The Peril of the Republic of the United States of America



Why Spain was conquered-Why America was chosen to conquer her-The setting sun of Spanish glory-An Old World power is driven from Cuba, but an Old World idea invades the United States-The doctrine that might makes right-The doctrine that right makes might-American Imperialism-The Declaration of Independence mocked at-The forcible annexation of the Philippines-A. D. 1899 ideas of the Declaration-Jefferson opposed to conquest-Ideas of John Fiske-James G. Blaine on wars of conquest-Macaulay on colonial empires-The American Revolution a war against the colonial system-Supreme Court opinion versus United States dependencies-The national records opposed to dependencies, in the organization of the Northwest Territory, treaty of cession with France over Louisiana purchase, in the treaty of Washington over the Floridas, in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo over California, Nevada, etc., and in the Gadsden and Alaskan purchases-A change of front on the “government by consent” doctrine-The purchase of the Philippines-Recent opinions on the “consent of the governed” doctrine-In the track of King George-Grand words from Carl Schurz-Criminal aggression-Can the government endure half citizen, half colonial?—The command, “Silence!”—Liberty at the point of the bayonet-Lord Macaulay on slavery in the West Indies-Is history a fable?

The war, begun in 1898, between the kingdom of Spain and the republic of the United States is now at an end, and the laurels of victory are worn by the armies and the navy of the Western Giant. Few were the battles and brief the campaign which laid the feeble foe prostrate in the dust. Continued violation of natural law had produced internal weakness and disintegration. Spain fell an easy and helpless prey, not simply on account of the superiority of American prowess and gunnery, but because of inherent weakness, produced by her own sin. PRUS 79.1

It was altogether fitting that the long struggle which the Iberians had carried on against their own colonies for the purpose of enforcing the ideas that all men are not created equal, and that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, should be abruptly terminated by that nation which was conceived in principles the exact reverse of these theories. PRUS 79.2

That Providence willed it so, there can be no doubt. Only the hand that was free from the stain of despotism could be used to inflict punishment upon her whose every garment was spotted with its leprosy. With the surrender of Cuba and Porto Rico, Spain relinquished the last acre of that great landfall which Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought to the united thrones of Aragon and Castile. Spain’s administration of these domains was one long series of national crime. Long ago the King of kings arraigned her at the bar above, and there and then it was justly decreed that the unjust steward should have her stewardship taken away. Instalments of the penalty have fallen due from time to time. Just now we have witnessed the last payment, that of the uttermost farthing. And in the words of Lincoln, “As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’” PRUS 79.3

As the stereopticon pictures dissolve upon the sheet upon which they are thrown, and fade away from view, so in a. d. 360 the empire of the Romans began dissolving upon the great sheet of time and space upon which all nations are cast, until in a. d. 476 the last faint traces and shadowy outlines of her once great power and glory had utterly vanished. But as her fleeting specter disappeared from off the canvas, the Visigoths, in the childlike bloom of semi-barbaric virginity, may be seen in that dim twilight of time stealthily gliding in to occupy the rich peninsula which the fall of Rome had left without a tenant. Weal might have been their day; glorious with white and gold the years of the hoar hair of their national existence, the harvest of their allotted span. By their own choice alone it has brought forth only tears and woe,-first to others, and finally to themselves. They followed in the steps of Rome, they repeated her history, and as far as colonial empire is concerned, they have met her end, while their own dissolution, the last grand tableau in the tragedy, already looms in the offing of time. For as God is no respecter of persons, even so he is no respecter of nations. PRUS 80.1

Columbus sailed with the intent of finding, not the West, but the East Indies. To the day of his death he never discovered his mistake. It was his intent there to plant the monarchical tyranny of Spain. Four hundred years have passed away since then, and it is passing strange that these United States, after breaking the power of Spain in the West, are even now engaged in fastening upon that land which Columbus sought to reach, those same Spanish principles of power and tyranny which he would fain have taken there. PRUS 80.2

An Old World power has been driven from Cuba, but an Old World idea has invaded and well-nigh captured the republic of the United States,-the idea that all men are not created equal, and that governments do not derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. There have been times when the ship of state in the United States has been partially diverted from her course, and greed has used her officers for private ends and personal emoluments. But now the very foundation-stones of the fabric governmental are being undermined. PRUS 80.3

Prior to the year 1898 this government was a republic pure and simple. Its foundations were laid in principle, and not in power. It was not an empire in any sense of the word, for the foundations of an empire are laid in power, and not in principle. It was built upon that everlasting rock that right makes might. Against this the coming of floods and the blowing and beating of winds are alike powerless, for it standeth sure and falleth not forever. But empires, on the other hand, are built upon that sinking sand that might makes right. Against these the floods come, and the winds blow and beat, and they fall, and great is the fall thereof. PRUS 80.4

To-day this nation is in danger of abandoning the rock and settling upon the sand. The love of power, so prone to the human breast, is smothering priceless, eternal principle. From being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is being rapidly transformed into a government of some of the people, by a few of the people, for all the people. This is imperialism as opposed to republicanism, and this is national apostasy. PRUS 81.1

Until the summer of 1898 the word “imperialism” was but little heard from the lips of Americans. Now the very atmosphere is fairly drenched with it. A perfect wave of imperialism has swept over the land, and the desire for an Imperial America, or an “Imperial Republic,” as it has been styled, sits supreme upon hundreds of scores of souls. But an imperial republic cannot exist. With equal sense and propriety one might talk about “good badness.” PRUS 81.2

What means this wild babel of tongues clamoring for subjects over which to exercise sway? What means this strange jargon, formed from an Old World monarchical vocabulary? Are men crazed with the madness sometimes begotten by victory at arms? Are men drunken with the lust of colonial empire? Are men raving in the delirium of that dread fever, earth-hunger, in which all the monarchies of the Old World are writhing? Think they in the hour of triumph over a foe, outclassed at every point, to build a tower of national greatness which will reach to the very heavens, and at the same time to lay its unrighteous foundations on the stricken forms of vassal peoples? The result will surely be as it was before in the case of the builders of Babel, there will be confusion of tongues, and the dissolution of the nation. PRUS 81.3

In his day, Abraham Lincoln said that in the days of the Fathers “our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and thought to include all; but now, to aid in making the bondage of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed, and sneered at, and construed, and hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all recognize it.” 1 PRUS 81.4

And again he said, speaking of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise:— PRUS 82.1

“I think, and shall try to show, that it is wrong,-wrong in its direct effect,-letting slavery into Kansas and Nebraska, and wrong in its prospective principle, allowing it to spread to every other part of the wide world, where men can be found inclined to take it. PRUS 82.2

“This declared indifference, but as I must think covert real zeal, for the spread of slavery, I can not but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence; enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity; and especially because it forces so many really good men among ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty, criticizing the Declaration of Independence.” 2 PRUS 82.3

Once again the time has come when the Declaration of Independence is not held sacred by all, is not thought to include all. Once again, to make the bondage, not of the negro, but of the Filipino, universal and eternal, “it is assailed, and sneered at, and hawked at, and, torn, till, if its framers could rise from their graves, they could not at all recognize it.” PRUS 82.4

The forcible annexation of the Philippine Islands is now being attempted. The government of the United States is endeavoring to subject this people against their will. To enforce this idea is to enforce slavery; not in the extreme degree, to be sure, but in part and in principle nevertheless. On this point a United States senator has truly said:— PRUS 82.5

“Wherever a people are required to render an obedience which is involuntary, that requirement is an enslavement of that people. PRUS 82.6

“There are different degrees of enslavement. If we put our yoke upon a people, if we rule them arbitrarily, if we send them governors and judges, if we make laws for them without their participation, if we enforce obedience to such laws by our army, then it is an absolute enslavement. If, on the contrary, we allow them free institutions, but at the same time prescribe to them that they shall owe allegiance to a government against their will, it is none the less an enslavement, although less in degree.” 3 PRUS 82.7

That which is now being done in this enslavement is wrong. It is wrong in its direct effect, and “wrong in its prospective principle, allowing it [slavery-vassalage] to spread to every other part of the wide world, where men can be found inclined to take it.” Besides this, it “deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world; enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity.” And more and worse than all of this, “it forces so many really good men among ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty, criticizing the Declaration of Independence.” PRUS 83.1

Now here are the words of some who have been doing this:— PRUS 83.2

“A constitution and national policy adopted by thirteen half-consolidated, weak, rescued colonies, glad to be able to call their life their own, can not be expected to hamper the greatest nation in the world.” 4 PRUS 83.3

“This nation has become a giant, who is no longer content with the nursery rimes which were sung around his cradle.” 5 PRUS 83.4

“In the right to acquire territory is found the right to govern; and as the right to govern is sovereign and unlimited, the right to govern is a sovereign right, and I maintain is not limited in the Constitution. I think it must be admitted that the right to govern is sovereign and unlimited.... Governments derive their just powers from the consent of some of the governed.” 6 PRUS 83.5

“The Declaration of Independence was made to suit a particular existing condition of things. The Declaration meant simply that the colonies had become tired of the British domination, deeming it oppressive, and intended to set up a government of their own by the right of revolution. They were not laying down a principle for anybody except themselves, and they had no conception of the ‘consent of the governed’ as it is proclaimed by Mr.—and the generally hypocritical gang who are sympathizing with him in the hope of cheating us out of our rightful conquests.” 7 PRUS 83.6

“It is a favorite notion now to quote the words, ‘Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,’ as if these embodied a law of application to all inhabitants a like.... It was never the intention [of the signers of the Declaration] to assert that the negroes or the savage race must give consent before just government should be established over them.... The Declaration of Independence was a formal notice that the inhabitants of the colonies consented no longer to British rule.” 8 PRUS 84.1

“We would inform Senator Vest that the idea that all men are created equal is not the fundamental law of this country. The Fathers had better sense than to put that phrase in the Constitution. They wrote it in the Declaration, which was simply their manifesto to European powers, and is not law.” 9 PRUS 84.2

“Resist the crazy extension of the doctrine that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.” 10 PRUS 84.3

“And so to-day there are those that wave the Declaration of Independence in our faces, and tell us that the thing to do is to deliver over those islands of the archipelago in the East to the people who are their rightful masters; for ‘all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ So wrote Thomas Jefferson. Do you remember that the Lord said to Joshua, ‘My servant is dead’? And so is Thomas Jefferson. I do not believe that Thomas Jefferson was infallible. I believe that a live president in the year of grace 1899 is just as much of an authority as a president that lived and died a hundred years ago. I am no worshiper of a saint just because he is dead. Let the dead bury the dead. As to that hallowed document that declares that all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, if that is to be literally construed, THERE NEVER WAS A GREATER FALSEHOOD PALMED OFF BY THE DEVIL UPON A CREDULOUS WORLD. It is not true of the government of God.” 11 PRUS 84.4

These sentiments are so akin in principle to the doctrine of Judge Stephen A, Douglas, Lincoln’s great opponent, that it is well worth while to put his words side by side with them. Here they are:— PRUS 85.1

“No man can vindicate the character, motives, and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to be created equal,-that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain,-that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colonists in the eyes of the civilized world in withdrawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.” PRUS 85.2

Truly did Lincoln rejoin to this speech that it made a mere wreck, a mangled ruin, of our once glorious Declaration. But verily it is true now as well as then, that “its authors meant it to be, as, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling-block to all those who in aftertimes might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant that when such should reappear in this fair land, and commence their vocation, they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.” PRUS 85.3

The advocates of the imperialistic policy frequently cite past events in our national history in support of their theory. The Fathers are quoted, and chief among them Thomas Jefferson. Nevertheless, of all the statesmen who ever lived none was more hostile to colonial policy than was the sage of Monticello. PRUS 85.4

A well-known statesman of the present day has divided imperialism, as it now presents itself, into four distinct propositions, as follows:— PRUS 85.5

“1. That the acquisition of territory by conquest is right. PRUS 85.6

“2. That the acquisition of remote territory is desirable. PRUS 85.7

“3. That the doctrine that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed is unsound PRUS 85.8

“4. That people can be wisely governed by aliens.” 12 PRUS 86.1

As for conquering territory and ruling over it there can be no mistaking Jefferson’s position, for in 1791 he wrote:— PRUS 86.2

“If there be one principle more deeply written than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” 13 PRUS 86.3

Surely this is plain enough from the author of the Declaration of Independence. Why, the very fundamental principle of the doctrine of a republic is diametrically opposed to the acquisition of territory by conquest. This truth is plainly set forth by John Fiske, the most philosophical of all the American historians. He divides nation-making into three classes, the third of which he styles the “English method.” This he defines as being the one which contains the “principle of representation.” Then he adds:— PRUS 86.4

“For this reason, though like all nation-making it was in its early stages attended with war and conquest, it nevertheless does not necessarily require war and conquest in order to be put into operation.... Now of the English or Teutonic method, I say, war is not an essential part; for where representative government is once established, it is possible for a great nation to be formed by the peaceful coalescence of neighboring states, or by their union into a federal body.... Now federalism, though its rise and establishment may be incidentally accompanied by warfare, is nevertheless in spirit pacific. Conquest in the Oriental sense is quite incompatible with it; conquest in the Roman sense hardly less so. At the close of our Civil war there were now and then zealous people to be found who thought that the Southern States ought to be treated as conquered territory, governed by prefects sent from Washington, and held down by military force for a generation or so. Let us hope that there are few to-day who can fail to see that such a course would have been fraught with almost as much danger as the secession movement itself. At least it would have been a hasty confession, quite uncalled for and quite untrue, that American federalism had thus far proved itself incompetent; that we had indeed pre served our national unity, but only at the frightful cost of sinking to a lower plane of national life.... PRUS 86.5

“Our experience has now so far widened that we can see that despotism is not the strongest but well-nigh the weakest form of government; that centralized administrations, like that of the Roman empire, have fallen to pieces, not because of too much, but because of too little, freedom; and that the only perdurable government must be that which succeeds in achieving national unity on a grand scale, without weakening the sense of local and personal independence. For in the body politic this spirit of freedom is as the red corpuscles in the blood; it carries the life with it. It makes the difference between a society of self-respecting men and women and a society of puppets. Your nation may have art, poetry, and science, all the refinements of civilized life, all the comforts and safeguards that human ingenuity can devise, but if it lose this spirit of personal and local independence, it is doomed, and deserves its doom.... Of the two opposite perils which have perpetually threatened the welfare of political society,-anarchy on the one hand, loss of self-government on the other,-Jefferson was right in maintaining that the latter is really the more to be dreaded, because its beginnings are so terribly insidious.” 14 PRUS 87.1

“Nothing is more dangerous for a free people than the attempt to govern a dependent people despotically. The bad government kills out the good government as surely as slave labor destroys free labor, or as a debased currency drives out a sound currency.” 15 PRUS 87.2

Such are the principles of Thomas Jefferson and of John Fiske, and these were reiterated in later years by a statesman of no less repute than James G. Blaine. One of the great desires of his life was to bring the republics of North and South America into close and cordial relations, and at a conference held for this purpose in 1890 he introduced the following resolutions, and the same were approved by the commissioners present:— PRUS 87.3

“First. That the principle of conquest shall not, during the continuance of the treaty of arbitration, be recognized as admissible under American public law. PRUS 87.4

“Second. That all cessions of territory made during the continuance of the treaty of arbitration shall be void, if made under threats of war or in the presence of an armed force. PRUS 88.1

“Third. Any nation from which such cessions shall be exacted may demand that the validity of the cessions so made shall be submitted to arbitration. PRUS 88.2

“Fourth. Any renunciation of the right to arbitration made under the conditions made in the second section shall be null and void.” PRUS 88.3

Now these resolutions do not admit conquest to any place in American public law. The reason they do not admit it is simply and solely because it is not right. Commenting on these resolutions a noted publicist justly says:— PRUS 88.4

“So objectionable is the theory of acquisition of territory by conquest that the nation which suffers such injustice can, according to the resolutions, recover by arbitration the land ceded in the presence of an armed force. So abhorrent is it that a waiver of arbitration, under such circumstances, is null and void.” 16 PRUS 88.5

Besides all this, Jefferson was ever opposed to the acquisition of remote territory. He continually stated that he did not desire for the United States any land outside the North American continent. It is true, however, as an exception to this that he desired the annexation of the island of Cuba. On this point, however, he has left on record a letter addressed to the then president of the United States, in which he suggests that we should be ready to receive Cuba “when solicited by herself.” 17 The only reason that he ever dreamed of desiring Cuba was because of its nearness to our own shores; but for fear that any one might use its annexation as a precedent for general and indefinite expansion, he said in another letter to James Madison, then president: “It will be objected to our receiving Cuba, that no limit can be drawn to our future acquisitions;” but he added, “Cuba can be defended by us without a navy, and this develops the principle which ought to limit our views. Nothing should ever be accepted which requires a navy to defend it.” 18 PRUS 88.6

And still further, in the same letter, speaking in view of the possible acquisition of that island, he said: “I would immediately erect a column on the southernmost limit of Cuba, and inscribe on it a ne plus ultra as to us in that direction.” PRUS 88.7

Upon the fourth proposition regarding the government of people by aliens, Jefferson spake words which for the truth they contain, and the modest simplicity they manifest, must live forever. There was formed in the year 1817 a French society, the members of which had it for their purpose to settle near the Tombigbee River. This society invited Jefferson to formulate laws and regulations for them. Replying, he expressed his appreciation of their feelings toward and confidence in him, but stated in effect that he could not conscientiously undertake the task. The following are the reasons which he gave for thus declining:— PRUS 89.1

“The laws, however, which must effect this must flow from their own habits, their own feelings, and the resources of their own minds. No stranger to these could possibly propose regulations adapted to them. Every people have their own particular habits, ways of thinking, manners, etc., which have grown up with them from their infancy, are become a part of their nature, and to which the regulations which are to make them happy must be accommodated. No member of a foreign country can have a sufficient sympathy with these. The institutions of Lycurgus, for example, would not have suited Athens, nor those of Solon, Lacedaemon. The organizations of Locke were impracticable for Carolina, and those of Rosseau for Poland. Turning inwardly on myself from these eminent illustrations of the truth of my observation, I feel all the presumption it would manifest should I undertake to do what this respectable society is alone qualified to do suitably for itself.” 19 PRUS 89.2

This is all admirable truth. No self-respecting community will cheerfully obey any other than self-imposed laws. They may obey through fear, or on account of the presence of armed force, but there will always be danger of riots caused by discontent, or of insurrection in the hope of freedom. Liberty is an inalienable right. Nature has planted it in the human breast, and just as long as it exists there, many and grievous will be the troubles of colonial empires. The cases of Ireland and India under British rule are cases in point. PRUS 89.3

Colonial empires are wrong in principle. The conception of the thing itself is wrong. Colonial empires are built upon arbitrary theories and force, instead of on natural law. The splendid colonial system of England is held up as an example of this type of government; but Goldsmith called upon legislators— PRUS 90.1

” ... to judge how wide the limits stand Betwixt a splendid and a happy land.” PRUS 90.2

Lord Macaulay himself denied the value of colonies, even to European nations:— PRUS 90.3

“There are some who assert that, from a military and political point of view, the West Indies are of great importance to this country. This is a common but a monstrous misrepresentation. We venture to say that colonial empire has been one of the greatest curses of modern Europe. What nation has it ever strengthened? What nation has it ever enriched? What have been its fruits?—Wars of frequent occurrence and immense cost, fettered trade, lavish expenditure, clashing jurisdiction, corruption in governments and indigence among the people. What have Mexico and Peru done for Spain, the Brazils for Portugal, Batavia for Holland? Or, if the experience of others is lost upon us, shall we not profit by our own? What have we not sacrificed to our infatuated passion for transatlantic dominion? This it is that has so often led us to risk our own smiling gardens and dear firesides for some snowy desert or infectious morass on the other side of the globe; this induced us to resign all the advantages of our insular situation, to embroil ourselves in the intrigues and fight the battles of half the continent, to form coalitions which were instantly broken, to give subsidies which were never earned; this gave birth to the fratricidal war against American liberty, with all its disgraceful defeats, and all its barren victories, and all the massacres of the Indian hatchet, and all the bloody contracts of the Hessian slaughter-house; this it was which, in the war against the French republic, induced us to send thousands and tens of thousands of our bravest troops to die in West Indian hospitals, while the armies of our enemies were pouring over the Rhine and the Alps. When a colonial acquisition has been in prospect, we have thought no expenditure extravagant, no interference perilous. Gold has been to us as dust, and blood as water. Shall we never learn wisdom? Shall we never cease to prosecute a pursuit wilder than the wildest dreams of alchemy, with all the credulity and all the profusion of Sir Epicure Mammon? PRUS 90.4

“Those who maintain that settlements so remote conduce to the military or maritime power of nations, fly in the face of history.” 20 PRUS 91.1

Yet to-day the United States is flying in the face of history, and her course is not only that of bad principle, but also of bad policy. But to return to the matter of the principle involved. The war of the Revolution-the war which effected the separation between these United States and Great Britain-was fundamentally, and was fought for four long years exclusively, against the colonial system of Europe. This is a most important fact. In a war against that system, this nation originated; and that not as a matter of policy, but as a matter of principle. In the commencement of that struggle the Fathers of this nation did not contemplate independence from the mother land. “When the people of Rhode Island burned the British war sloop ‘Gaspee’ in Narragansett Bay, and the people of Massachusetts threw overboard the cargo of tea in Boston Harbor, they acted as British subjects, proclaiming their loyalty to the crown of England. When Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Light-Horse Harry Lee met at the old Raleigh tavern in Williamsburg, Va., and indorsed the action of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they proclaimed themselves English subjects, loyal to the king, and only demanded the rights that were given to them as English-men by Magna Charta, and the Bill of Rights. PRUS 91.2

“What is the colonial system against which our Fathers protested?—It is based upon the fundamental idea that the people of immense areas of territory can be held as subjects, never to become citizens; that they must pay taxes, and be impoverished by governmental exaction without having anything to do with the legislation under which they live. PRUS 91.3

“Against taxation without representation our Fathers fought for the first four years of the Revolution, struggling against the system which England then attempted to impose upon them, and which was graphically described by Thomas Jefferson as the belief that nine tenths of mankind were born bridled and saddled, and the other tenth booted and spurred to ride them.” 21 PRUS 91.4

While it is true that this nation originated in a struggle against the colonial system, it is also true that the nation or the government is not prohibited by any natural or human law from acquiring territory, but always within the limitations of right. All territory that is acquired outside of the seat of the national capital, dockyards, arsenals, etc., must be acquired with the idea that it will be admitted to statehood just as soon as possible, and the government has no right to acquire territory with any other purpose in view. This is so in the very nature of things; were it otherwise, there would be a violation of the fundamental principles that all men are created equal, and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. More than this, it has been most ably set forth in one of the most famous decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States:— PRUS 92.1

“There is certainly no power given by the Constitution to the federal government to establish or maintain colonies bordering on the United States or at a distance, to be ruled and governed at its own pleasure, nor to enlarge its territorial limits in any way except by the admission of new States. That power is plainly given; and if a new State is admitted, it needs no further legislation by Congress, because the Constitution itself defines the relative rights and powers and duties of the State and the citizens of the State and the federal government. But no power is given to acquire a territory to be held and governed permanently in that character. PRUS 92.2

“And, indeed, the power exercised by Congress to acquire territory and establish a government there, according to its own unlimited discretion, was viewed with great jealousy by the leading statesmen of the day. And in the Federalist (No. 38), written by Mr. Madison, he speaks of the acquisition of the Northwestern Territory by the Confederated States, by the cession from Virginia, and the establishment of a government there, as an exercise of power not warranted by the articles of confederation, and dangerous to the liberties of the people. And he urges the adoption of the Constitution as a security and safeguard against such an exercise of power. PRUS 92.3

“We do not mean, however, to question the power of Congress in this respect. The power to expand the territory of the United States by the admission of new States is plainly given; and in the construction of this power by all the departments of the government, it has been held to authorize the acquisition of territory not fit for admission at the time, but to be admitted as soon as its population and situation would entitle it to admission. It is acquired to become a State, and not to be held as a colony and governed by Congress with absolute authority; and as the propriety of admitting a new State is committed to the sound judgment of Congress, the power to acquire territory for that purpose, to be held by the United States until it is in a suitable condition to become a State upon an equal footing with the other States, must rest upon the same discretion.” 22 PRUS 92.4

It is true that the Dred Scott decision was the cause of a vast amount of discussion and bitter feeling; but in this part of the decision the entire bench of nine judges concurred, and Justice McLean in his dissenting opinion emphasized and elaborated the question in point. Said he:— PRUS 93.1

“In organizing the government of a Territory, Congress is limited to means appropriate to the attainment of the constitutional object. No powers can be exercised which are prohibited by the Constitution, or which are contrary to its spirit; so that, whether the object may be the protection of the property and persons of purchasers of the public lands or of communities who have been annexed to the Union by conquest or purchase, they are initiatory to the establishment of State governments, and no more power can be claimed or exercised than is necessary to the attainment of that end. This is the limitation of all the Federal powers.” 23 PRUS 93.2

These legal opinions clearly set forth the lack of power in this government to hold Territories as colonies not to be admitted as States, and with no prospect of becoming States. In fact, in both of these opinions “the fundamental idea is conveyed that all the power of Congress in regard to the Territories is to be exercised as an initiatory process to their becoming States of the American Union.” PRUS 93.3

These principles have formed a part of the political faith of men of all parties until within the last few months, and the actions of the government have uniformly been in harmony with them. PRUS 93.4

The first land held by the United States not in the form of a State was the Northwestern Territory ceded by Virginia. It embraced the area now occupied by the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a part of Minnesota. During the time when the constitutional convention was holding its sittings, the Congress of the Confederation was considering the matter of the government of the Northwest Territory. On July 13, 1787, that body passed the ordinance for the government of the Northwest Territory. It is one of the finest statues of statecraft that has ever been erected. It was sculptured by the same hand that chiseled the Declaration of Independence. Its existence and binding efficacy were expressly recognized in the legislation of the first Congress under the Constitution, that of 1789. It contains this provision:— PRUS 93.5

“Sec. 13. And for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions, are erected; to fix and establish those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments which forever hereafter shall be formed in the said Territory; to provide, also, for the establishment of States and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the original States, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general interest. PRUS 94.1

“Sec. 14. It is hereby ordained and declared, by the authority aforesaid, that the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact between the original States and the people and the States of the said territory, and forever remain unalterable unless by common consent.” 24 PRUS 94.2

In the carrying out of the letter and the spirit of this ordinance is the application of the whole principle involved. The ordinance distinctly mentions the “establishment of States and permanent government,” showing conclusively that in the minds of the Fathers the power of the federal government to hold and rule this Territory was only temporary. PRUS 94.3

Again, on April 30, 1803, the United States government completed the purchase of Louisiana from France. “The territory thus acquired embraced the area now occupied by the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, all but the southwest corner of Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, Nebraska, Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Arkansas River, the two Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, most of Wyoming, and the present Indian Territory.” The treaty with France by which this cession was provided contains a manifestation of the same principle:— PRUS 94.4

“The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.” 25 PRUS 95.1

At the time of the making of this treaty Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States, and James Madison was secretary of state. Moreover, the treaty was signed by James Monroe and by Robert Livingston, and was ratified while many of the framers of the Constitution were still at the helm of the ship of state The whole furnishes a clear and lucid commentary upon the understanding of these men as to the principle of the government of new territory. PRUS 95.2

The next territory which was added to the national domain was that of the Floridas. These, by the terms of the treaty of Washington, were ceded to us by Spain, Feb. 22, 1819. This treaty provides:— PRUS 95.3

“The inhabitants of the territories which his Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States by this treaty shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of the United States.” 26 PRUS 95.4

Then came the annexation of Texas, March 1, 1845. Texas was annexed, and admitted to statehood by one and the same act, so of course no provision concerning the civil and religious status of the inhabitants was necessary. PRUS 95.5

Following this was the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848. By this the United States acquired from Mexico the territory included in the States of California, Nevada, Utah, the greater part of Arizona, the larger part of New Mexico, Colorado west of the Rocky Mountains, and the southwestern part of Wyoming. This increase of territory was further added to by the Gadsden purchase from Mexico, Dec. 30, 1853, which now constitutes the southern part of the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. This treaty says:— PRUS 95.6

“The Mexicans, who in the territory aforesaid shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution, and in the meantime shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.” 27 PRUS 96.1

This article was also adopted as an article of the Gadsden treaty. And again in the Alaskan treaty it was provided that “the inhabitants ... shall be admitted to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States.” PRUS 96.2

This brings us down to the present time and to the acquisition just recently made. Now all these treaties prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that, until within the last few months, at most, this nation was utterly opposed to the colonial policy, that we considered it subversive of our fundamental principles, and that in each and every case where territory was acquired, it was stipulated in clear and distinct language that such territory should be admitted to statehood in accordance with the principles of the Federal Constitution. It therefore follows that the record of the United States, until the present crisis, has been unanimously in support of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution of the United States. PRUS 96.3

But now the United States has purchased the Philippine Islands from Spain, and has paid to that government therefore the sum of twenty million dollars. For this price, paid to another nation, ten million men, women, and children have become the property of these United States. No one dreams that the nation will make slaves of them; but is not the principle involved a dangerous one? Is it not a step down from the noblest plane of national principle? These people, however, declare that the title of Spain is not good, and refuse to come under submission. And the United States is now engaged in telling them plainly that she expects to rule them without their consent, whether they like it or not. For instance, in a recent speech the chief executive of the nation said:— PRUS 96.4

“Did we ask their consent to liberate them from Spanish sovereignty, or to enter Manila Bay and destroy the Spanish sea power there? We did not ask these. We were obeying a higher moral obligation which rested upon us, and which did not require anybody’s consent. Every present obligation has been met and fulfilled in the expulsion of Spanish sovereignty from the islands, and while the war was in progress we could not ask their views. Nor can we now ask their consent.” 28 PRUS 97.1

How different is this from the words found in his annual message, under date of Dec. 6, 1897:— PRUS 97.2

“Of the untried measures there remain only recognition of the insurgents as belligerents, recognition of the independence of Cuba, neutral intervention to end the war by imposing a rational compromise between the contestants, and intervention in favor of one or the other party. I speak not of forcible annexation, for that can not be thought of. That, by our code of morality, would be criminal aggression.” PRUS 97.3

Codes of morality can not change, because morals are themselves fixed and unchangeable. But the United States simply abandoned “her code of morality,” and is now engaged in “criminal aggression.” For it is just as much a matter of criminal aggression to attempt the “forcible annexation” of the Philippines, as it would have been to attempt the forcible annexation of Cuba. In principle there can not possibly be any difference between the two cases. And when the president of the United States announces that he can not ask the consent of the Filipinos to allow him to govern them, he virtually proclaims a war of extermination. And when the commanding general of the American army in the Philippines demands unconditional surrender, and nothing but that, he also proclaims a war of extermination. But the Filipinos are fighting simply for their freedom; hence this war is one of extermination against freedom. Well has Professor Sumner said:— PRUS 97.4

“The question of imperialism, then, is the question whether we are going to give the lie to the origin of our own national existence by establishing a colonial system of the old Spanish type, even if we have to sacrifice our own existing civil and political system to do it. I submit that it is a strange incongruity to utter grand platitudes about the blessings of liberty, etc., which we are going to impart to these people, and to begin by refusing to extend the Constitution over them, and still more by throwing the Constitution into the gutter here at home. If you take away the Constitution, what is the American liberty and all the rest?—Nothing but a lot of phrases.... PRUS 98.1

“The cold and unnecessary cruelty of the Spaniards to the aborigines is appalling, even if when compared with the treatment of the aborigines by other Europeans. A modern economist stands aghast at the economic measures adopted by Spain, as well in regard to her domestic policy as to her colonies. It seems as if these measures could only have been inspired by some demon of folly, they were so destructive to her prosperity. She possesses a large literature from the last three centuries, in which her publicists discuss with amazement the question whether it was a blessing or a curse to get the Indies, and why, with all the supposed conditions of prosperity in her hands, she was declining all the time. PRUS 98.2

“We now hear it argued that she is well rid of her colonies, and that if she will devote her energies to her internal development, and rid her politics of the corruption of colonial officials and interests, she may be regenerated. That is a rational opinion. It is the best diagnosis of her condition, and the best prescription of a remedy which the occasion has called forth. But what, then, will happen to the state which has taken over her colonies? I can see no answer except that that nation, with them, has taken over the disease, and that it now is to be corrupted by exploiting dependent communities just as she has been. That it stands exposed to this danger is undeniable.” PRUS 98.3

These words state precisely what has been done and accomplished by this attempt to forcibly annex the Philippines. The nation has laid off the beautiful garments of righteous principles, and in their place has donned the cast-off rags of despotism and of Spain. Well has Senator Tillman said:— PRUS 98.4

“As far as my observation goes, and as I understand the present status of the American people, we have no Constitution left.” 29 PRUS 99.1

“No man,” said Abraham Lincoln, “is good enough to govern another man without that other man’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also another man that is more than self-government,-that is despotism.” 30 PRUS 99.2

It is sad, but it is so, that the United States is wandering from the bright path of her past and glorious career. No one dreams of admitting the Filipinos to the full privileges of citizenship. It is argued that they are not fit for this in any way, that they have not the mental qualifications, etc. This may all be true, and if it is, it furnishes one of the strongest proofs possible that the United States should let the islands and the people inhabiting them entirely alone. The Negritos, the Malays, the Visayos, the Moros, the Igorrotes, the Spanish Mestizos, the Chinese, and the Chinese Mestizos certainly form a witch’s caldron which it would be utterly impossible to admit through their representatives into the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States. I will not deny this; nobody will deny it. Then the only thing to do is to let them alone, and let them govern themselves. Undoubtedly they can not manage a government on exactly the same lines that we can; “but there is a fundamental truth in republican government, that a people are entitled only to such government as they can maintain. Any government which they can maintain, which brings order and peace to the people, is the government which they have the right to have and ought to have, and we have no right to interfere and say to them, ‘Unless you can maintain a better government than you now have, one as good as ours, you must let us manage your affairs, and we will give you a better government.’ A government of the people and by the people may not always be the highest form of government, but if it brings peace and protection to the people, and is the best they can do, it is all that we can demand of them.” 31 PRUS 99.3

On the other hand, if they are made dependencies, as it is now seriously proposed to do, “then we shall for the first time since the abolition of slavery, again have two kinds of Americans; Americans of the first class, who enjoy the privilege of taking part in the government in accordance with our old constitutional principles, and Americans of the second class, who are to be ruled in a substantially arbitrary fashion by the Americans of the first class, through congressional legislation, and the action of the national executive, not to speak of individual ‘masters’ arrogating to themselves powers beyond the law. PRUS 100.1

“This will be a difference no better-nay, rather somewhat worse-than that which a century and a quarter ago existed between Englishmen of the first class and Englishmen of the second class; the first represented by King George and the British Parliament, and the second by the American colonists. This difference called forth that great pæan of human liberty, the American Declaration of Independence-a document which, I regret to say, seems, owing to the intoxication of conquest, to have lost much of its charm among some of our fellow citizens. Its fundamental principle was that ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ We are now told that we have never fully lived up to that principle, and that, therefore, in our new policy we may cast it aside altogether. But I say to you that, if we are true believers in democratic government, it is our duty to move in the direction toward the full realization of that principle, and not in the direction away from it. If you tell me that we can not govern the people of those new possessions in accordance with that principle, then I answer that this is a good reason why this democracy should not attempt to govern them at all. PRUS 100.2

“If we do, we shall transform the government of the people, for the people, and by the people, for which Abraham Lincoln lived, into a government of one part of the people, the strong, over another part, the weak. Such an abandonment of a fundamental principle as a permanent policy may at first seem to bear only upon more or less distant dependencies, but it can hardly fail in its ultimate effects to disturb the rule of the same principle in the conduct of democratic government at home. And I warn the American people that a democracy can not so deny its faith as to the vital conditions of its being, it can not long play the king over subject populations, without creating within itself ways of thinking and habits of action most dangerous to its own vitality,-most dangerous especially to those classes of society which are the least powerful in the assertion, and the most helpless in the defense, of their rights. Let the poor, and the men who earn their bread by the labor of their hands, pause and consider well before they give their consent to a policy so deliberately forgetful of the equality of rights.... They will be told, as they are now told, that we are in it, and can not honorably get out of it; that destiny, and Providence, and duty demand it; that it would be cowardly to shrink from our new responsibilities; that those populations can not take care of themselves, and that it is our mission to let them have the blessings of our free institutions; and that we must have new markets for our products; that those countries are rich in resources, and that there is plenty of money to be made by taking them; that the American people can whip anybody, and do anything they set out to do; and that ‘Old Glory’ should float over every land on which we can lay our hands. PRUS 100.3

“Those who have yielded to such cries once will yield to them again. Conservative citizens will tell them that thus the homogeneousness of the people of the Republic, so essential to the working of our democratic institutions, will be irretrievably lost; that our race troubles, already dangerous, will be infinitely aggravated; and that the government, of, by, and for the people will be in imminent danger of fatal demoralization. They will be cried down as pusillanimous pessimists, who are no longer American patriots. The American people will be driven on and on by the force of events, as Napoleon was when started on his career of limitless conquest. This is imperialism as now advocated. Do we wish to prevent its excesses? Then we must stop at the beginning, before taking Porto Rico. If we take that island, not even to speak of the Philippines, we shall have placed ourselves on the incline plane, and roll on and on, no longer masters of our own will, until we have reached the bottom. And where will that bottom be? Who knows?” 32 PRUS 101.1

The United States has already taken Porto Rico. She has already started down the incline plane; she has already commenced to roll on; she is no longer master of her will; and she will surely reach the bottom; and as is pertinently asked by this great states man, “Where will that bottom be? Who knows?” PRUS 101.2

A war begun for humanity’s sake has been turned from its high and holy purpose into a war which has for its purpose a different aim and object. The fundamental principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution are no longer revered, but they are flung to the breezes as worthless relics, good for nothing but to “hamper the greatest nation in the world.” In the days of the Rebellion Senator Petit styled the Declaration of Independence as a “self-evident lie;” now a noted divine declares it to be a doctrine “palmed off by the devil upon a credulous world.” Again it must be said that the theories which have ruled in the conduct of governmental affairs during the past few months can only be construed as the desertion of sacred principles once held dear by the nation; and while there exists in the Philippines a state of war, there exists in the United States of America a state of NATIONAL APOSTASY. PRUS 102.1

In one of his speeches Lincoln once quoted these words from the Scriptures: “A house divided against itself can not stand.” Then he added these words:— PRUS 102.2

“I believe this government can not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.” 33 PRUS 102.3

And it is even now equally true that this nation can not endure permanently half citizen and half subject, half representative and half colonial, half free and half vassal. Either the principles of despotism and tyranny now being advocated for and exercised in the Philippines will be utterly renounced and stamped out, or else they will grow and increase in power and strength until they shall be dominant in every State of the Union from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Canadian line to the Gulf of Mexico. Despotism is a dread disease. It is insidious in its beginnings. Indulge it in a few remote islands, and it will begin to work, and never cease until it has sapped the vitality of free life out of the whole body politic. PRUS 102.4

Prophetic was a recent speech:— PRUS 103.1

“If we enter upon a colonial policy, we must expect to hear the command ‘Silence!’ issuing with increased emphasis from the imperialists. If a member of Congress attempts to criticize any injustice perpetrated by a government official against a helpless people, he will be warned to keep silent lest his criticisms encourage resistance to American authority in the Orient. PRUS 103.2

“If an orator on the fourth of July dares to speak of unalienable rights, or refers with commendation to the manner in which our forefathers resisted taxation without representation, he will be warned to keep silent lest his utterances excite rebellion among distant subjects.” 34 PRUS 103.3

Already this prophecy has begun to be fulfilled against members of Congress and United States senators in their places in the national capital; in the exercise of a rigorous press censorship; and in the stopping of documents in the United States mails, which were thought to be hurtful to the imperialistic policy. This is only the beginning. Restrictions of liberty of a similar nature but far greater in degree are bound to follow. The bottom has not yet been reached. PRUS 103.4

But it is argued that there will be anarchy in the islands unless the people thereof are ruled by us. It is said by many that all they want to do is to give liberty to these poor, ignorant people, who do not know enough to have it for and of themselves. This has ever been the argument of tyrants. This was the argument made by King George III, when the Fathers were struggling for their independence. Here are his exact words:— PRUS 103.5

“I am desirous of restoring to them the blessings of law and liberty equally enjoyed by every British subject, which they have fatally and desperately exchanged for the calamities of war and the arbitrary tyranny of their chiefs.” PRUS 103.6

“Chiefs” was the title applied by the king of Great Britain to Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and the other leaders of the revolutionists; and “chiefs” is the title applied by senators to Aguinaldo and his officers. On the same day that the king made his speech there was another man who arose to speak. I refer to Fox, and Fox understood what liberty was, and he loved it. Said he in his answer to his Majesty:— PRUS 104.1

“But, sir, how is this blessed system of liberty to be established? By the bayonets of disciplined Hessians?” PRUS 104.2

And again, how is this liberty to be established in the Philippine Islands. Many say, “Peacefully if you can, but by powder if you must.” “Those arguments that are made that the inferior races are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying, that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? These are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were the better off for being ridden.... Turn it whatever way you will, whether it come from the mouth of a king as an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent; and I hold, if that course of argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does not stop with the negro [in this case with the Filipino]. I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop? If one may say it does not mean a negro [a Filipino], why not another man say it does not mean some other man?” 35 PRUS 104.3

The armies and fleets of the United States have destroyed the soldiers and sailors of Spain; but they can not destroy a self-evident truth. Self-evident truths will burn in the breasts of all men, be they black, brown, or white, as long as the spark of life burns there. PRUS 104.4

I can not forbear at this juncture from quoting once more from the great Lord Macaulay. He was speaking on the topic of the abolition of slavery in the West Indies. True, the two cases, slavery in the Indies and vassalage in the Philippines, are not altogether parallel. I do not for a moment hold that they are; yet nevertheless, the principles involved are very similar. What his lordship says in regard to the causes of revolt, the freedom of the press, the system of slavery [or in this case vassalage], is very pertinent to the present issue and the manner in which it is being handled:— PRUS 104.5

“As a friend to humanity, sir, I can not look without the greatest satisfaction on such a meeting assembled for such an object. We hear, indeed, much of the pernicious tendency of these discussions; we are told that they inflame the passions of the slave, and endanger the person and property of the master.... To me it seems somewhat singular that such assertions should proceed from the same persons by whom we have been assured that the system of colonial slavery is the glory of the British name, the envy of the British peasant; that all its evils exist only in theory, that in its practical operations it is the greatest of blessings. No assertions, however bold and pertinacious, can possibly obtain credit when they so directly contradict each other. Never was any government at once so benignant and so insecure; never were any subjects at once so happy and so turbulent. Abuses merely speculative never yet roused to revolt the great body of the people. An educated man of enlarged views and enthusiastic temper, a Thrasea or a Sidney, may convince himself that one form of government has a greater tendency than another to promote the happiness of mankind; and by such considerations he may be induced to engage in hazardous enterprises. But the multitude is not thus influenced. When they are excited to a general revolt, it is not by speeches, it is not by pamphlets, it is not by meetings; but by physical evils, by sensible privations, by the spoliation of the honest fruits of their industry, by the violation of the sacred ties of nature, by unmeasured exaction, by stripes, by insults, by the strong necessity of famine. These things sting to madness. These things turn plowshares into swords, and pruninghooks into spears. But when was it ever known that the mere exposure of theoretical evils excited a people to rebellion, while they were enjoying comfort and personal security? We need not look very far for instances. Observe the state of our own country! For many years hundreds have been employed in telling the people of England that they are debarred from their just rights, that they are degraded, that they are enslaved. Every day this is heard, read, believed by thousands. More appeals are made to their passions in a week than by those of the West India slaves in a year. Yet who lives in the apprehension of rebellion? Who, except in times of temporary distress, expects even a riot? Who does not know that, while their rights of property, person, and conscience are protected by law, and while they are all well fed and clothed, Cobbett may write away his fingers, and Hunt may talk away his lungs, in vain? PRUS 105.1

“And yet, sir, with this example before us, we are required to believe that men whose situation is infinitely better than that of the English peasant-men whose condition is a realization of Utopia, a renewal of the Golden Age, an anticipation of the prophetic millennium-can not safely be permitted to hear a single whisper against the system under which they live. It requires no skilful interpreter to translate these forebodings of danger into confessions of tyranny. What are we to think of a system which, as its advocates tell us, can not be discussed without inciting insurrection? What, again, are we to think of a system under which insurrections, as its advocates also tell us, can not be suppressed without massacre? Look at the punishments inflicted a few years back on the insurgents of Barbadoes, and recently on those in Demerara. Where, in the whole history of modern Europe, shall we find an instance in which the destruction of so large a proportion of the population has been deemed necessary for the safety of the survivors? The British subjects of the New World have outdone, immeasurably outdone, all the military despots, all the fanatic Jacobins, of the Old. Their tender mercies are more cruel than the vengeance of Dundee; their little fingers are thicker than the loins of Alva. Robespierre chastised with whips, but they chastise with scorpions. But we are told that this is not wanton cruelty; it is indispensably necessary for the peace and safety of the colonies! Grant it; and what then? Must not every particle of blame which is taken away from the agents be laid on the system? What must be the state of things which makes that wholesome severity which elsewhere would be diabolical atrocity? What are we to think of the condition of a people, when inflictions so tremendous are necessary to make endurance appear to them a less evil than rebellion? Woe to that society which has no cement but blood! Woe to that government, which, in the hour of success, must not dare to be merciful! PRUS 106.1

“I need no other testimony against the colonists than that with which they themselves furnish us, and that which daily and hourly forces itself on our notice. When I see institutions which tremble at every breath,-institutions which depend for support on restless suspicion, on raving calumny, on outrageous persecution, on military force, on infamous testimony, on perverted law,-I have no further need of witnesses or of arguments to convince me that they must be as flagitious and unjust as are the means by which they are upheld. We hear, indeed, that this system, in theory confessedly odious, is in practise lenient and liberal; and abundance of local testimony is adduced to this effect. Local testimony is indeed invaluable when it can be obtained unadulterated by local interest and local prejudice; but that it is adulterated I must always believe, when I see that it contradicts great general principles. Is it possible that the power with which the slave codes invest the master can be exercised without being perpetually abused? If so, then is there no truth in experience; then is there no consistency in human nature; then is history a fable, and political science a juggle, and the wisdom of our ancestors madness, and the British constitution a name! Let us break up the benches of the House of Commons for firewood, and cut Magna Charta into battledores! These assertions, then, of our opponents are not, they can not be, true; and fortunately it is not merely by reasoning on general principles that we are enabled to refute them. Out of the mouths of our adversaries themselves we can fully show that West Indian slavery is an evil, a great and fearful evil; an evil without any affinity to good principles, or any tendency to good effects; an evil so poisonous that it imparts to almost every antidote a nature as deadly as its own! When this country has been endangered either by oppressive power or by popular delusion, truth has still possessed one irresistible organ, justice one inviolable tribunal: that organ has been an English press, that tribunal an English jury. But in those wretched islands we see a press more hostile to truth than any censor, and juries more insensible to justice than any star-chamber. In those islands alone is exemplified the full meaning of the most tremendous of the curses denounced against the apostate Hebrews, ‘I will curse your blessings!” 36 PRUS 107.1

The Philippines are seven thousand miles away from our western shore. Is there no way of cementing them to the larger land but by blood? Is there no truth in experience; no consistency in human nature? Is history a fable, and political science a juggle; the wisdom of our ancestors madness, and the American Constitution a name? If so, then let us break up the desks of the House of Representatives for firewood, and cut the Declaration of Independence into battledores! Let us put the “blood-red star of Mars upon the flag, with a milky way of smaller luminaries to denote dependent States.” It has been truly said that the “ramparts of republics are in the hearts of their freemen;” but when freemen turn into despots, the silent artillery of time levels those ramparts to the ground, and, like Samson shorn of his locks of strength, and bound to the pillars of the temple of the Constitution, we break them, and are ourselves crushed beneath the falling mass of the once symmetrical and beautiful governmental edifice, which itself becomes a shapeless heap of ruins, a monument of human folly and of a blasted and prematurely broken national life. PRUS 108.1