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jealousies, suspicions and fears. Most of these difficulties, such a tribunal would either prevent, or easily settle; and for the rest, it would provide an antidote sufficient to supersede ninety-nine wars in a hundred.
Nay; would not this grand expedient suffice for the worst emergency possible to such a state of Christendom? It would make nations, just like the members of a Christian church, cease to think of settling their disputes by arms. They could never draw the sword at the outset; and the long delay occasioned by an appeal to the congress, and by subsequent preparations for conflict, would give ample time for passion to cool, and reason to gain such an ascendency as she seldom, if ever, had in any declaration of war by men. If the parties disliked the first decision, they might claim repeated hearings; and every new trial would create new obstructions in the way of appealing to the sword. Such ar appeal would draw down upon them universal displeasure ; they might be put, as a species of temporary outlaws, under the ban of all Christendom, and excluded from both political and commercial intercourse; and such measures, enforced by the high authority of a court representing all civilized nations, and venerated by the whole world for its integrity and wisdom, could hardly fail to hold back the most reckless from bloodshed.
SECT. 6.-OBJECTIONS. 1. Public opinion is not yet ripe for such a measure.Then, let us make it so. It is in some degree prepared even now for the measure; and soon might the wise and good, by the right use of means within their reach, form through Christendom such a public sentiment as would ere-long secure this or some other permanent substitute for war. Public opinion is certainly ripe enough to start in earnest the train of efforts indispensable to the final accomplishment of our object
2. 'We have other means now in use sufficient for the preservation of peace.—True, they might suffice; but they do not in fact supersede war. So might similar means suffice for the adjustment of all disputes between individuals; but we still deem it expedient, if not necessary, to have our codes and courts of law. In spite of all methods now in use, the war-system still continues, and we wish to introduce a substitute that shall actually supersede it entirely and forever.
3. Christendom is unwilling to give up the war-system.—If rulers are, the people are not; and the results of the French Revolution made even the sturdiest despots anxious for peace as their only security. All Europe, crushed beneath the enormous burdens of war, is even now panting for release from its evils, and would hail with joy any effectual antidote or remedy.
4. But nations would shrink from the expense.—We cannot believe it; such a tribunal would cost scarcely a thousandth part of what the war-system does even in peace. England spent for war an average of more than one million of dollars every day for twenty years, and the war expenses of all Christendom cannot be less even in peace than two or three millions a day; while a congress of one hundred members, even with a salary for each equal to that of our own president, would cost only two millions and a half, and a single million would support a congress of fifty members at a yearly compensation of $20,000 each, or nearly sixty dollars a day for every member.
5. But diversities of language, and religion, and manners, and government, and pursuits, would surely defeat the project.None of these would oppose insuperable or very serious impediments to the slight degree of union required in such a confederacy. Not a few of them were overcome in the formation of our own general government; and they were all found in the Diet of Switzerland, where each of the twentytwo cantons is internally as independent as any nation on earth, where the form of government varies from the purest democracy to the stiffest aristocracy, and where the people differ in language, manners and religion.
6. But such a tribunal would be dangerous.—To whom or what? Would it trample on the weak? No; it would have no power for such a purpose; but its first care would be to guard them against encroachment and abuse. Would it endanger liberty and popular governments ? Called into existence by their voice, it would become of course a servant to their wishes, and a guardian of their rights and interests. Would it interfere with the domestic concerns of states ? It would itself be the surest check upon such interference. Would it become a conclave of political intrigue, and serve only to embroil the nations ? History refutes the charge; and the supposition is just as absurd as it would be to expect that ambassadors appointed to negotiate peace, would only foment new wars. Would it become a tool in the hands of some future Alexander or Napoleon to subjugate all Christendom? Such monsters are the offspring only of war; and the peaceful policy inseparable from a congress of nations, would put an end forever to the whole brood. By what process, then, could such a tribunal be thus perverted? With no fleets or armies at their command, with no offices of emolument or honor to bestow, with no right to touch any subject
not submitted to them by their constituents, how could such a body become an engine of conquest, tyranny and blood ?
7. Composed chiefly of representatives from monarchies, such a tribunal would, at all events, be unfriendly, if not dangerous, to republican governments.—We see not how it could be; for it would have no power to interfere with the internal affairs of any government, or to sit in judgment on any dispute not voluntarily referred to it by the parties. No nation would be bound by any of its decisions without their own consent; and we might as well say, that treaties with monarchies, and still more such references as we ourselves have repeatedly made to them, must endanger the freedom of our institutions. Such a court, guided by a common code, and responsible to the whole world for the rectitude of their adjudications, could not be half so dangerous as those kings and autocrats whom we have occasionally selected as umpires. Yet who has ever dreamed of the least danger to our government from such references ?
8. But the congress, after all, would be powerless. Why? Because it would wear no crown, wield no sword, hold no purse ? Such logic mistakes the age. Opinion is now the mistress of the world. Her voice could light or quench the fires of a thousand battle-fields. It changed the government of France in a day, and reformed the parliament of England without bloodshed. It made us free. It once marshalled all Europe in the crusades. It called up the demon-spirits of the French Revolution, and sent hurricane after hurricane of war howling in wrath over the fairest portions of Christendom. All this it has done; and, when embodied in the grand Areopagus of the world, would it then be powerless ?
SECT. 7.—MEANS REQUISITE FOR SUCH A MEASURE.
Such a tribunal will of course be the work of time and extended concert. The train is already started; but we must pass through a long process to the final consummation. The frequency of national intercourse, and the peaceful methods of negotiation, and of reference in its various forms, for the settlement of national disputes, are rapidly preparing the way for such a result, but can never reach" it without the use of special, appropriate means.
We must first rouse the people to demand some such expedient. Rulers can find one, if they will ; but they never will, till driven to it by a voice from the people like that of many waters. We must spread before the community a flood of light on this subject; we must paint before them, in burning colors, the guilt and the evils of war; we must show them how easily those at the helm of government could avoid it, if
they would ; and we must make them resolve not to bear this load of gratuitous mischief and misery any longer, but insist on some device for the permanent peace of Christendom.
Thus roused, let millions pour their united voices upon the ear of parliaments, congresses and cabinets, till statesmen shall be constrained to take hold of the work in earnest, and push it onward to its full consummation. Let some Burke or Brougham, some Franklin or Jefferson, grasp the grand idea, and hold it up before his own nation, till it comes, like the sun in the firmament, to fill the whole hemisphere of their vision; let the government of England, France or America adopt the project as its own, and commission some of its first minds to press it upon the attention of other governments ; let the process go on, till a call, loud as the longings of a crushed and bleeding world for relief from the woes of war, shall come forth to summon the wisdom of all Christendom to a consultation of peace, amity and love. This done, the result would be certain; for the smaller states would rush for safety to the sheltering wings of such a confederacy, nor would any Christian or civilized nation long stand aloof, and brave the scorn of a world.
The work is already begun; and we would urge every lover of his kind or his country to lend it his aid. Petitions have already been presented to the British Parliament; and the attention of our own Congress, and several legislatures, has been repeatedly called to the subject. The project is now before the nation and the world with fair omens of success; and fain would we call upon all ministers of peace, upon all churches of the Prince of Peace, upon all teachers in Christian seminaries of learning, upon all editors as the lawgivers or guardians of public opinion, upon all persons in place and power, upon every one that has a tongue, a pen or à purse for any cause of philanthropy, to co-operate in an enterprise fraught with so many blessings to mankind through all coming time. SECT. 8.-SKETCH OF PAST ATTEMPTS FOR SOMETHING
LIKE AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL. History furnishes no exact or adequate model of what we propose. Something more or less like it, has been attempted under the name of Councils or Leagues, Diets or Congresses; but none of them included what we deem most essential to our scheme, while they all relied on the sword for the accomplishment of their purpose. Our plan, excluding the chief causes of their failure, obviates nearly all the objections urged against those attempts, of which we will briefly sketch the most important.
ger of the assassin Ravillac put an end in 1610 to the life of Henry, and to his great scheme.
Since the death of Henry IV., no government has agitated the question of a permanent international congress. The Holy Alliance of 1815 did not aim at any such result; and, though the allied sovereigns did well in “declaring their unalterable determination take for the rule of their conduct alike in the administration of their respective states, and in their political relations with other governments, the precepts of our holy religion, which, far from being applicable only to private life, ought on the contrary to influence directly the resolves of princes, and guide all their measures, as being the only means of consolidating human institutions, and remedying their imperfections,” yet the sudden death, if not the jealousy, of Alexander, the leader in the movement, prevented any serious benefit from it to the world. It was in itself a noble avowal; and well did Ex-President Adams say to the late William Ladd, “ the Holy Alliance was itself a tribute from the mightiest men of the European world to the purity of your principles, and the practicability of your system for the general preservation of peace."
Nor can we regard the Congress of Panama (1826) as nearly resembling our scheme. It was a grand movement; and its failure was owing not so much to the nature of its objects, as to the character of the people who called it, to the obscure and inconvenient place where it was convened, and still more to its chief promoter, Bolivar, " the Napoleon of this hemisphere,” as John Quincy Adams called him, “who had no more honest regard for peace or human liberty than had his prototype in Europe.”.
The movement of Henry IV, has served to keep before Christendom, the idea of some common tribunal for the great brotherhood of nations. In 1693 William Penn wrote an essay, in which he says of Henry's scheme, “his example tells us that it is fit to be done ; Sir William Temple's History of the United Provinces shows, by a surpassing instance, that it may be done ; and Europe, by her incomparable miseries, that it ought to be done.” Saint Pierre, who died in 1743, published on the same subject, and by his zeal provoked from Voltaire the petulant remark, that "he was forever insisting on the project of a perpetual peace, and of a sort of parliament of Europe, which he called the European Diet.” Rousseau, charmed with the scheme, reviewed it, and lent to it all the power and fascination of his genius. We are not aware that any other men of note took up the subject before the rise of peace societies near the downfall of Napoleon.
From the first, however, have these societies aimed at a