“The Federal Principle,” The Globe (9 August 1864)

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Date: 1864-08-09
By: The Globe
Citation: “The Federal Principle”, The Globe [Toronto] (9 August 1864).
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The Montreal Witness quotes the article of the Montreal Herald upon the Federal principle, upon which we made some comment yesterday, and makes the following excellent reply:—

“The Swiss federation being, perhaps, the only case in which the principle has been fairly tried, has stood the test for centuries, both with regard to internal and external relations, and that, not we think so much on account of pressure from without as love to it from within. There is no other country in Europe, or the world probably, which is upon the whole so free from abuses as Switzerland, and where the people are so uniformly patriotic. It is probable, indeed, that had Switzerland been a monarchy, it would long ere this have been absorbed in the large monarchies around it. The people would in that case have seen as little change as Savoy did when annexed to France. But being a republic, and every man a soldier, it is only something like extermination that could subdue them. The American federation was a remarkable success, so far as can be judged, but for slavery, and that element allowed it no fair play. It is that, and that alone, which has marred the success of the experiment. Federations, under the old-world monarchies, are evidently not cases in point at all, the very genius of those monarchies being unity of power in everything. The very genius of Anglo-Saxon institutions is a combination of local self-governments, with a federal head, each supreme in all matters constitutionally pertaining to it. In France, on the contrary, all power emanated from the central government—a system which made Paris France, and the King or Emperor the State. We merely offer the remarks to assist in forming a correct public opinion on a subject of so much interest at this time.

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