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the Democrats are preferable on the questions of abolitionism, and, so far as there is any difference, of the internal policy of the federal government; while in all other respects the two parties are about equal. Which upon the whole is preferable, and should be supported in the coming election, it is hard to say, and we leave our readers to judge each for himself. How we shall ourselves vote, we have not, at the time of writing, made up our own mind. We do not think much is to be hoped for the country from either party. If there were a party organized on really constitutional and conservative principles, resolved to bring the government back to the principles and policy of Washington and Adams,--a party for the Union without centralization, for state rights without dissolution, for republicanism without social despotism, for personal freedom without disorder or anarchical tendency, for a government of law, not for a government of arbitrary will, whether your will or mine,—there would be a party with which we could unite, and which we could conscientiously urge our friends to support. But such a party does not at present exist.
In conclusion, we would say to our Catholic friends, vote for the party you conscientiously believe to be the least likely to injure the country, but do not wed yourselves for life to any party. The salvation of the country and the preservation of its republican institutions, under the providence of God, depend in no small degree on you. Be on your guard against the seductions of political revolutionists, rebels, and radicals who have fled hither from the Old World. You have nothing in common with them. Trust them not till they have proved by their works that they have ceased to be the enemies of your faith and the advocates of social despotism. Be on your guard also against native-born demagogues. Turn a deaf ear to every one who addresses yon as Germans or as Irishmen, or in any sense as a foreign party distinguishable in your feelings or interests from the political American people. Hold yourselves at all times free to support the party which, here and now, appears after the best examination you are able to make, to be the most deserving or the least undeserving of your support as simply loyal American citizens. In time you will acquire an intinence which you will be able to exert for good, and have a decisive voice in determining the policy of parties, instead of being the mere tools of party leaders and managers. In all cases, however, remember that the destiny of nations as of individnals is in the hands of Providence, and that we can hope for a good issue for onr political no more than for any other efforts save as we look to God, and invoke and receive his grace to assist and prosper us.
WORKS OF FISHER AMES.*
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for October, 1854 )
FISHER AMEs, sprung from one of the oldest families in Massachusetts, was born April 9, 1758, in the old parish of Dedham, a pleasant country town about nine miles south of Boston, and the shire town of Norfolk County. He died July 4, 1808, in the prime of life, but he had lived long enough to gain a distinguished rank ainong the patriots and statesmen of his native country. He was a man of fine natural ability, a good scholar, a fresh and vigorous writer, and a chaste and eloqnent speaker. He was bred to the bar, at which he does not appear to have attained to much eminence. His tastes and his studies fitted him to be a statesman rather than a lawyer, and had his health been good, and had he lived to a good old age, we cannot doubt that he would have stood in the front rank, if not at the head, of the eminent men of his generation.
Fisher Ames was a Federalist, and strongly opposed, as were his party generally, to French Jacobinism, the red-republicanism of his day, and has shared the opprobrium cast upon his party by their successful rivals who came into power with Mr. Jefferson in 1801 ; but nobody can read these volumes edited by his son, without feeling that he was a true American in his feelings and convictions, a thoroughgoing republican, and ardently attached to liberty. He was a member of congress froin the organization of the government under the federal constitution, in 1789, to the close of Washington's second presidential term, in 1797. His increasing ill-health required him then to retire from
* Works of Fister AMES. With a Se'ection from his Speeches anů Cor. respondence. Edited by his Son, SETH AMES. Boston: 1854.
public life, though his interest in public affairs continued as long as he lived. He retained to the last the confidence of his party, and the affection and adıniration of his friends.
Mr. Ames was in congress during the most important and the most critical period of our history, and we may almost say, in the history of the modern world, for it was the period of the old French revolution. The eight years that Washington was at the head of the new government, and when nothing but his wisdom and prudence, his sober judgment, and his immense personal popularity could have carried it through the dangers and difficulties which beset it on either hand, from abroad and at home, have been but superficially studied by the politicians and pretended American statesmen of the present generation, and have seldom been studied at all save through the spectacles of party prejudice. During that period the government in all its departments had to be organized. What the French call organic laws had to be passed, a practical application of the constitution had to be made, a proper direction had to be given to the adıninistration, an independent American policy had to be adopted and sustained, and the fruits of the war of independence to be secured. All this could not be and was not done without opposition, and Washington in effecting it overcame more serious obstacles than he had encountered in conducting the war of independence to its successful termination in the peace of 1783.
The supporters of Washington's adminstration were called Federalists, and they were so called because they supported the federal constitution, and a federal government instead of a league or confederation of the states.
The party op; posed to them, little numerous in 1789, were at first called Anti-federalists; after 1798 they took the name of Republicans, which, since 1832, they have generally exchanged for that of Democrats. Whatever we may think or say of the Federalists of a later day, we must all concede that to them we owe the formation and adoption of the constitution, the organization of the federal government, and the adoption, in regard to European states, of an independent American policy. They, we may say, made the United States one people, and consolidated the national government. To them we owe it that we are one people under a popular, but strong and efficient, federal government, instead of being an aggregation of hostile states, held together by a rope of sand,
and tending constantly to separation, and to anarchy or despotism, as would have been the case if at that early period the views of the Anti-federalists had prevailed. That the Union now exists, and the United States rank as one of the great powers of the earth, it is not too much to say, is owing to the fact, that during the first twelve years of the federal government the administration was in the hands of the Federalists.
We know perfectly well that nothing can be more unpopular than this assertion. The Federalists were in power from 1789 to 1801, when Jefferson and his party triumphed over them, by what he called a revolution. Since then the Federalists have had to bear the odium of a defeated party. Their opponents before their defeat blackened them as much as possible in order to secure their defeat, and have blackened them as much as possible since in order to justify it. Ever since, the easiest and cheapest way to prove one's patriotism and to win popularity has been to declaim lustily against the Federalists, and it has been and is now more than
any man's political reputation is worth, in the Union at large, to attempt to soften the judgment pronounced against them. Not a little of the indignation excited against ourselves, by our recent article on Native Americanism, is to be attributed to our supposed sympathy with old Federalism. The Federalists had in their day to fight the battles of Americanism against foreign influence, especially that of the French Jacobins and their American sympathizers, who proposed to overthrow the administration of the father of his country, and even to revolutionize the government. They had a hard struggle to prevent the country from being virtually governed by Jacobinical France, and to maintain an independent American policy. They were opposed by all the partisans of the French revolution, and owed their defeat in 1801 in no small degree to the hostility of foreign radicals; and from that day to this, the foreignborn population of the country have been among their bitterest opponents. We have scarcely ever known an adopted citizen that did not suppose the readiest way to prove his Americanism was to declairn in good set terms against old Federalism and the Federalists.
For ourselves personally, we were brought up in the Republican school, and were early imbued with as strong prejudices against the old Federal party as the sage of Monticello could have desired. Whatever party associations we have ever had, have been with the Republican or Demo cratic party. The Federal party was defunct years before we were old enough to cast a vote, and the Whig party of to-day is, as a party, further removed from genuine Federalism than the Democratic party itself. We have never had the folly of wishing to resuscitate the Federal party, and perhaps, were it resuscitated and in power, we should be far enough from supporting it. But we plead guilty to a tendency to sympathize with defeated parties. We cannot accept the doctrine that victory is always a sign of merit, and defeat of demerit. In this world, evil, left to the natural course of things, triumphs oftener than good, and we always find ourselves seeking what there was good in the party that has failed, rather than shouting pæans to the victor. When a party has triumphed, we lose our interest in it, and feel our heart open to the victim. This may be very undemocratic, unworldly, and very wrong, but it is a fact. Hence our sympathies are usually given to defeated parties and oppressed nationalities. When the revolution of 1848 had the upper hand in Europe, we opposed it, defended the sovereigns; but since the sovereigns have triumphed, and authority is vindicated, our sympathies pass to the camp, not indeed of the revolutionists, but of the people, who suffer many wrongs that it is the duty of power to redress. It is to the unpopular cause, to the forgotten or neglected truth, to those who need help, not to those who are abundantly able to help themselves, that we feel instinctively drawn. It is, perhaps, a perverse tendency; it certainly is constantly getting us into scrapes with our own party and friends, and prevents us from ever being popular, or relied on as a leader or as a partisan. It was never in our nature to follow the multitude, and of course we are never disappointed when the multitude refuse to follow us.
The old Federalists were far enough from being immaculate, and were they now in power, we feel pretty certain that we should find them full of faults. As a party, they are dead, and we are far enough from wishing thein to awake to life. They were defeated forever in 1801, and the power has passed into the hands of their rivals. Jefferson and his party triumphed. That party continues, and, in a right or à collateral line, it will continue, to administer the government, for weal or for woe, most likely as long as the republic stands. The Whigs may now and then attain to place, but they have not and are not likely to have the confidence