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The Political State of the Country

 From Brownson’s Quarterly Review for January, 1873

            We are writing this article before the presidential election in November, though it will not be published till some time after the event.  This is no advantage: 1. Because there can be little doubt that General Grant will be reelected, and 2. Because this Review deals with principles and permanent interests, not with partisan politics, and can be little influenced by party successes or party defeats.  As things now are, there is little to hope from the success or defeat of either party soliciting votes for its candidates.

            We had no respect for Mr. Lincoln’s administration, for it was based on no principle, and was a series of blunders from beginning to end.  It succeeded, indeed, in suppressing what we held to be a rebellion, but which on its principles, as far as principles it had, was no rebellion at all; but it did it at a terrible and unnecessary waste of life, and by contracting an equally unnecessary public debt, which is a burden on the national industry, and will be for years to come.  Mr. Johnson made and unhappy start, and talked much nonsense about rendering “treason odious,” but afterwards took his stand on constitutional ground, and adopted a comparatively just and patriotic policy; only he lacked the temper and the wisdom to carry it out, and injured, more than he served, the people of the states that had seceded, by inducing the Republican party in congress, by way of opposition, to adopt measures of reconstruction of an extreme severity, which, perhaps, they had not at first contemplated.  General Grant, whose views at first were wise and liberal towards the defeated confederates,- as was to be expected from a brave and successful soldier,- unhappily quarreled with President Johnson, threw himself into the hands of the so-called radicals, and fell under the control of the Methodists, the most lawless, greedy, grasping, unprincipled, and fanatical of all the sects that curse the country.  His administration has been upon the whole satisfactory to the men whom the war enriched, to mammoth moneyed and business corporations, and to stock and gold gamblers, but has done little to heal the wounds inflicted by the civil war, and less still to elevate the moral tone of political parties.

            The greatest injury done to the country, has been in the negro policy of congress and supported by the administration, and the instituting and sustaining by the federal forces of the infamous carpet-bagger and freed-negro governments in the states that seceded, and which have proved a greater calamity to those states than the civil war itself.  The methodistic and puritanical policy of the North has been mean, hypocritical, short-sighted, and contemptible.  We did hope the North would prove itself, after the surrender of the confederates, capable of being not only generous, but generous even generously.  We have been sadly disappointed.  We knew there was a strong abolition element in the North, and that abolition fanatics, and the scheming politicians who supported them, had provoked the rebellion; but we flattered ourselves that the northern people would be satisfied with the abolition of slavery, and the surrender of the confederate states to the Union.  We repelled, as a calumny, the charge that the North was fighting against the southern people, or seeking to revolutionize southern society, as our writings in 1863 and 1864, whilst the war was still raging, can bear witness.

            We were among the most earnest defenders of the war for the Union, but we defended it on legal and conservative, not on radical and revolutionary principles, and we hoped the war would have the effect of checking the growth and spread of that radical or centralized democracy in the country, of which the New York Tribune was and from the first has been the most prominent and the most reckless organ.  Yet we had not then learned that radicals and revolutionists shrink from no inconsistency, and are incapable of learning from experience.  The leading Republican members of either house of congress persuaded themselves, that, to prevent a renewal of the rebellion after its suppression, it would be necessary to disenfranchise the prominent men of the South, and enfranchise the negroes.  We must, said a prominent senator to the writer in February, 1864, banish twenty thousand at least of the southern leaders, and give the negroes votes: it is the only way in which we can make sure of the future loyalty of the southern states.  An influential member of the house of representatives solicited us personally to support a bill, which he had submitted, or proposed to submit, to congress, cutting up the large landed estates of the southern planters, and dividing them among the negroes, giving to each negro head of a family a farm of forty acres.  We of course refused to defend such an agrarian and unstatesmanlike proposal, and opposed, with what little ability we had, the madness of attempting to introduce recently emancipated slaves on a footing of equality into our political society, men who have never had a domicile or a country, and who understand nothing of the duties of free citizens, or of the difference between loyalty and disloyalty.  We never supported the war for the sake of the slaves, though we were among the first to demand emancipation as a war measure.  We had never been an abolitionist, and do not believe that the slaves, as a body, have gained any thing, morally or physically, by emancipation.  We did not support the war from hostility to the constitution of southern society: we supported it because we loved the Union, and believed it our duty to do what we could to preserve the integrity of its territory; we did it because we held the states had no right to separate from the nation, and because we did not believe the North and West could afford to lose the elements represented by the states that seceded.

            Though a child of the North, and not blind to the faults of the South, we have always personally preferred southern to northern society.  Its superiority was proved in the civil war, in which the south showed a unanimity, an energy, a hardihood, a spirit of endurance, and a power of sacrifice, that we found not in the North.  The federals had as much military science and skill as the confederates, but their armies were less efficiently commanded and handled.  The confederate armies were organized under their natural leaders, while it is the misfortune of the North to have no natural leaders, no natural aristocracy; or if it has them, it does not recognize them.  A manufacturing and shopkeeping people appreciate only the talent that succeeds in the business world,- a talent of no account in military command or in statesmanship.  We doubt if our republic could stand without the southern element; and hence we regard the policy that would destroy that element, and yankeeize or africanize the South, no less hostile to the Union and the stability of the republic, than secession itself.  The policy of congress since the close of the war has been directed to that end, therefore to render nugatory the motives and hopes that induced us and, we doubt not, thousands of others, to support the war, and to count no sacrifices necessary to save the Union.  We therefore have had no reason to be satisfied with General Grant, and still less with the party in power.  It has been and is decidedly a revolutionary party, and incapable of understanding that the states that seceded, if states in the Union, stand now on a footing of perfect equality with any of the states that did not secede; and that whatever tends to injure them, or to keep them in a state of pupilage, injures not them alone, but the whole Union, of which they are integral parts.

            For ourselves, we utterly repudiate the whole negro policy of the government; we are glad for the sake of the whites that slavery is abolished, and therefore we make no war on the Thirteenth Amendment, but we repudiate the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.  We may be forced to submit to them, but no force shall ever make us accept them, in our own convictions, as any part of the constitution.  I had no organ of my own through which I could protest against the adoption by the Democratic party of what was called the “New Departure;”  but my friends know that I told them at the outset, that it would discredit and ruin the party.  It assimilated it too nearly to the Republican party, and left no good reason why it should keep up a distinct party organization.  The Baltimore convention proved it by endorsing the nomination of Horace Greeley, for thirty years their bitterest enemy, and who did more than any other man to create the Republican party, and who is and always has been the representative man of the false or radical and centralized democracy that is ruining our republican government,- an ingrained revolutionist, if not a communist.  His election would most likely have placed some Democrats in office, not their principles or their party in power, or enabled them to lift the government out of the radical ruts in which it has so long been running.

            What we want now, in relation to the states that seceded, is a distinct and unequivocal recognition of them as states in the Union, the discontinuance of all efforts to keep them in subjection to northern adventurers, white or colored, scalawags and freedmen, and leave the real people of those states to manage, under their natural leaders, their own state affairs, without the interference of the general government.  The southern people, though lately in rebellion, are today as loyal as the people of any other section of the Union, and really the least corrupt, the soundest, and the most conservative portion of the old American people.  Left to themselves, they will deal in the best and most satisfactory way practicable with the negro population.  The negro should have all his natural rights as a man respected and guarantied, but he must go through a long apprenticeship before he is able to govern himself, much less to govern others.  There is no danger of his being remanded to slavery; his freedom is secure, as secure as that of the white race.  It may be too late to reverse the policy that attempts to clothe him with political and social equality; but that policy was a gross mistake, and only the southern people themselves, who know the negro nature, and have fewer prejudices against negroes than have the people of the North, especially the people of New England, can mitigate the evil effects of the mistaken policy of congress, and carried out by the Grant administration,- a policy we strenuously opposed, even before the war had closed.

            The incoming administration has plainly imposed on it the duty of reparation.  It must repair, as far as possible, the evils that have grown out of the assumption that the government is to be administered in the interest of the colored men, and that white men have no rights it is bound to respect.  This must be chiefly the work of congress, which will be opposed by two powerful classes, the fanatics and the capitalists, or the men who are able to make credit supply the place of capital, as is the case with the men who own the greater part of our various business corporations.  These two classes are to some extent coincident, and both are equally dangerous to our federal system of government.  The fanatics, not without the approval of Wall and Broad Streets, have dictated the negro policy, and the other class have dictated the financial and economic policy of both congress and the administration.  It may be a question whether there is virtue enough left in the American people to sustain the government in any well-considered and effective measures to rescue the government from its subjection to the representatives of these two classes.  The Puritan is ever a fanatic when not a hypocrite; and the Union Leagues, the Young Men’s Christian Associations spread all over the country, the Evangelical Alliances, Christian Unions, and “the thousand and one” other associations, some open, some secret, but all motivated by the puritanic or methodistic spirit, have gained almost complete control of the American people, and rendered the fanatics for the present well-nigh masters of the situation.  Congress is filled with the factors of the great moneyed and business corporations; and the great railroad interests, combined with the manufacturing and banking interests, are not only stronger than the state governments, but stronger even than the general government.  Nevertheless, it is the duty of the government to aim at the recovery of its independence, and to do all it can to prevent the evil from extending further.

            The grand error of the general government, or of the people in relation to it, is in forgetting that it is created only for general, as distinguished from particular or private, interests, and that it is a government of express and limited powers, not a supreme national government with all the powers of government not expressly denied it by the constitution.  It may impose taxes and lay imposts for revenue and to pay the national debts, but has no authority to impose a tariff for protection; for such a tariff is for the promotion of private and particular, not general, interests, and therefore does not come within the clause concerning “general welfare.”  It has no authority to legislate for particular interests, on the subject of private rights, on religion or morality, on education, or to grant charters of incorporation to any private companies for any purpose whatever, that are to be operative beyond the District of Columbia.  Indeed, nine-tenths of the business before congress since the war, is business which the general government has not and never has had any right to act on or to take cognizance of.  All these matters are reserved to the several state governments, and, in regard to which, they are as absolutely independent of the general government as they would be if foreign states.  The general government, which is clothed with only so much of the national sovereignty as relates to foreign powers, the national defense, and the general welfare, or rights and interests of all the states in common, has, under the control of the Republican party, acted as if it was clothed with the entire national sovereignty, or with all the functions of a supreme and only national government,- a practical nullification of the rights and powers, independent of it, held under the constitution by the several states.

            Your so-called Republican, who is always a fanatic or wedded to the moneyed and business corporation interests of the country, usually both together, is incapable of understanding, or, if not of understanding, of respecting the division of the powers of government under our system between a general government and several state governments.  Sovereignty with us vests in the several states united, and has its organ in the convention of all the states.  The exercise of the sovereignty is divided by the convention between a general government and particular state governments.  To the general government is given the charge of all matters that affect by their nature alike all the states in common: to the state governments, all particular and local matters, or which bear on the private relations of citizens and individual members of society.  Both governments hold from the convention of states, or from the people organized as states, and neither from the people as unorganized individuals, or as an inorganic mass.  The American political system knows no sovereignty of the people in this latter sense, or of the inorganic people, and, therefore, is no more democratic than it is aristocratic or monarchical; and the attempt to give it a democratic interpretation, is neither more nor less than an attempt to change its essential nature and character.

            But this unique and original system of government suits neither fanatics, whether puritanic or humanitarian demagogues, nor the worshippers of Mammon; and the tendency of the Republican party, under the influence of such journals as the Liberator, formerly, the Anti-Slavery Standard, the Independent, the New York Tribune, the New York Herald, has been to ignore this fact, and to pervert the American system into a vulgar democracy.

            We do not know how the general government can undo the evils its fatal error, in usurping all the powers of government for itself, has generated; nor do we know how the republic, without a moral change in the people themselves, which no political or legislative action can effect, is to be saved.  Things have gone so for that no human power seems adequate to amend or arrest them.  But it will be of some service to comprehend our danger and its source.  We have elsewhere pointed out the only real and efficient remedy, but that is a remedy the government cannot apply.  All that we can see that it can do is, to stop short, and absolutely refuse to go any further in the fatal direction it has hitherto taken.  We trust it has power enough to do so much, and doing so much, it must look to other influences to do the rest and save the republic.  The government is off the constitutional track, and the classes that threw it off, will, it must be expected, do all they can to keep it off; but if the people of the South are restored to their independence under their natural leaders before it is too late, they will be able to help us to get it back.  We need their assistance, and if we are mad enough to reject it, there is, so far as we can see, no help for us in man.

            We have no disposition to dissemble, that, in our judgment, the evils to be remedied come from the natural and inevitable developments of the democratic principle, against which the convention of 1787, that framed the federal constitution, aimed to guard the republic, but did not provide sufficient safeguards, especially in case of a people recognizing no divinely constituted spiritual authority capable of commanding their reverence, and disciplining them into submission to the law of God.  We ask for no king, no kaiser, no titled aristocracy, but we do want the people to understand that they are nothing without leaders, and that the mass of them are born to follow, not to lead, and that nothing is worse for them than to be led by fanatics, hypocrites, traders, business men, and unscrupulous demagogues.  Yet in a community like ours, under a pure or a representative democracy, such are sure to be our leaders, and equally sure to lead us to political destruction,- as all would see and admit if they were not blinded by their unfounded conviction, that a democratic government is the best of all possible governments; or if they had the courage to look the facts, daily occurring before their eyes, full in the face, and draw from them their strictly logical conclusions.  Democracy is the best of all possible governments to make the many tax themselves for the benefit of the few, or to build up a burgher aristocracy, or, in our day, an aristocracy founded not on capital, but on paper, or the paper evidences of debt.  The journalists tell us the country is rich, and we count our millionaires by thousands, if not by hundreds of thousands; and yet, if called upon suddenly to pay its debts or to redeem its bonds of every sort, it would be found to be hopelessly insolvent, and the reputed wealth of the millionaires would vanish in smoke.  Our present wealth is chiefly in evidences of debt, that is, created by mortgages on the future.

            There is no people in the world so heavily taxed as the American people, and none who derive so little benefit from the taxes they pay.  Were it not so, should we see the vast, the appalling amount of poverty we see in our cities and large towns, the movements of the laboring classes for higher wages, or hear the perpetual clamor for an adjustment of the relations of capital and labor?  There is no country in the world where industry is more general, labor more intense, and the working men, in proportion to what they produce, are more poorly paid,- especially if we take into the account the additional expense imposed on the laboring classes by our miserable democratic doctrine of equality.  Do our statesmen ever consider what it costs, and the terrible suffering it occasions, to maintain the doctrine, “I am as good as you”?  The working men and women cannot, as a rule, escape the public opinion or the fashion of their country; and since by the democracy which asserts their equality, you elevate them, at least in their own estimation, in the social scale, you make it a moral necessity for them to maintain a higher or more expensive style of living, which demands in turn a higher rate of wages, and a rate beyond the ability of the average employer to pay.  Hence, the most thriving class, if not the only thriving class, of simple laborers in the country, is composed of emigrants from countries where democracy, if it affects the dreams, has not yet formed the habits of the working classes, and has not yet taught the peasant to despise the state in which he was born, or to aspire to be the social equal of his lord.  Consequently, they are less affected by the fashion, the tone, and the sentiment of the country, and are contented with a more simple and less expensive style of living, and can live and thrive on a lower rate of wages.  If it were not for the migration hither of foreign labor, our industry, our vast enterprises, and internal improvements would come to a standstill.  But it is only the generation that migrates hither that are more economical, more frugal, and contented to live plainer; their children, born here and brought up under the democratic influences of the country, are as extravagant, as aspiring, and as averse to labor at a responsible rate of wages, to say the least, as the children of old American families; and hence the children of foreign-born parents form an undue proportion of the dangerous classes of our cities and towns.  The democratic tone and sentiment of our country, to a fearful extent, more than neutralize the influence of the example, instructions, and admonitions of their parents, who are regarded as old fogies or behind the age, by children hardly in their teens, or so-called “Young America.”

            Everybody sees the evil, complains of it, is inquiring for some “Morrison pill,” as Carlyle would say, to cure it, but hardly anybody has the courage to look for its cause in the democratic doctrine and sentiment of equality of the country, which creates a universal discontent on the one hand, with one’s actual condition, and on the other, a universal striving or longing to rise in the social scale till one reaches the topmost round; for democratic equality cannot exist where one is higher than another, and nobody regards himself as his neighbor’s equal unless his acknowledged superior.  Satan never sent from his region of smoke and darkness a grosser delusion than this ignis fatuus of

democratic equaltiy,  for which the nations of the Old World are so foolishly and wickedly struggling, as a means of elevating or ameliorating the condition of the poorer and more numerous classes.  It is for the people the greatest curse that could befall them. What is just is equal, but what is equal is not always just.  It is the reign of justice, not of equality, that modern society needs, and which governments and nations should seek to introduce and sustain.

            A great objection in the minds of many who are not blind to the evil tendencies of democracy to our view is, that they see not how, if we reject democracy, we are to escape monarchy or an hereditary aristocracy, either of which is held to be worse than democracy.  Without undertaking to decide which is the best or the worst form of government, we think there is another alternative, and that we can reject the doctrine of democratic equality, which is neither practicable nor desirable, without favoring either monarchy or a political hereditary aristocracy.  We have no confidence in either.  We opposed in 1851 the reestablishment of the empire in France, and opposed Napoleon III, when to oppose him was to incur the displeasure of nearly the whole Catholic public at home and abroad.  We have shown in our article on European Politics, how we regard the new-fangled German caesarism, which we detest not less under a political than an ecclesiastical point of view.  We have always held that every nation should have, subject only to the law of God, the government of itself.

            But in every people there is the pars sanior, what Jefferson calls “the natural aristocracy” of the nation, and what we term the natural leaders of the people.  The condemnation of the democratic doctrine of equality is, that it deprives these natural leaders of their legitimate position and influence, and gives the lead to the pars insanior. We have no quarrel with the political constitution of our country, to which we have shown ourselves loyal when loyalty cost something.  What we quarrel with, is the false and mischievous doctrine of democratic equality and popular sovereignty entertained by the great bulk of the American people, especially in the northern and western sections of the Union, and the efforts to make our government, whether the general government or the several state governments, follow the lead of that doctrine, and seek its realization.  The constitution of the Union, minus those articles called the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, is perfectly satisfactory to us; and what we ask of the administration and congress is, that they take as their law the constitution, not the opinions, sentiments, or tendencies of the people, or, in a word, to ignore the will of the people not expressed in and through the constitution, and which seeks to give to our political institutions a purely democratic interpretation, instead of a legal and conservative interpretation.

            We know we are asking almost an impossibility, but we are asking only what is necessary to the good government of the people, or even to save the republic from utter political and moral ruin.  It may be, and we have already referred to in the article already shown, that it is impossible for the government without the assistance of a higher power, to arrest and roll back the democratic tide that threatens to overwhelm us, for it is controlled by the very influences that create the danger; but it can look the danger squarely in the face, see and comprehend the evil to be resisted and redressed, and exert what power it has to get back to the constitutional track from which it has been thrown.  The people are, we grant, chiefly in fault, but the people, though corporations have not, have souls, reason, and free will, and may be influenced for good as well as for evil.  They must be made to understand the nature and source of the danger that threatens them.  Something may be done, for God helps those who are willing to be helped, feel their need of help, and seek it in him.

            We have no confidence in the “Morrison pill,” called “civil service reform;” but if your president is a man at all fit for his place, let him wield his immense patronage,- of which we should be sorry to see him in the slightest degree deprived,- independently in the interest of constitutional conservatism, regardless of the clamors of demagogues, partisans, and professional politicians.  Competitive examination is an illusion, or something worse.  What is wanted is, to remove all restraints on the appointing power not imposed by the constitution, not the imposition of additional restrictions.  The trouble now is and for some time has been, that usage has taken the executive patronage from the hands of the executive, and given it in each state to its congressional delegation.  The president is practically deprived of all freedom and independence in his appointments.  If you find a worthless fellow appointed to an important office, you mat be sure some senator or representative of the administration party in congress from his state recommended and insisted on, we might say demanded, his appointment.  The responsibility for appointments and removals should be left precisely where the constitution leaves it.  The president, is left free to exercise his own judgment, will, for the honor and success of his administration, make the most suitable appointments in his power, and will remove from place no honest, faithful, capable, and efficient public servant, to make room for another no better, most likely not so good.  The whole plan of civil service reform that has been proposed, is inept, impracticable, and worse than illusory, and shows that there is a great dearth of statesmanship among us at present.  Restorer to the president the free exercise of his constitutional powers, of which congressmen for their own interests or support have deprived him, and he will then be enabled, by wise and proper appointments throughout the Union, to thwart the mad schemes of sectarians and maudlin philanthropists, and to exert a salutary influence in recalling the people to constitutional and conservative views of government.

            The Republicans in congress show the same dearth of statesmanship in regard to what is called “labor reform.”  That the relation between capital and labor, in an age when paper or debt serves as capital, is not well adjusted, there is no doubt; but your genuine Republican, where the question lies between white labor and capital, knows no remedy, but the maxim, “Let government take care of the capital, and capital will take care of the labor;” which means in plain English, “Let government take care of the wolf, and the wolf will take care of the lamb.”  Their statesmanship arrives at no wiser solution of the problem, than to shorten the hours of labor without diminishing wages to appease the workingmen or gain their votes, and then to tax the whole people through what is called a protective tariff, to compensate capital or to enhance its profits.  It forgets that its two measures neutralize each other, so far at least as the interests of labor are concerned. A rise in the rate of wages means a rise in all the commodities the laboring classes consume, which must be paid by the working classes, for they are the greatest consumers of their own wares.  We do not adopt the free-trade policy as a policy for all nations, and for all times, and under all circumstances; but we cannot respect very highly the policy that lays a heavy duty on imported woolens for the benefit of the home manufacturer, and a corresponding duty on imported wool to encourage the wool-grower.  It is simply a policy that gives with the one hand and takes away with the other, with no other effect than an increased tax on consumption, from which the laboring classes, as the greatest consumers, are the principal sufferers.

            It is of no use to speak of the blundering financial policy of the administration and congress during the war; it is sufficient to say that the people paid the government during the war, if it had been properly distributed throughout the four years the war continued, enough to meet all its necessary and real expenses, and to leave the nation at its close without a cent of debt incurred on its account.  Yet the government contrived to contract a debt of about three thousand of millions of dollars, at the least, which went to enrich the few, which labor and land must pay, and which, we trust, will be paid to the last cent. Unhappily, we had not a man in the congress or in the administration, who had mastered the first elements of finance.  The government seems to have, during those dark days, relied for its financial policy on Jay Cooke and Co., and other Philadelphia financiers, who hold that “a national debt is a national blessing.”  The miserable policy of the government ruined our navigation and shipping interests, and compelled and compels the greater part of our ocean commerce to be carried on in foreign bottoms, and has built up large banking and railroad corporations which it is impotent to control, and of which it is little else than the agent.  How it is to recover by any human means its independence, and remedy the evils from which all the higher interests of the country suffer, I am sure I do not know.  The first duty, however, of the government undoubtedly is, to contract no more debts, to vote away to corporations no more of the national domain, to grant no more subsidies to business corporations, to impose no duties to swell the profits of iron, steel, coal, or any other interests, amply able to protect themselves, and to reduce the taxes to the lowest point practicable with the raising of revenue sufficient to pay the interest on the public debt,  and to provide for the most rigidly economical administration of the government, and the maintenance of the army and navy, both of which are far below what is necessary, and leave paying off the principal of the public debt to a more favorable opportunity. 

            The government, if permitted by its masters,- the bankers, stock-jobbers, money-holders, railroad and other corporations,- should lose on time returning to specie payments, and in repealing the law making paper a legal tender, but leaving every creditor free to take it or not at his own option in discharge of his debts.   It is too late to think of having an exclusively metallic currency, but it is not too soon to put a stop to the forced circulation of an irredeemable paper currency.  The issue of legal tender notes by the government was a mistake from the beginning, and was never a necessity.  If the government had had any financial capacity, though not greater than its military capacity, it never would have begun by requiring the banks to pay its earlier loans in gold and forced them to suspend specie payments.  No doubt the immediate resumption of specie payments would cause some disturbance in business relations, and some mercantile losses; but it is hard to believe that it would cause more disturbance, or greater losses or embarrassments to business, than are now caused by the frequent locking up of currency, by “gold corners,” and the gambling operations of the “bulls and bears” in Wall Street.  The law should also be so modified as to allow the revenue on customs to be collected in the notes of solvent and specie-paying banks, or in treasury notes.  The government will always be able to draw from the banks, without crippling them, all the coin needed to pay the interest on the public debt, as it accrues; and for other purposes it can use convertible currency notes.  The secretary of the treasury need not expect, as long as legal tender notes are obtained, to bring the premium on gold below ten or twelve per cent., which is about its present average rate, when not artificially elevated or depressed.  The good effects on industry, on the trading and labor interests, would very soon appear.

            We regard agriculture and commerce as the great and leading interests of the country, as manufactures and commerce are of Great Britian; and we think it has been a mistake to attempt by aid of the government to force it to become a great manufacturing country.  We are not precisely what is called a free-trader, though not a protectionist.  In the infancy of manufacturing industry, we do not object to granting it for a brief time subsidies by the state governments, but, on constitutional grounds, we do not object to their being granted by the general government; but when any branch of manufacturing industry is able to sustain itself, all state subsidies should be withdrawn.  The nonsense babbled by the manufacturers of being unable to compete with the pauper labor of Europe, need not be listened to for a moment.  There is no pauper labor of Europe employed in any branch of manufacturing industry.  The item of labor costs the English cotton-spinner, woolen-spinner, or iron-monger, about the same that it does the American, while several other important items cost him more.  We remember when Abbot Lawrence exported a parcel of cotton goods to England, and, though as a member of congress clamoring for a high protective tariff, boasted that he could undersell the English in their own market.  We have not a single manufacture that could not live and thrive without government aid; the profit might be less, but still fair enough, and greater on the average than that of agriculture, if not of commerce.

            Thus far had we written before the presidential election was held, and its results known.  As we expected General Grant has been reelected by an almost unprecedented majority, and his party are continued in power.  The result of the election has verified the old proverb: Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.  Mr Greeley and his so-called liberal Republicans were a dead weight on the Democratic party, and probably have effectually destroyed it, as it was easy to foresee they would.  The Democratic party abandoned its principles when it accepted Mr. Greeley as its candidate for the presidency, with whom it had and could have no affinity.  Only a portion of the party could be induced  to vote for so unacceptable a candidate; not a few, in disgust of the bad management of their leaders, cast their votes for the opposing candidate, and many more stayed at home, and would not vote at all.  The coalition was a decided failure, and the Democratic party running a candidate of its own,- say Hendricks of Indiana, or General Hancock of the army, or any other prominent Democrat always identified with the party,- would have polled a far heavier vote than was polled for Mr. Greeley.  The result shows that it is madness for a great party to hope for success by abandoning or compromising its principles.  It is doubtful at this moment, if the Democratic party will ever be able to rally again as a national party.

            The only comfort we see in the late election is the proof afforded that the negro vote can be divided, and that in all the states, except the Carolinas and Mississippi, the white vote, if not repressed by federal legislation and federal arms, will be able to render the negro franchise comparatively harmless.  The defeat of Mr. Greeley personally, who never should have been the candidate of the opposition, is no cause for regret, since as between him and General Grant he could not be preferred; but the success of the Republican party is to be regretted.  The fanatics and the money-changers have triumphed in the election, and there is little room to hope that the policy of the government will be changed for the better.  Congress is filled with the representatives of the money power, and of the several fanaticisms that curse the country.  We are told that General Grant, assured of his reelection, will assert his independence, and no longer suffer the Methodists to run the administration; but we doubt his ability to do it.  He cannot emancipate himself from the influences that have reelected him, and nothing is left for us but to pray, “God save the commonwealth.”