Shall I tell you what this collision [of two antagonistic6 systeams continually coming into closer contact] means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. Either the cotton and rice fields of South Carolina and the sugar plantations of Louisiana will ultimately be tilled by free labor, and Charleston and New Orleans become marts for legitimate merchandise alone, or else the rye-fields and wheat-fields of Massachusetts and New York must again be surrendered by their farmers to slave culture and to the production of slaves, and Boston and
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1 Ibid., p. 395.
3 Compare a like warning on the part of Pierce's Attorney-General, Caleb Cushing, in Faneuil Hall, Dec. 9, 1859, in case his fellow-citizens of Massachusetts embarked in ‘a war of invasion [of the South] for the destruction of the Union and the Government of the Union’ (Lib. 29: 197).
5 Ante, 2.338.
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