"The Position and Course of the South" by William Henry Trescott [selection]

The vindication of slavery is no part of our purpose. We know that Providence has placed us in the midst of an institution which we cannot, as we value national existence, destroy. It has solved for us in the wisest manner, that most dangerous of social questions, the relation of labour to capital, by making that relation a moral one. It has developed the physical wealth of the country in its highest, that is, its agricultural branch, in unprecedented proportion. It has created a civilization combining in admirable measure energy and refinement. It informs all our habits of thought, lies at the basis of our political faith and of our social existence. In a word, for all that we are, we believe ourselves, under God, indebted to the institution of slavery--for national existence, a well-ordered liberty, a prosperous agriculture, an exulting commerce, a free people, and a firm government. And where God has placed us, there, without argument, are we resolved to remain, between the graves of our fathers and the homes of our children. The only questions open now for our discussion are, what are the dangers we have to meet, and what are our means of meeting them. As historical truths, affording prompt answers to these questions, we submit to the attention of every Southern man who desires to do his duty at this perilous crisis, the following propositions....

There is one relation, lying at the basis of all social and political life, the different character of which fairly indicates the national progress in wealth and civilization--the relation of labour to capital. In the history of the world, this relation has, so far, always taken one of three shapes--serfdom, slavery, or service that is voluntary labour for wages. In the two first, the relation is a moral one, or labour is a duty; in the latter, the relation is a legal one, or labour is the execution of a contract.... At the South, labour is dependant on capital, and having ceased to be rivals, they have ceased to be enemies.