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sense of injury, to descant upon its unforgiven grievances, and to present again and again its claims for redress. I earnestly hope that before these pages are in print, the bitterness which remains may have passed away. But the complaints themselves are on record, and cannot be effaced from the history of the time. Let us retrace, then, the course of events from the beginning. Let the facts be stated as they occurred, and let them be exposed to the strongest light.
The materials of which I have made use consist chiefly of the despatches and State-papers which have been published by the two Governments. These, or the material parts of them, have been placed, so far as the necessity for reasonable condensation would admit, under the reader's eye. I shall attempt, in two introductory chapters, to sketch the causes which produced the war, and the events which immediately preceded it, since there is no possible aspect of it in which these do not form essential parts of its history.
Discussions between Governments, conducted in writing, have a certain tendency to discursiveness. Issues raised on one side are pursued on the other; the question, as it expands into a controversy, is prone to spread over too ample a field, and wander into channels from which it would soon be recalled were it carried on in the presence of a judge or arbiter. The despatches which passed between the Governments of the United States and of Great Britain, in reference to what were called the "Alabama Claims," ought certainly to be ranked high in this class of compositions. They are forcible, ingenious, and even eloquent; but no one who reads them, I think, can fail to see that they are occasionally overloaded with reasoning, and that points were sometimes disputed to which a
1 All the despatches to which reference is made, except a few taken from American sources, are among the papers which have been presented to Parliament. I have thought it sufficient to refer to them by their dates.
judge would pay no attention. I shall be content, where I have occasion to notice arguments as well as facts, to advert to such arguments as appear relevant and material.
A writer who undertakes to deal with questions lately disputed, some of them still in dispute,-between a foreign Government and his own, can scarcely hope to be perfectly impartial. But he is bound, before expressing an opinion, to clear his mind from any conscious bias, and he has a right to expect the same sincerity from others. America has many jurists, especially in the department of International Law, whom it would be an impertinence to praise. Some of them have done me the honour to enter into correspondence with me; I regard them as friends, and am ambitious of their good opinion. They will feel, as I do, that divided as we are and must be by our national sympathies, we yet owe, as jurists, the highest candour to one another. If I fail in that duty--if I attempt to apply to America any rule which I should hesitate to apply under like circumstances to England-I am justly to blame, and what I write deserves no attention. International Law knows no country; in aim and intention, at least, its rules are uniform and universal, though the conception of them has varied more or less in different places according to differences of national policy, of local jurisprudence, or of the traditions in which statesmen and lawyers are bred. What it prescribes to any one State, that it imposes on all; and the body of opinion which it represents, and the judgment to which in cases of controversy it appeals, are those, not of England or of America, of Germany or France, but of the whole civilized world.
All Souls College, Oxford,
Structure of the American Commonwealth.-Separatist Tendencies and Influerces. Consolidating Forces.-The Slavery Question; its Rise and Progress.The Territories, and the Effect produced by the Controversy about them.-The Fugitive Slave Law. The Tariff.
THE quick growth of the American Union, its loose political organization, and constant tendency to expansion, have throughout its short history given to it a character of extraordinary vigour, mixed with somewhat of fragility and infirmity. Composed in large measure of emigrants, and the children of emigrants, from various parts of Europe, without a common centre of legislation or the pervading control of a strong central Government, this great people, rapidly formed and still more rapidly increasing, seemed to want some of those securities for permanent cohesion and for the steady maintenance of national life on which older communities have been accustomed to rely. Its Constitution, which appeared to be neither national nor federal, but, as Madison said, a composition of both, was a novel experiment; and, though the work of some of the ablest and wisest men who ever lived, had originated in a compromise between conflicting interests, and was stamped with the character of a compromise. The general nature of the rights and obligations created by it had been a subject of dispute among American statesmen and jurists; and a settled difference of opinion, turning partly on the question of policy, whether it were good
or bad to strengthen the central authority, and draw tighter the ties which bound the States together, partly on the question of constitutional law, what was the actual stringency of those ties and measure of that authority, had always divided, and appeared likely to continue to divide, the mass of the American people. From the very first, it was said many years ago, "one great party has received the Constitution as a federative compact among the States, and the other not as such a compact, but as in the main national and popular." Six or seven times at least, on distinct occasions, between 1797 and 1840, it had been solemnly asserted to be federative, and not national, by the Legislatures of several States. Nor was this a mere theoretical question, which could never assume practical importance. The powers with which the Constitution invests the central Government of the Union were more august indeed, but to the private citizen less visible and palpable, less directly and intimately connected with his daily life, than those which were
1 For a precise expression of the former of these two views it has been usual to refer to the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and the Virginia Resolutions of 1799, drawn respectively by Jefferson and Madison, and adopted by the Legislatures of those States. The first Kentucky Resolution was as follows::
"Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government, but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States and of Amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that Government certain definite powers, reserving each State to itself the residuary mass of right to their own self-government, and that, whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and as an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party; that the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."