Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/184

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

secede, would determine to keep her attached to this island, and by force of arms we should suc- ceed. But it is not in war that the chief diffi- culty lies— it is in governing afterwards.

What did the United States do when the Civil War came to an end? First of all, they tried the experiment of governing the Southern States by military occupation, and they found that that system broke down, because it was impossible to keep the people in subjection and the country tranquil by military force alone. Then they tried to govern it by the disfranchisement of all who took part in the war against the Union ; and they handed over the government to the negroes and a number of Northern adventurers, and that system broke down. Outrages, perpetrated on the negroes or on the Northern men who had come down into the Carolinas and Tennessee, became frequent, and could not be checked by the civil authorities. The condition of things in the South during those years was a scandal to the country.

Then at last, with the strong practical sense which becomes a free people, and which espe- cially distinguishes the people of America, they came back to their original principles. They set up the Southern States as self-governing communities on the old lines; they restored the suffrage to all citizens, declaring those who had taken part in the war to be exempt from further consequences; and then the outrages came to an end, and those disorderly Southern communities 158

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