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government and flag of their own, in some tropical region of our own continent," in other words, he admitted, unconsciously perhaps, that after a life of two centuries in the boundaries of the United States, the negroes had no essential right to remain in the new country. But the majority of the famous circle of writers, poets, philosophers of the forties, (the golden era of American literature,) men like Henry Ward Beecher, William Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, and many, many others stood for the equality of races.
All these manifestations of youthful enthusiasm and brotherly love are very interesting, and significant as far as they go. Yet too much importance should not be ascribed to the words and deeds of this small body of men. Their services to civilization and humanity should not be minimized; but they were the exceptional, not the typical representatives of their times and conditions. They were powerfully and eloquently expressing the ethical side of that demand for abolition of slavery, which undoubtedly had a material basis as well. Even in that demand for abolition the North did not too readily follow these leaders and even in the north the abolitionists did not receive too kind a treatment.
Garrison of Boston was subjected to the severest persecutions, Lovejoy was brutally killed by a mob in Illinois, for no greater crime than that he dared to express himself in favor of abolition. And when the historical meeting was taking place in Faneuil Hall for the purpose of protesting against the killing of Lovejoy, the majority of the speakers actually defended the mob for its deed, and it took the brilliant oratory of a Wendell Phillips to sway the audience in the opposite direction. This happened in 1837; but as late as 1853, Phillips stated, that whenever the question of slavery was touched on "The Press says 'It is all right,' and the pulpit cries'Amen'."
It is evident, that when such was the attitude towards slavery, it would be useless to look for any tendency for recognition of the equality of the negro's position in social life. It is necessary to emphasize this attitude of the north towards the negro, for these historical facts are of great assistance in the effort to understand many conditions of the present time which would seem truly monstrous, were we to imagine, as do many even of those who write on the negro problem, that only thirty or forty years ago the negro did enjoy the full civil and political rights on a basis of equality with the white man.
With all that, the legal position of the free negro was unmeasurably better in the north than in the south, the main difference being that in the north the negro was given a
chance to get an education. The schools were open to the negro no less than to the white child, and though during the period we are dealing with at present, the majority of the northern states insisted upon a separation of the races in schools, nevertheless that was much better, than the general illiteracy, in which even the free negroes of the south were anxiously kept by their masters.
Southern writers then as now, were anxious to prove not only that the free negroes were worse off in the North than in the south, but that they were also worse negroes. Even the German investigator Von Halle yielded to this view, in stating that the successes of the negro in liberty did not give much hope that they might improve much with the abolition of slavery. Nevertheless, if one was to judge of the capacities of the negroes, a few examples were as strong evidence, as many. And the facts were that in the north, many negroes were working in various trades, owned farms, stores and so forth, that there were negroes with property to the amount of $500, $1000 and even $10,000, and what was much more important, the negroes of the north, began to produce great men, such as Phyllis Bentley, and the famous Frederick Douglas. It is very essential to remember, that on the eve of the Civil war the negroes were not any more the uniform mass, as they seemed to the fanatical defenders of the slavery system.
Out of that uniform mass, there began to develop the usual distinctions, between the rich and the poor, the industrious and the lazy, the virtuous and the vicious, educated and ignorant, talented and stupid individuals.
Until now, I have spoken mainly of the external changes in the conditions of the negro population of the States. In conclusion of this brief study of the psychology of slavery of America, it will be useful to indicate those more far reaching changes which the two and a half centuries of life in America have brought about in the psychology of the negro. For this purpose the recent work of a young southern scientist, J. A. Tillinghast, is of much use and of great interest. The work has been conceived in quite a novel way: for an effort is made in it to compare the psychology of the Negro as he is in Africa, as he was in slavery, and as he is now in America. The author is not only a southerner, but a son of an ex-slave owner, and therefore he is not to be suspected of idealizing the negro. Being a southerner and, in addition a faithful follower of the modern American school of sociology, he considers heredity to be a much stronger factor than the social millieu. But notwithstanding this point of view, and notwithstanding the certain fact that until the very eve of the civil war a fresh
stream of African immigration greatly interfered with the action of American conditions upon the development of the negro in the new world, this investigator was forced to acknowledge a tremendous process of development and progress of the race during the 250 years. It is not necessary to enter here into an extensive criticism of his theory of the selection of the strongest and best during the capture of slaves in the African deserts. The fact is admitted that the interbreeding of the various African races in America, as well as the infusion of considerable quantities of white blood, produced a type of an American negro, who may be physically weaker but is mentally much stronger than the negro of Africa. In the United States the negroes were forced to lead a much more regular life, observe elementary rules of cleanliness, were getting used to services of medicine. The slaves were aquiring the habit of regular work, learned many forms of skilled labor, were instructed in the use of many tools, previously unfamiliar to them. A growing number of them was entering various branches of industrial labor. and often entire plantations, households and shops were entrusted to individual slaves. All this required a greater amount of intelligence than the south collectively was willing to concede to the Negro. While the influence of christianity was not as great as it might have been, nevertheless a material change. took place in the religious views and customs of the negroes; many of the heathenish practices and superstitions had vanished and in their place there appeared simple but sincere ethical principles. In addition, many new social sentiments. began to develop. In short, the negro was showing a strong capacity in moral, intellectual and social growth; all of which the south solemnly declared to be impossible, for this impossibility of spiritual growth was the stock argument in the defense of the justice of slavery as a permanent institution. I. M. ROBBINS.
(To be continued.)
The Work of the Convention. The national convention of the Socialist Party of America, which assembles May 10 at Brand's Hall, Chicago, will have plenty of work before it. And it will be important work, though not so important perhaps as some of us imagine. For no matter how wisely or how unwisely the convention may act, methods of production will go on evolving, and the changed methods will modify people's ideas and their politics. The one thing that our convention can help decide is whether the Socialist Party is to grow into what the working class needs,or disappear to make room for something better. We are confident that the delegates will take a clear, comprehensive view of the complex situation, and act accordingly. The platform we need is one that voices the thought of the revolutionary wage-workers in the great industries. It is true that these wage-workers are as yet a minority of the voting population; it may even be true that only a minority of the Socialist Party are made up of them. All the same, it is to them that the future belongs. Forces stronger than any man or set of men are recruiting the numbers and clarifying the ideas of these wage-workers. They constitute a compact group with a definite aim, the ownership and control of the tools they use but do not own. Their aim is scientific, -it is in line with social evolution. The logical place for small property owners who hope to maintain themselves as property owners is with Watson, Hearst or Bryan. Let them try to move evolution backward if they like. They can only fail, and when they have tried to their hearts' content, they will be ready for a workingclass programme. The small property owners and the socalled brain workers who understand social evolution are as ready for an uncompromising platform as are the wage-workers. We trust that the American socialist platform of 1908 will be the rallying point for the great revolutionary movement that in some shape is bound to come. The Party Constitution. All the various plans for altering the party constitution that have been proposed during the last two years have been referred to a special committee consisting of James Oneal of New York, Winfield R. Gaylord of Wisconsin, and Charles H.
Kerr of Illinois. Their report, which is to be submitted to the convention for action, will embody no very radical changes. Perhaps the most important of those likely to be recommended is a reform in the method of electing members of the National Executive Commitee, referred to in this department of the Review for February. It is now proposed to place no name on the official ballot unless endorsed by ten locals, a change which, it is hoped, may prevent the scattering of a large part of the votes among candidates who have no chance of election. It is also proposed to establish definite rules for dealing with an alleged violation of the national constitution by a state organization, providing that a state charter may only be recalled by a majority vote of all qualified members of the National Committee, and that from their decision an appeal may be taken to a referendum vote of the party. A provision is also suggested for requiring a number of seconds before a vote of the entire National Committee is taken by correspondence, and for requiring a majority vote of all qualified members before a National Committee motion becomes effective. With these amendments the constitution should fit the needs of the party for some time to come.
The Anarchist Bugaboo. On the foundation of a few trifling incidents, which incidents can readily be interpreted in more than one way, the police departments of the principal American cities have assumed the existence of a gigantic Anarchist plot against the lives of the ruling class or their public servants. On this pretext they have undertaken to suppress any public speaking of a revolutionary sort. In so doing they are clearly violating the constitution they are legally bound to maintain. We are glad to see that Socialists are everywhere protesting energetically against this course. At the proper time we have plenty of arguments of our own against the Anarchists. In their philosophy they stand with the defenders of capitalism or with middle-class reformers against the Marxian theories which explain how society is really evolving. In their tactics, they play into the hands of the ruling class by diverting the attention of some few working people from political action. But when their right to free speech in questioned, we must recognize that their fight is our fight. Indeed, we as a party have more to lose than the anarchists from the success of the police in assuming the right to judge what shall and what shall not be said in pubilc. Our argument is that because free speech and free voting are allowed, the sane way to work for the social revolution is by public propaganda and the ballot-box. But if free speech is once suppressed, our argument falls to the ground, and we shall have no effective answer for those who claim that the working class must use brute strength against the brute strength that holds it down. On the other hand, in our fight for free speech we have powerful allies,—not only what is left of the middle class, as represented by Louis Post's weekly The Public, but