The difficulties that Beset us.
A day or two since we briefly noticed some of the obstacles that stood in the way of a speedy settlement of the difficulties which threaten the permanent dissolution of the Confederacy
, already dissolved.
When we add to these obstacles, great in themselves, the evident disinclination of the party into whose hands the Government
has passed to make any acknowledgments of the rights of the South
, and the absence of any movement among the principal Northern States to inspire a hope, we cannot resist the conclusion that the constitutional process of amendment, slow as it must be, is to be protracted, and that Mr. Seward
's remark that some amendment to soothe the South
may be made after the Southern
mind is calm — perhaps in ‘"two or three years"’--really expresses the policy of those who follow his lead.
But in that time what events may come, Mr. Seward
cannot tell any more than he can control.--Let us look at probabilities.
Congress is discussing schemes of settlement.
The Commissioners to meet at Washington on the 4th will discuss schemes.
Discussion involves necessarily delay.
After determining on amendments, they have to be submitted to the States, (their Legislatures or Conventions, as they choose,) by a vote of two-thirds of Congress, counting all the States, or nearly the unanimous vote of those remaining, as nearly one-third will have seceded and will take no part in the matter.
The amendments thus submitted, if they pass this ordeal, must then have a popular ratification by three-fourths of all the States--equivalent to the unanimous vote of those now in the Union.
Can a settlement under these circumstances be carried through at all?
and if carried, can it be done in a day, or a week, or even a year?
After such a settlement, is it certain that the seceded States will be satisfied with it and come back?
If they are not, what then?
That is a question for Virginia. But a greater obstacle than all is the.
The Southern Confederacy of the seceded States is to be immediately organized.--The Convention for that purpose meets on Monday, in Montgomery, Ala. Its government will be in full blast in a few weeks.
It will be recognized by England and France.--The immediate effect will be a revolution in commerce.
England will do the carrying trade to and fro. The monopoly of the coasting trade by the Northern ship-owners, under the Federal laws, will be abolished from the South Carolina line to the Rio Grande, and foreign ships will take that, too. Immense commercial and manufacturing interests will spring up in a few months, that will be widespread and deep-rooted.
Can any settlement restoring the league with the North, which has so outraged the feelings and the rights of the South, succeed in breaking up this new course of trade and the vast interests it will inauguarate?
Let gentlemen ask themselves the question.
It may be considered--
That the new President, who is remarkable for shrewdness, if not for fairness and honor, will foresee these immense consequences set forth above, and attempt to forestall them by initiating the policy of coercion under the ‘"force bill"’ now passing through Congress.
That, of course, will settle the question.
Coercion is as absurd as it is monstrous.
It will, indeed, unite the South; but it will do more; it will encounter the British Lion, who will not suffer an interruption of that trade which he will with alacrity open with the Government de facto of the Gulf States, and in which, of cotton alone, four millions of his people, in one way or another, find occupation and support.
These are matters to be reflected on. They cannot be set aside and ignored by cries of Peace!
Peace! from the demagogues at Washington
The manner in which the South
has been trifled with by the Northern
representatives in their pride of power and the rudeness of their insolence, has brought the question of settlement to this — shall we not say? --hopless state of postponement and impracticability.
But after all, do not events force upon our minds the impressive language of the inspired patriot, Patrick Henry
, in the Convention
which ratified the Constitution
in this State:
"But I ask again, where is the example that a Government was amended by those who instituted it?
Where is the instance of the errors of a Government rectified by those who adopted them?"