Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]



THE YEARS 1832-33.



General view of the course of Administration.-Foreign Policy.Domestic Policy.-Temporizing.-Poor arraigned against the Rich.-Foreign Influence.-Naturalized Voters.-Principles of the Government of the U. S.-Popularity of President.—Result of Election.-Policy after Election. Measures against U. S. Bank.-Appointment of W. J. Duane, Secretary of the Treasury.-Refuses to Remove the Deposites.-Dismissal of Mr. Duane.-R. B. Taney appointed. Removal of Deposites.Commercial distress.

THE term for which General Jackson was elected was now drawing to a close; and he being again presented as a candidate, the electors were called upon to express their opinions as to the merits of his administration.

During the canvass between Mr. Adams and himself, the principles by which he intended to be guided in conducting the government were so explicitly set forth, and the pledges of retrenchment and reform so positively given, that there could be no difficulty in determining if

those promises had been performed. This could be no longer a question. The annual reports of the secretary of the treasury, showed that there was no dimi. nution of the public expenditure, but, on the contrary, an increase. The professed disinclination of the president to serve for more than one term no longer controlled him, as was evinced by his becoming a candidate for reelection. His determination to secure the legislative department of the government from executive influence, by rendering

members of congress ineligible to office during the term for which they were elected, was abandoned, and a greater number were appointed in his first term, than had been appointed by all his predecessors. Whether these departures from the course he promised to pursue, grew out of a subsequent conviction, that the government could not be administered upon such principles, or that these pledges were given merely to influence the popular choice, it is unnecessary to determine. The course of the president was a practical refutation of the promises of the candidate, and it only remained for the people to decide upon the policy adopted after his accession to power.

There were many circumstances, however, co-operating to prevent an unbiassed decision of this question. The policy pursued by the administration, in the management of the foreign relations of the country, indeed, was easily understood and generally approved. The adjustment of the controversy respecting the intercourse between the United States and the British colonies, it is true, presented an unfortunate exception, in which both the dignity and interests of the country were forgotten; but in general, the claims of the American government upon foreign countries, whether for indemnity for old spoliations, or for the protection of existing interests, were urged with ability and success.

The domestic policy was not so clearly developed. Whether it was that the cabinet was defi

cient in a master mind capable of devising and promoting a system of policy calculated to advance the prosperity of the country, or that it was unwilling to assume the responsibility of deciding among conflicting interests; certain it is, that the principles by which it meant to be guided, were promulgated in oracular phrases of equivocal meaning, and easily construed to suit the purposes of all parties.


Not that it was without licy of its own; but this aimed rather to follow than to lead public sentiment, and to propitiate the people, by deferring, on all occasions, to popular opinion.

Its own views on the great questions which had divided the community, such as the tariff and internal improvement, were consequently cautiously advanced in propositions of ambiguous import, until the public mind was prepared for a full developement of its policy, and its partisans enlisted in its support. Thus the recommendation by the president, of a reduction of the tariff, to a revenue standard, was coupled with an admission of the necessity of protecting all articles required for the defence of the country; and his doubts as to the constitutional right of congress to appropriate moneys to internal improvement, were declared not to extend to any appropriations for the construction of works of a national character. These declarations seemed to be put forth rather to propitiate popular favour, than as the settled convictions of a mind

« AnteriorContinuar »