-do they say what is to ensue upon the exercise of that right? No, sir, they thought that intelligible enough-they were asserting no more than what has been so expressively and pointedly designated as the "right to fight," and they meant, if they meant anything, no more than a declaration of opinion, to back their declarations by 100,000 militia, as I understand the phrase of the day to have been. This is the plain English of the matter and one ground of objection to the "Carolina doctrine," as it has been called (though I doubt, not very accurately), is, that it is not in plain English-that the people may be led by a fatal deception to do what they have never seriously contemplated, and what no people ought to do, without a solemn self-examination and a deliberate view to consequences.

Sir, we have heard of "nursery tales of raw head and bloody bones." I am sorry that such an expression escaped the lips of the distinguished person who uttered it, and I lament still more that he gave it to the world in print. I am sure when he comes to reconsider, he cannot approve it-unless, indeed, he means to declare that the rest of the States are too cowardly or too feeble even to attempt to enforce their construction of the compact. This may be so, but for my part, I cannot consent to act upon such a calculation. If we do what we firmly believe it is our duty to do, let us make up our minds to meet all consequences. If there is any feature of the American Revolution more admirable than another, it is that our fathers had fully counted the costs before they took a single step. The leaders of the people were at great pains to inform them of the perils and privations which they were about to encounter. They put them upon their guard against precipitate determinations. They impressed it upon their minds that a period was at hand which called for "patience and heroic martyrdom "-they had not as yet a country to save, or a government worth to be transmitted to posterity, or how much more anxious would their deliberations have been! The language of a great, popular leader at Boston, before the first overt act of resistance, has made a deep impression upon my mind, and deserves to be repeated here. "It is not the spirit that vapours within these walls (said Mr. Quincy) that must stand us instead. The exertions of this day will call forth events which will make a very different spirit necessary for our salvation. Look to the end. Whoever supposes that shouts and hosannas will terminate the trials of this day entertains a childish fancy. We must be grossly ignorant of the impor

tance and the value of the prize we are contending for; we must be equally ignorant of the power of those who are contending against us; we must be blind to that malice, inveteracy, and insatiable revenge which actuate our enemies, to hope we shall end this controversy without the sharpest, sharpest conflicts; to flatter ourselves that popular resolves, popular harangues, popular acclamations and popular vapour will vanquish our foes. Let us consider the issue. Let us weigh and consider before we advance to those measures which must bring on the most trying and terrible struggle this country ever saw."

To this complexion it must come at last, and the only question now submitted to the people of South Carolina is, Are you ready to absolve yourselves from your allegiance to the government of the United States, and to take and maintain your station as a separate commonwealth among the nations of the earth?

I have confined myself, in the discussion of this subject, to a single point in one branch of it. I have said nothing about the extent of our grievances, so enormously exaggerated by the Exposition. Even in regard to the proposed remedy by nullification, I have chosen to take up the question as it is presented by the warmest advocates of that doctrine and I submit that I have made it plain that, even on their own showing, it is necessarily an act of war-a revolutionary measure. But in doing so I have conceded a great deal too much—I have allowed them to treat our elaborate and peculiar polity, which we have been taught to regard as one of the master-pieces of human invention-as if it were the coarsest and loosest of those occasional expedients to preserve peace among foreign powers, leagues, offensive and defensive. If their argument is wholly inconclusive, and indeed manifestly incongruous and absurd even in this point of view, what shall be said of it when it is thoroughly and critically examined with reference to a true state of the case? Sir, I have no language to express my astonishment that such a doctrine should have found any countenance from the able and enlightened men who have given in their adhesion to it.

We have been taunted as submissionists-I am not afraid of a nickname "Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil." It would be easy-very, very easy to retort-but I prefer accepting our own denomination and putting my own interpretation upon it. I give you,


"The Submission Men of South Carolina:

"They dare do all that may become a man,

Who dares do more is none.'


By James Adger, Esq., one of the Vice-Presidents:

"James L. Petigru: Enlightened-able-faithful-fearless. His country looks to him in the hour of need-and she will not be disappointed.” This toast was most cordially received.

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