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over, that “the measures of Congress have been so generally directed by self-interest,” that “ South Carolina was only prevented from breaking up the confederacy by the quiet concession of the central legislature.” We may have our doubts as to this; and we certainly do not comprehend the meaning here of the term “self-interest." As a part of the selfish career of unbridled democracy, the author goes on to say, that we seized upon Texas “ without the vestige of a title;” that by conceal. ing our title, which negatived our claim, we obtained from Great Britain the half of Maine; that we did our utmost to revolutionize Canada, and were only prevented by a melancholy tragedy from revolutionizing Cuba; that when the Mexicans took up arms to avenge the spoliation of their territory, we invaded their dominions, and wrested from them the half of all that remained; that during the last ten years, though attacked by no one, we have, by violence and fraud, made ourselves masters of 1,300,000 square miles of territory; that 6 the very children in all parts of the Union play at soldiers ;" and that “ democratic passions have found their usual and natural vent in foreign aggression!” And this tirade, which in no single particular contains the remotest approximation to truth, is the sort of history for which the author has been made a baronet! And yet we are coolly told that this warlike republic, whose little army of some fifty thousand men, mostly volunteers, recently conquered a nation of seven millions of people, and won every battle it fought, against whatever odds, would be beaten by England in that third war which he considers so necessary to settle the “adjourned questions” of the last, before we could, to use a western expression, “ get our eyes open;" and that it would be conquered in three months if situated on the Continent of Europe, unless it changed its government! It is hardly probable that the circumstances which would thus render a change of government imperative will occur for a geological era or two; but it is just possible that, in case any or several of the governments of Europe should succeed in surrounding us on our own continent, some means of defence would be adopted suitable to the occasion.
The author, in his enumeration of the burdens imposed upon France, hardly shows the humble spirit naturally to be
expected of a religious propagandist; we even detect a little exultation in his style of describing “the oriental slavery," to which the converted country was reduced by the Holy Alliance and its insular friend and co-apostolic “soldier of the cross.” Eleven hundred thousand men were quartered upon the soil and the resources of France, one hundred and fifty thousand of whom were to remain five years at her own expense, - all to show the confidence that Louis XVIII, had in his faithful subjects. Fifteen hundred and thirty-five millions of francs were extorted, in addition to the expense of maintaining the armies of the continent. The murder of Marshal Ney, which has left an indelible stain upon all who were accessory to it, is justified, but admitted to have been a mistake. It certainly was not auspicious that the throne of a dynasty, thrust upon France at the point of the bayonet, should have been inaugurated with the blood of the bravest old soldier of the Empire, who had fought fifty battles for France, and not one against her.
The volume now under review is not of so much general interest as those of the former series; and had not its author, who represents a numerous and powerful party of his countrymen, taken this opportunity to present a few additional theories, and to show up his old ones in a more aggravated shape; had he not, especially, gone out of his way to misrepresent America, and hold it up to the indignation of the world, there would hardly be sufficient interest in the book to recommend it to readers upon this side of the Atlantic, and little or nothing in its abstract merits to entitle it to the serious consideration of the reviewer.
We have discussed, with great freedom, the political relations of England and France; and it is time now to turn to this country, and devote our little remaining space to the manner in which our own interests have been affected by recent events. We have taken, for the basis of these reflections, the Inaugural Address of President Pierce, or rather that portion of it that deprecates any foreign interference in the affairs of this continent, and declares any further colonization of it by the European powers to be totally inadmissible. This we take to be a very decided affirmation of the so-called Monroe doctrine,
with additions for the benefit of Young America. We must confess that, so far as we understand the “ Monroe doctrine," it applied to the propagation of the principles of the Holy Alliance, and, as such, it could and should be enforced, if it were at all likely those principles would ever revive in Central America. But apart from the quadrennial epidemic of Young Americanism, we think there is much to be said in favor of restricting, at every hazard, foreign influence within our borders, and even in Central America; and that, in certain cases, all lawful means should be used to diminish such an influence, if incompatible with our interests, which, on the North American Continent, but there alone, we regard as identical with the interests of humanity. Our legitimate sphere of action is confined to this object. We do not apprehend, any more than England appears to have apprehended in the Ore. gon matter, the blustering denunciation of " those who would sacrifice the honor of their country” by the gentlemen who go for violating treaties, and claiming territory which does not belong to us. Mr. Webster gave the Oregon heroes a sarcastic rebuke, which we should think they might remember, when he told them that, if a smile of derision or pout were excited in England, it would not be by any ground taken by the conservative side of the house. We believe that the doctrine of the exclusive control of the Central American States to be of too much importance to serve as a mere party catch-word, - a “springe to catch woodcocks” or votes. But we believe it is to be settled not immediately, or with any single power, and that the shrewdest, yet boldest, diplomacy will be required. We hope to see the day when the oratorical element in our policy will entirely pass away. Swaggering is no nearer to diplomacy than it is to courage; the instances of its success are not many, and they are as discreditable as they are few. The swaggerer never succeeds twice. If we are to trust the organs of the party which now controls the policy of the country, every individual to whom a foreign mission has been entrusted was “admirably fitted” by nature for that very office, before he was selected by the President. We sincerely hope that this was the case. If an unnecessary war is the result of
an unwise and over-strained diplomaey, not only these gentlemen, but the President who appointed them, will incur a fearful responsibility. But if, in the straight and easy path of duty, it should happen that war were forced upon us, the executive should be supported not only by the entire military and marine force of the country, but by the sympathizing spirit of the whole people. Party lines should be for the time utterly annihilated; for the next foreign war will determine the position of America upon the political map of the world.
In order, however, to secure either immunity from war, or unity in case of war, it is absolutely essential that the government be not entrapped into an alliance with any nation what
We have directed the course of our remarks against an alliance with England, not from any hostility to that country; for, in spite of the wrongs which she has permitted her statesmen to perpetrate, there is much in the character of her people to admire ; but simply because the current, slight as it is, was setting in that direction, and writers of a certain class have even attempted to turn it artificially thither. We have endeavored to show, moreover, that the government of Louis Napoleon was entitled to a cordial support from this country. There is every thing to indicate its stability, and its worst enemies cannot suggest any thing so good for the country over which it is instituted. In any event which may occur, let America be neutral, and let her enforce for herself and for other weaker nations the full RIGHTS OF NEUTRALS. If she succeeds in doing that, — and she can succeed, — she will accomplish a far more glorious mission than any, however seemingly proper, interference between a sovereign and a people would be, in the event even of its greatest success. In order to be completely independent of the nations which may be at war, our commercial relations with the ports on the Continent should be increased, if possible, by the acts of government; and we had intended to allude to the project for establishing a Continental depot for cotton, and new lines of steamers between this country and the Continent. Let us remember that friendships are sometimes more dangerous than enmities; let us consider the delicate relations of our internal organization ; let us look to the guaranties which the
past affords, rather than to the professions of the present;and there will need no ghost to tell us, that a nation may be more dangerous as an ally than it is possible for her to be as an enemy.
Liberty depends not upon this or that form of government; it is neither at variance with the idea of a monarchy, nor inseparable from the idea of a republic. Forms of government depend upon the idiosyncrasies of nations, and the circumstances which surround their origin; but liberty may exist in all. It can no more be handed from one nation to another than language or morals can be so transmitted. We have but little faith in propagandism; for the laws of propagandism are, that if it succeed, it succeeds through blood, and if it fail, its failure buries its projectors in contempt. There is a theoretical and there is a practical liberty; and there is real happiness which is necessarily the adjunct of neither. The theory of the British Constitution is the liberty of the subject, independent of the sovereign; and the theory of the Russian autocracy is the liberty of the sovereign to dispose of the subject; yet the people of Russia are happy, and the people of England are wretched. Again, the government of England is a constitutional monarchy, and the government of Austria is an untrammelled despotism ; but is not the merry and loyal peasant of the Tyrol an infinitely happier and higher being than the Yorkshire clown or the Cornwall miner? Are the smiling, light-hearted, music-loving Viennese, strolling of a summer evening along the alleys of the Prater, listening to a song of Meyerbeer's, or whirling about to a new waltz by Lanner, less happy, or less free even, than the skulking, scowling vagabonds that emerge after dark from the purlieus of St. Giles ? And yet the class is the same. The truth is, the deeper our investigations go into the facts of human government and the facts of social life, the deeper is the conviction that the true history of the effect of political institutions upon the liberties and the happiness of man is yet to be written.