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to Connaught become united kingdoms, and, finally, the United Kingdom of to-day.1

Again, the great nation which has, in recent times, risen to note under the title of Germany, consisted in the eighteenth century of nearly three hundred small and despotic states. Any national sentiment was less encouraged by the loose bonds of German Empire than by a national literature then in its birth-throes. As far as the general politics of Europe were concerned the petty German States were a negligible quantity." Compare their condition with the modern united State of Germany.

The case of America, therefore, is only peculiar in this that it shows on a larger scale than ever before witnessed on the globe, human nature and inherent tendencies battling with hard and fast political theories; struggling, and not unavailingly, against a written National Constitution which it has outgrown.

It is peculiar and it is of universal interest because we see here human nature, which craves ornament and prestige and expansion and centralization, and abhors rigidity, is slowly but surely winning the battle against the eighteenth-century doctrinaires and the demagogues.

After the war of separation from the mother State

1 "Although England was not firmly cemented into one State under Egbert, as is usually represented, yet the power of this monarch and the union of so many provinces opened the prospect of future tranquillity; and it appeared more probable that the Anglo-Saxons would thenceforth become formidable to their neighbours, than be exposed to their inroads and devastations."-Hume, chap. iii. A passage of modern applicability.

2 "The union of the Germans has produced, under the name of an empire, a great system of a federative republic. In the frequent and at last the perpetual institution of diets the national spirit was kept alive and the powers of a common legislature are still exercised by the three branches or colleges of the electors, the provinces and the free and imperial cities."-Gibbon.

and prior to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 there were thirteen small republics scattered along the Atlantic seaboard, each with distinct possibilities of nationhood, each with the germs within it of a separate North American race.' How widely the colonies differed has often been described. Bear in mind that communication was rendered difficult by distance and bad roads or no roads. It took as long to travel from Boston to Charleston as it would then take a European to go from Paris to St. Petersburg or from London to New York. What a field for speculation is thus afforded to the historical student by a contemplation of these states in embryo. While homogeneity now seems to be the law and destiny of those peoples sprung originally from the same ethnic stock, it may be retarded for centuries by the creation of national frontiers, by difference of language, of climate, of diet, of occupation, of chance conditions of existence. Differences far greater than those which could ever have distinguished the Angles from the Jutes, the Saxons from the Mercians, could they have maintained their petty boundaries for five hundred years, were inevitable for the Virginians, the New Yorkers, and the men of Massachusetts.

It is hard not to let the fancy dwell on the Virginian or Carolinian planter, with his high spirit, his feudal interests, his slaves, and his estates, gradually building up a form of government closely resembling that which was just then developing in the kingdom from which he had emigrated. There were boisterous demagogic spirits in Massachusetts, but the leaders, such as John

1 In 1777, the form was "The United States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island," etc.

Adams, were not of this type. They were monarchists, as Washington was, and knew nothing and cared less about republics. But it was an unfortunate juncture for the conservative spirit in America. We do not need to be told now that it was not the fault of George III. and his ministers that the colonies revolted. If the king and Lord North of that day had been as wise and prudent as King Edward VII. and Mr. Chamberlain in our own time, human nature would have had its way. The colonist was baffled in his desire for power, he was cut off from England by slow sailing ships, he had lost touch with the old land, and the sentiment of loyalty languished. There were no fast ocean steamers, no electric telegraphs, no cheap international postal system, there was not even any popular press or popular literature to foster understanding between the old land and the new. But, above all, human nature in America wanted change, it wanted excitement, it wanted war. People who cannot understand this kind of doctrine, may be helped to it by a contemplation of the quickened sense of community in Australia and Canada since their participation in the hostilities in Africa-of increased contentment with political relationship, more self-reliance, a wider outlook, more local spirit.

The question for a long time before the people of the former colonies was whether they would be a united State or a set of separate commonwealths. They long tried to be both; but the issue has now been settled politically and economically by the unity and cohesion of the people, by their new responsibilities and possessions, by their international relations, by their commercial

prosperity, by the astounding growth of the federal power.1

Look at the embryo republic; it was divided into the nation makers and the nation doubters, between the advocates of consolidation and the advocates of State sovereignty. It was urged that a strong central government endangered both the rights of the States and the liberties of the individual citizen. Massachusetts and New York, in particular, were jealous of national power which might belittle their own pretensions. Indeed, it is the opinion of historians that had the decision been left to the people voting at a plebiscite, the principle of consolidating the States into a nation would have been defeated. Probably the real impelling power which carried the federal constitution was the dread of foreign powers, i.e. Spain and England. France, which had lately held territories to the north of them in Canada, and to the south and west of the Mississippi, was no longer feared.3

1 "The confederation ought to be settled before the declaration of Independence," said Dickinson "of Pennsylvania in 1776."

"Foreigners will think it most regular; the weaker States will not be in so much danger of having disadvantageous terms imposed upon them by the stronger. . . . Upon the whole when things shall be thus deliberately rendered firm at home and favourable abroad, then let America, 'At tollens humeris fomomet fata nepotum,' bearing up her glory to the destiny of her descendants, advance with majestic steps to assume her station among the sovereigns of the world."

2 "Instead of feeling as a nation, a State is our country. We look with indifference, often with hatred, fear, and aversion to the other States."Fisher Ames, 1782.

3 The fear of foreign interference, the sense of weakness both on sea and on land against the military monarchies of Europe, was constantly before the mind of American statesmen, and made them anxious to secure at all hazards a national government capable of raising an army and navy, and of speaking with authority on behalf of the new Republic.-Bryce, "American Commonwealth."

Washington having boldly given it as his opinion that the ill-made league of States was "no better than anarchy," a convention therefore met in 1787, and after five months' labour and much diversity of opinion, natural amongst a people so heterogeneous, produced a Constitution which 39 out of the 55 delegates signed.'

Well, the Constitution was presented, and, in spite of much opposition, endorsed by the people of the States. But there was yet no strong nation born: it was more a federal pact, a league of neighbour commonwealths. There was nothing, for instance, in the Constitution to prevent any State withdrawing from the Union. A bloody war was to establish solidarity.

At the outset of the Republic's career we see the two forces; the forces which are at play in every government amongst every people in the world, even amongst the Chinese. Alexander Hamilton, statesman and an aristocrat by choice, represented the desire for nationhood, for power; the monarchical tendency; Thomas Jefferson, a great thinker and a greater demagogue, stood for decentralization, State sovereignty and futility.2

How clearly it is seen now that to the Jeffersonian doctrine was immediately due the secession of South

1 "By adopting this Constitution," urged the delegate from Pennsylvania, "we shall become a nation; we are not now one. We shall form a national character: we are now too dependent on others."

2 "To balance," declared Hume, "a large State or society, whether monarchical or republican, on general laws, is a work of so great a difficulty that no human genius, however comprehensive, is able by the mere dint of reason and reflection to effect it. The judgments of many must unite in the work; experience must guide their labour; time must bring it to perfection, and the feeling of inconvenience must correct the mistakes which they inevitably fall into, in their first trials and experiments."-Essays, "The Rise of Arts and Sciences."

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