Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"the interference would be a gross wrong, which we, of right, might arm, and act to prevent"

"The essential difference between our system and the Allies, of which the President speaks, in the same message, arises from our asserting, and uniformly acting on the principle on which our Government is erected, that every People have the right to regulate their own concerns in their own way: to live under such a Government as they may choose to establish; to change it at their pleasure, whenever a change is necessary to their happiness and prosperity. This principle is true every where; but, in the maintenance of it in Europe, we have but a remote--in the maintenance of it in America, a direct, interest. The law of self-defence requires us to act, whenever any combination of Powers--Asiatic, African, European, or American--interferes with the domestic concerns of the American States. This was all that was rightfully asserted by the message of 1823. The motive of interference does not enter into the question. If the interference was in a crusade against liberty, it was "not dangerous to our peace," but a direct attack upon us. If the crusade began at Patagonia, it would not end at Mexico. If, for the purposes of oppression, to graify ambition, or to sustain the sinking cause of a cruel tyranny, the interference would be a gross wrong, which we, of right, might arm, and act to prevent."--Mr. John Forsyth, April, 17, 1826, [Debates in Congress By United States. Congress, Joseph Gales, William Winston Seaton. Pg. 2821]

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