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Daniel Webster

Against Universal Manhood Suffrage (1820)

  • Daniel Webster

  • Against Universal Manhood Suffrage (1820)

  • Property should have its weight and influence in political arrangement. “…power naturally and necessarily follows property.He maintains that a government founded on property is legitimately founded; and that a government founded on the disregard of property is founded in injustice, and can only be maintained by military force….” “It seems to me to be plain, that, in the absence of military force, political power naturally and necessarily goes into the hands which hold the property. In my judgment, therefore, a republican form of government rest, not more on political constitutions, than on those laws which regulate the descent and transmission of property.”

  • If the nature of our institutions be to found government on property, and that it should look to those who hold property for its protection, it is entirely just that property should have its due weight and consideration in political arrangements. Life and personal liberty are no doubt to be protected by law; but property is also to be protected by law, and is the fund out of which the means for protecting life and liberty are usually furnished. We have no experience that teaches us that any other rights are safe where property is not safe. Confiscation and plunder are generally, in revolutionary commotions, not far before banishment, imprisonment, and death.”

  • Property should be given representation in the Senate because it is just and also because it provides that check which the constitution and the legislature requires.”