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Anti-federal feeling of Administration.—Hostility to Supreme
Court of United States.--Laws of Georgia declared void.--Course of President.— Interference in Election.-Views of Opposition. Rejection of Mr Van Buren.--Nomination as Vice President.Conduct of Opposition.-Anti-masonic Party.—Conduct of Foreign Affairs. — Cherokee Question.-Difficulties with the Northwestern Indians.—Conduct of the Governor of Illinois.War with Sacs and Foxes.—Cholera among Troops.--Capture of Black Hawk.-Northeastern boundary. —Negotiation with State of Maine.—Award disapproved of by Senate.
The dissolution of the federal marks on disputed questions of cabinet in the third year of Gen- domestic policy designedly left eral Jackson's term, took place at ambiguous; but was furnished with a time when the public mind had a safer criterion in the action of begun to entertain a more definite the executive Government, upon opinion as to his views of national the great national interests, which policy, than it was able to form were brought under its cogniduring the first year of his admin- zance. istration. Time, the great ex- At the commencement of his plainer of mysteries, had partially career, the executive appeared to removed the veil, which was have adopted the idea, that havdrawn over his views during the ing been elected upon the princiPresidential canvass, and the na- ple of reform, no sounder position tion was not compelled to deduce could be taken, than that of opits conclusions from oracular re- position to the characteristic political measures of his predeces- preceding the present, it was imsor. During the contest, those possible not to perceive, that the measures had been denounced as action of the federal government inexpedient and unconstitutional; had been extended to many new and a decent regard for consis- interests, which were from time to tency seemed to prescribe a tem- time recummended to its attenporary deviation at least from the tion, as the country advanced in policy, which had been so unspa- wealth and population. ringly condemned.
A plan of fortifying the coast The efforts of the executive, had been adopted upon the recomconsequently, were at first direct- mendation of scientific engineers; ed to establish some distinction be- and measures had been taken to tween the policy of the preceding gradually create a navy and proadministration and that which had vide the means of increasing it been created with the view of ef- according to the wants of the fecting a reform.
country. The currency was reIt was soon discovered, that stored to its former state of soundnot enough could be done in di- ness by the agency of the United minishing the number of offices, States Bank, and the public credor the expenses of the Govern- it elevated by a wise financial polment, to gratify the public expec- icy. A system of internal imtation; which had been raised by provenient was adopted with the the violence of the party press to
view of developing the resources unreasonable height; nor of the country, and facilitating would a reform in these respects the intercourse between the differhave satisfied those, who had been ent states; and measures were most instrumental in effecting the taken to improve the manufacturchange. The public men from ing skill of the nation by legislative the South, (who were the leaders protection of domestic industry. of the pariy, that had succeed. The supremacy of the federal ed in electing General Jackson,] government within its constituhad long entertained a setiled hos- tional limits was maintained by tility to the policy, which had judicial decisions, conceived in been adopted by the federal gov- wisdom and enforced with vigor ; ernment, after the experience of and by the mode of disposing the war with Great Britain, and the public domain, a strong mowhich was so steadily pursued live in favor of union was adduring the administrations of Mr dressed to the pecuniary interMonroe and Mr Adams. Their esis of the several states. influence was accordingly exert- As this policy had a tendency ed to effect a change in the set- to attach the people to the genetled policy of the country, and to ral government by a conviction of bring the government back to its benefits, it was denounced by what was denominated the doc- the anti-federal statesmen trines of the Jeffersonian School. tending towards consolidation,
In reviewing the history of the and strenuous efforts were made two administrations immediately to place the new administration
in opposition to its leading meas- and his rejection of the Maysures.
ville and Lexington road bill af. After some time this hostility forded an additional indication of began to manifest itself, but rath- the same character. er through the prominent friends The systein of gradually fortisyof the adıninistration in Congress ing the coast, and of making surthan by any unequivocal steps on veys pursuant to the act of 1824, the part of the executive. The was continued as before; and the discordant materials of which the sanction given by the President to administration party was compo- the various appropriations for insed caused no small embarrass- ternal improvements made during ment in adopting any decided the second session of the iwenty
While the southern first Congress showed, that in members almost universally es- his rejection of other bills for that poused the anti-federal doctrines, purpose, he was governed by the friends of the President in no constitutional principle, but the west and in Pennsylvania, rather by his own ideas of expewere no less decidedly in favor diency. Still his unwillingness of internal improvement and do- to prosecute the internal improvemestic manufactures; and his par- ment of the country upon an entizans in New York were waver- larged scale, checked the action ing between a desire to retain the of Congress, and bis veto was confidence of their constituents hailed with great exultation in at home and to propitiate the anti- the southern section of the union. federalists of the south by yielding The decided opinion expressed to their views.
in his message at the opening of In this state of affairs the Pres- the second session, in favor of the ident could not adopt any definite power of Congress to protect plan of policy, without hazarding domestic industry was received in the loss of one of the two sec- the same quarter with less favor; tions into which his party was di- but this again was qualified by a vided. The alternative was thus recommendation to reduce those presented to him of choosing be- duties, which were regarded as tween them, and placing his ad- oppressive in the Southern States. ministration before the country On this point, however, there was simply upon its merits, or of en- much difference of opinion among deavoring to keep together parti- the friends of the adıninistration, zans of such conflicting views by and the whole subject was propa temporising policy.
erly left to the wisdom of ConAt the cominencement of his gress, with a recommendation of administration, his declaration of harmony and good feeling. The an intention to confine the action unreserved expression of bis hosof the federal government to the tility to the United States Bank, objects pointed out in the consti. furnished a more decided proof tution, although ambiguous, was of his anti-federal bias; and the deemed an evidence of a bias in doctrines advanced in his message favor of the anti-federal doctrines, rejecting the bill for the rechartering that institution, were justly treaties and laws of the United looked upon, as evincing his de- States, and consequently void; termination to enforce those views and a mandate was issued to the with the whole influence of the State Court reversing its judgGovernment. In no instance ment and ordering the missionahowever did this anti-federal feel- ries to be discharged. Upon the ing manifest itself, in a mode delivery of this mandate to the more calculated to excite appre- State Court, it refused to obey hensions as to the stability of the it; and shortly after the decision, political institutions of the country, an article appeared in the semithan in the course adopted in refer- official Journal of the Governence to the controversy between ment denying the soundness of the State of Georgia and the the decision of the Supreme Cherokee Indians. With the Court. The representatives of view of depriving that tribe of the Georgia at Washington openly ascountenance and advice of the serted, that the President would missionaries, a law was enacted not enforce the judgment; and the by the Georgia legislature, re- opinion previously expressed by quiring all white persons residing bim in favor of the course adopiin the Indian country, to take an ed by that State, and the support oath of allegiance to the State; afforded to her measures against and two missionaries being arrest- the Cherokees, afforded too much ed under that law, they were dis- ground for that assertion. charged on the ground, that they The right of the federal judiwere residing there and acting as ciary to maintain the supremacy agents of the federal Govern- of the federal constitution, laws ment, in disbursing the fund an- and treaties, was thus openly nually provided by Congress for brought in question; and recurring the civilizatiou of the Aborigines, to the attempt to repeal the 25th A disavowal having been obtained section of the Judiciary act at from the government at Washing, the last Congress, many began to ion of their agency, they were believe that ihe Government had again arrested under the law; and fallen into the hands of a party, that the fact of residence being prov- was hostile to its powers and willed, notwithstanding the uncon- ing to curtail them so far, as to stitutionality of the State law was render it unable to defend itself pleaded, they were sentenced to from the encroachments of the four years confinement at hard States. Although that attempt labor in the Penitentiary of Geor- was promptly defeated, and that gia. Steps were immediately by so triumphant a majority as to taken to bring this decision of the dernonstrate the futility of the State Court in review before the expectations of those, who sought Supreme Court of the United to make the government depend States; and after a full consider- upon the states; still the fact that ation of the subject, the Court the measure was brought forward decided, that the law of Georgia by the Judiciary Committee, and was contrary to the constitution, sustained by those who were generally deemed to represent The friends of the administrathe views of the administration in tion, on their part were not idle, Congress, induced a common be- and in the contest which ensued, lief that it formed part of a sys- they were aided by all the influtem of policy, which aimed to ence and patronage of the fedecurtail the prerogatives and dimin- ral Government. At no time ish the powers of the federal gov- since the commencement of our ernment. As this policy was re- history had the executive and the garded with great distrust in all public functionaries dependent quarters, except at the South, and upon him taken so direct a part in by a few politicians in the eastern the elections; and the conseand middle States, it was not ex- quence of this interference was, plicitly avowed as adopted by the to cause the contest to degenegovernment. On the contrary, rate into a personal struggle to a efforts were made to exonerate degree, that had not been before the President from the charge, witnessed in the United States. that he was hostile to the su- The personal qualities of the premacy of the federal judiciary, President and his military serviand his friends insisted, that lie ces were relied upon in those could not be called upon to en- States, where bis course of policy force the decisions of the supreme was deemed counter to public sencourt, until the powers confided timent; and his anti-federal conto that tribunal should prove to be struction of the constitution, and inadequate to that end. Howev- the inconsistency between his proer undeniable this might be, it sessions and his course aster his was 100 true that this collision election, were overlooked in conbetween the Supreme Court and sideration of his success in the the State Government, had been war with England and her Indian ir a great measure occasioned by Allies. The mode in which his refusal to enforce certain pro- the election was conducted invisions of the Indian intercourse creased the tendency, already act, directing the President of the sufficiently great on the part of United States to repel all en- the President, to shape the public croachments upon the territory policy according to his personal secured to the tribes by treaty. feelings and prejudices. Like With the view of rescuing the all men of strong character his government from the hands of passions partook of the strength those, who took this narrow view of his will; and being in a sphere of its duties and its powers, a comparatively new, he was less strong opposition was organized, under the influence of his own under the denomination of Na- judgment, than of those to whose tional Republicans, and the vari- better information he was accusous topics calculated to render toined to defer. With the best the President unpopular were intentions, he was, therefore very urged with all the skill and force liable to err; and in bis hostility that political ambition and party to the views of bis political oppoanimosity could inspire.