Editorial in The Gazette of the United States

1794

From the Gazette of the United States, in Answer to the foregoing.

Mr. Fenno,

I have read with much pleasure in your Gazette the struictures of Alfred, and join him in thinking that it is of great importance for us rather to convince the excellence of the Republican system by example of its beneficial tendency among ourselves than by any arguments deduced from theory only—but I cannot help observing that he is rather mistaken when he thinks that the misfortunes of France have confirmed existing prejudices against Republics. Every impartial and confiderate man will rather attribute the absurdities and instability, the anarchy and _______ war of France, to the efforts of expiring monarchy and nobility, combined with foreign foreign despotism than to any natural or genuine effect of Republicanism itself. As well might the days of our tender laws, tarring and feathering of tories, and confiscation of traitor’s estates be argued against the free constitution we enjoy, as the present _____ of France be placed in the balance with the object she contemplates, and which only a peace can afford her.

This peace, which freeing her from her external danger, and removing the criminal views of those of her citizens who expected by foreign aid to subdue her, would give her leisure to adopt a government suited to her people and her wants, is what her enemies dread the most, for they fear from such a peaceful order of her affairs to see result an unclouded prosperity that might endanger the neighbouring and expansive monarchies, by proving the real value of Republican institutions to mankind. England, in particular, apprehensive of the efforts produced by face governments in extending the wealth and commerce of their subjects, is ambitious to prevent the success of a system which, by elevating her rival, bids fair to humble her own accumulated prospects of advantage—it is no wonder, therefore, we see her make such efforts to prohibit the establishment of another Commonwealth, the more justly formidable from its nearness to her.

With an eye almost as jealous, she has long surveyed the rising prosperity of America—the excellence of our Federal system—the strict neutrality we observe in the present war—the manufactures we import from her—the riches we bring her—All these have not hid from her that our Ports are extending—that our shipping are increasing—that our country is settling. These are reasons enough in the scale of modern politics, to thin our Western borders, by a gradually desolating Indian war—to cut off our shipping on pretence of French property—and to let loose the Barbary cruisers, in safety on the ocean, to destroy us. It is true, that in all these, British agency is not directly visible—But is there really a sensible man among us who doubts of their ability to prevent these things—if their friendship for us were as cordial—as their apprehension of our growing strength is earnest and sincere.

What is left to be done in the state of things? it is for Congress to decide—they will give indeed, a great proof of the value of Republics, not by railing at the mistakes of others—but by guarding against their own, and from their present aspect—I doubt not every thing will be done that a deserving and meritorious people could expect from a virtuous and enlightened Legislature.

N U M A.

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