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without success, though the government had virtually acknowledged their justice. At this time they were owned by Americans, who, fearing that their claims would be hopeless if the territory should be transferred to Chili, sought the aid of our government to prevent Chili from acquiring the territory; it is asserted that the diplomacy of Blaine, Secretary of State at the time, was exerted in favor of this scheme, by reason of which fact he is sometimes referred to as the “guano statesman,” and his foreign plans as a “guano policy.” Our Minister to Peru, General Stephen A. Hurlbut, seems to have threatened the displeasure of the United States should Chili insist on the cession. This was unwarranted, even by Blaine's instructions, and of course unjustified by the rules of international comity in a war with which we had nothing to do. When, however, Chili arrested Calderon, the President of that one of the two conflicting governments in Peru which we had recognized, President Arthur in December, 1881, sent a special envoy, William H. Trescott, of South Carolina, accompanied by Walker Blaine, son of the Secretary of State, to the scene of the difficulties. Blaine's instructions to Trescott implied that the administration felt some reason to suppose that Chili had intentionally offended us by the arrest of Calderon, and that we had determined to assume a severer tone with Chili. About this time Frelinghuysen succeeded Blaine. He revoked part of Blaine’s instructions to Trescott and ordered a more pacific course, and Trescott was soon recalled. Chili subsequently secured the coveted territory. It is asserted by some that government officials were interested in the guano claims and secured the following of a policy, so long as Blaine was Secretary, that must soon have plunged us into a war with Chili, had not a more pacific tone been adopted and our interference with Chili been brought to an end.
Pet Banks.-A name applied to the State banks in which United States funds were deposited by President Jackson after he had removed these funds from the United States Bank.
Petition of Right.—The arbitrary course of action of Charles I., of England, led Parliament in 1628 to draw up a "petition of right,” which demanded that the king should not levy taxes without the consent of Parliament, nor try the people by court martial, nor imprison any one without due process of law. Charles agreed to it, and the liberties which had been secured to Englishmen by Magna Charta were thus confirmed and enlarged. The Petition of Right is one of the steps by which English-speaking people secured their protection from tyrannical acts of the government. (See Magna Charta; Bill of Rights.)
Petition, Right of. The right of petition is a right antedating the Constitution. It is embodied in Magna Charta, and again in the English Bill of Rights. It was a part of the common law in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. The First Amendment to that instrument created no new right by providing that “ Congress shall make no law. abridging
the right of the people peaceably to assemble
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
It simply declared an old right, and guarded it from interference on the part of Congress. The power to protect the right was not taken from the States. That
power had resided in them, and it was left in their hands. Citizens must look to the State governments for its enforcement. But the right is implied in the idea of a republican government, and is Therefore guaranteed by the national government (Constitution, Article 4, section 4). Minnesota, Virginia and West Virginia are the only States whose Constitutions make no mention of the right. A petitioner is not guilty of libel on account of the facts recited in his petition, even if these be false, unless malice is proven. Before December 12, 1853, all petitions to the House of Representatives were presented in the House, and the
ntroduction of petitions relating to the abolition of slavery led to heated debates, and between 1836 and 1844 to rules that practically nullified the right. (See Gay Laws.) On the above date the rules were modified
so that now petitions are endorsed with the name of the member presenting them and the committee to which they are to be referred; they are sent to the clerk, who enters them in full on the journal and transmits them to the proper committee; they appear in the Congressional Record.
Pewter Muggers was a name given to a faction of the Democratic party in New York City about 1828, in which year, with the help of the Adams men (the administration party) and the anti-Masons, they defeated the Tammany candidates for several important offices. The name originated from the resort in Frankfort Street which the leaders of the faction patronized extensively.
Pierce, Franklin, was born at Hillsborough, New Hampshire, November 23, 1804, and died at Concord, New Hampshire, October 8, 1869. He was a lawyer and a graduate of Bowdoin. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of the State Legislature from 1829 to 1833, and a Congressman from 1833 to 1837. From 1837 to 1842 he
Senator. During the Mexican War he held a commission as major-general and saw some active service. In 1852 he was elected President. The principal events of his administration were the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, the Gadsden Purchase and the exploits of filibusters. He retired to private life at the expiration of his term. He was an anti-war Democrat during the Civil War.
Pinckney's Resolutions. (See Gay Laws.)
Pivotal State.-Any State upon the result of whose vote an election depends (the votes of the other States being so equally divided) is called a pivotal state. The title has been more particularly earned by New York, which in every presidential election, in any way doubtful. has been carried by but small pluralities or majorities. Thus in 1884 a different result in New York would have meant a different result in the election of President, and the successful party carried New York by but 1,047 plurality, in a total of 1,150,000.
Platforms, Party.-The platform of a political party is the públic declaration of the principles that the
party represents. Below are given the national platforms adopted in 1884 by the principal parties. For the platforms of 1888, see Appendix.
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM.
ADOPTED AT CHICAGO, JULY 10, 1884. The Democratic party of the Union, through its representatives in National Convention assembled, recognizes that as the nation grows older new issues are born of time and progress, and old issues perish. But the fundamental principles of the Democracy, approved by the united voice of the people, remain, and will ever remain, as the best and only security for the continuance of free government. The preservation of personal rights, the equality of all citizens before the law, the reserved rights of the States, and the supremacy of the federal government within the limits of the Constitution, will ever form the true basis of our liberties, and can never be surrendered without destroying that balance of rights and powers which enables a continent to be developed in peace, and social order to be maintained by means of local self-government.
But it is indispensable for the practical application and enforcement of these fundamental principles that the government should not always be controlled by one political party. Frequent change of administration is as necessary as constant recurrence to popular will. Other wise abuses grow, and the government, instead of being carried on for the general welfare, becomes an instrumentality for imposing heavy burdens on the many who are governed, for the benefit of the few who govern. Public servants thus become arbitrary rulers.
This is now the condition of the country. Hence a change is demanded. The Republican party, so far as principle is concerned, is a reminiscence; in practice, it is an organization for enriching those who control its machinery. The frauds and jobbery which have been brought to light in every department of the government are sufficient to have called for reform within the Republican party; yet those in authority, made reckless by the long possession of power, have succumbed to its corrupting influence, and have placed in nomination a ticket against which the independent portion of the party are in open revolt.
Therefore a change is demanded. Such a change was alike necessary in 1870, but the will of the people was then defeated by a fraud which can never be forgotten nor condoned. Again, in 1880, the change demanded by the people was defeated by the lavish use of money contributed by unscrupulous contractors and shameless jobbers, who had bargained for unlawful profits or for high office.
The Republican party, during its legal, its stolen and its bought tenures of power, has speedily decayed in moral character and political capacity. Its platform promises are now a list of its past failures.
It demands the restoration of our navy. It has squandered hundreds of millions to create a navy that does not exist.
It calls upon Congress to remove the burdens under which American shipping has been depressed. It imposed and has continued those burdens.
It professes the policy of reserving the public lands for small holdings by actual settlers. It has given away the people's heritage till now a few railroads and non-resident aliens, individual and corporate, possess a larger area than that of all our farms between the two seas.
It professes a preference for free institutions. It organized and tried to legalize a control of State elections by federal troops.
It professes a desire to elevate labor. It has subjected American workingmen to the competition of convict and imported contract labor.
It professes gratitude to all who were disabled or died in the war, leaving widows and orphans. It left to a Democratic House of Representatives the first effort to equalize both bounties and pensions.
It proffers a pledge to correct the irregularities of our tariff. It created and has continued them. Its own Tariff Commission confessed the need of more than twenty per cent. reduction. Its Congress gave a reduction of less than four per cent.
It professes the protection of American manufactures. It has subjected them to an increasing flood of manufactured goods and a hopeless competition with manufacturing nations, not one of which taxes raw materials.
It professes to protect all American industries. It has impoverished many to subsidize a few.
It professes the protection of American labor. It has depleted the returns of American agriculture-an industry followed by half our people.
It professes the equality of all men before the law. Attempt. ing to fix the status of colored citizens, the acts of its Congress were overset by the decisions of its courts.
It “accepts anew the duty of leading in the work of progress and reform. Its caught criminals are permitted to escape through contrived delays of actual connivance in the prosecution. Honey-combed with corruption, outbreaking exposures no longer shock its moral sense. Its honest members, its independent journals no longer maintain a successful contest for authority in its counsels, or a veto upon bad nominations.
That change is necessary is proved by an existing surplus of more than $100,000,000, which has yearly been collected from a suffering people. Unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation. We denounce the Republican party for having failed to relieve the people from crushing war taxes which have paralyzed business, crippled industry and deprived labor of employment and of just reward.
The Democracy pledges itself to purify the administration from corruption, to restore economy, to revive respect for law, and to reduce taxation to the lowest limit consistent with due regard to the preservation of the faith of the nation to its creditors and pensioners.
Knowing full well, however, that legislation affecting the occupations of the people should be cautious and conservative in method-not in advance of public opinion, but responsive