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[360] must have triumphed. It extended to the limits of New Engand.

Pari passu with emigrants from Europe came slaves from Africa. Step by step the two in union marched upon the West, and it is reasonably certain, had the means to further union been admitted, that so they would have continued to march upon the West, that slave labor would have been cheaper than hireling labor, that, transcending agriculture, it would have expanded to the arts; and that thus one homogeneous form of labor and one homogeneous form of society, unquestioned by one single dreamer, and cherished at home and honored abroad, would have overspread the entire available surface of the late United States. But the slave trade suppressed, democratic society has triumphed. The States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, found an attractive market for their slaves. They found a cheaper pauper labor to replace it; that pauper labor poured in from Europe; while it replaced the slave it increased the political power of the Northern States. More than 5,000,000 from abroad have been added to their number; that addition has enabled them to grasp and hold the government. That government, from the very necessities of their nature, they are forced to use against us. Slavery was within its grasp, and, forced to the option of extinction in the Union, or of independence out, it dares to strike, and it asserts its claim to nationality and its right to recognition among the leading social systems of the world.

Such, then, being the nature of the contest, this Union has been disrupted in the effort of slave society to emancipate itself; and the momentous question now to be determined is, shall that effort be successful? That the Republic of the South shall sustain her independence, there is little question. The form of our society is too pregnant of intellectual resources and military strength to be subdued, if, in its products, it did not hold the bonds of amity and peace upon all the leading nations of the world. But in the independence of the South is there surely the emancipation of domestic slavery? That is greatly to be doubted. Our property in slaves will be established. If it has stood in a government more than half of which has been pledged to its destruction, it will surely stand in a government every member of which will be pledged to its defence. But will it be established as a normal institution of society, and stand the sole exclusive social system of the South? That is the impending question, and the fact is yet to be recorded. That it will so stand somewhere at the South I do not entertain the slightest question. It may be over-looked or disregarded now. It has been the vital agent of this great controversy. It has energized the arm of every man who acts a part in this great drama. We may shrink from recognition of the fact; we may decline to admit the source of our authority; refuse to slavery an invitation to the table which she herself has so bountifully spread; but not for that will it remain powerless or unhonored. It may be abandoned by Virginia, Maryland, Missouri; South Carolina herself may refuse to espouse it. The hireling labor from the North and Europe may drive it from our seaboard. As the South shall become the centre of her own trade, the metropolis of her own commerce, the pauper population of the world will pour upon us. It may replace our slaves upon the seaboard, as it has replaced them in the Northern States; but, concentrated in the States upon the Gulf it will make its stand; condensed to the point at which the labor of the slave transcends the wants of agriculture, it will flow to other objects; it will lay its giant grasp upon still other departments of industry; its every step will be exclusive; it will be unquestioned lord of each domain on which it enters. With that perfect economy of resources, that just application of power, that concentration of forces, that security of order which results to slavery from the permanent direction of its best intelligence, there is no other form of human labor that can stand against it, and it will build itself a home and erect for itself, at some point within the present limits of the Southern States, a structure of imperial power and grandeur — a glorious Confederacy of States that will stand aloft and serene for ages amid the anarchy of democracies that will reel around it.

But it may be that to this end another revolution may be necessary. It is to be apprehended that this contest between democracy and slavery is not yet over. It is certain that both forms of society exist within the limits of the Southern States; both are distinctly developed within the limits of Virginia; and there, whether we perceive the fact or not, the war already rages. In that State there are about 500,000 slaves to about 1,000,000 whites; and as at least as many slaves as masters are necessary to the constitution of slave society, about 500,000 of the white population are in legitimate relation to the slaves, and the rest are in excess. Like an excess of alkali or acid in chemical experiments, they are unfixed in the social compound. Without legitimate connection with the slave, they are in competition with him. They constitute not a part of slave society, but a democratic society. In so far as there is this connection, the State is slave; in so far as there is not, it is democratic; and as States speak only from their social condition, as interests, not intellect, determine their political action, it is thus that Virginia has been undecided — that she does not truly know whether she is of the North or South in this great movement. Her people are individually noble, brave, and patriotic, and they will strike for the South in resistance to physical aggression; but her political action is, at present, paralyzed by this unnatural contest, and as causes of disintegration may continue — must continue, if the slave trade be not re-opened — as there will still be a market at the South for her slaves — as there will still be

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