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tablishments and expenditure. But throughout these changes, patronage has been the mainspring of the organization of parties. It has ever been used to promote the interests and consolidate the strength of that party in which its distribution happened to be vested. The higher appointments offered attractions and rewards to the upper classes for their political support. The lower appointments were not less influential with constituencies. The offer of places, as a corrupt inducement to vote at elections, has long been recognized by the legislature as an insidious form of bribery. But without committing any offence against the law, patronage has been systematically used as the means of rewarding past political service, and insuring future support. The greater part of all local patronage has been dispensed through the bands of members of Parliament, supporting the ministers of the day. They have claimed and received it as their right; and have distributed it, avowedly, to strengthen their political connection. Constituents have learned too well to estimate the privileges of ministerial candidates, and the barren honors of the opposition ; and the longer a party has enjoyed power, the more extended has become its influence with electors.
The same cause has served to perpetuate party distinctions among constituent bodies, apart from varieties of interests and principles. The ministerial party are bound together by favors received and expected: the party in opposition smarting under neglect and hope deferred - combine against their envied rivals, and follow, with all the arlor of selfinterest, the parliamentary leaders, who are denied at once the objects of their own ambition, and the power of befriending their clients. Hence, when the principles of contending parties have seemed to be approaching agreement, their interests have kept them nearly as far asunder as ever.
The principle of competition, lately applied to the distri1 2 Geo. II. c. 24; 49 Geo. III. c. 118, &c.; Rogers on Elections, 316
evils and merits of
bution of offices, has threatened to subvert the established
influence of patronage. With open competition, competition
candidates owe nothing to ministers. In this way,
the civil and medical services of India, the scientific corps of the army, and some civil departments of the state, have already been lost to ministers of the crown. This loss, however, has been compensated by the limited competition introduced into other departments. There, for every vacancy, a minister nominates three or more candidates. The best is chosen; and, with the same number of offices, the patronage of the minister is multiplied. Two of his nominees are disappointed; but the patron is not the less entitled to their gratitude. He laments their failure, but could not avert it. Their lack of proficiency is no fault of his.
In the history of parties, there is much to deplore and Review of the condemn : but more to approve and to commend.
We observe the evil passions of our nature arousparty. ed, — “envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness.” We see the foremost of our fellow-countrymen contending with the bitterness of foreign enemies, reviling each other with cruel words, misjudging the conduct of eminent statesmen and pursuing them with vindictive animosity. We see the whole nation stirred with sentiments of anger and hostility. We find factious violence overcoming patriotism; and ambition and self-interest prevailing over the bighest obligations to the state. We reflect that party rule excludes one half of our statesmen from the service of their country, and condemns them however wise and capable
- to comparative obscurity and neglect. We grieve that the first minds of every age should have been occupied in collision and angry conflict, instead of laboring together for the common weal.
But, on the other side, we find that government without party is absolutism, - that rulers, without opposition, may be despots. We acknowledge, with gratitude, that we owe to party most of our rights and liberties. We recognize
in the fierce contentions of our ancestors, the conflict of great principles, and the final triumph of freedom. We glory in the eloquence and noble sentiments which the rivalry of contending statesmen has inspired. We admire the courage with which power has been resisted ; and the manly resolution and persistence by which popular rights have been established. We observe that, while the undue influence of the crown has been restrained, democracy has been also held in check. We exult in the final success of men who have suffered in a good cause. We admire the generous friend ships, fidelity, and self-sacrifice, — akin to loyalty and patriotism, · which the honorable sentiments of party have called forth. We perceive that an opposition may often serve the country far better than a ministry; and that where its principles are right, they will prevail. By argument and discussion truth is discovered, public opinion is expressed, and a free people are trained to self-government. We feel that party is essential to representative institutions. Every interest, principle, opinion, theory, and sentiment, finds expression. The majority governs; but the minority is never without sympathy, representation, and hope. Such being the two opposite aspects of party, who can doubt that good predominates over evil? Who can fail to recognize in party the very life-blood of freedom ?
1 " The best patriots in the greatest commonwealths have always coinmended and promoted such connections. Idem sentire de republicâ was with them a principal ground of friendship and attachment: nor do I know any other capable of forming firmer, dearer, more pleasing, more honorable, and more virtuous habitudes." — Burke's Present Discontents, Works, ij. 332.
Freedom of Opinion the greatest of Liberties, and last acquired:- The
Press under the Censorship, and afterwards:-Its Contests with Government early in the Reign of George III.:— Wilkes and Junius:— Rights of Juries :- Mr. Fox's Libel Act:- Public Meetings, Associations, and Political Agitation :— Progress of Free Discussion, 1760-1792:— Reaction caused by French Revolution and English Democracy: Repressive Policy, 1792-1799:- The Press until the Regency.
We now approach the greatest of all our liberties, Freedom of liberty of opinion. We have to investigate the printer the development of political discussion, to follow its
contests with power, to observe it repressed and discouraged, but gradually prevailing over laws and rulers, until the enlightened judgment of a free people has become the law by which the state is governed.
Freedom in the governed to complain of wrongs, and Free discus. readiness in rulers to redress them, constitute sion the last the ideal of a free state. Pbilosophers and statesliberty to be recognized.
men of all ages have asserted the claims of liberty of opinion. But the very causes which have filled
1 « Ούτε εκ του κόσμου τον ήλιον, ούτε εκ της παιδείας άρτεον την παρinciav,” - Socrates, Stobæi Florilegium. Ed. Gaisford, i. 328. Translated thus by Gilbert Wakefield: -" The sun might as easily be spared from the universe, as free speech from the liberal institutions of society."
• Ουδέν αν είη τους ελευθέρους μείζον ατύχημα του στέρεσθαι της παρpncias.” – Demosthenes. Ibid., 323; translated by the same eminent scholar: – “No greater calamity could come upon a people than the privation of free speech.”
«Τούλεύθερον δ' εκείνο εί τις θέλει πόλει
χρηστόν τι βούλευμ' είς μέσον φέρειν, έχων."
enlightened thinkers with admiration for this liberty, have provoked the intolerance of rulers. It was nobly said by Erskine, that “other liberties are held under governments, but the liberty of opinion keeps governments themselves in due subjection to their duties. This has produced the martyrdom of truth in every age; and the world has been only purged from ignorance with the innocent blood of those who have enlightened it."1 The church has persecuted freedom of thought in religion: the state has repressed it in politics. Everywhere authority has resented discussion, as hostile to its own sovereign rights. Hence, in states otherwise free, liberty of opinion has been the last political privilege which the people have acquired.
When the art of printing had developed thought, and multiplied the means of discussion, the press was sub- Censorship of jected, throughout Europe, to a rigorous censorship. the press. First, the church attempted to prescribe the bounds of human thought and knowledge ; and next, the state assumed the same presumptuous office. No writings were suffered to be published without the imprimatur of the licenser; and the printing of unlicensed works was visited with the severest punishments.
After the reformation in England, the crown assumed the right wbich the church had previously exercised, of prohibiting the printing of all works " but such as should be first seen and allowed.”
The censorship of the press became part of the prerogative; and printing was further restrained by patents and monopolies. Queen Elizabeth interdicted printing save in London, Oxford, and Cambridge. 2
“For this is not the liberty which we can hope, that no grievance ever should arise in the commonwealth, - that let no man in the world expect: but when complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained that wise men look for.” — Millim's Areopagetica, Works, iv. 396; Ed. 1851.
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue, freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” — Ibid., 442.
1 Erskine's speech for Paine. : State Tr., i. 1263.