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Catholics gained the power over any people, and got the government into their own hands, that they did not persecute, even 'unto death, all that were opposed to them? And was it not their religion, though they might be bound by all the oaths that could be imposed on them, that they might be absolved by the Pope ? And were they not striving for conquest every where, and to set up their religion of Church and State ? * * * Were not nunneries and Catholic schools springing up all around us ? And were they not teaching the children that we are all heretics ?
And should Ireland be free from England to-day, would she sustain a republic? No. Let Ireland be free from England, and the Pope would have the power. And would he sustain a republic ? Look to Mexico," &c.
Mr. Richardson, of Hanover, followed Mr. Cass, and spoke against the resolution, but took occasion to have a fling at the Catholics. He said : “ It was idle to suppose that a narrow-minded Jesuit should be elevated to office.
In this country, with its liberalizing influence, we had no reason to fear any thing from Catholics.",
The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, of July, 1850, held such language as the following on the subject :
“ These European reformers are flocking hither by thousands, bringing with them the pestilent products of the worn-out soil of the Old World—which, it would seem, when ever it falls into labor, produces nothing but monsters. They bring with them a host of extravagant notions of freedom, or a plenty of crude, undigested theories, which are utterly irreconcilable with obedience to laws of our own making, and from a constitution of our own adopting. They come with their heads full of a division of property, to a country where it is already divided in a manner most salutary to the general welfare, by existing laws and institutions, allowing every man an equal chance, and placing no artificial obstructions in the way of any. It is not here that idlenéss, profligacy and extravagance are shielded from their otherwise inevitable consequences—poverty and contempt-by laws and institutions expressly devised for that purpose. It is not here that property is perpetuated for ages in one family, and that the laboring classes are forever excluded from their share. But it is here that industry, economy, prudence and enterprise receive their due rewards; and by being left to themselves, produce that general diffusion of comfort, as well as that salutary distribution of property, which can never be brought about, or at least perpetuated, by any other means.
“ The socialists, however, who are come and coming among us, either from not comprehending that they have got into a new world altogether different from the old, or from a wild and reckless spirit of innovation, are silently making an impression on the people of our great cities, where all the sweepings of the country are gathered into one great mass of ignorance and corruption. They are instilling into them principles at war with society, and have attracted the attention of the several leaders, who begin to nibble at them, and discover evident symptoms of a design to enlist them in their great army of rag-tag and bob-tail, clothed in the many-colored patches of anti-masonry, anti-mailism, abolitionism, socialism, Fourieriteism, St. Simonianism, and heaven only knows what besides."
The reader will bear in mind that the above was written by democratic authority. It was uttered five years ago, before the organization of the American party—so called and before the country had been aroused to the importance of the American movement. Subsequent events have demonstrated anew the necessity of a change in our naturalization laws, as well as the equally pressing necessity of Americanizing ourselves.
And this feeling is even justified by writers of foreign as well as American journals, as may be seen by the following, taken from the London and Loyd's Weekly Register, edited by Douglas Jerrold :
“ All things considered, the Know Nothings are the most impressive development of American life. Hitherto America has been a refuge for the outcasts of all nations, the home of all who had fled from debt, from tyranny, from starvation, from justice. It has received all-rejected none. This was a grand experiment, but has only partially succeeded.
Some of the immigrants—especially the Irish-brought mischiefs with them-evil passions and bad habits; and, as all were admitted to public power-to vote at elections public men had to stoop to their baseness, to get support ; and hence, a lower. style of public morals became the rule in large towns.
The Know Nothings, who comprise the most intellectual and prosperous men of the American democracy, say this evil must be stayed. Their cry is, · America for Americans!' And surely this cry is as reasonable as • Italy for the Italians,' or · Hungary for the Hungarians. The new party is a protest against Irish political profligacy, and against Jesuit influence in America. They seek to deprive the immigrant hordes of the means of mischief. Their motto is, · Protection to all-power exclusive to the American born.'
It was the proud boast of the ancient Roman that the watchword, “I am a Roman citizen," would secure him personal respect throughout the world ; and so now it may be said, with equal truth, the salutation, “I am an American citizen,” is the best and safest passport a stranger can bave to the yeomanry of foreign lands. But the causes which insure this respect to the American throughout the civilized world, are widely different from those which commanded it for the ancient Roman. It was the dread of the Roman power which secured it for its countrymen ; but 10 such sentiment protects the American abroad. It is not fear of the American Government, but admiration for its institutions, which commands respect.
America is a land known and admired every where, as that of peace and plenty, of virtue and safety, of freedom and equality, whose people have solved the problem, so long disputed, and proved that man is capable of self-government. It is not regarded as cosmopolitan, but has a distinctive national character of its own, and that is one eminently American, made up and formed by its own citizens, which challenges the admiration and respect of all Christendom. It is the land of Constitutional Liberty, where the down-trodden and oppressed of other nations may find a refuge from tyranny, and enjoy the blessing of freedom. In a word,
“ The land of the free, and the home of the brave.”.
It is the land which has already a history filled with heroic deeds, and that is known by the achievements on the field, of its Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, and Scott, and the vindication of its rights upon the ocean, by Perry, Decatur, Stewart, and others not necessary here to enumerate; which has produced such statesmen as Henry, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Jay, Madison, Calboun, Clay, and Webster, whose names and fame are known the world over ; whose Marshall, Story, Kent, Livingston, and Wheaton, have shed a lustre on its legal jurisprudence which commands the homage and admiration of the jurists of the whole world; and whose Franklin, Edwards and Wayland, on mental and moral philosophy, Bancroft and Prescott as historians, Fulton, Fitch, Whitney, Silliman, Morse, and Maury, names which "guarantee the scientific glory of America ;'' Powers as a sculptor, and Audubon as an ornithologist; Cooper and Irving, as novelists; Bryant, Halleck, Sigourney, &c., as poets, and Webster, as a lexicographer, have not only given promise of its future eminence, but possess sufficient merit to be known and read wherever the English language exists. Its triumphs of intellect and industry are known, and the American Flag is honored and respected in all parts of the world as that of a powerful nation of freemen. To sum up, America has a character of its own, a government unlike and unequalled by any other on the face of the earth, and its people, animated with a true American spirit, are not only every where recognized by their distinct nationality, but, as already stated, can present no higher claim to respect abroad than that of being American citizens.
But there are those of native birth among us, who do not hesitate to proclaim that there is not yet, and will not be for ages to come, an American nationality; that we are not a people and have no country; that we are without a national identity, and can be regarded only as mere denizens in the land of our birth, without any more claim to it, or im. pressing upon the character of its government a distinct, well-understood and recognized nationality, than any horde of wanderers who may choose to squat upon it, and make it their home. It is a relief to have cause to believe, however, that there are, comparatively, few who, to promote political objects of their own, have the reckless audacity to proclaim such an atrocious libel upon the American people. Among these are what may
not improperly be called the American Radicals, who are disciples of the anarchist school of European Infidel Revolutionists, and would, if they had the power, carry out here the principles inculcated by them, instead of following the precepts of Washington, and his compeer of patriots. Within the last year past, it must be confessed, however, a no less leading and influential journal than the New York Tribune has denied and repudiated all nationality to our country, by publishing such sentiments as these :-" Principles and not nativities constitute an American. Hugo and Mazzini are better Americans than Douglas and Pettit, because they are better democrats. Applying terms in any other sense than this, nothing is more untrue to the wbole spirit and meaning of our history than the maxim America for the Americans. Aside from the identity of our national principles, we have no national identity, nor shall we have for centuries.” Is this true? Who that has an American heart within him will subscribe to such a sentiment, though it has been proclaimed by so distinguished a journalist as Mr. Greeley ?
“ Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
If such there breathe, go mark him well :
Unwept, unhonored, aud unsung." It was one of the charges of Æchines against Ctesiphon, that, “ He who is insensible to that natural affection which should engage his heart to those who are most intimate and near him, can never feel a greater regard to your welfare, (that of the Athenian people,) than to that of strangers ;” and he might have well added, that he who is insensible to the ties and associations of his native land, is no more to be trusted by strangers than by his own countrymen. Man's first great duty, next to that which he owes to his Creator, is to his country; and he who is insensible to the associations of birth of childhood, feels no veneration for the glorious achievements of a noble and patriotic ancestry; and has not admiration sufficient for the government established by them, to claim for it a distinct nationality, possesses neither the heart nor spirit of an American, and does not deserve the honor of the name. The Father of his , Country held to no such humiliating and self-degrading doctrine as that
inculcated by the school of modern reformers who affect a patriotism which rises superior to attachment to home and country. In his. Farewell Address, that rich legacy of wisdom and instruction to his country. men, he says: “ Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have, in a common cause, fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings and successes. But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interests; here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.”
In the memorials of Mr. Pownall, who lived eight years in the colonies, from 1753 to 1761, and during that period held successively the offices of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, of Governor of Massachusetts, and of Governor of South Carolina, and who in those capacities had every opportunity that could enable him to appreciate the people and their peculiar characteristics, and to form a correct estimate of the resources of the country, not only then descried through the telescope of his far-seeing mind, but predicted the future position, power and glory of America; and if that truly wise man could even a century ago thus regard and speak of our country as a distinct nation, who can now, when all and more than he then predicted has been fully realized, still doubt that we have a nationality, or that the United States of America is one of the known and recognized nations of the earth, whose flag is every where honored and respected, and whose people command the admiration of mankind throughout the civilized world ? Read the following revelations then made by Mr. Pownall :
“North America has advanced, and is every day advancing, to growth of State, with a steady and continually accelerating motion, of which there has never yet been any example in Europe."
- It is young and strong.'
“ Its strength will grow with its years, and it will establish its constitution and perfect adultness in growth of State. To this greatness of empire it will certainly arise."
“ America will become the arbitress of the commercial world, and perhaps the mediatrix of peace, and of the political business of the world.
“Whoever knows these people will consider them as animated in this new world, if I may so express it, with the spirit of the new philosophy.
Here one sees the inhabitants laboring after the plough, or with the spade and hue,