Saturday, November 11, 2006

Inauguration Of President James Monroe, "to be prepared for any emergency"...

THE PROCEEDINGS OF A SESSION SPECIALLY CALLED OF TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 1817.
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"...My sensibility is increased by a just estimate of the importance of the trust, and of the nature and extent of its duties; with the proper discharge of which, the highest interests of a great and free people are intimately connected...."
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"...On whom has oppression fallen in any quarter of our Union? Who has been deprived of any right of person or property? Who restrained from offering his vows, in the mode which he prefers, to the Divine Author of his being? It is well nown, that all these blessings have been enjoyed in their fullest extent..."
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"...Of the virtue of the people, and of the heroic exploits of the army, the navy, and the militia, I need not speak...."
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"Such, then, is the happy government under which we live; a government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed; a government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may, by his merit, obtain the highest trust recognised by the Constitution; which contains within it no cause of discord; none to put at variance one portion of the community with another; a government which protects every citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights..."
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"...Such, then, being the highly favored Condition of our country, it is the interest of every citizen to maintain it. What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist, they ought to be ascertained and guarded against...."
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"...In explaining my sentiments on this subject, it may be asked, What raised us to the present happy state? How did we accomplish the revolution? How remedy the defects of the first instrument of our Union, by infusing into the national government sufficient power for national purposes, without impairing the just rights of the States, or affecting those of individuals? How sustain, and pass with glory through the late war? The government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, therefore, and to the faithful and able depositaries of their trust, is the credit due. Had the people of the United States been educated in different principles; had they been less intelligent, less independent, or less virtuous, can it be believed that we should have maintained the same steady and consistent career, or been blessed with the same success? While, then, the constituent body retains its present sound and healthful state, every thing will be safe. They will choose competent and faithful representatives for every department. It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt; when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us, by all wise and constitutional measures, promote intelligence among the people, as the best means of preserving our liberties.
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"...We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it, can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen, is national strength. It ought, therefore, to be cherished...."
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"...But it ought always to be held prominently in view, that the safety of these States, and of every thing dear to a free people, must depend, in an eminent degree, on the militia. Invasions may be made too formidable to be resisted by any land and naval force which it would comport either with the principles of our government or the circumstances of the United States to maintain. In such cases, recourse must be had to the great body of the people, and in a manner to produce the best effect. It is of the highest importance, therefore, that they be so organized and trained as to be prepared for any emergency. The arrangement should be such as to put at the command of the government the ardent patriotism and youthful vigor of the country. If formed on equal and just principles, it cannot be oppressive. It is the crisis which makes the pressure--and not the laws, which provide a remedy for it. This arrangement should be formed too in time of peace, to be the better prepared for war. With such an organization of such a people, the United States have nothing to dread from foreign invasion. At its approach, an overwhelming force of gallant men might always be put is motion...."

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Need it be mentioned, that both Mr. Monroe, and Mr. Madison whom was in attendance at this inauguration. Were at he the debates concerning our Constitution, and Bill of Rights?

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