An English opinion of the American Constitution.
The London Post
, in a review of the events which have followed the withdrawal of the Confederate States
from the late United states Government, has some comments upon the American Constitution
It would scarcely be just to attribute to the American Constitution
itself the evil which have scandalized Europe
during the past eighteen months.--A deed of partnership may be drawn up without a flaw, the rights of each of the partners may be accurately ascertained and impartially apportioned, yet still the concern may come to a dead lock from the inability of the persons engaged in it to work together.
Between the Northern
and Southern States there was at the best of times a decided antagonism.
Though slavery formed and notwithstanding Mr. Lincoln
's emancipation proclamation, now forms no part of the issue of the war, it undoubtedly occasioned the secession of the Southern States
That the day would come when the South
would withdraw from the North
was foreseen by Jackson
, one of the ablest Presidents
ever possessed; but he had the good sense to counsel a peaceful separation.
In such a secession he saw, not as at present, the disruption of the Union
into two hostile and bankrupt States, but the formation of two distinct Confederacies, each of them inseparable in itself, and both united by the strongest of all alliances — that dictated by policy and fraternal regard.
That some of the States composing the American Union should acknowledge slavery, whilst others should disavow it, was incident to those principles of State independence which formed the striking feature of the Federal Constitution
The apprehension that that independence was threatened when the Republican party succeeded in electing their nominee to the office of President, led to the withdrawal of the Confederate States
Had the South
been satisfied, or had the guarantees which it required been afforded, that the domestic institutions of the slaveholding States would not have been tampered with, or, in other words, had it been assured that the Federal Constitution
would have been preserved inviolate, the American Union
might have remained intact to the present day — These guarantees, however, were refused, and secession became necessary for the preservation of the political liberties of the Southern States
A chief magistrate selected by chance out of the common ruck, intrusted with less authority than is granted in monarchies to a constitutional king, and invested with none of those attributes which insure for royalty obedience and respect, was utterly unfitted to conduct the destinies of a people under circumstances demanding a clear judgment and a strong will.
Finding himself incapable of conducting public affairs, under circumstances like the present, conformably to the institution, the American President
was obliged to take refuge in despotism.
One by one the several bulwarks of civil liberty have been broken down, until at length nothing of the Federal Constitution
here remains but the name.--State rights and individual rights have in turn been frittered away, and now independence is no longer to be found, either in the person of the citizen or in the conduct of the State
A press which, at the commencement of the war, knew no other censor than the voice of public opinion, can no longer publish an Item of news without receiving the imprimatur
of a Provost Marshal
. --Civil liberty has become a my the, since no American citizen, no matter how remote may be his residence from the seat of war, can count with certainty when he rises in the morning on not occupying a military prison before night.
The Constitution has for the moment perished, and yet it is for this same Constitution that hundreds of thousands of human creatures are sacrificed, the industry of millions paralyzed, and mountains of gold lavishly squandered.
To uphold this Constitution, which is now trampled under foot by a Government which is not so much feared as it is despised, and which has not risen to the dignity of being hated — to uphold a Constitution which, though originally gained by one of the noblest struggles chronicled in the history of man, is now dragged through the mire without exciting the feeblest murmur amidst a population of millions--it is to uphold this Constitution that a war of extermination is now waged and a servile insurrection has been craftily projected.
To greater lengths human folly and human wickedness have never reached.