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This point has been slowly gained, and much of the murderous warfare of the past was necessary for future civilization. But all this prodigious slaughtering made the problem of pacific life more difficult. The turbulence constantly prevented closely coherent communities from being formed; endangered the people's liberties; gave ever-recurring opportunities for one-man power; or led to the ever-fatal tendency of despotically governing conquered or dependent people. Thus succumbed Greek and Roman, and so in later days all Europe. But what of England ? Its strategic position saved it. It was never necessary to keep a great standing army; its navy was all-sufficient: a navy could defend, but could not oppress the nation. The nation's normal political development, though checked, could still go onward. In England, and England alone, the free government of the . primitive Aryans has, to this day, been uninterruptedly maintained. Everywhere else it has been impaired or lost.
Recognizing this advantage, we can see the significance of the stupendous expansion of the English race, which first became possible through the discovery and settlement of North America, one of the most prodigious events in the political annals of mankind. Mark the epoch! It was the time of the great struggle between Protestantism and Asiaticism, whether the Aryan race should go on in its progress, or sink into the barren and monotonous way of living and thinking which has always distinguished the half-civilized populations of Asia, Holland and England on the one side; Spain and the Pope on the other. In Europe there were varying successes. But vast America came upon the field. The race which here should gain the victory was clearly destined to lead the world. The colonies would inevita
bly rival the State that planted them. Their political influence would overshadow all. It was not until the American Revolution that this began to be dimly realized by a few prescient thinkers. Even now it has an air of novelty. But, when the highly civilized community, representing the ripest political ideas of England, was planted in America, removed from the manifold checks of the old world, its growth was rapid and steady. There was now no occasion for a military aspect. Principles of self-government were at once put into operation; no one thought of calling them into question. When the neighboring civilization of inferior type, — the French in Canada, — became seriously troublesome, it was struck down at a blow. When ignorant king and short-sighted ministers attempted to enforce on the new communities their antiquated theories, the political bond with the mother-country was severed. But it was no war between different peoples of antagonistic theories and policies. Like the war of the barons, it was a war for principles dear to all.
From that date the astonished world saw two Englands prepared to work with might and main for the political regeneration of mankind. What can be the outcome of this increase of the English race in America ? Obviously the multiplication of an orderly and industrious people must make for order and industry. What, then, are our possibilities? The United States, if half as dense as Belgium, would hold fifteen hundred millions. It used to be said that so large a people as this could not be kept together as a single national aggregate; or, if kept together at all, could only be so by means of a powerfully centralized government like Rome under the emperors. Strange mistake. If the Roman Empire could have possessed
that political vitality in all its parts which is secured to the United States by the principles of equal representation and of limited State sovereignty, it might well have defied all the shocks which barbarism directed against it. As it was, its strong centralized government did not save it from political disintegration. Its political weakness was that it was a close corporation governing a score of provinces in its own interest rather than in the interest of the provincials. In contrast with such a system as that of the Roman Empire, the skilfully elaborated American system of federalism appears as one of the most important contributions that the English race has made to the general work of civilization.
And here we may see the real issue in our late civil war; not the emancipation of the negro, priceless gain as it was, but the more weighty question, whether this great pacific principle of union joined with independence should be overthrown by the first deep-seated sccial difficulty it had to encounter, or should stand as an example of priceless value to other ages and to other lands. The solution was worthy the effort, for it was an earnest of peace for the world. It dispensed with future fortresses and vast armies. It demonstrated that a pacific people can yet be strongly military; can raise vast armies and as quickly return them to their plowshares ; can conquer a territory and yet re-admit its people to voluntary citizenship. Such has been the result of the first attempt to break up the Federal Union. It is not probable that another attempt can ever be made with anything like an equal chance of success. It was a defeat that wrought conviction, — a conviction that, no matter how grave the future political questions, they must hereafter be settled in accordance with the Constitution.
It is the thoroughness of this conviction that has so greatly facilitated the reinstatement of the revolted States in their old relations. And now, with this federal principle unimpaired, there is no reason why any further increase of territory or of population should overtask the resources of our Government. In the United States of America, a century hence, we shall doubtless have a political aggregation immeasurably surpassing in power and in dimensions any empire that has yet existed. But look for a moment at the probable future career of the English race in other parts of the world. No one can carefully watch what is going on in Africa to-day without recognizing it as the same sort of thing which was going on in North America in the seventeenth century, and it cannot fail to bring forth similar results in course of time. Australia, two-thirds the area of the United States, has already five greatly thriving States of English people. Its Melbourne, but forty-three years old, has a population of quarter of a million. New Zealand is only rivaled by Texas and Minnesota in its rate of increase.
Look, again, at such works in the English language as are being issued by Prof. Ilearn of Melbourne, Bishop Colenso of Natal, and Hubert Bancroft of San Francisco. Even such a little commonplace fact as this is fraught with wonderful significance when we think of all it implies. It points to the conclusion tḥat the work which the English race began when it colonized North America is destined to go on until every land on the earth's surface that is not already the seat of an old civilization shall become English in its language, religion, habits, and traditions. The day is at hand when four-fifths of the human race will trace its pedigree to English forefathers. The race thus spread over both hemispheres, and from
the rising to the setting sun, will not fail to keep that sovereignty of the sea and that commercial supremacy which it began to acquire when England first stretched its arm across the Atlantic to the shores of Virginia and Massachusetts.
In view of these considerations as to the stupendous future of the English race, does it not seem very probable that in due course of time Europe, — which has already learned some valuable lessons from America, — will also find it worth while to adopt the lesson of federalism in order to do away with the chances of useless warfare? In fact, is it too much to hope that by-and-by we may eventually put public warfare entirely under the ban? The gradual concentration of physical power into the hands of the most pacific communities and the sharp competition of commerce are potent factors to this end. As this process goes on, it may possibly, after many ages of political experience, become apparent that there is really no reason in the nature of things why the whole of mankind should not constitute politically one huge federation, each little group managing its local affairs in entire independence, but relegating all questions of international interest to the decision of one central tribunal, supported by the public opinion of the entire human race. I believe that the time will come when such a state of things will exist upon earth, when it will be possible to speak of the United States as stretching from pole to pole, — or, with Tennyson, to celebrate the “parliament of man and the federation of the world.”