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chusetts, and Delaware as Virginia, in the other House the votes of Massachusetts and Virginia, should they coalesce, would swamp those of the two others many times over. As between North and South, the preponderance in respect of population was so clearly in favour of the former, that a combination of her representatives would have the power of carrying through the Lower House of Congress any measure that they pleased; and it was in view of the possibility of such a combination the South made this proposal. She proposed, that in the apportionment of votes, negroes should be counted as part of the population, in the proportion of three votes for every five persons of colour. There was, as might have been expected, some opposition to this; but it was finally admitted into the Constitution; and the South had reason to be grateful for the assistance of those Northern members whose support gave her the majority. I believe that this is sometimes supposed to mean, that masters should have three votes for every five slaves they have. Slaves do not accumulate in the possession of individuals as they used to do among the luxurious Romans, or even in the Dark Ages. Still, there are several masters in the South who are the owners of several hundred negroes, and I believe there are two persons who actually possess over a thousand each. If those two persons, besides their own votes, could each dispose of six hundred more on the strength of their slaves, the Southerners might well be called aristocrats. But it is not the case. The regulation was made for the purpose, not of founding an oligarchy, but of protecting the South against the dangers of Northern preponderance. The contrivance was clumsy and illogical, and has proved quite nugatory in practice; but it shows that the Northern leaders, or some of them, were not then as inimical to the South as their successors have been.
In spite, however, of the insufficiency, which must even then have been apparent, of this concession to enable the weaker section to balance the stronger, the South was contented to accept it as a sign of a moderate and conciliatory disposition on the part of her rivals. And, as for the future, she trusted to good-luck; to the abilities of her own statesinen; to the chance that the new States which were to be formed, might find that their interests were not identical with those of New England; and to the probability that there would always be a sufficiency of sensible and moderate men in the North to check the overweening selfishness of their fellows, and whose votes might be relied on in her support, if she had to resist attempts at exclusive sectional legislation.
So Pinckney's proposed guarantee was given up, or supported feebly. He did not even carry his own colleagues with him, and the vote of South Carolina (for the votes in the Convention were taken not by heads, but by States) was registered against the motion of her distinguished citizen. It must be set to the credit of the South, that her States did not support it with their full strength, as it shows an absence of desire to secure themselves against their sisters, and a confidence in the good faith of the latter, which must be considered laudable, though events have shown it to be mistaken. If they had so supported it, it might perhaps have saved the Union.
So, here we have North and South, with directly opposing interests, chained together, and unable, from the nature of the case, to agree to differ, as England and Scotland have done on the question of the Church Establishment. And the difference was even more irreconcilable than between England and Scotland. It is probable, or at least conceivable, that the mass of Scotchmen might have got accustomed to an Episcopal Church, if it had had the good sense to abstain from persecuting; and though it would probably have been more exclusively Calvinistic than that of England is, and although there would have been always a good deal of dissent, yet I do not think that the single fact of Episcopacy
would have made it intolerable for ever. But such a cause of quarrel as that which existed between England and America, was one which the lapse of time could only embitter. No amount of habit was likely to make Virginia and the Carolinas think it desirable that they should pay the taxes of the Northerners for them; and, though it might happen that the men of the other section, following the lead of their great statesman, Alexander Hamilton, should become converts to the doctrines of Adam Smith, yet the fact of the Union was likely to prevent their doing so. First, because the same reason, which would make the South feel keenly the evils of a protective system, would make the North feel them very little ; and, secondly, because the opposition to that system, on the part of one section of the Union, would make its retention a point of honour with the other, and cause it to become the centre of a number of other ideas, which would gather round it, and create in its behalf a feeling of something like patriotism. On both sides, the feeling, instead of being smoothed down by time, was likely to be deepened by it. And it did not require deepening. For even at the time of the Convention, when, if ever, the people of the two sections were disposed to draw together, and to believe that their interests might be in accordance with one another, a speaker was found to say, as I have
already mentioned, that the interests of New England and those of the South were as different, one from the other, as those of Russia and Turkey. Nor do I believe that any attempt was made to contradict him.
The natural course that would recommend itself to a dispassionate looker-on would be, that as it was impossible that, with such conflicting interests, the two sections should get on comfortably together, they had better agree to separate. But this did not suit either party. Both North and South were fired with the recollection of their successful War of Independence, and with not unnatural, though perhaps somewhat vulgar, notions about the glorious destinies and 'tarnation bigness of the Union; and, besides, the North had her own private reasons for wishing to keep up the connection, as supplying the means of relieving her from the burden of taxation. I do not suppose that the Northern statesmen who attended the Convention quite realised what a good thing their countrymen would make out of it, nor do I suppose that, if they had realised it, the prospect would have given them much pleasure. But the idea of separating the States into two Unions, would have seemed to them only less preposterous and abominable than that of trying to prevent such separation, should it ever be desired, by force of arms.