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tion of new slave territory not as yet within the limits of the Union. The Ostend Conference, the emphasis laid on the so-called “ Monroe doctrine,” the obvious wish on the part of our late Minister to England to break up the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, and the filibustering clauses of the Cincinnati Platform taken in connection with Walker's movements in Central America, the effort made by General Quitman and others in Congress for the repeal of the Neutrality Laws, and the advocacy at the South of the revival of the African slave trade, all indicate a policy, the character of which it is impossible to mistake. The policy is not to press the extension of slavery in any of the present territory of the Union now free, but to indemnify the slave interest by annexing, at the earliest practicable moment, Cuba, Central America, and Mexico as Slave States. This will give the South the predominance in the Union, or at least afford her security against any growth or expansion of the Free States. The national greediness for territorial aggrandizement, the filibustering spirit now so rife, the speculators now so numerous in all sections of the Union, the strength of the existing slave interest, the love of democracy of the American people, and their confidence in their manifest destiny, it has been supposed would, all combined, secure the adoption of this policy against all possible opposition.
It would now seem that the plan is, in the first place, by the aid of the filibusters, Transit Companies, or other corporations and speculators, to organize Mexico and Central America into a great Anglo-Saxon Republic, as a duplicate of our own. In the beginning, in order not to excite the hostility of Great Britain and France, it will be organized ostensibly for the purpose of interposing a barrier to the further progress of the Union to the south. It contemplates, we presume, adding to this Southern Republic California and all the territory of the Union west of the Rocky Mountains, and as many of the Southern States as choose to secede, and aid in forming a slaveholding republic. But ultimately it is to be joined to the present Union, so as to extend the Union over the whole North American continent, together with the West India Islands, A grand scheme, we admit, and one which we do not doubt is seriously entertained by men who are not yet in a madhouse.
Even were this policy practicable, it should be opposed by every patriot, every friend of morality, by every man who has the least regard for national honor. The true policy of this country is undoubtedly to prevent Cuba from passing into the hands of a first-class European power, but not to take possession of it ourselves, even if we could do 80 with the consent of Spain herself. It would add nothing to our strength, and in fact as an outlying post, incapable, in case of war with a great European power, of defending itself, would much extend and weaken our system of military defences. In regard to Central America, through which lies one of the great highways of the future commerce of the world, all we want is that it should not be held by a power able to close that highway to us.
Of course, we cannot consent to let Great Britain, France, or Russia have possession of that highway, and for the same reason we can never suffer to grow up a rival power, Anglo-Saxon or not, able to dispute with us the transit across the Isthmus. These are fixed points in our national policy, which we shall maintain, if need be, with the whole moral and material force of the Union. But beyond we need nothing. A free transit across the Isthmus for our commerce we demand, and we shall do our best to exclude the settlement of any power there strong enough to deny it to us. Our interest requires nothing more, and this interest would exclude the grand Walker empire just now talked about, as much as it would England or France. The policy of our government has never gone, and we much doubt if it will go any further. General Pierce came into power with certain filibuster proclivities, and bis foreign appointments were all such as to create the impression that he intended to pursue a policy of territorial aggrandizement. But events proved too strong for him, or experience soon taught him a sounder policy. He has succeeded in giving bis administration, with a few exceptions, the right position in regard to foreign powers; the end of his government has well-nigh retrieved the errors of its beginning, and we regret that he is not to be at the head of the administration for the next four years, unless Mr. Marcy be retained as Secretary of State. But whatever may have been Mr. Buchanan's views at the Ostend Conference, or as Minister to England, we cannot believe he will aim at more in regard to Cuba or Central America, than to simply carry out as occasion may require, and as he has power, the so-called “Monroe doctrine," and this much even we should insist upon.
The free transit across the Isthmus for our commerce is necessary to enable us to keep up the balance of the New World with the Old. Great Britain is not at present ambitious of extending her power in the New World. She has turned her attention to the East, and hopes to monopolize the trade of entire Asia. She is aiming at the commerce of the Black Sea, and to gain a position in Sicily and also on the Persian Gulf, so as to check Russian advances towards India, and to neutralize France in Africa, Syria, and Egypt, and by means of the Euphrates railroad, and a railroad, or a canal, if she can control it, across the Isthmus of Suez, to place Asia in competition with America. This is the only way in which she can maintain herself for any great length of time against our commercial rivalry. We can meet her policy only by a ship canal across the Isthmus of Central America, and a railroad through our own territory to the Pacific Ocean enabling us to compete advantageously with her in Eastern Asia. Great Britain having turned her attention eastward, and being likely for some time to come to have her hands full with France and Russia, whom in the late war she adroitly played off one against the other, our filibusters seem to fancy that there is a chance of founding, by aid of the slave interest, a Southern Republic unconnected with the Free States of this Union, and of securing the commercial advantages to which Central America is the key. Hence the opposition of the South to the Pacific Railroad, unless it is made so far South as to come within what is intended to be the Southern Republic. But this Southern Republic is a dream that will never be realized. The whole power of the Federal government in the hands of the Free States, will be exerted, if necessary, to prevent it. Those Southern States, not yet within the limits of the Union will, if they change their present condition, be annexed to our confederacy. No matter what the journals may say. No administration will favor or suffer such a republic independent of the Union.
To the annexation of these States there are several
weighty objections. One is that we have no right to them, and cannot do it without tarnishing our national honor. Another reason is, the South will oppose their annexation unless they are annexed as Slave States, and to their annexation as Slave States the North will never consent, and the North is wrought up to that degree of heat, and is so confident of its strength, that it will have its way. It counts its late defeat a victory, and it will yield hereafter to slavery nothing not contained in the bond. In all the Spanish American Republics slavery has been abolished, and we shall never consent to take the retrograde step of reëstablishing it. The progress of the whole civilized world since the introduction of Christianity has been towards the abolition of slavery. To reëstablish it where it has been abolished is to take a step backwards towards barbarism and paganism. It would be a fine compliment to American Democracy to say that wherever it extends it carries slavery with it. It will do very well for our Southern "fire eaters" to tell us slavery is the basis of freedom, and the cement of the Union, but no man of ordinary intelligence and right feeling can be expected to believe it. The States in question may ultimately be annexed to the Union, but not till they can be annexed as Free States. Some of the Slave States may threaten secession, and may even take measures to secede ; but they will soon be glad enough to return, for if they secede they will leave the Union behind them, and by no means carry it with them. We have confidence that this grand filibuster and annexation scheme will find no favor with the incoming administration.
The true policy for us towards our Spanish American neighbors is to respect their rights as independent states, to suppress all invasions of them by our citizens, to protect them, aid them to recover from their internal distractions, and stimulate them by our trade and good offices to maintain well ordered governments, and to develop their internal resources. In this way we shall best promote both their interest and our own. At any rate, the incoming administration must put down filibustering. Filibusters are simply freebooters, pirates, thieves, robbers, murderers, and it is any thing but creditable to us, that they are able to awaken the sympathies of a people like the AmeriNEW YORK SERIES. —VOL. II. NO. I,
can. They are corrupt and corrupting, and already have they had a most deleterious effect on both the public and private conscience of large masses of our citizens. No doubt they have gained sympathy chiefly because they have given themselves out as the soldiers,-irregular soldiers it may be,-but the soldiers of liberty. Walker's conduct in Nicaragua in revoking the decree abolishing slavery, and practising the most cruel despotism, strips them of that mask, and they will henceforth, we hope, be held in the horror and detestation they deserve.
Some things more we had intended to say, but we have said enough. We have written for the purpose of throwing out a few suggestions which we hope the incoming administration will regard as those of a friend and not an enemy, but as those of one who loves truth and justice even more than the material interests of his country, and his country more than party, and who asks nothing of any administration for himself. Wiser suggestions may be made ; none more honest or disinterested will be offered. We follow no party lead ; we go with party as far as it goes with us, and no further. We reluctantly voted against Colonel Fremont, for we feared the influence of the abolition leaders who surrounded him, but we are as loath to support a Southern as a Northern sectional party, and though we voted for Mr. Buchanan, we will support him only so far as he proves himself a Union President.
ART. V.- Reflections and Suggestions in Regard to what
is called the Catholic Press in the United States. By the Most Rev. John Hughes, D. D., Archbishop of New York, New York : Dunigan & Bro. 1856. Zvo.
JOURNALISM in its present sense is of modern origin, and dates, according to La Civiltà Cattolica, only from the beginning of the French Revolution in the last century. Before that world-event there were gazettes, newspapers, and even literary and scientific periodicals, but no journals established for the purpose of acting directly on society, and effecting by the formation and force of public