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are other and more permanent causes of hatred and hostility.
One cause, we think, would be found in the singularly active, bold, enterprising spirit, which actuates this whole country. Perhaps, as a people, we have no stronger distinction, than a thirst for adventure and new acquisitions. A quiet, cold, phlegmatic race might be divided with comparatively little peril. But a neighbourhood of restless, daring, all-grasping communities, would contain within itself the seeds of perpetual hostility. Our feverish activity would break out in endless competitions and jealousies. In every foreign market, we should meet as rivals. The same great objects would be grasped at by all. Add to this, that the necessity of preserving some balance of power, would lead each republic to watch the others with a suspicious eye; and this balance could not be maintained, in these young and growing communities, as easily as in the old and stationary ones of Europe. Among nations, such as we should form, which would only have begun to develope their resources, and in which the spirit of liberty would favor an indefinite expansion, the political equilibrium would be perpetually disturbed. Under such influences an irritable, and almost justifiable sensitiveness to one another's progress would fester into unrelenting hatred. Our neighbour's good would become to us a curse. Among such communities there could be no love, and would be no real peace. To obstruct one another's growth would be deemed the perfection of policy. Slight collisions of interest, which must perpetually recur, would be exaggerated by jealousy and hatred into unpardonable wrongs; and unprincipled statesmen would find little difficulty in swelling imagi
nary grievances into causes of war. When we look at the characteristic spirit of this country, stimulated as it is by our youth and capacities of improvement, we cannot conceive of more active springs of contention and hatred, than would be created at once by our disunion into separate nations.
We proceed to the second and a very important consideration. Our possession of a common language, which is now an unspeakable good, would, in case of disunion, prove as great a calamity; for it would serve, above all things, to multiply jealousies and exasperate bad passions. In Europe, different nations, having each its own language, and comparatively small communication, can act but little on each other. Each expresses its own self-esteem and its scorn of other communities in writings, which seldom pass its own bounds, and which minister to its own vanity and prejudices without inflaming other states. But suppose this country broken up into contiguous nations, all speaking the same language, all enjoying unrestrained freedom of the press, and all giving utterance to their antipathies and recriminations in newspapers, which would fly through all on the wings of the winds. Who can set bounds to the madness which such agents of mischief would engender? It is a fact, too well known, that feelings of animosity among us towards Great Britain have been kept alive chiefly by a few publications from the latter country, which have been read by a very small part of our population. What then are we to expect in case of our disunion, when the daily press of each nation would pour forth on the neighbouring communities unceasing torrents of calumny, satire, ridicule, and invective? An exasperating article from the pen of a distinguished man in one
republic, would in less than a week have found its way to every house and cottage in the adjoining States. The passions of a whole people would be kindled at one moment; and who of us can conceive the intensity of hatred which would grow from this continued, maddening interchange of intemperate and unmeasured abuse?
Another source of discord, in case of our separation, is almost too obvious to be mentioned. Once divided, we should form stronger bonds of union with foreign nations than with one another. That Europe would avail itself of our broken condition to establish an influence among us; that belligerents in the Old World would strive to enlist us in their quarrels; that our eagerness for commercial favors and monopolies would lay us open to their intrigues; that at every quarrel among ourselves we should be willing to receive aid from abroad, and that distant nations would labor to increase our dependence upon themselves by inflaming and dividing us against each other; these are considerations too obvious to need exposition, and as solemn and monitory as they are clear. From disunion, we should reap, in plentiful harvests, destructive enmities at home, and degrading subserviency to the powers of Europe.
We e pass to another topic, particularly worthy of notice. In case of separation, party spirit, the worst foe of free states, would rage more furiously in each of the new and narrower communities, than now it does in our extensive Union; and this spirit would not only spread deadly hatred through each republic, but would perpetually embroil it with its neighbours. We complain of party rage even now; but it is mild and innocent compared with what we should experience, were our Union dissolved. Party spirit, when spread over a large coun
try, is far less envenomed and ruinous than when shut up in small states. The histories of Greece and Rome are striking illustrations of this truth. In an extensive community, a party, depressed on one spot, finds sympathies and powerful protectors in another; and if not, it finds more generous enemies at a distance, who mitigate the violence of its nearer foes. The fury attending elections is exceedingly allayed, by the knowledge that the issue does not depend on one or another city or district, and that failure in one place is not the loss of the cause. It may be added, that in a large country, party spirit is necessarily modified and softened by the diversity of interests, views, and characters, which must prevail among a widely scattered people. It is also no small advantage, that the leaders of parties will generally be separated from one another by considerable distances, will move in remote spheres, instead of facing each other, and engaging perpetually in personal debate and conflict. Suppose these circumstances reversed; suppose the country broken into republics so small, as to admit a perfect unity and sympathy among the members of the same party, as to keep the leaders of opposite parties perpetually in one another's sight and hearing, as to make the fate of elections dependent on definite efforts and votes in particular places; and who can calculate the increase of personal animosity, of private rancor, of public rage? Nor would the spirit of party convulse only the separate communities. It would establish between them the most injurious relations. No passion seems to overpower patriotism and moral sentiment more effectually than this spirit. Those whom it binds, seem to throw off all other bonds. Inflamed parties are most unscrupulous as to means. Under great
excitement, they of course look round them on other communities to find means of ensuring triumph over their opponents. Of consequence, the political relations, which would subsist between the different republics that would spring up from our disunion, would be determined chiefly by party spirit; by a passion, which is most reckless of consequences, most prolific of discord, most prodigal of blood. Each republic would be broken into two factions, one in possession, and the other in pursuit of power, and both prepared to link themselves with the factions of their neighbours, and to sacrifice the peace and essential interests of the state to the gratification of ambition and revenge. Through such causes, operating in the Grecian republics, civil war added its horrors to foreign contests. We see nothing to avert from ourselves, if ever divided, the same unspeakable calamity.
In this exposition of the evils which would spring from disunion, we have spoken strongly, but, we trust, calmly. There is no need of exaggeration. It seems to us, that the imagination cannot easily exceed the truth. We do dread separation as the greatest of political evils, with the single exception of slavery. Undoubtedly a particular State may and ought to break the bond, if that bond is to be turned into a yoke of oppression. But much, very much should be endured before we expose ourselves to the calamities of separation. We particularly recommend the views which we have taken to those among us, whose interest in the Union is weakened by a vague idea, that a large community cannot be as well governed as a small. The reverse of this maxim, as we have seen, is true of a federal republic. Under despotisms, indeed, a vast ter