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“Here,” says Lient. Maury, “national defences are most needed, and should be the strongest; but here they have been most neglected, and are the weakest.
Consider the commercial resources of the South and · West—their kind soil and genial climates—their present wealth and future destiny, and say why is it that so little has been done to foster their interests in peace, to protect their merchandise in war ?**
In reply to those who maintained that the chief, if not the only, resource of the South was its cotton, Lieut. Maury argued as follows, in the paper under consideration :
“We have been accustomed to consider Pennsylvania and New York as great grain growing states, and to look upon the cotton growing states as consumers rather than producers. But the census of 1840 shows the true state of the case to be very far different from this. Including all the cereal grains, New York averages but 21 bushels to the inhabitantGeorgia 35, Pennsylvania but 33, and Tennessee 68. Taking away the cotton from the produce of those states which grow it, and viewing them in the light of grain growers only, the census shows that they average a greater yield of bread stuffs than their sister states at the North and East, who, for the last thirty years, have been wringing from them the sinews of war.
According to the reasoning of Lieut. Maury, the man who gives a dowry of $500 to each of two or three daughters, gives evidence of as much wealth, and as ample resources as his neighbor, who gives an equal amount to each of twelve daughters; yet it
may be regarded as a fair specimen of secession logic. But he gives us a good deal more of the same kind. Everybody has heard of the Chinese who, on visiting France and England, was so much disgusted with the inhabitants, because none of them wore queues, as all respectable people do in China. “The state of New York,” says Lieut. Maury,“ grows no cotton, no hemp, no tobacco, no rice. Nor does it supply commerce with any of its sugar.” It follows from this, that New York is a poor and dependent region, that could not exist if the South should choose to withhold her boundless resources, if only for a single year!. “She” (New York), he says, “ may have lumber and ashes ; but when we come to reckon in millions, we shall find that these articles are trifling in amount.” (p. 655.) When men, having a reputation for being scientific and learned, would argue in this strain, in the leading journals of the South, no wonder that the people should believe that they could withdraw from the Union whenever they thought proper.
* Southern Literary Messenger, article, “ Maritime Interests of the South and West," vol. xi., p. 651.
But, what annoyed Lieut. Maury most was, the unwillingness of Congress to fortify the harbors of the South. amuse southern members,” he says, “vessel after vessel has been sent there, on what has been called the “Survey of Southern harbors. But the officers in charge have not been directed to search for harbors of the requisite depth of water; they have been sent to survey those which, it was already known, had not water enough to admit frigates and larger vessels. Since Captain Tatnall's survey, the Tortugas have always received the go-by,” &c. Secretary Floyd, in the plenitude of his treasonable zeal, was not more anxious to give every possible aid to the secessionists, than was Lieutenant Maury, so early as 1854. The latter had little idea that Key West and the Tortugas could be held by the Federal government, against the sovereign will of the cotton states.
Only three millions of dollars,” he says" less than the harbor defences of Norfolk have cost—are required, according to the estimates of the engineer department, to put both Key West and the Tortugas in a complete state of defence. What are three millions in comparison with the interests at stake ? It is not a tithe of what the South and West have paid for the defences of the North.” In order to justify remarks of this kind, occasional allusions are made to the aggressive spirit of England. But just then South Carolina was nearly as impatient for secession as she was when she commenced the present rebellion ; and Lieutenant Maury was anxious to give her all the aid in his power, under the pretence of warning the whole nation against the machinations of Great Britain.
Fortunately, however, his efforts did not avail much against the Union; but still less than those of Floyd. Had he known that when the day of trial came—while treason was doing its worst—the Federal flag would still continue to wave over Key West and the Tortugas, far from being an advocate for fortifying those important positions, his subsequent conduct shows that he would have turned all his influence in the opposite direction. There are many others whose designs against the government it would be interesting to trace back in a similar manner; but we find we must close for the present. For the benefit of the South as well as the North, we hope that before the time comes again to treat the subject in this journal, the good old Union under which all sections enjoyed so
much prosperity and happiness will have been restored in its integrity. Without any disposition to boast or to underrate southern bravery or courage, it may be said that the Federal army has now become completely master of the situation. Our recent victories, brilliant and important as they undoubtedly are, we can only regard as the first efforts of a great army, after it has been brought under proper discipline. They have, indeed, given the Union forces a prestige, which will have its effect in Europe as well as in the revolted states. Other great battles have yet to be fought, however, but we do not hesitate to predict that the result of these will be not only the restoration of the Union in all its integrity; we feel equally confident that henceforth the gallant defenders of the Union will be spoken of throughout the world under the proud title of "the victorious armies of the Republic."
Art. IX-1. Democracy in America. By ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Translated by HENRY REEVE. New York : 1848. 2. Colonial History of the United States. By JAMES GRAHAME,
LL. D. Philadelphia : 1846. 3. Secret Proceedings of the Federal Convention. By Chief Justice
YATES. Washington : 1838. 4. Exposition of the Constitution. By JOSEPH STORY, LL. D. Bos
ton : 1840. 5. The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States. By W.
A. DUER, LL. D. Boston : 1856.
It is a remarkable fact that, while, generally speaking, no writers are more candid or reliable than educated Englishmen, no Englishman has ever given to the public any comprehensive analysis of the American form of government. To a French writer* is the mother country indebted for the best account ever published of the civilization of her North American colonies. The leading journals, magazines, and reviews of England assume that American democracy is not three quarters of a century old-that scarcely has it attained the full age of man, three score years and ten-before it is
A M. De Tocqueville.
seized with the throes of dissolution; and because a gigantic rebellion has sprung up which is not put down in a single year, in a country which is as large as all Europe, therefore it is concluded that American democracy is short-lived, and incapable of standing the strain of adversity, while monarchy alone has permanence and stability. “Every natiòn,” says the London Times of January 17th, “ has the right of selecting its own form of government, but that of the, United States seems to us to have been suited only for the fairest of weather, and not for the dark tempests which have of late assailed the republic.” This judgment is, to say the • least, premature. In a few months this country has developed a military strength, unexampled, for so brief a time, in the history of nations ; and now, when it 'has begun to strike, it would seem but decent for our transatlantic cousins to abide the result. England has not dispatched her own civil wars so speedily that she is entitled to lecture other nations on the subject. Her wars with Scotland extended over a period of four or five centuries, and it was only in 1707 that Scotland finally yielded her independence and consented to a permanent union with the dominant power, and it was not till more than a century afterwards that the corrupt parliament of Ireland, after numerous civil wars, surrendered her legislative independence, so that she became incorporated into “ the United Kingdom”-a union which is not very firmly cemented after the lapse of three score years. How has it been even in England itself?
66 The great rebellion” began in 1638, in the reign of Charles I., and the revolution “ to restore the former constitution and to counteract the recent encroachments” of the kings* was not completed till 1688—a period of half a century, during which not only England, but Scotland and Ireland were desolated by fire and sword, and the monarchy itself was suspended for eleven years by the commonwealth.
If a rebellion in the United States, and failure to put it down in a few months, be a valid argument against American democracy, it would prove too much, and, à fortiori, demonstrate the weakness of monarchy, proving that it is more suited, than a republic, " for fair weather, and not for dark tempests." The periodical revolutions and insurrections in European monarchies do not argue much for the strength of
their institutions. The republic of Rome endured for 466 years, during which time it ruled the world. How feeble became the sway of the empire that succeeded it, till at last the mighty Roman power ceased to exist! The Dutch confederate republic, consisting of seven United Provinces, successfully resisted the whole power of Spain, then the greatest monarchy of Europe, for a period of eighty years, and established its independence at last. It endured for 227 years, when it became a kingdom, with the father of Louis Napoleon on the throne. Even the power of the Holy Alliance could not keep the country long united, after it was reduced by external violence to monarchy. The dissimilarity of language, religion, and race did not prevent union under the confederation. But, under a monarchy, the discordant elements worked a disintegration, in 1830, and Holland and Belgium have been, ever since, separate kingdoms. Switzerland is a remarkable example of the endurance of confederated republics. It is now 550 years old, and, during five centuries and a half, it has held its own against the encroachments of surrounding monarchies. In recent years, its strength has been tested in a rebellion like our own, which it speedily crushed, and still “ the free Switzer bestrides alone his chainless mountains." Yet, neither do the Dutch Republic nor the Swiss Confederacy present, in their forms of government, the unity and consolidation of the United States of America. The United Provinces were more independent, and enjoyed a higher degree of State rights, than the communities of the American confederation, and the Swiss Cantons have reserved to themselves more sovereignty, and given less of it to the federal government, than the American States have done. Our system is undoubtedly an improvement on theirs, and is calculated for greater stability.
Republics are more vigorous in war than in peace. The old Roman Republic is an example. France, when it was a republic, was able to crush internal rebellion, and to battle successfully against all Europe in arms. It was only when it became an empire that it was conquered and passed under the yoke. What would have been the fate of England long since, had she not been an island ? Her insular position and her maritime supremacy, the result of her commercial necessities, alone have saved her from being swallowed up by France. It is not, therefore, any inherent strength in her form of government that has enabled England to maintain her independence and the integrity of her kingdom.