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ighbor, but -we have so far recovered a it temper of mind, as to refrain from impling upon an injured and brokenirited people, or from insulting them and e world with offers of liberty and the tension of free institutions. As we have en unjust and violent, even for that very ison we may be the more magnanimous. The most judicious have inclined, howsr, to think that we have no preset of a present peace with Mexico; it a change of rulers will be necessary
secure one. They, therefore, occupy pmselves with discussing the alternatives
the entire conquest and occupation of txico, or the occupation of a defensive e, to be assumed by us as a line of Moo.
It is in favor of a defensive line, to be ed by ourselves, that the distinguished Bator from South Carolina has taken his md, in a speech not unworthy of himlf, or of his reputation: as the occasion,
*as the argument; grand, weighty, omentous, and developing the very heart id substance of that system which he is formed to himself, out of the public id private experience of his life. Versed [oalty in the real and the written history
nations, and observing in their rise and *line, the action of irresistible circum•Bces, he predicts boldly, that as States iTe hitherto fallen, so they must continue
fall, through a neglect of the policy to rich they owed their rise. The Senator
no fatalist, no predestinarian; his faith
''iuse and effect is absolute. It is evi"fit to him, that the moral diseases of s'.'.s arc no less real or fatal than those of « body; that a nation which deserts its i?inal policy rushes to as certain decay w disorganization as a man who deserts i first principles.
"Mr. President, there are some propositions o dear for argument, and before such a body the Senate, I should consider it a loss of s» to undertake to prove that to incorporate n to would be hostile to, and in conflict with a free popular institutions, and in the end iW-rsive of them.
"Sir, he who knows the American Conation well—he who has daily studied its charta—he who has looked at history, and Bowi what has been the effect of conquests » free states invariably, will require no proof t my hands to show that it would be entirely o»tile to the institutions of the country, to
hold Mexico as a province. There is not an example on record of any free state even having attempted the conquest of any territory approaching the extent of Mexico without disastrous consequences. The free nations conquered have in time conquered the conquerors. That will be our case, sir. The conquest of Mexico would add so vast an amount to the patronage of this government, that it would absorb the whole power of the States of the Union. This Union would become imperial, and the States mere subordinate corporations.
"But the evil will not end there. The process will go on. The same process by which the power would be transferred from the States to the Union, will transfer the whole from this department of the government (I speak of the legislature) to the Executive. All the added power and added patronage which conquest will create, will pass to the Executive. In the end you put in the hands of the Executive the power of conquering you. You give to it, sir, such splendor, such means, that the principle of proscription which unfortunately prevails in our country will be greater at every presidential election than our institutions can possibly endure. The end of it will be, that that branch of the government will become all-powerful, and the result is inevitable—anarchy and despotism. It is as certain as that I am this day addressing the Senate.
"Sir, let it not be said that Great Britain furnishes an example to the contrary. * • * * Let it be remembered that of all governments that ever existed affording any protection whatever to liberty, the English government far transcends them all in that respect. She can bear more patronage in proportion to her population and wealth than any government of that form that ever existed; nay, to go farther, than can despotism in its lowest form. I will not go into the philosophy of this. That would take me farther from the track than I desire.
"But I will say in a very few words, it results from the fact that her Executive and her conservative branch of the legislature are both hereditary. The Roman government may have exceeded and did exceed the British government in its power for conquest; but no people ever did exist, and probably never will exist, with such a capacity for conquest as that people. But the capacity of Rome to hold subjected provinces, was as nothing compared to that of Great Britain, and hence, as soon as the Roman power passed from Italy beyond the Adriatic on one side, and the Alps on the other, and the Mediterranean, their liberty fell prostrate—the Roman people became a rabble—corruption penetrated everywhere, and violence and anarchy ruled the day. Now, we see England with dependent provinces not less numerous, scarcely not less populous, I believe, though I have not examined the records; we see her going on without any serions danger to tho government.
"Yet the English have not wholly escaped. Although they have retained their liberty and have not fallen into anarchy and despotism, yet we behold the population of England crushed to tho earth by the superincumbent weight of debt. Reflecting on that government, I have often thought that there was only one way in which it could come to an end—that the weight of the pediment would crush it. Look at the neighboring island of Ireland, and instead of finding in her identity, we find that England has to support her out of her laboring and vigorous population—out of her vast machinery and capital, and keep up a peace establishment almost beyond her means. Shall we, with these certain and inevitable consequences in a government better calculated to resist them than any other, adopt such a ruinous policy, and reject the lessons of experience? So much then, Mr. President, for holding Mexico as a province."
"There are some propositions," says the distinguished Senator, " too clear for argument, and before such a body as the Senate, I should consider it a loss of time to undertake to prove, that to incorporate Mexico would be hostile to, and in conflict with, our free popular institutions:" but he is here addressing the Senate of the United States, which is the representative body of all the States; can any man doubt the sincerity of the remark? Does not the veteran statesman know the sentiments of that august body? Let us then entertain no fears that Mexico will be seized upon and annexed, for we have his word for it, that the Senate know that such an act would be at variance with the spirit and genius of this nation.
The Senator speaks for the nation, in its past, its present and its future ; he declares the law that governs the destiny of Republics, but the grandeur of his argument is somewhat diminished by a necessary distinction between the polity of the nation and the polity of individual States.
"The next reason which my resolutions assign, is, that it is without example or precedent, either to hold Mexico as a province, or to incorporate her into our Union. No example of such a line of policy can be found. We bave conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we never thought of holding them in subjection—never of incorporating them into our Union. I know farther, sir, that wo iiave never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but tho Caucasian race—the
free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of incorpor*. ting an Indian race, for more than half of tie Mexicans are Indian?, and the other is conyposed chiefly of mixed tribes.
"I protest against such a union as thatOurs, sir, is the government of the white ran. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish Amena are to be traced to the fatal error of fhant these colored races on an equality with tte white race. That error destroyed the social arrangement which formed the basis of society. The Portuguese and ourselves have escaped— the Portuguese at least to some extent—aid*? are the only people on this continent whica have made revolutions without anarchy. Aai yet it is professed and talked about to ered those Mexicans into a territorial government, and place them on an equality with the peoph of the United States. I protest utterly again* such a project.
"Sir, it is a remarkable fact, that in the whole history of man, as far as my knowledge extends, there is no instance whatever of any civilized colored races being found equal to tit establishment of popular rights, although by fc the largest portion of the human family U composed of these races. And even in tot savage Ftatc we scarcely find them anywben with equal government, except it be our nobfc savages—for noble 1 will call them. Tbey tor the most part had free institutions, but they are easily sustained amongst a savage people. Are we to overlook this fact 7 Are we to associate with ourselves as equals, companions, and fellow-citizens, the Indians and half-breeds of Mexico? Sir, I should consider such t thing as fatal to our institutions."
It is the settled policy of a majority of this nation to recognize no political differences among men, excepting those which necessarily arise from age, sex, and mental sanity,—and it is an equally established policy of a minority, to regard no race t» capable of liberty but the Caucasian oi white race. Because liberty did not originate with the nation as a whole, bol was first recognized and established in '.!'• individual States, they were regarded—and must be regarded—as the defenders aw! sources of private liberty; nor was tbt Constitution itself formed by slaves,—ill authors were the freemen of the nation and they could extend it to yhom the] pleased. And yet, the number of person of other races to whom liberty has beet granted by the States has been too smal for a satisfactory proof that they an capable of liberty. It is not yet prova that Republican institutions can exist ere all white nations of the Caucasian tribe; i of Ibat tribe, which embraces a vast rtion of the human race, only here and »re a free nation, inconsiderable in ilumts but powerful in character and intellii£«?, has been able to establish liberty, i. leaving untouched the question of the ^ability of various races, we know that ublican institutions are the most difficult all others to be preserved, because they >t upon a certain moral superiority of ; people, or rather of the majority of the jple, which appears in their Constituns, their Manners, and their Religion, has never happened in any age that a ipid, cowardly, and faithless nation have ained to permanent freedom. Free titutions are not proper to the white in, therefore, but to the courageous, right and moral man; and if a race of mgrels or negroes, educated so far as to ^nize a society, were found to have se qualities, it could not be denied that ty were capable of free institutions. e, a nation derived from the Saxon, rrman and Celtic races, claim to be capa: of liberty, because we and our ances
> hive always discovered more or less toe republican virtues—and for no other Imd—not inquiring whether those virtues re an immediate gift of Heaven, or a '.ami inheritance, or an effect of education. The framers of the Constitution did not >-nd liberty to the enslaved colored pulation of the Slates: the liberation slaves was a right which all the Slates, ►ether of the North or South, reserved
> their private exercise, to hasten, de', or refuse, at their private pleasure. * slave must be freed before he could luim a relation of freedom to the Nation eii". and bis liberty lay in the gift of his i»t. r, and of the Individual State.
It is necessary, therefore, to protest ainst this doctrine of the Senator, that *ars is the government" (solely) "of the tite man," for by the admission of this rtrine he would deny to the Individual ites that great power to confer liberty d free suffrage upon whom they pleased,
they Indian, African, or mongrel, acrding to the Sovereign Will of the peot This government is not merely a vemment of the white man, but of aomaoever the Individual State shall sec
to make free.
Amid these reflections suggested by the Senator, himself a great example of republican and native virtue, one is startled by the following remarks:—
"It has been the work of fortunate circumstances or a combination of circumstances, a succession of fortunate incidents of some kind, which give to any people a free government. It is a very difficult task to make a Constitution to last, though it may be supposed by some that they can be made to order and furnished at the shortest notice. Sir, this admirable Constitution of our own was the result of a fortunate combination of circumstances. It was superior to the wisdom of the men who made it. It was the force of circumstances which induced them to adopt many of its wise provisions. Well, sir, of the few nations who have had the good fortune to adopt self-government, few have had the good fortune long to preserve that government; for it is harder to preserve fhan to form it. Few people, after years of prosperity, remember the tenure by which their liberty is held; and I fear, Senators, that is our own condition; I fear that we shall continue to involve ourselves until our own system becomes a ruin." »
This observation of the Senator, that our admirable Constitution was the work of fortunate circumstances; that it stands, so to speak, in the palm of fortune, to be cast down as it was raised up, at her pleasure; agrees better with the rhetoric of a military adventurer, than of a grave and wise legislator. Nor does it add the least force to that prediction of the destiny of this Union, uttered in the same breath with it. Predictions, if they be not inspired, to gain respect, must rest upon a knowledge of history and of the laws that govern human events; if we believe that fortune presides over those events, it shows more vanity than discretion in us, to predict their issue, or even to raise a finger to control them. But it is not so: the agents in the affairs of men are themselves men, or rather the passions and the reason of men; and those who predict their course, predict from their estimate of the force of passion and reason in men themselves, be they a legislative body or a nation. Had not the Senator known this, he would not have ventured to predict the fall of this Union. Was it by a mighty and incommunicable logic, that he ventured in the same breath to predict the fall of our institutions, and declare them the work of happy accidents? to raise them on lawless chance, and then declare the law of their continuance? to give them first to fortune and then to the gods?
Absurd conclusion of the Senator! This nation have fortune in their hands, and can whirl her idle wheel backward or forward at their pleasure. They have but to agree that honor and honesty shall rule, and they rule—that the Constitution shall remain, and it remains. On that side they have a divine, an omnipotent authority; on the other they are powerless. On the one side, they have fortune—on the other, divinity; here chance, there reason; here favor, there honor; here lying, there truth; here robbery, peculation, conquest, fear, and the sinking of all in mere despond; there law observed, credit, equity, hope, and* the fruit of all the past.
And yet—it was only by a figure of rhetoric that the orator appealed to Fortune, to inspire us with a salutary terror; and when he afterward points out the true cause of our danger, and shows that it is rather through forgetfulness that we are falling, it is evident that he is truly no worshipper of Fortune, but a firm believer in the laws of Reason and of Nature.
"Sir, there is no solicitude now for liberty. Who talks of liberty when any great question comes up? Here is a question of the first magnitude as to the conduct of this war; do you hear anybody talk about its effect upon our liberties and our free institutions? No, sir. That was not the case formerly. In the early stages of our government the great anxiety was, how to preserve liberty. The great anxiety now, is for the attainment of mere military glory. In the one we are forgetting the other. The maxim of former times was, that power is always stealing from the many to the few ; the price of liberty was perpetual vigilance. They were constantly looking out and watching for danger. Not so now. Is it because there has been any decay of liberty among the people? Not at all. I believe the love of liberty was never more ardent, but they have forgotten the tenure of liberty by which alone it is preserved. "We think we may now indulge in everything with impunity, as if we held our charter of liberty by " right divine"—from heaven itself. Under these impressions we plunge into war, we contract heavy debts, we increase the patronage of the Executive, and we talk of a cruBade to force our institutions, of liberty, upon all people. There is no species of extravagance which our people imagine will endanger their liberty in any degree. Sir, the houris approaching—the day of retribution will come. It will
come as certainly as I am now addressing the Senate, and when it does come, awful will be the reckoning; heavy the responsibility socawhere."
This warning comes from no noisy declaimer, or heated enthusiast. It u th» voice of years and of experience. It is not a trope, or stroke of rhetoric ; H ii the plain announcement of a fact Wr have secured our liberty, and believe thai it will remain secure, while we are occupied in destroying that of other nation? We think that by augmenting our po^n we shall only perfect our freedom; forge*, ful that not power, merely, but lawft forms of power, are the support of freedom Our power may indeed fret and spend i! self in vast enterprises; but we are losiaj the grand privilege of freemen, to contrc the councils of the nation: we may retai our domestic freedom, but we are power'es in the affairs of our country. Party Or ganization, the sole lever of the politick: neglected by one party, and skillfully em ployed by the other, has wrested the seep tre from our gripe; we have allowed oiu selves to believe in Public Opinion, unti too late, it is discovered that Party Orgai izations are manufactories of public opiniw We have neglected to manufacture a qun turn of true and liberal opinion on the si<] of Justice and the Constitution, and U consequences are just beginning to be f< by ourselves and by the world.
As it was not by fortune nor the c« currence of fortunate accidents, that * arrived at our present condition, but' strenuous and virtuous endeavor for c country and kind, so it will not be 1 evil fortune that we fall, if fall we mu; but by the neglect of those means I which we rose. And what were th<: means? The purifying first of our en and next of other minds; the banishmt of all but the most elevated passions, t trial of all public questions by the rule private morality; the fearless and spii ed declaration of right opinion, in the fi of unpopularity and false enthusiasm, all who can speak or write with force with discretion; the constant inculcat of the faith in principles,—that princip are strictly the expression of divine Is "which execute themselves," and must proclaimed and obeyed by all men a nations who are ambitious of power, or rmanent and universal wealth :—these •ins, well used, cannot fail to effect their ds. "But it is also necessary to have :li in the people." What is meant by th in the people? A question worth coring. Put the case that the same tltitude were addressed by two orators, 1 on the same question and occasion; it the first of these orators considered his mind that the people he addressed re to be controlled by several passions, r, vanity, admiration, interest, envy, the it of power, and the enthusiasm of a rel enterprise; that accordingly, hav; this opinion of the men he addressed, opinion drawn necessarily from the idy of his own heart, he begins by a nful flattery,—throws in arguments to : purse, to national vanity, to the admiion of great names, to popular enmities 1 prejudices, the love of domination and (love of change,—and rousing in his irers hearts a tumultuous, uneasy enthusm, which then he and his colleagues Bet to their ends :—this orator may be rly said to have no faith in the people; rather believes that they are creatures passion, and subject to none but base i selfish impulses. But now the second ttor rises, a Chatham, a Webster, a Peri•. » Clay; his generous spirit expands ■If through the vast auditor)', and he litres that he is addressing a company hyh-spirited men, citizens. They see : grandeur in his eye, and before a ml has escaped his lips, they are struck i an irresistible sympathy with the r. Then, lie speaks. When he says r!i')W-citizen.s," they believe him, and '■>oce, from a tumultuous herd, they are r»erted into men—into a nation, for the >e being; the universal voice is speak;, Md every man's soul is attuned by a common purpose seizes them, a comio energy,—and by a wonderful effect, "■ thoughts and feelings rise to an roieal height, beyond that of common »or common times. This second orator *d faith in the people;" he addressed > better part of each man's nature, supung it to be in him ;—and it was in him. Fie great problem of our politics is, tring the minds of the majority up a pitch of knowledge and confidence »t will enable them to use their priI* judgment upon public questions
and public men. To accomplish this end, every spirited citizen will strain every thought. If he has accumulated wealth, he will apply his acquired knowledge of economy and finance to the consideration of the public finance. If he is a lawyer, his knowledge of the nice differences of rights will serve him to detect the fallacies and dishonesties of men in power. If he is a clergyman, he has the law of God, "which fulfills itself," written in his mind in a clear and legible scripture, easily applied to all events and all actions as a rule. If he is a farmer, or an independent mechanic, he knows that individual liberty begins with him—that representative government is sustained by him—in its original purity and force, and that in his place he is the main pillar of the state, on whom depends finally the Union and the public security; but being no linguist nor much read in the law, he will be compelled to shape his estimate of public men and measures by those plain rules from which all laws spring, and which come to him direct from heaven.
But especially, at this crisis, when the polity of the nation is being settled for a course of centuries, by the establishment of new forms of opinion and new modes of government, it becomes the men of leisure and of letters to throw themselves into the strife; not like gladiators shining with the oil of sophistry, and wielding an unscrupulous sword, but rather firm and sure, organized, with the modern obedience and the modern discipline. If, instead of degrading themselves by idle and aimless production, the frivolous trifling of boys, they would remember that they are citizens of a Republic more magnificent than Athens, and that soon must be the irresistible power of the world—that in this Republic there is no aristocracy but that which rests in native uprightness and sincerity, no fame but that of usefulness, no respectability but in the public service; they would cease from their trifling, and unite their exertions and labors to overthrow the ambitious man who usurps, the impostor who misleads, and the coward who sells himself. If, despising toil and resigning the poor privilege of a little fretful originality, a thing smiled upon and pitied by the truly great, they would join as true fellow-soldiers against lying.