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A MERICAN REVIEW,

No. XXII.

FOR OCTOBER, 18 49.

A HISTORY OF PARTIES. *

The publication of the Statesman's Man- himself with these, is like studying theoloual, which contains, besides the Addresses gy in the primer. A great many, indeed, and the Messages of the Presidents, a me of the class called politicians, are formed moir of each and the history of their ad- upon the labor-saving principle, and with ministration, will probably have the effect some few, certain clever points of statesin future to give a more solid and accurate manship may be developed on the basis of character to political writings upon ques- the science made easy; but most of these tions of the day. After giving our read

cases serve chiefly to reveal the distinction ers a brief review of this new and valuable between the profession of politics and a work, and pointing out a few statistical political education. errors, which have escaped the notice of To understand fully and clearly the printhe author and compiler, it is our intention ciples on which our government has been to enter upon a brief history of the rise administered—to comprehend the relations and progress of the two parties

, which of the various policies with the circumstanoriginated during the formation of the ces of the nation—to trace their connecConstitution. We believe that most of tion with later events,—we must know not our political readers, if they will follow us merely what has been done, but why it was in this history, will confess that the cur done—must know what was thought by rent opinions of the day, and which are the actors : to know this, and to make the studiously maintained by the opposition lesson of experience available to the prespresses, in regard to the origin of the present, we must resort to the cotemporaneous ent Whig Republican party, are false opin- exposition from the voices and pens of the ions; and they will have the satisfaction statesmen who conceived, who debated, of finding that the line of policy at present or who executed, the systems that have taken by the Whigs is an unbroken line, prevailed. transmitted to them by their republican A compilation the most important of founders from the time of the origin of the any which could be made, in a selection of Constitution.

American State papers, is given us in the A first want in every nation in which work of Mr. Williams. The Messages of politics is a profession of free choice, is a the Presidents are dignified and intelligent collection of the documentary history of treatises on the national interests, containthe government. Politicians are, no more ing, generally, sound definitions (in the abthan scholars, made by the study of epit- i stract view, at least,) of the theory of our omes. A narrative history of the admin- Republican system, and so far as they istration of public affairs may answer very reason debatable points, make use only of well the purpose of those who seek nothing | dispassionate and logical arguments. At beyond general ideas; but for one who is the same time, they contain better expresin search of a political education to content | sions of the sentiments of the parties by

* The Addresses and Messages of the Presidents of the United States ; Inaugural, Annual and Special, from 1789 to 1846. BY EDWIN WILLIAMS. New York: Edward Walker. VOL IV. NO. IV. NEW SERIES.

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