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The True Reason.
THE TRUE CAUSE OF THE REBELLION.
THE Secession movement, | gia and the Indians for the same purpose. which took form and con- | Alabama was made out of Georgia and Missistency by the action of South Carolina, sissippi territory, to increase the representaimmediately after the election of Mr. Lincoln, was not the conception of an hour. It was not the result of the election of a "sectional" President. It was not the result of wrongs inflicted upon the South by the Free States. It was not because the North had perverted the Constitution from its original intent and purposes.
It is urged, by the leaders of the movement, that these were their reasons for the attempt to dissolve the Union, and the mass of our people doubtless have regarded them as the true grounds of complaint; but, it is the merest surface view of the question. Were these the only excuses to offer for the Rebellion and all its train of blood, what a miserable pretence of justification the movement would have!
The motive which underlies all is the numerical preponderance of the North, and, under the Constitution, its ability hereafter to control the legislation of Congress by virtue of its resistless majority.
tion. Tennessee was set off from North Carolina for the same purpose. Florida was purchased of Spain, at great expense, to the same end. Then followed a step over the Mississippi river, to appropriate territory lying to the west of the territory given to free labor by the ordinance of Mr. Jefferson; and Missouri, with her lines running as far North as the centres of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, was given up to Slavery and a Slave representation in Congress. Arkansas, ere long, was added. Then the soil fitted for Slave labor, and accessible for Slave settlement, seemed exhausted, and the South, for a while, stood still to witness the onward march of the North. Even these enormous accessions of domain scarcely served to maintain the Southern preponderance in the Government, so rapidly had the Free States grown in population, both in the old and the three new States added.
Schemes of Conquest
Thus matters stood in 1840. The census of that year aroused the South to renewed efforts for further extension of the "peculiar institution." To the North they could not go, for soil, climate and sentiment were alike inimical to the existence of slaves in the territory of Iowa. To the West they could not proceed, for Government had
Each census, since 1800, Purchases of new has shown that the increase Territory. of population in the Northern, or Free States, was in a ratio soon to snatch from the Slave States their almost unbroken control of the Government; hence from that time the study has been to avert the impending minority by the introduc- pledged that section to the Indians. Contion of new Slave States to the Union. Lou-quest alone must come to the rescue. isiana was purchased at an enormous price, not more to open the mouths of the Mississippi than to send to Congress two Slave Senators and her due quota of Representatives. Mississippi was purchased from Geor
an immense domain, fitted to make five States, must be won. The scheme of its "annexation" was soon conceived and perfected. War was declared upon a flimsy pretext against a weak and distracted neighbor.-One
But, the love of the Union was so strong in the hearts of a majority in the South
hundred millions of dollars were spent, and
But, even this absorbtion of an empire did not suffice. The census of 1850 again sent consternation into the "balance of power" ranks, and excited their leaders to renewed zeal. More territory must be had, at any sacrifice. Kansas and Nebraska alone offered the soil, but there stood the Gibraltar of Henry Clay's "Compromise Act" of 1821, guaranteeing all that region to Freedom forever. Still, the emergency was imperative. Kansas at least must be represented on the floors of Congress by a Slave delegation. The tremendous strides of the North, in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, threatened, by their very growth, to leap at once into an uncontrolled majority. Kansas lost, all was lost, since Texas could not, for years, gain population enough to allow of her subdivision into several States.
The repeal of the Missouri Compromise Act alone would open the Territory for Slave incursion. That repeal was made, through the co-operation of the Northern Democratic party with the South. But, the hand of Destiny seemed to interfere. The entire scheme of Southern settlement miscarried, and Kansas not only became a Free State, but the struggle to make it such called into existence the Republican party, which, in a brief period, elected its candidate to the Chief Magistracy-so fatally were the tables turned.
Dismayed at the storm created by the effort to secure Kansas, mortified at their defeat, cut off from any further extension of Slave representation, the Southern States saw before them their long-apprehended disaster of a minority in the Government. If they remained in the Union it must be as the weaker half. At this not only their pride revolted, but, as it appeared to them, their material interests forbade submission. With some hesitancy, as if feeling the way, the long contemplated scheme of Southern independence was revived and its agitation determinedly entered upon.
In contemplating the events which have transpired in the attempt to dismember the Union, it is necessary to accept the bill of complaint preferred in the various resolutions, ordinances and declarations of the seceded States' Conventions and Legislatures; but, a comprehensive understanding of the revolution can only be had by striking at the ultimate causes which originated the desire for a separate Confederacy. Even though those first causes may not be confessed nor set forth by any of the parties implicated-a confession which would concede defeat in the struggle for power-they nevertheless are readily demonstrable.
cent. per annum. This ratio being so defini- | ulation, these three States lose four Repre-
In 1850 it was conclusive that the South must be cast into a minority if new acquisitions were not secured during the decade following. The attempt was made on Kansas and failed; and the South has had to witness the long threatened ascendency of the Free States in the returns and apportionment of the census of 1860, with no power to modify the result.
into "population" in the proportion of five negroes for three in count, thus obtaining a Congressional apportionment without any of the rights of citizenship appertaining to them. If the Slave States were apportioned Representatives on their free white population alone, their representation in Congress would decrease about forty per cent; or, as Slaves are property, if the Free States were represented on property in the apportionment of three persons for every five thousand dollars, their Congressional delegations would immeasurably be increased.*
of the Union, and thus to demonstrate the
7,870,896 61 4 12
Gain for 10 ys.3,149,345, or about 67 per cent.
Ohio, notwithstanding her heavy gain, loses three Representatives, though the NorthWestern States collectively add nine to their delegation. Ohio alone has more free white population than the whole six States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana; yet she has but eighteen
* There is something so paradoxical in the constructive and the active relations of the Slave to the thou-government as to excite the wonder of a foreigner.
New England, it will thus be seen, loses
1860. Reps. Loss. Gain.
Gain in 10 ys..1,566,972, or 26 per cent.
Thus, by the Constitution, the principle of represen tation on property is forbidden, yet it gives the Slave States a representation as stated. This would seem to settle, beyond question, the fact that the Constitution does not recognize Slaves as property. Yet, here comes the decision of the United States Supreme Court, in the celebrated Dred Scott Slave Case, that Slaves are property, and property only, not men. It will be hard for a stickler for consis tency to reconcile this discordance. He will have to be satisfied with the fact without understanding its
Here we have still more remarkable re-
Representatives in Congress, while they have | New England States..
twenty-eight. Few even of our own people realize how enormous this discrepancy has been; but, figures here are incontrovertible witnesses, and prove how largely Slaves are represented in our National councils. The fact thus expressed it is necessary to weigh well in any argument which may arise on the relative favors which the Constitution bestows upon particular sections.
Total pop. of Free States and Territories...19,117,911
These are the figures deduced from the Census re
1850. 1860. Reps. Loss. Gain. turns for 1860, prepared
Gain in 10 years 326,588, or nearly 310 per cent.
Effects of the Census.
under the supervision of a Southern mah. That they are correct admits of no doubt. The results, gratifying to the North, disconcert the South, since they prove it to be helplessly in the minority. In the Union the power of the Slave States is forever gone, except, acting as a unit, they can take advantage of party divisions in the North to name certain single measures, or elect certain men; but, without a very strong co-operating party Reps. Loss.Gain. in the Free States, the Pro-Slavery propagandists are perfectly powerless to secure more soil, to command the Executive, to direct the revenues and appropriations, or to control legislation in their favor. The Constitution may be regarded by the Northern States to the letter the Fugitive Slave Act may be enforced against every runaway negro slave— the right to Slave transit through the Free States may be conceded; but these will not avail to appease the Southern mind. The facts of their minority-that Slavery is circumscribed in the Union-that the Free soil and Free labor party is immensely in the ascendant-impelled the Southern people into the scheme for founding a pure Slave Confederacy, and no "compromise" will restore them to the Union except it be such a compromise as will abjure the old Constitution so far as to give the Slave States an equal share in the General Government at all times, an equal share in the common territory, the right of Slave transit through Free soil, the use of local officers and jails to arrest fugitives, &c., &c. Other terms than these they will not accept in peace so long as the "Southern idea" of property in man continues to influence the reason and to excite the passions of the people of the South.
This classification gives interesting results, which it will be well for the reader to consider. Thus, the total free white population of the eleven seceded States is 5,581,630, or 1,884,313 less than the population of the three Middle States alone, or 2,289,266 less than the eight North Western States.
Or, add the aggregate as follows:
THE OBJECTS OF SECESSION.
As early as in 1858, the results of the new census having been anticipated, the leaders of the rebellion began to canvass the subject of immediate secession. Jefferson Davis, in a speech at Jackson, Mississippi, in the fall of that year, assumed the position of a direct secession advocate. He said:
"If an Abolitionist be chosen President of the United States, you will have presented to you the question of whether you will permit the Government to pass into the hands of your avowed and implacable enemies? Without pausing for an answer, I will state my own position to be, that such a result would be a species of revolution by which the purposes of the Government would be destroyed, and the observ
ance of its mere forms entitled to no respect. In
that event, in such a manner as should be most ex
preme Court, under the laws, and under the people, has no power to oppress or wrong any section, and his election could afford no just cause for alarm, even if he were a Monarchist. None better knew this than the speaker quoted from above; but he, and all those who afterwards acted with him, chose to assume a fallacy as a fact, in order to aid and forward the pre-determined design of a dissolution of the Union; and the election of an "Abolitionist"—that is, any Northern man, with Northern or Freesoil principles-was to be the signal for the effort to cast off allegiance to the Constitution.
Governor Hicks, in his address to the people of Maryland, said:—“We are told by the leading spirits of the South Carolina Convention, that, neither the election of Mr. Lincoln, nor the non-execution of the Fugitive Slave
pedient, I should deem it your duty to provide for your safety outside of the Union, with those who have already shown the will, and would have ac-law, nor both combined, constitute their quired the power, to deprive you of your birthright, and to reduce you to worse than the Colonial dependence of your fathers."
grievances. They declare that the real cause of their discontent dates as far back as 1833." We shall give the South Carolina Declaration The sentiment, it will be seen, covered the of Causes, in its proper order in this History, whole ground of the right and propriety of a and quote from Governor Hicks, to show how secession from the Union. "If an Abolition-a Southerner, not a Secessionist, viewed and ist be chosen President," proves that the con- understood the movement. Mr. Davis, in his tingency of a Northern triumph was appre-address to the Senate, (January 21st,) after hended, and what follows indicates the line arguing that the equality spoken of in the of argument to be pursued before the people Declaration of Independ
Southern View of
'But we have proclaimed our independence. This is done with no hostility or any desire to injure any section of the country, nor even for our pecuniary benefit, but from the high and solid foundation of defending and pro
in justification of the movement for a dissolu-ence was the equality of a tion of the Confederacy. If an "Abolition-class of political rights, said: ist" had not been elected? Probably the contemplated movement would not have been made in 1860, as the right pretext would have been wanting with which to go before the people. Not that the election of any President could in any way change the Constitu-tecting the rights we inherited, and transtion, could control Congress, could affect that bulwark of our institutions, the United States Supreme Court, could deprive any State, or any people, or any man of a birth-right:-the President being the mere temporary head of the nation, under Congress, under the Su
mitting them unshorn to our posterity."
As the Declaration, in his view, secured only a class of political rights, the succeeding avowal that the step of secession was taken "from the high and solid foundation of defending and protecting the rights we inherited," &c.