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UNITED STATES REVIEW.
FOREIGN AND CONTINENTAL POLICY OF THE
THE Democratic Party has moved into power as a legit imate sovereign takes possession of the dignities and offices of his realm. It was more like a triumphal progress than a victory. As we advanced, the enemy threw down their arms and joined us with shouts of joy and welcome. The "Whig Party" has become a name, a shadow; it is dispersed, annihilated, a topic of history. Clay and Webster are dead, and with them disappeared the once brilliant and powerful organization of their party those sovereigns of eloquence did not name their successors they had none. They were alone in reputation, and in authority. The party did not realize its own dependence upon these celebrated leaders. They gave form and argument to its principles, brilliancy to its successes, consolation to its defeats, firmness and harmony to its organization. We, who can now without fear of contradiction style ourselves "the People,' while we indulge in no affected lamentations, accept with unfeigned delight the glory with which these names have adorned our common country, and desire no greater good for Democracy, than that equal reputations should succeed each other in the generations of our statesmen and orators.
Superior to these in the qualities of intellect and political prescience, and in the power that is conferred by moral purity, and a life of almost ideal virtue, was the reputation of Calhoun; whose arguments for State Sovereignty infused a new life, derived from its origin, into the Con
stitution of Union. Hereafter, the deaths of these three men, marking an epoch in the history of the Republic, will appear simultaneous: for it was the threatening genius of Calhoun that presided over the last acts of the lives of Clay and Webster.
With no common or vulgar pride, but with a serious exultation, we seem to see, in the recent triumph of Democracy, the beginning of a new epoch for Republicanism. Conquering, not by the glory of a single name, nor by any merit attributed to individual citizens, we have elected to the executive office a Senator of the Nation, identified with no faction, the steady and faithful defender of the Union, whose stubborn adherence to those principles which have saved us amid the war of interests and the shock of factions, has drawn to him the confidence and friendship of Democracy.
Our triumph is a reconciliation of the States, who have returned in it, with warm hearts and open hands, to brotherhood and union. The South has laid aside its anger and suspicion, the North regrets its jealousy of the South. Factious differences are execrated and then forgotten. Thousands of liberal citizens, hitherto the staunch adherents of the Whigs, finding themselves compelled otherwise to rank with odious and destructive factions, have joined eagerly with us, in the common effort to restore the sentiment and feeling of nationality and union. We find ourselves rewarded for our steady adherence to the Constitution and the Compromises, by becoming, all at once, the party of the People and of the Nation,—a majority unequalled since the days of Washington.
We have adhered to the representative principle, as it is established by the Constitution and the custom of the people. Our candidate was nominated by a popular Convention, in which all divisions and persuasions of the party were reunited. The people heard and approved the choice of their delegates, and gave him their full confidence.
He is committed to no section, no violences, no fanaticism. If he fulfils the manifest intent of his nomination, and abides firmly and honestly by the principle which elected him, he will conscientiously obey the voice of the majority. His position is one of extreme delicacy, but at the same time affords a brilliant opportu. nity for the exercise of all the virtues that compose the character of a statesman. Representing a constituency which embraces two-thirds of the American People,-in numbers, intelligence, and wealth, he is not required to perform miracles of heroism, but simply to execute the dominant will, and give free course
to the genius of a "law-loving," but at the same time a progressive and intelligent people.
He will not forget that this immense constituency, while it unites upon himself as the representative of a common principle, is at the same time impelled in various directions by passions which agitate all republics, and destroy those which are not steadied by a common interest.
While history continues to demonstrate, by repeated examples, that false principles of government lead first to bankruptcy, and thence, by regular steps, to disunion and revolution, we must believe-that in legislating for a nation, it is necessary to consult first its individual and separate interest, as a member of the general system of governmental organizations. That the lesser must be made to yield, at home, to the greater interests, and the general wealth and welfare be considered always before those of a section or a part.
If the interests of the soil predominate, as with us, over all others, our legislative and executive influence must be directed primarily to sustain and cherish these; all others taking the second place.
If one or two grand divisions of the productive interest are found to have a weight and value not only superior to, but overwhelming and surpassing all others, the laws of nature and the dictates of sound wisdom and economy will oblige us to assign to the public representatives of these predominant interests, the first place and the greatest weight in the councils of
It is a portion of the Executive duty to watch over the proceedings of legislative bodies, and to check the temporary ascendency of minor interests (who demand more than their due), by the exercise of a constitutional prerogative. Democratic precedents have established this prerogative upon an immovable basis. Corrupt appropriations, introduced into bills of a character otherwise unexceptionable, to favor speculation, have necessitated the application of the Veto; and this reluctant application continues to impend, as a defence against legislative errors; which will rarely escape the penetration of a sagacious executive.
It is not now required of a President, to deliver long arguments upon the absolute constitutionality of measures declared by the Senate to be constitutional. The Constitution is not in dispute; its principles, both simple and constructive, have been established by the most powerful minds, and their decisions accepted by the nation. Other duties will devolve upon the
head and representative of American Democracy; the vehement and progressive genius of the Republic, developing immense powers and resources, has raised it to a present equality, and a prospective superiority, which disturbs the polit ical balance of the world. It is no longer necessary for us to inquire whether European criticism approves our policy or justifies our conduct. We have outgrown minority and pupilage; we have constructed a political science and polity of our own, suited to the genius of the Republic, and growing out of its imperious necessities.
A Democratic Executive, representing a warlike and intelligent nation, now covering two-thirds of a continent, and numbering twenty millions, with boundless resources, unlimited wealth, and a degree of activity and keenness which necessitates a new description of human nature; such an Executive will not find it necessary to advise with foreign powers upon questions that concern only the system of the American Republics of the Northern Continent.
It is impossible for any American, not absolutely craven and devoid of sense, to compare at a disadvantage the resources of this Republic with those of any other power, for defensive or offensive war. It is unnecessary to prove statistically what every intelligent and patriotic citizen is ready to admitnamely, that we, a nation just and peaceable in our intentions, would be found an enemy unprofitable to attack.
Theoretically, it may appear that the interests of the European powers are adverse to our aggrandizement, because of the dangerous sympathy of the people of the Old World with our institutions. If the desire to repress that sympathy should tempt them to assume a hostile attitude, arguments of interest will doubtless counteract the temptation. The consequences of wars are not merely victories and defeats: they excite internal revolutions, more especially when governments opposed in principle are also opposed in arms. A war of European powers with the American sovereignties could not fail to infuse into the hostile nations a new opinion of our system; though for a time it might seem to concentrate and fortify the monarchic or imperial energy.
If the Czar should think it necessary to offend us, by harassing our commerce upon the two oceans, his councillors would not fail to point out to him, that interest, and not fanaticism, ought to preside over the councils of a civilized nation. A war between two nations so far removed, with purposes diverse but not opposed, and so remote in language and sentiment