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  • More Gems from Anddrew Jackson 0 comments
    Oct 15, 2010 7:53 AM
    On Standing Armies:
    Neither our situation nor our institutions require or permit the maintenance of a large regular force. History offers too many lessons of the fatal result of such a measure not to warn us against its adoption here. The expense which attends it, the obvious tendency to employ it because it exists and thus to engage in unnecessary wars, and its ultimate danger to public liberty will lead us, I trust, to place our principal dependence for protection upon the great body of the citizens of the Republic. If in asserting rights or in repelling wrongs war should come upon us, our regular force should be increased to an extent proportional to the emergency, and our present small Army is a nucleus around which such force could be formed and embodied. But for the purposes of defense under ordinary circumstances we must rely upon the electors of the country. Those by whom and for whom the Government was instituted and is supported will constitute its protection in the hour of danger as they do its check in the hour of safety.

    --Exert from The State of the Union Address
    --December 4, 1832
    On official fraud:
    I have heretofore pointed out defects in the law for punishing official frauds, especially within the District of Columbia. It has been found almost impossible to bring notorious culprits to punishment, and, according to a decision of the court for this District, a prosecution is barred by a lapse of two years after the fraud has been committed. It may happen again, as it has already happened, that during the whole two years all the evidences of the fraud may be in the possession of the culprit himself. However proper the limitation may be in relation to private citizens, it would seem that it ought not to commence running in favor of public officers until they go out of office.
    --Exert from The State of the Union Address
    --December 4, 1832
    On the proper role of government:
    Limited to a general superintending power to maintain peace at home and abroad, and to prescribe laws on a few subjects of general interest not calculated to restrict human liberty, but to enforce human rights, this Government will find its strength and its glory in the faithful discharge of these plain and simple duties. Relieved by its protecting shield from the fear of war and the apprehension of oppression, the free enterprise of our citizens, aided by the State sovereignties, will work out improvements and ameliorations which can not fail to demonstrate that the great truth that the people can govern themselves is not only realized in our example, but that it is done by a machinery in government so simple and economical as scarcely to be felt. That the Almighty Ruler of the Universe may so direct our deliberations and over-rule our acts as to make us instrumental in securing a result so dear to mankind is my most earnest and sincere prayer.
    --Exert from The State of the Union Address
    --December 4, 1832
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