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passed away, not to return till a new calamity befalls the nation. This will result from the fact, that the only freedom that policy allows is freedom to live and labor for the goods of the body. France may, like England, become rich in worldly goods, but she now bids fair to become poor in all that which has hitherto constituted her glory.
We intended, on commencing this article, to speak of the Anglo-French alliance in its probable relations to this western hemisphere ; but events succeed one another with such rapidity, and the aspect of things changes so often and so suddenly, that what we should say to-day would be obsolete to-morrow. We have no belief in the permanence of that alliance. The questions likely to arise in Turkey, the principalities, and Italy, will most probably dissolve it; if not, rival commercial and industrial interests will prevent its long continuance. But even its permanence has nothing very alarming for us. France will not in mere wantonness, or in a spirit of imperial propagandism, make war upon us ; and Great Britain cannot afford to do it, because the injury she right do us would be at least an equal injury to herself. A commercial and manufacturing nation, like Great Britain, must be mad to go to war with her best customer, and without whose custom she must shut up shop. The enlistment question by the energetic action of our government, we presume, is settled ; and the Central American question is in a fair way of settling itself. Any flagrant attempt of France or England to gain an undue control in Mexico will be followed by the annexation of that distracted republic to the Union, a thing which we do not desire, but which must come, if European powers attempt to interfere in the matter. Mexico, and especially the church in Mexico, would gain by the annexation, and we could not oppose it on Catholic grounds.
We are of course unprepared for war; and as our policy is peace with all the world, we always shall be unprepared for war, till war comes. France and England combined could do us serious injury, if they were to attack us, but they would by no means be able to subdue us. The third year of the war would be fatal to them. On our own soil we are invincible; and the trial, were it to come, would disprove Buffon's theory, that man degenerates in the New World. Upon the whole, old Europe had better attend to her own affairs, and let us on this continent alone. We wish Europe well; we acknowledge her superiority in many things over us; but we hold ourselves independent Americans, ready to take advice, and to spurn dictation ; we feel that we have certain advantages which she wants, and is not likely to secure. Here we are not cursed by being overgoverned. Here man is man, and accustomed to rely on himself. He is not in perpetual leading-strings. He is not, as in old Europe, impatient of authority, and yet unable to govern himself. Here he can be manly; and in proportion as he gets rid of Calvinism and his European servility, and becomes Catholic, a member of a church that gives his nature fair play, he will prove himself the admiration and envy of the world. Let old Europe beware how she attempts to interfere with his natural development.
GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES.
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for January, 1856.]
A FEW weeks since the steamer brought us news that our English cousins were in a great ferment through apprehension of a war between Great Britain and the United States. Such a war might well strike them with consternation, for a war with this country would be a far more serious affair to Great Britain than that which, in conjunction with France, she is now waging against Russia, --not so much on account of our military and naval strength or preparations, indeed, as on acconnt of the vast commercial interests involved between the two countries. Great Britain, especially while at war with Russia, has to depend on us for no inconsiderable portion of the breadstuffs and provisions needed for her operatives, and at all times for the cotton to supply her mills, the best market for her manufactures, and at present, for bullion to sustain her credit. The bare news of a declaration of war against this country would bankrupt half or two thirds of her trading houses, stop her mills, prostrate her finances, break up that network of credit by which she holds in thraldom the whole industrial and commercial world, and render it impossible for her to raise the taxes necessary to carry on the war, or to meet even the ordinary expenses of her goverment. She wonld find herself, without a blow being struck, virtually reduced to a second or third rate European power. The very existence of England as a first-class power depends on her keeping the peace with us, and cultivating with us the most friendly relations. We cannot suppose her statesmen ignorant of this fact, and therefore we have felt on this side of the water none of the apprehensions which appear to have been so distressing on the other.
Our policy is peace, for we want no conquests but those which are best secured by peace and friendly intercourse. We regard Great Britain and ourselves as rivals, but we wish for our sake and for hers the rivalry between us to be one of trade and industry, not one of arms. Yet we are not likely to tremble or turn pale at the thought of the latter sort of rivalry, if the protection of our legitimate interests, and the vindication of our national lionor, render war necessary. We have a larger maritime population than Great Britain, our naval constructors and our sailors are at least equal to hers, and in an incredibly short space of time, if required to put forth our energy, we could construct, fit ont, and man a fleet which would cominand the respect of even British admirals, so sparing in their respect for any thing not British. Our military and naval officers and coinmanders we are quite willing to match against those of any other nation, for their science, skill, intelligence, bravery, and gentlemanly deportment, and for men, we can recruit half a million in less time and with less trouble than Great Britain can thirty thousand; men, too, who have all the activity of the Frenchman, the reckless bravery of the Irishman, and the pluck of the Englishman, or the German, with an intelligence and enterprising genius peculiarly their own. We have all our resources within ourselves, and nothing prevents us from being the first military power in the world, but the want of powerful neighbors and a battlefield. In spirit the American people are essentially a military people, combining the peculiar military excellences of the several European nations from which we have sprung. A war with Great Britain would, no doubt, cause us severe losses and much suffering, but we should come out from it stronger than we went into it, while she would come out sufficiently humbled to satisfy her bitterest enemies. We do not court war with her, but we do not fear it. We do not want it, because a few years of peace will do for us all that we could hope to effect by the most successful war.
Great Britain is destined one day to pale before us as Tyre paled before her daughter Carthage, and when there will be no Rome to avenge her, or to ingulf us in our turn.
The latest news that has reached us at the time of writing, is that our English cousins are less alarmed, and begin to feel assured that there will be no war between them and us. We can tell them that there certainly will be no war at present, that none has for a moment been contemplated by our government, and we beliere none even by theirs. Whatever was the motive of despatching an English fleet to the West Indies, we feel quite confident that it was sent without any hostile intent towards us. Lord Palmerston could not have been so ill advised as to suppose that the presence of a fleet would aid his diplomacy, and tend in any degree whatever to induce our government to modify its demands, or to change its settled policy with regard either to this continent or the European. "It may be that the fleet was sent there in consequence of some false reports as to the fitting out, in our ports, of Russian privateers to prey upon British commerce ; it may be that it was sent there to intercept proposed filibustering expeditions from New York for the coast of Ireland ; or it may be that it was sent there merely to keep the fleet in a state of efficiency for renewing its brilliant exploits and achievements in the Baltic, on the reopening of navigation next spring; but we cannot helieve that it was sent there with a view of overawing our government, and preventing it from carrying out its policy with regard to Central America. Of such folly and madness, we do not believe even Lord Palmerston to be capable.
But though there is no danger, at least no immediate danger of a war between Great Britain and the United States, there are some grave questions between the two governments not yet settled, and apparently not as yet in a train of being settled. Something more than a simple apology is due us for the recent outrage on the part of the British ministry, in undertaking to enlist recruits for their meagre Crimean army on our territory, in violation of our municipal laws. The fact is proved, is conceded even, and the excuse that instructions were given to the British agents to be careful not to wound our susceptibilities, and in doing the thing which our laws expressly forbid, to be careful not to come within the reach of those laws, is justly represented by Attorney-General Cushing as an aggravation of the offence. No doubt our government feels that it can afford to be forbearing with Great Britain, but the dismissal or recall of the British minister at Washington, under whose auspices, and with whose advice, the outrage was committed, is no more than the case demands. The silly attempt to throw the blame on General Cushing, and to ask of our government to apologize for his calling British agents, engaged on our own territory in violating our laws, malefactors, is worthy only of the London Times and the New York Herald. The ground taken by General Cushing is good in law and morals, and the common sense of the country will sustain him. His letter, so much complained of, has elevated him, and the administration of which he is a distinguished member, in public estimation, whatever Wallstreet gentlemen may say to the contrary. One thing is certain, that no administration can stand in this country that shows the slightest disposition to truckle to Great Britain ; and nothing will render one more popular than its readiness and firmness in maintaining the national dignity and independence against her arrogant pretensions and overbearing conduct. That word malefactor was well applied to the agents of a foreign government knowingly and intentionally doing on our territory what the laws make a crime, and we thank General Cushing for it.
But a still graver matter is the question concerning Central America. We do not pretend to be able to decide what is the true interpretation of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, but this much we are sure of, namely, that this country can never consent that Central America shall pass under the permanent control of the British, or any other European power. We never approved the proclamation by our government of what is called the Monroe doctrine, but we expect, and the country expects, the government to act on that doctrine whenever the occasion occurs. There must be no more European colonization on this continent. We do not interfere with the nations of the Old World, and we leave them to adjust the balance of power, and settle their disputes at home as best they can, or as best suits themselves: but here on this continent we must have our say, and can suffer no European power to interfere in settling the international relations of American states. We have as much right to look after onr own interests on this continent, as England and France have to look after theirs in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are now at war with Russia to protect their trade and possessions, and to secure commercial advantages