Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/168
a constitution made to meet the demands of a comparatively primi- tive era. Unmeasured danger lurks in these suggestions. The maintenance of the constitutional limits of federal power and the preservation of the reserved rights of the several States are not the demands simply of a traditional local sentiment, but are essential to the security of personal rights and individual liberty.
Tariff legislation in the United States has been fruitful of much sectional bitterness, mainly because of its protective features. Men may honestly differ as to the constitutionality of any measure of pro- tection; but even were the validity of taxation for protection uni- versally admitted hi principle, it would still be impossible to claim, with any approach to plausibility, that the general government can justly- foster particular interests by the imposition of oppressive burdens upon the interests no less legitimate and important. And certainly it cannot be maintained that any section of the country should be made to pay a disproportionate part of the cost of supporting the general government. But this is the gravamen of the charge in The Case of the South Against the North. The other questions that have divided the sections have in reality become grave political is- sues mainly because of their incidental relation to this one. The system of territorial expansion, beginning with the Louisiana pur- chase, the extension of slavery beyond the limits of the original slave States, the right of nullification and the right of secession, each in turn excited opposition at the north because in one way or another, it seemed to menace the continuance of the undue profits derived by that section from the operation of the taxing power of the Federal Government. The famous resolutions of 1798 asserted the right of the States to interpose their authority in arrest of un- warranted action on the part of the Federal government. In regard to the acquisition of Louisiana, Alexander Johnston says: "The Federalists felt, as Quincy expressed it afterwards, that ' this is not so much a question concerning sovereignty, as it is who shall be sov- ereign.' " The Federalists were favorable to the scheme of a strong central government, but the Federalists at the north desired to con- trol that government in the interest of their own section. Mr. Jef- ferson, however, did not negotiate the purchase of Louisiana with a view to the extension of slavery, a consummation which he would not have regarded as desirable. He, in fact, had not contemplated the cession of the whole of the Louisiana territory; that proposal came from Napoleon himself. In regard to the general effect of the preponderant influence of the protected interests, Mr. Grady quotes