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rule of the Democratic party has been perpetuated, sometimes by force and sometimes by fraud. These proceedings were planned and executed systematically, and their results have been accepted by the Democratic party of the States concerned, and by the Democratic party as a national organization.
By these usurpations in the States of the South the Democrats not only wrested power from the lawful majority in those States, but they also secured a majority in the United States Senate for a time, and in the House of Representatives they have been able to command a majority in four Congresses. The Presidential elections of 1876 and 1880 were in peril from the same cause, and if now there could be free elections and an honest count and return of the votes cast in the eleven States that were engaged in the Rebellion, the pending contest would be without excitement as the result would be free from doubt.
By these usurpations the Democratic party has secured political advantages such as it did not enjoy even in the days of slavery. The former slaves are counted according to their number in the basis of representation, while under the old constitution each class of five was estimated as equal to three free persons. Upon the present basis, the South gains more than thirty representatives in Congress and an equal number of votes in the electoral colleges. In several of the States of the South the use of force, culminating in a reign of terror, has suppressed the negro vote and left the old slave masters and their adherents in full and undisputed possession of political power. Fraudulent practices at the voting places and the falsification of returns, are now for the most part adequate means for the perpetuation of the mastery first gained by force,
By these usurpations the negro race of the South and many white persons, not of the Democratic party, are deprived of the privileges and immunities to which they are entitled by the Constitution of the United States.
But this statement does not measure nor even indicate the magnitude of the evil. In a Republic there can be no baser political crime than a usurpation by which millions of men are robbed of their rightful share in the government.
By these usurpations, States have been seized by a minority and held through fear and force, both Houses of Congress have been captured and the executive department has been put in peril. If the elections in the old Slaves States were free, and the returns were honest, the Republican party could command so large a majority
that the election of its candidates would be conceded from the day of their nomination. In the presence of this usurpation the votes of two Democrats in South Carolina have as much weight in the government as is given to the votes of five citizens of New York or Illinois. And never until the elections are full, free, and honest in the States of the South can the voters in the North enjoy an equality of power in the government of the country.
Thus does it appear that the voters of the North have an equal interest with the disfranchised citizens of the South in the restoration of those citizens to the enjoyment of their constitutional rights. The reestablishment of the Union implied the restoration of the States, recently in rebellion, to their full right of representation in the Congress of the United States. This was done, but there have been moments when many citizens of the North, compelled, as they have been compelled, to witness the outrages perpetrated by the remnant of the old slave-holding class upon the enfranchised blacks, to doubt the wisdom of the reconstruction policy.
The reestablishment of the Union was a necessity, and when the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified it was assumed by the old Free States that security was taken for ultimate justice and permanent peace. That result has not been attained. The South has enjoyed the right of representation, in the fullest measure, and at the same time by force, fraud, and intimidation, a third of its inhabitants have been excluded from all part in the government of the country.
If this injustice and wrong were to continue, if there were neither remedy nor redress for this gross violation of personal and public rights, then, indeed, the reëstablishment of the Union could be regarded only as a mistake.
The acts of injustice and wrong of which the country now complains were first perpetrated upon a scale sufficiently large to attract public attention about the year 1870, and as yet no effectual remedy has been applied. This condition of things ought not longer to continue. If reformation does not come speedily from the States themselves there should be an exercise of power from without. As the Democratic party is benefited by the existing condition of things, there is no ground to anticipate any action by that party that shall tend to the restoration of the franchise to the negro population. Indeed, the success of the Democratic party in the pending election, would perpetuate the wrong for a period of four years at least.
But the nation can not be a silent and indifferent witness of the flight from their homes of thousands of citizens escaping from lawless oppression, and seeking refuge in the States that recognize the equal rights of men. The nation cannot be a silent and indifferent witness of the consequent disturbance of labor, and the injury wrought by the unnatural competition among laborers in one section of the Union, and the coincident dearth of laborers in another section, and all because the laborer is the subject of personal and political injustice. Nor can the nation remain silent and indifferent, when by fraud and force a section recently in arms, seizes, first, the government of States and then by the same means attempts the conquest of the Government of the United States. The remedy is with the Republican party; and if that party is again put in possession of the government, in all its branches, every constitutional power should be sought out, organized and made effective for the protection of the citizen against the systematized scheme of the South to destroy the equality of men and the equality of States.
If there could be a free vote and an honest count in the States of the South there would be no occasion for the Republican party to contest for New York or Indiana, except to secure a wholesome public policy in those States. Whatever of peril now menaces the civil service, the financial system, the industries and business of the country is due to the fact of a solid South.
A solid South means the rule absolute of a minority in several of the old Slave States, with the possibility of like absolute rule over the whole country. If the solidity of the South is not broken from within, and that speedily, it must be shattered from without. It will not be broken by divisions in the Democratic party either North or South.
A policy of waiting, of confidence, of negations, of blindness, will prove fatal in the end. The Republican party should declare its purpose, should frame the issue, should boldly stake everything it has or may have of fortune or power upon the effort to redeem its supporters and allies in the South from the domination of a minority.
In this campaign this one question is the paramount question to which every other is subordinate or incident. The rule of the minority must be destroyed or the Republican idea will disappear in the South, or the downtrodden will rise in arms against their oppressors and involve the States concerned in civil strife. Justice and peace alike demand the assertion of the doctrine of equality of rights in the States of the South.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD DUE TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
When the Constitution was adopted, and during the first twenty years of our national existence, our standing was not affected seriously by the circumstance that slavery was recognized and protected in the organic law. The discussions in regard to the emancipation of the slaves in the British islands upon our coast, aroused attention to and provoked criticism upon the inconsistency of our system.
The friends of Republican institutions were ashamed to cite the United States as an example, and citizens resident or sojourning in Europe were compelled to preserve a humiliating silence when the character of their country was the subject of conversation or debate.
In countries where slavery did not exist the system had but few defenders, and none of the defenders of the system, wherever found, were friends to republican institutions.
For seventy years our example as a nation was calculated to bring the system of popular government into discredit. The theory of the government and the practice under it were inconsistent.
The ruling classes in Europe were hostile to our system for the reason that it threatened the overthrow of dynastic institutions. The existence of slavery tended to alienate the masses. In that condition
of public sentiment it was always possible for the governments of Europe to command a popular support in any controversy that might arise with the United States.
Our peril during the first eighteen months of the Rebellion was due to that cause; but when the emancipation of the slaves was proclaimed it was no longer possible for the government of England or France to command a popular majority in any undertaking prejudicial to the United States. The fear and the danger of foreign intervention then disappeared.
When the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified our institutions became republican, and a harmony was established between our theories and our practice which silenced criticism and enabled our friends and the friends of freedom everywhere to cite our example as a model for imitation.
Our protective system has been, it now is, and for a long time to come it will continue to be, a disturbing influence in the policies of European States.
Aside from the spirit of conquest in barbarous and semi-barbarous tribes and nations, and the fury of religious zeal in more advanced peoples and communities, the controlling inducements which lead men to migrate from one country to another are preferences for institutions, civil and political, and hopes for a higher condition of domestic and social life. These hopes include the prospect of wealth or competency as the means by which a higher condition of domestic and social life is to be secured. The more ignorant classes of society are moved by the single consideration of their physical conditions. Others, more advanced in knowledge and more considerate as to probable advantages for themselves and their families and descendants, even for a distant and unknown future, will estimate the quality of the institutions and the nature of the government of the country to which they propose to migrate. In the nature of things this latter class must constitute a body of good citizens.
The abolition of slavery, the protective system by which the wages of labor have been advanced, and the homestead laws by which direct encouragement has been given to agricultural industry, have led tens of thousands of intelligent men to forsake their homes in Germany and the Scandinavian nations and to become citizens of the United States.
Their presence is a source of wealth and an element of power. Having chosen this country as their home, and upon high ideas of its character and destiny, they will aid in the realization of those ideas. Nor is there occasion for apprehension in the minds of any that the population of the country is approaching its capacity to furnish employment and subsistence.
If the inhabitants of all the States and Territories of this Union were transferred to the State of Texas, the number of persons to the square mile would be one hundred and ninety-one. Rhode Island now maintains a population of two hundred and fifty-four, and