[Click here for our notes and the beginning of this treatise. In-text bold emphases ours, in-text italics come from the original work.]
No. II.The difference of condition of the alien in Europe and in America.--Brief glance at the great steps of political advancement in Europe.--Action of American principles on Europe.--Reaction, perfectly natural.--Proofs of its actual existence.--The Combination in Europe to react on America.--The St. Leopold Foundation.
OUR country, in the position it has given to foreigners who have made it their home, has pursued a course in relation to them, totally different from that of any other country in the world. This course, while it is liberal without example, subjects our institutions to peculiar dangers. In all other countries the foreigner, to whatever privileges he may be entitled by becoming a subject, can never be placed in a situation to be politically dangerous, for he has no share in the government of the country; even in England, he has no political influence, for even after naturalization an alien cannot become a member of the House of Commons, or of the Privy Council, or hold offices or grants under the Crown. [Our note: Immigrants come here in numbers and move into offices and have babies and organizations, and newspapers, etc. popping up across the land with loud voices, each with huge demands on American society.]
In the other countries of Europe, the right of naturalization in each particular case, belongs to the Executive branch of government. It is so in France, in Bavaria, and all the German States. In France, indeed, a residence of 10 years gives to the alien all the rights of a citizen, even that of becoming a member of the Chamber of Deputies, but the limited suffrage in that country operates as a check on any abuse of this privilege.
This country on the contrary opens to the foreigner, without other check than an oath, that he has resided five years in the country, a direct influence on its political affairs.
This country, therefore, stands alone, without guide from the example of any other; and I am to show in the sequel some of the peculiar dangers to which our situation in this respect exposes us. But the better to comprehend these dangers, let me briefly trace the prominent steps in European politics which connect the past with the present.
Europe has been generally at rest from war for some 20 years past. The activity of mind which had so long been engaged in war, in military schemes of offence and defence in the field, was, at the general pacification of the world, to be transferred to the Cabinet, and turned to the cultivation of the arts peace. It was at this period of a General Peace, that a Holy Alliance of the Monarchs of Europe was formed. [Our note: Imminent Dangers was published in 1835, the Congress of Vienna took place in 1815 per Deception XXIII] The Sovereigns professed to be guided by the maxims of religion, and with holy motives seemed solicitous only for the peace of the world. But they have long since betrayed that their plans of tranquility were to be intimately connected with the preservation of their own arbitrary power, and the destruction of popular liberty every where. Whatever militated against this power, or favoured this liberty, was to be crushed. To this single end has been directed all the diplomatic talent of Europe for years. The "General Peace" was, and still is, the ever ready plea in excuse for every new act of oppression at home, or of interference abroad. [Our note: is this not the case today? "Global peace," "peace keeping troops," "tolerance," etc. Attacking independent countries and killing leaders under the guise of stopping "human rights violations"--from what I have seen, not everybody is happy when their leader is killed, the government is destabilized, and the vultures move in for their share of the pie.] The mental elements, however, set in motion remotely by the Protestant Reformation, but more strongly agitated by the American Revolution, are yet working among the people of these governments to give the Tyrants of the earth uneasiness. Conspiracies and Revolutions in the more absolute governments, (as in Austria, Russia, and the Smaller states, Italy, Holland, Belgium, &c.,) and the alternate changes from more to less arbitrary components in the Cabinets of the more popular governments, (as in England, France, and Switzerland,) indicate to us at various times the vicissitudes of the great contest, and the sharpness of the struggle. This being the political condition of Europe, easily shown to have grown out of the great divisions of free and despotic principles, made at the Reformation, is it at all likely that the happy fruits of this Reformation, more completely developed in this land of liberty, and exhibited perpetually to the gaze of all the world, can have had no influence upon the despotisms of Europe? Can the example of Democratic liberty which this country shows, produce no uneasiness to monarchs? Does not every day bring fresh intelligence of the influence of American Democracy directly in England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium, and indirectly in all the other European countries? And is there no danger of a re-action from Europe? Have we no interest in these changing aspects of European politics? The writer believes, that since the time of the American Revolution, which gave the principles of Democratic liberty a home, those principles have never been in greater jeopardy than at the present moment. To his reasons for thus believing, he invites the unimpassioned investigation of every American citizen. If there is danger, let it arouse to defence. If it is a false alarm, let such explanations be given of most suspicious appearances as shall safely allay it. It is no party question, and the attempt to make it one, should be at once suspected. It concerns all of every party.
There is danger of re-action from Europe; and it is the part of common prudence to look for it, and to provide against it. The great political truth has recently been promulged at the capital of one of the principal courts of Europe, at Vienna, and by one of the profoundest scholars of Germany, (Frederick Schlegel, a devoted Roman Catholic, and one of the Austrian Cabinet,) the great truth, clearly and unanswerably proved, that the political revolutions to which European governments have been so long subjected, from the popular desires for liberty, are the natural effects of the Protestant Reformation. That Protestantism favours Republicanism, while Popery as naturally supports Monarchical power. In these lectures, delivered by Schlegel for the purpose of strengthening the cause of absolute power, at the time that he was Counsellor of Legation in the Austrian Cabinet, and the confidential friend of Prince Metternich, there is a most important allusion to this country; and as it demonstrates one of the principal connecting points between European and American politics, and is the key to many of the mysterious doings that are in operation against American institutions under our own eyes, let Americans treasure it well in their memories. This is the passage :--"THE GREAT NURSERY of these destructive principles, (the principles of Democracy,) the GREAT REVOLUTIONARY SCHOOL for FRANCE and THE REST OF EUROPE, is NORTH AMERICA!" Yes, (I address Democratic Americans,) the influence of this Republican government, of your democratic system, is vitally felt by Austria. She confesses it. It is proscribed by the Austrian Cabinet. This country is designated directly to all her people, and to her allied despots, as the great plague spot of the world, the poisoned fountain whence flow all the deadly evils which threaten their own existence. Is there nothing intended by this language of Austria? The words of Despots are few, but they are full of meaning. If action, indeed, did not follow their speeches, they might be safely indulged in their harmless proscriptions. But this is not the case.--Austria has followed out her words into actions. Is it wonderful after such an avowal in regard to America, that she should do something to rid herself and the the world of such a tremendous evil? Does not her own existence in truth depend on destroying our example? Would it not be worth all the treasures of wealth that she could collect, if they could but purchase this great good? But how shall she attack us? She cannot send her armies, they would be useless. She has told us by the mouth of her Counsellor of Legation, that Popery, while it is the natural antagonist to Protestantism, is opposed in its whole character to Republican liberty, and is the promoter and supporter of arbitrary power. How fitted then is Popery for her purpose! This she can send without alarming our fears, or, at least, only the fears of those "miserable," "intolerant fanatics," [Our note: "Intolerant"--does this word sound familiar?] and "pious bigots," who affect to see danger to the liberties of the country in the mere introduction of a religious system opposed to their own, and whose cry of danger, be it ever so loud, will only be regarded as the result of "sectarian fear," and the plot ridiculed as a quixiotic dream." But is there any thing so irrational in such a scheme? Is it not the most natural and obvious act for Austria to do, with her views of the influence of Popery upon the form of government, its influence to pull down Republicanism and build up monarcy; I say, is it not her most obvious act to send Popery to this country if it is not here, or give it a fresh and vigorous impulse if it is already here? At any rate she is doing it. She has set herself to work with all her activity to disseminate throughout the country the Popish religion. Immediately after the delivery of Schlegel's lectures, which was in the year 1828, a great society was formed in the Austrian capital, in Vienna, in 1829. The late Emperor, and Prince Metternich, and the Crown Prince, (now Emperor,) and all the civil and ecclesiastical officers of the empire, with the princes of Savoy and Piedmont, uniting in it, and calling it after the name of a canonized King, St. Leopold. This society is formed for a great and express purpose. It has all the officers of government interested in it, from the Emperor down to the humblest in the Empire; and what is this purpose? Why, that "of promoting the greater activity of Catholic missions in America;" these are the words of their own reports. Yes; these Foreign despots are suddenly stirred up to combine and promote the greater activity of Popery in this country; and this, too, just after they had been convinced of the truth, or, more properly speaking, had their memories quickened with it, that Popery is utterly opposed to Republican liberty. These are the facts in the case. Americans explain them in your own way. If any choose to stretch their charity so far as to believe that these crowned gentlemen have combined in this Society solely for religious purposes; that they have organized a Society to collect moneys to be spent in this country, and have sent Jesuits as their almoners, and ship-loads of Roman Catholic emigrants, and for the sole purpose of converting us to the religion of Popery, and without any political design, credat Judaeus Apella, non ego.
Our Notes and Table of Contents for
"Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States
through Foreign Immigrations, and the Present State of the Naturalization Laws,
by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, 1835
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