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Little does it become either the British government or our own to complain of Russian intervention. The British government has not ceased, for the last twenty or thirty years, to intervene in the internal affairs of continental states. Blackwood's Magazine for February last, speaking of Lord Palmerston, says very truly: "He supported openly, so far as he could,
-favored covertly when this was impossible,—the cause of revolution all over the world. He aided by the fleets of England the establishment of one revolution in Belgium, by the marines and volunteers another in Spain. He concluded the Quadruple Alliance to force revolutionary queens upon a reluctant people in both kingdoms of the Peninsula. He covertly aided in the spread of liberal ideas in Italy,-openly in supporting the insurgents in Sicily. He took Russia by the beard in the Dardanelles on account of the Hungarian insurgents; and afterwards, for a wretched private dispute at Athens, ranged France by her side,-all but brought on a war with France by the bombardment of Beyrout, and hostilities against Greece; and irritated Austria past forgiveness by the open sympathy expressed for the Hungarian insurgents.” “And in the discussion in the British parliament growing out of inquiries as to the dismissal of Lord Palmerston, it was avowed by Lord John Russell that the policy of the government had been the introduction and support of constitutional government in continental Europe. As for our own government, no man can deny its interference in Mexico in favor of federalism, its open declaration that it would intervene to prevent the reëstablishment of monarchy in that now distracted republic, or its unwarrantable interference in the affairs of European states by its expressed sympathy with the revolutionists, by resolutions of congress, the diplomatic correspondence of the secretary of state, and the official messages of the president. England has been constantly intriguing, and sometimes openly warring, for the establishment of British constitutionalism on the continent, and we have become a nation of democratic propagandists, openly, and even through our government proclaiming all non-popular governments illegal, and virtually all crowned heads tyrants and usurpers, against whom it is lawful for their subjects to conspire when they will; and there is little room to doubt that Mr. Webster and Lord Palmerston contemplated an AngloSaxon alliance for the protection and support of the revolutionary movement of Europe, which is headed by Mazzini,
Ledru-Rollin, Kossuth, and men of like character. Mr. Webster, we can believe, intended on our part no armed intervention, for he seems to have believed that the presence of English and American ships in the Mediterranean, and the united declaration of the two governinents, would so overawe the sovereigns, and so encourage the revolutionists, that nothing more would be necessary. That something like this was in contemplation may be easily inferred from the acts and avowals of the government, and the lachrymose tone of the honorable secretary's letter to Mr. Rives, instructing hiin to maintain his diplomatic relations with Louis Napoleon.
Now, if we have a right to intervene for the spread of democracy, and England for the spread of constitutionalism, and to encourage revolutions for one or the other, neither we nor England can deny the right of Russia to intervene in opposition, and by our intervention we give her at least a very plausible pretext for doing so. The silly pretence that the allied sovereigns propose to intervene against our democracy here at home, is unworthy the least consideration, and no man knows it better than our present secretary of state. Mr. Webster pretends that the allied sovereignis, in their famous Laybach circular, assert principles which deny the legality of our institutions; but we have, in replying to his letter to the Austrian chargé d'affaires, proved that this is not the fact. Mr. Webster is a great man. We have never denied it; we have heard him advance truly conservative doctrines, and develop views which proved him capable of being a statesman of the very first rank; but his mind is comprehensive rather than acute, stronger in grasping certain general conclusions than in the analysis of principles. He has strong sympathies and strong prejudices, and is not incapable of blunders which would be unpardonable in a smaller man. He read the Laybach circular as a democrat, not as a statesman or as a lawyer, and entirely misapprehended its character. We have never been the advocate or the apologist of what has been called the Holy Alliance, but we prefer it to the unholy alliance of the revolutionists. That alliance was rendered recessary against the doctrine of the fraternity, the “ solidarity," of peoples, proclaimed and acted upon by the French Jacobins; but in no document we have seen has it ever proclaimed the right of one nation, of its own motion, to intervene, against the will of the sovereign authority, in the internal affairs of another. That the alliance was intended to maintain the historical rights of nations and sovereigns against modern revolutionism is conceded; but this in the mind of such a man as Mr. Webster should be an argument in its favor, not against it. So eminent a man as Mr. Webster cannot be ignorant that revolutions, even when necessary, are a terrible calamity, and that in Europe, and indeed in all countries, if we except our own, they have uniformly ended in destroying constitutional freedom, and in rendering military despotism more or less indispensable for the maintenance of society. Such were the effects of the movements of the Gracchi, and of the revolutions produced by Marius and Sylla in Rome; such were the effects of the old French revolution, and such throughout Europe are likely to be the effects of the red-republican revolutions of 1848. Louis Napoleon is no tyrant, is no enemy of popular freedom, but he has been forced either to leave France a prey to anarchy or to rule her throngh the army. His constitution is not liberal, is not democratic, but we are much mistaken if it does not give to the people more power than in the present state of opinion is compatible in France with the peace and security of the state. The democratic revolutions and revolutionary ideas have rendered popular freedom impracticable in every European state, and we cannot but regard every man as really an enemy to liberty who sympathizes with them.
For ourselves, to return to Kossuth, we care not how much he is feasted, nor how much money he may induce silly dupes to give him. In himself he is nothing to us but a siinple human being, whom we should be glad to see leaving off his trade of revolution, and settling himself down quietly to the work of making his peace with Heaven. All we regret is, that his progress amongst us keeps alive the sympathy of many of our people with revolutionism, and tends to foster feelings and wishes incompatible with the safety of our own institutions. No people is secure that runs mad after revolutionism, and we shall not feel that our institutions are safe till our people cease to sympathize with revolutionists. We have no solid support for our institutions till our people know that treason is a crime against the state and a sin against God, and that every one who rebels against legal authority, and conspires by force of arms to overthrow it, is a traitor. The revolutionists have destroyed liberty on the continent of Europe, they have involved their respective countries in all but complete ruin, and here, the last
stronghold of political freedom, they will do the same, if not frowned instantly down by our people. We may give them an asylum, for hospitality is a virtue that we would have our nation always practise, but we should do it only on condition of their remaining in private life, and scrupulously abstaining in word and deed from all interference in politics, foreign or domestic. It will not answer to make heroes of them, or to put them forward as our teachers and leaders. Let them live and repent, but live in retirement, without honor or notice, as they deserve. The facts detailed by our author in his account of the revolution in Vienna, fully warrant this severe judgment, and admonish us to look upon all revolutionists, in the modern sense of the term, as the enemies of God and of mankind. We have been wrong and foo in the sympathy we have extended to them; let us correct our error, and hereafter show that we are capable of honoring the cause of freedom and order.
THE CASE OF MARTIN KOSZTA.
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for January, 1851.]
The main facts in the Koszta case, as far as publicly known, may be briefly stated. Koszta, born an Austrian subject, engaged in the late Hungarian rebellion, revolt, or revolution, and on its suppression by the united arms of Austria and Russia, fled across the frontier into Turkey, where at the instance of Austria he was confined with Kossuth and other refugees in the fortress of Kutahia, whence, after some inonths of imprisonment, he was liberated on condition of never setting his foot again on Ottoman territory. After his liberation, he came to this country, where he declared his intention to become a citizen, and where he remained one year and eleven months. Some time last spring he returned to Turkey, and was arrested last June at Smyrna, by the authority of the Austrian consul-general, as an Austrian subject, and conveyed and detained on board an Austrian brig-of-war, the Huszar, then lying in the port. The American authorities at the place protested against his arrest and detention, and demanded his release on the ground that he was an American citizen, or at least under American protection. The Austrian anthorities not judging it proper to comply with this demand, Captain Ingraham, cominanding the American sloop-of-war, the St. Louis, ranged his ship alongside of the Huszar, brought his guns to bear, and threatened to fire upon her if Koszta was not given up before a certain specified time. The matter, however, was arranged for the moment, by placing Koszta in charge of the French consul, who agreed to detain him in his custody till disposed of by the consent of the Austrian and the American governments. He has since been liberated by consent of both parties, on the understanding of coming immediately to this country on board an American vessel.
Of the hostile attack of Captain Ingraham on the Huszar, Austria complains in a letter, dated the 29th of last Angust, addressed to our government by her chargé d'affaires at Washington, and demands reparation for the alleged outrage upon her flag. To this complaint and demand Mr. Secretary Marcy replies, on the part of our government, in a letter of the 26th of September last, denying the right of Austria to complain, and refusing her reparation, on the ground that Koszta, at the time of his arrest, was not an Austrian subject, but was an American citizen, or at least under American protection; that he was illegally seized and thrown into the sea by a band of ruffians, and thence picked up and illegally carried and detained on board the Huszar, whence Captain Ingraham was authorized by the laws of nations and of humanity to demand his release, and to use force if necessary to effect it. Such are the principal facts and points in the case, and it is clear that the main question is made by our government to turn on the nationality of Koszta at the time of his arrest.
That Koszta was born an Austrian subject is not disputed; that he was an Austrian subject down to his release from Kutahia and leaving the Ottoman dominions, must be conceded. He was, therefore, an Austrian subject at the time of his arrest at Smyrna, unless during the interval he had either by some act of his own divested himself, or by some act of Austria been divested, of that character. Mr. Marcy contends that he had been divested of it in both these ways,--that he had renounced his allegiance to Austria, and she had renounced her authority over him, denationalized him, hy banishing and outlawing him.
That he had forfeited the protection of his sovereign