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CONTAINING THE POLITICAL AND LITERARY PORTIONS
RUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, 1840.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
PUBLISHED BY S. D. LANGTREE.
PREFACE TO THE DEMOCRATIC REVIEW FOR 1840.
The Democratic Party is now in the crisis of a contest the most important, and the most trying in which it has ever been engaged. Surrounded by the ruins of the exploded systems of anti-popular projects which for so many years have been preying upon the industry, and retarding the prosperity of the country, it has need of a perpetual recurrence to the first principles of its political faith to preserve it firm and unfaltering in that self-denying course of progress and resorm which alone can now save it, and save the country.
The great contest in the fall of 1840 will be signalized by the embittered animosity with which all the vast anti-popular interests, which have waxed mighty in the lax administration of our State Sovereignties, will be pressed into service-even to the death-against the Democratic Party, upon the prostration of which depends their own existence, and that of the powerful classes sustained by, and sustaining them.
Under these circumstances, the Democratic Review will continue the discussion and promulgation of those fundamental truths of politics and economy which put the keenest and surest weapons into the hands of their believers. One hundred and forty thousand numbers of such a work as the Democratic Review, which have been already circulated throughout the country, and which, different from the newspaper that is read from day to day, destroyed and forgotten-is generally bound up and preserved for future reference, as well as for present interest and entertainment, give an illustration, the strongest possible to be offered, of the immense importance of continuing and diffusing to the people such an organ of democratic opinion, literature, and politics, and make it an incumbent duty on every person who has this cause at heart to lend his aid in accomplishing this object. The effect it has produced during the last two years, as attested by the united voice of the press throught the country, and the experience of our most prominent friends, wherever the contest of principle has been strongest, proves abundantly that the calculations made at the commencement of this work as to the effect of an argumentative and sustained advocacy of the doctrines and policy of the Democratic Party upon the people have been fully confirmed, and shows that no more efficient means of sustaining and extending sound principles can be devised, than the extensive dissemination of a work which advocates them with reasons addressed to the understanding and common sense of its readers, instead of their passions or their interests.
No material departure from the plan hitherto adopted in this work is contemplated, the general outlines of which will be found in the prospectus already extensively published. The main body of the work will be given up to the discussion either of the great questions at issue before the country, or to general questions of abstract politics of which it is important to diffuse a correct knowledge among the people.
The Portrait Gallery of the American Democracy will be continued ; and, whenever practicable, engravings of superior style will accompany the memoirs.
While space cannot be afforded to a regular department for the lighter questions of literature and criticism, the review of books of importance will be continued, and poetry and imaginative literature will be employed, as heretofore, to relieve the graver discussions which constitutes the object and main feature of the work, while every exertion will be made to render the Democratic Review attractive as a periodical, as well as permanently valuable as a political work.