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discusses the sort of loyalty that distinguishes ours from monarchical institutions, with the principles of consent and coercion, of slavery and servility in national life, urges that nationality must be defended eren before the Constitution, and draws some keen comparisons between America and England; while Dr. Bellows's Sermon on “ Unconditional Loyalty” is a noble ethical statement of the highest motive of fidelity to his government which animates the Christian citizen.
The pamphlet called “ Union Foundations," * written by an officer of engineers in our national service, is a discussion of no little intellectual merit. Commencing with a labored argument from the natural to the political and social organism, it sets forth in much detail the facts respecting the geographical structure and industrial capacities of our country ; urges the necessity not only of political union in it, but of its exclusive possession by the Anglo-Saxon race; argues at length a favorite theory, that the vast tropical valley of the Amazon is the true and destined home of the African in America ; and closes with a brief consideration of the “three possible endings of our contest, agreeing in a restored union.” The ethical tone, as well as the scientific ability, shown in this pamphlet, is deserving of all praise.
Among the works of higher permanent value, a very interesting chapter of personal experience, given by the President of a Virginia College,† who maintained an intrepid resistance to the prevailing madness till absolutely driven from his post, gives emphasis to the argument, otherwise timely and excellent, in which he controverts the wretched fallacies that have wrought so much misery and ruin. The moderate temper exhibited, as well as the evidence of his own observation and conviction, will win a favorable hearing to what he says of the one dread question, which so distances the power of mere logic or mere statesmanship to grapple with it.
To the work of M. Cochin, the second portion of which is now before the public in its handsome English dress, I we have given our emphatic testimonial wor3 than once. Its sterling value is fully recog. nized, and the present volume is issued in obedience to a wide and imperative demand. Its comparison of the results of slavery in the United States — where he traces its political history down to the outbreak of the existing rebellion — with those in the colonies controlled by European powers, gives to the work the character of a standard treatise, and an historical value quite independent of its immediate uses.
This argument from facts and principles combined is fortified by statistics, - those figures of speech that “will not lie.” Secession has been called a “revolt against the census," — the figures tell us why.
* Union Foundations; a Study of American Nationality as a Fact of Science. By CAPT. E. B. HUNT, U. S. A. New York: D. Van Nostrand. pp. 61.
† Political Fallacies; an Examination of the False Assumptions and Refutation of the Sophistical Reasonings which have brought on this Civil War. By GEORGE JUNKIN, D. D. New York: Charles Scribner. pp. 332.
| The Results of Slavery. By AUGUSTIN Cochin. Translated by MARY L Booti. Boston: Walker, Wise, & Co.
In his Preliminary Report,* Mr. Kennedy has arranged in tabular form some of the most important results of the census of 1860, and given comparisons of the last decade with preceding ones. Mr. Childs, availing himself of additional knowledge gained in the intervening two years, and increasing the number of topics, has given us in the National Almanac † undoubtedly the completest work of the kind ever published in this country. From these two works we gather a few points bearing on present subjects of interest and opinion.
The rapid gain of the North over the South in population has been mostly since 1820, and has been greatly owing to the tide of immigration from Europe, which set in the direction of the Northwest. The gain in the slave population has fallen twelve per cent below the average; in the Slave States at large, eight per cent below the average. Facts and figures furnish a curious comment to the argument of the leaders in secession. During the last ten years, notwithstanding the “ John Brown raid," the number of fugitive slaves was less than in the previous decade. From 1840 to 1850, the number who escaped was 1,011, or one thirtieth of one per cent. During the last ten years, they fell off to 803, or one fiftieth of one per cent. I Slave property was never more secure under the Union, than during the ten years immediately preceding the slave-masters' rebellion. We find also striking illustrations of those laws of race and population which indicate the future of the African race on this continent. Thus, the greatest increase of free colored population is not in Massachusetts, where the black has the right of ballot and the privilege of the school-house, but in South Carolina, where the race is held in most absolute bondage. In Boston, the births among the colored people are fewer than the marriages ; in Charleston, the former far exceed the latter. The freedman of his own choice will not come to the North. He prefers the sunny South. Any assertion to the contrary is simply the scarecrow of politicians, which is scattered to the winds by the logic of facts.
Next, the financial resources of the country and the national debt. If our debt has increased beyond all calculation, so also has our knowledge of our means to meet it. The value of property in the loyal States alone, in 1860, was ten thousand million dollars. In the next ten years, war or no war, this will be doubled. The amount of wealth acquired by manufactures alone in the last decade was equal to the entire estimated debt in June, 1864. Again, consider the financial value, merely, of the great Pacific Railroad, — when completed, as in a few years it will be, the industrial climax of the nineteenth century. The Secretary of the Interior informs us that the mines which this inland artery of trade will drain already produce annually a hundred millions of dollars in the precious metals ; and the aggregate mineral productions will soon reach three times that amount. Governor Evans of Colorado calculates that the mines of that Territory, when all worked,
* Preliminary Report on the Eighth Census. 1860. By Jos. C. G. KENNEDY, Superintendent. Washington : Government Printing-Office.
† The National Almanac and Annual Record. Philadelphia: George W. Childs. | South Carolina, for example, lost only one out of every 17,501. VOL. LXXIV. - 5TH S, VOL. XII. NO. III.
will employ twenty million men, and will yield, by a judicious system, twenty-five millions of dollars annually for the national revenue. During the last decade, more than fifty millions of acres were for the first time broken by the plough; the tide of immigration still sets to our shores; all through the immense tracts of the West, cities and towns are springing up; and untold riches are waiting in the earth's bosom to flow forth at the touch of toil. These sober figures of the census seem like the extravagant language of speculative imagination. Nothing could more clearly demonstrate the ability of the United States to meet all its pecuniary obligations.
We find also some interesting indications of the mental tastes and habits of our people. In 1860, of 4,051 newspapers and periodicals, 3,242 — more than four fifths — were devoted to politics ; while only 277 — little more than six and a half per cent — were given to theology and religion. Politics is the great sponge that absorbs the juices of current thought. In the departments of history, poetry, and science, besides, we have no cause to be ashamed of the rank our writers have attained. In theology and the higher departments of learning we probably fall behind some other nations; and our Christianity, tried by ecclesiastical tests, would perhaps be found wanting. Religion, as it works itself more into the actual and present interests of men, becomes in a measure secularized. But we think the living voice of the pulpit bears a larger proportion to other influences than the statistics of the religious to those of the political press. And the higher culture, religious as well as secular, is well provided for. Eighty-eight theological schools, fourteen of which have libraries numbering upwards of ten thousand volumes each, and two hundred and twenty-one colleges, testify to the care and cost which have been bestowed in this direction. Doubtless many of the colleges and seminaries are such only in name; still they spread a fair amount of education over a very wide surface; and the lack of a small class of superior scholars is compensated by a gradual raising of the level of general culture and intelligence.
INCOMPARABLY the ablest and most important of the writings that have been called out by the existing crisis is Mr. Fisher's - Trial of the Constitution.” * The five months that have passed since its publi. cation have done nothing to diminish the timeliness of his argument, which is only illustrated and confirmed by the series of acts that marked the close of the late session of Congress. The leading postulates, which are urged by Mr. Fisher with singular force and clearness of conviction, are these three: that the political life of nations is controlled by natural or providential laws as strictly as the kingdoms of organic life; that the characteristics and the destiny of races are fixed and unalterable, each race manifesting its peculiar instincts in its entire life and in all its institutions, political and social ; and that our own form of government, being directly derived from the English, and re
* The Trial of the Constitution. By SIDNEY GEORGE FISHER. Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott & Co. 8vo. Pp. 391.
sulting from the character and tendencies of the same Saxon stock, must be judged by British precedents, and interpreted by the canons of British constitutional law, which the founders of our government followed as closely as they dared, not perhaps as closely as they wished.”
Neither of these positions is strictly novel. The merit of the book, intellectually, consists in the firmness with which they are held, and the consistency with which they are applied (especially the last) in discussing the case which has actually arisen in the working out of our national life. The Constitution has failed in guarding that peace which it was fondly believed to have made secure; the critical question now is, Has the government which it created the necessary powers to carry the nation through this struggle, and preserve it from dissolution ? We can only present, in the briefest possible way, the answer given to this question, reserving the argumentative treatment of the topic for another time.
In form, the book consists of five elaborate discussions, on a Written Constitution, Union, Executive Power, Slavery, and Democracy.
Under the first head, it is argued that one great present danger, besides the inevitable uncertainties of interpretation, lies in the rigid and unpliable nature of a written constitution, which cannot provide against all emergencies, and which it is extremely difficult to alter as circumstances may require. The power of amendment is a safetyvalve ; “but the efficacy of a safety-valve depends on the promptness with which it can be opened, and the width of its throttle.” “ Power which the people cannot use they do not possess, whether the Constitution reserves it to them or not.” In the present exigency, the formalities of amendment prescribed in Article V. of our Constitution are glaringly unfit to meet the case; the actual and the only possible appeal has been to arms; and the nation itself may perish, unless a more liberal and adequate interpretation be given to the implied powers of the government than our “strict construction ” theories have suffered to be in vogue. There can be no such thing as a government with limited powers. Nor can the theory of three co-ordinate and equal departments of government, with their incessant liability to deadlock, be anything but a fallacy and a failure. Some one department, from the nature of the case, must represent the omnipotence of the nation in the control of its own affairs; and in a republic this can be none other than the Legislature, which most directly represents the people. Thus the true interpretation of our system — that which is inevitably forced on us by the course of events — makes it equivalent (exceptis excipiendis) to that of England, which rests on the theory of a Parliament virtually omnipotent. The Constitution is, in fact, simply a Bill of Rights. The real safeguard of popular liberty is not the judiciary, — which is not only the weakest arm, but which can act only on a case actually in court, — but the control which the people themselves directly exercise in periodical elections. Constitutional law, here as in England, consists, in fact, of the entire body of legislation which has been ratified by general consent. This is not merely a deduction from history, but "a truth of mental science.” It could not possibly bave been otherwise.
The fifth article only prescribes a given case, when proposed amendments must be submitted to vote in a particular way, but by no means excludes other methods at need. (p. 143.)
The chapter upon Union is especially interesting from the detailed examination which is made into the principles and workings of the British union, — that of which the American colonies made a part, and which furnished the fundamental idea, and even in some sense the model of ours, representing as it does the genuine Saxon love of local liberty combined with central authority. The national power which was competent to form the Union is competent also to modify or dissolve it, — to permit and regulate secession, to exclude any State or section; in short, “ the government must have unlimited power, or give place to another which has." On its present scale, the Union cannot continue always; there are limits of geographical dimension, of numbers in population, of complexity in interests, especially of diversities in race, which forbid any such expectation. Separation of the South might have been granted ; but the South “ abandoned the right of secession” when it took up arms and substituted war for law. The inevitable “ Africa in the South” can never be on permanent terms of political union and equality with the Saxon North.
In the chapter on Executive Power, the constitution of the British executive — “that wonderful product of time, ..... product of the whole past of the nation, its labors, struggles, and dangers, aspirations and achievements, through the centuries " - is vigorously sketched, and a comparison is carefully drawn between the singular felicities of that, and the perilous difficulties of our own. One point of the comparison is especially valuable, — that in which President Lincoln's appeal to Congress to sustain him in the suspension of the privilege of the Habeas Corpus is shown to be nearly identical with the appeal made to Parliament by William III. The tardy action of Congress in responding to this appeal is shown to have threatened one of the most serious dangers resulting from the present trial of the Constitution.
The two remaining topics, Slavery and Democracy, hardly gave the opportunity for equal novelty of statement, - especially the latter, which had already been elaborately treated by the author of this work in his remarkable pamphlet on “ The Laws of Race as connected with Slavery,” noticed by us two years ago. Still, as among the ablest and most thorough discussions of these topics, within their limits, they make a fit completion to his argument. His style in dealing with them, though grave and somewhat stern, nay, sombre, in its coloring, and tinged by no illusions of false hope, or softening of mere sentiment, is noble in its ethical tone, and clear in its recognition of the religious basis of all national life. The writer's anticipations of our political future are hardly as sanguine and buoyant as those we have been apt to indulge ; and to some there will appear a hardness, almost sadness, in the prospect he holds out, particularly as to the destiny and conflict of the races upon this continent. We copy, in conclusion, a few words from the chapter on Democracy, treating of reconstruction: