Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 20, 1878Forty-Eighters and Seventy-Three'ers
The Illinois Staats-Zeitung recalls, under the above title, the "Storm and Stress" period, the Forty-Eighters, when they arrived from Germany in this country. It says just as those fanatics and idealists of that epoch slowly became practical Democratic, Republican, Americans, so the same will happen in the near future to those Seventy-Three'ers. With this outlook we understand the world reformers who, subsequently, the great crash of 1873 drove by and by from Europe, especially from Germany, to America.
First and foremost, Germany is lacking in the knowledge of our native conditions. There is in spite of all theories about freedom no understanding what the same means in a real republic. With all freedom theories in France and Germany, the state always acts the principal part, as chief guardian. Of the individual freedom of every one, as prevailing here, Europe has no idea.
Also the immigrants of 1848 did not have this understanding and likewise went through long experiences to get through to a clearer standpoint.
But many thousands of them however lived through the practical, political school, which later most of the immigrants lacked. They had during a 2comparatively free epoch, tried out themselves in German's political life, as in meetings of the senate, meetings of the chambers, in the German Parliament, or in the arms-struggle for the country's unification and freedom. Before all things they strove for reform and not for a revolution in the social field, as indicated by the title of that German newspaper in New York, which the Illinois Staats Zeitung has mentioned as the organ of that movement.
To take everything into consideration, the Forty-Eighters went through a more severe political school. They were more adapted for Americ's political freedom without which no fundamental solution of any social question is possible, than the later newcomers from Germany, whose political experiences and aspirations were gathered entirely under the absolute military and police-whip period. To those Seventy-Three'ers, bare of any free political training, possibly will find it harder, to develop as quickly, because they have not learned to appreciate the free political foundation, upon which the social reform has to be built. They too will sooner or later come to this standpoint. And in the interest of the country and for their own benefit it is to be wished that they will develop quickly and with the same success from European fugitives, whose outlook might be still troubled by the memory of a police state's misery, into real, free Americans.
III C, III A, V A 2
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