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disasters and disgrace, which it will be impossible to efface. Moved to resolve, "That this House, having taken into consideration the statements that have been made on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, is of opinion that
1. The deplorable failure of the Soudan expedition to attain its object has been due to the undecided councils of the Government and to the culpable delay attending the commencement of operations;
2. That the policy of abandoning the whole of the Sou10 dan after the conclusion of military operations will be dangerous to Egypt and inconsistent with the interests of the Empire."
United States Senate, January 30, 1872.
["The following speech was delivered on a bill for removing the political disabilities imposed by the third section of the Fourteenth 15 Amendment to the Constitution. This section provided that no person should be a senator, representative, or presidential elector, or hold any civil or military office under the United States or any State, who, as a Federal or State officer, had sworn to support the Constitution and had afterward engaged in the Rebellion; but provision was made that the 20 disability could be removed by a two-thirds vote of each House. The bill before Congress at this time did not, however, aim to secure general amnesty, for three classes of persons were excepted from the relief: members who withdrew from Congress and aided the Rebellion; officers, over twenty-one years of age, who left the Army and Navy and aided the Rebellion; and members of State conventions who voted for ordinances of secession. The bill, failing to receive the necessary twothirds vote, was defeated." Modern American Oratory, R. C. Ringwalt, P. 93, H. Holt & Co.]
.1 Reprinted, with the permission of Mr. Schurz, from the Congressional Globe.
MR. PRESIDENT : When this debate commenced before the holidays, I refrained from taking part in it, and from expressing my opinions on some of the provisions of the bill now before us; hoping as I did that the measure could be passed without difficulty, and that a great many of those who now 5 labor under political disabilities would be immediately relieved. This expectation was disappointed. An amendment to the bill was adopted. It will have to go back to the House of Representatives now unless by some parliamentary means we get rid of the amendment, and there being no inducement left 10 to waive what criticism we might feel inclined to bring forward, we may consider the whole question open.
I beg leave to say that I am in favor of general, or, as this word is considered more expressive, universal amnesty, believing, as I do, that the reasons which make it desirable that 15 there should be amnesty granted at all, make it also desirable that the amnesty should be universal. The senator from South Carolina [ Mr. Sawyer] has already given notice that he will move to strike out the exceptions from the operation of this act of relief for which the bill provides. If he had not 20 declared his intention to that effect, I would do so. In any event, whenever he offers his amendment I shall most heartily support it.
In the course of this debate we have listened to some senators, as they conjured up before our eyes once more all 25 the horrors of the Rebellion, the wickedness of its conception, how terrible its incidents were, and how harrowing its consequences. Sir, I admit it all; I will not combat the correctness of the picture; and yet if I differ with the gentlemen who drew it, it is because, had the conception of the Rebellion 30 been still more wicked, had its incidents been still more terrible, its consequences still more harrowing, I could not permit myself to forget that in dealing with the question now before us we have to deal not alone with the past, but with the present and future interests of this republic.
What do we want to accomplish as good citizens and
patriots? Do we mean only to inflict upon the late rebels pain, degradation, mortification, annoyance, for its own sake; to torture their feelings without any ulterior purpose? Certainly such a purpose could not by any possibility animate 5 high-minded men. I presume, therefore, that those who still favor the continuance of some of the disabilities imposed by the Fourteenth Amendment do so because they have some higher object of public usefulness in view, an object of public usefulness sufficient to justify, in their minds at least, the 10 denial of rights to others which we ourselves enjoy.
What can those objects of public usefulness be? Let me assume that, if we differ as to the means to be employed, we are agreed as to the supreme end and aim to be reached. That end and aim of our endeavors can be no other than to 15 secure to all the States the blessings of good and free govern
ment and the highest degree of prosperity and well-being they can attain, and to revive in all citizens of this republic that love for the Union and its institutions, and that inspiring consciousness of a common nationality, which, after all, must 20 bind all Americans together.
What are the best means for the attainment of that end? This, sir, as I conceive it, is the only legitimate question we have to decide. Certainly all will agree that this end is far from having been attained so far. Look at the Southern 25 States as they stand before us to-day. Some are in a condition bordering upon anarchy, not only on account of the social disorders which are occurring there, or the inefficiency of their local governments in securing the enforcement of the laws; but you will find in many of them fearful corruption 30 pervading the whole political organization; a combination of rascality and ignorance wielding official power; their finances deranged by profligate practices; their credit ruined; bankruptcy staring them in the face; their industries staggering under a fearful load of taxation; their property-holders and 35 capitalists paralyzed by a feeling of insecurity and distrust almost amounting to despair. Sir, let us not try to disguise
these facts, for the world knows them to be so, and knows it but too well.
What are the causes that have contributed to bring about this distressing condition? I admit that great civil wars, resulting in such vast social transformations as the sudden abolition of slavery, are calculated to produce similar results ; but it might be presumed that a recuperative power such as this country possesses might, during the time which has elapsed since the close of the War, at least have very materially alleviated many of the consequences of that revulsion, 10 had a wise policy been followed.
Was the policy we followed wise? Was it calculated to promote the great purposes we are endeavoring to serve? Let us see. At the close of the War we had to establish and secure free labor and the rights of the emancipated class. 15 To that end we had to disarm those who could have prevented this, and we had to give the power of self-protection to those who needed it. For this reason temporary restrictions were imposed upon the late rebels, and we gave the right of suffrage to the colored people. Until the latter were enabled 20 to protect themselves, political disabilities even more extensive than those which now exist rested upon the plea of eminent political necessity. I would be the last man to conceal that I thought so then, and I think there was very good reason for it.
But, sir, when the enfranchisement of the colored people was secured; when they had obtained the political means to protect themselves, then another problem began to loom up. It was not only to find new guarantees for the rights of the colored people, but it was to secure good and honest govern- 30 ment to all. Let us not underestimate the importance of that problem, for in a great measure it includes the solution of the other. Certainly nothing could have been more calculated to remove the prevailing discontent concerning the changes that had taken place, and to reconcile men's minds 35 to the new order of things, than the tangible proof that the
new order of things was practically working well; that it could produce a wise and economical administration of public affairs, and that it would promote general prosperity, thus healing the wounds of the past and opening to all the pros5 pect of a future of material well-being and contentment. And, on the other hand, nothing could have been more calculated to impede a general, hearty, and honest acceptance of the new order of things by the late rebel population than just those failures of public administration which involve the Io people in material embarrassments and so seriously disturb their comfort. In fact, good, honest, and successful government in the Southern States would in its moral effects, in the long run, have exerted a far more beneficial influence than all your penal legislation, while your penal legislation will 15 fail in its desired effects if we fail in establishing in the Southern States an honest and successful administration of the public business.
Now, what happened in the South? It is a well-known fact that the more intelligent classes of Southern society almost 20 uniformly identified themselves with the Rebellion; and by our system of political disabilities just those classes were excluded from the management of political affairs. That they could not be trusted with the business of introducing into living practice the results of the War, to establish true free 25 labor, and to protect the rights of the emancipated slaves, is true; I willingly admit it. But when those results and rights were constitutionally secured there were other things to be done. Just at that period when the Southern States lay prostrated and exhausted at our feet, when the destructive 30 besom of war had swept over them and left nothing but desolation and ruin in its track, when their material interests were to be built up again with care and foresight - just then the public business demanded, more than ordinarily, the cooperation of all the intelligence and all the political experi35 ence that could be mustered in the Southern States. But just then a large portion of that intelligence and experience