American Statesmen - Vol. 2

By John T. Morse Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
THE AUTUMN ELECTIONS OF 1862, AND THE PROCLAMATION OF EMANCIPATION.

THE chapter which has been written on "Emancipation and Politics" shows that while loyalty to the Union operated as a bond to hold together the people of the North, slavery entered as a wedge to force them asunder. It was not long before the wedge proved a more powerful force than the bond, for the wedge was driven home by human nature; and it was inevitable that the men of conservative temperament and the men of progressive temperament should erelong be easily restored to their instinctive antagonism. Of those who had been stigmatized as "Northern men with Southern principles," many soon found their Southern proclivities reviving. These men, christened "Copperheads," became more odious to loyal Northerners than were the avowed Secessionists. In return for their venomous nickname and the contempt and hatred with which they were treated, they themselves grew steadily more rancorous, more extreme in their feelings. They denounced and opposed every measure of the government, harangued vehemently against the war and against all that

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