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Dangers of the Republic. The two essential conditions of the existence and permanence of republican institutions, are, first, intelligence on the part of the citizen ; secondly, honesty. We have, heretofore, in viewing our country in the light of these two underlying principles of republican government, through an excusable national pride, ascribed to the American people a sufficient amount of these desirable qualities to insure the stability and permanency of our government. Since the war, however, we have been led to examine more carefully and thoroughly the reasons for believing ourselves to have reached that ideal state of perfection so indispensable to the perpetuity of our Republic.
The popular opinion has prevailed, that we are wiser in our day and generation than our fathers, who laid the foundations of our government. We have, however, very generously accorded to our reverend sires the possession of a little more honesty than we can modestly claim, in view of our condition as a nation that is sowing its wild oats. If we are to take the public men of the two periods as the representatives of the general intelligence and honesty of their constituents, we must credit our ancestors, not only with more honesty, but with vastly greater intelligenee than we display, judging of us by our public representatives.