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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. 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 through 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 simple 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 foolish 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, commanding 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 August, 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, by banishing and outlawing him.
That he had forfeited the protection of his sovereign
may be true, but that he had ceased to be an Austrian 'subject by any act of his own, Mr. Marcy is not at liberty to assert. We raise here no discussion on the disputed tion of the right of a citizen or subject to expatriate himself, and, for the purposes of the present argument, we accept the doctrine laid down by Mr. Marcy himself, namely: “The citizen or subject, having faithfully performed the past and the present duties resulting from his relation to the sovereign, may at any time release himself from his obligation of allegiance, freely quit the land of his birth or adoption, seek through all countries a home, and select anywhere that which offers him the fairest prospect of happiness for himself and his posterity.” This is the government's own doctrine, officially put forth, and it is bound by it. According to this doctrine, only they who have faithfully performed the past and present duties resulting from their relation to the sovereign, are free to expatriate themselves. That is, a man cannot renounce his allegiance in order to escape his sovereign's justice. This is decisive of the case of Koszta, so far as his ceasing to be an Austrian subject by his own act is concerned; for he was a criminal, a rebel, a fugitive from justice, one who had notoriously failed faithfully to perform his past and present duties to his sovereign. He was not, then, free to relieve himself from his obligation of allegiance, and to expatriate himself. He might withdraw himself from Austrian jurisdiction, but not from his subjection to Austrian law. Koszta, then, did not and could not, being a refugee, a fugitive from justice, cease to be an Austrian subject by his own act. But, according to Mr. Marcy, he ceased to be such subject by the act of Austria, who had, as he says, banished and outlawed him. This she had done, first, by an imperial decree of the 26th of March, 1832, by which he became an "unlawful emigrant," and secondly, by consenting to and proeuring his expulsion from Turkey.
By the imperial decree cited, “ Austrian subjects leaving the emperor's dominions without permission of the magistrate, and a release of Austrian citizenship, and with an intention never to return, become unlawful emigrants, and Jose all their civil and political rights.” This the secretary contends is virtual outlawry; but in this we think he is mistaken; for a man deprived of all his civil and political rights may be still under the protection of what the Roman lawyers call the jus gentium. This decree imposes a penalty on Austrian subjects leaving the emperor's dominions without permission, with the view of preventing them from doing so, and not with a view, if they choose to incur it, of releasing them from their obligation of allegiance. As such release evidently did not enter into the intention of the legislators, it cannot be presumed from the nature of the penalty imposed. To deprive a citizen unjustly of all his civil and political rights is tyrannical, and undoubtedly releases him from the bond of allegiance; but it does not therefore follow that he who forfeits those rights by his unlawful acts is thereby released from his subjection. It is a maxim of law, that no man can stand upon his own wrong, and therefore no man by his own wrong-doing can free himself from any moral or civil obligation; otherwise by crime one might gain the right to commit crime with impunity,—a doctrine subversive of all morals, and of civil society itself. As the decree imposes the loss of civil and political rights as a penalty for an unlawful act, we cannot infer that it releases him who incurs it from his subjection to his prince, unless such be the expressed will of the prince himself; which in the present case evidently is not the fact.
But only they who leave the emperor's dominions with an intention never to return incur this penalty. Nothing proves that Koszta left those dominions with any such in tention. The contrary is far more probably the fact. He with Kossuth and others fled across the frontier into Turkey, as a place of temporary refuge, and, if we may believe wliat Kossuth, their acknowledged chief, has repeatedly declared, publicly and privately, with the intention and the hope of speedily returning. For what else did Kossuth, from whoin in this matter we cannot separate Koszta, solicit “material aid” of our tender-hearted citizens, and purchase saddles and bridles, but to enable him to return, as he hoped at an early day, within the emperor's dominions? How will you, then, bring Koszta under the operation of the imperial decree? Has Austria ever declared him to have forfeited, under that decree, all his civil and political rights? Has she enforced that decree against him? We do not understand even Mr. Marcy to maintain that Austria has actually condemned Koszta as an unlawful emigrant, and deprived him accordingly. If she has not, the law has not been enforced against him, and he has suffered nothing by it, and even if it was intended to operate his release from his obligation of allegiance, it has not so oper