« PreviousContinue »
has yet existed. It is not one nation, but forty-five nations in one. Three more are probably to be admitted this year, with others to follow. It has solved the question of government by continents. The United States of all the Americas, or the United States of Europe, could be established and placed under this Constitution after a few days spent in making the necessary verbal and other trifling changes.
We might go farther and say that continents hitherto split into many states, which have become armed camps awaiting the signal of war against each other, could thus combine and win perpetual peace as between themselves, and, this beneficent task accomplished, the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World, could finally be considered as next in order. When that day comes, "as come it will for a' that," the American Constitution could readily be adapted without serious change to unite the world under one government dealing with international relations, thus banishing from the earth its foulest stain, the killing of man by man under so-called "civilized" warfare --such the latent potentiality of this marvelous work, because founded upon equal rights
and privileges to all. Short of this there is injustice; beyond this there is injustice, hence unrest-with this there is justice, and hence peace, and what is just and equal is capable of indefinite extension.
The Federal idea has proved that the freest government of the parts produces the strongest government of the whole. Under home rule for the various States, jealousy of each other, and especially of the central government, has weakened so much that year after year the States surrender power to the Congress of the whole at Washington over questions of national import hitherto controlled by the respective States in their own fashion, thus producing uniformity where before lay diversity. Since all the forces of to-day are centripetal, the further consolidation of the Union is assured.
The citizen is still fondly devoted to his State as he always may be and happy that he is its son, but when he draws himself up to his full height and wishes to give vent to the sentiment of nationality-and this is not seldom, for of all men the American is the most intensely patriotic-his special State is for the moment forgotten. The States are all right as far as they go, but let anyone
just touch "Old Glory," and the many are one,-American.
How long it would take the European under federation to reach this glowing devotion to the one flag of their Union is problematical, but, in the opinion of the writer, not much longer than it has taken the American of the former separate and jealous states of our own Union, for national patriotism grows apace when the citizen has political equality, and the federation, being gigantic, makes his country great among the nations, a country for which he cannot help being proud to live, if need be to die.
In this volume place is properly given to the Monroe Doctrine, so clearly defined by Secretary of State Hay. It was the suggestion of British Prime Minister Canning, who boasted that he had called in the new world to redress the balance of the old.
Nations have their supersensitive nerves, which it is the business of the statesmen of other nations to know and make due allowance for. The Monroe Doctrine has become the supersensitive nerve of the American. Just as we should say, in case the inviolability of a British ship was disregarded, there must be restitution or there.
will be war, we can say of the Republic, the attempt of a foreign power to secure a footing upon this continent means war. On this issue the Republic would defy the world. America for the Americans being now both law and gospel to this country, the present possessions of European powers are not relished, but only tolerated. In the recent banishment of Spain from the continent, passion, not reason, ruled. Had we been able to preserve our equanimity, the concessions which Spain offered at the last moment would have appeared adequate for the time, but the whirlwind came, the pent-up feelings of the American burst forth, and the question he had often pondered over in his mind before found fit expression in the inquiry, "What is a European nation doing over here anyhow?" We told Napoleon that Mexico was, we thought, a good country for the French to migrate from, and it was so. We have obtained the West Indies, we have obtained Alaska from Russia, by purchase, which is the best mode of all, and these countries have made themselves our closest friends by recognizing the national desire of our people to control adjacent territory and islands upon our continent. Upon no issue
would the verdict of the people be so nearly unanimous as that of American versus European rule upon the American Continent.
Secretary of State Hay in his celebrated address to the New York Chamber of Commerce here incorporated, notable for many reasons, is perhaps most so for the order in which he unconsciously places the Monroe Doctrine and the Golden Rule. It reads, not the Golden Rule and the Monroe Doctrine, but the reverse. The Secretary spoke as he felt and his countrymen feel—although the writer, in the calm air of thoughtful composition, feels called upon to suggest that in future editions it might be advisable to consider whether in deference to worldwide impressions the Golden Rule should not have "priority of nomination." That the Monroe Doctrine took first place, however, with the orator, cannot lose its signifi
In any statement bearing upon the Republic, notice must be taken of the ominous fact that the war with Spain, with its unexpected, easy and victorious end, has wrought the martial spirit of the people up to a dangerously high temperature. There is no doubt. that the most warlike of people and the ma