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Democracy In America, Volume 1 by Alexis de Toqueville

Part 10 out of 11

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population.

Chapter XVIII: Future Condition Of Three Races - Part V

In the North, as I have already remarked, a twofold
migration ensues upon the abolition of slavery, or even precedes
that event when circumstances have rendered it probable; the
slaves quit the country to be transported southwards; and the
whites of the Northern States, as well as the emigrants from
Europe, hasten to fill up their place. But these two causes
cannot operate in the same manner in the Southern States. On the
one hand, the mass of slaves is too great for any expectation of
their ever being removed from the country to be entertained; and
on the other hand, the Europeans and Anglo-Americans of the North
are afraid to come to inhabit a country in which labor has not
yet been reinstated in its rightful honors. Besides, they very
justly look upon the States in which the proportion of the
negroes equals or exceeds that of the whites, as exposed to very
great dangers; and they refrain from turning their activity in
that direction.

Thus the inhabitants of the South would not be able, like
their Northern countrymen, to initiate the slaves gradually into
a state of freedom by abolishing slavery; they have no means of
perceptibly diminishing the black population, and they would
remain unsupported to repress its excesses. So that in the
course of a few years, a great people of free negroes would exist
in the heart of a white nation of equal size.

The same abuses of power which still maintain slavery, would
then become the source of the most alarming perils which the
white population of the South might have to apprehend. At the
present time the descendants of the Europeans are the sole owners
of the land; the absolute masters of all labor; and the only
persons who are possessed of wealth, knowledge, and arms. The
black is destitute of all these advantages, but he subsists
without them because he is a slave. If he were free, and obliged
to provide for his own subsistence, would it be possible for him
to remain without these things and to support life? Or would not
the very instruments of the present superiority of the white,
whilst slavery exists, expose him to a thousand dangers if it
were abolished?

As long as the negro remains a slave, he may be kept in a
condition not very far removed from that of the brutes; but, with
his liberty, he cannot but acquire a degree of instruction which
will enable him to appreciate his misfortunes, and to discern a
remedy for them. Moreover, there exists a singular principle of
relative justice which is very firmly implanted in the human
heart. Men are much more forcibly struck by those inequalities
which exist within the circle of the same class, than with those
which may be remarked between different classes. It is more easy
for them to admit slavery, than to allow several millions of
citizens to exist under a load of eternal infamy and hereditary
wretchedness. In the North the population of freed negroes feels
these hardships and resents these indignities; but its numbers
and its powers are small, whilst in the South it would be
numerous and strong.

As soon as it is admitted that the whites and the
emancipated blacks are placed upon the same territory in the
situation of two alien communities, it will readily be understood
that there are but two alternatives for the future; the negroes
and the whites must either wholly part or wholly mingle. I have
already expressed the conviction which I entertain as to the
latter event. *r I do not imagine that the white and black races
will ever live in any country upon an equal footing. But I
believe the difficulty to be still greater in the United States
than elsewhere. An isolated individual may surmount the
prejudices of religion, of his country, or of his race, and if
this individual is a king he may effect surprising changes in
society; but a whole people cannot rise, as it were, above
itself. A despot who should subject the Americans and their
former slaves to the same yoke, might perhaps succeed in
commingling their races; but as long as the American democracy
remains at the head of affairs, no one will undertake so
difficult a task; and it may be foreseen that the freer the white
population of the United States becomes, the more isolated will
it remain. *s

[Footnote r: This opinion is sanctioned by authorities infinitely
weightier than anything that I can say: thus, for instance, it is
stated in the "Memoirs of Jefferson" (as collected by M.
Conseil), "Nothing is more clearly written in the book of destiny
than the emancipation of the blacks; and it is equally certain
that the two races will never live in a state of equal freedom
under the same government, so insurmountable are the barriers
which nature, habit, and opinions have established between
them."]

[Footnote s: If the British West India planters had governed
themselves, they would assuredly not have passed the Slave
Emancipation Bill which the mother-country has recently imposed
upon them.]

I have previously observed that the mixed race is the true
bond of union between the Europeans and the Indians; just so the
mulattoes are the true means of transition between the white and
the negro; so that wherever mulattoes abound, the intermixture of
the two races is not impossible. In some parts of America, the
European and the negro races are so crossed by one another, that
it is rare to meet with a man who is entirely black, or entirely
white: when they are arrived at this point, the two races may
really be said to be combined; or rather to have been absorbed in
a third race, which is connected with both without being
identical with either.

Of all the Europeans the English are those who have mixed
least with the negroes. More mulattoes are to be seen in the
South of the Union than in the North, but still they are
infinitely more scarce than in any other European colony:
mulattoes are by no means numerous in the United States; they
have no force peculiar to themselves, and when quarrels
originating in differences of color take place, they generally
side with the whites; just as the lackeys of the great, in
Europe, assume the contemptuous airs of nobility to the lower
orders.

The pride of origin, which is natural to the English, is
singularly augmented by the personal pride which democratic
liberty fosters amongst the Americans: the white citizen of the
United States is proud of his race, and proud of himself. But if
the whites and the negroes do not intermingle in the North of the
Union, how should they mix in the South? Can it be supposed for
an instant, that an American of the Southern States, placed, as
he must forever be, between the white man with all his physical
and moral superiority and the negro, will ever think of
preferring the latter? The Americans of the Southern States have
two powerful passions which will always keep them aloof; the
first is the fear of being assimilated to the negroes, their
former slaves; and the second the dread of sinking below the
whites, their neighbors.

If I were called upon to predict what will probably occur at
some future time, I should say, that the abolition of slavery in
the South will, in the common course of things, increase the
repugnance of the white population for the men of color. I found
this opinion upon the analogous observation which I already had
occasion to make in the North. I there remarked that the white
inhabitants of the North avoid the negroes with increasing care,
in proportion as the legal barriers of separation are removed by
the legislature; and why should not the same result take place in
the South? In the North, the whites are deterred from
intermingling with the blacks by the fear of an imaginary danger;
in the South, where the danger would be real, I cannot imagine
that the fear would be less general.

If, on the one hand, it be admitted (and the fact is
unquestionable) that the colored population perpetually
accumulates in the extreme South, and that it increases more
rapidly than that of the whites; and if, on the other hand, it be
allowed that it is impossible to foresee a time at which the
whites and the blacks will be so intermingled as to derive the
same benefits from society; must it not be inferred that the
blacks and the whites will, sooner or later, come to open strife
in the Southern States of the Union? But if it be asked what the
issue of the struggle is likely to be, it will readily be
understood that we are here left to form a very vague surmise of
the truth. The human mind may succeed in tracing a wide circle,
as it were, which includes the course of future events; but
within that circle a thousand various chances and circumstances
may direct it in as many different ways; and in every picture of
the future there is a dim spot, which the eye of the
understanding cannot penetrate. It appears, however, to be
extremely probable that in the West Indian Islands the white race
is destined to be subdued, and the black population to share the
same fate upon the continent.

In the West India Islands the white planters are surrounded
by an immense black population; on the continent, the blacks are
placed between the ocean and an innumerable people, which already
extends over them in a dense mass, from the icy confines of
Canada to the frontiers of Virginia, and from the banks of the
Missouri to the shores of the Atlantic. If the white citizens of
North America remain united, it cannot be supposed that the
negroes will escape the destruction with which they are menaced;
they must be subdued by want or by the sword. But the black
population which is accumulated along the coast of the Gulf of
Mexico, has a chance of success if the American Union is
dissolved when the struggle between the two races begins. If the
federal tie were broken, the citizens of the South would be wrong
to rely upon any lasting succor from their Northern countrymen.
The latter are well aware that the danger can never reach them;
and unless they are constrained to march to the assistance of the
South by a positive obligation, it may be foreseen that the
sympathy of color will be insufficient to stimulate their
exertions.

Yet, at whatever period the strife may break out, the whites
of the South, even if they are abandoned to their own resources,
will enter the lists with an immense superiority of knowledge and
of the means of warfare; but the blacks will have numerical
strength and the energy of despair upon their side, and these are
powerful resources to men who have taken up arms. The fate of the
white population of the Southern States will, perhaps, be similar
to that of the Moors in Spain. After having occupied the land
for centuries, it will perhaps be forced to retire to the country
whence its ancestors came, and to abandon to the negroes the
possession of a territory, which Providence seems to have more
peculiarly destined for them, since they can subsist and labor in
it more easily that the whites.

The danger of a conflict between the white and the black
inhabitants of the Southern States of the Union - a danger which,
however remote it may be, is inevitable - perpetually haunts the
imagination of the Americans. The inhabitants of the North make
it a common topic of conversation, although they have no direct
injury to fear from the struggle; but they vainly endeavor to
devise some means of obviating the misfortunes which they
foresee. In the Southern States the subject is not discussed:
the planter does not allude to the future in conversing with
strangers; the citizen does not communicate his apprehensions to
his friends; he seeks to conceal them from himself; but there is
something more alarming in the tacit forebodings of the South,
than in the clamorous fears of the Northern States.

This all-pervading disquietude has given birth to an
undertaking which is but little known, but which may have the
effect of changing the fate of a portion of the human race. From
apprehension of the dangers which I have just been describing, a
certain number of American citizens have formed a society for the
purpose of exporting to the coast of Guinea, at their own
expense, such free negroes as may be willing to escape from the
oppression to which they are subject. *t In 1820, the society to
which I allude formed a settlement in Africa, upon the seventh
degree of north latitude, which bears the name of Liberia. The
most recent intelligence informs us that 2,500 negroes are
collected there; they have introduced the democratic institutions
of America into the country of their forefathers; and Liberia has
a representative system of government, negro jurymen, negro
magistrates, and negro priests; churches have been built,
newspapers established, and, by a singular change in the
vicissitudes of the world, white men are prohibited from
sojourning within the settlement. *u

[Footnote t: This society assumed the name of "The Society for
the Colonization of the Blacks." See its annual reports; and more
particularly the fifteenth. See also the pamphlet, to which
allusion has already been made, entitled "Letters on the
Colonization Society, and on its probable Results," by Mr. Carey,
Philadelphia, 1833.]

[Footnote u: This last regulation was laid down by the founders
of the settlement; they apprehended that a state of things might
arise in Africa similar to that which exists on the frontiers of
the United States, and that if the negroes, like the Indians,
were brought into collision with a people more enlightened than
themselves, they would be destroyed before they could be
civilized.]

This is indeed a strange caprice of fortune. Two hundred
years have now elapsed since the inhabitants of Europe undertook
to tear the negro from his family and his home, in order to
transport him to the shores of North America; at the present day,
the European settlers are engaged in sending back the descendants
of those very negroes to the Continent from which they were
originally taken; and the barbarous Africans have been brought
into contact with civilization in the midst of bondage, and have
become acquainted with free political institutions in slavery.
Up to the present time Africa has been closed against the arts
and sciences of the whites; but the inventions of Europe will
perhaps penetrate into those regions, now that they are
introduced by Africans themselves. The settlement of Liberia is
founded upon a lofty and a most fruitful idea; but whatever may
be its results with regard to the Continent of Africa, it can
afford no remedy to the New World.

In twelve years the Colonization Society has transported
2,500 negroes to Africa; in the same space of time about 700,000
blacks were born in the United States. If the colony of Liberia
were so situated as to be able to receive thousands of new
inhabitants every year, and if the negroes were in a state to be
sent thither with advantage; if the Union were to supply the
society with annual subsidies, *v and to transport the negroes to
Africa in the vessels of the State, it would still be unable to
counterpoise the natural increase of population amongst the
blacks; and as it could not remove as many men in a year as are
born upon its territory within the same space of time, it would
fail in suspending the growth of the evil which is daily
increasing in the States. *w The negro race will never leave
those shores of the American continent, to which it was brought
by the passions and the vices of Europeans; and it will not
disappear from the New World as long as it continues to exist.
The inhabitants of the United States may retard the calamities
which they apprehend, but they cannot now destroy their efficient
cause.

[Footnote v: Nor would these be the only difficulties attendant
upon the undertaking; if the Union undertook to buy up the
negroes now in America, in order to transport them to Africa, the
price of slaves, increasing with their scarcity, would soon
become enormous; and the States of the North would never consent
to expend such great sums for a purpose which would procure such
small advantages to themselves. If the Union took possession of
the slaves in the Southern States by force, or at a rate
determined by law, an insurmountable resistance would arise in
that part of the country. Both alternatives are equally
impossible.]

[Footnote w: In 1830 there were in the United States 2,010,327
slaves and 319,439 free blacks, in all 2,329,766 negroes: which
formed about one-fifth of the total population of the United
States at that time.]

I am obliged to confess that I do not regard the abolition
of slavery as a means of warding off the struggle of the two
races in the United States. The negroes may long remain slaves
without complaining; but if they are once raised to the level of
free men, they will soon revolt at being deprived of all their
civil rights; and as they cannot become the equals of the whites,
they will speedily declare themselves as enemies. In the North
everything contributed to facilitate the emancipation of the
slaves; and slavery was abolished, without placing the free
negroes in a position which could become formidable, since their
number was too small for them ever to claim the exercise of their
rights. But such is not the case in the South. The question of
slavery was a question of commerce and manufacture for the
slave-owners in the North; for those of the South, it is a
question of life and death. God forbid that I should seek to
justify the principle of negro slavery, as has been done by some
American writers! But I only observe that all the countries
which formerly adopted that execrable principle are not equally
able to abandon it at the present time.

When I contemplate the condition of the South, I can only
discover two alternatives which may be adopted by the white
inhabitants of those States; viz., either to emancipate the
negroes, and to intermingle with them; or, remaining isolated
from them, to keep them in a state of slavery as long as
possible. All intermediate measures seem to me likely to
terminate, and that shortly, in the most horrible of civil wars,
and perhaps in the extirpation of one or other of the two races.
Such is the view which the Americans of the South take of the
question, and they act consistently with it. As they are
determined not to mingle with the negroes, they refuse to
emancipate them.

Not that the inhabitants of the South regard slavery as
necessary to the wealth of the planter, for on this point many of
them agree with their Northern countrymen in freely admitting
that slavery is prejudicial to their interest; but they are
convinced that, however prejudicial it may be, they hold their
lives upon no other tenure. The instruction which is now
diffused in the South has convinced the inhabitants that slavery
is injurious to the slave-owner, but it has also shown them, more
clearly than before, that no means exist of getting rid of its
bad consequences. Hence arises a singular contrast; the more the
utility of slavery is contested, the more firmly is it
established in the laws; and whilst the principle of servitude is
gradually abolished in the North, that self-same principle gives
rise to more and more rigorous consequences in the South.

The legislation of the Southern States with regard to
slaves, presents at the present day such unparalleled atrocities
as suffice to show how radically the laws of humanity have been
perverted, and to betray the desperate position of the community
in which that legislation has been promulgated. The Americans of
this portion of the Union have not, indeed, augmented the
hardships of slavery; they have, on the contrary, bettered the
physical condition of the slaves. The only means by which the
ancients maintained slavery were fetters and death; the Americans
of the South of the Union have discovered more intellectual
securities for the duration of their power. They have employed
their despotism and their violence against the human mind. In
antiquity, precautions were taken to prevent the slave from
breaking his chains; at the present day measures are adopted to
deprive him even of the desire of freedom. The ancients kept the
bodies of their slaves in bondage, but they placed no restraint
upon the mind and no check upon education; and they acted
consistently with their established principle, since a natural
termination of slavery then existed, and one day or other the
slave might be set free, and become the equal of his master. But
the Americans of the South, who do not admit that the negroes can
ever be commingled with themselves, have forbidden them to be
taught to read or to write, under severe penalties; and as they
will not raise them to their own level, they sink them as nearly
as possible to that of the brutes.

The hope of liberty had always been allowed to the slave to
cheer the hardships of his condition. But the Americans of the
South are well aware that emancipation cannot but be dangerous,
when the freed man can never be assimilated to his former master.
To give a man his freedom, and to leave him in wretchedness and
ignominy, is nothing less than to prepare a future chief for a
revolt of the slaves. Moreover, it has long been remarked that
the presence of a free negro vaguely agitates the minds of his
less fortunate brethren, and conveys to them a dim notion of
their rights. The Americans of the South have consequently taken
measures to prevent slave-owners from emancipating their slaves
in most cases; not indeed by a positive prohibition, but by
subjecting that step to various forms which it is difficult to
comply with.
I happened to meet with an old man, in the South of the
Union, who had lived in illicit intercourse with one of his
negresses, and had had several children by her, who were born the
slaves of their father. He had indeed frequently thought of
bequeathing to them at least their liberty; but years had elapsed
without his being able to surmount the legal obstacles to their
emancipation, and in the mean while his old age was come, and he
was about to die. He pictured to himself his sons dragged from
market to market, and passing from the authority of a parent to
the rod of the stranger, until these horrid anticipations worked
his expiring imagination into frenzy. When I saw him he was a
prey to all the anguish of despair, and he made me feel how awful
is the retribution of nature upon those who have broken her laws.

These evils are unquestionably great; but they are the
necessary and foreseen consequence of the very principle of
modern slavery. When the Europeans chose their slaves from a
race differing from their own, which many of them considered as
inferior to the other races of mankind, and which they all
repelled with horror from any notion of intimate connection, they
must have believed that slavery would last forever; since there
is no intermediate state which can be durable between the
excessive inequality produced by servitude and the complete
equality which originates in independence. The Europeans did
imperfectly feel this truth, but without acknowledging it even to
themselves. Whenever they have had to do with negroes, their
conduct has either been dictated by their interest and their
pride, or by their compassion. They first violated every right
of humanity by their treatment of the negro and they afterwards
informed him that those rights were precious and inviolable.
They affected to open their ranks to the slaves, but the negroes
who attempted to penetrate into the community were driven back
with scorn; and they have incautiously and involuntarily been led
to admit of freedom instead of slavery, without having the
courage to be wholly iniquitous, or wholly just.

If it be impossible to anticipate a period at which the
Americans of the South will mingle their blood with that of the
negroes, can they allow their slaves to become free without
compromising their own security? And if they are obliged to keep
that race in bondage in order to save their own families, may
they not be excused for availing themselves of the means best
adapted to that end? The events which are taking place in the
Southern States of the Union appear to me to be at once the most
horrible and the most natural results of slavery. When I see the
order of nature overthrown, and when I hear the cry of humanity
in its vain struggle against the laws, my indignation does not
light upon the men of our own time who are the instruments of
these outrages; but I reserve my execration for those who, after
a thousand years of freedom, brought back slavery into the world
once more.

Whatever may be the efforts of the Americans of the South to
maintain slavery, they will not always succeed. Slavery, which
is now confined to a single tract of the civilized earth, which
is attacked by Christianity as unjust, and by political economy
as prejudicial; and which is now contrasted with democratic
liberties and the information of our age, cannot survive. By the
choice of the master, or by the will of the slave, it will cease;
and in either case great calamities may be expected to ensue. If
liberty be refused to the negroes of the South, they will in the
end seize it for themselves by force; if it be given, they will
abuse it ere long. *x

[Footnote x: [This chapter is no longer applicable to the
condition of the negro race in the United States, since the
abolition of slavery was the result, though not the object, of
the great Civil War, and the negroes have been raised to the
condition not only of freedmen, but of citizens; and in some
States they exercise a preponderating political power by reason
of their numerical majority. Thus, in South Carolina there were
in 1870, 289,667 whites and 415,814 blacks. But the emancipation
of the slaves has not solved the problem, how two races so
different and so hostile are to live together in peace in one
country on equal terms. That problem is as difficult, perhaps
more difficult than ever; and to this difficulty the author's
remarks are still perfectly
applicable.]]

Chapter XVIII: Future Condition Of Three Races - Part VI

What Are The Chances In Favor Of The Duration Of The American
Union, And What Dangers Threaten It *y

[Footnote y: [This chapter is one of the most curious and
interesting portions of the work, because it embraces almost all
the constitutional and social questions which were raised by the
great secession of the South and decided by the results of the
Civil War. But it must be confessed that the sagacity of the
author is sometimes at fault in these speculations, and did not
save him from considerable errors, which the course of events has
since made apparent. He held that "the legislators of the
Constitution of 1789 were not appointed to constitute the
government of a single people, but to regulate the association of
several States; that the Union was formed by the voluntary
agreement of the States, and in uniting together they have not
forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the
condition of one and the same people." Whence he inferred that
"if one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the
contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing
so; and that the Federal Government would have no means of
maintaining its claims directly, either by force or by right."
This is the Southern theory of the Constitution, and the whole
case of the South in favor of secession. To many Europeans, and
to some American (Northern) jurists, this view appeared to be
sound; but it was vigorously resisted by the North, and crushed
by force of arms.

The author of this book was mistaken in supposing that the
"Union was a vast body which presents no definite object to
patriotic feeling." When the day of trial came, millions of men
were ready to lay down their lives for it. He was also mistaken
in supposing that the Federal Executive is so weak that it
requires the free consent of the governed to enable it to
subsist, and that it would be defeated in a struggle to maintain
the Union against one or more separate States. In 1861 nine
States, with a population of 8,753,000, seceded, and maintained
for four years a resolute but unequal contest for independence,
but they were defeated.

Lastly, the author was mistaken in supposing that a
community of interests would always prevail between North and
South sufficiently powerful to bind them together. He overlooked
the influence which the question of slavery must have on the
Union the moment that the majority of the people of the North
declared against it. In 1831, when the author visited America,
the anti-slavery agitation had scarcely begun; and the fact of
Southern slavery was accepted by men of all parties, even in the
States where there were no slaves: and that was unquestionably
the view taken by all the States and by all American statesmen at
the time of the adoption of the Constitution, in 1789. But in
the course of thirty years a great change took place, and the
North refused to perpetuate what had become the "peculiar
institution" of the South, especially as it gave the South a
species of aristocratic preponderance. The result was the
ratification, in December, 1865, of the celebrated 13th article
or amendment of the Constitution, which declared that "neither
slavery nor involuntary servitude - except as a punishment for
crime - shall exist within the United States." To which was soon
afterwards added the 15th article, "The right of citizens to vote
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any
State, on account of race, color, or previous servitude." The
emancipation of several millions of negro slaves without
compensation, and the transfer to them of political preponderance
in the States in which they outnumber the white population, were
acts of the North totally opposed to the interests of the South,
and which could only have been carried into effect by conquest. -
Translator's Note.]]

Reason for which the preponderating force lies in the States
rather than in the Union - The Union will only last as long as
all the States choose to belong to it - Causes which tend to keep
them united - Utility of the Union to resist foreign enemies, and
to prevent the existence of foreigners in America - No natural
barriers between the several States - No conflicting interests to
divide them - Reciprocal interests of the Northern, Southern, and
Western States - Intellectual ties of union - Uniformity of
opinions - Dangers of the Union resulting from the different
characters and the passions of its citizens - Character of the
citizens in the South and in the North - The rapid growth of the
Union one of its greatest dangers - Progress of the population to
the Northwest - Power gravitates in the same direction - Passions
originating from sudden turns of fortune - Whether the existing
Government of the Union tends to gain strength, or to lose it -
Various signs of its decrease - Internal improvements - Waste
lands - Indians - The Bank - The Tariff - General Jackson.

The maintenance of the existing institutions of the several
States depends in some measure upon the maintenance of the Union
itself. It is therefore important in the first instance to
inquire into the probable fate of the Union. One point may
indeed be assumed at once: if the present confederation were
dissolved, it appears to me to be incontestable that the States
of which it is now composed would not return to their original
isolated condition, but that several unions would then be formed
in the place of one. It is not my intention to inquire into the
principles upon which these new unions would probably be
established, but merely to show what the causes are which may
effect the dismemberment of the existing confederation.

With this object I shall be obliged to retrace some of the
steps which I have already taken, and to revert to topics which I
have before discussed. I am aware that the reader may accuse me
of repetition, but the importance of the matter which still
remains to be treated is my excuse; I had rather say too much,
than say too little to be thoroughly understood, and I prefer
injuring the author to slighting the subject.

The legislators who formed the Constitution of 1789
endeavored to confer a distinct and preponderating authority upon
the federal power. But they were confined by the conditions of
the task which they had undertaken to perform. They were not
appointed to constitute the government of a single people, but to
regulate the association of several States; and, whatever their
inclinations might be, they could not but divide the exercise of
sovereignty in the end.

In order to understand the consequences of this division, it
is necessary to make a short distinction between the affairs of
the Government. There are some objects which are national by
their very nature, that is to say, which affect the nation as a
body, and can only be intrusted to the man or the assembly of men
who most completely represent the entire nation. Amongst these
may be reckoned war and diplomacy. There are other objects which
are provincial by their very nature, that is to say, which only
affect certain localities, and which can only be properly treated
in that locality. Such, for instance, is the budget of a
municipality. Lastly, there are certain objects of a mixed
nature, which are national inasmuch as they affect all the
citizens who compose the nation, and which are provincial
inasmuch as it is not necessary that the nation itself should
provide for them all. Such are the rights which regulate the
civil and political condition of the citizens. No society can
exist without civil and political rights. These rights therefore
interest all the citizens alike; but it is not always necessary
to the existence and the prosperity of the nation that these
rights should be uniform, nor, consequently, that they should be
regulated by the central authority.

There are, then, two distinct categories of objects which
are submitted to the direction of the sovereign power; and these
categories occur in all well-constituted communities, whatever
the basis of the political constitution may otherwise be.
Between these two extremes the objects which I have termed mixed
may be considered to lie. As these objects are neither
exclusively national nor entirely provincial, they may be
obtained by a national or by a provincial government, according
to the agreement of the contracting parties, without in any way
impairing the contract of association.

The sovereign power is usually formed by the union of
separate individuals, who compose a people; and individual powers
or collective forces, each representing a very small portion of
the sovereign authority, are the sole elements which are
subjected to the general Government of their choice. In this case
the general Government is more naturally called upon to regulate,
not only those affairs which are of essential national
importance, but those which are of a more local interest; and the
local governments are reduced to that small share of sovereign
authority which is indispensable to their prosperity.

But sometimes the sovereign authority is composed of
preorganized political bodies, by virtue of circumstances
anterior to their union; and in this case the provincial
governments assume the control, not only of those affairs which
more peculiarly belong to their province, but of all, or of a
part of the mixed affairs to which allusion has been made. For
the confederate nations which were independent sovereign States
before their union, and which still represent a very considerable
share of the sovereign power, have only consented to cede to the
general Government the exercise of those rights which are
indispensable to the Union.

When the national Government, independently of the
prerogatives inherent in its nature, is invested with the right
of regulating the affairs which relate partly to the general and
partly to the local interests, it possesses a preponderating
influence. Not only are its own rights extensive, but all the
rights which it does not possess exist by its sufferance, and it
may be apprehended that the provincial governments may be
deprived of their natural and necessary prerogatives by its
influence.

When, on the other hand, the provincial governments are
invested with the power of regulating those same affairs of mixed
interest, an opposite tendency prevails in society. The
preponderating force resides in the province, not in the nation;
and it may be apprehended that the national Government may in the
end be stripped of the privileges which are necessary to its
existence.

Independent nations have therefore a natural tendency to
centralization, and confederations to dismemberment.

It now only remains for us to apply these general principles
to the American Union. The several States were necessarily
possessed of the right of regulating all exclusively provincial
affairs. Moreover these same States retained the rights of
determining the civil and political competency of the citizens,
or regulating the reciprocal relations of the members of the
community, and of dispensing justice; rights which are of a
general nature, but which do not necessarily appertain to the
national Government. We have shown that the Government of the
Union is invested with the power of acting in the name of the
whole nation in those cases in which the nation has to appear as
a single and undivided power; as, for instance, in foreign
relations, and in offering a common resistance to a common enemy;
in short, in conducting those affairs which I have styled
exclusively national.

In this division of the rights of sovereignty, the share of
the Union seems at first sight to be more considerable than that
of the States; but a more attentive investigation shows it to be
less so. The undertakings of the Government of the Union are
more vast, but their influence is more rarely felt. Those of the
provincial governments are comparatively small, but they are
incessant, and they serve to keep alive the authority which they
represent. The Government of the Union watches the general
interests of the country; but the general interests of a people
have a very questionable influence upon individual happiness,
whilst provincial interests produce a most immediate effect upon
the welfare of the inhabitants. The Union secures the
independence and the greatness of the nation, which do not
immediately affect private citizens; but the several States
maintain the liberty, regulate the rights, protect the fortune,
and secure the life and the whole future prosperity of every
citizen.

The Federal Government is very far removed from its
subjects, whilst the provincial governments are within the reach
of them all, and are ready to attend to the smallest appeal. The
central Government has upon its side the passions of a few
superior men who aspire to conduct it; but upon the side of the
provincial governments are the interests of all those second-rate
individuals who can only hope to obtain power within their own
State, and who nevertheless exercise the largest share of
authority over the people because they are placed nearest to its
level. The Americans have therefore much more to hope and to
fear from the States than from the Union; and, in conformity with
the natural tendency of the human mind, they are more likely to
attach themselves to the former than to the latter. In this
respect their habits and feelings harmonize with their interests.

When a compact nation divides its sovereignty, and adopts a
confederate form of government, the traditions, the customs, and
the manners of the people are for a long time at variance with
their legislation; and the former tend to give a degree of
influence to the central government which the latter forbids.
When a number of confederate states unite to form a single
nation, the same causes operate in an opposite direction. I have
no doubt that if France were to become a confederate republic
like that of the United States, the government would at first
display more energy than that of the Union; and if the Union were
to alter its constitution to a monarchy like that of France, I
think that the American Government would be a long time in
acquiring the force which now rules the latter nation. When the
national existence of the Anglo-Americans began, their provincial
existence was already of long standing; necessary relations were
established between the townships and the individual citizens of
the same States; and they were accustomed to consider some
objects as common to them all, and to conduct other affairs as
exclusively relating to their own special interests.

The Union is a vast body which presents no definite object
to patriotic feeling. The forms and limits of the State are
distinct and circumscribed; since it represents a certain number
of objects which are familiar to the citizens and beloved by all.
It is identified with the very soil, with the right of property
and the domestic affections, with the recollections of the past,
the labors of the present, and the hopes of the future.
Patriotism, then, which is frequently a mere extension of
individual egotism, is still directed to the State, and is not
excited by the Union. Thus the tendency of the interests, the
habits, and the feelings of the people is to centre political
activity in the States, in preference to the Union.

It is easy to estimate the different forces of the two
governments, by remarking the manner in which they fulfil their
respective functions. Whenever the government of a State has
occasion to address an individual or an assembly of individuals,
its language is clear and imperative; and such is also the tone
of the Federal Government in its intercourse with individuals,
but no sooner has it anything to do with a State than it begins
to parley, to explain its motives and to justify its conduct, to
argue, to advise, and, in short, anything but to command. If
doubts are raised as to the limits of the constitutional powers
of each government, the provincial government prefers its claim
with boldness, and takes prompt and energetic steps to support
it. In the mean while the Government of the Union reasons; it
appeals to the interests, to the good sense, to the glory of the
nation; it temporizes, it negotiates, and does not consent to act
until it is reduced to the last extremity. At first sight it
might readily be imagined that it is the provincial government
which is armed with the authority of the nation, and that
Congress represents a single State.

The Federal Government is, therefore, notwithstanding the
precautions of those who founded it, naturally so weak that it
more peculiarly requires the free consent of the governed to
enable it to subsist. It is easy to perceive that its object is
to enable the States to realize with facility their determination
of remaining united; and, as long as this preliminary condition
exists, its authority is great, temperate, and effective. The
Constitution fits the Government to control individuals, and
easily to surmount such obstacles as they may be inclined to
offer; but it was by no means established with a view to the
possible separation of one or more of the States from the Union.

If the sovereignty of the Union were to engage in a struggle
with that of the States at the present day, its defeat may be
confidently predicted; and it is not probable that such a
struggle would be seriously undertaken. As often as a steady
resistance is offered to the Federal Government it will be found
to yield. Experience has hitherto shown that whenever a State
has demanded anything with perseverance and resolution, it has
invariably succeeded; and that if a separate government has
distinctly refused to act, it was left to do as it thought fit.
*z

[Footnote z: See the conduct of the Northern States in the war of
1812. "During that war," says Jefferson in a letter to General
Lafayette, "four of the Eastern States were only attached to the
Union, like so many inanimate bodies to living men."]

But even if the Government of the Union had any strength
inherent in itself, the physical situation of the country would
render the exercise of that strength very difficult. *a The
United States cover an immense territory; they are separated from
each other by great distances; and the population is disseminated
over the surface of a country which is still half a wilderness.
If the Union were to undertake to enforce the allegiance of the
confederate States by military means, it would be in a position
very analogous to that of England at the time of the War of
Independence.

[Footnote a: The profound peace of the Union affords no pretext
for a standing army; and without a standing army a government is
not prepared to profit by a favorable opportunity to conquer
resistance, and take the sovereign power by surprise. [This
note, and the paragraph in the text which precedes, have been
shown by the results of the Civil War to be a misconception of
the writer.]]

However strong a government may be, it cannot easily escape
from the consequences of a principle which it has once admitted
as the foundation of its constitution. The Union was formed by
the voluntary agreement of the States; and, in uniting together,
they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been
reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of
the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would
be difficult to disprove its right of doing so; and the Federal
Government would have no means of maintaining its claims
directly, either by force or by right. In order to enable the
Federal Government easily to conquer the resistance which may be
offered to it by any one of its subjects, it would be necessary
that one or more of them should be specially interested in the
existence of the Union, as has frequently been the case in the
history of confederations.

If it be supposed that amongst the States which are united
by the federal tie there are some which exclusively enjoy the
principal advantages of union, or whose prosperity depends on the
duration of that union, it is unquestionable that they will
always be ready to support the central Government in enforcing
the obedience of the others. But the Government would then be
exerting a force not derived from itself, but from a principle
contrary to its nature. States form confederations in order to
derive equal advantages from their union; and in the case just
alluded to, the Federal Government would derive its power from
the unequal distribution of those benefits amongst the States.

If one of the confederate States have acquired a
preponderance sufficiently great to enable it to take exclusive
possession of the central authority, it will consider the other
States as subject provinces, and it will cause its own supremacy
to be respected under the borrowed name of the sovereignty of the
Union. Great things may then be done in the name of the Federal
Government, but in reality that Government will have ceased to
exist. *b In both these cases, the power which acts in the name
of the confederation becomes stronger the more it abandons the
natural state and the acknowledged principles of confederations.

[Footnote b: Thus the province of Holland in the republic of the
Low Countries, and the Emperor in the Germanic Confederation,
have sometimes put themselves in the place of the union, and have
employed the federal authority to their own advantage.]

In America the existing Union is advantageous to all the
States, but it is not indispensable to any one of them. Several
of them might break the federal tie without compromising the
welfare of the others, although their own prosperity would be
lessened. As the existence and the happiness of none of the
States are wholly dependent on the present Constitution, they
would none of them be disposed to make great personal sacrifices
to maintain it. On the other hand, there is no State which seems
hitherto to have its ambition much interested in the maintenance
of the existing Union. They certainly do not all exercise the
same influence in the federal councils, but no one of them can
hope to domineer over the rest, or to treat them as its inferiors
or as its subjects.

It appears to me unquestionable that if any portion of the
Union seriously desired to separate itself from the other States,
they would not be able, nor indeed would they attempt, to prevent
it; and that the present Union will only last as long as the
States which compose it choose to continue members of the
confederation. If this point be admitted, the question becomes
less difficult; and our object is, not to inquire whether the
States of the existing Union are capable of separating, but
whether they will choose to remain united.

Amongst the various reasons which tend to render the
existing Union useful to the Americans, two principal causes are
peculiarly evident to the observer. Although the Americans are,
as it were, alone upon their continent, their commerce makes them
the neighbors of all the nations with which they trade.
Notwithstanding their apparent isolation, the Americans require a
certain degree of strength, which they cannot retain otherwise
than by remaining united to each other. If the States were to
split, they would not only diminish the strength which they are
now able to display towards foreign nations, but they would soon
create foreign powers upon their own territory. A system of
inland custom-houses would then be established; the valleys would
be divided by imaginary boundary lines; the courses of the rivers
would be confined by territorial distinctions; and a multitude of
hindrances would prevent the Americans from exploring the whole
of that vast continent which Providence has allotted to them for
a dominion. At present they have no invasion to fear, and
consequently no standing armies to maintain, no taxes to levy.
If the Union were dissolved, all these burdensome measures might
ere long be required. The Americans are then very powerfully
interested in the maintenance of their Union. On the other hand,
it is almost impossible to discover any sort of material interest
which might at present tempt a portion of the Union to separate
from the other States.

When we cast our eyes upon the map of the United States, we
perceive the chain of the Alleghany Mountains, running from the
northeast to the southwest, and crossing nearly one thousand
miles of country; and we are led to imagine that the design of
Providence was to raise between the valley of the Mississippi and
the coast of the Atlantic Ocean one of those natural barriers
which break the mutual intercourse of men, and form the necessary
limits of different States. But the average height of the
Alleghanies does not exceed 2,500 feet; their greatest elevation
is not above 4,000 feet; their rounded summits, and the spacious
valleys which they conceal within their passes, are of easy
access from several sides. Besides which, the principal rivers
which fall into the Atlantic Ocean - the Hudson, the Susquehanna,
and the Potomac -take their rise beyond the Alleghanies, in an
open district, which borders upon the valley of the Mississippi.
These streams quit this tract of country, make their way through
the barrier which would seem to turn them westward, and as they
wind through the mountains they open an easy and natural passage
to man. No natural barrier exists in the regions which are now
inhabited by the Anglo-Americans; the Alleghanies are so far from
serving as a boundary to separate nations, that they do not even
serve as a frontier to the States. New York, Pennsylvania, and
Virginia comprise them within their borders, and they extend as
much to the west as to the east of the line. The territory now
occupied by the twenty-four States of the Union, and the three
great districts which have not yet acquired the rank of States,
although they already contain inhabitants, covers a surface of
1,002,600 square miles, *c which is about equal to five times the
extent of France. Within these limits the qualities of the soil,
the temperature, and the produce of the country, are extremely
various. The vast extent of territory occupied by the
Anglo-American republics has given rise to doubts as to the
maintenance of their Union. Here a distinction must be made;
contrary interests sometimes arise in the different provinces of
a vast empire, which often terminate in open dissensions; and the
extent of the country is then most prejudicial to the power of
the State. But if the inhabitants of these vast regions are not
divided by contrary interests, the extent of the territory may be
favorable to their prosperity; for the unity of the government
promotes the interchange of the different productions of the
soil, and increases their value by facilitating their
consumption.

[Footnote c: See "Darby's View of the United States," p. 435.
[In 1890 the number of States and Territories had increased to
51, the population to 62,831,900, and the area of the States,
3,602,990 square miles. This does not include the Philippine
Islands, Hawaii, or Porto Rico. A conservative estimate of the
population of the Philippine Islands is 8,000,000; that of
Hawaii, by the census of 1897, was given at 109,020; and the
present estimated population of Porto Rico is 900,000. The area
of the Philippine Islands is about 120,000 square miles, that of
Hawaii is 6,740 square miles, and the area of Porto Rico is about
3,600 square miles.]]

It is indeed easy to discover different interests in the
different parts of the Union, but I am unacquainted with any
which are hostile to each other. The Southern States are almost
exclusively agricultural. The Northern States are more
peculiarly commercial and manufacturing. The States of the West
are at the same time agricultural and manufacturing. In the
South the crops consist of tobacco, of rice, of cotton, and of
sugar; in the North and the West, of wheat and maize. These are
different sources of wealth; but union is the means by which
these sources are opened to all, and rendered equally
advantageous to the several districts.

The North, which ships the produce of the Anglo-Americans to
all parts of the world, and brings back the produce of the globe
to the Union, is evidently interested in maintaining the
confederation in its present condition, in order that the number
of American producers and consumers may remain as large as
possible. The North is the most natural agent of communication
between the South and the West of the Union on the one hand, and
the rest of the world upon the other; the North is therefore
interested in the union and prosperity of the South and the West,
in order that they may continue to furnish raw materials for its
manufactures, and cargoes for its shipping.

The South and the West, on their side, are still more
directly interested in the preservation of the Union, and the
prosperity of the North. The produce of the South is, for the
most part, exported beyond seas; the South and the West
consequently stand in need of the commercial resources of the
North. They are likewise interested in the maintenance of a
powerful fleet by the Union, to protect them efficaciously. The
South and the West have no vessels, but they cannot refuse a
willing subsidy to defray the expenses of the navy; for if the
fleets of Europe were to blockade the ports of the South and the
delta of the Mississippi, what would become of the rice of the
Carolinas, the tobacco of Virginia, and the sugar and cotton
which grow in the valley of the Mississippi? Every portion of
the federal budget does therefore contribute to the maintenance
of material interests which are common to all the confederate
States.

Independently of this commercial utility, the South and the
West of the Union derive great political advantages from their
connection with the North. The South contains an enormous slave
population; a population which is already alarming, and still
more formidable for the future. The States of the West lie in
the remotest parts of a single valley; and all the rivers which
intersect their territory rise in the Rocky Mountains or in the
Alleghanies, and fall into the Mississippi, which bears them
onwards to the Gulf of Mexico. The Western States are
consequently entirely cut off, by their position, from the
traditions of Europe and the civilization of the Old World. The
inhabitants of the South, then, are induced to support the Union
in order to avail themselves of its protection against the
blacks; and the inhabitants of the West in order not to be
excluded from a free communication with the rest of the globe,
and shut up in the wilds of central America. The North cannot
but desire the maintenance of the Union, in order to remain, as
it now is, the connecting link between that vast body and the
other parts of the world.

The temporal interests of all the several parts of the Union
are, then, intimately connected; and the same assertion holds
true respecting those opinions and sentiments which may be termed
the immaterial interests of men.

Chapter XVIII: Future Condition Of Three Races - Part VII

The inhabitants of the United States talk a great deal of
their attachment to their country; but I confess that I do not
rely upon that calculating patriotism which is founded upon
interest, and which a change in the interests at stake may
obliterate. Nor do I attach much importance to the language of
the Americans, when they manifest, in their daily conversations,
the intention of maintaining the federal system adopted by their
forefathers. A government retains its sway over a great number of
citizens, far less by the voluntary and rational consent of the
multitude, than by that instinctive, and to a certain extent
involuntary agreement, which results from similarity of feelings
and resemblances of opinion. I will never admit that men
constitute a social body, simply because they obey the same head
and the same laws. Society can only exist when a great number of
men consider a great number of things in the same point of view;
when they hold the same opinions upon many subjects, and when the
same occurrences suggest the same thoughts and impressions to
their minds.

The observer who examines the present condition of the
United States upon this principle, will readily discover, that
although the citizens are divided into twenty-four distinct
sovereignties, they nevertheless constitute a single people; and
he may perhaps be led to think that the state of the
Anglo-American Union is more truly a state of society than that
of certain nations of Europe which live under the same
legislation and the same prince.

Although the Anglo-Americans have several religious sects,
they all regard religion in the same manner. They are not always
agreed upon the measures which are most conducive to good
government, and they vary upon some of the forms of government
which it is expedient to adopt; but they are unanimous upon the
general principles which ought to rule human society. From Maine
to the Floridas, and from the Missouri to the Atlantic Ocean, the
people is held to be the legitimate source of all power. The
same notions are entertained respecting liberty and equality, the
liberty of the press, the right of association, the jury, and the
responsibility of the agents of Government.

If we turn from their political and religious opinions to
the moral and philosophical principles which regulate the daily
actions of life and govern their conduct, we shall still find the
same uniformity. The Anglo-Americans *d acknowledge the absolute
moral authority of the reason of the community, as they
acknowledge the political authority of the mass of citizens; and
they hold that public opinion is the surest arbiter of what is
lawful or forbidden, true or false. The majority of them believe
that a man will be led to do what is just and good by following
his own interest rightly understood. They hold that every man is
born in possession of the right of self-government, and that no
one has the right of constraining his fellow-creatures to be
happy. They have all a lively faith in the perfectibility of
man; they are of opinion that the effects of the diffusion of
knowledge must necessarily be advantageous, and the consequences
of ignorance fatal; they all consider society as a body in a
state of improvement, humanity as a changing scene, in which
nothing is, or ought to be, permanent; and they admit that what
appears to them to be good to-day may be superseded by something
better-to-morrow. I do not give all these opinions as true, but
I quote them as characteristic of the Americans.

[Footnote d: It is scarcely necessary for me to observe that by
the expression Anglo-Americans, I only mean to designate the
great majority of the nation; for a certain number of isolated
individuals are of course to be met with holding very different
opinions.]

The Anglo-Americans are not only united together by these
common opinions, but they are separated from all other nations by
a common feeling of pride. For the last fifty years no pains
have been spared to convince the inhabitants of the United States
that they constitute the only religious, enlightened, and free
people. They perceive that, for the present, their own
democratic institutions succeed, whilst those of other countries
fail; hence they conceive an overweening opinion of their
superiority, and they are not very remote from believing
themselves to belong to a distinct race of mankind.

The dangers which threaten the American Union do not
originate in the diversity of interests or of opinions, but in
the various characters and passions of the Americans. The men
who inhabit the vast territory of the United States are almost
all the issue of a common stock; but the effects of the climate,
and more especially of slavery, have gradually introduced very
striking differences between the British settler of the Southern
States and the British settler of the North. In Europe it is
generally believed that slavery has rendered the interests of one
part of the Union contrary to those of another part; but I by no
means remarked this to be the case: slavery has not created
interests in the South contrary to those of the North, but it has
modified the character and changed the habits of the natives of
the South.

I have already explained the influence which slavery has
exercised upon the commercial ability of the Americans in the
South; and this same influence equally extends to their manners.
The slave is a servant who never remonstrates, and who submits to
everything without complaint. He may sometimes assassinate, but
he never withstands, his master. In the South there are no
families so poor as not to have slaves. The citizen of the
Southern States of the Union is invested with a sort of domestic
dictatorship, from his earliest years; the first notion he
acquires in life is that he is born to command, and the first
habit which he contracts is that of being obeyed without
resistance. His education tends, then, to give him the character
of a supercilious and a hasty man; irascible, violent, and ardent
in his desires, impatient of obstacles, but easily discouraged if
he cannot succeed upon his first attempt.

The American of the Northern States is surrounded by no
slaves in his childhood; he is even unattended by free servants,
and is usually obliged to provide for his own wants. No sooner
does he enter the world than the idea of necessity assails him on
every side: he soon learns to know exactly the natural limit of
his authority; he never expects to subdue those who withstand
him, by force; and he knows that the surest means of obtaining
the support of his fellow-creatures, is to win their favor. He
therefore becomes patient, reflecting, tolerant, slow to act, and
persevering in his designs.

In the Southern States the more immediate wants of life are
always supplied; the inhabitants of those parts are not busied in
the material cares of life, which are always provided for by
others; and their imagination is diverted to more captivating and
less definite objects. The American of the South is fond of
grandeur, luxury, and renown, of gayety, of pleasure, and above
all of idleness; nothing obliges him to exert himself in order to
subsist; and as he has no necessary occupations, he gives way to
indolence, and does not even attempt what would be useful.

But the equality of fortunes, and the absence of slavery in
the North, plunge the inhabitants in those same cares of daily
life which are disdained by the white population of the South.
They are taught from infancy to combat want, and to place comfort
above all the pleasures of the intellect or the heart. The
imagination is extinguished by the trivial details of life, and
the ideas become less numerous and less general, but far more
practical and more precise. As prosperity is the sole aim of
exertion, it is excellently well attained; nature and mankind are
turned to the best pecuniary advantage, and society is
dexterously made to contribute to the welfare of each of its
members, whilst individual egotism is the source of general
happiness.

The citizen of the North has not only experience, but
knowledge: nevertheless he sets but little value upon the
pleasures of knowledge; he esteems it as the means of attaining a
certain end, and he is only anxious to seize its more lucrative
applications. The citizen of the South is more given to act upon
impulse; he is more clever, more frank, more generous, more
intellectual, and more brilliant. The former, with a greater
degree of activity, of common-sense, of information, and of
general aptitude, has the characteristic good and evil qualities
of the middle classes. The latter has the tastes, the
prejudices, the weaknesses, and the magnanimity of all
aristocracies. If two men are united in society, who have the
same interests, and to a certain extent the same opinions, but
different characters, different acquirements, and a different
style of civilization, it is probable that these men will not
agree. The same remark is applicable to a society of nations.
Slavery, then, does not attack the American Union directly in its
interests, but indirectly in its manners.

[Footnote e: Census of 1790, 3,929,328; 1830, 12,856,165; 1860,
31,443,321; 1870, 38,555,983; 1890, 62,831,900.]

The States which gave their assent to the federal contract
in 1790 were thirteen in number; the Union now consists of
thirty-four members. The population, which amounted to nearly
4,000,000 in 1790, had more than tripled in the space of forty
years; and in 1830 it amounted to nearly 13,000,000. *e Changes
of such magnitude cannot take place without some danger.

A society of nations, as well as a society of individuals,
derives its principal chances of duration from the wisdom of its
members, their individual weakness, and their limited number.
The Americans who quit the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean to plunge
into the western wilderness, are adventurers impatient of
restraint, greedy of wealth, and frequently men expelled from the
States in which they were born. When they arrive in the deserts
they are unknown to each other, and they have neither traditions,
family feeling, nor the force of example to check their excesses.
The empire of the laws is feeble amongst them; that of morality
is still more powerless. The settlers who are constantly peopling
the valley of the Mississippi are, then, in every respect very
inferior to the Americans who inhabit the older parts of the
Union. Nevertheless, they already exercise a great influence in
its councils; and they arrive at the government of the
commonwealth before they have learnt to govern themselves. *f

[Footnote f: This indeed is only a temporary danger. I have no
doubt that in time society will assume as much stability and
regularity in the West as it has already done upon the coast of
the Atlantic Ocean.]

The greater the individual weakness of each of the
contracting parties, the greater are the chances of the duration
of the contract; for their safety is then dependent upon their
union. When, in 1790, the most populous of the American
republics did not contain 500,000 inhabitants, *g each of them
felt its own insignificance as an independent people, and this
feeling rendered compliance with the federal authority more easy.
But when one of the confederate States reckons, like the State of
New York, 2,000,000 of inhabitants, and covers an extent of
territory equal in surface to a quarter of France, *h it feels
its own strength; and although it may continue to support the
Union as advantageous to its prosperity, it no longer regards
that body as necessary to its existence, and as it continues to
belong to the federal compact, it soon aims at preponderance in
the federal assemblies. The probable unanimity of the States is
diminished as their number increases. At present the interests of
the different parts of the Union are not at variance; but who is
able to foresee the multifarious changes of the future, in a
country in which towns are founded from day to day, and States
almost from year to year?

[Footnote g: Pennsylvania contained 431,373 inhabitants in 1790
[and 5,258,014 in 1890.]]

[Footnote h: The area of the State of New York is 49,170 square
miles. [See U. S. census report of 1890.]]

Since the first settlement of the British colonies, the
number of inhabitants has about doubled every twenty-two years.
I perceive no causes which are likely to check this progressive
increase of the Anglo-American population for the next hundred
years; and before that space of time has elapsed, I believe that
the territories and dependencies of the United States will be
covered by more than 100,000,000 of inhabitants, and divided into
forty States. *i I admit that these 100,000,000 of men have no ho
hostile interests. I suppose, on the contrary, that they are all
equally interested in the maintenance of the Union; but I am
still of opinion that where there are 100,000,000 of men, and
forty distinct nations, unequally strong, the continuance of the
Federal Government can only be a fortunate accident.

[Footnote i: If the population continues to double every
twenty-two years, as it has done for the last two hundred years,
the number of inhabitants in the United States in 1852 will be
twenty millions; in 1874, forty-eight millions; and in 1896,
ninety-six millions. This may still be the case even if the
lands on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains should be found
to be unfit for cultivation. The territory which is already
occupied can easily contain this number of inhabitants. One
hundred millions of men disseminated over the surface of the
twenty-four States, and the three dependencies, which constitute
the Union, would only give 762 inhabitants to the square league;
this would be far below the mean population of France, which is
1,063 to the square league; or of England, which is 1,457; and it
would even be below the population of Switzerland, for that
country, notwithstanding its lakes and mountains, contains 783
inhabitants to the square league. See "Malte Brun," vol. vi. p.
92.

[The actual result has fallen somewhat short of these
calculations, in spite of the vast territorial acquisitions of
the United States: but in 1899 the population is probably about
eighty- seven millions, including the population of the
Philippines, Hawaii, and Porto Rico.]]

Whatever faith I may have in the perfectibility of man,
until human nature is altered, and men wholly transformed, I
shall refuse to believe in the duration of a government which is
called upon to hold together forty different peoples,
disseminated over a territory equal to one-half of Europe in
extent; to avoid all rivalry, ambition, and struggles between
them, and to direct their independent activity to the
accomplishment of the same designs.

But the greatest peril to which the Union is exposed by its
increase arises from the continual changes which take place in
the position of its internal strength. The distance from Lake
Superior to the Gulf of Mexico extends from the 47th to the 30th
degree of latitude, a distance of more than 1,200 miles as the
bird flies. The frontier of the United States winds along the
whole of this immense line, sometimes falling within its limits,
but more frequently extending far beyond it, into the waste. It
has been calculated that the whites advance every year a mean
distance of seventeen miles along the whole of his vast boundary.
*j Obstacles, such as an unproductive district, a lake or an
Indian nation unexpectedly encountered, are sometimes met with.
The advancing column then halts for a while; its two extremities
fall back upon themselves, and as soon as they are reunited they
proceed onwards. This gradual and continuous progress of the
European race towards the Rocky Mountains has the solemnity of a
providential event; it is like a deluge of men rising unabatedly,
and daily driven onwards by the hand of God.

[Footnote j: See Legislative Documents, 20th Congress, No. 117,
p. 105.]

Within this first line of conquering settlers towns are
built, and vast States founded. In 1790 there were only a few
thousand pioneers sprinkled along the valleys of the Mississippi;
and at the present day these valleys contain as many inhabitants
as were to be found in the whole Union in 1790. Their population
amounts to nearly 4,000,000. *k The city of Washington was
founded in 1800, in the very centre of the Union; but such are
the changes which have taken place, that it now stands at one of
the extremities; and the delegates of the most remote Western
States are already obliged to perform a journey as long as that
from Vienna to Paris. *l

[Footnote k: 3,672,317 - Census of 1830.]

[Footnote l: The distance from Jefferson, the capital of the
State of Missouri, to Washington is 1,019 miles. ("American
Almanac," 1831, p. 48.)]

All the States are borne onwards at the same time in the
path of fortune, but of course they do not all increase and
prosper in the same proportion. To the North of the Union the
detached branches of the Alleghany chain, which extend as far as
the Atlantic Ocean, form spacious roads and ports, which are
constantly accessible to vessels of the greatest burden. But from
the Potomac to the mouth of the Mississippi the coast is sandy
and flat. In this part of the Union the mouths of almost all the
rivers are obstructed; and the few harbors which exist amongst
these lagoons afford much shallower water to vessels, and much
fewer commercial advantages than those of the North.

This first natural cause of inferiority is united to another
cause proceeding from the laws. We have already seen that
slavery, which is abolished in the North, still exists in the
South; and I have pointed out its fatal consequences upon the
prosperity of the planter himself.

The North is therefore superior to the South both in
commerce *m and manufacture; the natural consequence of which is
the more rapid increase of population and of wealth within its
borders. The States situate upon the shores of the Atlantic
Ocean are already half-peopled. Most of the land is held by an
owner; and these districts cannot therefore receive so many
emigrants as the Western States, where a boundless field is still
open to their exertions. The valley of the Mississippi is far
more fertile than the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This reason,
added to all the others, contributes to drive the Europeans
westward - a fact which may be rigorously demonstrated by
figures. It is found that the sum total of the population of all
the United States has about tripled in the course of forty years.
But in the recent States adjacent to the Mississippi, the
population has increased thirty-one-fold, within the same space
of time. *n

[Footnote m: The following statements will suffice to show the
difference which exists between the commerce of the South and
that of the North: -

In 1829 the tonnage of all the merchant vessels belonging to
Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia (the four great Southern
States), amounted to only 5,243 tons. In the same year the
tonnage of the vessels of the State of Massachusetts alone
amounted to 17,322 tons. (See Legislative Documents, 21st
Congress, 2d session, No. 140, p. 244.) Thus the State of
Massachusetts had three times as much shipping as the four
above-mentioned States. Nevertheless the area of the State of
Massachusetts is only 7,335 square miles, and its population
amounts to 610,014 inhabitants [2,238,943 in 1890]; whilst the
area of the four other States I have quoted is 210,000 square
miles, and their population 3,047,767. Thus the area of the
State of Massachusetts forms only one-thirtieth part of the area
of the four States; and its population is five times smaller than
theirs. (See "Darby's View of the United States.") Slavery is
prejudicial to the commercial prosperity of the South in several
different ways; by diminishing the spirit of enterprise amongst
the whites, and by preventing them from meeting with as numerous
a class of sailors as they require. Sailors are usually taken
from the lowest ranks of the population. But in the Southern
States these lowest ranks are composed of slaves, and it is very
difficult to employ them at sea. They are unable to serve as
well as a white crew, and apprehensions would always be
entertained of their mutinying in the middle of the ocean, or of
their escaping in the foreign countries at which they might
touch.]

[Footnote n: "Darby's View of the United States," p. 444.]

The relative position of the central federal power is
continually displaced. Forty years ago the majority of the
citizens of the Union was established upon the coast of the
Atlantic, in the environs of the spot upon which Washington now
stands; but the great body of the people is now advancing inland
and to the north, so that in twenty years the majority will
unquestionably be on the western side of the Alleghanies. If the
Union goes on to subsist, the basin of the Mississippi is
evidently marked out, by its fertility and its extent, as the
future centre of the Federal Government. In thirty or forty
years, that tract of country will have assumed the rank which
naturally belongs to it. It is easy to calculate that its
population, compared to that of the coast of the Atlantic, will
be, in round numbers, as 40 to 11. In a few years the States
which founded the Union will lose the direction of its policy,
and the population of the valley of the Mississippi will
preponderate in the federal assemblies.

This constant gravitation of the federal power and influence
towards the northwest is shown every ten years, when a general
census of the population is made, and the number of delegates
which each State sends to Congress is settled afresh. *o In 1790
Virginia had nineteen representatives in Congress. This number
continued to increase until the year 1813, when it reached to
twenty-three; from that time it began to decrease, and in 1833
Virginia elected only twenty-one representatives. *p During the
same period the State of New York progressed in the contrary
direction: in 1790 it had ten representatives in Congress; in
1813, twenty-seven; in 1823, thirty-four; and in 1833, forty.
The State of Ohio had only one representative in 1803, and in
1833 it had already nineteen.

[Footnote o: It may be seen that in the course of the last ten
years (1820-1830) the population of one district, as, for
instance, the State of Delaware, has increased in the proportion
of five per cent.; whilst that of another, as the territory of
Michigan, has increased 250 per cent. Thus the population of
Virginia had augmented thirteen per cent., and that of the border
State of Ohio sixty-one per cent., in the same space of time.
The general table of these changes, which is given in the
"National Calendar," displays a striking picture of the unequal
fortunes of the different States.]

[Footnote p: It has just been said that in the course of the last
term the population of Virginia has increased thirteen per cent.;
and it is necessary to explain how the number of representatives
for a State may decrease, when the population of that State, far
from diminishing, is actually upon the increase. I take the
State of Virginia, to which I have already alluded, as my term of
comparison. The number of representatives of Virginia in 1823
was proportionate to the total number of the representatives of
the Union, and to the relation which the population bore to that
of the whole Union: in 1833 the number of representatives of
Virginia was likewise proportionate to the total number of the
representatives of the Union, and to the relation which its
population, augmented in the course of ten years, bore to the
augmented population of the Union in the same space of time. The
new number of Virginian representatives will then be to the old
numver, on the one hand, as the new numver of all the
representatives is to the old number; and, on the other hand, as
the augmentation of the population of Virginia is to that of the
whole population of the country. Thus, if the increase of the
population of the lesser country be to that of the greater in an
exact inverse ratio of the proportion between the new and the old
numbers of all the representatives, the number of the
representatives of Virginia will remain stationary; and if the
increase of the Virginian population be to that of the whole
Union in a feeblerratio than the new number of the
representatives of the Union to the old number, the number of the
representatives of Virginia must decrease. [Thus, to the 56th
Congress in 1899, Virginia and West Virginia send only fourteen
representatives.]]

Chapter XVIII: Future Condition Of Three Races - Part VII

The inhabitants of the United States talk a great deal of
their attachment to their country; but I confess that I do not
rely upon that calculating patriotism which is founded upon
interest, and which a change in the interests at stake may
obliterate. Nor do I attach much importance to the language of
the Americans, when they manifest, in their daily conversations,
the intention of maintaining the federal system adopted by their
forefathers. A government retains its sway over a great number of
citizens, far less by the voluntary and rational consent of the
multitude, than by that instinctive, and to a certain extent
involuntary agreement, which results from similarity of feelings
and resemblances of opinion. I will never admit that men
constitute a social body, simply because they obey the same head
and the same laws. Society can only exist when a great number of
men consider a great number of things in the same point of view;
when they hold the same opinions upon many subjects, and when the
same occurrences suggest the same thoughts and impressions to
their minds.

The observer who examines the present condition of the
United States upon this principle, will readily discover, that
although the citizens are divided into twenty-four distinct
sovereignties, they nevertheless constitute a single people; and
he may perhaps be led to think that the state of the
Anglo-American Union is more truly a state of society than that
of certain nations of Europe which live under the same
legislation and the same prince.

Although the Anglo-Americans have several religious sects,
they all regard religion in the same manner. They are not always
agreed upon the measures which are most conducive to good
government, and they vary upon some of the forms of government
which it is expedient to adopt; but they are unanimous upon the
general principles which ought to rule human society. From Maine
to the Floridas, and from the Missouri to the Atlantic Ocean, the
people is held to be the legitimate source of all power. The
same notions are entertained respecting liberty and equality, the
liberty of the press, the right of association, the jury, and the
responsibility of the agents of Government.

If we turn from their political and religious opinions to
the moral and philosophical principles which regulate the daily
actions of life and govern their conduct, we shall still find the
same uniformity. The Anglo-Americans *d acknowledge the absolute
moral authority of the reason of the community, as they
acknowledge the political authority of the mass of citizens; and
they hold that public opinion is the surest arbiter of what is
lawful or forbidden, true or false. The majority of them believe
that a man will be led to do what is just and good by following
his own interest rightly understood. They hold that every man is
born in possession of the right of self-government, and that no
one has the right of constraining his fellow-creatures to be
happy. They have all a lively faith in the perfectibility of
man; they are of opinion that the effects of the diffusion of
knowledge must necessarily be advantageous, and the consequences
of ignorance fatal; they all consider society as a body in a
state of improvement, humanity as a changing scene, in which
nothing is, or ought to be, permanent; and they admit that what
appears to them to be good to-day may be superseded by something
better-to-morrow. I do not give all these opinions as true, but
I quote them as characteristic of the Americans.

[Footnote d: It is scarcely necessary for me to observe that by
the expression Anglo-Americans, I only mean to designate the
great majority of the nation; for a certain number of isolated
individuals are of course to be met with holding very different
opinions.]

The Anglo-Americans are not only united together by these
common opinions, but they are separated from all other nations by
a common feeling of pride. For the last fifty years no pains
have been spared to convince the inhabitants of the United States
that they constitute the only religious, enlightened, and free
people. They perceive that, for the present, their own
democratic institutions succeed, whilst those of other countries
fail; hence they conceive an overweening opinion of their
superiority, and they are not very remote from believing
themselves to belong to a distinct race of mankind.

The dangers which threaten the American Union do not
originate in the diversity of interests or of opinions, but in
the various characters and passions of the Americans. The men
who inhabit the vast territory of the United States are almost
all the issue of a common stock; but the effects of the climate,
and more especially of slavery, have gradually introduced very
striking differences between the British settler of the Southern
States and the British settler of the North. In Europe it is
generally believed that slavery has rendered the interests of one
part of the Union contrary to those of another part; but I by no
means remarked this to be the case: slavery has not created
interests in the South contrary to those of the North, but it has
modified the character and changed the habits of the natives of
the South.

I have already explained the influence which slavery has
exercised upon the commercial ability of the Americans in the
South; and this same influence equally extends to their manners.
The slave is a servant who never remonstrates, and who submits to
everything without complaint. He may sometimes assassinate, but
he never withstands, his master. In the South there are no
families so poor as not to have slaves. The citizen of the
Southern States of the Union is invested with a sort of domestic
dictatorship, from his earliest years; the first notion he
acquires in life is that he is born to command, and the first
habit which he contracts is that of being obeyed without
resistance. His education tends, then, to give him the character
of a supercilious and a hasty man; irascible, violent, and ardent
in his desires, impatient of obstacles, but easily discouraged if
he cannot succeed upon his first attempt.

The American of the Northern States is surrounded by no
slaves in his childhood; he is even unattended by free servants,
and is usually obliged to provide for his own wants. No sooner
does he enter the world than the idea of necessity assails him on
every side: he soon learns to know exactly the natural limit of
his authority; he never expects to subdue those who withstand
him, by force; and he knows that the surest means of obtaining
the support of his fellow-creatures, is to win their favor. He
therefore becomes patient, reflecting, tolerant, slow to act, and
persevering in his designs.

In the Southern States the more immediate wants of life are
always supplied; the inhabitants of those parts are not busied in
the material cares of life, which are always provided for by
others; and their imagination is diverted to more captivating and
less definite objects. The American of the South is fond of
grandeur, luxury, and renown, of gayety, of pleasure, and above
all of idleness; nothing obliges him to exert himself in order to
subsist; and as he has no necessary occupations, he gives way to
indolence, and does not even attempt what would be useful.

But the equality of fortunes, and the absence of slavery in
the North, plunge the inhabitants in those same cares of daily
life which are disdained by the white population of the South.
They are taught from infancy to combat want, and to place comfort
above all the pleasures of the intellect or the heart. The
imagination is extinguished by the trivial details of life, and
the ideas become less numerous and less general, but far more
practical and more precise. As prosperity is the sole aim of
exertion, it is excellently well attained; nature and mankind are
turned to the best pecuniary advantage, and society is
dexterously made to contribute to the welfare of each of its
members, whilst individual egotism is the source of general
happiness.

The citizen of the North has not only experience, but
knowledge: nevertheless he sets but little value upon the
pleasures of knowledge; he esteems it as the means of attaining a
certain end, and he is only anxious to seize its more lucrative
applications. The citizen of the South is more given to act upon
impulse; he is more clever, more frank, more generous, more
intellectual, and more brilliant. The former, with a greater
degree of activity, of common-sense, of information, and of
general aptitude, has the characteristic good and evil qualities
of the middle classes. The latter has the tastes, the
prejudices, the weaknesses, and the magnanimity of all
aristocracies. If two men are united in society, who have the
same interests, and to a certain extent the same opinions, but
different characters, different acquirements, and a different
style of civilization, it is probable that these men will not
agree. The same remark is applicable to a society of nations.
Slavery, then, does not attack the American Union directly in its
interests, but indirectly in its manners.

[Footnote e: Census of 1790, 3,929,328; 1830, 12,856,165; 1860,
31,443,321; 1870, 38,555,983; 1890, 62,831,900.]

The States which gave their assent to the federal contract
in 1790 were thirteen in number; the Union now consists of
thirty-four members. The population, which amounted to nearly
4,000,000 in 1790, had more than tripled in the space of forty
years; and in 1830 it amounted to nearly 13,000,000. *e Changes
of such magnitude cannot take place without some danger.

A society of nations, as well as a society of individuals,
derives its principal chances of duration from the wisdom of its
members, their individual weakness, and their limited number.
The Americans who quit the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean to plunge
into the western wilderness, are adventurers impatient of
restraint, greedy of wealth, and frequently men expelled from the
States in which they were born. When they arrive in the deserts
they are unknown to each other, and they have neither traditions,
family feeling, nor the force of example to check their excesses.
The empire of the laws is feeble amongst them; that of morality
is still more powerless. The settlers who are constantly peopling
the valley of the Mississippi are, then, in every respect very
inferior to the Americans who inhabit the older parts of the
Union. Nevertheless, they already exercise a great influence in
its councils; and they arrive at the government of the
commonwealth before they have learnt to govern themselves. *f

[Footnote f: This indeed is only a temporary danger. I have no
doubt that in time society will assume as much stability and
regularity in the West as it has already done upon the coast of
the Atlantic Ocean.]

The greater the individual weakness of each of the
contracting parties, the greater are the chances of the duration
of the contract; for their safety is then dependent upon their
union. When, in 1790, the most populous of the American
republics did not contain 500,000 inhabitants, *g each of them
felt its own insignificance as an independent people, and this
feeling rendered compliance with the federal authority more easy.
But when one of the confederate States reckons, like the State of
New York, 2,000,000 of inhabitants, and covers an extent of
territory equal in surface to a quarter of France, *h it feels
its own strength; and although it may continue to support the
Union as advantageous to its prosperity, it no longer regards
that body as necessary to its existence, and as it continues to
belong to the federal compact, it soon aims at preponderance in
the federal assemblies. The probable unanimity of the States is
diminished as their number increases. At present the interests of
the different parts of the Union are not at variance; but who is
able to foresee the multifarious changes of the future, in a
country in which towns are founded from day to day, and States
almost from year to year?

[Footnote g: Pennsylvania contained 431,373 inhabitants in 1790
[and 5,258,014 in 1890.]]

[Footnote h: The area of the State of New York is 49,170 square
miles. [See U. S. census report of 1890.]]

Since the first settlement of the British colonies, the
number of inhabitants has about doubled every twenty-two years.
I perceive no causes which are likely to check this progressive
increase of the Anglo-American population for the next hundred
years; and before that space of time has elapsed, I believe that
the territories and dependencies of the United States will be
covered by more than 100,000,000 of inhabitants, and divided into
forty States. *i I admit that these 100,000,000 of men have no ho
hostile interests. I suppose, on the contrary, that they are all
equally interested in the maintenance of the Union; but I am
still of opinion that where there are 100,000,000 of men, and
forty distinct nations, unequally strong, the continuance of the
Federal Government can only be a fortunate accident.

[Footnote i: If the population continues to double every
twenty-two years, as it has done for the last two hundred years,
the number of inhabitants in the United States in 1852 will be
twenty millions; in 1874, forty-eight millions; and in 1896,
ninety-six millions. This may still be the case even if the
lands on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains should be found
to be unfit for cultivation. The territory which is already
occupied can easily contain this number of inhabitants. One
hundred millions of men disseminated over the surface of the
twenty-four States, and the three dependencies, which constitute
the Union, would only give 762 inhabitants to the square league;
this would be far below the mean population of France, which is
1,063 to the square league; or of England, which is 1,457; and it
would even be below the population of Switzerland, for that
country, notwithstanding its lakes and mountains, contains 783
inhabitants to the square league. See "Malte Brun," vol. vi. p.
92.

[The actual result has fallen somewhat short of these
calculations, in spite of the vast territorial acquisitions of
the United States: but in 1899 the population is probably about
eighty- seven millions, including the population of the
Philippines, Hawaii, and Porto Rico.]]

Whatever faith I may have in the perfectibility of man,
until human nature is altered, and men wholly transformed, I
shall refuse to believe in the duration of a government which is
called upon to hold together forty different peoples,
disseminated over a territory equal to one-half of Europe in
extent; to avoid all rivalry, ambition, and struggles between
them, and to direct their independent activity to the
accomplishment of the same designs.

But the greatest peril to which the Union is exposed by its
increase arises from the continual changes which take place in
the position of its internal strength. The distance from Lake
Superior to the Gulf of Mexico extends from the 47th to the 30th
degree of latitude, a distance of more than 1,200 miles as the
bird flies. The frontier of the United States winds along the
whole of this immense line, sometimes falling within its limits,
but more frequently extending far beyond it, into the waste. It
has been calculated that the whites advance every year a mean
distance of seventeen miles along the whole of his vast boundary.
*j Obstacles, such as an unproductive district, a lake or an
Indian nation unexpectedly encountered, are sometimes met with.
The advancing column then halts for a while; its two extremities
fall back upon themselves, and as soon as they are reunited they
proceed onwards. This gradual and continuous progress of the
European race towards the Rocky Mountains has the solemnity of a
providential event; it is like a deluge of men rising unabatedly,
and daily driven onwards by the hand of God.

[Footnote j: See Legislative Documents, 20th Congress, No. 117,
p. 105.]

Within this first line of conquering settlers towns are
built, and vast States founded. In 1790 there were only a few
thousand pioneers sprinkled along the valleys of the Mississippi;
and at the present day these valleys contain as many inhabitants
as were to be found in the whole Union in 1790. Their population
amounts to nearly 4,000,000. *k The city of Washington was
founded in 1800, in the very centre of the Union; but such are
the changes which have taken place, that it now stands at one of
the extremities; and the delegates of the most remote Western
States are already obliged to perform a journey as long as that
from Vienna to Paris. *l

[Footnote k: 3,672,317 - Census of 1830.]

[Footnote l: The distance from Jefferson, the capital of the
State of Missouri, to Washington is 1,019 miles. ("American
Almanac," 1831, p. 48.)]

All the States are borne onwards at the same time in the
path of fortune, but of course they do not all increase and
prosper in the same proportion. To the North of the Union the
detached branches of the Alleghany chain, which extend as far as
the Atlantic Ocean, form spacious roads and ports, which are
constantly accessible to vessels of the greatest burden. But from
the Potomac to the mouth of the Mississippi the coast is sandy
and flat. In this part of the Union the mouths of almost all the
rivers are obstructed; and the few harbors which exist amongst
these lagoons afford much shallower water to vessels, and much
fewer commercial advantages than those of the North.

This first natural cause of inferiority is united to another
cause proceeding from the laws. We have already seen that
slavery, which is abolished in the North, still exists in the
South; and I have pointed out its fatal consequences upon the
prosperity of the planter himself.

The North is therefore superior to the South both in
commerce *m and manufacture; the natural consequence of which is
the more rapid increase of population and of wealth within its
borders. The States situate upon the shores of the Atlantic
Ocean are already half-peopled. Most of the land is held by an
owner; and these districts cannot therefore receive so many
emigrants as the Western States, where a boundless field is still
open to their exertions. The valley of the Mississippi is far
more fertile than the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This reason,
added to all the others, contributes to drive the Europeans
westward - a fact which may be rigorously demonstrated by
figures. It is found that the sum total of the population of all
the United States has about tripled in the course of forty years.
But in the recent States adjacent to the Mississippi, the
population has increased thirty-one-fold, within the same space
of time. *n

[Footnote m: The following statements will suffice to show the
difference which exists between the commerce of the South and
that of the North: -

In 1829 the tonnage of all the merchant vessels belonging to
Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia (the four great Southern
States), amounted to only 5,243 tons. In the same year the
tonnage of the vessels of the State of Massachusetts alone
amounted to 17,322 tons. (See Legislative Documents, 21st
Congress, 2d session, No. 140, p. 244.) Thus the State of
Massachusetts had three times as much shipping as the four
above-mentioned States. Nevertheless the area of the State of
Massachusetts is only 7,335 square miles, and its population
amounts to 610,014 inhabitants [2,238,943 in 1890]; whilst the
area of the four other States I have quoted is 210,000 square
miles, and their population 3,047,767. Thus the area of the
State of Massachusetts forms only one-thirtieth part of the area
of the four States; and its population is five times smaller than
theirs. (See "Darby's View of the United States.") Slavery is
prejudicial to the commercial prosperity of the South in several
different ways; by diminishing the spirit of enterprise amongst
the whites, and by preventing them from meeting with as numerous
a class of sailors as they require. Sailors are usually taken
from the lowest ranks of the population. But in the Southern
States these lowest ranks are composed of slaves, and it is very
difficult to employ them at sea. They are unable to serve as
well as a white crew, and apprehensions would always be
entertained of their mutinying in the middle of the ocean, or of
their escaping in the foreign countries at which they might
touch.]

[Footnote n: "Darby's View of the United States," p. 444.]
The relative position of the central federal power is
continually displaced. Forty years ago the majority of the
citizens of the Union was established upon the coast of the
Atlantic, in the environs of the spot upon which Washington now
stands; but the great body of the people is now advancing inland
and to the north, so that in twenty years the majority will
unquestionably be on the western side of the Alleghanies. If the
Union goes on to subsist, the basin of the Mississippi is
evidently marked out, by its fertility and its extent, as the
future centre of the Federal Government. In thirty or forty
years, that tract of country will have assumed the rank which
naturally belongs to it. It is easy to calculate that its
population, compared to that of the coast of the Atlantic, will
be, in round numbers, as 40 to 11. In a few years the States
which founded the Union will lose the direction of its policy,
and the population of the valley of the Mississippi will
preponderate in the federal assemblies.

This constant gravitation of the federal power and influence
towards the northwest is shown every ten years, when a general
census of the population is made, and the number of delegates
which each State sends to Congress is settled afresh. *o In 1790
Virginia had nineteen representatives in Congress. This number
continued to increase until the year 1813, when it reached to
twenty-three; from that time it began to decrease, and in 1833
Virginia elected only twenty-one representatives. *p During the
same period the State of New York progressed in the contrary
direction: in 1790 it had ten representatives in Congress; in
1813, twenty-seven; in 1823, thirty-four; and in 1833, forty.
The State of Ohio had only one representative in 1803, and in
1833 it had already nineteen.

[Footnote o: It may be seen that in the course of the last ten
years (1820-1830) the population of one district, as, for
instance, the State of Delaware, has increased in the proportion
of five per cent.; whilst that of another, as the territory of
Michigan, has increased 250 per cent. Thus the population of
Virginia had augmented thirteen per cent., and that of the border
State of Ohio sixty-one per cent., in the same space of time.
The general table of these changes, which is given in the
"National Calendar," displays a striking picture of the unequal
fortunes of the different States.]

[Footnote p: It has just been said that in the course of the last
term the population of Virginia has increased thirteen per cent.;
and it is necessary to explain how the number of representatives
for a State may decrease, when the population of that State, far
from diminishing, is actually upon the increase. I take the
State of Virginia, to which I have already alluded, as my term of
comparison. The number of representatives of Virginia in 1823
was proportionate to the total number of the representatives of
the Union, and to the relation which the population bore to that
of the whole Union: in 1833 the number of representatives of
Virginia was likewise proportionate to the total number of the
representatives of the Union, and to the relation which its
population, augmented in the course of ten years, bore to the
augmented population of the Union in the same space of time. The
new number of Virginian representatives will then be to the old
numver, on the one hand, as the new numver of all the
representatives is to the old number; and, on the other hand, as
the augmentation of the population of Virginia is to that of the
whole population of the country. Thus, if the increase of the
population of the lesser country be to that of the greater in an
exact inverse ratio of the proportion between the new and the old
numbers of all the representatives, the number of the
representatives of Virginia will remain stationary; and if the
increase of the Virginian population be to that of the whole
Union in a feeblerratio than the new number of the
representatives of the Union to the old number, the number of the
representatives of Virginia must decrease. [Thus, to the 56th
Congress in 1899, Virginia and West Virginia send only fourteen
representatives.]]

Chapter XVIII: Future Condition Of Three Races - Part VIII
It is difficult to imagine a durable union of a people which
is rich and strong with one which is poor and weak, even if it
were proved that the strength and wealth of the one are not the
causes of the weakness and poverty of the other. But union is
still more difficult to maintain at a time at which one party is
losing strength, and the other is gaining it. This rapid and
disproportionate increase of certain States threatens the
independence of the others. New York might perhaps succeed, with
its 2,000,000 of inhabitants and its forty representatives, in
dictating to the other States in Congress. But even if the more
powerful States make no attempt to bear down the lesser ones, the
danger still exists; for there is almost as much in the
possibility of the act as in the act itself. The weak generally
mistrust the justice and the reason of the strong. The States
which increase less rapidly than the others look upon those which
are more favored by fortune with envy and suspicion. Hence arise
the deep-seated uneasiness and ill-defined agitation which are
observable in the South, and which form so striking a contrast to
the confidence and prosperity which are common to other parts of
the Union. I am inclined to think that the hostile measures
taken by the Southern provinces upon a recent occasion are
attributable to no other cause. The inhabitants of the Southern
States are, of all the Americans, those who are most interested
in the maintenance of the Union; they would assuredly suffer most
from being left to themselves; and yet they are the only citizens
who threaten to break the tie of confederation. But it is easy
to perceive that the South, which has given four Presidents,
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, to the Union, which
perceives that it is losing its federal influence, and that the
number of its representatives in Congress is diminishing from
year to year, whilst those of the Northern and Western States are
increasing; the South, which is peopled with ardent and irascible
beings, is becoming more and more irritated and alarmed. The
citizens reflect upon their present position and remember their
past influence, with the melancholy uneasiness of men who suspect
oppression: if they discover a law of the Union which is not
unequivocally favorable to their interests, they protest against
it as an abuse of force; and if their ardent remonstrances are
not listened to, they threaten to quit an association which loads
them with burdens whilst it deprives them of their due profits.
"The tariff," said the inhabitants of Carolina in 1832, "enriches
the North, and ruins the South; for if this were not the case, to
what can we attribute the continually increasing power and wealth
of the North, with its inclement skies and arid soil; whilst the
South, which may be styled the garden of America, is rapidly
declining?" *q

[Footnote q: See the report of its committee to the Convention
which proclaimed the nullification of the tariff in South
Carolina.]

If the changes which I have described were gradual, so that
each generation at least might have time to disappear with the
order of things under which it had lived, the danger would be
less; but the progress of society in America is precipitate, and
almost revolutionary. The same citizen may have lived to see his
State take the lead in the Union, and afterwards become powerless
in the federal assemblies; and an Anglo-American republic has
been known to grow as rapidly as a man passing from birth and
infancy to maturity in the course of thirty years. It must not
be imagined, however, that the States which lose their

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