IT is a familiar remark in history that Rome was conquered by those whom she had conquered: that while Rome conquered the East by her arms, Rome herself was conquered by the vices of the East. Even a Roman writer of the time noted:—
“Luxury came on more cruel than our arms,
And avenged the vanquished world with her charms.”
This fact of the conquerors being conquered by the conquered, though perhaps not identically the same way, seems certainly to be repeated in this modern great republic.
Of all the accepted family of nations Spain is the one to which in principles of government, the United States was the most extremely opposite.
In Spain, the most subservient to Rome, and the “home of the Inquisition,” was the most thorough union of church and state. In the United States, by the fundamental principles and the supreme law of the nation, there was the most complete separation of church and state. In laying down these principles and words it was expressed that Rome and the Inquisition for the ragged rocks of warning which induced this total separation of religion and the state.
Now the United States has conquered from Spain her colonial possessions, almost solidly Roman and inquisitorial in religion. Before this Rome and her religion was occupying no small place in the affairs of the national Government. Is Rome’s influence in and upon the national Government likely to be lessened when in dealing with these colonies, the Government must necessarily deal directly with Rome? Is it not certain that through this vast opportunity Rome will enlarge her influence, and fasten her power, more and more, upon the Government of the United States, until she shall actually dominate—if not clearly, yet just as certainly—by the balance of power? And thus the conquered may be, yea, almost certainly will be, the conqueror of her conqueror.
Nor is it only in this that Spain is likely to conquer. Civilly, it is likely to be so also. This phase of this thought has been so well put by Professor Sumner of Yale, that we cannot do better than to quote:—
“The Americans have been committed from the outset to the doctrine that all men are equal. We have elevated it into an absolute doctrine as a part of the theory of our social and political fabric. It has always been a domestic dogma in spite of its absolute form, and as a domestic dogma it has always stood in glaring contradiction to the facts about Indians and negroes, and to our legislation about Chinamen. In its absolute form it must, of course, apply to Kanakas, Malaya, Tagals and Chinese just as much as a Yankees, Germans and Irish. It is an astonishing event that we have lived to see American arms carry this domestic dogma out where it must be tested in its application to uncivilized  and a half civilized peoples. At the first touch of the test we throw the doctrine away, and adopt the Spanish doctrine. We are told by all the imperialists that these people are not fit for liberty and self-government; that it is rebellion for them to resist our beneficence; that we must send fleets and armies to kill them, if they do it; that we must devise a government for them, and administer it ourselves; that we may buy them or sell them as we please, and dispose of their ‘trade’ for our own advantage. What is that but the policy of Spain to her dependencies? What can we expect as a consequence of it? Nothing but that it will bring us where SPAIN IS NOW.”
A. T. J.