Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 179 pages of information about The Uprising of a Great People.
becomes possible.  In the face of the senators and representatives of the gulf States, I do not see how Mr. Lincoln could have succeeded in acting.  Did not the Senate, last year, adopt the proposition of Mr. Jefferson Davis in opposition to the liberty of the Territories?  Congress would have trammelled, one after another, all the measures of the new administration.  Now, on the contrary, the role of the victorious party will be easy; its preponderance is assured in both Houses; the Supreme Court will cease, ere long, to represent the doctrines of the extreme South, and to issue Dred Scott decrees.  This is a vast change.  General Cass, in truth, comprehended the interests of slavery better than Mr. Buchanan, when he demanded that the Government should arrest with vigor from the beginning the faintest wish of separation.

CHAPTER VIII.

PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS.

General Cass was nearer right than he himself imagined.  In arresting from the beginning the development of the plans of the South, by a vigorous attitude, and by the blockade, then easy, of Charleston, the Government would not only have rendered it the trifling service of maintaining its means of opposition in Congress, but also the inappreciable boon of averting the dangers of war.  What has happened, on the contrary?  Precisely what must have happened, the human heart being such as it is.  When on one side is found all the ardor, all the activity, all the resolution, and, into the bargain, all the apparent success, while on the other is found languor, hesitation, inaction, and disgraceful delays, it happens almost infallibly that the undecided are hurried away by the fanatics.

Let the United States take care! the chances of the future incur the risk, at this moment, of becoming more grave.  To-day, the border States are on the point of declaring themselves; to-day, in consequence, it is important to offer to their natural irresolution the support of a policy as firm as moderate.  Given over without defence to the ardent solicitations of the extreme South, they are only too likely to yield, particularly if the Federal Government give them reason to believe that the separation will encounter no serious obstacle.

We must remember that ignorant communities are here in question, who are ruled by their prejudices, and who have never tolerated the slightest show of discussion upon questions connected with the subject of slavery.  Such communities are capable of committing the most egregious follies; panics, sudden resolutions, mistaken unanimities, are common among them.  Formerly, kings were pitied who lived surrounded by flatterers, it was said (we have provided against that) that the truth never reached them; the, planters are the only men I see to-day that can be likened to these monarchs of olden time; neither books, nor journals, nor preachers, are permitted to point out to them their duties or their interests in the matter of slavery.

Follow Us on Facebook