Saturday, June 4, 2011

Subjugation

Here is another article from the June 1, 1861 Covington Journal.

Subjugation

No matter how pure may be the intentions of the Administration - no matter that Mr. Seward or President Lincoln may honestly desire simply and solely to sustain the Constitution  and perpetuate the Union - such a Constitution and such a Union as our fathers framed -- will be utterly destroyed. The indications afforded even by the telegraphic dispatches show that a spirit has been aroused which so difficult it may be to lay it, may subvert those republican liberties which the Constitution was to guard -- A military character will be impressed on our people; and hereafter it is to be feared there will be constantly in our midst hundreds of thousands of men who will be content with no peaceful occupation. They will be the ready instruments of any man popular enough to reach eminent station, and daring enough to abuse that station to his personal advancement, regardless of the checks of laws and Constitutions. 


We the other day commented with painful interest upon an article in the Springfield (Ill) Journal, which claimed dictatorial powers for the President. We were astonished at the appearance of so elaborate a defense of Despotism in any American paper. But it may soon be that such championship of autocracy will be found so profitable and so common as no longer to excite surprise. The danger to all the reserved rights of the States seems well nigh overwhelming, and equally so the incoming of a consolidated power, which is substantially the equivalent of an imperial despotism


The subjugation of certain of the States is familiar talk. But that subjugation may be universal. Not only the sufferer will be the State which is carried by fire and sword; but all will finally share a common doom.


To prevent a fate like this, what appeal can be made? The question is one of terrible moment, and how it will be answered we confess our inability now to see. Perhaps a reaction may set in and a sense of the perils in store for us as a people, will be awakened in time to avert them. - But the present hour looks dark and gloomy enough. The Journal of Commerce, with its usual consideration and sound judgment, briefly presents the case thus: 


"If any good result could come out of using force against the seceded States, there might be a plausible reason for its exercise. As it is, the most cogent argument we have heard is, that we shall thus determine "whether we have a government." With all respect for those who feel solicitude on that point, we suggest that one thing is likely to be demonstrated, viz: that we have not, and in the event of the subjugation of the Southern States, are not likely to have such a government as the Constitution contemplates or such as our fathers understood to be instituted when the Union was formed. The government, when established, was a government of equals ,in which all the States would perform willing parts. The one which our warlike friends (it seems) by the Lincoln Administration would prove to exist, is a government of force, where a majority of States or of the Representatives as the case may be, shall hold the minority in subjection to their will. If it is to demonstrate this fact, that war is to be precipitated upon the country, then we doubt whether the motive is one of humanity - much less of right."

No comments:

Post a Comment