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66 HAIL SACRED POLITY, BY FREEDOM REAR'D !
66 HAIL SACRED FREEDOM, WHEN BY LAW RESTRAIN'D !"
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FOR THE BALANCE.
POLITICAL SKETCHES. No. IV.
HUDSON, (NEW-YORK) TUESDAY, JULY 12, 1803.
O lately even as the reign of queen Elizabeth, which terminated precifely two centuries ago, the Britifh houfe of commons was but the footftool of royaity. The fpeaker of that houfe, fhould he have prefumed to appear in the prefence of that lofty minded princefs without kneeling, would not have failed to receive from her a fevere reprimand, enforced perhaps by a box on the ear. The members of the houfe of commons, as well as all the other claffes of people, were expofed to arbitrary fines and imprisonment, according to the queen's capricious humours. She fcolded and threatened them; fhe bid and forbid them, with as much authority and freedom as if they had been her domeftic fervants-and they were obfequious to her nod, and trembled at her frown. Yet it was during that arbitrary reign, that the feeds of republicanism were first fown in England.
The Dutch had caft off the Spanish yoke and affumed a republican form of government. Though few in numbers, contemptible in refpect to territory, poor and friendlefs, they had dared to brave the fury of the most powerful monarch upon earth; and difplayed fuch an invincible spirit of freedom and independ
ence as had been only equalled, but never furpaffed, in the famed countries of ancient Greece and Rome. There was the cradle of modern republicanifm. The English touched with compaffion for the unmerited fufferings of the Hollanders, feized with admiration of their virtues, and united to them by the bonds of a common religion, at which a deadly blow was aimed; they infenfibly caught from them the republican spirit. This fpirit, however, was for fome time repreffed and confined to the breafts of individuals. Eliza beth, with confummate fkill and with a ftrong arm, repreffed and fubdued every eruption of a refractory difpofition in her fubjects. In her was beheld a girl of twenty five years, who mounted the throne, and from that early period till old age, held the reins of empire over a proud reftlefs nation, with more prudence and fortitude, and with more fuccefs at home and abroad, than ever fell to the lot of any of her predeceffors or fucceffors in office. By the death of Elizabeth, the republican difpofitions and humours of the nation, which long had been forcibly pent up, were fet afloat.
The Stuart family, that fucceeded her, inherited her imperious haughty difpofition, but not her talents. James the firft, her immediate fucceffor, was fitted much better for a cloister than for a throne. Pedantie, bigotted, inflated with the ideas of the divine right and unlimited power of kings-but having a head too weak and an arm too feeble to wield a fceptre; he became the object of the national fcorn and derifion. Charles, his unfortunate fon and fucceffor to the throne, who, among the male part of the Stuart line was
much the wifeft and the best, knew neither how to yield nor to conquer. His lofty opinion of the royal prerogative, and his confequent contempt of the rights of fubjects, which he had imbibed in early education and inherited from his ancestors, withheld him, till it was too late, from making thofe conceffions to the people, which reafon and a general change of public fentiments required: at the fame time, he no wife poffelled thofe great, but too often dangerous qualities, and that energy of character, which were neceffary to make himfelt abfolute mafter of his refractory fubjects. With the ftrength of but an ordinary man, he vainly attempted to wield the enormous club of Hercu. les.
The leaders of the commons, whofe talents were equal to the vaft enterprize that they had projected, were not remifs in improving the advantages they derived from adminiftrations equally marked with defpotifm and imbecility; and therefore equally exposed to hatred and contempt. A refolute fruggle with the fovereign commenced foon after the demife of Elizabeth, which, conducted by men of the firft abilities, was continued with increaf ing animofity, till the throne itfelf was demolished, and the whole ancient ariftocracy was buried under its ruins. Europe then, for the firft time, beheld a sovereign prince, arrested, imprisoned, arraigned before a folemn tribunal, condemned to death, led to the scaffold, and his blood poured out as an expiatory facrifice to an indignant people, whofe facred rights and privileges he was accused of infringing.
In the British ifland, "old things were
| public as of private affairs. It has been
now paffed away; and all things were be-
There can be no doubt, that fuch pleafing thoughts and hopes were cherished in many an honeft heart. Many fondly believed that the reigns of terror had ceafed forever; and that a millenium of political happiness had begun.
In what manner these hopes and expectations of the politically regenerated Englifh were answered, I fhall notice in the
FROM THE EVENING POST.
State Governments attacked by the Democrats. [UONCLUDED.]
"IT appears (fays GREENE) that out of 50,000 actual Freemen, about 31,000 omit, or are not allowed to exercile the privi lege of freemen. This fact (he continues) is of the most dangerous example to the United States. So far as the votes are prevented by the laws it is against what is called the conftitution," &c. We have feen how far the cenfure against the laws can be fupported. But as to the omiflion with, which the people are charged, it is certainly admitted that a great proportion of the electors have frequently omitted to exercife the right of fuffrage; but this omiffion has not been occafioned by apathy or an indifference to public affairs. In no community has the official conduct and private deportment of public men been obferved with greater vigilance. Till lately Connecticut has rarely been dilturbed by faction or intrigue. The people have been in the habit of believing that wifdom and experience were equally as necellary for the proper management of
The flate of things above described is neither new nor accidental; it has been the confequence of a fettled, permanent policy. Connecticut has, at all times, been a republican flate; the first fettlers were republicans; not felons, convicts and outlaws, but they were the contemporics and affociates of Hampden, Sidney and Milton. During one hundred & fifty years, the people have been exclufively governed by rulers chofen by themfelves. The colonial dependence on Great Britain was merely that of a weak ftate upon a powerful one. The people were never disturbed in the management of their internal affairs except by the operation of thofe acts which were the immediate caufes of the revolution. And if Connecticut
cannot justly claim the honor of being
The ground on which the inftitutions
It has been recently declared in the National Intelligencer, the oracle of the adminiftration, "that property of no def cription fhould be reprefented diftin&t
from the individual that holds it :" that "All freemen ought to participate equally in political rights," and that "the prin ciple of invefting wealth with immode rate political power has covered the earth with flaves." Were thefe pleafing founds intended, like the foft compliments to the mouth of labour, to produce any other effect than to procure popularity in the States where flavery is not known? Have the fupporters of the prefent adminiftration endeavoured to give these principles efficacy in Virginia? Thefe queftions fhall be now anfwered, not by vague affertionis, but by fair quotations from Mr. Jefferfon's own book, his Notes on Virginia.
"The majority (fays he, page 192) of the men in the State [Virginia] who pay and fight for its fupport, are unreprefented in the legislature, the roll of freehold. ers entitled to vote, not including generally the half of thofe on the roll of the militia or the tax gatherers.
"Among those who share the reprefentation, the fhares are very unequal.Thus, the county of Warwick, which with only one hundred fighting men, has Loudon, which has feventeen hundred and an equal reprefentation with the county of forty fix; to that every man in War. wick has as much influence in the gov ernment as feventeen men in Loudon."
He then exhibits a table for the ex. prefs purpose of hewing that this inequality was not corrected by an equal interfperfion of fmall among large counties th ugh the whole State," and concludes with the following obfervations :the place of commentaries on it. It will "An inspection of this table will fupply appear at once that nineteen thousand men living below the falls of the river, poflefs half the Senate, and want four mem bers only of poffefling a majority of the want more than Houfe of Delegates, a Jupplied, by the vicinity of their fituation to the Seat of Government, and of courfe the greater degree of convenience and punctuality with which their members may and will attend in the legislature. These nineteen thousand, therefore, living in one part of the country, give the law to upwards of thirty thousand living in the other, and appoint all their chief officers, executive and judiciary. From the dif reference of their fituation and circumftan. ces, their interefts will often be differ
Here then is exhibited a fair and correct portrait of the democracy of Virginia, drawn fortunately for us, by a band that precludes all poflibility of any charge of prejudice. Let us beftow a few mo ments in examining its lineaments.
In the first place, the right of electing members of the legiflature, who in turn,
elect the governor and council, and generally" all the chief officers, executive and judiciary" is confined to a "roll of freeholders" which "freeholders," let it be remembered, confift of a landed ARISTOCRACY, who are the owners and pof. feffors of three hundred and fortyfive thousand faves.-So that by this fingle operation, as we are told by Mr. Jefferfon himfelf, " a majority of the men in the ftate, who fight and pay for its fupport, are unreprefented in the Legiflature." Having disfranchifed (to borrow an expreffion from Greene) a majority of the people including all who are not owners of lands, and confequently of NEGROES (the defcription of perfons being fubftantially the fame) it would really feem no more than reasonable, that the planters should "participate equally in political rights." No, no; a Warwick man, confidered as to his political rights," is estimated at juft feventeen times as much as a man of Loudon ; and nineteen thousand men living in one part of the flate give law to upwards of thirty thousand living in another part; and appoint all their chief officers, executive and judiciary ! ! !
fon, a Pendleton, a New, a Taylor, and
geftion of affairs."-These are the men
reprefentative body," and to complete the
The inequality thus defcribed by Mr. Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, we can allure the reader, has been continually increafing; the Warwick men ftill retain their full number of votes in the legillature, while the relative numbers of their "fighting men" have been continually diminishing. When Mr. Jefferlon writes more "Notes on Virginia," he will be compelled to acknowledge that "below the falls of the river" the blacks increase in a ratio of two to one, compared with the whites; and this indifputable fact may, if he pleafes, be cited as a pertinent illustration of the pofition affumed by Publius," that the principle of invefting wealth with immediate political power, has covered the earth with flaves."How long the Western diftri&ts will fubmit to be governed as they are at prefent, we will not here venture to exprefs a conjecture they have, we know, attempted more than once to "correct the procedure," but hitherto without fuc-obferving, that all efforts to difturb the exWe haften to close these remarks, by cefs.
Mr. Jefferfon has faid, that " from the difference of fituation and circumftances" of the men living below the falls of the river," their interefts will often be very different" from those of the men inhabiting the other parts of Virginia. This is certainly true, and has been lamentably felt by repeated experience in the Unite States at large. The country below theat amidft the violent conflicts of faction, falls is the feat of Virginian anti-federalfm and democracy.
fting ftate of fociety in our country, are pregnant with frightful and incalculable mifchief. We can command language which would exprefs with fufficient force our deteftation and abhorrence of the flagitious attempts which are now ma king by the party in power to revolutionize New England. Should they prove fuccefstul, we have no hesitation in laying,
This is the tract of country which has produced a Giles, a Claiborne, a Randolph, a Clopton, a Daw
mad career of their popular DEMAGOGUES. whether they are prepared to adopt in pracWe entreat them to confider feriously, promulgated, with the unworthy, the mean tice the principles which are oftentatiously defign of purchafing a fhort-lived popularity, at the expence of every thing dear to America? We affure them, in the fpirit of fincerity, that the Eaftern States cannot be taught to believe in one fyftem and to practize another; and they may with certainty rely upon it, that the bitterest enemies of the Virginians cannot imprecate a greater curfe on their heads, than that they may be filled with their own devi
As for Greene, he perhaps may attempt. "adminifter" fome new quack edy" for the " malady" but we are much mistaken if he ever again ventures to repeat his hypothefis that a " form of gov ernment by which 19.000 freemen govern 31,000 is manifeftly and certainly not republican." Yet, unlefs we are egregioufly deceived in the man, he will not blufh even at this detection in broad day of his impudent falfhoods-the feeble vibrations of his cowardly heart may give circulation to the cold venom of malice, yet they will never excite that fort of fenfibility which is fometimes experienced by "the man who without firmness enough to avoid a difhonourable action has feeling enough to be ashamed of it,*" but we. may look for him among those wretches who have arrived at that ftate of "abandoned profligacy" which renders them infenfible to reproach and incapable of compunction.
Something, which calls itself a "Traveller," has furnished Mitchell with two essays for his BaromIn the last a person is mentioned, who " zes at some invisible object in the distant sky gaIt may be safely concluded that this writer has much improved by travelling
-"A poetic correspondent-has written several poetic effusions-which might do honor to the first poets," &c.
the liberties of our country will be facri-
Be it our weekly task,
To note the passing tidings of the times.
[We shall make no apology for occupying a large share of this week's Balance with the important paper which follows. We promised, in our last, to lay before our readers, the Declaration of his Britannic Majesty, containing the reasons which have induced the English Government to order the recommencement of hostilities agamst France. And here it is at full length. It ought to be read, understood, and, as the war progresses, re. membered. Edit. Bal.]
FROM THE LONDON GAZETTE,
HIS Majefly's earnest endeavours for the prefervation of peace having failed of fuccefs, he entertains the fulleft confidence that he fhall receive the fame fupport from his Parliament, and that the fame zeal and fpirit will be manifefted by his people, which he has experienced on every occafion when the honour of his Crown has been attacked, or the effential interefts of his dominions have been endangered.
ty's fubjects during the war, have been en-
During the whole courfe of the negociations which led to the Preliminary and Definitive Treaties of Peace between his Majefty and the French Republic, it was his Majefty's fincere defire, not only to put an end to the hoftilities which fubfiited between the two countries, but to adopt fuch measures and to concur in fuch pro. pofitions as might moft effeftually contribute to confolidate the general tranquility of Europe. The fame motives by which his Majefty was actuated during the negociations for peace, have fince invariably governed his conduct. As foon as the Treaty of Amiens was concluded, his Majesty's Courts were open to the people of France for every purpofe of legal redrefs; all fequeftrations were taken off their property; all prohibitions on their trade which had been impofed during the war were removed, and they were placed in every refpe&t, on the fame footing with regard to commerce and intercourfe as the inhabitants of any other State in amity with his Majesty, with which there exifted no Treaty of Commerce.
To a fyftem of conduct thus open, lib. eral, and friendly, the proceedings of the French Government afford the moft friking contraft. The prohibitions which had been placed on the commerce of his Majef.
dence, might at leaft have allayed their jealoufies. If the French Government had really appeared to be actuated by a due attention to fuch a fyftem; it their difpofitions had proved to be effentially pacific, allowances would have been made for the fituation in which a new Govern. ment must be placed after fo dreadful and extenfive a convulfion as that which has been produced by the French revolution. But his Majefly has unfortunately had too much reafon to obferve and to lament, that the fyftem of violence, aggreffion, and ag. grandizement, which characterifed the proceedings of the different Governments of France during the war, has been continued with as little difguife fince its ter. mination. They have continued to keep a French army in Holland againft the will, and in defiance of the remonftrances of the Batavian Government, and in repug. nance to the letter of three folemn trea. ties. They have, in a period of peace, invaded the territory, and violated the inpriv-dependence of the Swifs nation, in defi ance of the treaty of Luneville, which had ftipulated the independence of their terri tory, and the right of the inhabitants to chufe their own form of government.They have annexed to the dominions of France, Piedmont, Parma, and Placentia, and the Ifland of Elba, without allotting any provifion to the King of Sardinia, whom they have defpoiled of the most valuable part of his territory, though they were bound, by a folemn engagement to the Emperor of Ruffia, to attend to his interefts and to provide for his establish ment. It may, indeed, with truth be af ferted, that the period which has elapled fince the conclusion of the definitive trea ty, has been marked with one continued feries of aggreflion, violence, and infuk on the part of the French government.
The conduct of the French Government, with refpe&t to the Commercial Intercourfe between the two countries, muf therefore be confidered as fuited to a ftate of peace, and their proceedings in the more general political relations, as well as in thole which immediately concern his Majefty's dominions, appear to have been altogether inconfiflent with every principle of good faith, moderation, and juftice. His Majefty had entertained hopes, in confequence of the repeated affurance, and profeffions of the French Governand profeffions of the French Govern-jects, his fingle efforts could not be es ment, that they might have been induced pected to produce any confiderable ad to adopt a fy fiem of policy, which, if it vantage to thofe in whofe favour they I had not infpired other powers with confi- might be exerted.
In the month of October laft, his Ma jefly was induced, in confequence of the earneft folicitation of the Swiss nation, to make an effort, by a reprefentation to the French Government, to avert the evils which were then impending over the This reprefentation was couch. ed in the most temperate terms; and measures were taken by his Majesty for afcertaining, under the circumftance t which then exifted, the real fituation and wifhes of the Swifs Cantons, as well as the fentiments of the Cabinets of Europe. His Majefly learned, however, with the utmoft regret, that no difpofition to cour teract these repeated infractions of treatis and acts of violence was manifefled by any of the powers moft immediately interelled in preventing them; and his Majefly there. fore felt that, with refpect to thefe ob
There was confequently too much reafon to fuppofe that the real object of their miffion was by no means of a commercial nature; and this fufpicion was confirm. ed, not only by the circumftance that fome of them were military men, but by the actual difcovery, that feveral of them were furnished with inftructions to obtain the foundings of the harbours, and to procure military furveys of the places where it was intended they fhould refide.-His Majefly felt it to be his duty to prevent their departure to their refpective places of deflination, and prefented to the French Government the neceffity of withdrawing them; and it cannot be denied, that the circumftances under which they were fent, and the infru&tions which were given to them, ought to be confidered as decifive of the difpofitions and intentions of the Government by whom they were employ-country. ed.
It was about this time that the French Government firft diftinctly advanced the principle, that his Majefly had no right to complain of the conduct, or to interfere with the proceedings of France, on any point which did not form a part of the flipulations of the treaty of Amiens. That treaty was unquestionably founded upon the fame principle as every other antecedent treaty or convention, on the affump-bition tion of the state of poffeffion and of engage. ments fubfifling at the time of its conclufion; and if that ftate of poffeffion and of engagements is materially affected by the voluntary act of any of the parties, fo as to prejudice the condition on which the other party has entered into the contract, the change, fo made, may be confidered as operating virtually as a breach of the treaty it felf, and as giving the party aggrieved a right to demand fatisfaction or compenfa tion for any fubflantial difference which fuch acts may have eflected in their relative fituations; but whatever may be the principle on which the treaty is to be confidered as founded, there is indifputably a general law of nations, which though liable to be limited, or reftrained by conventional laws, is antecedent to it, and is that law or rule of conduct to which all Sovereigns & States have been accuftomed to appeal, where conventional law is admitted to have been filent.
The treaty of Amiens, and every other treaty, in providing for the objects to which it is particularly directed, does not therefore affume or imply an indifference to all other objects which are not specified in its ftipulation, much lefs does it adjudge them to be of a nature to be left to the will and caprice of the violent and powerful. The juftice of the caute is alone a fufficient ground to warrant the interpofition of any of the powers of Europe in the differences which may arife between other fates, and the application and extent of that just interpofition is to be determined folely by confiderations of prudence. Thefe principles can admit of no difpute; but if the new and extraordinary pretenfion advanced by the French government, to exclude his Majefty from any right to interfere with refpect to the concerns of other powers, unless they made a fpecific part of the flipulations of the treaty of Amiens, was that which it was poffible to maintain, those powers would have a right, at least, to claim the benefit of this principle, in every cale of difference between the two countries. The indignation of all Europe muft furely then be excited by the declaration of the French government, that, in the event of holilities, these very powers who were no parties in the treaty of Amiens, and who were not allowed to derive any advantage from the remonftrances of his Majefty in their behalf, are nevertheless to be made
the victims of a war which is alledged to
His Majefty judged it moft expedient,
Whilft his majefty was actuated by the fe
His Majefty cannot, however, admit,
At the time when this demand was
made by the French government, feveral
The tenth article had flipulated that the
|| cd under the guarantee and protection of
Under thefe circumftances, the Order of St. John cannot now be confidered as that body to which, according to the flipulations of the treaty, the ifland was to be reftored; and the funds indifpenfably neceffary for its fupport, and for the maintenance of the independence of the island, have been nearly, if not wholly, fequefier. ed. Even if this had arifen from circumftances which it was not in the power of any of the contracting parties to the treaty to controul, his Majefly would neverthe lefs have a right to defer the evacuation of the ifland by his forces, until fuch time as an equivalent arrangement had been concluded for the prefervation of the independence of the order and of the ifland. But if thefe changes have taken place in confequence of any acts of the other parties to the treaty; if the French government fhall appear to have proceeded upon a fyftem of rendering the order whose independence they had ftipulated, incapable of maintaining that independence, his Majefty's right to continue in the oc