Abbildungen der Seite

same result. In New York, the State administration representing entirely the old order of things, and the old ideas, again appealed to the people to be continued ia power at the head of the new; or rather, not to the people, but to its party, and especially to that fraction of it which it ought to have known was irrecoverably and forever lost to it. The marked difference between the course of the Federal administration and that of the State, during the preceding crisis and struggle, was a fatal weakness to the Democratic party in the State. It was as a house divided against itself. At such periods men require something decided, strong, and simple, to engage their favor and arouse their enthusiasm. Weakness, vacillation, and, above all, any liability to the mere suspicion of double dealing, could not but be fatal at such a period. The Divorce of Bank and State was the great issue-and it was not met fully and frankly in the face by the State administration; at the same time that it professed to identify itself with the decided policy and principles of the federal administration. It miscalculated the strength of the sentiment of party loyalty, by which it sought to recombine the old worn-out system out of, substantially, the same materials that had fallen asunder by their own natural antipathy; and to revive an old party organization which had run its destined course, and had become ripe in the fulness of time for that dissolution, to be followed by a reintegration on its original principles, which seems the appointed lot of all artificial human creations.

Notwithstanding the loss of this election, we have not the least misgivings as to the Presidential vote of New York in 1840, to swell the Democratic majority, which there can be no doubt will be decisive whether with or without it. The Democracy of the State is perfectly sound, and will be renewed by this period of atonement and purification. Strong as is the commercial interest in that State, which was combined and brought to bear, on the occasion of this election, with an efficiency and activity unprecedented before, yet the cause of Federalism and a National Bank has no better chance in the Empire State than it had three years ago. On the contrary, the Whigs themselves found it necessary before the election to disavow the advocacy, as a party, of a national bank, and to pay a heavier price in the use of means to carry the election, and in the consumption of political capital by the disavowal of all their old distinctive principles, than the victory was worth. Though we regret the issue, on various accounts, and especially for the sake of a number of individuals connected with the State adminis tration, for whose personal and political worth we have the highest respect, yet on the whole-safe as are the policy and cause of the Federal administration above the reach of danger from its influence-we see many reasons to reconcile us to it; and have no apprehensions that a Whig ascendency of a year or two can have it

in its power to do any serious injury to the State, or to the still progressive march of the principles of Democracy.

From our very narrow limitation of space for the present Article, we have been able only to allude in general terms to our leading ideas of the causes of the fall of Gov. Marcy's administration. Put forth in a spirit of perfect candor and truth, and referring only to the general principles of the philosophy of party politics, we trust that no expression that we have used will be received in an offensive sense by any. Our single object is, to promote the cause of the truth and the right, and to deduce, for the benefit of the Democratic party in other States, the warning moral and lesson contained in the example of New York.



IN our January Number of last year, in an Article under the above title, we presented a general view of the issue, between the discontented portion of the people of the Canadas and the British colonial government, which, after so long and deeply agitating the country, seemed at last to have sought the arbitrament of arms, as the last resort. Without retracing the ground there gone over, the progress of events since that period has given rise to several questions and topics, connected with the same subject, to which it becomes proper for us to devote a second Article under the same title.

The Administration has been severely assailed from many quarters for the strong course which has been deemed by it right and proper in itself, and due to the national honor and good faith, to pursue in relation to this.struggle. The performance of its necessarily unpopular duty in maintaining the only proper attitude for our Government and our people, has been seen to exert a decided adverse influence to its political interests in the elections. On one point only, where the Executive of the State happened to be a Whig, he and his party had to bear the disadvantage of the local excitement growing out of sympathies with the cause and fortunes of the "Patriots." Along all the rest of the frontier, where the reverse was the case, that influence unquestionably has told with a very serious effect against the Administration. Such must always be the lot of any Executive that is placed in such a situation as to be compelled, by the highest considerations, to oppose itself sternly to any local

current of excitement of such a nature; and since it cannot be averted, it is idle to complain of it as it would be weakness to shrink from it. The general good sense of the broad mass of the community may safely be relied upon to sustain it, in a course so unequivocally approved by all the rest of the country.

Two charges are, however, brought against it, under which those who approve and sustain its course can scarcely be expected to sit down in silent patience. The one is, that it is by a pusillanimous dread of the power of England that this course is dictated. The other, that it is prompted by, and implies, an antipathy to a cause of popular rights nearly analogous to that of our own Revolution, which would be repugnant to the first principles and natural sentiments of a true democracy. Both of these imputations are equally baseless, and equally inconsistent with the position distinctly assumed in the late general Message of the President.

In support of the former, we generally hear adduced the contrast between the vigor and efficiency displayed by the Government in the case of Canada and that of Texas,-in disregard of the obvious fact, that it was the very experience acquired in the case of Texas that pointed out the proper line of duty in the present; affording as it did a demonstration of the utter inadequacy of the then existing laws,—which it has been amply proved were enforced to the utmost extent possible. While at the same time was shown the success with which an actual war might be levied by individual enterprise, excited by the tempting allurement of a distribution of spoil and land, against a country to which we were bound by solemn treaty guaran-. tees of peace and friendship; the facility with which a successful invasion might be made of its territory, to make a revolution to which its own malcontent population was inadequate; and with which might be perpetrated with impunity a great national crime, which, whatever palliation we may find in circumstances, or whatever justification in success, the impartial pen of history must always record as nothing more nor less than what it has been well termed, the robbery of a realm.

But, unable as the weak and humble power of Mexico was in that case to prevent or punish the wrong done her, it is utterly untrue that our Government was under the least sinister influence from that consideration, to connive at the private war which was levied against her by a portion of our citizens, with such successful boldness as must certainly place it, for all time to come, at the very head of the record of American land-speculations. The existing laws were, as we have already insisted, and as has been amply shown elsewhere, carried into execution to the utmost extent possible. And not only was the necessity proved by that experience, of a greatly increased Executive energy, to enforce the neutrality which higher considerations were inadequate to cause to be respected, but in the present

instance the motives stimulating the Government to the utmost zeal and care were greatly increased, in the altered circumstances of the contest. In the former case the insurgent population consisted entirely of American citizens who had been attracted to settle in the country by the invitation of the Mexican government itself, accompanied with the guarantee of essential rights afterwards unscrupulously trampled on. That population was so directly connected by ties of blood, with our own people, that it was idle to attempt the vain task of stifling, or arresting by process of law, the feelings of nature which prompted thousands to rush to the rescue of the handful of their friends and relations, from what threatened to be a war of extermination. The vast extent of wild unexplored frontier between the two countries, rendering it impossible to interpose with any effect the unanimity and ardor of the public sentiment throughout all that part of the Union, which must have frustrated the strongest laws the absence of the immediate danger of calling forth border retaliations, to embroil the government and plunge the country in a state of actual war-the fact that the province was in the unquestionable de facto possession of the insurgent population, and that it was impossible to enter into the intentions with which men might undertake to proceed to join them, whether those of the peaceful emigrant, or the military adventurer-certainly the candid observer must recognize, in the contrast presented between this combination .of circumstances, and that existing on our northern frontier— together with the benefit of the experience already adverted to-an ample explanation of the difference observable in the action of the Government in the two cases.

So far as fear of war is concerned, we are well convinced that such an apprehension is no more to be entertained in the case of England than it was in that of Mexico. For why should we fear such a war? We are surprised that any man of sense could entertain the idea. It appears to us too plainly evident to call for proof, that England would not, durst not, could not, engage in such a war. She is more, far more, dependent on us, in a commercial and industrial point of view, than we on her. The day of England's palmy pride and power has begun sensibly to decline-never in all probability to dawn again. The world is no longer, as in former years, dependent on that prodigious steam power of manufacturing industry and skill which she was able, by the start early given her by the moral advantages of her liberal institutions, and the long general wars that harassed and devastated the rest of Europe, to concentrate within her narrow rock-bound limits. Her monopoly is beginning to be broken up, and England is no longer the common workshop of the world. The other nations are now manufacturing for themselves. The modern developement and diffusion of sci

ence, and of the principles of political economy, has vastly curtailed, and is daily diminishing, her advantages over other nations; while the heavy clogs and disadvantages which a fearful accumulation of misgovernment has gathered around her, are beginning to make themselves sensibly felt, in the open competition to which the general peace that has so long prevailed subjects her.

In the progress of manufactures in other natious, the mine is rapidly advancing and spreading, that is sapping the foundations of that stupendous but hollow pyramid of greatness and wealth. And as for the artificial stimulus of paper-money, which has so long sustained her in her magnificent career of power and splendor, she has already used it to the utmost; and from its nature, when once strained and exhausted, as it has been in this instance, it can never be available again. She has already borrowed about four thousand millions of dollars of posterity, on paper credit, and not only can she borrow no more, but an awful murmur is beginning to rise from the vast and dark depths of her oppressed millions, questioning the rightfulness and lawfulness of that debt already contracted, or rather imposed, and impeaching it as essentially vitiated by fraudthe worst of frauds, a fraud against a nation. Men are already begin. ning to tremble and quake at that boding sound which is slowly spreading and swelling upward, till it is destined to break forth in thunders of the righteous wrath of a people, and to consummate a sublime act which shall forever remain a memorable example to nations and their rulers.

Thus situated, can any one suppose such a thing possible as a declaration of war on the part of England against the United States? Suppose the case, that, in the contest between the government and the malcontents in the Canadas, we had followed the precedent recently set by England herself in the case of Spain, and frequently on former occasions; and, without taking sides-as a government, wielding the national resources and national arms—with either party, had folded our arms, declaring it hostile to the genius of our institutions to interfere with the freedom of the citizen, and had allowed both parties to collect and organize recruits and means within our territories ad libitum, and to go and fight out their battle on their own soil as they best might,-could England have pronounced it just cause of war? She, at least, plainly could not; and an attack on her part would have been a war of aggression. And for what object? To maintain at the point of the bayonet an expensive, inglorious, and really mutually disadvantageous, colonial dominion over an unwillling people. Would an English government, bound over as it is (in Canning's well known saying) in eight hundred millions of pounds to keep the peace, dare to venture upon such a war? And if they should, would the English people, the Radical millions-aided in this instance by the coincident interest of the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »