The American War

May 24, 2013 by

amerianwarThe American War: A Lecture  by Newman Hall LL.D was delivered in London October 20, 1862. Here are a few lines from the introduction:

“In this lecture I propose briefly to trace the course of American history in relation to the present war, and then to reply to the questions — Had the South a right to secede ? Is the North justified in waging war to restore the Union ? How far is the question of Slavery mixed up with the quarrel ? On which side should the sympathy of England be enlisted ?

The quarrel between the North and the South, though it has only just developed in war, is of long growth. There are physical differences of climate, causing differences of labor, of production, of commercial interests, and of character. Added to this, we must bear in mind the original difference between the colonists. The North was peopled chiefly by the puritan and republican party, escaping from the tyranny of the Stuart kings. The South was peopled chiefly by the cavalier, aristocratic, and monarchical party.

The result of the combined action of difference in the original settlers, and difference in the physical features of the countries occupied, was unavoidable. Moreover, emigration naturally flowed  more to the North, as better suited for the energies of Europeans. The labor market of the South was supplied by the importation of Negro slaves. This increased the difference between the North and the South. In the North, partly from motives of political economy, still more from a deeply-rooted love of freedom and from religious considerations, slavery was gradually abolished, while in the South it rapidly increased. Thus, from the beginning, the North and South were different in character, with interests which from being not identical, eventually became antagonistic.

The colonies, having revolted from Great Britain, were constituted as the United States, and on July 4, 1776, the famous Declaration of Independence was issued. The fundamental principle of the Union was this — that while limited with the other States for general national objects, each State retained its own sovereign right to regulate its separate affairs. The Union, as such, might deal with commerce, taxation for national purposes, peace and war, foreign relations, and the territories belonging to the States in common; but it could not, as a Union, in any way interfere with the local taxation and expenditure, or the domestic institutions of the several States composing that Union.”


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