Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

329

General Taylor has scanned with correct eye the Sparta, and in the Dorian colonies parties friendly prospective dangers of enlarging the territory of 10 Athens. It would be visionary to suggest the the states beyond the legitimate boundary of the motives which inspire the American faction in ocean, and that his apprehensions are shared by the Cuba. Whether the Cuban planters thisk that most sagacious of the American statesmen. But they would get more slaves, and thus cultivate this, unfortunately, gives no assurance to the world their soil more cheaply ; or that the African slaven that the central government at Washington will trade would be suppressed, and that thus they continue to maintain a pacific tone, and repudiate would sell their slaves more dearly under the the prize of conquest. The government of the government of the States, it is idle to ask. Suffice United States is a weak government. It is often it to say, that there does exist in the Spanish forced to follow where it wished to lead ; to obey colony a party friendly to American rule; and where it ought to command. Wherever the min-| that American patriotism is not likely to reject the istry are not the willing and avowed servants of advantages of such an alliance. How far the popular passions and popular ignorance, they ulti- desire of such aggrandizement has spread through mately become their reluctant instruments. The the republic we know not; but the history of policy of the cabinet is oftener decided by the rapid recent invasions tells us that when the idea of conmovements of a resolute faction, and the clever quest has once been bruited about by rumor schemes of unprincipled adventurers, than by the when it has been seconded by the public press of counsels of statesmen and the advice of legislators. America—and when the politics of the obnoxious There is always in the states a large body of loose, state are favorable to interference—that the period reckless, and daring men, to whom all peaceful of aggression is not remote. Any or no pretext occupation is dull, the amusement of home politics for a rupture will suffice ; and the abduction of vapid, and the wide plains of the Missouri and Juan Rey, together with the subsequent trial of Michigan narrow and confined. They cast their the Spanish consul at New Orleans, supplies ameyes about the surrounding regions for novelty ple materials for discord, which American cupidand excitement. Texas, Mexico, California, Mos ity will clutch, and American diplomacy may quito, or Cuba-it is all the same to them. Nei- recognize. ther land nor ocean bounds their desires or their How far the interests of civilization would be curiosity. They are troubled with no unnecessary promoted by the substitution of American for Spanscruples ; they have a philosophical indifference to ish rule, is hard to determine. It would replace treaties; they have a comprehensive ardor of the despotism of a monarchy by more than the acquisitiveness. If an opportunity offer itself for usual laxity, of a republic ; and it would introduce extending their travels and improving their fortunes a new energy into the political and industrial conin another land, they willingly seize it. They ditions of Cuba. It would weaken if not destroy care little for proclamations from Washington and the influence of its present religion, and perhaps notifications from the White House. They have engraft no other upon it. It would, however, a shorter and readier way of solving state prob- sooner or later, strike a fatal blow at slavery, lems than is known to diplomatists and jurists. because it would at once destroy the slave-trade They put themselves into communication with the with Africa. This is a good which would coundemocratic or constitutional or some other party tervail many evils. of a neighboring or friendly state—they send over But no excuse can justify the contemplated detachments of sympathizers—they organize a annexation. Whatever might be its fruits, it conspiracy among such troops as the degenerate would still be a foul and monstrous wrong. It colonies of Spain or the unseuiled republics of the would be a violation of the law and equity of New World boast of—then, when all is ripe, a nations. It would be a bold and insolent triumph fresh detachment of invaders, open and avowed, of might over right. It would involve the whole bursts across the border, unites itself to the former American people in the same general condemnabands of sympathizers, corrupts, divides, or mas- tion which the spirit of repudiation drew upon ters the native soldiery ; and, taking one of the individual states. It would, however, be a seanative commanders for its head, proclaims a new sonable comment upon the very confident orations constitution, or, at once, annexation. The cabinet and essays of the peace propagandists, who have at Washington has no option but to acquiesce in been kindly informing as for the last twelve months this abrupt policy, or else to endure a Young that wars and aggressions are the amusements only America" on its frontiers, with all the insolence of kings and emperors—the loathing and abomand all the licentiousness of youth. Having ination of the people. objected, discouraged, and forbidden, as long as it could, it is obliged, at the last hour, to sanction

From the Independent by its authority, and solemnize by its ceremonies,

CANADA. the victory which it denounced, and the acquisitions which it deprecated.

What is now taking place in Canada may turn Such bids fair to be the course of action in out to be the most remarkable revolution of the Cuba. For some time past there has been in age. The change in the colonial and commercial Cuba a party friendly to America, as there used system of the British empire has led the people to be in the Ionian colonies parties friendly to of Canada to the discovery that they have little

to gain, and may have much to suffer, by a con-| begin to utter itself in our newspapers, and in tinuance of their political dependence on Great the harangues of our political party orators-et Britain. The people of Great Britain, on the our western orientalism” of rhetoric begin to other hand, are beginning to understand that the expatiate about the “ star-spangled banner” foatpossession of Canada is of no advantage to them, ing in hyperborean skies, and our republic stretchwhile the expense of governing and defending it ing froin the tropic to the arctic circle_let meetadds greatly to the burihen of their taxes. In ings begin to be held, committees appointed, and these circumstances, the Canadians are beginning, funds raised, for promoting the annexation of very seriously, to agitate the question of the an- Canada-above all, let there begin to be any, nexation of “ their country”—for so they have even the least, demonstration of that sort of “symlearned to call it—to the United States. Persons pathy” which wrought so much mischief in 1837 of the most opposite political opinions heretofore, let there be any appearance of that piratical, find themselves strangely united in the desire to crusading propagandism which lately made such be rid of their provincial or colonial dependence, a figure at Round Island, and the revolution will and to be placed on a footing of complete self- be at an end. Neither the just self-respect of the government. Tory and whig, Roman Catholic Canadians, nor the imperial pride of Great Britain, and Protestant, Church-of-England-man and Dis- will tolerate any interference in this matter on our senter, seem to be coming to an unaffected agree- part. ment on this point. Even that old antipathy of Happily, there are, as yet, no indications of a languages and of blood—the hereditary feud be- disposition, on this side of the line, to hasten the tween the conquering race and the conquered progress of events. The calmness—we had alwhich at times has been ready to break forth into most said the indifference—with which the people a war of races—British against French- 1-seems of the United States are observing the great change to be overcome by a new and common passion for of opinion amongst their neighbors, and are waitthe transfer of their allegiance from the imperial ing to see the result, is not the least remarkable crown of Great Britain to the government of the among the phenomena of this revolution. American Union. The proposal—which was origi- Taken altogether, this is a new thing under the nally made, if we mistake not, by a disappointed sun. The people of one of the greatest and most faction, for a temporary party purpose, without British of all the British colonial provinces are any honest expectation or desire of its being deliberately discussing and planning-what? Nothrealized—has been taken up in earnest ; and views ing less than an entire political revolution, the

sepand arguments have been presented which the aration of that province from the empire, the dig. people of Canada will never be able to forget, solution of their allegiance to their sovereign. and which, in the end, will work out great results. They are doing this not in secret clubs, and in

In other words, a revolution is in progress-a midnight meetings of conspirators, but openly, in peaceful revolution. We need not inquire whether the use of free speech and a free press, and of an the end of it will certainly be the absorption of unlimited right of consultation on public affairs. Canada into our Federal Union ; we need not say They do this, not as if they were planning treason whether such a result, if it come to pass, will be —not with any fear of the scaffold, or even of beneficial, either to that country or to this. In- confiscation and exile, but as safely and calmly as deed, the time has not yet come for Americans to the inhabitants of Minnesota might discuss the meddle with the movement. It is enough for us, question of establishing a state government. Surely at present, to observe the significant fact, that a there is such a thing as progress. Could such prorevolution is in progress to which no parallel can ceedings have taken place two centuries ago? Was be found in history-a revolution without war, such a method of adjusting great political changes without insurrection, without violence—a revolu- possible to our fathers, in 1775 ? There is more tion working only by discussion, and proposing significance in the opening and progress of this to work only by peaceful negotiation for the sep- Canadian revolution, than there could be in half a aration of Canada, and virtually of all the other dozen peace congresses.

Conventions for the proprovinces of what is called British America, from motion of universal peace are well enough. Far the British empire.

be it from us to speak of them otherwise than with There is one way in which this advancing rev- respect and gratitude. But in the peaceful disolution may be, and perhaps will be, suddenly cussion of so great a question as the dismemberturned back, and the result postponed indefinitely. ment of the world's greatest empire—in the fact Let the people on this side of the St. Lawrence that men can plan so great a revolution, and labor and the lakes attempt to aid the agitation in any to achieve it, and not seem to feel the pressure of way- let the Ainerican people, or any considerable the halter on their throats, there is more hope for party or portion of them, begin to act as if the the world than in the speeches of Monsieur Hugo business in hand were some of their business—and Mr. Cobden. Facts are greater than speeches let the vain-glorious spirit of universal annexation or conventions.

From the Examiner.

vice a cloak for something worse. In the insolence RUSSIA AND TURKEY.

of the proceedings with the Porte, and all the cir

cumstances, may be traced the settled plan to pick There is, there can be, but one opinion as to a quarrel. The demands appear to have been so the demands of the Russian Autocrat upon the conveyed as to make submission as difficult as posPorte, and the conduct of the sultan in refusing sible. The mouth-piece of the emperor intimated compliance. The czar insolently and domineer- that the fate of the refugees delivered up would be ingly requires the Turkish government to give up death, as if to pin the Porte to the duty of humanHungarian and Polish refugees, that he may wreak ity, forcing upon its conscience a foreknowledge his vengeance upon them; the Mahometan prince of the worst for which concession would make it answers that it is a duty of his religion to grant answerable. What the autocrat wants is clear hospitality to strangers and fugitives, and that he enough. It is a quarrel by hook or by crook with cannot refuse them an asylum. The Russian Turkey, just as he has got his hand in, in Hunenvoy intimated that the refusal would draw down gary; but never before was an unjust quarrel on the Porte the immediate hostility of his master; sought in so flagrantly wrongful a way. The inbut the sultan, notwithstanding the vast dispro- dignation of the whole world must rise against it. portion of forces between the two empires, took his That Turkey will be defended against aggression stand calmly on the duties of his religion and the it is impossible to doubt. Common prudence as rights of humanity, and diplomatic relations were well as justice enlists France and England in supforth with broken off, the Russian ambassador quit- port of her against the arms of Russia, if to arms ting Constantinople.

the czar should dare to have recourse for the ostenA quarrel more unrighteous than this on the sible punishment of humanity, for the real perpeone hand, and more righteous on the other, has tration of robbery. We have always deprecated not occurred in the long history of Europe. In war ; we have been reproached with being the the days of barbarism, the czar's demand would pusillanimous advocates of peace at any price; but have been accounted barbarous ; in an age of ad: great as, in our view, would be the calamily of a vanced civilization, it is the rudest and most jarring general war in Europe, it would be preferable to outrage against the established customs of comity the infamy and the long train of perilous conseand humanity. The czar's demands for vengeance quences which would follow the abandonment of surpass even the papal amnesty in vindictiveness ; Turkey to the gripe of Russia, in this most inbut the ruthless spirit, common to many a butcher, iquitous quarrel. is not the matter of marvel and alarm, but the en- That France and England combined would so deavor to give effect to it by rudely trampling on far overmatch the power of Russia as to bring a the customs of Europe, which have long ceased to war to a successful close, there can be no reasonleague state with state against political offenders ; able doubt. Austria would probably be the unbut, on the contrary, have opened asylums in for- willing ally of Russia, but Austria would have eign lands to those who have forfeited the shelter enough to do, and more than she could do, with of their own by acts against their governments, not Hungary again in arms, and Italy again in revolt. against the common laws of society, such as the Russia, too, would have work on her hands at blacker crimes of felony, for which extradition is home; and her nobles, already malcontent, would usual. Knowing the great power the czar holds have their discontents bitterly aggravated by the in his hands, it is an ugly question what can be in injury their estates would suffer from the loss of his head, when he thinks thus to trample at will the English markets for their produce. Still, and pleasure on established usages of Europe. Is though the inability of Russia to cope with such a he so infatuated as to suppose that he can kick the combination as justice and European policy would world as his football before him? Has his Hun- form against her may be considered as certain, yet garian campaign so turned his head as to make him no one can pretend to assign distinct and definite believe himself irresistible, and that the breath of bounds to war once rekindled in the present state of his nostrils is to be the new law of Europe ? Europe. Fervently do we trust to be spared the What can be his notion of the feelings of the experiment. And the prevalent opinion is that the European family, and of their resources against emperor will give way, or enter into some comthe example of aggression, if he can affront and promise, when he finds that France and England dare both, as he must do, to carry his point against will not permit of any violence to Turkey. It the Portc? The ignorance of opinion, and powers may be so ; but the posture in which he has placed in support of opinion, which such conduct argues, himself, and forced the Porte, will not allow of a would stamp the Emperor Nicholas as not less retreat on either side without sore shame and hudangerous than a madman, whose conduct does not miliation. The sultan is avowedly committed to allow of calculation.

resistance, not only as a point of honor, but paraIt is impossible to believe that the mere thirst mountly as a religious obligation. The autocrat, for blood can have led the czar to the proceeding on the other hand, must either act in fulfilment of to which he has committed himself. He has con- his insolent threats, or virtually confess those sented to play the part of the sanguinary, that second thoughts to be best which spring from first under and through it he may play another. To fears. He has, it is affirmed, estopped one solution borrow the words of Burke, he makes his abhorred of the difficulty, by proclaiming that he would

9

regard the escape of any of the refugees as consti- | personal feeling ; for it is a national, not an indituting in itself a casus belli ; thus, in effect, making vidual question, and individuals are responsible to the sultan the jailer of the objects of his wrath. God and their consciences, nations to God and the Some expedient may be hit upon to arrange the world. What is wanted is a great minister, undispute, for when all parties have an interest embarrassed by external agitation, uncriticized by against war, adjustment can never be hopeless ; well-meaning but half-informed zeal, but calmly but, as the matter stands, it is as difficult of accom- and steadily supported by the quiet confidence of modation as insolence and barbarism could make it. the English people, who trust him for his past At present it is no pleasing reflection that the peace services, but who are able to judge him for his of Europe depends on the passions of one man ; future acts, who rationally give and rationally and that, a man who has shown so little compre- withhold their esteem. We have the minister, hension of the feelings of the world which put the let the nation do the rest. Above all, let us not veto on injustice, and who has evinced so brutal be led to neglect our duty by any dreams of pera prop nsity to cruelty and oppression-his powerfect peace. to perpetrate which, vast as it is, is yet happily far short of his evil will.

An Ultra-Tory OPINION ON THE QUESTION.

— The “ Standard," much to its honor, thus writes [To the Editor of the Examiner.]

on the contemplated possibility of war. What is ENGLAND TO DO?— We have only one

Our minister at Constantinople, whose proceedalternative-silence or war. Now war is a serious ings give the first warning of the impending calamthing. No mere burst of indignation should ever ity, is a man of high talents, of immovable temper, be allowed to hurry England into war. Calmly and of great experience-one who may well take should the claims of Turkey be weighed, ration- his place at the head of the diplomacy of Europe. ally the cost be counted; and if that calm con- The pretext for the threatened outrage upon the sideration lead to the inevitable conclusion that Turkish empire is almost too flimsy to deserve the only by war can the known law of nations be sus

compliment of an exposure. Some Magyars, sub tained, the independence of Turkey supported, and faith with them, but never subjects of the Austrian

jects of the Emperor of Austria before he broke the English power in the East be preserved from empire, and some Poles, allies of these Magyars in inevitable danger, then, and not until then, should a war against the Austrian empire, have taken war be declared. It must be well kept in mind refuge in the Turkish fortress of Widdin. The that the Hungarian question is altogether foreign czar demands that these unhappy fugitives be to this case.

The casus belli is, not that Kossuth delivered up to him-making no concealment of and his colleagues are threatened with death, but

of putting them to death. Upon what that certain men who have taken refuge in Tur- Magyars never owed any allegiance to Russia,

grounds can such a demand be supported? The key are peremptorily demanded by Russia. Tur- never offered any injury to the autocrat or his subkey alone cannot, without almost culpable rashness, jects; on the other hand, he has been the aggressor resist this demand. Turkey, supported by Eng- in the war against them from first to last; and if land and France, can. Shall we give this sup- the Poles have been entrapped into a de facto subport? That is the question. Let us not, with jection to the Russian despot, in gross violation of Mr. Cobden, disguise the fact that Russia is strong Widdin have committed no offence whatever against

the treaty of Vienna, those of the nation escaped to —is the great brute-force of the world; but let us the prince who clamors for their blood, no offence understand as well that if we do not act now, she which, were they de jure his subjects, as they are but adds strength to strength. Let us not deny de facto, would, according to public law, justify that war is a curse, but let us clearly see that a him in touching a hair of their heads. It is imposshort war and victory is better than a long war sible to show that the Poles, in alliance with the and defeat ;-that to scotch the boa before he can Magyars, whose case is perfectly pure, have com

mitted crush, is somewhat wiser than to wait until he

any offence against Russia. Upon what

pretence, then, can the czar call upon the Turkish crushes. The question still remains—what are

government to become accessary to the murder of we, the people of England, to do? Were it

of these unhappy men by delivering them into his well to “ bide a wee," and trust our minister? hand? The truth is, that it is a quarrel with TurAll questions of foreign politics must of necessity key, not the blood of a few hundred fugitives, of be entrusted more inplicitly to the minister than which the Russian government is in pursuit. Euany department of home affairs. The nation at rope is distracted and poor ; Russia is free from large has not at the moinent of action the same and the time anxiously contemplated by Peter and

disorder, and, as we have lately seen, purse-proud; power of acquiring information that the minister Katharine-the time for realizing their scheme of possesses. Our duty is to choose our minister, annexing Turkey=appears to have arrived. Ought steadily support him, and then judge him by the the free states of Europe to submit to this? Ought results of his acts. We have a minister in whom they to wait until the peremptory demand shall

can place entire confidence; let us then come to London or Paris to deliver up individuals strengthen his hands to the utmost.

The present

obnoxious to Russian vengeance? They ought not, question seems to me far too grave to be treated and we trust they will not, even though war should

be the alternative. Sir Stratford Canuing plainly of in public meetings, far too momentous for mere knows how the Russian cabinet is to be encountered; expressions of sympathy. It demands far more and so far we are safe in his hands. Sir Stratford's solemn consideration than any mere utterance of communication doubtless formed the subject of de

his purpose

we

THE TURKISH WAR.

liberation at the cabinet council suddenly assembled in making the demand, and did not bind Turkey to
on Tuesday; and it is well to let our rulers and to comply ; that armed succors could not be promised
let strangers know, that the persons in this country without special instructions to that effect from Paris
most opposed to revolutionary changes are not be- and London ; but that the English and French gov-
hind their fellow-citizens in resisting everywhere
the aggressions of despotism.

ernments would offer their mediation.

How far the English cabinet has resolved to supFrom the Spectator, 6 Oct.

port this position, is not yet known; but it is reported Russia and Turkey—the Wolf and the Lamb, that the English fleet has been ordered to sail from these few words almost suffice to describe the

Malta for the Dardanelles.

spectacle which is before the world this week; for the mere pretext or occasion signifies little. Russia is

THE TURKISH WAR. threatening Turkey, and Austria is helping the Muscovite. The pretext is furnished by the refuge

Is there to be a war in Turkey, or not? That which the vanquished Hungarian leaders and their is the question of the day, and much may be said Polish brothers in arms sought in the Turkish ter- on both sides of it; the unknown event, however, ritory.

is marching on without much mercy for the wishes At the first receipt of the news it was disbelieved, of those who anticipate war with most dislike. If the demand was represented as being so insolently there be war, will England be bound to help made. Prince Radzivil, the special envoy from St. Turkey; and whether bound in honor or not, will Petersburg to Constantinople, was said to have de- she do it? Those are questions still more eagerly manded the surrender of the fugitives, avowing put, not altogether in the boldest spirit. “I don't that they should be put to death, and threatening think our ministers will have the pluck!” cries the Porte with the consequences of refusal. Al- the statesman of the “shopocracy,” with a sickly though the demeanor of Russia to Turkey had tra- sneer, to hide his fears Jest they should. And ditionally been overbearing, anything so flagrantly that statesman is precisely the object of alarm to indecorous seemed to be incompatible equally with the ministers; whom he despises for fearing bimthe usages of the present day and the notorious tact self, internally conscious as he is that there is of Russian diplomatists.

nothing about him to be really afraid of. Circumstances, however, soon lent corroboration One enormous impediment stands in the

way

of to the report in its substantials. Our own govern- England's taking part in any war, the financial ment is evidently moved by some urgent claim on demands for such a purpose. It is a double diffiits attention. The ministerial Globe, and quasi- culty-difficult in itself, and difficult through what ministerial Times, treat the intelligence as grave, opponents may make of it. However ministers and prepare the public mind for some “ spirited” may feel nationally and chivalrously bound to supprocedure; the leading journal, however, having a port Turkey, they may naturally shrink from the special eye also to splicing its new anti-absolute immediate consequence at home--war on the Danpolicy on to its recent apologies for Austria and ube is more income-tar on the Thames. And howRussia. A cabinet council was suddenly summoned ever Notting Hill and Camberwell may have come by Lord Palmerston. In short, something was forward” to follow up Lord Palmerston's "spirited seriously the matter, and Turkey the object of protests,” it is to be doubted how far they would solicitude.

come forward with the subsidies needful to put The later reports wear every appearance of prob- those protests into action. It is not impossible ability, and state the affair in a manner quite com- that politicians of very dishonest or limited mind prehensible. It seems that Russia had demanded might trade on this dilemma—that, while instithe surrender of certain persons, her own subjects, gating protests and denunciations, they may raise namely, natives of Poland ; and Austria had made a great outcry against unpopular taxation, and a similar demand as to her subjects, Hungarians. strive to force “ financial reform” by ihreatening Russia relied on the treaty of Kainarji of 1774, by to oust a ministry that is so audacious as w conwhich Russia and Turkey reciprocally bound them- template an increase of the income-lax. Such selves to surrender or expel each other's fugitive sort of intrigue, however transparent, is one by nc subjects ; Austria, on the treaty of Passarowicz, by means impossible to the smaller class of politicians which she and Turkey were reciprocally bound to with whom opportunity is right and personal suc withholda refuge from rebels and malecontents. The cess better than sacrifice for the welfare of nations sultan and his government were unanimous in refus- We need not dwell on the other great and glar ing; and the foreign minister addressed a string of ing impediment--the natural and cultivated repug. questions to the French and English ambassadors, nance to war, which must make every stalesman in effect asking whether they considered the Porte panse in resorting to it, and resort to it only when bound by the treaties to deliver the fugitives, and fortified by the firm conclusion that bloodshed, and whether, if war should be the consequence of re- even the worse calamities of war, are not so bad fusil, France and England would support the Turk- as the evils entailed upon mankind by default of ish sovereign with armed succors? The reply of resistance to gigantic wrong. These considerations the French and English ambassadors, Sir Stratford would make any statesman pause—would make Canning and General Aupick, was, substantially, any nation hold the advocate of war sternly to that the treaties did not warrant Austria and Russia account.

« VorigeDoorgaan »