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The Prospect Before Us
Hezekiah Niles - Niles Weekly Register - September 2, 1915

    It is so much the custom for editors of works like this, to make an occasional stop and hold a little familiar chat with their patrons, that I might be supposed to want due respect for the numerous readers of Weekly Register if I were to omit an observance of it.
 
    The existing state of things, as well as the “prospect before us,” is most happy for the American people.  The republic, reposing on the laurels of a glorious war (the war of 1812), gathers the rich harvest of an honorable peace.  Everywhere the sound of the axe is heard, opening the forest to the sun claiming for agriculture the range of the buffalo.  Our cities grow and towns rise up as by magic; commerce expands her proud sails in safety, and the “striped bunting” floats with majesty over every sea….The lord of the soil, who recently deserted the plow to meet the enemies of his country on its threshold and dispute the possession, has returned in quiet to his fields, exulting that the republic lives, and in honor!  The hardy hunter, whose deadly rifle lately brought the foeman to the earth, has resumed his former life, and, in the trackless forest employs the same weapon, with unerring aim, to stop the fleet deer in his course.  Plenty crowns the works of peace with the abundance, and scatters from her cornucopia all the good things of this life, with prodigal (generous) bounty.
 
    A high and honorable feeling generally prevails, and the people begin to assume, more and more, a national character; and to look at home for the only means, under divine goodness, of preserving their religion and liberty with all the blessings that flow from their unrestricted enjoyment.  The “bulwark” of these is in the sanctity (holiness) of their principles, and the virtue and valor of these who profess to love them, and need no guarantee form the bloodstained and profligate (immoral) princes and powers of Europe.  Morality and good order ever prevail-canting hypocrisy has but few advocates, for the Great Architect of the universe is worshipped on the altar of men’s hearts, in the way that each believes most acceptable to Him…
 
    The progress of our country population, wealth, and resources is without parallel.  The census of 1820 will give us not less than 10,000,000 people, of which a large and unexpected portion will be found westward of the Alleghenies, having emigrated from the East, with a tripled proportion of wealth and resources compared with what they were in 1810, the “calamities of the war” notwithstanding.  The great ease with which a livelihood is obtained in the republic will continue a like increase of the first for many generations, and the others will go on with geometrical ratio.  And much assistance to each may be expected from the war-worn Europeans, seeking a place of rest from oppression and chains.  It is hardly possible to imagine, with any degree of certainty, the value annually created by the recently applied industry of the people to manufactures, aided by the various labor-saving machinery adapted to large institutions or household establishments.  We are friendly to the former to a given extent, but it is on the latter that we chiefly rely to accomplish a sublime (noble) independence of the New World….
 
    Let us then, fellow citizens, cherish our republican institutions, and hold up as “objects for scorn to point her slow unmoving finger at” anyone that would jeopardize them, or bring them into disrepute.  We have a strong monarchial partly among us, whose principle is imported form England, that must be carefully watched.  Let us recollect the sayings of the sage (wise person) who declared that he who gives up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor disposition in our mind as a part of existence that these United States are, of God and by our right, free, sovereign and independent; and in this persuasion, also feel a determination to obey the injunction (command) of Washington, “and frown indignantly on the first drawing of an attempt to alienate one portion of our county from the rest, or to enfeeble (weaken) the sacred ties that now link together the various parts.

Questions to Think About

1.  Why does Niles think that prospects are "most happy for the American people"?

2.  Give four examples from the readings that would increase nationalism throughout the United States of America.