not hate, it was still bent upon having its own way. If we except an inconsiderable number of Abolitionists, the question of slavery did not affect the attitude of the North
It was only the South
that was preoccupied with slavery.
said, as we have seen, that the war was undertaken for the sole purpose of preserving the Union
, and that he would preserve it, either free or slave, or part free and part slave.
He called out the troops to maintain the Union
, and not to abolish slavery.
The slaves were finally freed, as a war measure, to assist the armies in the field.
The war was not designed to help emancipation, but emancipation to help the war. And what was this “Union” for which so many lives were sacrificed and in honor of which so much poetry was written?
In the last analysis it was the forcible binding together of mutual haters, and its idealization was a curious example of fetish-worship.
Apart from sentiment, the practical element in the Union
spirit was the desire to preserve the size of the country; it was devotion to the idea of bigness, and the belief that bigness is a matter of latitude and longitude — the same spirit which prevailed in the Mexican
warsin other words, the spirit of imperialism.
It is impossible of course to extract any moral essence from a mere matter of geographical