Secession Era Editorials Project

Parties -- will they be Sectional?

Milledgeville, Georgia, Federal Union [Democratic]

(28 March 1854)

Every day it becomes more and more manifest that the South will be forced to act as a unit when the issue shall be made up on her constitutional right to enter and enjoy the territories of this Union, acquired or hereafter to be acquired, upon an equal footing with the people of the nonslaveholding States. This issue will be made in a few years. The determination of the wild and rabid politicians of the North to deny this right, and on the other hand, the settled declared purpose of the South to assert and maintain it, must inevitably change the aspect of Parties as they have hitherto existed in this Union. Throughout the North, the Whigs and free-soil Democrats will coalesce. A large portion, indeed, of the body of the Democratic Party at the North will stand firm to the creed they have heretofore held -- they will join with the South in the struggle for Constitutional right. In a number of Northern or North Western States, the Democratic Party will triumph over every coalition. -- With a united South, a national man can be elected President against the combined forces of Whigs, Free-soilers and abolitionists. Let then every effort of Southern men be directed to harmonising for a common alliance against a common enemy. Whatever divisions exist, or are likely to arise, in the political affairs of our own State, we should never be so far removed but that one blast from the bugle of Patriotism, might be the signal for the rallying of every true Southron to the Banner of the Constitution and the rights of the States. We do not wish to arouse the South by ringing in her ears the notes of preparation for battle. Far from it. We desire merely to express our gratification that the Southern people are now united, and our sincere desire to see that union perpetuated. We do not apprehend any danger of the creation of sectional Parties. We have too much confidence in the magnanimity, good sense and prudence of many Northern Democratic Statesmen, to despair of National Parties at this time. But if a strict adherence to the Constitution, and the bare assertion of the plainest guarantees of that instrument shall tend to the division of Parties according to a Geographical line, the Southern people must bear an unbroken phalanx in the future political struggles in the Union, or the constitution will become a rope of sand, or as clay in the hands of the potter, that may be fashioned to the wildest caprice.

We look to the National Democrats, as the hope of the Republic. If they are steadfast the storm will leave no wrecks in its pathway. If they are true to the Constitution, their God and their country sectional parties will not arise. If they are faithful in future as in the past, no Abolition or Free Soil Whig or Democrat can ever hold the reins of the Government in his hands.

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