Friday, October 7, 2011

The Perils of Peace

This entry is from Debow's Review, Agricultural, commercial, industrial progress and resources,  from the Oct-Nov 1861 issue, "Perils of Peace."  Most likely the author of this piece is also the editor and proprietor himself, James Dunwoody Brownson DeBow.   Debow was a former census superintendant, so he knew something about the ethnic make-up of the United States at the time of the Civil War.

What I find interesting about this quote is that Debow seems to have it all wrong.  What he calls the North's weakness in the first sentence of the following quote, really became and even then was one of  this country's strengths.

. . . . The weakness of the North proceeds entirely from its various and incongruous population.  Her people have no opinions or objects in life in common.  So soon as the war with the South is concluded, it is probable she will be dismembered and split up into three or four independent states or nations.  Yankee ascendency has so far held her together, but that ascendency is now struggling for existence against the millions of foreigners who have become more numerous than the native Yankees. 

The danger from too large an infusions of foreigners would be much greater here than at the North. . . .
. . . . . ”To Americans belong America!” But foreigners who have already settled among us are Americans.  The people of other counties have no rights or interest in the South.  They could not complain if we prohibited all immigration, much less can they complain when we only subject them to the disabilities usually imposed on foreigners.  The right of citizenship in most countries, has ever been confined to the native-born.  The ranting democracy of Jefferson and Jackson have largely imbued our people with the notion, that we only hold our country as trustees for “all the world and the rest of mankind.”   National dignity as well as national security, required that the public mind should be disabused of such notions. . . ..

James Dunwoody Brownson DeBow as found at (Debow served as superintending clerk of the census 1853-1855)

No comments:

Post a Comment