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wild conflict. There was no one man, raised, like the Father ‘ of our country, above reproach *. These were points of dis
similarity which, though plain enough now, were not seen then ; . and the resemblance being once believed to be perfect, the sym'pathy was complete. When the war ceased, and independence ' was acquired, we were further gratified by the avowed imitation
of our example in the adoption of a federal form of government; * and we all recollect the glow of pleasure and pride which every
one felt and acknowledged, when it was ascertained that this course would be adopted by our neighbours. But here the resemblance ceased; and from this period, the tide of approving ' sympathy began to ebb.'+
We cannot blame our American brethren for indulging in such fond and false calculations, since similar delusions were cherished by many in this country; and the vain hope that the moral regeneration of the nations is to be effected by political theories and the shadowy forms of liberty, has not yet been abandoned, although the lessons furnished by Poland and Belgium, have been added to those supplied by the Mexican and South American revolutions. But at least in the United States of North America, the abstract and practical beauty of pure democrasy, and the superior efficiency of republican institutions, may be thought to have received a triumphant demonstration. We have no disposition either to depreciate the institutions of our American brethren, or to deny their adaptation to the specific circumstances of their country; but we wish to put on record in our pages the following monitory avowals and admissions, for the benefit of our own countrymen, and in illustration of the important axiom, confirmed by every fresh page added to the book of history, that the political melioration of society must follow or keep pace with, and cannot precede, the moral and religious emancipation of the people.
· Liberty and equality are high-sounding words. They may be, and often are, the phrases of selfishness and roguery among those who are '
* There now prevails a disposition invidiously to detract from the real merit, and to asperse the character of the patriotic leaders in the South American Revolutions. Bolivar, once indiscriminately eulogised as the Washington of Colombia, and now basely traduced as a tyrant, well deserved the praise due to unimpeachable patriotism and disinterested ness. San Martin was worthy to have been the sovereign of Peru, had not the state of society there been too corrupt to hold together under any thing but an iron despotism. O'Higgins, too, was a man of enlightened mind and unsullied honour. All three had at heart the cause of national independence and rational freedom, and met with the basest ingratitude.
+ North American Review, No. XXXI. pp. 330, 331.
only willing to level down to their own condition: they are honest and patriotic, and benevolent and wise, in the mouths of those who are truly desirous to level up to themselves. ......
*I am the more inclined to recommend a system of national education, free in every part of it, and open to every citizen who is desirous of benefiting by the use of it,--because, if the ultra-democratic doctrines now in vogue, of universal suffrage and instructed representa atives, are destined to prevail among us, I know no means of remedying their defects in practice, but to diffuse useful information as widely as possible.
Many years did I obstinately refuse to acknowledge that there was any truth in the observation, that the people are too often ignorant of, and too often false and traitorous to their own best interests, and that, in many cases, their worst enemies are themselves ; but melancholy experience has forced this truth upon my conviction ; and however unpalatable to myself or to others to entertain or to express it, I find it impossible to escape from its pressure. But the evil is the result of ignorance ; and the only cure for it, the extension of education and of knowledge. .... I am not afraid of a well-educated, well-informed community ; but I already see enough to dread and to deplore the careless, un feeling despotism of ignorance.
When I was young, I was desirous, like Mr. Bentham and his followers, of deducing the maxims of civil government, from what seemed to be the prevailing tendencies of human nature ; and I took for granted, that every man, and every body of men, would act uniformly on the obvious motive of self-interest. I was mistaken. The fact is otherwise ; not in a few, but in the majority of cases. Neither individuals nor bodies of men are generally guided by just considerations of their own good. They act as often from present temptations, from caprice, from prejudice, from flattery, from temporary excitements, from unfounded likings and dislikings, from imperfect apprehension of the question before them, from unavoidable want of information, from sudden impulse, from want of reflection and consideration,
as they do from deliberate and enlightened views of what will ultimately prove to be their real and permanent interest. The maxims of civil government, therefore, ought not to be founded on any theory of abstract rights, or any à priori claims or positions, but on public utility, as pointed out by experience; on the result of past facts accurately observed and well considered. Abstract theories of political rights will then only prove useful in their application and operation, when they have been brought to the test of history,--compared with the known conduct of men in communities, -and subjected to the limitations which want of information in the great mass of the people may reasonably suggest, at any assigned period or state of society. Would a republican form of government be expedient at Constantinople or Tombuctoo? ... The man who would throw experience out of the discussion, in favour of any à priori theory, is not a real friend to the cause he professes to advocate; for any theory not founded on facts, is worthless.'
• All men are said to be “born free, equal, and independent." I know of no sense in which this ever was, or is, or can, or will be true.
.... Are they not every where, have they not been at all times, and will they not ever be, dependent on, subject to the control of the community of which they happen to be then members ? Are any two men equal in strength, or in mental capacity, or in education? Why then do we use these vague and unmeaning terms; or, if they have a meaning, what is it but a false one?
Among these asserted rights, unalienable, indefeasible,-much spoken of, little understood,- is the right of every human creature in society, to give his assent, by himself or his representative, to every law by which he is to be bound. Hence, the right (as it is called) of universal suffrage. If this right exist, it must exist by the will of the society wherein it is to be exercised. If society does not choose to sanction it, what becomes of the right so termed? Who has conferred it, if society has denied it ? *... Society was instituted for the protection of property. What reasonable claim can they have, who have no property of their own, to legislate on the property of others ? Persons employed by the wealthy, and who are themselves poor, and dependent on such employment, will be apt to vote as their employers direct. Their vote in such a case is not their own. They enjoy a nominal right; a right really exercised under the control of their masters and employers. At the last election in New England, was not General Jackson opposed by master manufacturers, who, to ensure the votes of their operatives, had the candidates' names printed on calico? + If this be not slavery, what is it? Persons who are thus
* The Author goes so far as to add: 'I know of no natural right but the right of the strongest. I deny any other. It would be easy to shew that there are other things of which he does not appear to know; but we are at present concerned only with his admissions; for such, as proceeding from a staunch republican and liberal, the statements above selected must be deemed.
+ Dr. Cooper has drawn down upon himself the displeasure of the North American Reviewers, by avowing himself, in this volume, adverse to the encouragement and protection of domestic manufactures in the United States, or at least to the protecting policy, of which in 1813 he was the advocate ; and regret is expressed, somewhat uncandidly, that his change of opinions should have happened under cir'cumstances which have a tendency to render the motive of it in any * way doubtful.' (North American Review, No. lxx. p. 129.) The meaning of this insinuation is, we presume, that Dr. Cooper, being a Southern States-man, is of course a warm partisan of General Jackson. The Reviewers are zealous Clay-ites. Dr. Cooper does not conceal his contemptuous opinion of the idol of the Tariff party. Such doc
trines as those which are taught by Mr. Clay and Mr. Rush shew,' he says (p. 31.), how very far these members of the administration
are behind the knowledge of the day.' Again : "The dreadful ignorance both of honest politics and of political economy, displayed by the administration of John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, I leave • to the vituperations of history.” (p. 348.) The wicked system of • despotism' which Messrs. J. Q. A. and H. C. would gladly have dependent, ought not to be permitted the exercise of a privilege which they possess only in name, and which others can so effectually control. To allow it, is adding enormously to the power of the rich and powerful.
• If universal suffrage prevail, the political power of the country will be, sooner or later, and within no long period,) thrown irrevocably into the hands of those who represent the operatives, the labouring classes, the men of no property, to the exclusion of the men who possess property. This event is now exultingly expected by the mechanic meetings of New York and Pennsylvania. .... When the property of the wealthy becomes an object of welcome legislation to the repre. sentatives of the poor, will it be held sacred ? ... My present notion is, to confine the right of voting to householders of a year's residence actually paying taxes. There ought to be some real, substantial, localized evidence of a man's stake in the country. .... In the year 1783, I published in England, a pamphlet in favour of parliamentary reform. The Duke of Richmond's proposal of universal suffrage was then in vogue among the Reformers. I have had some experience during this interval of nearly half a century; and my present opinions in old age, are not in exact conformity with those of my boyhood ; but I trust they are equally in favour of the just rights of the people, against those who would abuse entrusted power.'
pp. 331–3; 360 ; 363–6. Let it be recollected, that this modification of opinion in the venerable President of the South Carolina College, is the result of witnessing the working of the universal suffrage and ballot system in America. The North American Reviewers assure us, indeed, that the system works well; and that not, as some have imagined, because there is, in the United States ' a great equality • of wealth and intelligence. This is not the fact. In our • large cities', they say, there is every shade of human fortune, 'as in Europe. In Boston, there are two thousand persons and ' more, who get their daily bread by begging or fraud : these 'must all be persons of desperate fortune, of abject poverty.' (What must be the numbers of this class in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans ?) "Thank Heaven', adds the Reviewer, 'we are not overwhelmed with pauperism; 'but there is in every village something of it; and between these two extremes, there are all the shades of condition. But popular institutions work equally well in town and country, and
fastened upon the country, is, Dr. C. assures us, suspected and seen through. (p. 328.) The Yankee Reviewers retaliate on the Professor, by reprobating the “wild novelties in political economy,' the chic • merical fancies', &c. broached by the Southern members in Congress; and they represent General Jackson as having had for his supporters,
the uninformed and unreflecting part of the community. This is a fair specimen of American party-spirit.
• perfectly well in both. There is therefore no incompatibility, they argue, between the existence of an army of paupers' and republican institutions. Nor is it more necessary, we are told, ' that a republic should be enlightened, than a monarchy. If ' the people are ignorant under any form of government, they ‘will be cozened and oppressed.'* Under a republican govern.ment, they may be ignorant; and it is admitted, that ignorance
actually prevails in America, even to a dangerous extent. • Having thus demonstrated that aristocratic and monarch
ical institutions are not the cause of pauperism, and that popular · ignorance, mendicity, abject poverty, and vice may equally sub
sist under any form of government, the Reviewer, not with the best possible grace, proceeds to insist on the certain triumph of the Rule of Three' representation principle, (the distinctive feature of Americanism,) in all the countries of Europe. He sees ‘no intrinsic difficulty in the adoption by England and the • other countries in Europe', (Turkey, we hope, included,) of a constitution like that of the Federal Republic. He thinks that the simplest government must needs be the safest, the least likely to be affected by the convulsions of the times ; and claims for the precarious despotism of Russia, and for the cumbrous, complicated, and ill-balanced government of the United States, threatened continually with a dissolution of the federal compact of states upon which it rests,—the character of preeminent safety and permanence. f But are there no peculiar evils or dangers incident to republican institutions ? Let us hear this same high American authority. In a recent article, obviously intended to pave the way for the elevation of Henry Clay to the Presidency, at the next election, if the Northern, or Tariff party in the Union can muster sufficient strength, the Writer prefaces his eulogy by some remarks on the importance of holding up to public view the examples of such illustrious men, with a view to elevate and im* prove the tone of public feeling, and to repress the vulgar ap
petite for sensual pleasure, wealth, and the mere names of of
fice. The contemplation of such characters will inspire, it is remarked, “the generous ambition of acquiring distinction, not • by a paltry system of intrigue and party management, but by • the persevering and active employment of high intellectual en• dowments for the promotion of the public good. It is only,' adds the Writer, .by the general prevalence of such sentiments
· * North American Review, No. Ixxxii. pp. 180, 1. Art. Prospect of Reform in Europe. This article has been republished in this country, and warmly commended by the Examiner and the Age, the organs of the Radical and the Tory factions.
+ Ibid. p. 167. VOL. VII. N.S.