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the mode in which both act. To the contents of the former edition, Mr. Mansfield has added Washington's Farewell Address, and the Ordinance of 1787 for the Government of the North-West Territory; both papers of great value.
Of the details of the work we need not speak. The rapid sale of the first edition speaks all that need be spoken. We will only repeat that any student of American Constitutional law, young or old, will do well to gain an outline of his course from the Political Grammer; which outline may afterwards be filled up by the study of Rawle, Story, the Federalist, Elliott's Debates, and above all, the decisions of that great Statesman, and noble-minded man, John Marshall; a man whose life and writings should be the guide and counsellor of every youth that joins the American bar. And while it is in our mind we would ask, why the leading decisions of the Supreme Court upon the Constitution may not be given to the public in one or more volumes by themselves? Few but professional men can own the whole series of Reports, but all should have it in their power, to reach easily those opinions that have given form and strength to the great Bond of Union: they belong to the country, not to the profession, and are absolutely indispensable for the understanding of any text-book, excepting perhaps, the full edition of Story's Commentaries.
But, while the study of simple Constitutional law has been growing in our land; while boys and men, merchants and mechanics, have all gained more or less insight into the scope and meaning of the Instrument which makes us One, there has been little, very little, done to unfold, and to make known those principles which are beyond and under our Constitution, and which make up the as yet semi-chaotic, Philosophy of Politics.
The sounds of party-eulogy and party-abuse rise from every hamlet and plantation between Canada and Texas; our periodicals reek with lying praise and yet falser blame; but where is the tongue or pen that gives us the Statesman's experience, or the Philosopher's researches? Men and measures are discussed on every hand,-but how? upon broad principles, or narrow grounds of expediency? with reference to eternal truth, or momentary good? Who thinks of talking about principles of policy?* or where can we go to hear them discussed? When Lyceums and Institutes first came forward we thought that they would become the schools of political, as well as mechanical philosophy:-we trusted that the farmers and mechanics,
*The principles of policy, andpolitical principles, are very different things,-for by the last we mean a man's devotion to some political party; so that if he be not a partisan, in the eyes of most he has no political principles!
who must rule in a Republic, would in them be taught not only the laws that we have chosen to live by in these United States, but also those undying truths which were the germs, and are the life of our laws; we looked to see the Halls of those institutions become the temples of republicanism, less sacred than the temples of God alone; in them we hoped to bow down to the divine form of Freedom, placed,-not as in republican France, upon the ruins of the Almighty's altar,--but at His footstool, whose child and whose gift she is. But our hopes have been crossed; practical knowledge has been insisted upon, by which is meant that knowledge which deals with matter; or if biography has sometimes been taught in our institutes, it has been rather the skeleton of facts and dates, than the flesh, and blood, and living soul of that most important branch of history.
But what do we mean by Political Philosophy, if it be not constitutional law; is it the same with Political Economy? No; that speaks of the production and distribution of wealth; it tells us what is the most economical way of spending our money, but says nothing as to the best way. Look at any good household, and every household is a little republic,and you will find one system by which whatever is desired is obtained at the least expense of time, money, and labor; and another system by which it is seen what is desirable; the first is private economy, the last private philosophy. And so in the nation; those principles which point us to general education, a deep sense of religion, or strong armies and a full treasury, as our greatest good, differ wholly in kind from those which show us how to educate cheapest, or fill our coffers most readily: the former belong to Political Philosophy, the latter to Political Economy. Neither can be neglected by the statesman, and in our land the public should be ignorant of neither; but amid the clamor of party the calm voice of truth is too often unheard. Politicians, like religionists, are too apt to choose their creed and stick to it, ignorant and careless of the Truths upon which it is based. And here is one great ground of intolerance. If my plain creed is the standard, I think him that denies it dishonest; but if there be that to. which both appeal as the ground of our differing faiths, I may there learn how my opponent may differ from me in all honesty and pureness. For this cause, the more God's Word is studied instead of human catechisms, and creeds, and paraphrases, the less of persecution will there be. And in Politics, the more our Constitution and the principles that originated and breathed life into it, are known, the less will political intolerance prevail.
Now, it is all-prevalent. Men are excluded from society because of their political views. Administration and anti-administration men, in each other's eyes are not merely mistaken, but dishonest. An honest adherence to one side, seems to the other little less than insanity. It is strange, it is disgraceful, that while religious toleration is so much insisted on, political toleration should be scarcely known by name; that while the theologian who denies his opponent's honesty is stilled by the deep tones of general censure, the air is rent with the accusing shouts of partisans. It would seem to show that the former is the result less of principle than indifference.
Our object in these remarks is not to preface any general essay upon Political Philosophy; to treat that subject properly would require more years of study and experience than have passed since our birth. We can at most but call the attention of those, whose age and life fit them for the work, to it; we can but repeat that we believe the virulence, the folly, the illiberality, the short-sighted views of so many American politicians to be the result of a want of the philosophy of their profession. They are empirics, quacks; they deal in political panaceas; a Bank or an administration will, they think, cure or ruin every thing. This we wish might be done away; we would that more of our statesmen had that knowledge which Hamilton, Jay, and Washington made use of; if they had, the science of governing well would be studied more, and the art of merely governing studied less, than now.
The point to which we would call attention in this article, belongs to that part of Political Philosophy which relates to the condition and relations of society, as distinguished from that which relates to the forms and measures of Government. The intimate and sure connection that must exist between the social state of a people and their Government, has been, and is, too often overlooked. In the French revolution, loudly as Burke declaimed, and clearly as Morris prophesied, there were but few that could see the connection between the state of society in France and republicanism. And in this country, at this time, few, probably, think the social condition to be at variance with our public institutions.
Our purpose is to point to one spot where we think there is variance, and from which warlike and threatening sounds already reach us: to inquire as to the causes of this variance, and the hope of a remedy.
"What means the fearful cry which already resounds throughout our land, of the 'poor against the rich? What means the fact, the pregnant fact, that the political aspirant,
who happens to be free from the impediment of conscience, or of principle, finds no surer way to rise than to join in the hue and cry against the aristocracy of wealth?" These questions are put by Mr. Parsons, in the very bold, strong, and searching address, the title of which we have given at the head of our article, and which we noticed some months since: they point directly to that defective spot in our social state, of which we have spoken.
But for one moment let us stop to speak of this address. It is marked less by eloquence than fearlessness; less by originality than truth. It tells in words too plain to be misunderstood by any, of the great danger our country runs from the flattery administered to the people: in words that need no interpreter, it points out the folly of supposing that a sovereign people is less liable to be injured by adulation, than a sovereign individual. That the king can do no wrong, is a despotic maxim that we cry out upon, but it is neither as absurd nor as impious as the claim that the voice of the people is the voice of God. For the way in which Mr. Parsons has set forth these truths, he should be thanked by all honest men of all parties.
And now, to return to our subject, there is an outcry of "agrarianism" abroad; and every where we see the workingmen, or more properly the hand-working men, gathering numbers into parties. What do these things mean? and why are they?
By agrarianism we understand sometimes a disposition, and sometimes a system, that would attack the present rights of property. Not content with forbidding the law to aid individuals in the acquisition of wealth, it would make it strip them of their present possessions, and prevent future acquisition.
The folly and iniquity of such a system need not be pointed out. That the right to the accumulations of industry constituting riches, is the same with the right to the first fruits of industry, which form the daily bread of the daily laborer, is self-evident. There never has been, and never can be, an agrarian community. Those Roman laws from which we take the name, related, not to private property, but to the public domain, as Niebuhr and Savigny have fully shown; and the attempt of the French madmen, was, as a school boy might have prophesied, an entire failure. Were all men good Christians, there might be an approach made to that ideal state of society where none shall be very rich, and none povertystricken; but even an approximation to this state must result from individual principle, not public law.
A perception of these truths has prevented any important direct manifestation of a levelling spirit in our land, but indirectly the jealousy of wealth among us is fully visible. Without being the advocate of either party, we cannot but see in the support given by the people to the administration, while warring upon the United States Bank, an evidence of this jealousy. The war, then, is already begun; and, unless the cause of this jealousy is removed, it will go on slowly, but certainly, till Republicanism crumbles into anarchy.
And what is its cause?
In every erroneous system there is a germ of truth. No creed, however monstrous, but rests upon some reality. The error, like the fiery beard of the comet, may flame from the horizon to the zenith, and fill the eye of the looker-on,-but somewhere there is an unseen nucleus. We believe it to be so with regard to agrarianism; we believe the general feeling, not that the rights of industry should be destroyed, but that something is wrong with regard to wealth,-to have its origin in the misty perception of a great truth, and of the general disregard of it. We believe that in one point, at least, the state of society in our country is opposed to Republicanism, and that this opposition is the parent of that feeling of which we have spoken; a feeling far more wide-spread than most of us suppose, swaying many who would shrink from an open attack upon property.
The great truth referred to may be stated in the language of Miss Sedgwick, in her most admirable little work, "Home." "Talent and worth are the only eternal grounds of distinction. It will be our own fault, if in our land, society, as well as Government, is not organized upon a new foundation. Knowledge and goodness, these make degrees in heaven, and they must be the graduating scale of a true democracy." The disregard of these truths, we look upon as not only keeping us back in our national growth, but as also forming the root of the great prevalent hostility to property; and for this cause, that property, in the place of knowledge and goodness, is made too much the graduating scale of our democracy. This the moneyless democrat perceives; he feels himself wronged; and to do away that wrong, inclines to, if he does not join that party which would destroy the cause of wrong-doing,wealth.
* The same disposition to bring on a war against wealth, was shown in the insane, pitiable, and yet laughable attempts of the Ohio Legislature a month since, to repeal a charter just granted, and to prohibit the citizens of Ohio from carrying on business with the new United States Bank. These attempts were characterized by the cowardice as well as by the madness of Agrarianism.