Zitate von William H. Seward

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William H. Seward

Geburtstag: 16. Mai 1801
Todesdatum: 10. Oktober 1872

William Henry Seward war ein US-amerikanischer Politiker, der von 1861 bis 1869 unter den Präsidenten Abraham Lincoln und Andrew Johnson als Außenminister der Vereinigten Staaten amtierte. Im Jahr 1867 war er maßgeblicher Initiator des Kaufes Alaskas von Russland. Wikipedia

Photo: Mathew Brady / Public domain

Zitate William H. Seward

„It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.“

—  William H. Seward

On the Irrepressible Conflict (1858)
Kontext: The Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect the United States constitute only one nation. Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.
Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.

„As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practise or neglect to practise the primary duties of justice and humanity.“

—  William H. Seward

On the Irrepressible Conflict (1858)
Kontext: As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practise or neglect to practise the primary duties of justice and humanity. The free-labor system conforms to the divine law of equality, which is written in the hearts and consciences of man, and therefore is always and everywhere beneficent.
The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion, and watchfulness. It debases those whose toil alone can produce wealth and resources for defence, to the lowest degree of which human nature is capable, to guard against mutiny and insurrection, and thus wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in national development and aggrandizement. The free-labor system educates all alike, and by opening all the fields of industrial employment and all the departments of authority, to the unchecked and equal rivalry of all classes of men, at once secures universal contentment, and brings into the highest possible activity all the physical, moral, and social energies of the whole state.

„Pacific Ocean, its shores, its islands, and the vast regions beyond, will become the chief theatre of events in the World's great Hereafter“

—  William H. Seward

Commerce in the Pacific Ocean (1852)
Kontext: Who does not see, then, that every year hereafter, European commerce, European politics, European thoughts, and European activity, although actually gaining greater force and European connections, although actually becoming more intimate will nevertheless relatively sink in importance; while the Pacific Ocean, its shores, its islands, and the vast regions beyond, will become the chief theatre of events in the World's great Hereafter? Who does not see that this movement must effect our own complete emancipation from what remains of European influence and prejudice, and in turn develop the American opinion and influence which shall remould constitutions, laws, and customs, in the land that is first greeted by the rising sun?

„The Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect the United States constitute only one nation.“

—  William H. Seward

On the Irrepressible Conflict (1858)
Kontext: The Union is a confederation of States. But in another aspect the United States constitute only one nation. Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.
Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.

„The constitution regulates our stewardship; the constitution devotes the domain to union, to justice, to defense, to welfare and to liberty.
But there is a higher law than the Constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes.“

—  William H. Seward

Speech, United States Senate (11 March 1850).
Kontext: It is true, indeed, that the national domain is ours. It is true that it was acquired by the valor and with the wealth of the whole nation. But we hold no arbitrary authority over it. We hold no arbitrary authority over anything, whether lawfully acquired or seized by usurpation. The constitution regulates our stewardship; the constitution devotes the domain to union, to justice, to defense, to welfare and to liberty.
But there is a higher law than the Constitution, which regulates our authority over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble purposes.

„The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion, and watchfulness.“

—  William H. Seward

On the Irrepressible Conflict (1858)
Kontext: As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practise or neglect to practise the primary duties of justice and humanity. The free-labor system conforms to the divine law of equality, which is written in the hearts and consciences of man, and therefore is always and everywhere beneficent.
The slave system is one of constant danger, distrust, suspicion, and watchfulness. It debases those whose toil alone can produce wealth and resources for defence, to the lowest degree of which human nature is capable, to guard against mutiny and insurrection, and thus wastes energies which otherwise might be employed in national development and aggrandizement. The free-labor system educates all alike, and by opening all the fields of industrial employment and all the departments of authority, to the unchecked and equal rivalry of all classes of men, at once secures universal contentment, and brings into the highest possible activity all the physical, moral, and social energies of the whole state.

„There is no social life outside of Christendom.“

—  William H. Seward

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 142.

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„Douglas, no man will ever be President of the United States who spells 'negro' with two gs.“

—  William H. Seward

A retort to Stephen A. Douglas on the Senate floor, after the Illinois senator used an offensive slur in a speech. As quoted in Team of Rivals (2006), by Doris Kearns Goodwin (New York: Simon and Schuster), p. 163.

„Remember always that the cause of the United States is the cause of human nature.“

—  William H. Seward

Letter to Charles F. Adams (1863), as quoted in Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 2 https://books.google.com/books?id=xe9TAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA150&lpg=PA150&dq=%22the+cause+of+the+United+States+is+the+cause+of+human%22&source=bl&ots=WHM-9fK5zZ&sig=3aspBI67n5cNTU2ARF6OaNTyCDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMIt7WJl9msxwIViDI-Ch3mpgBq#v=onepage&q=%22the%20cause%20of%20the%20United%20States%20is%20the%20cause%20of%20human%22&f=false, p. 150.

„He is the most gentle-looking and amiable of men. Every word and look indicate sincerity of heart, even to guilelessness.“

—  William H. Seward

Journal entry (27 February 1849) on President Zachary Taylor, published in The Autobiography of William H. Seward (1877).

„Love one another.“

—  William H. Seward

Last words, spoken to his daughter-in-law (10 October 1872), quoted by Frederick William Seward in a postscript (chapter LXXIII) to The Autobiography of William H. Seward (1877).

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