Slavery in the United States <br> Chapter 7
It may not be incurious to inquire in what chymical solution all the antipathies of church and state have been thus neutralized and brought into harmonious co-operation against the institutions of the United States.
There must be something extraordinary, some cement eminently adhesive, to have produced this miraculous conjunction of opposing bodies, which, to use the figure of my Lord Bacon, "like the iron and clay in Nebuchadnezzar's image, may cleave together, but will never incorporate." Let it no more be said that oil and vinegar will not mix together, when we see Sir Robert Peel and Mr. O'Connell uniting in denouncing the Colonization Society of the United States at a meeting of abolitionists in the city of London.
It can no longer be disguised that the United States are the bugbears of despotism in Europe. The freedom of their institutions, the universal diffusion of plenty, the absence of those factitious distinctions that weigh so heavily on the necks of the people of the Old World, their rapid unparalleled advance in numbers, wealth, and vigour, and the vast, uncircumscribed sphere they present for the exercise of industry and enterprise, are daily more and more attracting the attention of a large portion of those who wish to be free, as well as those who desire to prevent them. The new Medina of the West, seems destined, like that of the East, to become the centre whence a grand revolution, infinitely more favourable to the happiness of mankind, is to spread far and wide into the circumference of the civilized world. The United States of North America led the van—they set the first example ; and unless that example can in some way or other be divested of its fascinations, those royal and aristocratic privileges on which the thrones of Europe are supported, will every day lose some portion of that reverence and respect which constitute their basis.
The people of that quarter are every day catching from the distant luminary of the West new glimpses of the light of liberty; and the more they see, the more they desire to bask in its sunshine. They are becoming every day more deeply imbued with a love of those free principles and institutions which work such wonders on individual and national prosperity. It has become obvious to the more sagacious of those who banquet on the spoils of graybeard usurpations, that inspired by the example of the United States, the people of Europe are gradually preparing themselves to reclaim their rights, and to demand a relinquishment of the monopoly of wealth, founded on a monopoly of political power. This vast and increasing association of empires, self-governed, and supported on the broad basis of equal rights, must and will, by the force and influence of its example, work similar wonders in the Old World, to those it has already produced in South America, where it is feared that ignorance and superstition will finally triumph over liberty, and mar one of the fairest prospects that ever dawned upon mankind in any age or country. While it continues to present a glorious example of the blessings arising from the absence of those rigid and inflexible abuses, which have for ages pressed so heavily on the necks of the people, it must be obvious that all the obsolete and unreasonable prerogatives of kings and aristocracies, which were necessary perhaps at the period of their first existence, must ere long cease to exist. Nothing can save them ultimately but a conviction in the minds of the people of Europe that the experiment of self-government has either entirely failed in the United States, or that in its consequences it does not realize the anticipations of theorists. The United States are therefore to be held up to the world as memorable examples of the absurdity of a great principle on which is based the liberties of mankind; their religion, their morals, their social character and habits, and above all their humanity and justice, are to be assailed by all the arts and influence of church and state abroad. England, by her still remembered maternal authority; by long established precedency in the eyes of our people; and above all by her means of influencing us derived from a common language, is most able, and at the same time most willing, to take the lead in the crusade against a child which is destined to add new honours to her name, new wreaths to her glory, new triumphs to her genius. She has accordingly shown discreditably conspicuous in a species of hostility which better suits toothless viragoes than great nations, one of which is destined to become in the New, what the other has been, perhaps still is, in the Old World.
It seems to have been one great object, so to exert the vast influence of her press and her literature, as to throw over us a dark mantle of oblo- quy, which, while it obscured all the charms of youth and happiness, presented a picture of exaggerated deformity. All, or nearly all the English travellers in this country, have come hither apparently for no other purpose than to indulge a splenetic feeling, and collect new materials for calumny. They have exaggerated and caricatured the little peculiarities originating in the situation and circumstances of our countrymen, and metamorphosed all those characteristics which mark a free people in the full possession of their primitive energies, into the vices of barbarism. Rare and extreme cases of doubtful authority, are made by them the criterion of public manners and morals ; and the balance between the two nations is struck by a comparison of the refinements of the highest class in England with the lowest in the United States. If it was not the design of these writers to administer to the prejudices of those to whom they addressed themselves, or to pander to that hostility which our form of government and the success of its operation on the happiness of mankind inspires, to weaken in fact the influence of our example, then their course indicates a degree of gratuitous, un-purposed malignity, which, as it is without a rational motive, so is it without an apology.
This hostile feeling towards our national character and institutions has lately assumed a new and more mischievous disguise. It comes abroad masked under the semblance of humanity to the slave. It is employed in fomenting designs equally destructive to our peace and our union. The press of England teems with books, and tracts, and speeches, and paragraphs, reprehending the government of the United States for not doing what is impossible, and the people of the South for refusing to consent to the requisitions of sublimated theorists. Without examining into the subject, without making themselves in the least acquainted with the origin of the institution of slavery among us, or paying the slightest attention to the insuperable difficulties attending its abolishment, they pour upon our heads a stream of reproach, and attempt to bully us into submission to their arrogant demands of instant emancipation. We are denounced as a nation of liars and hypocrites, American wolves, and atrabilious tyrants, because we decline to come under the yoke of our own slaves, and debase the dignity of human nature by a process of amalgamation. We are charged with belying our declared principles in our practice; with wanton oppression and systematic cruelty; with being tyrants over one race of men, while insolently affecting to be the champions of the rights of all mankind.