HIS LATEST YEARS IN CONGRESS Genet was at last got rid of, but the evil that he did lived after him. His presence had provoked an outbreak, to some degree, of the phenomena of the French Revolution, which, however significant they might be in the upheaval of an old monarchical despotism, were an unwholesome growth among a simple people, where one man was as good as another before the law; where, from the first settlement of the country, all had largely possessed the advantages of a popular government; and where any Other than a republican government for the future was wellnigh impossible. For men to address each Other as "citizen," as if the word had the new significance in America that it had just gained in France; to swear eternal fidelity to liberty, equality, and fraternity, as if these were lately discovered rights which had been denied the common people for centuries by kings and nobles, who had always lived in the next street in inconceivable luxury wrung from the blood and sweat of the poor; to form Jacobin clubs pledged to the suppression of the tyranny of aristocrats in a country where, as Samuel Dexter said of New England, there was hardly a man rich enough to own a carriage, and few so poor as not to own a horse; for men thus to ape those revolutionary ways, which meant so much in Paris, may have seemed at the moment, to sober-minded people, more fantastic than harmful.
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by Sydney Howard Gay
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by Sydney Howard Gay
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by on October 27, 2016
- Library of Alexandria, March 2015
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