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Title: A History of the United States
Author: Chesterton, Cecil, 1879-1918
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the United States" ***

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                              A HISTORY OF
                            THE UNITED STATES

[Illustration: _Russell & Sons photo_


                             A HISTORY OF
                           THE UNITED STATES


                           CECIL CHESTERTON

                        WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

                           G. K. CHESTERTON


                            CHATTO & WINDUS


                   _First published January 16, 1919_

                  _Second impression January 17, 1919_

                          _All rights reserved_

                             DEDICATED TO

                     MY COMRADE AND HOSPITAL MATE,

                         LANCE-CORPORAL WOOD,

                     OF THE KING'S OWN LIVERPOOLS,

                       CITIZEN OF MASSACHUSETTS,

                     WHO JOINED THE BRITISH ARMY IN

                             AUGUST, 1914.

    " ... O more than my brother, how shall I thank thee for all?
    Each of the heroes around us has fought for his house and his line,
    But thou hast fought for a stranger in hate of a wrong not thine.
    Happy are all free peoples too strong to be dispossessed,
    But happiest those among nations that dare to be strong for the rest."

                                --ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.


The author of this book, my brother, died in a French military hospital
of the effects of exposure in the last fierce fighting that broke the
Prussian power over Christendom; fighting for which he had volunteered
after being invalided home. Any notes I can jot down about him must
necessarily seem jerky and incongruous; for in such a relation memory is
a medley of generalisation and detail, not to be uttered in words. One
thing at least may fitly be said here. Before he died he did at least
two things that he desired. One may seem much greater than the other;
but he would not have shrunk from naming them together. He saw the end
of an empire that was the nightmare of the nations; but I believe it
pleased him almost as much that he had been able, often in the intervals
of bitter warfare and by the aid of a brilliant memory, to put together
these pages on the history, so necessary and so strangely neglected, of
the great democracy which he never patronised, which he not only loved
but honoured.

Cecil Edward Chesterton was born on November 12, 1879; and there is a
special if a secondary sense in which we may use the phrase that he was
born a fighter. It may seem in some sad fashion a flippancy to say that
he argued from his very cradle. It is certainly, in the same sad
fashion, a comfort, to remember one truth about our relations: that we
perpetually argued and that we never quarrelled. In a sense it was the
psychological truth, I fancy, that we never quarrelled because we always
argued. His lucidity and love of truth kept things so much on the level
of logic, that the rest of our relations remained, thank God, in solid
sympathy; long before that later time when, in substance, our argument
had become an agreement. Nor, I think, was the process valueless; for
at least we learnt how to argue in defence of our agreement. But the
retrospect is only worth a thought now, because it illustrates a duality
which seemed to him, and is, very simple; but to many is baffling in its
very simplicity. When I say his weapon was logic, it will be currently
confused with formality or even frigidity: a silly superstition always
pictures the logician as a pale-faced prig. He was a living proof, a
very living proof, that the precise contrary is the case. In fact it is
generally the warmer and more sanguine sort of man who has an appetite
for abstract definitions and even abstract distinctions. He had all the
debating dexterity of a genial and generous man like Charles Fox. He
could command that more than legal clarity and closeness which really
marked the legal arguments of a genial and generous man like Danton. In
his wonderfully courageous public speaking, he rather preferred being a
debator to being an orator; in a sense he maintained that no man had a
right to be an orator without first being a debater. Eloquence, he said,
had its proper place when reason had proved a thing to be right, and it
was necessary to give men the courage to do what was right. I think he
never needed any man's eloquence to give him that. But the substitution
of sentiment for reason, in the proper place for reason, affected him
"as musicians are affected by a false note." It was the combination of
this intellectual integrity with extraordinary warmth and simplicity in
the affections that made the point of his personality. The snobs and
servile apologists of the _régime_ he resisted seem to think they can
atone for being hard-hearted by being soft-headed. He reversed, if ever
a man did, that relation in the organs. The opposite condition really
covers all that can be said of him in this brief study; it is the clue
not only to his character but to his career.

If rationalism meant being rational (which it hardly ever does) he might
at every stage of his life be called a red-hot rationalist. Thus, for
instance, he very early became a Socialist and joined the Fabian
Society, on the executive of which he played a prominent part for some
years. But he afterwards gave the explanation, very characteristic for
those who could understand it, that what he liked about the Fabian sort
of Socialism was its hardness. He meant intellectual hardness; the fact
that the society avoided sentimentalism, and dealt in affirmations and
not mere associations. He meant that upon the Fabian basis a Socialist
was bound to believe in Socialism, but not in sandals, free love,
bookbinding, and immediate disarmament. But he also added that, while he
liked their hardness, he disliked their moderation. In other words, when
he discovered, or believed that he discovered, that their intellectual
hardness was combined with moral hardness, or rather moral deadness, he
felt all the intellectual ice melted by a moral flame. He had, so to
speak, a reaction of emotional realism, in which he saw, as suddenly as
simple men can see simple truths, the potterers of Social Reform as the
plotters of the Servile State. He was himself, above all things, a
democrat as well as a Socialist; and in that intellectual sect he began
to feel as if he were the only Socialist who was also a democrat. His
dogmatic, democratic conviction would alone illustrate the falsity of
the contrast between logic and life. The idea of human equality existed
with extraordinary clarity in his brain, precisely because it existed
with extraordinary simplicity in his character. His popular sympathies,
unlike so many popular sentiments, could really survive any intimacy
with the populace; they followed the poor not only at public meetings
but to public houses. He was literally the only man I ever knew who was
not only never a snob, but apparently never tempted to be a snob. The
fact is almost more important than his wonderful lack of fear; for such
good causes, when they cannot be lost by fear, are often lost by favour.

Thus he came to suspect that Socialism was merely social reform, and
that social reform was merely slavery. But the point still is that
though his attitude to it was now one of revolt, it was anything but a
mere revulsion of feeling. He did, indeed, fall back on fundamental
things, on a fury at the oppression of the poor, on a pity for slaves,
and especially for contented slaves. But it is the mark of his type of
mind that he did not abandon Socialism without a rational case against
it, and a rational system to oppose to it. The theory he substituted
for Socialism is that which may for convenience be called
Distributivism; the theory that private property is proper to every
private citizen. This is no place for its exposition; but it will be
evident that such a conversion brings the convert into touch with much
older traditions of human freedom, as expressed in the family or the
guild. And it was about the same time that, having for some time held an
Anglo-Catholic position, he joined the Roman Catholic Church. It is
notable, in connection with the general argument, that while the deeper
reasons for such a change do not concern such a sketch as this, he was
again characteristically amused and annoyed with the sentimentalists,
sympathetic or hostile, who supposed he was attracted by ritual, music,
and emotional mysticism. He told such people, somewhat to their
bewilderment, that he had been converted because Rome alone could
satisfy the reason. In his case, of course, as in Newman's and
numberless others, well-meaning people conceived a thousand crooked or
complicated explanations, rather than suppose that an obviously honest
man believed a thing because he thought it was true. He was soon to give
a more dramatic manifestation of his strange taste for the truth.

The attack on political corruption, the next and perhaps the most
important passage in his life, still illustrates the same point,
touching reason and enthusiasm. Precisely because he did know what
Socialism is and what it is not, precisely because he had at least
learned that from the intellectual hardness of the Fabians, he saw the
spot where Fabian Socialism is not hard but soft. Socialism means the
assumption by the State of all the means of production, distribution,
and exchange. To quote (as he often quoted with a rational relish) the
words of Mr. Balfour, that is Socialism and nothing else is Socialism.
To such clear thinking, it is at once apparent that trusting a thing to
the State must always mean trusting it to the statesmen. He could defend
Socialism because he could define Socialism; and he was not helped or
hindered by the hazy associations of the sort of Socialists who
perpetually defended what they never defined. Such men might have a
vague vision of red flags and red ties waving in an everlasting riot
above the fall of top-hats and Union Jacks; but he knew that Socialism
established meant Socialism official, and conducted by some sort of
officials. All the primary forms of private property were to be given to
the government; and it occurred to him, as a natural precaution, to give
a glance at the government. He gave some attention to the actual types
and methods of that governing and official class, into whose power trams
and trades and shops and houses were already passing, amid loud Fabian
cheers for the progress of Socialism. He looked at modern parliamentary
government; he looked at it rationally and steadily and not without
reflection. And the consequence was that he was put in the dock, and
very nearly put in the lock-up, for calling it what it is.

In collaboration with Mr. Belloc he had written "The Party System," in
which the plutocratic and corrupt nature of our present polity is set
forth. And when Mr. Belloc founded the _Eye-Witness_, as a bold and
independent organ of the same sort of criticism, he served as the
energetic second in command. He subsequently became editor of the
_Eye-Witness_, which was renamed as the _New Witness_. It was during the
latter period that the great test case of political corruption occurred;
pretty well known in England, and unfortunately much better known in
Europe, as the Marconi scandal. To narrate its alternate secrecies and
sensations would be impossible here; but one fashionable fallacy about
it may be exploded with advantage. An extraordinary notion still exists
that the _New Witness_ denounced Ministers for gambling on the Stock
Exchange. It might be improper for Ministers to gamble; but gambling was
certainly not a misdemeanor that would have hardened with any special
horror so hearty an Anti-Puritan as the man of whom I write. The Marconi
case did not raise the difficult ethics of gambling, but the perfectly
plain ethics of secret commissions. The charge against the Ministers was
that, while a government contract was being considered, they tried to
make money out of a secret tip, given them by the very government
contractor with whom their government was supposed to be bargaining.
This was what their accuser asserted; but this was not what they
attempted to answer by a prosecution. He was prosecuted, not for what
he had said of the government, but for some secondary things he had said
of the government contractor. The latter, Mr. Godfrey Isaacs, gained a
verdict for criminal libel; and the judge inflicted a fine of £100.
Readers may have chanced to note the subsequent incidents in the life of
Mr. Isaacs, but I am here only concerned with incidents in the life of a
more interesting person.

In any suggestion of his personality, indeed, the point does not lie in
what was done to him, but rather in what was not done. He was positively
assured, upon the very strongest and most converging legal authority,
that unless he offered certain excuses he would certainly go to prison
for several years. He did not offer those excuses; and I believe it
never occurred to him to do so. His freedom from fear of all kinds had
about it a sort of solid unconsciousness and even innocence. This
homogeneous quality in it has been admirably seized and summed up by Mr.
Belloc in a tribute of great truth and power. "His courage was heroic,
native, positive and equal: always at the highest potentiality of
courage. He never in his life checked an action or a word from a
consideration of personal caution, and that is more than can be said of
any other man of his time." After the more or less nominal fine,
however, his moral victory was proved in the one way in which a military
victory can ever be proved. It is the successful general who continues
his own plan of campaign. Whether a battle be ticketed in the history
books as lost or won, the test is which side can continue to strike. He
continued to strike, and to strike harder than ever, up to the very
moment of that yet greater experience which changed all such military
symbols into military facts. A man with instincts unspoiled and in that
sense almost untouched, he would have always answered quite naturally to
the autochthonous appeal of patriotism; but it is again characteristic
of him that he desired, in his own phrase, to "rationalize patriotism,"
which he did upon the principles of Rousseau, that contractual theory
which, in these pages, he connects with the great name of Jefferson. But
things even deeper than patriotism impelled him against Prussianism. His
enemy was the barbarian when he enslaves, as something more hellish
even than the barbarian when he slays. His was the spiritual instinct by
which Prussian order was worse than Prussian anarchy; and nothing was so
inhuman as an inhuman humanitarianism. If you had asked him for what he
fought and died amid the wasted fields of France and Flanders, he might
very probably have answered that it was to save the world from German
social reforms.

This note, necessarily so broken and bemused, must reach its useless
end. I have said nothing of numberless things that should be remembered
at the mention of his name; of his books, which were great pamphlets and
may yet be permanent pamphlets; of his journalistic exposures of other
evils besides the Marconi, exposures that have made a new political
atmosphere in the very election that is stirring around us; of his visit
to America, which initiated him into an international friendship which
is the foundation of this book. Least of all can I write of him apart
from his work; of that loss nothing can be said by those who do not
suffer it, and less still by those who do. And his experiences in life
and death were so much greater even than my experiences of him, that a
double incapacity makes me dumb. A portrait is impossible; as a friend
he is too near me, and as a hero too far away.

                                                  G. K. CHESTERTON.

                           AUTHOR'S PREFACE

I have taken advantage of a very brief respite from other, and in my
judgment more valuable, employment, to produce this short sketch of the
story of a great people, now our Ally. My motive has been mainly that I
do not think that any such sketch, concentrated enough to be readable by
the average layman who has other things to do (especially in these days)
than to study more elaborate and authoritative histories, at present
exists, and I have thought that in writing it I might perhaps be
discharging some little part of the heavy debt of gratitude which I owe
to America for the hospitality I received from her when I visited her
shores during the early months of the War.

This book is in another sense the product of that visit. What I then saw
and heard of contemporary America so fascinated me that--believing as I
do that the key to every people is in its past--I could not rest until I
had mastered all that I could of the history of my delightful hosts.
This I sought as much as possible from the original sources, reading
voraciously, and at the time merely for my pleasure, such records as I
could get of old debates and of the speech and correspondence of the
dead. The two existing histories, which I also read, and upon which I
have drawn most freely, are that of the present President of the United
States and that of Professor Rhodes, dealing with the period from 1850
to 1876. With the conclusions of the latter authority it will be obvious
that I am in many respects by no means at one; but I think it the more
necessary to say that without a careful study of his book I could
neither have formed my own conclusions nor ventured to challenge his.
The reading that I did at the time of which I speak is the foundation of
what I have now written. It will be well understood that a Private in
the British Army, even when invalided home for a season, has not very
great opportunities for research. I think it very likely that errors of
detail may be discovered in these pages; I am quite sure that I could
have made the book a better one if I had been able to give more time to
revising my studies. Yet I believe that the story told here is
substantially true; and I am very sure that it is worth the telling.

If I am asked why I think it desirable at this moment to attempt,
however inadequately, a history of our latest Ally, I answer that at
this moment the whole future of our civilization may depend upon a
thoroughly good understanding between those nations which are now joined
in battle for its defence, and that ignorance of each other's history is
perhaps the greatest menace to such an understanding. To take one
instance at random--how many English writers have censured, sometimes in
terms of friendly sorrow, sometimes in a manner somewhat pharisaical,
the treatment of Negroes in Southern States in all its phases, varying
from the provision of separate waiting-rooms to sporadic outbreaks of
lynching! How few ever mention, or seem to have even heard the word
"Reconstruction"--a word which, in its historical connotation, explains

I should, perhaps, add a word to those Americans who may chance to read
this book. To them, of course, I must offer a somewhat different
apology. I believe that, with all my limitations, I can tell my
fellow-countrymen things about the history of America which they do not
know. It would be absurd effrontery to pretend that I can tell Americans
what they do not know. For them, whatever interest this book may possess
must depend upon the value of a foreigner's interpretation of the facts.
I know that I should be extraordinarily interested in an American's view
of the story of England since the Separation; and I can only hope that
some degree of such interest may attach to these pages in American eyes.

It will be obvious to Americans that in some respects my view of their
history is individual. For instance, I give Andrew Jackson both a
greater place in the development of American democracy and a higher meed
of personal praise than do most modern American historians and writers
whom I have read. I give my judgment for what it is worth. In my view,
the victory of Jackson over the Whigs was the turning-point of American
history and finally decided that the United States should be a democracy
and not a parliamentary oligarchy. And I am further of opinion that,
both as soldier and ruler, "Old Hickory" was a hero of whom any nation
might well be proud.

I am afraid that some offence may be given by my portrait of Charles
Sumner. I cannot help it. I do not think that between his admirers and
myself there is any real difference as to the kind of man he was. It is
a kind that some people revere. It is a kind that I detest--absolutely
leprous scoundrels excepted--more than I can bring myself to detest any
other of God's creatures.

                                                  CECIL CHESTERTON.

_May 1st, 1918._


CHAP.                                                               PAGE

   I. THE ENGLISH COLONIES                                             1

  II. ARMS AND THE RIGHTS OF MAN                                      14

 III. "WE, THE PEOPLE"                                                36

  IV. THE MANTLE OF WASHINGTON                                        51

   V. THE VIRGINIAN DYNASTY                                           65

  VI. THE JACKSONIAN REVOLUTION                                       90

 VII. THE SPOILS OF MEXICO                                           110

VIII. THE SLAVERY QUESTION                                           129

  IX. SECESSION AND CIVIL WAR                                        156

   X. "THE BLACK TERROR"                                             203

  XI. THE NEW PROBLEMS                                               227

      INDEX                                                          241

                               A HISTORY
                          OF THE UNITED STATES

                               CHAPTER I

                         THE ENGLISH COLONIES

In the year of Our Lord 1492, thirty-nine years after the taking of
Constantinople by the Turks and eighteen years after the establishment
of Caxton's printing press, one Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor,
set sail from Spain with the laudable object of converting the Khan of
Tartary to the Christian Faith, and on his way discovered the continent
of America. The islands on which Columbus first landed and the adjacent
stretch of mainland from Mexico to Patagonia which the Spaniards who
followed him colonized lay outside the territory which is now known as
the United States. Nevertheless the instinct of the American democracy
has always looked back to him as a sort of ancestor, and popular
American tradition conceives of him as in some shadowy fashion a
founder. And that instinct and tradition, like most such national
instincts and traditions, is sound.

In the epoch which most of us can remember pretty vividly--for it came
to an abrupt end less than five years ago--when people were anxious to
prove that everything important in human history had been done by
"Teutons," there was a great effort to show that Columbus was not really
the first European discoverer of America; that that honour belonged
properly to certain Scandinavian sea-captains who at some time in the
tenth or eleventh centuries paid a presumably piratical visit to the
coast of Greenland. It may be so, but the incident is quite irrelevant.
That one set of barbarians from the fjords of Norway came in their
wanderings in contact with another set of barbarians living in the
frozen lands north of Labrador is a fact, if it be a fact, of little or
no historical import. The Vikings had no more to teach the Esquimaux
than had the Esquimaux to teach the Vikings. Both were at that time
outside the real civilization of Europe.

Columbus, on the other hand, came from the very centre of European
civilization and that at a time when that civilization was approaching
the summit of one of its constantly recurrent periods of youth and
renewal. In the North, indeed, what strikes the eye in the fifteenth
century is rather the ugliness of a decaying order--the tortures, the
panic of persecution, the morbid obsession of the _danse macabre_--things
which many think of as Mediæval, but which belong really only to the
Middle Ages when old and near to death. But all the South was already
full of the new youth of the Renaissance. Boccaccio had lived, Leonardo
was at the height of his glory. In the fields of Touraine was already
playing with his fellows the boy that was to be Rabelais.

Such adventures as that of Columbus, despite his pious intentions with
regard to the Khan of Tartary, were a living part of the Renaissance and
were full of its spirit, and it is from the Renaissance that American
civilization dates. It is an important point to remember about America,
and especially about the English colonies which were to become the
United States, that they have had no memory of the Middle Ages. They had
and have, on the other hand, a real, formative memory of Pagan antiquity,
for the age in which the oldest of them were born was full of enthusiasm
for that memory, while it thought, as most Americans still think, of the
Middle Ages as a mere feudal barbarism.

Youth and adventurousness were not the only notes of the Renaissance,
nor the only ones which we shall see affecting the history of America.
Another note was pride, and with that pride in its reaction against the
old Christian civilization went a certain un-Christian scorn of poverty
and still more of the ugliness and ignorance which go with poverty; and
there reappeared--to an extent at least, and naturally most of all where
the old religion had been completely lost--that naked Pagan repugnance
which almost refused to recognize a human soul in the barbarian. It is
notable that in these new lands which the Renaissance had thrown open to
European men there at once reappears that institution which had once
been fundamental to Europe and which the Faith had slowly and with
difficulty undermined and dissolved--Slavery.

The English colonies in America owe their first origin partly to the
English instinct for wandering and especially for wandering on the sea,
which naturally seized on the adventurous element in the Renaissance as
that most congenial to the national temper, and partly to the secular
antagonism between England and Spain. Spain, whose sovereign then ruled
Portugal and therefore the Portuguese as well as Spanish colonies,
claimed the whole of the New World as part of her dominions, and her
practical authority extended unchallenged from Florida to Cape Horn. It
would have been hopeless for England to have attempted seriously to
challenge that authority where it existed in view of the relative
strength at that time of the two kingdoms; and in general the English
seamen confined themselves to hampering and annoying the Spanish
commerce by acts of privateering which the Spaniards naturally
designated as piracy. But to the bold and inventive mind of the great
Raleigh there occurred another conception. Spain, though she claimed the
whole American continent, had not in fact made herself mistress of all
its habitable parts. North of the rich lands which supplied gold and
silver to the Spanish exchequer, but still well within the temperate
zone of climate, lay great tracts bordering the Atlantic where no
Spanish soldier or ruler had ever set his foot. To found an English
colony in the region would not be an impossible task like the attempt to
seize any part of the Spanish empire, yet it would be a practical
challenge to the Spanish claim. Raleigh accordingly projected, and
others, entering into his plans, successfully planted, an English
settlement on the Atlantic seaboard to the south of Chesapeake Bay
which, in honour of the Queen, was named "Virginia."

In the subsequent history of the English colonies which became American
States we often find a curious and recurrent reflection of their origin.
Virginia was the first of those colonies to come into existence, and we
shall see her both as a colony and as a State long retaining a sort of
primacy amongst them. She also retained, in the incidents of her history
and in the characters of many of her great men, a colour which seems
partly Elizabethan. Her Jefferson, with his omnivorous culture, his love
of music and the arts, his proficiency at the same time in sports and
bodily exercises, suggests something of the graceful versatility of men
like Essex and Raleigh, and we shall see her in her last agony produce a
soldier about whose high chivalry and heroic and adventurous failure
there clings a light of romance that does not seem to belong to the
modern world.

If the external quarrels of England were the immediate cause of the
foundation of Virginia, the two colonies which next make their
appearance owe their origin to her internal divisions. James I. and his
son Charles I., though by conviction much more genuine Protestants than
Elizabeth, were politically more disposed to treat the Catholics with
leniency. The paradox is not, perhaps, difficult to explain. Being more
genuinely Protestant they were more interested in the internecine
quarrels of Protestants, and their enemies in those internecine
quarrels, the Puritans, now become a formidable party, were naturally
the fiercest enemies of the old religion. This fact probably led the two
first Stuarts to look upon that religion with more indulgence. They
dared not openly tolerate the Catholics, but they were not unwilling to
show them such favour as they could afford to give. Therefore when a
Catholic noble, Lord Baltimore, proposed to found a new plantation in
America where his co-religionists could practise their faith in peace
and security, the Stuart kings were willing enough to grant his request.
James approved the project, his son confirmed it, and, under a Royal
Charter from King Charles I., Lord Baltimore established his Catholic
colony, which he called "Maryland." The early history of this colony is
interesting because it affords probably the first example of full
religious liberty. It would doubtless have been suicidal for the
Catholics, situated as they were, to attempt anything like persecution,
but Baltimore and the Catholics of Maryland for many generations deserve
none the less honour for the consistency with which they pursued their
tolerant policy. So long as the Catholics remained in control all sects
were not only tolerated but placed on a footing of complete equality
before the law, and as a fact both the Nonconformist persecuted in
Virginia and the Episcopalian persecuted in New England frequently found
refuge and peace in Catholic Maryland. The English Revolution of 1689
produced a change. The new English Government was pledged against the
toleration of a Catholicism anywhere. The representative of the
Baltimore family was deposed from the Governorship and the control
transferred to the Protestants, who at once repealed the edicts of
toleration and forbade the practice of the Catholic religion. They did
not, however, succeed in extirpating it, and to this day many of the old
Maryland families are Catholic, as are also a considerable proportion of
the Negroes. It may further be noted that, though the experiment in
religious equality was suppressed by violence, the idea seems never to
have been effaced, and Maryland was one of the first colonies to
accompany its demand for freedom with a declaration in favour of
universal toleration.

At about the same time that the persecuted Catholics found a refuge in
Maryland, a similar refuge was sought by the persecuted Puritans. A
number of these, who had found a temporary home in Holland, sailed
thence for America in the celebrated _Mayflower_ and colonized New
England on the Atlantic coast far to the north of the plantations of
Raleigh and Baltimore. From this root sprang the colonies of
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island, and later the
States of New Hampshire and Maine. It would be putting it with ironical
mildness to say that the Pilgrim Fathers did not imitate the tolerant
example of the Catholic refugees. Religious persecution had indeed been
practised by all parties in the quarrels of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries; but for much of the early legislation of the
Puritan colonies one can find no parallel in the history of European
men. Calvinism, that strange fierce creed which Wesley so correctly
described as one that gave God the exact functions and attributes of the
devil, produced even in Europe a sufficiency of madness and horror; but
here was Calvinism cut off from its European roots and from the reaction
and influence of Christian civilization. Its records read like those of
a madhouse where religious maniacs have broken loose and locked up their
keepers. We hear of men stoned to death for kissing their wives on the
Sabbath, of lovers pilloried or flogged at the cart's tail for kissing
each other at all without licence from the deacons, the whole
culminating in a mad panic of wholesale demonism and witchburning so
vividly described in one of the most brilliant of Mrs. Gaskell's
stories, "Lois the Witch." Of course, in time the fanaticism of the
first New England settlers cooled into something like sanity. But a
strong Puritan tradition remained and played a great part in American
history. Indeed, if Lee, the Virginian, has about him something of the
Cavalier, it is still more curious to note that nineteenth-century New
England, with its atmosphere of quiet scholars and cultured tea parties,
suddenly flung forth in John Brown a figure whose combination of
soldierly skill with maniac fanaticism, of a martyr's fortitude with a
murderer's cruelty, seems to have walked straight out of the seventeenth
century and finds its nearest parallel in some of the warriors of the

The colonies so far enumerated owe their foundation solely to English
enterprise and energy; but in the latter half of the seventeenth century
foreign war brought to England a batch of colonies ready made. At the
mouth of the Hudson River, between Maryland and the New England
colonies, lay the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. The first colonists
who had established themselves there had been Swedes, but from Sweden
its sovereignty had passed to Holland, and the issue of the Dutch wars
gave it to the English, by whom it was re-christened New York in honour
of the King's brother, afterwards James II. It would perhaps be
straining the suggestion already made of the persistent influences of
origins to see in the varied racial and national beginnings of New York
a presage of that cosmopolitan quality which still marks the greatest
of American cities, making much of it a patchwork of races and
languages, and giving to the electric stir of Broadway an air which
suggests a Continental rather than an English city, but it is more
plausible to note that New York had no original link with the Puritanism
of New England and of the North generally, and that in fact we shall
find the premier city continually isolated from the North, following a
tradition and a policy of its own.

With New Amsterdam was also ceded the small Dutch plantation of
Delaware, which lay between Maryland and the Atlantic, while England at
the same time established her claim to the disputed territory between
the two which became the colony of New Jersey.

Shortly after the cession of New Amsterdam William Penn obtained from
Charles II. a charter for the establishment of a colony to the north of
Maryland, between that settlement and the newly acquired territories of
New Jersey and New York. This plantation was designed especially as a
refuge for the religious sect to which Penn belonged, the Quakers, who
had been persecuted by all religious parties and especially savagely by
the Puritan colonists of New England. Penn, the most remarkable man that
ever professed the strange doctrines of that sect, was a favourite with
the King, who had a keen eye for character, and as the son of a
distinguished admiral he had a sort of hereditary claim upon the
gratitude of the Crown. He easily carried his point with Charles, and
himself supervised the foundations of the new commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. Two surveyors were sent out by royal authority to fix the
boundary between Penn's concession and the existing colony of
Maryland--Mr. Mason and Mr. Dixon by name. However elated these two
gentlemen may have been by their appointment to so responsible an
office, they probably little thought that their names would be
immortalized. Yet so it was to be. For the line they drew became the
famous "Mason-Dixon" line, and was to be in after years the frontier
between the Slave States and the Free.

In all that he did in the New World Penn showed himself not only a great
but a most just and wise man. He imitated, with happier issue, the
liberality of Baltimore in the matter of religious freedom, and to this
day the Catholics of Philadelphia boast of possessing the only Church in
the United States in which Mass has been said continuously since the
seventeenth century. But it is in his dealings with the natives that
Penn's humanity and honour stand out most conspicuously. None of the
other founders of English colonies had ever treated the Indians except
as vermin to be exterminated as quickly as possible. Penn treated them
as free contracting parties with full human rights. He bought of them
fairly the land he needed, and strictly observed every article of the
pact that he made with them. Anyone visiting to-day the city which he
founded will find in its centre a little strip of green, still unbuilt
upon, where, in theory, any passing Indians are at liberty to pitch
their camp--a monument and one of the clauses of Penn's celebrated

In the same reign the settlement of the lands lying to the south of
Virginia had begun, under the charter granted by Charles II. to the Hyde
family, and the new plantations were called after the sovereign
"Carolina." But their importance dates from the next century, when they
received the main stream of a new tide of immigration due to political
and economic causes. England, having planted a Protestant Anglo-Scottish
colony in North-East Ireland, proceeded to ruin its own creation by a
long series of commercial laws directed to the protection of English
manufacturers against the competition of the colonists. Under the
pressure of this tyranny a great number of these colonists, largely
Scotch by original nationality and Presbyterian by religion, left Ulster
for America. They poured into the Carolinas, North and South, as well as
into Pennsylvania and Virginia, and overflowed into a new colony which
was established further west and named Georgia. It is important to note
this element in the colonization of the Southern States, because it is
too often loosely suggested that the later division of North and South
corresponded to the division of Cavalier and Puritan. It is not so.
Virginia and Maryland may be called Cavalier in their origin, but in the
Carolinas and Georgia there appears a Puritan tradition, not indeed as
fanatical as that of New England, but almost as persistent. Moreover
this Scotch-Irish stock, whose fathers, it may be supposed, left Ireland
in no very good temper with the rulers of Great Britain, afterwards
supplied the most military and the most determined element in
Washington's armies, and gave to the Republic some of its most striking
historical personalities: Patrick Henry and John Caldwell Calhoun,
Jackson, the great President, and his namesake the brilliant soldier of
the Confederacy.

The English colonies now formed a solid block extending from the coasts
of Maine--into which northernmost region the New England colonies had
overflown--to the borders of Florida. Florida was still a Spanish
possession, but Spain had ceased to be formidable as a rival or enemy of
England. By the persistence of a century in arms and diplomacy, the
French had worn down the Spanish power, and France was now easily the
strongest nation in Europe. France also had a foothold, or rather two
footholds, in North America. One of her colonies, Louisiana, lay beyond
Florida at the mouth of the Mississippi; the other, Canada, to the north
of the Maine, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. It was the aim of French
colonial ambition to extend both colonies inland into the unmapped heart
of the American continent until they should meet. This would necessarily
have had the effect of hemming in the English settlements on the
Atlantic seaboard and preventing their Western expansion. Throughout the
first half of the eighteenth century, therefore, the rivalry grew more
and more acute, and even when France and England were at peace the
French and English in America were almost constantly at war. Their
conflict was largely carried on under cover of alliances with the
warring Indian tribes, whose feuds kept the region of the Great Lakes in
a continual turmoil. The outbreak of the Seven Years' War and the
intervention of England as an ally of Prussia put an end to the
necessity for such pretexts, and a regular military campaign opened upon
which was staked the destiny of North America.

It is not necessary for the purposes of this book to follow that
campaign in detail. The issue was necessarily fought out in Canada, for
Louisiana lay remote from the English colonies and was separated from
them by the neutral territory of the Spanish Empire. England had
throughout the war the advantage of superiority at sea, which enabled
her to supply and reinforce her armies, while the French forces were
practically cut off from Europe. The French, on the other hand, had at
the beginning the advantage of superior numbers, at least so far as
regular troops were concerned, while for defensive purposes they
possessed an excellent chain of very strong fortresses carefully
prepared before the war. After the earlier operations, which cleared the
French invaders out of the English colonies, the gradual reduction of
these strongholds practically forms the essence of the campaign
undertaken by a succession of English generals under the political
direction of the elder Pitt. That campaign was virtually brought to a
close by the brilliant exploit of James Wolfe in 1759--the taking of
Quebec. By the Treaty of Paris in 1763 Canada was ceded to England.
Meanwhile Louisiana had been transferred to Spain in 1762 as part of the
price of a Spanish alliance, and France ceased to be a rival to England
on the American continent.

During the French war the excellent professional army which England was
able to maintain in the field was supported by levies raised from the
English colonies, which did good service in many engagements. Among the
officers commanding these levies one especially had attracted, by his
courage and skill, and notably by the part he bore in the clearing of
Pennsylvania, the notice of his superiors--George Washington of

England was now in a position to develop in peace the empire which her
sword had defended with such splendid success and glory. Before we
consider the causes which so suddenly shattered that empire, it is
necessary to take a brief survey of its geography and of its economic

The colonies, as we have seen, were spread along the Atlantic seaboard
to an extent of well over a thousand miles, covering nearly twenty
degrees of latitude. The variations of climate were naturally great, and
involved marked differentiations in the character and products of
labour. The prosperity of the Southern colonies depended mainly upon two
great staple industries. Raleigh, in the course of his voyages, had
learned from the Indians the use of the tobacco plant and had introduced
that admirable discovery into Europe. As Europe learned (in spite of the
protests of James I.) to prize the glorious indulgence now offered to
it, the demand for tobacco grew, and its supply became the principal
business of the colonies of Virginia and Maryland. Further to the south
a yet more important and profitable industry was established. The
climate of the Carolinas and of Georgia and of the undeveloped country
west of these colonies, a climate at once warm and humid, was found to
be exactly suited to the cultivation of the cotton plant. This proved
the more important when the discoveries of Watt and Arkwright gave
Lancashire the start of all the world in the manipulation of the cotton
fabric. From that moment begins the triumphant progress of "King
Cotton," which was long to outlast the political connection between the
Carolinas and Lancashire, and was to give in the political balance of
America peculiar importance to the "Cotton States."

But at the time now under consideration these cotton-growing territories
were still under the British Crown, and were subject to the Navigation
Laws upon which England then mainly relied for the purpose of making her
colonies a source of profit to her. The main effect of these was to
forbid the colonies to trade with any neighbour save the mother country.
This condition, to which the colonists seem to have offered no
opposition, gave to the British manufacturers the immense advantage of
an unrestricted supply of raw material to which no foreigner had access.
It is among the curious ironies of history that the prosperity of
Lancashire, which was afterwards to be identified with Free Trade, was
originally founded upon this very drastic and successful form of

The more northerly colonies had no such natural advantages. The bulk of
the population lived by ordinary farming, grew wheat and the hard
cereals and raised cattle. But during the eighteenth century England
herself was still an exporting country as regards these commodities, and
with other nations the colonists were forbidden to trade. The Northern
colonies had, therefore, no considerable export commerce, but on the
seaboard they gradually built up a considerable trade as carriers, and
Boston and New York merchant captains began to have a name on the
Atlantic for skill and enterprise. Much of the transoceanic trade passed
into their hands, and especially one most profitable if not very
honourable trade of which, by the Treaty of Utrecht, England had
obtained a virtual monopoly--the trade in Negro slaves.

The pioneer of this traffic had been Sir John Hawkins, one of the
boldest of the great Elizabethan sailors. He seems to have been the
first of the merchant adventurers to realize that it might prove
profitable to kidnap Negroes from the West Coast of Africa and sell them
into slavery in the American colonies. The cultivation of cotton and
tobacco in the Southern plantations, as of sugar in the West Indies,
offered a considerable demand for labour of a type suitable to the
Negro. The attempt to compel the native Indians to such labour had
failed; the Negro proved more tractable. By the time with which we are
dealing the whole industry of the Southern colonies already rested upon
servile coloured labour.

In the Northern colonies--that is, those north of Maryland--the Negro
slave existed, but only casually, and, as it were, as a sort of
accident. Slavery was legal in all the colonies--even in Pennsylvania,
whose great founder had been almost alone in that age in disapproving of
it. As for the New England Puritans, they had from the first been quite
enthusiastic about the traffic, in which indeed they were deeply
interested as middle-men; and Calvinist ministers of the purest
orthodoxy held services of thanksgiving to God for cargoes of poor
barbarians rescued from the darkness of heathendom and brought (though
forcibly) into the gospel light. But though the Northerners had no more
scruple about Slavery than the Southerners, they had far less practical
use for it. The Negro was of no value for the sort of labour in which
the New Englanders engaged; he died of it in the cold climate. Negro
slaves there were in all the Northern States, but mostly employed as
domestic servants or in casual occupations. They were a luxury, not a

A final word must be said about the form of government under which the
colonists lived. In all the colonies, though there were, of course,
variations of detail, it was substantially the same. It was founded in
every case upon Royal Charters granted at some time or other to the
planters by the English king. In every case there was a Governor, who
was assisted by some sort of elective assembly. The Governor was the
representative of the King and was nominated by him. The legislature was
in some form or other elected by the free citizens. The mode of election
and the franchise varied from colony to colony--Massachusetts at one
time based hers upon pew rents--but it was generally in harmony with the
feeling and traditions of the colonists. It was seldom that any friction
occurred between the King's representative and the burgesses, as they
were generally called. While the relations between the colonies and the
mother country remained tranquil the Governor had every motive for
pursuing a conciliatory policy. His personal comfort depended upon his
being popular in the only society which he could frequent. His repute
with the Home Government, if he valued it, was equally served by the
tranquillity and contentment of the dominion he ruled.

In fact, the American colonists, during the eighteenth century, enjoyed
what a simple society left to itself almost always enjoys, under
whatever forms--the substance of democracy. That fact must be
emphasized, because without a recognition of it the flaming response
which met the first proclamation of theoretic democracy would be
unintelligible. It is explicable only when we remember that to the
unspoiled conscience of man as man democracy will ever be the most
self-evident of truths. It is the complexity of our civilization that
blinds us to its self-evidence, teaching us to acquiesce in irrational
privilege as inevitable, and at last to see nothing strange in being
ruled by a class, whether of nobles or of mere parliamentarians. But the
man who looks at the world with the terrible eyes of his first innocence
can never see an unequal law as anything but an iniquity, or government
divorced from the general will as anything but usurpation.

                              CHAPTER II

                      ARMS AND THE RIGHTS OF MAN

Such was roughly the position of the thirteen English colonies in North
America when in the year 1764, shortly after the conclusion of the Seven
Years' War, George Grenville, who had become the chief Minister of
George III. after the failure of Lord Bute, proposed to raise a revenue
from these colonies by the imposition of a Stamp Act.

The Stamp Act and the resistance it met mark so obviously the beginning
of the business which ended in the separation of the United States from
Great Britain that Grenville and the British Parliament have been
frequently blamed for the lightness of heart with which they entered
upon so momentous a course. But in fact it did not seem to them
momentous, nor is it easy to say why they should have thought it
momentous. It is certain that Grenville's political opponents, many of
whom were afterwards to figure as the champions of the colonists, at
first saw its momentousness as little as he. They offered to his
proposal only the most perfunctory sort of opposition, less than they
habitually offered to all his measures, good or bad.

And, in point of fact, there was little reason why a Whig of the type
and class that then governed England should be startled or shocked by a
proposal to extend the English system of stamping documents to the
English colonies. That Parliament had the legal right to tax the
colonies was not seriously questionable. Under the British Constitution
the power of King, Lords and Commons over the King's subjects was and is
absolute, and none denied that the colonists were the King's subjects.
They pleaded indeed that their charters did not expressly authorize such
taxation; but neither did they expressly exclude it, and on a strict
construction it would certainly seem that a power which would have
existed if there had been no charter remained when the charter was

It might further be urged that equity as well as law justified the
taxation of the colonies, for the expenditure which these taxes were
raised to meet was largely incurred in defending the colonies first
against the French and then against the Indians. The method of taxation
chosen was not new, neither had it been felt to be specially grievous.
Much revenue is raised in Great Britain and all European countries
to-day by that method, and there is probably no form of taxation at
which men grumble less. Its introduction into America had actually been
recommended on its merits by eminent Americans. It had been proposed by
the Governor of Pennsylvania as early as 1739. It had been approved at
one time by Benjamin Franklin himself. To-day it must seem to most of us
both less unjust and less oppressive than the Navigation Laws, which the
colonists bore without complaint.

As for the suggestion sometimes made that there was something
unprecedentedly outrageous about an English Parliament taxing people who
were unrepresented there, it is, in view of the constitution of that
Parliament, somewhat comic. If the Parliament of 1764 could only tax
those whom it represented, its field of taxation would be somewhat
narrow. Indeed, the talk about taxation without representation being
tyranny, however honestly it might be uttered by an American, could only
be conscious or unconscious hypocrisy in men like Burke, who were not
only passing their lives in governing and taxing people who were
unrepresented, but who were quite impenitently determined to resist any
attempt to get them represented even in the most imperfect fashion.

All this is true; and yet it is equally true that the proposed tax at
once excited across the Atlantic the most formidable discontent. Of this
discontent we may perhaps summarize the immediate causes as follows.
Firstly, no English minister or Parliament had, as a fact, ever before
attempted to tax the colonies. That important feature of the case
distinguished it from that of the Navigation Laws, which had
prescription on their side. Then, if the right to tax were once
admitted, no one could say how far it would be pushed. Under the
Navigation Laws the colonists knew just how far they were restricted,
and they knew that within the limits of such restrictions they could
still prosper. But if once the claim of the British Parliament to tax
were quietly accepted, it seemed likely enough that every British
Minister who had nowhere else to turn for a revenue would turn to the
unrepresented colonies, which would furnish supply after supply until
they were "bled white." That was a perfectly sound, practical
consideration, and it naturally appealed with especial force to
mercantile communities like that of Boston.

But if we assume that it was the only consideration involved, we shall
misunderstand all that followed, and be quite unprepared for the
sweeping victory of a purely doctrinal political creed which brought
about the huge domestic revolution of which the breaking of the ties
with England was but an aspect. The colonists did feel it unjust that
they should be taxed by an authority which was in no way responsible to
them; and they so felt it because, as has already been pointed out, they
enjoyed in the management of their everyday affairs a large measure of
practical democracy. Therein they differed from the English, who, being
habitually governed by an oligarchy, did not feel it extraordinary that
the same oligarchy should tax them. The Americans for the most part
governed themselves, and the oligarchy came in only as an alien and
unnatural thing levying taxes. Therefore it was resisted.

The resistance was at first largely instinctive. The formulation of the
democratic creed which should justify it was still to come. Yet already
there were voices, especially in Virginia, which adumbrated the
incomparable phrases of the greatest of Virginians. Already Richard
Bland had appealed to "the law of Nature and those rights of mankind
that flow from it." Already Patrick Henry had said, "Give me liberty or
give me death!"

It was but a foreshadowing of the struggle to come. In 1766 the
Rockingham Whigs, having come into power upon the fall of Grenville,
after some hesitation repealed the Stamp Act, reaffirming at the same
time the abstract right of Parliament to tax the colonies. America was
for the time quieted. There followed in England a succession of weak
Ministries, all, of course, drawn from the same oligarchical class, and
all of much the same political temper, but all at issue with each other,
and all more or less permanently at issue with the King. As a mere
by-product of one of the multitudinous intrigues to which this situation
gave rise, Charles Townshend, a brilliant young Whig orator who had
become Chancellor of the Exchequer, revived in 1768 the project of
taxing the American colonies. This was now proposed in the form of a
series of duties levied on goods exported to those colonies--the one
most obnoxious to the colonists and most jealously maintained by the
Ministers being a duty on tea. The Opposition had now learnt from the
result of the Stamp Act debate that American taxation was an excellent
issue on which to challenge the Ministry, and the Tea Tax became at once
a "Party Question"--that is, a question upon which the rival oligarchs
divided themselves into opposing groups.

Meanwhile in America the new taxes were causing even more exasperation
than the Stamp Act had caused--probably because they were more menacing
in their form, if not much more severe in their effect. At any rate, it
is significant that in the new struggle we find the commercial colony of
Massachusetts very decidedly taking the lead. The taxed tea, on its
arrival in Boston harbour, was seized and flung into the sea. A wise
Government would have withdrawn when it was obvious that the enforcement
of the taxes would cost far more than the taxes themselves were worth,
the more so as they had already been so whittled down by concessions as
to be worth practically nothing, and it is likely enough that the
generally prudent and politic aristocrats who then directed the action
of England would have reverted to the Rockingham policy had not the King
made up his unfortunate German mind to the coercion and humiliation of
the discontented colonists. It is true that the British Crown had long
lost its power of independent action, and that George III. had failed in
his youthful attempts to recapture it. Against the oligarchy combined he
was helpless; but his preference for one group of oligarchs over another
was still an asset, and he let it clearly be understood that such
influence as he possessed would be exercised unreservedly in favour of
any group that would undertake to punish the American rebels. He found
in Lord North a Minister willing, though not without considerable
misgivings, to forward his policy and able to secure for it a majority
in Parliament. And from that moment the battle between the Home
Government and the colonists was joined.

The character and progress of that battle will best be grasped if we
mark down certain decisive incidents which determine its course. The
first of these was the celebrated "Boston Tea Party" referred to above.
It was the first act of overt resistance, and it was followed on the
English side by the first dispatch of an armed force--grossly inadequate
for its purpose--to America, and on the American by the rapid arming and
drilling of the local militias not yet avowedly against the Crown, but
obviously with the ultimate intention of resisting the royal authority
should it be pushed too far.

The next turning-point is the decision of the British Government early
in 1774 to revoke the Charter of Massachusetts. It is the chief event of
the period during which war is preparing, and it leads directly to all
that follows. For it raised a new controversy which could not be
resolved by the old legal arguments, good or bad. Hitherto the colonists
had relied upon their interpretation of existing charters, while the
Government contented itself with putting forward a different
interpretation. But the new action of that Government shifted the ground
of debate from the question of the interpretation of the charters to
that of the ultimate source of their authority. The Ministers said in
effect, "You pretend that this document concedes to you the right of
immunity from taxation. We deny it: but at any rate, it was a free gift
from the British Crown, and whatever rights you enjoy under it you enjoy
during His Majesty's pleasure. Since you insist on misinterpreting it,
we will withdraw it, as we are perfectly entitled to do, and we will
grant you a new charter about the terms of which no such doubts can

It was a very direct and very fundamental challenge, and it inevitably
produced two effects--the one immediate, the other somewhat deferred.
Its practical first-fruit was the Continental Congress. Its ultimate but
unmistakably logical consequence was the Declaration of Independence.

America was unified on the instant, for every colony felt the knife at
its throat. In September a Congress met, attended by the representatives
of eleven colonies. Peyton Randolph, presiding, struck the note of the
moment with a phrase: "I am not a Virginian, but an American." Under
Virginian leadership the Congress vigorously backed Massachusetts, and
in October a "Declaration of Colonial Right" had been issued by the
authority of all the colonies represented there.

The British Ministers seem to have been incomprehensibly blind to the
seriousness of the situation. Since they were pledged not to concede
what the colonists demanded, it was essential that they should at once
summon all the forces at their command to crush what was already an
incipient and most menacing rebellion. They did nothing of the sort.
They slightly strengthened the totally inadequate garrison which would
soon have to face a whole people in arms, and they issued a foolish
proclamation merely provocative and backed by no power that could
enforce it, forbidding the meeting of Continental Congresses in the
future. That was in January. In April the skirmishes of Lexington and
Concord had shown how hopelessly insufficient was their military force
to meet even local sporadic and unorganized revolts. In May the second
Continental Congress met, and in July appeared by its authority a
general call to arms addressed to the whole population of America.

Up to this point the colonists, if rebellious in their practical
attitude, had been strictly constitutional in their avowed aims. In the
"Declaration of Colonial Right" of 1774, and even in the appeal to arms
of 1775, all suggestion of breaking away from the Empire was repudiated.
But now that the sword was virtually drawn there were practical
considerations which made the most prudent of the rebels consider
whether it would not be wiser to take the final step, and frankly
repudiate the British Sovereignty altogether. For one thing, by the laws
of England, and indeed of all civilized nations, the man who took part
in an armed insurrection against the head of the State committed
treason, and the punishment for treason was death. Men who levied war on
the King's forces while still acknowledging him as their lawful ruler
were really inviting the Government to hang them as soon as it could
catch them. It might be more difficult for the British Government to
treat as criminals soldiers who were fighting under the orders of an
organized _de facto_ government, which at any rate declared itself to be
that of an independent nation. Again, foreign aid, which would not be
given for the purpose of reforming the internal administration of
British dominions, might well be forthcoming if it were a question of
dismembering those dominions. These considerations were just and carried
no little weight; yet it is doubtful if they would have been strong
enough to prevail against the sentiments and traditions which still
bound the colonies to the mother country had not the attack on the
charters forced the controversy back to first principles, and so opened
the door of history to the man who was to provide America with a creed
and to convert the controversy from a legal to something like a
religious quarrel.

Old Peyton Randolph, who had so largely guided the deliberations of the
first Continental Congress, was at the last moment prevented by
ill-health from attending the second. His place in the Virginian
Delegation was taken by Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was not yet thirty when he took his seat in the Continental
Congress, but he was already a notable figure in his native State. He
belonged by birth to the slave-holding gentry of the South, though not
to the richest and most exclusive section of that class. Physically he
was long limbed and loose jointed, but muscular, with a strong ugly face
and red hair. He was adept at the physical exercises which the
Southerners cultivated most assiduously, a bold and tireless rider who
could spend days in the saddle without fatigue, and a crack shot even
among Virginians. In pursuit of the arts and especially of music he was
equally eager, and his restless intelligence was keenly intrigued by the
new wonders that physical science was beginning to reveal to men;
mocking allusions to his interest in the habits of horned frogs will be
found in American pasquinades of two generations. He had sat in the
Virginian House of Burgesses and had taken a prominent part in the
resistance of that body to the royal demands. As a speaker, however, he
was never highly successful, and a just knowledge of his own
limitations, combined perhaps with a temperamental dislike, generally
led him to rely on his pen rather than his tongue in public debate. For
as a writer he had a command of a pure, lucid and noble English
unequalled in his generation and equalled by Corbett alone.

But for history the most important thing about the man is his creed. It
was the creed of a man in the forefront of his age, an age when French
thinkers were busy drawing from the heritage of Latin civilizations
those fundamental principles of old Rome which custom and the
corruptions of time had overgrown. The gospel of the new age had already
been written: it had brought to the just mind of Jefferson a conviction
which he was to communicate to all his countrymen, and through them to
the new nation which the sword was creating. The Declaration of
Independence is the foundation stone of the American Republic, and the
Declaration of Independence in its essential part is but an incomparable
translation and compression of the _Contrat Social_. The aid which
France brought to America did not begin when a French fleet sailed into
Chesapeake Bay. It began when, perhaps years before the first whisper of
discontent, Thomas Jefferson sat down in his Virginian study to read the
latest work of the ingenious M. Rousseau.

For now the time was rife for such intellectual leadership as Jefferson,
armed by Rousseau, could supply. The challenge flung down by the British
Government in the matter of the Charter of Massachusetts was to be taken
up. The argument that whatever rights Americans might have they derived
from Royal Charters was to be answered by one who held that their
"inalienable rights" were derived from a primordial charter granted not
by King George but by his Maker.

The second Continental Congress, after many hesitations, determined at
length upon a complete severance with the mother country. A resolution
to that effect was carried on the motion of Lee, the great Virginian
gentleman, an ancestor of the noblest of Southern warriors. After much
adroit negotiations a unanimous vote was secured for it. A committee was
appointed to draft a formal announcement and defence of the step which
had been taken. Jefferson was chosen a member of the committee, and to
him was most wisely entrusted the drafting of the famous "Declaration."

The introductory paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence contain
the whole substance of the faith upon which the new Commonwealth was to
be built. Without a full comprehension of their contents the subsequent
history of America would be unintelligible. It will therefore be well to
quote them here verbatim, and I do so the more readily because, apart
from their historic importance, it is a pity that more Englishmen are
not acquainted with this masterpiece of English prose.

_When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another
and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal
station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a
decent respect for the opinion of Mankind requires that they shall
declare the cause that impels the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal;
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that
to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any
form of government becomes destructive of those ends it is the right of
the people to alter or to abolish it, and to reinstate a new government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in
such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and

The Declaration goes on to specify the causes of grievances which the
colonists conceive themselves to have against the royal government, and
concludes as follows:--

_We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in
General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World
for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name and by the authority
of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare that
these United Colonies are and of right ought to be Free and Independent

The first principles set out in the Declaration must be rightly grasped
if American history is understood, for indeed the story of America is
merely the story of the working out of those principles. Briefly the
theses are two: first, that men are of right equal, and secondly, that
the moral basis of the relations between governors and governed is
contractual. Both doctrines have in this age had to stand the fire of
criticisms almost too puerile to be noticed. It is gravely pointed out
that men are of different heights and weights, that they vary in
muscular power and mental cultivation--as if either Rousseau or
Jefferson was likely to have failed to notice this occult fact!
Similarly the doctrine of the contractual basis of society is met by a
demand for the production of a signed, sealed, and delivered contract,
or at least for evidence that such a contract was ever made. But
Rousseau says--with a good sense and modesty which dealers in
"prehistoric" history would do well to copy--that he does not know how
government in fact arose. Nor does anyone else. What he maintains is
that the moral sanction of government is contractual, or, as Jefferson
puts it, that government "derives its just powers from the consent of
the governed."

The doctrine of human equality is in a sense mystical. It is not
apparent to the senses, nor can it be logically demonstrated as an
inference from anything of which the senses can take cognizance. It can
only be stated accurately, and left to make its appeal to men's minds.
It may be stated theologically by saying, as the Christian theology
says, that all men are equal before God. Or it may be stated in the form
which Jefferson uses--that all men are equal in their "inalienable
rights." But it must be accepted as a first principle or not at all. The
nearest approach to a method of proving it is to take the alternative
proposition and deduce its logical conclusion. Would those who would
maintain that the "wisest and best" have rights superior to those of
their neighbours, welcome a law which would enable any person
demonstrably wiser or more virtuous than themselves to put them to
death? I think that most of them have enough modesty (and humour) to
shrink, as Huxley did, from such a proposition. But the alternative is
the acceptance of Jefferson's doctrine that the fundamental rights of
men are independent of adventitious differences, whether material or
moral, and depend simply upon their manhood.

The other proposition, the contractual basis of human society and its
logical consequences, the supremacy of the general will, can be argued
in the same fashion. It is best defended by asking, like the Jesuit
Suarez, the simple question: "If sovereignty is not in the People, where
is it?" It is useless to answer that it is in the "wisest and best." Who
are the wisest and best? For practical purposes the phrases must mean
either those whom their neighbours think wisest and best--in which case
the ultimate test of democracy is conceded--or those who think
themselves wisest and best: which latter is what in the mouths of such
advocates it usually does mean. Thus those to whom the Divine Right of
the conceited makes no appeal are forced back on the Jeffersonian
formula. Let it be noted that that formula does not mean that the people
are always right or that a people cannot collectively do deliberate
injustice or commit sins--indeed, inferentially it implies that
possibility--but it means that there is on earth no temporal authority
superior to the general will of a community.

It is, however, no part of the function of this book to argue upon the
propositions contained in the Declaration of Independence. It is merely
necessary to chronicle the historical fact that Jefferson, as mouthpiece
of the Continental Congress, put forward these propositions as
self-evident, and that all America, looking at them, accepted them as
such. On that acceptance, the intensity and ardent conviction of which
showed itself, as will presently be seen, in a hundred ways, the
American Commonwealth is built. In the modern haze of doubt and amid the
denial of all necessary things, there have been found plenty of
sophists, even in America, to dispute these great truisms. But if the
American nation as a whole ever ceases to believe in them, it will not
merely decay, as all nations decay when they lose touch with eternal
truths; it will drop suddenly dead.

We must now turn back a little in time in order to make clear the
military situation as it stood when Jefferson's "Declaration" turned the
war into a war of doctrines.

The summer of 1775 saw the first engagement which could well be
dignified with the name of a battle. A small English force had been sent
to Boston with the object of coercing the recalcitrant colony of
Massachusetts. It was absolutely insufficient, as the event showed, even
for that purpose, and before it had landed it was apparent that its real
task would be nothing less than the conquest of America. The
Massachusetts rebels wisely determined to avoid a combat with the guns
of the British fleet; they abandoned the city and entrenched themselves
in a strong position in the neighbourhood known as Bunker's Hill. The
British troops marched out of Boston to dislodge them. This they
eventually succeeded in doing; and those who regard war as a game like
billiards to be settled by scoring points may claim Bunker's Hill as a
British victory. But it produced all the consequences of a defeat. The
rebel army was not destroyed; it was even less weakened than the force
opposed to it. It retired in good order to a position somewhat further
back, and the British force had no option but to return to Boston with
its essential work undone. For some time England continued to hold
Boston, but the State of Massachusetts remained in American hands. At
last, in the absence of any hope of any effective action, the small
English garrison withdrew, leaving the original prize of war to the

On the eve of this indecisive contest the American Congress met to
consider the selection of a commander-in-chief for the revolutionary
armies. Their choice fell on General George Washington, a Virginian
soldier who, as has been remarked, had served with some distinction in
the French wars.

The choice was a most fortunate one. America and England have agreed to
praise Washington's character so highly that at the hands of the young
and irreverent he is in some danger of the fate of Aristides. For the
benefit of those who tend to weary of the Cherry Tree and the Little
Hatchet, it may be well to say that Washington was a very typical
Southern gentleman in his foibles as well as in his virtues. Though his
temper was in large matters under strict control, it was occasionally
formidable and vented itself in a free and cheerful profanity. He loved
good wine, and like most eighteenth-century gentlemen, was not sparing
in its use. He had a Southerner's admiration for the other sex--an
admiration which, if gossip may be credited, was not always strictly
confined within monogamic limits. He had also, in large measure, the
high dignity and courtesy of his class, and an enlarged liberality of
temper which usually goes with such good breeding. There is no story of
him more really characteristic than that of his ceremoniously returning
the salute of an aged Negro and saying to a friend who was disposed to
deride his actions: "Would you have me let a poor ignorant coloured man
say that he had better manners than I?" For the rest the traditional
eulogy of his public character is not undeserved. It may justly be said
of him, as it can be said of few of the great men who have moulded the
destinies of nations, that history can put its fingers on no act of his
and say: "Here this man was preferring his own interest to his

As a military commander Washington ranks high. He had not, indeed, the
genius of a Marlborough or a Napoleon. Rather he owed his success to a
thorough grasp of his profession combined with just that remarkably
level and unbiassed judgment which distinguished his conduct of civil
affairs. He understood very clearly the conditions of the war in which
he was to engage. He knew that Great Britain, as soon as she really woke
up to the seriousness of her peril, would send out a formidable force of
well-disciplined professional soldiers, and that at the hands of such a
force no mere levy of enthusiastic volunteers could expect anything but
defeat. The breathing space which the incredible supineness of the
British Government allowed him enabled him to form something like a real
army. Throughout the campaigns that followed his primary object was not
to win victories, but to keep that army in being. So long as it existed,
he knew that it could be continually reinforced by the enthusiasm of the
colonials, and that the recruits so obtained could be consolidated into
and imbued with the spirit of a disciplined body. The moment it ceased
to exist Great Britain would have to deal simply with rebellious
populations, and Washington was soldier enough to know that an army can
always in time break up and keep down a mere population, however eager
and courageous.

And now England at last did what, if she were determined to enforce her
will upon the colonists, she ought to have done at least five years
before. She sent out an army on a scale at least reasonably adequate to
the business for which it was designed. It consisted partly of excellent
British troops and partly of those mercenaries whom the smaller German
princes let out for hire to those who chose to employ them. It was
commanded by Lord Howe. The objective of the new invasion--for the
procrastination of the British Government had allowed the war to assume
that character--was the city of New York.

New York harbour possesses, as anyone who enters it can see, excellent
natural defences. Manhattan Island, upon which the city is built, lies
at the mouth of the Hudson between two arms of that river. At the
estuary are a number of small islets well suited for the emplacement of
powerful guns. The southern bank runs northward into a sharp promontory,
at the end of which now stands the most formidable of American
fortresses. The northern approach is covered by Long Island. The British
command decided on the reduction of Long Island as a preliminary to an
assault upon the city. The island is long and narrow, and a ridge of
high ground runs down it like a backbone. This ridge Washington's army
sought to hold against the attack of the British forces. It was the
first real battle of the war, and it resulted in a defeat so
overwhelming that it might well have decided the fate of America had not
Washington, as soon as he saw how the day was going, bent all his
energies to the tough task of saving his army. It narrowly escaped
complete destruction, but ultimately a great part succeeded, though with
great loss and not a little demoralization, in reaching Brooklyn in

The Americans still held New York, the right bank of the Hudson; but
their flank was dangerously threatened, and Washington, true to his
policy, preferred the damaging loss of New York to the risk of his army.
He retired inland, again offered battle, was again defeated and forced
back into Pennsylvania. So decided did the superiority of the British
army prove to be that eventually Philadelphia itself, then the capital
of the Confederacy, had to be abandoned.

Meanwhile another British army under the command of General Burgoyne
held Canada. That province had shown no disposition to join in the
revolt; an early attempt on the part of the rebels to invade it had been
successfully repelled. Besides English and German troops, Burgoyne had
the aid of several tribes of Indian auxiliaries, whose aid the British
Government had been at some pains to secure--a policy denounced by
Chatham in a powerful and much-quoted speech. Burgoyne was a clever and
imaginative though not a successful soldier. He conceived and suggested
to his Government a plan of campaign which was sound in strategic
principle, which might well have succeeded, and which, if it had
succeeded, would have dealt a heavy and perhaps a decisive blow to
American hopes. How far its failure is to be attributed to his own
faulty execution, how far to the blunders of the Home Government, and
how far to accidents which the best general cannot always avoid, is
still disputed. But that failure was certainly the turning-point of the

Burgoyne's project was this: He proposed to advance from Canada and push
across the belt of high land which forms the northern portion of what is
now New York State, until he struck the upper Hudson. Howe was at the
same time to advance northward up the Hudson, join hands with him and
cut the rebellion in two.

It was a good plan. The cutting off and crushing of one isolated
district after another is just the fashion in which widespread
insurrectionary movements have most generally been suppressed by
military force. The Government accepted it, but, owing as it would seem
to the laziness or levity of the English Minister involved, instructions
never reached Howe until it was too late for him to give effective
support to his colleague. All, however, might have prospered had
Burgoyne been able to move more rapidly. His first stroke promised well.
The important fort of Ticonderoga was surprised and easily captured,
and the road was open for his soldiers into the highlands. But that
advance proved disastrously slow. Weeks passed before he approached the
Hudson. His supplies were running short, and when he reached Saratoga,
instead of joining hands with Howe he found himself confronted by
strongly posted American forces, greatly outnumbering his own
ill-sustained and exhausted army. Seeing no sign of the relief which he
had expected to the south--though as a fact Howe had by this time learnt
of the expedition and was hastening to his assistance--on October 6,
1777, he and his army surrendered to the American commander, General

The effect of Burgoyne's surrender was great in America; to those whose
hopes had been dashed by the disaster of Long Island, the surrender of
New York and Washington's enforced retreat it brought not only a revival
of hope but a definite confidence in ultimate success. But that effect
was even greater in Europe. Its immediate fruit was Lord North's famous
"olive branch" of 1778; the decision of the British Government to accept
defeat on the original issue of the war, and to agree to a surrender of
the claim to tax the colonists on condition of their return to their
allegiance. Such a proposition made three years earlier would certainly
have produced immediate peace. Perhaps it might have produced peace even
as it was--though it is unlikely, for the declaration had filled men's
souls with a new hunger for pure democracy--if the Americans had
occupied the same isolated position which was theirs when the war began.
But it was not in London alone that Saratoga had produced its effect.
While it decided the wavering councils of the British Ministry in favour
of concessions, it also decided the wavering councils of the French
Crown in favour of intervention.

As early as 1776 a mission had been sent to Versailles to solicit on
behalf of the colonists the aid of France. Its principal member was
Benjamin Franklin, the one revolutionary leader of the first rank who
came from the Northern colonies. He had all the shrewdness and humour of
the Yankee with an enlarged intelligence and a wide knowledge of men
which made him an almost ideal negotiator in such a cause. Yet for some
time his mission hung fire. France had not forgotten her expulsion from
the North American continent twenty years before. She could not but
desire the success of the colonists and the weakening or dismemberment
of the British Empire. Moreover, French public opinion--and its power
under the Monarchy, though insufficient, was far greater than is now
generally understood--full of the new ideals which were to produce the
Revolution, was warmly in sympathy with the rebellion. But, on the other
hand, an open breach with England involved serious risks. France was
only just recovering from the effects of a great war in which she had on
the whole been worsted, and very decidedly worsted, in the colonial
field. The revolt of the English colonies might seem a tempting
opportunity for revenge; but suppose that the colonial resistance
collapsed before effective aid could arrive? Suppose the colonists
merely used the threat of French intervention to extort terms from
England and then made common cause against the foreigner? These obvious
considerations made the French statesmen hesitate. Aid was indeed given
to the colonial rebels, especially in the very valuable form of arms and
munitions, but it was given secretly and unofficially, with the satirist
Beaumarchais, clever, daring, unscrupulous and ready to push his damaged
fortunes in any fashion, as unaccredited go-between. But in the matter
of open alliance with the rebels against the British Government France
temporized, nor could the utmost efforts of Franklin and his colleagues
extort a decision.

Saratoga extorted it. On the one hand it removed a principal cause of
hesitation. After such a success it was unlikely that the colonists
would tamely surrender. On the other it made it necessary to take
immediate action. Lord North's attitude showed clearly that the British
Government was ready to make terms with the colonists. It was clearly in
the interests of France that those terms should be refused. She must
venture something to make sure of such a refusal. With little hesitation
the advisers of the French Crown determined to take the plunge. They
acknowledged the revolted colonies as independent States, and entered
into a defensive alliance with these States against Great Britain. That
recognition and alliance immediately determined the issue of the war.
What would have happened if it had been withheld cannot be certainly
determined. It seems not unlikely that the war would have ended as the
South African War ended, in large surrenders of the substance of
Imperial power in return for a theoretic acknowledgment of its
authority. But all this is speculative. The practical fact is that
England found herself, in the middle of a laborious, and so far on the
whole unsuccessful, effort to crush the rebellion of her colonies,
confronted by a war with France, which, through the close alliance then
existing between the two Bourbon monarchies, soon became a war with both
France and Spain. This change converted the task of subjugation from a
difficult but practicable one, given sufficient time and determination,
to one fundamentally impossible.

Yet, so far as the actual military situation was concerned, there were
no darker days for the Americans than those which intervened between the
promise of French help and its fulfilment. Lord Cornwallis had appeared
in the South and had taken possession of Charleston, the chief port of
South Carolina. In that State the inhabitants were less unanimous than
elsewhere. The "Tories," as the local adherents of the English Crown
were called, had already attempted a rebellion against the rebellion,
but had been forced to yield to the Republican majority backed by the
army of Washington. The presence of Cornwallis revived their courage.
They boasted in Tarleton, able, enterprising and imperious, an excellent
commander for the direction of irregular warfare, whose name and that of
the squadron of horse which he raised and organized became to the rebels
what the names of Claverhouse and his dragoons were to the Covenanters.
Cornwallis and Tarleton between them completely reduced the Carolinas,
save for the strip of mountainous country to the north, wherein many of
those families that Tarleton had "burnt out" found refuge, and proceeded
to overrun Georgia. Only two successes encouraged the rebels. At the
Battle of the Cowpens Tarleton having, with the recklessness which was
the defeat of his qualities as a leader, advanced too far into the
hostile country, was met and completely defeated by Washington. The
defeat produced little immediate result, but it was the one definite
military success which the American general achieved before the advent
of the French, and it helped to keep up the spirit of the insurgents.
Perhaps even greater in its moral effect was the other victory, which
from the military point of view was even more insignificant. In Sumter
and Davie the rebels found two cavalry leaders fully as daring and
capable as Tarleton himself. They formed from among the refugees who had
sought the shelter of the Carolinian hills a troop of horse with which
they made a sudden raid upon the conquered province and broke the local
Tories at the Battle of the Hanging Rock. It was a small affair so far
as numbers went, and Davie's troopers were a handful of irregulars drawn
as best might be from the hard-riding, sharp-shooting population of the
South. Many of them were mere striplings; indeed, among them was a boy
of thirteen, an incorrigible young rebel who had run away from school to
take part in the fighting. In the course of this narration it will be
necessary to refer to that boy again more than once. His name was Andrew

While there was so little in the events of the Southern campaign to
bring comfort to the rebels, in the North their cause suffered a moral
blow which was felt at the moment to be almost as grave as any military
disaster. Here the principal American force was commanded by one of the
ablest soldiers the Rebellion had produced, a man who might well have
disputed the pre-eminent fame of Washington if he had not chosen rather
to challenge--and with no contemptible measures of success--that of
Iscariot. Benedict Arnold was, like Washington, a professional soldier
whose talent had been recognized before the war. He had early embraced
the revolutionary cause, and had borne a brilliant part in the campaign
which ended in the surrender of Burgoyne. There seemed before him every
prospect of a glorious career. The motives which led him to the most
inexpiable of human crimes were perhaps mixed, though all of them were
poisonous. He was in savage need of money to support the extravagance of
his private tastes: the Confederacy had none to give, while the Crown
had plenty. But it seems also that his ravenous vanity had been wounded,
first by the fact that the glory of Burgoyne's defeat had gone to Gates
and not to him, and afterwards by a censure, temperate and tactful
enough and accompanied by a liberal eulogy of his general conduct, which
Washington had felt obliged to pass on certain of his later military
proceedings. At any rate, the "ingratitude" of his country was the
reason he publicly alleged for his treason; and those interested in the
psychology of infamy may give it such weight as it may seem to deserve.
For history the important fact is that Arnold at this point in the
campaign secretly offered his services to the English, and the offer was

Arnold escaped to the British camp and was safe. The unfortunate
gentleman on whom patriotic duty laid the unhappy task of trafficking
with the traitor was less fortunate. Major André had been imprudent
enough to pay a visit to a spot behind the American lines, and, at
Arnold's suggestion, to do so in plain clothes. He was taken, tried, and
hanged as a spy. Though espionage was not his intention, the Americans
cannot fairly be blamed for deciding that he should die. He had
undoubtedly committed an act which was the act of a spy in the eyes of
military law. It is pretty certain that a hint was given that the
authorities would gladly exchange him for Arnold, and it is very
probable that the unslaked thirst for just vengeance against Arnold was
partly responsible for the refusal of the American commanders to show
mercy. André's courage and dignity made a profound impression on them,
and there was a strong disposition to comply with his request that he
should at least be shot instead of hanged. But to that concession a
valid and indeed irresistible objection was urged. Whatever the
Americans did was certain to be scanned with critical and suspicious
eyes. Little could be said in the face of the facts if they treated
André as a spy and inflicted on him the normal fate of a spy. But if
they showed that they scrupled to hang him as a spy, it would be easy to
say that they had shot a prisoner of war.

Arnold was given a command in the South, and the rage of the population
of that region was intensified into something like torment when they saw
their lands occupied and their fields devastated no longer by a stranger
from overseas who was but fulfilling his military duty, but by a
cynical and triumphant traitor. Virginia was invaded and a bold stroke
almost resulted in the capture of the author of the Declaration of
Independence himself, who had been elected Governor of that State. In
the course of these raids many abominable things were done which it is
unnecessary to chronicle here. The regular English troops, on the whole,
behaved reasonably well, but Tarleton's native "Tories" were inflamed by
a fanaticism far fiercer than theirs, while atrocity was of course
normal to the warfare of the barbarous mercenaries of England, whether
Indian or German. It is equally a matter of course that such excesses
provoked frequent reprisals from the irregular colonial levies.

But aid was at last at hand. Already Lafayette, a young French noble of
liberal leanings, had appeared in Washington's camp at the head of a
band of volunteers, and the accession, small as it was, led to a
distinct revival of the fortunes of the revolution in the South. It was,
however, but a beginning. England, under pressure of the war with France
and Spain, lost that absolute supremacy at sea which has ever been and
ever will be necessary to her conduct of a successful war. A formidable
French armament was able to cross the Atlantic. A French fleet
threatened the coasts. Cornwallis, not knowing at which point the blow
would fall, was compelled to withdraw his forces from the country they
had overrun, and to concentrate them in a strong position in the
peninsula of Yorktown. Here he was threatened on both sides by
Washington and Rochambeau, while the armada of De Grasse menaced him
from the sea. The war took on the character of a siege. His resources
were speedily exhausted, and on September 19, 1781, he surrendered.

It was really the end of the war so far as America was concerned, though
the struggle between England and France continued for a time with
varying fortunes in other theatres, and the Americans, though approached
with tempting offers, wisely as well as righteously refused to make a
separate peace at the expense of their Allies. But the end could no
longer be in doubt. The surrender of Burgoyne had forced North to make
concessions; the surrender of Cornwallis made his resignation
inevitable. A new Ministry was formed under Rockingham pledged to make
peace. Franklin again went to Paris as representative of the
Confederation and showed himself a diplomatist of the first rank. To the
firmness with which he maintained the Alliance against the most skilful
attempts to dissolve it must largely be attributed the successful
conclusion of a general peace on terms favourable to the Allies and
especially favourable to America. Britain recognized the independence of
her thirteen revolted colonies, and peace was restored.

I have said that England recognized her thirteen revolted colonies. She
did not recognize the American Republic, for as yet there was none to
recognize. The war had been conducted on the American side nominally by
the Continental Congress, an admittedly _ad hoc_ authority not
pretending to permanency; really by Washington and his army which, with
the new flag symbolically emblazoned with thirteen stars and thirteen
stripes, was the one rallying point of unity. That also was now to be
dissolved. The States had willed to be free, and they were free. Would
they, in their freedom, will effectively to be a nation? That was a
question which not the wisest observer could answer at the time, and
which was not perhaps fully answered until well within the memory of men
still living. Its solution will necessarily form the main subject of
this book.

                              CHAPTER III

                           "WE, THE PEOPLE"

An account of the American Revolution which took cognizance only of the
armed conflict with England would tell much less than half the truth,
and even that half would be misleading. If anyone doubts that the real
inspiration which made America a nation was drawn, not from Whiggish
quarrels about taxes, but from the great dogmas promulgated by
Jefferson, it is sufficient to point out that the States did not even
wait till their victory over England was assured before effecting a
complete internal revolution on the basis of those dogmas. Before the
last shot had been fired almost the last privilege had disappeared.

The process was a spontaneous one, and its fruits appear almost
simultaneously in every State. They can be followed best in Virginia,
where Jefferson himself took the lead in the work of revolutionary

Hereditary titles and privileges went first. On this point public
feeling became so strong that the proposal to form after the war a
society to be called "the Cincinnati," which was to consist of those who
had taken a prominent part in the war and afterwards of their
descendants, was met, in spite of the respect in which Washington and
the other military heroes were held, with so marked an expression of
public disapproval that the hereditary part of the scheme had to be

Franchises were simplified, equalized, broadened, so that in practically
every State the whole adult male population of European race received
the suffrage. Social and economic reforms having the excellent aim of
securing and maintaining a wide distribution of property, especially of
land, were equally prominent among the achievements of that time.
Jefferson himself carried in Virginia a drastic code of Land Laws,
which anticipated many of the essential provisions which through the
_Code Napoleon_ revolutionized the system of land-owning in Europe. As
to the practical effect of such reforms we have the testimony of a man
whose instinct for referring all things to practice was, if anything, an
excess, and whose love for England was the master passion of his life.
"Every object almost that strikes my view," wrote William Cobbett many
years later, "sends my mind and heart back to England. In viewing the
ease and happiness of this people the contrast fills my soul with
indignation, and makes it more and more the object of my life to assist
in the destruction of the diabolical usurpation which has trampled on
king as well as people."

Another principle, not connected by any direct logic with democracy and
not set forth in the Declaration of Independence, was closely associated
with the democratic thesis by the great French thinkers by whom that
thesis was revived, and had a strong hold upon the mind of Jefferson--the
principle of religious equality, or, as it might be more exactly defined,
of the Secular State.

So many loose and absurd interpretations of this principle have been and
are daily being propounded, that it may be well to state succinctly what
it does and does not mean.

It does not mean that anyone may commit any anti-social act that appeals
to him, and claim immunity from the law on the ground that he is impelled
to that act by his religion; can rob as a conscientious communist, murder
as a conscientious Thug, or refuse military service as a conscientious
objector. None understood better than Jefferson--it was the first principle
of his whole political system--that there must be _some_ basis of
agreement amongst citizens as to what is right and what is wrong, and that
what the consensus of citizens regards as wrong must be punished by the
law. All that the doctrine of the Secular State asserted was that such
general agreement among citizens need not include, as in most modern States
it obviously does not include, an agreement on the subject of religion.
Religion is, so to speak, left out of the Social Contract, and consequently
each individual retains his natural liberty to entertain and promulgate
what views he likes concerning it, so long as such views do not bring him
into conflict with those general principles of morality, patriotism and
social order upon which the citizens of the State _are_ agreed, and
which form the basis of its laws.

The public mind of America was for the most part well prepared for the
application of this principle. We have already noted how the first
experiment in the purely secular organization of society had been made
in the Catholic colony of Maryland and the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania.
The principle was now applied in its completeness to one State after
another. The Episcopalian establishment of Jefferson's own State was the
first to fall; the other States soon followed the example of Virginia.

At the same time penalties or disabilities imposed as a consequence of
religious opinions were everywhere abrogated. Only in New England was
there any hesitation. The Puritan States did not take kindly to the idea
of tolerating Popery. In the early days of the revolution their leaders
had actually made it one of the counts of their indictment against the
British Government that that Government had made peace with Anti-Christ
in French Canada--a fact remembered to the permanent hurt of the
Confederacy when the French Canadians were afterwards invited to make
common cause with the American rebels. But the tide was too strong even
for Calvinists to resist; the equality of all religions before the law
was recognized in every State, and became, as it remains to-day, a
fundamental part of the American Constitution.

It may be added that America affords the one conspicuous example of the
Secular State completely succeeding. In France, where the same principles
were applied under the same inspiration, the ultimate result was something
wholly different: an organized Atheism persecuting the Christian Faith.
In England the principle has never been avowedly applied at all. In theory
the English State still professes the form of Protestant Christianity
defined in the Prayer-book, and "tolerates" dissenters from it as the
Christian States of the middle ages tolerated the Jews, and as in France,
during the interval between the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes and
its revocation, a State definitely and even pronouncedly Catholic
tolerated the Huguenots. Each dissentient religious body claims its right
to exist in virtue of some specific Act of Parliament. Theoretically it
is still an exception, though the exceptions have swallowed the rule.

Moreover, even under this rather hazy toleration, those who believe
either more or less than the bulk of their fellow-countrymen and who
boldly proclaim their belief usually find themselves at a political
disadvantage. In America it never seems to have been so. Jefferson
himself, a Deist (the claim sometimes made that he was a "Christian"
seems to rest on nothing more solid than the fact that, like nearly all
the eighteenth-century Deists, he expressed admiration for the character
and teaching of Jesus Christ), never for a moment forfeited the
confidence of his countrymen on that account, though attempts were made,
notably by John Adams, to exploit it against him. Taney, a Catholic, was
raised without objection on that score to the first judicial post in
America, at a date when such an appointment would have raised a serious
tumult in England. At a later date Ingersoll was able to vary the
pastime of "Bible-smashing" with the profession of an active Republican
wire-puller, without any of the embarrassments which that much better
and honester man, Charles Bradlaugh, had to encounter. The American
Republic has not escaped the difficulties and problems which are
inevitable to the Secular State, when some of its citizens profess a
religion which brings them into conflict with the common system of
morals which the nation takes for granted; the case of the Mormons is a
typical example of such a problem. But there is some evidence that, as
the Americans have applied the doctrine far more logically than we, they
have also a keener perception of the logic of its limitations. At any
rate, it is notable that Congress has refused, in its Conscription Act,
to follow our amazing example and make the conscience of the criminal
the judge of the validity of legal proceedings against him.

Changes so momentous, made in so drastic and sweeping a fashion in the
middle of a life and death struggle for national existence, show how
vigorous and compelling was the popular impulse towards reform. Yet all
the great things that were done seem dwarfed by one enormous thing left
undone; the heroic tasks which the Americans accomplished are forgotten
in the thought of the task which stared them in the face, but from which
they, perhaps justifiably, shrank. All the injustices which were
abolished in that superb crusade against privilege only made plainer the
shape of the one huge privilege, the one typical injustice which still
stood--the blacker against such a dawn--Negro Slavery.

It has already been mentioned that Slavery was at one time universal in
the English colonies and was generally approved by American opinion,
North and South. Before the end of the War of Independence it was almost
as generally disapproved, and in all States north of the borders of
Maryland it soon ceased to exist.

This was not because democratic ideals were more devotedly cherished in
the North than in the South; on the whole the contrary was the case. But
the institution of Slavery was in no way necessary to the normal life
and industry of the North; its abrogation made little difference, and
the rising tide of the new ideas to which it was necessarily odious
easily swept it away. In their method of dealing with it the Northerners,
it must be owned, were kinder to themselves than to the Negroes. They
declared Slavery illegal within their own borders, but they generally
gave the slave-holder time to dispose of his human property by selling
it in the States where Slavery still existed. This fact is worth noting,
because it became a prime cause of resentment and bitterness when, at a
later date, the North began to reproach the South with the guilt of
slave-owning. For the South was faced with no such easy and manageable
problem. Its coloured population was almost equal in number to its white
colonists; in some districts it was even greatly preponderant. Its staple
industries were based on slave labour. To abolish Slavery would mean an
industrial revolution of staggering magnitude of which the issue could
not be foreseen. And even if that were faced, there remained the sinister
and apparently insoluble problem of what to do with the emancipated
Negroes. Jefferson, who felt the reproach of Slavery keenly, proposed to
the legislature of Virginia a scheme so radical and comprehensive in its
character that it is not surprising if men less intrepid than he refused
to adopt it. He proposed nothing less than the wholesale repatriation of
the blacks, who were to set up in Africa a Negro Republic of their own
under American protection. Jefferson fully understood the principles and
implications of democracy, and he was also thoroughly conversant with
Southern conditions, and the fact that he thought (and events have
certainly gone far to justify him) that so drastic a solution was the
only one that offered hope of a permanent and satisfactory settlement is
sufficient evidence that the problem was no easy one. For the first time
Jefferson failed to carry Virginia with him; and Slavery remained an
institution sanctioned by law in every State south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

While the States were thus dealing with the problems raised by the
application to their internal administration of the principles of the
new democratic creed, the force of mere external fact was compelling
them to attempt some sort of permanent unity. Those who had from the
first a specific enthusiasm for such unity were few, though Washington
was among them, and his influence counted for much. But what counted for
much more was the pressure of necessity. It was soon obvious to all
clear-sighted men that unless some authoritative centre of union were
created the revolutionary experiment would have been saved from
suppression by arms only to collapse in mere anarchic confusion. The
Continental Congress, the only existing authority, was moribund, and
even had it been still in its full vigour, it had not the powers which
the situation demanded. It could not, for instance, levy taxes on the
State; its revenues were completely exhausted and it had no power to
replenish them. The British Government complained that the conditions of
peace were not observed on the American side, and accordingly held on to
the positions which it had occupied at the conclusion of the war. The
complaint was perfectly just, but it did not arise from deliberate bad
faith on the part of those who directed (as far as anyone was directing)
American policy, but from the simple fact that there was no authority in
America capable of enforcing obedience and carrying the provisions of
the treaty into effect. The same moral was enforced by a dozen other
symptoms of disorder. The Congress had disbanded the soldiers, as had
been promised, on the conclusion of peace, but, having no money, could
not keep its at least equally important promise to pay them. This led to
much casual looting by men with arms in their hands but nowhere to turn
for a meal, and the trouble culminated in a rebellion raised in New
England by an old soldier of the Continental Army called Shay. Such
incidents as these were the immediate cause of the summoning at
Philadelphia of a Convention charged with the task of framing a
Constitution for the United States.

Of such a Convention Washington was the only possible President; and he
was drawn from a temporary and welcome retirement in his Virginian home
to re-enter in a new fashion the service of his country. Under his
presidency disputed and compromised a crowd of able men representative
of the widely divergent States whose union was to be attempted. There
was Alexander Hamilton, indifferent or hostile to the democratic idea
but intensely patriotic, and bent above all things upon the formation of
a strong central authority; Franklin with his acute practicality and his
admirable tact in dealing with men; Gerry, the New Englander, Whiggish
and somewhat distrustful of the populace; Pinckney of South Carolina, a
soldier and the most ardent of the Federalists, representing, by a
curious irony, the State which was to be the home of the most extreme
dogma of State Rights; Madison, the Virginian, young, ardent and
intellectual, his head full of the new wine of liberty. One great name
is lacking. Jefferson had been chosen to represent the Confederacy at
the French Court, where he had the delight of watching the first act of
that tremendous drama, whereby his own accepted doctrine was to re-shape
France, as it had already re-shaped America. The Convention, therefore,
lacked the valuable combination of lucid thought on the philosophy of
politics and a keen appreciation of the direction of the popular will
which he above all men could have supplied.

The task before the Convention was a hard and perilous one, and nothing
about it was more hard and perilous than its definition. What were they
there to do? Were they framing a treaty between independent
Sovereignties, which, in spite of the treaty, would retain their
independence, or were they building a nation by merging these
Sovereignties in one general Sovereignty of the American people? They
began by proceeding on the first assumption, re-modelling the
Continental Congress--avowedly a mere alliance--and adding only such
powers as it was plainly essential to add. They soon found that such a
plan would not meet the difficulties of the hour. But they dared not
openly adopt the alternative theory: the States would not have borne it.
Had it, for example, been specifically laid down that a State once
entering the Union might never after withdraw from it, quite half the
States would have refused to enter it. To that extent the position
afterwards taken up by the Southern Secessionists was historically
sound. But there was a complementary historical truth on the other side.
There can be little doubt that in this matter the founders of the
Republic desired and intended more than they ventured to attempt. The
fact that men of unquestionable honesty and intelligence were in after
years so sharply and sincerely divided as to what the Constitution
really _was_, was in truth the result of a divided mind in those who
framed the Constitution. They made an alliance and hoped it would grow
into a nation. The preamble of the Constitution represents the
aspirations of the American Fathers; the clauses represent the furthest
they dared towards those aspirations. The preamble was therefore always
the rallying point of those who wished to see America one nation. Its
operative clause ran: "We, the People of the United States, in order to
form a more perfect Union, ... do ordain and establish this Constitution
for the United States of America." That such language was a strong point
in favour of the Federalist interpreters of the Constitution was
afterwards implicitly admitted by the extreme exponents of State
Sovereignty themselves, for when they came to frame for their own
Confederacy a Constitution reflecting their own views they made a most
significant alteration. The corresponding clause in the Constitution of
the Southern Confederacy ran, "We, _the deputies of the Sovereign and
Independent States_, ... do ordain," etc., etc.

For the rest two great practical measures which involved no overbold
challenge to State Sovereignty were wisely planned to buttress the Union
and render it permanent. A clause in the Constitution forbade tariffs
between the States and established complete Free Trade within the limits
of the Union. An even more important step was that by which the various
States which claimed territory in the as yet undeveloped interior were
induced to surrender such territory to the collective ownership of the
Federation. This at once gave the States a new motive for unity, a
common inheritance which any State refusing or abandoning union must

Meanwhile it would be unjust to the supporters of State Rights to deny
the excellence and importance of their contribution to the
Constitutional settlement. To them is due the establishment of local
liberties with safeguards such as no other Constitution gives. And, in
spite of the military victory which put an end to the disputes about
State Sovereignty and finally established the Federalist interpretation
of the Constitution, this part of their work endures. The internal
affairs of every State remain as the Constitution left them, absolutely
in its own control. The Federal Government never interferes save for
purposes of public taxation, and, in the rare case of necessity, of
national defence. For the rest nine-tenths of the laws under which an
American citizen lives, nearly all the laws that make a practical
difference to his life, are State laws. Under the Constitution, as
framed, the States were free to form their separate State Constitutions
according to their own likings, and to arrange the franchise and the
test of citizenship, even for Federal purposes, in their own fashion.
This, with the one stupid and mischievous exception made by the
ill-starred Fifteenth Amendment, remains the case to this day, with the
curious consequence, among others, that it is now theoretically possible
for a woman to become President of the United States, if she is the
citizen of a State where female suffrage is admitted.

Turning to the structure of the central authority which the Constitution
sought to establish, the first thing that strikes us--in the teeth of
the assertion of most British and some American writers--is that it was
emphatically _not_ a copy of the British Constitution in any sense
whatever. It is built on wholly different principles, drawn mostly from
the French speculations of that age. Especially one notes, alongside of
the careful and wise separation of the judiciary from the executive, the
sound principle enunciated by Montesquieu and other French thinkers of
the eighteenth century, but rejected and contemned by England (to her
great hurt) as a piece of impracticable logic--the separation of the
executive and legislative powers. It was this principle which made
possible the later transformation of the Presidency into a sort of
Elective Monarchy.

This result was not designed or foreseen; or rather it was to an extent
foreseen, and deliberately though unsuccessfully guarded against. The
American revolutionists were almost as much under the influence of
classical antiquity as the French. From it they drew the noble
conception of "the Republic," the public thing acting with impersonal
justice towards all citizens. But with it they also drew an exaggerated
dread of what they called "Cæsarism," and with it they mixed the curious
but characteristic illusion of that age--an illusion from which, by the
way, Rousseau himself was conspicuously free--that the most satisfactory
because the most impersonal organ of the general will is to be found in
an elected assembly. They had as yet imperfectly learnt that such an
assembly must after all consist of persons, more personal because less
public than an acknowledged ruler. They did not know that, while a
despot may often truly represent the people, a Senate, however chosen,
always tends to become an oligarchy. Therefore they surrounded the
presidential office with checks which in mere words made the President
seem less powerful than an English King. Yet he has always in fact been
much more powerful. And the reason is to be found in the separation of
the executive from the legislature. The President, while his term
lasted, had the full powers of a real executive. Congress could not turn
him out, though it could in various ways check his actions. He could
appoint his own Ministers (though the Senate must ratify the choice) and
they were wisely excluded from the legislature. An even wiser provision
limited the appointment of Members of Congress to positions under the
executive. Thus both executive and legislature were kept, so far as
human frailty permitted, pure in their normal functions. The Presidency
remained a real Government. Congress remained a real check.

In England, where the opposite principle was adopted, the Ministry
became first the committee of an oligarchical Parliament and later a
close corporation nominating the legislature which is supposed to check

The same fear of arbitrary power was exhibited, and that in fashion
really inconsistent with the democratic principles which the American
statesmen professed, in the determination that the President should be
chosen by the people only in an indirect fashion, through an Electoral
College. This error has been happily overruled by events. Since the
Electoral College was to be chosen _ad hoc_ for the single purpose of
choosing a President, it soon became obvious that pledges could easily
be exacted from its members in regard to their choice. By degrees the
pretence of deliberate action by the College wore thinner and thinner.
Finally it was abandoned altogether, and the President is now chosen, as
the first magistrate of a democracy ought to be chosen, if election is
resorted to at all, by the direct vote of the nation. At the time,
however, it was supposed that the Electoral College would be an
independent deliberative assembly. It was further provided that the
second choice of the Electoral College should be Vice-President, and
succeed to the Presidency in the event of the President dying during his
term of office. If there was a "tie" or if no candidate had an absolute
majority in the College, the election devolved on the House of
Representatives voting in this instance by States.

In connection with the election both of Executive and Legislature, the
old State Rights problem rose in another form. Were all the States to
have equal weight and representation, as had been the case in the old
Continental Congress, or was their weight and representation to be
proportional to their population? On this point a compromise was made.
The House of Representatives was to be chosen directly by the people on
a numerical basis, and in the Electoral College which chose the
President the same principle was adopted. In the Senate all States were
to have equal representation; and the Senators were to be chosen by the
legislatures of the States; they were regarded rather as ambassadors
than as delegates. The term of a Senator was fixed for six years, a
third of the Senate resigning in rotation every two years. The House of
Representatives was to be elected in a body for two years. The President
was elected for four years, at the end of which time he could be

Such were the main lines of the compromises which were effected between
the conflicting views of the extreme Federalists and extreme State Rights
advocates, and the conflicting interests of the larger and smaller States.
But there was another threatened conflict, more formidable and, as the
event proved, more enduring, with which the framers of the Constitution
had to deal. Two different types of civilization had grown up on opposite
sides of the Mason-Dixon line. How far Slavery was the cause and how far
a symptom of this divergence will be discussed more fully in future
chapters. At any rate it was its most conspicuous mark or label. North
and South differed so conspicuously not only in their social organization
but in every habit of life and thought that neither would tamely bear to
be engulfed in a union in which the other was to be predominant. To keep
an even balance between them was long the principal effort of American
statesmanship. That effort began in the Convention which framed the
Constitution. It did not cease till the very eve of the Civil War.

The problem with which the Convention had to deal was defined within
certain well-understood limits. No one proposed that Slavery should be
abolished by Federal enactment. It was universally acknowledged that
Slavery within a State, however much of an evil it might be, was an evil
with which State authority alone had a right to deal. On the other hand,
no one proposed to make Slavery a national institution. Indeed, all the
most eminent Southern statesmen of that time, and probably the great
majority of Southerners, regarded it as a reproach, and sincerely hoped
that it would soon disappear. There remained, however, certain definite
subjects of dispute concerning which an agreement had to be reached if
the States were to live in peace in the same household.

First, not perhaps in historic importance, but in the insistence of its
demand for an immediate settlement, was the question of representation.
It had been agreed that in the House of Representatives and in the
Electoral College this should be proportionate to population. The urgent
question at once arose: should free white citizens only be counted, or
should the count include the Negro slaves? When it is remembered that
these latter numbered something like half the population of the Southern
States, the immediate political importance of the issue will at once be
recognized. If they were omitted the weight of the South in the
Federation would be halved. In the opposite alternative it would be
doubled. By the compromise eventually adopted it was agreed that the
whole white population should be counted and three-fifths of the slaves.

The second problem was this: if Slavery was to be legal in one State and
illegal in another, what was to be the status of a slave escaping from a
Slave State into a free? Was such an act to be tantamount to an
emancipation? If such were to be the case, it was obvious that slave
property, especially in the border States, would become an extremely
insecure investment. The average Southerner of that period was no
enthusiast for Slavery. He was not unwilling to listen to plans of
gradual and compensated emancipation. But he could not be expected to
contemplate losing in a night property for which he had perhaps paid
hundreds of dollars, without even the hope of recovery. On this point it
was found absolutely necessary to give way to the Southerners, though
Franklin, for one, disliked this concession more than any other. It was
determined that "persons held to service or labour" escaping into
another State should be returned to those "to whom such service or
labour may be due."

The last and on the whole the least defensible of the concessions made
in this matter concerned the African Slave Trade. That odious traffic
was condemned by almost all Americans--even by those who were accustomed
to domestic slavery, and could see little evil in it. Jefferson, in the
original draft of the Declaration of Independence, had placed amongst
the accusations against the English King the charge that he had forced
the slave trade on reluctant colonies. The charge was true so far at
any rate as Virginia was concerned, for both that State and its
neighbour, Maryland, had passed laws against the traffic and had seen
them vetoed by the Crown. But the extreme South, where the cotton trade
was booming, wanted more Negro labour; South Carolina objected, and
found an expected ally in Massachusetts. Boston had profited more by the
Slave Trade than any other American city. She could hardly condemn King
George without condemning herself. And, though her interest in the
traffic had diminished, it had not wholly ceased. The paragraph in
question was struck out of the Declaration, and when the Convention came
to deal with the question the same curious alliance thwarted the efforts
of those who demanded the immediate prohibition of the trade. Eventually
the Slave Trade was suffered to continue for twenty years, at the end of
which time Congress might forbid it. This was done in 1808, when the
term of suffrance had expired.

Thus was Negro Slavery placed under the protection of the Constitution.
It would be a grave injustice to the founders of the American
Commonwealth to make it seem that any of them liked doing this.
Constrained by a cruel necessity, they acquiesced for the time in an
evil which they hoped that time would remedy. Their mind is
significantly mirrored by the fact that not once in the Constitution are
the words "slave" or "slavery" mentioned. Some euphemism is always used,
as "persons held to service or labour," "the importation of persons,"
"free persons," contrasted with "other persons," and so on. Lincoln,
generations later, gave what was undoubtedly the true explanation of
this shrinking from the name of the thing they were tolerating and even
protecting. They hoped that the Constitution would survive Negro
Slavery, and they would leave no word therein to remind their children
that they had spared it for a season. Beyond question they not only
hoped but expected that the concession which for the sake of the
national unity they made to an institution which they hated and deplored
would be for a season only. The influence of time and the growth of
those great doctrines which were embodied in the Declaration of
Independence could not but persuade all men at last; and the day, they
thought, could not be far distant when the Slave States themselves would
concur in some prudent scheme of emancipation, and make of Negro Slavery
an evil dream that had passed away. None the less not a few of them did
what they had to do with sorrowful and foreboding hearts, and the author
of the Declaration of Independence has left on record his own verdict,
that he trembled for his country when he remembered that God was just.

                              CHAPTER IV

                       THE MANTLE OF WASHINGTON

The compromises of the Constitution, on whatever grounds they may be
criticized, were so far justified that they gained their end. That end
was the achievement of union; and union was achieved. This was not done
easily nor without opposition. In some cities anti-Constitutional riots
took place. Several States refused to ratify. The opposition had the
support of the great name of Patrick Henry, who had been the soul of the
resistance to the Stamp Act, and who now declared that under the
specious name of "Federation" Liberty had been betrayed. The defence was
conducted in a publication called _The Federalist_ largely by two men
afterwards to be associated with fiercely contending parties, Alexander
Hamilton and James Madison. But more persuasive than any arguments that
the ablest advocate could use were the iron necessities of the
situation. The Union was an accomplished fact. For any State, and
especially for a small State--and it was the small States that hesitated
most--to refuse to enter it would be so plainly disastrous to its
interests that the strongest objections and the most rooted suspicions
had eventually to give way. Some States hung back long: some did not
ratify the Constitution until its machinery was actually working, until
the first President had been chosen and the first Congress had met. But
all ratified it at last, and before the end of Washington's first
Presidency the complement of Stars and Stripes was made up.

The choice of a President was a foregone conclusion. Everyone knew that
Washington was the man whom the hour and the nation demanded. He was
chosen without a contest by the Electoral College, and would undoubtedly
have been chosen with the same practical unanimity by the people had
the choice been theirs. So long as he retained his position he retained
along with it the virtually unchallenged pre-eminence which all men
acknowledged. There had been cabals against him as a general, and there
were signs of a revival of them when his Presidency was clearly
foreshadowed. The impulse came mostly from the older and wealthier
gentry of his own State--the Lees for example--who tended to look down
upon him as a "new man." Towards the end of his political life he was to
some extent the object of attack from the opposite quarter; his fame was
assailed by the fiercer and less prudent of the Democratic publicists.
But, throughout, the great mass of the American people trusted him as
their representative man, as those who abused him or conspired against
him did so to their own hurt. A less prudent man might easily have worn
out his popularity and alienated large sections of opinion, but
Washington's characteristic sagacity, which had been displayed so
constantly during the war, stood him in as good stead in matters of
civil government. He propitiated Nemesis and gave no just provocation to
any party to risk its popularity by attacking him. While he was
President the mantle of his great fame was ample enough to cover the
deep and vital divisions which were appearing even in his own Cabinet,
and were soon to convulse the nation in a dispute for the inheritance of
his power.

His Secretary to the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton. This extraordinary
man presents in more than one respect a complex problem to the
historian. He has an unquestionable right to a place and perhaps to a
supreme place among the builders of the American Republic, and much of
its foundation-laying was his work. Yet he shows in history as a
defeated man, and for at least a generation scarcely anyone dared to
give him credit for the great work that he really did. To-day the
injustice is perhaps the other way. In American histories written since
the Civil War he is not only acclaimed as a great statesman, but his
overthrow at the hands of the Jeffersonians is generally pointed at as a
typical example of the folly and ingratitude of the mob. This version is
at least as unjust to the American people as the depreciation of the
Democrats was to him. The fact is that Hamilton's work had a double
aspect. In so far as it was directed to the cementing of a permanent
union and the building of a strong central authority it was work upon
the lines along which the nation was moving, and towards an end which
the nation really, if subconsciously, desired. But closely associated
with this object in Hamilton's mind was another which the nation did not
desire and which was alien to its instincts and destiny. All this second
part of his work failed, and involved him in its ruin.

Hamilton had fought bravely in the Revolutionary War, but for the ideals
which had become more and more the inspiration of the Revolution he
cared nothing, and was too honest to pretend to care. He had on the
other hand a strong and genuine American patriotism. Perhaps his origin
helped him to a larger view in this matter than was common among his
contemporaries. He was not born in any of the revolted colonies, but in
Bermuda, of good blood but with the bar sinister stamped upon his birth.
He had migrated to New York to seek his fortune, but his citizenship of
that State remained an accident. He had no family traditions tying him
to any section, and, more than any public man that appeared before the
West began to produce a new type, he felt America as a whole. He had
great administrative talents of which he was fully conscious, and the
anarchy which followed the conclusion of peace was hateful to his
instinct for order and strong government. But the strong government
which he would have created was of a different type from that which
America ultimately developed. Theoretically he made no secret of his
preference for a Monarchy over a Republic, but the suspicion that he
meditated introducing monarchical institutions into America, though
sincerely entertained by Jefferson and others, was certainly false.
Whatever his theoretic preferences, he was intensely alive to the logic
of facts, and must have known that a brand-new American monarchy would
have been as impossible as it would have been ludicrous. In theory and
practice, however, he really was anti-democratic. Masses of men seemed
to him incapable alike of judgment and of action, and he thought no
enduring authority could be based upon the instincts of the "great
beast," as he called the mob. He looked for such authority and what
seemed to him the example of history, and especially to the example of
England. He knew how powerful both at home and abroad was the governing
machine which the English aristocracy had established after the
revolution of 1689; and he realized more fully than most men of that
age, or indeed of this, that its strength lay in a small but very
national governing class wielding the people as an instrument. Such a
class he wished to create in America, to connect closely, as the English
oligarchy had connected itself closely, with the great moneyed
interests, and to entrust with the large powers which in his judgment
the central government of the Federation needed.

Jefferson came back from France in the winter of 1789, and was at once
offered by Washington the Secretaryship of State. The offer was not a
very welcome one, for he was hot with the enthusiasm of the great French
struggle, and would gladly have returned to Paris and watched its
progress. He felt, however, that the President's insistence laid upon
him the duty of giving the Government the support of his abilities and
popularity. He had accepted the Constitution which he had no share in
framing, not perhaps as exactly what he would have desired, but
certainly in full good faith and without reserve. It probably satisfied
him at least as well as it satisfied Hamilton, who had actually at one
time withdrawn from the Convention in protest against its refusal to
accept his views. Jefferson's criticisms, such as they were, related
mostly to matters of detail: some of them were just and some were
subsequently incorporated in amendments. But there is ample evidence
that for none of them was he prepared to go the length of opposing or
even delaying the settlement. It is also worth noting that none of them
related to the balance of power between the Federal and State
Governments, upon which Jefferson is often loosely accused of holding
extreme particularist views. As a fact he never held such views. His
formula that "the States are independent as to everything within
themselves and united as to everything respecting foreign nations" is
really a very good summary of the principles upon which the
Constitution is based, and states substantially the policy which all the
truest friends of the Union have upheld. But he was committed out and
out to the principle of popular government, and when it became obvious
that the Federalists under Hamilton's leadership were trying to make the
central government oligarchical, and that they were very near success,
Jefferson quite legitimately invoked and sought to confirm the large
powers secured by the Constitution itself to the States for the purpose
of obstructing their programme.

It was some time, however, before the antagonism between the two
Secretaries became acute, and meanwhile the financial genius of Hamilton
was reducing the economic chaos bequeathed by the war to order and
solvency. All of his measures showed fertility of invention and a
thorough grasp of his subject; some of them were unquestionably
beneficial to the country. But a careful examination will show how
closely and deliberately he was imitating the English model which we
know to have been present to his mind. He established a true National
Debt similar to that which Montague had created for the benefit of
William of Orange. In this debt he proposed to merge the debts of the
individual States contracted during the War of Independence. Jefferson
saw no objection to this at the time, and indeed it was largely through
his favour that a settlement was made which overcame the opposition of
certain States.

This settlement had another interest as being one of the perennial
geographical compromises by means of which the Union was for so long
preserved. The support of Hamilton's policy came mainly from the North;
the opposition to it from the South. It so happened that coincidentally
North and South were divided on another question, the position of the
projected Capital of the Federation. The Southerners wanted it to be on
the Potomac between Virginia and Maryland; the Northerners would have
preferred it further north. At Jefferson's house Hamilton met some of
the leading Southern politicians, and a bargain was struck. The
Secretary's proposal as to the State debts was accepted, and the South
had its way in regard to the Capital. Hamilton probably felt that he
had bought a solid advantage in return for a purely sentimental
concession. Neither he nor anyone else could foresee the day of peril
when the position of Washington between the two Southern States would
become one of the gravest of the strategic embarrassments of the Federal

Later, when Hamilton's policy and personality had become odious to him,
Jefferson expressed remorse for his conduct of the occasion, and blamed
his colleague for taking advantage of his ignorance of the question. His
sincerity cannot be doubted, but it will appear to the impartial
observer that his earlier judgment was the wiser of the two. The
assumption of State debts had really nothing "monocratic" or
anti-popular about it--nothing even tending to infringe the rights and
liberties of the several States--while it was clearly a statesmanlike
measure from the national standpoint, tending at once to restore the
public credit and cement the Union. But Jefferson read backwards into
this innocuous and beneficent stroke of policy the spirit which he
justly perceived to inform the later and more dubious measures which
proceeded from the same author.

Of these the most important was the creation of the first United States
Bank. Here Hamilton was quite certainly inspired by the example of the
English Whigs. He knew how much the stability of the settlement made in
1689 had owed to the skill and foresight with which Montague, through
the creation of the Bank of England, had attached to it the great
moneyed interests of the City. He wished, through the United States
Bank, to attach the powerful moneyed interests of the Eastern and Middle
States in the same fashion to the Federal Government. This is how he and
his supporters would have expressed it. Jefferson said that he wished to
fill Congress with a crowd of mercenaries bound by pecuniary ties to the
Treasury and obliged to lend it, through good and evil repute, a
perennial and corrupt support. The two versions are really only
different ways of stating the same thing. To a democrat such a standing
alliance between the Government and the rich will always seem a corrupt
thing--nay, the worst and least remediable form of corruption. To a man
of Hamilton's temper it seemed merely the necessary foundation of a
stable political equilibrium. Thus the question of the Bank really
brought the two parties which were growing up in the Cabinet and in the
nation to an issue which revealed the irreconcilable antagonism of their

The majority in Congress was with Hamilton; but his opponents appealed
to the Constitution. They denied the competency of Congress under that
instrument to establish a National Bank. When the Bill was in due course
sent to Washington for signature he asked the opinions of his Cabinet on
the constitutional question, and both Hamilton and Jefferson wrote very
able State Papers in defence of their respective views. After some
hesitation Washington decided to sign the Bill and to leave the question
of constitutional law to the Supreme Court. In due course it was
challenged there, but Marshal, the Chief Justice, was a decided
Federalist, and gave judgment in favour of the legality of the Bank.

The Federalists had won the first round. Meanwhile the party which
looked to Jefferson as leader was organizing itself. It took the name of
"Republican," as signifying its opposition to the alleged monarchical
designs of Hamilton and his supporters. Later, when it appeared that
such a title was really too universal to be descriptive, the
Jeffersonians began to call themselves by the more genuinely
characteristic title of "Democratic Republicans," subsequently
abbreviated into "Democrats." That name the party which, alone among
American parties, can boast an unbroken historic continuity of more than
a century, retains to this day.

At the end of his original term of four years, Washington was prevailed
upon to give way to the universal feeling of the nation and to accept a
second term. No party thought of opposing him, but a significant
division appeared over the Vice-Presidency. The Democrats ran Clinton
against John Adams of Massachusetts, and though they failed there
appeared in the voting a significant alliance, which was to determine
the politics of a generation. New York State, breaking away from her
Northern neighbours, voted with the Democratic South for Clinton. And
the same year saw the foundation in New York City of that dubious but
very potent product of democracy, which has perhaps become the best
abused institution in the civilized world, yet has somehow or other
contrived to keep in that highly democratic society a power which it
could never retain for a day without a genuine popular backing--Tammany

Meanwhile the destinies of every nation of European origin, and of none
perhaps more, in spite of their geographical remoteness, than of the
United States, were being profoundly influenced by the astonishing
events that were shaping themselves in Western Europe. At first all
America was enthusiastic for the French Revolution. Americans were
naturally grateful for the aid given them by the French in their own
struggle for freedom, and saw with eager delight the approaching
liberation of their liberators. But as the drama unrolled itself a
sharp, though very unequal, division of opinion appeared. In New
England, especially, there were many who were shocked at the proceedings
of the French, at their violence, at their Latin cruelty in anger, and,
above all perhaps, at that touch of levity which comes upon the Latin
when he is face to face with death. Massacres and _carmagnoles_ did not
strike the typical Massachusetts merchant as the methods by which
God-fearing men should protest against oppression. The strict military
government which succeeded to, controlled and directed in a national
fashion the violent mood of the people--that necessary martial law which
we call "the Terror"--seemed even less acceptable to his fundamentally
Whiggish political creed. Yet--and it is a most significant fact--the
bulk of popular American opinion was not shocked by these things. It
remained steadily with the French through all those events which
alienated opinion--even Liberal opinion--in Europe. It was perhaps
because European opinion, especially English opinion, even when Liberal,
was at bottom aristocratic, while the American people were already a
democracy. But the fact is certain. By the admission of those American
writers who deplore it and fail to comprehend it, the great mass of the
democracy of America continued, through good and evil repute, to extend
a vivid and indulgent sympathy to the democracy of France.

The division of sympathies which had thus become apparent was converted
into a matter of practical politics by the entry of England into the war
which a Coalition was waging against the French Republic. That
intervention at once sharpened the sympathies of both sides and gave
them a practical purpose. England and France were now arrayed against
each other, and Americans, though their Government remained neutral,
arrayed themselves openly as partisans of either combatant. The division
followed almost exactly the lines of the earlier quarrel which had begun
to appear as the true meaning of Hamilton's policy discovered itself.
The Hamiltonians were for England. The Jeffersonians were for France.

A war of pamphlets and newspapers followed, into the details of which it
is not necessary to go. The Federalists, with the tide going steadily
against them, had the good luck to secure the aid of a pen which had no
match in Europe. The greatest master of English controversial prose that
ever lived was at that time in America. Normally, perhaps, his
sympathies would have been with the Democrats. But love of England was
ever the deepest and most compelling passion of the man who habitually
abused her institutions so roundly. The Democrats were against his
fatherland, and so the supporters of Hamilton found themselves defended
in a series of publications over the signature of "Peter Porcupine" with
all the energy and genius which belonged only to William Cobbett.

A piquancy of the contest was increased by the fact that it was led on
either side by members of the Administration. Washington had early put
forth a Declaration of Neutrality, drawn up by Randolph, who, though
leaning if anything to Jefferson's side, took up a more or less
intermediate position between the parties. Both sides professed to
accept the principle of neutrality, but their interpretations of it were
widely different. Jefferson did not propose to intervene in favour of
France, but he did not think that Americans were bound to disguise their
moral sympathies. They would appear, he thought, both ungrateful and
false to the first principles of their own commonwealth if, whatever
limitation prudence might impose in their action, they did not _desire_
that France should be victorious over the Coalition of Kings. The great
majority of the American people took the same view. When Genet, the
envoy of the newly constituted Republic, arrived from France, he
received an ovation which Washington himself at the height of his glory
could hardly have obtained. Nine American citizens out of ten hastened
to mount the tricolour cockade, to learn the "Marseillaise," and to take
their glasses to the victory of the sister Republic. So strong was the
wave of popular enthusiasm that the United States might perhaps have
been drawn into active co-operation with France had France been better
served by her Minister.

Genet was a Girondin, and the Girondins, perhaps through that defect in
realism which ruined them at home, were not good diplomatists. It is
likely enough that the warmth of his reception deranged his judgment; at
any rate he misread its significance. He failed to take due account of
that sensitiveness of national feeling in a democracy which, as a
Frenchman of that time, he should have been specially able to
appreciate. He began to treat the resources of the United States as if
they had already been placed at the disposal of France, and, when very
properly rebuked, he was foolish enough to attempt to appeal to the
nation against its rulers. The attitude of the Secretary of State ought
to have warned him of the imprudence of his conduct. No man in America
was a better friend to France than Jefferson; but he stood up manfully
to Genet in defence of the independent rights of his country, and the
obstinacy of the ambassador produced, as Jefferson foresaw that it must
produce, a certain reaction of public feeling by which the Anglophil
party benefited.

At the close of the year 1793, Jefferson, weary of endless contests with
Hamilton, whom he accused, not without some justification, of constantly
encroaching on his colleague's proper department, not wholly satisfied
with the policy of the Government and perhaps feeling that Genet's
indiscretions had made his difficult task for the moment impossible,
resigned his office. He would have done so long before had not
Washington, sincerely anxious throughout these troubled years to hold
the balance even between the parties, repeatedly exerted all his
influence to dissuade him. The following year saw the "Whiskey
Insurrection" in Pennsylvania--a popular protest against Hamilton's
excise measures. Jefferson more than half sympathized with the rebels.
Long before, on the occasion of Shay's insurrection, he had expressed
with some exaggeration a view which has much more truth in it than those
modern writers who exclaim in horror at his folly could be expected to
understand--the view that the readiness of people to rebel against their
rulers is no bad test of the presence of democracy among them. He had
even added that he hoped the country would never pass ten years without
a rebellion of some sort. In the present case he had the additional
motives for sympathy that he himself disapproved of the law against
which Pennsylvania was in revolt, and detested its author. Washington
could not be expected to take the same view. He was not anti-democratic
like Hamilton; he sincerely held the theory of the State set forth in
the Declaration of Independence. But he was something of an aristocrat,
and very much of a soldier. As an aristocrat he was perhaps touched with
the illusion which was so fatal to his friend Lafayette, the illusion
that privilege can be abolished and yet the once privileged class
partially retain its ascendancy by a sort of tacit acknowledgment by
others of its value. As a soldier he disliked disorder and believed in
discipline. As a commander in the war he had not spared the rod, and had
even complained of Congress for mitigating the severity of military
punishments. It may be that the "Whiskey Insurrection," which he
suppressed with prompt and drastic energy, led him for the first time to
lean a little to the Hamiltonian side. At any rate he was induced,
though reluctantly and only under strong pressure, to introduce into a
Message to Congress a passage reflecting on the Democratic Societies
which were springing up everywhere and gaining daily in power; and in
return found himself attacked, sometimes with scurrility, in the more
violent organs of the Democracy.

Washington's personal ascendancy was, however, sufficient to prevent the
storm from breaking while he was President. It was reserved for his
successor. In 1797 his second term expired. He had refused a third,
thereby setting an important precedent which every subsequent President
has followed, and bade farewell to politics in an address which is among
the great historical documents of the Republic. The two points
especially emphasized were long the acknowledged keynotes of American
policy: the avoidance at home of "sectional" parties--that is, of
parties following geographical lines--and abroad the maintenance of a
strict independence of European entanglements and alliances.

Had a Presidential election then been what it became later, a direct
appeal to the popular vote, it is probable that Jefferson would have
been the second President of the United States. But the Electoral
College was still a reality, and its majority leant to Federalism.
Immeasurably the ablest man among the Federalists was Hamilton, but for
many reasons he was not an "available" choice. He was not a born
American. He had made many and formidable personal enemies even within
the party. Perhaps the shadow on his birth was a drawback; perhaps also
the notorious freedom of his private life--for the strength of the party
lay in Puritan New England. At any rate the candidate whom the
Federalists backed and succeeded in electing was John Adams of
Massachusetts. By the curiously unworkable rule, soon repealed, of the
original Constitution, which gave the Vice-Presidency to the candidate
who had the second largest number of votes, Jefferson found himself
elected to that office under a President representing everything to
which he was opposed.

John Adams was an honest man and sincerely loved his country. There his
merits ended. He was readily quarrelsome, utterly without judgment and
susceptible to that mood of panic in which mediocre persons are readily
induced to act the "strong man." During his administration a new quarrel
arose with France--a quarrel in which once again those responsible for
that country's diplomacy played the game of her enemies. Genet had
merely been an impracticable and impatient enthusiast. Talleyrand, who
under the Directory took charge of foreign affairs, was a scamp; and,
clever as he was, was unduly contemptuous of America, where he had
lived for a time in exile. He attempted to use the occasion of the
appearance of an American Mission in Paris to wring money out of
America, not only for the French Treasury, but for his own private
profit and that of his colleagues and accomplices. A remarkable
correspondence, which fully revealed the blackmailing attempt made by
the agents of the French Government on the representatives of the United
States, known as the "X.Y.Z." letters, was published and roused the
anger of the whole country. "Millions for defence but not a cent for
tribute" was the universal catchword. Hamilton would probably have
seized the opportunity to go to war with France with some likelihood of
a national backing. Adams avoided war and thereby split his party, but
he did not avoid steps far more certain than a war to excite the
hostility of democratic America. His policy was modelled upon the worst
of the panic-bred measures by means of which Pitt and his colleagues
were seeking to suppress "Jacobinism" in England. Such a policy was
odious anywhere; in a democracy it was also insane. Further the Aliens
Law and the Sedition Law which he induced Congress to pass were in
flagrant and obvious violation of the letter and spirit of the
Constitution. They were barely through Congress when the storm broke on
their authors. Jefferson, in retirement at Monticello, saw that his hour
was come. He put himself at the head of the opposition and found a whole
nation behind him.

Kentucky, carved out of the western territory and newly grown to
Statehood, took the lead of resistance. For her legislature Jefferson
drafted the famous "Kentucky Resolutions," which condemned the new laws
as unconstitutional (which they were) and refused to allow them to be
administered within her borders. On the strength of these resolutions
Jefferson has been described as the real author of the doctrine of
"Nullification": and technically this may be true. Nevertheless there is
all the difference in the world between the spirit of the Kentucky
Resolutions and that of "Nullification," as South Carolina afterwards
proclaimed its legitimacy. About the former there was nothing sectional.
It was not pretended that Kentucky had any peculiar and local objection
to the Sedition Law, or was standing against the other States in
resisting it. She was vindicating a freedom common to all the States,
valued by all and menaced in all. She claimed that she was making
herself the spokesman of the other States in the same fashion as Hampden
made himself the spokesman of the other great landed proprietors in
resisting taxation by the Crown.

The event amply justified her claim. The oppression laws which the
Federalists had induced Congress to pass were virtually dead letters
from the moment of their passing. And when the time came for the nation
to speak, it rose as one man and flung Adams from his seat. The
Federalist party virtually died of the blow. The dream of an
oligarchical Republic was at an end, and the will of the people,
expressed with unmistakable emphasis, gave the Chief Magistracy to the
author of the Declaration of Independence.

                               CHAPTER V

                         THE VIRGINIAN DYNASTY

I have spoken of Jefferson's election as if it had been a direct act of
the people; and morally it was so. But in the actual proceedings there
was a certain hitch, which is of interest not only because it
illustrated a peculiar technical defect in the original Constitution and
so led to its amendment, but because it introduces here, for the first
time, the dubious but not unfascinating figure of Aaron Burr.

Burr was a politician of a type which democracies will always produce,
and which those who dislike democracy will always use for its reproach.
Yet the reproach is evidently unjust. In all societies, most of those
who meddle with the government of men will do so in pursuit of their own
interests, and in all societies the professional politician will reveal
himself as a somewhat debased type. In a despotism he will become a
courtier and obtain favour by obsequious and often dishonourable
services to a prince. In an old-fashioned oligarchy he will adopt the
same attitude towards some powerful noble. In a parliamentary
plutocracy, like our own, he will proceed in fashion with which we are
only too familiar, will make himself the paid servant of those wealthy
men who finance politicians, and will enrich himself by means of "tips"
from financiers and bribes from Government contractors. In a democracy,
the same sort of man will try to obtain his ends by flattering and
cajoling the populace. It is not obvious that he is more mischievous as
demagogue than he was as courtier, lackey, or parliamentary intriguer.
Indeed, he is almost certainly less so, for he must at least in some
fashion serve, even if only that he may deceive them, those whose
servant he should be. At any rate, the purely self-seeking demagogue is
certainly a recurrent figure in democratic politics, and of the
self-seeking demagogue Aaron Burr was an excellent specimen.

He had been a soldier not without distinction, and to the last he
retained a single virtue--the grand virtue of courage. For the rest, he
was the Tammany Boss writ large. An able political organizer, possessed
of much personal charm, he had made himself master of the powerful
organization of the Democratic party in New York State, and as such was
able to bring valuable support to the party which was opposing the
administration of Adams. As a reward for his services, it was determined
that he should be Democratic candidate for the Vice-Presidency. But here
the machinery devised by the Convention played a strange trick. When the
votes of the Electoral College came to be counted, it was found that
instead of Jefferson leading and yet leaving enough votes to give Burr
the second place, the votes for the two were exactly equal. This, under
the Constitution, threw the decision into the hands of the House of
Representatives, and in that House the Federalists still held the
balance of power. They could not choose their own nominee, but they
could choose either Jefferson or Burr, and many of them, desiring at the
worst to frustrate the triumph of their great enemy, were disposed to
choose Burr; while Burr, who cared only for his own career, was ready
enough to lend himself to such an intrigue.

That the intrigue failed was due mainly to the patriotism of Hamilton.
All that was best and worst in him concurred in despising the mere
flatterer of the mob. Jefferson was at least a gentleman. And, unfairly
as he estimated him both morally and intellectually, he knew very well
that the election of Jefferson would not be a disgrace to the Republic,
while the election of Burr would. His patriotism overcame his
prejudices. He threw the whole weight of his influence with the
Federalists against the intrigue, and he defeated it. It is the more to
his honour that he did this to the advantage of a man whom he could not
appreciate and who was his enemy. It was the noblest and purest act of
his public career. It probably cost him his life.

Jefferson was elected President and Burr Vice-President, as had
undoubtedly been intended by the great majority of those who had voted
the Democratic ticket at the elections. But the anomaly and disaster of
Burr's election had been so narrowly avoided that a change in the
Constitution became imperative. It was determined that henceforward the
votes for President and Vice-President should be given separately. The
incident had another consequence. Burr, disappointed in hopes which had
almost achieved fulfilment, became from that moment a bitter enemy of
Jefferson and his administration. Also, attributing the failure of his
promising plot to Hamilton's intervention, he hated Hamilton with a new
and insatiable hatred. Perhaps in that hour he already determined that
his enemy should die.

Jefferson's inauguration was full of that deliberate and almost
ceremonial contempt of ceremony in which that age found a true
expression of its mood, though later and perhaps more corrupt times have
inevitably found such symbolism merely comic. It was observed as
striking the note of the new epoch that the President rejected all that
semi-regal pomp which Washington and Adams had thought necessary to the
dignity of their office. It is said that he not only rode alone into
Washington (he was the first President to be inaugurated in the newly
built capital), dressed like any country gentleman, but, when he
dismounted to take the oath, tethered his horse with his own hands. More
really significant was the presence of the populace that elected
him--the great heaving, unwashed crowd elbowing the dainty politicians
in the very presence chamber. The President's inaugural address was full
of a generous spirit of reconciliation. "We are all Republicans," he
said, "we are all Federalists." Every difference of opinion was not a
difference of principle, nor need such differences interfere with "our
attachment, to our Union and to representative government."

Such liberality was the more conspicuous by contrast with the petty
rancour of his defeated rival, who not only refused to perform the
customary courtesy of welcoming his successor at the White House, but
spent his last hours there appointing Federalists feverishly to public
offices solely in order to compel Jefferson to choose between the
humiliation of retaining such servants and the odium of dismissing
them. The new President very rightly refused to recognize nominations so
made, and this has been seized upon by his detractors to hold him up as
the real author of what was afterwards called "the Spoils System." It
would be far more just to place that responsibility upon Adams.

The most important event of Jefferson's first administration was the
Louisiana Purchase. The colony of Louisiana at the mouth of the
Mississippi, with its vast _hinterland_ stretching into the heart of the
American continent, had, as we have seen, passed in 1762 from French
into Spanish hands. Its acquisition by the United States had been an old
project of Jefferson's. When Secretary of State under Washington, he had
mooted it when settling with the Spanish Government the question of the
navigation of the Mississippi. As President he revived it; but before
negotiations could proceed far the whole situation was changed by the
retrocession of Louisiana to France as part of the terms dictated by
Napoleon to a Spain which had fallen completely under his control. The
United States could not, in any case, have regarded the transfer without
uneasiness, and to all schemes of purchase it seemed a death-blow, for
it was believed that the French Emperor had set his heart upon the
resurrection of French Colonial power in America. But Jefferson was an
excellent diplomatist, at once conciliatory and unyielding: he played
his cards shrewdly, and events helped him. The Peace of Amiens was
broken, and, after a very brief respite, England and France were again
at war. Napoleon's sagacity saw clearly enough that he could not hope to
hold and develop his new colony in the face of a hostile power which was
his master on the sea. It would suit his immediate purpose better to
replenish his treasury with good American dollars which might soon be
urgently needed. He became, therefore, as willing to sell as Jefferson
was to buy, and between two men of such excellent sense a satisfactory
bargain was soon struck. The colony of Louisiana and all the undeveloped
country which lay behind it became the inheritance of the American

Concerning the transaction, there is more than one point to be noted of
importance to history. One is the light which it throws on Jefferson's
personal qualities. Because this man held very firmly an abstract and
reasoned theory of the State, could define and defend it with
extraordinary lucidity and logic, and avowedly guided his public conduct
by its light, there has been too much tendency to regard him as a mere
theorist, a sort of Girondia, noble in speculation and rhetoric, but
unequal to practical affairs and insufficiently alive to concrete
realities. He is often contrasted unfavourably with Hamilton in this
respect: and yet he had, as events proved, by far the acuter sense of
the trend of American popular opinion and the practical requirements of
a government that should command its respect; and he made fewer mistakes
in mere political tactics than did his rival. But his diplomacy is the
best answer to the charge. Let anyone who entertains it follow closely
the despatches relating to the Louisiana purchase, and observe how
shrewdly this supposed visionary can drive a good bargain for his
country, even when matched against Talleyrand with Bonaparte behind him.
One is reminded that before he entered politics he enjoyed among his
fellow-planters a reputation for exceptional business acumen.

Much more plausible is the accusation that Jefferson in the matter of
Louisiana forgot his principles, and acted in a manner grossly
inconsistent with his attitude when the Federalists were in power.
Certainly, the purchase can only be defended constitutionally by giving
a much larger construction to the powers of the Federal authority than
even Hamilton had ever promulgated. If the silence of the Constitution
on the subject must, as Jefferson had maintained, be taken as forbidding
Congress and the Executive to charter a bank, how much more must a
similar silence forbid them to expend millions in acquiring vast new
territories beyond the borders of the Confederacy. In point of fact,
Jefferson himself believed the step he and Congress were taking to be
beyond their present powers, and would have preferred to have asked for
a Constitutional Amendment to authorize it. But he readily gave way on
this to those who represented that such a course would give the
malcontent minority their chance, and perhaps jeopardize the whole
scheme. The fact is, that "State Rights" were not to Jefferson a first
principle, but a weapon which he used for the single purpose of
resisting oligarchy. His first principle, in which he never wavered for
a moment, was that laid down in the "Declaration"--the sovereignty of
the General Will. To him Federalism was nothing and State Sovereignty
was nothing but the keeping of the commandments of the people. Judged by
this test, both his opposition to Hamilton's bank and his purchase of
the Louisiana territory were justified; for on both occasions the nation
was with him.

Jefferson's inconsistency, therefore, if inconsistency it were, brought
him little discredit. It was far otherwise with the inconsistency of the
Federalists. For they also changed sides, and of their case it may be
said that, like Milton's Satan, they "rode with darkness." The most
respectable part of their original political creed was their
nationalism, their desire for unity, and their support of a strong
central authority. Had this been really the dominant sentiment of their
connection, they could not but have supported Jefferson's policy, even
though they might not too unfairly have reproached him with stealing
their thunder. For not only was Jefferson's act a notable example of
their own theory of "broad construction" of the Constitution, but it was
perhaps a more fruitful piece of national statesmanship than the best of
Hamilton's measures, and it had a direct tendency to promote and
perpetuate that unity which the Federalists professed to value so
highly, for it gave to the States a new estate of vast extent and
incalculable potentialities, which they must perforce rule and develop
in common. But the Federalists forgot everything, even common prudence,
in their hatred of the man who had raised the people against them. To
injure him, most of them had been ready to conspire with a tainted
adventurer like Burr. They were now ready for the same object to tear up
the Union and all their principles with it. One of their ablest
spokesmen, Josiah Quincey, made a speech against the purchase, in which
he anticipated the most extreme pronouncements of the Nullifiers of 1832
and the Secessionists of 1860, declared that his country was not America
but Massachusetts, that to her alone his ultimate allegiance was due,
and that if her interests were violated by the addition of new Southern
territory in defiance of the Constitution, she would repudiate the Union
and take her stand upon her rights as an independent Sovereign State.

By such an attitude the Federalists destroyed only themselves. Some of
the wiser among them left the party on this issue, notably John Quincey
Adams, son of the second President of the United States, and himself to
be raised later, under somewhat disastrous circumstances, to the same
position. The rump that remained true, not to their principles but
rather to their vendetta, could make no headway against a virtually
unanimous nation. They merely completed and endorsed the general
judgment on their party by an act of suicide.

But the chief historical importance of the Louisiana purchase lies in
the fact that it gave a new and for long years an unlimited scope to
that irresistible movement of expansion westward which is the key to all
that age in American history. In the new lands a new kind of American
was growing up. Within a generation he was to come by his own; and a
Westerner in the chair of Washington was to revolutionize the

Of the governing conditions of the West, two stand out as of especial
importance to history.

One was the presence of unsubdued and hostile Indian tribes. Ever since
that extraordinary man, Daniel Boon (whose strange career would make an
epic for which there is no room in this book), crossed the Alleghanies a
decade before the beginning of the Revolution and made an opening for
the white race into the rich valleys of Kentucky, the history of the
western frontier of European culture had been a cycle of Indian wars.
The native race had not yet been either tamed or corrupted by
civilization. Powerful chiefs still ruled great territories as
independent potentates, and made peace and war with the white men on
equal terms. From such a condition it followed that courage and skill in
arms were in the West not merely virtues and accomplishments to be
admired, but necessities which a man must acquire or perish. The
Westerner was born a fighter, trained as a fighter, and the fighting
instinct was ever dominant in him. So also was the instinct of loyalty
to his fellow-citizens, a desperate, necessary loyalty as to comrades in
a besieged city--as, indeed, they often were.

The other condition was the product partly of natural circumstances and
partly of that wise stroke of statesmanship which had pledged the new
lands in trust to the whole Confederacy. The Westerner was
American--perhaps he was the first absolutely instinctive American. The
older States looked with much pride to a long historical record which
stretched back far beyond the Union into colonial times. The
Massachusetts man would still boast of the Pilgrim Fathers. The
Virginian still spoke lovingly of the "Old Plantation." But Kentucky and
Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana were children of the Union. They had grown
to statehood within it, and they had no memories outside it. They were
peopled from all the old States, and the pioneers who peopled them were
hammered into an intense and instinctive homogeneity by the constant
need of fighting together against savage nature and savage man. Thus,
while in the older settlements one man was conscious above all things
that he was a New Englander, and another that he was a Carolinian, the
Western pioneer was primarily conscious that he was a white man and not
a Red Indian, nay, often that he was a man and not a grizzly bear. Hence
grew up in the West that sense of national unity which was to be the
inspiration of so many celebrated Westerners of widely different types
and opinions, of Clay, of Jackson, of Stephen Douglas, and of Abraham

But this was not to take place until the loyalty of the West had first
been tried by a strange and sinister temptation.

Aaron Burr had been elected Vice-President coincidently with Jefferson's
election as President; but his ambition was far from satisfied. He was
determined to make another bid for the higher place, and as a
preliminary he put himself forward as candidate for the Governorship of
New York State. It was as favourable ground as he could find to try the
issue between himself and the President, for New York had been the
centre of his activities while he was still an official Democrat, and
her favour had given him his original position in the party. But he
could not hope to succeed without the backing of those Federalist
malcontents who had nearly made him President in 1800. To conciliate
them he bent all his energies and talents, and was again on the point of
success when Hamilton, who also belonged to New York State, again
crossed his path. Hamilton urged all the Federalists whom he could
influence to have nothing to do with Burr, and, probably as a result of
his active intervention, Burr was defeated.

Burr resolved that Hamilton must be prevented from thwarting him in the
future, and he deliberately chose a simple method of removing him. He
had the advantage of being a crack shot. He forced a private quarrel on
Hamilton, challenged him to a duel, and killed him.

He can hardly have calculated the effect of his action: it shocked the
whole nation, which had not loved Hamilton, but knew him for a better
man than Burr. Duelling, indeed, was then customary among gentlemen in
the United States, as it is to-day throughout the greater part of the
civilized world; but it was very rightly felt that the machinery which
was provided for the vindication of outraged honour under extreme
provocation was never meant to enable one man, under certain forms, to
kill another merely because he found his continued existence personally
inconvenient. That was what Burr had done; and morally it was
undoubtedly murder. Throughout the whole East Burr became a man marked
with the brand of Cain. He soon perceived it, but his audacity would not
accept defeat. He turned to the West, and initiated a daring conspiracy
which, as he hoped, would make him, if not President of the United
States, at least President of something.

What Burr's plan, as his own mind conceived it, really was it is
extremely difficult to say; for he gave not only different but directly
opposite accounts to the various parties whom he endeavoured to engage
in it. To the British Ambassador, whom he approached, he represented it
as a plan for the dismemberment of the Republic from which England had
everything to gain. Louisiana was to secede, carrying the whole West
with her, and the new Confederacy was to become the ally of the Mother
Country. For the Spanish Ambassador he had another story. Spain was to
recover predominant influence in Louisiana by detaching it from the
American Republic, and recognizing it as an independent State. To the
French-Americans of Louisiana he promised complete independence of both
America and Spain. To the Westerners, whom he tried to seduce, exactly
the opposite colour was given to the scheme. It was represented as a
design to provoke a war with Spain by the invasion and conquest of
Mexico; and only if the Federal Government refused to support the
filibusters was the West to secede. Even this hint of hypothetical
secession was only whispered to those whom it might attract. To others
all thought of disunion was disclaimed; and yet another complexion was
put on the plot. The West was merely to make legitimate preparations for
the invasion of Mexico and Florida in the event of certain disputes then
pending with Spain resulting in war. It was apparently in this form that
the design was half disclosed to the most influential citizen and
commander of the militia in the newly created State of Tennessee, Andrew
Jackson, the same that we saw as a mere school-boy riding and fighting
at Hanging Rock.

Jackson had met Burr during the brief period when he was in Congress as
representative of his State. He had been entertained by him and liked
him, and when Burr visited Tennessee he was received by Jackson with all
the hospitality of the West. Jackson was just the man to be interested
in a plan for invading Mexico in the event of a Spanish war, and he
would probably not have been much shocked--for the West was headstrong,
used to free fighting, and not nice on points of international law--at
the idea of helping on a war for the purpose. But he loved the Union as
he loved his own life. Burr said nothing to him of his separatist
schemes. When later he heard rumours of them, he wrote peremptorily to
Burr for an explanation. Burr, who, to do him justice, was not the man
to shuffle or prevaricate, lied so vigorously and explicitly that
Jackson for the moment believed him. Later clearer proof came of his
treason, and close on it followed the President's proclamation
apprehending him, for Burr had been betrayed by an accomplice to
Jefferson. Jackson at once ordered out the militia to seize him, but he
had already passed westward out of his control. The Secretary for War,
who, as it happened, was a personal enemy of Jackson's, thinking his
connection with Burr might be used against him, wrote calling in
sinister tone for an account of his conduct. Jackson's reply is so
characteristic of the man that it deserves to be quoted. After saying
that there was nothing treasonable in Burr's communications to him
personally, he adds: "But, sir, when proofs showed him to be a Treator"
(spelling was never the future President's strong point), "I would cut
his throat with as much pleasure as I would cut yours on equal

The whole conspiracy fizzled out. Burr could get no help from any of the
divergent parties he had attempted to gain. No one would fight for him.
His little band of rebels was scattered, and he himself was seized,
tried for treason, and acquitted on a technical point. But his dark,
tempestuous career was over. Though he lived to an unlovely old age, he
appears no more in history.

Jefferson was re-elected President in 1804. He was himself doubtful
about the desirability of a second tenure, but the appearance at the
moment of a series of particularly foul attacks upon his private
character made him feel that to retire would amount to something like a
plea of guilty. Perhaps it would have served his permanent fame better
if he had not accepted another term, for, owing to circumstances for
which he was only partly to blame, his second Presidency appears in
history as much less successful than his first.

Its chief problem was the maintenance of peace and neutrality during the
colossal struggle between France under Napoleon and the kings and
aristocracies of Europe who had endeavoured to crush the French
Revolution, and who now found themselves in imminent peril of being
crushed by its armed and amazing child.

Jefferson sincerely loved peace. Moreover, the sympathy for France, of
which he had at one time made no disguise, was somewhat damped by the
latest change which had taken place in the French Government. Large as
was his vision compared with most of his contemporaries, he was too much
soaked in the Republican tradition of antiquity, which was so living a
thing in that age, to see in the decision of a nation of soldiers to
have a soldier for their ruler and representative the fulfilment of
democracy and not its denial. But his desire for peace was not made
easier of fulfilment by either of the belligerent governments. Neither
thought the power of the United States to help or hinder of serious
account, and both committed constant acts of aggression against American
rights. Nor was his position any stronger in that he had made it a
charge against the Federalists that they had provided in an
unnecessarily lavish fashion for the national defence. In accordance
with his pledges he had reduced the army. His own conception of the best
defensive system for America was the building of a large number of small
but well-appointed frigates to guard her coasts and her commerce. It is
fair to him to say that when war came these frigates of his gave a good
account of themselves. Yet his own position was a highly embarrassing
one, anxious from every motive to avoid war and yet placed between an
enemy, or rather two enemies, who would yield nothing to his
expostulations, and the rising clamour, especially in the West, for the
vindication of American rights by an appeal to arms.

Jefferson attempted to meet the difficulty by a weapon which proved
altogether inadequate for the purpose intended, while it was bound to
react almost as seriously as a war could have done on the prosperity of
America. He proposed to interdict all commerce with either of the
belligerents so long as both persisted in disregarding American rights,
while promising to raise the interdict in favour of the one which first
showed a disposition to treat the United States fairly. Such a policy
steadily pursued by such an America as we see to-day would probably have
succeeded. But at that time neither combatant was dependent upon
American products for the essentials of vitality. The suppression of the
American trade might cause widespread inconvenience, and even bring
individual merchants to ruin, but it could not hit the warring nations
hard enough to compel governments struggling on either side for their
very lives in a contest which seemed to hang on a hair to surrender
anything that might look like a military advantage. On the other hand,
the Embargo, as it was called, hit the Americans themselves very hard
indeed. So great was the outcry of the commercial classes, that the
President was compelled to retrace his steps and remove the interdict.
The problem he handed over unsolved to his successor.

That successor was James Madison, another Virginian, Jefferson's
lieutenant ever since the great struggle with the Federalists and his
intimate friend from a still earlier period. His talents as a writer
were great; he did not lack practical sagacity, and his opinions were
Jefferson's almost without a single point of divergence. But he lacked
Jefferson's personal prestige, and consequently the policy followed
during his Presidency was less markedly his own than that of his great
predecessor had been.

Another turn of the war-wheel in Europe had left America with only one
antagonist in place of two. Trafalgar had destroyed, once and for all,
the power of France on the sea, and she was now powerless to injure
American interests, did she wish to do so. England, on the other hand,
was stronger for that purpose than ever, and was less restrained than
ever in the exercise of her strength. A new dispute, especially
provocative to the feelings of Americans, had arisen over the question
of the impressment of seamen. The press-gang was active in England at
the time, and pursued its victims on the high seas. It even claimed the
right to search the ships of neutrals for fugitives. Many American
vessels were violated in this fashion, and it was claimed that some of
the men thus carried off to forced service, though originally English,
had become American citizens. England was clearly in the wrong, but she
refused all redress. One Minister, sent by us to Washington, Erskine,
did indeed almost bring matters to a satisfactory settlement, but his
momentary success only made the ultimate anger of America more bitter,
for he was disowned and recalled, and, as if in deliberate insult, was
replaced by a certain Jackson who, as England's Ambassador to Denmark in
1804, had borne a prominent part in the most sensational violation of
the rights of a neutral country that the Napoleonic struggle had

There seemed no chance of peace from any conciliatory action on the part
of Great Britain. The sole chance hung on the new President's
inheritance of Jefferson's strong leaning in that direction. But Madison
was by no means for peace at any price; and indeed Jefferson himself,
from his retreat at Monticello, hailed the war, when it ultimately came,
as unmistakably just. For a long time, however, the President alone held
the nation back from war. The War Party included the Vice-President
Munroe, who had been largely instrumental in bringing about the
Louisiana purchase. But its greatest strength was in the newly populated
West, and its chief spokesman in Congress was Henry Clay of Kentucky.

This man fills so large a space in American politics for a full
generation that some attempt must be made to give a picture of him. Yet
a just account of his character is not easy to give. It would be simple
enough to offer a superficial description, favourable or hostile, but
not one that would account for all his actions. Perhaps the best
analysis would begin by showing him as half the aboriginal Westerner and
half the Washington politician. In many ways he was very Western. He had
a Westerner's pugnacity, and at the same time a Westerner's geniality
and capacity for comradeship with men. He had to the last a Westerner's
private tastes--especially a taste for gambling--and a Westerner's
readiness to fight duels. Above all, from the time that he entered
Congress as the fiercest of the "war hawks" who clamoured for vengeance
on England, to the time when, an old and broken man, he expended the
last of his enormous physical energy in an attempt to bridge the
widening gulf between North and South, he showed through many grievous
faults and errors that intense national feeling and that passion for the
Union which were growing so vigorously in the fertile soil beyond the
Alleghanies. But he was a Western shoot early engrafted on the political
society of Washington--the most political of all cities, for it is a
political capital and nothing else. He entered Congress young and found
there exactly the atmosphere that suited his tastes and temperament. He
was as much the perfect parliamentarian as Gladstone. For how much his
tact and instinct for the tone of the political assembly in which he
moved counted may be guessed from this fact: that while there is no
speech of his that has come down to us that one could place for a
moment beside some of extant contemporary speeches of Webster and
Calhoun, yet it is unquestionable that he was considered fully a match
for either Webster or Calhoun in debate, and in fact attained an
ascendancy over Congress which neither of those great orators ever
possessed. At the management of the minds of men with whom he was
actually in contact he was unrivalled. No man was so skilful in
harmonizing apparently irreconcilable differences and choosing the exact
line of policy which opposing factions could agree to support. Three
times he rode what seemed the most devastating political storms, and
three times he imposed a peace. But with the strength of a great
parliamentarian he had much of the weakness that goes with it. He
thought too much as a professional; and in his own skilled work of
matching measures, arranging parties and moving politicians about like
pawns, he came more and more to forget the silent drive of the popular
will. All this, however, belongs to a later stage of Clay's development.
At the moment, we have to deal with him as the ablest of those who were
bent upon compelling the President to war.

Between Clay and the British Government Madison's hand was forced, and
war was declared. In America there were widespread rejoicings and high
hopes of the conquest of Canada and the final expulsion of England from
the New World. Yet the war, though on the whole justly entered upon, and
though popular with the greater part of the country, was not national in
the fullest sense. It did not unite, rather it dangerously divided, the
Federation, and that, unfortunately, on geographical lines. New England
from the first was against it, partly because most of her citizens
sympathized with Great Britain in her struggle with Napoleon, and partly
because her mercantile prosperity was certain to be hard hit, and might
easily be ruined by a war with the greatest of naval powers. When,
immediately after the declaration of war, in 1812, Madison was put
forward as Presidential candidate for a second term, the contest showed
sharply the line of demarcation. North-east of the Hudson he did not
receive a vote.

The war opened prosperously for the Republic, with the destruction by
Commander Perry of the British fleet on Lake Ontario--an incident which
still is held in glorious memory by the American Navy and the American
people. Following on this notable success, an invasion of Canada was
attempted; but here Fortune changed sides. The invasion was a complete
failure, the American army was beaten, forced to fall back, and
attacked, in its turn, upon American soil. Instead of American troops
occupying Quebec, English troops occupied a great part of Ohio.

Meanwhile, Jefferson's frigates were showing their metal. In many duels
with English cruisers they had the advantage, though we in this country
naturally hear most--indeed, it is almost the only incident of this war
of which we ever do hear--of one of the cases in which victory went the
other way--the famous fight between the _Shannon_ and the _Chesapeake_.
On the whole, the balance of such warfare leant in favour of the
American sea-captains. But it was not by such warfare that the issue
could be settled. England, summoning what strength she could spare from
her desperate struggle with the French Emperor, sent an adequate fleet
to convoy a formidable army to the American coast. It landed without
serious opposition at the mouth of the Chesapeake, and marched straight
on the national capital, which the Government was forced to abandon.

No Englishman can write without shame of what followed. All the public
buildings of Washington were deliberately burnt. For this outrage the
Home Government was solely responsible. The general in command received
direct and specific orders, which he obeyed unwillingly. No pretence of
military necessity, or even of military advantage, can be pleaded. The
act, besides being a gross violation of the law of nations, was an
exhibition of sheer brutal spite, such as civilized war seldom witnessed
until Prussia took a hand in it. It had its reward. It burnt deep into
the soul of America; and from that incident far more than from anything
that happened in the War of Independence dates that ineradicable hatred
of England which was for generations almost synonymous with patriotism
in most Americans, and which almost to the hour of President Wilson's
intervention made many in that country doubt whether, even as against
Prussia, England could really be the champion of justice and humanity.

Things never looked blacker for the Republic than in those hours when
the English troops held what was left of Washington. Troubles came
thicker and thicker upon her. The Creek Nation, the most powerful of the
independent Indian tribes, instigated partly by English agents, partly
by the mysterious native prophet Tecumseh, suddenly descended with fire
and tomahawk on the scattered settlements of the South-West, while at
the same time a British fleet appeared in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently
meditating either an attack on New Orleans or an invasion through the
Spanish territory of Western Florida, and in that darkest hour when it
seemed that only the utmost exertions of every American could save the
United States from disaster, treason threatened to detach an important
section of the Federation from its allegiance.

The discontent of New England is intelligible enough. No part of the
Union had suffered so terribly from the war, and the suffering was the
bitterer for being incurred in a contest which was none of her making,
which she had desired to avoid, and which had been forced on her by
other sections which had suffered far less. Her commerce, by which she
largely lived, had been swept from the seas. Her people, deeply
distressed, demanded an immediate peace. Taking ground as discontented
sections, North and South, always did before 1864, on the doctrine of
State Sovereignty, one at least, and that the greatest of the New
England States, began a movement which seemed to point straight to the
dilemma of surrender to the foreigner or secession and dismemberment
from within.

Massachusetts invited representatives of her sister States to a
Convention at Hartford. The Convention was to be consultative, but its
direct and avowed aim was to force the conclusion of peace on any terms.
Some of its promoters were certainly prepared, if they did not get their
way, to secede and make a separate peace for their own State. The
response of New England was not as unanimous as the conspirators had
hoped. Vermont and New Hampshire refused to send delegates. Rhode Island
consented, but qualified her consent with the phrase "consistently with
her obligations"--implying that she would be no party to a separate
peace or to the break-up of the Union. Connecticut alone came in without
reservation. Perhaps this partial failure led the plotters to lend a
more moderate colour to their policy. At any rate, secession was not
directly advocated at Hartford. It was hinted that if such evils as
those of which the people of New England complained proved permanent, it
might be necessary; but the members of the Convention had the grace to
admit that it ought not to be attempted in the middle of a foreign war.
Their good faith, however, is dubious, for they put forward a proposal
so patently absurd that it could hardly have been made except for the
purpose of paving the way for a separate peace. They declared that each
State ought to be responsible for its own defences, and they asked that
their share of the Federal taxes should be paid over to them for the
purpose. With that and a resolution to meet again at Boston and consider
further steps if their demands were not met, they adjourned. They never

In the South the skies were clearing a little. Jackson of Tennessee,
vigorous and rapid in movement, a master of Indian warfare, leading an
army of soldiers who worshipped him as the Old Guard worshipped
Napoleon, by a series of quick and deadly strokes overthrew the Creeks,
followed them to their fastnesses, and broke them decisively at Tohopeka
in the famous "hickory patch" which was the holy place of their nation.

He was rewarded in the way that he would have most desired: by a
commission against the English, who had landed at Pensacola in Spanish
territory, perhaps with the object of joining hands with their Indian
allies. They found those allies crushed by Jackson's energy, but they
still retained their foothold on the Florida coast, from which they
could menace Georgia on the one side and New Orleans on the other. Spain
was the ally of England in Europe, but in the American War she professed
neutrality. As, however, she made no effort to prevent England using a
Spanish port as a base of operations, she could not justly complain when
Jackson seized the neighbouring port of Mobile, from which he marched
against the British and dislodged them. But the hardest and most
glorious part of his task was to come. The next blow was aimed at New
Orleans itself. Jackson hastened to its defence. The British landed in
great force at the mouth of the Mississippi and attacked the city from
both sides. Jackson's little army was greatly outnumbered, but the skill
with which he planned the defence and the spirit which he infused into
his soldiers (the British themselves said that Jackson's men seemed of a
different stuff from all other American troops they had encountered)
prevailed against heavy odds. Three times Jackson's lines were attacked:
in one place they were nearly carried, but his energy just repaired the
disaster. At length the British retired with heavy losses and took to
their ships. New Orleans was saved.

Before this last and most brilliant of American victories had been
fought and won, peace had been signed at Ghent. News travelled slowly
across the Atlantic, and neither British nor American commanders knew of
it for months later. But early in the year negotiations had been opened,
and before Christmas they reached a conclusion. Great Britain was more
weary of the war than her antagonist. If she had gone on she might have
won a complete victory, or might have seen fortune turn decisively
against her. She had no wish to try the alternative. Napoleon had
abdicated at Fontainebleau, and been despatched to Elba, and there were
many who urged that the victorious army of the Peninsula under
Wellington himself should be sent across the Atlantic to dictate terms.
But England was not in the mood for more fighting. After twenty years of
incessant war she saw at last the hope of peace. She saw also that the
capture of Washington had not, as had been hoped, put an end to American
resistance, but had rather put new life into it. To go on meant to
attempt again the gigantic task which she had let drop as much from
weariness as from defeat a generation before. She preferred to cry
quits. The Peace, which was signed on behalf of a Republic by Clay--once
the most vehement of "war-hawks"--was in appearance a victory for
neither side. Frontiers remained exactly as they were when the first
shot was fired. No indemnity was demanded or paid by either combatant.
The right of impressment--the original cause of war, was neither
affirmed nor disclaimed, though since that date England has never
attempted to use it. Yet there is no such thing in history as "a drawn
war." One side or the other must always have attempted the imposition of
its will and failed. In this case it was England. America will always
regard the war of 1812 as having ended in victory; and her view is
substantially right. The new Republic, in spite of, or, one might more
truly say, because of the dark reverses she had suffered and survived,
was strengthened and not weakened by her efforts. The national spirit
was raised and not lowered. The _mood_ of a nation after a war is a
practically unfailing test of victory or defeat; and the mood of America
after 1814 was happy, confident, creative--the mood of a boy who has
proved his manhood.

In 1816 Madison was succeeded by Monroe. Monroe, though, like his
successor, a Virginian and a disciple of Jefferson, was more of a
nationalist, and had many points of contact with the new Democracy which
had sprung up first in the West, and was daily becoming more and more
the dominant sentiment of the Republic. "Federalism" had perished
because it was tainted with oligarchy, but there had been other elements
in it which were destined to live, and the "National Republicans," as
they came to call themselves, revived them. They were for a vigorous
foreign policy and for adequate preparations for war. They felt the
Union as a whole, and were full of a sense of its immense undeveloped
possibilities. They planned expensive schemes of improvement by means of
roads, canals, and the like to be carried out at the cost of the Federal
Government, and they cared little for the protests of the doctrinaires
of "State Right." To them America owes, for good or evil, her Protective
system. The war had for some years interrupted commerce with the Old
World, and native industries had, perforce, grown up to supply the wants
of the population. These industries were now in danger of destruction
through the reopening of foreign trade, and consequently of foreign
competition. It was determined to frame the tariff hitherto imposed
mainly, if not entirely, with a view to revenue in such a way as to
shelter them from such peril. The exporting Cotton States, which had
nothing to gain from Protection, were naturally hostile to it; but they
were overborne by the general trend of opinion, especially in the West.
One last development of the new "national" policy--the most questionable
of its developments and opposed by Clay at the time, though he
afterwards made himself its champion--was the revival, to meet the
financial difficulties created by the war, of Hamilton's National Bank,
whose charter, under the Jeffersonian _régime_, had been suffered to

But the Western expansion, though it did much to consolidate the
Republic, contained in it a seed of dissension. We have seen how, in the
Convention, the need of keeping an even balance between Northern and
Southern sections was apparent. That need was continually forced into
prominence as new States were added. The presence or absence of Negro
Slavery had become the distinguishing badge of the sections; and it
became the apple of discord as regards the development of the West.
Jefferson had wished that Slavery should be excluded from all the
territory vested in the Federal authority, but he had been overruled,
and the prohibition had been applied only to the North-Western Territory
out of which the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were carved. The
South-West had been left open to Slavery, and it had become the custom,
with the purpose of preserving the balance in the Senate, to admit Slave
States and Free in pairs. This worked satisfactorily enough so long as
the States claiming admission were within a well-defined geographical
area. But when Missouri became sufficiently populated to be recognized
as a State, there was a keen contest. Her territory lay across the line
which had hitherto divided the sections. She must be either a Northern
promontory projecting into the south or a Southern promontory projecting
into the north. Neither section would yield, and matters were
approaching a domestic crisis when Clay intervened. He was in an
excellent position to arbitrate, for he came from the most northern of
Southern States, and had ties with both sections. Moreover, as has been
said, his talents were peculiarly suited to such management as the
situation required. He proposed a settlement which satisfied moderate
men on both sides, was ratified by a large majority in Congress, and
accepted on all hands as final. Missouri was to enter the Union, as she
apparently desired to do, as a Slave State, but to the west of her
territory the line 36° 30' longitude, very little above her southern
border, was to be the dividing line of the sections. This gave the South
an immediate advantage, but at a heavy ultimate price, for it left her
little room for expansion. But one more Slave State could be carved out
of the undeveloped Western Territory--that of Arkansas. Beyond that lay
the lands reserved by treaty to the Indian tribes, which extended to the
frontier of the Western dominions of Mexico. Clay, who, though by no
means disposed to be a martyr on the question, sincerely desired to
bring about the gradual extinction of Slavery, may well have
deliberately planned this part of his compromise to accomplish that end.
At the same time, Maine--a territory hitherto attached to
Connecticut--was admitted as a Free State to balance Missouri.

Such was the great Missouri Compromise which kept the peace between the
sections for a generation, and which gradually acquired an almost
religious sanction in the minds of Americans devoted to the Union. It
struck the note of the new era, which is called in American history "the
era of good feeling." Sectional differences had been settled, political
factions were in dissolution. Monroe's second election was, for the
first time since Washington's retirement, without opposition. There were
no longer any organized parties, such as Hamilton and Jefferson and even
Clay had led. There were, of course, still rivalries and differences,
but they were personal or concerned with particular questions. Over the
land there was a new atmosphere of peace.

Abroad, America had never been stronger. To this period belongs the
acquisition of Florida from Spain, an acquisition carried through by
purchase, but by a bargain rather leonine in character. It cannot,
however, be said that the United States had no reasonable grievance in
the matter. Spain had not been able--or said that she had not been
able--to prevent the British from taking forcible possession of one of
her principal ports during a war in which she was supposed to be
neutral. She declared herself equally unable to prevent the Creek and
Seminole Indians from taking refuge in her territory and thence raiding
the American lands over the border. Monroe had a good case when he
pressed on her the point that she must either maintain order in her
dominions or allow others to do so. Jackson, who was in command against
the Seminoles, insisted--not unreasonably--that he could not deal with
them unless he was allowed to follow them across the Spanish frontier
and destroy their base of operations. Permission was given him, and he
used it to the full, even to the extent of occupying important towns in
defiance of the edicts of their Spanish governors. Monroe's Cabinet was
divided in regard to the defensibility of Jackson's acts, but these acts
probably helped to persuade Spain to sell while she could still get a
price. The bargain was struck: Florida became American territory, and
Jackson was appointed her first governor.

But the best proof that the prestige of America stood higher since the
war of 1812 was the fact that the Power which had then been her rather
contemptuous antagonist came forward to sue for her alliance. The French
Revolution, which had so stirred English-speaking America, had produced
an even greater effect on the Latin colonies that lay further south.
Almost all the Spanish dominions revolted against the Spanish Crown, and
after a short struggle successfully established their independence.
Naturally, the rebels had the undivided sympathy of the United States,
which was the first Power to recognize their independence. Now, however,
the Holy Alliance was supreme in Europe, and had reinstated the Bourbons
on the Spanish as on the French throne. It was rumoured that the rulers
of the Alliance meditated the further step of re-subjugating Spain's
American empire. Alexander I. of Russia was credited with being
especially eager for the project, and with having offered to dispatch a
Russian army from Siberia for the purpose: it was further believed that
he proposed to reward himself by extending his own Alaskan dominions as
far south as California. England, under Canning's leadership, had
separated herself from the Holy Alliance, and had almost as much reason
as the United States to dread and dislike such a scheme as the Czar was
supposed to meditate. Canning sent for the American Ambassador, and
suggested a joint declaration against any adventures by European powers
on the American Continent. The joint declaration was declined, as
seeming to commit the United States too much to one of those "entangling
alliances" against which Washington had warned his fellow-countrymen;
but the hint was taken.

Monroe put forth a proclamation in which he declared that America was no
longer a field for European colonization, and that any attempt on the
part of a European power to control the destiny of an American community
would be taken as a sign of "an unfriendly disposition towards the
United States."

Canning let it be understood that England backed the declaration, and
that any attempt to extend the operations of the Holy Alliance to
America would have to be carried out in the teeth of the combined
opposition of the two great maritime powers so recently at war with each
other. The plan was abandoned, and the independence of the South
American Republics was successfully established.

But much more was established. The "Monroe Doctrine" became, and remains
to-day, the corner-stone of American foreign policy. It has been greatly
extended in scope, but no American Government has ever, for a moment,
wavered in its support. None could afford to do so. To many Englishmen
the doctrine itself, and still more the interpretation placed upon it by
the United States in later times, seems arrogant--just as to many
Americans the British postulate of unchallengeable supremacy at sea
seems arrogant. But both claims, arrogant or no, are absolutely
indispensable to the nation that puts them forward. If the American
Republic were once to allow the principle that European Powers had the
right, on any pretext whatever, to extend their borders on the American
Continent, then that Republic would either have to perish or to become
in all things a European Power, armed to the teeth, ever careful of the
balance of power, perpetually seeking alliances and watching rivals. The
best way to bring home to an honest but somewhat puzzled American--and
there are many such--why we cannot for a moment tolerate what is called
by some "the freedom of the seas," is to ask him whether he will give us
in return the "freedom" of the American Continent. The answer in both
cases is that sane nations do not normally, and with their eyes open,
commit suicide.

                              CHAPTER VI

                       THE JACKSONIAN REVOLUTION

During the "era of good feeling" in which the Virginian dynasty closed,
forces had been growing in the shadow which in a few short years were to
transform the Republic. The addition to these forces of a personality
completed the transformation which, though it made little or no change
in the laws, we may justly call a revolution.

The government of Jefferson and his successors was a government based on
popular principles and administered by democratically minded gentlemen.
The dreams of an aristocratic republic, which had been the half-avowed
objective of Hamilton, were dissipated for ever by the Democratic
triumph of 1800. The party which had become identified with such ideas
was dead; no politician any longer dared to call himself a Federalist.
The dogmas of the Declaration of Independence were everywhere recognized
as the foundation of the State, recognized and translated into practice
in that government was by consent, and in the main faithfully reflected
the general will. But the administration, in the higher branches at
least, was exclusively in the hands of gentlemen.

When a word is popularly used in more than one sense, the best course is
perhaps to define clearly the sense in which one uses it, and then to
use it unvaryingly in that sense. The word "gentleman," then, will here
always be used in its strictly impartial class significance without
thought of association with the idea of "Good man" or "Quietly conducted
person," and without any more intention of compliment than if one said
"peasant" or "mechanic." A gentleman is one who has that kind of culture
and habit of life which usually go with some measure of inheritance in
wealth and status. That, at any rate, is what is meant when it is here
said that Jefferson and his immediate successors were gentlemen, while
the growing impulses to which they appealed and on which they relied
came from men who were not gentlemen.

This peculiar position endured because the intense sincerity and
single-mindedness of Jefferson's democracy impressed the populace and
made them accept him as their natural leader, while his status as a
well-bred Virginian squire, like Washington, veiled the revolution that
was really taking place. The mantle of his prestige was large enough to
cover not only his friend Madison, but Madison's successor Monroe. But
at that point the direct inheritance failed. Among Monroe's possible
successors there was no one plainly marked out as the heir of the
Jeffersonian tradition. Thus--though no American public man saw it at
the time--America had come to a most important parting of the ways. The
Virginian dynasty had failed; the chief power in the Federation must now
either be scrambled for by the politicians or assumed by the people.

Among the politicians who must be considered in the running for the
presidency, the ablest was Henry Clay of Kentucky. He was the greatest
parliamentary leader that America has known. He was unrivalled in the
art of reconciling conflicting views and managing conflicting wills. We
have already seen him as the triumphant author of the Missouri
Compromise. He was a Westerner, and was supposed to possess great
influence in the new States. Politically he stood for Protection, and
for an interpretation of the Constitution which leaned to Federalism and
away from State Sovereignty. Second only to Clay--if, indeed, second to
him--in abilities was John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina. Calhoun
was not yet the Calhoun of the 'forties, the lucid fanatic of a fixed
political dogma. At this time he was a brilliant orator, an able and
ambitious politician whose political system was unsettled, but tended at
the time rather in a nationalist than in a particularist direction. The
other two candidates were of less intellectual distinction, but each had
something in his favour. William Crawford of Georgia was the favourite
candidate of the State Rights men; he was supposed to be able to command
the support of the combination of Virginia and New York, which had
elected every President since 1800, and there lingered about him a sort
of shadow of the Jeffersonian inheritance. John Quincey Adams of
Massachusetts was the grandson of Washington's successor, but a
professed convert to Democratic Republicanism--a man of moderate
abilities, but of good personal character and a reputation for honesty.
He was Monroe's Secretary of State, and had naturally a certain
hereditary hold on New England.

Into the various intrigues and counter-intrigues of these politicians it
is not necessary to enter here, for from the point of view of American
history the epoch-making event was the sudden entry of a fifth man who
was not a politician. To the confusion of all their arrangements the
great Western State of Tennessee nominated as her candidate for the
Presidency General Andrew Jackson, the deliverer of New Orleans.

Jackson was a frontiersman and a soldier. Because he was a frontiersman
he tended to be at once democratic in temper and despotic in action. In
the rough and tumble of life in the back blocks a man must often act
without careful inquiry into constitutional privileges, but he must
always treat men as men and equals. It has already been noted that men
left to themselves always tend to be roughly democratic, and that even
before the Revolution the English colonies had much of the substance of
democracy; they had naturally more of it after the Revolution. But even
after the Revolution something like an aristocracy was to be noted in
the older States, North and South, consisting in the North of the old
New England families with their mercantile wealth and their Puritan
traditions, in the South of the great slave-owning squires. In the new
lands, in the constant and necessary fight with savage nature and savage
man, such distinctions were obliterated. Before a massacre all men are
equal. In the presence of a grizzly bear "these truths" are quite
unmistakably self-evident. The West was in a quite new and peculiar
sense democratic, and was to give to America the great men who should
complete the work of democracy.

The other side of Jackson's character, as it influenced his public life,
was the outlook which belonged to him as a soldier. He had the
soldier's special virtue of loyalty. He was, throughout his long life,
almost fanatically loyal in word and deed to his wife, to his friends,
to his country. But above all he was loyal to the Jeffersonian dogma of
popular sovereignty, which he accepted quite simply and unquestioningly,
as soldiers are often found to accept a religion. And, accepting it, he
acted upon it with the same simplicity. Sophistications of it moved him
to contempt and anger. Sovereignty was in the people. Therefore those
ought to rule whom the people chose; and these were the servants of the
people and ought to act as the people willed. All of which is quite
unassailable; but anyone who has ever mixed in the smallest degree in
politics will understand how appalling must have been the effect of the
sudden intrusion in that atmosphere of such truisms by a man who really
acted as if they were true. With this simplicity of outlook Jackson
possessed in an almost unparalleled degree the quality which makes a
true leader--the capacity to sum up and interpret the inarticulate will
of the mass. His eye for the direction of popular feeling was unerring,
perhaps largely because he snared or rather incarnated the instincts,
the traditions--what others would call the prejudices--of those who
followed him. As a military leader his soldiers adored him, and he
carried into civil politics a good general's capacity for identifying
himself with the army he leads.

He had also, of course, the advantage of a picturesque personality and
of a high repute acquired in arms. The populace called him "Old
Hickory"--a nickname originally invented by the soldiers who followed
him in the frontier wars of Tennessee. They loved to tell the tale of
his victories, his duels, his romantic marriage, and to recall and
perhaps exaggerate his soldier's profanity of speech. But this aspect of
Jackson's personality has been too much stressed. It was stressed by his
friends to advertise his personality and by his enemies to disparage it.
It is not false, but it may lead us to read history falsely. Just as
Danton's loud voice, large gesture and occasional violence tend to
produce a portrait of him which ignores the lucidity of his mind and the
practicality of his instincts, making him a mere chaotic demagogue, so
the "Old Hickory" legend makes Jackson too much the peppery old soldier
and ignores his sagacity, which was in essential matters remarkable. His
strong prejudices and his hasty temper often led him wrong in his
estimate of individuals, but he was hardly ever at fault in his judgment
of masses of men--presenting therein an almost exact contrast to his
rival and enemy, Clay. With all his limitations, Jackson stands out for
history as one of the two or three genuine creative statesmen that
America has produced, and you cannot become a creative statesman merely
by swearing and fighting duels.

Jackson accepted the nomination for the Presidency. He held, in strict
accordance with his democratic creed, that no citizen should either seek
or refuse popular election. But there seems no reason to think that at
this time he cared much whether he were elected or no. He was not an
ambitious man, he made no special efforts to push his cause, and he
indignantly refused to be involved in any of the intrigues and bargains
with which Washington was buzzing, or to give any private assurances to
individuals as to the use which he would make of his power and patronage
if chosen. But when the votes were counted it was clear that he was the
popular favourite. He had by far the largest number of votes in the
electoral college, and these votes came from all parts of the Republic
except New England, while so far as can be ascertained the popular vote
showed a result even more decidedly in his favour. But in the College no
candidate had an absolute majority, and it therefore devolved, according
to the Constitution, upon the House of Representatives, voting by
States, to choose the President from among the three candidates whose
names stood highest on the list.

The House passed over Jackson and gave the prize to Adams, who stood
next to him--though at a considerable interval. That it had a
constitutional right to do so cannot be disputed: as little can it be
disputed that in doing so it deliberately acted against the sentiment of
the country. There was no Congressman who did not know perfectly well
that the people wanted Jackson rather than Adams. This, however, was not
all. The main cause of the decision to which the House came was the
influence of Clay. Clay had been last on the list himself, for the West,
where his main strength lay, had deserted him for Jackson, but his power
in Congress was great, and he threw it all into Adams' scale. It is
difficult to believe that a man of such sagacity was really influenced
by the reasons he gave at the time--that he "would not consent by
contributing to the election of a military chieftain to give the
strongest guarantee that the Republic will march in the fatal road which
has conducted every Republic to ruin." Jackson was a soldier, but he had
no army, nor any means of making himself a Cæsar if he had wished to do
so. Yet Clay may reasonably have felt, and was even right in feeling,
that Jackson's election would be a blow to Republican Institutions as he
understood them. He was really a patriot, but he was above all things a
Parliamentarian, and the effect of Jacksonian democracy really was to
diminish the importance of Parliamentarianism. Altogether Clay probably
honestly thought that Adams was a fitter man to be President than

Only he had another motive; and the discovery of this motive moved not
only Jackson but the whole country to indignation. Adams had no sooner
taken the oath than, in accordance with a bargain previously made
between the backers of the two men, unofficially but necessarily with
their knowledge, he appointed Clay Secretary of State.

Jackson showed no great resentment when he was passed over for Adams: he
respected Adams, though he disliked and distrusted Clay. But when, in
fulfilment of rumours which had reached him but which he had refused to
credit, Clay became Secretary, he was something other than angry: he was
simply shocked, as he would have been had he heard of an associate
caught cheating at cards. He declared that the will of the people had
been set aside as the result of a "corrupt bargain." He was not wrong.
It was in its essence a corrupt bargain, and its effect was certainly to
set aside the will of the people. Where Jackson was mistaken was in
deducing that Adams and Clay were utterly dishonourable and unprincipled
men. He was a soldier judging politicians. But the people judged them in
the same fashion.

From that moment Jackson drew the sword and threw away the scabbard. He
and his followers fought the Adams administration step by step and hour
by hour, and every preparation was made for the triumphant return of
Jackson at the next election. If there was plenty of scurrility against
Adams and Clay in the journals of the Jacksonian party, it must be owned
that the scribblers who supported the Administration stooped lower when
they sought to attack Jackson through his wife, whom he had married
under circumstances which gave a handle to slander. The nation was
overwhelmingly with Jackson, and the Government of Quincey Adams was
almost as much hated and abused as that of old John Adams had been. The
tendency of recent American writers has been to defend the unpopular
President and to represent the campaign against him and his Secretary as
grossly unjust. The fact is that many of the charges brought against
both were quite unfounded, but that the real and just cause of the
popular anger against the Administration was its tainted origin.

The new elections came in 1828, and the rejected of Congress carried the
whole country. The shadowy figment of the "Electoral College," already
worn somewhat thin, was swept away and Jackson was chosen as by a
plebiscite. That was the first and most important step in the Jacksonian
Revolution. The founders of the Republic, while acknowledging the
sovereignty of the people, had nevertheless framed the Constitution with
the intention of excluding the people from any direct share in the
election of the Chief Magistrate. The feeble check which they had
devised was nullified. The Sovereign People, baulked in 1824, claimed
its own in 1828, and Jackson went to the White House as its direct

His first step was to make a pretty thorough clearance of the
Departmental Offices from the highest to the lowest. This action, which
inaugurated what is called in America the "Spoils System" and has been
imitated by subsequent Presidents down to the present time, is
legitimately regarded as the least defensible part of Jackson's policy.
There can be little doubt that the ultimate effect was bad, especially
as an example; but in Jackson's case there were extenuating
circumstances. He was justly conscious of a mandate from the people to
govern. He had against him a coalition of the politicians who had till
that moment monopolized power, and the public offices were naturally
full of their creatures. He knew that he would have a hard fight in any
case with the Senate against him and no very certain majority in the
House of Representation. If the machinery of the Executive failed him he
could not win, and, from his point of view, the popular mandate would be

For the most drastic measures he could take to strengthen himself and to
weaken his enemies left those enemies still very formidable. Of the
leading politicians, only Calhoun, who had been chosen as
Vice-President, was his ally, and that alliance was not to endure for
long. The beginning of the trouble was, perhaps, the celebrated "Eaton"
affair, which is of historic importance only as being illustrative of
Jackson's character. Of all his Cabinet, Eaton, an old Tennessee friend
and comrade in arms, probably enjoyed the highest place in the
President's personal affections. Eaton had recently married the daughter
of an Irish boarding-house keeper at whose establishment he stayed when
in Washington. She had previously been the wife of a tipsy merchant
captain who committed suicide, some said from melancholia produced by
strong drink, others from jealousy occasioned by the levity of his
wife's behaviour. There seems no real evidence that she was more than
flirtatious with her husband's guests, but scandal had been somewhat
busy with her name, and when Eaton married her the ladies of Washington
showed a strong disposition to boycott the bride. The matrons of the
South were especially proud of the unblemished correctitude of their
social code, and Calhoun's wife put herself ostentatiously at the head
of the movement. Jackson took the other side with fiery animation. He
was ever a staunch friend, and Eaton had appealed to his friendship.
Moreover, his own wife, recently dead, had received Mrs. Eaton and shown
a strong disposition to be friends with her, and he considered the
reflections on his colleague's wife were a slur on her, whose memory he
honoured almost as that of a saint, but who, as he could not but
remember, had herself not been spared by slanderers. He not only
extended in the most conspicuous manner the protection of his official
countenance to his friend's wife, but almost insisted upon his Cabinet
taking oath, one by one, at the point of the sword, that they believed
Mrs. Eaton to be "as chaste as a virgin." But the Ministers, even when
overborne by their chivalrous chief, could not control the social
behaviour of their wives, who continued to cold-shoulder the Eatons, to
the President's great indignation and disgust. Van Buren, who regarded
Calhoun as his rival, and who, as a bachelor, was free to pay his
respects to Mrs. Eaton without prejudice or hindrance, seems to have
suggested to Jackson that Calhoun had planned the whole campaign to ruin
Eaton. Jackson hesitated to believe this, but close on the heels of the
affair came another cause of quarrel, arising from the disclosure of the
fact that Calhoun, when Secretary for War in Monroe's Cabinet, had been
one of those who wished to censure Jackson for his proceedings in
Florida--a circumstance which he had certainly withheld, and, according
to Jackson, deliberately lied about in his personal dealings with the
general. Private relations between the two men were completely broken
off, and they were soon to be ranged on opposite sides in the public
quarrel of the utmost import to the future of the Republic.

We have seen how the strong Nationalist movement which had sprung from
the war of 1812 had produced, among other effects, a demand for the
protection of American industries. The movement culminated in the Tariff
of 1828, which the South called the "Tariff of Abominations." This
policy, popular in the North and West, was naturally unpopular in the
Cotton States, which lived by their vast export trade and had nothing to
gain by a tariff. South Carolina, Calhoun's State, took the lead in
opposition, and her representatives, advancing a step beyond the
condemnation of the taxes themselves, challenged the constitutional
right of Congress to impose them. The argument was not altogether
without plausibility. Congress was undoubtedly empowered by the
Constitution to raise a revenue, nor was there any stipulation as to how
this revenue was to be raised. But it was urged that no power was given
to levy taxes for any other purpose than the raising of such revenue.
The new import duties were, by the admission of their advocates,
intended to serve a wholly different purpose not mentioned in the
Constitution--the protection of native industries. Therefore, urged the
Carolinian Free Traders, they were unconstitutional and could not be
lawfully imposed.

This argument, though ingenious, was not likely to convince the Supreme
Court, the leanings of which were at this time decidedly in favour of
Nationalism. The Carolinians therefore took their stand upon another
principle, for which they found a precedent in the Kentucky Resolutions.
They declared that a State had, in virtue of its sovereignty, the right
to judge as an independent nation would of the extent of its obligations
under the Treaty of Union, and, having arrived at its own
interpretation, to act upon it regardless of any Federal authority. This
was the celebrated doctrine of "Nullification," and in pursuance of it
South Carolina announced her intention of refusing to allow the
protective taxes in question to be collected at her ports.

Calhoun was not the originator of Nullification. He was Vice-President
when the movement began, and could with propriety take no part in it.
But after his quarrel with Jackson he resigned his office and threw in
his lot with his State. The ablest and most lucid statements of the case
for Nullification are from his pen, and when he took his seat in the
Senate he was able to add to his contribution the weight of his
admirable oratory.

Much depended upon the attitude of the new President, and the Nullifiers
did not despair of enlisting him on their side. Though he had declared
cautiously in favour of a moderate tariff (basing his case mainly on
considerations of national defence), he was believed to be opposed to
the high Protection advocated by Clay and Adams. He was himself a
Southerner and interested in the cotton industry, and at the late
election he had had the unanimous backing of the South; its defection
would be very dangerous for him. Finally, as an ardent Democrat he could
hardly fail to be impressed by the precedent of the Kentucky
Resolutions, which had Jefferson's authority behind them, and, perhaps
to enforce this point, Jefferson's birthday was chosen as the occasion
when the President was to be committed to Nullification.

A Democratic banquet was held at Washington in honour of the founder of
the party. Jackson was present, and so were Calhoun and the leading
Nullifiers. Speeches had to be made and toasts given, the burden of
which was a glorification of State Sovereignty and a defence of
Nullification. Then Jackson rose and gave his famous toast: "Our Union:
it must be preserved." Calhoun tried to counter it by giving: "Our
Union, next to our liberties most dear." But everyone understood the
significance of the President's toast. It was a declaration of war.

The Nullifiers had quite miscalculated Jackson's attitude. He was a
Southerner by birth, but a frontiersman by upbringing, and all the
formative influences of his youth were of the West. It has been noted
how strongly the feeling of the West made for the new unity, and in no
Westerner was the national passion stronger than in Jackson. In 1814 he
had told Monroe that he would have had the leaders of the Hartford
Convention hanged, and he applied the same measure to Southern as to
Northern sectionalism. To the summoning of the Nullifying Convention in
South Carolina, he replied by a message to Congress asking for powers to
coerce the recalcitrant State. He further told his Cabinet that if
Congress refused him the powers he thought necessary he should have no
hesitation in assuming them. He would call for volunteers to maintain
the Union, and would soon have a force at his disposal that should
invade South Carolina, disperse the State forces, arrest the leading
Nullifiers and bring them to trial before the Federal Courts.

If the energy of Jackson was a menace to South Carolina, it was a grave
embarrassment to the party regularly opposed to him in Congress and
elsewhere. That this party could make common cause with the Nullifiers
seemed impossible. The whole policy of high Protection against which
South Carolina had revolted was Clay's. Adams had signed the Tariff of
Administrations. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, the leading orator of
the party and the greatest forensic speaker that America has produced,
had at one time been a Free Trader. But he was deeply committed against
the Nullifiers, and had denounced the separatist doctrines which found
favour in South Carolina in a speech the fine peroration of which
American schoolboys still learn by heart. Webster, indeed, whether from
shame or from conviction, separated himself to some extent from his
associates and gave strenuous support to the "Force Bill" which the
President had demanded.

But Clay was determined that Jackson should not have the added power and
prestige which would result from the suppression of Nullification by the
strong hand of the Executive. His own bias was in favour of a strong and
unified Federal authority, but he would have made Congress that
authority rather than the President--a policy even less favourable than
Jackson's to State Rights, but more favourable to the Parliamentarianism
in which Clay delighted and in which his peculiar talents shone. At all
costs the Kentucky politician resolved to discount the intervention of
the President, and his mind was peculiarly fertile in devising and
peculiarly skilful in executing such manoeuvres as the situation
required. The sacrifice of his commercial policy was involved, but he
loved Protection less than he hated Jackson, and less, to do him
justice, than he loved the Union. Negotiations were opened with Calhoun,
and a compromise tariff proposed, greatly modified in the direction of
Free Trade and free of the "abominations" of which South Carolina
specially complained. This compromise the Nullifiers, awed perhaps by
the vigour of Jackson, and doubtful of the issue if matters were pushed
too far, accepted.

Jackson did not like the Clay-Calhoun compromise, which seemed to him a
surrender to treason; but in such a matter he could not control
Congress. On one thing he insisted: that the Force Bill should take
precedence over the new Tariff. On this he carried his point. The two
Bills were passed by Congress in the order he demanded, and both were
signed by him on the same day.

Upon this the South Carolinian Convention repealed its ordinance
nullifying the Tariff, and agreed to the collection of the duties now
imposed. It followed this concession by another ordinance nullifying the
Force Bill. The practical effect of this was nil, for there was no
longer anything to enforce. It was none the less important. It meant
that South Carolina declined to abandon the weapon of Nullification.
Indeed, it might plausibly be urged that that weapon had justified
itself by success. It had been defended as a protection against extreme
oppression, and the extreme oppression complained of had actually ceased
in consequence of its use. At any rate, the effect was certainly to
strengthen rather than to weaken extreme particularism in the South. On
this point Jackson saw further than Clay or any of his contemporaries.
While all America was rejoicing over the peaceful end of what had looked
like an ugly civil quarrel, the President was writing to a friend and
supporter: "You have Nullifiers amongst you. Frown upon them.... The
Tariff was a mere excuse and a Southern Confederacy the real object.
_The next excuse will be the Negro or Slavery Question._"

The controversy with the Nullifiers had exhibited Jackson's patriotism
and force of character in a strong and popular light, but it had lost
him what support he could still count upon among the politicians.
Calhoun was now leagued with Clay and Webster, and the "front bench" men
(as we should call them) were a united phalanx of opposition. It is
characteristic of his courage that in face of such a situation Jackson
ventured to challenge the richest and most powerful corporation in

The first United States Bank set up by Alexander Hamilton as part of his
scheme for creating a powerful governing class in America was, as we
have seen, swept away by the democratic reaction which Jefferson led to
victory. The second, springing out of the financial embarrassments which
followed the war with Great Britain, had been granted a charter of
twenty years which had now nearly expired. The renewal of that charter
seemed, however, to those who directed the operations of the Bank and to
those who were deep in the politics of Washington, a mere matter of

The Bank was immensely powerful and thoroughly unpopular. The antinomy
would hardly strike a modern Englishman as odd, but it was anomalous in
what was already a thoroughly democratic state. It was powerful because
it had on its side the professional politicians, the financiers, the
rich of the great cities generally--in fact, what the Press which such
people control calls "the intelligence of the nation." But it was hated
by the people, and it soon appeared that it was hated as bitterly by the
President. Writers who sympathize with the plutocratic side in the
quarrel had no difficulty in convicting Jackson of a regrettable
ignorance of finance. Beyond question he had not that intimate
acquaintance with the technique of usury which long use alone can give.
But his instincts in such a matter were as keen and true as the
instincts of the populace that supported him. By the mere health of his
soul he could smell out the evil of a plutocracy. He knew that the bank
was a typical monopoly, and he knew that such monopolies ever grind the
faces of the poor and fill politics with corruption. And the corruption
with which the Bank was filling America might have been apparent to
duller eyes. The curious will find ample evidence in the records of the
time, especially in the excuses of the Bank itself, the point at which
insolence becomes comic being reached when it was gravely pleaded that
loans on easy terms were made to members of Congress because it was in
the public interest that such persons should have practical instruction
in the principles of banking! Meanwhile everything was done to corner
the Press. Journals favourable to the Bank were financed with loans
issued on the security of their plant. Papers on the other side were,
whenever possible, corrupted by the same method. As for the minor fry of
politics, they were of course bought by shoals.

It is seldom that such a policy, pursued with vigour and determination
by a body sufficiently wealthy to stick at nothing, fails, to carry a
political assembly. With Congress the Bank was completely successful. A
Bill to re-charter that institution passed House and Senate by large
majorities. It was immediately vetoed by the President.

Up to this point, though his private correspondence shows that his mind
had long been made up, there had been much uncertainty as to what
Jackson would do. Biddle, the cunning, indefatigable and unscrupulous
chairman of the Bank, believed up to the last moment that, if Congress
could be secured, he would not dare to interpose. To do so was an
enterprise which certainly required courage. It meant fighting at the
same time an immensely strong corporation representing two-thirds of the
money power of the nation, and with tentacles in every State in the
Union, and a parliamentary majority in both Houses led by a coalition of
all the most distinguished politicians of the day. The President had not
in his Cabinet any man whose name carried such public weight as those of
Clay, Webster, or Calhoun, all now in alliance in support of the Bank;
and his Cabinet, such as it was, was divided. The cleverest and most
serviceable of his lieutenants, Van Buren, was unwilling to appear
prominently in the matter. He feared the power of the Bank in New York
State, where his own influence lay. McLane, his Secretary of the
Treasury, was openly in favour of the Bank, and continued for some time
to assure Biddle of his power to bring the President round to his views.

But, as a fact, the attitude of Jackson was never really in doubt. He
knew that the Bank was corrupting public life; the very passage of the
Bill, against the pledges given by any Congressmen to their
constituents, was evidence of this, if any were needed. He knew further
that it was draining the productive parts of the country, especially the
South and West, for the profit of a lucky financial group in the Eastern
States. He knew also that such financial groups are never national: he
knew that the Bank had foreign backers, and he showed an almost
startling prescience as to the evils that were to follow in the train of
cosmopolitan finance, "more formidable and more dangerous than the naval
and military power of an enemy." But above all he knew that the Bank was
odious to the people, and he was true to his political creed, whereby
he, as the elect of the people, was bound to enforce its judgment
without fear or favour.

Jackson's Veto Message contained a vigorous exposition of his objections
to the Bank on public grounds, together with a legal argument against
its constitutionality. It was admitted that the Supreme Court had
declared the chartering of the Bank to be constitutional, but this, it
was urged, could not absolve the President of the duty of following his
own conscience in interpreting the Constitution he had sworn to
maintain. The authority of the Supreme Court must not, therefore, be
permitted to control the Congress or the Executive, but have only such
influence as the force of its reasoning may discover. It is believed
that this part of the message, which gave scandal to legalists, was
supplied by Taney, the Attorney-General. It is a curious coincidence, if
this be so, that more than twenty years later we shall find another
great President, though bred in the anti-Jacksonian Whig tradition,
compelled to take up much the same attitude in regard to a Supreme Court
decision delivered by Taney himself.

Biddle and his associates believed that the Message would be fatal to
the President. So did the leaders of the political opposition, and none
more than Clay. Superlatively skilful in managing political assemblies,
he was sometimes strangely at fault in judging the mind of the mass--a
task in which Jackson hardly ever failed. He had not foreseen the anger
which his acceptance of a place for Adams would provide; and he now
evidently believed that the defence of the Bank would be a popular cry
in the country. He forced the "Whig" Convention--for such was the name
which the very composite party opposed to Jackson had chosen--to put it
in the forefront of their programme, and he seems to have looked forward
complacently to a complete victory on that issue.

His complacency could not last long. Seldom has a nation spoken so
directly through the complex and often misleading machinery of elections
as the American nation spoke in 1832 against the bank. North, south,
east and west the Whigs were routed. Jackson was re-elected President by
such an overwhelming expression of the popular choice as made the
triumph of 1828 seem a little thing. Against all the politicians and all
the interests he had dared to appeal to Cæsar, and the people, his
unseen ally, had in an instant made his enemies his footstool.

It was characteristic of the man that he at once proceeded to carry the
war into Africa. Biddle, though bitterly disappointed, was not yet
resigned to despair. It was believed--and events in the main confirm the
belief--that he contemplated a new expedient, the use of what still
remained of the financial power of the Bank to produce deliberate
scarcity and distress, in the hope that a reaction against the
President's policy would result. Jackson resolved to strike the Bank a
crippling blow before such juggling could be attempted. The Act of
Congress which had established the Bank gave him power to remove the
public deposits at will; and that power he determined to exercise.

A more timid man would have had difficulty with his Cabinet. Jackson
overcame the difficulty by accepting full personal responsibility for
what he was about to do. He did not dismiss the Ministers whose opinion
differed from his, he brought no pressure to bear on their consciences;
but neither did he yield his view an inch to theirs. He acted as he had
resolved to act, and made a minute in the presence of his Cabinet that
he did so on his own initiative. It was essential that the Secretary of
the Treasury, through whom he must act, should be with him. McLane had
already been transferred to the State Department, and Jackson now
nominated Taney, a strong-minded lawyer, who was his one unwavering
supporter in the struggle. Taney removed the public deposits from the
United States Bank. They were placed for safe keeping in the banks of
the various States. The President duly reported to Congress his reasons
for taking this action.

In the new House of Representatives, elected at the same time as the
President, the Democrats were now predominant; but the Senate changes
its complexion more slowly, and there the "Whigs" had still a majority.
This majority could do nothing but exhibit impotent anger, and that they
most unwisely did. They refused to confirm Taney's nomination as
Secretary to the Treasury, as a little later they refused to accept him
as a Judge of the High Court. They passed a solemn vote of censure on
the President, whose action they characterized, in defiance of the
facts, as unconstitutional. But Jackson, strong in the support of the
nation, could afford to disregard such natural ebullitions of bad
temper. The charter of the Bank lapsed and was not renewed, and a few
years later it wound up its affairs amid a reek of scandal, which
sufficed to show what manner of men they were who had once captured
Congress and attempted to dictate to the President. The Whigs were at
last compelled to drink the cup of humiliation to the dregs. Another
election gave Jackson a majority even in the Senate, and in spite of the
protests of Clay, Webster and Calhoun the censure on the President was
solemnly expunged from its records.

After the triumphant termination of the Bank, Jackson's second term of
office was peaceful and comparatively uneventful. There were indeed some
important questions of domestic and foreign policy with which it fell to
him to deal. One of these was the position of the Cherokee Indians, who
had been granted territory in Georgia and the right to live on their own
lands there, but whom the expansion of civilization had now made it
convenient to displace. It is impossible for an admirer of Jackson to
deny that his attitude in such a matter was too much that of a
frontiersman. Indeed, it is a curious irony that the only American
statesman of that age who showed any disposition to be careful of
justice and humanity in dealing with the native race was John C.
Calhoun, the uncompromising defender of Negro Slavery. At any rate, the
Indians were, in defiance, it must be said, of the plain letter of the
treaty, compelled to choose between submission to the laws of Georgia
and transplantation beyond the Mississippi. Most of them were in the
event transplanted.

Jackson's direction of foreign policy was not only vigorous but
sagacious. Under his Presidency long-standing disputes with both France
and England were brought to a peaceful termination on terms satisfactory
to the Republic. To an Englishman it is pleasant to note that the great
President, though he had fought against the English--perhaps because he
had fought against them--was notably free from that rooted antipathy to
Great Britain which was conspicuous in most patriotic Americans of that
age and indeed down to very recent times. "With Great Britain, alike
distinguished in peace and war," he wrote in a message to Congress, "we
may look forward to years of peaceful, honourable, and elevated
competition. Everything in the condition and history of the two nations
is calculated to inspire sentiments of mutual respect and to carry
conviction to the minds of both that it is their policy to preserve the
most cordial relations." It may also be of some interest to quote the
verdict of an English statesman, who, differing from Jackson in all
those things in which an aristocratic politician must necessarily differ
from the tribune of a democracy, had nevertheless something of the same
symbolic and representative national character and something of the same
hold upon his fellow-countrymen. A letter from Van Buren, at that time
representing the United States at the Court of St. James's, to Jackson
reports Palmerston as saying to him that "a very strong impression had
been made here of the dangers which this country had to apprehend from
your elevation, but that they had experienced better treatment at your
hands than they had done from any of your predecessors."

So enormous was Jackson's popularity that, if he had been the ambitious
Cæsarist that his enemies represented, he could in all probability have
safely violated the Washington-Jefferson precedent and successfully
sought election a third time. But he showed no desire to do so. He had
undergone the labours of a titan for twelve eventful and formative
years. He was an old man; he was tired. He may well have been glad to
rest for what years were left to him of life in his old frontier State,
which he had never ceased to love. He survived his Presidency by nine
years. Now and then his voice was heard on a public matter, and,
whenever it was heard, it carried everywhere a strange authority as if
it were the people speaking. But he never sought public office again.

Jackson's two periods of office mark a complete revolution in American
institutions; he has for the Republic as it exists to day the
significance of a second founder. From that period dates the frank
abandonment of the fiction of the Electoral College as an independent
deliberative assembly, and the direct and acknowledged election of the
nation's Chief Magistrate by the nation itself. In the constitution of
the Democratic Party, as it grouped itself round him, we get the first
beginnings of the "primary," that essential organ of direct democracy of
which English Parliamentarism has no hint, but which is the most vital
feature of American public life. But, most of all, from his triumph and
the abasement of his enemies dates the concentration of power in the
hands of the President as the real unifying centre of authority. His
attitude towards his Cabinet has been imitated by all strong Presidents
since. America does not take kindly to a President who shirks personal
responsibility or hides behind his Ministers. Nothing helped Lincoln's
popularity more than the story--apocryphal or no--of his taking the vote
of his Cabinet on a proposition of his own and then remarking: "Ayes
one; Noes six. The Ayes have it." Even the "Spoils System," whatever its
evils, tended to strengthen the Elect of the People. It made the power
of an American President more directly personal than that of the most
despotic rulers of Continental Europe; for they are always constrained
by a bureaucracy, while his bureaucracy even down to its humblest
members is of his own appointment and dependent on him.

The party, or rather coalition, which opposed these changes, selected
for itself, as has been seen, the name of "Whig." The name was, perhaps,
better chosen than the American Whigs realized. They meant--and it was
true as far as it went--that, like the old English Whigs, they stood for
free government by deliberative assemblies against arbitrary personal
power. They were not deep enough in history to understand that they also
stood, like the old English Whigs, for oligarchy against the instinct
and tradition of the people. There is a strange irony about the fate of
the parties in the two countries. In the Monarchy an aristocratic
Parliamentarism won, and the Crown became a phantom. In the Republic a
popular sovereignty won, and the President became more than a king.

                              CHAPTER VII

                         THE SPOILS OF MEXICO

The extent of Jackson's more than monarchical power is well exemplified
by the fact that Van Buren succeeded him almost as a king is succeeded
by his heir. Van Buren was an apt master of electioneering and had a
strong hold upon the democracy of New York. He occupied in the new
Democratic Party something of the position which Burr had occupied in
the old. But while Burr had sought his own ends and betrayed, Van Buren
was strictly loyal to his chief. He was a sincere democrat and a clever
man; but no one could credit him with the great qualities which the
wielding of the immense new power created by Jackson seemed to demand.
None the less he easily obtained the Presidency as Jackson's nominee.
Since the populace, whose will Jackson had made the supreme power in the
State, could not vote for him, they were content to vote for the
candidate he was known to favour.

Indeed, in some ways the coalition which called itself the Whig party
was weakened rather than strengthened by the substitution of a small for
a great man at the head of the Democracy. Antagonism to Jackson was the
real cement of the coalition, and some of its members did not feel
called upon to transfer their antagonism unabated to Van Buren.

The most eminent of these was Calhoun, who now broke away from the Whigs
and appeared prepared to give a measure of independent support to the
Administration. He did not, however, throw himself heartily into the
Democratic Party or seek to regain the succession to its leadership
which had once seemed likely to be his. From the moment of his quarrel
with Jackson the man changes out of recognition: it is one of the most
curious transformations in history, like an actor stripping off his
stage costume and appearing as his very self. Political compromises,
stratagems, ambitions drop from him, and he stands out as he appears in
that fine portrait whose great hollow eyes look down from the walls of
the Capitol at Washington, the enthusiast, almost the fanatic, of a
fixed idea and purpose. He is no longer national, nor pretends to be.
His one thought is the defence of the type of civilization which he
finds in his own State against the growing power of the North, which he
perceives with a tragic clearness and the probable direction of which he
foresees much more truly than did any Northerner of that period. He
maintains continually, and without blurring its lines by a word of
reservation or compromise, the dogma of State Sovereignty in its most
extreme and almost parricidal form. His great pro-Slavery speeches
belong to the same period. They are wonderful performances, full of
restrained eloquence, and rich in lucid argument and brilliant
illustration. Sincerity shines in every sentence. They serve to show how
strong a case an able advocate can make out for the old pre-Christian
basis of European society; and they will have a peculiar interest if
ever, as seems not improbable, the industrial part of Northern Europe
reverts to that basis.

Van Buren, on the whole, was not an unsuccessful President. He had many
difficulties to contend with. He had to face a serious financial panic,
which some consider to have been the result of Jackson's action in
regard to the Bank, some of the machinations of the Bank itself. He
surmounted it successfully, though not without a certain loss of
popularity. We English have some reason to speak well of him in that he
resisted the temptation to embroil his country with ours when a
rebellion in Canada offered an opportunity which a less prudent man
might very well have taken. For the rest, he carried on the government
of the country on Jacksonian lines with sufficient fidelity not to
forfeit the confidence of the old man who watched and advised him,
sympathetically but not without anxiety, from his "Hermitage" in

One singular episode may conveniently be mentioned here, though the
incident in which it originated rather belongs to the Jacksonian epoch.
This is not the place to discuss the true nature of that curious
institution called Freemasonry. Whatever its origin, whether remote and
derived from Solomon's Temple as its devotees assert, or, as seems more
intrinsically probable, comparatively modern and representing one of the
hundreds of semi-mystical fads which flourished in the age of
Cagliostro, it had acquired considerable importance in Europe at the end
of the eighteenth century. At some unknown date it was carried across
the Atlantic, and sprouted vigorously in America; but it does not seem
to have been taken particularly seriously, until the States were
startled by an occurrence which seemed more like part in what is known
in that country as "a dime novel" than a piece of history.

A journalist named Morgan, who had been a Freemason, announced his
intention of publishing the inviolable secrets of the Society. The
announcement does not seem to have created any great sensation; probably
the majority of Americans were as sceptical as is the present writer as
to the portentous nature of the awful Unspeakabilities which so many
prosperous stock-brokers and suburban builders keep locked in their
bosoms. But what followed naturally created a sensation of the most
startling kind. For on the morrow of his announcement Morgan disappeared
and never returned. What happened to him is not certainly known. A body
was found which may or may not have been his. The general belief was
that he had been kidnapped and murdered by his fellow-Craftsmen, and,
indeed, it really seems the natural inference from the acknowledged
facts that at least some one connected with the Brotherhood was
responsible for his fate. A violent outcry against Masonry was the
natural result, and, as some of the more prominent politicians of the
day, including President Jackson himself, were Masons, the cry took a
political form. An Anti-Masonic Party was formed, and at the next
Presidential election was strong enough to carry one State and affect
considerably the vote of others. The movement gradually died down and
the party disappeared; but the popular instinct that secret societies,
whether murderous or not, have no place in a Free State was none the
less a sound one.

I have said that Van Buren's election was a sign of Jackson's personal
influence. But the election of 1840 was a more startling sign of the
completeness of his moral triumph, of the extent to which his genius had
transformed the State. In 1832 the Whigs pitted their principles against
his and lost. In 1840 they swallowed their principles, mimicked his, and

The Whig theory--so far as any theory connected the group of politicians
who professed that name--was that Congress and the political class which
Congress represented should rule, or at least administer, the State.
From that theory it seemed to follow that some illustrious Senator or
Congressman, some prominent member of that political class, should be
chosen as President. The Whigs had acted in strict accord with their
theory when they had selected as their candidate their ablest and most
representative politician, Clay. But the result had not been
encouraging. They now frankly abandoned their theory and sought to
imitate the successful practice of their adversaries. They looked round
for a Whig Jackson, and they found him in an old soldier from Ohio named
Harrison, who had achieved a certain military reputation in the Indian
wars. Following their model even more closely, they invented for him the
nickname of "Old Tippercanoe," derived from the name of one of his
victories, and obviously suggested by the parallel of "Old Hickory."
Jackson, however, really had been called "Old Hickory" by his soldiers
long before he took a leading part in politics, while it does not appear
that Harrison was ever called "Tippercanoe" by anybody except for
electioneering purposes. However, the name served its immediate purpose,

    And Tyler too!"

became the electoral war-cry of the Whigs. Tyler, a Southern Whig from
Virginia, brought into the ticket to conciliate the Southern element in
the party, was their candidate for the Vice-Presidency.

Unfortunately for themselves, the Democrats played the Whig game by
assailing Harrison with very much the same taunts which had previously
been used by the Whigs against Jackson. The ignorance of the old
soldier, his political inexperience, even his poverty and obscurity of
origin, were exploited in a hundred Democratic pamphlets by writers who
forgot that every such reflection made closer the parallel between
Harrison and Jackson, and so brought to the former just the sort of
support for which the Whigs were angling.

"Tippercanoe" proved an excellent speculation for the Whig leaders. It
was "Tyler too," introduced to meet the exigencies of electioneering
(and rhyme) that altogether disconcerted all their plans.

Tyler was a Southerner and an extreme Particularist. He had been a
Nullifier, and his quarrel with Jackson's Democracy had simply been a
quarrel with his Unionism. His opinions on all subjects, political,
administrative, and fiscal, were as remote from those of a man like Clay
as any opinions could be. This was perfectly well known to those who
chose him for Vice-President. But while the President lives and
exercises his functions the Vice-President is in America a merely
ornamental figure. He has nothing to say in regard to policy. He is not
even a member of the Administration. He presides over the Senate, and
that is all. Consequently there has always been a strong temptation for
American wire-pullers to put forward as candidate for the
Vice-Presidency a man acceptable to some more or less dubious and
detached group of their possible supporters, whose votes it is desired
to obtain, but who are not intended to have any control over the
effective policy of the Government. Yet more than one example has shown
how perilous this particular electioneering device may turn out to be.
For if the President should die before the expiration of his term, the
whole of his almost despotic power passes unimpaired to a man who
represents not the party, but a more or less mutinous minority in the

It was so in this case. Harrison was elected, but barely lived to take
the oath. Tyler became President. For a short time things went
comparatively smoothly. Harrison had chosen Webster as Secretary of
State, and Tyler confirmed his appointment. But almost at once it became
apparent that the President and his Secretary differed on almost every
important question of the day, and that the Whig Party as a whole was
with the Secretary. The President's views were much nearer to those of
the Democratic opposition, but that opposition, smarting under its
defeat, was not disposed to help either combatant out of the
difficulties and humiliations which had so unexpectedly fallen on both
in the hour of triumph. Yet, if Webster were dismissed or driven to
resign, someone of note must be found to take his place. Personal
followers the President had none. But in his isolation he turned to the
one great figure in American politics that stood almost equally alone.
It was announced that the office vacated by Webster had been offered to
and accepted by John Caldwell Calhoun.

Calhoun's acceptance of the post is sometimes treated as an indication
of the revival of his ambitions for a national career. It is suggested
that he again saw a path open to him to the Presidency which he had
certainly once coveted. But though his name was mentioned in 1844 as a
possible Democratic candidate, it was mentioned only to be found wholly
unacceptable, and indeed Calhoun's general conduct when Secretary was
not such as to increase his chances of an office for which no one could
hope who had not a large amount of Northern as well as Southern backing.
It seems more likely that Calhoun consented to be Secretary of State as
a means to a definite end closely connected with what was now the
master-passion of his life, the defence of Southern interests. At any
rate, the main practical fruit of his administration of affairs was the
annexation of Texas.

Texas had originally been an outlying and sparsely peopled part of the
Spanish province of Mexico, but even before the overthrow of Spanish
rule a thin stream of immigration had begun to run into it from the
South-Western States of America. The English-speaking element became, if
not the larger part of the scant population, at least the politically
dominant one. Soon after the successful assertion of Mexican
independence against Spain, Texas, mainly under the leadership of her
American settlers, declared her independence of Mexico. The occasion of
this secession was the abolition of Slavery by the native Mexican
Government, the Americans who settled in Texas being mostly slave-owners
drawn from the Slave States. Some fighting took place, and ultimately
the independence of Texas seems to have been recognized by one of the
many governments which military and popular revolutions and
counter-revolutions rapidly set up and pulled down in Mexico proper. The
desire of the Texans--or at least of that governing part of them that
had engineered the original secession--was to enter the American Union,
but there was a prolonged hesitation at Washington about admitting them,
so that Texas remained for a long time the "Lone Star State,"
independent alike of Mexico and the United States. This hesitation is
difficult at first sight to understand, for Texas was undoubtedly a
valuable property and its inhabitants were far more willing to be
incorporated than, say, the French colonists of Louisiana had been. The
key is, no doubt, to be found in the internecine jealousies of the
sections. The North--or at any rate New England--had been restive over
the Louisiana purchase as tending to strengthen the Southern section at
the expense of the Northern. If Texas were added to Louisiana the
balance would lean still more heavily in favour of the South. But what
was a cause of hesitation to the North and to politicians who looked for
support to the North was a strong recommendation to Calhoun. He had, as
he himself once remarked, a remarkable gift of foresight--an
uncomfortable gift, for he always foresaw most clearly the things he
desired least. He alone seems to have understood fully how much the
South had sacrificed by the Missouri Compromise. He saw her hemmed in
and stationary while the North added territory to territory and State to
State. To annex Texas would be, to an extent at least, to cut the bonds
which limited her expansion. When the population should have increased
sufficiently it was calculated that at least four considerable States
could be carved out of that vast expanse of country.

But, though Calhoun's motive was probably the political strengthening of
the South, his Texan policy could find plenty of support in every part
of the Union. Most Northerners, especially in the new States of the
North-West, cared more for the expansion of the United States than for
the sectional jealousies. They were quite prepared to welcome Texas into
the Union; but, unfortunately for Calhoun, they had a favourite project
of expansion of their own for which they expected a corresponding

The whole stretch of the Pacific slope which intervenes between Alaska
and California, part of which is now represented by the States of
Washington and Oregon and part by British Columbia, was then known
generally as "Oregon." Its ownership was claimed both by British and
American Governments upon grounds of prior exploration, into the merits
of which it is hardly necessary to enter here. Both claims were in fact
rather shadowy, but both claimants were quite convinced that theirs was
the stronger. For many years the dispute had been hung up without being
settled, the territory being policed jointly by the two Powers. Now,
however, there came from the Northern expansionists a loud demand for an
immediate settlement and one decidedly in their favour. All territory
south of latitude 47° 40' must be acknowledged as American, or the
dispute must be left to the arbitrament of arms. "Forty-seven-forty or
fight!" was the almost unanimous cry of the Democracy of the North and

The Secretary of State set himself against the Northern Jingoes, and
though his motives may have been sectional, his arguments were really
unanswerable. He pointed out that to fight England for Oregon at that
moment would be to fight her under every conceivable disadvantage. An
English army from India could be landed in Oregon in a few weeks. An
American army sent to meet it must either round Cape Horn and traverse
the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in the face of the most powerful navy in
the world or march through what was still an unmapped wilderness without
the possibility of communications or supports. If, on the other hand, the
question were allowed to remain in suspense, time would probably redress
the balance in favour of the United States. American expansion would in
time touch the borders of Oregon, and then the dispute could be taken up
and settled under much more favourable circumstances. It was a perfectly
just argument, but it did not convince the "forty-seven-forty-or-fighters,"
who roundly accused the Secretary--and not altogether unjustly--of caring
only for the expansion of his own section.

Calhoun was largely instrumental in averting a war with England, but he
did not otherwise conduct himself in such a manner as to conciliate
opinion in that country. England, possibly with the object of
strengthening her hand in bargaining for Oregon, had intervened
tentatively in relation to Texas. Lord Aberdeen, then Peel's Foreign
Secretary, took up that question from the Anti-Slavery standpoint, and
expressed the hope that the prohibition of Slavery by Mexico would not
be reversed if Texas became part of the American Union. The
intervention, perhaps, deserved a snub--for, after all, England had only
recently emancipated the slaves in her own colonies--and a sharp
reminder that by the Monroe Doctrine, to which she was herself a
consenting party, no European Power had a right to interfere in the
domestic affairs of an American State. Calhoun did not snub Lord
Aberdeen: he was too delighted with his lordship for giving him the
opportunity for which he longed. But he did a thing eminently
characteristic of him, which probably no other man on the American
continent would have done. He sat down and wrote an elaborate and very
able State Paper setting forth the advantages of Slavery as a foundation
for civilization and public liberty. It was this extraordinary dispatch
that led Macaulay to say in the House of Commons that the American
Republic had "put itself at the head of the nigger-driving interest
throughout the world as Elizabeth put herself at the head of the
Protestant interest." As regards Calhoun the charge was perfectly true;
and it is fair to him to add that he undoubtedly believed in Slavery
much more sincerely than ever Elizabeth did in Protestantism. But he did
not represent truly the predominant feeling of America. Northern
Democratic papers, warmly committed to the annexation of Texas,
protested vehemently against the Secretary's private fad concerning the
positive blessedness of Slavery being put forward as part of the body of
political doctrine held by the United States. Even Southerners, who
accepted Slavery as a more or less necessary evil, did not care to see
it thus blazoned on the flag. But Calhoun was impenitent. He was proud
of the international performance, and the only thing he regretted, as
his private correspondence shows, was that Lord Aberdeen did not
continue the debate which he had hoped would finally establish his
favourite thesis before the tribunal of European opinion.

Texas was duly annexed, and Tyler's Presidency drew towards its close.
He seems to have hoped that the Democrats whom he had helped to defeat
in 1840 would accept him as their candidate for a second term in 1844;
but they declined to do so, nor did they take kindly to the suggestion
of nominating Calhoun. Instead, they chose one Polk, who had been a
stirring though not very eminent politician in Jacksonian days. The
choice is interesting as being the first example of a phenomenon
recurrent in subsequent American politics, the deliberate selection of a
more or less obscure man on the ground of what Americans call

It is the product of the convergence of two things--the fact of
democracy as indicated by the election of a First Magistrate by a method
already frankly plebiscitary, and the effect of a Party System,
becoming, as all Party Systems must become if they endure, at once
increasingly rigid and increasingly unreal.

The aim of party managers--necessarily professionals--was to get their
party nominee elected. But the conditions under which they worked were
democratic. They could not, as such professionals can in an oligarchy
like ours, simply order the electors to vote for any nincompoop who was
either rich and ambitious enough to give them, the professionals, money
in return for their services, or needy and unscrupulous enough to be
their hired servant. They were dealing with a free people that would not
have borne such treatment. They had to consider as a practical problem
for what man the great mass of the party would most readily and
effectively vote. And it was often discovered that while the nomination
of an acknowledged "leader" led, through the inevitable presence (in a
democracy) of conflicts and discontents within the party, to the loss of
votes, the candidate most likely to unite the whole party was one
against whom no one had any grudge and who simply stood for the
"platform" which was framed in a very democratic fashion by the people
themselves voting in their "primaries." When this system is condemned
and its results held up to scorn, it should be remembered that among
other effects it is certainly responsible for the selection of Abraham

Polk was not a Lincoln, but he was emphatically an "available"
candidate, and he won, defeating Clay, to whom the Whigs had once more
reverted, by a formidable majority. He found himself confronted with two
pressing questions of foreign policy. During the election the Democrats
had played the "Oregon" card for all it was worth, and the new President
found himself almost committed to the "forty-seven-forty-or-fight"
position. But the practical objections to a war with England on the
Oregon dispute were soon found to be just as strong as Calhoun had
represented them to be. Moreover, the opportunity presented itself for a
war at once much more profitable and much less perilous than such a
contest was likely to prove, and it was obvious that the two wars could
not be successfully undertaken at once.

The independence of Texas had been in some sort recognized by Mexico,
but the frontier within which that independence formally existed was
left quite undefined, and the Texan view of it differed materially from
the Mexican. The United States, by annexing Texas, had shouldered this
dispute and virtually made it their own.

It is seldom that historical parallels are useful; they are never exact.
But there are certain real points of likeness between the war waged by
the United States against Mexico in the 'forties and the war waged by
Great Britain against the Boer Republics between 1899 and 1902. In both
cases it could be plausibly represented that the smaller and weaker
Power was the actual aggressor. But in both cases there can be little
doubt that it was the stronger Power which desired or at least
complacently contemplated war. In both cases, too, the defenders of the
war, when most sincere, tended to abandon their technical pleas and to
take their stand upon the principle that the interests of humanity would
best be served by the defeat of a "backward" people by a more
"progressive" one. It is not here necessary to discuss the merits of
such a plea. But it may be interesting to note the still closer parallel
presented by the threefold division of the opposition in both cases. The
Whig Party was divided in 1847, almost exactly as was the "Liberal"
Party in 1899. There was, especially in New England, an ardent and
sincere minority which was violently opposed to the war and openly
denounced it as an unjustifiable aggression. Its attitude has been made
fairly familiar to English readers by the first series of Lowell's
"Bigelow Papers." This minority corresponded roughly to those who in
England were called "Pro-Boers." There was another section which warmly
supported the war: it sought to outdo the Democrats in their patriotic
enthusiasm, and to reap as much of the electoral harvest of the
prevalent Jingoism as might be. Meanwhile, the body of the party took up
an intermediate position, criticized the diplomacy of the President,
maintained that with better management the war might have been avoided,
but refused to oppose the war outright when once it had begun, and
concurred in voting supplies for its prosecution.

The advocates of the war had, however, to face at its outset one
powerful and unexpected defection, that of Calhoun. No man had been more
eager than he for the annexation of Texas, but, Texas once annexed, he
showed a marked desire to settle all outstanding questions with Mexico
quickly and by a compromise on easy terms. He did all he could to avert
war. When war actually came, he urged that even the military operations
of the United States should be strictly defensive, that they should
confine themselves to occupying the disputed territory and repelling
attacks upon it, but should under no circumstances attempt a
counter-invasion of Mexico. There can be little doubt that Calhoun's
motive in proposing this curious method of conducting a war was, as
usual, zeal for the interests of his section, and that he acted as he
did because he foresaw the results of an extended war more correctly
than did most Southerners. He had coveted Texas because Texas would
strengthen the position of the South. Slavery already existed there, and
no one doubted that if Texas came into the Union at all it must be as a
Slave State. But it would be otherwise if great conquests were made at
the expense of Mexico. Calhoun saw clearly that there would be a strong
movement to exclude Slavery from such conquests, and, having regard to
the numerical superiority of the North, he doubted the ability of his
own section to obtain in the scramble that must follow the major part of
the spoil.

Calhoun, however, was as unable to restrain by his warnings the warlike
enthusiasm of the South as were the little group of Peace Whigs in New
England to prevent the North from being swept by a similar passion. Even
Massachusetts gave a decisive vote for war.

The brief campaign was conducted with considerable ability, mainly by
Generals Taylor and Scott. Such army as Mexico possessed was crushingly
defeated at Monterey. An invasion followed, and the fall of Mexico City
completed the triumph of American arms. By the peace dictated in the
captured capital Mexico had, of course, to concede the original point of
dispute in regard to the Texan frontier. But greater sacrifices were
demanded of her, though not without a measure of compensation. She was
compelled to sell at a fixed price to her conqueror all the territory to
which she laid claim on the Pacific slope north of San Diego. Thus
Arizona, New Mexico, and, most important of all, California passed into
American hands.

But before this conclusion had been reached a significant incident
justified the foresight of Calhoun. Towards the close of the campaign, a
proposal made in Congress to grant to the Executive a large supply to be
expended during the recess at the President's discretion in purchasing
Mexican territory was met by an amendment moved by a Northern Democrat
named Wilmot, himself an ardent supporter of the war, providing that
from all territory that might be so acquired from Mexico Slavery should
be for ever excluded. The proviso was carried in the House of
Representatives by a majority almost exactly representative of the
comparative strength of the two sections. How serious the issue thus
raised was felt to be is shown by the fact that the Executive preferred
dispensing with the money voted to allowing it to be pushed further. In
the Senate both supply and condition were lost. But the "Wilmot Proviso"
had given the signal for a sectional struggle of which no man could
foresee the end.

Matters were further complicated by a startlingly unexpected discovery.
On the very day on which peace was proclaimed, one of the American
settlers who had already begun to make their way into California, in
digging for water on his patch of reclaimed land, turned up instead a
nugget of gold. It was soon known to the ends of the earth that the
Republic had all unknowingly annexed one of the richest goldfields yet
discovered. There followed all the familiar phenomena which Australia
had already witnessed, which South Africa was later to witness, and
which Klondyke has witnessed in our time. A stream of immigrants, not
only from every part of the United States but from every part of the
civilized world, began to pour into California drunk with the hope of
immediate and enormous gains. Instead of the anticipated gradual
development of the new territory, which might have permitted
considerable delay and much cautious deliberation in the settlement of
its destiny, one part of that territory at least found itself within a
year the home of a population already numerous enough to be entitled to
admission to the Union as a State, a population composed in great part
of the most restless and lawless of mankind, and urgently in need of
some sort of properly constituted government.

A Convention met to frame a plan of territorial administration, and
found itself at once confronted with the problem of the admission or
exclusion of Slavery. Though many of the delegates were from the Slave
States, it was decided unanimously to exclude it. There was nothing
sentimentally Negrophil about the attitude of the Californians; indeed,
they proclaimed an exceedingly sensible policy in the simple formula:
"No Niggers, Slave or Free!" But as regards Slavery their decision was
emphatic and apparently irreversible.

The Southerners were at once angry and full of anxiety. It seemed that
they had been trapped, that victories won largely by Southern valour
were to be used to disturb still more the balance already heavily
inclining to the rival section. In South Carolina, full of the tradition
of Nullification, men already talked freely of Secession. The South, as
a whole, was not yet prepared for so violent a step, but there was a
feeling in the air that the type of civilization established in the
Slave States might soon have to fight for its life.

On the top of all this vague unrest and incipient division came a
Presidential election, the most strangely unreal in the whole history of
the United States. The issue about which alone all men, North and
South, were thinking was carefully excluded from the platforms and
speeches of either party. Everyone of either side professed unbounded
devotion to the Union, no one dared to permit himself the faintest
allusion to the hot and human passions which were patently tearing it in
two. The Whigs, divided on the late war, divided on Slavery, divided on
almost every issue by which the minds of men were troubled, yet resolved
to repeat the tactics which had succeeded in 1840. And the amazing thing
is that they did in fact repeat them and with complete success. They
persuaded Zachary Taylor, the victor of Monterey, to come forward as
their candidate. Taylor had shown himself an excellent commander, but
what his political opinions might be no-one knew, for it transpired that
he had never in his life even recorded a vote. The Whigs, however,
managed to extract from him the statement that if he had voted at the
election of 1844--as, in fact, he had not--it would have been for Clay
rather than for Polk; and this admission they proceeded, rather
comically, to trumpet to the world as a sufficient guarantee from "a
consistent and truth-speaking man" of the candidate's lifelong devotion
to "Whig" principles. Nothing further than the above remark and the
frank acknowledgment that he was a slave-owner could be extracted from
Taylor in the way of programme or profession of faith. But the
Convention adopted him with acclamation. Naturally such a selection did
not please the little group of Anti-War Whigs--a group which was
practically identical with the extreme Anti-Slavery wing of the
party--and Lowell, in what is perhaps the most stinging of all his
satires, turned Taylor's platform or absence of platform to ridicule in
lines known to thousands of Englishmen who know nothing of their

    "Ez fer my princerples, I glory
      In hevin' nothin' of the sort.
    I ain't a Whig, I ain't a Tory,
      I'm jest a--Candidate in short."

"Monterey," however, proved an even more successful election cry than
"Tippercanoe." The Democrats tried to play the same game by putting
forward General Cass, who had also fought with some distinction in the
Mexican War and had the advantage--if it were an advantage--of having
really proved himself a stirring Democratic partisan as well. But Taylor
was the popular favourite, and the Whigs by the aid of his name carried
the election.

He turned out no bad choice. For the brief period during which he held
the Presidential office he showed considerable firmness and a sound
sense of justice, and seems to have been sincerely determined to hold
himself strictly impartial as between the two sections into which the
Union was becoming every day more sharply divided. Those who expected,
on the strength of his blunt avowal of slave-owning, that he would show
himself eager to protect and extend Slavery were quite at fault. He
declared with the common sense of a soldier that California must come
into the Union, as she wished to come in, as a Free State, and that it
would be absurd as well as monstrous to try and compel her citizens to
be slave-owners against their will. But he does not appear to have had
any comprehensive plan of pacification to offer for the quieting of the
distracted Union, and, before he could fully develop his policy,
whatever it may have been, he died and bequeathed his power to Millard
Filmore, the Vice-President, a typical "good party man" without
originality or initiative.

The sectional debate had by this time become far more heated and
dangerous than had been the debates which the Missouri Compromise had
settled thirty years before. The author of the Missouri Compromise still
lived, and, as the peril of the Union became desperate, it came to be
said more and more, even by political opponents, that he and he alone
could save the Republic. Henry Clay, since his defeat in 1844, had
practically retired from the active practice of politics. He was an old
man. His fine physique had begun to give way, as is often the case with
such men, under the strain of a long life that had been at once
laborious and self-indulgent. But he heard in his half-retirement the
voice of the nation calling for him, and he answered. His patriotism had
always been great, great also his vanity. It must have been strangely
inspiring to him, at the end of a career which, for all its successes,
was on the whole a failure--for the great stake for which he played was
always snatched from him--to live over again the great triumph of his
youth, and once more to bequeath peace, as by his last testament, to a
distracted nation. God allowed him that not ignoble illusion, and
mercifully sent him to his rest before he could know that he had failed.

The death of Taylor helped Clay's plans; for the soldier-President had
discovered a strong vein of obstinacy. He had his own views on the
question, and was by no means disposed to allow any Parliamentary leader
to over-ride them. Filmore was quite content to be an instrument in the
hands of a stronger man, and, after his succession, Clay had the
advantage of the full support of the Executive in framing the lines of
the last of his great compromises.

In the rough, those lines were as follows: California was to be admitted
at once, and on her own terms, as a Free State, Arizona and New Mexico
were to be open to Slavery if they should desire its introduction; their
Territorial Governments, when formed, were to decide the question. This
adjustment of territory was to be accompanied by two balancing measures
dealing with two other troublesome problems which had been found
productive of much friction and bitterness. The district of
Columbia--that neutralized territory in which the city of Washington
stood--having been carved out of two Slave States, was itself within the
area of legalized Slavery. But it was more than that. It was what we are
coming to call, in England, a "Labour Exchange." In fact, it was the
principal slave mart of the South, and slave auctions were carried on at
the very doors of the Capitol, to the disgust of many who were not
violent in their opposition to Slavery as a domestic institution. To
this scandal Clay proposed to put an end by abolishing the Slave Trade
in the district of Columbia. Slavery was still to be lawful there, but
the public sale and purchase of slaves was forbidden. In return for this
concession to Anti-Slavery sentiment, a very large counter-concession
was demanded. As has already been said, the Constitution had provided in
general terms for the return of fugitive slaves who escaped from Slave
States into the Free. But for reasons and in a fashion which it will be
more convenient to examine in the next chapter, this provision of the
Constitution had been virtually nullified by the domestic legislation of
many Northern States. To put an end to this, Clay proposed a Fugitive
Slave Law which imposed on the Federal Government the duty of recovering
escaped slaves, and authorized the agents of that Government to do so
without reference to the Courts or Legislature of the State in which the
slave might be seized.

The character of the settlement showed that its author's hand had in no
way forgotten its cunning in such matters. As in the Missouri
Compromise, every clause shows how well he had weighed and judged the
conditions under which he was working, how acutely he guessed the points
upon which either side could be persuaded to give way, and the
concessions for which either would think worth paying a high price. And
in fact his settlement was at the time accepted by the great mass of
Union-loving men, North and South. Some Northern States, and especially
Massachusetts, showed a disposition to break away under what seemed to
them the unbearable strain of the Fugitive Slave Law. But in dealing
with Massachusetts Clay found a powerful ally in Webster. That orator
was her own son, and a son of whom she was immensely proud. He had,
moreover, throughout his public life, avowed himself a convinced
opponent of Slavery. When, therefore, he lent the weight of his support
to Clay's scheme he carried with him masses of Northern men whom no one
else could have persuaded. He proclaimed his adhesion of the Compromise
in his famous speech of the 10th of May--one of the greatest that he
ever delivered. It was inevitable that his attitude should be assailed,
and the clamour raised against him by the extreme Anti-Slavery men at
the time has found an echo in many subsequent histories of the period.
He is accused of having sold his principles in order that he might make
an unscrupulous bid for the Presidency. That he desired to be President
is true, but it is not clear that the 10th of May speech improved his
chances of it; indeed, the reverse seems to have been the case. A candid
examination of the man and his acts will rather lead to the conclusion
that throughout his life he was, in spite of his really noble gift of
rhetoric, a good deal more of the professional lawyer-politician than
his admirers have generally been disposed to admit, but that his
"apostacy" of 1850 was, perhaps, the one act of that life which was
least influenced by professional motives and most by a genuine
conviction of the pressing need of saving the Union.

The support of a Southern statesman of like authority might have done
much to give finality to the settlement. But the one Southerner who
carried weight comparable to that of Webster in the North was found
among its opponents. A few days after Webster had spoken, the Senate
listened to the last words of Calhoun. He was already a dying man. He
could not even deliver his final protest with his own lips. He sat, as
we can picture him, those great, awful eyes staring haggardly without
hope into nothingness, while a younger colleague read that protest for
him to the Assembly that he had so often moved, yet never persuaded.
Calhoun rejected the settlement; indeed, he rejected the whole idea of a
territorial settlement on Missouri lines. It is fair to his sagacity to
remember that the mania for trying to force Slavery on unsuitable and
unwilling communities which afterwards took possession of those who led
the South to disaster could claim no authority from him. His own
solution is to be found in the "Testament" published after his death--an
amazing solution, based on the precedent of the two Roman Consuls,
whereby two Presidents were to be elected, one by the North and one by
the South, with a veto on each other's acts. He probably did not expect
that the wild proposal would be accepted. Indeed, he did not expect that
anything that he loved would survive. With all his many errors on his
head, there was this heroic thing about the man--that he was one of
those who can despair of the Republic and yet not desert it. With an
awful clearness he saw the future as it was to be, the division becoming
ever wider, the contest more bitter, the sword drawn, and at the
last--defeat. In the sad pride and defiance of his dying speech one
catches continually an echo of the tragic avowal of Hector: "For in my
heart and in my mind I know that Troy shall fall."

He delivered his soul, and went away to die. And the State to which he
had given up everything showed its thought of him by carving above his
bones, as sufficient epitaph, the single word: "_CALHOUN_."

                             CHAPTER VIII

                         THE SLAVERY QUESTION

The Compromise of 1850, though welcomed on all sides as a final
settlement, failed as completely as the Missouri Compromise had
succeeded. It has already been said that the fault was not in any lack
of skill in the actual framing of the plan. As a piece of political
workmanship it was even superior to Clay's earlier masterpiece, as the
rally to it at the moment of all but the extreme factions, North and
South, sufficiently proves. That it did not stand the wear of a few
years as well as the earlier settlement had stood the wear of twenty was
due to a change in conditions, and to understand that change it is
necessary to take up again the history of the Slavery Question where the
founders of the Republic left it.

It can hardly be said that these great men were wrong in tolerating
Slavery. Without such toleration at the time the Union could not have
been achieved and the American Republic could not have come into being.
But it can certainly be said that they were wrong in the calculation by
means of which they largely justified such toleration not so much to
their critics as to their own consciences. They certainly expected, when
they permitted Slavery for a season, that Slavery would gradually weaken
and disappear. But as a fact it strengthened itself, drove its roots
deeper, gained a measure of moral prestige, and became every year harder
to destroy.

Whence came their miscalculation? In part no doubt it was connected with
that curious and recurrent illusion which postulates in human affairs--a
thing called "Progress." This illusion, though both logically and
practically the enemy of reform--for if things of themselves tend to
grow better, why sweat and agonize to improve them?--is none the less
characteristic, generally speaking, of reforming epochs, and it was not
without its hold over the minds of the American Fathers. But there were
also certain definite causes, some of which they could hardly have
foreseen, some of which they might, which account for the fact that
Slavery occupied a distinctly stronger position halfway through the
nineteenth century than it had seemed to do at the end of the

The main cause was an observable fact of psychology, of which a thousand
examples could be quoted, and which of itself disposes of the whole
"Progressive" thesis--the ease with which the human conscience gets used
to an evil. Time, so far from being a remedy--as the "Progressives" do
vainly talk--is always, while no remedy is attempted, a factor in favour
of the disease. We have seen this exemplified in the course of the
present war. The mere delay in the punishment of certain gross outrages
against the moral traditions of Europe has made those outrages seem just
a little less horrible than they seemed at first, so that men can even
bear to contemplate a peace by which their authors should escape
punishment--a thing which would have been impossible while the anger of
decent men retained its virginity. So it was with Slavery. Accepted at
first as an unquestionable blot on American Democracy, but one which
could not at the moment be removed, it came gradually to seem something
normal. A single illustration will show the extent of this decline in
moral sensitiveness. In the first days of the Republic Jefferson, a
Southerner and a slave-owner, could declare, even while compromising
with Slavery, that he trembled for his country when he remembered that
God was just, could use of the peril of a slave insurrection this fine
phrase: "The Almighty has no attribute that could be our ally in such a
contest." Some sixty years later, Stephen Douglas, as sincere a democrat
as Jefferson, and withal a Northerner with no personal interest in
Slavery, could ask contemptuously whether if Americans were fit to rule
themselves they were not fit to rule "a few niggers."

The next factor to be noticed was that to which Jefferson referred in
the passage quoted above--the constant dread of a Negro rising. Such a
rising actually took place in Virginia in the first quarter of the
nineteenth century. It was a small affair, but the ghastly massacre of
whites which accompanied it was suggestive of the horrors that might be
in store for the South in the event of a more general movement among the
slaves. The debates which this crisis produced in the Virginian
legislature are of remarkable interest. They show how strong the feeling
against Slavery as an institution still was in the greatest of Slave
States. Speaker after speaker described it as a curse, as a permanent
peril, as a "upas tree" which must be uprooted before the State could
know peace and security. Nevertheless they did not uproot it. And from
the moment of their refusal to uproot it or even to make a beginning of
uprooting it they found themselves committed to the opposite policy
which could only lead to its perpetuation. From the panic of that moment
date the generality of the Slave Codes which so many of the Southern
States adopted--codes deliberately framed to prevent any improvement in
the condition of the slave population and to make impossible even their
peaceful and voluntary emancipation.

There was yet another factor, the economic one, which to most modern
writers, starting from the basis of historical materialism, has
necessarily seemed the chief of all. It was really, I think, subsidiary,
but it was present, and it certainly helped to intensify the evil. It
consisted in the increased profitableness of Slavery, due, on the one
hand, to the invention in America of Whitney's machine for extracting
cotton, and, on the other, to the industrial revolution in England, and
the consequent creation in Lancashire of a huge and expanding market for
the products of American slave labour. This had a double effect. It not
only strengthened Slavery, but also worsened its character. In place of
the generally mild and paternal rule of the old gentlemen-planters came
in many parts of the South a brutally commercial _régime_, which
exploited and used up the Negro for mere profit. It was said that in
this further degradation of Slavery the agents were often men from the
commercial North; nor can this be pronounced a mere sectional slander
in view of the testimony of two such remarkable witnesses as Abraham
Lincoln and Mrs. Beecher Stowe.

All these things tended to establish the institution of Slavery in the
Southern States. Another factor which, whatever its other effects,
certainly consolidated Southern opinion in its defence, was to be found
in the activities of the Northern Abolitionists.

In the early days of the Republic Abolition Societies had existed
mainly, if not exclusively, in the South. This was only natural, for,
Slavery having disappeared from the Northern States, there was no
obvious motive for agitating or discussing its merits, while south of
the Mason-Dixon line the question was still a practical one. The
Southern Abolitionists do not appear to have been particularly unpopular
with their fellow-citizens. They are perhaps regarded as something of
cranks, but as well-meaning cranks whose object was almost everywhere
admitted to be theoretically desirable. At any rate, there is not the
suspicion of any attempt to suppress them; indeed, the very year before
the first number of the _Liberator_ was published in Boston, a great
Conference of Anti-Slavery Societies, comprising delegates from every
part of the South, met at Baltimore, the capital city of the Slave State
of Maryland.

Northern Abolitionism was, however, quite a different thing. It owed its
inception to William Lloyd Garrison, one of those enthusiasts who
profoundly affect history solely by the tenacity with which they hold to
and continually enforce a burning personal conviction. But for that
tenacity and the unquestionable influence which his conviction exerted
upon men, he would be a rather ridiculous figure, for he was almost
every sort of crank--certainly a non-resister, and, I think, a
vegetarian and teetotaller as well. But his burning conviction was the
immorality of Slavery; and by this he meant something quite other than
was meant by Jefferson or later by Lincoln. When these great men spoke
of Slavery as a wrong, they regarded it as a social and political wrong,
an evil and unjust system which the community as a community ought as
soon as possible to abolish and replace by a better. But by Garrison
slave-holding was accounted a personal sin like murder or adultery. The
owner of slaves, unless he at once emancipated them at whatever cost to
his own fortunes, was by that fact a wicked man, and if he professed a
desire for ultimate extinction of the institution, that only made him a
hypocrite as well. This, of course, was absurd; fully as absurd as the
suggestion sometimes made in regard to wealthy Socialists, that if they
were consistent they would give up all their property to the community.
A man living under an economic system reposing on Slavery can no more
help availing himself of its fruits than in a capitalist society he can
help availing himself of capitalist organization. Obviously, unless he
is a multi-millionaire, he cannot buy up all the slaves in the State and
set them free, while, if he buys some and treats them with justice and
humanity, he is clearly making things better for them than if he left
them in the hands of masters possibly less scrupulous. But, absurd as
the thesis was, Garrison pushed it to its wildest logical conclusions.
No Christian Church ought, he maintained, to admit a slave-owner to
communion. No honest man ought to count a slave-owner among his friends.
No political connection with slave-owners was tolerable. The Union,
since it involved such a connection, was "a Covenant with Death and an
Agreement with Hell." Garrison publicly burnt the Constitution of the
United States in the streets of Boston.

Abolitionist propaganda of this kind was naturally possible only in the
North. Apart from all questions of self-interest, no Southerner, no
reasonable person who knew anything about the South, though the
knowledge might be as superficial and the indignation against Slavery as
intense as was Mrs. Beecher Stowe's, could possibly believe the
proposition that all Southern slave-owners were cruel and unjust men.
But that was not all. Garrison's movement killed Southern Abolitionism.
It may, perhaps, be owned that the Southern movement was not bearing
much visible fruit. There was just a grain of truth, it may be, in
Garrison's bitter and exaggerated taunt that the Southerners were ready
enough to be Abolitionists if they were allowed "to assign the guilt of
Slavery to a past generation, and the duty of emancipation to a future
generation." Nevertheless, that movement was on the right lines. It was
on Southern ground that the battle for the peaceful extinction of
Slavery ought to have been fought. The intervention of the North would
probably in any case have been resented; accompanied by a solemn
accusation of specific personal immorality it was maddeningly
provocative, for it could not but recall to the South the history of the
issue as it stood between the sections. For the North had been the
original slave-traders. The African Slave Trade had been their
particular industry. Boston itself, when the new ethical denunciation
came, had risen to prosperity on the profits of that abominable traffic.
Further, even in the act of clearing its own borders of Slavery, the
North had dumped its negroes on the South. "What," asked the
Southerners, "could exceed the effrontery of men who reproach us with
grave personal sin in owning property which they themselves have sold us
and the price of which is at this moment in their pockets?"

On a South thus angered and smarting under what is felt to be undeserved
reproach, yet withal somewhat uneasy in its conscience, for its public
opinion in the main still thought Slavery wrong, fell the powerful voice
of a great Southerner proclaiming it "a positive good." Calhoun's
defence of the institution on its merits probably did much to encourage
the South to adopt a more defiant tone in place of the old apologies for
delay in dealing with a difficult problem--apologies which sounded
over-tame and almost humiliating in face of the bold invectives now
hurled at the slave-owners by Northern writers and speakers. I cannot,
indeed, find that Calhoun's specific arguments, forcible as they
were--and they are certainly the most cogent that can be used in defence
of such a thesis--were particularly popular, or, in fact, were ever used
by any but himself. Perhaps there was a well-founded feeling that they
proved too much. For Calhoun's case was as strong for white servitude as
for black: it was a defence, not especially of Negro Slavery, but of
what Mr. Belloc has called "the Servile State." More general, in the
later Southern defences, was the appeal to religious sanctions, which in
a nation Protestant and mainly Puritan in its traditions naturally
became an appeal to Bible texts. St. Paul was claimed as a supporter of
the fugitive slave law on the strength of his dealings of Onesimus. But
the favourite text was that which condemns Ham (assumed to be the
ancestor of the Negro race) to be "a servant of servants." The
Abolitionist text-slingers were not a whit more intelligent; indeed, I
think it must be admitted that on the whole the pro-Slavery men had the
best of this absurd form of controversy. Apart from isolated texts they
had on their side the really unquestionable fact that both Old and New
Testaments describe a civilization based on Slavery, and that in neither
is there anything like a clear pronouncement that such a basis is
immoral or displeasing to God. It is true that in the Gospels are to be
found general principles or, at any rate, indications of general
principles, which afterwards, in the hands of the Church, proved largely
subversive of the servile organization of society; but that is a matter
of historical, not of Biblical testimony, and would, if followed out,
have led both Northern and Southern controversialists further than
either of them wanted to go.

It would, however, be hasty, I think, to affirm that even to the very
end of these processes a majority of Southerners thought with Calhoun
that Slavery was "a positive good." The furthest, perhaps, that most of
them went was the proposition that it represented the only relationship
in which white and black races could safely live together in the same
community--a proposition which was countenanced by Jefferson and, to a
considerable extent at least, by Lincoln. To the last the full
Jeffersonian view of the inherent moral and social evil of Slavery was
held by many Southerners who were none the less wholeheartedly on the
side of their own section in the sectional dispute. The chief soldier of
the South in the war in which that dispute culminated both held that
view and acted consistently upon it.

On the North the effect of the new propaganda was different, but there
also it tended to increase the antagonism of the sections. The actual
Abolitionists of the school of Garrison were neither numerous nor
popular. Even in Boston, where they were strongest, they were often
mobbed and their meetings broken up. In Illinois, a Northern State, one
of them, Lovejoy, was murdered by the crowd. Such exhibitions of
popular anger were not, of course, due to any love of Slavery. The
Abolitionists were disliked in the North, not as enemies of Slavery but
as enemies of the Union and the Constitution, which they avowedly were.
But while the extreme doctrine of Garrison and his friends met with
little acceptance, the renewed agitation of the question did bring into
prominence the unquestionable fact that the great mass of sober Northern
opinion thought Slavery a wrong, and in any controversy between master
and slave was inclined to sympathize with the slave. This feeling was
probably somewhat strengthened by the publication in 1852 and the
subsequent huge international sale of Mrs. Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
The practical effect of this book on history is generally exaggerated,
partially in consequence of the false view which would make of the Civil
War a crusade against Slavery. But a certain effect it undoubtedly had.
To such natural sympathy in the main, and not, as the South believed, to
sectional jealousy and deliberate bad faith, must be attributed those
"Personal Liberty Laws" by which in many Northern States the provision
of the Constitution guaranteeing the return of fugitive slaves was
virtually nullified. For some of the provisions of those laws an
arguable constitutional case might be made, particularly for the
provision which assured a jury trial to the escaped slave. The Negro, it
was urged, was either a citizen or a piece of property. If he were a
citizen, the Constitution expressly safeguarded him against imprisonment
without such a trial. If, on the other hand, he were property, then he
was property of the value of more than $50, and in cases where property
of that value was concerned, a jury was also legally required. If two
masters laid claim to the same Negro the dispute between them would have
to be settled by a jury. Why should it not be so where a master claimed
to own a Negro and the Negro claimed to own himself? Nevertheless, the
effect, and to a great extent the intention, of these laws was to defeat
the claim of _bonâ fide_ owners to fugitive slaves, and as such they
violated at least the spirit of the constitutional compact. They
therefore afforded a justification for Clay's proposal to transfer the
power of recovering fugitive slaves to the Federal authorities. But they
also afforded an even stronger justification for Lincoln's doubt as to
whether the American Commonwealth could exist permanently half slave and
half free.

Finally, among the causes which made a sectional struggle the more
inevitable must be counted one to which allusion has already been made
in connection with the Presidential Election of 1848--the increasingly
patent unreality of the existing party system. I have already said that
a party system can endure only if it becomes unreal, and it may be well
here to make clear how this is so.

Fundamental debates in a Commonwealth must be _settled_, or the
Commonwealth dies. How, for instance, could England have endured if,
throughout the eighteenth century, the Stuarts had alternately been
restored and deposed every seven years? Or, again, suppose a dispute so
fundamental as that between Collectivism and the philosophy of private
property. How could a nation continue to exist if a Collectivist
Government spent five years in attempting the concentration of all the
means of production in the hands of the State and an Anti-Collectivist
Government spent the next five years in dispersing them again, and so on
for a generation? American history, being the history of a democracy,
illustrates this truth with peculiar force. The controversy between
Jefferson and Hamilton was about realities. The Jeffersonians won, and
the Federalist Party disappeared. The controversy between Jackson and
the Whigs was originally also real. Jackson won, and the Whigs would
have shared the fate of the Federalists if they stood by their original
principles and refused to accept the consequences of the Jacksonian
Revolution. As a fact, however, they did accept these consequences and
so the party system endured, but at the expense of its reality. There
was no longer any fundamental difference of principle dividing Whigs
from Democrats: they were divided arbitrarily on passing questions of
policy, picked up at random and changing from year to year. Meanwhile a
new reality was dividing the nation from top to bottom, but was dividing
it in a dangerously sectional fashion, and for that reason patriotism as
well as the requirements of professional politics induced men to veil it
as much as might be. Yet its presence made the professional play-acting
more and more unmeaning and intolerable.

It was this state of things which made possible the curious interlude of
the "Know-Nothing" movement, which cannot be ignored, though it is a
kind of digression from the main line of historical development. The
United States had originally been formed by the union of certain
seceding British colonies, but already, as a sort of neutral ground in
the New World, their territory had become increasingly the meeting-place
of streams of emigration from various European countries. As was
natural, a certain amount of mutual jealousy and antagonism was making
itself apparent as between the old colonial population and the newer
elements. The years following 1847 showed an intensification of the
problem due to a particular cause. That year saw the Black Famine in
Ireland and its aggravation by the insane pedantry and folly of the
British Government. Innumerable Irish families, driven from the land of
their birth, found a refuge within the borders of the Republic. They
brought with them their native genius for politics, which for the first
time found free outlet in a democracy. They were accustomed to act
together and they were soon a formidable force. This force was regarded
by many as a menace, and the sense of menace was greatly increased by
the fact that these immigrants professed a religious faith which the
Puritan tradition of the States in which they generally settled held in
peculiar abhorrence.

The "Know-Nothings" were a secret society and owed that name to the fact
that members, when questioned, professed to know nothing of the ultimate
objects of the organization to which they belonged. They proclaimed a
general hostility to indiscriminate immigration, for which a fair enough
case might be made, but they concentrated their hostility specially on
the Irish Catholic element. I have never happened upon any explanation
of the secrecy with which they deliberately surrounded their aims. It
seems to me, however, that a possible explanation lies on the surface.
If all they had wanted had been to restrict or regulate immigration, it
was an object which could be avowed as openly as the advocacy of a
tariff or of the restriction of Slavery in a territory. But if, as their
practical operations and the general impression concerning their
intentions seem to indicate, the real object of those who directed the
movement was the exclusion from public trust of persons professing the
Catholic religion, then, of course, it was an object which could not be
avowed without bringing them into open conflict with the Constitution,
which expressly forbade such differentiation on religious grounds.

Between the jealousy of new immigrants felt by the descendants of the
original colonists and the religious antagonism of Puritan New England
to the Catholic population growing up within its borders; intensified by
the absence of any genuine issue of debate between the official
candidates, the Know-Nothings secured at the Congressional Election of
1854 a quite startling measure of success. But such success had no
promise of permanence. The movement lived long enough to deal a
death-blow to the Whig Party, already practically annihilated by the
Presidential Election of 1852, wherein the Democrats, benefiting by the
division and confusion of their enemies, easily returned their
candidate, Franklin Pierce.

It is now necessary to return to the Compromise of 1850, hailed at the
time as a final settlement of the sectional quarrel and accepted as such
in the platforms of both the regular political parties. That Compromise
was made by one generation. It was to be administered by another. Henry
Clay, as has already been noted, lived long enough to enjoy his triumph,
not long enough to outlive it. Before a year was out the grave had
closed over Webster. Calhoun had already passed away, bequeathing to
posterity his last hopeless protest against the triumph of all that he
most feared. Congress was full of new faces. In the Senate among the
rising men was Seward of New York, a Northern Whig, whose speech in
opposition to the Fugitive Slave clause in Clay's Compromise had given
him the leadership of the growing Anti-Slavery opinion of the North. He
was soon to be joined by Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, null in
judgment, a pedant without clearness of thought or vision, but gifted
with a copious command of all the rhetoric of sectional hate. The place
of Calhoun in the leadership of the South had been more and more assumed
by a soldier who had been forced to change his profession by reason of
a crippling wound received at Monterey. Thenceforward he had achieved an
increasing repute in politics, an excellent orator, with the sensitive
face rather of a poet than of a man of affairs, vivid, sincere and
careful of honour, though often uncertain in temper and judgment:
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. But for the moment none of these so
dominated politics as did the Westerner whom Illinois had recently sent
to the Senate--Stephen Douglas, surnamed "the Little Giant."

The physical impression which men seem to have received most forcibly
concerning Douglas, and which was perhaps responsible for his nickname,
was the contrast between his diminutive stature and the enormous power
of his voice--trained no doubt in addressing the monster meetings of the
West, where tens of thousands crowded everywhere to hear him speak.
Along with this went the sense of an overwhelming vitality about the
man; he seemed tingling with excess of life. His strong, square,
handsome face bore a striking resemblance to that of Napoleon Bonaparte,
and there was really something Napoleonic in his boldness, his
instinctive sense of leadership, and his power of dominating weaker men.
Withal he was a Westerner--perhaps the most typical and complete
Westerner in American history, for half of Clay was of Washington, and
Jackson and Lincoln were too great to be purely sectional. He had a
Westerner's democratic feeling and a Westerner's enthusiasm for the
national idea. But, especially, he had a peculiarly Western vision which
is the key to a strangely misunderstood but at bottom very consistent
political career.

This man, more than any other, fills American history during the decade
that intervened between the death of Clay and the election of Lincoln.
That decade is also full of the ever-increasing prominence of the
Slavery Question. It is natural, therefore, to read Douglas's career in
terms of that question, and historians, doing so, have been bewildered
by its apparent inconsistency. Unable to trace any connecting principle
in his changes of front, they have put them down to interested motives,
and then equally unable to show that he himself had anything to gain
from them, have been forced to attribute them to mere caprice. The fact
is that Douglas cannot be understood along those lines at all. To
understand him one must remember that he was indifferent on the Slavery
Question, "did not care," as he said, "whether Slavery was voted up or
voted down," but cared immensely for something else. That something else
was the Westward expansion of the American nation till it should bridge
the gulf between the two oceans. The thought of all those millions of
acres of virgin land, the property of the American Commonwealth, crying
out for the sower and the reaper, rode his imagination as the wrongs of
the Negro slave rode the imagination of Garrison. There is a reality
about the comparison which few will recognize, for this demagogue, whom
men devoted to the Slavery issue thought cynical, had about him also
something of the fanatic. He could forget all else in his one
enthusiasm. It is the key to his career from the day when he entered
Congress clamouring for Oregon or war with England to the day when he
died appealing for soldiers to save the Union in the name of its common
inheritance. And it is surely not surprising that, for the fulfilment of
his vision, he was willing to conciliate the slave-owners, when one
remembers that in earlier days he had been willing to conciliate the

Douglas stands out in history, as we now see it, as the man who by the
Kansas and Nebraska Bill upset the tottering Compromise of 1850. Why did
he so upset it? Not certainly because he wished to reopen the Slavery
Question; nothing is less likely, for it was a question in which he
avowedly felt no interest and the raising of which was bound to unsettle
his plans. Not from personal ambition; for those who accuse him of
having acted as he did for private advantage have to admit that in fact
he lost by it. Why then did he so act? I think we shall get to the root
of the matter if we assume that his motive in introducing his celebrated
Bill was just the avowed motive of that Bill and no other. It was to set
up territorial governments in Kansas and Nebraska. Douglas's mind was
full of schemes for facilitating the march of American civilization
westward, for piercing the prairies with roads and railways, for opening
up communications with Oregon and the Pacific Slope. Kansas and
Nebraska were then the outposts of such expansion. Naturally he was
eager to develop them, to encourage squatters to settle within their
borders, and for that purpose to give them an assured position and a
form of stable government. If he could have effected this without
touching the Slavery Question I think that he would gladly have done so.
And, as a matter of fact, the Nebraska Bill as originally drafted by him
was innocent of the clause which afterwards caused so much controversy.
That clause was forced on him by circumstances.

The greater part of the territory which Douglas proposed to develop lay
within the limits of the Louisiana Purchase and north of latitude 36°
30'. It was therefore free soil by virtue of the Missouri Compromise.
But the Southerners now disputed the validity of that Congressional
enactment, and affirmed their right under the Constitution as they
interpreted it to take and hold their "property" in any territories
belonging to the United States. Douglas had some reason to fear Southern
opposition to his plans on other grounds, for the South would naturally
have preferred that the main road to the Pacific Slope should run from
Tennessee through Arizona and New Mexico to California. If Kansas and
Nebraska were declared closed against slave property their opposition
would be given a rallying cry and would certainly harden. Douglas
therefore proposed a solution which would at any rate get rid of the
Slavery debate so far as Congress was concerned, and which had also a
democratic ring about it acceptable to his Western instincts and, as he
hoped, to his Western following. The new doctrine, called by him that of
"Popular Sovereignty" and by his critics that of "Squatter Sovereignty,"
amounted to this: that the existing settlers in the territories
concerned should, in the act of forming their territorial governments,
decide whether they would admit or exclude Slavery.

It was a plausible doctrine; but one can only vindicate Douglas's
motives, as I have endeavoured to do, at the expense of his judgment,
for his policy had all the consequences which he most desired to avoid.
It produced two effects which between them brought the sectional quarrel
to the point of heat at which Civil War became possible and perhaps
inevitable. It threw the new territories down as stakes to be scrambled
for by the rival sections, and it created by reaction a new party,
necessarily sectional, having for its object the maintenance and
reinforcement of the Missouri Compromise. It will be well to take the
two points separately.

Up to the passing of Kansas and Nebraska Law, these territories had been
populated exactly as such frontier communities had theretofore been
populated, by immigrants from all the States and from Europe who mingled
freely, felt no ill-will to each other, and were early consolidated by
the fact of proximity into a homogeneous community. But from the moment
of its passage the whole situation was altered. It became a political
object to both sections to get a majority in Kansas. Societies were
formed in Boston and other Northern cities to finance emigrants who
proposed to settle there. The South was equally active, and, to set off
against the disadvantage of a less fluid population, had the advantage
of the immediate proximity of the Slave State of Missouri. Such a
contest, even if peaceably conducted, was not calculated to promote
either the reconciliation of the sections or the solidarity and
stability of the new community. But in a frontier community without a
settled government, and with a population necessarily armed for
self-defence, it was not likely to be peaceably conducted. Nor was it.
For years Kansas was the scene of what can only be described as
spasmodic civil war. The Free Soil settlement of Lawrence was, after
some bloodshed, seized and burnt by "border ruffians," as they were
called, from Missouri. The North cried out loudly against "Southern
outrages," but it is fair to say that the outrages were not all on one
side. In fact, the most amazing crime in the record of Kansas was
committed by a Northerner, the notorious John Brown. This man presents
rather a pathological than a historical problem. He had considerable
military talents, and a curious power of persuading men. But he was
certainly mad. A New England Puritan by extraction, he was inflamed on
the subject of Slavery by a fanaticism somewhat similar to that of
Garrison. But while Garrison blended his Abolitionism with the Quaker
dogma of Non-Resistance, Brown blended his with the ethics of a
seventeenth-century Covenanter who thought himself divinely commanded to
hew the Amalakites in pieces before the Lord. In obedience to his
peculiar code of morals he not only murdered Southern immigrants without
provocation, but savagely mutilated their bodies. If his act did not
prove him insane his apology would. In defence of his conduct he
explained that "disguised as a surveyor" he had interviewed his victims
and discovered that every one of them had "committed murder in his

The other effect of the Kansas-Nebraska policy was the rise of a new
party formed for the single purpose of opposing it. Anti-Slavery parties
had already come into being from time to time in the North, and had at
different times exerted a certain influence on elections, but they made
little headway because they were composed mainly of extremists, and
their aim appeared to moderate men inconsistent with the Constitution.
The attack on the time-honoured Missouri Compromise rallied such men to
the opposition, for it appeared to them clearly that theirs was now the
legal, constitutional, and even conservative side, and that the Slave
Power was now making itself responsible for a revolutionary change to
its own advantage.

Nor was the change on the whole unjust. The programme to which the South
committed itself after the direction of its policy fell from the hands
of Calhoun was one which the North could not fail to resent. It involved
the tearing up of all the compromises so elaborately devised and so
nicely balanced, and it aimed at making Slavery legal certainly in all
the new territories and possibly even in the Free States. It was,
indeed, argued that this did not involve any aggravating of the evil of
Slavery, if it were an evil. The argument will be found very ingeniously
stated in the book which Jefferson Davis subsequently wrote--professedly
a history of the Southern Confederacy, really rather an _Apologia pro
Vita Sua_. Davis argues that since the African Slave Trade was
prohibited, there could be no increase in the number of slaves save by
the ordinary process of propagation. The opening of Kansas to Slavery
would not therefore mean that there would be more slaves. It would
merely mean that men already and in any case slaves would be living in
Kansas instead of in Tennessee; and, it is further suggested, that the
taking of a Negro slave from Tennessee, where Slavery was rooted and
normal, to Kansas, where it was new and exceptional, would be a positive
advantage to him as giving him a much better chance of emancipation. The
argument reads plausibly enough, but it is, like so much of Davis's
book, out of touch with realities. Plainly it would make all the
difference in the world whether the practice of, say, the Catholic
religion were permitted only in Lancashire or were lawful throughout
England, and that even though there were no conversions, and the same
Catholics who had previously lived in Lancashire lived wherever they
chose. The former provision would imply that the British Government
disapproved of the Catholic religion, and would tolerate it only where
it was obliged to do so. The latter would indicate an attitude of
indifference towards it. Those who disapproved of Slavery naturally
wished it to remain a sectional thing and objected to its being made
national. But the primary feeling was that it was the South that had
broken the truce. The Northerners had much justification in saying that
their opponents, if not the aggressors in the Civil War, were at least
the aggressors in the controversy of which the Civil War was the
ultimate outcome.

Under the impulse of such feelings a party was formed which,
adopting--without, it must be owned, any particular appropriateness--the
old Jeffersonian name of "Republican," took the field at the
Presidential Election of 1856. Its real leader was Seward of New York,
but it was thought that electioneering exigencies would be better served
by the selection of Captain Frémont of California, who, as a wandering
discoverer and soldier of fortune, could be made a picturesque figure in
the public eye. Later, when Frémont was entrusted with high military
command he was discovered to be neither capable nor honest, but in 1856
he made as effective a figure as any candidate could have done, and the
results were on the whole encouraging to the new party. Buchanan, the
Democratic candidate, was elected, but the Republicans showed greater
strength in the Northern States than had been anticipated. The Whig
Party was at this election finally annihilated.

The Republicans might have done even better had the decision of the
Supreme Court on an issue which made clear the full scope of the new
Southern claim been known just before instead of just after the
election. This decision was the judgment of Roger Taney, whom we have
seen at an earlier date as Jackson's Attorney-General and Secretary to
the Treasury, in the famous Dred Scott case. Dred Scott was a Negro
slave owned by a doctor of Missouri. His master had taken him for a time
into the free territory of Minnesota, afterwards bringing him back to
his original State. Dred Scott was presumably not in a position to
resent either operation, nor is it likely that he desired to do so.
Later, however, he was induced to bring an action in the Federal Courts
against his master on the ground that by being taken into free territory
he had _ipso facto_ ceased to be a slave. Whether he was put up to this
by the Anti-Slavery party, or whether--for his voluntary manumission
after the case was settled seems to suggest that possibility--the whole
case was planned by the Southerners to get a decision of the territorial
question in their favour, might be an interesting subject for inquiry. I
can express no opinion upon it. The main fact is that Taney, supported
by a bare majority of the judges, not only decided for the master, but
laid down two important principles. One was that no Negro could be an
American citizen or sue in the American courts; the other and more
important that the Constitution guaranteed the right of the slave-holder
to his slaves in all United States territories, and that Congress had no
power to annul this right. The Missouri Compromise was therefore
declared invalid.

Much of the Northern outcry against Taney seems to me unjust. He was
professedly a judge pronouncing on the law, and in giving his ruling he
used language which seems to imply that his ethical judgment, if he had
been called upon to give it, would have been quite different. But,
though he was a great lawyer as well as a sincere patriot, and though
his opinion is therefore entitled to respect, especially from a
foreigner ignorant of American law, it is impossible to feel that his
decision was not open to criticism on purely legal grounds. It rested
upon the assertion that property in slaves was "explicitly recognized"
by the Constitution. If this were so it would seem to follow that since
under the Constitution a man's property could not be taken from him
"without due process of law" he could not without such process lose his
slaves. But was it so? It is difficult, for a layman at any rate, to
find in the Constitution any such "explicit recognition." The slave is
there called a "person" and defined as a "person bound to service or
labour" while his master is spoken of as one "to whom such service or
labour may be due." This language seems to suggest the relation of
creditor and debtor rather than that of owner and owned. At any rate,
the Republicans refused to accept the judgment except so far as it
determined the individual case of Dred Scott, taking up in regard to
Taney's decision the position which, in accordance with Taney's own
counsel, Jackson had taken up in regard to the decision which affirmed
the constitutionality of a bank.

Douglas impetuously accepted the decision and, forgetting the precedent
of his own hero Jackson, denounced all who challenged it as wicked
impugners of lawful authority. Yet, in fact, the decision was as fatal
to his own policy as to that of the Republicans. It really made "Popular
Sovereignty" a farce, for what was the good of leaving the question of
Slavery to be settled by the territories when the Supreme Court declared
that they could only lawfully settle it one way? This obvious point was
not lost upon the acute intelligence of one man, a citizen of Douglas's
own State and one of the "moderates" who had joined the Republican Party
on the Nebraska issue.

Abraham Lincoln was by birth a Southerner and a native of Kentucky, a
fact which he never forgot and of which he was exceedingly proud. After
the wandering boyhood of a pioneer and a period of manual labour as a
"rail-splitter" he had settled in Illinois, where he had picked up his
own education and become a successful lawyer. He had sat in the House of
Representatives as a Whig from 1846 to 1848, the period of the Mexican
War, during which he had acted with the main body of his party, neither
defending the whole of the policy which led to the war nor opposing it
to the extent of refusing supplies for its prosecution. He had voted,
as he said, for the Wilmot Proviso "as good as fifty times," and had
made a moderate proposition in relation to Slavery in the district of
Columbia, for which Garrison's _Liberator_ had pilloried him as "the
Slave-Hound of Illinois." He had not offered himself for re-election in
1848. Though an opponent of Slavery on principle, he had accepted the
Compromise of 1850, including its Fugitive Slave Clauses, as a
satisfactory all-round settlement, and was, by his own account, losing
interest in politics when the action of Douglas and its consequences
called into activity a genius which few, if any, had suspected.

A man like Lincoln cannot be adequately described in the short space
available in such a book as this. His externals are well appreciated,
his tall figure, his powerful ugliness, his awkward strength, his racy
humour, his fits of temperamental melancholy; well appreciated also his
firmness, wisdom and patriotism. But if we wish to grasp the peculiar
quality which makes him almost unique among great men of action, we
shall perhaps find the key in the fact that his favourite private
recreation was working out for himself the propositions of Euclid. He
had a mind not only peculiarly just but singularly logical, one might
really say singularly mathematical. His reasoning is always so good as
to make his speeches in contrast to the finest rhetorical oratory a
constant delight to those who have something of the same type of mind.
In this he had a certain affinity with Jefferson. But while in
Jefferson's case the tendency has been to class him, in spite of his
great practical achievements, as a mere theorizer, in Lincoln it has
been rather to acclaim him as a strong, rough, practical man, and to
ignore the lucidity of thought which was the most marked quality of his

He was eminently practical; and he was not less but more practical for
realizing the supreme practical importance of first principles.
According to his first principles Slavery was wrong. It was wrong
because it was inconsistent with the doctrines enunciated in the
Declaration of Independence in which he firmly believed. Really good
thinking like Lincoln's is necessarily outside time, and therefore he
was not at all affected by the mere use and wont which had tended to
reconcile so many to Slavery. Yet he was far from being a fanatical
Abolitionist. Because Slavery was wrong it did not follow that it should
be immediately uprooted. But it did follow that whatever treatment it
received should be based on the assumption of its wrongness. An
excellent illustration of his attitude of mind will be found in the
exact point at which he drew the line. For the merely sentimental
opponent of Slavery, the Fugitive Slave Law made a much more moving
appeal to the imagination than the extension of Slavery in the
territories. Yet Lincoln accepted the Fugitive Slave Law. He supported
it because, as he put it, it was "so nominated in the bond." It was part
of the terms which the Fathers of the Republic, disapproving of Slavery,
had yet made with Slavery. He also, disapproving of Slavery, could
honour those terms. But it was otherwise in regard to the territorial
controversy. Douglas openly treated Slavery not as an evil difficult to
cure, but as a thing merely indifferent. Southern statesmen were
beginning to echo Calhoun's definition of it as "a positive good." On
the top of this came Taney's decision making the right to own slaves a
fundamental part of the birthright of an American citizen. This was much
more important than the most drastic Fugitive Slave Law, for it
indicated a change in first principles.

This is the true meaning of his famous use of the text "a house divided
against itself cannot stand," and his deduction that the Union could not
"permanently exist half slave and half free." That it had so existed for
eighty years he admitted, but it had so existed, he considered, because
the Government had acted on the first principle that Slavery was an evil
to be tolerated but curbed, and the public mind had "rested in the
belief that it was in process of ultimate extinction." It was now, as it
seemed, proposed to abandon that principle and assume it to be good or
at least indifferent. If _that_ principle were accepted there was
nothing to prevent the institution being introduced not only into the
free territories but into the Free States. And indeed the reasoning of
Taney's judgment, though not the judgment itself, really seemed to point
to such a conclusion.

Lincoln soon became the leader of the Illinois Republicans, and made
ready to match himself against Douglas when the "Little Giant" should
next seek re-election. Meanwhile a new development of the Kansas affair
had split the Democratic Party and ranged Senator Douglas and President
Buchanan on opposite sides in an open quarrel. The majority of the
population now settled in Kansas was of Northern origin, for the
conditions of life in the North were much more favourable to emigration
into new lands than those of the slave-owning States. Had a free ballot
been taken of the genuine settlers there would certainly have been a
large majority against Slavery. But in the scarcely disguised civil war
into which the competition for Kansas had developed, the Slave-State
party had the support of bands of "border ruffians" from the
neighbouring State, who could appear as citizens of Kansas one day and
return to their homes in Missouri the next. With such aid that party
succeeded in silencing the voices of the Free State men while they held
a bogus Convention at Lecompton, consisting largely of men who were not
really inhabitants of Kansas at all, adopted a Slave Constitution, and
under it applied for admission to the Union. Buchanan, who, though a
Northerner, was strongly biassed in favour of the Slavery party, readily
accepted this as a _bonâ fide_ application, and recommended Congress to
accede to it. Douglas was much better informed as to how things were
actually going in Kansas, and he felt that if the Lecompton Constitution
were acknowledged his favourite doctrine of Popular Sovereignty would be
justly covered with odium and contempt. He therefore set himself against
the President, and his personal followers combined with the Republicans
to defeat the Lecompton proposition.

The struggle in Illinois thus became for Douglas a struggle for
political life or death. At war with the President and with a large
section of his party, if he could not keep a grip on his own State his
political career was over. Nor did he underrate his Republican opponent;
indeed, he seems to have had a keener perception of the great qualities
which were hidden under Lincoln's rough and awkward exterior than anyone
else at that time exhibited. When he heard of his candidature he looked
grave. "He is the strongest man of his party," he said, "and thoroughly
honest. It will take us all our time to beat him."

It did. Douglas was victorious, but only narrowly and after a
hard-fought contest. The most striking feature of that contest was the
series of Lincoln-Douglas debates in which, by an interesting innovation
in electioneering, the two candidates for the Senatorship contended face
to face in the principal political centres of the State. In reading
these debates one is impressed not only with the ability of both
combatants, but with their remarkable candour, good temper and even
magnanimity. It is very seldom, if ever, that either displays malice or
fails in dignity and courtesy to his opponent. When one remembers the
white heat of political and sectional rivalry at that time--when one
recalls some of Sumner's speeches in the Senate, not to mention the
public beating which they brought on him--it must be confessed that the
fairness with which the two great Illinois champions fought each other
was highly to the honour of both.

Where the controversy turned on practical or legal matters the
combatants were not ill-matched, and both scored many telling points.
When the general philosophy of government came into the question
Lincoln's great superiority in seriousness and clarity of thought was at
once apparent. A good example of this will be found in their dispute as
to the true meaning of the Declaration of Independence. Douglas denied
that the expression "all men" could be meant to include Negroes. It only
referred to "British subjects in this continent being equal to British
subjects born and residing in Great Britain." Lincoln instantly knocked
out his adversary by reading the amended version of the Declaration: "We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all British subjects who were
on this Continent eighty-one years ago were created equal to all British
subjects born and then residing in Great Britain." This was more than a
clever debating point. It was a really crushing exposure of intellectual
error. The mere use of the words "truths" and "self-evident" and their
patently ridiculous effect in the Douglas version proves conclusively
which interpreter was nearest to the mind of Thomas Jefferson. And the
sense of his superiority is increased when, seizing his opportunity, he
proceeds to offer a commentary on the Declaration in its bearing on the
Negro Question so incomparably lucid and rational that Jefferson himself
might have penned it.

In the following year an incident occurred which is of some historical
importance, not because, as is sometimes vaguely suggested, it did
anything whatever towards the emancipation of the slaves, but because it
certainly increased, not unnaturally, the anger and alarm of the South.
Old John Brown had suspended for a time his programme of murder and
mutilation in Kansas and returned to New England, where he approached a
number of wealthy men of known Abolitionist sympathies whom he persuaded
to provide him with money for the purpose of raising a slave
insurrection. That he should have been able to induce men of sanity and
repute to support him in so frantic and criminal an enterprise says much
for the personal magnetism which by all accounts was characteristic of
this extraordinary man. Having obtained his supplies, he collected a
band of nineteen men, including his own sons, with which he proposed to
make an attack on the Government arsenal at Harper's Ferry in Virginia,
which, when captured, he intended to convert into a place of refuge and
armament for fugitive slaves and a nucleus for the general Negro rising
which he expected his presence to produce. The plan was as mad as its
author, yet it is characteristic of a peculiar quality of his madness
that he conducted the actual operations not only with amazing audacity
but with remarkable skill, and the first part of his programme was
successfully carried out. The arsenal was surprised, and its sleeping
and insufficient garrison overpowered. Here, however, his success ended.
No fugitives joined him, and there was not the faintest sign of a slave
rising. In fact, as Lincoln afterwards said, the Negroes, ignorant as
they were, seem to have had the sense to see that the thing would come
to nothing. As soon as Virginia woke up to what had happened troops were
sent to recapture the arsenal. Brown and his men fought bravely, but the
issue could not be in doubt. Several of Brown's followers and all his
sons were killed. He himself was wounded, captured, brought to trial
and very properly hanged--unless we take the view that he should rather
have been confined in an asylum. He died with the heroism of a fanatic.
Emerson and Longfellow talked some amazing nonsense about him which is
frequently quoted. Lincoln talked some excellent sense which is hardly
ever quoted. And the Republican party was careful to insert in its
platform a vigorous denunciation of his Harper's Ferry exploit.

Both sides now began to prepare for the Presidential Election of 1860.
The selection of a Republican candidate was debated at a large and
stormy Convention held in Chicago. Seward was the most prominent
Republican politician, but he had enemies, and for many reasons it was
thought that his adoption would mean the loss of available votes. Chase
was the favourite of the Radical wing of the party, but it was feared
that the selection of a man who was thought to lean to Abolitionism
would alienate the moderates. To secure the West was an important
element in the electoral problem, and this, together with the zealous
backing of his own State, within whose borders the Convention met, and
the fact that he was recognized as a "moderate," probably determined the
choice of Lincoln. It does not appear that any of those who chose him
knew that they were choosing a great man. Some acute observers had
doubtless noted the ability he displayed in his debates with Douglas,
but in the main he seems to have been recommended to the Chicago
Convention, as afterwards to the country, mainly on the strength of his
humble origin, his skill as a rail-splitter, and his alleged ability to
bend a poker between his fingers.

While the Republicans were thus choosing their champion, much fiercer
quarrels were rending the opposite party, whose Convention met at
Charleston. The great majority of the Northern delegates were for
choosing Douglas as candidate, and fighting on a programme of "popular
sovereignty." But the Southerners would not hear of either candidate or
programme. His attitude on the Lecompton business was no longer the only
count against Douglas. The excellent controversial strategy of Lincoln
had forced from him during the Illinois debates an interpretation of
"popular sovereignty" equally offensive to the South. Lincoln had asked
him how a territory whose inhabitants desired to exclude Slavery could,
if the Dred Scott decision were to be accepted, lawfully exclude it.
Douglas had answered that it could for practical purposes exclude it by
withholding legislation in its support and adopting "unfriendly
legislation" towards it. Lincoln at once pointed out that Douglas was
virtually advising a territorial government to nullify a judgment of the
Supreme Court. The cry was caught up in the South and was fatal to
Douglas's hopes of support from that section.

The Charleston Convention, split into two hostile sections, broke up
without a decision. The Douglas men, who were the majority, met at
Baltimore, acclaimed him as Democratic candidate and adopted his
programme. The dissentients held another Convention at Charleston and
adopted Breckinridge with a programme based upon the widest
interpretation of the Dred Scott judgment. To add to the multiplicity of
voices the rump of the old Whig Party, calling themselves the party of
"the Union, the Constitution and the Laws," nominated Everett and Bell.

The split in the Democratic Party helped the Republicans in another than
the obvious fashion of giving them the chance of slipping in over the
heads of divided opponents. It helped their moral position in the North.
It deprived the Democrats of their most effective appeal to Union-loving
men--the assertion that their party was national while the Republicans
were sectional. For Douglas was now practically as sectional as Lincoln.
As little as Lincoln could he command any considerable support south of
the Potomac. Moreover, the repudiation of Douglas seemed to many
Northerners to prove that the South was arrogant and unreasonable beyond
possibility of parley or compromise. The wildest of her protagonists
could not pretend that Douglas was a "Black Abolitionist," or that he
meditated any assault upon the domestic institutions of the Southern
States. If the Southerners could not work with him, with what
Northerner, not utterly and unconditionally subservient to them, could
they work? It seemed to many that the choice lay between a vigorous
protest now and the acceptance of the numerically superior North of a
permanently inferior position in the Confederation.

In his last electoral campaign the "Little Giant" put up a plucky fight
against his enemies North and South. But he had met his Waterloo. In the
whole Union he carried but one State and half of another. The South was
almost solid for Breckinridge. The North and West, from New England to
California, was as solid for Lincoln. A few border States gave their
votes for Everett. But, owing to the now overwhelming numerical
superiority of the Free States, the Republicans had in the Electoral
College a decided majority over all other parties.

Thus was Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States. But
many who voted for him had hardly recorded their votes before they
became a little afraid of the thing they had done. Through the whole
continent ran the ominous whisper: "What will the South do?"

And men held their breath, waiting for what was to follow.

                              CHAPTER IX

                        SECESSION AND CIVIL WAR

It is a significant fact that the news of Lincoln's election which
caused so much dismay and searching of heart throughout the Southern and
Border States was received with defiant cheers in Charleston, the chief
port of South Carolina. Those cheers meant that there was one Southern
State that was ready to answer on the instant the whispered question
which was troubling the North, and to answer it by no means in a

South Carolina occupied a position not exactly parallel to that of any
other State. Her peculiarity was not merely that her citizens held the
dogma of State Sovereignty. All the States from Virginia southward, at
any rate, held that dogma in one form or another. But South Carolina
held it in an extreme form, and habitually acted on it in an extreme
fashion. It is not historically true to say that she learnt her
political creed from Calhoun. It would be truer to say that he learnt it
from her. But it may be that the leadership of a man of genius, who
could codify and expound her thought, and whose bold intellect shrank
from no conclusion to which his principles led, helped to give a
peculiar simplicity and completeness to her interpretation of the dogma
in question. The peculiarity of her attitude must be expressed by saying
that most Americans had two loyalties, while the South Carolinian had
only one. Whether in the last resort a citizen should prefer loyalty to
his State or loyalty to the Union was a question concerning which man
differed from man and State from State. There were men, and indeed whole
States, for whom the conflict was a torturing, personal tragedy, and a
tearing of the heart in two. But practically all Americans believed
that some measure of loyalty was due to both connections. The South
Carolinan did not. All his loyalty was to his State. He scarcely
pretended to anything like national feeling. The Union was at best a
useful treaty of alliance with foreigners to be preserved only so far as
the interests of the Palmetto State were advantaged thereby. His
representatives in House and Senate, the men he sent to take part as
electors in the choosing of a President, had rather the air of
ambassadors than of legislators. They were in Congress to fight the
battles of their State, and avowed quite frankly that if it should ever
appear that "the Treaty called the Constitution of the United States"
(as South Carolina afterwards designated it in her Declaration of
Independence) were working to its disadvantage, they would denounce it
with as little scruple or heart-burning as the Washington Government
might denounce a commercial treaty with England or Spain.

South Carolina had been talking freely of secession for thirty years. As
I have said, she regarded the Union simply as a diplomatic arrangement
to be maintained while it was advantageous, and again and again doubts
had been expressed as to whether in fact it was advantageous. The fiscal
question which had been the ostensible cause of the Nullification
movement in the 'thirties was still considered a matter of grievance. As
an independent nation, it was pointed out, South Carolina would be free
to meet England on the basis of reciprocal Free Trade, to market her
cotton in Lancashire to the best advantage, and to receive in return a
cheap and plentiful supply of British manufactures. At any moment since
1832 a good opportunity might have led her to attempt to break away. The
election of Lincoln was to her not so much a grievance as a signal--and
not altogether an unwelcome one. No time was lost in discussion, for the
State was unanimous. The legislature had been in session choosing
Presidential electors--for in South Carolina these were chosen by the
legislature and not by the people. When the results of the voting in
Pennsylvania and Indiana made it probable that the Republicans would
have a majority, the Governor intimated that it should continue to sit
in order to consider the probable necessity of taking action to save
the State. The news of Lincoln's election reached Charleston on the 7th
of November. On the 10th of November the legislature unanimously voted
for the holding of a specific Convention to consider the relations of
South Carolina with the United States. The Convention met early in
December, and before the month was out South Carolina had in her own
view taken her place in the world as an independent nation. The Stars
and Stripes was hauled down, and the new "Palmetto Flag"--a palm-tree
and a single star--raised over the public buildings throughout the

Many Southerners, including not a few who were inclined to Secession as
the only course in the face of the Republican victory, considered the
precipitancy of South Carolina unwise and unjustifiable. She should,
they thought, rather have awaited a conference with the other Southern
States and the determination of a common policy. But in fact there can
be little doubt that the audacity of her action was a distinct spur to
the Secessionist movement. It gave it a focus, a point round which to
rally. The idea of a Southern Confederacy was undoubtedly already in the
air. But it might have remained long and perhaps permanently in the air
if no State had been ready at once to take the first definite and
material step. It was now no longer a mere abstract conception or
inspiration. The nucleus of the thing actually existed in the Republic
of South Carolina, which every believer in State Sovereignty was bound
to recognize as a present independent State. It acted, so to speak, as a
magnet to draw other alarmed and discontented States out of the Union.

The energy of the South Carolinian Secessionists might have produced
less effect had anything like a corresponding energy been displayed by
the Government of the United States. But when men impatiently looked to
Washington for counsel and decision they found neither. The conduct of
President Buchanan moved men at the time to contemptuous impatience, and
history has echoed the contemporary verdict. Just one fact may perhaps
be urged in extenuation: if he was a weak man he was also in a weak
position. A real and very practical defect, as it seems to me, in the
Constitution of the United States is the four months' interval between
the election of a President and his installation. The origin of the
practice is obvious enough: it is a relic of the fiction of the
Electoral College, which is supposed to be spending those months in
searching America for the fittest man to be chief magistrate. But now
that everyone knows on the morrow of the election of the College who is
to be President, the effect may easily be to leave the immense power and
responsibility of the American Executive during a critical period in the
hands of a man who has no longer the moral authority of a popular
mandate--whose policy the people have perhaps just rejected. So it was
in this case. Buchanan was called upon to face a crisis produced by the
defeat of his own party, followed by the threatened rebellion of the men
to whom he largely owed his election, and with it what moral authority
he might be supposed to possess. Had Lincoln been able to take command
in November he might, by a combination of firmness and conciliation,
have checked the Secessionist movement. Buchanan, perhaps, could do
little; but that little he did not do.

When all fair allowance has been made for the real difficulties of his
position it must be owned that the President cut a pitiable figure. What
was wanted was a strong lead for the Union sentiment of all the States
to rally to. What Buchanan gave was the most self-confessedly futile
manifesto that any American President has ever penned. His message to
the Congress began by lecturing the North for having voted Republican.
It went on to lecture the people of South Carolina for seceding, and to
develop in a lawyer-like manner the thesis that they had no
constitutional right to do so. This was not likely to produce much
effect in any case, but any effect that it might have produced was
nullified by the conclusion which appeared to be intended to show, in
the same legal fashion, that, though South Carolina had no
constitutional right to secede, no one had any constitutional right to
prevent her from seceding. The whole wound up with a tearful
demonstration of the President's own innocence of any responsibility for
the troubles with which he was surrounded.

It was not surprising if throughout the nation there stirred a name and
memory, and to many thousands of lips sprang instinctively and
simultaneously a single sentence: "Oh for one hour of Jackson!"

General Scott, who was in supreme command of the armed forces of the
Union, had, as a young man, received Jackson's instructions for "the
execution of the laws" in South Carolina. He sent a detailed
specification of them to Buchanan; but it was of no avail. The great
engine of democratic personal power which Jackson had created and
bequeathed to his successors was in trembling and incapable hands. With
a divided Cabinet--for his Secretary of State, Cass, was for vigorous
action against the rebellious State, while his Secretary for War, Floyd,
was an almost avowed sympathizer with secession--and with a President
apparently unable to make up his own mind, or to keep to one policy from
hour to hour, it was clear that South Carolina was not to be dealt with
in Jackson's fashion. Clay's alternative method remained to be tried.

It was a disciple of Clay's, Senator Crittenden, who made the attempt, a
Whig and a Kentuckian like his master. He proposed a compromise very
much in Clay's manner, made up for the most part of carefully balanced
concessions to either section. But its essence lay in its proposed
settlement of the territorial problem, which consisted of a
Constitutional Amendment whereby territories lying south of latitude 36°
30' should be open to Slavery, and those north of that line closed
against it. This was virtually the extension of the Missouri Compromise
line to the Pacific, save that California, already accepted as a Free
State, was not affected. Crittenden, though strenuously supported by
Douglas, did not meet with Clay's measure of success. The Senate
appointed a committee to consider the relations of the two sections, and
to that committee, on which he had a seat, he submitted his plan. But
its most important clause was negatived by a combination of extremes,
Davis and the other Southerners from the Cotton States combining with
the Republicans to reject it. There is, however, some reason to believe
that the Southerners would have accepted the plan if the Republicans had
done so. The extreme Republicans, whose representative on the committee
was Wade of Ohio, would certainly have refused it in any case, but the
moderates on that side might probably have accepted and carried it had
not Lincoln, who had been privately consulted, pronounced decidedly
against it. This fixes upon Lincoln a considerable responsibility before
history, for it seems probable that if the Crittenden Compromise had
been carried the Cotton States would not have seceded, and South
Carolina would have stood alone. The refusal, however, is very
characteristic of his mind. No-one, as his whole public conduct showed,
was more moderate in counsel and more ready to compromise on practical
matters than he. Nor does it seem that he would have objected strongly
to the Crittenden plan--though he certainly feared that it would lead to
filibustering in Mexico and Cuba for the purpose of obtaining more slave
territory--if it could have been carried out by Congressional action
alone. But the Dred Scott judgment made it necessary to give it the form
of a Constitutional Amendment, and a Constitutional Amendment on the
lines proposed would do what the Fathers of the Republic had so
carefully refrained from doing--make Slavery specifically and in so many
words part of the American system. This was a price which his
intellectual temper, so elastic in regard to details, but so firm in its
insistence on sound first principles, was not prepared to pay.

The rejection of the Crittenden Compromise gave the signal for the new
and much more formidable secession which marked the New Year. Before
January was spent Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi were, in their own
view, out of the Union. Louisiana and Texas soon followed their example.
In Georgia the Unionists put up a much stronger fight, led by Alexander
Stephens, afterwards Vice-President of the Confederacy. But even there
they were defeated, and the Cotton States now formed a solid phalanx
openly defying the Government at Washington.

The motives of this first considerable secession--for I have pointed out
that the case of South Carolina was unique--are of great importance, for
they involve our whole view of the character of the war which was to
follow. In England there is still a pretty general impression that the
States rose in defence of Slavery. I find a writer so able and generally
reliable as Mr. Alex. M. Thompson of the _Clarion_ giving, in a recent
article, as an example of a just war, "the war waged by the Northern
States to extinguish Slavery." This view is, of course, patently false.
The Northern States waged no war to extinguish Slavery; and, had they
done so, it would not have been a just but a flagrantly unjust war.
No-one could deny for a moment that under the terms of Union the
Southern States had a right to keep their slaves as long as they chose.
If anyone thought such a bargain too immoral to be kept, his proper
place was with Garrison, and his proper programme the repudiation of the
bargain and the consequent disruption of the Union. But the North had
clearly no shadow of right to coerce the Southerners into remaining in
the Union and at the same time to deny them the rights expressly
reserved to them under the Treaty of Union. And of such a grossly
immoral attempt every fair-minded historian must entirely acquit the
victorious section. The Northerners did not go to war to abolish
Slavery. The original basis of the Republican party, its platform of
1860, the resolutions passed by Congress, and the explicit declarations
of Lincoln, both before and after election, all recognize specifically
and without reserve the immunity of Slavery in the Slave States from all
interference by the Federal Government.

American writers are, of course, well acquainted with such elementary
facts, and, if they would attempt to make Slavery the cause of the
rebellion, they are compelled to use a different but, I think, equally
misleading phrase. I find, for instance, Professor Rhodes saying that
the South went to war for "the extension of Slavery." This sounds more
plausible, because the extension of the geographical area over which
Slavery should be lawful had been a Southern policy, and because the
victory of the party organized to oppose this policy was in fact the
signal for secession. But neither will this statement bear examination,
for it must surely be obvious that the act of secession put a final end
to any hope of the extension of Slavery. How could Georgia and Alabama,
outside the Union, effect anything to legalize Slavery in the Union
territories of Kansas and New Mexico?

A true statement of the case would, I think, be this: The South felt
itself threatened with a certain peril. Against that peril the
extension of the slave area had been one attempted method of protection.
Secession was an alternative method.

The peril was to be found in the increasing numerical superiority of the
North, which must, it was feared, reduce the South to a position of
impotence in the Union if once the rival section were politically
united. Lowell spoke much of the truth when he said that the Southern
grievance was the census of 1860; but not the whole truth. It was the
census of 1860 plus the Presidential Election of 1860, and the moral to
be drawn from the two combined. The census showed that the North was
already greatly superior in numbers, and that the disproportion was an
increasing one. The election showed the North combined in support of a
party necessarily and almost avowedly sectional, and returning its
candidate triumphantly, although he had hardly a vote south of the
Mason-Dixon line. To the South this seemed to mean that in future, if it
was to remain in the Union at all, it must be on sufferance. A
Northerner would always be President, a Northern majority would always
be supreme in both Houses of Congress, for the admission of California,
already accomplished, and the now certain admission of Kansas as a Free
State had disturbed the balance in the Senate as well as in the House.
The South would henceforward be unable to influence in any way the
policy of the Federal Government. It would be enslaved.

It is true that the South had no immediate grievance. The only action of
the North of which she had any sort of right to complain was the
infringement of the spirit of the Constitutional compact by the Personal
Liberty Laws. But these laws there was now a decided disposition to
amend or repeal--a disposition strongly supported by the man whom the
North had elected as President. It is also true, that this man would
never have lent himself to any unfair depression of the Southern part of
the Union. This last fact, however, the South may be pardoned for not
knowing. Even those Northerners who had elected Lincoln knew little
about him except that he was the Republican nominee and had been a
"rail-splitter." In the South, so far as one can judge, all that was
heard about him was that he was a "Black Abolitionist," which was
false, and that in appearance he resembled a gorilla, which was, at
least by comparison, true.

But, even if Lincoln's fairness of mind and his conciliatory disposition
towards the South had been fully appreciated, it is not clear that the
logic of the Secessionist case would have been greatly weakened. The
essential point was that the North, by virtue of its numerical
superiority, had elected a purely Northern candidate on a purely
Northern programme. Though both candidate and programme were in fact
moderate, there was no longer any security save the will of the North
that such moderation would continue. If the conditions remained
unaltered, there was nothing to prevent the North at a subsequent
election from making Charles Sumner President with a programme conceived
in the spirit of John Brown's raid. It must be admitted that the policy
adopted by the dominant North after the Civil War might well appear to
afford a measure of posthumous justification for these fears.

In the North at first all seemed panic and confusion of voices. To
many--and among them were some of those who had been keenest in
prosecuting the sectional quarrel of which Secession was the outcome--it
appeared the wisest course to accept the situation and acquiesce in the
peaceable withdrawal of the seceding States. This was the position
adopted almost unanimously by the Abolitionists, and it must be owned
that they at least were strictly consistent in taking it. "When I called
the Union 'a League with Death and an Agreement with Hell,'" said
Garrison, "I did not expect to see Death and Hell secede from the
Union." Garrison's disciple, Wendell Phillips, pronounced the matter one
for the Gulf States themselves to decide, and declared that you could
not raise troops in Boston to coerce South Carolina or Florida. The same
line was taken by men who carried greater weight than did the
Abolitionists. No writer had rendered more vigorous service to the
Republican cause in 1860 than Horace Greeley of the _New York Tribune_.
His pronouncement in that journal on the Southern secessions was
embodied in the phrase: "Let our erring sisters go."

But while some of the strongest opponents of the South and of Slavery
were disposed to accept the dismemberment of the Union almost
complacently, there were men of a very different type to whom it seemed
an outrage to be consummated only over their dead bodies. During the
wretched months of Buchanan's incurable hesitancy the name of Jackson
had been in every mouth. And at the mere sound of that name there was a
rally to the Union of all who had served under the old warrior in the
days when he had laid his hand of steel upon the Nullifiers. Some of
them, moved by that sound and by the memory of the dead, broke through
the political ties of a quarter of a century. Among those in whom that
memory overrode every other passion were Holt, a Southerner and of late
the close ally of Davis; Cass, whom Lowell had pilloried as the typical
weak-kneed Northerner who suffered himself to be made the lackey of the
South; and Taney, who had denied that, in the contemplation of the
American Constitution, the Negro was a man. It was Black, an old
Jacksonian, who in the moment of peril held the nerveless hands of the
President firm to the tiller. It was Dix, another such, who sent to New
Orleans the very Jacksonian order: "If any man attempts to haul down the
American flag, shoot him at sight."

War is always the result of a conflict of wills.

The conflict of wills which produced the American Civil War had nothing
directly to do with Slavery. It was the conflict between the will of
certain Southern States to secede rather than accept the position of a
permanent minority and the will expressed in Jackson's celebrated toast:
"Our Union, it must be preserved." It is the Unionist position which
clearly stands in need of special defence, since it proposed the
coercion of a recalcitrant population. Can such a defence be framed in
view of the acceptance by most of us of the general principle which has
of late been called "the self-determination of peoples"?

I think it can. One may at once dismiss the common illusion--for it is
often in such cases a genuine illusion, though sometimes a piece of
hypocrisy--which undoubtedly had possession of many Northern minds at
the time, that the Southern people did not really want to secede, but
were in some mysterious fashion "intimidated" by a disloyal minority.
How, in the absence of any special means of coercion, one man can
"intimidate" two was never explained any more than it is explained when
the same absurd hypothesis is brought forward in relation to Irish
agrarian and English labour troubles. At any rate in this case there is
not, and never has been, the slightest justification for doubting that
Secessionism was from the first a genuine popular movement, that it was
enthusiastically embraced by hundreds of thousands who no more expected
ever to own a slave than an English labourer expects to own a carriage
and pair; that in this matter the political leaders of the States, and
Davis in particular, rather lagged behind than outran the general
movement of opinion; that the Secessionists were in the Cotton States a
great majority from the first; that they became later as decided a
majority in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee; and that by the
time the sword was drawn there was behind the Confederate Government a
unanimity very rare in the history of revolutions--certainly much
greater than existed in the colonies at the time of the Declaration of
Independence. To oppose so formidable a mass of local opinion and to
enforce opposition by the sword was for a democracy a grave

Yet it was a responsibility which had to be accepted if America was to
justify her claim to be a nation. To understand this certain further
propositions must be grasped.

First, the resistance of the South, though so nearly universal, was not
strictly national. You cannot compare the case with that of Ireland or
Poland. The Confederacy was never a nation, though, had the war had a
different conclusion, it might perhaps have become one. It is important
to remember that the extreme Southern view did not profess to regard the
South as a nationality. It professed to regard South Carolina as one
nationality, Florida as another, Virginia as another. But this view,
though it had a strong hold on very noble minds, was at bottom a
legalism out of touch with reality. It may be doubted whether any man
felt it in his bones as men feel a genuine national sentiment.

On the other hand _American_ national sentiment was a reality. It had
been baptized in blood. It was a reality for Southerners as well as for
Northerners, for Secessionists as well as for Union men. There was
probably no American, outside South Carolina, who did not feel it as a
reality, though it might be temporarily obscured and overborne by local
loyalties, angers, and fears. The President of the Confederacy had
himself fought under the Stars and Stripes, and loved it so well that he
could not bear to part with it and wished to retain it as the flag of
the South. Had one generation of excited men, without any cognate and
definable grievance, moved only by anger at a political reverse and the
dread of unrealized and dubious evils, the right to undo the mighty work
of consolidation now so nearly accomplished, to throw away at once the
inheritance of their fathers and the birthright of their children? Nor
would they and their children be the only losers: it was the great
principles on which the American Commonwealth was built that seemed to
many to be on trial for their life. If the Union were broken up, what
could men say but that Democracy had failed? The ghost of Hamilton might
grin from his grave; though his rival had won the laurel, it was he who
would seem to have proved his case. For the first successful secession
would not necessarily have been the last. The thesis of State
Sovereignty established by victory in arms--which always does in
practice establish any thesis for good or evil--meant the break-up of
the free and proud American nation into smaller and smaller fragments as
new disputes arose, until the whole fabric planned by the Fathers of the
Republic had disappeared. It is impossible to put this argument better
than in the words of Lincoln himself. "Must a government, of necessity,
be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to
maintain its own existence?" That was the issue as he saw it, an issue
which he was determined should be decided in the negative, even at the
cost of a long and bloody Civil War.

I have endeavoured to state fairly the nature of the conflict of wills
which was to produce Civil War, and to explain how each side justified
morally its appeal to arms. Further than that I do not think it
necessary to go. But I will add just this one historical fact which, I
think, supplies some degree of further justification for the attitude of
the North--that concerning this matter of the Union, which was the real
question in debate, though not in regard to other subsidiary matters
which will demand our attention in the next chapter, the South was
ultimately not only conquered but persuaded. There are among the
millions of Southerners alive to-day few who will admit that their
fathers fought in an unjust cause, but there are probably still fewer,
if any at all, who would still wish to secede if they had the power.
Jefferson Davis himself could, at the last, close his record of his own
defeat and of the triumph of the Union with the words _Esto Perpetua_.

Lincoln took the oath as President on March 4, 1861. His Inaugural
Address breathes the essential spirit of his policy--firmness in things
fundamental, conciliation in things dispensable. He reiterated his
declaration that he had neither right nor inclination to interfere with
Slavery in the Slave States. He quoted the plank in the Republican
platform which affirmed the right of each State to control its own
affairs, and vigorously condemned John Brown's insane escapade. He
declared for an effective Fugitive Slave Law, and pledged himself to its
faithful execution. He expressed his approval of the amendment to the
Constitution which Congress had just resolved to recommend, forbidding
the Federal Government ever to interfere with the domestic institutions
of the several States, "including that of persons held to service." But
on the question of Secession he took firm ground. "I hold that, in
contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the union of
these States is perpetual.... It follows from these views that no State
upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that
resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts
of violence within any State or States, against the authority of the
United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to
circumstances." He accepted the obligation which the Constitution
expressly enjoined on him, to see "that the laws of the Union be
faithfully executed in all the States." He would use his power "to hold,
occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government
and to collect the duties and imposts," but beyond that there would be
no interference or coercion. There could be no conflict or bloodshed
unless the Secessionists were themselves the aggressors. "In your hands,
my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine is the momentous
issue of Civil War.... You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy
the Government, while I have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect
and defend it.'"

He ended with the one piece of rhetoric in the whole address--rhetoric
deliberately framed to stir those emotions of loyalty to the national
past and future which he knew to endure, howsoever overshadowed by anger
and misunderstanding, even in Southern breasts. "We are not enemies, but
friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it
must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory,
stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living
heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the
chorus of Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the
better angels of our nature."

But there was not much evidence of the active operation of such "better
angels" at the moment. Half the Southern States had not only seceded,
but had already formed themselves into a hostile Confederacy. They
framed a Constitution modelled in essentials on that of the United
States, but with the important difference that "We the deputies of the
Sovereign and Independent States" was substituted for "We the people of
the United States," and with certain minor amendments, some of which
were generally thought even in the North to be improvements.

They elected Jefferson Davis as President, and as Vice-President
Alexander Stephens of Georgia, who had been a Unionist, but had accepted
the contrary verdict of his State.

The choice was, perhaps, as good as could have been made. Davis was in
some ways well fitted to represent the new Commonwealth before the
world. He had a strong sense of what befitted his own dignity and that
of his office. He had a keen eye for what would attract the respect and
sympathy of foreign nations. It is notable, for instance, that in his
inaugural address, in setting forth the grounds on which secession was
to be justified, he made no allusion to the institution of Slavery.
There he may be contrasted favourably with Stephens, whose unfortunate
speech declaring Slavery to be the stone which the builders of the old
Constitution rejected, and which was to become the corner-stone of the
new Confederacy, was naturally seized upon by Northern sympathizers at
the time, and has been as continually brought forward since by
historians and writers who wish to emphasize the connection between
Slavery and the Southern cause. Davis had other qualifications which
might seem to render him eminently fit to direct the policy of a
Confederation which must necessarily begin its existence by fighting and
winning a great and hazardous war. He had been a soldier and served with
distinction. Later he had been, by common consent, one of the best War
Secretaries that the United States had possessed. It was under his
administration that both Lee and McClellan, later to be arrayed against
each other, were sent to the Crimea to study modern war at first hand.

But Davis had faults of temper which often endangered and perhaps at
last ruined the cause he served. They can be best appreciated by reading
his own book. There is throughout a note of querulousness which weakens
one's sympathy for the hero of a lost cause. He is always explaining how
things ought to have happened, how the people of Kentucky ought to have
been angry with Lincoln instead of siding with him, and so on. One
understands at once how he was bested in democratic diplomacy by his
rival's lucid realism and unfailing instinct for dealing with men as
men. One understands also his continual quarrels with his generals,
though in that department he was from the first much better served than
was the Government at Washington. A sort of nervous irritability,
perhaps a part of what is called "the artistic temperament," is
everywhere perceptible. Nowhere does one find a touch of that spirit
which made Lincoln say, after an almost insolent rebuff to his personal
and official dignity from McClellan: "Well, I will hold his horse for
him if he will give us a victory."

The prize for which both parties were contending in the period of
diplomatic skirmishing which marks the opening months of Lincoln's
administration was the adherence of those Slave States which had not yet
seceded. So far disruptional doctrines had triumphed only in the Cotton
States. In Virginia Secession had been rejected by a very decided
majority, and the rejection had been confirmed by the result of the
subsequent elections for the State legislature. The Secessionists had
also seen their programme defeated in Tennessee, Arkansas, and North
Carolina, while Kentucky, Missouri and Maryland had as yet refused to
make any motion towards it. In Texas the general feeling was on the
whole Secessionist, but the Governor was a Unionist, and succeeded for a
time in preventing definite action. To keep these States loyal, while
keeping at the same time his pledge to "execute the laws," was Lincoln's
principal problem in the first days of his Presidency.

His policy turned mainly on two principles. First, the South must see
that the administration of the laws was really impartial, and that the
President executed them because he had taken an oath to do so; not
because the North wanted to trample on the South. This consideration
explains the extreme rigour with which he enforced the Fugitive Slave
Law. Here was a law involving a Constitutional obligation, which he,
with his known views on Slavery, could not possibly like executing,
which the North certainly did not want him to execute, which he could be
executing only from a sense of obligation under the Constitution. Such
an example would make it easier for moderate Southern opinion to accept
the application of a similar strictness to the seceding States.

The second principle was the strict confinement of his intervention
within the limits presented by his Inaugural. This was calculated to
bear a double effect. On the one hand, it avoided an immediate practical
challenge to the doctrine of State Sovereignty, strongly held by many in
the Middle States who were nevertheless opposed to Secession. On the
other, it tended, if prolonged, to render the Southern assumption of the
_rôle_ of "a people risen against tyrants" a trifle ridiculous. A
freeman defying the edicts of the oppressor is a dignified spectacle:
not so that of a man desperately anxious to defy edicts which the
oppressor obstinately refuses to issue. It was possible for Lincoln to
put the rebels in this position because under the American Constitution
nine-tenths of the laws which practically affected the citizen were
State and not Federal laws. When people began to talk of protesting
against tyranny by refusing to allow the tyrant to deliver their mails
to them, it was obvious how near the comic the sublime defiance of the
Confederates was treading. There were men in the South who fully
realized the disconcerting effect of the President's moderation. "Unless
you baptize the Confederacy in blood," said a leading Secessionist of
Alabama to Jefferson Davis, "Alabama will be back in the Union within a

Unfortunately Lincoln's attitude of masterly inactivity could not be
kept up for so long, for a problem, bequeathed him by his predecessor,
pressed upon him, demanding action, just where action might, as he well
knew, mean a match dropped in the heart of a powder-magazine. On an
island in the very harbour of Charleston itself stood Fort Sumter, an
arsenal held by the Federal Government. South Carolina, regarding
herself as now an independent State, had sent an embassy to Washington
to negotiate among other things for its surrender and transfer to the
State authorities. Buchanan had met these emissaries and temporized
without definitely committing himself. He had been on the point of
ordering Major Anderson, who was in command of the garrison, to evacuate
the fort, when under pressure from Black, his Secretary of State, he
changed his mind and sent a United States packet, called _Star of the
West_, with reinforcements for Anderson. The State authorities at
Charleston fired on the ship, which, being unarmed, turned tail and
returned to Washington without fulfilling its mission. The problem was
now passed on to Lincoln, with this aggravation: that Anderson's troops
had almost consumed their stores, could get no more from Charleston,
and, if not supplied, must soon succumb to starvation. Lincoln
determined to avoid the provocation of sending soldiers and arms, but to
despatch a ship with food and other necessaries for the garrison. This
resolution was duly notified to the authorities at Charleston.

Their anger was intense. They had counted on the evacuation of the fort,
and seem to have considered that they held a pledge from Seward, who was
now Secretary of State, and whose conduct in the matter seems certainly
to have been somewhat devious, to that effect. The Stars and Stripes
waving in their own harbour in defiance of their Edict of Secession
seemed to them and to all their people a daily affront. Now that the
President had intimated in the clearest possible fashion that he
intended it to be permanent, they and all the inhabitants of Charleston,
and indeed of South Carolina, clamoured loudly for the reduction of the
fortress. In an evil hour Jefferson Davis, though warned by his ablest
advisers that he was putting his side in the wrong, yielded to their
pressure. Anderson was offered the choice between immediate surrender or
the forcible reduction of the fortress. True to his military duty,
though his own sympathies were largely Southern, he refused to
surrender, and the guns of three other forts, which the Confederates had
occupied, began the bombardment of Sumter.

It lasted all day, the little fortress replying with great spirit,
though with insufficient and continually diminishing means. It is an
astonishing fact that in this, the first engagement of the Civil War,
though much of the fort was wrecked, no life was lost on either side. At
length Anderson's ammunition was exhausted, and he surrendered at
discretion. The Stars and Stripes were pulled down and the new flag of
the Confederacy, called the Stars and Bars, waved in its place.

The effect of the news in the North was electric. Never before and never
after was it so united. One cry of anger went up from twenty million
throats. Whitman, in the best of his "Drum Taps," has described the
spirit in which New York received the tidings; how that great
metropolitan city, which had in the past been Democrat in its votes and
half Southern in its political connections--"at dead of night, at news
from the South, incensed, struck with clenched fist the pavement."

It is important to the true comprehension of the motive power behind the
war to remember what this "news from the South" was. It was not the news
of the death of Uncle Tom or of the hanging of John Brown. It had not
the remotest connection with Slavery. It was an insult offered to the
flag. In the view of every Northern man and woman there was but one
appropriate answer--the sentence which Barrère had passed upon the city
of Lyons: "South Carolina has fired upon Old Glory: South Carolina is no

Lincoln, feeling the tide of the popular will below him as a good
boatman feels a strong and deep current, issued an appeal for 75,000
militia from the still loyal States to defend the flag and the Union
which it symbolized. The North responded with unbounded enthusiasm, and
the number of volunteers easily exceeded that for which the President
had asked and Congress provided. In the North-West Lincoln found a
powerful ally in his old antagonist Stephen Douglas. In the dark and
perplexing months which intervened between the Presidential Election and
the outbreak of the Civil War, no public man had shown so pure and
selfless a patriotism. Even during the election, when Southern votes
were important to him and when the threat that the election of the
Republican nominee would lead to secession was almost the strongest card
in his hand, he had gone out of his way to declare that no possible
choice of a President could justify the dismemberment of the Republic.
When Lincoln was elected, he had spoken in several Southern States,
urging acquiescence in the verdict and loyalty to the Union. He had
taken care to be present on the platform at his rival's inauguration,
and, after the affair of Sumter, the two had had a long and confidential
conversation. Returning to his native West, he commenced the last of his
campaigns--a campaign for no personal object but for the raising of
soldiers to keep the old flag afloat. In that campaign the "Little
Giant" spent the last of his unquenchable vitality; and in the midst of
it he died.

For the North and West the firing on the Stars and Stripes was the
decisive issue. For Virginia and to a great extent for the other
Southern States which had not yet seceded it was rather the President's
demands for State troops to coerce a sister State. The doctrine of State
Sovereignty was in these States generally held to be a fundamental
principle of the Constitution and the essential condition of their
liberties. They had no desire to leave the Union so long as it were
understood that it was a union of Sovereign States. But the proposal to
use force against a recalcitrant State seemed to them to upset the whole
nature of the compact and reduce them to a position of vassalage. This
attitude explains the second Secession, which took Virginia, Tennessee,
North Carolina, and Arkansas out of the Union. It explains also why the
moment the sword was drawn the opinion of these States, strongly divided
up to that very moment, became very nearly unanimous. Not all their
citizens, even after the virtual declaration of war against South
Carolina, wanted their States to secede, but all, or nearly all, claimed
that they had the _right_ to secede if they wanted to, and therefore
all, or nearly all, accepted the decision of their States even if it
were contrary to their own judgment and preference.

It is important to understand this attitude, not only because it was
very general, but because it was the attitude of one of the noblest sons
the Republic ever bore, who yet felt compelled, regretfully but with
full certitude that he did right, to draw the sword against her.

Robert Lee was already recognized as one of the most capable captains in
the service of the United States. When it became obvious that General
Scott, also a Virginian, but a strong Unionist, was too old to undertake
the personal direction of the approaching campaign, Lee was sounded as
to his readiness to take his place. He refused, not desiring to take
part in the coercion of a State, and subsequently, when his own State
became involved in the quarrel, resigned his commission. Later he
accepted the chief command of the Virginian forces and became the most
formidable of the rebel commanders. Yet with the institution, zeal for
which is still so largely thought to have been the real motive of the
South, he had no sympathy. Four years before the Republican triumph, he
had, in his correspondence, declared Slavery to be "a moral and
political evil." Nor was he a Secessionist. He deeply regretted and so
far as he could, without meddling in politics--to which, in the fashion
of good soldiers, he was strongly averse--opposed the action which his
State eventually took. But he thought that she had the right to take it
if she chose, and, the fatal choice having been made, he had no option
in his own view but to throw in his lot with her and accept his portion
of whatever fate might be in store for her armies and her people.

Virginia now passed an Ordinance of Secession, and formed a military
alliance with the Southern Confederacy. Later she was admitted to
membership of that Confederacy, and the importance attached to her
accession may be judged by the fact that the new Government at once
transferred its seat to her capital, the city of Richmond. The example
of Virginia was followed by the other Southern States already

There remained four Southern States in which the issue was undecided.
One of them, Delaware, caused no appreciable anxiety. She was the
smallest State in the Union in population, almost the smallest in area,
and though technically a Slave State, the proportion of negroes within
her borders was small. It was otherwise with the three formidable States
which still hung in the balance, Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland. That
these were saved to the Union was due almost wholly to the far-sighted
prudence and consummate diplomacy of Abraham Lincoln.

Missouri was the easiest to hold. Geographically she was not really a
Southern State at all, and, though she was a Slave State by virtue of
Clay's Compromise, the institution had not there struck such deep roots
as in the true South. The mass of her people were recruited from all the
older States, North and South, with a considerable contingent fresh from
Europe. Union feeling was strong among them and State feeling
comparatively weak. Her Governor, indeed, was an ardent Southern
sympathizer and returned a haughty and defiant reply to Lincoln's
request for soldiers. But Francis Blair, a prominent and popular
citizen, and Captain Lyon, who had raised and commanded a Union force
within her borders, between them carried the State against him. He was
deposed, a Unionist Governor substituted, and Missouri ranged herself
definitely with the North.

The case of Maryland was much more critical, for it appeared to involve
the fate of the Capital. Washington lay between Maryland and Virginia,
and if Maryland joined Virginia in rebellion it could hardly be held.
Yet its abandonment might entail the most serious political
consequences, certainly an enormous encouragement to the seceding
Confederacy, quite probably its immediate recognition by foreign Powers.
At first the omens looked ugly. The populace of Baltimore, the capital
of the State, were at this time pronouncedly Southern in their
sentiments, and the first Massachusetts regiment sent to the relief of
Washington was hustled and stoned in its streets. The soldiers fired on
the mob and there were casualties on both sides. Immediately afterwards
the legislature of Maryland protested against the violation of its
territory. Lincoln acted with admirable sense and caution. He pointed
out that the Federal armies could not fly, and that therefore to reach
Washington they must pass over the soil of Maryland; but he made no
point of their going through Baltimore, and he wisely provided that
further contingents should, for a time, proceed by water to Annapolis.
Meanwhile he strained every nerve to reassure and conciliate Maryland
with complete success. Within a month or two Federal troops could be
brought to Baltimore without the smallest friction or disturbance. Later
the loyalty of Maryland was, as we shall see, put to a much more
critical test and passed it triumphantly.

The President naturally felt a special interest in the attitude of his
native state, Kentucky. That attitude would have perplexed and
embarrassed a less discerning statesman. Taking her stand on the dogma
of State Sovereignty Kentucky declared herself "neutral" in the
impending war between the United and Confederate States, and forbade the
troops of either party to cross her territory. Lincoln could not, of
course, recognize the validity of such a declaration, but he was careful
to avoid any act in open violation of it. Sometimes openly and sometimes
secretly he worked hard to foster, consolidate, and encourage the Union
party in Kentucky. With his approval and probably at his suggestion
loyalist levies were voluntarily recruited on her soil, drilled and
prepared for action. But no Northern troops were sent across her
frontier. He was undoubtedly working for a violation of Kentuckian
"neutrality" by the other side. Circumstances and geographical
conditions helped him. The frontier between Kentucky and Tennessee was a
mere degree of latitude corresponding to no militarily defensible line,
nor did any such line exist to the south of it capable of covering the
capital of Tennessee. On the other hand, an excellent possible line of
defence existed in Southern Kentucky. The Confederate commanders were
eager to seize it, but the neutrality of Kentucky forbade them. When,
however, they saw the hold which Lincoln seemed to be acquiring over the
counsels of the "neutrals," they felt they dared not risk further delay.
Justifying their act by the presence in Kentucky of armed bodies of
local Unionists, they advanced and occupied the critical points of
Columbus and Bowling Green, stretching their line between them on
Kentuckian soil. The act at once determined the course of the hesitating
State. Torn hitherto between loyalty to the Union and loyalty to State
rights, she now found the two sentiments synchronize. In the name of her
violated neutrality she declared war on the Confederacy and took her
place under the Stars and Stripes.

The line between the two warring confederations of States was now
definitely fixed, and it only remained to try the issue between them by
the arbitrament of the sword.

At first the odds might seem very heavy against the Confederacy, for its
total white population was only about five and a half million, while the
States arrayed against it mustered well over twenty million. But there
were certain considerations which tended to some extent to equalize the

First there is the point which must always be taken into consideration
when estimating the chances of war--the political objective aimed at.
The objective of the North was the conquest of the South. But the
objective of the South was not the conquest of the North. It was the
demonstration that such conquest as the North desired was impracticable,
or at least so expensive as not to be worth pursuing. That the Union, if
the States that composed it remained united and determined and no other
factor were introduced, could eventually defeat the Confederacy was from
the first almost mathematically certain; and between complete defeat and
conquest there is no such distinction as some have imagined, for a
military force which has destroyed all military forces opposed to it can
always impose its will unconditionally on the conquered. But that these
States would remain united and determined was not certain at all. If the
South put up a sufficiently energetic fight, there might arise in the
dominant section a considerable body of opinion which felt that too high
a price was being paid for the enterprise. Moreover, there was always
the possibility and often the probability of another factor--the
intervention of some foreign Power in favour of the South, as France had
intervened in favour of the Americans in 1781. Such were the not
unlikely chances upon which the South was gambling.

Another factor in favour of the South was preparation. South Carolina
had begun raising and drilling soldiers for a probable war as soon as
Lincoln was elected. The other Southern States had at various intervals
followed her example. On the Northern side there had been no preparation
whatever under the Buchanan _régime_, and Lincoln had not much chance of
attempting such preparation before the war was upon him.

Further, it was probably true that, even untrained, the mass of
Southerners were better fitted for war than the mass of Northerners.
They were, as a community, agrarian, accustomed to an open-air life,
proud of their skill in riding and shooting. The first levies of the
North were drawn mostly from the urban population, and consisted largely
of clerks, artisans, and men of the professional class, in whose
previous modes of life there was nothing calculated to prepare them in
any way for the duties of a soldier. To this general rule there was,
however, an important reservation, of which the fighting at Fort
Donelson and Shiloh afforded an early illustration. In dash and
hardihood, and what may be called the raw materials of soldiership the
South, whatever it may have had to teach the North, had little to teach
the West.

In the matter of armament the South, though not exactly advantageously
placed, was at the beginning not so badly off as it might well have
been. Floyd, at one time Buchanan's Secretary for War, was accused, and
indeed, after he had joined the Secessionists, virtually admitted having
deliberately distributed the arms of the Federal Government to the
advantage of the Confederacy. Certainly the outbreak of war found some
well-stocked arsenals within the grasp of the rebellion. It was not
until its later phases that the great advantage of the industrial North
in facilities for the manufacture of armaments made itself apparent.

But the great advantage which the South possessed, and which accounts
for the great measure of military success which it enjoyed, must be
regarded as an accidental one. It consisted in the much greater capacity
of the commanders whom the opening of the war found in control of its
forces. The North had to search for competent generals by a process of
trial and error, almost every trial being marked by a disaster; nor till
the very end of the war did she discover the two or three men who were
equal to their job. The South, on the other hand, had from the beginning
the good luck to possess in its higher command more than one captain
whose talents were on the highest possible level.

The Confederate Congress was summoned to meet at Richmond on July 20th.
A cry went up from the North that this event should be prevented by the
capture before that date of the Confederate capital. The cry was based
on an insufficient appreciation of the military resources of the enemy,
but it was so vehement and universal that the Government was compelled
to yield to it. A considerable army had by this time been collected in
Washington, and under the command of General McDowell it now advanced
into Virginia, its immediate objective being Manassas Junction. The
opposing force was under the Southern commander Beauregard, a
Louisianian of French extraction. The other gate of Eastern Virginia,
the Shenandoah Valley, was held by Joseph Johnstone, who was to be kept
engaged by an aged Union general named Patterson. Johnstone, however,
broke contact and got away from Patterson, joining Beauregard behind the
line of a small river called Bull Run, to which the latter had retired.
Here McDowell attacked, and the first real battle of the Civil War
followed. For a time it wavered between the two sides, but the arrival
in flank of the forces of Johnstone's rearguard, which had arrived too
late for the opening of the battle, threw the Union right wing into
confusion. Panic spread to the whole army, which, with the exception of
a small body of regular troops, flung away its arms and fled in panic
back to Washington.

Thus unauspiciously opened the campaign against the Confederacy. The
impression produced on both sides was great. The North set its teeth and
determined to wipe out the disgrace at the first possible moment. The
South was wild with joy. The too-prevalent impression that the "Yankees"
were cowards who could not and would not fight seemed confirmed by the
first practical experiment. The whole subsequent course of the war
showed how false was this impression. It has been admitted that the
Southerners were at first, on the whole, both better fitted and better
prepared for war than their opponents. But all military history shows
that what enables soldiers to face defeat and abstain from panic in the
face of apparent disaster is not natural courage, but discipline. Had
the fight gone the other way the Southern recruits would probably have
acted exactly as did the fugitive Northerners. Indeed, as it was, at an
earlier stage of the battle a panic among the Southerners was only
averted by the personal exertions of Beauregard, whose horse was shot
under him, and by the good conduct of the Virginian contingent and its
leader. "Look at Jackson and his Virginians," cried out the Southern
commander in rallying his men, "standing like a stone wall." The great
captain thus acclaimed bore ever after, through his brief but splendid
military career, the name of "Stonewall" Jackson.

Bull Run was fought and won in July. The only other important operations
of the year consisted in the successful clearing, by the Northern
commander, McClellan, of Western Virginia, where a Unionist population
had seceded from the Secession. Lincoln, with bold statesmanship,
recognized it as a separate State, and thus further consolidated the
Unionism of the Border. In recognition of this service McClellan was
appointed, in succession to McDowell, to the command of the army of the
Potomac, as the force entrusted with the invasion of Eastern Virginia
was called.

At the first outbreak of the war English sympathies, except perhaps for
a part of the travelled and more or less cosmopolitan aristocracy which
found the Southern gentleman a more socially acceptable type than the
Yankee, seem to have been decidedly with the North. Public opinion in
this country was strong against Slavery, and therefore tended to support
the Free States in the contest of which Slavery was generally believed
to be the cause. Later this feeling became a little confused. Our people
did not understand the peculiar historical conditions which bound the
Northern side, and were puzzled and their enthusiasm damped by the
President's declaration that he had no intention of interfering with
Slavery, and still more by the resolution whereby Congress specifically
limited the objective of the war and the preservation of the Union,
expressly guaranteeing the permanence of Slavery as a domestic institution.
These things made it easy for the advocates of the South to maintain that
Slavery had nothing to do with the issue--as, indeed, directly, it had
not. Then came Bull Run--the sort of Jack-the-Giant-Killer incident which
always and in a very human fashion excites the admiration of sportsmanlike
foreigners. One may add to this the fact that the intelligent governing
class at that time generally regarded the Americans, as the Americans
regarded us, as rivals and potential enemies, and would not have been
sorry to see one strong power in the New World replaced by two weak ones.
On the other hand, the British Government's very proper proclamation of
neutrality as between the United States and the Confederacy had been
somewhat unreasonably criticized in America.

Yet the general sympathy with the Free as against the Slave States might
have had a better chance of surviving but for the occurrence in
November, 1861, of what is called the "Trent" dispute. The Confederacy
was naturally anxious to secure recognition from the Powers of Western
Europe, and with this object despatched two representatives, Mason of
Virginia and Slidell of South Carolina, the one accredited to the Court
of St. James's and the other to the Tuileries. They took passage to
Europe in a British ship called the _Trent_. The United States cruiser
_San Jacinto_, commanded by Captain Wilkes of the American Navy,
overhauled this vessel, searched it and seized and carried off the two
Confederate envoys.

The act was certainly a breach of international law; but that was almost
the smallest part of its irritant effect. In every detail it was
calculated to outrage British sentiment. It was an affront offered to us
on our own traditional element--the sea. It was also a blow offered to
our traditional pride as impartial protectors of political exiles of all
kind. The _Times_--in those days a responsible and influential organ of
opinion--said quite truly that the indignation felt here had nothing to
do with approval of the rebellion; that it would have been just as
strong if, instead of Mason and Slidell, the victims had been two of
their own Negro slaves. Indeed, for us there were no longer Northern and
Southern sympathizers: there were only Englishmen indignant at an insult
openly offered to the Union Jack. Northerners might have understood us
better, and been less angry at our attitude, if they had remembered how
they themselves had felt when the guns opened on Sumter.

The evil was aggravated by the triumphant rejoicings with which the
North celebrated the capture and by the complicity of responsible and
even official persons in the honours showered on Captain Wilkes. Seward,
who had a wild idea that a foreign quarrel would help to heal domestic
dissensions, was somewhat disposed to defend the capture. But the
eminently just mind of Lincoln quickly saw that it could not be
defended, while his prudence perceived the folly of playing the Southern
game by forcing England to recognize the Confederacy. Mason and Slidell
were returned, and the incident as a diplomatic incident was closed. But
it had its part in breeding in these islands a certain antagonism to the
Government at Washington, and thus encouraging the growing tendency to
sympathize with the South.

With the opening of the new year the North was cheered by a signal and
very important success. In the course of February Fort Henry and Fort
Donelson, essential strategic points on the front which the Confederate
invaders had stretched across Southern Kentucky, were captured by
General Ulysses Grant, in command of a Western army. The Confederate
forces were compelled to a general retirement, sacrificing the defensive
line for the sake of which they had turned the "neutral" border State
into an enemy, uncovering the whole of Western Tennessee, including the
capital of Nashville, and also yielding the Upper Mississippi. The
importance of the latter gain--for the Mississippi, once mastered, would
cut the Confederacy in two--was clearly apparent to Beauregard, who at
once marched northward and attacked Grant at Shiloh. The battle was
indecisive, but in its military effect it was a success for the North.
Grant was compelled to abandon the ground upon which his army stood, but
he kept all the fruits of his recent campaign.

Another incident, not only picturesque in itself but of great importance
in the history of naval war, marks the opening months of 1862. After the
failure of the first attempt to take Richmond by a _coup de main_ the
war became in its essence a siege of the Confederacy. To give it this
character, however, one thing was essential--the control of the sea by
the Union forces. The regular United States navy--unlike the regular
army, which was divided--was fully under the control of the Federal
Government, and was able to blockade the Southern ports. Davis had
attempted to meet this menace by issuing letters of marque to
privateers; but this could be little more than an irritant to the
dominant power. It so happened, however, that a discovery had recently
been made which was destined to revolutionize the whole character of
naval war. Experiments in the steel-plating of ships had already been
made in England and in France, but the first war vessel so fitted for
practical use was produced by the Southern Confederacy--the celebrated
_Merrimac_. One fine day she steamed into Hampton Roads under the guns
of the United States fleet and proceeded to sink ship after ship, the
heavy round shot leaping off her like peas. It was a perilous moment,
but the Union Government had only been a day behind in perfecting the
same experiment. Next day the _Monitor_ arrived on the scene, and the
famous duel between the first two ironclads ever constructed commenced.
Each proved invulnerable to the other, for neither side had yet
constructed pieces capable of piercing protection, but the victory was
so far with the North that the hope that the Confederacy might obtain,
by one bold and inventive stroke, the mastery of the sea was for the
moment at an end.

Meanwhile all eyes were fixed on McClellan, who was busy turning the mob
that had fled from Bull Run into an army. His work of organization and
discipline was by common consent admirable; yet when the time came when
he might be expected to take the field, that defect in his quality as a
commander showed itself which was to pursue him throughout his
campaigns. He was extravagantly over-cautious. His unwillingness to
fight, combined with the energy he put into bringing the army into an
efficient state and gaining influence over its officers and men, gave
rise to the wildest rumours and charges. It was suggested that he
intended to use the force he was forming, not against Richmond but
against Washington; to seize supreme power by military force and
reconcile the warring States under the shadow of his sword. It is
certain that there was no kind of foundation for such suspicions. He was
a perfectly patriotic and loyal soldier who studied his profession
diligently. Perhaps he had studied it too diligently. He seems to have
resolved never to risk an engagement unless under conditions which
according to the text-books should assure victory. Ideal conditions of
this sort were not likely to occur often in real war, especially when
waged against such an antagonist as Robert Lee.

McClellan remained in front of the Confederate positions throughout the
winter and early spring. In reply to urgent appeals from Washington he
declared the position of the enemy to be impregnable, and grossly
exaggerated his numbers. When at last, at the beginning of March, he was
induced to move forward, he found that the enemy had slipped away,
leaving behind, as if in mockery, a large number of dummy wooden guns
which had helped to impress McClellan with the hopelessness of assailing
his adversaries.

The wooden guns, however little damage they could do to the Federal
army, did a good deal of damage to the reputation of the Federal
commander. Lincoln, though pressed to replace him, refused to do so,
having no one obviously better to put in his room, and knowing that the
outcry against him was partly political--for McClellan was a Democrat.
The general now undertook the execution of a plan of his own for the
reduction of Richmond. Leaving McDowell on the Potomac, he transported
the greater part of his force by water and effected a landing on the
peninsula of Yorktown, where some eighty years before Cornwallis had
surrendered to Washington and Rochambeau.

The plan was not a bad one, but the general showed the same lack of
enterprise which had made possible the escape of Johnstone. It is
probable that if he had struck at once at the force opposed to him, he
could have destroyed it and marched to Richmond almost unopposed.

Instead of striking at a vulnerable point he sat down in a methodical
fashion to besiege Yorktown. While he was waiting for the reinforcements
he had demanded, the garrison got away as Johnstone had done from before
Manassas, and an attempt to push forward resulted in the defeat of his
lieutenant, Hooker, at Williamsburg.

McDowell, who was at Fredericksburg, was ordered to join and reinforce
McClellan, but the junction was never made, for at the moment Jackson
took the field and effected one of the most brilliant exploits of the
war. The Union troops in the Shenandoah Valley were much more numerous
than the force which Jackson had at his disposal, but they were
scattered at various points, and by a series of incalculably rapid
movements the Southern captain attacked and overwhelmed each in turn.
The alarm at Washington was great, and McDowell hastened to cut him off,
only to discover that Jackson had slipped past him and was back in his
own country. Meanwhile McClellan, left without the reinforcements he had
expected, was attacked by Lee and beaten back in seven days' consecutive
fighting right to Harrison's Landing, where he could only entrench
himself and stand on the defensive. Richmond was as far off as ever.

One piece of good news, however, reached Washington at about this time,
and once again it came from the West. Towards the end of April Farragut,
the American admiral, captured the city of New Orleans. The event was
justly thought to be of great importance, for Grant already dominated
the Upper Mississippi, and if he could join hands with a Union force
operating from the mouth of the great river, the Confederacy would be
cut in two.

Perhaps the contrast between the good fortune which had attended the
Federal arms in the West and the failure of the campaign in Eastern
Virginia was responsible for the appointment of a general taken from the
Western theatre of war to command the army of the Potomac. Lincoln,
having supported McClellan as long as he could, was now obliged to
abandon his cause, and General Pope was appointed to supreme command of
the campaign in Eastern Virginia.

The change brought no better fortune; indeed, it was the prelude to a
disaster worse than any that McClellan had suffered. Pope advanced by
the route of the original invasion, and reached exactly the point where
McDowell's army had been routed. Here he paused and waited. While he lay
there Jackson made another of his daring raids, got between him and
Washington and cut his communications, while Lee fell upon him and
utterly destroyed his army in the second battle of Bull Run.

Lee's victory left him in full possession of the initiative, with no
effective force immediately before him and with a choice of objectives.
It was believed by many that he would use his opportunity to attack
Washington. But he wisely refrained from such an attempt. Washington was
guarded by a strong garrison, and its defences had been carefully
prepared. To take it would involve at least something like a siege, and
while he was reducing it the North would have the breathing space it
needed to rally its still unexhausted powers. He proposed to himself an
alternative, which, if he had been right in his estimate of the
political factors, would have given him Washington and much more, and
probably decided the war in favour of the Confederacy. He crossed the
Potomac and led his army into Maryland.

The stroke was as much political as military in its character. Maryland
was a Southern State. There was a sort of traditional sisterhood between
her and Virginia. Though she had not seceded, it was thought that her
sympathies must be with the South. The attack on the Union troops in
Baltimore at the beginning of the war had seemed strong confirmation of
this belief. The general impression in the South, which the Southern
general probably shared, was that Maryland was at heart Secessionist,
and that a true expression of her will was prevented only by force. The
natural inference was that when a victorious Southern commander appeared
within her borders, the people would rally to him as one man, Washington
would be cut off from the North, the President captured, the Confederacy
recognized by the European Powers, and the North would hardly continue
the hopeless struggle. This idea was embodied in a fierce war-song which
had recently become popular throughout the Confederate States and was
caught up by Lee's soldiers on their historic march. It began--

    "The despot's heel is on thy shore,
      Maryland! My Maryland!"

And it ended--

    "She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb!
    Hurrah! She spurns the Yankee scum!
    She breathes! She lives! She'll come! she'll come!
      Maryland! My Maryland!"

But Maryland did not come. The whole political conception which underlay
Lee's move was false. It may seem curious that those who, when
everything seemed to be in favour of the North, had stoned Union
soldiers in the streets of the State capital, should not have moved a
finger when a great Southern soldier came among them with the glamour of
victory around him and proclaimed himself their liberator. Yet so it
proved. The probable explanation is that, Maryland lying under the
shadow of the capital, which was built for the most part on her
territory, Lincoln could deal with her people directly. And wherever he
could get men face to face and show the manner of man he was, he could
persuade. Maryland was familiar with "the despot" and did not find his
"heel" at all intolerable. The image of the horrible hairy Abolitionist
gloating constantly over the thought of a massacre of Southerners by
Negroes, which did duty for a portrait of Lincoln in the South, was not
convincing to Marylanders, who knew the man himself and found him a
kindly, shrewd, and humorous man of the world, with much in his person
and character that recalled his Southern origin, who enforced the law
with strict impartiality wherever his power extended, and who, above
all, punctiliously returned any fugitive slaves that might seek refuge
in the District of Columbia.

Lee issued a dignified and persuasive proclamation in which he declared
that he came among the people of Maryland as a friend and liberator. But
Maryland showed no desire to be liberated. He and his soldiers were
everywhere coldly received. Hardly a volunteer joined them. In many
towns Union flags were flaunted in their faces--a fact upon which is
based the fictitious story of Barbara Fritchie.

The political failure of the move led to considerable military
embarrassments. Lee met with no defeat in arms, but his difficulties
increased day by day.

Believing that he would be operating among a friendly population he had
given less thought than he would otherwise have done to the problem of
supplies, supposing that he could obtain all he needed from the country.
That problem now became acute, for the Marylanders refused to accept the
Confederate paper, which was all he had to tender in payment, and the
fact that he professed to be their liberator actually made his position
more difficult, for he could not without sacrificing a moral asset treat
them avowedly as an enemy people. He found himself compelled to send
Jackson back to hold Harper's Ferry lest his communications might be
endangered. Later he learnt that McClellan, who had been restored to the
chief command after Pope's defeat, was moving to cut off his retreat. He
hastened back towards his base, and the two armies met by Antietam

Antietam was not really a Union victory. It was followed by the
retirement of Lee into Virginia, but it is certain that such retirement
had been intended by him from the beginning--was indeed his objective.
The objective of McClellan was, or should have been, the destruction of
the Confederate army, and this was not achieved. Yet, as marking the end
of the Southern commander's undoubted failure in Maryland, it offered
enough of the appearance of a victory to justify in Lincoln's judgment
an executive act upon which he had determined some months earlier, but
which he thought would have a better effect coming after a military
success than in time of military weakness and peril.

We have seen that both the President and Congress had been careful to
insist that the war was not undertaken on behalf of the Negroes. Yet the
events of the war had forced the problem of the Negro into prominence.
Fugitive slaves from the rebel States took refuge with the Union armies,
and the question of what should be done with them was forced on the
Government. Lincoln knew that in this matter he must move with the
utmost caution. When in the early days of the war, Frémont, who had been
appointed to military commander in Missouri, where he showed an utter
unfitness, both intellectual and moral, for his place, proclaimed on his
own responsibility the emancipation of the slaves of "disloyal" owners,
his headstrong vanity would probably have thrown both Missouri and
Kentucky into the arms of the Confederacy if the President had not
promptly disavowed him. Later he disavowed a similar proclamation by
General Hunter. When a deputation of ministers of religion from Chicago
urged on him the desirability of immediate action against Slavery, he
met them with a reply the opening passage of which is one of the world's
masterpieces of irony. When Horace Greeley backed the same appeal with
his "Prayer of Twenty Millions," Lincoln in a brief letter summarized
his policy with his usual lucidity and force.

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not
either to save or to destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without
freeing any slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing
some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about
Slavery and the coloured race, I do because I believe it helps to save
the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it
would help to save the Union."

At the time he wrote these words Lincoln had already decided on a policy
of military emancipation in the rebel States. He doubtless wrote them
with an eye of the possible effects of that policy. He wished the
Northern Democrats and the Unionists of Border States to understand that
his action was based upon considerations of military expediency and in
no way upon his personal disapproval of Slavery, of which at the same
time he made no recantation. On the military ground he had a strong
case. If, as the South maintained, the slave was simply a piece of
property, then the slave of a rebel was a piece of enemy property--and
enemy property used or usable for purposes of war. To confiscate enemy
property which may be of military use was a practice as old as war
itself. The same principle which justified the North in destroying a
Southern cotton crop or tearing up the Southern railways justified the
emancipation of Negroes within the bounds of the Southern Confederacy.
In consonance with this principle Lincoln issued on September 22nd a
proclamation declaring slaves free as from January 1, 1863, in such
districts as the President should on that date specify as being in
rebellion against the Federal Government. Thus a chance was deliberately
left open for any State, or part of a State, to save its slaves by
submission. At the same time Lincoln renewed the strenuous efforts which
he had already made more than once to induce the Slave States which
remained in the Union to consent voluntarily to some scheme of gradual
and compensated emancipation.

One effect of the Emancipation Proclamation upon which Lincoln had
calculated was the approval of the civilized world and especially of
England. This was at that moment of the more importance because the
growing tendency of Englishmen to sympathize with the South, which was
largely the product of Jackson's daring and picturesque exploits, had
already produced a series of incidents which nearly involved the two
nations in war. The chief of these was the matter of the _Alabama_. This
cruiser was built and fitted up in the dockyards of Liverpool by the
British firm of Laird. She was intended, as the contractors of course
knew, for the service of the Confederacy, and, when completed, she took
to the sea under pretext of a trial trip, in spite of the protests of
the representative of the American Republic. The order to detain her
arrived too late, and she reached a Southern port, whence she issued to
become a terror to the commerce of the United States. That the fitting
up of such a vessel, if carried out with the complicity of the
Government, was a gross breach of neutrality is unquestionable. That
the Government of Lord Russell connived at the escape of the _Alabama_,
well knowing her purpose and character, though generally believed in
America at the time, is most unlikely. That the truth was known to the
authorities at Liverpool, where Southern sympathies were especially
strong, is on the other hand almost certain, and these authorities must
be held mainly responsible for misleading the Government and so
preventing compliance with the quite proper demands of Adams, the
American Ambassador. Finally, an International Court found that Great
Britain had not shown "reasonable care" in fulfilling her obligations,
and in this verdict a fair-minded student of the facts will acquiesce.
At a later date we paid to the United States a heavy sum as compensation
for the depredations of the _Alabama_.

Meanwhile, neither Antietam nor the Proclamation appeared to bring any
luck to the Union armies in the field. McClellan showed his customary
over-caution in allowing Lee to escape unhammered; once more he was
superseded, and once more his supersession only replaced inaction by
disaster. Hooker, attempting an invasion of Virginia, got caught in the
tangled forest area called "the Wilderness." Jackson rode round him,
cutting his communications and so forcing him to fight, and Lee beat him
soundly at Chancellorsville. The battle was, however, won at a heavy
cost to the Confederacy, for towards the end of the day the mistake of a
picket caused the death by a Southern bullet of the most brilliant, if
not the greatest, of Southern captains. As to what that loss meant we
have the testimony of his chief and comrade-in-arms. "If I had had
Jackson with me," said Lee after Gettysburg, "I should have won a
complete victory." This, however, belongs to a later period. Burnside,
succeeding Hooker, met at Lee's hands with an even more crushing defeat
at Fredericksburg.

And now, as a result of these Southern successes, began to become
dangerous that factor on which the South had counted from the first--the
increasing weariness and division of the North. I have tried in these
pages to put fairly the case for the defeated side in the Civil War. But
one can have a reasonable understanding of and even sympathy with the
South without having any sympathy to waste on those who in the North
were called "Copperheads." A Northerner might, indeed, honestly think
the Southern cause just and coercion of the seceding States immoral. But
if so he should have been opposed to such coercion from the first. The
Confederate case was in no way morally stronger in 1863 than it had been
in 1861. If, therefore, a man had been in favour of coercion in 1861--as
practically all Northerners were--his weakening two years later could
not point to an unwillingness to do injustice, but only to the operation
of fear or fatigue as deterrents from action believed to be just.
Moreover, the ordinary "Copperhead" position was so plainly in
contradiction of known facts that it must be pronounced either imbecile
or dishonest. If these men had urged the acceptance of disunion as an
accomplished fact, a case might be made out for them. But they generally
professed the strongest desire to restore the Union, accompanied by
vehement professions of the belief that this could in some fashion be
achieved by "negotiation." The folly of such a supposition was patent.
The Confederacy was in arms for the one specific purpose of separating
itself from the Union, and so far its appeal to arms had been on the
whole successful. That it would give up the single object for which it
was fighting for any other reason than military defeat was, on the face
of it, quite insanely unlikely; and, as might have been expected, the
explicit declarations of Davis and all the other Confederate leaders
were at this time uniformly to the effect that peace could be had by the
recognition of Southern independence and in no other fashion. The
"Copperheads," however, seem to have suffered from that amazing illusion
which we have learnt in recent times to associate with the Russian
Bolsheviks and their admirers in other countries--the illusion that if
one side leaves off fighting the other side will immediately do the
same, though all the objects for which it ever wanted to fight are
unachieved. They persisted in maintaining that in some mysterious
fashion the President's "ambition" was standing between the country and
a peace based on reunion. The same folly was put forward by Greeley,
perhaps the most consistently wrong-headed of American public men: in
him it was the more absurd since on the one issue, other than that of
union or separation, which offered any possible material for a
compromise, that of Slavery, he was professedly against all compromise,
and blamed the President for attempting any.

Little as can be said for the "Copperhead" temper, its spread in the
Northern States during the second year of the war was a serious menace
to the Union cause. It showed itself in the Congressional elections,
when the Government's majority was saved only by the loyalty of the
Border Slave States, whose support Lincoln had been at pains to
conciliate in the face of so much difficulty and misunderstanding. It
showed itself in the increased activity of pacifist agitators, of whom
the notorious Vallandingham may be taken as a type.

Lincoln met the danger in two fashions. He met the arguments and appeals
of the "Copperheads" with unanswerable logic and with that lucidity of
thought and expression of which he was a master. One pronouncement of
his is worth quoting, and one wishes that it could have been reproduced
everywhere at the time of the ridiculous Stockholm project. "Suppose
refugees from the South and peace men of the North get together and
frame and proclaim a compromise embracing a restoration of the Union: in
what way can that compromise be used to keep Lee's army out of
Pennsylvania? Meade's army can keep Lee's out of Pennsylvania, and, I
think, can ultimately drive it out of existence. But no paper
compromise, to which the controllers of Lee's army are not agreed, can
at all affect that army." Reasoning could not be more conclusive; but
Lincoln did not stop at reasoning. Now was to be shown how powerful an
instrument of authority the Jacksonian revolution had created in the
popular elective Presidency. Perhaps no single man ever exercised so
much direct personal power as did Abraham Lincoln during those four
years of Civil War. The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended by executive
decree, and those whose action was thought a hindrance to military
success were arrested in shoals by the orders of Stanton, the new
energetic War Secretary, a Jacksonian Democrat whom Lincoln had put in
the place of an incompetent Republican, though he had served under
Buchanan and supported Breckinridge. The constitutional justification of
these acts was widely challenged, but the people in the main supported
the Executive.

Lincoln, like Jackson, understood the populace and knew just how to
appeal to them. "Must I shoot a simple-minded boy for deserting, and
spare the wily agitator whose words induce him to desert?" Vallandingham
himself met a measure of justice characteristic of the President's
humour and almost recalling the jurisprudence of Sir W. S. Gilbert's
Mikado. Originally condemned to detention in a fortress, his sentence
was commuted by Lincoln to banishment, and he was conducted by the
President's orders across the army lines and dumped on the Confederacy!
He did not stay there long. The Southerners had doubtless some reason to
be grateful to him; but they cannot possibly have liked him. With their
own Vallandinghams they had an even shorter way.

The same sort of war-weariness was perhaps a contributory cause of an
even more serious episode--the Draft Riots of New York City. Here,
however, a special and much more legitimate ground of protest was
involved. The Confederacy had long before imposed Conscription upon the
youth of the South. It was imperative that the North should do the same,
and, though the constitutional power of the Federal Government to make
such a call was questioned, its moral right to do so seems to me
unquestionable, for if the common Government has not the right in the
last resort to call upon all citizens to defend its own existence, it is
difficult to see what rights it can possess. Unfortunately, Congress
associated with this just claim a provision for which there was plenty
of historical precedent but no justification in that democratic theory
upon which the American Commonwealth was built. It provided that a man
whose name had been drawn could, if he chose, pay a substitute to serve
in his stead. This was obviously a privilege accorded to mere wealth,
odious to the morals of the Republic and especially odious to the very
democratic populace of New York. The drawing of the names was there
interrupted by violence, and for some days the city was virtually in the
hands of the insurgents. The popular anger was complicated by a
long-standing racial feud between the Irish and the Negroes, and a good
many lynchings took place. At last order was restored by the police, who
used to restore it a violence as savage as that of the crowd they were

We must now turn back to the military operations. Lee had once more
broken through, and was able to choose the point where a _sortie_ might
most effectually be made. He resolved this time to strike directly at
the North itself, and crossing a strip of Maryland he invaded
Pennsylvania, his ultimate objective being probably the great bridge
over the Susquehanna at Harrisburg, the destruction of which would
seriously hamper communication between North and West. At first he met
with no opposition, but a Federal army under Meade started in pursuit of
him and caught him up at Gettysburg. In the battle which followed, as at
Valmy, each side had its back to its own territory. The invader, though
inferior in numbers, was obliged by the conditions of the struggle to
take the offensive. The main feature of the fighting was the charge and
repulse of Pickett's Brigade. Both sides stood appalling losses with
magnificent steadiness. The Union troops maintained their ground in
spite of all that Southern valour could do to dislodge them. It is
generally thought that if Meade had followed up his success by a
vigorous offensive Lee's army might have been destroyed. As things were,
having failed in its purpose of breaking the ring that held the
Confederacy, it got back into Virginia unbroken and almost unpunished.

Gettysburg is generally considered as the turning-point of the war,
though perhaps from a purely military point of view more significance
ought to be attached to another success which almost exactly
synchronized with it. The same 4th of July whereon the North learnt of
Lee's failure brought news of the capture of Vicksburg by Grant. This
meant that the whole course of the Mississippi was now in Federal hands,
and made possible an invasion of the Confederacy from the West such as
ultimately effected its overthrow.

Lincoln, whose judgment in such matters was exceptionally keen for a
civilian, had long had his eye on Grant. He had noted his successes and
his failures, and he had noted especially in him the quality which he
could not find in McClellan or in Meade--a boldness of plan, a readiness
to take risks, and above all a disposition to press a success vigorously
home even at a heavy sacrifice. "I can't spare that man; he fights," he
had said when some clamoured for Grant's recall after Shiloh. For those
who warned him that Grant was given to heavy drinking he had an even
more characteristic reply: "I wish I knew what whisky he drinks: I would
send a cask to some of the other generals."

Meade's hesitation after Gettysburg and Grant's achievement at Vicksburg
between them decided him. Grant was now appointed to supreme command of
all the armies of the Union.

Ulysses S. Grant stands out in history as one of those men to whom a
uniform seems to be salvation. As a young man he had fought with credit
in the Mexican war; later he had left the army, and seemingly gone to
the dogs. He took to drink. He lost all his employments. He became to
all appearances an incorrigible waster, a rolling stone, a man whom his
old friends crossed the road to avoid because a meeting with him always
meant an attempt to borrow money.

Then came the war, and Grant grasped--as such broken men often do--at
the chance of a new start. Not without hesitation, he was entrusted with
a subordinate command in the West, and almost at once he justified those
who had been ready to give him a trial by his brilliant share in the
capture of Fort Donelson. From that moment he was a new man, repeatedly
displaying not only the soldierly qualities of iron courage and a
thorough grasp of the practice of fighting, but moral qualities of a
high order, a splendid tenacity in disaster and hope deferred, and in
victory a noble magnanimity towards the conquered. One wishes that the
story could end there. But it must, unfortunately, be added that when at
last he laid aside his sword he seemed to lay aside all that was best in
him with it, while the weaknesses of character which were so conspicuous
in Mr. Ulysses Grant, and which seemed so completely bled out of General
Grant, made many a startling and disastrous reappearance in President

Grant arrived at Washington and saw the President for the first time.
The Western campaign he left in the hands of two of his ablest
lieutenants--Sherman, perhaps in truth the greatest soldier that
appeared on the Northern side, and Thomas, a Virginian Unionist who had
left his State at the call of his country. There was much work for them
to do, for while the capture of Vicksburg and its consequences gave them
the Mississippi, the first attempt to invade from that side under
Rosecrans had suffered defeat in the bloody battle of the Chickamauga.
Sherman and Thomas resolved to reverse this unfavourable decision and
attacked at the same crucial point. An action lasting four days and full
of picturesque episodes gave them the victory which was the
starting-point of all that followed. To that action belongs the strange
fight of Look Out Mountain fought "above the clouds" by men who could
not see the wide terrain for the mastery of which they were contending,
and the marvellous charge of the Westerners up Missionary Ridge, one of
those cases where soldiers, raised above themselves and acting without
orders, have achieved a feat which their commander had dismissed as
impossible. To the whole action is given the name of the Battle of
Chattanooga, and its effect was to give Sherman the base he needed from
which to strike at the heart of the Confederacy.

Grant in Virginia was less successful. An examination of his campaign
will leave the impression that, however superior he was to previous
Northern commanders in energy, as a strategist he was no match for Lee.
The Southern general, with inferior forces, captured the initiative and
did what he chose with him, caught him in the Wilderness as he had
previously caught Hooker, and kept him there on ground which gave every
advantage to the Confederate forces, who knew every inch of it, where
Grant's superiority in numbers could not be brought fully into play, and
where his even greater superiority in artillery was completely
neutralized. At the end of a week's hard fighting, Grant had gained no
advantage, while the Northern losses were appalling--as great as the
total original numbers of the enemy that inflicted them. At
Spottsylvania, where Grant attempted a flanking movement, the same
tactics were pursued with the same success, while a final attempt of the
Northern general at a frontal assault ended in a costly defeat.

In the darkest hour of this campaign Grant had told the Government at
Washington that he would "fight it out on that line if it took all the
summer." It was, however, on another line that the issue was being
fought out and decided against the Confederacy. From Chattanooga
Sherman moved on Atlanta, the capital of Georgia. Joseph Johnstone
disputed every step of the advance, making it as costly as possible, but
wisely refused to risk his numerically inferior army in a general
engagement. He fell back slowly, making a stand here and there, till the
Northern general stood before Atlanta.

It was at this moment that the leaders of the Confederacy would have
acted wisely in proposing terms of peace. Their armies were still in
being, and could even boast conspicuous and recent successes. If the war
went on it would probably be many months before the end came, while the
North was bitterly weary of the slaughter and would not tolerate the
refusal of reasonable settlement. Yet, if the war went on, the end could
no longer be in doubt. Had that golden moment been seized, the seceding
States might have re-entered the Union almost on their own terms.
Certainly they could have avoided the abasement and humiliation which
was to come upon them as the consequence of continuing their resistance
till surrender had to be unconditional. It might seem at first that
Emancipation Proclamation had introduced an additional obstacle to
accommodation. But this was largely neutralized by the fact that every
one, including Jefferson Davis himself, recognized that Slavery had been
effectively destroyed by the war and could never be revived, even were
the South victorious. The acceptance by the Confederacy of a policy
suggested by Lee, whereby Negroes were to be enlisted as soldiers and
freed on enlistment, clinched this finally. On the other hand, Lincoln
let it be clearly understood that if the Union could be restored by
consent he was prepared to advocate the compensation of Southern owners
for the loss of their slaves. The blame for the failure to take
advantage of this moment must rest mainly on Davis. It was he who
refused to listen to any terms save the recognition of Southern
independence; and this attitude doomed the tentative negotiations
entered into at Hampton Roads to failure.

Meanwhile, in the North, Lincoln was chosen President for a second term.
At one time his chances had looked gloomy enough. The Democratic Party
had astutely chosen General McClellan as its candidate. His personal
popularity with the troops, and the suggestion that he was an honest
soldier ill-used by civilian politicians, might well gain him much
support in the armies, for whose voting special provision had been made,
while among the civil population he might expect the support of all who,
for one reason or another, were discontented with the Government. At the
same time the extreme Anti-Slavery wing of the Republican Party,
alienated by the diplomacy of the President in dealing with the Border
States, and by the moderation of his views concerning the Negro and his
future, put forward another displaced general, Frémont. But in the end
circumstances and the confidence which his statesmanship had created
combined to give Lincoln something like a walk-over. The Democratic
Party got into the hands of the "Copperheads" at the very moment when
facts were giving the lie to the "Copperhead" thesis. Its platform
described the course of the war as "four years of failure," and its
issue as hopeless, while before the voting began even a layman could see
that the Confederacy was, from the military point of view, on its last
legs. The War Democrats joined hands with the Republicans, and the
alliance was sealed by the selection of Andrew Johnson, a Jacksonian
Democrat from Tennessee, as candidate for the Vice-Presidency. The
Radical Republicans began to discover how strong a hold Lincoln had
gained on the public mind in the North, and to see that by pressing
their candidate they would only expose the weakness of their faction.
Frémont was withdrawn and McClellan easily defeated. A curious error has
been constantly repeated in print in this country to the effect that
Lincoln was saved only by the votes of the army. There is no shadow of
foundation for this statement. The proportion of his supporters among
the soldiers was not much greater than among the civil population. But
in both it was overwhelming.

Meanwhile Atlanta had fallen, and Davis had unwisely relieved Johnstone
of his command. It was now that Sherman determined on the bold scheme
which mainly secured the ultimate victory of the North. Cutting himself
loose from his base and abandoning all means of communication with the
North, he advanced into the country of the enemy, living on it and
laying it waste as he passed. For a month his Government had no news of
him. Ultimately he reached the sea at Savannah, and was able to tell his
supporters that he had made a desert in the rear of the main Confederate
armies. Thence he turned again, traversed South Carolina, and appeared,
so to speak, on the flank of the main Confederate forces which were
holding Grant.

The ethics of Sherman's famous March to the Sea have been much debated.
He was certainly justified by the laws of war in destroying the military
resources of the Confederacy, and it does not seem that more than this
was anywhere done by his orders. There was a good deal of promiscuous
looting by his troops, and still more by camp followers and by the
Negroes who, somewhat to his annoyance, attached themselves to his
columns. The march through South Carolina was the episode marked by the
harshest conduct, for officers and men had not forgotten Sumter, and
regarded the devastation of that State as a just measure of patriotic
vengeance on the only begetter of the rebellion; but the burning of
Columbus seems to have been an accident, for which at least Sherman
himself was not responsible. It is fair to him to add that in the very
few cases--less than half a dozen in all--where a charge of rape or
murder can be brought home, the offender was punished with death.

As a military stroke the March to the Sea was decisive. One sees its
consequences at once in the events of the Virginian campaign. Lee had
suffered no military defeat; indeed, the balance of military success, so
far as concerned the army directly opposed to him, was in his favour.
Sheridan's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley had delighted the North as
much as Jackson's earlier exploits in the same region had delighted the
South; but its direct military effect was not great. From the moment,
however, of Sherman's successful completion of his march, the problem of
the Southern general becomes wholly different. It is no longer whether
he can defeat the enemy, but whether he can save his army. He determined
to abandon Richmond, and effect, if possible, a union with Johnstone,
who was again watching and checking Sherman.

Did space permit, it would be a noble task to chronicle the last
wonderful fight of the Lion of the South; how, with an exhausted and
continually diminishing army, he still proved how much he was to be
feared; how he turned on Sheridan and beat him, checked Grant and broke
away again only to find his path barred by another Union army.

At Appomattox Court House the end came. The lion was trapped and caught
at last. There was nothing for it but to make the best terms he could
for his men. The two generals met. Both rose to the nobility of the
occasion. Lee had never been anything but great, and Grant was never so
great again. The terms accorded to the vanquished were generous and
honourable to the utmost limit of the victor's authority. "This will
have the happiest effect on my people," said Lee, in shaking hands with
his conqueror. They talked a little of old times at West Point, where
they had studied together, and parted. Lee rode away to his men and
addressed them: "We have fought through this war together. I did my best
for you." With these few words, worth the whole two volumes of Jefferson
Davis's rather tiresome apologetics, one of the purest, bravest, and
most chivalrous figures among those who have followed the noble
profession of arms rides out of history.

                               CHAPTER X

                          "THE BLACK TERROR"

The surrender of Lee and his army was not actually the end of the war.
The army of General Johnstone and some smaller Confederate forces were
still in being; but their suppression seemed clearly only a matter of
time, and all men's eyes were already turned to the problem of
reconstruction, and on no man did the urgency of that problem press more
ominously than on the President.

Slavery was dead. This was already admitted in the South as well as in
the North. Had the Confederacy, by some miracle, achieved its
independence during the last year of the war, it is extremely unlikely
that Slavery would have endured within its borders. This was the
publicly expressed opinion of Jefferson Davis even before the adoption
of Lee's policy of recruiting slaves and liberating them on enlistment
had completed the work which the Emancipation Proclamation of Lincoln
had begun. Before the war was over, Missouri, where the Slavery problem
was a comparatively small affair, and Maryland, which had always had a
good record for humanity and justice in the treatment of its slave
population, had declared themselves Free States. The new Governments
organized under Lincoln's superintendence in the conquered parts of the
Confederacy had followed suit. It was a comparatively easy matter to
carry the celebrated Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution declaring
Slavery illegal throughout the Union.

But, as no one knew better than the President, the abolition of Slavery
was a very different thing from the solution of the Negro problem. Six
years before his election he had used of the problem of Slavery in the
South these remarkable words: "I surely will not blame them (the
Southerners) for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If
all earthly power was given I should not know what to do as to the
existing institution." The words now came back upon him with an awful
weight which he fully appreciated. All earthly power was given--direct
personal power to a degree perhaps unparalleled in history--and he had
to find out what to do.

His own belief appears always to have been that the only permanent
solution of the problem was Jefferson's. He did not believe that black
and white races would permanently live side by side on a footing of
equality, and he loathed with all the loathing of a Kentuckian the
thought of racial amalgamation. In his proposal to the Border States he
had suggested repatriation in Africa, and he now began to develop a
similar project on a larger scale.

But the urgent problem of the reconstruction of the Union could not wait
for the completion of so immense a task. The seceding States must be got
into their proper relation with the Federal Government as quickly as
possible, and Lincoln had clear ideas as to how this should be done. The
reconstructed Government of Louisiana which he organized was a working
model of what he proposed to do throughout the South. All citizens of
the State who were prepared to take the oath of allegiance to the
Federal Government were to be invited to elect a convention and frame a
constitution. They were required to annul the ordinances of Secession,
to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, and to repudiate the Confederate
Debt. The Executive would then recognize the State as already restored
to its proper place within the Union, with the full rights of internal
self-government which the Constitution guaranteed. The freedmen were of
course not citizens, and could, as such, take no part in these
proceedings; but Lincoln recommended, without attempting to dictate,
that the franchise should be extended to "the very intelligent and those
who have fought for us during the war."

Such was Lincoln's policy of reconstruction. He was anxious to get as
much as possible of that policy in working order before Congress should
meet. His foresight was justified, for as soon as Congress met the
policy was challenged by the Radical wing of the Republican Party,
whose spokesman was Senator Sumner of Massachusetts.

Charles Sumner has already been mentioned in these pages. The time has
come when something like a portrait of him must be attempted. He was of
a type which exists in all countries, but for which America has found
the exact and irreplaceable name. He was a "high-brow." The phrase
hardly needs explanation; it corresponds somewhat to what the French
mean by _intellectuel_, but with an additional touch of moral
priggishness which exactly suits Sumner. It does not, of course, imply
that a man can think. Sumner was conspicuous even among politicians for
his ineptitude in this respect. But it implies a pose of superiority
both as regards culture and as regards what a man of that kind calls
"idealism" which makes such an one peculiarly offensive to his
fellow-men. "The Senator so conducts himself," said Fessenden, a
Republican, and to a great extent an ally, "that he has no friends." He
had a peculiar command of the language of insult and vituperation that
was all the more infuriating because obviously the product not of sudden
temper, but of careful and scholarly preparation. In all matters
requiring practical action he was handicapped by an incapacity for
understanding men; in matters requiring mental lucidity by an incapacity
for following a line of consecutive thought.

The thesis of which Sumner appeared as the champion was about as silly
as ever a thesis could be. It was that the United States were bound by
the doctrine set out in the Declaration of Independence to extend the
Franchise indiscriminately to the Negroes.

Had Sumner had any sense it might have occurred to him that the author
of the Declaration of Independence might be presumed to have some
knowledge of its meaning and content. Did Thomas Jefferson think that
his doctrines involved Negro Suffrage? So far from desiring that Negroes
should vote with white men, he did not believe that they could even live
in the same free community. Yet since Sumner's absurd fallacy has a
certain historical importance through the influence it exerted on
Northern opinion, it may be well to point out where it lay.

The Declaration of Independence lays down three general principles
fundamental to Democracy. One is that all men are equal in respect of
their natural rights. The second is that the safeguarding of men's
natural rights is the object of government. The third that the basis of
government is contractual--its "just powers" being derived from the
consent of the governed to an implied contract.

The application of the first of these principles to the Negro is plain
enough. Whatever else he was, the Negro was a man, and, as such, had an
equal title with other men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness. But neither Jefferson nor any other sane thinker ever
included the electoral suffrage among the _natural_ rights of men.
Voting is part of the machinery of government in particular States. It
is, in such communities, an acquired right depending according to the
philosophy of the Declaration of Independence on an implied contract.

Now if such a contract did really underlie American, as all human
society, nothing can be more certain than that the Negro had neither
part nor lot in it. When Douglas pretended that the black race was not
included in the expression "all men" he was talking sophistry, but when
he said that the American Republic had been made "by white men for white
men" he was stating, as Lincoln readily acknowledged, an indisputable
historical fact. The Negro was a man and had the natural rights of a
man; but he could have no claim to the special privileges of an American
citizen because he was not and never had been an American citizen. He
had not come to America as a citizen; no one would ever have dreamed of
bringing him or even admitting him if it had been supposed that he was
to be a citizen. He was brought and admitted as a slave. The fact that
the servile relationship was condemned by the democratic creed could not
make the actual relationship of the two races something wholly other
than what it plainly was. A parallel might be found in the case of a man
who, having entered into an intrigue with a woman, wholly animal and
mercenary in its character, comes under the influence of a philosophy
which condemns such a connection as sinful. He is bound to put an end to
the connection. He is bound to act justly and humanely towards the
woman. But no sane moralist would maintain that he was bound to marry
the woman--that is, to treat the illicit relationship as if it were a
wholly different lawful relationship such as it was never intended to be
and never could have been.

Such was the plain sense and logic of the situation. To drive such sense
into Sumner's lofty but wooden head would have been an impossible
enterprise, but the mass of Northerners could almost certainly have been
persuaded to a rational policy if a sudden and tragic catastrophe had
not altered at a critical moment the whole complexion of public affairs.

Lincoln made his last public speech on April 11, 1865, mainly in defence
of his Reconstruction policy as exemplified in the test case of
Louisiana. On the following Good Friday he summoned his last Cabinet, at
which his ideas on the subject were still further developed. That
Cabinet meeting has an additional interest as presenting us with one of
the best authenticated of those curious happenings which we may
attribute to coincidence or to something deeper, according to our
predilections. It is authenticated by the amplest testimony that Lincoln
told his Cabinet that he expected that that day would bring some
important piece of public news--he thought it might be the surrender of
Johnstone and the last of the Confederate armies--and that he gave as a
reason the fact that he had had a certain dream, which had come to him
on the night before Gettysburg and on the eve of almost every other
decisive event in the history of the war. Certain it is that Johnstone
did not surrender that day, but before midnight an event of far graver
and more fatal purport had changed the destiny of the nation. Abraham
Lincoln was dead.

A conspiracy against his life and that of the Northern leaders had been
formed by a group of exasperated and fanatical Southerners who met at
the house of a Mrs. Suratt in the neighbourhood of Washington. One of
the conspirators was to kill Seward, who was confined to his bed by
illness, but on whom an unsuccessful attempt was made. Another, it is
believed, was instructed to remove Grant, but the general unexpectedly
left Washington, and no direct threat was offered to him. The task of
making away with the President was assigned to John Wilkes Booth, a
dissolute and crack-brained actor. Lincoln and his wife were present
that night at a _gala_ performance of a popular English comedy called
"Our American Cousin." Booth obtained access to the Presidential box and
shot his victim behind the ear, causing instant loss of consciousness,
which was followed within a few hours by death. The assassin leapt from
the box on to the stage shouting: "_Sic semper Tyrannis!_" and, though
he broke his leg in the process, succeeded, presumably by the aid of a
confederate among the theatre officials, in getting away. He was later
hunted down, took refuge in a bar, which was set on fire, and was shot
in attempting to escape.

The murder of Lincoln was the work of a handful of crazy fools. Already
the South, in spite of its natural prejudices, was beginning to
understand that he was its best friend. Yet on the South the retribution
was to fall. It is curious to recall the words which Lincoln himself had
used in repudiating on behalf of the Republican Party the folly of old
John Brown, words which are curiously apposite to his own fate and its

"That affair, in its philosophy," he had said, "corresponds to the many
attempts related in history at the assassination of kings and emperors.
An enthusiast broods over the oppression of a people till he fancies
himself commissioned by Heaven to liberate them. He ventures the
attempt, which ends in little else than his own execution. Orsini's
attempt on Louis Napoleon and John Brown's attempt at Harper's Ferry
were, in their philosophy, precisely the same. The eagerness to cast
blame on Old England in the one case and on New England in the other
does not disprove the sameness of the two things." It may be added that
the "philosophy" of Booth was also "precisely the same" as that of
Orsini and Brown, and that the "eagerness to cast blame" on the
conquered South was equally unjustifiable and equally inevitable.

The anger of the North was terrible, and was intensified by the
recollection of the late President's pleas for lenity and a
forgetfulness of the past. "This is their reply to magnanimity!" was the
almost universal cry. The wild idea that the responsible heads of the
Confederacy were privy to the deed found a wide credence which would
have been impossible in cooler blood. The justifiable but unrestrained
indignation which Booth's crime provoked must be counted as the first of
the factors which made possible the tragic blunders of the

Another factor was the personality of the new President. Andrew Johnson
occupied a position in some ways analogous to that of Tyler a generation
earlier. He had been chosen Vice-President as a concession to the War
Democrats and to the Unionists of the Border States whose support had
been thought necessary to defeat McClellan. With the Northern
Republicans who now composed the great majority of Congress he had no
political affinity whatever. Yet at the beginning of his term of office
he was more popular with the Radicals than Lincoln had ever been. He
seemed to share to the full the violence of the popular mood. His
declaration that as murder was a crime, so treason was a crime, and
"must be made odious," was welcomed with enthusiasm by the very men who
afterwards impeached him. Nor, when we blame these men for trafficking
with perjurers and digging up tainted and worthless evidence for the
purpose of sustaining against him the preposterous charge of complicity
in the murder of his predecessor, must we forget that he himself,
without any evidence at all, had under his own hand and seal brought the
same monstrous accusation against Jefferson Davis. Davis, when
apprehended, met the affront with a cutting reply. "There is one man at
least who knows this accusation to be false--the man who makes it.
Whatever else Andrew Johnson knows, he knows that I preferred Mr.
Lincoln to him."

It was true. Between Johnson and the chiefs of the Confederacy there was
a bitterness greater than could be found in the heart of any Northerner.
To him they were the seducers who had caught his beloved South in a net
of disloyalty and disaster. To them he was a traitor who had sold
himself to the Yankee oppressor. A social quarrel intensified the
political one. Johnson, who had been a tailor by trade, was the one
political representative of the "poor whites" of the South. He knew that
the great slave-owning squires despised him, and he hated them in
return. It was only when the issues cut deeper that it became apparent
that, while he would gladly have hanged Jeff Davis and all his Cabinet
on a sufficient number of sour apple trees (and perhaps he was the one
man in the United States who really wanted to do so), he was none the
less a Southerner to the backbone; it was only when the Negro question
was raised that the Northern men began to realize, what any Southerner
or man acquainted with the South could have told them, that the attitude
of the "poor white" towards the Negro was a thousand times more hostile
than that of the slave-owner.

Unfortunately, by the same token, the new President had not, as Lincoln
would have had, the ear of the North.

Had Lincoln lived he would have approached the task of persuading the
North to support his policy with many advantages which his successor
necessarily lacked. He would have had the full prestige of the undoubted
Elect of the People--so important to an American President, especially
in a conflict with Congress. He would have had the added prestige of the
ruler under whose administration the Rebellion had been crushed and the
Union successfully restored. But he would also have had an instinctive
understanding of the temper of the Northern masses and a thorough
knowledge of the gradations of opinion and temper among the Northern

Johnson had none of these qualifications, while his faults of temper
were a serious hindrance to the success of his policy. He was perhaps
the purest lover of his country among all the survivors of Lincoln: the
fact that told so heavily against his success, that he had no party,
that he broke with one political connection in opposing Secession and
with another in opposing Congressional Reconstruction, is itself a sign
of the integrity and consistency of his patriotism. Also he was on the
right side. History, seeing how cruelly he was maligned and how
abominably he was treated, owes him these acknowledgments. But he was
not a prudent or a tactful man. Too much importance need not be attached
to the charge of intemperate drinking, which is probably true but not
particularly serious. If Johnson had got drunk every night of his life
he would only have done what some of the greatest and most successful
statesmen in history had done before him. But there was an intemperance
of character about the man which was more disastrous in its consequences
than a few superfluous whiskies could have been. He was easily drawn
into acrimonious personal disputes, and when under their influence would
push a quarrel to all lengths with men with whom it was most important
in the public interest that he should work harmoniously.

For the extremists, of whom Sumner was a type, were still a minority
even among the Republican politicians; nor was Northern opinion, even
after the murder of Lincoln, yet prepared to support their policy. There
did, however, exist in the minds of quite fair-minded Northerners, in
and out of Congress, certain not entirely unreasonable doubts, which it
should have been the President's task--as it would certainly have been
Lincoln's--to remove by reason and persuasion. He seems to have failed
to see that he had to do this; and certainly he altogether failed to do

The fears of such men were twofold. They feared that the "rebel" States,
if restored immediately to freedom of action and to the full enjoyment
of their old privileges, would use these advantages for the purpose of
preparing a new secession at some more favourable opportunity. And they
feared that the emancipated Negro would not be safe under a Government
which his old masters controlled.

It may safely be said that both fears were groundless, though they were
both fears which a reasonable man quite intelligibly entertains.
Naturally, the South was sore; no community likes having to admit
defeat. Also, no doubt, the majority of Southerners would have refused
to admit that they were in the wrong in the contest which was now
closed; indeed, it was by pressing this peculiarly tactless question
that Sumner and his friends procured most of their evidence of the
persistence of "disloyalty" in the South. On the other hand, two facts
already enforced in these pages have to be remembered. The first is that
the Confederacy was not in the full sense a nation. Its defenders felt
their defeat as men feel the downfall of a political cause to which they
are attached, not quite as men feel the conquest of their country by
foreigners. The second is that from the first there had been many who,
while admitting the _right_ of secession--and therefore, by
implication, the justice of the Southern cause--had yet doubted its
expediency. It is surely not unnatural to suppose that the disastrous
issue of the experiment had brought a great many round to this point of
view. No doubt there was still a residue--perhaps a large residue--of
quite impenitent "rebels" who were prepared to renew the battle if they
saw a good chance, but the conditions under which the new Southern
Governments had come into existence offered sufficient security against
such men controlling them. Irreconcilables of that type would not have
taken the oath of allegiance, would not have repealed the Ordinances of
Secession or repudiated the Confederate Debt, and, if they had no great
objection to abolishing Slavery, would probably have made it a point of
honour not to do it at Northern dictation. What those who were now
asking for re-admission to their ancient rights in the Union had already
done or were prepared to do was sufficient evidence that moderation and
an accessible temper were predominant in their counsels.

The other fear was even more groundless. There might in the South be a
certain bitterness against the Northerner; there was none at all against
the Negro. Why should there be? During the late troubles the Negro had
deserved very well of the South. At a time when practically every active
male of the white population was in the fighting line, when a slave
insurrection might have brought ruin and disaster on every Southern
home, not a slave had risen. The great majority of the race had gone on
working faithfully, though the ordinary means of coercion were almost
necessarily in abeyance. Even when the Northern armies came among them,
proclaiming their emancipation, many of them continued to perform their
ordinary duties and to protect the property and secrets of their
masters. Years afterwards the late Dr. Booker Washington could boast
that there was no known case of one of his race betraying a trust. All
this was publicly acknowledged by leading Southerners and one-time
supporters of Slavery like Alexander Stephens, who pressed the claims of
the Negro to fair and even generous treatment at the hands of the
Southern whites. It is certain that these in the main meant well of the
black race. It is equally certain that, difficult as the problem was,
they were more capable of dealing with it than were alien theorizers
from the North, who had hardly seen a Negro save, perhaps, as a waiter
at an hotel.

It is a notable fact that the soldiers who conquered the South were at
this time practically unanimous in support of a policy of reconciliation
and confidence. Sherman, to whom Johnstone surrendered a few days after
Lincoln's death, wished to offer terms for the surrender of all the
Southern forces which would have guaranteed to the seceding States the
full restoration of internal self-government. Grant sent to the
President a reassuring report as to the temper of the South which Sumner
compared to the "whitewashing message of Franklin Pierce" in regard to

Yet it would be absurd to deny that the cleavage between North and
South, inevitable after a prolonged Civil War, required time to heal.
One event might indeed have ended it almost at once, and that event
almost occurred. A foreign menace threatening something valued by both
sections would have done more than a dozen Acts of Congress or
Amendments to the Constitution. There were many to whom this had always
appeared the most hopeful remedy for the sectionable trouble. Among them
was Seward, who, having been Lincoln's Secretary of State, now held the
same post under Johnson. While secession was still little more than a
threat he had proposed to Lincoln the deliberate fomentation of a
dispute with some foreign power--he did not appear to mind which. It is
thought by some that, after the war, he took up and pressed the
_Alabama_ claims with the same notion. That quarrel, however, would
hardly have met the case. The ex-Confederates could not be expected to
throw themselves with enthusiasm into a war with England to punish her
for providing them with a navy. It was otherwise with the trouble which
had been brewing in Mexico.

Napoleon III. had taken advantage of the Civil War to violate in a very
specific fashion the essential principle of the Monroe Doctrine. He had
interfered in one of the innumerable Mexican revolutions and taken
advantage of it to place on the throne an emperor of his own choice,
Maximilian, a cadet of the Hapsburg family, and to support his nominee
by French bayonets. Here was a challenge which the South was even more
interested in taking up than the North, and, if it had been persisted
in, it is quite thinkable that an army under the joint leadership of
Grant and Lee and made up of those who had learnt to respect each other
on a hundred fields from Bull Run to Spottsylvania might have erased all
bitter memories by a common campaign on behalf of the liberties of the
continent. But Louis Napoleon was no fool; and in this matter he acted
perhaps with more regard to prudence than to honour. He withdrew the
French troops, leaving Maximilian to his fate, which he promptly met at
the hands of his own subjects.

The sectional quarrel remained unappeased, and the quarrel between the
President and Congress began. Congress was not yet Radical, but it was
already decidedly, though still respectfully, opposed to Johnson's
policy. While only a few of its members had yet made up their minds as
to what ought to be done about Reconstruction, the great majority had a
strong professional bias which made them feel that the doing or not
doing of it should be in their hands and not in those of the Executive.
It was by taking advantage of this prevailing sentiment that the
Radicals, though still a minority, contrived to get the leadership more
and more into their own hands.

Of the Radicals Sumner was the spokesman most conspicuous in the public
eye. But not from him came either the driving force or the direction
which ultimately gave them the control of national policy.

Left to himself, Sumner could never have imposed the iron oppression
from which it took the South a life-and-death wrestle of ten years to
shake itself free. At the worst he would have been capable of imposing a
few paper pedantries, such as his foolish Civil Rights Bill, which would
have been torn up before their ink was dry. The will and intelligence
which dictated the Reconstruction belonged to a very different man, a
man entitled to a place not with puzzle-headed pedants or coat-turning
professionals but with the great tyrants of history.

Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania was in almost every respect the
opposite of his ally, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. Sumner, empty of
most things, was especially empty of humour. Stevens had abundance of
humour of a somewhat fierce but very real kind. Some of his caustic
strokes are as good as anything recorded of Talleyrand: notably his
reply to an apologist of Johnson who urged in the President's defence
that he was "a selfmade man." "I am delighted to hear it," said Stevens
grimly; "it relieves the Creator of a terrible responsibility." With
this rather savage wit went courage which could face the most enormous
of tests; like Rabelais, like Danton, he could jest with death when
death was touching him on the shoulder. In public life he was not so
much careless of what he considered conventions as defiantly happy in
challenging them. It gave him keen delight to outrage at once the racial
sentiments of the South and the Puritanism of the North by compelling
the politicians whom he dominated and despised to pay public court to
his mulatto mistress.

The inspiring motive of this man was hatred of the South. It seems
probable that this sentiment had its origin in a genuine and honourable
detestation of Slavery.

As a practising lawyer in Pennsylvania he had at an earlier period taken
a prominent part in defending fugitive slaves. But by the time that he
stood forward as the chief opponent of the Presidential policy of
conciliation, Slavery had ceased to exist; yet his passion against the
former slave-owners seemed rather to increase than to diminish. I think
it certain, though I cannot produce here all the evidence that appears
to me to support such a conclusion, that it was the negative rather than
the positive aspect of his policy that attracted him most. Sumner might
dream of the wondrous future in store for the Negro race--of whose
qualities and needs he knew literally nothing--under Bostonian tutelage.
But I am sure that for Stevens the vision dearest to his heart was
rather that of the proud Southern aristocracy compelled to plead for
mercy on its knees at the tribunal of its hereditary bondsmen.

Stevens was a great party leader. Not such a leader as Jefferson or
Jackson had been: a man who sums up and expresses the will of masses of
men. Nor yet such a leader as later times have accustomed us to; a man
who by bribery or intrigue induces his fellow-professionals to support
him. He was one of those who rule by personal dominance. His courage has
already been remarked; and he knew how much fearlessness can achieve in
a profession where most men are peculiarly cowardly. It was he who
forced the issue between the President and Congress and obtained at a
stroke a sort of captaincy in the struggle by moving in the House of
Representatives that the consideration of Reconstruction by Congress
would precede any consideration of the President's message asking for
the admission of the representatives of the reorganized States.

By a combination of forceful bullying and skilful strategy Stevens
compelled the House of Representatives to accept his leadership in this
matter, but the action of Congress on other questions during these early
months of the contest shows how far it still was from accepting his
policy. The plan of Reconstruction which the majority now favoured is to
be found outlined in the Fourteenth Constitutional Amendment which, at
about this time, it recommended for adoption by the States.

The provisions of this amendment were threefold. One, for which a
precedent had been afforded by the President's own action, declared that
the public debt incurred by the Federal Government should never be
repudiated, and also that no State should pay or accept responsibility
for any debt incurred for the purpose of waging war against the
Federation. Another, probably unwise from the point of view of
far-sighted statesmanship but more or less in line with the President's
policy, provided for the exclusion from office of all who, having sworn
allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, had given aid to a
rebellion against its Government. The third, which was really the
crucial one, provided a settlement of the franchise question which
cannot be regarded as extreme or unreasonable. It will be remembered
that the original Constitutional Compromise had provided for the
inclusion, in calculating the representation of a State, of all "free
persons" and of three-fifths of the "other persons"--that is, of the
slaves. By freeing the slaves the representation to which the South was
entitled was automatically increased by the odd two-fifths of their
number, and this seemed to Northerners unreasonable, unless the freedmen
were at the same time enfranchised. Congress decided to recommend that
the representation of the South should be greater or less according to
the extent to which the Negro population were admitted to the franchise
or excluded from it. This clause was re-cast more than once in order to
satisfy a fantastic scruple of Sumner's concerning the indecency of
mentioning the fact that some people were black and others white, a
scruple which he continued to enforce with his customary appeals to the
Declaration of Independence, until even his ally Stevens lost all
patience with him. But in itself it was not, perhaps, a bad solution of
the difficulty. Had it been allowed to stand and work without further
interference it is quite likely that many Southern States would have
been induced by the prospect of larger representation to admit in course
of time such Negroes as seemed capable of understanding the meaning of
citizenship in the European sense. Such, at any rate, was the opinion of
General Lee, as expressed in his evidence before the Reconstruction

The South was hostile to the proposed settlement mainly on account of
the second provision. It resented the proposed exclusion of its leaders.
The sentiment was an honourable and chivalrous one, and was well
expressed by Georgia in her protest against the detention of Jefferson
Davis: "If he is guilty so are we." But the rejection of the Amendment
by the Southern States had a bad effect in the North. It may be
convenient here to remark that Davis was never tried. He was brought up
and admitted to bail (which the incalculable Greeley found for him), and
the case against him was not further pressed. In comparison with almost
every other Government that has crushed an insurrection, the Government
of the United States deserves high credit for its magnanimity in dealing
with the leaders of the Secession. Yet the course actually pursued, more
in ignorance than in malice so far as the majority were concerned,
probably caused more suffering and bitterness among the vanquished than
a hundred executions.

For the Radicals were more and more gaining control of Congress, now
openly at war with the Executive. The President had been using his veto
freely, and, as many even of his own supporters thought, imprudently.
The Republicans were eager to obtain the two-thirds majority in both
Houses necessary to carry measures over his veto, and to get it even the
meticulous Sumner was ready to stoop to some pretty discreditable
manoeuvres. The President had taken the field against Congress and
made some rather violent stump speeches, which were generally thought
unworthy of the dignity of the Chief Magistracy. Meanwhile alleged
"Southern outrages" against Negroes were vigorously exploited by the
Radicals, whose propaganda was helped by a racial riot in New Orleans,
the responsibility for which it is not easy to determine, but the
victims of which were mostly persons of colour. The net result was that
the new Congress, elected in 1866, not only gave the necessary
two-thirds majority, but was more Radical in its complexion and more
strictly controlled by the Republican machine than the old had been.

The effect was soon apparent. A Reconstruction Bill was passed by the
House and sent up to the Senate. It provided for the military government
of the conquered States until they should be reorganized, but was silent
in regard to the conditions of their re-admission. The Republican caucus
met to consider amendments, and Sumner moved that in the new
Constitutions there should be no exclusion from voting on account of
colour. This was carried against the strong protest of John Sherman, the
brother of the general and a distinguished Republican Senator. But when
the Senate met, even he submitted to the decision of the caucus, and the
Amendment Bill was carried by the normal Republican majority. Johnson
vetoed it, and it was carried by both Houses over his veto. The Radicals
had now achieved their main object. Congress was committed to
indiscriminate Negro Suffrage, and the President against it; the
controversy was narrowed down to that issue. From that moment they had
the game in their hands.

The impeachment of Johnson may be regarded as an interlude. The main
mover in the matter was Stevens. The main instrument Ben Butler--a man
disgraced alike in war and peace, the vilest figure in the politics of
that time. It was he who, when in command at New Orleans (after braver
men had captured it), issued the infamous order which virtually
threatened Southern women who showed disrespect for the Federal uniform
with rape--an order which, to the honour of the Northern soldiers, was
never carried out. He was recalled from his command, but his great
political "influence" saved him from the public disgrace which should
have been his portion. Perhaps no man, however high his character, can
mix long in the business of politics and keep his hands quite clean. The
leniency with which Butler was treated on this occasion must always
remain an almost solitary stain upon the memory of Abraham Lincoln. On
the memory of Benjamin Butler stains hardly show. At a later stage of
the war Butler showed such abject cowardice that Grant begged that if
his political importance required that he should have some military
command he should be placed somewhere where there was no fighting. This
time Butler saved himself by blackmailing his commanding officer. At the
conclusion of peace the man went back to politics, a trade for which his
temperament was better fitted; and it was he who was chosen as the chief
impugner of the conduct and honour of Andrew Johnson!

The immediate cause of the Impeachment was the dismissal of Stanton,
which Congress considered, wrongly as it would appear, a violation of an
Act which, after the quarrel became an open one, they had framed for the
express purpose of limiting his prerogative in this direction. In his
quarrel with Stanton the President seems to have had a good case, but he
was probably unwise to pursue it, and certainly unwise to allow it to
involve him in a public quarrel with Grant, the one man whose prestige
in the North might have saved the President's policy. The quarrel threw
Grant, who was already ambitious of the Presidency, into the hands of
the Republicans, and from that moment he ceased to count as a factor
making for peace and conciliation.

Johnson was acquitted, two or three honest Republican Senators declaring
in his favour, and so depriving the prosecution of the two-thirds
majority. Each Senator gave a separate opinion in writing. These
documents are of great historical interest; Sumner's especially--which
is of inordinate length and intensely characteristic--should be studied
by anyone who thinks that in these pages I have given an unfair idea of
his character.

In the meantime far more important work was being done in the
establishment of Negro rule in the South. State after State was
"reconstructed" under the terms of the Act which had been passed over
the President's veto. In every case as many white men as possible were
disfranchised on one pretext or another as "disloyal." In every case the
whole Negro population was enfranchised. Throughout practically the
whole area of what had been the Confederate States the position of the
races was reversed.

So far, in discussing the Slavery Question and all the issues which
arose out of it, I have left one factor out of account--the attitude of
the slaves themselves. I have done so deliberately because up to the
point which we have now reached that attitude had no effect on history.
The slaves had no share in the Abolition movement or in the formation of
the Republican Party. Even from John Brown's Raid they held aloof. The
President's proclamation which freed them, the Acts of Congress which
now gave them supreme power throughout the South, were not of their
making or inspiration. In politics the negro was still an unknown

There can be little doubt that under Slavery the relations of the two
races were for the most part kindly and free from rancour, that the
master was generally humane and the slave faithful. Had it not been so,
indeed, the effect of the transfer of power to the freedmen must have
been much more horrible than it actually was. On the other hand, it is
certain that when some Southern apologists said that the slaves did not
want their freedom they were wrong. Dr. Booker Washington, himself a
slave till his sixth or seventh year, has given us a picture of the
vague but very real longing which was at the back of their minds which
bears the stamp of truth. It is confirmed by their strange and
picturesque hymnology, in which the passionate desire to be "free,"
though generally apparently invoked in connection with a future life, is
none the less indicative of their temper, and in their preoccupation
with those parts of the Old Testament--the history of the Exodus, for
instance--which appeared applicable to their own condition. Yet it is
clear that they had but the vaguest idea of what "freedom" implied. Of
what "citizenship" implied they had, of course, no idea at all.

It is very far from my purpose to write contemptuously of the Negroes.
There is something very beautiful about a love of freedom wholly
independent of experience and deriving solely from the just instinct of
the human soul as to what is its due. And if, as some Southerners said,
the Negro understood by freedom mainly that he need not work, there was
a truth behind his idea, for the right to be idle if and when you choose
without reason given or permission sought is really what makes the
essential difference between freedom and slavery. But it is quite
another thing when we come to a complex national and historical product
like American citizenship. Of all that great European past, without the
memory of which the word "Republic" has no meaning, the Negro knew
nothing: with it he had no link. A barbaric version of the more barbaric
parts of the Bible supplied him with his only record of human society.

Yet Negro Suffrage, though a monstrous anomaly, might have done
comparatively little practical mischief if the Negro and his white
neighbour had been left alone to find their respective levels. The Negro
might have found a certain picturesque novelty in the amusement of
voting; the white American might have continued to control the practical
operation of Government. But it was no part of the policy of those now
in power at Washington to leave either black or white alone. "Loyal"
Governments were to be formed in the South; and to this end political
adventurers from the North--"carpet-baggers," as they were called--went
down into the conquered South to organize the Negro vote. A certain
number of disreputable Southerners, known as "scallywags," eagerly took
a hand in the game for the sake of the spoils. So of course did the
smarter and more ambitious of the freedmen. And under the control of
this ill-omened trinity of Carpet-Bagger, Scallywag, and Negro
adventurer grew up a series of Governments the like of which the sun has
hardly looked upon before or since.

The Negro is hardly to be blamed for his share in the ghastly business.
The whole machinery of politics was new to him, new and delightful as a
toy, new and even more delightful as a means of personal enrichment.
That it had or was intended to have any other purpose probably hardly
crossed his mind. His point of view--a very natural one, after all--was
well expressed by the aged freedman who was found chuckling over a pile
of dollar bills, the reward of some corrupt vote, and, when questioned,
observed: "Wal, it's de fifth time I's been bo't and sold, but, 'fo de
Lord, it's de fust I eber got de money!" Under administrations conducted
in this spirit the whole South was given up to plunder. The looting went
on persistently and on a scale almost unthinkable. The public debts
reached amazing figures, while Negro legislators voted each other wads
of public money as a kind of parlour game, amid peals of hearty African

Meanwhile the Governments presided over by Negroes, or white courtiers
of the Negro and defended by the bayonets of an armed black militia,
gave no protection to the persons or property of the whites.

Daily insults were offered to what was now the subject race. The streets
of the proud city of Charleston, where ten years before on that fatal
November morning the Palmetto flag had been raised as the signal of
Secession, were paraded by mobs of dusky freedmen singing: "De bottom
rail's on top now, and we's g'wine to keep it dar!" It says much for the
essential kindliness of the African race that in the lawless condition
of affairs there were no massacres and deliberate cruelties were rare.
On the other hand, the animal nature of the Negro was strong, and
outrages on white women became appallingly frequent and were perpetrated
with complete impunity. Every white family had to live in something like
a constant state of siege.

It was not to be expected that ordinary men of European origin would
long bear such government. And those on whom it was imposed were no
ordinary men. They were men whose manhood had been tried by four awful
years of the supreme test, men such as had charged with Pickett up the
bloody ridge at Gettysburg, and disputed with the soldiers of Grant
every inch of tangled quagmire in the Wilderness. They found a remedy.

Suddenly, as at a word, there appeared in every part of the downtrodden
country bands of mysterious horsemen. They rode by night, wearing long
white garments with hoods that hid their faces, and to the
terror-stricken Negroes who encountered them they declared
themselves--not without symbolic truth--the ghosts of the great armies
that had died in defence of the Confederacy. But superstitious terrors
were not the only ones that they employed.

The mighty secret society called the Ku-Klux-Klan was justified by the
only thing that can justify secret societies--gross tyranny and the
denial of plain human rights. The method they employed was the method so
often employed by oppressed peoples and rarely without success--the
method by which the Irish peasantry recovered their land. It was to put
fear into the heart of the oppressor. Prominent men, both black and
white, who were identified with the evils which afflicted the State,
were warned generally by a message signed "K.K.K." to make themselves
scarce. If they neglected the warning they generally met a sudden and
bloody end. At the same time the Klan unofficially tried and executed
those criminals whom the official Government refused to suppress. These
executions had under the circumstances a clear moral justification.
Unfortunately it had the effect of familiarizing the people with the
irregular execution of Negroes, and so paved the way for those
"lynchings" for which, since the proper authorities are obviously able
and willing to deal adequately with such crimes, no such defence can be
set up.

Both sides appealed to Grant, who had been elected President on the
expiration of Johnson's term in 1868.

Had he been still the Grant of Appomattox and of the healing message to
which reference has already been made, no man would have been better
fitted to mediate between the sections and to cover with his protection
those who had surrendered to his sword. But Grant was now a mere tool in
the hands of the Republican politicians, and those politicians were
determined that the atrocious system should be maintained. They had not
even the excuse of fanaticism. Stevens was dead; he had lived just long
enough to see his policy established, not long enough to see it
imperilled. Sumner still lived, but he had quarrelled with Grant and
lost much of his influence. The men who surrounded the President cared
little enough for the Negro. Their resolution to support African rule in
the South depended merely upon the calculation that so long as it
endured the reign of the Republican party and consequently their own
professional interests were safe. A special Act of Congress was passed
to put down the Ku-Klux-Klan, and the victorious army of the Union was
again sent South to carry it into execution. But this time it found an
enemy more invulnerable than Lee had been--invulnerable because
invisible. The whole white population was in the conspiracy and kept its
secrets. The army met with no overt resistance with which it could deal,
but the silent terrorism went on. The trade of "Carpet-bagger" became
too dangerous. The ambitious Negro was made to feel that the price to be
paid for his privileges was a high one. Silently State after State was
wrested from Negro rule.

Later the Ku-Klux-Klan--for such is ever the peril of Secret Societies
and the great argument against them when not demanded by imperative
necessity--began to abuse its power. Reputable people dropped out of it,
and traitors were found in its ranks. About 1872 it disappeared. But its
work was done. In the great majority of the Southern States the voting
power of the Negro was practically eliminated. Negroid Governments
survived in three only--South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. For
these the end came four years later.

The professional politicians of the North, whose motive for supporting
the indefensible _régime_ established by the Reconstruction Act has
already been noted, used, of course, the "atrocities" of the
Ku-Klux-Klan as electioneering material in the North. "Waving the bloody
shirt," it was called. But the North was getting tired of it, and was
beginning to see that the condition of things in the conquered States
was a national disgrace. A Democratic House of Representatives had been
chosen, and it looked as if the Democrats would carry the next
Presidential election. In fact they did carry it. But fraudulent returns
were sent in by the three remaining Negro Governments, and these gave
the Republicans a majority of one in the Electoral College. A Commission
of Enquiry was demanded and appointed, but it was packed by the
Republicans and showed itself as little scrupulous as the scoundrels who
administered the "reconstructed" States. Affecting a sudden zeal for
State Rights, it declared itself incompetent to inquire into the
circumstances under which the returns were made. It accepted them on the
word of the State authorities and declared Hayes, the Republican
candidate, elected.

It was a gross scandal, but it put an end to a grosser one. Some believe
that there was a bargain whereby the election of Hayes should be
acquiesced in peaceably on condition that the Negro Governments were not
further supported. It is equally possible that Hayes felt his moral
position too weak to continue a policy of oppression in the South. At
any rate, that policy was not continued. Federal support was withdrawn
from the remaining Negro Governments, and they fell without a blow. The
second rebellion of the South had succeeded where the first had failed.
Eleven years after Lee had surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Grant's
successor in the Presidency surrendered to the ghost of Lee.

Negro rule was at an end. But the Negro remained, and the problem which
his existence presented was, and is, to-day, further from solution that
when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The signs of the
Black Terror are still visible everywhere in the South. They are visible
in the political solidarity of those Southern States--and only of those
States--which underwent the hideous ordeal, what American politicians
call "the solid South." All white men, whatever their opinions, must
vote together, lest by their division the Negro should again creep in
and regain his supremacy. They are visible in those strict laws of
segregation which show how much wider is the gulf between the races than
it was under Slavery--when the children of the white slave-owner, in
Lincoln's words, "romped freely with the little negroes." They are
visible above all in acts of unnatural cruelty committed from time to
time against members of the dreaded race. These things are inexplicable
to those who do not know the story of the ordeal which the South
endured, and cannot guess at the secret panic with which white men
contemplate the thought of its return.

Well might Jefferson tremble for his country. The bill which the first
slave-traders ran up is not yet paid. Their dreadful legacy remains and
may remain for generations to come a baffling and tormenting problem to
every American who has a better head than Sumner's and a better heart
than Legree's.

                               CHAPTER XI

                            THE NEW PROBLEMS

Most of us were familiar in our youth with a sort of game or problem
which consisted in taking a number, effecting a series of additions,
multiplications, subtractions, etc., and finally "taking away the number
you first thought of." Some such process might be taken as representing
the later history of the Republican Party.

That party was originally founded to resist the further extension of
Slavery. That was at first its sole policy and objective. And when
Slavery disappeared and the Anti-Slavery Societies dissolved themselves
it might seem that the Republican Party should logically have done the
same. But no political party can long exist, certainly none can long
hold power, while reposing solely upon devotion to a single idea. For
one thing, the mere requirements of what Lincoln called "national
housekeeping" involves an accretion of policies apparently unconnected
with its original doctrine. Thus the Republican Party, relying at first
wholly upon the votes of the industrial North, which was generally in
favour of a high tariff, took over from the old Whig Party a
Protectionist tradition, though obviously there is no logical connection
between Free Trade and Slavery. Also, in any organized party, especially
where politics are necessarily a profession, there is an even more
powerful factor working against the original purity of its creed in the
immense mass of vested interests which it creates, especially when it is
in power--men holding positions under it, men hoping for a "career"
through its triumphs, and the like. It may be taken as certain that no
political body so constituted will ever voluntarily consent to dissolve
itself, as a merely propagandist body may naturally do when its object
is achieved.

For some time, as has been seen, the Republicans continued to retain a
certain link with their origin by appearing mainly as a pro-Negro and
anti-Southern party, with "Southern outrages" as its electoral
stock-in-trade and the maintenance of the odious non-American State
Governments as its programme. The surrender of 1876 put an end even to
this link. The "bloody shirt" disappeared, and with it the last rag of
the old Republican garment. A formal protest against the use of
"intimidation" in the "Solid South" continued to figure piously for some
decades in the quadrennial platform of the party. At last even this was
dropped, and its place was taken by the much more defensible demand that
Southern representatives should be so reduced as to correspond to the
numbers actually suffered to vote. It is interesting to note that if the
Republicans had not insisted on supplementing the Fourteenth Amendment
by the Fifteenth, forbidding disqualification on grounds of race or
colour, and consequently compelling the South to concede in theory the
franchise of the blacks and then prevent its exercise, instead of
formally denying it them, this grievance would automatically have been

What, then, remained to the Republican Party when the "number it first
thought of" had been thus taken away? The principal thing that remained
was a connection already established by its leading politicians with the
industrial interests of the North-Eastern States and with the groups of
wealthy men who, in the main, controlled and dealt in those interests.
It became the party of industrial Capitalism as it was rapidly
developing in the more capitalist and mercantile sections of the Union.

The first effect of this was an appalling increase of political
corruption. During Grant's second Presidency an amazing number of very
flagrant scandals were brought to light, of which the most notorious
were the Erie Railway scandal, in which the rising Republican
Congressional leader, Blaine, was implicated, and the Missouri Whisky
Ring, by which the President himself was not unbesmirched. The cry for
clean government became general, and had much to do with the election of
a Democratic House of Representatives in 1874 and the return by a true
majority vote--thought defeated by a trick--of a Democratic President in
1876. Though the issue was somewhat overshadowed in 1880, when Garfield
was returned mainly on the tariff issue--to be assassinated later by a
disappointed place-hunter named Guiteau and succeeded by Arthur--it
revived in full force in 1884 when the Republican candidate was James G.

Blaine was personally typical of the degeneration of the Republican
Party after the close of the Civil War. He had plenty of brains, was a
clever speaker and a cleverer intriguer. Principles he had none. Of
course he had in his youth "waved the bloody shirt" vigorously enough,
was even one of the last to wave it, but at the same time he had
throughout his political life stood in with the great capitalist and
financial interests of the North-East--and that not a little to his
personal profit. The exposure of one politico-financial transaction of
his--the Erie Railway affair--had cost him the Republican nomination in
1876, in spite of Ingersoll's amazing piece of rhetoric delivered on his
behalf, wherein the celebrated Secularist orator declared that "like an
armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine strode down the
floor of Congress and flung his shining lance, full and fair"--at those
miscreants who objected to politicians using their public status for
private profit. By 1884 it was hoped that the scandal had blown over and
was forgotten.

Fortunately, however, the traditions of the country were democratic.
Democracy is no preservative against incidental corruption; you will
have that wherever politics are a profession. But it is a very real
preservative against the secrecy in which, in oligarchical countries
like our own, such scandals can generally be buried. The Erie scandal
met Blaine on every side. One of the most damning features of the
business was a very compromising letter of his own which ended with the
fatal words: "Please burn this letter." As a result of its publication,
crowds of Democratic voters paraded the streets of several great
American cities chanting monotonously--

    "Burn, burn, burn this letter!
        James G. Blaine.
    Please, please! Burn this letter!
        James G. Blaine.
    Oh! Do! Burn this letter!
        James G. Blaine."

The result was the complete success of the clean government ticket, and
the triumphant return of Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat to take
the oath since the Civil War, and perhaps the strongest and best
President since Lincoln.

Meanwhile, the Republic had found itself threatened with another racial
problem, which became acute at about the time when excitement on both
sides regarding the Negro was subsiding. Scarcely had the expansion of
the United States touched the Pacific, when its territories encountered
a wave of immigration from the thickly populated countries on the other
side of that ocean. The population which now poured into California and
Oregon was as alien in race and ideals as the Negro, and it was,
perhaps, the more dangerous because, while the Negro, so far as he had
not absorbed European culture, was a mere barbarian, these people had a
very old and elaborate civilization of their own, a civilization
picturesque and full of attraction when seen afar off, but exhibiting,
at nearer view, many characteristics odious to the traditions, instincts
and morals of Europe and white America. There was also the economic
evil--really, of course, only an aspect of the conflict of types of
civilization--arising from the fact that these immigrants, being used to
a lower standard of life, undercut and cheapened the labour of the white

Various Acts were passed by Congress from time to time for the
restriction and exclusion of Chinese and other Oriental immigrants, and
the trouble, though not even yet completely disposed of, was got under a
measure of control. Sumner lived long enough to oppose the earlier of
these very sensible laws, and, needless to say, trotted out the
Declaration of Independence, though in this case the application was
even more absurd than in that of the Negro. The Negro, at any rate, was
already resident in America, and had been brought there in the first
instance without his own consent; and this fact, though it did not make
him a citizen, did create a moral responsibility towards him on the
part of the American Commonwealth. Towards the Chinaman it had no
responsibility whatever. Doubtless he had, as a man, his natural rights
to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"--in China. But whoever
said anything so absurd as that it was one of the natural rights of man
to live in America? It was, however, less to the increased absurdity of
his argument than to the less favourable bias of his audience that
Sumner owed his failure to change the course of legislation in this
instance. An argument only one degree less absurd had done well enough
as a reason for the enslavement and profanation of the South a year or
two before. But there was no great party hoping to perpetuate its power
by the aid of the Chinese, nor was there a defeated and unpopular
section to be punished for its "treason" by being made over to Mongolian
masters. Indeed, Congress, while rejecting Sumner's argument, made a
concession to his monomania on the subject of Negroes, and a clause was
inserted in the Act whereby no person "of African descent" should be
excluded--with the curious result that to this day, while a yellow face
is a bar to the prospective immigrant, a black face is, theoretically at
any rate, actually a passport.

The exclusion of the Chinese does but mark the beginning of a very
important change in the attitude of the Republic towards immigration. Up
to this time, in spite of the apparent exception of the Know-Nothing
movement, of which the motive seems to have been predominantly
sectarian, it had been at once the interest and the pride of America to
encourage immigration on the largest possible scale without troubling
about its source or character: her interest because her undeveloped
resources were immense and apparently inexhaustible, and what was mainly
needed was human labour to exploit them; her pride, because she boasted,
and with great justice, that her democratic creed was a force strong
enough to turn any man who accepted citizenship, whatever his origin,
into an American. But in connection with the general claim, which
experience has, on the whole, justified, there are two important
reservations. One is that such a conversion is only possible if the
American idea--that is, the doctrine set forth by Jefferson--when once
propounded awakens an adequate response from the man whom it is hoped
to assimilate. This can generally be predicted of Europeans, since the
idea is present in the root of their own civilization: it derives from
Rome. But it can hardly be expected of peoples of a wholly alien
tradition from which the Roman Law and the Gospel of Rousseau are alike
remote. This consideration lies at the root of the exception of the
Negro, the exception of the Mongol, and may one day produce the
exception of the Jew.

The other reservation is this: that if the immigration of diverse
peoples proceeds at too rapid a rate, it may be impossible for
absorption to keep pace with it. Nay, absorption may be grievously
hindered by it. This has been shown with great force and clearness by
Mr. Zangwill under his excellent image of the "Melting Pot." Anyone even
casually visiting New York, for instance, can see on every side the
great masses of unmelted foreign material and their continual
reinforcement from overseas, probably delaying continually the process
of fusion--and New York is only typical in this of other great American

A new tendency to limit immigration and to seek some test of its quality
has been a marked feature of the last quarter of a century. The
principle is almost certainly sound; the right to act on it, to anyone
who accepts the doctrine of national self-government, unquestionable.
Whether the test ultimately imposed by a recent Act passed by Congress
over President Wilson's veto, that of literacy, is a wise one, is
another question. Its tendency may well be to exclude great masses of
the peasantry of the Old World, men admirably fitted to develop by their
industry the resources of America, whose children at least could easily
be taught to read and write the American language and would probably
become excellent American citizens. On the other hand, it does not
exclude the criminal, or at any rate the most dangerous type of
criminal. It does not exclude the submerged population of great European
cities, the exploitation of whose cheap labour is a menace to the
American workman's standard of life. And it does not, generally
speaking, exclude the Jew.

The problem of the Jew exists in America as elsewhere--perhaps more
formidably than elsewhere. This, of course, is not because Jews, as
such, are worse than other people: only idiots are Anti-Semites in that
sense. It arises from the fact that America, more than any other nation,
lives by its power of absorption, and the Jew has, ever since the Roman
Empire, been found a singularly unabsorbable person. He has an intense
nationalism of his own that transcends and indeed ignores frontiers, but
to the nationalism of European peoples he is often consciously and
almost always subconsciously hostile. In various ways he tends to act as
a solvent of such nationalism. Cosmopolitan finance is one example of
such a tendency. Another, more morally sympathetic but not much less
dangerous to nationalism in such a country as America, is cosmopolitan
revolutionary idealism. The Socialist and Anarchist movements of
America, divided of course in philosophy, but much more akin in temper
than in European countries, are almost wholly Jewish, both in origin and
leadership. For this reason, since America's entrance into the Great
War, these parties, in contrast to most of the European Socialist
parties, have shown themselves violently anti-national and what we now
call "Bolshevist."

But organized Socialism is, in America, almost a negligible force; not
so organized labour. In no country has the Trade Union movement
exercised more power, and in no country has it fought with bolder
weapons. In the early struggles between the organized workers and the
great capitalists, violence and even murder was freely resorted to on
both sides, for if the word must be applied to the vengeance often
wreaked by the Labour Unions on servants of the employer and on traitors
to the organization, the same word must be used with a severer moral
implication of the shooting down of workmen at the orders of men like
Carnegie, not even by the authorized police force or militia of the
State, but by privately hired assassinators such as the notorious
Pinkerton used to supply.

The labour movement in America is not generally Collectivist.
Collectivism is alien to the American temper and ideal, which looks
rather to a community of free men controlling, through personal
ownership, their own industry. The demand of American labour has been
rather for the sharp and efficient punishment of such crimes against
property as are involved in conspiracies to create a monopoly in some
product and the use of great wealth to "squeeze out" the small
competitor. Such demands found emphatic expression in the appearance in
the 'nineties of a new party calling itself "Populist" and formed by a
combination between the organized workmen and the farmers of the West,
who felt themselves more and more throttled by the tentacles of the new
commercial monopolies which were becoming known by the name of "Trusts."
In the elections of 1892, when Cleveland was returned for a second time
after an interval of Republican rule under Harrison, the Populists
showed unexpected strength and carried several Western States. In 1896
Democrats and Populists combined to nominate William Jennings Bryan as
their candidate, with a programme the main plank of which was the free
coinage of silver, which, it was thought, would weaken the hold of the
moneyed interests of the East upon the industries of the Continent. The
Eastern States, however, voted solid for the gold standard, and were
joined, in the main, by those Southern States which had not been
"reconstructed" and were consequently not included politically in the
"Solid South." The West, too, though mainly Bryanite, was not unanimous,
and McKinley, the Republican candidate, was returned. The Democratic
defeat, however, gave some indication of the tendencies which were to
produce the Democratic victory of 1916, when the West, with the aid of
the "Solid South," returned a President whom the East had all but
unanimously rejected.

McKinley's first term of office, saw the outbreak and victorious
prosecution of a war with Spain, arising partly out of American sympathy
with an insurrection which had broken out in Cuba, and partly out of the
belief, now pretty conclusively shown to have been unfounded, that the
American warship _Maine_, which was blown up in a Spanish harbour, had
been so destroyed at the secret instigation of the Spanish authorities.
Its most important result was to leave, at its conclusion, both Cuba and
the Philippine Islands at the disposal of the United States. This
practically synchronized with the highest point reached in this
country, just before the Boer War, by that wave of national feeling
called "Imperialism." America, for a time, seemed to catch its infection
or share its inspiration, as we may prefer to put it. But the tendency
was not a permanent one. The American Constitution is indeed expressly
built for expansion, but only where the territory acquired can be
thoroughly Americanized and ultimately divided into self-governing
States on the American pattern. To hold permanently subject possessions
which cannot be so treated is alien to its general spirit and intention.
Cuba was soon abandoned, and though the Philippines were retained, the
difficulties encountered in their subjection and the moral anomaly
involved in being obliged to wage a war of conquest against those whom
you have professed to liberate, acted as a distinct check upon the
enthusiasm for such experiments.

After the conclusion of the Spanish war, McKinley was elected for a
second time; almost immediately afterwards he was murdered by an
Anarchist named Czolgosz, sometimes described as a "Pole," but
presumably an East European Jew. The effect was to produce a third
example of the unwisdom--though in this case the country was distinctly
the gainer--of the habit of using the Vice-Presidency merely as an
electioneering bait. Theodore Roosevelt had been chosen as candidate for
that office solely to catch what we should here call the "khaki"
sentiment, he and his "roughriders" having played a distinguished and
picturesque part in the Cuban campaign. But it soon appeared that the
new President had ideas of his own which were by no means identical with
those of the Party Bosses. He sought to re-create the moral prestige of
the Republican Party by identifying it with the National idea--with
which its traditions as the War Party in the battle for the Union made
its identification seem not inappropriate--with a spirited foreign
policy and with the aspiration for expansion and world-power. But he
also sought to sever its damaging connection with those sordid and
unpopular plutocratic combinations which the nation as a whole justly
hated. Of great energy and attractive personality, and gifted with a
strong sense of the picturesque in politics, President Roosevelt opened
a vigorous campaign against those Trusts which had for so long backed
and largely controlled his party. The Republican Bosses were angry and
dismayed, but they dared not risk an open breach with a popular and
powerful President backed by the whole nation irrespective of party. So
complete was his victory that not only did he enjoy something like a
national triumph when submitting himself for re-election in 1904, but in
1908 was virtually able to nominate his successor.

Mr. Taft, however, though so nominated and professing to carry on the
Rooseveltian policy, did not carry it on to the satisfaction of its
originator. The ex-President roundly accused his successor of suffering
the party to slip back again into the pocket of the Trusts, and in 1912
offered himself once more to the Republican Party as a rival to his
successor. The Party Convention at San Francisco chose Taft by a narrow
majority. Something may be allowed for the undoubtedly prevalent
sentiment against a breach of the Washingtonian tradition of a two-terms
limit; but the main factor was the hostility of the Bosses and the
Trusts behind them, and the weapon they used was their control of the
Negro "pocket boroughs" of the Southern States, which were represented
in the Convention in proportion to their population of those States,
though practically no Republican votes were cast there. Colonel
Roosevelt challenged the decision of the Convention, and organized an
independent party of his own under the title of "Progressive," composed
partly of the defeated section of the Republicans and partly of all
those who for one reason or another were dissatisfied with existing
parties. In the contest which followed he justified his position by
polling far more votes than his Republican rival. But the division in
the Republican Party permitted the return of the Democratic candidate,
Dr. Woodrow Wilson.

The new President was a remarkable man in more ways than one. By birth a
Southerner, he had early migrated to New Jersey. He had a distinguished
academic career behind him, and had written the best history of his own
country at present obtainable. He had also held high office in his
State, and his term had been signalized by the vigour with which he had
made war on corruption in the public service. During his term of office
he was to exhibit another set of qualities, the possession of which had
perhaps been less suspected: an instinct for the trend of the national
will not unlike that of Jackson, and a far-seeing patience and
persistence under misrepresentation and abuse that recalls Lincoln.

For Mr. Wilson had been in office but a little over a year when Prussia,
using Austria as an instrument and Serbia as an excuse, forced an
aggressive war on the whole of Europe. The sympathies of most Americans
were with the Western Allies, especially with France, for which country
the United States had always felt a sort of spiritual cousinship.
England was, as she had always been, less trusted, but in this instance,
especially when Prussia opened the war with a criminal attack upon the
little neutral nation of Belgium, it was generally conceded that she was
in the right. Dissentients there were, especially among the large German
or German-descended population of the Middle West, and the Prussian
Government spent money like water to further a German propaganda in the
States. But the mass of American opinion was decidedly favourable to the
cause of those who were at war with the German Empire. Yet it was at
that time equally decided and much more unanimous against American
intervention in the European quarrel.

The real nature of this attitude was not grasped in England, and the
resultant misunderstanding led to criticisms and recriminations which
everyone now regrets. The fact is that the Americans had very good
reason for disliking the idea of being drawn into the awful whirlpool in
which Europe seemed to be perishing. It was not cowardice that held her
back: her sons had done enough during the four terrible years of civil
conflict in which her whole manhood was involved to repel that charge
for ever. Rather was it a realistic memory of what such war means that
made the new America eager to keep the peace as long as it might. There
was observable, it is true, a certain amount of rather silly Pacifist
sentiment, especially in those circles which the Russians speak of as
"Intelligenzia," and Americans as "high-brow." It went, as it usually
goes, though the logical connection is not obvious, with teetotalism
and similar fads. All these fads were peculiarly rampant in the United
States in the period immediately preceding the war, when half the States
went "dry," and some cities passed what seems to us quite lunatic
laws--prohibiting cigarette-smoking and creating a special female police
force of "flirt-catchers." The whole thing is part, one may suppose, of
the deliquescence of the Puritan tradition in morals, and will probably
not endure. So far as such doctrinaire Pacifism is concerned, it seems
to have dissolved at the first sound of an American shot. But the
instinct which made the great body of sensible and patriotic Americans,
especially in the West, resolved to keep out of the war, so long as
their own interests and honour were not threatened, was of a much more
solid and respectable kind. Undoubtedly most Americans thought that the
Allies were in the right; but if every nation intervened in every war
where it thought one or other side in the right, every war must become
universal. The Republic was not pledged, like this country, to enforce
respect for Belgian neutrality; she was not, like England, directly
threatened by the Prussian menace. Indirectly threatened she was, for a
German victory would certainly have been followed by an attempt to
realize well-understood German ambitions in South America. But most
Americans were against meeting trouble halfway.

Such was the temper of the nation. The President carefully conformed to
it, while at the same time guiding and enlightening it. For nearly two
years he kept his country out of the war. The task was no easy one. He
was assailed at home at once by the German propagandists, who wanted
him, in defiance of International Law, to forbid the sale of arms and
munitions to the Allies, and by Colonel Roosevelt, who wished America to
declare herself definitely on the Allied side. Moreover, Prussia could
understand no argument but force, and took every sign of the pacific
disposition of the Government at Washington as an indication of
cowardice or incapacity to fight. But he was excellently served in
Berlin by Mr. Gerard, and he held to his course. The _Lusitania_ was
sunk and many American citizens were drowned as a part of the Prussian
campaign of indiscriminate murder on the high seas; and the volume of
feeling in favour of intervention increased. But the President still
resisted the pressure put upon him, as Lincoln had so long resisted the
pressure of those who wished him to use his power to declare the slaves
free. He succeeded in obtaining from Germany some mitigation of her
piratical policy, and with that he was for a time content. He probably
knew then, as Mr. Gerard certainly did, that war must come. But he also
knew that if he struck too early he would divide the nation. He waited
till the current of opinion had time to develop, carefully though
unobtrusively directing it in such a fashion as to prepare it for
eventualities. So well did he succeed that when in the spring of 1917
Prussia proclaimed a revival of her policy of unmitigated murder
directed not only against belligerents but avowedly against neutrals
also, he felt the full tide of the general will below him. And when at
last he declared war it was with a united America at his back.

Such is, in brief, the diplomatic history of the intervention of the
United States in the Great War. Yet there is another angle from which it
can be viewed, whereby it seems not only inevitable but strangely
symbolic. The same century that saw across the Atlantic the birth of the
young Republic, saw in the very centre of Europe the rise of another new
Power. Remote as the two were, and unlikely as it must have seemed at
the time that they could ever cross each other's paths, they were in a
strange fashion at once parallel and antipodean. Neither has grown in
the ordinary complex yet unconscious fashion of nations. Both were, in a
sense, artificial products. Both were founded on a creed. And the creeds
were exactly and mathematically opposed. According to the creed of
Thomas Jefferson, all men were endowed by their Creator with equal
rights. According to the creed of Frederick Hohenzollern there was no
Creator, and no one possessed any rights save the right of the
strongest. Through more than a century the history of the two nations is
the development of the two ideas. It would have seemed unnatural if the
great Atheist State, in its final bid for the imposition of its creed on
all nations, had not found Jefferson's Republic among its enemies. That
anomaly was not to be. That flag which, decked only with thirteen stars
representing the original revolted colonies, had first waved over
Washington's raw levies, which, as the cluster grew, had disputed on
equal terms with the Cross of St. George its ancient lordship of the
sea, which Jackson had kept flying over New Orleans, which Scott and
Taylor had carried triumphantly to Monterey, which on a memorable
afternoon had been lowered over Sumter, and on a yet more memorable
morning raised once again over Richmond, which now bore its full
complement of forty-eight stars, symbolizing great and free States
stretching from ocean to ocean, appeared for the first time on a
European battlefield, and received there as its new baptism of fire a
salute from all the arsenals of Hell.


Aberdeen, Lord, Calhoun's reply to, 118

Abolitionists, Southern, no attempt to suppress, 132;
  hold Congress in Baltimore, 132;
  Northern, different attitudes of, 132;
  their hostility to the Union, 133;
  their sectional character, 133;
  Southern Abolitionism killed by, 133;
  anger of South against, 134;
  unpopularity of, in North, 135;
  acquiesce in Secession, 164

Adams, Francis, American Minister in London, 192;
  protests against the sailing of the _Alabama_, 192

Adams, John, opposed by Democrats for Vice-President, 57;
  chosen President by Electoral College, 62;
  his character and policy, 62-63;
  defeated by Jefferson, 63;
  refuses to receive Jefferson at the White House, 67;
  fills offices with Federalists, 67

Adams, John Quincey, leaves Federalist Party, 71;
  a candidate for the Presidency, 92;
  chosen President by House of Representatives, 94;
  appoints Clay Secretary of State, 95;
  unpopularity of his government, 96;
  defeated by Jackson, 96

Alabama secedes from the Union, 161

_Alabama_, the, built in Liverpool, 191;
  her devastations, 191;
  Great Britain declared responsible for, 192;
  compensation paid on account of, 192

Alexander I. of Russia wishes to intervene in America, 87

Aliens Law, 63

America, discovery of, 1;
  claimed by Spain, 3;
  English colonies in, 3;
  European intervention in, forbidden by Monroe Doctrine, 88.
  (_See also_ United States)

Anderson, Major, in command of Fort Sumter, 172;
  surrenders, 173

André, Major, relations of, with Arnold, 33;
  shot as a spy, 33

Antietam, Battle of, 189

Anti-Masonic Party formed, 112

Anti-Slavery Societies, Conference of, at Baltimore, 132;
  dissolve themselves, 227

Arkansas, only new Slave State possible under Missouri Compromise, 86;
  rejects Secession, 171;
  secedes, 175

Arizona acquired from Mexico, 122;
  open to Slavery, 126

Arnold, Benedict, career of, 32;
  treason of, 33;
  commands in South, 33

Arthur, President, succeeds Garfield, 229

Appomattox Court House, Lee's surrender at, 202

Atlanta, Georgia, Sherman moves on, 199;
  fate of, 200

Baltimore, Maryland, Congress of Anti-Slavery Societies meets in, 132;
  Douglas Democrats hold Convention at, 154;
  Union troops stoned in, 177

Baltimore, Lord, a Catholic, 4;
  founds colony of Maryland, 4;
  his family deposed, 5

Bank, United States, creation of, proposed by Hamilton, 56;
  opposition to, 56;
  constitutionality of, disputed, 56;
  Washington signs Bill for, 57;
  Supreme Court decides in favour of, 57;
  revived after War of 1812, 85;
  power--unpopularity of, 102-103;
  Jackson's attitude towards, 103;
  corrupt influence of, 103;
  Bill for re-charter of, passes Congress, 103;
  vetoed by Jackson, 103;
  Whig championship of, 105;
  elections adverse to, 105;
  Jackson removes deposits from, 106;
  its end, 106

Beaumarchais, instrumental in supplying arms to the Colonists, 30

Beauregard, General, opposed to McDowell in Virginia, 180;
  commands at Bull Run, 180;
  rallies Southern troops, 180;
  attacks Grant at Shiloh, 184

Belgium, Prussian invasion of, 237

Black, Judge, supports the Union, 165;
  urges reinforcement of Fort Sumter, 172

Blaine, James G., implicated in Erie Railway scandal, 228;
  character of, 229;
  candidate for Presidency, 229-230;
  defeated by Cleveland, 230

Blair, Francis, saves Missouri for the Union, 176

Bland, Richard, appeals to "the Law of Nature," 16

Boon, Daniel, 71

Booth, John Wilkes, assassinates Lincoln, 208;
  death of, 208

"Border Ruffians," 143, 150

Boston, Mass., taxed tea thrown into harbour at, 17;
  evacuated by Colonists, 25;
  abandoned by British troops, 25;
  Slave Trade profitable to, 49;
  Hartford Convention resolves to meet again at, 82

"Boston Tea Party," the, 17, 18

Breckinridge, nominated for Presidency by Southern Democrats, 154;
  Southern support of, 155

Brown, John, character of, 143;
  his murders in Kansas, 144;
  his project for a slave insurrection, 152;
  captures Harper's Ferry, 152;
  execution of, 153;
  repudiated by Republican Convention, 153;
  Lincoln on, 153, 208

Bryan, William J., nominated for Presidency, 234;
  defeated by McKinley, 234

Buchanan, James, elected President, 145;
  accepts Lecompton Constitution, 150;
  quarrels with Douglas, 150;
  weakness of, 158-159;
  his Message to Congress, 159;
  rejects advice of General Scott, 160;
  his divided Cabinet, 160;
  attempts to reinforce Fort Sumter, 172

Bull Run, first Battle of, 180-181;
  second Battle of, 187

Bunker's Hill, Battle of, 18

Burgoyne, General, commands British forces in Canada, 28;
  his plan, 28;
  his failure and surrender, 29

Burke, Edmund, inconsistency of, 15

Burnside, General, defeated by Lee at Fredericksburg, 192

Burr, Aaron, 65;
  Democratic candidate for the Vice-Presidency, 66;
  ties with Jefferson for the Presidency, 66;
  his intrigues with Federalists defeated by Hamilton, 66;
  elected Vice-President, 66;
  becomes an enemy of Jefferson, 67;
  candidate for Governorship of New York, 72;
  Hamilton's influence again defeats, 73;
  fights and kills Hamilton, 73;
  his plans regarding the West, 73-74;
  approaches Jackson, 74;
  Jackson on, 75;
  arrest and trial of, 75

Butler, Benjamin, instrumental in the impeachment of Johnson, 219;
  his character and career, 219

Calhoun, John Caldwell, superior to Clay as an orator, 79;
  in the running for the Presidency, 90;
  chosen Vice-President, 97;
  his connection with the Eaton affair, 97-98;
  his quarrel with Jackson, 98;
  defends Nullification, 99;
  compromises with Clay, 101;
  joins coalition against Jackson, 102;
  his attitude towards the Indians, 107;
  leaves the Whigs, 110;
  his transformation after quarrel with Jackson, 111;
  his advocacy of State Rights, 111;
  his defence of Slavery, 111, 134;
  appointed Secretary of State, 115;
  eager for annexation of Texas, 116;
  resists clamour for war with England, 117;
  his argument, 117;
  defends Slavery in despatch to Lord Aberdeen, 118;
  his action condemned by Northern Democrats, 118;
  not favoured for Presidency, 119;
  opposes war with Mexico, 121;
  advocates strictly defensive policy, 121;
  foresees consequences of large annexations, 121-122;
  opposes Compromise of 1850..128;
  his "Testament," 128;
  his death and epitaph, 128;
  influence of his defence of Slavery on Southern opinion, 134;
  Jefferson Davis succeeds to position of, 140

California acquired from Mexico, 122;
  gold discovered in, 123;
  decision of, to exclude Slavery, 123;
  Taylor advocates admission of, as a Free State, 125;
  admitted under Compromise of 1850..126

Canada, a French colony, 9;
  conquered by Great Britain, 10;
  Burgoyne commands in, 28;
  not disposed to join rebellion, 28;
  conquest of, hoped for, 80;
  rebellion in, 111

Canning, George, opposes European intervention in America, 87;
  suggests joint action by Great Britain and U.S., 88

Carnegie, Andrew, massacre of workmen by, 223

Carolinas, colonization of, 8;
  overrun by Cornwallis and Tarleton, 31.
  (_See also_ North and South Carolinas)

"Carpet-Baggers," 221, 224

Cass, General, Democratic candidate for Presidency, 125;
  Secretary of State under Buchanan, 160;
  for vigorous action against Secession, 160, 165

Catholics, reasons of first Stuarts for leniency to, 4;
  find a refuge in Maryland, 5;
  establish religious equality, 5;
  dispossessed of power, 5;
  New England dislikes tolerating, 38;
  "Know-Nothing" movement directed against, 138-139

Chancellorsville, Battle of, 192

Charles I. grants charter of Maryland, 4

Charles II. grants William Penn charter for Pennsylvania, 7;
  grants charter of Carolinas to Hyde family, 8

Charleston, South Carolina, occupied by Cornwallis, 21;
  Democratic Convention meets at, 153;
  Breckinridge nominated at, 154;
  cheers election of Lincoln, 156;
  Fort Sumter in harbour of, 172;
  Negro demonstrations in, 222

Chatham, William Pitt, Earl of, directs war against France, 10;
  denounces employment of Indians, 28

Chattanooga, Battle of, 198

Cherokee Indians, problem of the, 107;
  Jackson's attitude towards, 107;
  removed beyond the Mississippi, 107

_Chesapeake_, the, duel with the _Shannon_, 80

Chickamauga, Battle of, 198

Chicago, Ill., Republican Convention meets at, 153

Chinese, immigration of, 230;
  Sumner's plea for, 230;
  exclusion of, 231

Civil War, the, not fought over Slavery, 162;
  motives of South, 163-164;
  case for North stated, 166-167;
  issue of, as defined by Lincoln, 167;
  progress of, 180-202

Clay, Henry, leader of "war hawks," 78;
  character of, 78-79;
  signs peace with Great Britain, 83;
  arranges Missouri Compromise, 85;
  a candidate for the Presidency, 91;
  deserted by the West, 95;
  supports Adams, 95;
  Secretary of State, 98;
  responsible for Protectionist policy, 100;
  seeks a compromise with Calhoun, 101;
  supports U.S. Bank, 105;
  crushing defeat of, 105;
  the appropriate Whig candidate for Presidency, 113;
  passed over for Harrison, 113;
  partial retirement of, 125;
  called upon to save the Union, 125;
  his last Compromise, 126-127;
  death of, 126, 129;
  Crittenden a disciple of, 160

Cleveland, Grover, elected President, 230;
  second election, 234

Clinton, Democratic candidate for Vice-Presidency, 57

Cobbett, William, on American prosperity, 37;
  supports Federalists, 59

Collectivism, alien to the American temper, 223

Colonies (_see_ English, French, Dutch, Spanish Colonies)

Columbia, South Carolina, burning of, 201

Columbia, district of, slavery legal in, 126;
  slave-trade abolished in, 126

Columbus, Christopher, discovers America, 1;
  American view of, 1;
  and the Renaissance, 2

Compromise of 1850, drafted by Clay, 126;
  supported by Webster, 127;
  opposed by Calhoun, 128;
  reasons for failure of, 129 _seq._;
  administered by a new generation, 139;
  Seward's speech on, 139

Compromises (_see_ Constitution, Crittenden, Missouri)

Confederate Debt, repudiation of, demanded, 204, 216

Confederate States, Constitution of, 169;
  Davis President of, 169;
  flag of, raised over Fort Sumter, 173;
  Kentucky declares war on, 178;
  military position of, 178-180;
  Congress of, summoned to meet at Richmond, 180;
  send Mason and Slidell to Europe, 182;
  blockaded 184;
  opportunity to make peace offered to, 199;
  slavery dead in, 199, 203

Congress, how elected, 47;
  U.S. Bank secures, 103;
  recommends amendments to the Constitution protecting slavery, 168;
  opposed to policy of President Johnson, 214;
  committed to Negro Suffrage, 218

Connecticut, a Puritan colony, 5;
  accepts invitation to Hartford Convention, 81

Conscription, adopted by both sides in Civil War, 195;
  form of, imposed in the North, 195;
  New York City resists, 195

Constitution of United States not modelled on British, 45;
  essential principles of, 45-46;
  compromises of, 46-49;
  slavery protected by, 49, 162;
  opposition to, 51;
  publicly burnt by Garrison, 133;
  described by South Carolina as a "Treaty," 157;
  in relation to expansion, 234-235;
  amendments to, 54, 67, 161, 168, 203, 216, 228

Constitution of Confederate States, 169

Continental Congress, first meets, 19;
  issues "Declaration of Colonial Right," 19;
  meeting of, forbidden by British Government, 19;
  second meets, 19;
  issues a general call to arms, 19;
  resolves on separation from Great Britain, 21;
  adopts "Declaration of Independence," 24;
  moribund, 41;
  attempt to remodel fails, 43

Convention meets to frame Constitution, 42;
  Washington presides over, 42;
  debates of, 42;
  Jefferson absent from, 42, 54;
  difficulties confronting, 43;
  decisions of, 44-49

"Copperheads," name given to Northern Pacifists, 192;
  their futility, 193;
  Lincoln's policy regarding, 194-195;
  capture Democratic Party, 200

Cornwallis, Lord, invades South Carolina, 31;
  retreats to Yorktown, 34;
  surrender of, 34

Cotton industry in American colonies, 11;
  has nothing to gain from Protection, 85, 98, 157

Cowpens, Battle of, 32

Crawford, William, of Georgia, a candidate for the Presidency, 91-92

Creek Indians, descend on South-West, 81;
  Jackson overthrows, 82;
  take refuge in Florida, 87;
  pursued by Jackson, 87

Crittenden, Senator, a disciple of Clay, 160;
  proposes his compromise, 160;
  his compromise unacceptable to Lincoln, 161;
  rejected, 161

Cuba, Lincoln fears filibustering in, 161;
  American sympathy with insurrection in, 234;
  at disposal of U.S., 234;
  abandoned, 235

Czolgosz, assassinates McKinley, 235

Davie, cavalry leader, 32;
  at Battle of Hanging Rock, 32

Davis, Jefferson, of Mississippi, successor of Calhoun, 140;
  on extension of Slavery, 144-145;
  elected President of the Confederacy, 169;
  his qualifications and defects, 169-170;
  an obstacle to peace, 199;
  believes Slavery dead, 199, 203;
  relieves Johnstone of his command, 200;
  accused of complicity with Lincoln's murder, 209;
  his retort on Johnson, 209;
  never brought to trial, 217

"Declaration of Colonial Right," 19

"Declaration of Independence," drafted by Jefferson, 22;
  quoted, 22;
  its implications, 23-24;
  Slave Trade condemned in original draft, 48-49;
  Slavery inconsistent with, 148;
  misinterpreted by Douglas, 151;
  misunderstood by Sumner, 205-207;
  invoked by Sumner in favour of Chinese, 232

De Grasse, in command of French fleet, 34

Delaware, acquired from Dutch, 7;
  small slave population of, 176

Democracy, in English colonies, 13, 16;
  theory of, 23-24;
  application of, in America, 36-37;
  unjust charges against, 65;
  characteristic of the West, 92;
  Jackson's loyalty to, 93;
  its true bearing on the Negro problem, 206-207;
  effect of, on corruption, 229

Democratic Party, name ultimately taken by followers of Jefferson, 57;
  organization of, under Jackson, 96, 108;
  unwise attacks on Harrison by, 113-114;
  refuses to come to rescue of Tyler, 115;
  chooses Polk as Presidential candidate, 119;
  holds Convention at Charleston, 153;
  split in, 154;
  captured by "Copperheads," 200;
  defeated by trickery in 1876, 225, 229;
  returns Cleveland, 230;
  unites with Populists in support of Bryan, 234;
  returns Wilson, 236

Donelson, Fort, captured by Grant, 183

Douglas, Stephen, on Slavery, 130, 141;
  Senator for Illinois, 140;
  character of, 140-141;
  motives of, 141-142;
  introduces Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 142;
  his doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty," 142;
  upsets Missouri Compromise, 142;
  results of his policy, 143-144;
  accepts Dred Scott decision, 147;
  rejects Lecompton Constitution, 150;
  his Quarrel with Buchanan, 150;
  his contest with Lincoln, 150;
  debates with Lincoln, 151-152;
  rejected by the South, 153;
  nominated for Presidency, 154;
  defeat of, 155;
  supports Crittenden Compromise, 160;
  his patriotism, 174;
  present at Lincoln's inauguration, 174;
  his last campaign and death, 174

Draft Riots in New York, 195

Dred Scott decision delivered by Taney, 146;
  its implications, 146-147;
  rejected by Republicans, 147;
  accepted by Douglas, 147;
  fatal to "Popular Sovereignty," 147;
  necessitates an amendment to Constitution, 161

Dutch colonies in America, 7

Eaton, Major, in Jackson's Cabinet, 97;
  marriage of, 97;
  Calhoun accused of wishing to ruin, 98

Eaton, Mrs., charges against, 97;
  boycott of, 97;
  Jackson takes part of, 97-98

Electoral College, original theory of, 46;
  responsible for choice of Adams, 62;
  tie between Jefferson and Burr in, 66;
  figment of, destroyed, 96;
  Lincoln's majority in, 155

Emancipation Proclamation, decision to issue after Antietam, 189;
  Lincoln's defence of, 191;
  effect abroad, 191

Embargo, imposed by Jefferson, 76;
  withdrawn, 77

Emerson on John Brown, 153

England and Spain, 3.
  (_See also_ Great Britain)

English colonies in America, 3;
  French attempt to hem in, 9;
  economic position of, 10-12;
  government of, 12-13;
  democracy in, 13;
  proposal to tax, 14-15, 17;
  attitude of, 16-17;
  unite, 19;
  declare their independence, 22;
  France forms alliance with, 30;
  independence of, recognized by Great Britain, 35;
  internal revolution in, 36

"Era of Good Feeling," 86, 90

Erie Railway scandal, 228, 229

Erskine, British Minister at Washington, 77

Everett, nominated as candidate for Presidency, 154;
  Border States support, 155

Farragut, Admiral, takes New Orleans, 186

_Federalist, The_, established to defend the Constitution, 51;
  Hamilton and Madison contribute to, 51

Federalist Party, support a National Bank, 57;
  sympathies of, with England against France, 59;
  pass Alien and Sedition Acts, 63;
  Burr's intrigues with, 66, 72;
  oppose Louisiana Purchase, 70;
  suicide of, 71

Fessenden, Senator, on Charles Sumner, 205

Fifteenth Amendment, effect of, 228

Filmore, Millard, succeeds Taylor as President, 125;
  his succession favourable to Clay, 126

Florida, British land in, 82;
  Jackson expels British from, 82;
  acquired by U.S., 86-87;
  secedes from Union, 161;
  Negro government of, makes fraudulent return, 225

Floyd, Secretary for War under Buchanan, 160;
  his sympathy with secession, 160;
  his distribution of the U.S. armament, 179

Force Bills, demanded by Jackson, 100;
  supported by Webster, 101;
  precedence for, insisted on, 101;
  signed by Jackson, 101;
  nullified by South Carolina, 101

"Forty-Seven-Forty-or-Fight," 117, 120

Fourteenth Amendment, provisions of, 216;
  Southern opposition to, 217;
  Lee's views on, 217

France and England in America, 9;
  War with, 9-10;
  hesitates to recognize American independence, 29;
  forms alliance with revolted colonies, 30;
  Jefferson Minister to, 42;
  Jefferson's sympathy with, 59-60;
  badly served by Genet, 60;
  anger with, over "X.Y.Z. letters," 63;
  acquires Louisiana, 68;
  sells to U.S., 68;
  Jackson settles disputes with, 107;
  intervention of, in Mexico, 213;
  American sympathy with, 237

Franklin, Benjamin, goes to France to solicit help for, 29;
  represents Confederation at Peace Congress, 35;
  a member of the Convention, 42;
  dislikes provision regarding fugitive slaves, 48

Frederick the Great, his creed contrasted with Jefferson's, 239

Freemasons, origin of, 112;
  death of Morgan attributed to, 112;
  outcry against, 112;
  President Jackson a, 112

Free Trade, established between States, 44;
  with England, South Carolina's desire for, 157.
  (_See also_ Protection)

Frémont, General, Republican candidate for Presidency, 145;
  commands in Missouri, 190;
  proclamation of, regarding slaves repudiated by Lincoln, 190;
  candidate of Radical Republicans for the Presidency, 200;
  withdrawn, 200

French Canadians, antagonized by New England intolerance, 38

French Colonies in America, 9-10

French Revolution, Jefferson's interest in, 54;
  American enthusiasm for, 58;
  New England shocked at, 58;
  continued popularity of, 60;
  effect of, in Latin America, 87

Fugitive Slaves, their return provided for by Constitution, 48;
  provision nullified by some Northern States, 127, 136

Fugitive Slave Law, part of Compromise of 1850, 127;
  accepted by Lincoln, 149, 168;
  Lincoln's strict enforcement of, 171, 189

Garfield, President, elected, 229;
  murdered, 229

Garrison, William Lloyd, founder of Northern Abolitionism, 132;
  his view of Slavery, 133;
  his hostility to the Union, 133;
  on Southern Abolitionism, 133;
  on Secession, 164

Gates, General, Burgoyne surrenders to, 29

Genet, French Minister to U.S., 60;
  his reception, 60;
  his mistakes, 60

George III. determined on subjection of American Colonies, 17

German mercenaries employed by Great Britain, 27, 34

German population in U.S., 237

German propaganda in U.S., 237

Germany (_see_ Prussia)

Gerrard, James W., American Ambassador at Berlin, 238;
  foresees war, 239

Gerry, a member of the Convention, 42

Gettysburg, Battle of, 196

Ghent, Peace of, 83

"Good Feeling, Era of," 86, 90

Grant, Ulysses S., captures Forts Henry and Donelson, 183;
  attacked at Shiloh, 184;
  captures Vicksburg, 196;
  appointed commander of U.S. forces, 197;
  his career and character, 197;
  in Virginia, 198;
  outmanoeuvred by Lee, 198;
  fights in the Wilderness, 198;
  Lee surrenders to, 202;
  his report on temper of the South, 213;
  quarrel with Johnson, 219;
  elected President, 223;
  a tool of the politicians, 223;
  corruption under, 228;
  implicated in Missouri Whisky scandal, 228

Great Britain imposes taxes on her colonies, 14 _et seq._;
  revokes charter of Massachusetts, 18;
  inadequate military action of, 19;
  prohibits Continental Congresses, 19;
  practical reasons for repudiating sovereignty of, 20;
  Continental Congress resolves on separation from, 21;
  sends out expedition under Howe, 27;
  effect of Burgoyne's surrender on, 29;
  loses mastery of the sea, 34;
  recognizes independence of the colonies, 35;
  complains of non-fulfilment of peace terms, 41;
  goes to war with French Revolution, 59;
  claims right to search American ships, 77;
  war with, 79;
  hatred of, consequent on burning of Washington, 80;
  sends fleet to the Gulf of Mexico, 81;
  weary of war, 83;
  peace concluded with, 83;
  separates from Holy Alliance, 87;
  proposes joint declaration with U.S., 88;
  her postulate of naval supremacy compared with
    the Monroe Doctrine, 88-89;
  Jackson settles disputes with, 107;
  Jackson's tribute to, 107;
  war with, avoided, 111;
  claims in Oregon, 117;
  clamour for war with, 117;
  Calhoun's objections to war with, 117;
  intervenes in Texas question, 118;
  Calhoun's despatch to, 118;
  variation of opinion in, concerning Civil War, 181-182;
  proclaims neutrality, 182;
  anger in, over _Trent_ affair, 183;
  _Alabama_ built in, 192;
  declared not to have shown "reasonable care," 192;
  pays compensation, 192;
  war with no remedy for sectional divisions, 213;
  less popular in America than France, 237;
  allowed to be in the right against Prussia, 237

Greeley, Horace, editor of _New York Tribune_, 164;
  on Secession, 164;
  his "Prayer of the Twenty Millions," 190;
  Lincoln's reply to, 190;
  his inconsistency, 193;
  goes bail for Davis, 217

Grenville, George, proposes Stamp Duty for America, 14

Guiteau, murders President Garfield, 229

Hamilton, Alexander, a member of the Convention, 42;
  writes for the _Federalist_, 51;
  Secretary to the Treasury, 52;
  his opinions and policy, 53-54;
  his financial successes, 55;
  proposes taking over State Debts, 55;
  buys off Southern opposition, 55;
  proposes creation of National Bank, 56;
  opposition to, 57;
  defeats Burr's intrigues for the Presidency, 66;
  opposes Burr's candidature in New York, 73;
  death of, 73

Hampton Roads, negotiations at, 199

Hanging Rock, Battle of, 32

Harper's Ferry, John Brown captures, 152;
  Jackson sent back to hold, 189

Harrison, General, an imitation Jackson, 113;
  his nickname of "Tippercanoe," 113;
  elected President, 114;
  dies soon after election, 114

Harrison, Benjamin, Republican President, 234

Hartford Convention, summoned, 81;
  proceedings of, 82;
  Jackson on conveners of, 100

Hawkins, Sir John, pioneer of the Slave Trade, 12

Hayes, President, fraudulent election of, 225

Henry Fort, captured by Grant, 183

Henry, Patrick, on Stamp Act, 16;
  opposes Constitution, 51

Holt, a Southerner, supports the Union, 165

Holy Alliance proposes to re-subjugate Spanish colonies, 87;
  Great Britain separated from, 87

Hooker, General Joseph, defeated at Williamsburg, 186;
  trapped in the Wilderness, 192;
  defeated at Chancellorsville, 192

House of Representatives, how elected, 47;
  Burr's intrigues in, 66;
  chooses Adams for President, 94;
  a Democratic majority secured in, 229

Howe, Lord, commands British expedition to America, 27

Illiterates, exclusion of, 232

Immigration of Irish, 138;
  of Chinese, 230;
  change in attitude towards, 231;
  Act passed over President Wilson's Veto, 232

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, 218

Imperialism in U.S., 234

Indians, Penn's Treaty with, 8;
  employed by Great Britain, 28;
  effect of, on the West, 71.
  (_See also_ Cherokee, Creek, Seminole)

Ingersoll, Robert, defends Blaine, 229

Irish, immigration of, 138;
  qualities and power of, 138;
  "Know-Nothing" agitation against, 138;
  antagonism to Negroes, 195.
  (_See also_ Scotch-Irish)

Jackson, Andrew, fights at Hanging Rock, 32;
  commands Tennessee militia, 74;
  relations with Burr, 74-75;
  defeats the Creek Indians, 82;
  expels British from Florida, 82;
  successful defence of New Orleans by, 83;
  pursues Indians into Florida, 87;
  conduct in Florida, 87;
  appointed Governor, 87;
  nominated for Presidency, 92;
  his character, 93-94;
  passed over for Adams, 94;
  shocked at the Adams-Clay bargain, 95;
  attacked through his wife, 96;
  elected President, 96;
  his clearance of Government offices, 96-97;
  coalition against, 97;
  his quarrel with Calhoun, 98;
  his toast at the Jefferson Banquet, 100;
  demands the coercion of S. Carolina, 100;
  dislikes Clay-Calhoun compromise, 101;
  insists on precedence for Force Bill, 101;
  signs Force Bill and New Tariff, 101;
  on Nullification and Secession, 102;
  his attitude towards U.S. Bank, 103;
  vetoes Bill for re-charter, 103;
  triumphant re-election, 105;
  orders removal of Bank deposits, 106;
  censured by Senate, 106;
  censure on, expunged, 107;
  treatment of Cherokees by, 107;
  foreign policy of, 107;
  on relations with Great Britain, 107;
  Palmerston on, 108;
  retirement of, 108;
  results of his Presidency, 108-109;
  nominates his successor, 110;
  Harrison's candidature an imitation of, 113;
  his memory invoked in, 1860, 160;
  his plans for coercing S. Carolina sent to Buchanan, 160

Jackson, "Stonewall," nickname earned at Bull Run, 181;
  campaign in Shenandoah Valley, 186;
  sent back to hold Harper's Ferry, 189;
  death of, 192;
  Lee's tribute to, 192

Jackson, replaces Erskine as British representative at Washington, 77

Jacksonians, rally of, to the Union, 165

James I., attitude of, towards Catholics, 4;
  approves Baltimore's project, 4

Jefferson, Thomas, delegate to Second Continental Congress, 20;
  his character, 20-21;
  his political creed, 21;
  drafts "Declaration of Independence," 22;
  nearly captured by the British, 34;
  effects reforms in Virginia, 36;
  his belief in religious equality, 36;
  a Deist, 39;
  his project for extinguishing Slavery, 41;
  Minister to France, 42;
  on Slavery, 50, 130;
  returns to America, 54;
  Secretary of State, 54;
  accepts the Constitution, 54;
  helps to settle taking over of State Debts, 55;
  repents of his action, 55;
  his view of American neutrality, 59;
  his sympathy with France, 60;
  on insurrections, 61;
  drafts Kentucky Resolutions, 63-64;
  elected President, 64;
  his inauguration, 67;
  his Inaugural Address, 67;
  refuses to recognize Adams' appointments, 68;
  negotiates purchase of Louisiana, 68;
  his diplomacy, 69;
  his alleged inconsistency, 69-70;
  orders arrest of Burr, 74;
  re-elected, 75;
  attitude regarding Napoleonic Wars, 76;
  places embargo on American trade, 76;
  withdraws embargo, 77;
  favours prohibition of Slavery in Territories, 85;
  character of his government, 90;
  Democratic Banquet on his birthday, 100;
  his doctrine misrepresented by Sumner, 205;
  his fears justified, 226;
  his creed contrasted with Frederick the Great's, 239

Jewish problem in America, 232;
  influence in American Socialism, 233

Johnson, Andrew, elected Vice-President, 200;
  becomes President, 209;
  accuses Davis of complicity in murder of Lincoln, 209;
  Davis's retort on, 209;
  bitterness of, against Confederate leaders, 209;
  his difficulties and defects, 210;
  his electioneering campaign, 218;
  vetoes Reconstruction Bill, 218;
  impeachment of, 218;
  acquittal of, 218

Johnstone, General Joseph E., in Shenandoah Valley, 180;
  joins Beauregard at Bull Run, 180;
  eludes McClellan, 186;
  contests Sherman's advance, 199;
  relieved of his command, 200;
  Lee attempts to effect a junction with, 201;
  surrenders to Sherman, 213

Kansas, sectional quarrels in, 143;
  constitution for, adopted at Lecompton, 150

Kansas-Nebraska Bill introduced by Douglas, 141;
  doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty" introduced into, 142;
  effect of, in Kansas, 143;
  Republican Party formed to oppose, 145

Kentucky, protest of, against Alien and Sedition Laws, 63-64;
  opened to colonization by Boon, 71;
  Lincoln a native of, 147;
  proclaims "neutrality" in Civil War, 177;
  Lincoln's diplomatic treatment of, 177-178;
  her soil violated by Confederates, 178;
  declares war on Confederacy, 179

Kentucky Resolutions, 63-64

"Know-Nothing" party, 138-139

Ku-Klux-Klan, organization and methods of, 223;
  Act passed to put down, 224;
  its work done, 224

Labour Unions, 223;
  movement not Collectivist, 223;
  hostility of, to the Trusts, 223-224

Lafayette, the Marquis de, comes to America, 34

Lawrence, Free Soil settlement of, burnt, 143

Lecompton Constitution framed, 150;
  accepted by Buchanan, 150;
  rejected and defeated by Douglas, 150

Lee proposes separation from Great Britain, 22

Lee, Robert E., sent by Davis to the Crimea, 170;
  sounded as to accepting command of Federal forces, 175;
  refuses, 176;
  resigns his commission, 176;
  accepts Virginian command, 176;
  on Slavery, 176;
  opposed to Secession, 176;
  his view of State Rights, 176-177;
  defeats McClellan, 186;
  defeats Pope, 187;
  invades Maryland, 187;
  his proclamation, 189;
  fights McClellan at Antietam, 189;
  retires into Virginia, 189;
  defeats Hooker at Chancellorsville, 192;
  defeats Burnside at Fredericksburg, 192;
  invades Pennsylvania, 196;
  defeated at Gettysburg, 196;
  gets back unhammered, 196;
  outmanoeuvres Grant, 198;
  fights in the Wilderness, 198;
  his proposal to recruit Negroes, 199;
  effect of Sherman's march on, 201;
  attempts to join Johnstone, 201;
  surrenders to Grant, 202;
  his views on Fourteenth Amendment, 217

_Liberator, the_, founded by Garrison, 133;
  Lincoln denounced by, 148

Lincoln, Abraham, joins Republican Party, 147;
  his career and character, 148-149;
  his contest with Douglas, 150;
  debates with Douglas, 151;
  chosen candidate for the Presidency, 153;
  elected President, 155;
  objects to Crittenden Compromise, 161;
  South ignorant of character of, 163-164;
  defines issue of Civil War, 167;
  his Inaugural Address, 168-169;
  his policy, 171-172;
  sends supplies to Fort Sumter, 172;
  calls for soldiers, 174;
  returns Mason and Slidell, 183;
  refuses to supersede McClellan, 185;
  replaces McClellan by Pope, 187;
  effect of his personality on Maryland, 188;
  decides to issue Emancipation Proclamation, 189;
  his reply to Greeley, 190;
  defends proclamation as a military measure, 191;
  on Grant, 196-197;
  appoints Grant commander-in-chief, 197;
  prepared to compensate Southern slave owners, 199;
  re-elected, 199;
  opposition of Radicals to, 200;
  his policy of Reconstruction, 204;
  on Negro Suffrage, 204;
  last public speech, 207;
  assassinated, 208;
  his advantages lacked by Johnson, 210

"Little Giant, the," nickname of Stephen Douglas, 140

Longfellow on John Brown, 153

Long Island, Battle of, 27

Look-Out Mountain, Battle of, 198

Louisiana, a French colony, 9;
  ceded to Spain, 10;
  re-ceded to Napoleon, 68;
  bought by U.S., 68;
  Burr's plans regarding, 73-74;
  secedes from the Union, 161;
  Lincoln's plan for reconstruction of, 204;
  Negro government of, makes fraudulent returns, 225

Lovejoy, killed, 135

Lowell, James Russell, expresses sentiments of Anti-War Whigs, 121;
  his satire on Taylor's candidature, 124

_Lusitania_, the, sunk, 238

Lyon, Captain, commands Union forces in Missouri, 176

Macaulay on Calhoun's dispatch, 118

McClellan, General, sent to Crimea by Davis, 170;
  clears West Virginia of Confederates, 181;
  supersedes McDowell, 181;
  trains army of the Potomac, 185;
  his defects, 185;
  lands on Yorktown peninsula, 186;
  besieges Yorktown, 186;
  beaten by Lee, 186;
  retires to Harrison's Landing, 186;
  superseded, 187;
  reinstated, 189;
  fights Lee at Antietam, 189;
  Democratic candidate for the Presidency, 200;
  defeat of, 200

McDowell, General, advances into Virginia, 180;
  defeated at Bull Run, 180-181;
  superseded, 181;
  ordered to join McClellan, 186;
  fails to cut off Jackson, 186

McKinley, William, elected President, 234;
  re-elected, 235;
  assassinated, 235

McLane, Jackson's Secretary to the Treasury, 104;
  favourable to the U.S. Bank, 104;
  transferred to State Department, 106

Madison, James, a member of the Convention, 42;
  writes for the _Federalist_, 51;
  President, 77;
  his pacific leanings, 78;
  war forced on, 79;
  re-elected by sectional vote, 79

Maine, colonized from New England, 5;
  admitted as a State, 86

_Maine_, the, blown up, 234

March to the Sea, Sherman's, 201

Maryland, founded by Lord Baltimore, 4;
  early history of, 5;
  strategic importance of, 177;
  menacing attitude of, 177;
  Lincoln's success with, 177;
  Lee invades, 187;
  Southern illusions concerning, 188;
  refuses to rise, 188-189;
  becomes a Free State, 203

"Maryland! My Maryland!" 188

Mason-Dixon Line drawn, 7;
  becomes boundary of Slave States, 41

Mason and Slidell, Confederate envoys to Europe, 182;
  seized by Captain Wilkes, 182;
  English anger over seizure of, 183;
  Northern rejoicings over, 183;
  returned by Lincoln, 183

Massachusetts, a Puritan Colony, 5;
  resists Tea Tax, 17;
  charter of, revoked, 18;
  attempt to coerce, 25;
  Hartford Convention called by, 81;
  votes for War with Mexico, 120;
  Webster's influence with, 127;
  Sumner Senator for, 139;
  troops from, stoned in Baltimore, 177

Maximilian, placed on Mexican throne, 213;
  his death, 214

_Mayflower_, the, voyage of, 5

Meade, General, defeats Lee at Gettysburg, 196;
  permits him to retire unhammered, 196

_Merrimac_, the, exploits of, 184;
  duel with the _Monitor_, 184

Mexican War, outbreak of, 120;
  compared to Boer War, 120-121;
  opposition to, 121;
  successful prosecution of, 122;
  results of, 122-123

Mexico, Texas secedes from, 115;
  dispute with, over Texan boundary, 120;
  U.S. goes to war with, 120;
  Calhoun opposes invasion of, 121;
  defeat of, 122;
  peace terms dictated to, 122;
  Lincoln fears filibustering in, 161;
  Napoleon III. interferes in, 213

Mexico City taken, 120

Ministers, excluded from Congress, 45

Missionary Ridge, charge up, 198

Mississippi, Davis Senator for, 140;
  secedes from Union, 161

Mississippi River, upper, secured by Grant's victories, 184;
  whole in Federal control, 196

Missouri, disputes regarding admission of, 85;
  admitted as a Slave State, 86;
  settlers from, invade Kansas, 143, 150;
  defeat of Secessionists in, 176;
  becomes a Free State, 203

Missouri Compromise effected, 86;
  terms of, 86;
  validity of, disputed, 142;
  violated by Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 142;
  party formed to defend, 143;
  declared invalid, 147

Missouri Whisky Ring, 228

_Monitor_, the, duel with the _Merrimac_, 184

Monroe, James, a member of the War Party, 78;
  President, 84;
  declares European intervention unfriendly to U.S., 88;
  last of the Virginian dynasty, 91

Monroe Doctrine, propounded, 88;
  keystone of American policy, 88-89;
  application to Texas, 118;
  Napoleon III. violates, 213

Monterey, defeat of Mexicans at, 120;
  Davis wounded at, 140

Morgan, murder of, 112

Napoleon I., obtains Louisiana, 68;
  sells to U.S., 68;
  Jefferson's attitude towards, 76

Napoleon III., intervenes in Mexico, 213;
  withdraws, 214

Nashville, Tennessee, abandoned by Confederates, 184

National Debt, establishment of, 55;
  not to be repudiated, 216

"National Republicans," policy of, 84

Navigation Laws, 11, 15

Navy, U.S., successes of, in War of, 1812, 80;
  use of, by North, 184;
  New Orleans captured by, 186

Negroes, brought to America as slaves, 12;
  Jefferson's views on, 75;
  Irish antagonism to, 195;
  Lee proposes recruitment of, 199;
  problem of, not settled by emancipation, 203;
  behaviour of, during Civil War, 212;
  Southern feeling towards, 212-213;
  their desire for freedom, 221;
  their political incompetence, 221;
  organization of, 221;
  conduct of, 222;
  thrown over by the Republican Party, 228;
  concession to, in Immigration Law, 231

Negro Rule, imposed on the South, 220;
  effects of, 222;
  resistance offered to, 223;
  overthrow of, 224-225;
  results of, 225-226

Negro Slavery (_see_ Slavery)

Negro Suffrage, Lincoln's proposals regarding, 204;
  provisions of Fourteenth Amendment as to, 217;
  Lee on prospects of, 217;
  Congress committed to, 218;
  imposed on the South, 220

New Hampshire, colonized for New England, 5

New Jersey, acquisition of, 7

New Mexico, acquired by U.S., 122;
  open to Slavery, 126

New Orleans, attacked by British, 83;
  Jackson successfully defends, 83;
  message of Dix to, 165;
  captured by Farragut, 186;
  racial riot in, 218

New York, origin of, 6;
  becomes a British possession, 6;
  the objective of Lord Howe, 27;
  votes with the South, 58;
  Tammany Hall founded in, 58;
  Burr controls Democratic organization of, 66;
  runs for Governor of, 72;
  Van Buren fears power of Bank in, 104;
  riots against Draft in, 195

_New York Tribune_, on Secession, 164

North, the, insignificance of Slavery in, 40;
  Slavery abolished in, 40;
  divergence between South and, 47;
  balance between South and, 47, 85;
  Abolitionists unpopular in, 135;
  attitude of, towards slave owning, 136;
  resents abrogation of Missouri Compromise, 144;
  vote of, for Lincoln, 155;
  opinions in, regarding Secession, 164-165;
  anger of, over Fort Sumter, 173;
  effect of Lincoln's assassination on, 208-209;
  Johnson out of touch with, 210;
  doubts of, regarding Reconstruction, 211-212;
  tired of protecting Negro Governments, 224

North Carolina rejects Secession, 171;
  secedes from Union, 175

North, Lord, consents to coerce Colonies, 18;
  offers terms, 29;
  resignation of, 34

"Nullification" foreshadowed in Kentucky Resolutions, 63-64;
  proclaimed by South Carolina, 99;
  defended by Calhoun, 99;
  repudiated by Jackson, 100;
  applied to Force Bill, 101;
  not discredited in South, 102

Nullifiers, attitude of, 98-99;
  miscalculate Jackson's temper, 100;
  Jackson proposes to coerce, 100;
  Jackson's warning against, 102

Ohio, invaded by British, 80

"Old Hickory," nickname of Andrew Jackson, 93, 113

Oregon, dispute concerning territory of, 117;
  outcry for war over, 117;
  Calhoun on disadvantages of war over, 117

"Palmetto Flag" of South Carolina, 158

Parliament, claim of, to tax the colonies, 14 _et seq._

Party System, unreality necessary to a, 137

Penn, William, founds Pennsylvania, 7;
  establishes religious equality, 8;
  his treaty with the Indians, 8;
  disapproves of Slavery, 12

Pennsylvania, founded by Penn, 7;
  cleared of the French, 10;
  Slavery legal in, 12;
  Washington retreats into, 28;
  "Whisky Insurrection" in, 61;
  invaded by Lee, 196

Pensacola, British occupy, 82;
  dislodged from, 82

Perry, Commander, burns British fleet on the Lakes, 80

Personal Liberty Laws passed in certain Northern States, 136;
  disposition to repeal, 163

Personal Rights Bill, Sumner's, 214

Philadelphia, capital of Pennsylvania, 8;
  abandoned by Washington, 28;
  Convention meets at, 42

Philippine Islands, left at disposal of U.S., 234;
  annexed, 235

Phillips, Wendell, on Secession, 164

Pickett's Brigade, charge of, 196

Pierce, Franklin, elected President, 139;
  Sumner compares Grant to, 213

Pinckney, of South Carolina, a member of the Convention, 42

Pinkerton, private assassinators hired by, 233

Polk, chosen as Democratic candidate for Presidency, 119;
  elected, 120;
  embarrassed over Oregon question, 120;
  decides for war with Mexico, 120;
  asks for supply to purchase Mexican territory, 122

Pope, General, succeeds McClellan, 187;
  defeated at second Battle of Bull Run, 187

Populist Party, objects of, 234;
  supports Bryan, 234

President, powers of, 45;
  method of election, 46;
  effect of Jacksonian Revolution on position of, 109

Progressive Party formed by Roosevelt, 236

Protection adopted after War of 1812..84;
  Cotton States opposed to, 85, 98;
  Republican Party and tradition of, 227

Prussia forces war on Europe, 237;
  attacks neutral Belgium, 237;
  sinks _Lusitania_, 238;
  revives campaign of murder at sea, 239;
  contrasted with U.S., 239

Puritan Colonies in America, 5-6;
  dislike of Catholicism in, 38;
  feeling against Irish, 138-139

Quebec, taken by Wolfe, 10

Quincey, Josiah, protest of against Louisiana Purchase, 70

Radical Republicans, Chase favoured by, 153;
  adopt Frémont as candidate, 200;
  oppose Lincoln on Reconstruction, 204;
  Sumner spokesman of, 205;
  still a minority, 211;
  increased power in Congress, 218;
  commit Congress to Negro Suffrage, 218

Raleigh, Sir Walter, projects Colony of Virginia, 3-4

Randolph, John, draws up declaration of neutrality, 59

Randolph, Peyton, presides at first Continental Congress, 19;
  absent from second, 20

Reconstruction, Lincoln's views on, 204;
  Congress takes up, 216;
  Bill passed by Congress over Johnson's veto, 218.
 (_See also_ Negro Rule)

Religious Equality, established in Maryland, 5; in Pennsylvania, 8;
  true theory of, 36-38;
  in American Constitution, 38

"Republican" original name of Jefferson's party, 57.
  (_See also_ Democratic Party)

Republican Party formation of, 145;
  Frémont Presidential candidate of, 145;
  adopts Lincoln as candidate, 153;
  victory of, 155;
  Johnson out of touch with, 209;
  reasons for supporting Negro rule, 224;
  secures Presidency by a trick, 225;
  change in character of, 227-228;
  abandons cause of Negro, 228;
  becomes Capitalist party, 228;
  Roosevelt's efforts to reform, 235

Revolution of 1689 transfers government of Maryland to Protestants, 5;
  Hamilton's admiration for, 54

Revolution, French (_see_ French Revolution)

Rhode Island, a Puritan Colony, 5;
  provisional acceptance of invitation to Hartford Convention, 81

Richmond, Virginia, capital of Confederacy transferred to, 176;
  Confederate Congress to meet at, 180;
  Northern demand for capture of, 180;
  abandoned by Lee, 201

Rochambeau, co-operates with Washington against Cornwallis, 34

Rockingham Whigs, repeal Stamp Act, 16;
  conclude peace, 35

Roosevelt, Theodore, elected Vice-President, 235;
  succeeds McKinley, 235;
  his campaign against Trusts, 235;
  popularity of, 235;
  denounces his successor, 236;
  founds Progressive Party, 236;
  wishes U.S. to join Allies, 238

Rosecrans, General, defeated at Chickamauga, 198

San Francisco, Republican Convention at, 236

Saratoga, Burgoyne's surrender at, 29;
  effect of, 29-30

"Scallywags," 221

Scotch-Irish, immigration of, 8-9

Secession, contemplated at Hartford Convention, 81;
  talked of in South Carolina, 123;
  of South Carolina, 158;
  of Gulf States, 161;
  motives, of, 163-164;
  Northern views of, 164;
  Abolitionists favour, 164;
  Greeley on, 164;
  Jacksonians oppose, 165;
  a popular movement, 166;
  Lincoln denies right of, 160;
  Douglas resists, 174;
  of Virginia, etc., 176

Sedition Law, 63

Seminole Indians, Jackson pursues, 87

Senate, how chosen, 47;
  Whig majority in, 106;
  refuses to confirm appointment of Taney, 106;
  censures Jackson, 106;
  Censure expunged, 107;
  Northern majority in, 163

Seven Years' War, outbreak of, 9

Seward, William, Senator, for New York, 139;
  his speech on Fugitive Slave Law, 139;
  passed over for Frémont, 145;
  for Lincoln, 153;
  Secretary of State, 172;
  attempt to assassinate, 207;
  his desire for foreign war, 213

_Shannon_, the, duel with the _Chesapeake_, 80

Shay's Insurrection, 42;
  Jefferson on, 61

Shenandoah Valley, Johnstone in, 180;
  Jackson's campaign in, 186;
  Sheridan in, 201

Sheridan, General, his campaign in Shenandoah Valley, 201

Sherman, Senator John, opposes Negro Suffrage, 218

Sherman, General William T., left in command in the West, 197;
  wins Battle of Chattanooga, 198;
  moves on Atlanta, 199;
  takes Atlanta, 200;
  his march to the sea, 201;
  receives surrender of Johnstone, 213;
  his proposed terms of peace, 213

Slavery, reappears in New World, 3;
  legal in all English Colonies, 12;
  difference in North and South, 12;
  general disapproval of, 40;
  disappears in Northern States, 40;
  Jefferson's proposals for extinction of, 41;
  Constitutional Compromises over, 48-49;
  opinion on American Fathers regarding, 49, 50, 129;
  Jefferson on, 50;
  excluded from North-West Territories, 85;
  Missouri Compromises concerning, 86;
  Calhoun's defence of, 111, 118, 134;
  California decides to exclude, 123;
  Arizona and New Mexico open to, 126;
  strengthening of, 129;
  decline in public reprobation of, 130;
  debates on, in Virginian legislature, 131;
  effect of economic changes on, 131;
  Garrison's view of, 133;
  Scriptural appeals regarding, 134-135;
  Douglas's attitude towards, 141;
  Lincoln's view of, 148-149;
  Crittenden compromise concerning, 160;
  not the issue of the Civil War, 162;
  Lincoln's pledge regarding, 168;
  not referred to by Davis, 169-170;
  Stephens on, 170;
  Lee on, 176;
  Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, 189-191;
  destroyed by the War, 199;
  dead, 203;
  Thirteenth Amendment abolishes, 203

Slave Trade, in hands of Northern Colonists, 12;
  condemned in first draft of Declaration of Independence, 49;
  suffered to continue for 20 years, 49;
  prohibition of, 49;
  abolished in District of Columbia, 126

Slidell (_see_ Mason and Slidell)

Socialism, character of American, 233

"Solid South, the," 225, 228, 234

South, the, staple industries of, based on Slavery, 40;
  divergence between North and, 47;
  balance between North and, 47, 85;
  changes of view of Slavery in, 129-135;
  aggressive policy of, 144-145;
  rejects Douglas, 153;
  votes for Breckinridge, 155;
  motives of Secession of, 163-164;
  military capabilities of, 179;
  attitude of, after the war, 211-212;
  attitude of, towards Negroes, 212;
  Grant on temper of, 213;
  Negro rule established in, 221-222;
  liberation of, 224-225;
  Negro problem in, 225-226

South America, colonized by Spain, 1;
  influence of French Revolution on, 87;
  freedom of, guaranteed by Monroe Doctrine, 88;
  German ambitions in, 238

South Carolina, colonization of, 8;
  "Tories" in, 31;
  Cornwallis and Tarleton in, 31;
  dislike of Protection in, 98;
  nullifies Tariff, 99;
  nullifies Force Bill, 101;
  talk of Secession in, 123;
  election of Lincoln cheered in, 156;
  peculiar attitude of, 156-157;
  secedes from the Union, 158;
  demands surrender of Sumter, 172;
  anger against, 173-4;
  Sherman's march through, 201

Southern Confederacy, anticipated by Jackson, 102;
  formed, 169.
  (_See also_ Confederate States.)

Spain, Columbus sails from, 1;
  claims the New World, 3;
  decline of, 9;
  Louisiana transferred to, 10;
  dominated by Napoleon, 68;
  Burr seeks support from, 73;
  proposes war with, 74;
  neutral in war of 1812..82;
  U.S. complaints against, 86-87;
  sells Florida to U.S., 87; war with, 234

Spanish Colonies, 1, 3; revolt of, 87

"Spoils System," the, Jefferson accused of originating, 68;
  Jackson inaugurates, 96;
  effect of, 109

Spottsylvania, Battle of, 198

"Squatter Sovereignty," hostile nickname for "Popular Sovereignty"
    (_q.v._), 142

Stamp Act, imposed, 14;
  resistance to, 15-16;
  repealed, 17

Stanton, appointed Secretary for War, 194;
  dismissal of, 219

Stars and Bars, the flag of the Confederacy, 173

Stars and Stripes, the, origin of, 35;
  South Carolina hands down, 158;
  affection of Davis for, 167;
  anger at affront to, 173-174;
  first appearance of, on European battlefields, 239-240

States, independence of, recognized severally, 35;
  powers of, under the Constitution, 44;
  representation of, in Congress, 47

State Sovereignty, question of, left undefined by the Convention, 43;
  doctrine of, affirmed by Quincey, 70;
  Hartford Convention takes its stand on, 82;
  Calhoun maintains, 111;
  extreme view of, taken by South Carolina, 156-157;
  Lincoln avoids overt challenge to, 171;
  Virginia's adherence to, 174-175;
  Lee's belief in, 175-176;
  Kentucky's interpretation of, 177-178

Stephens, Alexander H., opposes secession of Georgia, 161;
  chosen Vice-President of the Confederacy, 169;
  on Slavery, 170;
  urges claims of Negroes, 212

Stevens, Thaddeus, dictator of Reconstruction policy, 214;
  his character and aims, 214-216;
  compels House to accept his leadership, 216;
  mover in Impeachment of Johnson, 218;
  death of, 224

Stowe, Mrs. Beecher, 132, 133, 136

Sumner, Charles, enters Senate, 139;
  his speeches and beating, 151;
  spokesman of Radicals, 205;
  his character, 205;
  misunderstands Declaration of Independence, 205-207;
  censures Grant's report, 213;
  not director of Reconstruction, 214;
  his scruple about mentioning black men, 217;
  his opinion on the Impeachment of Johnson, 220;
  his contention regarding Chinese, 230;
  concession to, 231

Sumter, cavalry leader, 32

Sumter Fort, held by Federal Government, 172;
  attempt to reinforce, 172;
  Lincoln sends supplies to, 172;
  Davis consents to bombardment of, 173;
  surrender of, 173;
  anger at attack on, 173-174

Supreme Court, independence of, 45;
  pronounces a National Bank constitutional, 57;
  Jackson on, 105;
  decides against Dred Scott, 146

Suratt, Mrs., 207

Taft, President, succeeds Roosevelt, 236;
  denounced by Roosevelt, 236

Talleyrand and "X.Y.Z. letters," 63;
  Jefferson's negotiations with, 69

Tammany Hall, foundation of, 58

Taney, Roger, a Catholic, 39;
  Attorney-General, 105;
  and Jackson's Veto Message, 105;
  appointed Secretary to the Treasury, 106;
  Senate refuses to confirm, 106;
  his judgment in the Dred Scott case, 146;
  supports the Union, 165

"Tariff of Abominations," the, 98

Tarleton, leader of South Carolina "Tories," 31;
  defeated at Cowpens, 31

Taxation of the Colonies, 14-16

Taylor, Zachary, defeats Mexicans, 122;
  Whig candidate for Presidency, 124;
  Lowell's satire on, 124;
  elected, 125;
  on California, 125;
  an obstacle to Clay, 126;
  death of, 126

Tea Tax, imposed, 17;
  resisted in Boston, 17

Tennessee, Jackson commands in, 74;
  nominates Jackson for Presidency, 92;
  rejects Secession, 171;
  secedes, 175

Territories surrendered to Federal Government, 44;
  Slavery in, 85, 142 _et seq._, 160;
  Douglas eager for development of, 141-142

Texas, secedes from Mexico, 115;
  the "Lone Star State," 116;
  seeks admission to the Union, 116;
  Calhoun eager to annex, 116;
  boundary of, in dispute, 117;
  Secessionism in, 171

Thirteenth Amendment, Slavery abolished by, 203

Thomas, General, a Virginian Unionist, 97;
  associated with Sherman in the West, 97

"Tippercanoe," nickname of Harrison, 113

Tobacco industry in American colonies, 11

Townshend, Charles, proposes taxation of Colonies, 17

_Trent_, the, Mason and Slidell take passage on, 182;
  stopped by Captain Wilkes, 182;
  anger in England over, 183

Trusts, unpopularity of, 234;
  Roosevelt attacks, 235

Tyler, Whig candidate for Vice-Presidency, 113;
  succeeds Harrison as President, 114;
  differences with Whig leaders, 114-115;
  appoints Calhoun Secretary of State, 115;
  Democrats refuse to accept as candidate, 119

"Uncle Tom's Cabin," 136

Union, urgent need for, 41-42;
  difficulties of, 43;
  achieved, 51;
  Western feeling for, 72;
  Jackson's devotion to the, 100;
  Clay called upon to save the, 125;
  Abolitionists hostile to the, 133, 136;
  South Carolina's view of the, 157;
  Lincoln declares perpetual, 168;
  calls for soldiers to defend the, 174

United States, Constitution framed for, _42 et seq._;
  neutrality of, 59;
  enthusiasm for France in, 60;
  Louisiana purchased by, 68;
  war with Great Britain, 79;
  Great Britain makes peace with, 83;
  feeling of victory in, 84;
  Florida acquired by, 87;
  European intervention in America declared unfriendly to, 88;
  Monroe Doctrine essential to, 88-89;
  Jackson's importance for, 108;
  claims of, to Oregon, 117;
  Texas desires to join, 118;
  dispute between Mexico and, 120;
  successful in war against Mexico, 122;
  California, etc., acquired by, 122;
  secessions from, 158, 161, 176;
  anger in Great Britain with, 183;
  protests of, in _Alabama_ case, 192;
  compensation paid to, 192;
  Napoleon III. avoids conflict with, 214;
  immigration problems in, 230-231;
  labour movement in, 233-234;
  attitude of, towards European War, 237-238;
  declares war, 239;
  contrast between Prussia and, 239

Vallandingham, a typical "Copperhead," 194;
  sent across Confederate lines, 195

Van Buren, accuses Calhoun of conspiring against Eaton, 98;
  fears power of U.S. Bank in New York, 104;
  reports Palmerston on Jackson, 108;
  President, 110;
  avoids war with Great Britain, 111

Vermont, a Puritan Colony, 5;
  refuses invitation to Hartford Convention, 81

Vice-President, how chosen, 46;
  change in method of choosing, 67;
  Calhoun, 97;
  Tyler, 114;
  unimportance of, 114;
  Johnson, 200;
  Roosevelt, 235

Vicksburg, capture of, 196

Vikings, unimportance of, 2

Virginia, foundation of, 3-4;
  opposition to Stamp Act in, 16;
  sends Jefferson to Continental Congress, 20;
  invaded by British forces, 34;
  Jefferson's reforms in, 36 _et seq._;
  fails to adopt his plan regarding Slavery, 41;
  slave insurrection in, 130;
  legislature of, discusses slavery, 130;
  John Brown plans slave rising in, 152;
  rejects Secession, 171;
  objects to coercion of a State, 174-175;
  secedes from the Union, 176;
  joins Confederacy, 176;
  invaded, 180, 186, 187, 192, 198

War of 1812, 79-84;
  effect of, 84, 87

War of Independence, 25-35

War with Spain, 234-235.
  (_See also_ Civil War, Mexican War)

Washington, City of, site agreed on, 55;
  Jefferson inaugurated in, 67;
  burnt by British, 80;
  Slave Trade abolished in, 126;
  attack on, feared, 187

Washington, Booker, quoted, 212, 220

Washington, George, serves in French War, 10;
  chosen to command American forces, 25;
  his character and strategy, 26-27;
  defeated at Long Island, 27;
  abandons Philadelphia, 28;
  defeats Tarleton at Cowpens, 31;
  besieges Yorktown, 34;
  presides over Convention, 42;
  President, 51;
  national confidence in, 52;
  signs Bill for a National Bank, 57;
  re-elected, 57;
  declares U.S. neutral, 59;
  suppresses "Whisky Insurrection," 61;
  condemns Democratic societies, 61;
  declines a third term, 62;
  his farewell address, 62

Webster, Daniel, as an actor, 79, 100;
  supports Force Bill, 101;
  leagued with Clay and Calhoun, 102;
  Secretary of State, 114;
  supports Compromise of 1850..127;
  death of, 139

Wellington, proposal to send to America, 83

West, the, opened up by Daniel Boon, 71;
  its governing conditions, 71-72;
  influence of, on Clay, 78;
  Slavery in, 85;
  deserts Clay for Jackson, 95;
  Douglas a product of, 140-141;
  Douglas appeals to, 174;
  military qualities of, 196

West Virginia, cleared by McClellan, 181;
  recognized as a State, 181

Whig Party, name adopted by Coalition against Jackson, 105;
  committed to defence of Bank, 105;
  defeat of, 105;
  appropriateness of name for, 109;
  abandonment of principles by, 113;
  victory of, 114;
  Tyler out of sympathy with, 114;
  runs Taylor for President, 124;
  disappearance of, 139, 145

Whitman, Walt, quoted, 173

Wilderness, the, Hooker trapped in, 192;
  Lee fights Grant in, 198

Williamsburg, Hooker defeated at, 186

Wilkes, Captain, seizes Mason and Slidell, 182;
  compliments to, 183

Wilmot Proviso, 122

Wilson, Woodrow, elected President, 236;
  career and character of, 236;
  his policy regarding European War, 238-239;
  supported by nation in declaring war, 239

Wolfe, James, takes Quebec, 160

"X.Y.Z." Letters, 63

Yorktown Peninsula, Cornwallis retires to, 34;
  McClellan lands on, 186

Yorktown, surrenders, 34;
  McClellan besieges, 186

                          LONDON AND BECCLES

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              PART I.
      =The Old-Spelling SHAKESPEARE.=
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       *       *       *       *       *
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       *       *       *       *       *
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    | Transcriber's Note:                             |
    |                                                 |
    | Typographical errors corrected in text:         |
    |                                                 |
    | Page viii debator changed to debater            |
    | Page viii extrordinary changed to extraordinary |
    | Page   2  irrelevent changed to irrelevant      |
    | Page  29  Triconderoga changed to Ticonderoga   |
    | Page  32  Bourgoyne changed to Burgoyne         |
    | Page  61  Layfayette changed to Lafayette       |
    | Page  69  reuirements changed to requirements   |
    | Page  70  Nullifyers changed to Nullifiers      |
    | Page  72  Carolinan changed to Carolinian       |
    | Page  81  South-west changed to South-West      |
    | Page  83  Fontainbleau changed to Fontainebleau |
    | Page  91  politicans changed to politicians     |
    | Page  99  Carolinans changed to Carolinians     |
    | Page 100  Hertford changed to Hartford          |
    | Page 113  Tippercanoe should be Tippecanoe      |
    | Page 114  Tippercanoe should be Tippecanoe      |
    | Page 119  Taxas changed to Texas                |
    | Page 124  Tippercanoe should be Tippecanoe      |
    | Page 140  Bounaparte changed to  Bonaparte      |
    | Page 146  ems changed to seems                  |
    | Page 156  Carolinan changed to Carolinian       |
    | Page 180  Manasses changed to Manassas          |
    | Page 182  Tuilleries changed to Tuileries       |
    | Page 189  Fritchit changed to Fritchie          |
    | Page 223  Appomatox changed to Appomattox       |
    | Page 225  Appomatox changed to Appomattox       |
    | Page 228  quatrennial changed to quadrennial    |
    | Page 233  absorbtion changed to absorption      |
    | Page 235  Colgosc changed to Czolgosz           |
    | Page 243  Cozolgose changed to Czolgosz         |
    | Page 243  Donalson changed to Donelson          |
    | Page 244  Farrague changed to Farragut          |
    | Page 245  Donalson changed to Donelson          |
    | Page 245  Henay changed Henry                   |
    | Page 245  Tippercanoe should be Tippecanoe      |
    | Page 249  Chicamange changed to Chickamauga     |
    | Page 250  136 changed to 236                    |
    | Page 250  Surratt changed to Suratt             |
    | Page 251  Tippercanoe should be Tippecanoe      |
    | Page 253  Vasar changed to Vasari               |
    | Ad Page 32  Dramshop changed to Dram Shop       |
    | Ad Page 32  Dram-Shop changed to Dram Shop      |

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of the United States" ***

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