Before witnessing the affranchisement of the slaves, we shall, therefore, witness the affranchisement of American politics. They have endured a shameful yoke, and received sad lessons. Since Jefferson, the born enemy of true liberalism, founded the Democratic party, the United States had continued to descend the declivity of radicalism; a work of relentless levelling was thenceforth pursued, and the domain of the conscience became gradually invaded. The democratic party found its fulcrum in the South. The slave States forced the enclosure of the private tribunal, and confiscated in behalf of the State the inviolable rights of the individual: neither thought, the press, nor the pulpit, were free among them; the fundamental maxims of Puritan tradition were sacrificed by them one after the other. They did more: thanks to them, men were beginning to learn in the free States how to set to work to pervert their own consciences, and to substitute for it respect for sovereign majorities. Every day, crying iniquities were covered by the pretext: “If we were just, we should compromise the national unity, or we should risk losing the votes secured to our party.” Violence, menace, brutality, and corruption, were boldly introduced into political struggles. Men became habituated to evil: the most odious crimes, the Southern laws reducing to legal slavery every free negro who should not quit the soil of the States, hardly raised a murmur of disapprobation; the United States seemed on the point of losing that faculty which nothing can survive—the faculty of indignation.
Behold in what school the democratic party had placed the American people—that noble people which, despite the grave faults with which it may be reproached, represents in the main many of the lofty principles which are allied to the future of modern communities. The reign of the Democratic party would form the subject of an inglorious history; in it we should see figure the glorification of servitude, piracy applied to international right, and, in conclusion, those facts of corruption and waste which served to crown its last Presidency. The most consistent champions of the doctrines and practices of the democratic party, are those men who have just declared that votes are valid only on condition of giving the majority to slavery, and that a regular election is a sufficient cause for separation.