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was always an unnatural and artificial growth, and
had its origin in the astuteness of Russia attempt-
ing to make political capital out of the mistakes of
the upper classes in England, who, for reasons
which need not here be discussed, gave their
sympathy and moral support to the Southern
Democrats in the civil war. Russia, who foresaw
the inevitable result of the struggle, sided warmly



182 THE GREAT REPUBLIC.

with the North, and earned a cheap gratitude,
which for some time made an imposing display.
But the farce was played out with the return of
cordiality between England and America, for it
was impossible that either of these nations should
long regard with any other sentiment than disgust
the domestic policy of Russia. It was an evil day
for the Liberal party in England when fortune
compelled it to appear as the advocate of Russian
fraud and aggression in south-eastern Europe, to
champion a Power whose hostility to England is
deep-seated and inveterate, and whose political
methods are abhorrent to every sentiment of
Liberalism. America and England have both
fallen into the same snare, and we may hope that
for them, at least, the fowler may in future spread
his nets in vain.

Great as the evils of the political system in
America may be, and serious as are the dangers
which lie before the Republic, the people are far
too energetic and high-spirited to view them with
any unworthy alarm. The pride in the greatness
and wealth of their country which is felt and
expressed by Americans, their confidence in its
future, and the equanimity with which they regard
the dangers or troubles of the hour, are admirable
to behold, and are qualities which in themselves go
far to deserve and command national good-fortune.



FOREIGN POLICY. 183

Nor is their pride and confidence exaggerated or
unfounded. They possess a country immense in
extent and of unparalleled richness. In its virgin
soil and limitless prairies are an inexhaustible
treasury, a cornucopia from which fatness and
abundance for ever flow, while in no part of the
world is found such varied mineral wealth. The
harvest of field and mine is reaped by an intel-
ligent, industrious, and energetic people, whose
territory stretches from ocean to ocean, and this
generation will see within its borders one hundred
millions of English-speaking people, who will
doubtless be prosperous, and who, if they be wise
in time, may be also free.

England, who has girdled the earth with empire,
and the roots of whose national oak lie, like those
of the mystic tree in Norse sagas, among the
hidden bases of the world, can look without fear,
or distrust, or envy, but rather with a glad and
generous pride, at the development of the great
American people, bone of her bone, and blood of
her blood. And if England can find nothing
worthy of adoption in the political system of
America, she can yet take care that she does not
fall behind in that noble and confident spirit which
is the birthright of imperial races, and which
enables them to look indifferently on good or evil
fortune. There are Englishmen who seem to



184 THE GREAT REPUBLIC.

believe that the golden age has passed for their
country, and that she is falling into decrepitude.
This is not the view of those who have breathed
the free air of the younger and greater Britain in
Canada, Australia, or India. It is not the spirit
which breathes in Lord Dufferin's Canadian
speeches, or in the admirable address lately de-
livered by Lord Lome before the Colonial Institute,
or which inspires the patriotic resolve of Australia
to not only share the glory but the burthens of
the mother-country. The British Empire is still in
its infancy. Grafted, it is true, on an ancient
monarchy, it only dates from the occupation of
Virginia by Raleigh three hundred years ago. It
has grown to be the greatest empire the world has
ever seen, with a territory of 9,000,000 square miles
and 300,000,000 subjects of the Queen, and now
only waits the statesman whose genius shall gather
it into one mighty federation, animated by loyalty
and dignified by freedom. When that day shall
come we may hope that the united Anglo-Saxon
race, English and American, will join hands across
the Atlantic, and, disdaining all possible occasion
of quarrel, cement a lasting alliance which will
insure the peace and progress of the world.

THE END.



fLOR, PRINTEKS.



ii, HENRIETTA STREET, COYENT GARDEN, W.C.
(Late 193, Piccadilly, W.)

JULY, 1884.



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Online LibraryLepel Henry GriffinThe great republic → online text (page 11 of 11)