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as though they had not an idea beyond the ground they dwell upon; yet is their mind all the while enlarging all its powers, and their spirit rises as theis improvements advance.
“ The independence of America is fixed as fate. She is mistress of her own fortune; knows that she is so, and will actuate that power which she feels, both so as to establish her own system and to change the system of Europe.
* Those sovereigns of Europe who have been led by the office system and worldly wisdom of their ministers--who, seeing things in those lights, have despised the unfashioned, awkward youth of America—when they shall find the system of this new empire not only obstructing but superseding the old systems of Europe, and crossing upon the effects of all their settled maxims and accustomed measures, they will call upon these their ministers and wise men, Come, curse me this people, for they are too mighty for me;' their statesmen will be dumb; but the spirit of truth will answer, • How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed?'
“ America will come to market in its own shipping, and will claim the ocean as common--will claim a navigation restrained by no laws but the law of nations, reformed as the rising crisis requires.
“ America will seem every day to approach nearer and nearer to Europe. When be alarm which the idea of going to a strange and distant country gives to the homely notions of a European manufacturer or peasant shall be thus worn out, a thousand repeated repulsive feelings respecting their present home, a thousand attractive motives respecting the settlement which they will look to in America, will raise a spirit of adventure, and become the irresistible cause of an almost general immigration to that new world.
Whether the islands in those parts called the West Indies are naturally parts of this North American communion, is a question, in the detail of it, of curious speculation, but of no doubt as to the fact.”
Then, giving way to the enthusiasm of his prophetic spirit, he addresses himself in direct language to America :
“ A nation to whom all nations will come; a power whom all powers of Europe will court to civil and commercial alliances; a people to whom the remnants of all ruined people will fly; whom the oppressed and injured of every nation will seek for refuge,” he exclaims, “ ACTUATE YOUR SOVEREIGNTY, EXERCISE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF YOUR THRONE."
Arise! ascend thy lofty seat,
Let those among us who, by their conduct, prove themselves unworthy of the country which gave them birth, deny us a nationality as much as they will, it is still no less true, and acknowledged to be so by those in foreign lands, that there is such a thing as an American Nationality, of the truth of which assertion the following extract from an able article in the Westminster Review for April last, affords abundant proof:
“ Henceforward, it is no longer England, but the North American Republic that has become the pole-star to which, from all sides, the eye of struggling nations turns. ... There are those who fancy that under mere democracy, energetic diplomacy and war
like success are impossible; let us for a moment attend to the facts concerning the United States. . . . They nobly earned their independence; they assumed the aggressive against England; they made a plain declaration of war on France if payments conceded to be due the United States were not paid by a certain near day; since these there have been the war of Texas and the Mexican war, and in the Mexican war one knows not what is most to be admired; the facility with which an army of volunteers submitted to discipline; the perfection of their weapons-new inventions of America-handled with a skill previously unknown; the goodness of their commissariat, in a wild and vast country; or the flexibility of their mechanical adaptations as to reporting, printing and communicating homeward. For fifty years past, the merchant ships of the United States have notoriously been far better built than those of Great Britain. . . . No one can pretend that the United States does not conduct its diplomacy with consummate energy and success. This is brought about mainly by the influence of the Senate on foreign affairs. We have no corresponding organ. ... We imagine three principal enactments necessary: 1, that all new peerages shall be for life only; 2, that no new peer shall be created without a recommendatory vote from the Commons; 3, that the Queen shall have the right of permitting every minister, during his tenure of office, to set and speak in the Upper House, but without a vote. All Reformers will do well to inscribe on their flag, that Reform must take the direction of America, not of France.”
History vindicates the truth of these remarks; and the native born American, who is so deficient in devotion to, and pride of, country as to be insensible to its claim to a nationality, may well have his patriotism doubted, and be regarded with suspicion. “There are few things that
. contribute more decidedly to a nation's strength than a national pride," said old Hezekiah Niles in his Register, as long ago as 1817, and why so ? Because, said he, "it appears to me, however, that the operation of this principle was more powerful almost every where than it was in the United States before the late war; nothwithstanding the extremely modest accusations of our 'British masters' to the contrary; and even yet, I cannot believe that we are possessed of our full, just and legitimate share of it. But we are improving every day-our people begin to feel and to know that they are Americans and republicans; and the time is fast approaching when they will really be so, and glory in it. Blessed be those who, by their wisdom or valor, by counsel or by the sword, have dissipated our prejudices, or ‘hewed a path to fame,' and thus raised up so strong a rampart to defend the liberties of my country.”
The foundation of patriotism, originating in the relations and intercourse of domestic life, has ever been the faith and belief of the wisest and best
In the New York Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution, Alexander Hamilton used the following language :
“ There are certain social principles in human nature, from which we may derive the most solid conclusions with respect to the conduct of individuals and communities. We love our families more than our neighbors ; our neighbors more than our countrymen in general. The human affections, like the solar heat, lose their intensity as iney depart from the centre ; and become languid in proportion to the expansion of the circle in which they act.”
And the same great statesman had a proper appreciation of the danger to republican institutions from foreign influences, by the introduction of men, money or manners from abroad, and in referring to the subject, gave the following illustration from history :
“The government established by Lycurgus remained in vigor 500 years, until a thirst of empire tempted the Spartans to entertain foreign troops, and introduce Persian gold to maintain them; then the institutions of Lycurgus fell at once, and ararice and luxury succeeded.”
Such was the spirit which animated Henry Clay. In a speech delivered by him in the Senate, Feb. 7, 1839, he said: “The Searcher of all hearts knows that every pulsation of mind beats high and strong in the cause of civil liberty. Wherever it is safe and practicable, I desire to see every portion of the human family in the enjoyment of it. But I prefer the liberty of my country to that of any other people, and the liberty of my own race to that of any other."
Archbishop Hughes, in one of his controversial letters with Senator Brooks, expresses a similar sentiment, though applying it in a different manner. "I would not,” says he, “exchange the bright memories of my early boyhood in another land, and beneath another sky, for those of any other man living, no matter where he was born." This is, in truth, the feeling and spirit which animates every right-minded man. Love for our own race and our native land is but in conformity with the divine instincts of nature. It is, as has been truly observed by an unknown writer, interwoven with the fibres of the human heart—it is paramount to distance, time and circumstances—it is beyond the reach of politics and philosophy—it is the one grand and powerful emotion which colors every thought and directs every action.
But, say the repudiaters of American nationality, "principles and pot nativities constitute an American.” Grant that principles are essential to constitute one in the sense here used. If love of home, country and race, exercise so controlling an influence over human action, as is universally conceded, can those coming to America be regarded as exceptions ? is but reasonable to suppose that they, too, are susceptible of home influence, that they still love their native land, and cherish the doctrines taught them by their forefathers, in domestic matters--in agriculture, commerce, religion--and if so, why not also in politics and the science of government?
In still further answer, it may be said, that principles alone do not constitute government. "Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them,” says William Penn, in the Preface to the Constitution of Pennsylvania; "and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad. If it be evil, they will cure it." In the language of Sir William Jones, men, high-minded men, constitute a
“ Not high rais'd battlements or labored mound,
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crown'd:
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Where low-brow'd baseness wafts perfume to pride.
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and knowing dare maintain."
Race, kin and kindred, training and tradition, devotion to country, knowledge of its institutions, history, trials, progress and achievements, an aggregation of men that have a country and love it, feel that they, bave a nationality and place a value upon it, have ancestral graves and ancestral toils to look and dwell upon, an ancestral spirit to be inspired with, precepts to respect, examples to imitate, and an inheritance to glory in, as well as a present blessing to be enjoyed-all these are requisites to make an American and constitute an American nationality. As has been beautifully observed by Robert T. Conrad, in a brilliant address, delivered before the Literary Societies of Pennsylvania College, in 1852, “the dull devotion of enforced allegiance or unfelt duty may shed a cold, lunar light over a land, but it is the heat of the solar heart alone that can vivify and invigorate, can render feebleness invincible, and make, what would else be a polar desolation, a scene of beauty— glory and a joy."
It is the American, who feels that he has a name which "exalts the just pride of patriotism,” that yields the first fruits of his genius and his heart to his country. " He loves her," continues Judge Conrad, in the admirable address already quoted," with the gushing fulness and unselfish devotion of the heart's first and purest love. How could he otherwise ? Her soil claims a parent's right to that love;, and were it churlish as winter, could he love it less than the Switzer loves his cliffs? Were it torrid. as Arabia, could he cherish it less than the Bedouin his sands? But the grandeur and beauty of the boon land of his birth, where lavish Nature seems to have gathered her wonders as for a race of free giants-the
cloistered aisles of her sublime and solemn forests—the cataract voices that thunder among her hills--the glorious rivers that sweep, with queenly magnificence, among valleys the loveliest that zephyr visits how could these be his own, and be onbeloved ? And then her annals, rich in the unrivalled triumphs of a calm and Christian. heroism—her valor, her virtues, but more than all, her liberty, calm and crimeless, lofty and self-restrained, that lifts her above all ancient or modern comparison--the morning star of the nations! Why, he were duller than the dullest clod of her valleys, did not his heart swell with exalting gratitude to the God that had made such a land, and made him a child upon its bosom. It is wise, therefore, and well, that he loves his native land, and loves it thus; not with a cold sense of filial duty merely—the trickling of an icicle patriotism-but with a full and fiery passion; that regards one life as too poor an offering for such a country, yet would give it, freely,
& as the sun gives its light or the heaven its dew—would pour out his young, warm blood exultingly in the battle, and bless each sacrificial drop as it bubbled forth. Oh, more than mountains and rivers, than wealth and prowess, than greatness and splendor, is this spirit the true glory of our land! And this spirit, let me add, is no idle dream, no lofty fiction. It is a presence and a reality; it lives and moves and has its being in every pulsation of the mighty heart of our country : and should the shadow darken and the peril come, it will start forth mightier than any mere throbless physical power, to save and to achieve. It is this passion of patriotism that can alone make a people free and happy.”
America for Americans, is a demand not based upon narrow sectarianisms, or mere party predilections. It is no new doctrine;. it has been avowed and maintained in all ages, and in all countries, so long as the people remained true to their country, and had a respect for and pride in their nationality; it rests upon the love of home and of country, and involves not only a natural right but a solemn and imperative duty which birth-right alone can impose. Who that will not adopt the language of the poet, and cordially agree that
“ There's not a spot on this wide peopled earth
Why, then, should it be deemed illiberal, unkind and unjust in Americans to feel a devotion to their country, and an interest in its institutions which induces a desire on their part to rule America ? Have not other free nations claimed and exercised the same prerogative ? And was it not only when they became too degenerate and corrupt to do so that they