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of joy and gladness. She has had, no doubt, her faults, and will have them again, but as to her cruelty it is mildness itself in comparison with the tender mercies of the renowned Anglo-Saxon, who, after twelve hundred years of culture, seems still to cherish in his heart the habits and tastes of his piratical ancestors.
But our failure in the discharge of our duty to Spain extends further than we have stated. Cuba, in consequence of our remissness and inefficiency, is still in danger of piratical attacks from our citizens, or at least of their attempts, in concert with disaffected Cubans, to get up a democratic revolution in the island, and involve it in the horrors of civil war. Spain has been put to great trouble and expense in defending that island froin our machinations, which it was our duty to have spared her, and she is obliged to continue her armament and defences on the war footing, and that to defend her province from the hostile invasions of the subjects of a government which professes to be at peace with her. This is not an endurable state of things. Does it comport with our honor as a nation to suffer it to continne? Have we not the will and the power to restrain our lawless citizens, and to compel them to respect the rights and the property of a friendly power? Are we reduced either to the moral or physical necessity of compelling nations with whom we have treaties of peace and amity to arm themselves to the teeth, and everywhere keep watch and ward against the depredations of our American citizens and subjects? We would fain hope not, and we look with confidence to the new administration to take efficient measures to reassure Spain, to indemnify her for the wrongs she has suffered in consequence of our remissness, and to relieve her from the necessity of keeping up any extra garrison in Cuba to protect her possession of that island from the aggressions of persons subject to the government of the United States. We have full confidence that, in the hands of the present secretary of state, the errors and blunders of his predecessor will be repaired, and that our foreign relations will be managed with wisdom and energy, with jealous regard to the rights and feelings of other nations, and to the dignity and honor of our own.
We hope, too, that our citizens will participate in the reaction against wild and lawless democracy, or red-republicanism, which appears to have commenced in the Old World ; and that, remembering that justice exalteth a nation, while sin is a reproach to any people, they will retrace their steps, and return to the wholesome principles embodied in their fundamental institutions. It is time for them to pay less attention to the acquisition of territory, and more to the acquisition and maintenance of national honor. We have, morally considered, fallen to a fearful depth, but we have not fallen so low that we cannot, if we choose, rise again. We have prided ourselves on our institutions, and have claimed to be a model republic. We are not, as a people, wholly insensible to the opinions of the civilized world, and we wish all nations to admire our political institutions, and to model their own after them. This is all laudable enough. But we cannot expect thein to do it, unless we retrace our steps, and show that we ourselves adhere to the principles of our institutions, and are governed by them.
Hitherto republicanism in the Old World has been associated in the minds of intelligent and honest people with barbarism, the absence of public and private virtue, contempt of religion, disregard of the most sacred obligations and relations, the loss of personal freedom, war on the church, on morality, on property, on the family, and on society itself. It should have been ours to have proved by our example that this is only an accidental character of republicanisin, and that a people may be republican, may dispense with kings and lords, without lapsing into barbarism or interrupting the progress of Christian civilization, that such a people may be cultivated and moral, retined and religious, free and loyal, respecting the rights of God as well as the rights of man, preserving the sanctity of inarriage, and the integrity of the family, respecting the rights of property, the rights of sovereignty, and the independence of nations, and maintaining peace and order under the reign of law. This should have been our mission, but we have been recreant to it; we have been latterly identifying republicanism with democracy, and American democracy with the European, and doing our best to prove by our example, that in all lands democracy degenerates into license, becomes immoral, irreligions, and aggressive. We have been furnishing kings and aristocrats with strong arguments against republicanism, and in favor of their system of government. Instead of aiding the emancipation of the oppressed of other lands, we have given their masters new reasons for withholding from them those franchises we so highly esteem, and have double-riveted the chains of the slave. The Christian world may well exclaim, in view of our example for the last twenty years, “ God save the king! for if licentions and despotic kings are bad, licentious and aggressive democracies are worse."
We are for ourselves neither monarchists nor aristocrats, but according to the best of our knowledge and ability a loyal American citizen; yet we cannot shut our eyes to the dangerous and utterly immoral and dishonorable career upon which the American people to a fearful extent have entered. It is difficult, it may be too late, to arrest them; but as one of the people, as one who yields to no man in his love of his country, and attachment to her government, we assure them that they will never secure true freedom and prosperity in the way they have thus far sought them. If they value national honor, if they love liberty, they must return to the recognition of law, the obligations of morality, and the duty of religious faith and worship. No nation can recede from law without falling into anarchy, or depart from God without precipitating itself into hell. All is not gold that glisters. ` All change is not improvement. All motion is not progress, and every novelty is not a conquest from the domain of truth. Let our citizens meditate these commonplaces, and form a more just estimate of themselves. They have territory enough,-quite too much; they have room for all the virtuous expansion of which they are capable; let them learn to be content with what they have, and that it is as base to steal a province from a neighbouring state, as it is to pick a neighbour's pocket, or to steal his sheep.
We have taken no notice of what is said about the tyranny with which Spain governs Cuba, for we have no authority to supervise her internal administration, and are bound to treat her as an independent and a Christian nation. We must annul our treaty with her before we can pnt her out of the pale of civilized nations, and we must put her out of that pale before we can have any right to supervise or interfere with her treatment of her own subjects. But what is said about Spanish tyranny and oppression in her colonies is all unfounded. Spain does not oppress and never has oppressed her colonial subjects, and Cuba would have far less freedom as a democracy, than she enjoys as a province of the Spanish monarchy. "So it was said that the other American colonies of Spain were oppressed, and as far back as Jefferson's residence in Paris as the minister of the American confederacy, intrigues were begun with us to convert them into independent republics. We need only to compare what they are now with what they were under Spain, to comprehend the value of assertions as to Spanish tyranny and oppression. Let us leave red-republican cant, learn to be just and honorable, and labor to secure liberty at home. So shall we best promote liberty abroad.
PIRATICAL EXPEDITIONS AGAINST CUBA.
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for January, 1852.]
It is well known that our government and people have long been desirous of taking possession of the island of Cuba, the Queen of the Antilles, and annexing it to the United States. Spain having very naturally refused to sell it, and no plausible pretext having offered itself for taking possession of it by the avowed authority of the government, efforts have been made to induce the inhabitants to rebel against their sovereign, and, under assurances from this country, if not from the government, at least from its citizens, to declare themselves independent, and to form themselves into a democratic state, with a view to future annexation. The most false and calumnious reports of the tyranny and oppression of the Spanish authorities have been circulated to excite our democratic and monarchyhating citizens, and to prepare them to fly to the assistance of the Cubans, as to the rescue of an ill-used and oppressed people, and false and exaggerated accounts have been forged of the disaffection of the Cubans, and of their readiness and determination to resist and declare themselves independent of the mother country:
Disaffected or speculating Cubans, chiefly residing in this country, good patriots only in leaving their country, in concert with certain American speculators and Enropean refugees, have been induced to form what they call a provisional government, to contract loans, to enlist troops, and coinmissiou officers, in the name of the imaginary people or republic of Cuba. This appears to have been done with a double object : first, to secure to these excellent patriote and their American advisers the plunder of the island, and in case of success the power to oppress its inhabitants; and second, to remove any scruples our citizens inight feel as to engaging in an avowedly piratical enterprise. Our people hold that they have a right to assist any band of rebels, who profess to be rebelling against monarchy, in favor of democracy. They hold that all authority emanates from the people, and they never take the tronble to inquire whether what they call the people are a perfect people, complete and independent, or are only a mob. They ontlaw monarchy and monarchists, and hold any number of the inhabitants of a given country to be the sovereign people, if they are only opposed to monarchy and in favor of democracy, although in point of fact they are not more than one in a thousand of the whole population. God has given the dominion of the world to democrats, and they have the right whenever they please and are able, to oust the old proprietors and to take possession of it. A self-constituted provisional government, having no authority even from the people, no authority, indeed, but what its individual members assume, is for then the sovereign authority of any country subjected to the monarchical forın of government, and in it are vested all the rights of a sovereign state, the power to form alliances, to declare war, and to make peace. Recognizing thus the self-styled provisional governınent of Cuba, and General Lopez as its chief, they could feel that, in enrolling themselves under his banner and making piratical expeditions against a colony of Spain, they would engage in a legitimate war, and in killing and plundering Spanish subjects be only obeying a legal authority and performing meritorious acts. Under the pretended authority of this pretended government, an expedition was set on foot in 1849, in this country, for invading and taking possession of Cuba. That expedition was prevented from sailing by the interposition of the federal governinent; but the adventurers, collected at Round Island, were suffered to disperse with their arms, without even so much as a reprimand for the violation of the law of nations, our treaty with Spain, and our own municipal laws. Emboldened by the impunity, they with others assembled again the following year, and this time succeeded in making a descent upon the island, whence they were soon forced to reëmbark for the United States. Again no punishment was inflicted upon them by our government. A few indictments were found, but they were all finally withdrawn by order of the government, and no one was prosecuted to conviction.