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[220] of this institution, as well as the fact that they were numerically greatly in the minority, the slave-holding States simply asked to be ‘let alone.’ But as it was threatened that they should be surrounded by a cordon of free States until slavery had ‘stung itself to death,’ and that this government could not exist ‘half free and half slave,’ the purposes of the dominant section became so manifest, the Southern States felt that, in justice to themselves, they could no longer remain quiet. The causes for this agitation had their existence in the colonial era, when slavery was universal; and the settlement was postponed on account of the difficulty of arriving at a satisfactory solution. Two irreconcilable theories of

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