WEbster, Daniel - Geskiedenis

WEbster, Daniel - Geskiedenis

Webster, Daniel

Redenaar, politikus

(1782-1852)

Daniel Webster is gebore op 18 Januarie 1782 in Salisbury, New Hampshire. Hy studeer aan die Dartmouth College en studeer aan die regte. Nadat hy 'n praktyk in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, opgestel het, beoefen hy regte in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1813 is hy tot 1817 verkies tot die Amerikaanse Huis van Verteenwoordigers. In 1819 het hy gehelp om die handves van Dartmouth College te red toe dit uitgedaag is in die hooggeregshofsaak van Dartmouth College v. Woodward.

Webster word die beste onthou vir sy uitstekende redenaarsvaardighede, en sy argumente het hoofregter Marshall se grondwetlike opvattings beïnvloed. Webster keer terug na die Amerikaanse Huis van Verteenwoordigers van 1823 tot 1827. In die Huis ondersteun hy die algemene idee van 'n sterk sentrale regering; Hy het 'n sterk staatsregteposisie ingeneem oor sommige aangeleenthede.

Toe hy in 1827 tot die senaat verkies word, bevorder Webster se basiese platform nasionalisme wat op welvaart uit industrialisasie gebou is. Hy het in die Amerikaanse senaat gedien tot 1841, toe hy as minister van buitelandse sake aangestel is. Webster was van 1841 tot 1843 as minister van buitelandse sake, en weer van 1850 tot 1852; onder presidente Harrison, Tyler en Fillmore. Hy het ook in 1836, 1840 en 1852 vir president gekies: hy het al drie keer verloor.

Webster sterf op 24 Oktober 1852 in Marshfield, Massachusetts.


Webster se woordeboek

Webster se woordeboek is een van die woordeboeke wat deur Noah Webster in die vroeë negentiende eeu geredigeer is, en talle verwante of nie -verwante woordeboeke wat die naam van die Webster aangeneem het. 'Webster's' het 'n algemene handelsmerk in die VSA geword vir woordeboeke van die Engelse taal, en word wyd gebruik in Engelse woordeboektitels. [1] Merriam-Webster is die erfgenaam van die oorspronklike werke van Noah Webster, wat in die publieke domein is.


Inhoud

Daniel Webster is gebore op 18 Januarie 1782 in Salisbury, New Hampshire, op 'n plek in die huidige stad Franklin. Hy was die seun van Abigail (née Eastman) en Ebenezer Webster, 'n boer en plaaslike amptenaar wat in die Franse en Indiese oorlog en die Amerikaanse Revolusionêre Oorlog gedien het. Ebenezer se voorouer, die Engels gebore Thomas Webster, het omstreeks 1636 na die Verenigde State getrek. Ebenezer het drie kinders uit 'n vorige huwelik wat tot volwassenheid oorleef het, asook vyf kinders uit sy huwelik met Abigail Webster was die tweede jongste van die agt broers en susters. [3] Hy was veral na aan sy ouer broer, Ezekiel, wat in 1780 gebore is. [4] As jongman het hy gehelp om die familieplaas te bewerk, maar hy was gereeld swak. Met die aanmoediging van sy ouers en tutors, lees hy gereeld werke van skrywers soos Alexander Pope en Isaac Watts. [5]

In 1796 het hy die Phillips Exeter Academy, 'n voorbereidingskool in Exeter, New Hampshire, bygewoon. [6] Nadat hy die klassieke en ander vakke vir 'n paar maande onder 'n predikant bestudeer het, is Webster in 1797 tot die Dartmouth College toegelaat. [7] Gedurende sy tyd by Dartmouth bestuur hy die skoolkoerant en tree hy op as 'n sterk spreker. [8] Hy is in 1800 in Hannover, die universiteitsdorp, as redenaar gekies, en in sy toespraak verskyn die inhoud van die politieke beginsels vir die ontwikkeling waarvan hy bekend geword het. [9] Net soos sy vader, en soos baie ander boere in New England, was Webster stewig toegewyd aan die Federalistiese Party en was hy 'n sterk sentrale regering. [10] Hy studeer in 1801 aan Dartmouth en word verkies tot die Phi Beta Kappa -eervereniging. [11]

Nadat hy aan Dartmouth gegradueer het, het hy by die advokaat Thomas W. Thompson by Salisbury gestudeer. [12] Alhoewel hy nie entoesiasties was oor die bestudering van die regte nie, het hy geglo dat 'n advokaat 'hom sou toelaat om' gemaklik te lewe 'en die armoede wat sy vader geteister het, te vermy. [13] Om sy broer Ezekiel se studie in Dartmouth te ondersteun, het Webster tydelik bedank by die regskantoor om as onderwyser by die Fryeburg Academy in Maine te werk. [14] In 1804 verkry hy 'n pos in Boston onder die prominente advokaat Christopher Gore. Vir Gore - wat betrokke was by internasionale, nasionale en staatspolitiek - het hy geleer oor baie regs- en politieke onderwerpe en het hy talle politici in New England ontmoet. [15] Hy het Boston liefgehad, en in 1805 is hy in die kroeg toegelaat. [16]

Onmiddellik nadat hy toelating tot die balie gekry het, het Webster 'n regspraktyk in Boscawen, New Hampshire, gevestig. [17] Hy raak toenemend betrokke by die politiek en begin plaaslik praat ter ondersteuning van federalistiese oorsake en kandidate. [18] Na die dood van sy vader in 1806, het hy sy praktyk aan sy broer, Ezekiel, oorgegee en 'n nuwe praktyk in die groter stad Portsmouth geopen. [19] Gedurende die dekade lange periode wat hy in Portsmouth gewoon het, het hy meer as 1700 sake hanteer en een van die mees prominente advokate in New Hampshire geword. [20] Saam met twee ander prokureurs is hy aangestel om die kriminele kode in New Hampshire te hersien en regulasies vir staatsgevangenisse op te stel. [21]

Gedurende hierdie tyd het die voortgesette Napoleontiese oorloë die Amerikaners sterker begin beïnvloed, aangesien Brittanje Amerikaanse skeepvaart aangeval en Amerikaanse matrose beïndruk het. President Thomas Jefferson het teruggekeer met die Embargo Act van 1807 en alle handel na sowel Brittanje as Frankryk gestop. Aangesien New England staatgemaak het op handel met die twee lande, het die streek sterk gebuk gegaan onder die embargo, en Webster het 'n anonieme pamflet geskryf wat die beleid van Jefferson aanval. [22] Hy het hom ook beywer vir verskillende federalistiese kandidate, waaronder die presidentskandidaat Charles C. Pinckney en die gubernatoriale kandidaat Jeremiah Smith. Alhoewel Jefferson se Demokraties-Republikeinse Party nasionale verkiesings oorheers het, was die Federalistiese Party mededingend in die state van New England. [23] In 1812 verklaar die Verenigde State oorlog teen Brittanje aan die begin van die oorlog van 1812. Op 4 Julie 1812 word Webster uitgenooi om 'n toespraak te hou voor die Washington Benevolent Society. Sy toespraak, wat die oorlog sterk aangeval het, maar teen afskeiding gewaarsku het, is in koerante in New England herdruk. [24]

Na die toespraak is hy gekies as 'n afgevaardigde van die Rockingham Convention, 'n plaaslike vergadering wat 'n verslag uitgereik het wat krities was oor Jefferson se Demokraties-Republikeinse opvolger, James Madison. [25] Die Rockingham -gedenkteken, wat grootliks deur Webster geskryf is, het Madison se redes vir die oorlog uitgedaag, aangevoer dat Frankryk net so skuldig was vir aanvalle op Amerikaanse skeepvaart as die Britte, en het die afskeiding van afskeiding laat ontstaan. Die Rockingham Memorial het landwyd bekendheid verwerf as 'n dokument wat die teenkanting van New England teen die oorlog illustreer. [26] Na die byeenkoms het die staatsfederalistiese party hom as kandidaat vir die Huis van Verteenwoordigers benoem. Alhoewel Madison herverkiesing in die presidentsverkiesing van 1812 gewen het, het die presidensiële kandidaat wat deur federaliste gesteun is, New England gewen, en federaliste het die New Hampshire-verkiesings vir die Huis van Verteenwoordigers gevee. [27]

Eerste tydperk in die huis, 1813-1817 Wysig

Teen Mei 1813, toe hy die eerste keer in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers aankom, het die Verenigde State talle terugslae in die oorlog van 1812 beleef. Desondanks het Madison se Demokraties-Republikeinse Party die Dertiende Kongres oorheers en meer as drie vyfdes van die setels beheer. in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers en meer as twee derdes van die setels in die Senaat. [28] Webster het die oorlog bly kritiseer en pogings aangeval om diensplig, oorlogstydbelasting en 'n nuwe handelsembargo op te lê, aangeval. [29] Hy is aangestel in 'n stuurkomitee wat federalistiese optrede in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers gekoördineer het, en aan die einde van die Dertiende Kongres het hy as 'n gerespekteerde spreker op die Huisvloer verskyn. [30] Vroeg in 1815 het die oorlog tot 'n einde gekom nadat die nuus van die ondertekening van die Verdrag van Gent die Verenigde State bereik het. [31]

Na die oorlog het president Madison 'n beroep op die oprigting van die Tweede Bank van die Verenigde State (bekend as die 'nasionale bank'), die instelling van 'n beskermende tarief en federale gefinansierde openbare werke gedoen. Terwyl die voorsitter van die Huis Henry Clay en die kongreslid John C. Calhoun gewerk het om die voorstelle van Madison te aanvaar, het ander Demokratiese Republikeine hierdie beleid gekant omdat dit in stryd was met die party se tradisionele verbintenis tot 'n swakker federale regering. [32] Webster het in beginsel 'n nasionale bank bevoordeel, maar hy het teen die wetsontwerp wat die nasionale bank tot stand gebring het, gestem omdat hy van mening was dat die bank papiernote wat deur verskillende banke op die kaart geplaas is, uit die sirkulasie moes verwyder. Voordat die nasionale bank in werking getree het, het hy gelei tot die opstel van 'n wetsontwerp wat vereis dat alle skulde aan die regering in spesies, tesouriebriewe of note wat deur die nasionale bank uitgereik is, betaal moet word. [33] In die tariefdebat het hy 'n middeweg ingeneem wat hy ten gunste was van die gebruik van tariewe om binnelandse vervaardiging te beskerm, maar wou nie hê dat tariewe so hoog moes wees dat dit die handelsbetrekking van sy tuisstaat sou benadeel nie. Alhoewel hy 'n aktiewe rol in die opstel van die tariefwetsontwerp geneem het, mis hy uiteindelik die finale stemming oor die tarief van 1816. [34] Op soek na meer winsgewende regswerk, het hy tydens sy tyd in die kongres sterk begin oorweeg om na Boston of New York te verhuis. [35] In 1816 wou hy nie 'n ander termyn in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers soek nie, maar 'n nuwe woning in Boston vestig. Tydens die verkiesings van 1816 het die Federalistiese Party talle nederlae in die hele land gely en die Demokraties-Republikeinse kandidaat James Monroe is tot president verkies. [36]

Toonaangewende prokureur Edit

Daniel Webster (Dartmouth College v. Woodward)

Webster het voortgegaan om reg te beoefen terwyl hy in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers gedien het, en hy het sy eerste saak vroeg in 1814 voor die Hooggeregshof van die Verenigde State aangevoer. [37] Hy was sedert sy dae in Boscawen hoog aangeslaan in New Hampshire en is gerespekteer vir sy diens in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers, maar hy het tot nasionale bekendheid gekom as advokaat in 'n aantal belangrike hooggeregshofsake. [38] Tussen 1814 en 1852 het hy ten minste een saak aangevoer in die oorgrote meerderheid van die sittings van die Hooggeregshof, wat hy in altesaam 223 sake as advokaat gedien het, en ongeveer die helfte van die sake gewen. [39] Hy verteenwoordig ook talle kliënte buite die hooggeregshofsake, waaronder prominente individue soos George Crowninshield, Francis Cabot Lowell en John Jacob Astor. [40]

Alhoewel die Kongres oorheers word deur Demokrate-Republikeine, het hoofregter John Marshall verseker dat die federalistiese ideologie 'n teenwoordigheid in die howe behou. Webster het vinnig vaardig geword in die verwoording van argumente wat bedoel is om 'n beroep op Marshall en 'n ander invloedryke hooggeregshofregter, Joseph Story, te doen. [41] Hy het 'n belangrike rol gespeel in agt van die mees gevierde grondwetlike sake wat die hof tussen 1814 en 1824 beslis het. In baie hiervan - veral in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) en Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) —die hooggeregshof het besluite geneem wat grootliks op sy argumente gebaseer was. Marshall se bekendste verklaring, "die mag om te belasting is die mag om te vernietig," in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), is geneem uit Webster se voorlegging teen die staat Maryland. As gevolg van sy reeks suksesse in hooggeregshofsake, het baie mense hom die 'Groot Uitlegger en Verdediger van die Grondwet' begin noem. [42] Hy sou na Marshall se dood in 1835 sake voor die hooggeregshof aanhangig maak, maar hy het oor die algemeen bevind dat die Taney -hof minder ontvanklik was vir sy argumente. [43]

In Dartmouth College v. Woodward, Webster is deur die federalistiese trustees van sy alma mater, Dartmouth College, behou in hul saak teen die nuutverkose New Hampshire Demokraties-Republikeinse staatswetgewer. Die wetgewer het nuwe wette aangeneem wat Dartmouth omskep in 'n staatsinstelling deur die grootte van die kurator se liggaam te verander en 'n verdere raad van opsieners by te voeg, wat hulle in die hande van die staats senaat gelê het. [44] Hy het aangevoer dat die Grondwet se kontrakbepaling die wetgewer verbied het om die kuratorium van die kollege te verander. Die Marshall -hof het voortgegaan met sy geskiedenis van die beperking van state se regte en herbevestiging van die oppergesag van die grondwetlike beskerming van kontrakte, ten gunste van Dartmouth. Die uitspraak het die belangrike presedent geskep dat korporasies, soos baie destyds gedink het, nie hul voorregte hoef te regverdig deur in openbare belang op te tree nie, maar onafhanklik van die state was. [45]

Hy was polities aktief gedurende sy tyd buite die kongres, dien as presidentskieser, vergader met amptenare soos oorlogssekretaris John C. Calhoun en lewer 'n goed ontvangde toespraak wat hoë tariewe aanval. [46] Met die verdwyning van die federaliste as 'n nasionale party, het die tydperk van Monroe se presidentskap as die 'era van goeie gevoelens' bekend gestaan ​​weens die gebrek aan partydige konflik. [36] Aangesien die federaliste nie daarin kon slaag om 'n kandidaat in die presidentsverkiesing van 1820 op te stel nie, het Webster, in sy hoedanigheid as presidentskieser, sy stem vir Monroe uitgebring. [46] Hy is toe verkies as 'n afgevaardigde van die konstitusionele konvensie van 1820 in Massachusetts. Daar het hy in teenstelling met stemreg vir almal gepraat, ongeag eiendomsbesit, en aangevoer dat mag natuurlik eiendom volg, en dat die stem daarvolgens beperk moet word, maar dat die grondwet teen sy advies gewysig word. [47] Hy ondersteun ook die (bestaande) distrik van die staats senaat sodat elke setel 'n gelyke hoeveelheid eiendom verteenwoordig. [48] ​​Sy optrede tydens die byeenkoms bevorder sy reputasie. In 'n brief aan 'n gemeenskaplike vriend, skryf Joseph Story, "ons vriend Webster het 'n edele reputasie gekry. Hy was voorheen bekend as 'n advokaat, maar hy het nou die titel van 'n vooraanstaande en verligte staatsman verkry." [49] In Desember 1820 lewer hy 'n toespraak wat entoesiasties ontvang is ter herdenking van die tweehonderdjarige bestaan ​​van die landing van die Mayflower by Plymouth Rock. [50]

Tweede tydperk in die Huis, 1823–1827 Wysig

Op bevel van federalistiese leiers en die sake -elite in Boston, het Webster ingestem om in 1822 vir die Huis van Verteenwoordigers te staan. Hy wen die verkiesing en keer terug na die kongres in Desember 1823. [51] Ter erkenning van sy beheersing van regskwessies. , Het die voorsitter van die huis, Henry Clay, hom die voorsitterskap van die huisregterlike komitee opgedra. In hierdie rol het hy probeer om 'n wetsontwerp te aanvaar wat die regters van die Hooggeregshof sou verlig dat hulle na verre westelike distrikte moes reis, maar sy wetsontwerp het nie 'n stem in die Huis gekry nie. [52] Op soek na sy reputasie as redenaarskrag op die vloer van die Huis van Verteenwoordigers, het hy 'n toespraak gehou ter ondersteuning van die Griekse saak in die Griekse Onafhanklikheidsoorlog. [53] In 'n ander toespraak val hy die wetsontwerp van die tarief van 1824 aan, met die argument dat hoë tariewe die vervaardiging onregverdig bevoordeel tot nadeel van landbou en handel. [54] In 'n derde toespraak verdedig hy die bou van interne verbeterings deur die federale regering, met die argument dat paaie gehelp het om die land ekonomies te verenig en om 'n 'werklik nasionale gevoel' te skep. [55] Terwyl hy 'n verteenwoordiger was, het hy aanhou om spreekbeurte in New England aan te neem, veral sy toespraak op die vyftigjarige herdenking van die Slag van Bunker Hill. [56] Hy het ook sy regswerk voortgesit, hoewel sy staatsdiens hom meer op sy regsvennote moes beroep. [57]

In die presidentsverkiesing van 1824 in die Verenigde State het die Demokratiese Republikeine verdeel tussen Clay, Calhoun, William H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson en John Quincy Adams. [58] Ten spyte van hul gedeelde verbintenis met Massachusetts, het Webster 'n ongemaklike verhouding met Adams gehad omdat laasgenoemde die Federalist Party vroeër in sy loopbaan [59] vir sy kant verlaat het, 'n afsku van Adams. [60] Aangesien geen kandidaat 'n meerderheid van die verkiesingsstemme behaal het nie, is die verkiesing van 1824 beslis in 'n voorwaardelike verkiesing wat deur die Huis van Verteenwoordigers gehou is. [a] Webster het voor die verkiesing neutraal gebly, maar hy ondersteun Adams in die voorwaardelike verkiesing, grootliks omdat hy Jackson as onbevoeg beskou het om president te wees en Crawford 'n groot beroerte gehad het. [61] Saam met Clay het hy gehelp om lede van die Huis rondom Adams byeen te bring, en Adams is verkies tydens die eerste stemming van die voorwaardelike verkiesing. [62]

In 1825 het president Adams 'n partydige aanpassing geloods deur 'n ambisieuse binnelandse program op te stel, gebaseer op Clay's American System, wat 'n groot netwerk van federaal gefinansierde infrastruktuurprojekte insluit. State se regte Demokraties-Republikeine, insluitend senator Martin Van Buren en vise-president John C. Calhoun, het die program sterk gekant en rondom Jackson saamgedrom. Terwyl sommige federaliste na Jackson se kamp trek, word Webster die leier van die pro-administratiewe magte in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers. [63] Ondersteuners van Adams het as Nasionale Republikeine bekend geword, terwyl Jackson se volgelinge saamgesmelt het tot die Demokratiese Party. Soos baie federaliste, het hy nie onmiddellik sy partydige identiteit as 'n federalis ter syde gestel nie, maar die Amerikaanse stelsel omhels en beskermende tariewe begin bevoordeel. [64] Justus D. Doenecke dui aan dat sy nuutgevonde ondersteuning van beskermende tariewe die gevolg was van "sy nuwe nabyheid aan die stygende meulbesitters in die streek, die Lawrences en die Lowells." [25] Hy ondersteun ook die administrasie se verdediging van die verdrag-gesanksioneerde Creek Indiese grondregte teen Georgië se ekspansionistiese aansprake. [65]

Adams -administrasie, 1827–1829 Redigeer

In 1827 verkies die Massachusetts -wetgewer hom tot die Amerikaanse senaat. Hy was aanvanklik huiwerig om die Huis van Verteenwoordigers te verlaat, waar hy senioriteit en 'n sterk magsbasis gevestig het, maar uiteindelik verkiesing tot die Senaat aanvaar het. [66] Na 'n tydperk van oorweging stem hy vir die tarief van 1828, wat die tarief verhoog het. [67] Voor die presidentsverkiesing van 1828 werk hy saam met Clay om die National Republican Party regoor die land te bou. Terwyl Clay steun vir die party in die Weste verkry het, het hy as 'n leidende Nasionale Republikein in die noordoostelike state voorgekom. [68] Ondanks sy pogings en dié van Clay, het die Demokratiese kandidaat Andrew Jackson president Adams beslis in die verkiesing van 1828 verslaan. [69]

Jackson -administrasie, 1829-1837 Wysig

Tweede antwoord op Hayne Edit

mag ek hom vir oulaas die son in die hemel nie sien skyn oor die gebroke en onteerde fragmente van 'n eens glorieryke Unie op state wat uiteenlopend, onenig, strydlustig is oor 'n grond wat met burgerlike vete of deurdrenk is nie, of dit kan wees, in broederlike bloed! Laat hulle laaste swak en langdurige blik eerder die pragtige vaandel van die republiek aanskou. nie 'n streep wat uitgevee of besoedel is nie, en ook nie 'n enkele ster wat verduister word nie, met sy leuse, nie so 'n ellendige ondervraging soos "Wat is dit alles werd nie?" ook nie die ander woorde van dwaling en dwaasheid, "Eerste vryheid en vereniging daarna" nie, maar oral, versprei in karakters van lewendige lig, vlammend op al sy ruim plooie terwyl hulle oor die see en oor die land en in elke wind sweef onder die hele hemel, die ander sentiment, geliefd vir elke ware Amerikaanse hart, - Liberty en Unie, nou en vir altyd, een

Nadat Jackson sy amp aangeneem het, het Webster die meeste maatreëls wat die nuwe administrasie bevoordeel, gekant, insluitend die Wet op die verwydering van Indië en die instelling van die buitestelsel. [70] Die Jackson -administrasie het gebuk gegaan onder faksionalisme tussen ondersteuners van minister van buitelandse sake, Van Buren en vise -president Calhoun, waarvan laasgenoemde 'n prominente rol gespeel het in die uitlegging van die leerstelling van nietigheid. Calhoun was van mening dat die state die mag het om wette te "vernietig", en hy en sy bondgenote het probeer om die hoë tariewe wat deur die tarief van 1828 opgelê is (wat hulle die "tarief van gruwels" genoem het) te vernietig. [71] Tydens 'n debat oor grondbeleid in Januarie 1830 het senator Robert Y. Hayne in Suid -Carolina, in 'n poging om die Weste teen die Noorde en die tarief te beskuldig, die Noorde daarvan beskuldig dat hulle probeer het om Westerse uitbreiding tot hul eie voordeel te beperk. Hayne het as surrogaat gedien vir vise -president Calhoun, wat nie self die senaat oor die kwessie kon toespreek nie weens sy status as die voorsitter van die senaat. [72] [ bladsy benodig ] Webster het beswaar aangeteken teen die seksuele aanval op die Noorde, maar nog sterker beswaar gemaak teen Hayne se regte-posisie van pro-state. In die voorkant van die senaat verwoord hy sy geloof in 'n 'ewige' vakbond en val die instelling van slawerny aan, en lok Hayne uit om die leerstelling van nietigheid op die vloer van die senaat te verduidelik. [73]

In reaksie op sy eerste toespraak het Hayne hom daarvan beskuldig dat hy 'oorlog voer teen die onaangename suide', en hy beweer dat nietigheid grondwetlik is omdat die federale regering uiteindelik aan die state onderdanig was. [74] Op 27 Januarie lewer Webster sy antwoord, getiteld die Tweede antwoord aan Hayne. Hy was van mening dat die mense, en nie die state nie, die uiteindelike mag het, en dat die mense die Grondwet as die hoogste wet van die land bepaal het. Hy het verder aangevoer dat die leerstelling van nietigheid "die absurditeit benader", en deur die mag aan die federale regering te ontken, die magsbalans wat kragtens die Statute van die Konfederasie vasgestel is, effektief sou herstel. Hy het aangevoer dat nietigmaking verraad teen die Verenigde State is en uiteindelik tot burgeroorlog sal lei, aangesien staatsamptenare die milisie sal uitroep om federale wette en optrede te weerstaan. Hy het sy toespraak afgesluit met 'n oproep om 'Liberty en Unie, nou en vir ewig, een en onafskeidbaar! "[75] Die Tweede antwoord aan Hayne is duisende kere herdruk en is regdeur die land gunstig ontvang. By die beoordeling van die impak en gewildheid van die toespraak het sommige tydgenote dit vergelyk met die Federalist Papers. [76] Drie maande nadat hy die Tweede antwoord aan Hayne, Het Calhoun openlik met president Jackson gebreek toe Calhoun in reaksie op Jackson se toast van "Our Union, preserved", geantwoord het: "The Union: Next to our liberty, the most dear." [77]

Bankoorlog en verkiesing van 1832 Redigeer

Teen 1830 beskou hy Clay as die waarskynlike genomineerde van die Nasionale Republikein tydens die presidentsverkiesing van 1832 in die Verenigde State, hoewel hy skepties was dat Clay die Demokratiese genomineerde sou kon verslaan. [78] Die stigting van die Anti-Masonic Party, 'n derde party wat teen Jackson en Clay gekant was, het 'n nuwe faktor in die verkiesing bygevoeg. Sommige leiers teen die vrymesselaars het probeer om hom [b] te werf om vir die presidentskap te kom, maar hy wou uiteindelik nie hardloop nie uit vrees dat hy Clay en ander Nasionale Republikeine sou vervreem. [80] In plaas daarvan onderneem hy 'n subtiele veldtog om die Nasionale Republikeinse benoeming te wen, en beplan 'n toer deur die noordooste en die noordweste. Sy hengel vir die presidentskap was die begin van 'n ambivalente verhouding tussen Clay en Webster. [81] Nietemin het hy Clay aangemoedig om die verkiesing tot die senaat te aanvaar, en die twee het Nicholas Biddle, die president van die nasionale bank, oortuig om aansoek te doen vir 'n vroeë hernuwing van die handves van die nasionale bank. Aangesien Jackson 'n lang rekord van teenkanting teen die nasionale bank gehad het, het hulle albei gehoop om van die nasionale bank 'n probleem te maak tydens die presidentsverkiesing van 1832. Clay is formeel deur die Nasionale Republikeine in Desember 1831 genomineer, terwyl Jackson in 1832 vir 'n tweede termyn benoem is. [82]

Biddle versoek om 'n hernuwing van die handves van die nasionale bank in Januarie 1832, wat die "Bankoorlog" genoem het. [83] Met Clay wat op 'n tariefrekening fokus, word Webster die nie-amptelike leier van pro-nasionale bankmagte in die Senaat. Hy het gehelp om te verseker dat die Kongres 'n hernuwing van die handves goedkeur sonder om enige groot wysigings aan te bring, soos 'n bepaling wat state in staat sou stel om te keer dat die nasionale bank takke binne hul grense vestig. [84] Die kongres het die hernuwing van die handves goedgekeur, maar soos verwag, het Jackson die wetsontwerp in Julie 1832 veto gelê. Jackson het aangevoer dat die bank ongrondwetlik was en gedien het om "die rykes ryker en magtiger te maak." Op die vloer van die senaat val Webster die veto aan, met die argument dat slegs die geregtelike tak 'n wetsontwerp se grondwetlikheid kan beoordeel. [85] Daarna het hy Clay se presidensiële veldtog ondersteun en sy pogings namens die nasionale bank voortgesit, maar Jackson is met 'n beslissende marge herkies. [86]

Oortredingskrisis wysig

Alhoewel die Kongres die "Tarief van gruwels" vervang het met die tarief van 1832, was Calhoun en sy bondgenote van die Nullifier ontevrede met die tariewe. [87] Kort na die presidentsverkiesing van 1832 het 'n konvensie in Suid -Carolina 'n resolusie aangeneem waarin die tarief van 1832 in Suid -Carolina "nietig en geen wet" verklaar is, wat die begin van die nietigheidskrisis was. Hayne bedank uit die senaat om die goewerneur van Suid -Carolina te word, terwyl Calhoun Hayne se voormalige setel in die senaat inneem. In Desember 1832 het Jackson die proklamasie aan die mense van Suid -Carolina uitgereik en gewaarsku dat hy nie sou toelaat dat Suid -Carolina die federale wet trotseer nie. Webster het die Proklamasie ten sterkste goedgekeur en aan 'n gehoor in Faneuil Hall gesê dat Jackson 'die ware beginsels van die Grondwet' verwoord het en dat hy die president 'my hele en hartlike ondersteuning' in die krisis sou gee. [88] Hy ondersteun sterk Jackson se voorgestelde Force Bill, wat die president sou magtig om geweld te gebruik teen state wat probeer het om die federale wet te belemmer. Terselfdertyd het hy gekant teen Clay se pogings om die krisis te beëindig deur tariefverlagings te verlaag, aangesien hy van mening was dat toegewings aan Calhoun se magte 'n slegte presedent sou wees. [89] Na 'n lewendige debat tussen homself en Calhoun, het die kongres die wetsontwerp in Februarie 1833 aangeneem. Kort daarna het dit die tarief van 1833 aangeneem, die gevolg van onderhandelinge tussen Clay en Calhoun, die wetsontwerp het gelei tot geleidelike verlaging van tariewe oor 'n tydperk van tien jaar. Alhoewel hulle die Force -wetsontwerp simbolies "vernietig" het, het Suid -Carolina -leiers die nuwe tariefwet aanvaar en 'n einde gemaak aan die nietigheidskrisis. [90]

Rise of the Whig Party en 1836 kandidatuur Redigeer

Terwyl Calhoun van die Demokratiese Party af weggedwaal het en soms met die Nasionale Republikeine saamgewerk het om Jackson teë te staan, het sommige tydgenote na Calhoun, Webster en Clay begin verwys as 'die Groot Triumviraat'. [91] Terselfdertyd het Webster se alliansie met Jackson in die vernietigingskrisis sommige waarnemers laat wonder of hy by die Demokratiese Party sou aansluit of 'n nuwe party sou vind wat gesentreer was op hul nasionalistiese visie. [92] Jackson se besluit om staatsdeposito's aan die einde van 1833 by die nasionale bank te verwyder, het enige moontlikheid van 'n Webster-Jackson-alliansie beëindig en gehelp om partydige reëls te versterk. [93] As voorsitter van die finansieringskomitee van die senaat het Webster die poging van die senaat gelei om te voorkom dat Jackson se sekretaris van die tesourie, Roger Taney, staatsdeposito's verwyder. [94] Aangesien die handves van die nasionale bank in 1836 sou verstryk, voor die einde van Jackson se termyn, het hy probeer om die nasionale bank te red deur 'n kompromismaatreël, maar die Demokrate verwerp sy voorstel. Uiteindelik was die senaat nie in staat om die verwydering van die deposito of die verstryking van die handves van die nasionale bank te voorkom nie, maar dit het wel besluite geneem wat Jackson en Taney veroordeel het. Webster se besluit om vir die resolusie van die wantroue te stem, het 'n permanente breuk met Jackson veroorsaak. [95]

Na die stryd om die nasionale bank het Jackson se politieke teenstanders saamgesmelt tot die Whig Party. Deur 'n naam te verkry wat in die Amerikaanse en Britse geskiedenis gewortel is, het die Whigs Jackson implisiet gekritiseer as 'n tiranniese uitvoerende gesag. [96] Alhoewel die Nasionale Republikeine soos Clay en Webster die kern van die Whig Party was, het anti-vrymesselaars soos William H. Seward en staatsregte, soos Demokrate soos John Tyler, ook by die nuwe party aangesluit. [97] Die Whig -party was duursamer as die National Republican Party, en saam met die Demokrate het die Whigs een van die twee groot partye van die Tweede Party -stelsel geword, wat tot in die 1850's sou strek. [98] Teen 1834 het Webster -ondersteuners soos Caleb Cushing, Rufus Choate, Abbott Lawrence en Edward Everett begin voorberei op sy kandidatuur tydens die presidentsverkiesing van 1836. [99] Aangesien Clay geen aanduiding toon dat hy weer sou deelneem nie, het Webster gehoop om die belangrikste Whig -kandidaat te word in die verkiesing van 1836, maar generaal William Henry Harrison en senator Hugh Lawson White behou sterk steun in onderskeidelik die Weste en die Suide. In plaas van om saam te staan ​​agter een presidentskandidaat, het die leiers van Whig besluit oor 'n strategie om verskeie kandidate te laat loop om 'n voorwaardelike verkiesing in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers af te dwing. [100]

Hy is deur die wetgewer van Massachusetts genomineer vir president, maar Harrison het die steun van die meeste Whigs buite die suide gewen. Alhoewel sy reputasie as 'n nasionale figuur baie groter was as dié van Harrison, het baie Whigs gehoop dat Harrison se militêre rekord hom in staat sou stel om Jackson se oorwinning in 1832 te herhaal. [101] Die kans van Webster het ook gely onder sy langdurige verbintenis met die Federalist Party, sy noue verhouding met elite -politici en sakelui en sy gebrek aan aantrekkingskrag onder die breë bevolking Remini skryf dat die Amerikaanse publiek hom "bewonder en eerbiedig het, maar nie lief was vir of vertrou hom." [102] Met min ondersteuning buite sy tuisstaat, het hy probeer om sy presidensiële kandidatuur terug te trek, maar tot sy spyt het Massachusetts Whig -leiers hom oortuig om in die wedloop te bly. [103] Intussen het die Demokratiese Nasionale Konvensie van 1835 Van Buren, Jackson se voorkeuropvolger, as president aangewys. In die verkiesing van 1836 het Van Buren 'n meerderheid van die gewilde en verkiesingsstemme behaal, Harrison het 'n verre tweede geëindig en White het twee suidelike state gevoer. Webster het slegs die kiesstemme van Massachusetts gewen. [104] Bykomend tot sy misnoeë verloor hy 'n groot beslissing van die Hooggeregshof, Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, kort na die verkiesing. [105] [c]

Van Buren administrasie, 1837–1841 Redigeer

Kort nadat Van Buren sy amp aangeneem het, het 'n groot ekonomiese insinking bekend as die Paniek van 1837 begin. Webster en sy bondgenote in Whig blameer Jackson se beleid, waaronder die Specie Circular, vir die paniek, maar 'n wêreldwye ekonomiese afswaai was 'n groot bydraende faktor. Die paniek het die land swaar getref en was rampspoedig vir Webster se persoonlike finansies. [108] Met die hulp van Nicholas Biddle en ander vriendelike bankiers het Webster skuld aangegaan om op groot skaal met grondspekulasie deel te neem. [109] Sy skuld is vererger deur sy geneigdheid om sy boedel oordadig te versier en geld te gee met 'roekelose vrygewigheid en sorgelose oorvloed', benewens die kleiner 'passies en eetlus' van dobbel en alkohol. [110] Die paniek het daartoe gelei dat baie skuldeisers hul lenings aangemeld het, en volgens Remini sou Webster nooit ná 1837 uit die skuld kom nie. [111] Nietemin bly hy gefokus op sy politieke loopbaan. [108] Terwyl Whigs die Amerikaanse stelsel as middel vir ekonomiese herstel bevorder het, het Van Buren se reaksie op die paniek gefokus op die praktyk van "streng ekonomie en spaarsaamheid". [112] Webster attacked Van Buren's proposals to address the economic crisis, including the establishment of an Independent Treasury system, [113] and he helped arrange for the rescinding of the Specie Circular. [114]

He entertained hopes of winning the Whig nomination in the 1840 United States presidential election, but ultimately declined to challenge Clay or Harrison, both of whom commanded broader support within the party. [115] He remained neutral between Clay and Harrison, instead departing for a trip to Europe, where he attended his daughter's wedding and befriended Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. [116] While he was abroad, the 1839 Whig National Convention nominated Harrison for president. Although many Whigs favored a Harrison-Webster ticket, the convention instead nominated John Tyler of Virginia for vice president. [117] Webster served as a prominent campaign surrogate for Harrison in the 1840 election, although he disliked the party's new, popular style of campaigning that made use of songs and slogans like "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." [118] The Whigs enjoyed great success in the 1840 elections, as Harrison took a majority of the popular and electoral vote and the party won control of Congress. [119]

Harrison extensively consulted Webster and Clay regarding presidential appointments, and the two Whig leaders competed to place their supporters and allies in key positions. Harrison initially hoped that Webster would serve as secretary of the treasury in order to spearhead his economic program, but Webster instead became secretary of state, giving him oversight of foreign affairs. [120] Just one month after taking office, Harrison died from pneumonia, and was succeeded by John Tyler. Though Tyler and Webster strongly differed regarding ideology (Tyler was a devotee of states' rights) and personality, they initially enjoyed a strong working relationship, partly because each saw Clay as a rival for power in the Whig Party. [121] As Tyler, a former Democrat, had long been skeptical of the need for a national bank, Webster urged Whig congressmen to back a compromise bill put forward by Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Ewing which would have re-established the national bank but restricted its branching power. Congress rejected the compromise and instead passed Clay's bill, which was subsequently vetoed by Tyler. After Tyler vetoed another Whig bill, every Cabinet member except for Webster resigned, and a caucus of Whigs voted to expel Tyler from the party in September 1841. When Webster informed Tyler that he would not resign, Tyler responded, "give me your hand on that, and now I will say to you that Henry Clay is a doomed man." [122]

Facing a hostile Congress, Tyler and Webster turned their attention to foreign policy. [123] The administration put a new emphasis on American influence in the Pacific Ocean, reaching the first U.S. treaty with China, seeking to partition Oregon Country with Britain, and announcing that the United States would oppose any attempt to colonize the Hawaiian Islands. [124] The most pressing foreign policy issue involved relations with Britain, as the United States had nearly gone to war with Britain over the Caroline affair and a border conflict between Maine and Canada. [125] Seeking improved relations with the United States, British Prime Minister Robert Peel dispatched Lord Ashburton on a special mission to the United States. [126] After extensive negotiations, the United States and Britain reached the Webster–Ashburton Treaty, which clearly delineated Maine's northern border and other sections of the U.S.-Canada border that had been in dispute. [127] Senator Thomas Hart Benton led Senate opposition to the treaty, arguing that it "needlessly and shamelessly" relinquished American territory, but few others joined Benton in voting against the treaty, and it won ratification. [128]

After mid-1841, congressional Whigs continually pressured Webster to resign, and by early 1843, Tyler had also begun to pressure Webster to leave office. [129] As Tyler moved even farther away from Whig positions and began preparing a campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 1844 United States presidential election, Webster left office in May 1843. [130] With Webster gone, Tyler turned his attention to the annexation of the Republic of Texas. [131] Clay was nominated for president at the 1844 Whig National Convention, [132] while the Democrats spurned both Tyler and former President Van Buren in favor of James K. Polk, a protege of Andrew Jackson. [133] Webster's service in the Tyler administration had badly damaged his credibility among Whigs, but he began to rebuild old alliances within the party. [134] Tyler's attempts to annex Texas became the key issue in the 1844 election, and Webster came out strongly against annexation. He campaigned on behalf of Clay, telling one crowd, "I know of no great national constitutional question I know of no great interest of the country . in which there is any difference between the distinguished leader of the Whig Party and myself." [135] Despite Webster's campaigning, Polk defeated Clay in a close election. [136] The election of the expansionist Polk ensured the annexation of Texas, and annexation was completed after Polk took office. [137]

Polk administration, 1845–1849 Edit

Webster considered retiring from public office after the 1844 election, but he accepted election to the United States Senate in early 1845. [138] Webster sought to block the adoption of Polk's domestic policies, but Congress, controlled by Democrats, reduced tariff rates through the Walker tariff and re-established the Independent Treasury system. In May 1846, the Mexican–American War began after Congress, responding to a clash between U.S. and Mexican forces at the disputed Texas–Mexico border, declared war on Mexico. [139] During the war, Northern Whigs became increasingly split between "Conscience Whigs" like Charles Sumner, who strongly favored anti-slavery policies, and "Cotton Whigs" like Webster, who emphasized good relations with Southern leaders. [140] Webster had been a long-standing opponent of slavery in an 1837 speech he called slavery a "great moral, social, and political evil," and added that he would vote against "any thing that shall extend the slavery of the African race on this continent, or add other slaveholding states to the Union." [141] But, unlike his more strongly anti-slavery constituents, he did not believe that Congress should interfere with slavery in the states, and he placed less emphasis on preventing the spread of slavery into the territories. [142] Nonetheless, because Webster opposed the acquisition of Mexican territory (with the exception of San Francisco), he voted against the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which the United States acquired the Mexican Cession. [143]

General Zachary Taylor's success in the Mexican–American War drove him to the front ranks of Whig candidates in the 1848 United States presidential election. [144] As Taylor held unclear political positions and had never been publicly affiliated with the Whig Party, Clay and Webster each launched their own bids for the presidency, but opposition from the Conscience Whigs badly damaged Webster's standing. [145] On the first ballot of the 1848 Whig National Convention Webster finished a distant fourth behind Taylor, Clay, and General Winfield Scott. Taylor ultimately won the presidential nomination on the convention's third ballot, while Millard Fillmore of New York was selected as the party's vice presidential nominee. [146] After Webster declined the request of Conscience Whigs to lead a new, anti-slavery third party, Conscience Whigs and "Barnburner" Democrats launched the Free Soil Party and nominated a ticket consisting of former President Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams. Despite having previously stated that he would not support Taylor in the 1848 presidential campaign, Webster threw his backing behind Taylor. Ultimately, Taylor won the election, defeating both Van Buren and Democratic nominee Lewis Cass. [147]

Taylor administration, 1849–1850 Edit

Daniel Webster (July 17, 1850 address to the Senate)

Having only tepidly endorsed Taylor's campaign, Webster was excluded from the new administration's Cabinet and was not consulted on major appointments. [148] After the 1848 election, the fate of the territories acquired in the Mexican-American War became a major subject of debate in Congress, as Northern and Southern leaders quarreled over the extension of slavery. [149] In January 1850, Clay introduced a plan which combined the major subjects under discussion. His legislative package included the admission of California as a free state, the cession by Texas of some of its northern and western territorial claims in return for debt relief, the establishment of New Mexico and Utah territories, a ban on the importation of slaves into the District of Columbia for sale, and a more stringent fugitive slave law. [150] The plan faced opposition from strongly pro-slavery Southern leaders like Calhoun [151] and anti-slavery Northerners like William Seward and Salmon Chase. [152] President Taylor also opposed Clay's proposal, since he favored granting California statehood immediately and denied the legitimacy of Texas's claims over New Mexico. [153]

Clay had won Webster's backing for his proposal before presenting it to Congress, and Webster provided strong support for Clay's bill in the Senate. [154] In a speech that became known as the "Seventh of March" speech, Webster attacked Northerners and Southerners alike for stirring up tensions over slavery. He admonished Northerners for obstructing the return of fugitive slaves but attacked Southern leaders for openly contemplating secession. [155] After the speech, Webster was bitterly attacked by New England abolitionists. Theodore Parker complained, "No living man has done so much to debauch the conscience of the nation," while Horace Mann described Webster as "a fallen star! Lucifer descending from Heaven!" [156] In contrast to that view, James G. Blaine wrote a few decades later:

Mr. Webster had in his own lifetime seen the thirteen colonies grow into thirty powerful States. He had seen three millions of people, enfeebled and impoverished by a long struggle, increased eightfold in number, surrounded by all the comforts, charms, and securities of life. All this spoke to him of the Union and of its priceless blessings. He now heard its advantages discussed, its perpetuity doubted, its existence threatened. * * * * Mr. Webster felt that a generation had been born who were undervaluing their inheritance, and who might, by temerity, destroy it. Under motives inspired by these surroundings, he spoke for the preservation of the Union. [157]

The debate over Clay's compromise proposal continued into July 1850, when Taylor suddenly and unexpectedly died of an illness. [158]


Free History Studies: Daniel Webster

Now we come to a man who was great as both orator and thinker. Daniel Webster was born on a small farm in New Hampshire in 1782, the same year that his great opponent John C. Calhoun was born in South Carolina. He was a delicate child, so eager to learn that his father, a soldier of the Revolution, determined to send him to college. In 1797 he entered Dartmouth College, then a small, struggling institution, and was graduated four years later.

Like so many young men of the time, Webster taught school, but he also studied law, and in 1805 began to practice in a little village near his home. Soon he removed to Portsmouth, then a flourishing town, and in 1812 was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and was re-elected. During his second term he decided to move to Boston, where there were greater opportunities for a lawyer…. Soon after he removed to Boston the people began to speak of sending him to Congress from Massachusetts in 1822 he was again elected to the House of Representatives, and remained until he was elected to the Senate, in 1827. From that time until his death he was a member of the Senate or else Secretary of State nearly all the time.

[There was a] dissatisfaction of South Carolina over the tariff laws. One of the Senators for South Carolina, Robert Y. Hayne, made a speech in which he said that New England had always been unfair to the South and the West, and that the Union might be broken up if those sections were not better treated. He said also that the Union was simply an agreement between the states and that any state had a right to leave the Union or to refuse to obey unjust laws.

Senator Webster replied in a speech four hours long, in which he defended New England and declared that the Union could not be dissolved. His speech closed with the words: “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” This famous speech, “The Reply to Hayne,” every schoolboy knows.

“Some American Statesmen,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Daniel Webster
Biography from the History Channel.

The Farmer of Marshfield
Interesting biography from the Daniel Webster Estate and Heritage Center.

Daniel Webster geboorteplek
Short brochure from New Hampshire Parks and Recreation that describes his home and home life.

Activities

Activity: Compare & Contrast
Resources for listing the advantages and disadvantages of Ezekiel going to college.

Trading Card Creator
Interactive at ReadWriteThink.org that can be used as an interesting way to summarize what is learned about Daniel Webster.

Boeke

“The Story of Daniel Webster”
Biography by James Baldwin featured in Four Great Americans.

“Daniel Webster”
Chapter from 100 Stories From Our Own History by Lawton B. Evans that relates anecdotes about Daniel and Ezekiel among others.

“Daniel Webster”
A chapter from Builders of Our Country by Gertrude van Duyn Southworth.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Vote for Me! Developing, Writing, and Evaluating Persuasive Speeches
Daniel Webster was a renowned orator. This lesson plan at ReadWriteThink.org aimed at primary-grade students is a start on developing speaking skills.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map
EduPlace.com map for locating New Hampshire.

Daniel Webster Notebooking Pages
Simple pages, including one for each author, for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:

Tagged With: History, Unit Studies
Published: April 29, 2014 · Last Modified: April 29, 2014


Dan'l Webster Inn History

Majestically set in the center of town, The Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa is a modern masterpiece in historic Sandwich Village. Incorporated in 1639, Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and one of the oldest towns in the United States, settled by European immigrants nearly 150 years before the American Revolution.

The Inn on this site has offered Cape Cod lodging in one form or another for more than 300 years. It was originally used as a parsonage for the Reverend Rowland Cotton and his wife, Elizabeth Saltonstall. Later it became home to the Reverend Fessenden who passed away at a young age leaving behind his wife and seven children. The home was then given to his family and a new home was purchased for Reverend Fessenden's successor.

The Fessenden family built an addition onto the home and operated the Cape Cod inn as the Fessenden Tavern from the mid 1700's until the 1800's. The Fessenden Tavern was known as the patriot headquarters during the Revolutionary period. The Newcomb Tavern, which was headquarters for the Tories, still stands on Grove Street, across from the Grist Mill. A short distance down the street, you can explore the old town cemetery, the final resting place for the Fessenden family.

In the early years of taverns, many unusual laws, that would be considered comical by today's standards, existed. For a time, tavern owners were only permitted to serve people from out of town because the town's people did not want any of the locals to be tempted by the evils of alcohol. Additionally, innkeepers were required to keep the tavern windows uncovered so that the town's people could easily see into the establishment to ensure that everyone inside was behaving properly.


Sekretaris van die staat

Four years later, Webster again sought the Whig nomination for president but lost to William Henry Harrison, who won the election of 1840. Harrison appointed Webster as his Secretary of State.

President Harrison died a month after taking office. As he was the first president to die in office, there was a controversy over presidential succession in which Webster participated. John Tyler, Harrison's vice president, asserted that he should become the next president, and the "Tyler Precedent" became accepted practice.

Webster was one of the cabinet officials who disagreed with this decision he felt that the presidential cabinet should share some of the presidential powers. After this controversy, Webster did not get along with Tyler, and he resigned from his post in 1843.


Background of Webster's Speech

In 1850, the United States seemed to be splitting apart. Things seemed to be going well in some regards: the country had concluded the Mexican War, a hero of that war, Zachary Taylor, was in the White House, and newly acquired territories meant the country reached from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The nation's nagging problem, of course, was enslavement. There was a strong sentiment in the North against allowing enslavement to spread to new territories and new states. In the South, that concept was deeply offensive.

The dispute played out in the U.S. Senate. Three legends would be the major players: Henry Clay of Kentucky would represent the West John C. Calhoun of South Carolina represented the South, and Webster of Massachusetts would speak for the North.

In early March, John C. Calhoun, too frail to speak for himself, had a colleague read a speech in which he denounced the North. Webster would respond.


30c. Three Senatorial Giants: Clay, Calhoun and Webster

Henry Clay of Kentucky, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and Daniel Webster of Massachusetts dominated national politics from the end of the War of 1812 until their deaths in the early 1850s. Although none would ever be President, the collective impact they created in Congress was far greater than any President of the era, with the exception of Andrew Jackson. There was one issue that loomed over the nation throughout their time in power &mdash slavery. They were continuously successful in keeping peace in America by forging a series of compromises. The next generation's leaders were not.

The Gold Rush led to the rapid settlement of California which resulted in its imminent admission as the 31st state. Southerners recognized that there were few slaves in California because Mexico had prohibited slavery. Immediate admission would surely mean California would be the 16th free state, giving the non-slave-holding states an edge in the Senate. Already holding the House of Representatives, the free states could then dominate legislation.

Texas was claiming land that was part of New Mexico. As a slave state, any expansion of the boundaries of Texas would be opening new land to slavery. northerners were opposed. The north was also appalled at the ongoing practice of slavery in the nation's capital &mdash a practice the south was not willing to let go. The lines were drawn as the three Senatorial giants took the stage for the last critical time.

Henry Clay had brokered compromises before. When the Congress was divided in 1820 over the issue of slavery in the Louisiana Territory, Clay set forth the Missouri Compromise . When South Carolina nullified the tariff in 1832, Clay saved the day with the Compromise Tariff of 1833 . After 30 years in Congress and three unsuccessful attempts at the Presidency, Clay wanted badly to make good with yet another nation-saving deal. He put forth a set of eight proposals that he hoped would pass muster with his colleagues.


John Calhoun once said of Henry Clay (shown above), "I don't like Clay. He is a bad man, an imposter, a creator of wicked schemes. I wouldn't speak to him, but, by God, I love him!"

John C. Calhoun took to the floor next. Although sick and dying with consumption, he sat sternly in the Senate chamber, as his speech was read. The compromises would betray the south, he claimed. Northerners would have to agree to federal protection of slavery for the south to feel comfortable remaining in the Union. His words foreshadowed the very doom to the Union that would come within the decade.

Daniel Webster spoke three days after Calhoun's speech. With the nation's fate in the balance, he pleaded with northerners to accept southern demands, for the sake of Union. Withdrawing his former support for the Wilmot Proviso, he hoped to persuade enough of his colleagues to move closer to Clay's proposals. Although there was no immediate deal, his words echoed in the minds of the Congressmen as they debated into that hot summer.

By 1852, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster had all passed away. They left a rich legacy behind them. Clay of the West, Calhoun of the South, and Webster of the North loved and served their country greatly. The generation that followed produced no leader that could unite the country without the force of arms.


"Godlike Dan" and "Black Dan"

Whether people hated Webster or admired him--there was little middle ground-- everyone agreed on the majesty of his oratory, the immensity of his intellectual powers, and the primacy of his constitutional knowledge. He was the heroic champion of nationalism and modernization.

Although Webster's diplomatic record was good, his 29 years in Congress produced not one significant piece of legislation. Henry Clay and Stephen A. Douglas were the leaders in legislation, and he never tried to rival them. There is also evidence that Webster took bribes while in public office and sold diplomatic appointments for private gain, both taboos even by 19th standards of probity.

Webster indulged his extravagant tastes (he spent enormous sums on wine, boats, and improvements to his Marshfield estate). A poor money manager, he relied on wealthy friends for indefinite "loans" to sustain his spendthrift lifestyle, a phenomenon that led his enemies to call him "Black Dan." Historians have not found any positions that he adjusted to curry favor with his rich friends, who saw it their duty to see what they considered the greatest man of the era be able to stay in office--they called him "Godlike Dan." "Black Dan" had several mistresses, and drank excessively, but did not dramatically differ from other Senators in these regards.

Webster's "Reply to Hayne" in 1830 was generally regarded as "the most eloquent speech ever delivered in Congress," and was a stock exercise for oratory students for 75 years. [6]

The historic Daniel Webster farm, known as The Elms, located near Franklin, New Hampshire, was also the site of the New Hampshire Home for Orphans during 1871-1959. Threatened by development in 2004-05, the property was saved by last-minute efforts by the Webster Farm Preservation Association working with the Trust for Public Land.


The History

In 1840, Webster was named Secretary of State by President William Henry Harrison and it was in that capacity that he entertained Lord Alexander Ashburton at Marshfield and here they laid the groundwork for the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which in 1842 set the boundary between Maine and Canada. As Secretary of State in 1852 Webster met with the British Minister Lord Compton, in Marshfield, to settle the dispute between the New England Fisheries and England an action he spoke of at Cherry Hill when he delivered his last public speech.

Daniel Webster was the “Farmer of Marshfield” and here he bred cattle, improved the soil and planted many species of trees from all over the world. Many of his trees still stand. The Great Linden Tree under which he was laid in state at the time of his death has been entered into the Book of Champion Trees as the Nation’s largest English Linden. It was Webster who introduced to the local farmers the use of fish and kelp as fertilizer and it was his agricultural causes that inspired the townspeople to organize what would become the Marshfield Fair.

When Webster died in 1852 he was Secretary of State, the only man to serve in that office under three presidents: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Fillmore. He was known as the “Defender of the Constitution”, having tried successfully before the Supreme Court over 150 cases. Many of those cases set precedents that affect our lives to this very day, for example:

1818: The Dartmouth College Case insured forever the independence of allprivate and charitable institutions.

1819: McCullough vs. Maryland defined the limits of State and National power.

1820:

“It is wise for us to recur to the history of our ancestors. Those who do not look upon themselves as a link connecting the Past with the Future, do not perform their duty to the world.”

Daniel Webster, Plymouth, 1820

1824: Gibbon vs. Ogden set the precedents for the establishment of interstate and intrastate commerce which would effect not only the waterways of that era, but later the highways, railroads and airways in our lifetime.

The latter two cases firmly established the Supreme Court as the final interpreter of the Constitution. Webster’s stirring speeches in the Senate in 1830 and 1850 without a doubt postponed the Civil War each time, thus giving the North thirty years to build its industrial strength while the South remained agrarian. This devotion of Webster’s to the concept of “Liberty AND Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!” clearly changed the course of American History and the lives of everyone of us, even to this day.

Closer to Marshfield and its fishing industry, and all the New England Fisheries, Webster obtained, as Secretary of State, perpetual fishing rights off the Canada shores by fighting in 1852 for the continuance of an 1818 treaty which the British were threatening to dissolve. The rights of fishing the Grand Banks were secured for American fishermen by Daniel Webster. Remember that the next time you eat fish.

The original house burned in 1878 and was rebuilt by Webster’s daughter-in-law. On the front facade is the Webster coat of arms. It was to this house that President Chester A. Arthur came to honor Webster in 1882, the centennial of his birth. Many dignitaries have visited this place including Calvin Coolidge, governors, senators, and just plain folks who know Webster for the great patriot that he was.

The fact that the original house is gone makes no difference to the fact that this place, this land has played a significant role in the history of Marshfield and the Nation. Webster chose the Winslow Cemetery for his last resting place.

The Town of Marshfield considered this Thomas-Webster Place important enough to be the focal point of the Town Seal.


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