The Duty of American Women to Their Country by Catharine Esther Beecher

The Duty of American Women to Their Country

byCatharine Esther Beecher

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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Look, then, at France during that awful period called the Reign of Terror. First, observe the process by which the power passed into the hands of the people. An extravagant king, a selfish aristocracy, an exacting priesthood, had absorbed all the wealth, honour, and power, until the people were ground to the dust. All offices of trust and emolument were in the hands of the privileged few, all laws made for their benefit, all monopolies held for their profit, while the common people were condemned to heavy toils, with returns not sufficient to supply the necessities of life, so that, in some districts, famine began to stalk through the land. Speedily the press began to unfold these wrongs, and at the same time, Lafayette and his brave associates returned from our shores, and spread all over the nation enthusiastic accounts of happy America, where the people govern themselves, unoppressed by monopoly, or king, or noble, or priest. The press teems with exciting pages, and orators inflame the public mind to a tempest of enthusiasm. The court and the aristocratic party cower before the storm; and ere long, the eleven hundred representatives of the people are seen marching, in solemn pomp, through the streets of the capital, while the whole land rings with acclamations of joy. They take their seats, on an equality with nobles and king, and proceed to form a constitution, securing the rights of the people. It is adopted, and sworn to, by the whole nation, with transports and songs, while they vainly imagine that all their troubles are at an end. But the representatives, chosen by the people, had not the wisdom requisite for such arduous duties as were committed to them, nor had the people themselves the intelligence and virtue indispensable for such a change. Men of integrity and ability were not selected for the new offices created. Fraud, peculation, rapine, and profusion abounded. Everything went wrong, and soon the country was more distressed than ever. “What is the cause of this?” the people demand of their representatives. “It is the aristocrats,” is the reply; “it is the king; it is the nobles; it is the clergy. They oppose and thwart all our measures; they will not allow our new Constitution to work, and therefore it is that you suffer.” And so the people are filled with rage at those whom they suppose to be the cause of their disappointment and sufferings. The clergy first met the storm. “These bishops and priests, with their vast estates, and splendid mansions, and rich incomes—they beggar the people, that they may riot on the spoil.” And so the populace rage and thunder around the national Hall of Legislation till they carry their point, and laws are passed confiscating the property of the clergy, and driving them to exile or death. Their vast estates pass into the control of the National Legislature, and for a time, abundance and profusion reign. The people have bread, and the office-seekers gain immense spoils. But no wisdom or honesty is found to administer these millions for the good of the people. In a short time, all is gone; distress again lashes the people to madness, and again they demand why they do not gain the promised plenty and prosperity. “It is the aristocrats,” is the reply; “it is the king; it is the nobles; it is the rich men. They oppose all our measures, therefore nothing succeeds, and the people are distressed.”
Title:The Duty of American Women to Their CountryFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465612637

ISBN - 13:9781465612632