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1. American Home Rule. By E. L. GODKIN . . . . . . 793 II. The Lion's Share of the World's Trade: a Reply to Lord Penzance. By

GEORGE W. MEDLEY · · · · · · · · · III. Genius and Precocity. By JAMES SULLY . . . . . . IV. Light and Water-Colours. By J. C. ROBINSON

V. John Webster. By ALGERNON C. SWINBURNE . . VI. The Crusade against Silver. By EDWARD ALBERT SASSOON . . VII. Women and Politics. By the COUNTESS OF GALLOWAY VIII. Allotments. By LADY VERNEY . . . . . . . . IX. The Greek Home according to Homer. By E. W. GODWIN . . . 914 X. Mr. Gladstone and the Irish Bill: a Nonconformist View. By Rev.

J. GUINNESS ROGERS . . . . . . . . . 923 XI. Mr. Gladstone and the Irish Bill : a French View. By JOSEPH REINACH 930

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No. CXII.—JUNE 1886...


AMERICAN experience has been frequently cited, in the course of the controversy now raging in England over the Irish question, both by way of warning and of example. For instance, I have found in the Times as well as in other journals--the Spectator, I think, among the number-very contemptuous dismissals of the plan of offering Ireland a government like that of an American State, on the ground that the Americans are loyal to the central authority, while in Ireland there is a strong feeling of hostility to it, which would probably increase under Home Rule. The Queen's writ, it has been remarked, cannot be said to run in large parts of Ireland, while in every part of the United States the Federal writ is implicitly obeyed, and the ministers of Federal authority find ready aid and sympathy from the people. If I remember rightly, the Duke of Argyll has been very emphatic in pointing out the difference between giving local self-government to a community in which the tendencies of popular feeling are centrifugal, and giving it to one in which these tendencies are centripetal.' The inference to be drawn was, of course, that as long as Ireland disliked the Imperial government the concession of Home Rule would be unsafe, and would only become safe when the Irish people showed somewhat the same sort of affection for the English connection which the people of the State of New York now feel for the Constitution of the United States.

Among the multitude of those who have taken part in the controversy on one side or the other, no one has, so far as I have observed, pointed out that the state of feeling in America toward the central Vol. XIX.—No. 112.

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government with which the state of feeling in Ireland towards the British Government is now compared, did not exist when the American Constitution was set up; that the political tendencies in America at that time were centrifugal not centripetal, and that the extraordinary love and admiration with which Americans now regard the Federal government are the result of eighty years' experience of its working. The first Confederation was as much as the people could bear in the way of surrendering local powers when the War of Independence came to an end. It was its hopeless failure to provide peace and security which led to the framing of the present Constitution. But even with this experience still fresh, the adoption of the Constitution was no easy matter. I shall not burden the pages of this Review with historical citations showing the very great difficulty which the framers of the Constitution had in inducing the various States to adopt it, or the magnitude and variety of the fears and suspicions with which many of the most influential men in all parts of the country regarded it. Anyone who wishes to know how numerous and diversified these fears and suspicions were, cannot do better than read the series of papers known as “The Federalist,' written mainly by Hamilton and Madison, to commend the new plan to the various States. It was adopted almost as a matter of necessity, that is, as the only way out of the Slough of Despond in which the Confederation had plunged the union of the States; but the objections to it which were felt at the beginning were only removed by actual trial. Hamilton's two colleagues, as delegates from New York, Yates and Lansing, withdrew in disgust from the Convention, as soon as the Constitution was outlined, and did not return. The notion that the Constitution was produced by the craving of the American people for something of that sort to love and revere, and that it was not bestowed on them until they had given ample assurance that they would lavish affection on it, has no foundation whatever in fact. The devotion of Americans to the Union is, indeed, as clear a case of cause and effect as is to be found in political history. They have learned to like the Constitution because the country has prospered under it, and because it has given them all the benefits of national life without interference with local liberties. If they had not set up a central government until the centrifugal sentiment had disappeared from the States, and the feeling of loyalty for a central authority had fully shown itself, they would assuredly never have set it up at all.

Moreover, it has to be borne in mind that the adoption of the Constitution did not involve the surrender of any local franchises, by which the people of the various States set great store. The States preserved fully four-fifths of their autonomy, or in fact nearly all of it which closely concerned the daily lives of individuals. Set aside the post-office, and a citizen of this State, not engaged in foreign

trade, might, down to the outbreak of the Civil War, have passed a long and busy life without once coming in contact with a United States official, and without being made aware in any of his doings, by any restriction or regulation, that he was living under any government but that of his own State. If he went abroad he had to apply for a United States passport. If he quarrelled with a foreigner, or with the citizen of another State, he might be sued in the Federal Court. If he imported foreign goods he had to pay duties to the collector of a Federal Custom-house. If he invented something, or wrote a book, he had to apply to the Department of the Interior for a patent or a copyright. But how few there were in the first seventy years of American history who had any of these experiences! No one supposes, or has ever supposed, that had the Federalists demanded any very large sacrifice of local franchises, or attempted to set up even a close approach to a centralised Government, the adoption of the Constitution would have been possible. If, for instance, such a transfer of both administration and legislation to the central authority as took place in Ireland after the Union had been proposed, it would have been rejected with derision. You will get no American to argue with you on this point. If you ask him whether he thinks it likely that a highly centralised government could have been created in 1879—such a one, for example, as Ireland has been under since 1800 -or whether if created it would by this time have won the affection of the people, or filled them with centripetal tendencies, he will answer you with a smile.

The truth is that nowhere, any more than in Ireland, do people love their government from a sense of duty or because they crave an object of political affection, or even because it exalts them in the eyes of foreigners. They love it because they are happy or prosperous under it; because it supplies security in the form best suited to their tastes and habits, or in some manner ministers to their self-love. Loyalty to the king as the Lord's anointed, without any sense either of favours received or expected, has played a great part in European politics, I admit; but, for reasons which I will not here take up space in stating, a political arrangement, whether it be an elected monarch or a constitution, cannot be made, in our day, to reign in men's hearts except as the result of benefits so palpable that common people, as well as political philosophers, can see them and count them.

Many of the opponents of Home Rule too, point to the vigour with which the United States Government put down the attempt made by the South to break up the Union as an example of the American love of “imperial unity,' and of the spirit in which England should now meet the Irish demands for local autonomy. This again is rather surprising, because you will find no one in America who will maintain for one moment that troops could have been raised in 1860 to undertake the conquest of the South for the purpose of setting up.

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