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historicaldocuments:letters:madison-to-coles1834

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historicaldocuments:letters:madison-to-coles1834 [2021/02/23 21:15]
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historicaldocuments:letters:madison-to-coles1834 [2021/03/26 15:05] (current)
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 <wrap hi>What you dwell on most is, that nullification is more on the decline, and less dangerous, than the popularity of the President, with which his unconstitutional doctrines is armed. In this I cannot agree with you.</wrap> His popularity is evidently and rapidly sinking under the unpopularity of his doctrines. Look at the increasing minorities in States which have not yet become majorities. Look at the leading partizans who have abandoned and turned against him; and at the reluctant and qualified support given by many who still profess to adhere to him. It cannot be doubted that the danger and even existence of the heresies which have grown up under the auspices of his name, will expire with his natural or his official life, if not previously to either. <wrap hi>What you dwell on most is, that nullification is more on the decline, and less dangerous, than the popularity of the President, with which his unconstitutional doctrines is armed. In this I cannot agree with you.</wrap> His popularity is evidently and rapidly sinking under the unpopularity of his doctrines. Look at the increasing minorities in States which have not yet become majorities. Look at the leading partizans who have abandoned and turned against him; and at the reluctant and qualified support given by many who still profess to adhere to him. It cannot be doubted that the danger and even existence of the heresies which have grown up under the auspices of his name, will expire with his natural or his official life, if not previously to either.
  
-<wrap hi>On the other hand what more dangerous than nullification, or more evident than the progress it continues to make, either in its original shape, or in the disguises it assumes. Nullification has the effect of putting powder under the Constitution and Union, and a match in the hand of every party to blow them up at pleasure:</wrap> And for its progress, hearken to the tone in which it is now preached; cast your eye on its increasing minorities in most of the Southern States without a decrease in any one of them. <wrap hi>Look at Virginia herself and read in the Gazettes, and in the proceedings of popular meetings, the figure which the **anarchical** principle now makes, in contrast with the scouting reception given to it but a short time ago.</wrap>+<wrap hi>On the other hand what more dangerous than nullification, or more evident than the progress it continues to make, either in its original shape, or in the disguises it assumes. **Nullification has the effect of putting powder under the Constitution and Union, and a match in the hand of every party to blow them up at pleasure**:</wrap> And for its progress, hearken to the tone in which it is now preached; cast your eye on its increasing minorities in most of the Southern States without a decrease in any one of them. <wrap hi>Look at Virginia herself and read in the Gazettes, and in the proceedings of popular meetings, the figure which the **anarchical** principle now makes, in contrast with the scouting reception given to it but a short time ago.</wrap>
  
 It is not probable that this offspring of the discontents of South Carolina, will ever approach success, in a majority of the States. But a susceptibility of the contagion in the Southern States is visible; and the danger not to be concealed, that the sympathies arising from known causes, and <wrap hi>the inculcated impression of a permanent incompatibility of interests between the South and the North, may put it in the power of popular leaders aspiring to the highest stations, (and despairing of success on the Federal theatre) to unite the South, on some critical occasion, in a course that will end in creating a new theatre, of great tho’ inferior extent. **In pursuing this course, the first and most obvious step is nullification; the next secession; and the last a farewell separation.**</wrap> How near was this course being lately exemplified? And the danger of its recurrence in the same or some other quarter may be increased by an increase of restless aspirants, and by the increasing impracticability of retaining in the Union a large and cemented section against its will. It may indeed happen that a return of danger from abroad, or a revived apprehension of danger at home, may aid in binding the States in one political system; or that the geographical and commercial ligatures, may have that effect; or that the present discord of interests between the North and the South, may give way to a less diversity in the applications of labor, or to the mutual advantage of a safe and constant interchange of the different products of labor in different sections. All this may happen, and with the exception of foreign hostility, hoped for. <wrap hi>But in the mean time, local prejudices and ambitious leaders may be but too successful in finding or creating occasions for the nullifying experiment of breaking a more beautiful vase,* than the British Empire ever was, into parts which a miracle only could reunite.</wrap> It is not probable that this offspring of the discontents of South Carolina, will ever approach success, in a majority of the States. But a susceptibility of the contagion in the Southern States is visible; and the danger not to be concealed, that the sympathies arising from known causes, and <wrap hi>the inculcated impression of a permanent incompatibility of interests between the South and the North, may put it in the power of popular leaders aspiring to the highest stations, (and despairing of success on the Federal theatre) to unite the South, on some critical occasion, in a course that will end in creating a new theatre, of great tho’ inferior extent. **In pursuing this course, the first and most obvious step is nullification; the next secession; and the last a farewell separation.**</wrap> How near was this course being lately exemplified? And the danger of its recurrence in the same or some other quarter may be increased by an increase of restless aspirants, and by the increasing impracticability of retaining in the Union a large and cemented section against its will. It may indeed happen that a return of danger from abroad, or a revived apprehension of danger at home, may aid in binding the States in one political system; or that the geographical and commercial ligatures, may have that effect; or that the present discord of interests between the North and the South, may give way to a less diversity in the applications of labor, or to the mutual advantage of a safe and constant interchange of the different products of labor in different sections. All this may happen, and with the exception of foreign hostility, hoped for. <wrap hi>But in the mean time, local prejudices and ambitious leaders may be but too successful in finding or creating occasions for the nullifying experiment of breaking a more beautiful vase,* than the British Empire ever was, into parts which a miracle only could reunite.</wrap>
historicaldocuments/letters/madison-to-coles1834.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/26 15:05 by owolcott