Principle and interest.
A. H. Stephens
remarks in his late speech at Atlanta
, that this war is against the whole principle upon which the American Revolution
was fought, and that Massachusetts
, then represented by the patriot Hancock
, now occupies towards us the same relation that England
did to all in the Revolution.
This is all true; but principle is nothing to Massachusetts
when interest is concerned.--This war is prompted by the most sordid, mercenary, selfish considerations that ever influenced the conduct of nations.
The highwayman who assails a man upon the road and demands his money or his life, is not more a murderer for gold than the manufacturers and merchants who are directing this war upon the South
What care they for the rights of the States or the principles of the Constitution
, so long as their commerce is in danger and their customers in revolt?
This demand upon the South
is simply that of the highwayman--‘"Your money or your life!"’ Send us your cotton and buy our goods, or we devote you to destruction!
We ask not and care not whether mankind can behold without reprobation such a war, but this we know, that standing on the same principles for which our fathers contended in the Revolution, being threatened with deeper degradation, and having even greater interests at stake, a war longer and fiercer than the Revolution will be fought before the South
can be destroyed,--conquered — never!