The persuasive power of public plunder.
--If we can believe the revelations of their own journals, the annual expenditures of the North
for war and civil account are more than four hundred mill one of dollars, of which fully three hundred and fifty millions are for war. From the facts we have heretofore taken pains to adduce, showing the cost of the most gigantic military operations of which even Europe
has ever been the theatre — all of which cost far below the amount expended by the North
--the conclusion is irresistible that this expenditure is not legitimate, and that a large portion of it is made for corruption purposes.
It cannot be doubted that Seward
are pursuing the settled purpose of making the war popular by expending large enough sums to bribe the whole Northern population.
At one time the city of New York
presented the most lamentable picture of a great city's "occupation gone;" of suspended business stagnant affairs, idleness from want of employment, and general prostration and despair.
Recent advices from there, however, represent a total change to have come over the spirit of affairs.
Activity and thrift are again visible in the places they had forsaken.
The hum of industry and bustle of business again enliven its thoroughfares, and Wall street and Broadway are again thronged by busy crowds of men in tent upon business and fortune.
If we only assume that the finances of the Federal Government
can be maintained under the heavy burdens with which the war is loading them, it is clear that New York city will not lose by the war so long as it lasts.--The export trade of the South
before dissolution, counting her sales to the North
, was about four hundred millions of dollars: the greater portion of which was conducted directly or indirectly through the agency of New York city.
But the war expenditures of the North
are said to exceed that enormous sum by twenty-five millions; and this immense business also, except the mere pay of the soldiers, is conducted directly or indirectly through the agency of New York.
The profits of the city upon the trade of the South
, though enormous and exorbitant, were regulated by conventional standards of percentage; those upon its trade in army supplies is of course restricted by no such regulations, and probably reach, on the great bulk of articles supplied, fifty per cent of the sums exacted from the Government
What is predicted of New York in regard to her profits on war expenditures, is true of the whole North
; for New York city is but the agent of the people of the entire section.
The four hundred millions of Southern trade which they have lost, it is the Government
's shrewd purpose to compensate them for another form; and the war is attempted to be rendered even more popular than the peace which preceded it, by adding some twenty-five per cent to the gross amount expended, and by the greater profits allowed upon war supplies than was earned upon Southern trade.
It was long ago charged that the object of the Lincoln Administration
in bringing on hostilities was to make a job of the war for their hungry political partisans.
Having once raised the winds they found it impossible to direct the storm.
The war has assumed proportions which they had no dream of before, and the job which they had intended only for their peculiar partisans has been swollen to proportions large enough for the bribing of twenty millions of people.
That the mammoth corruption scheme has succeeded completely, is demonstrated by the unlimited power of the Administration at Washington
, in all things; by the impunity with which they can trample upon the most cherished liberties of the people, and set aside the most sacred provisions of the Constitution
; by the facility with which they can crush out the last vestiges of a free press, suppress the liberty of speech, and extort from all — even from men who hate their creed and despise their character — the most extravagant laudations of the war. Of all the communities in the world the Northern
is the one most susceptible to the fascinations of patronage; and never in the whole history of mankind has there been before, so signal a proof of the all persuasive power of public plunder, or a more unblushing instance of the conversion of war into a great job.