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plan of Mr. Calhoun gives the peace establishment the least objectionable form, as dangers would be expected from a mercenary soldiery, and not from a body of intelligent officers, chosen from among ourselves, bearing our own blood, and nurtured with us in the enjoyment of a common liberty. Mr. Calhoun's plan dispenses, as far as possible, with the former, and relies principally upon the latter. When we consider that the rank and file of the army, being enlisted for a short period, are constantly changing, the reduction of their numbers will hardly be deemed to involve any sacrifice of the public interest. If they were enlisted, like the soldiery of most European states, for life, and if there were a certainty that they would compose a part of the army, on the recurrence of war, the expediency of diminishing their numbers might be questioned. As it is, the officers would be our principal reliance in creating a more enlarged establishment, and hence the propriety of retaining them in a greater proportion than the rank and file.
But the most important effect which would follow an adoption of Mr. Calhoun's plan to its full extent, would be the necessity of elevating the character and increasing the efficiency of the militia of the country. In proportion as the peace establishment is diminished in numbers, the attention of the government will be directed to arming the militia, and giving it uniform systems of discipline and instruction; an object which has long been discussed, which has been advocated on the floor of Congress with great and meritorious zeal, but to which the public has given a degree of attention far inferior to its importance. On this subject, it is our intention to enlarge our view in a future number, when we shall be better prepared, and when we shall be able to present it unembarrassed by other discussions. At this time, we shall content ourselves with saying, that we deem the militia of this country, whether we regard it with a reference to our national character and institutions, with a view only of its own intrinsic efficiency and power, or as the source from which the materials for our regular forces are derived in time of war, as a national establishment of the first importance. A community accustomed to the use of arms, may set at defiance domestic, as well as external enemies, so long as the social virtues are unimpaired. The occasions on which the militia of the United States has been called forth to achieve victories over the regular forces of Europe, are so many convincing illustrations of its importance as an arm of defence; while, at the same time, the many defeats it has suffered, sometimes without resistance, indicate the necessity of bringing it as near the per
fection of a regularly disciplined force as is compatible with the general interest of the community. That this interest would be in some measure impaired by the sacrifice of time and labor, which necessarily accompanies a regular system of military exercises, must be admitted ; but not in any sort of proportion, we conceive, to the beneficial change, which such a system would work in the power and security of a free people. The facility, with which such a militia could be converted into a regular army, by such a body of officers as Mr. Calhoun proposes to preserve, is obvious.
With an army of small dimensions, organized on Mr. Calhoun's plan with a large proportion of officers, and a militia well armed and instructed in the first principles of discipline and exercise, according to some uniform system, we should consider our military preparation complete. The officers of the peace establishment would be capable, in case of war, of disciplining, without delay, a vastly extended force, and the militia would furnish the materials for such extension. We, of course, consider the military academy at West Point as an indispensable branch of the peace establishment, and it is our intention at a future day to examine it in detail. There are considerations in its favor too numerous and weighty to be briefly stated, and we waive all comment on it, until we shall be able to present at large the arguments in favor of cherishing and perfecting it. On this point, however, we believe there is no difference of opinion in the country.
We perceive, by a report of Major General Brown, that the war department has adopted a suggestion made by him, to enlist no foreigners into the ranks of the army. In this arrangement we cordially acquiesce, because we believe our own citizens have a higher character, and are better calculated, independently of the national spirit which they would carry to the field, for our public defence. We take it to be an undeniable principle, that a man is formidable as a soldier in precise ratio of his political importance as a citizen--that, with equal numbers and equal discipline, success invariably follows the balance of freedom. Setting aside a few instances of extraordinary enthusiasm in conquering armies, the results of which seem to have been obtained in violation of the commonly received relations of cause and effect, this position will be supported by any reference which can be made to the annals of society, at any stage of its progress. Upon the strength of this principle alone, we should prefer a native to a foreigner as a mem
ber of the army; and we have further cause of preference in the consideration that his origin, his connexions, his education, his course of life, and his habits of thought, all tend to combine with his nationalspirit, as a part of the public defence, the more domestic spirit of a citizen. Between the soldier of a republic and the soldier of a prince, there are numerous points of difference; but none so important as that which springs from this very distinction, that one is the dependent of a free, and the other of an arbitrary form of government. Each participates in the characteristic spirit of the institution, under which he is arrayed in arms. The impulses of the one are principally derived from personal considerations—those of the other, from the more animating and exalted sentiment of country : the one is fitted, by the course of his reflections, to become the passive instrument of tyranny—the other is almost irresistibly impelled by the current of his thoughts in a popular direction.
We have already glanced at the securities which we possess against the calamities of war, in our geographical position with regard to Europe, and our relations of interest with the countries of our own continent. Our national character affords a still higher degree of security. Among a people enjoying the blessings of an enlightened education, a free press, and a representative government, wars will never be hastily commenced, because the popular will, guided by a cultivated judgment, is invariably brought to the decision of every question of general interest. Arms will, therefore, not be resorted to, except in cases where the public mind is strongly excited by a sense of injustice or indignity; and as individuals are more readily roused by encroachments on their own personal immunities than by those which touch the general interest of the community, there is danger that the public injuries of the United States will rather be endured too long, than resented too hastily. Our distance from the warlike nations of the world stands in striking contrast with the condition of European states. An immense ocean is to be traversed before we can be assailed; while on the continent of Europe, a statistical boundary only is to be passed, and an invading power is upon the possessions of its enemy. In proportion as nations are disjoined by intervening seas and territories, the dangerous influence of conflicting principles and institutions is diminished ;* and feuds are dissipated by separa
* In ancient times, a mere difference of customs and manners was classed among the prolific causes of war.
" Ex diversitate morum crebra bella." _Tac. Hist. V.
tion, which would be nourished and ripened by contact. This observation will be best illustrated by adverting to the present division of mankind upon the principle of representation, the fate of Spain and Naples leaving little room to doubt that our distance from the sphere in which the arbitrary governments of Europe revolve, is all that secures us from the perfidy of their machinations, and the terror of their arms.
It is, at the same time, the object and the felicity of conquering nations, to carry their arms far beyond their own possessions, and to wage destructive wars without, while all is order and tranquillity within. Such was the policy, and such the good fortune of Rome.* But this circumstance is not peculiar to the ancient mistress of the world. England, in modern times, with superior advantages of position, has spread her forces over almost every soil in the known world, without suffering her own territory to be polluted by the footstep of an invader. We should, perhaps, hardly be justified by a reference to history, unconnected with philosophical abstractions, in saying, that there is any particular form of government, which is more peculiarly favorable than any other to peace. Rome was martial in the days of her servitude, and in the days of her freedom. Athens.was formidable with habits of licentiousness, and Sparta with habits of restraint. The spirit of commerce has been considered adverse to warlike pursuits, those nations which have been devoted to the business of traffic and exchange, having exhibited the least inclination to encounter the collisions of war. Carthage, notwithstanding the martial achievements which she performed in defence of her commerce, was pacific in her spirit, and waged those fatal wars which terminated in her downfall, with the money, rather than the arms, of her own citizens. But the deductions which have been made from her example, and the example of other nations of analogous constitution and character, have all been defeated by the history of England-a nation which has united, in a single career, the commercial enterprise of Carthage, the military triumphs of Rome, and the naval achievements of Greece.
Our wars are to be defensive wars. Our policy, the genius of our institutions, the division of our industry, the spirit of society, and the pursuits of our citizens, all invite to peace. With these influences, our geographical position combines, confirm
*“ Fuit proprium populi Romani longè à domo bellare,” says Cicero. Thus their enemies could not turn against them the resources of their own country. It was on this account Hannibal said to Antiochus, that the Romans could never be beaten but in Italy, VOL. I.
ing and giving them effect. We shall, therefore, only be likely to engage in hostilities when we are stimulated by flagrant acts of aggression, unless we should be seduced by the spirit of conquest,—and this cannot take place until our political and social condition is radically changed. That we shall be occasionally involved in wars is, however, to be anticipated: to expect a different lot would be to disregard the whole course of civil society. We, however, hope, and we have reason to believe, so long as our national character and institutions are unchanged, that in our future wars, as in those through which we have passed, we shall always be able to justify ourselves in the language used by Caius Pontius, in addressing an assembly of the Samnites, who were convened for the purpose of resisting the aggressions of Rome—“ Justum est bellum quibus necessarium; et pia arma quibus nulla nisi in armis relinquitur spes."*
Art. III.- Essays on the Nature and Uses of the various Evi
dences of Revealed Religion. By Gulian C. VERPLANCK. New-York, 1824. 8vo. pp. 267.
In that department of human knowledge, which is bounded on the one hand by science merely physical, and on the other by developments purely spiritual, the evidences of christianity lift themselves up, as the middle term of extremes, wide as earth from heaven. The proofs are sometimes substantial, as the miracles which men saw, and heard, and felt in its opening era ; and sometimes moral, but not less satisfactory, such as ever gleam from that face of divinity, which is impressed upon the pages of the revelation of Jesus.
The volume of which we now proceed to present a brief notice to our readers, draws its demonstration of the divine original and use of the holy scriptures from the latter, which is a practical and unfailing source of evidence. Without advancing into any distinct exhibition of the severing lines of theological belief, it surveys a field too much neglected, and prepares the way for a more definite exposition of the truths of religion. We may have books upon the subject here selected from persons of the most varying tenets, and from those who have almost no other tenet than that the scriptures are inspired. The evidences are, like man, who pursues these ratiocinations, of double composition: sometimes like the matter, which miracle
* Liv. Lib. IX. Cap. 1.