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Fleets and armies being much more likely to embroil nations with each other than toinsure them against attack, there is no insurance against war in warlike preparation. Government even if founded upon justice, which means equal rights and privileges to every citizen, is insecure, for ignorance is incapable of recognizing what is essentially wise and good. Man must be enlightened in order to be able to judge. Hence the fair fabric of Justice raised by Numa, says Plutarch, passed rapidly away because it was not founded upon education. No better reason can be given for the decay of a State. Readers will find in Washington's Inaugural these weighty words:
Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that this should be enlightened.”
It is gratifying to know that no country has ever devoted such vast sums, or so successfully insured public education, as the Republic. It may truly be said of the American, as Froude said of the Scotch, education with him is a passion. The initiative, alertness, and fertility of resource which the
American is nowadays credited with displaying, though partly a climatic, is chiefly an educational product.
There is no study more interesting than the steady growth of the sentiment of American nationality — the sway of the United Nation over the Individual State. The first confederation, although a perpetual union, was in many vital respects a rope of sand, for it preserved the practical sovereignty of the consenting states. The present Constitution, which followed later, laid the foundations of one central power, a nation, but, as is usual with all written instruments, the words used have proved of subordinate importance to the interpretations which from time to time have been placed upon them.
Let who will write the laws, he is master who interprets them. The United States Constitution, justly hailed by Mr. Gladstone as "the most wonderful work ever struck off at one time by the brain and purpose of man,” has in no respect shown itself more worthy of such praise than in the elastic quality it has revealed of extending and contracting, and its power of adapting itself to the development of the nation which seems destined to become the most powerful that
has yet existed. It is not one nation, but forty-five nations in one. Three more are probably to be admitted this year, with others to follow. It has solved the question of
government by continents. The United States of all the Americas, or the United States of Europe, could be established and placed under this Constitution after a few days spent in making the necessary verbal and other trifling changes.
We might go farther and say that continents hitherto split into many states, which have become armed camps awaiting the signal of war against each other, could thus combine and win perpetual peace as between themselves, and, this beneficent task accomplished, the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World, could finally be considered as next in order. When that day comes, “as come it will for a' that,” the American Constitution could readily be adapted without serious change to unite the world under one government dealing with international relations, thus banishing from the earth its foulest stain, the killing of man by man under so-called “civilized” warfare —such the latent potentiality of this marvelous work, because founded upon equal rights and privileges to all. Short of this there is injustice; beyond this there is injustice, hence unrest—with this there is justice, and hence peace, and what is just and equal is capable of indefinite extension.
The Federal idea has proved that the freest government of the parts produces the strongest government of the whole. Under home rule for the various States, jealousy of each other, and especially of the central government, has weakened so much that year after year the States surrender power to the Congress of the whole at Washington over questions of national import hitherto controlled by the respective States in their own fashion, thus producing uniformity where before lay diversity. Since all the forces of to-day are centripetal, the further consolidation of the Union is assured.
The citizen is still fondly devoted to his State as he always may be and happy that he is its son, but when he draws himself up to his full height and wishes to give vent to the sentiment of nationality—and this is not seldom, for of all men the American is the most intensely patriotic—his special State is for the moment forgotten. The States are all right as far as they go, but let anyone just touch“Old Glory,” and the many are one,-American.
How long it would take the European under federation to reach this glowing devotion to the one flag of their Union is problematical, but, in the opinion of the writer, not much longer than it has taken the American of the former separate and jealous states of our own Union, for national patriotism grows apace when the citizen has political equality, and the federation, being gigantic, makes his country great among
the nations, a country for which he cannot help being proud to live, if need be to die.
In this volume place is properly given to the Monroe Doctrine, so clearly defined by Secretary of State Hay. It was the suggestion of British Prime Minister Canning, who boasted that he had called in the new world to redress the balance of the old.
Nations have their supersensitive nerves, which it is the business of the statesmen of other nations to know and make due allowance for. The Monroe Doctrine has become the supersensitive nerve of the American. Just as we should say, the inviolability of a British ship was disregarded, there must be restitution or there