Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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UNION, The (IN U. S. HISTORY), the title by which the national life of the United States of America is commonly expressed. The title necessarily implies that which is the unanimous choice of the American people, a federal system of states. It would not necessarily exclude the idea of secession, since a union may be either voluntary or involuntary; but it is notorious matter of history that the American Union was not voluntary, that it was compelled by the same pressure of common interests which still and more strongly holds it together, and that it therefore does exclude the idea of secession. (See NATION, STATE SOVEREIGNTY.)


—The "Roman peace," which was enforced by the great republic and empire of ancient times around the Mediterranean, did not exclude exactions by proconsuls, to which an open war would sometimes have been preferable. The Pax Americana, which the Union enforces upon the great and growing states of central North America, has no such drawbacks, and has been one great secret of the national prosperity. The great state of New York, stronger already in population than Sweden, Portugal, the Dominion of Canada, or any South American state, except Brazil, is surrounded by smaller states, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware. But these last have no anxieties: no standing armies breed taxes and hinder labor; no wars or rumors of wars interrupt trade; there is not only profound peace, but profound security, for the Pax Americana of the Union broods over all. It seems probable that the steady doubling of population of the United States will, within the next century, force upon the states of Europe some similar or separately developed union for the same purpose. The free trade which is one of the benefits of the American Union, would then have a larger jurisdiction. Perhaps the poet's dream of "the parliament of man, the federation of the world," is not an impossibility; and that with it will come the era of universal peace and universal free trade.


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