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one of the strongest motives for keeping the union entire was
the fear of future wars with another republic, the fugitives
from which would be continually crossing our border, and
with which, for various reasons, we could not long expect to
be at peace. The insulation of Great Britain removes it to a
distance, if not toto orbe, from the rest of Europe, and this
has had a great influence on her steady development. Most
of the nations of Europe have been affected not only in their
general prosperity but in their forms and functions of gov-
ernment, by the necessity of going to war with each other ;
and the balance of power, so far from provoking war, has
rather on the whole kept down the aggressive spirit and
saved smaller states from being absorbed in larger ones.
Their nearness and the suspicions of the designs of larger
states call for large armies, large armies call for increased
burdens, on industry, and the increase of the military force
of one country calls for the same increase in all others which
are exposed to its invasions or intrigues. The war spirit
does not generally spring from the people—although Napo-
leon's conquests finally roused all Europe, rulers and people,
against the French—but from dynastic quarrels and from
intrigues. The ease with which money may be borrowed in
large sums in the leading money markets adds to the willing-
ness with which nations go to war. Posterity must pay the
There is no end to this which is likely to be accepted by
the civilized nations of the world, but every step by which
the tax-payers gain political power makes war more difficult.
If the power of borrowing could be constitutionally restricted
and the power of lending for purposes of war be made diffi-
cult, this would be a blessing to the world. But a still more
important measure would it be, if nations by treaty reduced
their public armaments—on land at least, for fleets are less
dangerous—according to a uniform rule. Perhaps the same
end may be gained by a loss of public credit amounting al-
most to bankruptcy.