Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

and in the United States of America, against Catholics and foreignborn, is neither justified by the past history or future prospects of the country, nor in unison with the spirit of toleration and enlightened freedom which peculiarly distinguishes the American system of popular government. Resolved, That we reiterate with renewed energy of purpose the well considered declarations of former Conventions upon the sectional issue of domestic Slavery, and concerning the reserved rights of the States— 1. That Congress has no power under the Constitution to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States, and that all 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 Abolitionists or others made to induce Congress to interfere with questions 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 of our political institutions. 2. That the foregoing proposition covers and was intended to embrace the whole subject of Slavery agitation in Congress, and therefore the Democratic party of the Union, standing on this national platform, will abide by and adhere to a faithful execution of the acts known as the Compromise measures, settled by the Congress of 1850: “the act for reclaiming fugitives from service or labor included;” which act being designed to carry out an express provision of the Constitution, can not, with fidelity thereto, be repealed or so changed as to destroy or impair its efficiency. 3. That the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing in Congress, or out of it, the agitation of the Slavery question, under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made. 4. That the Democratic party will faithfully abide by and uphold the principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1792 and 1798, and in the report of Mr. Madison to the Virginia Legislature in 1799—that it adopts these principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed, and is resolved to carry them out in their obvious meaning and import. And that we may more distinctly meet the issue on which a sectional party, subsisting exclusively on Slavery agitation, now relies to test the fidelity of the people, North and South, to the Constitution and the Union, 1. Resolved, That claiming fellowship with and desiring the coöperation of all who regard the preservation of the Union under the Constitution as the paramount issue, and repudiating all sectional parties and platforms concerning domestic slavery, which seek to embroil the States and incite to treason and armed resistance to law in the territories, and whose avowed purpose, if consummated, must end in civil war and disunion, the American De

[ocr errors]

mocracy recognize and adopt the principles contained in the organic laws establishing the territories of Nebraska and Kansas, as embodying the only sound and safe solution of the Slave question, upon which the great national idea of the people of this whole country can repose in its determined conservation of the Union, and non-interference of Congress with Slavery in the territories or in the District of Columbia. 2. That this was the basis of the compromises of 1850, confirmed by both the Democratic and Whig parties in National Conventions, ratified by the people in the election of 1852, and rightly applied to the organization of the territories in 1854. 3. That by the uniform application of the Democratic principle to the organization of territories, and the admission of new States, with or without domestic Slavery, as they may elect, the equal rights of all the States will be preserved intact, the original compacts of the Constitution maintained inviolate, and the perpetuity and expansion of the Union insured to its utmost capacity of embracing, in peace and harmony, every future American State that may be constituted or annexed with a Republican form of government. Resolved, That we recognize the right of the people of all the territories, including Kansas and Nebraska, acting through the legally and fairly expressed will of the majority of the actual residents, and whenever the number of their inhabitants justifies it, to form a Constitution, with or without domestic slavery, and be admitted into the Union upon terms of perfect equality with the other States. Resolved, finally, That, in view of the condition of the popular institutions in the Old World (and the dangerous tendencies of sectional agitation, combined with the attempt to enforce civil and religious disabilities against the rights of acquiring and enjoying citizenship in our own land,) a high and sacred duty is involved with increased responsibility upon the Democratic party of this country, as the party of the Union, to uphold and maintain the rights of every State, and thereby the union of the States—and to sustain and advance among us constitutional liberty, by o; to resist all monopolies and exclusive legislation for the benefit o the few at the expense of the many, and by a vigilant and constant adherence to those principles and compromises of the Constitution— which are broad enough and strong enough to embrace and uphold the Union as it was, the Union as it is, and the Union as it shall be-in the full expression of the energies and capacity of this great and progressive people. 1. Resolved, That there are questions connected with the foreign policy of this country which are inferior to no domestic question whatever. The time has come for the people of the United States to declare themselves in favor of free seas, and progressive free trade throughout the world, and, by solemn manifestations, to place their moral influence at the side of their successful example. 2. Resolved, That our geographical and political position with

reference to the other States of this continent, no less than the interest of our commerce and the development of our growing power, requires that we should hold sacred the principles involved in the Monroe doctrine. Their bearing and import admit of no misconstruction, and should be applied with unbending rigidity.

3. Resolved, That the great highway, which Nature as well as the assent of States most immediately interested in its maintenance has marked out for free communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, constitutes one of the most important achievements realized by the spirit of modern times, in the unconquerable energy of our people; and that result would be secured by a timely and efficient exertion of the control which we have the right to claim over it, and no power on earth should be suffered to impede or clog its progress by any interference with relations that it may suit our policy to establish between our Government and the governments of the States within whose dominions it lies; we can, under no circumstances, surrender our preponderance in the adjustment of all questions arising out of it.

4. Resolved, That in view of so commanding an interest, the people of the United States can not but sympathise with the efforts which are being made by the people of Central America to regenerate that portion of the continent which covers the passage across the inter-oceanic isthmus.

5. Resolved, That the Democratic party will expect of the next Administration that every proper effort be made to ensure our ascendency in the Gulf of Mexico, and to maintain permanent protection to the great outlets through which are emptied into its waters the products raised out of the soil and the commodities created by the industry of the people of our Western valleys and of the Union at large.

() () NSTITUTION

OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERIC A. .

WE the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this CoNSTITUTION for the United States of America.

[ocr errors]

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

SECTION II.

1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

2. No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty-five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

3. Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland, six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. 4. When Vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue writs of Election to fill such Vacancies. 5. The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

SECTION III.

1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. 2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. 3. No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen. 4. The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. 5. The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when * * he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States. 6. The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present. 7. Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and Disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honour, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment according to Law.

SECTION IV.

1. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives; shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law

« ZurückWeiter »