As the unnatural struggle in America proceeds, or may be only approaching the worst stages of a desperate conflict, those who entertain opinions or sentiments adverse to our American system of government, will everywhere be unable to conceal the gratification they expect to derive from the downfall of our federal Union. They have seen and perhaps felt, as they believe, the sad effects of the liberal principles on which our State and national institutions are founded. The elective franchise as enjoyed in this country, and the American example of self-government, which have hitherto been so conspicuous in exerting a powerful influence in Europe, continued to be dreaded by Aristocracies and Monarchies; and dreaded more than any combination of fleets and armies which any hostile power could muster against their pretensions. And it is not strange, therefore, that a distinguished English statesman of the Tory school in politics, should improve the first opportunity to announce, with a triumphant air, the approaching dissolution of the model institutions of the American people.

But it may yet be too soon for the Aristocrat or the Monarchist to infer, from the present situation of political affairs in this country, the ultimate dismemberment of the Union as it was. And if that event should already be considered as certain, it would by no means follow that our present system of government for the whole country would not be adopted, in case of separation[,] by the several confederacies into which the whole country should happen to be reduced. Such a disaster might prove nothing against the system, while it might only establish the fact that different sections had become so irreconciliably hostile to each other, as to necessarily require the organization of different nationalities. Mind and not kindred blood constitutes the essential element of national association; and consanguinity is only important as it is a probable index to a common mind. Besides, it should always be remembered, that the federal government is only a part, and perhaps not the most essential part of our American system. The “dissolution” to which a noble lord in England has referred with so much complacency, in comparison with the dissolution of a monarchy, would not necessarily disturb the general order of society to the same degree in America. The protection of person and property would still be the province of the States. A provision indeed exists in our institutions consisting of States, which is far above the reach of human wisdom.

The American people may well enter their protest against the outbreak of civil war in this country being taken as evidence of any fault in the institutions which they have inherited from the great and good men of the American Revolution. Civil dissensions have been periodical in every country and under every kind of government. The wonder is, that the United States should have escaped such a calamity for so long a period. And the probability may be, after all, that a heriditary monarchy or a heriditary aristocracy, so far from averting, would only have unhappily hastened the present troubles in the United States. Clearly, it was not the character of the American constitution, but a departure from the obligations of that instrument which has broken out in any portion of the land in acts of disloyalty; and perhaps brought upon the whole country the agonies of a bloody conflict. And so far, therefore, as the present troubles have any connection with the peculiar form of our federal government, they are rather to be taken as evidence in its favor, than made the occasion of recommending monarchy or aristocracy as a preferable institution; and when perhaps a tendency to monarchy or aristocracy has been the chief cause of apprehension that the federal constitution would become in practice a melancholy failure.

But what form of government has ever been secure against the possibility of treason? If any one more than another, it would certainly seem to be such a form as rested upon a popular basis, and made that offense to consist in a violent contempt of popular authority as represented in the government of the United States. But even that provision under unfavorable circumstances may fail of its proper effect. And one of the more candid and better informed portion of foreign journals is found to admit, that no government in the world has ever had to deal with elements so discordant and unmanageable as those which have existed in this country for so many years and even from the date of its independence. That no government in the world has ever exhibited so much wisdom and forbearance in dealing with those elements which especially required the greatest degree of wisdom and forbearance. And that no government in the world has ever managed so well in warding off a catastrophe which is now no longer perhaps to be avoided, and which to the most careful observers of the signs of the times has long appeared to be inevitable.