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mote the best interests of England, America, and the world. I must not be misunderstood here. I see much in the North to deplore and condemn. There is an amount of pride, arrogance, braggadocio, bombast, and vulgarity, that ought to be checked. The best friends of the Union see it, mourn over it, and wish it otherwise.
It is perhaps not to be wondered, at, but, nevertheless, it is to be condemned and lamented. The 4th of July Celebration, with all the “large talk” it generally results in, has tended much to develope this feeling of pride and arrogance ; and one cannot but hope the future will witness an improved taste in these celebrations. I hope the present trial through which America is passing, and which must necessarily check for many years to come its national prosperity, may have the effect of chastening its pride, and teaching its public men and leading papers to exercise more courtesy and gentlemanly behaviour to others. At the same time I must in justice admit that all the arrogance and vulgar abuse is not seen the Western side of the Atlantic. There has been a great deal too much of it in English newspapers during the last twelve months. I think the “ Times” is a fair match for the “New York Herald" in abuse and misrepresentation.
For the last seven years America has found herself growing in material and political greatness, to an extent that was enough to “turn her head.” There are not many nations that can bear (any more than individuals can) uninterrupted prosperity. America has not kept pace morally and spiritually with her commercial growth; and hence, Providence is now making her drink the bitter cup of adversity--a cup which is always distasteful, but often necessary. May our American cousins learn the lesson in adversity they have refused to learn in prosperity ; and may the chastening hand of God be sanctified to their future good, is my most earnest prayer. At the same time I make this admission, I still contend that the cause of the North is the cause of human happiness and human progress.
There are three things involved in the present struggle of the North, all of which are bound up with the progress of the world :
1st. The abolition of slavery. "Ah! but,” says some one, “the North do not profess to be fighting for that, and, in fact, they say they are not fighting for it." I admit all
you say ; they are not directly fighting to abolish slavery; but whatever the intention, the practical effect of the war will be, if victory crowns the North, the gradual, if not the immediate, destruction of slavery. The South know this, and, as I have proved, admit it. “But,” says some one else,“ look at the prejudice in the North against colour. I would rather be a slave in the South than a free black in the North.” Would you ? Then go and try slavery in the South for twelve months, and then come and give us your experience. Let me ask those who make this assertion, Did you ever hear of any free blacks going South voluntarily? No; the black man's nose as instinctively points North as a magnetic needle does : it may be a mistake on his part, but, at any rate, it is a fact. I admit and condemn, in the strongest possible language, the infamous, wicked, and irreligious abhorrence of the black race in the Northern States. It ought to be condemned by every friend of justice and humanity; and the North will never deserve the unqualified sympathy of the world till they give up this
absurd prejudice. But, after making all these allowances, I still contend that the statements of those both in the South and North are correct,—that the success of the North must and will result in the abolition of slavery.
2nd. I contend that the cause of the North is that of Order and Government. The cause of the South is that of Despotism and Anarchy. If we once admit that a party simply because it is beaten at an election, has a right to secede, there is an end of all order and government. I am aware that we are told that, according to the peculiar government of the United States, each state having a separate government, it had a right to secede ; but I think it can clearly be shown that a state in America had no more constitutional right to secede than a single county has to secede from our Government. The founders of the Union expressly declared that the Union was an indissoluble one, except by consent of all; and arranged that the constitution may at any time be altered or modified, by the consent of two-thirds of the representatives, so as to prevent the necessity of secession. This, in my opinion, was a wise foresight on the part of the “Fathers of the Republic.” I see Mr. Lincoln, in his address to Congress this month, proposes certain alterations in the constitution itself for consideration, and it looks to me probable that
one reason why Providence has permitted secession is, that it may give the North an opportunity of modifying the constitution of the states, so as to adapt it to the future expansion and advance of the country. Let me ask you on this point to listen to the most conclusive reasoning of the Rev. Newman Hall, in a lecture he has just published, and to which I am largely indebted. The rev. and eloquent lecturer says:
“Do the fundamantal principles of government give the right to any section of a nation at its own option to secede from that nation? If a province may do this, so may a county, so may a town.
Scotland, Wales, Ireland-might severally separate from Great Britain ; then Yorkshire, or Surrey, or the borough of Southwark. There could be no such thing as nationality were such secession recognised as lawful. What security would there be for the payment of debts incurred by the nation, if any portion of that nation might, by secession, escape its share of the liability ?
Who would advance money on such terms ? What dependence could be placed on any national engagement?. In case of war, the province or city most threatened might secede, and make a separate treaty with the foe, or declare its neutrality; and where then would be national safety? The claim of an integral part of an empire, when union appears to itself no longer desirable, to secede without the general consent of the empire of which it forms a part, is destructive to all nationality. But does the peculiar constitution of the United States give a special right of secession ? It has been maintained that the several States composing the Union, retain their individual sovereignty. They have their local governors and parliaments, and as by their own decrce they originally joined the Union, so it is said by a reversal of that decree they may separate. If so, as we have just shown, the United States never constituted a nation. To unite with such an understanding was not to unite. A constitution with such a proviso would be self-destructive. If one state may secede from the rest, it is obvious that two states may agree to do the same. Therefore, also, a majority may agree to secede from the minority. Therefore, all the states but one may com. bine to secede from that one. That is to say, according to this notion, any single state may, at any time, be expelled from the Union without its own consent. This unavoidably follows from the right of any single state to secede. Again we say, that a constitution with such a proviso would be self-destructive.”
Such reasoning appears to me unanswerable and thoroughly conclusive. But, again—the constitution of the United States “expressly forbids any state from entering into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, or to grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money, cash bills of credit, or make any but gold and silver a tender for payment.” I have quoted the very words of the constitution ; and will any man of sound mind argue that there is a constitutional right of secession with such a covenant as this? Listen to President Jefferson, one of the ablest of the fathers and founders of the Republic of 1801. He writes :
-“ Absolute acquiescence in the decision of the majority is the vital principle of Republics, from whence there is no appeal but to physical force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.
President Jackson, in 1833 (also one of the Southern nominees) says: “ The right of the people of a single state to absolve themselves at will, and without consent of the other states, from the most solemn obligations, and hazard the lives and liberties of the millions composing the Union, cannot be acknowledged.” And again, when taking leave of office, he said :—“The Union must be preserved; the first line of separation will not last for a single generation. New fragments will be torn off; new leaders will spring up; and this great and glorious Republic would soon be broken into a multitude of petty states, without commerce, without credit, jealous of one another, armed for mutual aggressions, loaded with taxes to pay armies and leaders, seeking aid against each other from foreign powers, insulted and trampled upon by all the nations of Europe, until, harassed with conflict, and troubled and debased in spirit, they would be ready to submit to the absolute dictation of any military adventurer, and surrender their liberty for the sake of repose.” These are weighty words, and they deserve the attention of every lover of order and government. I do not, of course, pretend that though there is clearly no constitutional right to secede, there may not be à revolutionary right. But I think you will admit that à revolutionary right pre-supposes gross injustice and wrong done on the part of the executive. No such injustice, and no such wrong, can be pleaded, or has been pleaded on the part of the South ; and therefore, they stand before the world as traitors to the constitution they were sworn to uphold, and enemies to good government. It is also worth noting that the whole of Buchanan's term
of office was devoted to aiding the South in breaking the constitution. It was with his cognisance that Floyd emptied all the Northern arsenals, and transported the stores to the South ; so that the guns with which the South are now fighting are chiefly the property of the government. It was with his consent that Ioncey scattered the navy, and placed it within reach of Southern ports. If this was not treachery and rebellion, I do not know what is.
3rd. I also contend that the success of the North would be for the general interests of humanity and the world. Certain I am that it will be for the material prosperity of the world, that America should be great, united, and free, rather than it should become a prey to rival factions and internal strifes. No real friend of progress can wish to see the United States broken up. It is all very easy for people to say “let the South go and settle some boundary between the two governments.” Such people forget that the whole geography of the country is against such a separation. There would be over 1,000 miles of frontier boundary on the North to be defined, and assuming (as I suppose every Englishman would wish) that the North decreed every slave free that crossed the border, there would necessarily be a constant source of irritation and strife : and surely it cannot be the interest of the world that America should be forced into a policy that has been the curse of Europe, namely, the arming of one state and one country against another. This policy has loaded us with taxation and debt; and surely we cannot want to see America crushed in the same way. It is also well known by those who are in the confidence of the South, that though for the present it may suit their purpose to proclaim free-trade doctrines, should they succeed in establishing a separate government, one of their first acts would be to put a heavy tax on cotton, so as to make us pay a large share of the expenses of their unrighteous war. Then, I contend, the interest of free labour is bound up in the struggle.
Mr. Ludlow, in his “Sketches of the United States, ** which has been very useful to me in preparing this lecture, says
“The safety of the world demands that these monomaniacs, however estimable they may be in private life, should be put down, and the sooner the better. Why, you may ask me, for the interest of the world? Because the principles put forth