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whole world attests the truth of these suggestions. Our own recent history exemplifies it. It is as applicable to nations as to individuals. Its force was never more apparent than in the treatment of the slavery question. Granting the ability of the negro race to maintain free government, if separated from the whites, it will hardly be contended that they will be able to cope with the latter, as coequal inhabitants. The races are certainly antagonistic. The one or the other will have dominion; which, we apprehend, it is not difficult to determine. It is, in this view, simply impossible to benefit the negroes by abolishing slavery. If there is no other mode by which they can be improved in condition, their welfare demands that they shall, for the present, at least, be let alone. What the future holds in promise for them, it is not for us to determine. There is not a day's observation, or a single lesson of experience, which does not teach us that there is a fitting time for all things. Perhaps this admonition is more impressively conveyed to the American people in the history of slavery, in this country, than anywhere else. The process and progress of its expulsion here and there, its removal from one State and its introduction into another, show clearly that there is a law which not only governs its existence, but which will, in the work of time, effect its overthrow.
Great caution, we know, is required in dealing with all such questions. They are too apt to be viewed as mere abstract matters. In this way we come to the ready conclusion, that slavery ought, at once, to be abolished; simply because to hold man in bondage, is wrong and sinful. This reasoning is conclusive with all men who view the subject in the abstract. But in point of fact slavery exists in this country, as it must in every other, as a social institution. It is involuntary labor rendered by an obviously inferior race, to a superior race.
Its violent overthrow, in the very nature of things, must produce general disorder, anarchy, and bloodshed. If the blacks could be removed from the country and assisted to maintain civil government, the knowledge they have acquired solely through the agency of bondage, might be sufficient to enable them to better their present condition. As a competing race of freemen, with the white inhabitants of this country, they are certain to fail. We have the most complete and overwhelming testimony upon this point, in the career of the free Indian tribes. They were not only free, but organized into nations. We met three millions of them, and never once made an effort to subject them to our laws. They were our competitors for enpire and dominion, in the field of mind and labor. They now number about three hundred and fifty thousand persons. This result, surely, has not been brought about by undue oppression on our part. On the contrary, we have sought, by every means which genuine benevolence and humanity could suggest, to elevate them in the scale of moral and Christian life. We have instructed them in the use of machinery, and taught them lessons in agriculture. But all to no purpose. There was one lesson they never could understand how to take care of themselves. Right on the opposite page of our history is written an account of another inferior race, who have been held in slavery to the whites. They have increased from a few hundred thousand to four and a half millions. They were once held by all the American States. As population crowded on production, their labor became unprofitable here and there, and this was sure, in a little time, to abolish the relation. This, we apprehend, is the only legitimate process of its extinction. We doubt, indeed, if it is the moral right of any State of the Union to abolish slavery by any other
The blacks are entitled to protection, and they can secure it only by remaining as they are, subject to the law referred to.
There are two radical passions which may be counted as the peculiar and ever-active enemies of free government--partisauism and fanaticism. The former is inherent in the system, or rather, the necessary production of elective institutions. It is a pervading and damaging evil.
Civil liberty presupposes intense political action through all the organs of the body politic. Without necessarily involving the equality of the whole people, it opens the way to every citizen, by which it is made possible to secure, not only equal consideration in the State, but command its highest offices and honors. The very statement of this feature of free institutions is quite enough to show that intellectual progress under it is greater than under absolute or despotic rule. There is more expansive power in every view, more energy, more mind, more thought, more invention, and, we appre
hend, far more material production. It would be an exception to all rules, if there should not be found something to counterbalance these great benefits and advantages of civil liberty. It is not often that blessings are dispensed without something to remind us that they are to be enjoyed only on certain conditions. The wisdom of a free system of laws, when wisely administered, none will question. But the very advantages it assures are often the cause of its failure. This is especially the case in the almost necessary, certainly most probable, growth of partisanism. It springs immediately out of the scramble for office and place which is sure to result from the number and character of claimants. These persons may enter the field full of patriotism and purpose to promote the general good. In a little time they consult public prejudices, and shape their course more by what will promote their own interest than that of the state. It is easy to see, in this way, how the people may be led to give their allegiance to party, and actually to forget or overlook the obligations of their laws.
These suggestions find the completest verification in the progress of slavery and anti-slavery in the United States. Very much of the hostility, so far as the great body of the people is concerned, to slavery, has a purely partisan origin. It has been promoted as a means of acquiring office and government. It has grown, in numerous instances, to be stronger than patriotism, stronger than the Constitution. The natural product of this hostility to slavery, one which could hardly fail to follow its connection with elective institutions, is fanaticism. This species of lunacy is far less reasonable and more difficult to govern than the other. It is a sort of hurricane which sweeps everything before it.
everything before it. All its powers are concentrated upon one object. Everything else is lost in tue pursuit of its one cherished end. It may be temperance to-day, native Americanism to-morrow, slavery next, Catholicism next, masonry next, and so on to the end of its mission. History is a falsehood, experience a deception and a snare, Christianity a cunning fraud, when they cross the path of these monster enemies of free institutions.
They have issued an edict against slavery. They are armed for its overthrow. They are now fighting battles for its extirpation. What they have done and what they have sacrificed, no man can tell. Ν Ο Τ Ε. .
1. Liberty of the Press.-Jeremy Bentham, in his letter, written in 1820, to the Spanish people on the subject of the freedom of the press, says: “Sjaniards ! The Madrid intelligence of the prosecution of a newspaper editor for comments on the Madrid system of police, and of the proposed law against political meetings, has just reached me. I am astounded! What? is it come to
? this? So soon come to this? The men being men, of their disposition to do this, and more, there could not be any room for doubt. But that this disposition should so soon ripen into act, this (I must confess) is more than I anticipated, that the impatience of contradiction, not to say the thirst for arbitrary power, should so soon have ventured thus far; these in my view are of themselves highly alarming symptoms. By the prosecution, if successful, I see the liberty of the press destroyed; by the proposed law, if established, I see the almost only remaining check to arbitrary power destroyed. Taken together, they form a connected system these two measures. By the authors of this system you have of course been told, that it is indispensably necessary—necessary to order, to good order, to tranquillity--and perhaps honorable gentlemen may have ventured so far into the region of particulars and intelligibles as to say, to good government, and some other good things. Spaniards! It is neither necessary, nor conducive to, nor other than exclusive of, any of those good things. What says experience ? In the Anglo-American United States (alas ! alas! when Bentham wrote he wrote truth, but were he living now he could scarcely refer, with any good effect, to this country to support his views), of the two parts of this systern, neither the one nor the other will you see. ecution can there take place for anything written against the Government, or any of its functionaries as such. No restriction whatever is there on public meetings held for any such purpose as that of sitting in judgment on the Constitution -on any measures of the Government-or on any part of the conduct of any of its functionaries. There is no more restriction upon men's speaking together in public than upon their eating together in private.
"Against the allowance of the liberty of the press, considered with a view to its effect on the goodness of the government, no arguments that have been or may be adduced will bear the test of examination.
“I. First comes dangerous. Dangerous it always and everywhere is; for it may lead to insurrection, and thus to civil war; and such is its continual tendency.
* Answer : In all liberty there is more or less of danger; and so there is in all power. The question is—in which there is most danger-in power limited by this check, or in power without this check to limit it. In those political communities in which this check is in its greatest vigor, the condition of the members, in all ranks and classes taken together, is, by universal acknowledgment, the happiest. These are the United States, and the kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland. In the republic this liberty is allowed by law, and exists in perfection : in the kingdom it is proscribed by law, but continues to have place, in considerable degree, in spite of law.
“II. Next comes needlessness. To the prevention of misgovernment, the other remedies that government itself affords, are adequate. The rulers in chief, whoever they are, have nothing so much at heart as the happiness of all over whom they rule.
“Answer : The rulers in chief, whoever they are, if they are men, have their own happiness more at heart than that of all over whom they rule put together: the very existence of man will in every situation be found to depend upon this general and habitual self-preference.
“As to wisdom, it can never be so near to perfection without as with these all-comprehensive means of information, which nothing but the liberty here in question can give. The characteristic, then, of an undespotic government-in a word, of every government that has any tenable claim to the appellation of a good government--is the allowing and giving facility to a free communication of thought by vehicles of all sorts; by signs of all sorts; signs to the ear, signs to the eye, by spoken language, by written, including printed language, by the liberty of the tongue, by the liberty of the writing desk, by the liberty of the post office, by the liberty of the press.”.