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That no principle in the American system warrants the agents, appointed to administer the state governments, to exercise a control over that of the United States :
That a fair construction of the constitution authorizes a rational system of internal improvements, and the establishment of a tariff for the protection of domestic industry:
That the general government have power to compel the observance of treaties made under their authority, and protect the Indians in the enjoyment of the privileges heretofore guarantied to them.
To this party their opponents endeavor to fix the title of consolidationists, ascribing to them a plan of concentrating all power in the hands of the general government; annihi. lating the state authorities, and reducing them to the condi. tion of mere subordinate corporations.
To the other is ascribed a principle which goes to the de. struction of all power in the general government, and to re. duce the union to the broken and disjointed condition of the old confederacy. -And
The question is fairly at issue before the American people.
American system of education compared with European-Common schools
Academies-Colleges—Their number, and annual number of graduatesMotives to exertion-Display of American talent-Annual executive messages and documents-Diplomacy.
System of American education. In a government like that of the United States, based upon the virtue and intelligence of the people, the means and the progress of intellec. tual improvement form an important portion of its history, In monarchies, the leading object has been to keep the people in ignorance, on the ground that the less informed they
the more easily they may be governed ; and of consequence, very little importance has been attached to the gene. ral diffusion of knowledge. The governments of Europe being bottomed upon the principle of distinct orders, their schemes of education are calculated to enlarge and perpetuate this distinction. Hence a few richly endowed universities, where a seven years' residence is requisite, and every facility afforded, for the highest literary attainments. The expenses of an education at them are such that none but the rich can enjoy its benefits. Either no provision at all, or a very inadequate one is made for the instruction of the common people. A directly opposite course has been pursued in the United Siates. The general government wisely leaves the subject of education to the state authorities, merely providing a military school, as a means of defense, to qualify a few youth for military service. The object of the state governments has been to diffuse an adequate portion of knowledge among all their citizens. For this purpose, measures have been taken to afford the children of the poor an opportunity of learning to read and write, and the elementary use of figures, without expense to their parents. Next are academies, at which the citizen of moderate wealth can give his children an education superior to what is attainable at the primary schools, and sufficient for the ordinary purposes of business.
Colleges. The highest grade of education, for which provision is made in the United States, is that which is ob. tainable by a four years residence at one of the colleges. Of these, the whole number in 1829 was 43 averaging twenty three graduates each, or 989 in the whole, yearly.* The expense of an education at one of these institutions is from one to two thousand dollars, and within the means of a great portion of the citizens. Their object is to qualify the student for professional business. The colleges are but partially endowed, and their funds are inadequate to render a public education what it ought to be. For the perfection of any art, a division of labor is necessary; and in none more so than that of instruction. To render a college institution useful and respectable, a number of pofessors in the various branches of literature are necessary, as is also an extensive library, museum, and laboratory, which require funds much beyond what is proper to be demanded of the students, and render public patronage essential to the beneficial purposes of educution. Where there are rival insti. tutions in the same state, this patronage is divided, and le. gislative bounty bestowed in so sparing a manner, as in some measure to defeat the object. Two causes have operated to produce a multiplication of colleges. Each state is ambitious of having at least one, and each religious denomination is anxious to have as many as may be, under its peculiar control. Though institutions for mere literary purposes ought not to partake of a sectarian character, yet with the freedom of opinion, and zeal for proselytism existing in the United States, this disposition will always be found, and will have the effect to multiply colleges.
Motives to exertion. After all the disadvantages under which the American system labors, for high literary attainments, the genius and talents of the country have appeared in a manner that will bear a comparison with those of older nations. Many considerations may be put in the opposite scale. The facility with which a public education is acquired has called forth talents of the first order, which otherwise would have been unnoticed, in the walks of private life. In a country where there is no distinction of orders, and where every one must rise by his own merits, the motives to exertion are all powerful. The field, likewise, is extensive and varied. First, in the primary assemblies of the people, where subjects of deep interest to these commu
* Missionary Herald, July, 1829.
nities are to be discussed; next, in the state legislatures, where all municipal laws are to be passed, and subjects of great concern to the states come under consideration; and lastly, in the halls of congress ; no field can be found equal to the latter, in the inducements it affords to call talent into exercise. A thousand newspapers are ready to convey the speeches of the distinguished orator to all parts of the union. He speaks in the presence of the collected wisdom of the nation. His merits are thus made known to an intelligent community, and by them es.. timated, and placed to his credit. On a character thus acquired, he is to take his rank in society; and if, by any accident, he gets into a situation to which his talents are not adapted, the people see it, and he becomes disgraced. The extraordinary latitude of debate allowed in congress, by general consent, is highly favorable to the display of talent. Many of the speeches delivered in the halls of congress, will not suffer by a comparison with the parliamentary debates of any modern period, and want nothing but the sa
tion of age, to place them in the same ak with the most distinguished ones of antiquity.
Instances of American talent. Considered as an effort of the human mind, the production of the American system of government, is unequaled, and elevates its framers above the law-givers of ancient or modern times. Turning from European systems, founded in violence or corruption, and taking into view the wants, feelings, and wishes of their country, they struck out a new plan, adapted to its condi. tion.
Annual messages and documents. That clause in the constitution, which requires of the president to give “to congress information of the state of the Union," has produced a series of messages, at the opening of the sessions, which, as well for correctness of style, as for importance of matter, are unequaled in the communications between the executive and legislative branches of any government. While European monarchs content themselves with a few general, commonplace remarks, made in the style of master to servant, to their legislative bodies, the American presi dents go into an interesting detail of all the important affairs of the nation. The reports of the executive departments, accompanying the messages, as business papers, containing a minute statement of the affairs of their respective bureaus, form a striking contrast with the short and unsatisfactory statements of the same nature in other goverðments.
Diplomacy. In diplomacy, it might be expected, that a knowledge of the arts and intrigues of foreign courts, and of the means by which negotiations are effected, which European ministers are enabled to bring into the field, would be an over-match for the simplicity of republicanism. In these contests, more than in any other, the genius and talents of the country are displayed. The secretaries who have the direction of foreign affairs, and the ministers selected to conduct negotiations, under their orders, are usually designated by the execative, upon the principle of call. ing into action the best talents of the nation. From the days of Franklin's first appearance at the court of France, in Quaker style, with a cargo of tobacco for an outfit, to the present period, America has nothing to be ashamed of, in the management of her diplomatic concerns. Her minis. ters, though met by the most astute negotiators in Europe, have maintained a high standing. The European war, commencing nearly at the same time with the government under the constitution, gave rise to many interesting questions of national law. A succession of negotiators, on the part of the United States, have defended their rights with distinguished ability. In the diplomatic controversy with Great Britain, which terminated in the late war, the American state papers evidently bear marks of superior talent. A dispute of twenty years length, with Spain, was managed by a succession of diplomatists, able, at every point, to meet their opponents. The clearness and energy with which the existing claims against France have been enforced and reiterated by Mr. Gallatin, though without success,
have done high honor to the country. Though the negotiator was not a native citizen, his talents are none the less the property of the nation who has adopted him. On a fair comparison, the state papers which have ernanated from the various negotiations in which the United States have been engaged, will give the palm to their ministers.