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MISCELLANEOUS.

( May, 1820.)

An Appeal from the Judgments of Great Britain respecting the United States of America. Part First. Containing an Historical Outline of their Merits and Wrongs as Colonies, and Strictures on the Calumnies of British Writers. By ROBERT WALSH, Esq. 8vo. pp. 505. Philadelphia and London: 1819.*

ONE great staple of this book is a vehement, and, we really think, a singularly unjust attack, on the principles of this Journal. Yet we take part, on the whole, with the author:—and heartily wish him success in the great object of vindicating his country from unmerited aspersions, and trying to make us, in England, ashamed of the vices and defects which he has taken the trouble to point out in our national character and institutions. In this part of the design we cordially concur-and shall at all times be glad to co-operate. But there is another part of it, and we are sorry to say a principal and avowed part, of which we cannot speak in terms of too strong regret and reprobation--and that is, a design to excite and propagate among his countrymen, a general animosity to the British name, by way of counteracting, or rather revenging, the animosity which he very erroneously supposes to be generally entertained by the English against them.

That this is, in itself, and under any circumstances, an unworthy, an unwise, and even a criminal object, we think we could demonstrate to the satisfaction of Mr. Walsh himself, and all his reasonable adherents; but it is better, perhaps, to endeavour, in the first place, to correct the misapprehensions, and dispel the delusions in which this disposition has its foundation, and, at all events, to set them the example of perfect good humour and fairness, in a discussion where the parties perhaps will never be entirely agreed; and where those who are now to be heard have the strongest conviction of having been injuriously in srepresented. If we felt any soreness, in

There is no one feeling-having public concerns for its object-with which I have been so long and so deeply impressed, as that of the vast importance of our maintaining friendly, and even cordial relations, with the free, powerful, moral, and

industrious States of America:-a condition upon which I cannot help thinking that not only our own freedom and prosperity, but that of the better part of the world, will ultimately be found to be more and more dependent. I give the first place, therefore, in this concluding division of the work. to an earnest and somewhat importunate exhortation to this effect-which I believe produced some impression at the time, and I trust may still help forward the good end to which it was directed.

deed, on the score of this author's imputations, or had any desire to lessen the just effect of his representations, it would have been enough for us, we believe, to have let them alone. For, without some such help as ours, the work really does not seem calculated to make any great impression in this quarter of the world. It is not only, as the author has himself ingenuously observed of it, a very "clumsy book," heavily written and abominably printed,-but the only material part of it -the only part about which anybody can now be supposed to care much, either here or in America is overlaid and buried under a huge mass of historical compilation, which would have little chance of attracting readers at the present moment, even if much better digested than it is in the volume before us.

The substantial question is, what has been the true character and condition of the United States since they became an independent nation, and what is likely to be their condition in future? And to elucidate this question, the learned author has thought fit to premise about two hundred very close-printed pages, upon their merits as colonies, and the harsh treatment they then received from the mother country! Of this large historical sketch, we cannot say, either that it is very correctly drawn, or very faithfully coloured. It presents us with no connected narrative, or interesting deduction of events-but is, in truth, a mere heap of indigested quotations from common books, of good and bad authority-inartificially cemented together by a loose and angry commentary. We are not aware, indeed, that there are in this part of the work either any new statements, or any new views or opinions; the facts being mostly taken from Chalmers' Annals, and Burke's European Settlements; and the anthorities for the good conduct and ill treatment of the colonies, being chiefly the Parliamentary Debates and Brougham's Colonial Policy.

But, in good truth, these historica, recollections will go but a little way in determining that great practical and most important question. which it is Mr. W.'s intention, as well as ours, to discuss-What are, and what ought to be, the dispositions of England and America towards each other? And the general facts

and the spirit, we verily believe, but unfor tunately not the prosperity of peace; and the distresses and commercial embarrassments of both countries threw both into bad humour; and unfortunately hurried both into a system of jealous and illiberal policy, by which that bad humour was aggravated, and received an unfortunate direction.

as to the first settlements and colonial history | ter the general feeling, and to keep alive the of the latter, in so far as they bear upon this memory of animosities that ought not to have question, really do not admit of much dispute. been so long remembered. At last came peace, The most important of those settlements were unquestionably founded by the friends of civil and religious liberty-who, though somewhat precise and puritanical, and we must add, not a little intolerant, were, in the main, a sturdy and sagacious race of people, not readily to be cajoled out of the blessings they had sought through so many sacrifices; and ready at all times manfully and resolutely to assert them against all invaders. As to the mother country, again, without claiming for her any mantic tenderness or generosity towards those hardy offsets, we think we may say, that she oppressed and domineered over them much less than any other modern nation has done over any such settlements-that she allowed them, for the most part, liberal charters and constitutions, and was kind enough to leave them very much to themselves;-and although she did manifest, now and then, a disposition to encroach on their privileges, their rights were, on the whole, very tolerably respected so that they grew up undoubtedly to a state of much prosperity and a familiarity with freedom in all its divisions, which was not only without parallel in any similar establishment, but probably would not have been attained had they been earlier left to their own guidance and protection. This is all that we ask for England, on a review of her colonial policy, and her conduct before the war; and this, we think, no candid and well-informed person can reasonably refuse her.

As to the War itself, the motives in which it originated, and the spirit in which it was carried on, it cannot now be necessary to say any thing-or, at least, when we say that having once been begun, we think that it terminated as the friends of Justice and Liberty must have wished it to terminate, we conceive that Mr. Walsh can require no other explanation. That this result, however, should have left a soreness upon both sides, and especially on that which had not been soothed by success, is what all men must have expected. But, upon the whole, we firmly belive that this was far slighter and less durable than has generally been imagined; and was likely very speedily to have been entirely effaced, by those ancient recollections of kindness and kindred which could not fail to recur, and by that still more powerful feeling, to which every day was likely to add strength, of their common interests, as free and as commercial countries, and of the substantial conformity of their national character, and of their sentiments upon most topics of public and of private right. The healing operation, however, of these causes was unfortunately thwarted and retarded by the heats that rose out of the French revolution, and the new interests and new relations which it appeared for a time to create:-And the hostilities in which we were at last involved with America herself—though the opinions of her people, as well as our own, were deeply divided upon both questions-served still further to embit

In this exasperated state of the national temper, and we do think, too much under its ro-influence, Mr. Walsh has now thought himself called upon to vindicate his country from the aspersions of English writers; and after arraigning them, generally, of the most incredible ignorance, and atrocious malignity, he proceeds to state, that the EDINBURGH and QUARTERLY Reviews, in particular, have been incessantly labouring to traduce the character of America, and have lately broken out into such "excesses of obloquy," as can no longer be endured; and, in particular, that the prospect of a large emigration to the United States has thrown us all into such "paroxysms of spite and jealousy," that we have engaged in a scheme of systematic defamation that sets truth and consistency alike at defiance. To counteract this nefarious scheme, Mr. W. has taken the field-not so much to refute as to retort-not for the purpose of pointing out our errors, or exposing our unfairness, but, rather, if we understand him aright, of retaliating on us the unjust abuse we have been so long pouring on others. In his preface, accordingly, he fairly avows it to be his intention to act on the offensive-to carry the war into the enemy's quarters, and to make reprisals upon the honour and character of England, in revenge for the insults which, he will have it, her writers have heaped on his country. He therefore proposes to point out,-not the natural complexion, or genuine features, but the sores and blotches of the British nation," to the scorn and detestation of his countrymen; and having assumed, that it is the "intention of Great Britain to educate her youth in sentiments of the most rancorous hostility to Amer ica," he assures us, that this design will, and must be met with corresponding sentiments, on his side of the water!

Now, though we cannot applaud the gen erosity, or even the common humanity of these sentiments-though we think that the American government and people, if at all deserving of the eulogy which Mr. W. has here bestowed upon them, might, like Cromwell, have felt themselves too strong to care about paper shot-and though we cannot but feel that a more temperate and candid tone would have carried more weight, as well as more magnanimity with it, we must yet begin by admitting, that America has cause of complaint; and that nothing can be more despicable and disgusting, than the scurrility with which she has been assailed by a portion of the press of this country-and that, disgraceful as these publications are, they speak the sense, if not of a considerable, at least of a

conspicuous and active party in the nation.* | ceived under our protection, as a refuge from All this, and more than this, we have no wish, military despotism. Since that hope was lost, and no intention to deny. But we do wish it would have satisfied them to find that their most anxiously to impress upon Mr. W. and republican institutions had made them poor, his adherents, to beware how they believe and turbulent, and depraved-incapable of that this party speaks the sense of the British civil wisdom, regardless of national honour, Nation-or that their sentiments on this, or on and as intractable to their own elected rulers many other occasions, are in any degree in as they had been to their hereditary_soveaccordance with those of the great body of reign. To those who were capable of such our people. On the contrary, we are firmly wishes and such expectations, it is easy to persuaded that a very large majority of the conceive, that the happiness and good order nation, numerically considered, and a still of the United States-the wisdom and aularger majority of the intelligent and enlight- thority of their government—and the unened persons whose influence and authority paralleled rapidity of their progress in wealth, cannot fail in the long run to govern her coun- population, and refinement, must have been cils, would disclaim all sympathy with any but an ungrateful spectacle; and most especipart of these opinions; and actually look on ally, that the splendid and steady success of the miserable libels in question, not only with by far the most truly democratical governthe scorn and disgust to which Mr. W. would ment that ever was established in the world, consign them, but with a sense of shame from must have struck the most lively alarm into which his situation fortunately exempts him, the hearts of all those who were anxious to and a sorrow and regret, of which unfortu- have it believed that the People could never nately he seems too little susceptible. interfere in politics but to their ruin, and that the smallest addition to the democratical influence, recognised in the theory at least of the British Constitution, must lead to the immediate destruction of peace and property, morality and religion.

That there are journals in this country, and journals too of great and deserved reputation other respects, who have spoken the language of the party we have now described, and that in a tone of singular intemperance and offence, we most readily admit. But need we tell Mr. W., or any ordinarily well-informed individual of his countrymen, that neither this party nor their journalists can be allowed to stand for the People of England?

It is a fact which can require no proof, even in America, that there is a party in this country not friendly to political liberty, and decidedly hostile to all extension of popular rights, -which, if it does not grudge to its own people the powers and privileges which are bestowed on them by the Constitution, is at least for confining their exercise within the narrow-in est limits which never thinks the peace and well-being of society in danger from any thing but popular encroachments, and holds the only safe or desirable government to be that of a pretty pure and unincumbered Monarchy, supported by a vast revenue and a powerful army, and obeyed by a people just enlightened enough to be orderly and industrious, but no-that it is notorious that there is among that way curious as to questions of right-and people another and a far more numerous never presuming to judge of the conduct of party, whose sentiments are at all points optheir superiors. posed to those of the former, and who are, by necessary consequence, friends to America, and to all that Americans most value in their character and institutions-who, as Englishmen, are more proud to have great and glorious nations descended from them, than to have discontented colonies uselessly subjected to their caprice-who, as Freemen rejoice to see freedom advancing, with giant footsteps, over the fairest regions of the earth, and nations flourishing exactly in proportion as they are free-and to know that when the drivelling advocates of hierarchy and legitimacy vent their paltry sophistries with some shadow of plausibility on the history of the Old World, they can now turn with decisive triumph to the unequivocal example of the New-and demonstrate the unspeakable advantages of free government, by the unprecedented prosperity of America? Such persons, too, can be as little suspected of entertaining any jealousy of the commercial prosperity of the Americans as of their political freedom; since it requires but a very moderate share of understanding to see, that the advantages of trade must always be mutual and reciprocal

Now, it is quite true that this Party dislikes America, and is apt enough to decry and insult her. Its adherents never have forgiven the success of her war of independence-the loss of a nominal sovereignty, or perhaps of a real power of vexing and oppressing-her supposed rivalry in trade-and, above all, the happiness and tranquillity which she now enjoys under a republican form of government. Such a spectacle of democratical prosperity is unspeakably mortifying to their high monarchical principles, and is easily imagined to be dangerous to their security. Their first wish, and, for a time, their darling hope, was, that the infant States would quarrel among themselves, and be thankful to be again re

that one great trading country is of necessity the best customer to another and that the trade of America, consisting chiefly in the ex

*

Things are much mended in this respect since 1820; persons of rank and influence in this country now speaking of America, in private as well as in public, with infinitely greater respect and friendliness than was then common; and evincing. I think, a more general desire to be courteous to individuals of that nation, than to foreigners of any other description. There are still, however, publications among us, and some proceeding from quarters where I should not have looked for them, that continue to keep up the tone alluded to in the text, and consequently to do mischief, which it is still a duty therefore to endeavour to counteract.

portation of raw produce and the importation he now complains for his country--and that of manufactured commodities, is, of all others, from the same party scribblers, with whom the most beneficial to a country like England. we are here, somewhat absurdly, confounded That such sentiments were naturally to be and supposed to be leagued. It is really, we expected in a country circumstanced like think, some little presumption of our fairness. England, no thinking man will deny. But that the accusations against us should be thus Mr. Walsh has been himself among us; and contradictory-and that for one and the same set of writings, we should be denounced by the ultra-royalists of England as little better than American republicans, and by the ultrapatriots of America as the jealous defamers of her Freedom.

was, we have reason to believe, no idle or incurious observer of our men and cities; and we appeal with confidence to him, whether these were not the prevailing sentiments among the intelligent and well educated of every degree? If he thinks as we do, as to their soundness and importance, he cannot well doubt that they must sooner or later influence the conduct even of our Court and Cabinet. But, in the mean time, the fact is certain, that the opposite sentiments are confined to a very small portion of the people of Great Britain-and that the course of events, as well as the force of reason, is every day bringing them more and more into discredit. Where then, we would ask, is the justice or the policy of seeking to render a quarrel National, when the cause of quarrel is only with an inconsiderable and declining party of the nation?-and why labour to excite animosity against a whole people, the majority of whom are, and must be, your sincere friends, merely because some prejudiced or interested persons among them have disgusted the great body of their own countrymen, by the senselessness and scurrility of their attacks upon yours?

The Americans are extremely mistaken, too, if they suppose that they are the only persons who are abused by the only party that does abuse them. They have merely their share of that abuse along with all the friends and the advocates of Liberty in every part of the world. The Constitutionalists of France, including the King and many of his ministers, meet with no better treatment;-and those who hold liberal opinions in this country, are assailed with still greater acrimony and fierce

This, however, is of very little consequence. What we wish to impress on Mr. W. is, that they who daily traduce the largest and ablest part of the English nation, cannot possibly be supposed to speak the sense of that nationand that their offences ought not, in reason, to be imputed to her. If there be any reliance on the principles of human nature, the friends of liberty in England must rejoice in the pros perity of America. Every selfish, concurs with every generous motive, to add strength to this sympathy; and if any thing is certam in our late internal history, it is that the friends of liberty are rapidly increasing amorg us;-partly from increased intelligencepartly from increased suffering and impatience-partly from mature conviction, and instinctive prudence and fear.

There is another consideration, also arising from the aspect of the times before us, which should go far, we think, at the present moment, to strengthen those bonds of affinity. It is impossible to look to the state of the Old World without seeing, or rather feeling, that there is a greater and more momentous contest impending, than ever before agitated human society. In Germany-in Spain-in France-in Italy, the principles of Reform and Liberty are visibly arraying themselves for a final struggle with the principles of Es tablished Abuse,-Legitimacy, or Tyrannyor whatever else it is called, by its friends or enemies. Even in England, the more modi

ness.

Let Mr. Walsh only look to the lan-fied elements of the same principles are stirguage held by our ministerial journals for the last twelvemonth, on the subjects of Reform and Alarm-and observe in what way not only the whole class of our own reformers and conciliators, but the names and persons of such men as Lords Lansdowne, Grey, Fitzwilliam, and Erskine, Sir James Mackintosh, and Messrs. Brougham, Lambton, Tierney, and others, are dealt with by these national oracles, — and he will be satisfied that his countrymen neither stand alone in the misfortune of which he complains so bitterly, nor are subjected to it in very bad company, We, too, he may probably be aware, have had our portion of the abuse which he seems to think reserved for America-and, what is a little remarkable, for being too much her advocate. For what we have said of her present power and future greatness-her wisdom in peace and her valour in war-and of all the invaluable advantages of her representative system-her freedom from taxes, sinecures, and standing armies-we have been subjected to far more virulent attacks than any of which

ring and heaving, around, above and beneath us, with unprecedented force, activity, and terror; and every thing betokens an approaching crisis in the great European commonwealth, by the result of which the future character of its governments, and the structure and condition of its society, will in all probability be determined. The ultimate result, or the course of events that are to lead to it, we have not the presumption to predict. The struggle may be long or transitory—san. guinary or bloodless; and it may end in a great and signal amelioration of all existing institutions, or in the establishment of one vast federation of military despots, domineering as usual in the midst of sensuality, barbarism. and gloom. The issues of all these things are in the hand of Providence and the womb of time! and no human eye can yet foresee the fashion of their accomplishment. But great changes are evidently preparing and in fifty years-most probably in a far shorter time-some material alterations must have taken place in most of the established govern

ments of Europe, and the rights of the Euro- | rope for the last two hundred years. Had pean nations been established on a surer and England not been free, the worst despotism more durable basis. Half a century cannot in Europe would have been far worse than it pass away in growing discontents on the part is, at this moment. If our world had been of the people, and growing fears and precau- parcelled out among arbitrary monarchs, they tions on that of their rulers. Their preten- would have run a race of oppression, and ensions must at last be put clearly in issue; and couraged each other in all sorts of abuses. abide the settlement of force, or fear, or reason. But the existence of one powerful and flourishing State, where juster maxims were admitted, has shamed them out of their worst enormities, given countenance and encouragement to the claims of their oppressed subjects, and gradually taught their rulers to understand, that a certain measure of liberty was not only compatible with national greatness and splendour, but essential to its support. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, England was the champion and asylum of Religious Freedom-in those of King William, of National Independence. If a less generous spirit has prevailed in her Cabinet since the settled predominance of Tory principles in her councils, still, the effects of her Parliamentary Opposition-the artillery of her Free Press-the voice, in short, of her People, which Mr. W. has so strangely mistaken, have not been without their effects; and, though some flagrant acts of injustice have stained her recent annals, we still venture to hope that the dread ́ of the British Public is felt as far as Petersburgh and Vienna; and would fain indulge ourselves with the belief, that it may yet scare some Imperial spoiler from a part of his prey, and lighten, if not break, the chains of many distant captives.

Looking back to what has already happened in the world, th recently and ancient times, we can scarcely doubt that the cause of Liberty will be ultimately triumphant. But through what trials and sufferings what martyrdoms and persecutions it is doomed to work out its triumph-we profess ourselves unable to conjecture. The disunion of the lower and the higher classes, which was gradually disappearing with the increasing intelligence of the former, but has lately been renewed by circumstances which we cannot now stop to examine, leads, we must confess, to gloomy auguries as to the character of this contest; and fills us with apprehensions, that it may neither be peaceful nor brief. But in this, as in every other respect, we conceive that much will depend on the part that is taken by America; and on the dispositions which she may have cultivated towards the different parties concerned. Her great and growing wealth and population-her universal commercial relations-her own impregnable security-and her remoteness from the scene of dissension-must give her prodigious power and influence in such a crisis, either as a mediator or umpire, or, if she take a part, as an auxiliary and ally. That she must wish well to the cause of Freedom, it would be indecent, and indeed impious, to doubt-and that she should take an active part against it, is a thing not even to be imagined:-But she may stand aloof, a cold and disdainful spectator; and, counterfeiting a prudent indifference to scenes that neither can nor ought to be indifferent to her, may see, unmoved, the prolongation of a lamentable contest, which her interference might either have prevented, or brought to a speedy and happy termination. And this course she will most probably follow, if she allows herself to conceive antipathies to nations for the faults of a few calumnious individuals: And especially if, upon grounds so trivial, she should nourish such an animosity towards England, as to feel a repugnance to make common cause with her, even in behalf of their common inheritance of freedom.

It is in aid of this generous, though perhaps decaying influence-it is as an associate or successor in the noble office of patronising and protecting General Liberty, that we now call upon America to throw from her the memory of all petty differences and nice offences, and to unite herself cordially with the liberal and enlightened part of the English nation, at a season when their joint efforts may be all little enough to crown the good cause with success, and when their disunion will give dreadful advantages to the enemies of improvement and reform. The example of America has already done much for that cause; and the very existence of such a country, under such a government, is a tower of strength, and a standard of encouragement, for all who may hereafter have to struggle for the restoration or the extension of their rights. It shows within what wide limits popular institutions are safe and practicable; and what a large infusion of democracy is consistent with the authority of government, and the good order of society. But her influence, as well as her example, will be wanted in the crisis which seems to be approaching:-and that influence must be paralysed and inoperative, if she shall think .it a duty to divide herself from England; to look with jealousy upon her proceedings, and to judge unfavourably of all the parties she contains. We do not ask her to think well of that party, whether in power or out of it, which has always insulted and reviled her, because she is free and independand protection to the remotest nations of Eu-ent, and democratic and prosperous:-But we

Assuredly, there is yet no other country in Europe where the principles of liberty, and the rights and duties of nations, are so well understood as with us--or in which so great a number of men, qualified to write, speak, and act with authority, are at all times ready to take a reasonable, liberal, and practical view of those principles and duties. The Government, indeed, has not always been either wise or generous, to its own or to other countries; but it has partaken, or at least has been controlled by the general spirit of freedom; and we have no hesitation in saying, that the Free Constitution of England has been a blessing

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