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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.
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followed the development of this industrial struggle under the constitution through its several phases; - the unexpected revival of slavery; its territorial expansion; the rise of a political power devoted to its protection; and over against these the growth of American manufactures, high tariffs, and a political power devoted to their protection. He pointed out how the counter-expansion of these two sets of economic forces and interests produced increasing friction between the sections: and how this industrial strife culminated finally in the rebellion on the part of the weaker of the two rivals in order to escape from a Union in which a check had been placed by northern industrialism upon the further expansion of the southern social idea or labor, and continued as follows:
"The general welfare of the reunited nation demanded not only political unification of the states under one supreme government, but their social unification as well on a common industrial basis of free labor. The co-existence under the old constitution of two contrary systems of labor, had given rise to seventy years of rivalry and strife between the sections, and had plunged them finally into one of the fiercest and most destructive wars of modern times. It was clearly recognized at the close of that war that the foundation of the restored Union should be made to rest directly on the enduring bedrock of a uniform system of free labor for both sections, not as formerly on the shifting sands of two conflicting social orders. For as long as our ancient duality of labor systems shall continue to exist, there will necessarily continue to exist also duality of ideas, interests and institutions. I do not mean mere variety in these regards which operate beneficially but profound and abiding social and political differences, engendering profound and abiding social and political antagonisms, naturally and inevitably affecting sometimes more, sometimes less, national stability and security, and leaving every where in the sub-conscious life of the republic a sense of vague uneasiness, rising periodically to the keenest anxiety, like the ever present dread felt by a city subject to seismic disturbances. For what has once happened, the causes continuing, may happen again.
The southern soil was at the moment roughly broken up by the hot ploughshare of the civil war. It might have been better prepared for the reception of the good seed by the slower process of social evolution. But the guiding spirits of that era had no choice. The tide of an immense historic opportunity had arisen. It was at its flood. Then was the accepted hour; then or never it appeared to them, and so they scattered broadcast seed ideas of the equality of all men before the law, their inalien-
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