Page:The North American Review Volume 145.djvu/7

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JULY, 1887.


The era in American politics which began with the candidacy of Fremont closed with the defeat of Elaine.

When in a time of strong feeling and clashing interests no man can state a principle which will be a test question between the great political parties, and a Presidential contest, fought on questions of personal character, is decided by the foolish utterance of an irresponsible speaker, it needs not even the son of a prophet to tell that the time for the drawing of new political lines h,as come, and that essentially new political parties must soon appear.

The Republican party died at heart some time ago—with the second administration of Grant or, at least, with the early part of the administration of Hayes; but partly for reasons similar to those that make the days of the autumnal equinox warmer than those of the vernal equinox, and partly because of the weakness of its opponent, it still held its place. If the great party that fought the war and abolished slavery had become but a party of the ins, great party that claimed political descent from Jefferson had become but a party of the outs. It needed only that the ins should take the place of the outs to destroy both. And this, thanks finally to the Rev. Dr. Burchard, the election

VOL. CXLV.—NO. 368.