« السابقةمتابعة »
Prior to its adjournment, the Baltimore Convention adopted a series of resolutions, setting forth the principles that distinguished them as a party. By the acceptance of their nomination, Mr. Polk signified his approba tion of those resolutions, and they are therefore inserted here:
/ RESOLUTIONS OF THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION.
Resolved, That the American Democracy place their trust, not in factitious symbols, not in displays and appeals insulting to the judgments and subversive of the intellect of the people, but in a clear reliance upon the intelligence, the patriotism, and the discriminating justice of the American ImaSSeS. Resolved, That we regard this as a distinctive feature of our political creed, which we are proud to maintain before the world as the great moral element in a form of government springing from and upheld by the popular will; we contrast it with the creed and practice of Federalism, under whatever name or form, which seeks to palsy the will of the constituent, and which conceives no imposture too monstrous for the popular credulity. Resolved, therefore, That, entertaining these views, the Democratic party of this Union, through their delegates assembled in a general convention of the States, coming together in a spirit of concord, of devotion to the doctrines and faith of a free representative government, and appealing to their fellow-citizens for the rectitude of their intentions, renew and reassert before the American people, the declaration of principles avowed by them, when on a former occasion, in general convention, they presented their candidates for the popular suffrages: 1. That the Federal Government is one of limited powers, derived solely from the Constitution, and the grants of power shown therein, ought to be strictly construed by all the de
partments and agents of the government, and that it is inexpedient and dangerous to exercise doubtful constitutional powers. 2. That the Constitution does not confer upon the General Government the power to commence and carry on a general system of internal improvement. 3. That the Constitution does not confer authority upon the Federal Government, directly or indirectly, to assume the debts of the several States, contracted for local internal improvements, or other State purposes; nor would such assumption be just and expedient. 4. That justice and sound policy forbid the Federal Government to foster one branch of industry to the detriment of another, or to cherish the interests of one portion to the injury of another portion of our common country—that every citizen, and every section of the country, has a right to demand and insist upon an equality of rights and privileges, and a complete and ample protection of persons and property from domestic violence or foreign aggression. 5. That it is the duty of every branch of the government to enforce and practice the most rigid economy in conducting our public affairs, and that no more revenue ought to be raised than is required to defray the necessary expenses of the government. 6. That Congress has no power to charter a National Bank; that we believe such an institution one of deadly hostility to the best interests of the country, dangerous to our Republican institutions and the liberties of the people, and calculated to place the business of the country within the control of a concentrated money power, and above the laws and the will of the people. 7. That Congress has no power under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States, and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts of the Abo
litionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with the question of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions. 8. That the separation of the moneys of the Government from banking institutions, is indispensable for the safety of the funds of the Government, and the rights of the people. 9. That the liberal principles embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, and sanctioned in the Constitution, which makes ours the land of Liberty, and the asylum of the oppressed of every nation, have ever been cardinal principles in the democratic faith; and every attempt to abridge the present privilege of becoming citizens and the owners of soil among us, ought to be resisted with the same spirit which swept the alien and sedition laws from our statute book. . Resolved, That the proceeds of the public lands ought to be sacredly applied to the national objects specified in the Constitution; and that we are opposed to the law lately adopted, and to any law for the distribution of such proceeds among the States, as alike inexpedient in policy and repugnant to the Constitution. Resolved, That we are decidedly opposed to taking from the President the qualified Veto power, by which he is enabled, under restrictions and responsibilities, amply sufficient to guard the public interest, to suspend the passage of a bill, whose merits cannot secure the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, until the judgment of the people can be obtained thereon, and which has thrice saved the American people from the corrupt and tyrannieal domination of a Bank of the United States. Resolved, That our title to the whole of the Territory of Oregon is clear and unquestionable; that no portion of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power; that the reoccupation of Oregon and the reannexation of Texas at the earliest practicable period, are great American measures, which this Convention recommends to the cordial support of
The candidates selected by the whig party, in opposition to the democratic nominees, were Henry Clay, of Kentucky, for president, and Theodore Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, for vice-president. Mr. Tyler, the then president, was also put in nomination for the presidency, by a convention of his friends, but he subsequently withdrew his name and gave his support to the democratic ticket.
The nomination of Mr. Polk was not only well received; a spirit of enthusiasm, that could not fail to triumph, was instantly aroused in his favor. As General Jackson had received the appellation of “Old Hickory,” so that of “Young Hickory” was applied to Mr. Polk, who resembled his distinguished friend of the Hermitage in his firmness and independence of character. The election was conducted with great spirit and animation. Mr. Van Buren and Mr. Cass, with the other candidates before the national convention, and their friends, cordially supported the ticket. Mass meetings were held in every county, and processions, with music and banners, were daily seen traversing the roads and by-ways of the interior, or threading the crowded thoroughfares of our large towns and cities.
It had been usual to subject the private character of candidates to a scathing ordeal. This is one of the evils, among the many advantages, of our system of elections. But the purity of Mr. Polk’s life disarmed scandal of her weapons. In this respect he was unassailed and unassailable. This political contest, however, was not all show and display. There were great and important principles at stake, and they were in general frankly avowed, and fairly and honorably discussed. On the one side, the whigs supported as their candidate, the father and champion of the American system; they were committed in favor of a national bank, a protective tariff, the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands, and an extensive system of internal improvements; and they opposed the annexation of Texas. On the other hand, Mr. Polk had signalized the commencement of his public career, by his opposition to the system of measures advocated by Mr. Clay; and the democratic party were opposed to the incorporation of a national bank, to the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands, and to the prosecution by the general government of an extensive system of internal improvements; they were in favor of the annexation of Texas, and of a tariff in which revenue should be the primary, and protection the secondary feature. Individual exceptions there were to this general statement in regard to the political complexion of the two great parties, as various shades of opinion are always found in such organizations, but they were comparatively few. In Tennessee the election was exceedingly close. Mr. Polk gained largely upon the democratic vote in 1840; his majority was over seven hundred in Maury county, being three hundred more than at the gubernatorial elec