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to it. Philanthropists, in Europe and America, hailed it as a new era in which the sovereigns of three great empires, controlling the destinies of the eastern continent, had associated together, under a solemn covenant, to make the happiness of their subjects, and the peace of Europe, their ultimate object, and the gospel the rule of their conduct. The more cautious politician considered, that the views of these monarchs, in making this ostentatious declaration of their philanthropy, could only be learned by its future results. Francis, Frederick William, and Alexander, were doubtless inferior, in point of talents, to hundreds of their subjects; but by virtue of principles, growing up in ages of ignorance and barbarity, having for their foundation the hereditary and divine right of kings, possessed each a personal income for his own private emolument, of greater amount than the whole civil list expenditure of the United States. They enjoyed a complete exemption from all accountability to human tribunals. They possessed the power of making war and peace at their pleasure, and of commanding the resources, and population of their respective nations for the purposes of their own aggrandizement. The principles of civil liberty which must eventually destroy this baseless fabric, had been implanted in the United States, and flourished for nearly half a century. Every year increased their extent, and permanency. They had sprung up in South America, were beginning to appear in Greece, and though the arms of the allied powers had crushed them for a season, in France, they still existed in the hearts of Frenchmen. Men of intelligence and reflection, in every part of Europe, felt their force, and the sentiment was becoming generally prevalent, that though it might not be prudent or proper to throw off at once the shackles of the monarchal system, yet its operations ought to be restricted by legislative assemblies, elected by the people. A fortuitous concurrence of circumstances had brought together, at Paris, the three principal despots of Europe, who held its destinies in their hands; and they were not disposed to separate without taking some measures to perpetuate the r power, and arrest the progress of public opinion. Under the specious pretext of a holy alliance, formed for the repose and happiness of Europe, their union was in truth a conspiracy against its liberties. South America has been threatened, and several of the minor European powers have experienced the direful effects of this misnamed holy alliance.
The guardian genius of the United States induced a decla.
ration on their part that this conspiracy of kings must in no wise interfere with the establishment of the sacred principles of American liberty, in the western continent. A connected view of the proceedings of the holy alliance, so far as they were directed to the extirpation of American principles of free government, down to the year 1822, is thought preferable to an interrupted narration.
Meeting at Troppau. After the separation of the parties to the holy alliance, in 1815, no formal meeting of the body was held until 1820. Each monarch contented himself with individual exertions within the sphere of his influence to promote the main object. On occasion of the formation of a constitution in France, similar in its principles to the English system, the king, under the direction of his associates in this alliance, rejected it, discarding altogether the idea of the people's forming a constitution for themselves. The state of the national feeling, however, compelled him to grant his subjects, as a mere gratuitous act, the form of a constitution, containing few of the principles of civil liberty.
On the breaking out of the revolutionary spirit in the south of Europe, in 1820, the emperor of Russia called a meeting of the holy alliance at Troppau, a city of Austrian Silesia, on the 26th of October, 1820. The European powers who had not, in form, joined this league of sovereigns, were invited to attend. After a conference of a few weeks, they published a manifesto, in which they state, “that the overthrow of the order of kings in Spain, Portugal, and Naples, had necessarily increased the cares and labors of the powers who had combated the revolution, and convinced them of the necessity of putting a check to the new calamities
ch Europe was threatened With, out doubt," they say, " the powers have a right to take in common, general measures of protection against those states whose reforms, engendered by rebellion, are opposed to legitimate government.” They profess to desire' only to maintain tranquillity, to protect Europe from the scourge of new revolutions, and prevent them as far as possible. They ground their right of interference in the affairs of other nations, upon treaties between themselves, to which these nations were not parties : a proposition which bears its own refutation on the face of it. The congress then adjourned to Laybach, a city of Austrian Illyria, forty miles northwesterly of Vienna, for the purpose of obtaining a more full representation, and taking more effectual measures to check the rising spirit of liberty in the south of Europe.
Meeting at Laybach. This meeting assembled in January, 1821, and composed one
of the most august assemblies ever convened in Europe. The emperors of Russia, and Germany attended in person, the former assisted by eleven, and the latter by six of his ablest counsellors. England, France, and the two Sicilies sent three ministers each; Prussia and Sardinia two; and Tuscany, Modena, and the states of the church one each. The business of this congress, as it respected the rights of legitimacy, was of mighty import. In the year which had just closed, the contest between the right of self-government in the people on the one hand, and the monarchal claim of an hereditary right to govern on the other, had assumed an interesting character, and appeared to be coming to a crisis. Spain, Portugal, and the whole of Italy, except the states of the church, and the Austrian dominions, were in a progress of revolution, and with less internal commotion than usually attends such events, were rapidly advancing to a condition in which the people would enjoy a portion of civil liberty. It was obvious that this system, unchecked, would soon diffuse itself into other nations, and eventually put down the hereditary monarchal system.
It was the business of the congress of Laybach to arrest the progress of this spirit. To aid them in this work, they had in the
1st place, a numerous and powerful hereditary nobility, whose title to honor and distinction rested on the same basis with their sovereign.
2d. A numerous host of office holders, dependent on the crown for employment and bread.
3d. Large standing armies, officered, paid, and fed by the prince, and ever obedient to his will.
4th. Extensive religious establishments, deriving their authority and support from the crown, employed to keep the people in ignorance of their rights, and to inculcate the doctrines of passive obedience to the will of the sovereign, and implicit faith in the dogmas of the church.
5th. A numerous class of public creditors, whose property in the funds depended upon the existence of the government, in its present form.
Opposition to revolutionary principles. The progress of political reformation had also to contend with the apprehensions of men of property, that a revolution would render their possessions insecure; and with the fears of all, that anarchy, misrule, or a more confirmed despotism, might be the ultimate result. Operated upon by these fears, a large portion of the community were induced to prefer the deprivation of their liberties, to the hazards of a revolution. Indeed, were it not for these apprehensions, the present mo. narchs of Europe would probably be the last of their race. To contend with this host of enemies, the American theory of civil government, in its progress among other nations, had no aid, but what was derived from the force of truth and right reason, presented to the understandings of the people of Europe. There were also some radical defects in the forms of government which the revolutionary states were about to adopt, which must be amended, or their duration would be short. Their legislatures, under the denomination of juntas, cortes, and parliaments, were to consist of but one house, and that a numerous one.
Such a body, passing laws by acclamation, as they generally did, on the suggestion of some leading, and often intriguing member, was very unfit to govern a nation, and would soon become an instrument in the hands of wicked men, of tyranny, in its worst forms. The example of the French nation, in the early periods of its revolution, evinced the utter incompetency of such bodies, to the purposes of correct legislation.- Forty years' experience in the American republics, had proved that a legislature consisting of two branches, sitting in separate chambers, each having a check on the other, united in itself all the valuable properties of government.
Notwithstanding these examples, the inhabitants of the south of Europe were disposed to make the experiment of a legislature, consisting of the representatives of the people, convened in one chamber. The revolutionists in Naples had taken measures calculated to provide a remedy for this defect. In the early stages of their progress, they dispatched an intelligent man to the United States, to obtain information in relation to their political institutions, the structure of their government, the principles upon which it was administered, and its practical effects. This gentleman, in the capacity of a private traveller, and mostly as a pedestrian, visited many of the principal towns, and most of the seats of legislation, in the United States, noting, with great attention, their political institutions. The information thus obtained, must have led to a new modeling their system; but before his return, the Austrian bayonets, under the direction of the holy alliance, had put an end to the revolution in Italy,
Resolutions of the congress at Laybach. At the congress of Laybach, the three monarchs, of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, published an exposé of their views in relation to the state of Europe. The principles advanced in this extraordinary paper, are calculated to excite the astonishment and alarm of the friends of liberty, and the rights of man, throughout the world. They say,
1st. That an hereditary monarchy is the only legitimate government.
2d. All reform, or melioration of the condition of the subject, must proceed from the free grace of the sovereign.
3d. Any attempts at reform, not proceeding from this source, are to be considered as treason and rebellion, and to be put down by the sword.
4th. It is the right and duty of the legitimate monarchs of Europe, to unite in support of each other, and in putting down the revolutionary spirit, in every nation.
These doctrines, boldly advanced under the signatures of the original parties to the holy alliance, develop the hidden meaning of that instrument, the views of its framers, and the manner in which they were to preserve the peace of Europe. The citizens of the United States were not without apprehensions, that this combination against the liberties of mankind, might extend its influence and exertions to America. So long as its operations were confined to the east'ern continent, Americans had nothing to do, but to sympa. thize with its suffering inhabitants. Great Britain, though often solicited, stood aloof from this conspiracy; her ministers attended the congresses at Troppau and Laybach, not for the purpose of uniting with them, but of remonstrating ag their proceedings. They declared a strict neutrality, in relation to the commotions in the south of Europe, and denied the right of any power to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations.
Naples. The attention of the congress at Laybach was particularly directed to the suppression of the revolutionary spirit in Naples. That kingdom, embracing all Italy, south of the Papal territory, and the island of Sicily, and containing a population of six millions, had adopted as their system of government, a limited monarchy, and a parliament, containing a representation of the people, after the model of the Spanish constitution, of 1812. King Charles, an infirm and feeble minded old man, of upwards of seventy, had sworn to support this constitution, and given up the active concerns of government to his son, the Duke of Calabria,