Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 245

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Page 245

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 245
suspicion from his motives, if any has ever been
seriously entertained, and almost wholly excuse the
most sagacious of men who laid no claim to inspira-
Although there were, from the commencement of
the Government, two parties, one of whom contended
for a strict and the other for a latitudinarian construc-
tion of the Constitution, a review of the practical
questions which arose between them would show that
few or none of them were of a sectional bearing. The
Alien and Sedition Laws, which produced the greatest
excitement of any internal question, had no such
tendency. The Funding of the Domestic Debt might
have been so accidentally ; but no question, necessarily
and permanently sectional, attracted serious notice until
after the second war. In fact, under the administra-
tions of the earlier Presidents, all those sectional
jealousies which had displayed themselves so con-
spicuously during the Confederation, and which are
so prominent in the debates of the Convention that
framed the Constitution, had been lulled to sleep, and
a large proportion of the ablest Southern men were
Federalists. The great questions which did agitate
the country, on which elections turned, and parties
really, though not altogether nominally, divided off,
were external, not internal questions. Our Colo-
nial habits still predominated, and we looked abroad
for our dangers, for our enemies and our friends.
English, French and Spanish negotiations : Jay's
Treaty : the squabble with the Directory : the acqui-
sition of Louisiana : the terrible wars of Europe :
the aggressions on our neutral rights : and finally the
embargo, non-importation, non-intercourse laws, and