« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
prejudices of the English emigrants, and because it wants correlative and congenial institutions, and is deficient in federal strength and central gravitation. Royalty could not be acclimated in the United States, though the experiment were to be tried by a vote of a large majority. It is contrary to the genius of the people, their habits, institutions, and feelings. For these and other reasons, self-government has signally failed in all the republics of the southern hemisphere, though the constitution and example of the United States have been followed as closely as possible. Democracy has at present a feverish and delirious existence in France. It was not the deliberate choice of the nation, but the result of an insurrection. It offered a temporary shelter amid the storms of civil commotion, and was adopted as a harbor of refuge. How long will its neutral character be respected by the irreconcilable parties that distract that unhappy nation ?
My desire is, among other objects of this work, to show where and by whom republicanism was introduced into this continent, what its foundations are, how they were laid, and what provision has been made for its support and continuance. Having given a narrative of its origin, growth, and maturity, which can alone be compiled from provincial annals, I shall endeavor to explain briefly the complicated mechanism and simple action of the American federal constitution, and the balances and checks that have been so skillfully contrived by the great statesmen who constructed it; and also to point out the wonderful combination of accidental causes that contributed to its success, and the ability, unity, energy, and practical skill of the people, who work the machine and keep it in order and repair. The question has often been asked why may not this form of government be copied and adopted in England or France ? The answer is to be found in every part of this history. It will be necessary most carefully to ascertain whether those things which have tended to its success in America exist, or can by any possibility be created in Europe. Its development must be traced step by step, day by day, from one event to another, and one generation and institution to another. Due weight must be attached to the consideration who and what the people were who founded it, and who and what they are who now live under it, as well as the time and the place selected for the experiment.