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ligion, we have no doubt, would gain by their annexation to the Union, for Catholicity is at present more vigorous, more healthy, more progressive under non-Catholic than under Catholic governments; but in reality we do not want Cuba. In a military point of view, its annexation would extend and weaken our line of defence. It would not give us the command of the gulf and enable us to make it a mare clausum. In a commercial point of view, it would perhaps extend our trade, but add little to the revenues of the government. It is wanted only to give us another slave state, and to strengthen the institution of slavery, which after all it would weaken. The Sonth is strong, if she remains as she is, and does not attempt to extend slavery beyond its present limits, or to acquire new slave territory. Slavery and the free labor system are decidedly antagonistical, and the expansion of the one necessarily resists that of the other. It is not possible that the slave system of labor should triumph in this country, and the South may as well give up the hope of it at once. There is yet power enough in the southern states, and loyalty enough to the constitution in the northern to protect slavery where it is; but let the South attempt to extend it beyond its present constitnitional limits, and she will lose what she has. Secession from the Union, and the formation of a southern slave republic, even if attempted, will not save slavery, but precipitate its abolition. The attempt to go beyond the constitution in support of slavery made by the supreme court in the Dred Scott case, has destroyed much of the respect hitherto entertained for its members, and weakened the hold of the judiciary on the public mind ; and the attempt on the part of the president and his advisers has demoralized the Democratic party throughout the Union. A pro-slavery party can no more succeed than an abolition party, and is no more in accordance with the constitution, while it is less in accordance with the sentiments of the great mass of the American people. If Mr. Buchanan had taken the advice we gave him in January, 1856, he would have found himself to-day at the head of a strong Union and constitutional party, able to elect his successor, and to govern the nation. He did not see proper to listen to it, and he finds himself now without a party, with scarcely a supporter but the New York IIerald, and failing in almost every measure of foreign or domestic policy he has recommended. Never have our politics stood lower, never the reputation of our republic so low.
We have left ourselves no space to enter into the discussion of the internal politics of the several states, or to dilate on the corruption so rife in both the federal and state governments, the frauds in the business world, and the low moral tone of the community generally. We are beginning to experience the legitimate fruits of the democracy which we have since the election of General Jackson been encouraging, and which has gained almost a complete victory over our original Germanic constitutionalism; but we think we see an incipient reaction against the democratic interpretation given to our institutions. We think the breaking np of the Democratic party a great gain, even if it only results in the party that succeeds it doing so under another name. To get rid of the name is of great importance, for the name has a logic in it, that they who bear it will even unconsciously labor to develop and push to its last consequences. A party christened democratic can never be practically conservative. It can never emancipate itself from the despotism of its name. Whatever party succeeds in 1860, we trust it will not be called democratic, and any party in the country, not called by that name, will prove a gain. We do not sympathize with the Republican party so called ; it is not purely republican in contradistinction from democratic, has too many democratic principles and tendencies, and is tinctured with abolitionism, is even yet a little woollyheaded; but it has a good name, and if it succeeds to power under that name will be forced to eliminate its democratic elements, and develop in a constitutional sense.
It is even now assuming a ground less unconstitutional than that which it formerly occupied, and approaching, on the question of slavery, a policy equally removed from abolitionism and proslavery. We should not fear its accession to power so much as we did in 1856. The election even of Mr. Seward to the presidency would do less to try the strength of the Union than the election of Mr. Buchanan has done. Even the American party, if it has really dropped the dark lantern, and given up its organization as a secret society, of which we are far from certain, would be preferable to the success of the present Democratic party. No party can succeed here that to any serious extent proscribes naturalized citizens, or pursues a really illiberal policy towards foreigners. It may succeed in this or that locality, but never in the nation at large. As for Catholics they may experience annoyances, vexations, but no party will ever be able to disfranchise them or to deprive them of their equal rights as citizens. Religious liberty is the law of the land, and will not be seriously disturbed, unless radical democracy becomes a mob, and ends in establishing by universal suffrage an absolute monarchy or cæsarism, as it has done in France.
In Great Britain the statesman has to study to preserve the hereditary element of his government, against the tendency to absolute democracy. Here he must study to roll back the democratic wave, and to reassert constitutionalism. He has here to rescue the country from that centralized and despotic democracy which we have borrowed from Europe, and guard against the cæsarism which now weighs down all the Latin, Sclavonic, and most of the Tentonic nations of Europe. The real antagonist of that cæsarism is not democracy, but the British system, which was originally also our own, and intended, as far as applicable to the condition and wants of our people, to be preserved in our state and federal constitutions. We do not think it too late to resist the democratic tendency we have followed too long, and to return to a government of law instead of a government of inere will, or of demagogic maneuvring, intrigue, and cajolery.
We need not say that we are attached to our American institutions as they were left us by our fathers. What we oppose is the substitution of Jacobinical democracy for true American republicanism. We do not distrust the people or seek to limit their power. We hold the people in con: vention are our political sovereign, and the only political power there is in the country. What we oppose is, that because they are sovereign when in convention assembled they are sovereign out of it, in their simple capacity as population, which is, we take it, the essence of democracy. Return to the real theory of our government, and administer it in accordance with that theory, and we shall be satisfied. It is all we ask, or ever have asked.
[The foregoing essay was produced by the late Archbishop Kenrick of Baltimore and Dr. Brownson conjointly. As the part of each cannot well be separated, the whole is here published.-ED.)
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1859.)
This work, which attracted less attention when first pub lished than it deserves, is important both as an apology for Napoleon I., and as indicative of the policy of Napoleon III. It was written when its author was an exiled prince, and comparatively few ever dreamed that he was ever destined to occupy the French throne, or to play a prominent part in the political drama of the world ; but now that he is seated on that throne, though as yet uncrowned, and threatens to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious uncle, it will probably be read, and the principles and policy it sets forth be carefully studied. We have always done justice to the abilities of Louis Napoleon, and we believed him to be as much as he has since proved himself, when nearly all the world counted him mad or little better than a fool. That he is the ablest sovereign in Europe no man can doubt, or that he is the least scrupulous. That his reign will redound to the glory of France and to the general good of Europe is not so certain. For ourselves, we believe still in truth and honesty, and expect no solid good for individuals or nations from their violation.
What most strikes us in this remarkable work, is the total absence of every moral and religious conception on the part of its author. Reasons of state are for him the supreme law, and material good the final end of man. Religion and morality, when they do not interfere with state policy or impose any restraint on the prince in his public or private, conduct, are no doubt to be tolerated ;—the clergy, as long as they do not aspire to power or influence, or to be a governing body, and keep in their place and tell the people to be submissive to Cæsar, may be encouraged and even salaried by the state, whether Catholics, or Protestants, or Jews. But it is essential that they have no power even as a spiritual body not subjected to the direction and control of the prince. The work shows us clearly enough that the em
* Des Idées Napoléoniennes, par le PRINCE NAPOLEON-Louis Bona. PARTE. Bruxelles : 1839.
peror will not suppress or make war on religion as long as he can use it, or as long as he does not find its practical influence interfering with his state policy. It commends Napoleon I. for keeping the clergy in subjection, suppressing monastic orders, and maintaining everywhere the supremacy of the state, and finds no fault with him for his treatment of either Pius VI. or Pius VII. Every question it treats is treated from the point of view of a low human policy, and the author gives no indication that he has ever heard that a policy to be wise must be controlled by justice, and that there is a King of kings and a Lord of lords, whose will even Cæsar is bound to obey. His conceptions are in general further removed from Christianity than those of a respectable heathen, and make the emperor a God on earth.
The ideas of the first Napoleon, it seems, were very different from what appearances indicated, or the world in general supposed, and perhaps still supposes. He was free from selfishness, disinterested, and ambitious only to do good. He was “the testamentary executor of the revolntion of 1789," and labored only to secure its practical results for France and the world. He organized its principles, and made it his mission to establish them for all nations. His wars were never wars of aggression, nor were they wars undertaken to redress wrongs done either to himself or to his subjects. They were not wars for the aggrandizement or, till the last, for the defence of France or of himself, but wars waged in the sacred cause of humanity, to liberate oppressed nationalities, to establish the freedom of the people and the autonomy and independence of nations. He had conceived a grand system of European organization, entirely in the interest of liberty and the social and national prosperity of mankind, and went forth as its armed propagator.
There were nations not prepared to adopt it, and these he had to convince or to subdue. He was the prophet of the Code and took that in one hand and his sword in the other, and as a second Mahomet, bid the nations accept the one and be happy, or prepare to fall by the other. He did not want war; he wanted peace,
and when he could succeed without war he preserved peace. When he went to war it was only to force the enemy to accept his system, his religion of inaterialism, as that which was sure to work ut their felicity. He was a true representative of the fraternity preached by the French revolution of 1789, whiclı, as somebody has described it, was,