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appearance in the world, unaccompanied by a social ginia. There were no towns or cities, and the inprogress, we find this same uneasiness, restless- habitants of the colony lived in the woods, scatness and discontent. Men feel the necessity im- tered in dwellings along the streams and watermediately of carrying this new improvement, which courses of the country, at long distances apart. they have experienced in their inward nature, into Many of them, much the most considerable for their outward, social condition, 10 conform the ex-power and influence, were large landed proprietors ternal world which they inhabit to this new truth and the masters of slaves. There they collected which they have conceived, nor can they rest sat. around them a little society, of which they were isfied until this has been accomplished—so closely themselves the center, and over which they preare man's social and intellectual development bound sided with absolute sway. That these men should together and so essential are both to his civiliza- come to be regarded as of great importance, not tion.
only by themselves but by all around them, was We thus perceive that civilization consists essen. naturally to be expected. Observe for a moment, tially of two elements—the development of man and if you please, the social position of the Virginia the improvement of society—that these two ele farmer. He was the head of a family, a landed proments are strictly connected and act reciprocally on prietor, the masier of indented servants and the each other, thal man's moral and intellectual nature lord of slaves. Above liim no superior, near him may be instructed by his social condition and his no equal, beyond the influences of general society, social condition elevated by his moral and mental with no rule of conduct but his own good-will and progress, that these two elements, though they may pleasure, he lived in his forest home like a feudal separate for a time and impress their peculiar char- baron in his lonely castle. He was everywhere aeter upon the age or country over which they pre- supreme in the sphere in which he moved and which side, must, by the laws of their own movement, he rarely left. That a feeling of consequence and ultimately come together and advance in company. superiority, together with a sentiment of personal We also believe that it is npon this union that the independence and individual liberty should have hopes of civilization rest, which, though it is often sprung up in the bosom of this society was unadelayed for long intervals, is not, for that reason, any voidable. And what the Virginians of that day the less certain. An eloquent modern author says, meant by liberty was quite a different thing from * The movements of Providence are not restricted
the modern acceptation of that term, and what to narrow bounds : it is not anxious to deduce to
their cotemporaries, the Puritans of New England, day the consequences of the premises which it laid meant by it. The liberty for which the men of down yesterday. It may defer this for ages, till New England labored so zealousy was civil, pothe foloess of time shall come. Its logic will not litical, or religious liberty--the liberty of the cilibe the less conclusive for reasoning slowly. Provi. zen; but the liberty to which the Virginians were dence moves through time, as the gods of Homer throngh space--it makes 3 step and ages have
80 passionately attached was personal liberty--the rolled away! How long a time, how many circum- liberty of the individual. And while our northern stances intervened before the regeneration of the neighbors were devoting every faculty to the immoral powers of man by christianity exercised iis provement of their social relations and condition as great, its legitimate influence upon his social con- citizens, our ancestors in Virginia could, with difdition? Yei who can doubt or mistake its power ?" ficulty, be induced to submit to the restraints of
Having now got some distinct idea of what the society at all. They loved their free forest life, thing we call civilization is, let us return to the and cared infinitely more for their liberty as men problem which we have in hand, viz: what progress than their franchises as citizens. They could not was the Social System of Virginia likely to make in understand why they should abridge their natural civilization. what its probable success as compared rights for the improvement of their social relations, with the other social systems by which it was sur- when they felt society to be a burden, and only derounded. And, if the definition which we have sired to be relieved from its trammels. They given of civilization be correct, in order to solve asked nothing from it, and were willing to concede this problem, it will be proper that we should put nothing to it--they felt able to protect themselves, to that system the two-fold question—what was it and did not lean upon the arm of government for likely to do for or against the development of man safety. Aversion to much government has been, for or against the development of society. And from the settlement of the colony, and is, at this we remark in the threshold that no one at all day, a Virginia instinct. Listen to Bancroft. acquainted with the Social System of Virginia, “Shall the Virginians be described in a word ? during the colonial period, can fail to discover They were Anglo-Saxons in the woods again, with immediately the preponderance of those elements the inherited culture and intelligence of the sevenwhich favored the development of man at the
The major part of the House of
ses now consisted of Virginians that never expense of society. We have seen that, from
The Anglo. Saxon mind, in its sethe first settlement of the colony, isolated coun- renest nationality, neither distorted by fanaticisin, try life constituted a prominent feature in Vir-'nor subdued by superstition, nor wounded by per
saw a town.
secution, nor excited by new ideas, but fondly cher- At every page of her annals we meet with a crowd ishing the active instinct of personal freedom, se- of noble sentiments, elevated ideas, and striking cure possession and legislative power, such as be manifestations of character and passion, evidently longed to it before the reformation, had made its dwelling place in the empire of Powhatan.” Vol. 2, generated in the bosom of that country life, so pe
culiar to her people. No where has man risen to
greater moral and intellectual grandeur-warriors, This isolated country life, together with that love statesmen, orators and civilians seem to be the of rty and personal independence which it fos- natural products of her soil. The men who have tered, has, beyond doubt, been one of the controlling ruled in the cabinet, who have guided the legislaelements of our civilization. It meets us at every tive councils of the country, and led her armies to point of our progress-has moulded our institutions victory, have most of them come from the woods and lays at the foundation of our political creeds. of Virginia. The greatest statesman, the greatest
No one can fail to see that a social system thus warrior and the greatest orator that America has constituted was admirably adapted to the progress yet produced, have each been Virginia products. of the individual man, to the development of his Washington, Henry and Jefferson are the true sentiments, affections and ideas. His secluded types of her civilization-she claims them as pelife favored meditation; and that independence, that culiarly her own.
In the bosom of that country love of liberty, that conscious superiority and habit life which we have described, far away from towns of command, which we have just described, gave and crowded cities, in the solitude of the forest, power to his nature and elevation to his views. were their great virtues cultivated and their naAnd we accordingly find that, when the Virginia tures developed. These men, and others almost farmer left his native forests, it was to be trans- as great, have been the contributions which Vir. lated to some higher sphere of action, either the ginia has made to the nation. Indeed, no imparcabinet, the legislative hall, the rostrum, or the tial man can read the history of the country withfield of battle. For the counting-house or the fac-out discovering the vast influence which Virginia tory, he never manifested any taste or talent. In ideas and Virginia men have exerted over its desaddition to this, society did not then present ihe tiny in peace and war. Truly has the great stateschess-board uniformity of modern times. The man of South Carolina said, that " Virginia, like people of Virginia had not yet submitted them the mother of the Gracchi, when asked for her selves to that Procrustean operation by which all jewels, points to her sons. the inequalities of nature are corrected, and man- But Virginia has not only abounded in great kind reduced to one stature. In the depths of the men,-she has been equally fruitful in general ideas: forest they recognized no common social standard her soil has been the hot-bed of political creeds. to which they were obliged to conform, nor had Those great principles of civil, political, and rethey been subjected to that modern system of gra- ligious liberty, upon which all our institutions rest, ding, by which it is sought to equalize every thing, grew naturally in the bosom of that society which to “make all mountains and valleys exactly of the we have described. And no one can fail to see same level, plane down universal creation into a that those principles are eminently characteristic Westphalian flat, and metamorphose the irregular of our civilization-they are just what might have grandeur of nature's Alps into a methodical cir- been expected from its constituent elements. Their cumvallation of Dutch dikes;" but society, like one object is to "preserve, as far as possible, the inof nature's own landscapes, was broken into hill dependence of individual action and pursuit ; and and dale, mountain and valley, where the royal oak they reject all limitations upon this independence, and the stinted pine grew side by side, and man which are not essential to the great ends of social walked abroad in his native majesty. The air he organization. They regard all those powers which breathed was free, the soil he trod was his own-re- man wields in his aggregate or corporate capacity lieved from all conventionality, his sentiments. pas. as so many limitations upon his individual rights, sions and ideas had ample space for expansion, and they yield those which are indispensable to the and his nature full room for growth and develop- institution of society as so many concessions which
All this was eminently favorable to indi- necessity has extorted from liberty." These are vidual progress ; nor has the civilization of Vir- the principles which lie at the foundation of the ginia been false to its constituent elements. If, as political creed of Virginia, and upon which her own we have seen, those elements preponderated which constiintion and the constitutions of almost all the favored the development of the individual man, we States of ihe Union are based. We conscientiousfind that they have produced their legitimate re- ly believe that those early Virginians—those “ Ansults, that the fact has corresponded with our ex- glo-Saxons in the woods," understood the nature pectations. It is impossible to deny that the civili- of government better and did more to solve that zation of Virginia has esercised a vast and salutary great social problem by which individual liberty influence opon individual progress--ipon the de. shall be reconciled with social order, than any race velopment of man's sentiments, passions and ideas. 'of men that have ever lived.
We must now reverse the picture—from the resisted all encroachments by the general society of bright side we must turn to the dark side of our which they were a part, and maintained their indecivilization ; for, like the civilization of most other pendence and individual importance with the same countries, it is Janus-faced. We have seen the resolution and pertinacity that a modern nullifier ascendancy of those elements which favored indi- resists all encroachments by the General Governvidual progress; but unfortunately those very ele- ment upon the reserved rights of the States. We ments, which were thus favorable to individual doubt whether any society, laying claims to civiliprogress, were hostile to social improvement. That zation, has ever existed, in ancient or modern times, isolated country-life-that love of liberty and per- where there was so little government, and the citisonal independence which were so propitious for zen enjoyed so large a liberty, as in this early cothe development of character and passion, were lonial society. every where opposed to general order and the es. We have now shown, by an examination of its eletablishment of society. The very notion of so- ments, that the early civilization of Virginia did not ciety implies the existence of a certain number of favor social improvement. A further analysis will ideas and sentiments common to a majority of the also show, if we mistake not, that it was equally unmembers. Not only must there be a common stock favorable to the production of wealth and progress in of ideas and sentiments, but there must be a dispo- malerial greatness. And we are now prepared, we sition to rally around those ideas and sentimenis think, to answer the question which has been so and a willingness to make sacrifices for their ad- repeatedly asked--Why has Virginia, with her vancement. Where individualism reigns absolute great natural resources, always remained so poor? and each man insists upon all his natural rights, it is in the beginning of this article, we remarked that manifest that there can be no society. This was the population of Virginia, from a very early period, too much the case in Virginia. Not only was the was divided into two great classes. Masters and slock of common ideas small; but there was no Slaves. The Slaves were the producers and the disposition to rally to their support—the principle Masters the consumers. The relation, as we know, of association, if it existed at all, existed in its subsisting between these two classes, was that of Feakest form. The Social System of Virginia was absolute control on the one side, and perfect subat that time, substantially a federative system-it mission on the other. The slave was the property was composed, as we have seen, of a number of of his master, as much so as his ox, his ass, or any liile societies scattered through the country, each thing else that was his--he and his latest posterity with a distinct organization, and it proceeded upon were bondmen, and, like any other chattel, the the principle of leaving in each of these little local slave might be sold, made the subject of devise or societies all the power which could abide there, bequest, and, in case of intestacy, passed with the and carrying to the greal central society only so rest of the intestate's estate either to the heir at much as was absolutely necessary to the ends of law or the distributee--according as slaves were social order. It is manifest that the success of declared to be really or personally for the time besuch a system presupposes a very advanced state ing. There is no relation, so far as we know, of civilization--a strong conviction of the neces- which has ever been established between man and sity of society, and a general disposition and wil. man, either in ancient or modern times--not even lingness upon the part of individuals to submit 10 that of lord and serf--which theoretically implies social restraints; for it possesses in a less degree such absolute despotism on the one side, and serthan any other system, the means of coercion vile subjection on the other, as that of master and The general society was, in point of fact, the crea- slave. And this was the relation which prevailed tore of the little local societies of which it is com- almost universally in Virginia between the two posed, holding its powers by no other tenure than great classes into which the population of every their sofferance, and stood to them in very much country is divided--producers and consumers-the same relation that the Federal Government the producers were slaves, and the consumers were does to the States of the Union. It is manifest their masters. As we have already said, such a that such a system, however beautiful it may be in a thing as free labor, or an independent body of latheory, and salutary, sometimes, in practice, was borers, had, at that time, no place in the social not adapted to a society composed of such ele- system of the colony. It is not difficult to estiments as was the colonial society of Virginia. Il mate the influence which this fact was likely to was altgether incapable of maintaining its ascen- exert over material progress. History is full of daney and establishing general order among a peo- admonition upon this point. The great truth stands ple to whose tastes and habits the restraints of recorded on every page, in letters of living light, government and the conventional arrangements of that, so soon as one part of the population of a society were so repignant; who valued their natu- country reduces the other to subjection, and the ral rights more than their civil franchises, and cared system of castes succeeds to that of classes, that for nothing half so much as personal liberty, and moment all further progress is at an end, and sociwe accordingly find that these little local societies 'ety becomes stationary, if it does not retrogade. Take the history of any people-it matters not desire to conquer without the ability to do so—this what--and you will find that the conquest of one effort for victory unaccompanied by successclass by another, and their reduction into subjec- which chiefly distinguishes European from Asiatic tion, has been invariably followed by torpor or de civilization, and gives to the former its vast supecay; while the periods of greatest progress have riority. It is obvious that a society, thus agitated always been periods of greatest emulation and by conflicting elements, can never fall into repose struggle. So certain is it that rivalry, competi- and inertness. It may, perchance, be overwhelmed tion and effort are every where the conditions of in the storms of revolution, but can never sink into progress and improvement. You see this clearly torpor and gradual decay. illustrated in Asiatic civilization. No one can fail Thus history teaches us that emulation and rivalto observe the simplicity and unity of that civiliza- ry, which liberty encourages, is every where the tion. It seems to be the development of a single condition of progress, while that lethargy and inprinciple, which has excluded every other principle, ertness, which follows upon the subjection of one and taken possession of society. It is sometimes class by anoiher, leads to a stagnation, if not a disthe theocratic principle, as in India ; sometimes the solution, of society. And the voice of history is, democratic principle, as in the republic of Pho- in this matter, as in most others, but the echo of nicia; sometimes the despotic principle, as in Tur- reason. The masses of mankind are not amateurs key and Persia ; in other quarters, other organi- in labor. To induce ihein to labor, motives must zations have obtained. But the aspect of Eastern be addressed to them, and, as a general rule, the civilization is every where the same—the domin. amount of exertion which they will make will be ion of an exclusive power, which admits no rival, in exact proportion 10 the weight of the motives proscribes every other power, and takes into its to which they are subjected. This principle will own hands the absolute control of government and scarcely be denied. Let us, then, apply it first to the society. The consequence of which is that mo- case where the producing classes of a country are notony, torpor, decay, every where characterise free and independent, and next, to the case where that civilization. It seems as if society, having they are in bondage and subjection; or, 10 come at exhausted its vital energies, was about to lie down once to the case in point, let us apply the princiand die. How different from this has been the civ- ple to the systems of free labor and slave labor, ilization of Europe. Diversity, complexity, emu- and see what result it gives us. It informs us that lation and struggle are every where met with in that system of labor is best, and will prove most its history. For the last thousand years, it has productive, which supplies to the laborer the stronghad scarcely a moment's rest. Its whole career est motive to exertion. Now, the strongest mohas been stormy and adventurous. All the social live which can be addressed to the laboring masses elements—all classes and conditions-every gra- is, beyond doubt, the hope of reward--the reasondation of wealth and influence-political creeds able prospect of improving their material well-being. and religious creeds-powers temporal and powers All experience demonstrates that, with the vast spiritual-every conceivable form of organization-majority of the human race, this motive takes prethe theocratic principle, the democratic principle, cedence of all others; indeed, there is none which the aristocratic principle, the monarchical principle; can enter into competition with it. The fear of all these diversified elements have been thrown to- punishment is, it is true, in many instances, a powgether in incessant rivalry, each struggling for vic- erful motive to effort ; but no one at all acquainted tory and none able to secure it. This, beyond with human nature, and the springs of human condoubt, has been the productive, and, at the same duct, will venture to compare it, for a moment, with time, the conservative element, in European civili- the hope of reward. Taking it, then, as true, that zation. It has been at the same time, the source tbe hope of reward is the most powerful motive both of its strength and of its glory. If that civ. which can be addressed to the laboring masses of ilization is superior to all others which have pre-mankind, it follows necessarily that the system, ceded it—if it has done more for the melioration which adopts this motive and establishes the most of man's personal and social condition-if, after intimate connection between labor and the rewards the lapse of fourteen centuries, it still retains all of labor, must be the most productive. Now, free the vigor of youth, and manifests no symptoms of labor presents, in its strongest possible form, the exhaustion-it is because of that emulation and ri. hope of reward as a motive to exertion ; while slave valry, which we have noticed. Society has never, labor rejects it altogether, and substitutes in its for any considerable time, fallen under the domin- stead, the far inferior motive of the fear of punion of any single principle ; no one class has ever ishment. And it has always appeared to us, that been able to conquer all the others and reduce them the superiority of free labor over slave labor, in to subjection ; but all have advanced together, and point of productiveness, is just precisely that sudeveloped themselves side by side, amidst undying periority which the hope of reward has over the jealousies and rivalries. And it is this emulation fear of punishment, as a motive lo huinan exertion. between contending principles and classes—this Where labor is free, the laborer is rewarded in
exact proportion to the amount of exertion which other portion. In every age and country capilal he uses. What he sows he reaps ; if he sows has held labor in subjection, and always must hold moch, he reaps much; if he sows little, he reaps it in subjection and no where has the laborer relittle; if he sows nothing, he reaps nothing. While, ceived, or is he ever destined to receive, more than therefore, the prospect of comfort and abundance a very small proportion of the products of his own invites the laborer io industry, the apprehension of labor. And we are firmly persuaded, after a somedestitution and want deters him from idleness. He what careful examination of the subject, that the is placed, therefore, in a position which, of all distribution of the products of labor between the others, is best calculated to elicit exertion. Re. laborer and the capitalist is no where more favorwards surround him on one side, and penalties on able to the laborer than in the Southern States of the other. Industry is the highway to comfort the union. For it can be demonstrated from imand happiness, and idleness the certain road to want mutable general principles, and it is confirmed by and misery. But how is it with the slave? What experience, that bare subsistence, together with the molire to exertion has he? Does his condition in means of perpetuating the race, is all that simple life depend upon the exertion which he shall use ? labor has ever received or can ever expect to reBy no means. His condition is determined by cau- ceive. And, if so, it seems to us that the slave has ses over which he has no manner of control, and reason to rejoice, raiher than repine, over his lot. it is not in his power, by any conduct of his, lo af- He is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and sefect it materially, either for good or for evil. He cure in the enjoyment of all the necessaries and can neither improve it by industry nor impair it by many of the comforts of life. And this, as we idleness. The great and universal motive to hon- have recently had much melancholy reason for est industry, that of bettering one's lot, is Jost upon knowing, is more than can be affirmed of the lahim. The great law of human progress is not for boring masses of Europe. It is in the name of him. As he is born, so must he die. "Why, the master, therefore, and not of the slave, that we then, should I toil and sweat ?" the slave may well assail the institution of slavery. It is political ask himself. "I am not to eat the bread which economy and not humanity which raises its voice my own hands have sown. If I plant, another gets against it. the increase. It is a matter, therefore, of indiffer- We have now pointed out, in a very imperfect ence to me whether I work or am idle. The most manner, the preponderance, from a very early peindustrious slave, and the veriest drone in the riod, of those elements in the social system of the bire, upon a common footing—they share pretty colony which favored the development of man's much alike their master's bounty-they are fed moral and intellectual nature, but were hostile to alike, clothed alike, and housed alike. Seeing, the melioration of his material and social contherefore, that whether I work or am idle, my con- dition. And the fact, as we all know, corresponds, dition is the same, I have a direct and positive in- in every particular, with what might have been exterest to be idle." Is it not obvious that a system, pected from this state of things. We are prepared, which thus takes from labor its legitimate rewards did space permit, and could we believe that it would and relieves idleness from its proper penalties, is be acceptable to the public, to carry this analysis fatal to exertion, and, consequently, to production. of the Social System of Virginia yet further, and It is true that the fear of punishment is substituted show that, whatever there may be characteristic in for the hope of reward as a motive to exertion; her present condition or past history—whatever but, as we have already stated, it will be readily she may, at any time, have done for the developadmitted by all acquainted with the motives of hu- ment of man, or whatever she may have failed to man conduct, that the substitute is a very imper- do for the improvement of society, is fairly attribufect one.
table to those elements which, as we have seen, have It can scarcely be necessary for the writer of always controlled her civilization. But this article this article to remark, in this connection, that he has already extended to an unreasonable length, has no sort of syinpathy with that false philan- and we must bring it to an end. We cannot, howthropy which, both in this country and Europe, has ever, dismiss this subject without calling attention, expended so much indiscriminate sympathy upon in a very few words, to one other feature in the the condition of the African slave in the Southern Social System of Virginia, an explanation of which Stales. We have never been able to discover why will be readily found in the preponderance of those that portion of the laboring mass should be made elements which we have already described. We the peculiar objects of sympathy. It is true that allude to Domestic Manners. This, from the first the slave is doomed to labor, and, at the same time, settlement of the country, has been a remarkable realize bot a small proportion of the products of characteristic of the civilization of the colony, and, bis labor. But this, as every reflecting oiind must afterwards, of the commonwealth. No where see, is the condition of the laboring masses every have domestic manners ever been more prevalenwhere. One portion of the community always no where have they ever arrived at greater perhas and always will live upon the labor of the fection. This was the necessary result of that iso