The Dangers of Consolidation

Robert Young Hayne of South Carolina
Senate, January 19 1830

I distrust the policy of creating a great permanent national treasury, whether to be derived from public lands or from any other source. If I had, sir, the power of a magician, and could, by a wave of my hand, convert this Capitol into gold for such a purpose, I would not do it. If I could, by a mere act of my will, put at the disposal of the Federal Government any amount of treasure which I might think proper to name, I should limit the amount to the means necessary for the legitimate purposes of the Government. Sir, an immense national treasury would be a fund for corruption. It would enable Congress and the Executive to exercise a control over States, as well as over great interests in the country, nay, even over corporations and individuals - utterly destructive to the purity and fatal to the duration of our institutions. It would be equally fatal to the sovereignty and independence of the States.

Sir, I am one of those who believe that the very life of our system is the independence of the States, and that there is no evil more to be deprecated than the consolidation of the Government. It is only by a strict adherence to the limitations imposed by the Constitution on the Federal Government that this system works well and can answer the great ends for which it was instituted. I am opposed, therefore, in any shape, to all unneccessary extension of the powers or the influence of the legislature or Executive of the Union over the States or the people of the States; and most of all, I am opposed to those partial distributions of favors, whether by legislation or appropriation, which have a direct and powerful tendency to spread corruption through the land; to create an abject spirit of dependence; to sow the seeds of dissolution; to produce jealousy among the different portions of the Union, and finally to sap the very foundations of the Government itself.


Great Debates in American History, Volume Five, page 38
Current Literature Publishing Company, New York, 1913