Life of Daniel Webster - Vol. 1

By George Ticknor Curtis | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XVIII.
1831-1832.

MODIFICATION OF THE TARIFF--BILL TO RENEW THE CHARTER OF THE BANK--PRESIDENT JACKSON'S "VETO"--SPEECH ON THE PRESIDENT'S OBJECTIONS--REJECTION OF MR. VAN BUREN AS MINISTER TO ENGLAND--REPORT ON THE APPORTIONMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES--FIRST PURCHASE AT MARSHFIELD.

THE session of Congress which commenced in December, 1831, and extended to July, 1832, was fruitful in events and in discussions that were to affect the country for a long period of time. It was at this session that an effort was made to overthrow the tariff system; that the bill to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States was passed by Congress and "vetoed" by the President; and that the Senate refused to confirm the nomination of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to Great Britain.

The tariff system under which the manufactures of the country had been carried on since 1824 had established the general principle of protection as a settled policy. On this ground, and because the legislation of Congress had strongly tended to force capital into manufactures, Mr. Webster supported the system. He was unwilling to go back, because he was satisfied that the industrial pursuits of the country could not bear the change. In the winter of 1831-'32, the subject was first introduced into the Senate by Mr. Clay, who offered a resolution, declaring that the duties on imported articles, which did not come into competition with similar articles made or produced in the United

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