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alone responsible ; for if we had shown ourselves a law-loving and à law-abiding people, foreign rebels and traitors would never have dared come here and organize expeditions against powers with whom our government is at peace. We must ourselves bear the shame of these piratical expeditions, and our wisest way is to suffer the shame to lead us to repentance and reformation.
The president half hints, and the country generally, if we may judge from the press, holds, that if the creole population liad been in a state of revolt, and really fighting for independence of the mother country, it would have excused if indeed it would not have fully justified the invaders. Here is the root of the evil. The United States; government and people, hold that in such cases it is perfectly lawful for who will to interfere in behalf of the rebels. Nay, they go further, and hold that they have a perfect right to interfere to establish popular institutions wherever they please, although they may be restrained from doing so by prudential reasons; and the message clearly hints that the government is preparing to enlist in a Jacobinical war for the propagation of democracy, under the pretext that the sovereigns of Europe are preparing to attack our principles, -a pretext without the slightest foundation. The sovereigns of Europe have the right of self-defence, and our conduct may force them to combine to resist our lawless and revolutionary interference in their domestic affairs, but not to make any attack on us. Mr. Webster's letter to the Austrian chargé d'affaires was of course a declaration of hostility to all continental monarchical governments, and was intended to advertise them that this country and all its influence would be thrown on the side of their rebellious provinces and subjects. That was no after-dinner letter; it was the expression in an official form of the long entertained and settled hostility of its author to the monarchical institutions of Europe, excepting always the quasi-monarchy of Great Britain. The interposition of the administration and of congress in the liberation of Kossuth, and the opportunity thus afforded him of aiding the red-republican conspiracy organized throughout all Europe, proves that the government and people of the United States take that letter as the official expression of their convictions and resolution. The conduct of the American minister at the court of St. James, in relation to the reception of Kossuth, although his opportune sickness prevented him from directly committing his government, and the speech of ex-Secretary Walker at the Kossuth banquet at Southampton, indicate that the English government is expected to coöperate fully with ours.
This it is expected will provoke Austria and Russia to take precautions against us, and these precautions which we provoke are to be inade, as is more than hinted in the message, pretexts for active interference in behalf of European rebels, more, especially, we presume, in behalf of Hungary, although the battle must be fought in France or Germany.
Now, so long as both government and people hold these views and such a course just, it is in vain to expect that our people will, any further than they deem it prudent, respect the rights of nations. It is idle for the president, avowing principles, as he does in his message, identical, although less broadly expressed, with those of the letter of the secretary of state to which we have referred, to talk against such expeditions as that against Cuba. He must, if he would speak with effect, condemn the principle on which the American people justify it. As long as he proclaims, whether through his message or the official correspondence of his secretary of state, that principle, he only sanctions the expeditions he condemns. "The grand error of our governinent and people is that they outlaw, in their own minds, all monarchical governments, and therefore render it lawful for who will to make war on them or their subjects,-subject only to prudential restraints. This serves our people as a pretext for any scheme of robbery and plunder they choose to undertake. It is not that in general they care whether other countries are monarchical or democratic, but that they must have some sort of a cloak for their depredations upon the possessions of others. The real motive is the sordid thirst for gold, or the insane desire to extend the territory of the Union, for the sake of the wealth that fortunate speculators may acquire. No check to their land-stealing can be put till every pretext is removed, and they are obliged to call their acts by their real name. Then, perhaps, there will be found honest men enough in the country to make them desist.
But we have exhausted our space. We have spoken strongly, and have not spared our countrymen ; we have done so, because as a Christian and a patriot we could not do otherwise. We love our country, but we blush for the inmorality of our countrymen. We have been severe on the
government, but, culpable as it has been and is, we believe it far better than the active and influential portion of the people it represents. The active mass of our people, those who influence public affairs, and give tone and character to the country, we believe to be utterly destitute of all sense of religion or morality, and capable of any iniquity demanded by their interests or their passions. They are ingenious, skillful, energetic, but in transferring the property of others to themselves. The boasted skill and energy of the Anglo-Saxon race on this continent have been most strikingly displayed in land-stealing. The word is hard, we know it, but it is true. We started with fair and honorable principles towards foreign nations, for then we were weak, and must solicit, not command. Now we fancy ourselves strong, and we are strong, and there is no nation that could have a war with us withont suffering severely. We are strong, and we believe onrselves even stronger than we are, and we become overbearing and aggressive, especially, to our weaker neighbors. We are strong, and we are preparing to use our strength, in defiance of honor and justice, against the peace of the world. We know that we gain no friends by saying this; we know that we against our own interest in saying it; but it is true, and it is true that it was said by an American, not in wrath or exultation, but in true love and deep sorrow.
It is not yet too late to amend our faults, and to return to the paths of justice and honor. At present both are abandoned ; law receives no respect; the most sacred obligations are thrown off, and we are heedless of every duty that it does not please us to perform. Can things continue thus with us, and we not rush to speedy destruction ?
We claim to be an order-loving and law-abiding people; yet no law liere can be enforced that is not backed by public sentiment. What you call your neutrality laws are every day violated with impunitý. Your fugitive slave law, have you fairly executed it in a single locality, where public opinion was strongly against it? Have you succeeded in convicting a single one of those who have notoriously conspired to resist its execution? Let us, my countrymen, cease boasting, and endeavor to see ourselves, for once, as we really are. Be assured that we have ample reason to humble ourselves, collectively and individually, as really the most lawless and shameless people on the globe, that claims to be ranked anony civilized nations. We have for
gotten God, we have bowed low at the shrine of Mammon ; and in vain do we trust to our riches and our material prosperity. These will not save us. The pride and selfishness, the insensibility to honor, the indifference to all lofty mora! principle, because so universal, are dangerous enemies, not merely to our virtue, but to our national existence. Let us remember that justice exalteth a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people. Let us remember that no nation can long prosper that disregards virtue, and that gives loose reins to every base or sordid passion of corrupt nature. It is to recall these things to the remembrance of our countrymen that we have written as we have, and it matters little what they do or say to us if they will only profit by what we have written. Their own consciences will bear us witness that we have spoken nothing of thein that is not true, and which may not be said without malice.
Let not our readers, however, suppose that we believe our countrymen are the only people in the world that deserve to be censured. Other nations have their faults, as well as we ours, but it is our business to ascertain and correct our own faults, not theirs. We are a young people, and seldom is it that a people grows more virtuons as it grows older, stronger, and wealthier. There are, no doubt, large numbers of our countryinen who abound in the human virtues, but, unhappily, they have little to do with public affairs, and it is the lawless, the grasping, the vicious, that give a tone to our national character, and determine our public policy.
COOPER'S WAYS OF THE HOUR.
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1851.]
We cannot characterize our government and institutions by a single term, without misleading some as to their true nature. They are not strictly democratic, for they include monarchical and aristocratic elements; they are not strictly monarchical or strictly aristocratic, for they evidently include democratic elements. It is always an error to denominate them from any one of the siinple or absolute forms of government, that is, from pure democracy, pure aristocracy, or pure monarchy, the only simple and absolute forms of government there are, or can be. Our government, whether state or national, is properly speaking a mixed government, and its characteristic is not in any one of the simple forms of government, but in its original and peculiar combination of them all in one harmonious and complex system.
* The Ways of the lour: 1 Tale. By the author of “The Spy," "The Red Rover," &c., &c. New York: 1850,
Our government is republican as opposed to hereditary monarchy; it is democratic as opposed to hereditary aristocracy, and in that it recognizes equality before the laws, makes its various officers elective by the people at large, and acknowledges general eligibility; but it is monarchical, in that it establishes the unity of the executive, invests the president with the command of the army and navy, and gives him a conditional veto on the acts of the legislature; and it is aristocratic, in that it vests the legislative power, not in the people at large, but in the optimates, or those legally presumed to be such, and recognizes in these, during their term of office and within the limits of the constitution, the legislative power in its plenitude, to be exercised. according to their own discretion, unfettered by any instructions from their constituents, and with no other responsibility than that which every man owes to God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. It therefore includes essentially, as essential principles of its constitution, the elementary principles of all the simple forms of government, and its aim is, by tempering them one with another, to secure what is good and to guard against what is evil or hurtful in each.
The great political danger in this country arises from forgetfulness or neglect of this mixed or complex character of our government and institutions, and the constant tendency to interpret them according to the principles of a simple and absolute forın of government. Simplicity is more easily understood than complexity ; the former is within the reach of everybody, the latter is within the reach of none but the few who make it a special study. The human understanding also loves simplicity, and naturally tends on all the inatters on which it operates to reduce all as far as possible to a single principle, and to eliminate whatever is opposed to it, or does not logically proceed from it. It craves unity and simplicity, and looks upon multiplicity and complexity as