Thirty Years' View (Vol. II of 2) (Illustrated)

Thirty Years' View (Vol. II of 2) (Illustrated)

by Thomas Hart Benton
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

March the 4th of this year, Mr. Van Buren was inaugurated President of the United States with the usual formalities, and conformed to the usage of his predecessors in delivering a public address on the occasion: a declaration of general principles, and an indication of the general course of the administration, were the tenor of his discourse: and the doctrines of the… See more details below

Overview

March the 4th of this year, Mr. Van Buren was inaugurated President of the United States with the usual formalities, and conformed to the usage of his predecessors in delivering a public address on the occasion: a declaration of general principles, and an indication of the general course of the administration, were the tenor of his discourse: and the doctrines of the democratic school, as understood at the original formation of parties, were those professed. Close observance of the federal constitution as written—no latitudinarian constructions permitted, or doubtful powers assumed—faithful adherence to all its compromises—economy in the administration of the government—peace, friendship and fair dealing with all foreign nations—entangling alliances with none: such was his political chart: and with the expression of his belief that a perseverance in this line of foreign policy, with an increased strength, tried valor of the people, and exhaustless resources of the country, would entitle us to the good will of nations, protect our national respectability, and secure us from designed aggression from foreign powers. His expressions and views on this head deserve to be commemorated, and to be considered by all those into whose hands the management of the public affairs may go; and are, therefore, here given in his own words:
"Our course of foreign policy has been so uniform and intelligible, as to constitute a rule of executive conduct which leaves little to my discretion, unless, indeed, I were willing to run counter to the lights of experience, and the known opinions of my constituents. We sedulously cultivate the friendship of all nations, as the condition most compatible with our welfare, and the principles of our government. We decline alliances, as adverse to our peace. We desire commercial relations on equal terms, being ever willing to give a fair equivalent for advantages received. We endeavor to conduct our intercourse with openness and sincerity; promptly avowing our objects, and seeking to establish that mutual frankness which is as beneficial in the dealings of nations as of men. We have no disposition, and we disclaim all right, to meddle in disputes, whether internal or foreign, that may molest other countries; regarding them, in their actual state, as social communities, and preserving a strict neutrality in all their controversies. Well knowing the tried valor of our people, and our exhaustless resources, we neither anticipate nor fear any designed aggression; and, in the consciousness of our own just conduct, we feel a security that we shall never be called upon to exert our determination, never to permit an invasion of our rights, without punishment or redress."
These are sound and encouraging views, and in adherence to them, promise to the United States a career of peace and prosperity comparatively free from the succession of wars which have loaded so many nations with debt and taxes, filled them with so many pensioners and paupers, created so much necessity for permanent fleets and armies; and placed one half the population in the predicament of living upon the labor of the other. The stand which the United States had acquired among nations by the vindication of her rights against the greatest powers—and the manner in which all unredressed aggressions,[8] and all previous outstanding injuries, even of the oldest date, had been settled up and compensated under the administration of President Jackson—authorized this language from Mr. Van Buren; and the subsequent conduct of nations has justified it. Designed aggression, within many years, has come from no great power: casual disagreements and accidental injuries admit of arrangement: weak neighbors can find no benefit to themselves in wanton aggression, or refusal of redress for accidental wrong: isolation (a continent, as it were, to ourselves) is security against attack; and our railways would accumulate rapid destruction upon any invader. These advantages, and strict adherence to the rule, to ask only what is right, and submit to nothing wrong, will leave us (we have reason to believe) free from hostile collision with foreign powers, free from the necessity of keeping up war establishments of army and navy in time of peace, with our great resources left in the pockets of the people (always the safest and cheapest national treasuries), to come forth when public exigencies require them, and ourselves at liberty to pursue an unexampled career of national and individual prosperity.
One single subject of recently revived occurrence in our domestic concerns, and of portentous apparition, admitted a departure from the generalities of an inaugural address, and exacted from the new President the notice of a special declaration: it was the subject of slavery—an alarming subject of agitation near twenty years before—quieted by the Missouri compromise—

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940148212027
Publisher:
Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date:
02/14/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >