Table of Contents:
The United States in the Eyes of the World. If the people of the United States could see themselves as the rest of mankind see them, the gay plumage of their extravagant self-conceit would be wilted down as completely as the tall of the American eagle — no longer an eagle, but a buzzard — in the late tussle with the British lion. The complacent manner in which they discourse of the greatness and glory of the model Republic would give way to a very different tone, would they only seriously reflect upon the figure which they are at present cutting in the eyes of mankind. It is their political theory and their daily boast that their people are the most intelligent and virtnous of mankind, perfectly competent to all the duties of self-government, and therefore a hundred years ahead of all the other nations of the earth in the agents by whom, and the manner in which they transact their public affairs.--The type illustration and demonstration of all this is to be found, of course, in the person they have selected as a chief magistrate. He is the head of the nation, and the world looks as materially to him as a representative of the body politic, as individuals look to the head of a man in estimating his value as an individual. If a wise and virtuous people, having the power of election, cannot choose a wise and virtuous ruler, what is the use of political wisdom and virtue? If a nation setting up pretensions to such qualities, deliberately elects such a man as Abe Lincoln as its President, is it not the best evidence which can be given that they are no better than the object of their choice, that like President, like people; that a vulgar, profane, obscene rail-splitter is, as they have declared him by their votes, the representative of the Yankee nation? What must the world at large think of republican institutions when they see one of the coarsest and vilest of mankind placed and upheld in the Presidency, not only by their votes, but by large standing armies, and enlogized by a Republican press as the wisest and most exemplary of rulers ? We say nothing of his complete and contemptuous subversion of the Constitution and of all the principles of civil and political liberty, though this of course has given the quietus to everything but the name of republicanism in his country. But the personal character of the man, his ignorance aske of the responsible duties of his situation and of all the decencies of civilized life, are enough to bring a blush even upon Yankee cheeks, it their natures were not as impervious to sensibility and shame as mill-stones. Nor is it in the choice of President alone, but the whole practical operation of republicanism in the North is calculated to bring its principles into contempt through all Christendom. It is so with almost every officer whom they elect, from the President to the constable.--Wise and virtuous men among them have no chance in the world for any office, however humble. The members of Congress in both branches are generally the most vulgar, unprincipled, and conscienceless demagogues to be found in the whole land. There is only one Vallandigham to be found among the elect of the universal Yankee nation. Not as many righteous men can be found in Washington as were reguired to save Sodom from destruction. The United States Senate, which was once an assemblageas able and almost as dignitied as the British House of Lords, is now a conclave of brawling, pot-house politicians, of men ahke destitute of official and personal dignity, and only less barbarous and savage than the Indian sachems of former days, whithout, however, half their self-respect and courage.--What is to be thought of a nation which condemns the wise and good to obscurity, and elevates to power only the ignorant and corrupt ? And yet these men pretend that the overthrow of the Southern ‘"rebellion"’ is all that is necessary to give influence and respectability to Republican institutions throughout the world! If that object could be accomplished, if would be the deadliest blow ever yet inflicted upon free government through all the tide of time. It would prove that liberty has been mortally unded in the house of her own professed friends, and that the coarsest, the most brutal, and the most tyrannical of all despotisms, is the vaunted Republic of the United States of America.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.