advantage was with those who seemed to be struggling more directly, logically, fearlessly toward their avowed end.
The strong reliance of the Rebels
on their Cotton, as so vitally necessary to the maritime Powers of Europe
that it would compel them speedily to recognize the independence of the Confederacy
, and even to aid in its achievement, by forcibly raising the foreseen blockade of their ports, was not justified by the event.
Communities, like individuals, are apt to magnify their own consequence, and to fancy the rest of mankind subsisting by their favor, if not on their bounty. ( “Soldiers!”
said a General, going into battle, “remember that you are Portuguese!” ) The Southrons, in their impetuosity and conceit, seem not to have duly considered that their
dependence on others was in the direct ratio of the dependence of others on them, and that Europe
could dispense with their Cotton with (at least) as little inconvenience as they could forego the receipt of whatsoever its proceeds might purchase.
Yet it is manifest that a region which produced for sale only a few great staples, which western Europe
could not produce and must largely buy, and which bought freely of whatever Europe
most desired to sell, would be regarded with partiality by her manufacturing and trading classes, when contrasted with an adversary who largely bought Cotton and Tobacco, and made Wares and Fabrics to sell.
It is but stating the most obvious truth to assert that — regarding the Southrons as generous, lavish customers, and the Yankees
as sharp, close-fisted, tricky, dangerous rivals, the responsible authors of the American
tariffs, whereby their exports to the New World were restricted and their profits seriously curtailed — the fabricating, trading, banking classes across the Atlantic
were, for the most part, early and ardent partisans of Disunion.
That the ingrain Tories, Aristocrats, and Reactionists of the Old World should be our instinctive, implacable foes, was inevitable.
For eighty years, this Republic had been not only a standing but a growing refutation of their most cherished theories, their vital dogmas.
A New England
town meeting, wherein the shoemaker moves that $6,000 be this year raised by it for the support of common schools, and is seconded by the blacksmith — neither of them worth, perhaps, the shop wherein by daily labor he earns his daily bread — the wagon-maker moving to amend by raising the sum to $8,000, and the doctor making a five-minutes' speech to show why this should or should not prevail — when the question is taken, first on the amendment, then on the main proposition — either of them standing or falling as a majority of those present shall decide — such is a spectacle calculated to strike more terror to the soul of Kingcraft than would the apparition of a score of speculating Rousseaus or fighting Garibaldis; and its testimony to the safety and beneficence of intelligent democracy increases in weight with every year of its peaceful and prosperous endurance.
When it has quietly braved unharmed the shocks and mutations of three-quarters of a century, assertions of its utter insecurity and baselessness — solemn assurances that it cannot possibly stand, and must inevitably topple at the first serious trial — sound very much like