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tion in 1798, nor would William Smith O'Brien now have been an exile ; for if it had not been for those instructions and that example, Ireland would long ago have sunk into the slumber of bondage that knows no waking. Again, sir; the failure of Smith O'Brien and his associates resulted from the exhaustion of Ireland. That exhaustion has contributed largely to the elements of our wealth, strength, and power. If we had not withdrawn the political and physical means of self-defence and of resistance from Ireland during the last sixty years, she would now have been able to maintain a successful rebellion. When O'Connell gathered the populace upon the hill of Clare, he found that Ireland was deserted by the vigorous, the young, and the strong, and that he was surrounded by the aged, the poor, and the spiritless. It is these reflections upon the propriety of the act itself, and upon the relations in which we stand toward the parties to it, that persuade my vote in favor of this resolution.
I have suggested to the consideration of the honorable Senator from Illinois, [Mr. SHIELDS,] some verbal amendments which seem to me calculated to improve and perfect the resolution, in accordance with the wish he himself expressed. Their design is to guard more safely the dignity of Congress and of the United States. If rightly conceived, they will have that effect. But I am not tenacious of them. I shall not press them against the wishes of the Senator from Illinois. If they shall be adopted, the resolution will have my vote. If they shall not be adopted, it will have my vote. The resolution as originally introduced would have received my support. Equally shall it have my support in the modified form it has assumed, through deference to the wishes of other senators.
And now, sir, when this resolution in any shape shall have been passed, there can be but one wish of mine in regard to the subject, that Congress will have power to gratify: That wish will be, that he who is now entitled to be regarded as the mover of the resolution, the honorable Senator from Illinois, Mr. SHIELDS] should be made the bearer of this appeal to the “Soveraine Queene,” in whose will and pleasure the granting of it will rest. It is the remembrance of a scene in one of the oldest and best of English poems which suggests the wish. It would be a goodly and a gracious sight to see that honorable senator returning to his native land, after his chivalrous and yet modest sojourn here, the bearer of a proclamation of amnesty from the sovereign of his native country thus obtained. And I should rejoice to see the greeting of him by his countrymen,
"Shouting and clapping all their hands on hight,
FREEDOM IN EUROPE.
MARCH 9, 1852.
The question was on the following resolutions, submitted by Mr. SEWARD, as a substitute for resolutions introduced by the Hon. Mr. CLARKE, of Rhode Island:
Resolved, That while the United States, in consideration of the exigencies of society, habitually recognize governments de facto in other states, yet that they are nevertheless by no means indifferent when such a government is established against the consent of any people by usurpation or by armed intervention of foreign states or nations.
Resolveu, That, considering that the people of Hungary, in the exercise of the right secured to them by the laws of nations, in a solemn and legitimate manner asserted their national independence, and established a government by their own voluntary act, and successfully maintained it against all opposition by parties lawfully interested in the question ; and that the Emperor of Russia, without just or lawful right, invaded Hungary, and, by fraud and armed force, subverted the national independence and political constitution thus established, and thereby reduced that country to the condition of a province ruled by a foreign power; the United States, in defence of their own interests, and of the common interests of mankind, do solemnly protest against the conduct of Russia on that occasion, as a wanton and tyrannical infraction of the laws of nations ; and the United States do further declare that they will not hereafter be indifferent to similar acts of national injustice, oppression, and usurpation, whenever or wherever they may occur.
Mr. PRESIDENT, —Writers on law teach us that states are free, independent, equal, moral persons, existing for the objects of happiness and usefulness, and possessing rights and subject to duties defined by the law of nature, which is a system of politics and morals founded in right reason ; that the only difference between politics and morals is, that one regulates the operations of government, while the other directs the conduct of individuals, and that the maxims of both are the same; that two sovereign states may be subject to one prince, and yet be mutually independent; that a nation becomes free by the act of its ruler when he exceeds the fundamental laws; that when any power, whether domestic or foreign, attempts to deprive a state of independence or of liberty, it may lawfully take counsel of its courage, and prefer before the certainty of servitude the chances of destruction; that each nation is bound to do to every other in time of peace the most good, and in time of war, the least harm possible, consistently with its own real interests ; that while this is an imperfect obligation, of which no state can exact a performance, any one has nevertheless a right to use peaceful means, and even force, if necessary, to repress a power that openly violates the law of nations, and directly attacks their common welfare; and that, although the interests of universal society require mutual intercourse between states, yet that intercourse can be conducted by those only who in their respective nations possess and exercise in fact adequate political powers.
Austria, being situated in Central Europe, with only an inconsiderable sea-port, we have known little of her, except that she was one of the oldest and most energetic and inexorable members of that combination of states which, under the changing names of “The Allied Powers,” “The Holy League,” and “The Holy Alliance,” and with the unchanging pretence of devotion to order and religion, have more than half a century opposed and resisted everywhere the reforming and benign principles of the American Revolution.
Hungary, after having been in ages past the heroic defender of Christian Europe against the armies of Islam, and later the chivalrous guardian of Austria from the usurpations of Prussia and France, seemed near a century ago to disappear, and only four years since came again on the stage, and challenged her part in the drama of nations. She occupied a region within the Austrian Empire with fifteen millions of people, of whom the Magyars, a race that had inherited freedom, arts, and arms, were one-third, while the remainder were Germans, Serbs, and Wallachians, and the two latter classes were debased and virtually enslaved by feudal customs and laws. Under the constitution, given to her by an ancient king, St. Stephen, Hungary was a limited monarchy and an absolutely independent state. Beginning, however, in 1530, she elected for her kings the successive reigning dukes of the house of Hapsburg Loraine for a period of one hundred and fifty years, and then gave them succession to her throne by a law of inheritance. Nevertheless, fundamental laws enacted by Hungary, and accepted by the Austrian dynasty, defined the union of the two states, declaring that the king should have no power before coronation, that he could be crowned only on signing a compact and swearing an oath to sustain the constitution, usages, and laws of Hungary, by virtue of which she was a free and independent state, and that she could be bound by no royal edicts or decrees, but only by laws passed by her own diet or legislature, and sanctioned by her king..
Ilungary was always as independent of Russia as we are.
Such, Mr. President, was the condition of Hungary in March, 1848. Now she has neither constitution, nor. king, nor diet, nor national functions, nor national organs, nor independence, nor liberty, nor law, but lies prostrate at the feet of the Austrian Emperor, and receives his absolute decrees from the point of the sword. Who has wrought this melancholy and fearful change in a country that had used its liberty so nobly, and had kept it so long? We shall soon see.
In February, 1848, the Hungarian Diet, while revising and meliorating their domestic laws, learned by the telegraphic wires that a republic had risen in Paris, and that a constitutional government was about to rise in Vienna. Availing themselves of these propitious circumstances, they decreed the establishment of an independent national treasury, a resident palatine or viceroy, and a responsible Hungarian ministry-institutions equally necessary, just, and constitutional. Hungary received the royal sanction of these measures with contentment and satisfaction at the
very moment when only her word was wanting to subvert the empire. Three days afterward, the Germans obtained a constitution at the hands of the emperor, who thus became a limited monarch in his Austrian dominions, as he had always been in Hungary. The Hungarian Diet at once reformed the social and political condition of the state, and, abolishing feudalism, but not without just compensation, they established equality of taxation, representation, suffrage, and all legal rights among all races and classes throughout the kingdom; and on the 11th of April, the emperor crowned this noble and beneficent work by an edict approving and confirming the new laws, “ word for word.”
A party of reaction, not Hùngarian, but Austrian, on groundless pretences, fomented insurrection in the Hungarian provinces of Servia and Wallachia ; and inasmuch as tyranny, when panic struck, cannot but be perfidious, the emperor, violating the constitution and laws, appointed the chief instigator, the Baron Jellachich, to the office of ban or governor of the seditious districts.