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

fuarded it from interference on the part of Congress, 'he 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 introduction 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 Gag 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 was a 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 Gag 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 public 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.


Adopted At Chicago, July 10, 1884.

The Democratieparty 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 or 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 theStates, and the supremacy of the federal

f;overnment within the limits of the Constitution, will ever orm the true basis of our liberties, and tan never be surrendered without destroying that balance of rights and powers which enables a contineiit 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. Othei 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. Publio 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 reckleas 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 187G, 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 whioh 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. Attempting 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 to its demands—the Democratio party is pledged to revise the tariff in a spirit of fairness to all interests.

But in making reduction in taxes it is not proposed to injure any domestic industries, but rather to promote their healthy growth. From the foundation of this government taxes collected at the Custom House have been the chief source of federal revenue. Such they must continue to be. Moreover, many industries have come to rely upon legislation for successful continuance, so that any change of law must be at every step regardful of the labor and capital thus involved. The process of reform must be subject in the execution of this plain dictate of justice.

All taxation shall be limited to the requirements of economical government. The necessary reduction in taxation can, and must, be effected without depriving American labor of the ability to compete successfully nith foreign labor, and without imposing lower rates of duty than will be ample to cover any increased cost of production which may exist in consequence of the higher rate of wages prevailing in this country.

Sufficient revenue to pay all the expenses of the federal, government, economically administered, including pensions, interest and principal of the public debt, can be got under our present system of taxation from Custom House taxes on fewer imported articles, bearing heaviest on articles of luxury, and bearing lightest on articles of necessity.

We therefore denounce the abuses of the existing tariff, and, subject to the preceding limitations, we demand that Federal taxation shall be exclusively for public purposes, and shall not exceed the needs of the government economically administered.

The system of direct taxation known as "internal revenue" is a war tax, and so long as the law continues the money derived therefrom should be sacredly devoted to the relief of the people from the remaining burdens of the war, and be made a fund to defray the expenses of the care and comfort of worthy soldiers disabled in the line of duty in the wars of the Republic, and for the payment of such pensions as Congress may from time to time grant to such soldiers, a like fund for the sailors having been already provided, and any surplus should be paid into the treasury.

We favor an American continental policy based upon more intimate commercial and political relations with the fifteen sister Republics of North, Central and South America, but entangling alliances with none.

We believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss.

Asserting the equality of all men before the law, we hold that it is the duty of the government, in its dealings with the people, to mete out equal and exact justice to all citizens of whatever nativity, race, color or persuasion—religious or political.

We believe in a free ballot and a fair count, and we recall to the memory of the people the noble struggle of the Democrats in the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congresses, by which a re

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