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The British Emancipation Act, passed in 1834, provided for the liberation of about eight hundred thousand slaves in five years from the passage of the act. The sum appropriated for the compensation of the proprietors was twenty millions of pounds sterling, or not half the value of the slave, and in many instances not a third. From the date of that act the agricultural produce of the island gradually disappeared, until it became a wilderness in comparison with its former fertility. The planters never received anything but the interest of the twenty millions; and their once garden like estates have returned, like the negroes, to the freedom of nature. The island of St. Domingo, before the emancipation of the negroes, produced seven hundred millions pounds of sugar, being more than all the rest of the world put together. After emancipation, it was compelled to import that article.--Let us hear Napoleon: "Had any of your philosophic Liberals come out to Egypt to proclaim liberty to the blacks or the Arabs, I would have hung him up to the mast-head. In the West Indies, similar enthusiasts have delivered over the whites to the ferocity of the blacks; and yet they complain of the victims of such madness being discontented. How is it possible to give liberty to Africans when they are destitute of any species of civilization, and ignorant even of what a colony or mother country is? Do you suppose that, had they been aware of what they were doing, they would have given liberty to the blacks? Certainly not; but few persons at that time were sufficiently far-sighted to foresee the results; and feelings of humanity are ever powerful with excited imaginations. But now, after the experience we have had, to maintain the same principles cannot be done in good faith; it can be the result only of overweening self-confidence or hypocrisy." Yet the United States, with all this experience before its eyes, is frantic for the immediate abolition of slavery. It will not even accord the five years of apprenticeship permitted by the British Emancipation Act, although it required five hundred years to wear out white slavery in the British islands and render the transition from servitude to liberty safe and salutary. The African can be clothed with the habits and desires of a freeman by a simple act of immediate and unconditional liberation! In the palmy days of her African slave trade, Great Britain transferred above seven hundred thousand negroes to this side of the Atlantic, which is believed to be the most extraordinary example in the history of mankind of so considerable a removal from one part of the world to another. In 1807, having turned philanthropist, she put a peremptory stop to the slave trade; notwithstanding which, the slave trade became doubled in extent and quadrupled in horrors!--Whilst the agricultural produce of the British West Indies rapidly declined, those colonies of other nations which still retained slave labor received an impetus of prosperity which is almost incredible. Puerto Rico, which twelve years before only exported cattle and coffee and imported sugar, exported, in a short period after the passage of the British Emancipation Act, more than a sixth of the whole British consumption. The increase of the sugar exportation from Cuba and Brazil was equally marked and wonderful. This prodigious increase was the result of the emancipation madness of Great Britain, and was, of course, only obtained by a vast increase in the importation of the African race. The whole history of mankind proves that slavery is a necessary step in the progress of civilization. Without it, savage man never has worked, and never can be induced to work. For that reason it could not be expected from Greece or Rome, nor among our Saxon progenitors for five hundred years; for that reason it still exists over the larger portion of the Globe. Whatever evils may be attendant on servitude, they are unimportant in comparison with the total stoppage of the advance and prospects of the human race which would follow universal abolition. If the United States could succeed in the overthrow of the Confederacy, and of African slavery within our limits, we should have the stern consolation of knowing that it had totally and forever involved its own prosperity and power in the common ruin.
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