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shall embrace a recognition of the rights and secure the interests of all classes, and which at the same time shall contain such an infusion of liberty as may serve to discriminate them from and secure them against the fate of those wild and impracticable schemes of government which have continued to rise like volcanic islands amidst the tumultuous sea of revolutions that there still rages unallayed, only to be swallowed up again and disappear for ever in the boiling abysses from which they sprung. In this part of the world we have only been saved from siinilar convulsions and catastrophies by the natural moderation and good sense of our people, and by the circumstance of our forming a confederacy, of which the different members represent, not inaptly, the different orders and separate interests which naturally grow up in society, independently of the influence of governments or of legislation. We have also undoubtedly been much indebted to the ac ident, as it may well be termed,* of a property qualification haring been reserved to so large a section of the States, and secured to them in the constitution. This provision, by virtue of the protection which it affords to the property of these States, now alone preserves the confederacy from dissolution, and forms an adamantine link, which the wiid elements of democracy and anarchy, of free-soilism, abolitionism, and universal suffrage, vainly beat upon from without; a gordian knot which cannot be unloosed, although it may be cut in two, as it seems likely to be at last, by the mad spirits of disorder and fanatacism, who “ with Ate by their side" and the red flag of negro liberty in their hands, are striving to rend asunder this magic tie, by which the chariot
* Though slavery is certainly not the most eligible form in which property can be brought to exert its proper virtue and effect, as an element in the political scale, it is yet, in default of some more available means of giving to ii its due weight and influence as a counterpoise to universal suitrage and the excesses of democracy, a salutary ingredieni in our sederal system, and, as paradoxical as it may sound, is at present the best and most efficient support of the statelycolumned and star-encircled temple of the Union. To those who object to this institution, and who would recklessly extirpate it from our political system at the expense of massacre and despoliation of those interested in its continuance, we would say, that it is one of those mother-marks or womb-spots on the fair form of liberty, which those who love her might, we should have supposed, by this time have reconciled themselves to, however unseemly it may appear, as it cannot be eradicated without imperilling, if not destroying the life of the patient, who, though of divine descent, is not immortal, but easily vulnerable, subject to the final stroke of late.
of freedom is so firmly moored to the sacred and star-crowned column of the constitution. The Southern States thus form, like the landed interest of England, a conservative counterpoise to the undue action of the popular power; while the great body of their citizens, by enjoying the privilege of holding slaves, possess the means and command the leisure by which alone the higher refinements of life can be attained, those which are reflected in the character, the sentiments, and cultivated intelligence of an affluent class, permanently elevated and possessing superior oportunities for improvement and social advancement.* To treat the qualification of property as an aristocratic principle shows that the disorganizers who thus denounce it regard every check upon the rebellious will of man as an unjust abridgement of his natural liberty, and that, confounding the distinction between human and divine laws, they consider every increase of the privileges of the citizen by legal enactments as so many successful additions to his rights and freedom, and suppose that the fixed moral restraints imposed on the mind by the creator may be altered or abrogated at will by the decrees of legislators, or the fiat of the people. The propertied and educated classes are ever willing to confide in and support the government in the exercise of its just powers and legitimate authority; while those who, through poverty and discontent, are less interested in the preservation of order and civil tranquillity, are proportionably impatient under the restraints of law, a resistance to which they plausibly disguise, and in general contrive to pass off, as a superior zeal in the cause of freedom and democracy. The interests of the propertied and enlightened portion of the community are also naturally inter-allied, homogeneous and identical, so as to render the policy of the State obvions, simple and self-working, and a bond of union and civil harmony, rather than a source of political and sectional divisions. A restraining power, calculated to afford a firm and immovable barrier
* The Southern States, nevertheless, though deriving their chief security as members of the confederacy from that clause of the constitution which accords to them a representation based on their slaves, have yet, in the case of their own elections, deprived themse'ves of this advantage by establishing universal suffrage-which gives to the destitute foreigner and native, however characterless and worthless they may be, equal rights with the propertied and honest citizen, and a quasi control, therefore, over his interests and fortunes.
to the wild and irregular action of the stormy elements of democracy, which the loose opinions that prevail in relation to liberty and universal suffrage contribute to keep in perpetual tumult and æstuation, must be lodged somewhere in the constitution to preserve it from destruction; and this power is best invested in some order in the State, who have a selfish or pecuniary interest in adhering to its letter, as well as in carrying out its spirit, or in defending their worldly possessions, as well as their political privileges. Though not originally designed to form such a feature in our political system, the Souihern States virtually constitute an order of this kind in the confederacy, of which they form so large and so important a division. Naturally or geographically grouped together, and united in views and interests, they form a cluster of independent and rich communities, whose representation in the federal councils being founded on property,* renders their influence, as we have already said, a conservative counterpoise to the rashness and caprices of the popular power, and is negatively shown by the political condition of the States in which slavery has been abolished. In all the free States, technically so called, we see the people led and ridden by demagogues, and more or less affected with the stupid delusions of abolitionism, agrarianism, socialism, and anti-rentism, and other wild and pernicious fullies, that arise like bubbles of the brunnens, or with the cold cbullition of a sulphur spring, from the moon-struck brains of disorganizers and enthusiasts, and are only partially kept down by the power and influence yet left to the property-holding portion of the community, and the conservative course of policy of the Southern States.
Should slavery be ever abolished in the Southern States,
* The slaves, to be sure, are only recognized under the constitution as persons numerically entitled to representation, the popular principle being thus still thrown as a veil, however awkwardly, over this peculiar feature of the federal compact.
# The following delectable extract from a late nu ber of the “Democratic Review,” may be taken as a sa:nple, we presume, of the progress now making in that quarter in morals, as well as in political science, and a knowledge of the true principles of government and of national policy. “No sectional feeling should be entertained : each should feel himself a c tizen of the world—a friend of man every where. Patriotism is a falsehood. It limits the free giving forth of benevolence within imaginary boundaries. May 1848. p. 401. (The italics in the above are ours.)
it requires no power of political divination to predict that the Union, already yielding to the divellenl attractions so forcibly acting upon it, would soon be torn into sectional fragments, which, though they might live and writhe for a time, like the broken portions or joints of the glass-snake, to whose anomalous organization their present brittle connection may best be likened, would in no long time reunite, and be gathered again into the fold--but under one heud, or a despotic régime. As the Southern States, however, would sooner separate from the Union than allow themselves to be both disfranchised and despoiled, the only alternatives that now seem left to them, are those of either infatuatedly adhering to an unequal and ruinous partnership, or dissolution and independence. To return, however, to our proper subject, or to that going on in Europe, and the political experiments making there, we will barely repeat that it would he well for the reformers and legislators in that quarter of the world ever to bear in mind that society, considered apart from government, is unchangeable in its nature and remains always the same as respects the general principles by which it is regulated, and the character, feelings and wants of the beings who compose it. That every step, therefore, towards a pure democracy, is a rash departure from the principles, and a dangerous experiment both upon the existing social system of Europe, and that living sensitive and breathing organism, called society, which has, through all ages, assumed forms more suited to the reception, and more assimilated to the character of arbitrary than republican institutions. That hence it is that monarchies, and the more arbitrary forms of every kind, have, through all ages, had the ascendancy, and always enjoyed more tranquillity and been of longer duration than republics. That the attempt, therefore, to wrest the whole frame-work
* The Southern States, once clear of the incendiaries and human leeches, who, while they inflict upon them present wrongs, threaten them with prospective and still darker injuries, would, as per saltum, recover the superposition which they once occupied in the confederacy, or the superiority to which they are naturally entitled over their ice and granite exporting neighbors, and regain their former wealth and prosperity. By opening a direct trade with England and Europe, with London and Liverpool, with Havre and Bremen, and excluding the Northern manufacturers, so as to get rid of their shipping and turn the course of business and foreign commerce towards our ports, our great Southern marts, Charleston and Savannah, Mobile and New-Orleans, would soon rise into first class cities and outstrip in trade, splendor and importance those of the North.
of society, and the stubborn principles of human nature itself, into an artificial conformity with abstract or preconceived notions on the subject of universal freedom and the rights of man, instead of rather moulding the political, in harmony with the existing circumstances of the social system, as far as this can be safely done, or without too much compromising the interests of liberty, must ever lead to the same abortive and disappointing results, and end in failure and anarchy, in revolution and ruin. That though the progress of the age, therefore, is indeed towards demo
progress towards reaction is equally plain and rapid; and in countries situated as those of Europe are, or where society has assumed fixed forms, which cannot be unmoulded and modified at will by revolutionists and legislative reformers, mixed systems of government, in which a due balance shall be formed, and a compromise effected between liberty and aristocracy, as has been partially done in the ease of the British constitution, are alone likely to be successfully established, or can long endure. For, however potent may be the influence of aristocracy and of hereditary ideas in that quarter of the world, the spirit of freedom also animates unquenchably the breasts of the people, and will keep up the conflict with its foe, with ever renewing fury, inexhaustible perseverance and heroic determination. It is only until both yield and both conquer, or, in other words, until a reconciliation is brought about between them that civil quiet can be restored in those unhappy and distracted countries and peace at last extend her wings over the nations and a war-wearied world. It should be the aim, then, of the sound European legislator, as we have endeavored to demonstrate, to effect a compromise or peaceful reconciliation, as far as this can be practically done without sacrificing the cause of freedom between the two rival powers, or warring genii-aristocracy, and the spirit of liberty, instead of attempting forcibly to expel either the one or the other from the political system. To give exclusive ascendancy to either, equally conducts, in the end, to the same result, or to the despotism of one or of the many.