Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The American Republic by by O. A. Brownson

Part 5 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

generality, would break up in anarchy, in which might makes
right, as in the slaveholder's democracy.

The abolitionists, in supporting themselves on humanity in its
generality, regardless of individual and territorial rights, can
recognize no state, no civil authority, and therefore are as much
out of the order of civilization, and as much in that of
barbarism, as is the slaveholder himself. Wendell Phillips is as
far removed from true Christian civilization as was John C.
Calhoun, and William Lloyd Garrison is as much of a barbarian and
despot in principle and tendency as Jefferson Davis. Hence the
great body of the people in the non-slaveholding States, wedded
to American democracy as they were and are could never, as much
as they detested slavery, be induced to make common cause with
the abolitionists, and their apparent union in the late civil war
was accidental, simply owing to the fact that for the time the
social democracy and the territorial coincides or had the same
enemy. The great body of the loyal people instinctively felt
that pure socialism is as incompatible with American democracy as
pure individualism; and the abolitionists are well aware that
slavery has been abolished, not for humanitarian or socialistic
reasons but really for reasons of state, in order to save the
territorial democracy. The territorial democracy would not unite
to eliminate even so barbaric an element as slavery, till the
rebellion gave them the constitutional right to abolish it; and
even then so scrupulous were they, that they demanded a
constitutional amendment, so as to be able to make clean work of
it, without any blow to individual or State rights.

The abolitionists were right in opposing slavery, but not in
demanding its abolition on humanitarian or socialistic grounds.
Slavery is really a barbaric element, and is in direct antagonism
to American civilization. The whole force of the national life
opposes it, and must finally eliminate it, or become itself
extinct and it is no mean proof of their utter want of sympathy
with all the living forces of modern civilization, that the
leading men of the South and their prominent friends at the North
really persuaded themselves that with cotton, rice, and tobacco,
they could effectually resist the anti-slavery movement, and
perpetuate their barbaric democracy. They studied the classics,
they admired Greece and Rome, and imagined that those nations
became great by slavery, instead of being great even in spite of
slavery. They failed to take into the account the fact that when
Greece and Rome were in the zenith of their glory, all
contemporary nations were also slaveholding nations, and that if
they were the greatest and most highly civilized nations of their
times, they were not fitted to be the greatest and most highly
civilized nations of all times. They failed also to perceive
that, if the Graeco-Roman republic did not include the whole
territorial people in the political people, it yet recognized
both the social and the territorial foundation of the state, and
never attempted to rest it on pure individualism; they forgot,
too, that Greece and Rome both fell, and fell precisely through
internal weakness caused by the barbarism within, not through the
force of the barbarism beyond their frontiers. The world has
changed since the time when ten thousand of his slaves were
sacrificed as a religious offering to the manes of a single Roman
master. The infusion of the Christian dogma of the unity and
solidarity of the race into the belief, the life, the laws, the
jurisprudence of all civilized nations, has doomed slavery and
every species of barbarism; but this our slaveholding countrymen
saw not.

It rarely happens that in any controversy, individual or
national, the real issue is distinctly presented, or the precise
question in debate is clearly and distinctly understood by either
party. Slavery was only incidentally involved in the late war.
The war was occasioned by the collision of two extreme parties;
but it was itself a war between civilization and barbarism,
primarily between the territorial democracy and the personal
democracy, and in reality, on the part of the nation, as much a
war against the socialism of the abolitionist as against the
individualism of the slaveholder. Yet the victory, though
complete over the former, is only half won over the latter, for
it has left the humanitarian democracy standing, and perhaps for
the moment stronger than ever. The socialistic democracy was
enlisted by the territorial, not to strengthen the government at
home, as it imagines, for that it did not do, and could not do,
since the national instinct was even more opposed to it than to
the personal democracy; but under its antislavery aspect, to
soften the hostility of foreign powers, and ward off foreign
intervention, which was seriously threatened. The populations of
Europe, especially of France and England, were decidedly
anti-slavery, and if the war here appeared to them a war, not
solely for the unity of the nation and the integrity of its
domain, as it really was, in which they took and could take no
interest, but a war for the abolition of slavery, their
governments would not venture to intervene. This was the only
consideration that weighed with Mr. Lincoln, as he himself
assured the author, and induced him to issue his Emancipation
Proclamation; and Europe rejoices in our victory over the
rebellion only so far as it has liberated the slaves, and honors
the late President only as their supposed liberator, not as the
preserver of the unity and integrity of the nation. This is
natural enough abroad, and proves the wisdom of the anti-slavery
policy of the government, which had become absolutely necessary
to save the Republic long before it was adopted; yet it is not as
the emancipator of some two or three millions of slaves that the
American patriot cherishes the memory of Abraham Lincoln, but,
aided by the loyal people, generals of rare merit, and troops of
unsurpassed bravery and endurance, as the saviour of the American
state, and the protector of modern civilization. His
anti-slavery policy served this end, and therefore was wise, but
he adopted it with the greatest possible reluctance.

There were greater issues in the late war than negro slavery or
negro freedom. That was only an incidental issue, as the really
great men of the Confederacy felt, who to save their cause were
willing themselves at last to free and arm their own negroes, and
perhaps were willing to do it even at first. This fact alone
proves that they had, or believed they had, a far more important
cause than the preservation of negro slavery. They fought for
personal democracy, under the form of State sovereignty, against
social democracy; for personal freedom and independence against
social or humanitarian despotism; and so far their cause was as
good as that against which they took up arms; and if they had or
could have fought against that, without fighting at the same time
against the territorial, the real American, the only civilized
democracy, they would have succeeded. It is not socialism nor
abolitionism that has won; nor is it the North that has
conquered. The Union itself has won no victories over the South,
and it is both historically and legally false to say that the
South has been subjugated. The Union has preserved itself and
American civilization, alike for North and South, East and West.
The armies that so often met in the shock of battle were not
drawn up respectively by the North and the South, but by two
rival democracies, to decide which of the two should rule the
future. They were the armies of two mutually antagonistic
systems, and neither army was clearly and distinctly conscious of
the cause for which it was shedding its blood; each obeyed
instinctively a power stronger than itself, and which at best it
but dimly discerned. On both sides the cause was broader and
deeper than negro slavery, and neither the proslavery men nor the
abolitionists have won. The territorial democracy alone has won,
and won what will prove to be a final victory over the purely
personal democracy, which had its chief seat in the Southern
States, though by no means confined to them. The danger to
American democracy from that quarter is forever removed, and
democracy a' la Rousseau has received a terrible defeat
throughout the world, though as yet it is far from being aware of

But in this world victories are never complete. The socialistic
democracy claims the victory which has been really won by the
territorial democracy, as if it had been socialism, not
patriotism, that fired the hearts and nerved the arms of the
brave men led by McClellan, Grant, and Sherman. The
humanitarians are more dangerous in principle than the egoists,
for they have the appearance of building on a broader and deeper
foundation, of being more Christian, more philosophic, more
generous and philanthropic; but Satan is never more successful
than under the guise of an angel of light. His favorite guise in
modern times is that of philanthropy. He is a genuine
humanitarian, and aims to persuade the world that humanitarianism
is Christianity, and that man is God; that the soft and charming
sentiment of philanthropy is real Christian charity; and he dupes
both individuals and nations, and makes them do his work, when
they believe they are earnestly and most successfully doing the
work of God. Your leading abolitionists are as much affected by
satanophany as your leading confederates, nor are they one whit
more philosophical or less sophistical. The one loses the race,
the other the individual, and neither has learned to apply
practically that fundamental truth that there is never the
general without the particular, nor the particular without the
general, the race without individuals, nor individuals without
the race. The whole race was in Adam, and fell in him, as we are
taught by the doctrine of original sin, or the sin of the race,
and Adam was an individual, as we are taught in the fact that
original sin was in him actual or personal sin.

The humanitarian is carried away by a vague generality, and loses
men in humanity, sacrifices the rights of men in a vain endeavor
to secure the rights of man, as your Calvinist or his brother
Jansenist sacrifices the rights of nature in order to secure the
freedom of grace. Yesterday he agitated for the abolition of
slavery, to-day he agitates for negro suffrage, negro equality,
and announces that when be has secured that be will agitate for
female suffrage and the equality of the sexes, forgetting or
ignorant that the relation of equality subsists only between
individuals of the same sex; that God made the man the head of
the woman, and the woman for the man, not the man for the woman.
Having obliterated all distinction of sex in politics, in social,
industrial, and domestic arrangements, he must go farther, and
agitate for equality of property. But since property, if
recognized at all, will be unequally acquired and distributed, he
must go farther still, and agitate for the total abolition of
property, as an injustice, a grievous wrong, a theft, with
M. Proudhon, or the Englishman Godwin. It is unjust that one
should have what another wants, or even more than another. What
right have you to ride in your coach or astride your spirited
barb while I am forced to trudge on foot? Nor can our
humanitarian stop there. Individuals are, and as long as there
are individuals will be, unequal: some are handsomer and some are
uglier, some wiser or sillier, more or less gifted, stronger or
weaker, taller or shorter, stouter or thinner than others, and
therefore some have natural advantages which others have not.
There is inequality, therefore injustice, which can be remedied
only by the abolition of all individualities, and the reduction
of all individuals to the race, or humanity, man in general. He
can find no limit to his agitation this side of vague generality,
which is no reality, but a pure nullity, for he respects no
territorial or individual circumscriptions, and must regard
creation itself as a blunder. This is not fancy, for he has
gone very nearly as far as it is here shown, if logical, be must

The danger now is that the Union victory will, at home and
abroad, be interpreted as a victory won in the interest of social
or humanitarian democracy. It was because they regarded the war
waged on the side of the Union as waged in the interest of this
terrible democracy, that our bishops and clergy sympathized so
little with the Government in prosecuting it; not, as some
imagined, because they were disloyal, hostile to American or
territorial democracy, or not heartily in favor of freedom for
all men, whatever their race or complexion. They had no wish to
see slavery prolonged, the evils of which they, better than any
other class of men, knew, and more deeply deplored; none would
have regretted more than they to have seen the Union broken up;
but they held the socialistic or humanitarian democracy
represented by Northern abolitionists as hostile alike to the
Church and to civilization. For the same reason that they were
backward or reserved in their sympathy, all the humanitarian
sects at home and abroad were forward and even ostentatious in
theirs. The Catholics feared the war might result in encouraging
La Republiques democratique et sociale; the humanitarian sects
trusted that it would. If the victory of the Union should turn
out to be a victory for the humanitarian democracy, the civilized
world will have no reason to applaud it.

That there is some danger that for a time the victory will be
taken as a victory for humanitarianism or socialism, it would be
idle to deny. It is so taken now, and the humanitarian party
throughout the world are in ecstasies over it. The party claim
it. The European Socialists and Red Republicans applaud it, and
the Mazzinis and the Garibaldis inflict on us the deep
humiliation of their congratulations. A cause that can be
approved by the revolutionary leaders of European Liberals must
be strangely misunderstood, or have in it some infamous element.
It is no compliment to a nation to receive the congratulations of
men who assert not only people-king, but people-God; and those
Americans who are delighted with them are worse enemies to the
American democracy than ever were Jefferson Davis and his fellow
conspirators, and more contemptible, as the swindler is more
contemptible than the highwayman.

But it is probable the humanitarians have reckoned without their
host. Not they are the real victors. When the smoke of battle
has cleared away, the victory, it will be seen, has been won by
the Republic, and that that alone has triumphed. The
abolitionists, in so far as they asserted the unity of the race
and opposed slavery as a denial of that unity, have also won; but
in so far as they denied the reality or authority of territorial
and individual circumscriptions, followed a purely socialistic
tendency, and sought to dissolve patriotism into a watery
sentimentality called philanthropy, have in reality been
crushingly defeated, as they will find when the late
insurrectionary States are fully reconstructed. The Southern or
egoistical democrats, so far as they denied the unity and
solidarity of the race, the rights of society over individuals,
and the equal rights of each and every individual in face of the
state, or the obligations of society to protect the weak and help
the helpless, have been also defeated; but so far as they
asserted personal or individual rights which society neither
gives nor can take away, and so far as they asserted, not State
sovereignty, but State rights, held independently of the General
government, and which limit its authority and sphere of action,
they share in the victory, as the future will prove.

European Jacobins, revolutionists, conspiring openly or secretly
against all legitimate authority, whether in Church or State,
have no lot or part in the victory of the American people: not
for them nor for men with their nefarious designs or mad dreams,
have our brave soldiers fought, suffered and bled for four years
of the most terrible war in modern times, and against troops as
brave and as well led as themselves; not for them has the country
sacrificed a million of lives, and contracted a debt of four
thousand millions of dollars, besides the waste and destruction
that it will take years of peaceful industry to repair. They and
their barbaric democracy have been defeated, and civilization has
won its most brilliant victory in all history. The American
democracy has crushed, actually or potentially, every species of
barbarism in the New World, asserted victoriously the state, and
placed the government definitively on the side of legitimate
authority, and made its natural association henceforth with all
civilized governments--not with the revolutionary movements to
overthrow them. The American people will always be progressive
as well as conservative; but they have learned a lesson, which
they much needed against false democracy: civil war has taught
them that "the sacred right of insurrection" is as much out of
place in a democratic state as in an aristocratic or a monarchical
state; and that the government should always be clothed with
ample authority to arrest and punish whoever plots its
destruction. They must never be delighted again to have their
government send a national ship to bring hither a noted traitor
to his own sovereign as the nation's guest. The people of the
Northern States are hardly less responsible for the late
rebellion than the people of the Southern States. Their press
had taught them to call every government a tyranny that refused
to remain quiet while the traitor was cutting its throat or
assassinating the nation, and they had nothing but mad
denunciations of the Papal, the Austrian, and the Neapolitan
governments for their severity against conspirators and traitors.
But their own government has found it necessary for the public
safety to be equally arbitrary, prompt, and severe, and they will
most likely require it hereafter to co-operate with the
governments of the Old World in advancing civilization, instead
of lending all its moral support, as heretofore, to the Jacobins,
revolutionists, socialists, and humanitarians, to bring back the
reign of barbarism.

The tendency to individualism has been sufficiently checked by
the failure of the rebellion, and no danger from the
disintegrating element, either in the particular State or in the
United States, is henceforth to be apprehended. But the tendency
in the opposite direction may give the American state some
trouble. The tendency now is, as to the Union, consolidation,
and as to the particular state, humanitarianism, socialism, or
centralized democracy. Yet this tendency, though it may do much
mischief, will hardly become exclusive. The States that seceded,
when restored, will always, even in abandoning State sovereignty,
resist it, and still assert State rights. When these States are
restored to their normal position, they will always be able to
protect themselves against any encroachments on their special
rights by the General government. The constitution, in the
distribution of the powers of government, provides the States
severally with ample means to protect their individuality against
the centralizing tendency of the General government, however
strong it may be.

The war has, no doubt, had a tendency to strengthen the General
government, and to cause the people, to a great extent, to look
upon it as the supreme and exclusive national government, and to
regard the several State governments as subordinate instead of
co-ordinate governments. It is not improbable that the
Executive, since the outbreak of the rebellion, has proceeded
throughout on that supposition, and hence his extraordinary
assumptions of power; but when once peace is fully re-established
and the States have all resumed their normal position in the
Union, every State will be found prompt enough to resist any
attempt to encroach on its constitutional rights. Its instinct
of self-preservation will lead it to resist, and it will be
protected by both its own judiciary and that of the United

The danger that the General government will usurp the rights of
the States is far less than the danger that the Executive will
usurp all the powers of Congress and the judiciary. Congress,
during the rebellion, clothed the President, as far as it could,
with dictatorial powers, and these powers the Executive continues
to exercise even after the rebellion is suppressed. They were
given and held under the rights of war, and for war purposes
only, and expired by natural limitation when the war ceased; but
the Executive forgets this, and, instead of calling Congress
together and submitting the work of reconstruction of the States
that seceded to its wisdom and authority, undertakes to
reconstruct them himself, as if he were an absolute sovereign;
and the people seem to like it. He might and should, as
commander-in-chief of the army and navy, govern them as military
departments, by his lieutenants, till Congress could either
create provisional civil governments for them or recognize them
as self-governing States in the Union; but he has no right, under
the constitution nor under the war power, to appoint civil
governors, permanent or provisional; and every act he has done in
regard to reconstruction is sheer usurpation, and done without
authority and without the slightest plea of necessity. His acts
in this respect, even if wise and just in themselves, are
inexcusable, because done by one who has no legal right to do
them. Yet his usurpation is apparently sustained by public
sentiment, and a deep wound is inflicted on the constitution,
which will be long in healing.

The danger in this respect is all the greater because it did not
originate with the rebellion, but had manifested itself for a
long time before. There is a growing disposition on the part of

Congress to throw as much of the business of government as
possible into the hands of the Executive. The patronage the
Executive wields, even in times of peace, is so large that he has
indirectly an almost supreme control over the legislative branch
of the government. For this, which is, and, if not checked will
continue to be, a growing evil, there is no obvious remedy,
unless the President is chosen for a longer term of office and
made ineligible for a second term, and the mischievous doctrine
of rotation in office is rejected as incompatible with the true
interests of the public. Here is matter for the consideration of
the American statesman. But as to the usurpations of the
Executive in these unsettled times, they will be only temporary,
and will cease when the States are all restored. They are
abuses, but only temporary abuses, and the Southern States, when
restored to the Union, will resume their rights in their own
sphere, as self-governing communities, and legalize or undo the
unwarrantable acts of the Federal Executive.

The socialistic and centralizing tendency in the bosom of the
individual States is the most dangerous, but it will not be able
to become predominant; for philanthropy, unlike charity, does not
begin at home, and is powerless unless it operates at a distance.
In the States in which the humanitarian tendency is the
strongest, the territorial democracy has its most effective
organization. Prior to the outbreak of the rebellion the
American people had asserted popular sovereignty, but had never
rendered an account to themselves in what sense the people are or
are not sovereign. They had never distinguished the three sorts
of democracy from one another, asked themselves which of the
three is the distinctively American democracy. For them,
democracy was democracy, and those who saw dangers ahead sought
to avoid them either by exaggerating one or the other of the two
exclusive tendencies, or else by restraining democracy itself
through restrictions on suffrage. The latter class began to
distrust universal suffrage, to lose faith in the people, and to
dream of modifying the American constitution so as to make it
conform more nearly to the English model. The war has proved
that the were wrong, for nothing is more certain than that the
people have saved the national unity and integrity almost in
spite of their government. The General government either was not
disposed or was afraid to take a decided stand against secession,
till forced to do it by the people themselves. No wise American
can henceforth distrust American democracy. The people may be
trusted. So much is settled. But as the two extremes were
equally democratic, as the secessionists acted in the name of
popular sovereignty, and as the humanitarians were not unwilling
to allow separation, and would not and did not engage in the war
against secession for the sake of the Union and the integrity of
the national domain, the conviction becomes irresistible that it
was not democracy in the sense of either of the extremes that
made the war and came out of it victorious; and hence the real
American democracy must differ from them both, and is neither a
personal nor a humanitarian, but a territorial democracy. The
true idea of American democracy thus comes out, for the first
time, freed from the two extreme democracies which have been
identified with it, and henceforth enters into the understandings
as well as the hearts of the people. The war has enlightened
patriotism, and what was sentiment or instinct becomes reason--a
well-defined, and clearly understood constitutional conviction.

In the several States themselves there are many things to prevent
the socialistic tendency from becoming exclusive. In the States
that seceded socialism has never had a foothold, and will not
gain it, for it is resisted by all the sentiments, convictions,
and habits of the Southern people, and the Southern people will
not be exterminated nor swamped by migrations either from the
North or from Europe. They are and always will be an
agricultural people, and an agricultural people are and always
will be opposed to socialistic dreams, unless unwittingly held
for a moment to favor it in pursuit of some special object in
which they take a passionate interest. The worst of all policies
is that of hanging, exiling, or disfranchising the wealthy
landholders of the South, in order to bring up the poor and
depressed whites, shadowed forth in the Executive proclamation of
the 29th of May, 1865. Of course that policy will not be carried
out, and if the negroes are enfranchised, they will always vote
with the wealthy landholding class, and aid them in resisting all
socialistic tendencies. The humanitarians will fail for the want
of a good social grievance against which they can declaim.

In the New England States the humanitarian tendency is strong as
a speculation, but only in relation to objects at a distance. It
is aided much by the congregational constitution of their
religion; yet it is weak at home, and is resisted practically by
the territorial division of power. New England means
Massachusetts, and nowhere is the subdivision of the powers of
government carried further, or the constitution of the
territorial democracy more complete, than in that State.
Philanthropy seldom works in private against private vices and
evils: it is effective only against public grievances, and the
farther they are from home and the less its right to interfere
with them, the more in earnest and the more effective for evil
does it become. Its nature is to mind every one's business but
its own. But now that slavery is abolished, there is nowhere in
the United States a social grievance of magnitude enough to
enlist any considerable number of the people, even of
Massachusetts, in a movement to redress it. Negro
enfranchisement is a question of which the humanitarians can make
something and they will make the most of it; but as it is a
question that each State will soon settle for itself, it will not
serve their purpose of prolonged agitation. They could not and
never did carry away the nation, even on the question of slavery
itself, and abolitionism had comparatively little direct
influence in abolishing slavery; and the exclusion of negro
suffrage can never be made to appear to the American people as
any thing like so great a grievance as was slavery.

Besides, in all the States that did not secede, Catholics are a
numerous and an important portion of the population. Their
increasing numbers, wealth, and education secure them, as much
as the majority may dislike their religion, a constantly
increasing influence, and it is idle to leave them out in
counting the future of the country. They will, in a very few
years, be the best and most thoroughly educated class of the
American people; and, aside from their religion, or, rather, in
consequence of their religion, the most learned, enlightened, and
intelligent portion of the American population; and as much as
they have disliked the abolitionists, they have, in the army and
elsewhere, contributed their full share to the victory the nation
has won. The best things written on the controversy have been
written by Catholics, and Catholics are better fitted by their
religion to comprehend the real character of the American
constitution than any other class of Americans, the moment they
study it in the light of their own theology. The American
constitution is based on that of natural society, on the
solidarity of the race, and the difference between natural
society and the church or Christian society is, that the one is
initial and the other teleological. The law of both is the same;
Catholics, as such, must resist both extremes, because each is
exclusive, and whatever is exclusive or one-sided is uncatholic.
If they have been backward in their sympathy with the government,
it has been through their dislike of the puritanic spirit and the
humanitarian or socialistic elements they detected in the
Republican party, joined with a prejudice against political and
social negro equality. But their church everywhere opposes the
socialistic movements of the age, all movements in behalf of
barbarism, and they may always be counted on to resist the
advance of the socialistic democracy. If the country has had
reason to complain of some of them in the late war, it will have,
in the future, far stronger reason to be grateful; not to them,
indeed, for the citizen owes his life to his country, but to
their religion, which has been and is the grand protectress of
modern society and civilization.

>From the origin of the government there has been a tendency to
the extension of suffrage, and to exclude both birth and private
property as bases of political rights or franchises. This
tendency has often been justified on the ground that the elective
franchise is a natural right; which is not true, because the
elective franchise is political power, and political power is
always a civil trust, never a natural right, and the state judges
for itself to whom it will or will not confide the trust; but
there can be no doubt that it is a normal tendency, and in strict
accordance with the constitution of American civil society, which
rests on the unity of the race, and public instead of private
property. All political distinctions founded on birth, race, or
private wealth are anomalies in the American system, and are
necessarily eliminated by its normal developments. To contend
that none but property-holders may vote, or none but persons of a
particular race may be enfranchised, is unamerican and contrary,
to the order of civilization the New World is developing. The
only qualification for the elective franchise the American system
can logically insist on is that the elector belong to the
territorial people--that is, be a natural-born or a naturalized
citizen, be a major in full possession of his natural faculties,
and unconvicted of any infamous offence. The State is free to
naturalize foreigners or not, and under such restrictions as it
judges proper; but, having naturalized them, it must treat them
as standing on the same footing with natural-born citizens.

The naturalization question is one of great national importance.
The migration of foreigners hither has added largely to the
national population, and to the national wealth and resources,
but less, perhaps, to the development of patriotism, the purity
of elections, or the wisdom and integrity of the government. It
is impossible that there should be perfect harmony between the
national territorial democracy and individuals born, brought up,
and formed under a political order in many respects widely
different from it; and there is no doubt that the democracy, in
its objectionable sense, has been greatly strengthened by the
large infusion of naturalized citizens. There can be no question
that, if the laboring classes, in whom the national sentiment is
usually the strongest, had been composed almost wholly of native
Americans, instead of being, as they were, at least in the
cities, large towns, and villages, composed almost exclusively of
persons foreign born, the Government would have found far less
difficulty in filling up the depleted ranks of its armies. But
to leave so large a portion of the actual population as the
foreign born residing in the country without the rights of
citizens, would have been a far graver evil, and would, in the
late struggle, have given the victory to secession. There are
great national advantages derived from the migration hither of
foreign labor, and if the migration be encouraged or permitted,
naturalization on easy and liberal terms is the wisest, the best,
and only safe policy. The children of foreign-born parents are
real Americans.

Emigration has, also, a singular effect in developing the latent
powers of the emigrant, and the children of emigrants are usually
more active, more energetic than the children of the older
inhabitants of the country among whom they settle. Some of our
first men in civil life have been sons of foreign-born parents,
and so are not a few of our greatest and most successful
generals. The most successful of our merchants have been
foreign-born. The same thing has been noticed elsewhere,
especially in the emigration of the French Huguenots to Holland,
Germany, England, and Ireland. The immigration of so many
millions from the Old World has, no doubt, given to the American
people much of their bold, energetic, and adventurous character,
and made them a superior people on the whole to what they would
otherwise have been. This has nothing to do with superiority or
inferiority of race or blood, but is a natural effect of breaking
men away from routine, and throwing them back on their own
individual energies and personal resources.

Resistance is offered to negro suffrage, and justly too, till the
recently emancipated slaves have served an apprenticeship to
freedom; but that resistance cannot long stand before the onward
progress of American democracy, which asserts equal rights for
all, and not for a race or class only. Some would confine
suffrage to landholders, or, at least, to property-holders; but
that is inconsistent with the American idea, and is a relic of
the barbaric constitution which founds power on private instead
of public wealth. Nor are property-owners a whit more likely to
vote for the public good than are those who own no property but
their own labor. The men of wealth, the business men,
manufacturers and merchants, bankers and brokers, are the men who
exert the worst influence on government in every country, for
they always strive to use it as an instrument of advancing their
own private interests. They act on the beautiful maxim, "Let
government take care of the rich, and the rich will take care of
the poor," instead of the far safer maxim, "Let government take
care of the weak, the strong can take care of themselves."
Universal suffrage is better than restricted suffrage, but even
universal suffrage is too weak to prevent private property from
having an undue political influence.

The evils attributed to universal suffrage are not inseparable
from it, and, after all, it is doubtful if it elevates men of an
inferior class to those elevated by restricted suffrage. The
Congress of 1860, or of 1862. was a fair average of the wisdom,
the talent, and the virtue of the country, and not inferior to
that of 1776, or that of l789; and the Executive during the
rebellion was at least as able and as efficient as it was during
the war of 1812, far superior to that of Great Britain, and not
inferior to that of France during the Crimean war. The Crimean
war developed and placed in high command, either with the English
or the French, no generals equal to Halleck, Grant, and Sherman,
to say nothing of others. The more aristocratic South proved
itself, in both statesmanship and generalship, in no respect
superior to the territorial democracy of the North and West.

The great evil the country experiences is not from universal
suffrage, but from what may be called rotation in office. The
number of political aspirants is so great that, in the Northern
and Western States especially, the representatives in Congress
are changed every two or four years, and a member, as soon as he
has acquired the experience necessary to qualify him for his
position, is dropped, not through the fickleness of his
constituency, but to give place to another whose aid had been
necessary to his first or second election. Employes are
"rotated," not because they are incapable or unfaithful, but
because there are others who want their places. This is all bad,
but it springs not from universal suffrage, but from a wrong
public opinion, which might be corrected by the press, but which
is mainly formed by it. There is, no doubt, a due share of
official corruption, but not more than elsewhere, and that would
be much diminished by increasing the salaries of the public
servants, especially in the higher offices of the government,
both General and State. The pay to the lower officers and
employes of the government, and to the privates and
non-commissioned officers in the army, is liberal, and, in
general, too liberal; but the pay of the higher grades in both
the civil and military service is too low, and relatively far
lower than it was when the government was first organized.

The worst tendency in the country, and which is not encouraged at
all by the territorial democracy, manifests itself in hostility
to the military spirit and a standing army. The depreciation of
the military spirit comes from the humanitarian or sentimental
democracy, which, like all sentimentalisms, defeats itself, and
brings about the very evils it seeks to avoid. The hostility to
standing armies is inherited from England, and originated in the
quarrels between king and parliament, and is a striking evidence
of the folly of that bundle of antagonistic forces called the
British constitution. In feudal times most of the land was held
by military service, and the reliance of government was on the
feudal militia; but no real progress was made in eliminating
barbarism till the national authority got a regular army at its
command, and became able to defend itself against its enemies.
It is very doubtful if English civilization has not, upon the
whole, lost more than it has gained by substituting parliamentary
for royal supremacy, and exchanging the Stuarts for the Guelfs.

No nation is a living, prosperous nation that has lost the
military spirit, or in which the profession of the soldier is not
held in honor and esteem; and a standing army of reasonable size
is public economy. It absorbs in its ranks a class of men who
are worth more there than anywhere else; it creates honorable
places for gentlemen or the sons of gentlemen without wealth, in
which they can serve both themselves and their country. Under a
democratic government the most serious embarrassment to the state
is its gentlemen, or persons not disposed or not fitted to
support themselves by their own hands, more necessary in a
democratic government than in any other. The civil service,
divinity, law, and medicine, together with literature, science,
and art, cannot absorb the whole of this ever-increasing class,
and the army and navy would be an economy and a real service to
the state were they maintained only for the sake of the rank and
position they give to their officers, and the wholesome influence
these officers would exert on society and the politics of the
country--this even in case there were no wars or apprehension of
wars. They supply an element needed in all society, to sustain
in it the chivalric and heroic spirit, perpetually endangered by
the mercantile and political spirit, which has in it always
something low and sordid.

But wars are inevitable, and when a nation has no surrounding
nations to fight, it will, as we have just proved, fight itself.
When it can have no foreign war, it will get up a domestic war;
for the human animal, like all animals, must work off in some way
its fighting humor, and the only sure way of maintaining peace is
always to be prepared for war. A regular standing army of forty
thousand men would have prevented the Mexican war, and an army of
fifty thousand well-disciplined and efficient troops at the
command of the President on his inauguration in March, 1861,
would have prevented the rebellion, or have instantly suppressed
it. The cost of maintaining a land army of even a hundred
thousand men, and a naval force to correspond, would have been,
in simple money value, only a tithe of what the rebellion has
cost the nation, to say nothing of the valuable lives that have
been sacrificed for the losses on the rebel side, as well as
those on the side of the government, are equally to be counted.
The actual losses to the country have been not less than six or
eight thousand millions of dollars, or nearly one-half the
assessed value of the whole property of the United States
according to the census returns of 1860, and which has only been
partially cancelled by actual increase of property since. To
meet the interest on the debt incurred will require a heavier sum
to be raised annually by taxation, twice over, without
discharging a cent of the principal, than would have been
necessary to maintain an army and navy adequate to the protection
of peace and the prevention of the rebellion.

The rebellion is now suppressed, and if the government does not
blunder much more in its civil efforts at pacification than it
did in its military operations, before 1868 things will settle
down into their normal order; but a regular army--not militia or
volunteers, who are too expensive--of at least a hundred thousand
men of all arms, and a navy nearly as large as that of England or
France, will be needed as a peace establishment. The army of a
hundred thousand men must form a cadre of an army of three times
that number, which will be necessary to place the army on a war
footing. Less will answer neither for peace nor war, for the
nation has, in spite of herself, to maintain henceforth the rank
of a first-class military and maritime power, and take a leading
part in political movements of the civilized world, and, to a
great extent, hold in her hand the peace of Europe.

Canning boasted that be had raised up the New World to redress
the balance of the Old: a vain boast, for he simply weakened
Spain and gave the hegemony of Europe to Russia, which the
Emperor of the French is trying, by strengthening Italy and
Spain, and by a French protectorate in Mexico, to secure to
France, both in the Old World and the New--a magnificent dream,
but not to be realized. His uncle judged more wisely when he
sold Louisiana, left the New World to itself, and sought only to
secure to France the hegemony of the Old. But the hegemony of
the New World henceforth belongs to the United States, and she
will have a potent voice in adjusting the balance of power even
in Europe. To maintain this position, which is imperative on
her, she must always have a large armed force, either on foot or
in reserve, which she can call out and put on a war footing at
short notice. The United States must henceforth be a great
military and naval power, and the old hostility to a standing
army and the old attempt to bring the military into disrepute
must be abandoned, and the country yield to its destiny.

Of the several tendencies mentioned, the humanitarian tendency,
egoistical at the South, detaching the individual from the race
and socialistic at the North, absorbing the individual in the
race, is the most dangerous. The egoistical form is checked,
sufficiently weakened by the defeat of the rebels; but the social
form believes that it has triumphed, and that individuals are
effaced in society, and the States in the Union. Against this,
more especially should public opinion and American statesmanship
be now directed, and territorial democracy and the division of
the powers of government be asserted and vigorously maintained.
The danger is that while this socialistic form of democracy is
conscious of itself, the territorial democracy has not yet
arrived, as the Germans say, at self
consciousness--selbsbewusstseyn--and operates only instinctively.
All the dominant theories and sentimentalities are against it,
and it is only Providence that can sustain it.



It has been said in the Introduction to this essay that every
living nation receives from Providence a special work or mission
in the progress of society, to accomplish which is its destiny,
or the end for which it exists; and that the special mission of
the United States is to continue and complete in the political
order the Graeco-Roman civilization.

Of all the states or colonies on this continent, the American
Republic alone has a destiny, or the ability to add any thing to
the civilization of the race. Canada and the other British
Provinces, Mexico and Central America, Columbia and Brazil, and
the rest of the South American States, might be absorbed in the
United States without being missed by the civilized world. They
represent no idea, and the work of civilization could go on
without them as well as with them. If they keep up with the
progress of civilization, it is all that can be expected of them.
France, England, Germany, and Italy might absorb the rest of
Europe, and all Asia and Africa, without withdrawing a single
laborer from the work of advancing the civilization of the race;
and it is doubtful if these nations themselves can severally or
jointly advance it much beyond the point reached by the Roman
Empire, except in abolishing slavery and including in the
political people the whole territorial people. They can only
develop and give a general application to the fundamental
principles of the Roman constitution. That indeed is much, but
it adds no new element nor new combination of preexisting
elements. But nothing of this can be said of the United States.

In the Graeco-Roman civilization is found the state proper, and
the great principle of the territorial constitution of power,
instead of the personal or the genealogical, the patriarchal or
the monarchical; and yet with true civil or political principles
it mixed up nearly all the elements of the barbaric constitution.
The gentile system of Rome recalls the patriarchal, and the
relation that subsisted between the patron and his clients has a
striking resemblance to that which subsists between the feudal
lord and his retainers, and may have had the same origin. The
three tribes, Ramnes, Quirites, and Luceres, into which the Roman
people were divided before the rise of the plebs, may have been,
as Niebuhr contends, local, not genealogical, in their origin,
but they were not strictly territorial distinctions, and the
division of each tribe into a hundred houses or gentes was not
local, but personal, if not, as the name implies, genealogical.
No doubt the individuals or families composing the house or gens
were not all of kindred blood, for the Oriental custom of
adoption, so frequent with our North American Indians, and with
all people distributed into tribes, septs, or clans, obtained
with the Romans. The adopted member was considered a child of
the house, and took its name and inherited its goods. Whether,
as Niebuhr maintains, all the free gentiles of the three tribes
were called patres or patricians or whether the term was
restricted to the heads of houses, it is certain that the head of
the house represented it in the senate, and the vote in the
curies was by houses, not by individuals en masse. After all,
practically the Roman senate was hardly less an estate than the
English house of lords, for no one could sit in it unless a
landed proprietor and of noble blood. The plebs, though outside
of the political people proper, as not being included in the
three tribes, when they came to be a power in the republic under
the emperors, and the old distinction of plebs and patricians was
forgotten, were an estate, and not a local or territorial people.

The republican element was in the fact that the land, which gave
the right to participate in political power, was the domain of
the state, and the tenant held it from the state. The domain was
vested in the state, not in the senator nor the prince, and was
therefore respublica, not private property--the first grand leap
of the human race from barbarism. In all other respects the
Roman constitution was no more republican than the feudal.
Athens went farther than Rome, and introduced the principle of
territorial democracy. The division into demes or wards, whence
comes the word democracy, was a real territorial division, not
personal nor genealogical. And if the equality of all men was
not recognized, all who were included in the political class
stood on the same footing. Athens and other Greek cities, though
conquered by Rome, exerted after their conquest a powerful
influence on Roman civilization, which became far more democratic
under the emperors than it had been under the patrician senate,
which the assassins of Julius Caesar, and the superannuated
conservative party they represented, tried so hard to preserve.
The senate and the consulship were opened to the representatives
of the great plebeian houses, and the provincials were clothed
with the rights of Roman citizens, and uniform laws were
established throughout the empire.

The grand error, as has already been said, of the Graeco-Roman or
gentile civilization, was in its denial or ignorance of the unity
of the human race, as well as the Unity of God, and in its
including in the state only a particular class of the territorial
people, while it held all the rest as slaves, though in different
degrees of servitude. It recognized and sustained a privileged
class, a ruling order; and if, as subsequently did the Venetian
aristocracy, it recognized democratic equality within that order,
it held all outside of it to be less than men and without
political rights. Practically, power was an attribute of birth
and of private wealth. Suffrage was almost universal among
freemen, but down almost to the Empire, the people voted by
orders, and were counted, not numerically, but by the rank of the
order, and the comitia curiata could always carry the election
over the comitia centuriata, and thus power remained always in
the hands of the rich and noble few.

The Roman Law, as digested by jurists under Justinian in the
sixth Century, indeed, recognizes the unity of the race, asserts
the equality of all men by the natural law, and undertakes to
defend slavery on principles not incompatible with that equality.
It represents it as a commutation of the punishment of death,
which the emperor has the right to inflict on captives taken in
war, to perpetual servitude; and as servitude is less severe than
death, slavery was really a proof of imperial clemency. But it
has never yet been proved that the emperor has the right under
the natural law to put captives taken even in a just war to
death, and the Roman poet himself bids us "humble the proud, but
spare the submissive." In a just war the emperor may kill on the
battle-field those in arms against him, but the jus gentium, as
now interpreted by the jurisprudence of every civilized nation,
does not allow him to put them to death after they have ceased
resistance, have thrown down their arms, and surrendered. But
even if it did, it gives him a right only over the persons
captured, not over their innocent children, and therefore no
right to establish hereditary slavery, for the child is not
punishable for the offences of the parent. The law, indeed,
assumed that the captive ceased to exist as a person and treated
him as a thing, or mere property of the conqueror, and being
property, he could beget only property, which would accrue only
to his owner. But there is no power in heaven or earth that can
make a person a thing, a mere piece of merchandise, and it is
only by a clumsy fiction, or rather by a bare-faced lie, that the
law denies the slave his personality and treats him as a thing.
I the unity of all men had been clearly seen and vividly felt,
the law would never have attempted to justify perpetual slavery
on the ground of its penal character, or indeed on any ground
whatever. All men are born under the law of nature with equal
rights, and the civil law can justly deprive no man of his
liberty, but for a crime, committed by him personally, that
justly forfeits his liberty to society.

These defects of the Graeco-Roman civilization the European
nations have in part remedied, and may completely remedy. They
can carry out practically the Christian dogma of the unity of the
human race, abolish slavery in every form, make all men equal
before the law, and the political people commensurate with the
territorial people. Indeed, France has already done it. She has
abolished slavery, villenage, serfage, political aristocracy,
asserted the equality of all men before the law, vindicated the
sovereignty of the people, and established universal suffrage,
complete social and territorial democracy. The other nations may
do as much, but hardly can any of them do more or advance
farther. Yet in France, territorial democracy the most complete
results only in establishing the most complete imperial
centralism, usually called Caesarism.

The imperial constitution of France recognizes that the emperor
reigns "by the grace of God and the will of the nation," and
therefore, that by the grace of God and the will of the nation he
may cease to reign; but while he reigns he is supreme, and his
will is law. The constitution imposes no real or effective
restraint on his power: while he sits upon the throne he is
practically France, and the ministers are his clerks; the council
of state, the senate, and the legislative body are merely his
agents in governing the nation. This may, indeed, be changed,
but only to substitute for imperial centralism democratic
centralism, which were no improvement, or to go back to the
system of antagonisms, checks and balances, called
constitutionalism, or parliamentary government, of which Great
Britain is the model, and which were a return toward barbarism,
or mediaeval feudalism.

The human race has its life in God, and tends to realize in all
orders the Divine Word or Logos, which is Ionic itself, and the
principle of all conciliation, of the dialectic union of all
opposites or extremes. Mankind will be logical; and the worst of
all tyrannies is that which forbids them to draw from their
principles their last logical consequences, or that prohibits
them the free explication and application of the Divine Idea, in
which consists their life, their progress. Such tyranny strikes
at the very existence of society, and wars against the reality of
things. It is supremely sophistical, and its success is death;
for the universe in its constitution is supremely logical, and
man, individually and socially, is rational. God is the author
and type of all created things; and all creatures, each in its
order, imitate or copies the Divine Being, who is intrinsically
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, principle, medium, and end. The Son
or Word is the medium, which unites the two extremes, whence God
is living God a real, active, living Being--living, concrete, not
abstract or dead unity, like the unity of old Xenophanes,
Plotinus, and Proclus. In the Holy Trinity is the principle and
prototype of all society, and what is called the solidarity of
the race is only the outward expression, or copy in the external
order, of what theologians term the circumsession of the three
Divine Persons of the Godhead.

Now, human society, when it copies the Divine essence and nature
either in the distinction of persons alone, or in the unity
alone, is sophistical, and wants the principle of all life and
reality. It sins against God. and must fail of its end. The
English system, which is based on antagonistic elements, on
opposites, without the middle term that conciliates them, unites
them, and makes them dialectically one, copies the Divine model
in its distinctions alone, which, considered alone, are opposites
or contraries. It denies, if Englishmen could but see it, the
unity of God. The French, or imperial system, which excludes the
extremes, instead of uniting them, denies all opposites, instead
of conciliating them--denies the distinctions in the model, and
copies only the unity, which is the supreme sophism called
pantheism. The English constitution has no middle term, and the
French no extremes, and each in its way denies the Divine
Trinity, the original basis and type of the syllogism. The human
race can be contented with neither, for neither allows it free
scope for its inherent life and activity. The English system
tends to pure individualism; the French to pure socialism or
despotism, each endeavoring to suppress an element of the one
living and indissoluble TRUTH.

This is not fancy, is not fine-spun speculation, or cold and
lifeless abstraction, but the highest theological and
philosophical truth, without which there were no reason, no man,
no society; for God is the first principle of all being, all
existence, all science, all life, and it is in Him that we live
and move and have our being. God is at the beginning, in the
middle, and at the end of all things--the universal principle,
medium, and end; and no truth can be denied without His existence
being directly or indirectly impugned. In a deeper sense than is
commonly understood is it true that nisi Dominus aedificaverit
domum, in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam. The English
constitution is composed of contradictory elements, incapable of
reconciliation, and each element is perpetually struggling with
the others for the mastery. For a long time the king labored,
intrigued, and fought to free himself from the thraldom in which
he was held by the feudal barons; in 1688 the aristocracy and
people united and humbled the crown; and now the people are at
work seeking to sap both the crown and the nobles. The state is
constituted to nobody's satisfaction; and though all may unite in
boasting its excellences, all are at work trying to alter or
amend it. The work of constituting the state with the English is
ever beginning, never ending. Hence the eternal clamor for
parliamentary reform.

Great Britain and other European states may sweep away all that
remains of feudalism, include the whole territorial people with
the equal rights of all in the state or political people, concede
to birth and wealth no political rights, but they will by so
doing only establish either imperial centralism, as has been done
in France, or democratic centralism, clamored for, conspired for,
and fought for by the revolutionists of Europe. The special
merit of the American system is not in its democracy alone, as
too many at home and abroad imagine; but along with its democracy
in the division of the powers of government, between a General
government and particular State governments, which are not
antagonistic governments, for they act on different matters, and
neither is nor can be subordinated to the other.

Now, this division of power, which decentralizes the government
without creating mutually hostile forces, can hardly be
introduced into any European state. There may be a union of
states in Great Britain, in Germany, in Italy, perhaps in Spain,
and Austria is laboring hard to effect it in her heterogeneous
empire; but the union possible in any of them is that of a Bund
or confederation, like the Swiss or German Bund, similar to what
the secessionists in the United States so recently attempted and
have so signally failed to establish. An intelligent Confederate
officer remarked that their Confederacy had not been in operation
three months before it became evident that the principle on
which it was founded, if not rejected, would insure its defeat.
It was that principle of State sovereignty, for which the States
seceded, more than the superior resources and numbers of the
Government, that caused the collapse of the Confederacy. The
numbers were relatively about equal, and the military resources
of the Confederacy were relatively not much inferior to those of
the Government. So at least the Confederate leaders thought, and
they knew the material resources of the Government as well as
their own, and had calculated them with as much care and accuracy
as any men could. Foreign powers also, friendly as well as
unfriendly, felt certain that the secessionists would gain their
independence, and so did a large part of the people even of the
loyal States. The failure is due to the disintegrating principle
of State sovereignty, the very principle of the Confederacy. The
war has proved that united states are, other things being equal,
an overmatch for confederated states.

The European states must unite either as equals or as unequals.
As equals, the union can be only a confederacy, a sort of
Zollverein, in which each state retains its individual
sovereignty; if as unequals, then someone among them will aspire
to the hegemony, and you have over again the Athenian
Confederation, formed at the conclusion of the Persian war, and
its fate. A union like the American cannot be created by a
compact, or by the exercise of supreme power. The Emperor of the
French cannot erect the several Departments of France into
states, and divide the powers of government between them as
individual and as united states. They would necessarily hold
from the imperial government, which, though it might exercise a
large part of its functions through them, would remain, as now,
the supreme central government, from which all governmental
powers emanate, as our President is apparently attempting, in his
reconstruction policy, to make the government of the United
States. The elements of a state constituted like the American do
not exist in any European nation, nor in the constitution of
European society; and the American constitution would have been
impracticable even here had not Providence so ordered it that the
nation was born with it, and has never known any other.

Rome recognized the necessity of the federal principle, and
applied it in the best way she could. At first it was a single
tribe or people distributed into distinct gentes or houses; after
the Sabine war, a second tribe was added on terms of equality,
and the state was dual, composed of two tribes, the Ramnes and
the Tities or Quirites, and, afterward, in the time of Tullus
Hostilius, were added the Lucertes or Luceres, making the
division into three ruling tribes, each divided into one hundred
houses or gentes. Each house in each tribe was represented by
its chief or decurion in the senate, making the number of
senators exactly three hundred, at which number the senate was
fixed. Subsequently was added, by Ancus, the plebs, who remained
without authority or share in the government of the city of Rome
itself, though they might aspire to the first rank in the allied
cities. The division into tribes, and the division of the tribes
into gentes or houses, and the vote in the state by tribes, and
in the tribes by houses, effectually excluded democratic
centralism; but the division was not a division of the powers of
government between two co-ordinate governments, for the senate
had supreme control, like the British parliament, over all
matters, general and particular.

The establishment, after the secession of the plebs, of the
tribunitial veto, which gave the plebeians a negative power in
the state, there was an incipient division of the powers of
government; but only a division between the positive and negative
powers, not between the general and the particular. The power
accorded to the plebs, or commons, as Niebuhr calls them--who is,
perhaps, too fond of explaining the early constitution of Rome by
analogies borrowed from feudalism, and especially from the
constitution of his native Ditmarsch--was simply an obstructive
power; and when it, by development, became a positive power, it
absorbed all the powers of government, and created the Empire.

There was, indeed, a nearer approach to the division of powers in
the American system, between imperial Rome and her allied or
confederated municipalities. These municipalities, modelled
chiefly after that of Rome, were elective, and had the management
of their own local affairs; but their local powers were not
co-ordiinate in their own sphere with those exercised by the
Roman municipality, but subordinate and dependent. The senate
had the supreme power over them, and they held their rights
subject to its will. They were formally, or virtually,
subjugated states, to which the Roman senate, and afterward the
Roman emperors, left the form of the state and the mere shadow of
freedom. Rome owed much to her affecting to treat them as allies
rather than as subjects, and at first these municipal
organizations secured the progress of civilization in the
provinces; but at a later period, under the emperors, they served
only the imperial treasury, and were crushed by the taxes imposed
and the contributions levied on them by the fiscal agents of the
empire. So heavy were the fiscal burdens imposed on the
burgesses, if the term may be used, that it needed an imperial
edict to compel them to enter the municipal government; and it
became, under the later emperors, no uncommon thing for free
citizens to sell themselves into slavery, to escape the fiscal
burdens imposed. There are actually imperial edicts extant
forbidden freemen to sell themselves as slaves. Thus ended the
Roman federative system, and it is difficult to discover in
Europe the elements of a federative system that could have a
more favorable result.

Now, the political destiny or mission of the United States is, in
common with the European nations, to eliminate the barbaric
elements retained by the Roman constitution, and specially to
realize that philosophical division of the powers of government
which distinguish it from both imperial and democratic centralism
on the one hand, and, on the other, from the checks and balances
or organized antagonisms which seek to preserve liberty by
obstructing the exercise of power. No greater problem in
statesmanship remains to be solved, and no greater contribution
to civilization to be made. Nowhere else than in this New World,
and in this New World only in the United States, can this problem
be solved, or this contribution be made, and what the
Graeco-Roman republic began be completed.

But the United States have a religious as well as a political
destiny, for religion and politics go together. Church and
state, as governments, are separate indeed, but the principles on
which the state is founded have their origin and ground in the
spiritual order--in the principles revealed or affirmed by
religion--and are inseparable from them. There is no state
without God, any more than there is a church without Christ or
the Incarnation. An atheist may be a politician, but if there
were no God there could be no politics. theological principles
are the basis of political principles. The created universe is a
dialectic whole, distinct but inseparable from its Creator, and
all its parts cohere and are essential to one another. All has
its origin and prototype in the Triune God, and throughout
expresses unity in triplicity and triplicity in unity, without
which there is no real being and no actual or possible life.
Every thing has its principle, medium, and end. Natural society
is initial, civil government is medial, the church is
teleological, but the three are only distinctions in one
indissoluble whole.

Man, as we have seen, lives by communion with God through the
Divine creative act, and is perfected or completed only through
the Incarnation, in Christ, the Word made flesh. True, he
communes with God through his kind, and through external nature,
society in which he is born and reared, and property through
which he derives sustenance for his body; but these are only
media of his communion with God, the source of life--not either
the beginning or the end of his communion. They have no life in
themselves, since their being is in God, and, of themselves, can
impart none. They are in the order of second causes, and second
causes, without the first cause, are nought. Communion which
stops with them, which takes them as the principle and end,
instead of media, as they are, is the communion of death, not of
life. As religion includes all that relates to communion with
God, it must in some form be inseparable from every living act of
man, both individually and socially; and, in the long run, men
must conform either their politics to their religion or their
religion to their politics. Christianity is constantly at work,
moulding political society in its own image and likeness, and
every political system struggles to harmonize Christianity with
itself. If, then, the United States have a political destiny,
they have a religious destiny inseparable from it.

The political destiny of the United States is to conform the
state to the order of reality, or, so to speak, to the Divine
Idea in creation. Their religious destiny is to render
practicable and to realize the normal relations between church
and state, religion and politics, as concreted in the life of the

In politics, the United States are not realizing a political
theory of any sort whatever. They, on the contrary, are
successfully refuting all political theories, making away with
them, and establishing the state--not on a theory, not on an
artificial basis or a foundation laid by human reason or will,
but on reality, the eternal and immutable principles in relation
to which man is created. They are doing the same in regard to
religious theories. Religion is not a theory, a subjective view,
an opinion, but is, objectively, at once a principle, a law, and
a fact, and, subjectively, it is, by the aid of God's grace,
practical conformity to what is universally true and real. The
United States, in fulfilment of their destiny, are making as sad
havoc with religious theories as with political theories, and are
pressing on with irresistible force to the real or the Divine
order which is expressed in the Christian mysteries, which exists
independent of man's understanding and will, and which man can
neither make nor unmake.

The religious destiny of the United States is not to create a new
religion nor to found a new church. All real religion is
catholic, and is neither new nor old, but is always and
everywhere true. Even our Lord came neither to found a new
church nor to create a new religion, but to do the things which
had been foretold, and to fulfil in time what had been determined
in eternity. God has himself founded the church on catholic
principles, or principles always and everywhere real principles.
His church is necessarily catholic, because founded on catholic
dogmas, and the dogmas are catholic, because they are universal
and immutable principles, having their origin and ground in the
Divine Being Himself, or in the creative act by which He produces
and sustains all things. Founded on universal and immutable
principles, the church can never grow old or obsolete, but is the
church for all times and Places, for all ranks and conditions of
men. Man cannot change either the church or the dogmas of faith,
for they are founded in the highest reality, which is above him,
over him, and independent of him. Religion is above and
independent of the state, and the state has nothing to do with
the church or her dogmas, but to accept and conform to them as it
does to any of the facts or principles of science, to a
mathematical truth, or to a physical law.

But while the church, with her essential constitution, and her
dogmas are founded in the Divine order, and are catholic and
unalterable, the relations between the civil and ecclesiastical
authorities may be changed or modified by the changes of time and
place. These relations have not been always the same, but have
differed in different ages and countries. During the first three
centuries of our era the church had no legal status, and was
either connived at or persecuted by the state. Under the
Christian emperors she was recognized by the civil law; her
prelates had exclusive jurisdiction in mixed civil and
ecclesiastical questions, and were made, in some sense, civil
magistrates, and paid as such by the empire. Under feudalism,
the prelates received investiture as princes and barons, and
formed alone, or in connection with the temporal lords, an estate
in the kingdom. The Pope became a temporal prince and suzerain,
at one time, of a large part of Europe, and exercised the
arbitratorship in all grave questions between Christian
sovereigns themselves, and between them and their subjects.
Since the downfall of feudalism and the establishment of modern
centralized monarchy, the church has been robbed of the greater
part of her temporal possessions, and deprived, in most
countries, of all civil functions, and treated by the state
either as an enemy or as a slave.

In all the sectarian and schismatic states of the Old World, the
national church is held in strict subjection to the civil
authority, as in Great Britain and Russia, and is the slave of
the state; in the other states of Europe, as France, Austria,
Spain, and Italy, she is treated with distrust by the civil
government, and allowed hardly a shadow of freedom and
independence. In France, which has the proud title of eldest
daughter of the church, Catholics, as such, are not freer than
they are in Turkey. All religious are said to be free, and all
are free, except the religion of the majority of Frenchmen. The
emperor, because nominally a Catholic, takes it upon himself to
concede the church just as much and just as little freedom in the
empire as he judges expedient for his own secular interests. In
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and the Central and South
American states, the policy of the civil authorities is the same,
or worse. It may be safely asserted that, except in the United
States, the church is either held by the civil power in
subjection, or treated as an enemy. The relation is not that of
union and harmony, but that of antagonism, to the grave detriment
of both religion and civilization.

It is impossible, even if it were desirable, to restore the
mixture of civil and ecclesiastical governments which obtained in
the Middle Ages; and a total separation of church and state, even
as corporations, would, in the present state of men's minds in
Europe, be construed, if approved by the church, into a sanction
by her of political atheism, or the right of the civil power to
govern according to its own will and pleasure in utter disregard
of the law of God, the moral order, or the immutable distinctions
between right and wrong. It could only favor the absolutism of
the state, and put the temporal in the place of the spiritual.
Hence, the Holy Father includes the proposition of the entire
separation of church and state in the Syllabus of Errors
condemned in his Encyclical, dated at Rome, December 8, 1864.
Neither the state nor the people, elsewhere than in the United
States, can understand practically such separation in any other
sense than the complete emancipation of our entire secular life
from the law of God, or the Divine order, which is the real
order. It is not the union of church and state--that is, the
union, or identity rather, of religious and political
principles--that it is desirable to get rid of, but the disunion
or antagonism of church and state. But this is nowhere possible
out of the United States; for nowhere else is the state organized
on catholic principles, or capable of acting, when acting from
its own constitution, in harmony with a really catholic church,
or the religious order really existing, in relation to which all
things are created and governed. Nowhere else is it practicable,
at present, to maintain between the two powers their normal

But what is not practicable in the Old World is perfectly
practicable in the New. The state here being organized in
accordance with catholic principles, there can be no antagonism
between it and the church. Though operating in different
spheres, both are, in their respective spheres, developing and
applying to practical life the one and the same Divine Idea. The
church can trust the state, and the state can trust the church.
Both act from the same principle to one and the same end. Each
by its own constitution co-operates with, aids, and completes the
other. It is true the church is not formally established as the
civil law of the land, nor is it necessary that she should be;
because there is nothing in the state that conflicts with her
freedom and independence, with her dogmas or her irreformable
canons. The need of establishing the church by law, and
protecting her by legal pains and penalties, as is still done in
most countries, can exist only in a barbarous or semi-barbarous
state of society, where the state is not organized on catholic
principles, or the civilization is based on false principles, and
in its development tends not to the real or Divine order of
things. When the state is constituted in harmony with that
order, it is carried onward by the force of its own internal
constitution in a catholic direction, and a church establishment,
or what is called a state religion, would be an anomaly, or a
superfluity. The true religion is in the heart of the state, as
its informing principle and real interior life. The external
establishment, by legal enactment of the church, would afford her
no additional protection, add nothing to her power and efficacy,
and effect nothing for faith or piety--neither of which can be
forced, because both must, from their nature, be free-will
offerings to God.

In the United States, false religions are legally as free as the
true religion; but all false religions being one-sided,
sophistical, and uncatholic, are opposed by the principles of the
state, which tend, by their silent but effective workings, to
eliminate them. The American state recognizes only the catholic
religion. It eschews all sectarianism, and none of the sects
have been able to get their peculiarities incorporated into its
constitution or its laws. The state conforms to what each holds
that is catholic, that is always and everywhere religion; and
what ever is not catholic it leaves, as outside of its province,
to live or die, according to its own inherent vitality or want of
vitality. The state conscience is catholic, not sectarian; hence
it is that the utmost freedom can be allowed to all religions,
the false as well as the true; for the state, being catholic in
its constitution, can never suffer the adherents of the false to
oppress the consciences of the adherents of the true. The church
being free, and the state harmonizing with her, catholicity has,
in the freedom of both, all the protection it needs, all the
security it can ask, and all the support it can, in the nature of
the case receive from external institutions, or from social and
political organizations.

This freedom may not be universally wise or prudent, for all
nations may not be prepared for it: all may not have attained
their majority. The church, as well as the state, must deal with
men and nations as they are, not as they are not. To deal with a
child as with an adult, or with a barbarous nation as with a
civilized nation, would be only acting a lie. The church cannot
treat men as free men where they are not free men, nor appeal to
reason in those in whom reason is undeveloped. She must adapt
her discipline to the age, condition, and culture of individuals,
and to the greater or less progress of nations in civilization.
She herself remains always the same in her constitution, her
authority, and her faith; but varies her discipline with the
variations of time and place. Many of her canons, very proper
and necessary in one age, cease to be so in another, and many
which are needed in the Old World would be out of place in the
New World. Under the American system, she can deal with the
people as free men, and trust them as freemen, because free men
they are. The freeman asks, why? and the reason why must be
given him, or his obedience fails to be secured. The simple
reason that the church commands will rarely satisfy him; he would
know why she commands this or that. The full-grown free man
revolts at blind obedience, and he regards all obedience as in
some measure blind for which he sees only an extrinsic command.
Blind obedience even to the authority of the church cannot be
expected of the people reared under the American system, not
because they are filled with the spirit of disobedience, but
because they insist that obedience shall be rationabile
obsequium, an act of the understanding, not of the will or the
affections alone. They are trained to demand a reason for the
command given them, to distinguish between the law and the person
of the magistrate. They can obey God, but not man, and they must
see that the command given has its reason in the Divine order, or
the intrinsic catholic reason of things, or they will not yield
it a full, entire, and hearty obedience. The reason that
suffices for the child does not suffice for the adult, and the
reason that suffices for barbarians does not suffice for civilized
men, or that suffices for nations in the infancy of their
civilization does not suffice for them in its maturity. The
appeal to external authority was much less frequent under the
Roman Empire than in the barbarous ages that followed its
downfall, when the church became mixed up with the state.

This trait of the American character is not uncatholic. An
intelligent, free, willing obedience, yielded from personal
conviction, after seeing its reasonableness, its justice, its
logic in the Divine order--the obedience of a free man, not of a
slave--is far more consonant to the spirit of the church, and far
more acceptable to God, than simple, blind obedience; and a
people capable of yielding it stand far higher in the scale of
civilization than the people that must be governed as children or
barbarians. It is possible that the people of the Old World are
not prepared for the regimen of freedom in religion any more than
they are prepared for freedom in politics; for they have been
trained only to obey external authority, and are not accustomed
to look on religion as having its reason in the real order, or in
the reason of things. They understand no reason for obedience
beyond the external command, and do not believe it possible to
give or to understand the reason why the command itself is given.
They regard the authority of the church as a thing apart, and see
no way by which faith and reason can be harmonized. They look
upon them as antagonistic forces rather than as integral elements
of one and the same whole. Concede them the regimen of freedom,
and their religion has no support but in their good-will, their
affections, their associations, their habits, and their
prejudices. It has no root in their rational convictions, and
when they begin to reason they begin to doubt. This is not the
state of things that is desirable, but it cannot be remedied
under the political regime established elsewhere than in the
United States. In every state in the world, except the American,
the civil constitution is sophistical, and violates, more or
less, the logic of things; and, therefore, in no one of them can
the people receive a thoroughly dialectic training, or an
education in strict conformity to the real order. Hence, in them
all, the church is more or less obstructed in her operations, and
prevented from carrying out in its fulness her own Divine Idea.
She does the best she can in the circumstances and with the
materials with which she is supplied, and exerts herself
continually to bring individuals and nations into harmony with
her Divine law: but still her life in the midst of the nations is
a struggle, a warfare.

The United States being dialectically constituted, and founded on
real catholic, not sectarian or sophistical principles, presents
none of these obstacles, and must, in their progressive
development or realization of their political idea, put an end to
this warfare, in so far as a warfare between church and state,
and leave the church in her normal position in society, in which
she can, without let or hindrance, exert her free spirit, and
teach and govern men by the Divine law as free men. She may
encounter unbelief, misbelief, ignorance, and indifference in
few, or in many; but these, deriving no support from the state,
which tends constantly to eliminate them, must gradually give way
before her invincible logic, her divine charity, the truth and
reality of things, and the intelligence, activity, and zeal of
her ministers. The American people are, on the surface,
sectarians or indifferentists; but they are, in reality, less
uncatholic than the people of any other country because they are,
in their intellectual and moral development, nearer to the real
order, or, in the higher and broader sense of the word more truly
civilized. The multitude of sects that obtain may excite
religious compassion for those who are carried away by them, for
men can be saved or attain to their eternal destiny only by
truth, or conformity to Him who said, "I am the way, the truth,
and the life;" but in relation to the national destiny they need
excite no alarm, no uneasiness, for underlying them all is more
or less of catholic truth, and the vital forces of the national
life repel them, in so far as they are sectarian and not
catholic, as substances that cannot be assimilated to the
national life. The American state being catholic in its organic
principles, as is all real religion, and the church being free,
whatever is anticatholic, or uncatholic, is without any support
in either, and having none, either in reality or in itself, it
must necessarily fall and gradually disappear.

The sects themselves have a half unavowed conviction that they
cannot subsist forever as sects, if unsupported by the civil
authority. They are free, but do not feel safe in the United
States. They know the real church is catholic, and that they
themselves are none of them catholic. The most daring among them
even pretends to be no more than a "branch" of the catholic
church. They know that only the catholic church can withstand
the pressure of events and survive the shocks of time, and hence
everywhere their movements to get rid of their sectarianism and
to gain a catholic character. They hold conventions of delegates
from the whole sectarian world, form "unions," "alliances," and
"associations;" but, unhappily for their success, the catholic
church does not originate in convention, but is founded by the
Word made flesh, and sustained by the indwelling Holy Ghost. The
most they can do, even with the best dispositions in the world,
is to create a confederation, and confederated sects are
something very different from a church inherently one and
catholic. It is no more the catholic church than the late
Southern Confederacy was the American state. The sectarian
combinations may do some harm, may injure many souls, and retard,
for a time, the progress of civilization; but in a state
organized in accordance with catholic principles, and left to
themselves, they are powerless against the national destiny, and
must soon wither and die as branches severed from the vine.

Such being the case, no sensible Catholic can imagine that the
church needs any physical force against the sects, except to
repel actual violence, and protect her in that freedom of speech
and possession which is the right of all before the state. What
are called religious establishments are needed only where either
the state is barbarous or the religion is sectarian. Where the
state, in its intrinsic constitution, is in accordance with
catholic principles, as in the United States, the church has all
she needs or can receive. The state can add nothing more to her
power or her security in her moral and spiritual warfare with
sectarianism, and any attempt to give her more would only weaken
her as against the sects, place her in a false light, partially
justify their hostility to her, render effective their
declamations against her, mix her up unnecessarily with political
changes, interests, and passions, and distract the attention of
her ministers from their proper work as churchmen, and impose on
them the duties of politicians and statesmen. Where there is
nothing in the state hostile to the church, where she is free to
act according to her own constitution and laws, and exercise her
own discipline on her own spiritual subjects, civil enactments in
her favor or against the sects may embarrass or impede her
operations, but cannot aid her, for she can advance no farther
than she wins the heart and convinces the understanding. A
spiritual work can, in the nature of things, be effected only by
spiritual means. The church wants freedom in relation to the
state--nothing more; for all her power comes immediately from
God, without any intervention or mediation of the state.

The United States, constituted in accordance with the real order
of things, and founded on principles which have their origin and
ground in the principles on which the church herself is founded,
can never establish any one of the sects as the religion of the
state, for that would violate their political constitution, and
array all the other sects, as well as the church herself, against
the government. They cannot be called upon to establish the
church by law, because she is already in their constitution as
far as the state has in itself any relation with religion, and
because to establish her in any other sense would be to make her
one of the civil institutions of the, land, and to bring her
under the control of the state, which were equally against her
interest and her nature.

The religious mission of the United States is not then to
establish the church by external law, or to protect her by legal
disabilities, pains, and penalties against the sects, however
uncatholic they may be; but to maintain catholic freedom, neither
absorbing the state in the church nor the church in the state,
but leaving each to move freely, according to its own nature, in
the sphere assigned it in the eternal order of things. Their
mission separates church and state as external governing bodies,
but unites them in the interior principles from which each
derives its vitality and force. Their union is in the intrinsic
unity of principle, and in the fact that, though moving in
different spheres, each obeys one and the same Divine law. With
this the Catholic, who knows what Catholicity means, is of course
satisfied, for it gives the church all the advantage over the
sects of the real over the unreal; and with this the sects have
no right to be dissatisfied, for it subjects them to no
disadvantage not inherent in sectarianism itself in presence of
Catholicity, and without any support from the civil authority.

The effect of this mission of our country fully realized, would
be to harmonize church and state, religion and politics, not by
absorbing either in the other, or by obliterating the natural
distinction between them, but by conforming both to the real or
Divine order, which is supreme and immutable. It places the two
powers in their normal relation, which has hitherto never been
done, because hitherto there never has been a state normally
constituted. The nearest approach made to the realization of the
proper relations of church and state, prior to the birth of the
American Republic, was in the Roman Empire under the Christian
emperors; but the state had been perverted by paganism, and the
emperors, inheriting the old pontifical power, could never be
made to understand their own incompetency in spirituals, and
persisted to the last in treating the church as a civil
institution under their supervision and control, as does the
Emperor of the French in France, even yet. In the Middle Ages
the state was so barbarously constituted that the church was
obliged to supervise its administration, to mix herself up with
the civil government, in order to infuse some intelligence into
civil matters, and to preserve her own rightful freedom and
independence. When the states broke away from feudalism, they
revived the Roman constitution, and claimed the authority in
ecclesiastical matters that had been exercised by the Roman
Caesars, and the states that adopted a sectarian religion gave
the sect adopted a civil establishment, and subjected it to the
civil government, to which the sect not unwillingly consented,
on condition that the civil authority excluded the church and all
other sects, and made it the exclusive religion of the state, as
in England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and the states of
Northern Germany. Even yet the normal relations of church and
state are nowhere practicable in the Old World; for everywhere
either the state is more or less barbaric in its constitution, or
the religion is sectarian, and the church as well as civilization
is obliged, to struggle with antagonistic forces, for

There are formidable parties all over Europe at work to introduce
what they take to be the American system; but constitutions are
generated, not made--providential, not conventional. Statesmen
can only develop what is in the existing constitutions of their
respective countries, and no European constitution contains all
the elements of the American. European Liberals mistake the
American system, and, were they to succeed in their efforts,
would not introduce it, but something more hostile to it than the
governments and institutions they are warring against. They
start from narrow, sectarian, or infidel premises, and seek not
freedom of worship, but freedom of denial. They suppress the
freedom of religion as the means of securing what they call
religious liberty--imagine that they secure freedom of thought by
extinguishing the light without which no thought is possible, and
advance civilization by undermining its foundation. The
condemnation of their views and movements by the Holy Father in
the Encyclical, which has excited so much hostility, may seem to
superficial and unthinking Americans even, as a condemnation of
our American system--indeed, as the condemnation of modern
science, intelligence, and civilization itself; but whoever looks
below the surface, has some insight into the course of events,
understands the propositions and movements censured, and the
sense in which they are censured, is well assured that the Holy
Father has simply exercised his pastoral and teaching authority
to save religion, society, science, and civilization from utter
corruption or destruction. The opinions, tendencies, and
movements, directly or by implication censured, are the effect of
narrow and superficial thinking, of partial and one-sided views,
and are sectarian, sophistical, and hostile to all real progress,
and tend, as far as they go, to throw society back into the
barbarism from which, after centuries of toil and struggle, it is
just beginning to emerge. The Holy Father has condemned nothing
that real philosophy, real science does not also condemn;
nothing, in fact, that is not at war with the American system
itself. For the mass of the people, it were desirable that
fuller explanations should be given of the sense in which the
various propositions censured are condemned, for some of them are
not, in every sense, false; but the explanations needed were
expected by the Holy Father to be given by the bishops and
prelates, to whom, not to the people, save through them, the
Encyclical was addressed. Little is to be hoped, and much is to
be feared, for liberty, science, and civilization from European
Liberalism, which has no real affinity with American territorial
democracy and real civil and religious freedom. But God and
reality are present in the Old World as, well as in the New, and
it will never do to restrict their power or freedom.

Whether the American people will prove faithful to their mission,
and realize their destiny, or not, is known only to Him from whom
nothing is hidden. Providence is free, and leaves always a space
for human free-will. The American people can fail, and will fail
if they neglect the appointed means and conditions of success;
but there is nothing in their present state or in their past
history to render their failure probable. They have in their
internal constitution what Rome wanted, and they are in no danger
of being crushed by exterior barbarism. Their success as feeble
colonies of Great Britain in achieving their national
independence, and especially in maintaining, unaided, and against
the real hostility of Great Britain and France, their national
unity and integrity against a rebellion which, probably, no other
people could have survived, gives reasonable assurance for their
future. The leaders of the rebellion, than whom none better knew
or more nicely calculated the strength and resources of the
Union, counted with certainty on success, and the ablest, the
most experienced, and best informed statesmen of the Old World
felt sure that the Republic was gone, and spoke of it as the late
United States. Not a few, even in the loyal States, who had no
sympathy with the rebellion, believed it idle to think of
suppressing it by force, and advised peace on the best terms that
could be obtained. But Ilium fuit was chanted too soon; the
American people were equal to the emergency, and falsified the
calculations and predictions of their enemies, and surpassed the
expectations of their friends.

The attitude of the real American people during the fearful
struggle affords additional confidence in their destiny. With
larger armies on foot than Napoleon ever commanded, with their
line of battle stretching from ocean to ocean, across the whole
breadth of the continent, they never, during four long years of
alternate victories and defeats--and both unprecedentedly
bloody--for a moment lost their equanimity, or appeared less
calm, collected, tranquil, than in the ordinary times of peace.
They not for a moment interrupted their ordinary routine of
business or pleasure, or seemed conscious of being engaged in any
serious struggle which required an effort. There was no hurry,
no bustle, no excitement, no fear, no misgiving. They seemed to
regard the war as a mere bagatelle, not worth being in earnest
about. The on-looker was almost angry with their apparent
indifference, apparent insensibility, and doubted if they moved
at all, Yet move they did: guided by an unerring instinct, they
moved quietly on with an elemental force, in spite of a timid and
hesitating administration, in spite of inexperienced,
over-cautious, incompetent, or blundering military commanders,
whom they gently brushed aside, and desisted not till their
object was gained, and they saw the flag of the Union floating
anew in the breeze from the capitol of every State that dared
secede. No man could contemplate them without feeling that there
was in them a latent power vastly superior to any which they
judged it necessary to put forth. Their success proves to all
that what, prior to the war, was treated as American arrogance or
self-conceit, was only the outspoken confidence in their destiny
as a Providential people, conscious that to them is reserved the
hegemony of the world.

Count de Maistre predicted early in the century the failure of
the United States, because they have no proper name; but his
prediction assumed what is not the fact. The United States have
a proper name by which all the world knows and calls them. The
proper name of the country is America: that of the people is
Americans. Speak of Americans simply, and nobody understands you
to mean the people of Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile,
Paraguay, but everybody understands you to mean the people of the
United States. The fact is significant, and foretells for the
people of the United States a continental destiny, as is also
foreshadowed in the so-called "Monroe doctrine," which France,
during our domestic troubles, was permitted, on condition of not
intervening in our civil war in favor of the rebellion, to

There was no statesmanship in proclaiming the "Monroe doctrine,"
for the statesman keeps always, as far as possible, his
government free to act according to the exigencies of the case
when it comes up, unembarrassed by previous declarations of
principles. Yet the doctrine only expresses the destiny of the
American people, and which nothing but their own fault can
prevent them from realizing in its own good time. Napoleon will
not succeed in his Mexican policy, and Mexico will add some
fifteen or twenty new States to the American Union as soon as it
is clearly for the interests of all parties that it should be
done, and it can be done by mutual consent, without war or
violence. The Union will fight to maintain the integrity of her
domain and the supremacy of her laws within it, but she can
never, consistently with her principles or her interests, enter
upon a career of war and conquest. Her system is violated,
endangered, not extended, by subjugating her neighbors, for
subjugation and liberty go not together. Annexation, when it
takes place, must be on terms of perfect equality and by the free
act of the state annexed. The Union can admit of no inequality
of rights and franchises between the States of which it is
composed. The Canadian Provinces and the Mexican and Central
American States, when annexed, must be as free as the original
States of the Union, sharing alike in the power and the
protection of the Republic--alike in its authority, its freedom,
its grandeur, and its glory, as one free, independent,
self-governing people. They may gain much, but must lose nothing
by annexation.

The Emperor Napoleon and his very respectable protege,
Maximilian, an able man and a liberal-minded prince, can change
nothing in the destiny of the United States, or of Mexico
herself; no imperial government can be permanent beside the
American Republic, no longer liable, since the abolition of
slavery, to be distracted by sectional dissensions. The States
that seceded will soon, in some way, be restored to their rights
and franchises in the Union, forming not the least patriotic
portion of the American people; the negro question will be
settled, or settle itself, as is most likely, by the melting away
of the negro population before the influx of white laborers; all
traces of the late contest in a very few years will be wiped out,
the national debt paid, or greatly reduced, and the prosperity
and strength of the Republic be greater than ever. Its moral
force will sweep away every imperial throne on the continent,
without any effort or action on the part of the government.
There can be no stable government in Mexico till every trace of
the ecclesiastical policy established by the Council of the
Indies is obliterated, and the church placed there on the same
footing as in the United States; and that can hardly be done
without annexation. Maximilian cannot divest the church of her
temporal possessions and place Protestants and Catholics on the
same footing, without offending the present church party and
deeply injuring religion, and that too without winning the
confidence of the republican party. In all Spanish and
Portuguese America the relations between the church and state are
abnormal, and exceedingly hurtful to both. Religion is in a
wretched condition, and politics in a worse condition still.
There is no effectual remedy for either but in religious freedom,
now impracticable, and to be rendered practicable by no European
intervention, for that subjects religion to the state, the very
source of the evils that now exist, instead of emancipating it
from the state, and leaving it to act according to its own
constitution and laws, as under the American system.

But the American people need not trouble themselves about their
exterior expansion. That will come of itself as fast as
desirable. Let them devote their attention to their internal
destiny, to the realization of their mission within, and they
will gradually see the Whole continent coming under their system,
forming one grand nation, a really catholic nation, great,
glorious, and free.

Book of the day: