« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
NEW SERIES, VOL. VII. - WHOLE VOL. XIII.
PUBLISHED AT 120 NASSAU STREET.
present administration; an unfortunate ore at best, but one, too, which affords a great opportunity of exhibiting the superiority of genius over numerical force, and in which a statesman with the capacity of Montesquieu, and the energy of Napoleon would revel.
A POLITICAL party is in difficult circumstances when it finds itself compelled to assume the responsibilities of office without acquiring, at the same time, that without which no office can be bearable to an individual, or efficiently held for the country, the power of executing in government the principles We believe such an opportunity has not to which it pledged itself in opposition. Were the objects of political organization merely the garbling of the public taxes, such a position might fairly be considered a lucky hit; but as in this Republic, parties in office must gauge their conduct so that it will bear hostile scrutiny, and deserve national approval, or be content to lose within a very limited time even the taxes, such a position is one neither to be envied, nor if held, one which can result in anything but political ruin to the holders, unless their acts be dictated by the maturest wisdom, and executed with the boldest statesmanship. Strength is too often taken as the test of capacity, and it is after all the chief induce- who was not elected to that position by the ment for the admiration of mankind. The popular mind is prone to believe that in political tactics it is better to belong to a party of one, if he be a free combatant in opposition, than to belong to a party, no matter how old or numerous, which is burthened with office, and not with power. Such to a certain extent is the position of the
heretofore occurred in our Congressional annals, and is impossible under any form of government but our own. We may refer to the times when Richelieu held France in hand, even against insurgent nobles and a turbulent people; or to the later period when the younger Pitt roused all Europe against the modern Charlemagne, even when he was unable to command a small minority in his own Parliament; but neither illustration can give us even a faint conception of the singular anomaly which has eventuated through the simple action of the federal pact. Turning our eyes to Washington, we behold the Presidential chair filled by a man
VOL. VII. NO. I. NEW SERIES.
people, and yet did not acquire it by his own act, but who, by a decision of the merciless Atropos, was compelled to assume the office he holds, or abandon that to which he was elected; we behold an administration seated in the mansions of power, against whom are in constant array the twin majorities of the Legislature; we
behold a party in office, which, during a long | cannot make a man whose knowledge of opposition, had matured a system of prin- arithmetic extends probably so far as "the ciples, and yet which is incapable by its Rule of Three," deduce principles of politiown strength of establishing even one. To cal philosophy from elaborated figures. The such an administration, and such a party, Whig party, if it teach the truth, must rely but two courses of action are permitted on the newspaper editor, the book publisher, either to avow that their hands are tied, the writer, and the schoolmaster, and not on and evade everything but silence and rest; cargoes of humanity. Popular discussion alone or, by bold moves, to start their principles can therefore preserve it in power. To this end one by one upon the tribunitial battle- no opportunity should be lost; least of all ground, throw upon their opponents the re- that opportunity which now presents itself sponsibility of defeating them, and prove to of urging in Senate and House of Reprethe world at all events the sincerity of sentatives day after day, and hour after their professions, and that nothing but the hour, its cardinal principles, and so driving force of antagonistic majorities compelled their debate through every newspaper, magathem to exist in office without converting zine, printing office, porter-house, or family the occupation thereof to the national good. circle in the Union. It is intensely stupid By the former plan, the present opportunity for any party in a Republic, which is a Rewill be most legitimately lost, and the Whig public, to rely on the de facto educated party will have the advantage of retiring" classes;" such "classes" must be abolished, from office in 1853, without the faintest if by nothing else, then by time. They are prospect of having such honors thrust upon them again, and with the imputation of having succeeded, during a short four years, in effacing from the public memory every principle it had made its own during the campaigns of a lengthened opposition. By the latter, present difficulties will be used as means of recruiting larger power and future success; and even should defeat on defeat meet us at every step, the principles of the war will lie on the ground it occupied, and be indestructible mementoes of consistent policy and strenuous endeavor.
True as these facts are with reference to all parties, they are peculiarly applicable, at the present time, to that American party which-by some such untoward mistake as that which befell Mr. Shandy, in the baptizing of Tristram, his son-had the misfortune to be ushered into the world burdened with the name of "Whig." The principles of the party so-called can only acquire strength by discussion and education; it is the only one of all our parties which must rely on the educated force of the people, and not upon sectional differences, or class interests. Discussion of its principles can, therefore, alone increase its numerical power; for while the so-called "Democratic party " receives in every emigrant ship a cargo of recruits, who, pledged to the name, will gulp down any bolus lapped therein, and smack their lips over it in admiration, the Whig party must attain its recruits by slow endeavor and assiduous teaching. You cannot reform a fool--you
wearing away hour after hour, and the young life of the country is daily issuing forth, self-willed, intellectual, capable of argument, and inclined to hold sternly to its opinions, but with these opinions gathered from humanitarian publications of the trashy kind, from excerpts of Adam Smith, and clippings of Stuart Mill, and the defunct Ricardo. No matter what exigencies may arise, no matter how transparent may be the ill effects of the commercial and other systems enacted against this country by "Democratic" gentlemen of the Anglified genus, Walker; the Whig party can never hope to establish a single one of its principles, until they are thoroughly popularized.
It seems almost trite at the present day to urge truths so plain. But however plain they may be, if we examine the history of our time we will find that they are neither very much recognized nor very carefully acted on. If there be any principle more than all others identified as Whig, if there be any undeniably true, it is the principle which asserts that American industry should be supported by Americans in preference to any other. Yet within a fortnight we have seen a society established in New-York for the protection of British manufactures in this country, the leaders of which are "Democratic," and who will lead and are leading the very artisans whose interests they have bartered to a foreigner. We have seen for four years among the federal statutes, laws inflicting ad valorem taxes on actual Ame
rican industry, because it is American, and raised from American soil, to devastate laws awarding an ad valorem premium to Hungary, or defeat the schemes of the GerBritish and Russian industry, because it is man people; and we have permitted the enBritish or Russian. These laws too were actors of the laws under which wrongs so foul enacted by men professing "free trade;" and universal were transacted, to represent and were enacted against the very artisans themselves to the "adopted citizens" and who are their most faithful followers. We emigrant population, as the "Friends of have seen, too, laws by the action of which Hungary," the "Friends of Ireland," the British speculators have been enabled to Friends of Universal Freedom, and so forth. stay the mill-wheels of our factories, and Nay, we have conversed in work-shops with extinguish the furnaces of our smelting- artisans, and out of doors even with idle Amehouses; we have seen writ after writ of rican artisans, who have propounded to us as ejectment issued by British hands against true and good, the stereotyped defence of the New-England factory-girls and Pennsylvania very falsehood by which their right hands workmen; we have seen them driven from were rendered unproductive of life. Such their shops and work-rooms by the hand of things could not be, were any means taken to Britain, as nakedly displayed as it is on the inform these men of the true nature of the banks of the Ganges or the San Juan; and delusions practised on them, and of the true the laws under the protection of which these and necessary effects of those theories to schemes were effected, were enacted and are which, through a virtuous love of democracy, defended by that party which declaims they have blindly pinned their faith. In the about non-interference, and professes eternal artisan population of America, largely Amedevotion to the "adopted citizens" and rican, largely too of foreign birth, and from Bunkum. We have seen markets of profit- the essentials of their craft possessing acuter able export destroyed,* and markets of minds, larger comprehension and a superior ruinous import forced into existence by the knowledge to any other class of workmen, same professors of "enlightened commerce," the party which identifies itself with the and of the philosophic principle of "every support of native industry has resources of man for himself." We have seen, by the same infinite power. It was the policy of the hands, the entire American nation, with its earlier period of the Democratic party to variable climate, its many climates, requiring abuse and despise them as a mob, and of for every degree of latitude a different de- the later and present periods to hoodwink gree of thickness of cloth, reduced to a state them with Jesuitic phrases and plausible of complete dependence on British looms generalities taken from the English economic for even a shirt or a coat. We have seen vernacular, and so use them. The natural the wages of the American artisan reduced instinct of a German or Irish artisan coming or stopped; we have seen him compelled to to these shores, is hostility to all schemes submit to the plunder of slop-employers on for the protection of British manufactures, the London system, or revolt; we have seen whether conceived in London or propounded him driven to beggary or prison; and yet we by an "Union Safety Committee" in Newhave permitted the artisans so foully plun- York. And all that is required to fasten dered to believe that they who plundered firmly this allegiance to American industry, them were "Americans" and "Democratic." is to display fully to them that the party We have seen these highly American and called here" Democratic" is precisely the thoroughly Democratic statesmen drive the same party which, by plundering their native produce of America into the hands of British countries, has driven both to these shores. aristocrats, sending to their shop American Yet we do not know of a single book pubagriculturists with food, American cotton-lished in these United States, calculated to growers with cotton, American gold-diggers inform an artisan of his real necessitics and with gold, to get them clothes, barring up those of the country of his adoption. The our own shop doors the while, and thus af-"free-traders," relying on blind faith alone, fording to the mainstay of European tyranny the power of loaning million after million,
* Vide Report of Secretary of Treasury.
lead by blind faith-the supporters of American industry relying on the educational developments of the people, use no means whatever to create these educational developments. On the contrary, the highest