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 +<​h3>​Occasional Papers, No. 12.</​h3>​
 +<​h3>​The American Negro Academy.</​h3>​
 +<​h1>​Modern Industrialism and<br />the Negroes of the United States</​h1>​
 +<​h3>​BY ARCHIBALD H. GRIMKE.</​h3>​
 +<​h3>​Price 15 Cts.</​h3>​
 +<​h4>​WASHINGTON,​ D.C.:<br />​PUBLISHED BY THE ACADEMY,<​br />​1908</​h4>​
 +<hr style="​width:​ 65%;" />
 +<​p><​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_3"​ id="​Page_3">​[Pg 3]</​a></​span></​p>​
 +<​p>​What is that tremendous system of production, organization and struggle
 +known as modern industrialism going to do with the Negroes of the United
 +States? Passing into its huge hopper and between its upper and nether
 +millstones, are they to come out grist for the nation, or mere chaff,
 +doomed like the Indian to ultimate extinction in the raging fires of
 +racial and industrial rivalry and progress? Sphinx&#​8217;​s riddle, say you,
 +which yet awaits its Oedipus? Perhaps, though an examination of the past
 +may show us that the riddle is not awaiting its Oedipus so much as his
 +answer, which he has been writing slowly, word by word, and inexorably, in
 +the social evolution of the republic for a century, and is writing still.
 +If we succeed in reading aright what has already been inscribed by that
 +iron pen, may we not guess the remainder, and so catch from afar the
 +fateful answer? Possibly. Then let us try.</​p>​
 +<​p>​With unequaled sagacity the founders of the American Republic reared,
 +without prototype or precedent, its solid walls and stately columns on the
 +broad basis of human equality, and of certain inalienable rights, such as
 +life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to which they declared all men
 +entitled. Deep they sunk their foundation piles on the consent of the
 +governed, and committed fearlessly, sublimely, the new state to the
 +people. But there was an exception, and on this exception hangs our tale,
 +and turns the dark drama of our national history.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Those founders had to deal with many novel and perplexing problems of
 +construction,​ but none seemed so difficult to handle as were those which
 +grew out of the presence of African slavery, as an industrial system, in
 +several of the States. At the threshold of national existence these men
 +were constrained by circumstances to make an exception to the primary
 +principles which they had placed at the bottom of their untried and bold
 +experiment in popular government. This sacrifice of fundamental truth
 +carried along with it one of the sternest retributions of history. For it
 +involved the admission on equal footing into the Union of a fundamental
 +error in ethics and economics, with which our new industrial democracy was
 +forced presently to engage in deadly strife for existence and
 +<​p>​The American fathers were, undoubtedly,​ aware of the misfortune of
 +admitting under one general government, and on terms of equality, two
 +mutually invasive and destructive social ideas and their corresponding
 +systems of labor. But they were baffled at the time by what appeared to be
 +a political necessity, and so met the grand emergency of the age by
 +concession and a spirit of conciliation. Many of them, indeed, desired on
 +economic as well as on moral<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_4"​ id="​Page_4">​[Pg 4]</​a></​span>​ grounds the abolition of slavery, and
 +probably felt the more disposed to compromise with the evil in the general
 +confidence with which they regarded its early and ultimate extinction.</​p>​
 +<​p>​This humane expectation of the young republic failed of realization,​ owing
 +primarily and chiefly, I think, to the potent influence upon the
 +institution of slavery of certain labor-saving inventions and their
 +industrial application in England and America during the last quarter of
 +the eighteenth century. These epoch-making inventions were the spinning
 +jenny of Hargreaves, the spinning machine of Arkwright and the mule of
 +Crompton, in combination with the steam engine, which turned, says John
 +Richard Green, &#​8220;​Lancastershire into a hive of industry.&#​8221;​ And last, though
 +not least in its direct and indirect effects on slavery, was the cotton
 +gin of Eli Whitney, which formed the other half&​mdash;​the other hand, so to
 +speak&​mdash;​of the spinning frame. The new power loom in England created a
 +growing demand for raw cotton, which the American contrivance enabled the
 +Southern planter to meet with an increased supply of the same. Together
 +these inventions operated naturally to enhance the value of slave labor
 +and slave land, and therein conduced powerfully to the slave revival in
 +the United States, which followed their introduction into the economic
 +world. The slave industrial system, no longer then a declining factor in
 +the life of the young nation, assumed, instead, unexpected importance in
 +it, and started promptly upon a course of extraordinary expansion and
 +<​p>​Two other circumstances combined with the one just mentioned to produce
 +this unexpected and deplorable result. They were the slave compromises of
 +the Constitution and the early territorial expansion of the republic
 +southward. These compromises gathered the reviving slave system, as it
 +were, under the wings of the general government, and so tempered the
 +adverse forces with which it had to struggle for existence within the
 +Union to its tender condition. They embraced the right to import Negroes
 +into the United States, as slaves, until the year 1808, which operated to
 +satisfy, in part, the rising demand of the South for slave labor; also the
 +right to recover fugitive slaves in any part of the country, which added
 +immensely to the security of this species of property, and the right of
 +the slave-holding States, under the three-fifths rule of representation in
 +the lower house of Congress, to count five slaves as three freemen, which
 +rule, taken in conjunction with the equality of State representation in
 +the upper branch of that body, gave to that section an immediate and
 +controlling influence upon federal policy and legislation.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The territorial expansion of the republic southward coincided curiously in
 +point of time with the territorial needs of the slave system incident to
 +its industrial revival. Increased demand for the products of slave labor
 +in the market of the world had, by the action of natural causes, raised
 +the demand for that labor in the South. This increased demand was
 +satisfied, to a limited extent, by the Constitutional provision relative
 +to the importation of that labor into the United States prior to the year
 +1808, and to an unlimited extent by the peculiar Southern industry of
 +slave breeding, and the domestic slave trade, which, owing to favorable
 +economic conditions, became<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_5"​ id="​Page_5">​[Pg 5]</​a></​span>​ presently great and thriving enterprises for
 +the production of wealth. The crop of slaves grew in time to be as
 +valuable as the crop of cotton, and the slave section waxed, in
 +consequence,​ rich and prosperous apace. But as our expanding slave system
 +was essentially agricultural,​ it required large and expanding areas within
 +which to operate efficiently. Wherefore there arose early in the
 +slave-holding section an industrial demand for more slave soil. There was
 +a political reason, also, which intensified this demand for more slave
 +soil, but as it was merely incidental to the economic cause, I will leave
 +it undiscussed for the present. This economic demand of the expanding
 +slave system for more land was met by the opportune cession to the United
 +States by Georgia and North Carolina of the southwest region, out of which
 +the States of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee were subsequently carved,
 +and by the acquisition of the Louisiana and the Florida territories. So
 +much for the causes, conditions and circumstances in the early history of
 +the republic, which combined to revive slavery, and to make it an
 +immensely important factor in American industrial life, and consequently
 +an immensely important factor in American political life as well.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Just a word in passing regarding the character of Southern labor. It was,
 +as you all know, mainly agricultural. Its enforced ignorance, and its
 +legally and morally degraded condition, incapacitated the slave-holding
 +States from diversifying their single industry and limited them to the
 +tillage of the earth. This feature was economically the fatal defect of
 +the slave industrial system in its rivalry with the free industrial system
 +of the North. There were, of course, other forms of labor employed in the
 +South, such as the house-servant class, while many of the Negroes on
 +plantations and in Southern cities worked as carpenters, bricklayers,​
 +blacksmiths,​ harness-makers,​ millwrights,​ wheelwrights,​ barbers, tailors,
 +stevedores, etc., etc.; but, as labor classes, they were relatively of
 +slight importance in point of numbers, and as wealth producers, in
 +comparison to the field hand.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Unlike the Indian under similar circumstances,​ the Negro did not succumb
 +to the terrible toil and inhumanity of his environment. He did not decline
 +numerically,​ nor show any tendency to do so, but exhibited instead
 +extraordinary vitality and reproductive vigor. In physical quality and
 +equipment he was, as a laborer, ideally adapted to the South, and
 +accordingly augmented enormously in social and commercial value to that
 +section, and in numbers, at the same time. He possessed, besides, certain
 +other traits which fitted him peculiarly to his hard lot and task. He was
 +of laborers the most patient, the most submissive, the most faithful, the
 +most cheerful. He was capable of the strongest affection and of making the
 +greatest sacrifices for those to whom he belonged. In his simple and
 +untutored heart there was no desire for vengeance, and in his brave black
 +hands he bore nothing but gifts to the South&​mdash;​gifts of golden leisure,
 +untold wealth, baronial pleasure and splendor, infinite service, and
 +withal, a phenomenal effacement of himself. Economically weak, yet
 +singularly favored by a fortuitous combination of circumstances,​ slave
 +labor flourished and expanded until at length it came into rough contact
 +and rivalry with modern industrialism as it leaped into life<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_6"​ id="​Page_6">​[Pg 6]</​a></​span>​ under the
 +magical influence of free institutions in the non-slaveholding half of
 +the Union.</​p>​
 +<p>It might be said that modern industrialism in America had its rise in
 +certain causes and circumstances which existed at the beginning of the
 +present century. It is well known how at that time almost the entire
 +commerce of the civilized world outside of Great Britain and her colonial
 +possessions was carried on under the American flag, in American bottoms,
 +and also how among British orders in council, Napoleon&#​8217;​s Berlin and Milan
 +decrees and our own embargo and non-intercourse acts, retaliatory measures
 +adopted by our government, this splendid commerce was speedily and
 +effectually destroyed, and how finally this catastrophe produced in turn
 +our first industrial crisis under the Constitution. New England found
 +herself, in consequence,​ in great and widespread public distress, and her
 +large capital, erstwhile engaged in commercial ventures at vast profit,
 +became suddenly idle and non-productive. But it is an ill wind which blows
 +no good. So it was in the case of New England at this <ins class="​correction"​ title="​original reads '​peirod'">​period</​ins>​. For the ill
 +wind which carried ruin to her commerce and want to hundreds of thousands
 +of people, carried also the seeds and small beginnings of all her
 +subsequent manufacturing greatness and prosperity. With the development of
 +manufactures,​ which now followed, and the diversifying of American
 +industries in the northern section of the Union, modern industrialism as a
 +tremendously aggressive social factor and system of free labor was
 +thereupon launched upon its long and stormy rivalry and struggle with
 +slave institutions and slave labor for the possession of the republic,
 +and, as a resultant of this conflict, it began to affect also the history
 +and destiny of the Negroes of the United States.</​p>​
 +<​p>​New England, naturally enough, was not at all well disposed toward a
 +government whose acts had inflicted upon her such bitter distress, such
 +ruinous dislocations of her capital and labor. This angry discontent was
 +much aggravated later by the War of 1812, into which, in the opinion of
 +that section, the country was precipitated by reason of Southern
 +domination in national affairs. And thus was, perhaps, awakened in the
 +North for the first time a distinct consciousness of the existence in the
 +peculiar labor and institutions of the South, of interests and forces
 +actively opposed to those of free labor and free institutions.</​p>​
 +<​p>​With the close of this war and the conclusion of peace, the
 +non-slaveholding section took on fresh industrial life and embarked then
 +upon that career of material exploitation and development which has placed
 +it and the wonderful achievements of its diversified industries in the
 +front rank of rivals in the markets of the world. From this period dates
 +the beginning of our national policy of protection of domestic industries,
 +and the rise of a powerful monied class in politics which bore to the new
 +industrial interests similar relations to those sustained by the slave
 +power to Southern labor and institutions. The early policy of a tariff for
 +revenue with incidental encouragement inaugurated by Hamilton, was now
 +readapted to the growing needs of the new industrialism,​ and the growing
 +demands of its champions.<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_7"​ id="​Page_7">​[Pg 7]</​a></​span>​ The principle of protection was made as elastic
 +in its practical application to tariff legislation as Northern industrial
 +interests would, from time to time, and in their stages of rapid progress,
 +seem to require.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The labor employed by the new industrialism was free white labor, each
 +unit of which as wage earner and citizen was vitally concerned in whatever
 +made for its safety and prosperity. The universal prevalence of the
 +principle of popular education, and the remarkable educational function
 +exercised upon the mental and moral faculties of the people by a right to
 +a voice in the government, gave to this section in due time the most
 +intelligent,​ energetic and productive labor in the world. Indeed, it is
 +now well understood that modern industrialism attains its highest
 +efficiency as a system of production in that society where popular
 +education is best provided for, and where participation of the masses in
 +the business of government reaches its fullest and freest expression. The
 +freer and the more intelligent a people, all things else being equal, the
 +more productive will be their labor over that of a rival&#​8217;​s who may be
 +wanting in these regards. The early and unexpected revival and expansion
 +of slavery in the South was thus followed and met by a rapid
 +counterexpansion of free industrialism at the North on an extraordinary
 +<​p>​This conflictive situation evolved presently industrial complications and
 +disturbances of the gravest national importance. Following the treaty of
 +Ghent, the South fell into financial difficulties,​ and experienced quite
 +generally an increasing pressure of hard times. Although wealthy and
 +prosperous heretofore, it then began to exhibit symptoms of industrial
 +weakness, and to assume more and more a dependent attitude toward the
 +monied classes of the free States. On the other hand, the free
 +industrialism of those States waxed bolder in demands for national
 +protection with the thing it fed on. Its cry was always for more, and so
 +the tariff of 1816 was followed by that of 1824, and it in turn by the one
 +of 1828, during which period industrial depression reached a crisis in the
 +South, producing widespread distress among its slave-planting interests.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Here is Benton&#​8217;​s gloomy picture of that section in 1828: &#​8220;​In place of
 +wealth a universal pressure for money was felt; not enough for common
 +expenses; the price of all property down; the country drooping and
 +languishing;​ towns and cities decaying, and the frugal habits of the
 +people pushed to the verge of universal self-denial for the preservation
 +of their family estates.&#​8221;​ What was the cause of all this misfortune and
 +misery? Benton found it, and other Southern leaders also, in the unequal
 +action of federal fiscal legislation. &#​8220;​Under this legislation,&#​8221;​ he
 +shrewdly remarks, &#​8220;​the exports of the South have been made the basis of
 +the federal revenue. The twenty-odd millions annually levied upon imported
 +goods are deducted out of the price of their cotton, rice and tobacco,
 +either in the diminished prices which they receive for these staples in
 +foreign ports, or in the increased price which they pay for the articles
 +they have to consume at home.&#​8221;</​p>​
 +<​p><​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_8"​ id="​Page_8">​[Pg 8]</​a></​span>​The storm centre of this area of industrial depression passed over
 +Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. The very heart of the slave system
 +was thus attacked by the unequal fiscal action of the general government.
 +The South needed for its great staples of cotton, rice and tobacco the
 +freest access to the markets of the world, and unrestricted competition of
 +the world in its own market, and this the principle of protection denied
 +to it. For the grand purpose of the new policy of protection was to occupy
 +and retain as far and as fast as practicable,​ and in some cases a little
 +farther and faster, a monopoly of the home market for the products of the
 +new industrialism,​ and therefore to exclude foreign buyers and sellers
 +therefrom on equal terms with their domestic rivals. Owing to the
 +limitations of its peculiar labor the South was disabled from adapting
 +itself, as the North had just done, to changing circumstances and new
 +economic conditions, and so was deprived of participation in the benefits
 +of a high tariff. Its slave system and industrial prosperity were
 +accordingly caught by the free industrialism of the North at a fatal
 +disadvantage and pressed mercilessly to the wall.</​p>​
 +<​p>​And so it happened that the protective tariff which was welcomed as a boon
 +by one set of industrial interests in the Union was by another set at the
 +same time denounced as an abomination. But when the struggle between them
 +grew fierce and threatened to disrupt the sections a compromise was hit
 +upon and a sort of growling truce established for a season whereby the
 +industrial rivals were persuaded that, in spite of the existence of bitter
 +differences and memories, they could nevertheless live in peace and
 +prosperity under the same general government. The soul of the compromise
 +measures of 1833, which provided for the gradual abolishment,​ during nine
 +years, of the specific features of the high tariff objectionable to the
 +South, failed, however, to reach the real seat of the trouble, namely, the
 +counterexpanding movements of the two systems, with their mutual
 +inclinations during the operation, to encroach the one upon the other, and
 +a natural tendency on the part of the stronger to destroy the weaker in an
 +incessant conflict for survivorship,​ which would persist with the
 +certainty and constancy of a law of nature, compromise acts by Congress to
 +the contrary notwithstanding. And so the struggle for existence between
 +the two industrial forces went on beneath the surface of things. Meanwhile
 +modern industrialism was gaining steadily over its slave competitor in
 +social strength and political importance and power.</​p>​
 +<​p>​This conflict for industrial domination developed logically in an
 +industrial republic into one for political domination. It was unavoidable,​
 +under the circumstances,​ that the strife between our two opposing systems
 +of labor should gather about the federal government and rage fiercest for
 +its possession as a supreme coign of vantage. The power which was devoted
 +to the protection of slavery and the power which was devoted to the
 +protection of the new industrialism here locked horns in a succession of
 +engagements for position and final mastery. It seems to have been early
 +understood by a sort of national instinct, popular intuition, that as this
 +issue between the contesting systems happened to be decided the Union
 +would<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_9"​ id="​Page_9">​[Pg 9]</​a></​span>​ thereupon be put in the way of becoming eventually either wholly
 +free or wholly slave, as the case might be. Wherefore the two sections
 +massed in time their opposing forces for the long struggle at this quarter
 +of the field of action.</​p>​
 +<p>It has already been noted that certain advantages had accrued to the South
 +from the original distribution of political power under the national
 +Constitution,​ and from sundry cessions of territory to the general
 +government after the adoption of that instrument. But while the South
 +secured indeed the lion&#​8217;​s share of those early advantages, the North got
 +at least two of considerable moment, viz., the Constitutional provision
 +for the abolition of the African slave trade, in 1808, which imposed,
 +after that year and from that source, a check upon the numerical increase
 +of slaves within the Union, and, secondly, the Ordinance of 1787, which
 +excluded forever the peculiar labor of the South from spreading into or
 +taking root in the Northwest territory, and, therefore, in that direction
 +placed a limit to its territorial expansion. Together they proved
 +eventually of immense utility to free industrialism in its strife with the
 +slave industrial system, the first operating in its favor negatively, and
 +the second positively in the five populous and prosperous commonwealths
 +which were subsequently organized out of this domain, and in which free
 +labor grew and multiplied apace.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The struggle over the admission of Missouri into the Union terminated in a
 +drawn battle, in which both sides gained and lost. The slave system
 +obtained <i>in esse</​i>​ an additional slave State and two others <i>in posse</​i>,​
 +out of the Louisiana territory, while free industrialism secured the
 +erection of an imaginary fence through this land, to the north of which
 +its slave rival was never to settle. Maine was also admitted to preserve
 +the <​i>​status quo</​i>​ and balance of political forces between the sections.
 +Alas! however, for the foresight of statesmen who build for the present
 +only, and are too much engrossed by the cares and fears of a day to see
 +far into national realities, or to follow beneath the surface of things
 +the action of moral and economic laws and to deduce therefrom the trend of
 +national life. The slave wall of 1820, confidently counted upon by its
 +famous builders to constitute thenceforth a permanent guarantee of peace
 +between the rivals, disappointed these calculations,​ for it developed
 +ultimately into a fresh source of discord and strife. And in view of the
 +unavoidable conflict of our counterexpanding systems of labor, their
 +constant tendency to encroach the one upon the other in the operation, and
 +the bitter and ever-enduring dread and increasing demands of the weaker,
 +it was impossible for the compromise of 1820 to prove otherwise.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The South, under the leadership of Calhoun, came presently to regard the
 +Missouri arrangement as a capital blunder on its part, and from the
 +standpoint of that section this conclusion seems strictly logical. For the
 +location of a slave line upon the Louisiana territory operated in fact as
 +a decided check to the expansion of slavery as a social rival and a
 +political power at one and the same time, while it added immensely to the
 +potential strength of the rapidly expanding<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_10"​ id="​Page_10">​[Pg 10]</​a></​span>​ forces of modern
 +industrialism in its contest for social and political supremacy in the
 +<p>In the growing exigency of the slave industrial system, under these
 +circumstances,​ the reparation of this blunder was deemed urgent, and so,
 +in casting about to find some solution of its problem, the attempted
 +abrogation of the compromise law itself not being considered wise by
 +Calhoun, the slave power fell upon Texas, struggling for independence. An
 +agitation was consequently started to correct the error of the Missouri
 +compromise by the annexation of a region of country described in the
 +graphic language of Webster to be so vast that &#​8220;​a bird could not fly over
 +it in a week.&#​8221;​ What the South had lost by the blunder of the slave wall of
 +36&deg; 30&​prime;​ was then expected, barring accidents of course, to be restored to
 +it in the new slave States, and in the large augmentation of slave
 +representation in the general government, which would eventually ensue
 +from the act of annexation. But the accident of the Mexican war wrecked
 +completely the deep scheme of the Texan plotters, and neutralized the
 +political advantage which had accrued to the slave power in the admission
 +of Texas into the Union by the acquisition of California and New Mexico at
 +the close of that war. It was a checkmate by destiny. Chance had at a
 +critical moment aligned itself definitely on the side of modern
 +industrialism in the American republic and given a decisive turn to the
 +long contest with its slave rival.</​p>​
 +<​p>​With the admission of California as a free State the political balance
 +between our two opposing systems of labor was irreparably destroyed. For,
 +while the South possessed Texas, and an expectation of acquiring new slave
 +States therefrom, this expectation amounted practically to a bare
 +possibility. For it was found, owing to the inferior colonizing resources
 +of the slave system, far easier to annex this immense domain than to
 +people it, or to organize out of it States for emergent needs. On the
 +other hand, the superior colonizing ability of free labor, taken in
 +conjunction with all that vast, unoccupied territory belonging to it and
 +inviting settlement, promised, in the ordinary course of events, to
 +increase and confirm this preponderance of political power, and so to seal
 +the fate of slavery. Nor do I forget in this connection that the bill,
 +which organized into territories Utah and New Mexico, was, in deference to
 +Southern demand, purged of the Wilmot <​i>​proviso</​i>​. But this concession on
 +the part of Northern politicians had no real value to the South, for, as
 +Webster pointed out at the time, slave labor was effectually interdicted
 +from competing with free labor for the possession of this land by a power
 +higher than the Wilmot <​i>​proviso</​i>,​ viz., by a law of nature. The failure,
 +however, to re-enact this decree of nature in 1850 prepared the way for
 +the demolition of the slave wall four years later, and thus operated to
 +hasten the grand catastrophe.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The repeal of the Missouri compromise did for the more or less fluid state
 +of anti-slavery sentiment at the North what Goethe says a blow will do for
 +a vessel of water on the verge of freezing&​mdash;​the water is thereby converted
 +instantly into solid ice. So did the agitation produced by the abrogation
 +of that act convert the gradually<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_11"​ id="​Page_11">​[Pg 11]</​a></​span>​ congealing sentiment of the free States
 +on the subject of slavery into settled opposition to its farther extension
 +to the national territories and into a fixed purpose to confine it within
 +its then existing limits. But to put immovable bounds to the territorial
 +expansion of the slave industrial system was virtually, under the
 +circumstance,​ to provide for its decline and ultimate extinction, for the
 +beginning of a period of actual and inhibited non-extension of slavery as
 +a rival system of labor in the Union would mark the termination of its
 +period of growth and the commencement of its industrial decay. The peril
 +of the slave system was certainly extreme, and the dread of the slave
 +power was not less so.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The national situation was full of gloom and menace to the industrial
 +rivals. For the passions of the slave power were taking on an ominously
 +violent and reckless energy of expression, which, unless all signs fail,
 +would take on presently a no less violent and reckless energy of action.
 +The crisis was intensified,​ first, by the repeal on the part of certain
 +free States of their slave-sojournment laws; second, by the extraordinary
 +activity of the underground railroad; third, by increasing opposition in
 +the North to the execution of the Fugitive Slave law, all of which, acting
 +together, seriously impaired the value and security of slave property in
 +the Union; fourth, by that fierce, obstinate, but futile, struggle of the
 +South to obtain possession of Kansas, and the exposure thereby of its
 +marked inferiority as a colonizer in competition with modern
 +industrialism;​ fifth, by the growing influence of the abolition movement,
 +and, sixth, by those nameless terrors of slave insurrections,​ which were
 +evoked by the apparition of John Brown at Harper&#​8217;​s Ferry. This acute
 +situation was finally rendered intolerable to the slave power upon the
 +election of Abraham Lincoln on a sectional platform, pledged to a policy
 +of uncompromising resistance to the farther extension of slavery to the
 +territories. Worsted within the Union, it was natural that the South
 +should refuse to yield at this point of the conflict, and that it should
 +make an attempt, as a dernier resort, to secede from it with its peculiar
 +institution for the purpose of continuing the battle for its existence
 +outside of a political system in which it had been overborne and hemmed in
 +upon itself by modern industrialism and so doomed by that inexorable force
 +to slow but absolutely certain extinction.</​p>​
 +<​p>​But the Union, which had developed such deadly industrial peril to the
 +South, had created for the North its immense industrial prosperity, was,
 +in sooth, the origin and mainspring of its powerful and progressive
 +civilization. And so, while the preservation of the peculiar institution
 +and civilization of the former necessitated a rupture of the old Union and
 +the formation of a new one, founded on Negro slavery, every interest and
 +attachment of the latter cried out for the maintenance of the old and the
 +destruction of the new government. The long conflict of the two rival
 +systems of labor culminated in the war to save the old Union on the part
 +of the North and to establish a new one on the part of the South, whose
 +Constitution rested directly upon the doctrine of social unity. Social
 +duality was the great fact in the Constitution of the old Union; social
 +<span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_12"​ id="​Page_12">​[Pg 12]</​a></​span>​uniformity was to be the great fact in the new. A State divided socially
 +against itself cannot stand. The South learned this supreme lesson in
 +political philosophy well, much more quickly and thoroughly than had the
 +North, whose comprehension of it was painfully slow. And even that part of
 +the grand truth which it did come to apprehend after prolonged wrestlings
 +with bitter experience it reduced to practice in every emergency with
 +moral fears and tremblings.</​p>​
 +<p>In the tremendous trial of strength between the sections which followed
 +the rebel shot on Sumter the South was at the end of four years completely
 +overmatched by the North, and by sheer weight of numbers and material
 +resources was borne down at all points and forced back into the old Union,
 +less its system of slave labor. For the destruction of the Southern
 +Confederacy had involved, as a military necessity, the destruction of
 +Negro slavery, which was its chief cornerstone. With the adoption of the
 +Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution the ancient cause of sectional
 +difference and strife, viz., duality of labor systems, was supposed, quite
 +generally at the North, to have been removed, and that a new era of unity
 +in this respect had thereupon straightway begun. It seems to have been
 +little understood by the North at the time, and since, for that matter,
 +that Negro slavery in the South would die hard, and that it has a fatal
 +gift of metamorphosis (ability to change its form without changing its
 +nature), and that while it had under the well-directed stroke of the
 +national arm disappeared as chattel slavery, it would reappear, unless
 +hindered, as African serfdom throughout the Southern States, and that they
 +would return to the Union much stronger politically than when they
 +seceded, and much better equipped for a renewal of the unquenched strife
 +for industrial existence in 1865 than they were in 1860.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The immediate work of reconstructing civil society in the old slave States
 +to meet the new condition of freedom was now by an egregious executive
 +blunder left wholly to the master class, with the startling result at its
 +close that, whereas Negro slavery had been abolished, Negro serfdom
 +reappeared in every instance as the industrial basis of the reconstructed
 +States, and that a serf power was about to take the place of the slave
 +power in the newly restored Union more dangerous than the old slave power
 +to free industrialism than five is greater than three in federal numbers.
 +For, while according to the old rule of slave representation in the lower
 +house of Congress it took five slaves to nullify the votes of three
 +freemen, under a new rule of apportionment which would probably obtain
 +five serfs would be equivalent politically to five freemen. At this all
 +the ancient hatred and dread of its Protean rival blazed hotly in the
 +heart of the North, and with its passionate fear emerged a no less
 +passionate desire to secure forever the domination of its industrial
 +democracy over the newborn nation.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Actuated by this motive to dominate the republic, the freedmen whom the
 +old master class had by prompt legislation reduced to a condition of
 +serfdom were thereupon raised by the North through Constitutional
 +amendment to the plane of citizenship. And when<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_13"​ id="​Page_13">​[Pg 13]</​a></​span>​ this act proved
 +inadequate to arrest the threatened Southern revival in the national
 +government, the ballot was next placed in their hands to avert the
 +impending danger. It was under such circumstances that the work of
 +Southern reconstruction was entered upon by Congress, i. e., in reality by
 +the North, the South having had its chance and failed to reconstruct
 +itself upon a basis satisfactory to its victorious rival, and in
 +consonance with its sense of industrial and political security and
 +<p>I know that it is now the universal vogue to criticize and condemn this
 +stupendous work of Congress as wholly wanting in knowledge of human nature
 +and as woefully deficient in wise statesmanship. I know also that
 +hindsight is at all times attended with less embarrassment to him who uses
 +it than is foresight; and I know, besides, that those historic actors who
 +had not attained unto a position of futurity in respect to their task, but
 +whose task sustained to them that relative place instead, were obliged to
 +do the best they could with whatever quantum of the latter faculty they
 +might have possessed and toward the manful achievement of their duty. And
 +this is what Congress did at this juncture. In view of the long, bitter
 +and disastrous strife between the two sets of industrial ideas and
 +interests in the republic, of the complex and earthquake circumstances and
 +conditions in which they were thrown in relation to each other at the
 +close of the rebellion, together with the imperious urgency for immediate
 +and decisive action on the part of the North, I confess that it is
 +extremely difficult to see even with the aid of hindsight what other
 +practicable course was then open to that section to pursue than the one
 +selected by Congress in the emergency as the best and wisest. And all
 +things considered, it was the best and wisest, which, when the present
 +generation of criticism and reaction has passed, will, I think, be so
 +adjudged by impartial truth.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Congress might at this juncture have led the country by another way out of
 +the perils which threatened afresh its peace and security, by a way
 +dreadful and inhuman, it is true, but which offered nevertheless a radical
 +and permanent cure for the evils which flow naturally from the union under
 +one general government of two mutually invasive and destructive industrial
 +systems, viz., by the forcible deportation of the entire black population
 +of the South, and the introduction into their stead of an equal number of
 +white immigrants. Such a course would have certainly achieved the
 +unification of the sections by the extinguishment and elimination of the
 +weaker of our two rival systems of labor. It was, however, a solution of
 +its Southern problem, which the nation was in morals, economics and
 +humanity precluded absolutely from adopting, for three simple and
 +sufficient reasons: First, for the sake of the South, which, wasted and
 +bewildered, lay sullen and prostrate amidst the wreck and chaos of civil
 +strife and at its lowest ebb of productive energy and wealth, its sole
 +recuperative chance depending on the labor of its former slaves. To deport
 +this labor, under the circumstances,​ would have been cruelly to deprive
 +that section of its last vital resource, and to sink it to a state of
 +industrial collapse and misery, by the side of which its<span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_14"​ id="​Page_14">​[Pg 14]</​a></​span>​ condition at the
 +close of the war might have seemed prosperity and paradise. Second, the
 +nation itself could ill sustain the shock incident to such a huge
 +amputation from the body of its productive labor, and which must have, for
 +long and bitter years, affected disastrously its solvency, greatness and
 +progress. Besides, the presence in the lately rebellious States of a mass
 +of loyal people, like the blacks, constituted an immensely important
 +element of strength and security to the newly restored Union. And, third,
 +the blacks themselves had by two centuries of unpaid toil bought the right
 +to remain in a country which had enslaved them, yet for whose defense and
 +preservation against foreign and domestic foes and through three wars they
 +had bared their brave arms and generous breasts and poured out royally and
 +without measure their devotion, their blood and their life.</​p>​
 +<​p>​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
 +coexistence under the old Constitution of two contrary systems of labor
 +had given rise to seventy years of strife and rivalry 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 foundations 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
 +system 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 operates beneficiently,​ 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 everywhere in the subconscious 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 cause continuing, may happen again.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The Southern soil was at the moment broken up roughly by the hot
 +ploughshare of 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 risen. It was at its flood. Then was the accepted
 +hour&​mdash;​then or never it appeared to them&​mdash;​and so they scattered broadcast
 +seed ideas of the equality of all men before the law, their inalienable
 +right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the derivation of
 +the powers of all just governments from the consent of the governed. These
 +revolutionary ideas fell alongside of the uptorn but living roots of other
 +and hostile political principles, and of the ramified and deep-growing
 +prejudices of an old social order, and had forthwith to engage in a life
 +and death struggle against tremendous odds for existence. Many there are
 +who see in the reconstruction period nothing except<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_15"​ id="​Page_15">​[Pg 15]</​a></​span>​ the asserted
 +incapacity of the Negro for self-government&​mdash;​nothing but carpet-bag rule
 +and its attendant corruption. But bad as those governments were, they
 +were, nevertheless,​ the actual vehicles which conveyed into the South the
 +seeds of our industrial democracy and of a new social and political order.
 +From that period dates the beginning of an absolutely new epoch for that
 +section. The forces set free then in the old slave States have been
 +gradually unfolding themselves amid giant difficulties ever since. They
 +are, I believe, in the South to stay, and are destined ultimately to
 +conquer every square inch of its mind and matter, and so to produce the
 +perfect unification of the republic, by producing the perfect unification
 +of its immense, heterogeneous population, regardless of race, color or
 +previous condition of servitude, on the broad basis of industrial and
 +political equality and fair play.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The contest of the old industrial rivals has, in consequence of this
 +influx of democratic ideas into the South, and the resultant modification
 +of environment there, taken on fresh and deplorable complications. The
 +struggle between the old and the new which is in progress throughout that
 +section is no longer a simple conflict between the two sets of industrial
 +principles of the Union along sectional lines, as formerly, but along race
 +lines now as well. The self-evident truths of the Declaration of
 +Independence invading the old slave States have divided that house against
 +itself. Their powerful ally, popular education, is creating everywhere
 +moral unrest and discontent with present injustices and a growing desire
 +on the part of the Negro to have what is denied him, but which others
 +enjoy, viz., free and equal opportunities in the rivalry of life. This
 +battle of ideas in the South is, in reality, a battle for the enduring
 +unification of the sections, the permanent pacification of the republic.
 +The labors of the fathers for a more perfect union will have been in vain
 +unless the Negro wins in this irrepressible conflict between the two
 +industrial systems of the country. It is greatly to be lamented that a
 +question of color and difference of race has so completely disabled the
 +nation and the South from seeing things relating to this momentous subject
 +clear, and seeing them straight. Those who see in this problem only a
 +conflict of races in the South see but a little way into its depths, for
 +underlying this conflict of races is a conflict of opposing ideas and
 +interests which have for a century vexed the peace of the nation. The
 +existence of a system of labor in the South distinct from that of the
 +North separated the two halves of the Union industrially,​ as far as the
 +East is from the West, made of them in truth two hostile nations, although
 +united under one general government. This difference has been the cause of
 +all the division and strife between the sections, and it will continue to
 +operate as such till completely abolished.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The clinging of the South, under the circumstances,​ to its old social and
 +political ideas and system, or to such fragments of them as now remain,
 +and its persistent attempts to put these broken parts together, and to
 +preserve thereby what so disastrously distinguishes it from the rest of
 +the country, is an economic error of the first<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_16"​ id="​Page_16">​[Pg 16]</​a></​span>​ magnitude&​mdash;​an error which
 +injuriously affects its own industrial prosperity and greatness by
 +retarding its material development and by infecting at the same time with
 +increasing unrest and discontent its faithful and peaceful black labor.
 +The fight which the South is making along this line is a fight not half so
 +much against the Negro as against its own highest good, and that of the
 +country&#​8217;​s,​ for it has in this matter opposed itself ignorantly and madly
 +to the great laws which control the economic world, to the great laws
 +which are the soul of modern industrialism,​ laws which govern production
 +and exchange, consumption and competition,​ supply and demand, which
 +determine everywhere, between rival parts of the same country and between
 +rival nations as well, that commercial struggles, industrial rivalries,
 +shall always terminate in the survival of the fittest. If in such a battle
 +the South sow seeds of economic weakness, when it ought to sow seeds of
 +economic strength, it will go down before its rivals, whether those rivals
 +be in this country or in any other country or part of the world. In such a
 +struggle if it would win it will need to avail itself of all the means
 +which God and nature have placed at its disposition.</​p>​
 +<​p>​One of the most important of these means, perhaps the most important
 +single factor in the development and prosperity of the South, is its Negro
 +labor. It is more to it, if viewed aright, than all of its gold, iron and
 +coal mines put together. If properly treated and trained it will mean
 +fabulous wealth and greatness to that section. Lest you say that I
 +exaggerate, I will quote the estimate put upon this labor by the
 +Washington <​i>​Post</​i>,​ which will hardly be accused of enthusiasm touching any
 +matter relating to the Negro, I think. Here it is:</​p>​
 +<​p>&#​8220;​We hold as between the ignorant of the two races, the Negro is
 +preferable. They are conservative;​ they are good citizens; they take no
 +stock in social schisms and vagaries; they do not consort with anarchists;
 +they cannot be made the tools and agents of incendiaries;​ they constitute
 +the solid, worthy, estimable yeomanry of the South. Their influence in
 +government would be infinitely more wholesome than the influence of the
 +white sansculottes,​ the riff-raff, the idlers, the rowdies and the
 +outlaws. As between the Negro, no matter how illiterate he may be, and the
 +poor white the property owners of the South prefer the former.&#​8221;</​p>​
 +<​p>​The South cannot, economically,​ eat its cake and have it too. It cannot
 +adopt a policy and a code of laws to degrade its Negro labor, to hedge it
 +about with unequal restrictions and prescriptive legislation,​ and raise it
 +at the same time to the highest state of productive efficiency. But it
 +must as an economic necessity raise this labor to the highest point of
 +efficiency or suffer inevitable industrial feebleness and inferiority.
 +What are the things which have made free labor at the North the most
 +productive labor in the world and of untold value and wealth to that
 +section? What, but its intelligence,​ skill, self-reliance and power of
 +initiative? And how have these qualities been put into it? I answer
 +unhesitatingly,​ by those twin systems of universal education and popular
 +suffrage. One system<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_17"​ id="​Page_17">​[Pg 17]</​a></​span>​ trains the children, the other the adult population.
 +The same wide diffusion of knowledge, and large and equal freedom and
 +participation in the affairs of government, which have done so much for
 +Northern labor, cannot possibly do less for Southern labor.</​p>​
 +<​p>​For weal or woe the Negro is in the South to stay. He will never leave it
 +voluntarily,​ and forcible deportation of him is impracticable. And for
 +economic reasons, vital to that section, as we have seen, he must not be
 +oppressed or repressed. All attempts to push and tie him down to the dead
 +level of an inferior caste, to restrict his activities arbitrarily and
 +permanently to hewing wood and drawing water for the white race, without
 +regard to his possibilities for higher things, is in this age of strenuous
 +industrial competition and struggle an economic blunder, pure and simple,
 +to say nothing of the immorality of such action. Like water, let the Negro
 +find his natural level, if the South would get the best and the most out
 +of him. If nature has designed him to serve the white race forever, never
 +fear. He will not be able to elude nature; he will not escape his destiny.
 +But he must be allowed to act freely; nature does not need our aid here.
 +Depend upon it, she will make no mistake. Her inexorable laws provide for
 +the survival of the fittest only. Let the Negro freely find himself,
 +whether in doing so he falls or rises in the scale of life.</​p>​
 +<​p>​With his labor the Negro is in the market of the world. If, all things
 +considered, he has the best article for the price offered, he will sell;
 +otherwise not. But it is of immense value and moment to the South in both
 +respects. If his labor in all departments of industry in which it may be
 +employed be raised by education of head and hand, by the largest freedom
 +and equality of opportunities,​ to the highest efficiency of which it is
 +capable, who more than the South will reap its resultant benefits? So will
 +the whole country reap the resultant benefits in the diffused well-being
 +and productivity of its laboring classes, and at the same time in the
 +final removal of the ancient cause of difference and discord between its
 +parts. But if the Negro fail by reason of inherent fitness to survive in
 +such a struggle, his failure will be followed by decline in numbers and
 +ultimate extinction, which will involve no violent dislocation of the
 +labor of the republic, but a displacement so gradual that while one race
 +is vanishing another will be silently crowding into the space thus
 +<​p>​The commercial and industrial rivalry of the nations of the world was
 +never so sharp and intense as at the present time, and all signs point to
 +increased competition among them during this century. In this contest the
 +labor of each country is primarily the grand determining factor. It must
 +from sheer necessity and stress of circumstances be brought in each
 +instance to the highest state of economic efficiency by every resource in
 +the possession of the respective world rivals. And this will be attempted
 +in the future by each of these world rivals on a grandeur of scale and
 +with a scientific thoroughness and energy in the use of educational means
 +not yet realized by the most progressive of them. For those nations who
 +succeed best<​span class="​pagenum"><​a name="​Page_18"​ id="​Page_18">​[Pg 18]</​a></​span>​ in this respect will prevail over those others which fail to
 +raise their labor to an equally high grade of efficiency. Now, if Negro
 +labor is the best for its climate and needs, the South must seek
 +earnestly, constantly, by every means in its power, to raise that labor to
 +the highest state of economic efficiency of which it is capable. That
 +section must do so in spite of its chimerical fears of Negro domination,
 +in spite of its rooted race prejudices. It must educate and emancipate
 +this labor, all hostile sentiment of whatever nature to the contrary
 +notwithstanding,​ if it will hold its own in that great cosmic struggle for
 +existence in which it is now engaged with powerful rivals at home and
 +abroad. Nor can the republic be indifferent on this head. No country in
 +this age of strenuous commercial competition can forget with impunity its
 +duty in this regard. Neglect here brings swift retribution to any nation
 +which carries a vast horde of crude and relatively inefficient labor into
 +an industrial struggle with the rest of the world, for the world&#​8217;​s labor
 +will henceforth assume more and more the character of vast standing armies
 +engaged in world-wide industrial warfare. Each unit of these industrial
 +armies will be ultimately trained and disciplined to the highest possible
 +efficiency, and will some time form together perfect machines, which will
 +operate with clock-like precision and purpose at any given quarter of the
 +field of action. In obedience to the first law of nature our country in
 +its battle with industrial rivals to retain present advantages and win new
 +ones in world markets, will have to elevate the whole body of its labor
 +regardless of color or race, to the highest state of economic productivity
 +of which that labor is capable in all of its parts. Colossal forces are
 +behind and under the movement which is making for the final emancipation
 +of the Negro, and for his eventual admission on terms of complete equality
 +of rights and opportunities into the arena of that never-ending rivalry
 +and struggle which is the law of progress.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The Negro has proved himself one of the best soldiers in the world; he
 +will prove himself in this country, provided fair play be accorded him,
 +one of the most productive laborers in the world also. He has the capacity
 +for becoming one of the best all-round laborers and artisans in our
 +industrial army of conquest and one of the best all-round citizens of the
 +republic likewise. Overcome, then, your prejudices, ye white men of the
 +South, and ye white men, too, of the North; trust the Negro in peace as ye
 +have trusted him in war, nor forget that the freest and most intelligent
 +labor is ever the best and most productive labor, and that liberal and
 +equal laws and institutions are the one unerring way yet discovered by
 +human experience and wisdom whereby modern industrialism and democracy may
 +reach their highest development and the highest development of humanity at
 +the same time. This is the age of the people, of consolidation and
 +competition. It is the age of industrialism and democracy, aye,
 +industrialism and democracy are destiny. Try ever so hard, we shall not
 +escape our destiny, neither the Negro, nor the South, nor the nation.</​p>​
 +<p class="​right">​ARCHIBALD H. GRIMKE.</​p>​
modern_industrialism_and_the_negroes_of_the_united_states.txt ยท Last modified: 2020/02/07 23:13 by briancarnell