Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 40.djvu/25

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21
Living Confederate Principles.

Hayne's peroration is not so elaborate or ornate as Webster's; nor was it meant to be. But it is perfect in itself. The keen, logical criticism, blended with the quiet, delicate sarcasm conveyed in the reference to the "brilliant sun" and the "little stars," is exquisite; the true application of Webster's stellar picture is simple and effective. After the "fire, the wind, and the earthquake" of Webster's mighty finish it comes—as a still small voice.

And so the South triumphed with and through this remedy of peaceable protection for a sectional minority. The North, thus baffled, next resorted to a wily flank move.

The next great sectional crisis (after the preliminary and premonitory one of 1850) came nearly a third of a century A Wily Flank Move later. In the crisis just discussed, involving the Nullification clash of 1830-33, the tariff was the bone of contention. In this second crisis, Negro slavery in the territories was the occasion, not the cause as is imagined by many who should know better.

What was the actual source of this "free-soil" or "anti-slavery" crusade of the North? An aroused moral sense, say some. Fanaticism, say others. Partly each of these, but not exclusively or chiefly either or both, say I.

Mark well this fact: In the debates in Congress on the tariff dispute of 1833, John Quincy Adams, ex-President of the United States and then a member of the House of Representatives, uttered this significant remark from the floor of the House: (37) "But protection might be extended in different forms to different interests. . . . In the Southern and Southwestern portion of the union, there exists a certain interest [by which Adams meant Negro slavery] which enjoys under the constitution and the laws of the United States an especial protection, peculiar to itself" (i. e., return of fugitive slaves escaping from one State into another). He referred to the slaves in the Southern States as "machinery," and added, "If they [the Southern States] must withdraw protection from the free white labor of the North [the "protection" of a high tariff, Adams meant], then it ought to be withdrawn from the machinery of the South."