Page:Works of John C. Calhoun, v2.djvu/213

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197
SPEECHES
SPEECH

On the Revenue Collection Bill (commonly called the Force Bill), in reference to the Ordinance of the South Carolina Convention, delivered in the Senate, February 15th and 16th, 1833.

Mr. President:—I know not which is most objectionable, the provisions of the bill, or the temper in which its adoption has been urged. If the extraordinary powers with which the bill proposes to clothe the Executive, to the utter prostration of the constitution and the rights of the States, be calculated to impress our minds with alarm at the rapid progress of despotism in our country; the zeal with which every circumstance calcuated to misrepresent or exaggerate the conduct of Carolina in the controversy, is seized on with a view to excite hostility against her, but too plainly indicates the deep decay of that brotherly feeling which once existed between these States, and to which we are indebted for our beautiful federal system, and by the continuance of which alone it can be preserved. It is not my intention to advert to all these misrepresentations; but there are some so well calculated to mislead the mind as to the real character of the controversy, and to hold up the State in a light so odious, that I do not feel myself justified in permitting them to pass unnoticed.

Among them, one of the most prominent is, the false statement that the object of South Carolina is to exempt herself from her share of the public burdens, while she participates in the advantages of the Government. If the charge were true—if the State were capable of being actuated by such low and unworthy motives, mother as I consider her, I would not stand up on this floor to vindicate her conduct.