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the principal basis of our political
divisions, and the most arduous part of the action of our federal government. With the catastrophe in which the wars of the French Revolution terminated, and our own subsequent peace with Great Britain, this baneful weed of party strife was uprooted. From that time, no difference of principle, connected either with the theory of government, or with our intercourse with foreign na
tions, has existed, or been called forth, in force sufficient to sustain a continued combination of parties, or to give more than wholesome animation to public sentiment, or legislative debate. Our political creed is without a dissenting voice that can be heard. That the will of the people is the source, and the happiness of the people the end, of all the legitimate government upon earth—that the best security for the beneficence, and the best guarantee against the abuse of power, consist in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections—that the general government of the Union, and the separate governments of the states, are all sovereignties of limited powers, fellow servants of the same masters, uncontrolled within their respective spheres, uncontrollable by en
croachments' upon each other— that the firmest security of peace is the preparation, during peace, of the defences of war — that a rigorous economy, and accountability of public expenditures, should guard against the aggravation, and alleviate, when possible, the burden of taxation—that the military should be kept in strict subordination to the civil power—that the freedom of the press and of religious opinion should be inviolate — that the policy of our country is peace, and the ark of our salvation union, are articles of faith upon which we are all now agreed. If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled. If there have been projects of partial confederacies to be erected upon the ruins of the Union, they have been scattered to the winds. If they have been dangerous attachments to one foreign nation, and antipathies against another, they have been extinguished. Ten years of peace, at home and abroad, have assuaged the animosities of political contention, and blended into harmony the most discordant elements of public opinion. There still remains one effort of magnanimity, one sacrifice of prejudice and passion,to be made by the individuals throughout the nation who have heretofore followed the standards of political party. It is that of discarding every remnant of rancour against each other; of embracing as countrymen and friends, and of yielding to talents
and virtue alone, that confidence which, in times of contention for principles, was bestowed only upon those who bore the badge of party communion. “The collisions of party spirit, which originate in speculative opinions, or in different views of administrative policy, are in their nature transitory. Those which are founded on geographical divisions, adverse interests of soil, climate, and modes of domestic life, are more permanent, and therefore, perhaps, more dangerous. It is this which gives inestimable value to the character of our government, at once federal and national. It holds out to us a perpetual admonition to preserve alike, and with equal anxiety, the rights of each individual state in its own government, and the rights of the whole nation in that of the Union. Whatsoever is of domestic concernment, unconnected with the other members of the Union, or with foreign lands, belongs exclusively to the administration of the state governments. Whatsoever directly involves the rights and interests of the federative fraternity, or of foreign powers, is of the resort of this general government. The duties of both are obvious in the general principle, though sometimes perplexed with difficulties in the detail. To respect the rights of the state governments is in the inviolable duty of that of the Union; the government of every state will feel its own obligation to respect and preserve the rights of the whole. The prejudices, every where too commonly entertained against distant strangers, are worn away, and the jealousies of jarring interests are allayed by the
composition and functions of the great national councils, annually assembled from all quarters of the Union at this place. Here the distinguished men from every section of our country, while meeting to deliberate upon the great interests of those by whom they are deputed, learn to estimate the talents, and to do justice to the virtues of each other. The harmony of the nation is promoted, and the whole Union is knit together by the sentiments of mutual respect, the habits of social intercourse, and the ties of personal friendship, formed between the representatives of its several parts, in the performance of their service at this metropolis.
“Passing from this general review of the purposes and injunctions of the federal constitution, and their results, as indicating the first traces of the path of duty in the discharge of my public trust, I turn to the administration of my immediate predecessor, as the second. It has passed away in a period of profound peace; how much to the satisfaction of our country, and to the honour of our country's name, is known to you all. The great features of its policy, in general concurrence with the will of the legislature, have been – to cherish peace, while preparing for defensive war; to yield exact justice to other nations, and maintain the rights of our own; to cherish the principles of freedom and of equal rights, wherever they were proclaimed ; to discharge, with all possible promptitude, the national debt; to reduce, within the narrowest limits of efficiency, the military force; to improve the organization and discipline of the army; to provide and sustain a school of military science; to extend equal protection to all the great interests of the nation; to promote the civilization of the Indian tribes; and to proceed in the great system of internal improvements within the limits of the constitutional power of the Union. Under the pledge of these promises, made by that eminent citizen at the time of his first induction to this office, in his career of eight years, the internal taxes have been repealed ; sixty millions of the public debt have been discharged ; provision has been made for the comfort and relief of the aged and indigent among the surviving warriors of the revolution; the regular armed force has been reduced, and its constitution revised and perfected; the accountability for the expenditure of public monies has been made more effective; the Floridas have been peaceably acquired, and our boundary has been extended to the Pacific Ocean; the independence of the southern nations of this hemisphere has been recognized, and recommended by example and by counsel to the potentates of Europe: progress has been made in the defence of the country by fortifications, and the increase of the navy; towards the effectual suppression of the African traffic in slaves; in alluring the aboriginal hunters of our land to the cultivation of the soil and of the mind; in exploring the interior regions of the Union; and in preparing, by scientific researches and surveys, for the further application of our national resources to the internal improvement of our country.
“In this brief outline of the promise and performance of my immediate predecessor, the line of duty for his successor is clearly delineated. To pursue, to their consummation, those purposes of improvement in our common condition, instituted or recommended by him, will embrace the whole
sphere of my obligations. “To the topic of internal improvement, emphatically urged by him at his inauguration, I recur with peculiar satisfaction. It is that from which I am convinced that the unborn millions of our posterity, who are in future ages to people this continent, will derive their most fervent gratitude to the founders of the Union—that in which the beneficent action of its government will be most deeply felt and acknowledged. The magnificence and splendour of their public works are among the imperishable glories of the ancient republics. The roads and aqueducts of Rome have been the admiration of all after ages, and have survived thousands of years after all her conquests have been swallowed up in despotism, or become the spoil of barbarians. Some diversity of opinion has prevailed with regard to the powers of congress for legislation upon objects of this nature. The most respectful deference is due to doubts originating in pure patriotism, and sustained by venerated authority. But nearly 20 years have passed since the construction of the first national road was commenced. The authority for its construction was then questioned. To how many thousands of our country has it proved a benefit? To what single indivi. dual has it ever proved an injury? Repeated
Repeated liberal and candid dis
cussions in the legislature have
conciliated the sentiments and approximated the opinions of enlightened minds, upon the question of constitutional power. I cannot but hope that, by the same process of friendly, patient, and persevering deliberation, all constitutional objections will ultimately be removed. The extent and limitation of the powers of the general government, in relation to this transcendantly important interest, will be settled and acknowledged to the common satisfaction of all ; and every speculative scruple will be solved by a practical public blessing. “Fellow citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent election, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfilment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence, in advance, than any of my predecessors, I am deeply conscious of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions, upright and pure; a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of all the faculties allotted to me to her service, are all the pledges that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils—to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments—to the friendly co-operation of the respective state governments—to the candid and liberal support of the people, so far as it
may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service. And knowing that, except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain, with fervent supplications for his favour, to his overruling Providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence, my own fate,and the future destinies of my country.”
The following is the copy of an address recently presented to the Emperor of Austria, by the archbishop of Venice, on the wretched state into which that once mighty city has fallen under the “paternal” sway of the House of Austria. No doubt can be entertained of the genuineness of this very curious document. To His Majesty Francis the Second, Emperor and King, &c. &c.
Sire, — Fourteen centuries of existence as the capital of a flourishing state and of an active and extensive commerce had rendered the city of Venice (in its origin without territory, and wanting the first elements of existence) the asylum of 118,000” inhabitants; a wealthy aristocracy, that consumed the rich produce of the neighbouring districts, and which, aspiring at honourable employments, diffused its riches among the people; an arsenal, which with its activity maintained .3,000 families, more than sixty magistracies, sundry representative bodies, and sixty religious companies, which with their ramifications afforded the
* The population of Venice in 1797 was 137,240 inhabitants. In this number were comprised the districts of Burano, Murano, Torcello, and Malamocco, now separated, and which formed then a total
of 200,000 souls. means
means of decent and comfortable existence to many hundreds of families of various ranks; finally, a court of judicature, which from the celebrity of its extemporaneous eloquence attracted a multitude of clients from the provinces of the terra firma, and procured for nearly 1,000 families comfort and riches; —all these were resources which ceased on a sudden with the changes in our political existence. All these families from that moment saw their fortunes change, and from being able, with their superfluities, to relieve the poor, always numerous in a city celebrated for its charities, they were at once precipitated into the class of the indigent, and were numbered with those reduced to implore succour. This real and unexaggerated picture, which, as president of the General Commission of Benevolence, I presume to lay before your Majesty, at the same time that, according to the commands contained in your royal order on the 22d of December, 1823, I lay at your Majesty's feet the general statement of the accounts to the 31st of December, 1824, has no other object than that of supplicating your merciful consideration in favour of our unhappy but virtuous people, who at the first view may appear slothful and idle, but who, in reality, can be accused of nothing but misfortune, arising from a most rapid change in circumstanceS. Should your Majesty, on the representation of these too real and unvarnished facts, deign to give them consideration, your Majesty will cease to be surprised how this population, once so flourishing from commerce and manu
factures, should be at this day reduced to 100,000 souls," of which barely one-third part can be considered, I will not say affluent, but possessing a sufficiency— calculating that in this third part are included those individuals in your Majesty's service, or those enjoying pensions, (both forming a principal branch of resource), while the remainder is reduced to the necessity of imploring from the munificence of your Majesty, and from the charity of others, precarious means of subsistence. Far from describing to your Majesty with fallacious and exaggerated expressions the daily decay of the population, I feel it my duty to submit to your Majesty, sitting daily as president of the General Commission of Benevolence, and thereby having the
means of seeing closely, and in all
their reality, the urgent and real wants of the population, that indigence increases as rapidly as commercial activity diminishes, and that many of those meritorious individuals, originally contributors to, and supporters of, the above charitable institution, have been reduced to the necessity of imploring and receiving assistance from it. Such, Sire, and so great is the want of resources and of occupation in this city, once so prosperous, that every day that the charitable society co-operates with the ministry of the police (which has always displayed the greatest ac
• This number contains the population of Venice alone, taken from the census of 1824, the districts of Burano, Murano, and Malamocco being separated. Hence the real decline in the population of Venice alone, from 1797 to 1824, amounts to 18,000 souls. to.