52
EULOGY ON

by a combination with the banking interest, which controlled the currency, and thereby had the mastery of the commercial interest, and connecting itself with the struggles for political ascendancy, there appeared to be no limit to its dangerous progress. It was from the hand of Mr. CALHOUN that this system and its combinations received their death blow. It was he who aroused public attention to its enormities, and with an admirable power of analysis--a patience and toil which a sense of duty to his country alone enabled him to exert placed before the people the abuses, the injustice and the consequences of the system in all its complicated effects. The subject began to be understood; it attracted the attention of the enlightened and reflecting to its obvious results, and the consequence was a decided change in public opinion against the extremes to which the system had been pushed. More reasonable counsels prevailed, and public opinion has been since verging to the opposite extreme, and has settled down in favor of the liberal policy of 1846.

The financial policy of the Government, dependent on the receipt and expenditure of the public revenue, was a subject of still greater moment, as it regulated the currency and consequently the nominal value of every species of property. The banking system was one of those inheritances we received from the mother country, and the benefits of the intimate connection and dependence of the operations of the Government upon it were taken upon trust, and viewed as a matter of political necessity. At the time of the suspension of specie payments, when the evils and dangers of the connection were disclosed, an attempt was made to separate the affairs of the Government from all connection with banks. The attempt after a violent struggle resulted in the establishment of the Independent Treasury system, which has fully answered all the purposes of Government. At that time the subject was little understood in this country and in England. The most gross errors of opinion prevailed among enlightened men concerning the necessity and policy of the prevailing system. Mr. CALHOUN--far, very far in advance of public opinion, took his stand against it, and with a foresight and sagacity almost unequalled, demonstrated the necessity of the divorce of the State and banks, under the fatal consequences of which the country was then suffering, and ex-


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