Ohio History Journal

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[Copy of an address delivered before the General Assembly of Ohio,

February 6, 1852, by Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian Patriot. His appear-

ance before the Assembly was by invitation, and after its delivery a

Committee was appointed to wait upon him and procure the manuscript

of the address. This was secured, with the autograph of Kossuth, and is

now preserved in the State Library. This publication is made from the

original manuscript.-E. O. R.]

MR. PRESIDENT: The General Assembly of Ohio, having

magnanimously bestowed upon me the high honor of this national

welcome, it is with profound veneration that I beg leave to

express my fervent gratitude for it.

Were, even with the honor which I now enjoy, no principles

connected, still the fact would be memorable in history, and

would not fail to have a beneficial influence consciously to develop

the spirit of the age, which however contradicted, however

opposed, still always proved to rule, and will prove to rule the

destinies of humanity.

Applying the touchstone of philosophical scrutiny to that

instruction which history affords, we cannot fail to remark that

almost every century had one predominant idea, which all absorb-

ingly prevailed, and impressed a common direction to the activity

of nations. This predominant idea is the spirit of the age; in-

visible yet omnipresent; impregnable yet all pervading, scorned,

abused, opposed, and yet omnipotent.

The spirit of our age is democracy. -All for the people,

and all by the people. Nothing about the people without the

people.- That is democracy. And that is the ruling tendency

of the spirit of our age.

To this spirit is opposed the principles of despotism, claim-

ing sovereignty over mankind; and degrading nations from the

position of a self-conscious, self-consistent aim, to the condition

of tools, subservient to the authority of ambition.

One of these principles will and must prevail.- So far as

one condition prevails, the destiny of mankind is linked to a com-