Readings > "Manifest Destiny of the World," from the Southern Literary Messenger, 1859
The following article was contributed to one of the daily papers of Richmond a year ago by the author of the Letters of Mozis Addurns. Thinking that so capital a piece of fun should not be left to the oblivion of departed newspapers, we transfer it to our own pages in the lively confidence that it will be read with enjoyment by our friends at the North not less than by the Virginians who are so exalted in its views of the future.
--Ed. Sou. Lit. Mess.
In due time, our planet will be under the control of two Governments. The entire continent of America, with the West India Islands, Polynesia, Australia, and Western Europe, with the exception of Russia in Europe will constitute its Republica. The rest of the world, leaving out Interior Africa, will be under the dominion of one man, and that man a Russian.
The frivolous distinction of North and South, which now obtains in the United States, having been obliterated, the grand New Republic will bear the beautiful and appropriate name of Virginia. The South, as we understand it, is the direct and legitimate offspring of the Old Dominion, where the true theory of Republican Government, with the art of its practical manipulation, is still resident; and, as the South must inevitably give character and tone to the New Republic, the propriety of naming it with the name of its noble old mother will not be disputed. The Republic of Virginia and the Russian Empire will divide the Globe between them, each selecting its appropriate fields and exercising its appropriate and untransferable functions: one being the vital, the other the vegetative system of the perfected body politic.
Slavery will be the recognized and benign condition of all servitude under each of these Governments. The reconciliation of labour with capital being complete, pauperism will disappear from the earth, and with all chance of civil danger resulting from the state of smothered volcanic disaffection such as we now see and deplore in Western Europe.
Southern gentlemen will be the masters int he New Republic; all the inferior races, such as the Negro, the Yankee, and the various Incapables of Europe being subject to them. The first step will be to reduce the Yankee to slavery. This will be easily effected, after the terrible revolution and anarchy now impending at the North, have spent their force.
The value of the Yankee as a slave has not been properly estimated. How dangerous he is in a state of freedom is too well known. Cowardly, theivish, superstitious, fanatical, destitute of a moral sense, or any fixed idea of civil polity, he possesses all the worse and none of the better traits of the Negro, and stands more in need of a master. His ingenuity has made him what he will forever remain--the mechanic and craftsman of the World. Under proper command, he makes a good sailor. Nor is he unfit for higher slavish duties. His active and unscrupulous intellect finds very suitable occupation in the vulgar labours of the lawyer and editor. Also, in the more disgraceful pursuits of the itinerant lecturer. But for his inability to discern between right and wrong, and his tendency to atheisms, he might be put to use as a preacher. Whip him soundly for every political sermon, he would improve beyond what we think possible; but he will always be too hypocritical to be trusted. Too cruel and too morbidly energetic to be allowed authority over flesh and blood, he will never be of service as an overseer, except over the tireless iron slaves to whom he is accustommed. In superintending machinery of his own intvention, he will always find enough to do.
In the New Republic, the spere of slavery will not be restricted ot the Yankee and Negro races. The so-called nations of Western Europe have proved themselves, if possible, even more incapable of self-government than the slave races above mentioned, and, therefore, still more in need of masters.
High erratic sensibilities have made the Frenchman master of all the arts by which the sexes are rendered mutually alluring, and polite society possible. He is the man-milliner of the World. Also, its cook and teacher of dancing. His love of show and display, which, with native politeness, he calls glory, enables him to be useful in the decorative arts--necessary upon occasions of public pageants. His fondness for petty details makes him a good statistician, while his pluck and aptitude for mathematics make him servicable for the subordinate duties of fighting and fortification. In the New Republic, he will rank the Yankee in the scale of slavery, and keep him in subjection. It is a mistake to suppose the Frenchman unfit for slavery. All nations incapable of self-government are fit for slavery, and nothing else. Gobineau has shown that the French peasantry and peculiarly incapable of civilization; the history of France presents a spectacle of patient endurance of despotic torture, amply confirming the statements of the aristocratic ethnologist; and as for the continual emeutes
and revolutions of the Parisian gamins
and socialists, they are but the result of idleness and want of bread--evils impossible in the New Republic.
The Spaniards are lazy, but it will not do to exterminate them. The Spaniard's skill in the arts of assassination and cigar-making, can be turned to good account. Let him retain the latter art, but divert the former into the channel of the butchery of domestic animals. The Spanish slave will make a better butcher than the British slave. He will also be of use to the young gentlemen of the New Republic in serending their sweethearts. This last duty will shared by Italian slaves.
With our Italians, we need anticipate no trouble. Popery being cast into the sea, the, with the Spaniards, will become at once manageable. It will be necessary to use fumigants and disinfectants freely, to rid them of vermin and the stench of garlic, but, after that, they will be very available as opera singers, fresco painters, and for the mechanical labour of sculpture. Thus they will add much to the enjoyment of the Virginians.
Because Germany claims to have invented gun-powder, clocks and printing, and because its students, while they remain at their Universities, are violent red-republicans, it must not be inferred that Germans are unsuitable for slaves. In the best sense of the term, they are beasts of burden--heavy, plodding, docile, capable of an immense deal of slow labour. In the New Republic of Virginia, they will be of eminent service as farm hands, sharing this duty with the coarser grades of Yankees, and as brewers of beer, teachers, instrumental musicians, and for performing the draughthorse work of arranging and systematizing historical and scientific facts which the French statisticians have accumulated. Nor need we fear danger to the State from an indulgence of the Germanic tendency toward speculative theology and politics. A free admixture of Yankee and French slaves, with their pure materialism and atheistic notions, will tond Germanic speculation down to the point of safety. Besides, the Frenchman will be the policeman of the New Republic, and attend to this matter for us.
As to the other slave races which will be embraced in the New Republic--the Austrians, Prussians, Hungarians, Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians, we do not propose now to concern ourselves. Whatever usefulness of faculty they may hereafter discover, will doubtless be turned to some beneficent purpose.
A small portion of the British and the greater part of the Polish people, will become Virginians and masters. The remainder will be slaves. As butchers, brewers, and butlers, the British will be invaluable slaves; some of them will make enarly as good machinists as Yankees. The lower grades of Poles will assist the French in fighting; the Prussians and Austrians will also be available for this purpose.
Returning to the continent of America, the problem of the Indians, together with the mixed races of Mexico, Central and Southern America, will have to be encountered. It is of easy solution. All these are untameable races, and must give place ot the pure African and such other of the Eurpoean and Yankee slaves as are adapted to the climatic conditions of the various latitudes and terretrial elevations. Similar treatment will be applied to the islands of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The necessity of such treatment is too plain to admit of debate.
The Negro, having been our earliest slave, and reared as it were under our own roof, will forever retain a more intimiate relation to us than any other slave. All our confidential, personal, and household servants will be negroes, having a few Yankees under each of them to perform the more menial tasks.
With regard to the Russian Empire, destined to absorb all the world not embraced within the limits of the Virginia Republic, we cannot enlarge. It is apparent that the Turk, the Persian, the Tartar, the Hindoo, the Malay, the Chinese, and Japanese can subsist only under an Imperial Government. Their organism, their instincts, their whole history, prove this. The Russian is fit to rule them with a sway at once more intelligent, more humane, and firmer, than any they have ever enjoyed. Under him, they will continue to make toys and lacquer-ware; to raise tea, rice, and opium; to worship idols and commit suicide, with a felicity of uninterruption of which they have long since ceased even to dream.
So much of Africa as is habitable, will belong to the Empire. The interior, through all time, will remain the nursery of domesticable savages, whose natural strength and unpolluted blood will constitute a perpetual reservoir from which we shall derive living streams to refresh and invigorate the effete working classes.
Between the world's Republic and its Empire, there will, of course, be many and sometimes serious collisions, but none more serious or alarming than those disorders which not unfrequently occur in the healthy human system, arising from a want of balance between the digestive or vegetative and the vital or muscular systems. But on this point, so fruitful of pleasing speculations, we cannot dwell. Our purpose was merely to foreshadow the inevitable destiny of the world and to predict a time when the great body politic shall be strictly conformed to its type, the human body.
The Virginian of that happy day, having his African valet, his British butler, his French cook, his Spanish butcher and cigar-maker, his Italian singer, German teacher and German band, his Jewish steward and accountant, and under these a miscellaneous herd of Yankee machinists, Yankee editors and lawyers, and labourers of all nations performing their appointed tasks, will realize a practical Republic which neither Plato nor Sir Thomas More, nor any ancient or modern, social or political Theorist ever conjectured. How all-important it is, therefore, taht we should at once re-open the slave trade, that each and every Virginian and Southerner should immediately commence to practise the arts of that mastership to which himself and his descendants seem divinely appointed.
[From the Southern Literary Messenger
, September 1859, 207-9.]