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 been enacted and others had been forecast in the final decrees of the ballot-box, which the Southern people believed to be wholly unjust and unconstitutional. When these measures were carried by force of arms, and had become by tacit or express recognition the law of the land, and when the States of the South were again restored to the Union, the people still believed that the old Constitution, as it was at the close of the war, was fully adequate to the protection of every remaining right. This was an honest and hearty belief. They realized the fact that slavery had met its fated hour in the united judgment of the civilized nations of the white race, and that it was necessary and even better to yield it. They felt that they could not afford to remain in relations with the white people of the earth which involved their censure, however unmerited, and kept them always embroiled, even with their kindred in their own country, in defending their rights. They returned with alacrity, and not with the sullen reluctance of a conquered people, to their allegiance to a restored constitutional Union. The Constitution remained in its full unbroken efficiency to protect every right except that one which had perished in the conflict of arms. So the matter was received and understood by the people of the Sonth. After they had done all that required by duty and honor to defend the right which they at last yielded; when they felt that greater sacrifices were not required for that cause, even though it involved more than half of all their property, their reunion with the States of the North, under the flag and Constitution of a common country, was a grateful result to them. For a period of nearly three years the peace of 1865 remained almost unbroken. So far as the South was concerned, it was kept in good faith. They considered it as a real and faithful peace. It is true that unconstitutional taxes were levied upon their productions; confiscators and plunderers took their property by force, and after having consumed the greater part in their charges for the robbery, paid the residue into the United States treasury, where it has been set aside by subsequent laws as a conscience fund. Many wrongs that sorely tried the people were inflicted upon them merely because they were powerless; but these things did not drive them from the line of duty. They kept faith with the entire country; they kept peace within their own borders; they respected, obeyed, and enforced the laws; they amended their constitutions so as to make them conform to the results of the war; and a prosperity attended their labors which proved that no calamity and no misrule could deprive the beautiful land of the South of its sceptre as the queen of the commerce of this hemisphere.
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