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The rights, whatever they may be, that a Christian nation or a civilized nation may have over a barbarous nation, Great Britain cannot plead, for she has proved herself, in relation to Hindostan neither the one nor the other. She has been simply a trading company, in relation to Hindostan, simply an invader, and the Hindoos have a perfect right, by all laws, human and divine, to expel her from the territory, if they can. The right and the law is clearly on their side, and Great Britain has not even the shadow of a right against them.
But it is not to be expected that considerations of this kind will have any weight. Modern nations regard right only in so far as it is coincident with their ambition, or their view of their own interest. Great Britain will not withdraw from India ; she will maintain herself there as long as she can, and she will put forth all her energy to suppress what she is pleased to call “ the mutiny of the Sepoys.” If all her neighbors remain quiet, if no one among them seizes the opportunity to settle some old score, she will, we doubt not, succeed, and wreak a vengeance on the unhappy Hindoos that will establish her character for cruelty and barbarity down to the end of the world.
Yet if the so-called mutineers can prolong the struggle for a twelvemonth from this date, the position of England will have greatly changed in Europe and America. She will find herself einbarrassed on all sides, and obliged to use a less haughty tone than has for some time been her wont. Yet when we consider the wonderful vitality of England, and the power through the industrial and mercantile system she exerts over all nations and nearly all individuals, we shall not be surprised to see her emerge from her present difficulties stronger and more imperious than ever. The world, with its present passions and interests, knows not how to dispense with the modern industrial and mercantile system, ruinous to the real virtue and happiness of the people as it may be. It is the reigning order, and even they wlio dislike it cannot live without it, and are obliged to conform to it. The world, which does not and cannot appreciate the superiority of the spiritual to the temporal, nor take any very broad and comprehensive views even of the temporal, cannot spare Great Britain, or suffer her to be eclipsed. Her downfall would carry with it the downfall of the whole credit and funding system, that ingenious device for taxing posterity for the benefit of the present
generation. Stock gambling would fall, the whole system of fictitious wealth would disappear, and the greater part of modern shams and illusions. The downfall of Great Britain would produce a universal convulsion, and produce effects of hardly less magnitude than the downfall of ancient Rome. The emancipated nations would not know how to use their newly recovered liberties. The keystone would be struck from the arch of the modern world. The crash some day inust come, but no nation is ready for it, and the nations most hostile to Great Britain, will rather labor to sustain her in order to prevent the catastrophe, than to hasten her downfall. Trade as yet is sovereign, and as commerce is likely for some time to come to be substituted for religion, and the trader for the Christian missionary, it would be exceedingly imprudent to hazard a prediction that the power of England has culminated. The devil will not readily let go the grip he has through the system we condemn on the modern world. Great Britain represents the city of the world, as Rome represents the city of God, and as the complete triumph of the city of God will not take place before the last day, we can hardly believe that Great Britain will experience any serious reverses, and we shall not be surprised to find even her enemies uniting to guaranty her a new lease of power. Whoever studies England thoroughly will discover in her few seeds of decay ; she has a young vigor, and is at present the most living nation, to all appearances, on the globe, with the exceptions,
if exceptions they are, of Rnssia and our own country. We confess to having misjudged her, and we think very differently of her vitality and power from what we did before the Russian war. She will fall one day, but she will bring down the whole city of the world with her when she does.
In the mean time we hope our government will avail itself of the present opportunity to settle in a just and honorable way the Central American questions, and to assert and secure our national independence. We do not believe in taking advantage of a nation's embarrassments to wring from it hard or unjust terms, and however low Great Britain might fall, we should regret to see any thing more than strict justice insisted upon by our government; but as justice cannot be obtained from her in her prosperity, we can see nothing wrong or dishonorable in seeking it from her in her hour of adversity. We say we hope, yet that is too strong a word. Even the shadow of Great Britain, notwithstanding all our big talk, overawes our government and paralyzes its energies. We cannot expect it to assert American interests against her in earnest till it is too late, till the moment comes when in order to conciliate our trading and planting interests and avoid the calamities of war, we must yield our rights, or, at least, surrender to her every advantage. We know no instance in which British diplomacy has failed to triumph over ours. We have fought with England, but we have never since the war of the revolution proved ourselves independent of her. The only administration we can remember since Madison's that did not consult British more than American interests was the late Pierce administration, so brutally decried by the British presses of this country. In general our administrations have so much to do in providing for a successor, and in settling the pretensions of parties and partizans, that they have no time or ability to look after the real interests of the nation. This is a great and growing evil, the consequences of which are every day becoming more and more manifest. What will become of us it is difficult to foresee, if Providence does not in mercy interfere in our behalf. Our character as one of the great nations of the world is daily sinking rather than rising, and it is, out of our own country, little honor to be known as an American. Individual Americans may be well treated abroad, but the American character commands very little respect. We are considered, except in democratic circles, a nation without principle, without honor,-in a word, a nation of traders and filibusters. However, we set all this down to envy or hatred of us on account of our republicanism, and so long as stocks are up, cotton at advance, and trade is brisk, we flatter ourselves that we are fulfilling the mission God gave us, and setting the world a glorious example of a free people, of mudel republic, worthy of the admiration, the envy, and the imitation of the world. It were far better for us to see our faults and attempt to amend them. We write, it may be, in a desponding tone. We cannot do otherwise, for we read each morning the New York Herald as a sort of necessary evil, and recollect that it is the most widely circulated and the most influential journal in the Union, edited by a Scotchman, and devoted to British rather than to American interests, an echo of the London Times, published in New York. The Herald is the best index that can be selected to the present character and tendencies of the ruling classes in the Union, and has power enough to ruin the administration it opposes.
POLITICS AT HOME AND ABROAD.
(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for April, 1859.)
The present political state of continental Europe is very far from indicating that the era of revolutions is closed, and the era of peace and orderly social progress is opened. At the moment we are writing, though our European news is tess warlike than it was a few weeks ago, we have no wellgrounded assurance that peace will be maintained.
maintained. Peace on the continent is decidedly the interest and the wish of Great Britain, and she will do all she can to preserve it. The emperor of the French would no doubt prefer peace, if he could with it consolidate his domestic policy, and confirm his dynasty. Russia is engaged in vast works of internal improvement, and is just entering upon a social revolution, the end of which it is difficult to foresee, and neither wants nor is prepared for a foreign war. Austria is engaged in securing her frontiers, and in fusing the heterogeneous elements of her empire into a uniform people with a purely Austrian nationality, and has nothing to gain by war. Germany, including Prussia, has enough to do in the interior, in settling the questions still unsettled between the old Germanic order of society and resuscitated pagan Rome, questions which war would be more likely to solve in the Roman than in the German sense. The only state in Europe that really wants war is the little constitutional state of Sardinia, and she wants it in order to secularize the government of the papal states, and thus get a justification, after the fact, of her anti-papal policy and anti-Catholic laws, and to extend her dominion over upper and perhaps central Italy. Alone she cannot carry on successfully a war against Austria, who must oppose every part of her policy, and the question of peace or war really hangs on the fact whether the emperor of the French will actively sustain her or not in her warlike disposition and ambitious projects.
The great question on which just now European politics turn, is the Italian question, raised by Count Walewski at the close of the congress held at Paris in 1856, and this question involves two serious difficulties, one in upper Italy with Austria, and one in central Italy with the pope. The
einperor of the French is very desirous of settling this question, both because he has a natural affection for Italy, and because at present Italy is the focus of machinations against his throne and even his life. If he can prevent disaffection from becoming dangerous at home, and without war appease the Italian patriots, whom the attempt on his life by Orsini has made him fear, and feel that he must in some way conciliate, and if possible interest in sustaining his throne, there will be no war. But we see not how he can settle the Italian question peaceably, or how, without settling it, he can conciliate the Italian patriots.
The natural difficulties of the Italian question are much enhanced by the disagreement of the Italian patriots among themselves. They all agree that Austria must be dispossessed of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, and driven beyond the Alps, and that Italian nationality and autonomy must be restored, or more properly, created. But here their agreement ends, and discord begins. They dispute as to what shall be done with their basket of eggs when laid and hatched. Some insist that Italy, when emancipated, shall be a single monarchical state with its capital at Turin, and Victor Emmanuel for king; others that it shall be a confederacy of constitutional states, under the presidency ofwho it may be ; others insist that it shall be a democratic repnblic, one and indivisible, with its capital at Rome. Gioberti's plan was a confederated Italy under the presidency or moderatorship of the pope ; Mazzini's plan is an emancipated and united Italy, under a democratic republic, with himself, we presume, as president. The division between the respective partisans of these schemes defeated in 1848 the noble movement favored by Pius IX. for the independence of Italy, and complicates the question in 1859. Napoleon III. may amuse, but he cannot support the Mazzinians in Italy any more than he can the red-republicans in France, and neither they nor Austria will consent to the Giobertian plan of confederation, if he were himself, as he is not, disposed to favor it. The Mazzinians are as hostile to the order instituted in Sardinia, as they are to the Austrian domination, and would oppose Victor Emmanuel as king of Italy as strenuously as Francis Joseph or the pope. In their view, a monarchical Italy, under even an Italian prince, whether the pope, as Gioberti contended, or the king of Sardinia, as Count Cavour probably wishes, with or without a parliament, would settle nothing, and would at