WS>>What Changed?

carl william spitzer iv cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Sun Oct 15 21:39:59 MDT 2000

        From: "M.A.  Johnson" <michaelj at>

          Democratic Platform of 1840

      1.  Resolved, That the federal government is one of limited
          powers,  derived solely from the constitution, and  the
          grants  of  power shown therein, ought to  be  strictly
          construed  by  all the departments and  agents  of  the
          government, and that it is inexpedient and dangerous to
          exercise doubtful constitutional powers.

      2.  Resolved,  That the constitution does not  confer  upon
          the general government the power to commence and  carry
          on, a general system of internal improvements.

      3.  Resolved, That the constitution does not confer author-
          ity upon the federal government, directly or  indirect-
          ly,  to  assume the debts of the several  states,  con-
          tracted for local internal improvements, or other state
          purposes; nor would such assumption be just or  expedi-

      4.  Resolved,  That  justice and sound  policy  forbid  the
          federal government to foster one branch of industry  to
          the  detriment of another, or to cherish the  interests
          of one portion to the injury of another portion of  our
          common country -- that every citizen and every  section
          of  the country, has a right to demand and insist  upon
          an  equality of rights and privileges, and to  complete
          and ample protection of person and property from domes-
          tic violence, or foreign aggression.

      5.  Resolved,  That it is the duty of every branch  of  the
          government,  to  enforce and practice  the  most  rigid
          economy, in conducting our public affairs, and that  no
          more  revenue ought to be raised, than is  required  to
          defray the necessary expenses of the government.

      6.  Resolved,  That  congress  has no power  to  charter  a
          national bank; that we believe such an institution  one
          of deadly hostility to the best interests of the  coun-
          try,  dangerous to our republican institutions and  the
          liberties  of the people, and calculated to  place  the
          business  of the country within the control of  a  con-
          centrated money power, and above the laws and the  will
          of the people.

      7.  Resolved, That congress has no power, under the consti-
          tution,  to  interfere  with or  control  the  domestic
          institutions  of  the  several states,  and  that  such
          states  are  the sole and proper judges  of  everything
          appertaining  to their own affairs, not  prohibited  by
          the constitution; that all efforts by 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  counte-
          nanced by any friend to our political institutions.

      8.  Resolved,  That  the separation of the  moneys  of  the
          government from banking institutions, is  indispensable
          for the safety of the funds of the government, and  the
          rights of the people.

      9.  Resolved,  That  the  liberal  principles  embodied  by
          Jefferson  in  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  and
          sanctioned  in the constitution, which makes  ours  the
          land  of  liberty, and the asylum of the  oppressed  of
          every nation, have ever been cardinal principles in the
          democratic  faith;  and every attempt  to  abridge  the
          present privilege of becoming citizens, and the  owners
          of  soil among us, ought to be resisted with  the  same
          spirit which swept the alien and sedition laws from our

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