The Rise and Fall of Anarchy in America_
Eighteen and Eighty Eight_
Geo N. McLean_
Under the fascination of rose-tinted delusion whose fatal mists obscure the mental and moral realm of thought, many become criminals, goaded on by blind infatuation which persevered in becomes a passion all-absorbing in its nature. In the blindness of their infatuation they seek to immortalize their names by a bold and base attempt at the subversion of law and order.
In view of the many phases and complications involved in the labor question, along with the cosmopolitan element engaged in forcing, as it were, measures intended to revolutionize labor, trade and commerce, this subject becomes of extreme delicacy to treat, the intricacy of which affect all classes and conditions of men, and threatens to convulse society from the outer crust of uppertendom to the inner sub-strata of human interest, affecting largely the social, civil, and political interests of the ever-enlarging generations of mankind.
The dark cloud standing out in bold relief outlined against the political horizon of this great republic seems to be gathering in intensity. Just now the lull in matters pertaining to this great question of "Capital" and "Labor," seem like the “calm that precedes the hurricane.” Animosities and antagonisms are widening the gulf between these conflicting interests of society, and anarchy and socialism, assuming a belligerent attitude, threaten a disruption of good and wholesome government.
We bid a hearty God-speed to any innovation upon the stereotyped and superannuated system, or dogmatic usage in the interests of absolute and overwhelming monopolies, which has for its object the general well-being of our common humanity, the elevation of the universal brotherhood of mankind, and the perpetuity of American institutions.
We do not believe in monopoly and oppression; but the final triumph of right over wrong by honest, earnest and persevering endeavor.
Socialism_ A theory of society which advocates a more precise, orderly and harmonious arrangement of the social relations of mankind than that which has hitherto prevailed.—Webster.
Communism_ The reorganizing of society, or the doctrine that it should be reorganized, by regulating property, industry and the means of livelihood, and also the domestic relations and social morals of mankind; socialism; especially the doctrine of a community of property, or the negative of individual right in property.—J. H. Burton.
Anarchy_ Want of government, the state of society where there is no law or supreme power, or where the laws are not efficient, and individuals do what they please with impunity.—Webster.
“Order, heaven’s first law.”
Never before, perhaps, in the history of any great nation, was there a time when wise, honest and unswerving men were necessary at the helm of the great social and political ship of American freedom than at the present time, in order that she may weather the blasts, pass in safety the dangerous reefs and shoals of any party politics, maintain the majesty of her laws, grow strong in truth, making aggressive warfare upon error and superstition, “and having done all to stand entire at last,” “with her lamps trimmed and burning,” her liberty enlightening the world.
One of our great minds has said: “Our country, though rich in men of faithfulness and power, and having escaped from the difficulties of earlier times, perceives new questions which demand whatever of counsel the wise and thoughtful can give,” for an era so active in thought and impulse is always perilous to the nation and need strong men, wise and calm in the midst of her greatest storms. Many of our nation’s noblest sons within a short space of time have bowed in obedience to the behest of that monarch whose summons all must obey. In our minds we go back to that period when our country was young, and behold manly forms, marked by intellectual dignity, and bearing in their countenance the unmistakable insignia of true and noble manhood. They, too, have passed away, and home and sanctuary know them no more; but the light found in such characters assist in solving the difficult problems of to-day. Our nation’s God can make of a poor and humble craftsman a mighty statesman. Many such lives are poured full of honors, and their graves are fresh and green in our memories. Nothing can equal in grandeur the interminable extent of our vast prairies, covered with blossoming buds. Every lover of nature, and home and country can daily hear a grand anthem of praise ascend to God for the munificence of his unspeakable gifts.
“From that cathedral boundless as our wonder
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply.”
These pastoral symphonies are dear to all our hearts. We love our country, and gazing upon our glorious flag, we feel it means to
But to foes
Untarnished its honor, and the undimmed radiance streaming down from every star upon our glorious banner for over one hundred years, what usurper dare insult her national prowess and trail her honors in the dust, or flaunt the red flag of anarchy and socialism in the face of our national greatness?
Anarchy cannot prevail, as “order is heaven’s first law,” and “eternal vigilance the price of liberty.”
Our measureless prosperity as a nation have caused to seek employment, protection and a home beneath the ample folds of our grand old flag, many representatives from almost every nation under the sun, to whom have been extended all the rights, social, civil, religious and political, of free-born American citizenship, while obedient to its laws. We who seek this country as our home, because of its advantages and the superior facilities for obtaining a livelihood or of amassing wealth, can be guilty of no baser act than to endeavor to sow the seeds of discord and confusion among the peaceful and well organized brotherhood in this land of freedom and prosperity; and all violations of good and wholesome law, endangering the peace and prosperity of citizens, or the overthrow of our national institutions, are deserving of the nation’s frown.
What greater insult can be offered to the children of freedom than for people of foreign birth to usurp the birthrights and trample upon the institutions for which their fathers bled and died?
Never before were citizens of any country placed on trial for so grave and flagrant a transgression, who received such consideration and fairness at the hands of the administrators of law and justice as did the participants in the Haymarket tragedy.
In view of the deep turpitude of their crime great credit is due to all the standard papers of the city of Chicago, and the Press of the United States, for the fair and impartial manner in which they represented the Anarchists’ case during the trial and pending the execution. The articles appearing from time to time in their columns seemed ever tempered with mercy. Yet firmness characterized all their expressed opinions. The institutions of our country are dear to every true and loyal American.
The outrage perpetrated upon our high order of civilization called for life in exchange for the lives sacrificed by the tragic events of the night of May the 4th, 1886. Every right-thinking journalist acknowledged the justice of the sentence and said, so let it be; believing that when “judgment and justice are abroad in the land the people will learn righteousness.”
Scarcely has the chronicler of time recorded fifty years in the eventful history of Chicago since it was known only as a little trading post for the Indians of the west and northwest, but being the central and distributing point for the interminable fertile territories stretching away toward the land of the setting sun, its progress in wealth and population has been unprecedented.
The eight-hour system of labor had been agitated for some time, and the first of May, 1886, was the time set for it to go into effect by all the trade and labor unions. It was suspected by many that the insubordinate element of socialists and anarchists would take advantage of the already fermented state of the working classes, to make a bold stand to revolutionize and demoralize, by their treasonable and inflammatory speeches, the otherwise peaceful and respectable citizens of Chicago.
...the constitution itself is not a complete system... it takes none but the first steps in organization... it does little more than lay a foundation of principles... it provides with all possible brevity for the establishment of a government having, in several distinct branches, executive, legislative, and judicial powers... it vests executive power in a single chief magistrate, for whose election and inauguration it makes carefully definite provision, and whose privileges and prerogatives it defines with succinct clearness...