--In the last letter of Prince Napoleon we find the following:
Here the Republicans are completely Democrats, and the Democrats entirely Republicans, in the sense which we generally attach to those words.
Really, the distinction between the two parties rests almost exclusively on the manner of regarding the slavery question.
The Democrats — I speak of Northern Democrats, for in the South
the slavery interest dominates and controls all polities — accept slavery, and seek, at most, to confine it to the States where it exists.
Buchanan and Douglas have been the best heads of that party to which the interested adhesion of the South
has given, in these latter times, a constant and marked preponderance in the direction of affairs.
The Republican party of later date, without exactly inscribing on its banner the principle of the abolition of slavery, has a manifest tendency to seek that result.
The skillful men of the party are far from acknowledging that pretension, but its adventures and reckless members (les enjantes terribles
) do not make any concealment of it. Hence the horror which the Republicans inspire in the South
; hence, in fine, the present revolution, the South
having quite simply separated from the Union
because the nomination of the Republican
candidate, and the advent of that party to power have appeared to it to be the inauguration of a policy of which the last word is abolition of slavery.
Perhaps there is even side of this incendiary question a shade of deference between Democrats and Republicans in their mode of understanding the political and social organization of the United States
The Democrats, no matter how far advanced in the ideas which their name recalls, are still attached to a certain past, to Jefferson
, among others, who, quite hostile as he was to the principle of authority, had nevertheless a land of ideas in common with the first and most illustrious founders of the republic — Washington
, John Adams
— statesmen who would pass to-day for aristocrats of the first order.
Thus the Democrats have been driven back, but have rather yielded to that immense ultra-Democratic current, (I should say demagogically, if that expression were not employed in a sense which would not convey my idea,) which since twenty years has transformed the physiognomy of the United States
, and altered profoundly the social conditions of the country.
It is that current which has by degrees brought the principle of elections to a short term--one year, for example; two years at most for the highest --those of Governor, Judge
It is that current which has opened the doors of election hails to all foreigners, to that crowd of emigrants who almost everywhere enjoy the rights of citizens as soon as their foot has touched the soil of the United States
--a tendency menacing to the conservation of the Anglo-Saxon
blood and character.
It is that popular wave which has drawn with it the last prestige of Federal authority, under pretext of preserving State sovereignty, and which has, consequently, weakened authority in the States themselves, under pretext of preserving individual independence, so that, in all degrees of the public office is considered as the sport of a small number of men, who dissipate about them and share them among themselves.