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times affords instances of a state of society called civilization which demoralizes man. But we deny that the increase and diffusion of the comforts of life and the degeneracy of man are necessary accompaniments. Perhaps among no nation of olden times was there a greater amount of luxury than among the ancient Persians ; yet they subjugated a great part of the world, and held under their rule the hardy tribes of the_Taurian and Caucasian mountains. Undoubtedly the French and English are more civilized than Turks and Russians; among the former the superfluities, luxuries, and refinements of life are in vastly greater abundance; but will any one maintain that in the power of hardy enterprise, of patient endurance, the love of peril, the contempt of death on the battle-field, calm, intrepid resolution in the face of ocean tempests, and in naval warfare, the Russian can vie with the English, or the Turk with the French? As social beings, men have infinitely gained by the characteristics impressed upon them by the progress of civilization. Modern and European improvements have the tendency to equalize as well as to diffuse the enjoyments of human existence. The conveniences of life, the resources of art and science, are gradually becoming more universally accessible, and artificial enjoyments are year by year becoming as general as the natural blessings of light and air ; and as Christianity is better understood, and is allowed more universally to leaven" mankind, civilization is purified, and becomes restorative and conservative of all that is physically and morally noble in human nature.
We cannot close this article without explaining one anomalous fact in the history of modern civilization. In early history we find that the more barbarous tribes caught civilization from their more advanced neighbours by contact; while colonial experience shows that the contact of barbarism with European civilization has had a most demoralizing and disastrous effect. It is probable that in the former case the savage was not far removed from the civilized state, and hence the transition was easy; while the distance between the European and the aborigines of America and Australia is too great to allow the latter to acquire more than the vices of the settlers. Remarkable exceptions to these fatal results prove that it is partly to the indocility of the savage races, and partly to the low character of those of the settlers who first come into contact with the aborigines; in other words, to the intercourse of the barbarous native with the most uncivilized European, that the extirpation of numerous coloured races must be attributed. The inhabitants of the innumerable islets of the South Pacific Ocean, and the natives of New Zealand, have adopted the habits and manners of Europeans without being demoralized; and herein we have a proof that it is not contact with civilization that has caused the disappearance of whole races of men.
On a review of the subject in its general aspect and tendency, we hold that civilization, rightly defined, does not necessitate demoralization.
M. H. 1864.
HAS NAPOLEONISM BEEN BENEFICIAL TO EUROPE?
AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-I. By “ Napoleonism” we assume is meant the policy pursued by Bonaparte, and Louis, the reigning emperor. By their policy we, again, indicate results rather than aims. With Napoleon's military genius we have nothing to do, although the tactics adopted by him totally revolutionized warfare. But * Napoleonism” was not confined to the field. The public works inaugurated by Bonaparte, the political reforms he made, and especially the Code of Laws he framed, are admitted to this day to be monuments of genius, as creditable to him as they have been beneficial to France. Europe is as much indebted to his courage, resolution, and endowments as a statesman and reformer, as it was a sufferer from his audacity, unscrupulousness, vanity, and cruelty as a warrior. But even as a soldier of fortune, public opinion has gradually turned more and more in his favour. If we compare the opinions held by Sir Walter Scott and those of Sir Archibald Alison, we see that even they who, by social position and political tendencies, are as remote as possible from “Napoleonism," palliate some of the crimes of Bonaparte. Sir Archibald frequently points out that the precarious foundations of government, after such an upheaval and chaos as the Revolution bad produced, compelled him to harmonize and reorganize French society on the field of battle. That personal ambition led him to glorify France need not be denied. That, admitting beneficial results, he did gigantic evils that good might come, is equally true. But still the mischief that France would have done under a less sagacious ruler is incalculable. If he scourged Europe, he tamed France. Society was then in a chaotic state. Obedience to law and authority was lost. Moral force in the rulers, who successively supplanted one another was unknown. Physical force was the only arm of government, if such it can be called, disorder and confusion had become the habit of the people, and enforced subjection the only remedy. To oppose constituted authority had become the chronic malady of France. And the only man that could collect the remnants of a shattered nation, and weld them again into a united and submissive people, was Bonaparte. He confined and directed a torrent which otherwise would have become a deluge, from which Europe, it is possible, would have taken as many centuries to emerge as it did to arise out of the sea of barbarism that overwhelmed the effete empire of Rome. It is not more true that for some twenty years the history of this one man was the history
of Europe, than that that history was of the destruction of gigantic abuses, the overthrow of political institutions and corrupt dynasties which were sinking the nations into the putrescence of death.
Let us consider what was the effect of his policy in Italy. And here we dismiss from consideration both his personal motives and the unscrupulousness of the means he adopted. Were we pronouncing a judgment upon the man as a moral agent and as a human being, his selfishness, ambition, cruelty, and deceit could not be left out of calculation. But it is with the results of “ Napoleonism" that we have now to deal. Look, then, at Italy as it was before and after Napoleon swept over it as a fierce tornado.
Sismondi observes that “when Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed to the command of the French army in Italy, in 1796, he began to effect a regeneration which gave to the Italian nation more liberty than it had lost. It is the participation of numbers in the government, and not the name of republic, as opposed to monarchy, that constitutes liberty. It is, above all, the reign of laws, publicity in the administration, as well as the tribunals, equality, the removal of all obstacles on thought, on education, and on religion. Five mil. lions and a half of inhabitants in the kingdom of Italy were put in possession of a constitution which secured to them all these advantages, with a participation in the legislature and in the vote of taxes. They had recovered the glorious name of Italians ; they had a national army, the bravery of which rendered it daily more illustrious. Six millions and a half inhabitants of the kingdom of Naples received institutions, less advanced, it is true; but even there the law had succeeded arbitrary power; public and oral evidence had succeeded secret information and the torture ; equality, the feudal system, education, instead of retrograding, had been rendered progressive ; and thought, as well as religious conscience, had recovered freedom. Finally, two millions of Piedmontese, five hundred thousand Genoese, the same number of Parmesians, and two millions and a half of Tuscans and Romans--in all, five millions five hundred thousand Italians-were temporarily united to France. They partook of all the privileges of the conquerors ; they became, with them, accustomed to the dominion of law, to freedom of thought, and to military virtue-secure that at no very distant period, when their political education should be accomplished, they would again be incorporated in that Italy, to the future liberty and glory of which they now directed their every thought. Such was the work which the French accomplished by twenty years of victory. It was, doubtless, incomplete, and left much to be desired; but it possessed in itself the principle of greater advancement; it promised to revive Italy, liberty, virtue, and glory.”
All this was undone by the opponents of “Napoleonism” at the Congress of Vienna ; and England took no small part in throwing Italy back, till “Napoleonism” was revived by the accession to
Quoted in Edin. Review, vol. lv., p. 373.
power of the present ruler of France. The “Holy Alliance” had placed Italy again under the corrupting and cruel yoke of Austria and the Papacy; and there was neither the disposition nor the power in Europe to emancipate Italy, till "Napoleonism" again became all-powerful in the cabinets of Europe and the battle-fields of Lombardy.
To say, in reply, either that the present emperor had no such intention as Italy desired or Providence fulfilled, or that, when he saw the full development of his own policy, he stopped short, and wished even to undo a part of his own work, is to urge objections to the person of the great agent, but not against the question in debate, which is, Has Napoleonism been beneficial p" To add that a Garibaldi was necessary to turn French selfishness into Italian prosperity, is simply to suggest the answer that Garibaldi could not have effected his glorious deliverance of *the two Sicilies" had not Napoleonism prepared the way by expelling Austria from the plains of Lombardy. Even now what could united Italy do against her great German foe, if France did not stand at her back, warning the Austrians off the soil of the Peninsula ?
In a broad aspect, “Napoleonism" was a specific for European disorders. Consider the obstinacy of Austria against all social, political, and religious progress; the fanaticism of the Papacy, its inveterate love of despotism, and hatred of all reform, and this after the experience of the last three centuries ; the revival in Prussia, in this the nineteenth century, of the maxims, principles, and tactics of the Stuart "kingcraft” of the seventeenth century; the support England gave, almost as long as Wellington lived, and the support Earl Derby and Lord Malmesbury would still gire, it permitted, to European dynasties against peoples and nationalities, and one feels at once that Napoleonism, which has ever upheld the latter, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally, was and is still one of the great providential agencies required by the world. If violence and treachery have followed in its wake, preceded its advent to power, and continue its handmaids, these are but the dark shades in a picture, which serve to set off the brighter fore. ground. A Hampden, a Milton, a Cromwell, and a Prince of Orange might serve to assert in England, and a Washington in America, that kings exist for the people, and not nations for the aggrandisement of dynasties ; but it is only a Napoleon that can teach European despots, popes, and cardinals that nationalities have sacred rights, and cabinets solemn responsibilities. It was " Napoleonism,” fifty years ago, with which Providence opposed Metternichism-that symbol of legitimacy and despotism combined —and it is “ Napoleonism” now that alone can successfully counteract the policy of Pio Nino, Cardinal Antonelli, Francis Joseph, Bismarck, and Mouravieff.
The recent proposal of the French Emperor to hold a congress of crowned heads, or their representatives, on the state of Europe, was based on the virtual destruction of treaty rights of dynasties settled in the year 1815. The Treaties of Vienna, or the Treaties of 1815, were based on the desired restoration of that political system which had been destroyed by the first Napoleon. His policy was based on the designed supremacy of France; that of these treaties on the suppression of the French ambition on the one side, and Russian aggression on the other side of Europe. Both these powers, though the one had been revolutionary, and the other conservative in its professions, required the interposition of the strongest possible barriers ; and so far the congress endeavoured to secure the tranquillity of the Continent; but in carrying out this scheme a most arbitrary readjustment of states was made in favour of the claims of " legitimacy,” to the total disregard of the rights of nationalities. Kingdoms were broken up, they were distri. buted into parts, and reconstructed, without the slightest refer. ence to popular rights and sentiments, and unfortunate Italy was placed under the despotic sway of the house of Lorraine and the house of Bourbon. It is true that a spirit of liberalism, notwithstanding, characterized these arbitrary arrangements, but this was the enforced result of "Napoleonism.". The promises of constitutional government were speedily recalled, and in place of them the most repressive measures were inaugurated. National traditions, distinctions of race, and popular sentiment, had been bartered according to the predilections of statesmen and the wants of dynasties, by the framers of the treaty in congress; and no sooner had its members separated, than they commenced to neutralize the more liberal provisions, and aggravate the worst features of the compact between the Sovereigns of Europe. Popular fermentations, foreseen by Sir James Mackintosh, were made the pretext for cancelling the promises of constitutional government, and substituting those repressive measures which are symbolized in the phrase _" The Holy Alliance." Royal réunions rapidly succeeded each other; and the result was that league of crowned heads against their subjects, and that principle of "intervention” in favour of dynasties, and against the liberty of the people, which lasted till the revolution of 1848, when “ Napoleonism” again appeared in the field of war and in the cabinet of diplomacy. Even a Castlereagh was staggered at such a coalition of kings against peoples, and denounced the attempt to revive despotism in its worst forms. The anti-liberal alliance of the three great Northern powers, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, was the source of oppression in Central Europe, a barrier to the progress of constitutionalism in France, political death in Italy, and a perpetual menace to the existence and development of those principles which are fostered and diffused by England. This league against popular institutions has been broken up by the accession of the Emperor to the French government.