Table of Contents:
The disintegration of Empire.‘"Westward the star of empire wends its way."’ These words were uttered by one of England's noblest poets, when this western continent was an uninitiate among the nations of earth. Europe had just recovered from one of those periodical shocks which monarchs are obliged to avert by terrific wars, and the employment in battle of their revolutionist elements, and now to the new world of the occident their eyes were turned for a solution of the experiment which a vigorous young people were making. The elastic minds and mongrel mixture of American population had full scope to develop the new idea. A simple form of Government was established, and all kingly ornament were cast aside. The utmost freedom was the boon of its people, and in the brilliant future they sought the height of superiority. Upward and onward was the favorite cry of its people, and wealth and prosperity attended their efforts. Peace spread its sweetness over the land, and the peerless prize of liberty was the palladium of their worship. But with wealth came pride, and a cormorant crew of man-worshippers taught us the pleasure of honied words, which masked revolution and destruction. They fattened on the luxuries gained from the base prostitution of genius and wealth to the inordinate vanity which became a peculiarity of our national character. Turbulent theories, propagating the most outrageous sentiments, were accepted by the excitable fanatics and venal agitators in the Northern States. The bestialized debris and the incendiary madmen of all nations, sought there and incendiary from justice and governments which were most fortunate in being rid of their presence. There they vended their poison, and succeeded in making a universal hospital of the land, in whose remotest corners every disease of the human mind had a representative. Now came the lust for power. The infant republic stretched its Briarean arms abroad and clutched at the golden beauties that dazzled before its eyes. Gluttonous for the accumulation of wealth and domain, it grasped the cobweb fabric of misrule, and with unexampled greed, in the shignoble pursuit of dishonest gain, dishonored his name at home and abroad. By treachery and miserable cunning it sought to supplant all nations. By being first at the feast it secured all the delicacies, and ungenerously scorned the protests of its compeers. In supreme contempt of all national rights, and with the daring of impudence, not courage, it builded a throne of commercial and governmental power, to which they required absolute homage, and to whose rule they demanded the acquiescence of the world. Foreign powers were supposed to be imbecile and panic-struck at the exhibition of power, and would interpose no obstacles to the haughty ambition of the Western empire. The commercial and industrial classes reveled in the luxuries their capital and industry secured them. In the pride of wealth, power and excess of numbers, they dictated to the sections on whom they were dependent. The very life element on which they subsisted they sneered at. They contemptuously demanded obedience and tribute from the South, claiming it as a mere laboring or producing province, over which the rich and powerful North was the law maker. Their sneers and contumely eventually pierced the honor of the heedless South. Its sunny climate had made its people listless and careless. Within its borders there could not be found the mongrel elements of discord which cursed and agitated the society of its icy Northern brother. In its social life was seen a picture of contentment and comfort which became to the infidels of the North a political element, on whose basis the revolutionists created a question which inaugurated the disintegration of the Federal empire.--Conquest, purchase and commerce had exhausted every political idea which could make party; sumptuary laws had found but few advocates, and those only among agentries; hence, when Red and Black Republicanism struck a compact to agitate this other pretended question of morality, and the bloody refugees of all nations cast into the common fund their stock of transcendentalism, it readily amalgamated with the maudlin sentimentalism which defied a novelist's caricature, and established a strong arm in government, which legislated to destruction and gloried in misrule. Within the last decade we have seen the result of this gross misconception of power. A nation, once first in rank, among the most powerful and glorious on earth, now dismembered; its insignia of power trampled upon and the prestige of its greatness gone. On its salient points of excellence and the traits of beauty, the traditional merits of our ancestry's wisdom, the South has built a temple whose simplicity will make it the pride of nations and within whose sacred fane we will treasure the virtues and nobility of true liberty. For the insane North we can only see a wreck of despair and blight. It has the elements of recuperation; but its greatness is gone. It has proved its incapacity for self-government; it has too much infidel element in its agitating socialism. We presume it will find a venues for expansion, new lands to supply with their productions; and that, eventually, its elasticity will place it in an amiable position of excellence; but first it must suffer the refining process of depletion. It must destroy its discordant elements; it must be regenerated politically and socially. The proportion of immense empire to which the United States had inflated, necessarily engendered every vice the world can know; not the least of these was tyranny, and this drew the last wedge which uphold the platform of our noble fabric. All nations have the elements of disorganization within themselves, and we see them totter and fall when tyrants have dethroned all vestiges of liberty and reason. Thus it was that the tyranny of the Pharaohs lost to them their most valuable people. Thus it was when Dionysius destroyed the greatness of his empire. This element disintegrated the glorious fabric of Rome's greatness when Nero tyrannized to its fall. Thus it was when Napoleon transcended the license of reason, and in a single decade deposed five monarchs, enthroned eight, and dictated terms to nations about whose venerated capitols ivy of a thousand years clustered. Thus it was that George III. in a seven years fit of lunacy, endeavored to make the beautiful vestments of liberty and cerements with which to enwrap her in a tomb. It is in obedience to a madness of tyranny, that the new era of war is upon us. Nations ever must disintegrate when they become loath-some and effete, and to the empire of the West the day of doom has come; the scepter of its iron power is broken. The willing despot and tool of a Machiavellian premier, a peculating war secretary, and a vain renegade war chieftain, will descend to the tomb of the accursed, his epitaph: Lincoln, The Tyrant!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.