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Decay of slavery in the North and Growth in the South due to natural and not moral causes.

As the time wore on, the homogeneous order of the American people changed. It was not conscience but climate and soil which effected this change, or rather the instinct of aversion to bondage rose up in the North just in proportion as the temptation of interest subsided.

The inhospitable soil of New England repelled the pursuits of agriculture and compelled to those of commerce and the mechanic arts. In these the rude labor of the untutored African was unprofitable, and the harsh climate was uncongenial to the children of the Dark Continent translated from its burning suns to these frigid shores. Slavery there was an exotic; it did not pay, and its roots soon decayed, like the roots of a tropic plant in the arctic zone.

In the fertile plantations of the Sunny South there was employment [139] for the unskilled labor of the African, and under its genial skies he found a fitting home. Hence natural causes ejected him from the North and propelled him southward; and as the institution of slavery decayed in northern latitudes it thrived and prospered in the southern clime.

The demand for labor in the North was rapidly supplied by new accessions of Europeans, and as the population increased their opinions were moulded by the body of the society which absorbed and assimilated them as they came; while on the other hand the presence of masses of black men in the South, and the reliance upon them for labor, repelled, in both social and economical aspects, the European immigrants who eagerly sought for homes and employment in the New World. More than this, Northern manufacturers wanted high tariffs to secure high prices for their products in Southern markets, and Southern farmers wanted low tariffs that they might buy cheaply. Ere long it appeared that two opposing civilizations lay alongside of each other in the United States; and while the roof of a common government was over both of them, it covered a household divided against itself in the very structure of its domestic life, in the nature of its avocations, in the economies of its labor, and in the very tone of its thoughts and aspiration.

Revolution was in the air. An irrepressible conflict had risen.

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