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perplexed and divided feeling, no less than of propriety and prudence.
We have said that, though it is impossible for us to regret the disruption, we deeply deprecate and deplore the conflict with which it is apparently to be inaugurated. We see in it the seeds of much certain and of enormous contingent evil, but of no possible good. We can imagine no issue which shall be in any way satisfactory; no probable object to be gained by fighting which would not be gained as surely and more cheaply without it. The discrepancies of temper between the North and the South have been long fermenting into something like positive dislike,-a dislike which actual hostilities will exasperate almost into fury. There is no hatred like the hatred of divided brethren; there is no animosity so irreconcilable as that which is founded upon inherent differences of character and divergent estimates of what is admirable, lovely, and of good report. If the contest should terminate, as most likely it will do, without any very decisive advantage to either sidesince both will fight with the dogged pertinacity peculiar to the Anglo-Saxon race, which grows stubborner under difficulty and defeat-the enmity will become more and more envenomed and ingrained the longer the struggle lasts, and the greater are the mutual injuries inflicted ; so that when exhaustion or returning sense induces the combatants to desist, they will come to the work of negotiation in a spirit the very opposite of pacific and accommodating, and the very bases of their future relations to each other will be laid on the worst of all foundations—a fretting and ineradicable soreness. If the forces of the South should, as is not impossible, be able to inflict disproportionate mischief on their richer and more commercial antagonist, their own rising prepotentism (to coin a word from an Italian root), and the thirst for vengeance of the North, will make a real treaty of peace insuperably difficult. If, on the other hand, the unquestionable superiority of resources on the part of the free States, both in wealth and numbers, should give them a decided victory and enable them to dictate terms, their only choice would lie between forcing back into unwilling union eight millions of malcontents, who must thenceforth be perpetual insurgents and intestine foes, or acknowledging their independence on conditions so irritating and humiliating as to leave behind a bitter enmity worse even than the rage of actual subjugation. There appears to us to be no other alternative. If they can now separate by mutual consent, the two nations may inaugurate their distinct existences on a basis, not of hearty amity, indeed, but of respect for eaeh other's strength, and hope for each other's alliance. If they fight, we cannot for a moment suppose that separation would thereby be prevented, but any thing like even decent friendship or toleration between the severed sections must be rendered impossible for generations.
We assume unhesitatingly in all our reasoning that there can be no result to the war which shall avert or undo the accomplished severance, for the irrefutable reason that the South are fighting for what they will have, and the North are fighting against what they cannot prevent; and a forced, fictitious, nominal reunion would be no reunion at all, but would leave secession as real and irreparable a fait accompli as before. But it is just possible that negotiations for the apportionment of the continent between the foes might be facilitated by so decided a victory of either party as gave that party an indisputable claim to lay down the principle which should govern that apportionment,—though we cannot regard such a marked result as most improbable. Even in this case, however, it is worth inquiring whether the division of territory could- except during a very temporary and merely transition period — be very different from that which arbitration or mutual diplomacy would settle now,—whether, in fact, nature and circumstances do not distinctly and despotically dictate the boundary-line. Passion for political preponderance within the old Union apart, the Southerners have no interest in claiming territory north of 36° 30,—the latitude of the Missouri Compromise line,-since tropical productions do not naturally or favourably grow beyond it, and slave-labour therefore would be neither necessary nor profitable there. Slavery north of that latitude would be an artificial institution, so to speak, and would not pay; territory north of that latitude would, in consequence, be an embarrassment to a slave-holding republic, not a desirable acquisition. Already, we understand, this is felt to be the case in the state of Missouri, which will ultimately and probably very soon become free. There remain, then, only Kentucky and Virginia north of 36° 30' which are slave States.* But Kentucky is by no means fanatically or determinately a slave State; its territory and its men partake much more of the backwoods than of the planting characteristics; already there exists, and has long existed, within its limits a strong free-soil party, which is steadily increasing in influence and in numbers. Half Virginia is already free, both in sentiment, in population, and in mode of cultivation, naturally belongs to the North, and sooner or later will inevitably join it. The other half grows tobacco, and breeds slaves; but free labour is gradually spreading even there. Now, . * Delaware and Maryland we need take no account of; they are unimportant, and will f.llow the fortunes of Virginia.
it seems perfectly clear, that when the severance of the two sections is recognised and arranged, although East Virginia, and perhaps all Kentucky, may formally, and to begin with, be allotted to the South, this allotment can only be provisional and of very short duration. They, as well as Missouri, must, either by deliberate choice, or by the operation of natural causes, speedily become free-soil states, and consequently portions of the Northern Republic. Of course no Fugitive-Slave Law-no Treaty of Extradition of runaway Negroes as such—can survive a secession, especially if followed by a war. Without such a law or treaty, the slaves in Kentucky and Virginia—already, from their vicinity to all the stir and stimulus of freedom, the most intelligent and formidable of the black population-will have unusual facilities for escape, and are sure to become restless and excited, and will be truant and unmanageable, if not insurrectionary. As a property they will be eminently precarious, and being precarious, will lose half their value. Their masters will gradually, therefore, either sell them South, so as to realise while they can, or will move South with them into some safer territory, remote from the disturbing neighbourhood of liberty. That the three border States must thus, within a very short period of the accomplishment of final separation, cast in their lot, spontaneously or from irresistible influences, with the free North seems to us absolutely certain.
If this be so, will not a line drawn at the southern boundary of Virginia and Kentucky, and along the line of the Missouri Compromise, mark the natural and fitting limits of the two republics ? Such a line would give far the largest portion of the existing United States territory to the North; and future acquisitions by the South of slave territory from Mexico, need scarcely be resisted by the North till the time comes. The South cannot hope for any possessions to the northward of this line; the North can scarcely desire, because they could not without inconvenience retain, any possession southward of it, since any 80 situated would overlap the slave States, and be cut off by them; would present to the Negroes the same incentives to restlessness and escape as now create such irritation on the Northern frontier, and would thus become a permanent source of embarrassment and quarrel. It would seem, therefore, that the boundaries which would almost certainly be agreed upon, after much fighting, are precisely the same as nature and mutual convenience would dictate in the first instance.
One great question, indeed, remains to be settled between them,- the navigation of the Mississippi. But this, though most momentous, is not difficult; and, as it seems to us, without fighting, or after any amount of fighting, or after any result to the fighting, can only (like the boundary) be settled in one way. The river drains the North and West; its debouché is commanded by the South. There is scarcely a river of any consequence that does not flow into it. There is scarcely a State (except those on the Atlantic) that does not contribute to its waters. Its navigation must of course, under any circumstances, be declared absolutely free. This is simply indispensable to all the States washed by it or by its tributaries, and under no circumstances, however disastrous, could they forego it.* The most complete discomfiture of the North in the war could make no difference in this, for they must fight on till they have secured it. The most complete subjugation of the South can do no more than secure it. A peaceful separation would secure it at once, since it would be the very first clause in the treaty of division.
It would seem, therefore, that though there are many reasons why the North should fight, there are no rational or valid motives for fighting. No man really believes in the possibility of an actual conquest and formal reduction to submission of the seceding States. No man speaks of it except in moments of fury and bombast., The most complete conquest, moreover, even if possible, would do nothing towards the object sought; and that object is in itself undesirable. Forcible reincorporation could only be an evil to the North; it would make America like Austria; it would be uncomfortable, turbulent, precarious, and transient. It cannot really be for this that the free States are making war. They are fighting because they are angry, and feel themselves mortified and wronged. They are fighting to appease their bile. They are fighting (some of the shrewder of them say) because, though they cannot actually conquer the seceders, they are determined so to weaken them and draw their teeth, that rivalry on any thing like equal terms shall be impossible. If they are to be independent, at least they shall be insignificant. They are fighting because they fear that a peaceful acquiescence in severance would make severance so easy, and so admitted a right, that its example would be followed by other portions of the Union on slighter provocations, and on feebler grounds; because, the claim once recognised, all cohesion would be gone out of the Union; because they see in this split, not the formation of two republics, but the contingent and future origin
* Perhaps, however, as has been suggested to us, this necessity is less imperious than it now appears. No doubt the Mississippi offers the best and cheapest access to Europe for the productions of nearly the whole continent. But railroads are multiplying every where, and will soon do much to open communications with the seaboard from even the most distant States. More than 20,000 miles are now in use. And it is remarkable that every free State, except Iowa and Vermont (Kansas is scarcely yet more than a territory), has a frontage either to the Atlantic or to the Canadian Lakes, and water carriage therefore (viâ the St. Law. rence) to the eastern hemisphere.
of several. But all these are explanations, not justifications. The recurring conclusion is always the same: the Northerners are fighting for what is undesirable and against what is inevitable. They may have right, but they have not reason, on their side.
As to the probable and ultimate consequences of this great catastrophe it would not be safe to prophesy, and it would perhaps be idle to speculate at any length. Some results are certain, some are at most distant and problematic. As to the immediate fortunes of the war, scarcely even a plausible conjecture can be formed. The North is unquestionably the more powerful, the South is the more warlike, and has the cleverest leaders. The blockade of the ports is a powerful weapon: so is privateering against a vast commercial marine. The real antagonists cannot easily reach'each other by land; and both contain within themselves all the essential materials of national life. Enormous mutual injury will be inflicted. But both combatants are AngloSaxons; and Anglo-Saxons are too stubborn and too proud to be easily brought to submit by mere suffering and loss. “As to more remote issues, the most certain is, a great increase of permanent military expenditure on both sides-by no means an unmixed evil. America will scarcely henceforth be pointed at as the cheap government it was alleged to be. Having enemies close at hand, like European States, the Transatlantic Republics must, like European States, have standing armies and a naval force. That further subdivision will ultimately take place, it is, we think, impossible to doubt. The Pacific States, situated at a vast distance, and separated by a wild and unpeopled desert, can scarcely, as a permanence, be governed from the same centre as Maine and Massachusetts. The North-western States, having a free outlet towards Europe through the Canadian Lakes, will, sooner or later, be able and anxious to stand by themselves, especially if an insanity like the Morrill Tariff continue to be forced upon them. Our children may not improbably see five independent, but not necessarily hostile, sovereignties established on the North-American continent, of which Canada and its adjacent provinces will perhaps be the most respectable and prosperous. But these are castles in the air,—dim fancy paintings on a changing cloud.
The social and political destiny of both North and South, though grand and gorgeous, is by no means bright or clear to the eye that tries to penetrate the mist of coming years. The free States have been delivered from their worst incubus; and the possibilities of the future are for them, in every direction and in every sense, absolutely boundless. They must be about the wealthiest and most prosperous—they may be about the happiest