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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 11

The Wealth of Nations and the Slave Power

The Wealth of Nations and the Slave Power.

It has long been a prevalent notion, that Political Economy is a series of deductions from the principle of selfishness or private interest alone. The common desire of men to grow rich by the shortest and easiest methods—to obtain every gratification with the smallest sacrifice on their own part, has been supposed to be all that the political economist desires to have granted in theory, or to see regulating in practice the transactions of the world, to insure its material prosperity. A late eminent writer has described as follows the doctrine of Adam Smith, in the "Wealth of Nations:" "He everywhere assumes that the great moving power of all men, all interests, and all classes, in all ages and in all countries, is selfishness. He represents men as pursuing wealth for sordid objects, and for the narrowest personal pleasures. The fundamental assumption of his work is that each man follows his own interest, or what he deems to be his interest. And one of the peculiar features of his book is to show that, considering society as a whole, it nearly always happens that men, in promoting their own, will unintentionally promote the interest of others."1

But, in truth, the acquisitive and selfish propensities of mankind, their anxiety to get as much as possible of everything they like, and to give as little as possible in return, are in their very nature principles of aggression and injury instead of mutual benefit: the mode of acquisition to which they immediately prompt, is that of plunder or theft, and the competition which they tend to induce is that of conflict and war. Their first suggestion is not, "I will labour for you," but, "You shall labour for me;" not, "Give me this, and I will give you what will suit you better in exchange," but, "Give it to me, or else I will take it by force." The conqueror rather than the capitalist, the pirate rather than the merchant, the brigand rather than the labourer, the wolf rather than the watch-dog, obey the impulses of nature. The history of the pursuit of gain is far from being the simple history of industry, with growing national prosperity; it is the history also of depredation, tyranny, and rapine. One passage in it is thus given, in the early annals of our own country: "Every rich man built his castle, and they filled the land with castles. They greatly oppressed the wretched people by making them work at their castles, and when they were finished they filled them with evil men. Then they took those whom they suspected to have any goods, seizing both men and women by night and day; and they put them in prisons for their gold and silver, and tortured them with pains unspeakable . . . The earth bare no corn; you might as well

1 Buckle's "History of Civilization," vol. ii.

page 270 have tilled the sea; for the land was all ruined by such deeds."1 Such deeds ruin at this day some of the fairest lands in this world of good and evil.

But, if misery and desolation are the natural fruits of the natural instincts of mankind, how has the prosperity of Europe steadily advanced in spite of the enemy to it which nature seems to have planted in every man's heart? How has the predatory spirit been transformed into the industrial and commercial spirit? Under what conditions are individual efforts exerted, for the most part, for the general good? These are the chief problems solved in Adam Smith's "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." He has been careful to point out that "the interests of individuals and particular orders of men, far from being always coincilent with, are frequently opposed to, the interests of the public;" and he observes that "all for themselves and nothing for other people, seems to have been, in every age, the vile maxin of the masters of mankind." The [unclear: effort] of every man to improve his on condition is, it is true, in Adam Smith's philosophy, a principle of [unclear: prservation] in the body politic; but he aim was to demonstrate that this ntural effort is operative for the good [unclear: of] society at large only in proportion to the just liberty secured to every rember of it to employ his natural powers as he thinks proper, whether for his [unclear: own] advantage, or for that of others. Every infraction of, and every interference with, individual liberty, he denounce as being as economically impolitic as morally unjust. His systematic purpose was to expose the losses which a nation uffers, not only from permission of the grosser forms of violence and oppresson, but from every sort of restricton whatever upon voluntary labour and enterprise. Of laws regulating griculture and manufactures for the suposed advantage of the public, he said, "oth were evident violations of natural liberty, and therefore unjust, and thy were as impolitic as they were unjust." That security, he added, which the laws in Great Britain give to every man, that he shall enjoy the fruits of his own labour, is alone sufficient to make any country flourish. The history of Europe, in so far as it is the history of the progress of opulence, is not, in his pages, the history of selfishness, but of improving justice; of emancipated industry, and of protection for the poor and weak. It is, accordingly, the history of strengthening restraints upon the selfish disposition of mankind to sacrifice the happiness and good of others to their advantage or immediate pleasure. The fundamental principles on which the increase of the wealth of nations rests are thus summed up, at the end of Adam Smith's Fourth Book: "All systems, either of preference or restraint, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, so long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and his capital into competition with those of any man or order of men."

The treatise on the Wealth of Nations is, therefore, not to be regarded, as it was by Mr. Buckle, as a demonstration of the public benefit of private selfishness. Adam Smith denies neither the existence nor the value of higher motives to exertion. The springs of industry are various. Domestic affection, public spirit, the sense of duty, inherent energy and intellectual tastes, make busy workmen, as well as personal interest. And personal interest is itself a phrase for many different motives and pursuits, deserving the name of selfishness or not according to their nature and degree; just as wealth under a single term in eludes many things of very different moral quality, according to their character and use. The aims of men in life may be high or low; they may seek for riches of very different kinds and for very different purposes.2 But what

1 "Anlo-Saxon Chronicle."—Bohn's Edition.

2 This paper was written before the publication of M. de Lavergne's Essay, De l' Accord de l' Economic Politique et de la Religion, in the Revue des Deux Mondes of the 15th of November last. It may not be out of place, however, to notice here a misconception, as the present writer thinks, which runs through that essay. Political economy and religion are, according to M. de Lavergne, though essentially distinct, related to each other as the soul and body are. Wealth, he says, means food, clothes, and houses; and religion, though it treats of higher things, does not teach that men should be left to perish of hunger and cold. Political economy has for its special end the satisfaction of the bodily wants, and religion that of the spiritual wants of man. M. de Lavergne seems to have been led astray by the economic use of general terms, such as material wealth, material interests, and material progress. For wealth is not really or properly limited in political economy to such things as satisfy the bodily or material wants of humanity. It comprehends many things, the use of which is to minister to man's intellectual and moral life, but which have, notwithstanding, a price or value. Books, for example, as well as bread and meat, are wealth. Spiritual and other instructors are paid for as well as butchers and doctors. Wealth means, in fact, many different things, more or less material or immaterial, in different ages and countries. The highest kinds of wealth will be found where there is most general freedom for the development of the highest powers of humanity, and where no class have a licence for the gratification of their selfish passions at the expense of any other class.

page 271 Adam Smith contended for was, that no class of men, be their motives good or bad, should be suffered, under any pretext, to encroach upon the industrial liberty of other men. The true moving power of the economic world, according to his system, is not individual selfishness, but individual energy and self-control. His fundamental principle is perfect liberty. The "Wealth of Nations" is, in short, an exhaustive argument for free labour and free trade, and a demonstration of the economical policy of justice and equal laws. Arguing against the law of apprenticeship, the philosopher said: "The property which every man has in his own labour, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. The patrimony of a poor man lies in the strength and dexterity of his hands, and to hinder him from employing his strength and dexterity in what manner he thinks proper for his own advantage is a plain violation of that most sacred property. It is a manifest encroachment upon the just liberty both of the workman and of those who might be disposed to employ him. As it hinders the one from working at what he thinks proper, so it hinders the others from employing whom they think proper."
The system, therefore, which is most subversive of the doctrines of political economy, as taught by Adam Smith, is that most selfish of all possible systems—slavery. The political economist must condemn it as loudly as the moralist. It attacks the life of industry, and prevents the existence of exchange. It robs the labourer of his patrimony; it robs those who would hire him in the market of their lawful profits; and it is a fraudulent abstraction from the general wealth of nations, the quantity and quality of which depend upon the degree of industrial liberty secured to every individual throughout the world for the exercise of his highest powers. Of the property of the slaveholder in the industry of his slaves, the paradox, la propriété c'est le vol, is a literal truth according to political economy as well as common morality, and as regards not only the slaves, but the whole commercial world.1 A political economist lately remarked, that "the foundation of economic science is the right of private property and exchange, which is opposed to socialism, which seeks to abolish private pro-

1 An American apologist for slavery invokes Political Economy on the side of the "domestic institution," in the following terms:—"Would it not be better that each—Great Britain and the Slave States of America—should go on in the career which they are now following, and (acting upon that fundamental principle of Political Economy which commands nations to develop their own resources at home, to sell where they can realize the greatest profit, and to buy where they can buy the cheapest) content themselves with their present prosperity, instead of seeking a doubtful prosperity from the destruction of the prosperity of others" (The South Vindicated, p. 127). Great Britain does, undoubtedly, owe her present prosperity to her obedience to that fundamental principle of Political Economy which commands nations to develop their resources at home by freeing domestic industry from every fetter. It would have been happy for the Southern States of America had they been content with a similar prosperity, instead of "seeking a doubtful advantage by the destruction of the prosperity of others."

page 272 perty and exchange."1 The fundamental principles of the science are still more opposed to slavery, which abolishes the labourer's right of property in the fruits of his own exertion, not with his own consent, but by the violence of others. Yet slavery is a system within the legitimate range of economic inquiry, which is by no means limited, as the writer just referred to has contended, to the phenomena of an imaginary world of free exchanges, but extends to all the economic phenomena of the real world, in which wealth is produced and distributed according to very different systems.2 Injustice and oppression have their natural train of economic consequences as well as liberty and equal laws, and the economist is concerned with both, as the physician studies the laws of disease as well as health. "Writers on political economy," says the chief among them in our time, "propose to investigate the nature of wealth, and the laws of its production and distribution, including, directly or remotely, the operation of all the causes by which the condition of human beings is made prosperous or the reverse."3 There is not a country in Europe at this day, not excepting our own, the economic phenomena of which the principle of exchange would be sufficient to interpret. But, even if pure commercial competition now regulated, throughout the whole of Europe, the production and distribution of every article of wealth, the whole domain of history, and the breadths of Asia, Africa, and America would remain for the economist to explore, and to account on other principles for the direction and results of human industry, the use of natural resources, and the division of the produce. The economy of the Slave States of America, for example, afforded an opportunity for this inquiry, of which Mr. Cairnes availed himself, in his admirable Essay on the Slave Power. In an earlier Essay, he described political economy as belonging to "the class of studies which includes historical, political, and social investigations," and defined it as "the science which traces the phenomena of the production and distribution of wealth up to their causes in the principles of human nature, and the laws and events of the external world."4 In the later Essay, instead of deducing unreal consequences from the hypothesis of industrial liberty, he has traced the origin and consequences of the opposite order of things. Instead of the theory of wages, profit, and rent, applicable to a free society, he lays bare the structure of a society which excludes wages, for the labourer is fed and flogged like a beast of burden; in which there is no profit, according to the economist's definition, for labour is not hired, but stolen; in which there is little or no rent, for only the best soils can be cultivated, and they are constantly becoming worthless instead of growing in value; in which fear is substituted for the hope

1 Paper read before the British Association at Cambridge, by Mr. H. D. Macleod.

2 "The definition of Political Economy is the science of exchanges or of values . . . The general conception of wealth is exchangeability. Hence, if Political Economy is the science of wealth, it must be the science of the exchangeable relation of quantities. . . . Exchanges form the domain of economic science. . . . The whole body of exchanges which take place within a country, and with foreign countries, constitute what the majority of economists now hold to be pure economic science."—Abstract from Mr. Macleod's Paper in the Parthenon, November 1, 1862.

3 "Principles of Political Economy." By J. S. Mill. Fifth Edition, 1862, vol. i. p. 1. And, in p. 526, Mr. Mill says:—"One eminent writer (Archbishop Whately) has proposed, as a name for Political Economy, Catallactics, or the Science of Exchanges; by others, it has been called the Science of Values. ... It is, nevertheless, evident; that, of the two great departments of Political Economy, the production of Wealth and its distribution, the consideration of Value has to do with the latter alone, and with that only so far as competition, and not usage or custom, is the distributing agency. Even in the present system of industrial life, in which employments are minutely subdivided, and all concerned in production depend for their remuneration on the price of a particular commodity, Exchange is not the fundamental law of the distribution of the produce—no more than roads and carriages are the essential laws of motion.... To confound these ideas seems to me not only a logical, but a practical blunder."

4 "Logical Method of Political Economy." By J. G. Cairnes, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Dublin.

page 273 of bettering his condition, and torment for reward, as the stimulus to the labourer's exertion; and in which wealth exists only in its rudest forms, because the natural division of employments has no place, and only the rudest instruments of production can be used. Adam Smith had previously examined the milder conditions of feudal servitude, demonstrating that the backwardness of mediæval Europe was attributable to these and similar discouragements to industry, and showing how it was forced into unnatural channels by such obstructions. For, through every part of his philosophy, "Dr. Smith sought," as Dugald Stewart relates, "to trace, from the principles of human nature and the circumstances of society, the origin of the positive institutions and conditions of mankind." In the "Wealth of Nations,"1 accordingly, he traced the operation both of the causes which rescued Europe from barbarism and occasioned its progress in opulence, and of those which impeded the action of the natural principles of preservation and improvement. In short, his treatise included an inquiry into the causes of the poverty as well as of the wealth of nations, and an investigation of the actual constitution and career of industrial society. He showed how rural industry and progress were thwarted in the middle ages by such impediments; that, but for the happier circumstances of its towns, Europe could never have emerged from the calamities which befel it after the dissolution of the Roman Empire. The servile and insecure position of the cultivators of the soil prevented industry from achieving its first triumphs in the country according to the course of nature, which makes agriculture the primary, because the most necessary, business of mankind. "Order and good government, on the other hand, and along with them the liberty and security of individuals, were established in cities at a time when the occupiers of land in the country were exposed to every sort of violence. But men in this defenceless condition naturally content themselves with a bare subsistence, because to acquire more might only tempt the injustice of their oppressors. On the contrary, when they are secure of enjoying the fruits of their industry, they naturally exert it to better their condition, and to acquire, not only the necessaries, but the comforts and elegancies of life. That industry, therefore, which aims at something more than necessary subsistence, was established in cities long before it was commonly practised by the occupiers of land in the country." In this manner, Adam Smith has traced the causes of the actual and, as he calls it, the "unnatural" course of industry in the slow and chequered progress of modern Europe. He investigated the phenomena of what was, happily for us, on the whole, a progressive society. Mr. Cairnes, on the contrary, has investigated those of a retrograde one. For, to begin with the labourer, the ambition of the slave is, as Bentham says, the reverse of the freeman; he seeks to descend in the scale of industry rather than to ascend. "By displaying superior capacity, he would only raise the measure of his ordinary duties." Yet we are sometimes assured that the negro slave, with this cogent reason for indolence—the more cogent the more reasonable he is—and kept, moreover, in compulsory ignorance by his master, is by nature a stupid and indolent workman. Tocqueville remarks, in his "Tour in Sicily," that agriculture which had fled from the neighbourhood of the owners of the Sicilian soil, flourished around the

1 The "Wealth of Nations" contains the substance of the last division of a complete course of lectures upon moral science, in which Adam Smith expounded, in succession, Natural Theology, Ethics, Jurisprudence, and Political Economy. His lectures on Jurisprudence have not survived; but his pupil Dr. Millar states, that "he followed in them the plan suggested by Montesquieu, endeavouring to trace the gradual progress of jurisprudence from the rudest to the most refined ages, and to point out the effect of those arts which contribute to subsistence and to the accumulation of property, in producing corresponding improvements or alterations in law and government." From this it is clear that his conception of the true scope and method of jurisprudence agreed with his conception of the true scope and method of economic inquiry.

page 274 smouldering fires of Etna, because the chance of occasional ravages by the volcano did not fill the mind of the cultivator with unceasing despair. "Soon," he says, "we left the lava, and found ourselves in the midst of a kind of enchanted country, which anywhere would be striking, but in Sicily it is ravishing. Orchard succeeds orchard, surrounding cottages and pretty villages; no spot is lost; everywhere there is an appearance of prosperity and plenty. As I went on, I asked myself what was the cause of this great prosperity. It cannot be attributed wholly to the richness of the soil, for the whole of Sicily is so fertile as to require less cultivation than most countries.....The reason which finally seemed to me to be most conclusive was this: The land round Etna being liable to frightful ravages, the nobles and the monks grew disgusted with it, and the people became the proprietors." But in no age or country of Europe have the owners of the soil ever crushed the energies and intelligence of the cultivators beneath such a cruel yoke as that which the planters of the Slave States of America have laid upon their unhappy negroes;—of whose kinsmen, breathing the air of liberty, the Governor of Tobago was able to assert, "that a more industrious class does not exist in the world."1 In Brazil, the children of emancipated negroes are found in every walk of civil life, often distancing their white competitors; and in the youngest colonies of Great Britain, the negro often proves as good a tradesman as the Anglo-American, and more often still a better citizen.2
In the Slave States of America Mr. Buckle might have seen the economical results of a society based upon selfishness instead of justice. The negro shows elsewhere, as we have seen, his capacity to take his part in the free division of labour, and the consequent multiplication of the productions of the different arts, which occasions, in the words of Adam Smith, in a well-governed society that

1 "It is a mistake," says another high authority, "to suppose that the African is by nature idle and indolent, less inclined to work than the European. He who has witnessed, as I have, their indefatigable and provident industry, will be disposed to overrate rather than underrate the activity of the negro and his love of labour."—The West Indies as they Were and as they Are. Edinburgh Review, April, 1859.

2 The following statement, affording evidence as to the character, capacity, and enterprise of the negroes, is contained in a letter to the writer of this paper from one of the principal English residents in Victoria, the capital of Vancouver's Island. It formed part of a general description of the Colony, furnished without any reference to the question of slavery:—"Before the gold excitement, but during the same year (1858), the Legislature of California passed a law forbidding the immigration of negroes. This caused the latter to appoint a deputation, which visited the British Possession of Vancouver's Island; and so favourable was their report, that it not only caused many coloured people to leave California, but also aroused general attention, particularly that of British subjects; for by all who had occasionally heard of the island before, it was considered a sort of petty Siberia. While people were reading accounts of the climate, soil, and low price of town lots in Victoria, there came rumours of rich gold sands on the banks of the Frazer River in British Columbia. Two or three small coasting vessels had previously sailed with coloured passengers; but the demand for passages by white people became so great, that large steamships departed every few days with from 300 to 1,000. Among them were some coloured people, and they have increased in number until, I think, we may safely estimate them at 500. The occupations of these coloured people in Victoria are, to the best of my recollection, porters, sawyers, draymen, day-labourers, barbers, and bath keepers; eating-house keepers; one hosier, as black as a coal, with the best stock in the town; and two or three grocers. Some of them went to the mines, and were moderately successful. Their favourite investment is in a plot of ground, on which they build a neat little cottage and cultivate vegetables, raise poultry, &c. Nearly all had been prosperous, and a few had so judiciously invested that they were in receipt of from 10l. to 40l. a month from rents. They are industrious, economical, and intend to make the colony their permanent home; the outskirts of the town are well sprinkled with their humble but neat dwellings, and their land is yearly increasing in value. By this showing they are a quiet, industrious, and law-abiding people; but there is a drawback, taking them altogether as citizens, which arises from their earnest desire to be on a perfect social equality with the whites at church, the theatre, concerts, and other public places of assembly. When you consider the strong disinclination for their company, not only of our large American population, but also of Englishmen, who very quickly imbibe the American prejudice, you can readily conceive that a number of disagreeable scenes occur.

page 275 universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people. In the squalid and comfortless homes even of the higher ranks of the people in the American Slave States, we see the consequence of oppressed and degraded industry. "It may be," says Adam Smith again, " that the accommodation of a European prince does not always so much exceed that of an industrious and frugal peasant, as the accommodation of the latter exceeds that of an African king, the absolute master of the lives and liberties of ten thousand naked savages." The American slave-owner is, as it were, a petty African king, and in real penury, as well as in power, resembles such a ruler. It is said, indeed, that we owed to slavery the produce which supplied the principal manufacture of Great Britain. But the whole of this production was in truth to be credited to free industry, while all the waste and ruin which accompanied it must be ascribed to slavery. The possibility of the profitable growth of so much cotton was caused by the commerce and invention of liberty, while the barbarism of the poor whites, the brutifying of the negro population, and the exhaustion of the American soil, are the net results of slavery. In truth, to Watt, Hargreaves, Crompton, and Whitney—free citizens of England and the Northern States—the southern planters owed the whole value of their cotton. What slavery may really claim as its own work is that, by exhausting the soil it occupies by a barbarous agriculture, which sets the laws of chemistry as well as of political economy at defiance, it hastens its own extinction from the day that its area is once definitely and narrowly circumscribed. This its own advocates admit, but with a singular inference: "Slavery has, by giving to the laws of nature free scope, moved over a thousand miles of territory, leaving not a slave behind. Why should good men attempt to check it in its progress? If the laws of nature pass slavery farther and farther south, why not let it go, even though, in process of time it should, by the operation of natural laws, pass away altogether from the territory where it now exists?"1 Why, we may ask, should devastation be suffered to spread? Should fires in a city be suffered to burn themselves out by advancing from street to street until not a house remains to check the conflagration? The slaveholder, as he moves southward or westward, not only carries moral and material destruction with him, but leaves it behind for those who come after him. The rich slave-breeder follows him with his abominable trade, and the poor white sinks back into barbarism in the wilderness the slaveholder has made.2 The order of European progress has been reversed. In Europe, justice, liberty, industry, and opulence grew together as Adam Smith described. In the Slave States of America, as Mr. Cairnes has shown, the Slave Power constitutes "the most formidable antagonist to civilized progress which has appeared for many centuries, representing a system of society at once retrograde and aggressive—a system which, containing within it no germ from which improvement can spring, gravitates inevitably towards barbarism, while it is impelled by exigencies inherent in its position and circumstances to a constant extension of its territorial domain."

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Once it was the prayer of every planter that slavery might soon cease to degrade his habitation. Now the

1 The South Vindicated.

2 Mr. Hopkins, in his introduction to "The South Vindicated," puts the total free population of the Southern States at 6,300,000. The number of free "families" he puts at 1,114,687, of which 345,239 own slaves. He then asks what becomes of the 5,000,000 whites referred to by Mr. Cairnes as "too poor to own slaves"? Mr. Hopkins, however, has taken his figures from the census of 1850, the census of 1860, he says, not being completed or published. By a reference, however, to the statistics given in Mr. Ellison's excellent work on Slavery and Secession, 2nd Ed. p. 363, it will be seen that the total free population of the States enumerated as Slave States by Mr. Hopkins was, in 1860, considerably above-eight millions. Taking the same proportion, of non-slaveowning to slaveowning families, it would follow that more than five millions of the population belong' to the former.

page 276 Governor of a Southern State boldly declares, in a message to its Legislature, without perception of the real force of his own argument, that "irrespective of interest, the Act of Congress declaring the slave-trade piracy, is a brand upon us, which I think it important to remove. If the trade be piracy, the slave must be plunder, and no ingenuity can remove the logical necessity of such a conclusion."1 And a southern journal avows: "We have got to hating everything with the prefix 'free,' from free negroes down and up through the whole catalogue. Free farms, free labour, free society, free will, and free schools all belong to the same brood of damnable 'isms.' But the worst of all these abominations is the modern system of free schools." For the perpetuation and extension of the system to which is owing this retrogressive movement of the English race in a region endowed with every natural help to progress, the slaveholders are in arms. They have not been slow to point, indeed, at General Butler's misrule in a southern city, and to ask if the cause of their adversaries is the cause of liberty? But such men as General Butler are living arguments against a Slave Power. General Butler was absolute master at New Orleans; and, even in the words of an ardent apologist for slavery, "that cruelties may be inflicted by the master upon the slave, that instances of inhumanity have occurred and will occur, are necessary incidents of the relation which subsists between master and slave, power and weakness."2 There was never a more striking example of the ease with which men are cheated by words, than the generous sympathy given in England to the cause of the slaveholders, as the cause of independence, and therefore of liberty! It is the cause of independence, such as absolute power enjoys, of every restraint of justice upon pride and selfish passions. The power of England is in a great measure a moral power, founded on the respect of the civilized world for the courageous opposition of her people for centuries to such independence both at home and abroad. And, if the public opinion of England and the leaning of her policy be found ultimately upon the side of the maintenance and extension of the Slave Power in America, she will sustain in the end as great a loss of actual power, as well as of moral dignity, as if she entered into a league with the despots of Europe, and closed her cities of refuge against their victims. The Slave Power fights against all the principles of civil and religious liberty on which England rests her glory, and all the principles of political economy to which she ascribes her wealth. In policy, as well as in justice, England must refuse her countenance to that Power, as the enemy of the liberty as well as of the wealth of nations. But we are told that the Union was dangerous; that Re-union is impossible; and that Separation is both inevitable and desirable. Mr. Cairnes disputes none of these propositions. But he shows that the Union was dangerous because it was governed by Southern politicians, who hated England as they feared Emancipation, and who looked to foreign war to avert domestic reformation. Re-union, on the other hand, Mr. Cairnes does not contemplate, and he counsels separation. But upon what terms is this separation to take place? Is it upon such terms as a faction of Slaveholders must desire? Is it upon such terms as will secure them an unlimited territory to waste, and make them strong enough to people it with African slaves, with the sanction of the Times perhaps, but in defiance of English humanity? It is strange that those who fear a powerful commercial Republic in the North should have no fear of a powerful military Republic in the South. But no reasonable Englishman who has read Mr. Cairnes's Essay can doubt that the latter is the Power to be really dreaded by England, or can wish otherwise, for the sake of his country and for the sake of humanity, than that the Southern States should only separate as defeated, straitened, and impotent for future conquests over human happiness and prosperity.

1 Slavery and Secession, by T. Ellison, 2nd Ed., pp. xvi. xviii.

2 The South Vindicated, p. 82.