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[221] the War of 1812, which seriously interfered with their commercial traffic. So great was this discontent that a convention was called to meet at Hartford, Conn., which had in view the secession of the States there represented from the Union. In 1820 was passed what is known as the Missouri Compromise, which in effect was simply a truce between two antagonistic revenue systems, while the nullification movement was directed against the tariff system. So that up to this time the chief complaint against any legislation of our country, arose from dissatisfaction to its economic system.

Prior to the war the North had devoted herself chiefly to trade and manufacturing, to mechanic arts and industrial pursuits, while the South, owing to its easier lines of life, the fertility of its soil, with its genial climate and ‘peculiar institution,’ had turned her attention to the science of politics and a consideration of governmental affairs, the consequence of which was that the controlling voice and influence in the councils of the nation rested with her. As the North, by its industry and enterprise, grew in wealth and the development of a more liberal education, she became impatient and restless under this control, and resolved at all hazards to escape from it. Free-soilism and abolitionism, which up to this time had been the obedient hand-maid to any party that would lend its co-operation, were believed to be the potential elements by which to arouse the apprehensions of the South as to the security of slavery, and thus tend to the arrangement of parties on sectional lines. From this time forward the leading statesmen of the South were denounced and vilified as aristocrats and slave-drivers; and on the recurrence of every national contest, this new party resorted to every device to create animosities between the sections. At this time the Democratic party was so strong it became factional, and was finally disrupted through the political jealousy of its leaders. In consequence of its division, in the ensuing election four presidential candidates were offered for the suffrage of the people, and Mr. Lincoln was elected. As it was the first time in the history of our country that a president had been elected by a purely sectional vote, and a large portion of his followers were believed to be intent on either the abolition of slavery or a disruption of the Union, the gravest apprehensions were felt. The situation at that time is so lucidly and graphically described in the memoir of Richard H. Dana, recently prepared by Hon. Charles Francis Adams, Minister to England under Mr. Lincoln's administration, I cannot better present the matter than by using his language: ‘Looking back on it now, after the lapse of nearly thirty years, it is curious ’

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