“The Reflex of Imperialism” American Sentinel 14, 6, p. 82.

JANUARY 6, 1899, Hon. Wm. J. Bryan, in a speech at Cincinnati, O., said:—

“If we enter upon a colonial policy, we must expect to hear the command ‘Silence!’ issuing with increasing emphasis from the imperialists. When the discussion of fundamental principles is attempted in the United States, if a member of Congress attempts to criticise any injustice perpetrated by a government official against a helpless people, he will be warned to keep silent, lest his criticism encourage resistance to American authority in the Orient.”

January 25, 1899, Representative Johnson, of Indiana, made a speech in Congress against American imperialism in the Philippines. In replying to this speech Representative Dolliver, of Iowa, “amid another outburst of applause, declared that the crisis of the hour was due to ‘the almost treasonable utterances in this chamber and in the Senate chamber.’ There was some excuse for the rioters at Madrid, but none for those who at home joined in reviling their country and denouncing the Peace Commissioners for what they had done.” He declared that “their arguments were drawn from General Blanco himself.”

The above words of Mr. Bryan have come true, much quicker than even he supposed. But there is no doubt that they have come true, and that in only three weeks. And this being so, the following also from the same speech may be expected to come true in due time and order:—

“If an orator on the Fourth of July dares to speak of inalienable rights, or refers with commendation to the manner in which our forefathers resisted taxation without representation, he will be warned to keep silent, lest his utterances excite rebellion among distant subjects. If we adopt a colonial policy, and pursue the course which excited the Revolution of 1776, we must muffle the tones of the old Liberty Bell, and commune in whispers when we praise the patriotism of our forefathers.”

And if they do these things in a green tree, what will they do in the dry? Yet for all this, Mr. Bryan well says:—

“we cannot afford to destroy the Declaration of Independence; we cannot afford to erase from our constitutions, State and national, the Bill of Rights, we have not time to examine the libraries of the nation, and purge them of the essays, the speeches, and the books that defend the doctrine that law is the crystallization of public opinion, rather than an emanation from physical power

“But even if we could destroy every vestige of the laws which are the outgrowth of the immortal law penned by Jefferson; if we could obliterate every written word that has been inspired by the idea that this is a ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people,’ we could not tear from the heart of the human race the hope which the American Republic has planted there. The impassioned appeal, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death,’ still echoes around the world. In the future, as in the past, the desire to be free will be stronger than the desire to enjoy a mere physical existence.”

A. T. J.

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