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Nor can America plead youth as an excuse for her moral decrepitude. A vicious and depraved youth does not promise a healthy manhood or an honorable old age. The advantages of her youth were a people unfettered by the chains of poverty and prejudice which weigh on the races of Europe, and a field free for the noblest experiments in government. She inherited the experience and culture of the ages; she could profit by their splendid examples and avoid the rocks on which they had made shipwreck. She should have advanced and not fallen back; and this was the proud hope of her earliest statesmen. The young and vigorous republic of the West was to revive the classic virtues of Brutus and Cincinnatus, and blaze forth, a pillar of fire to guide through the darkness the effete monarchies of the Old World. But it would be difficult to name any country, except Russia, where the Emperor Nicholas declared that he and his son were the only people in the country who did not steal, and where his successor found that the chief peculator of the recent war was his own brother, to which the political history of America would not be a warning rather than an example.
While, in England, there is an intelligent and increasing party who advocate the adoption of universal suffrage, thoughtful men in America are vinced that this very manhood suffrage, unaccompanied by an educational test, is the chief cause of their misfortunes. Mr. Trevelyan, at Galashiels, speaking for the Government, recently declared that their policy in the extension of the franchise had nothing to say as to whether a man were Whig or Tory. "We say, if he is a householder, fit to vote, he should have a vote. We think that every intelligent and independent head of a household should have an equal voice in directly choosing the representatives and indirectly choosing the Government of the country.' There is probably no consistent Liberal who would not accept this principle, which applies to Ireland with as much force as to England. But it is obvious that the condition of fitness is its all-important qualification. Mr. Trevelyan's distinguished uncle, in one of his splendid sophistries, asserted that to deny men
NEW SERIES-VOL. XXXIX., No 5
freedom until they knew how to make a proper use of it was worthy of the fool in the old story who would not go into the water until he had learned to swim. But men who are unintelligent and uneducated, who have not shown themselves possessed of temperance, honesty, and self-restraint, are virtually infants who have not yet the use of their limbs, and whose experiments in the water can only end in their destruction. Open wide the doors of the franchise to education and intelligence, but, with the example of America before us, close them in the face of ignorance and crime.
The Irish question is as burning a one in American as in English politics, and I cannot help thinking it more hopeless in the States than here, from the difficulty of withdrawing concessions which have once been made. Mr. Edward O'Brien, in reply to a letter of mine in the Times, has insisted that the most progressive and prosperous cities in America-New York, Chicago and San Francisco - -are just those in which the population of Irish birth and descent is largest in proportion, and would have us infer that to this element their prosperity is chiefly due. As reasonably might we argue that the prosperity of London and Liverpool was due to the Irish, who are the poorest and most unmanageable part of their population. The splendid commercial situation of New York, Chicago and San Francisco, and the marvellous energy of the American population, are the cause of their prosperity. It is because they are rich that the Irish collect in them. They live almost exclusively in the towns, and although in Ireland they complain of not possessing land, yet in America they will not accept land for cultivation, though they may obtain it at a nominal price, or for nothing. The majority of the Irish of New York differ little from the same class in English cities; they are mostly illiterate, and the secret of their power is not in their energy or numbers, but that the long and absolute rule of the priests has accustomed them. to vote solid as they are bid. The voters of the city are two hundred and fifty thousand, and of these the Irish are probably little more than a fifth; but the determination of their leaders, and their own ignorance and political ineptitude,
enable the disreputable minority to triumph over the wealth, culture, and intelligence of the disunited majority. No more grotesque illustration of the failure of universal suffrage to attain the result which alone would justify it could possibly be found. The Irish Catholics of America are Democrats almost to a man, but this is an accident due to a national characteristic which is illustrated in the well-known story of the Irishman who being asked, on his first landing at New York, what were his politics, replied that he knew nothing of politics, but that he was against the Government. The Republicans having held office ever since the war, the Irish have naturally joined the ranks of the opposition. It would be a mistake to imagine that political purity prevails where there is no controlling Irish element. New York has been cited as a convenient illustration of the evils of the American system. But leave civilization behind and go to the far West, to a new town, like Cheyenne, in Wyoming, and every form of electoral corruption will be found there rampant, and votes sold shamelessly and as openly as sheep in the public market. The Irish are far more unpopular in America than they are in England; and little sympathy for their grievances is felt or expressed; for the Americans are far too practical a race not to rate at their true value the utterances of interested demagogues such as O'Donovan Rossa and Parnell. The language used in Dynamite League meetings in New York, and the criminal actions which follow, are alike viewed with indignation and disgust by the whole American community; but the weakness of Democratic government is such that the respectable majority do not dare to crush or even silence these enemies of the human race, and allow them, without molestation, not only to preach and plot arson and murder, but to carry them into execution. No civilized Government should tolerate for a day the open preaching of murder, and America must not be surprised if her protection, not of political offenders but of common assassins. results erelong in seriously straining her relations with this country.
It is a happy circumstance that the self-command and moderation of the
English people are such that a long series of atrocious outrages have failed to arouse any widespread hostility to Ireland. Englishmen realize that Irish troubles are in a great part due to the selfish and unworthy policy of past years, while it is impossible that the Irish should be unpopular when (putting Messieurs les assassins aside) there is no more delightful, lovable, and quickwitted race in the world. But we have not suffered from them as the Americans have suffered; and were London, as is New York, in the hands of a gang of Irish adventurers, our patience might be tried too sorely. Mr. Parnell hopes in the next Parliament-to command the political situation; but as his avowed programme includes the rejection of allegiance to the Queen and dismemberment of the empire, he must not be surprised if both parties unite in temporarily, and so far as imperial questions are concerned, disfranchising constituencies who return members pledged to destroy and degrade the country. When the Irish leaders cease to demand what no party could grant them without immediate political suicide, they will find Englishmen disposed to render them full justice, and such a measure of local and municipal self-government as prevails in England, and is consistent both with imperial rights and with the duty of protection, we owe to the loyal minority in Ireland. When the time for considering this question shall arrive
and it will not be until the Irish leaders abandon the open profession of treason-the precedent of America, both in its war to prevent national disintegration, and in the virtual independence of each unit of the federal body, will doubtless receive full attention from the Liberal Government. In the ears of the orators of the Opposition, who habitually speak of the Irish as of some savage people with whom we are at open war, the words compromise and concession sound weak and criminal. But when History writes the annals of the nineteenth century and the voice of passion is still, the policy of the Liberal Government toward Ireland, its generosity in the presence of ingratitude, its justice and self-possession amid the fierce storm of party abuse, will be held its best title to honor.
The difficulties and dangers which necessarily accompany manhood suffrage are, in America, intensified by the enormous emigration and the law of naturalization under which aliens are admitted as citizens after five years' residence. The consequence of this provision, which, as in the case of Michael Mulhooly, is frequently evaded, is that a large number of persons are annually admitted to all the rights of citizenship before they have become American in sympathy or sentiment, with the tendency to form separate political groups looking only to the interests of their own class or nationality. Thus a number of imperia in imperio grow up, German, Scandinavian, or Irish, bringing, as we have seen with the last-named, confusion into the Federal Government, and fighting from beneath its shield against their private enemies. The Germans, in
America as elsewhere, are a sober, honest, and intelligent body, and have brought the land of their adoption its most valuable contingent. But they are rather in than of the American world. They do not intermarry with Americans; they have their separate societies and amusements; and as they now number some ten millions, there will at no distant date be a larger German population in America than in Europe, whose sympathies must more or less affect European politics. To a less degree these remarks apply to the Scandinavian emigrants, who, in States like Minnesota, are numerous. They have in no way changed their nationality with their climate, and the Swedish chargé d'affaires at Washington told me that they were continually referring to him in their difficulties instead of to the authorities of their State.
Difficulties such as these may be successfully solved; but there is one legacy of the war, in the negro vote, which will only become more intolerable by the lapse of time, for the reason that the African race is extremely prolific, and, under existing conditions, may be expected to increase more rapidly than any other element of the heterogeneous mass of American citizens. The position of the negro is anomalous and embarrassing. Without referring to the multiplied researches of the Anthropological Society on the capacity of the African races,
it may generally be asserted that the negro is as fit for the franchise as the monkey he closely resembles. He has one or two good qualities and many bad ones. He makes a very good waiter if in firm hands, but is usually spoilt by American familiarity, which in his small mind breeds contempt, so that the head waiter at a restaurant gives himself more airs than an English duke. For any occupation requiring higher intellectual powers than blacking boots or waiting at table the vast majority of negroes are unfit. A few of the best struggle into the professions and there fail, though I remember at Washington some cases of partial success; while one colored female lawyer of much vivacity roundly declared, during the recent civil rights discussion, that the negroes were the superior race in America. Since the war they have largely increased, and now number some six millions of uneducated and unimprovable persons, as useless for the purpose of civilization as if they were still wandering naked through the African jungle. Slavery is an accursed thing, but it is rather as degrading the higher race of slaveholders than as brutalizing the slaves that it must be condemned. There is no more natural equality among races than individuals, and imperial peoples have to use up some of the weaker and poorer in their political manufactories. The Nemesis of slavery was not exhausted in the civil war. Its evil fruits are still to be gathered by the American people, who have in their midst this ever-growing mass of savagery which they hate, and despise, and to which they were compelled to give the rights of citizenship. For although it sounds, well to speak of the war as the protest of the North against slavery, the emancipation of the slaves was never intended by the Americans. They then cared for the negroes no more than now, when they would be delighted to carry the whole race to the middle of the Atlantic and sink them there. The North was driven into war, much against its will, by the threats, the insults, and the hostile acts of the South. Abraham Lincoln, in his inaugural address as President, repeated and emphasized his former declaration that "he had no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slav
ery in the States where it existed." And when the war was over and the victory won, he was far too shrewd to desire to admit the negroes to the franchise. This fatal measure was taken in sheer self-defence to swamp the Southern vote, which would otherwise have restored the intolerable situation previous to the war. Since that day the miserable negro has been the tool and sport of every party; now petted, now kicked; his strong limbs and feeble brain at the service of any demagogue who might best know how to tickle his vanity and arouse his passions. If he were other than himself he would be a fit object for compassion; but he is of too low a type to be unhappy, and is probably the only man who laughs 10-day in America.
It would be interesting to glance at the chief political platforms, such as the treatment of the National Debt, the Tariff, Resumption, Civil Service Reform, Prohibition, Home Rule, and such questions as the treatment of the Mormons, the Chinese, and the Irish; but the briefest review of these would be too lengthy. Their examination would, however, show that democratic institutions have so demoralized politics that there is no single question on which either the Republican or Democratic party have any clear and honest policy or principle. The lowest expediency, the most vulgar and interested motives, the spoils of office, and the pillage of the Municipal or Federal treasury, are the alpha and omega of American politics. "Pah! give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination.'
Foreign politics excite so little interest in America, where the attention of the people is solely directed to moneymaking, and the attitude is so different from that of France, whose restlessness and insolent aggression in every quarter of the world is inconveniently conspicuous, that it would be interesting to inquire whether apathy or truculence was the normal effect of republican institutions. But here it must suffice to note that either attitude would be equally fatal in English policy. A few points more or less directly affecting England in the foreign policy of America may be briefly noticed. Firstly, the army, which costs some forty millions of dol
lars annually, consists of but 25,000 men, mostly employed in distant outposts, as in New Mexico; and a stranger may travel through the length and breadth of the country without meeting a single soldier. The navy, on which between fifteen and sixteen millions of dollars are spent or wasted, is non-existent, so far as first-class ships equal to modern requirements are concerned. Admiral D. Porter, a high authority, declares that there is no navy worth speaking of, and that it consists of officers and water without any ships. It is true that the protective tariff has annihilated the merchant shipping, so that the navy is no longer required to protect American commerce abroad; but its naval weakness is unworthy the dignity of a great country. The treasury is overflowing with money; the public debt cannot be reduced faster than at present without grave financial embarrassment; yet in the appropriations of Congress it is party interests and not the national honor which are considered. It is certainly not for the advantage of England that America should adopt freetrade, and again cover the sea with merchant ships; but the day will probably come when the farmers of the West and the working classes of the East will unite in refusing to pay double prices for almost every necessary of life in order to swell the profits of the manufacturers. But under a republic, where the minority rule and the majority suffer, the hour of deliverance may be far distant.
There is in the foreign policy of America nothing unfriendly to England. The good feeling between the two countries is fortunately increasing year by year, and so long as the States confine their attention exclusively to the American continent our interests are not likely to clash. Canada is not a source of anxiety; for while, on the one hand, this dependency is exceedingly loyal to the Crown, there is, on the other, no desire on the part of the States to absorb it. Should a policy of annexation, contrary to the wish of the Dominion, be ever launched, England and Canada will be quite able to take care of themselves.
The large and rapidly increasing German population of the States may have a tranquillizing effect on American rela
tions with England, and to some extent neutralize the Irish element; for there can be little doubt that English sentiment is tending toward the natural alliance with Germany as opposed to France, who, since she has adopted republican institutions, has proved herself worthless as an ally. We can have no true sympathy with France, whose attitude toward us is uniformly unfriendly, and whose interests are opposed to ours in every quarter of the world; while with Germany we have the bond of a common origin, creed, and interests. The sentimental regard for the Russian Government, which was once so strongly and frequently expressed in America, has died out. It was always an unnatural and artificial growth, and had its origin in the astuteness of Russia attempting to make political capital out of the mistakes of the upper classes in England, who, for reasons which need not here be discussed, gave their sympathy and moral support to the Southern Democrats in the civil war. Russia, who foresaw the inevitable result of the struggle, sided warmly with the North, and earned a cheap gratitude, which for some time made an imposing display. But the farce was played out with the return of cordiality between England and America, for it was impossible that either of these nations should long regard with any other sentiment than disgust the domestic policy of Russia. It was an evil day for the Liberal party in England when fortune compelled it to appear as the advocate of Russian fraud and aggression in south-eastern Europe, to champion a power whose hostility to England is deep-seated and inveterate, and whose political methods are abhorrent to every sentiment of Liberalism. America and England have both fallen into the same snare, and we may hope that for them, at least, the fowler may in future spread his nets in vain.
dangers or troubles of the hour, are admirable to behold, and are qualities which in themselves go far to deserve and command national good-fortune. Nor is their pride and confidence exaggerated or unfounded. They possess a country immense in extent and of unparalleled richness. In its virgin soil and limitless prairies are an inexhaustible treasury, a cornucopia from which fatness and abundance forever flow, while in no part of the world is found such varied mineral wealth. The harvest of field and mine is reaped by an intelligent, industrious, and energetic people, whose territory stretches from ocean to ocean, and this generation will see within its borders one hundred millions of English-speaking people, who will doubtless be prosperous, and who, if they be wise in time, may be also free.
England, who has girdled the earth with empire, and the roots of whose national oak lie, like those of the mystic tree in Norse sagas, among the hidden bases of the world, can look without fear, or distrust, or envy, but rather with a glad and generous pride, at the development of the great American people, bone of her bone and blood of her blood. And if England can find nothing worthy of adoption in the political system of America, she can yet take care that she does not fall behind in that noble and confident spirit which is the birthright of imperial races, and which enables them to look indifferently on good or evil fortune. There are Englishmen who seem to believe that the golden age has passed for their country, and that she is falling into decrepitude. This is not the view of those who have breathed the free air of the younger and greater Britain in Canada, Australia, or India. It is not the spirit which breathes in Lord Dufferin's Canadian speeches, or in the Great as the evils of the political admirable address lately delivered by system in America may be, and serious Lord Lorne before the Colonial Instias are the dangers which lie before the tute, or which inspires the patriotic reRepublic, the people are far too energetic solve of Australia to not only share the and high-spirited to view them with any glory but the burdens of the motherunworthy alarm. The pride in the country. The pride in the country. The British Empire is still in greatness and wealth of their country its infancy. Grafted, it is true, on an which is felt and expressed by Americans, ancient monarchy, it only dates from their confidence in its future, and the the occupation of Virginia by Raleigh equanimity with which they regard the three hundred years ago. It has grown