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frage, they would seem anti-national, not to say treasonous.
I am not finding fault with all this. If the citizen of Massachusetts or New York satisfied himself that the interests of his State were bound up with Protection, it was his duty to vote for Protection. To a New Yorker, his country is the State of New York. To that State attach the interests and duties which attach people all over the world to their respective countries. Within its limits is the home wherein he was born: with it are connected his earliest associations, his most important duties, his nearest interests; the family to which he belongs, the neighbours and acquaintance with whom he is most brought in contact, all reside there ; and his relations with them are regulated by its laws. His life and property are protected by its officers; his lawsuits, if he has any, must be settled in its courts. The only military force that he is likely to see much of, unless indeed he happen to be anywhere near one of those points which in different parts of the country are given into the charge of the forces belonging to the Federation, is its militia ; and generally, in all matters in which an ordinary person ever comes in contact with Government, the only Government which he is obliged to be acquainted with is that of the State of New York. No doubt he feels himself exalted by the
thought that New York is a member of a great and powerful union of States, which, to the eyes of foreigners, presents the appearance of a single body, and which would resent an injury done to its members as if it were done to the whole. No doubt he is proud of the greatness, both in extent and in resources, of the aggregate of States and Territories of which that Union is composed. No doubt, as a citizen of the Union, he feels a jealousy of the aggressions, or what he would call such, of France in Mexico, and Spain in San Domingo, which, in the mere character of citizen of New York, he would not feel. No doubt there are ways in which he has duties towards the Union direct. But those duties are of a secondary order. He belongs to the Republic of the United States, because he belongs to the Republic of New York. “ Siamo Veneziani, poi Cristiani.”
So that the New Yorker or the Bostonian is not only entitled, but bound, to think more of the interests of New York or Massachusetts than of those of the Union. But, if he is a member of the Federal Congress, he has other duties to bear in mind. At a European Congress the representative of England is right in standing up for purely English interests, for he is there purely as the representative of England; and he knows that if on some question vitally affect
ing, say Russia, he succeeds in getting a majority against her, Russia has nothing to do except to refuse to be bound by its decision; and therefore he is under no obligation to consider Russian interests at all. But if the decision was binding on Russia, and if European Congresses were in the habit of coming to general resolutions on points which now each State decides for itself, or by special treaty with others, then the English representative would be bound to look at the question with Russian glasses, as well as with English ones.
The conflicting duties towards the State and towards the Union might in many cases be reconciled by a feeling that it could never be for the advantage of the Union to legislate against the interests of any of the States which compose it. In our recent treaty with France, the only real argument against the large concessions which our Government made, was that which maintained that if we had not been so ready to give everything up, we might have got more in exchange. There was some force in this : for the fact of our being too ready to surrender deprived us of the means of negotiating a similar treaty for our mutual advantage in future. But in itself, the more we gave up, the better for ourselves as well as for them; and if France had not had any duties on importation, we might have taken off all ours, not as a piece of kindness, but on the purest principles of self-interest. And upon an enlightened view of what was best for themselves, the Northerners might have come to the conclusion that what benefited the South would benefit themselves also. But, unhappily, they are possessed with the idea that their interests demand protection; and there is no doubt that protection to their industry is a grievous injury to the South
Had they separated, each section would have followed its own system without quarrelling, at least unless, as would not have been unlikely, some of the inhabitants of the Northern States, and especially those of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had found out that freedom of commerce had its advantages. Had they had a despotic ruler, with a head like Cromwell's, and a large army to fall back upon, some sort of perpetual compromise might have been forced upon them. But such an idea was not to be heard of. They must have a Federal Union, and they must have it on pure democratic principles. All matters, and especially those relating to taxation, must be settled by the process of counting noses ; and whichever section has fewest noses goes to the wall.
I think it is pretty clear how this must end; but surely it may be postponed for a little at least. We have free institutions, and free institutions, if they
are worth anything, ought to produce statesmen, ought to produce men who can see that, if there is to be a Union at all, it must rule its policy so as to be for the interest of all. But the Union is composed of States, and the voters must think first of the interests of their own communities, and return men who will promote them. Are there no men who will have sense to know what is best, and influence enough to prevent their countrymen from rushing into the gulf which is opening beneath their feet? Even if their voices be for a time drowned in the uproar of faction, they must be heard at last. A mob may be insane, misguided, led away by factious bunkum and mistaken ideas about what is for its advantage; but there is generally some heart in the masses, and the opinion of good and wise men must generally have its weight. Hamilton is gone, and Franklin, and Adams, and the great succession of Virginian Presidents, who were the glory of the early days of the Republic; but it cannot be that all the genius and all the virtue of America have been buried in their graves. They have surely left some representatives behind them.
It is a poor look-out for a country if its hopes of good government depend entirely on the excited mob forgetting its passions and supposed interests at the bidding of men who scorn to make use of the