Two revolutions rising on parallel lines—the Revolution of the North against the Constitution.
There were indeed two revolutions forming in the American
The one was a Northern revolution against a Constitution which had become distasteful to its sentiments and unsuited to its needs.
As the population of the East
moved westward across the continent, the Southern
emigrant to the new territories wished to carry with him his household servants, while the Northerner
saw in the negro a rival in the field of labor which cheapened its fruits, and degraded, as he conceived, its social status.
Thus broke out the strife which raged in the territories of Northern latitudes, and as it widened it assailed slavery in every form, and denounced as ‘a covenant with death and with hell’ the Constitution
which had guaranteed its existence.
The formula of the Northern
revolution was made by such men as Charles Sumner
, who took the ground of the higher law, that the Constitution
itself was unconstitutional, and that it was not in the
power of man to create by oath or mandate property in a slave—a revolutionary idea striking to the root and to the subversion of the fundamental law which Washington
, and their compeers had joined in making, and under which the United States
had fought its battle and attained its wonderful growth for three-quarters of a century.