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CAUSES OF COMPLAINT AGAINST ENGLAND.
insurgents had the best of it, England and most Englishmen were against us.
It would be wasting time and type to show that England has never treated us with much respect or complacency, except where it was for her immediate interest to do so. She shifts her policy towards all strong nations to suit the hour-towards weak ones, to suit her convenience.
Now, this may do very well in the short run, but will it do in the long run? Individuals are short-lived-they can easily forget; but nations are long-lived, and have a plenty of time to remember. The embers of a bitter war may seem to have smouldered into ashes; but a coming breeze may blow those ashes into thin air, and set the world on fire.
Yes, causes of complaint against Great Britain do existprovocations have been given; and they are of too serious a nature to be overlooked, or treated with levity. A contest between the British Monarch and the American Republic has begun, and it is too late to arrest it by any policy on our part, which any American statesman or party would dare to propose. How serious this contest may grow, will depend on England alone. The solution of this problem is no longer in our hands. She alone can quict the disturbed elements—she alone can avert the gathering storm.
These questions must be discussed; the day of mealy-mouthing diplomacy is over; the ground of our complaints must be carefully explored; the causes and nature of British provocations must be clearly stated; the issue cannot be much longer postponed we must get ready to meet it.
It would seem that the politicians who manage the British empire have a chronic complaint, from which few of them ever recover, of dealing with us as "old-fashioned colonies;" as, in some sort, dependencies still of the English crown! They seem to look on us as a kind of tributary-not exactly as an independent nation-but somehow or other, an attaché de l'empire. The Revolution of 1776 ought to have blotted this idea. out; but it did not. The war of 1812 should have ended
MAGNA CHARTA FOR THE WHOLE PEOPLE.
it. But this same idea exists to-day; and Englishmen of state must get rid of the foolish fancy before they can deal with us successfully. They must put themselves omnis in hoc with our political system. They are monarchical; we are democratic. We do not bandy words about forms of government; we want substance the real substance of liberty. Englishmen will choose their own forms; they have chosen them; and under these forms they manage to get a plenty of liberty for the privileged classes, while God, and a few good people, take as much care of the poor as they can. What we want, and claim to have in America, is a magna charta for the whole people, which means-First: Suffrage for all duly qualified classes of the people and none others; Second: The vote by ballot, which is the chief guaranty of independent suffrage; Third A just distribution of paternal estates among all legitimate children, which annihilates the hereditary rights of primogeniture, and thereby lays the axe at the root of this Upas tree of family aristocracy; Fourth: Universal religious (not toleration) protection, thus dissolving the harlot embrace of Church and State, and ending the foul system of a state religion; and last of all, the education of all the people as a public duty as a cardinal maxim of State. When the first civil structures were reared by the infant American Colonies, they put this great thing in: "Our children's education must be provided for, and zealously looked after, as one of the first
I am fully aware this is no easy work for an English statesman. It is only now and then that it has been achieved. Burke, Fox and a few others understood us during our revolutionary struggle. At a later period such men as Canning and Huskisson did. But in our immediate times, the number of public men and journals in Great Britain that have displayed any adequate comprehension of our political and social system could be counted on the ten fingers. Even so illuminated and liberal a thinker as Macaulay was a dupe to the same English delusion; for English the delusion is. Neither De Tocqueville nor any other great continental writer on the American system, fell into such a delusion. Even Macaulay said that our territory was too vast to be held together by the feeble hands of a Democratic Government, and that our Union would fall asunder by the weight of its component parts.
THE FRIENDS OF AMERICA.
duties of a God-fearing commonwealth; for ignorant children will make bad citizens." Milton, Blackstone, Burke and Brougham never had anything to say against this. This mode of ruling nations England has yet to learn; she will yet pay dearly for not having learned it before.
Do not forget here, nor elsewhere, the great and welcome fact, that we have friends in England: friends of our Government and its perpetuity; friends of its cardinal Democratic principle of the equal political rights of all men; friends of the Republic which has emerged from the waves of a dreadful civil deluge, stronger than ever; and which is now ready on all proper occasions to vindicate throughout the world, if need be, the right of men to govern themselves. It is all bootless now to make out a case against the British Government. Our case is made out. England herself has made it out. Events have helped her. It is now summed up. She must be friendly to us, or she will be sorry for it. This is no threat-for threats are mean things at best; not fit for men nor nations. But England must be ready to answer the People of the United States these questions: Why did you take the first chance you had to turn the cold shoulder on us? Why did you not do it in the day of our strength, when we were a united nation; when we were too formidable for your assaults? Why secretly build, and then clandestinely despatch your pirate steamers to sink our honest merchantmen on all seas, from the Equator to the Poles?
THE BLOW LEVELED AGAINST AMERICAN COMMERCE by British cruisers, was far more complete than it could have been had war actually existed between England and the United States. Then, all seas would have swarmed with our privateers, and it would have been the same straightforward game the two nations played in their contest of 1812. In making up, therefore, any sort of an estimate of the commercial losses this Country
THE BLOW AGAINST AMERICAN COMMERCE.
suffered through the course England thought proper to take in the very beginning of the Rebellion, we have scarcely reached the threshold by simply counting the two hundred and seventyfive peaceful merchantmen sunk or bonded by British cruisers. This covered only so many tons of shipping-and perhaps twelve or fifteen million dollars of value in ships and goods. It was an item too inconsiderable to demand much attention, compared with the stupendous loss of the carrying trade with foreign nations, then in our hands. We glance at the commercial condition in 1860, when, although the clouds were lowering over the political horizon, commerce had not yet shortened its sails, nor altered its courses.
The following figures are from the Treasury Reports, which show our commerce and navigation with all countries for the financial year, ending June 30, 1860: Domestic produce, exported, $373,189,274. Foreign, exported, $26,933,022. Total exports, $100,122,296. Total imports, $362,166,254. Total exchanges, $762,288,550. Entered, American tonnage, 5,921, 285. Cleared, do. 6,165,924. Foreign tonnage entered, 2,353, 911. Cleared, 2,624,005. Our exports had risen in eight years, one hundred and seventy millions; a commercial growth unparalleled in the history of any nation.
The figures for the next five years will be given in the body of the work, with much valuable information derived from the Records of the New York Chamber of Commerce. To show the vigilance with which that important Institution guards the commercial interests of this country, and the feelings with which its members contemplated the whirlwind which swept our commerce from the sea, I have only to cite below a few pas sages from the proceedings of the Chamber, January 2, 1863.*
"Whereas, It is alleged that the Alabama is continually supplied from Great Britain with coal and ammunition, by means of which she is enabled to continue her piratical course against American commerce, the consequence being to raise the premium of insurances on American vessels and their cargoes, and to depress the rate of freights in American ships, and to transfer our carrying trade to vossels of other nations, this Chamber is led to the following conclusions:
MEMORIAL OF N. Y. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
Could we not have our share of blue water? Could not our Republic live, and your oligarchy too, at the same time? Must you humiliate us in order to save your own pride?
England has yet to learn the great lesson that Democracy is hereafter to be the law of the human race. Monarchy and despot
First. That through the active instrumentality of the subjects of Great Britain, the so-called Confederate States are furnished with ships, men, arms and ammunition with which to war on the commerce of the United States.
"Second. That without such foreign aid the States in revolt against the government of the United States would be powerless to effect any injury to American commerce on the high seas.
"Third. That this war on American commerce, carried on by ships built and manned in Great Britain, if not rebuked by the British press generally, is not discouraged by the public sentiment of a once friendly nation, claiming to be guided by high and honorable principles, and is not effectually and thoroughly arrested by the strong will and stronger arm of the British government.
"Fourth. That as a result of the foregoing facts and conclusions, the merchants of the United States are subjected, in a certain degree, to the evils which would attend a state of war with Great Britain, and are compelled to witness the carrying trade of their country transferred from their own vessels to British bottoms, under all the sanctions and advantages of peace and neutrality to the latter, while the source of this great peril, threatening to drive American commerce from the ocean, is of British origin; now, therefore."
In the autumn previous (Oct. 22, 1862,) the Chamber had used the following language in another memorial to the President of the United States:
"Now it cannot be said that the government of England, and the merchants of England, indeed, every body in England, are ignorant of this, or of the further fact, that vessels are to follow the "Alabama" and other privateers intended to operate against our commerce on the seas, when they leave the shores of England, with cargoes of arms, guns, and munitions of war, and crews made up of British subjects, all which are to be transferred to these piratical vessels for the purpose of destroying American ships and American commerce.
Therefore, we say Chamber ought publicly to express the opinion it set forth seven years ago, when the situation of the two countries was reversed, when England was at war, and we were at peace. The sentiments we then expressed, when vindicating our character and our honor against unfounded aspersion, we may well, and should emphatically express as our sentiments today, and hold them out for the consideration of the people of England, with whom it has ever been our desire to live on terms of friendly intercourse. It will be for them to consider what impression it will make on the American mind that British built ships, manned by British seamen, are sent out to burn and destroy our ships pursuing their legitimate courses upon the ocean, and to commit