By Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson was president from 1828 to 1836. This address was his final as a politician, delivered on March 4, 1837. Its significance lies in its prophecies. He warned against the expansion of the federal government, the debasement of the currency, the income tax and the perils of foreign intervention. Contrast Jackson’s wisdom with many of the neuters and frauds who occupy Washington today. This address should be read and re-read. It has been moderately edited for length.
We have now lived almost 50 years under the Constitution framed by the sages and patriots of the revolution. The conflicts in which the nations of Europe were engaged during a great part of this period, the spirit in which they waged war against each other, and our intimate commercial connections with every part of the civilized world, rendered it a time of much difficulty for the government of the United States. We have had our seasons of peace and of war, with all the evils which precede or follow a state of hostility with powerful nations. We encountered these trials with our Constitution yet in its infancy, and under the disadvantages which a new and untried government must always feel when it is called upon to put forth its whole strength without the lights of experience to guide it or the weight of precedents to justify its measures. But we have passed triumphantly through all these difficulties. Our Constitution is no longer a doubtful experiment, and at the end of nearly half a century we find that it has preserved unimpaired the liberties of the people, secured the rights of property, and that our country has improved and is flourishing beyond any former example in the history of nations… [Read the entire article as PDF…]