Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/402

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

with, an antagonist that must sooner or later press him to the wall, and in conformity to his racial instincts the African will move on farther and farther southward.

The number of farms at the South has increased rapidly since the war. This does not mean more land, but the subdivision of the larger estates of the past into smaller holdings, and an increase in the number of white yeoman farmers who do their own labor. Besides these circumstances, the census of 1890, contrary to the general idea, showed that the natural rate of increase of population among the Southern whites over the negro was almost in the ratio of two to one. The effect of this excess of white increase is apparent, and besides it is by no means probable that the white inhabitants of the South are not to be added to by large immigration from the North. The granting of the suffrage to the negro, partly through a misguided and in part a pretended friendship, will aid to further his displacement, for his aspirations as a politician have not been favorable to his success as a laborer and the betterment of his material condition. Neither the sword and bayonet nor plague and pestilence are necessary to a work of uprooting, for by a natural racial and economic law the negro will be driven out and supplanted by the white, and Louis Blanc's theory of extermination be illustrated as never before. There was a certain fitness in the emancipation proclamation being signed, when it came to be, by Abraham Lincoln, a representative of that class of Southern whites upon whom the institution of slavery had borne most hardly, and who were crowded out of the slaveholding districts. Time and the developments of the future will show more and more that in slavery the negro found his preservation, but the laboring white his curse. The historian Green tells us that after the Norman conquest there was among the English people "an immense outburst of material and intellectual activity," and that "the long mental inactivity of feudal Europe broke up like ice before a summer sun." It would be anything but correct to refer to the "mental inactivity" of the ante-bellum South, for in the lines that its talents were exerted it showed an ability fully equal to that of any other section, but the incubus upon its material growth, and the problems which then demanded its intellectual energies, are now in a large measure removed; and we may say of the South, as Green does of the England of King John, that it is "quickened with a new life and throbbing with a new energy." We need not fear the effects of an enervating climate or Southern sun. The upper tier of Southern States and the Southern Appalachian region form probably the best climate on the Atlantic side of the continent, and in the more Southern States, such as Alabama and Louisiana, while the summers are longer, yet the heat of the sun