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upon the current of thought and opinion would have been felt through the whole extent and life of the Empire. No memories of general proscriptions and sweeping confiscations would have clung to the new-founded dynasty; no gaps made by violent death would have reminded every influential family of the ordeal through which it had passed; no patrimonial estate, enjoyed by some imperial favorite, would have been a constant suggestion to every ancient proprietor of the diminution made in his fortunes.
The reality was far different. The classes which would have done so much towards elevating and refining the tone of society were swept away. The people, worn out by the commotions of two generations, only longed for quiet, and were willing to accept any government which gave them peace. The habits of thought, the opinions and passions, which were the legitimate result of familiarity with scenes of slaughter and devastation, heightened as they were by the absence of that softening influence which a more generous culture would have added, stamped a character upon society which it never entirely shook off, and which thus proved how great an evil had been inflicted on the state by the substitution of Octavius for Julius as the first Roman Emperor.
While Cæsar would probably have pursued a policy in a measure conservative, and would have strengthened the foundations, and added grace to the superstructure, of the political fabric he was raising, by working into it choice material which was afterwards rejected, in some respects he was more radical than the actual founder of the Empire. Octavius was timid by nature, and his statesmanship bore the impress of his personal character. At the very outset of his public carcer, amid the general confusion and the conflict of interests which followed the murder of the Dictator, with Antonius on the one side, and the Senatorial faction on the other, as rivals who sought to crush him as an upstart, he had resolved to gather all power into his own hands; but in the accomplishment of his design he proceeded by cautious and halting steps. Driven by the necessities of his position to consent to proscriptions which Julius had avoided, he yet lacked the nerve to announce his real purposes, and to expose his policy of reconstructing the
state. Even to the last he strove to cover up the fact of his absolute dominion under the semblance of institutions familiar to the days of the Republic. He shrunk from assuming the title of King, for that name was traditionally hateful. He was Imperator, in virtue of his command of the armies of the Commonwealth. He cloaked his supreme civil authority under the guise of the consular and the tribunitian powers, and thus united in his own person those jurisdictions which belonged to the highest magistracies of the old constitution. The legis lative function that attribute which subsequently cast such lustre upon the office of Roman Emperor, elevating it immeasurably above all the monarchies of modern times, rendering it not merely in theory but in fact the single source of law and justice to a nation which the imperial writers fondly described as including the world he never openly exercised. He retained the Senate, ostentatiously submitting to them all matters of public welfare, and treating them as still the national legislature, although he contrived that their decrees should simply be the echoes of his own will. Under such a complete change of circumstances, he attempted to revive the habits of thought and to return to the customs of a former age. The old nobility, which had been swept away during the civil wars, and in whose extermination he had so materially assisted, was replaced by a new race of men suddenly elevated to dignity, whom he required to adopt the ideas and manners of the republican aristocracy. While he was in all things but the name an absolute monarch, he surrounded himself with many of the appearances of a liberal government, and endeavored by empty shows to impose upon the people, to whom he granted no political rights. That this policy was short-sighted, the subsequent history of the Empire demonstrates; it served to give him present security, but only postponed the dangers which it could not remove. Through a protracted and fearful agony, a new birth had come to the state; old things had passed away; and these attempts to preserve or restore the cast-off institutions simply turned the current of national progress away from its direct course. It needed a ruler of a different intellectual and moral nature from Octavius to guide the forces which were then at work in consolidating the Roman Empire, so as to secure
the utmost freedom of development towards perfection. Augustus repressed and deadened the organic life of society and the individual life of the citizens; Julius would have quickened and stimulated both. The Emperor produced a peace, but it was one of indifference and timidity, not of calm and strong repose. The Dictator would have aroused to action, and the energy of his creative genius would have pulsated to the last bounds of the mighty Empire. Octavius had no confidence in his subjects, and was engrossed in expedients to strengthen his own dominion and secure the succession to his family; Cæsar would have been restrained by no fears of the people, or doubts of the permanency of his position. He would have accepted the lessons of the past, and, with the self-reliance of true greatness, would have carried out his measures of reorganization until the work was accomplished, and the new Commonwealth stood forth in the complete triumph of those ideas which had been struggling for supremacy through long centuries of conflict. The ancient institutions would have been abandoned, but the true Roman spirit would have been preserved and directed into new channels.
The Empire was a necessity, resulting both from the internal condition of the state, and from the grand movements of Providence in unfolding the truth, hitherto unrecognized, of the universal brotherhood of mankind. The events in the history of the Commonwealth all pointed to this consummation. This was the period of transition from the ancient to the modern civilization. The ideas of distinctive nationalism, of separate races, of citizens and barbarians, which had hitherto been universal, were to disappear in the wide-embracing fold of the Roman state; and the Christian principle, working in a society specially prepared for its reception, was to produce its fruit in the belief of a common origin and a common destiny for humanity. To the hastening of this glorious result, the Roman civilization, freed from the restraints of the Republic, was peculiarly adapted. Its ethnic life and energy were such that no nation could withstand it. All tribal forms, all institutions, all languages, brought between the poles of its ever-circling current, were disintegrated, resolved into their elements, and recombined in new proportions and with even stronger affini
ties. The Keltic races, which in Britain successfully resisted the moulding forces of Saxon culture, and even remain to the present day in sullen separation from their English neighbors, opposed no obstacle to the mastering influence of the Roman life in Gaul and Spain. So completely were they transformed, so entirely changed into the likeness of their conquerors, that, when the hordes of barbarian invaders, the Visigoths, the Burgundians, the Franks, swept over them, they in turn communicated the living spirit of Rome to their new masters, until Western and Southern Europe was once again recast in the imperial mould. He must be blind indeed, who does not see in this all-pervading vitality of a single people the preparation which Providence made for the spread of the Christian religion among those races which were to give laws to the world.
ART. VI. The National Resources, and their Relation to Foreign Commerce and the Price of Gold.
On the 12th of January, 1843, Mr. Walter Forward, then Secretary of the Treasury, reported to Congress the result of negotiations for a loan of $3,500,000; which negotiations were begun in April, 1842. But two bids had been made for this loan, one of 50,000, and one of 60,000 dollars; both at 96 per cent, for a six per cent twenty years' stock. The Secretary in a special report to Congress said: "The repeated failures incurred in negotiating at home upon advantageous or creditable terms suggested the policy of sending an agent abroad for the purpose of endeavoring to effect a favorable negotiation in England or upon the Continent. Accordingly, a gentleman of the highest consideration for intelligence and integrity was selected for the purpose, and left the United States in July last. I regret to communicate that he has since returned without effecting the object of his mission." Without citing the more recent failures of the public credit, when the personal discredit of the negotiators may have influenced the public quite as much as
the actual state of the public resources, or, again, when the alarms of the opening war agitated the nation and paralyzed business, the contrast presented by this incident of twenty years since, and the financial facts of 1862, 1863, and 1864 is very striking. At a date so recent as to mark little distinction in European history, and therefore to be scarcely credited as a distinct period by European observers, there was absolutely no money in the United States to invest in loans, and no credit in foreign countries on which money could be raised. Nor was this the consequence of debt, since less than ten millions of the debt accrued in former years remained unpaid, Such was the financial condition in 1842; while in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, after taking $ 200,000,000 in permanent loans, $275,000,000 in temporary loans, and $300,000,000 in circulating notes in the previous fiscal year, the people of the United States have again taken $ 424,503,638 in permanent loans, $166,798,045 in temporary loans, and in interest-bearing treasury-notes $227,076,366. With the exception of a small temporary loan immediately repaid, not a dollar of this vast sum has been asked for or obtained in the first instance in any foreign country. And while the revenues of 1842 were but $18,187,908 from customs, and $19,965,009 from all ordinary sources, there was received in 1863-64 from customs, $102,316,153; from internal revenue, $109,741,134; and from all ordinary sources, exclusive of all loans and currency or other notes issued, $260,627,717.
Here is a contrast sharper than mere words can express between the financial strength of the nation in a time of peace with its resources undeveloped, and in a time of war with our vast natural wealth developed and in process of development. It cannot be expected that European nations will at once appreciate the extent and significance of changes so great, nor perhaps fully accredit the facts of this current history. But the full measure of this increased strength should be made known to our own people in terms so clear, and with proof so decisive, as to remove all doubt and despondency as to the power of the government to surmount the great trial the Rebellion has brought on it. The purpose of this article is to promote this better knowledge of the extraordinary facts that make the