The decade of the 1850’s further convinced Emerson that,rnif unchecked, the South’s “slaveocracy” would render NewrnEngland impotent in American politics. Many of his fellowrnNortherners were lured into sympathizing with the South, hernthought, by “the ascendancy of Southern manners.” Alarmedrnat the prospects of Southern political dominance, Emerson discardedrnwhatever objectivity he once may have had and increasedrnthe fury of his attacks on the region and its inhabitants.rnHe called upon his fellow Abolitionists to help foster a climaternin New England that would produce future Negro leaders inrnthe mold of Toussaint, Douglass, Nat Turner, and DenmarkrnVesey. Such men, he believed, if unleashed on the villainousrnSouth, would bring more positive results than all the whiternantislavery societies then in existence.rnBut not all Northern men were of the same cut as Garrison,rnPhillips, Whittier, Lowell, and Emerson. For instance, OliverrnWendell Holmes, though he opposed Southern slavery in principle,rnrefused to demonize the Southern people as “racists.”rnHolmes feared that if the South’s social system should bernforcibly dismantled by radical Abolitionists, the egalitarianrnforces unleashed would eventually work to undermine thernsuperior position of the New England Brahmins in their ownrnregion.rnLike Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne viewed the emotionallyrncharged, anti-South rhetoric of the Abolitionists as harmful tornthe nation’s social and political stability. Aware of the unbridgeablerncultural gap between the regions, Hawthorne advisedrna constitutional approach to the problem of slavery. Hernwas indeed horrified to hear Emerson proclaim shortly after thernexecution of John Brown that “the death of this blood-stainedrnfanatic has made the Gallows as venerable as the Cross!”rnHawthorne jomed most Southerners in thinking that Brownrnhad received justice at the hangman’s noose.rnThe literati of New York City also kept their distance fromrnthe rabid abolitionism of New England. Business and marriagernalliances between New Yorkers and Southerners served to softenrnthe former’s perceptions of the latter. Herman Melville,rnWilliam Cullen Bryant, and Walt Whitman, though surely nornlovers of the South or slavery, all refused to engage in the generalrndemonization of the region and its people. As Floan pointsrnout, “one must find in New York a body of opinion which objectedrnto slavery without cursing the slaveholding South.”rnBut when one looks closely at the demonization of antebellumrnDixie, it is clear that New England, and particularlyrnBoston, lay at the heart of the movement. Boston in the mid-rn19th century was the center of a Unitarian-Universalist revoltrnagainst traditional Christianity in which sinful mankind wasrntransformed into a creature of innate goodness and light. Ifrnmankind was inherently good, then all social problems were externalrnones that could be eradicated by one sort of reform or another.rnPerhaps even the Southern slavedriver could be redeemedrnif only he could be made over in the image of thernsturdy, democratic New Englander and his cousin in the Midwestrnwho knew the proper interpretation of the Declaration ofrnIndependence. To these abstract idealists, the South seemedrnwoefully out of step with the idea that “all men are createdrnequal.” While New Englanders called down the wrath ofrnGod’s “terrible swift sword” against the South, Western men inrnOhio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, writes historian A.O.rnCraven, “had a way of viewing evil as something there ought tornbe a law against.” This combination of sanctimony and the appealrnto laws that surely would be enacted by Randolph ofrnRoanoke’s “King Numbers,” served to coalesce the disparaternelements of the white South and gird them for the impendingrnconflict. rhe war waged from 1861 to 1865 was precipitated in nornsmall part by the Abolitionists who had for 30 years fannedrnthe flames of hatred against the South. When the fightingrnbroke out in April 1861, they all rejoiced, some at finally beingrnrid of the South and others at the opportunity to destroy her.rnOne of their own, Julia Ward Howe, while in Washington duringrnthe eariy days of the war, penned the lyrics to what becamernthe Unitarian-Abolitionist anthem—”The Battle Hymn of thernRepublic.” Her words hailed the advent of a holy war against anrnevil South and equated the crucifixion of Christ with the presentrncrusade against slavery. The South Carolina Presbyterianrndivine. Reverend James Henley Thornwell, well understood thernnature of the “irrepressible conflict” waged against his homeland.rnHe wrote: “The parties in this conflict are not merelyrnAbolitionists and slaveholders, they are Atheists, Socialists,rnCommunists, Red Republicans, Jacobins on the one side andrnthe friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In onernvv’ord, the world is the battleground, Christianity and Atheismrnthe combatants, and the progress of humanity the stake.”rnFour years of Jacobin-inspired warfare devastated the South.rnIn addition to some 450,000 Confederate soldiers killed andrnv/ounded, the region’s civilian population suffered horrendously,rnespecially during the final campaigns of the conflict. Thernlast months of the Confederacy were filled with arson, robbery,rnrape, and murder, crimes perpetrated more often than not withrnthe approval of Union military officers and civilian officials.rnMuch of the destruction was pure vandalism directed againstrndefenseless women and children and represented a deliberaternpolicy to strike terror in the hearts of the Southern people.rnWhat General William T. Sherman called the “holiest fightrnever fought on God’s earth” made little distinction betweenrnblack and white. A reporter for the New York Herald, who witnessedrnthe sack of Columbia, South Carolina, in 1865, notedrnthat “Negro women were for the most part victims of thern[Union] soldiers’ lust. A number of them were woefully mistreatedrnand ravished.”rnIn the wake of this carnage. Northern business interests beganrna systematic and wholesale economic plundering of thernSouth that would continue through Reconstruction. Oppressiverntaxes were levied on cotton, and in just three years (1865-rn68) over $70 million was expropriated from the Southern economy.rnAs late as 1880 the value of Southern agricultural landsrnwas only two-thirds of what it had been in 1860. Gross farm incomerndid not rise above 1859 levels until the early 1880’s,rnthough the South’s population rose nearly 50 percent duringrnthat period. In the decades following the war, the South becamernan economic colony at the mercy of Northeastern plutocratsrnwho exacted enormous sums of capital through usuriousrninterest rates, stole lands and resources through tax foreclosures,rnand rigged local elections at the point of a bayonet.rnFamine and pestilence stalked the land, and it was common tornsec homeless widows and orphans begging bread from door torndoor and once-proud veterans reduced to destitution. Indeed,rnWendell Phillips summed up the situation well when he remarkedrnafter the war: “This [the North’s victory] is the new dispensation.rnThis is the New Testament. 1860 is the blank leafrnbetween the old and the new. . . . We have conquered not therngeographical but the ideal South . . . and we have a right torn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn