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ercised in virtue of and accordance with legal forms, and they make it high treason to rebel against the state, or to levy war against its sovereign anthority. Under our political system, the people are the motive force, but not the governing power, and are, theoretically, neither the government nor the source of its rights. The constitution and laws are above them. Suffrage is not with is a natural right, an incident of one's manhood, but a public trust conferred by law, and capable of being extended or contracted by municipal regulation.
But American politicians generally, not of one party only, for in this respect Whigs and Democrats do not essentially differ, have of late years overlooked this important fact, and, corrupted by French Jacobins, and English and Scotch radicals, have sought to give to our institutions a democratic interpretation in the modern sense of the word. They cease to hold the laws sacred, and the constitution inviolable, and nothing is for them sacred or obligatory, but the arbitrary and irresponsible will of the multitude. According to them, the will of the people overrides constitutions and laws, and is the only anthority to be consulted by the statesman, and they are well-nigh prepared to say, by the moralist and the divine. He must be an obtuse dialectician indeed, who fails to perceive, when his attention is called to the point, that it is a necessary corollary from a democracy of this sort, that the people, or any number of persons calling themselves the people, have the right to rebel against the state when they choose, and change its constitution as they please. This doctrine, of course, strikes at all legality, all legitimacy, abrogates all law, municipal or international, renders loyalty an unmeaning word, and leaves the people, theoretically at least, in a state of pure anarchy and lawlessness. It denies all government by denying to government all sacredness and inviolability, and leaves us free to follow our own instincts, passions, lusts, and supposed interests, without regard to municipal law, the laws of nations, or the obligations of treaties. Our error lies in our adhesion to the fundamental principles of this false democracy, a democracy of foreign, not of native growth, and as anti-American as it is anti-national and anti-social. It is the prevalence of this false democracy amongst us that has in some measure blinded us, and rendered the mass of our people apathetic to the reprehensible character of the recent conduct of a portion of our citizens towards Spain, Mexico, and even Great Britain.
It, of course, will be easy for our demagogues and our radical press to call us hard names for these remarks, to denounce iis as the enemy of free institutions and the friend of tyrants and aristocrats, and to drown the voice of truth and justice by senseless shouts of “Popular Sovereignty," “ The Rights of Man," "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," or other popular watchwords which have convulsed the nations of the Old World, consecrated rebellion, and instituted the worship of the dagger; but it will nevertheless remain still true, that a large portion of the American people have lost sight of the principles of their own institutions, and embraced principles which they cannot avow and act on without deserving to be placed outside of the pale of civilized nations, and which, if continued to be held and acted on, must in the end sink us to the level of the Asiatic Malays. There is no use in seeking to deceive ourselves. There is a spirit abroad among us, working in the very heart of our population, that, unless speedily exorcised, inust ultimately, if our power continues to increase at its present ratio, make us the deadliest foe of Christian civilization that has arisen since Attila the Hun, and the early Saracenic and Turkish successors of the Arabian impostor.
It cannot be denied, and should not be disguised, that we are fast adopting the principles, and following in the footsteps, of the old French Jacobins. We are preparing to enter, and would that we could say we had not entered, upon a career of Jacobinical propagandism and territorial acquisition. Other nations see this, and therefore see in ns the future disturbers of the peace of the world. Hence, while they admire our industrial activity, our enterprise and energy in the material order, they detest our principles, and hold our national character in low esteem. It is idle for us to cherish the delusion, that the estimation in which the nations of the Old World hold us is owing to our republicanism and free institutions. It is no such thing. It is because they see in us, as a nation, no loyalty, no high moral aims, no lofty principles of religion and virtue, but a low, grovelling attachment to the world, the deitication of material interests, and the worship of the “alınighty dollar.” It is because they see us becoming deinocratic propagandists, and sympathizers with the rebels against legitimate author. ity, the peace and order of society, wherever we find them, and ready to decree an ovation to every popular iniscreant, who, after having lighted the flames of rebellion and civil war in his own country, flies hither to save his neck from the halter it so richly merits. It is because we respect not the rights of sovereignty, the independence of nations, or the faith of treaties, and have proved ourselves capable of stirring up the citizens of a state with which we are at peace to a rebellion against its sovereign authority, for the sake of stripping it, through them, of a portion of its territory, and incorporating it into the Union.
Unhappily for our reputation, the recent military expedition against Cuba is not an isolated fact or an anomaly in our brief national history. It stands connected with our act of robbing Mexico of Texas, and annexing it to the Union. Texas was a Mexican province chiefly settled by American emigrants, who by settling it became Mexican citizens and subjects. These Americo-Mexicans, in concert with our citizens, and, it is said, with persons in high official station under our government, rebelled against the Mexican authorities, and by means of volunteers, money, arms, and munitions of war from the states, succeeded in achieving independence. As soon as this was achieved, or assumed to be achieved, the republic of Texas applied to our government for admission into the American confederacy. Her application was indeed rejected by Mr. Van Buren, who was then president of the United States, and whose management of our foreign relations, little as we esteem that gentleman, we are bound to say, was creditable to himself and to his country; but it was renewed and accepted under his successor, and in 1845 Texas became one of the United States, and sent, as one of her representatives in the American senate, the very man who is said to have concerted with President Jackson and others the robbery, and who certainly was the chief to whom its execution was intrusted. Here was a great national crime, not yet expiated; and here was set a precedent not a little hostile to the nations that have territory contiguous to ours.
We acknowledge personally, with shame and regret, that, though opposed to the revolt of Texas from Mexico, and to the aid which she received from this country by the connivance of the government, we were, after her independence was an acknowledged fact, among those who, for certain political reasons, of less weight than we were led to believe, advocated her annexation to the Union. It is true, we repudiated the principles on which she and our countryinen defended her conduct, and we songht to make out a case of legality in her favor; but, nevertheless we were wrong, and are heartily sorry for what we did, and our only consolation is that we were too insignificant to have had any influence on the result, one way or the other. But be this as it may, the recent expeditions for revolutionizing and annexing Cuba are historically connected with this great national crime. No sooner had Texas been annexed than the
for annexation seemed to have become universal. Mr. Yulee, the Jew-senator from Florida, immediately brought forward in the senate a proposition for the acquisition of Cuba. Mr. Dallas, vice-president of the United States, in the same year, 1845, gave, at a public dinner, the annexation of Cuba, as a toast, and in 1847 wrote a letter in favor of the appropriation of that island, as essential to his plans for the aggrandizement of the Union. Early in 1845 the press began to advocate the annexation of Calfornia, another province of Mexico, and it should be remembered that Colonel Fremont, an officer of the United States arıny, before he had learned that war existed between us and the Mexican repnblic, actually, by the aid of American residents, got up a revolution in that province, and declared it independent of the Mexican authorities. Here the game of Texas was begun to be played over again, and it is not insignificant that this same Colonel Fremont is sent to represent California in the federal senate, now that she is admitted as a state into the Union. There can be no reasonable doubt, that both California and New Mexico would have been annexed to the Union à la Texas, if the war with the Mexican republic had not given us an opportunity of acquiring them in a more honorable manner, that is, openly by the sword. It was, as the papers said, “manifest destiny,” and it is a prevailing belief among our politicians that the annexation of the whole of Mexico, and even of Central America, is only a question of time. The fever of annexation broke out even on our northern frontier, and if Great Britain had not appeared to us to be a more formidable power than Spain or Mexico, the Canadian annexationists and red-republicans would have received all the aid they needed to sever their connection with the British empire, and to become incorporated with the United States. A war with Great Britain was not deemed prudent for the moment, and the annexation of Canada is, for the present, postponed. Pirate does not fight pirate, or even inan-of-war, if the encounter can be avoided.
Now, in judging the bearing on our national character of the recent expedition of our citizens against Cuba, which
it is well known both our people and our government are extremely ansions to possess, these facts must be taken into the account; and they show that it is not an isolated act, but one of a series of acts of like character, and of acts, too, which have received, at least in the case of Texas, even the sanction of the federal government. What our citizens had done in the case of Texas and California, what was to prevent them from doing in the case of Cuba? and if the government connived at their conduct, and finally sanctioned it in the instance of fraudulently appropriating a province of Mexico, why should it not do the same in the instance of fraudulently appropriating a province of Spain? Viewed in the light of our previons conduct, the expedition to Cuba ceases to be merely the act of the adventurer Lopez and a few nameless and lawless individuals, the spawn of New York and New Orleans, Washington and Cincinnati, wlio were induced to engage in it, and becomes in some sort an act for which the Ainerican people themselves are responsible, and other nations at least will, and have the right to, so regard it. The proposed Cuban republic, provisionally organized, had its juntas, clubs, or agents in our principal cities; the forces raised were chiefly our own citizens, under officers who had served under our flag in Mexico; the regiments were numbered and named after individual states, as if they had been United States troops; and the papers, -no bad index to public sentiment, --in announcing the killed and wounded in the attack on Cardenas, nsed the very terms they would have used if they had in fact been so. It is not unfair, then, to assume that the people of this country did to a great extent actually sympathize with that expedition ; that they were so desirous of acquiring Cuba, and so indifferent as to the means, that their moral sense took no alarm at acquiring it in the manper we had acquired Texas; and that, if they regarded the proceedings as somewhat irregular, they yet were extremely apathetic to their moral turpitude. If, as no doubt was the fact, they were for the most part unprepared to take any very active part in furthering the nefarious proceedings, it is clear that they were not unwilling that they should go on and succeed. The expedition, if successful, would give us Cuba, the key to the Gulf of Mexico, open to us the final annexation of all the West Indies, liberate Cuba from the dark despotisin of Spain, perhaps from the darker despotism of Roine, and introduce the oppressed