Walter Hines Page.

The rebuilding of old commonwealths, being essays toward the training of the forgotten man in the southern states; online

. (page 6 of 6)
Online LibraryWalter Hines PageThe rebuilding of old commonwealths, being essays toward the training of the forgotten man in the southern states; → online text (page 6 of 6)
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schools and slavery, as well as most
other human institutions, are the re-
sults of economic forces; but, if the
masses of the Southern population had



152 THE REBUILDING OF

been educated, or trained to work, (and
such training is education) a stronger
economic impetus might have been
given to diversified pursuits than cot-
ton-culture gave to slavery, and the
whole course of our history might have
been changed. But, whatever may
have been the results of Jefferson's
educational policy if it had been worked
out in Virginia, the development of
Southern life in the next hundred
years will be determined by the success
with which it shall now be worked out.
The nature of the problem is clear.
The work will be slow and the recovery
from these last effects of slavery may
require as long a time as it required to
abolish slavery; but of the ultimate
result no man who can distinguish
dominant from incidental forces can
have a doubt.

The Southern people were deflected



OLD COMMONWEALTHS 153

from their natural development. They
are the purest American stock we have.
They are naturally as capable as any
part of our population. They are now
slowly but surely working out their
own destiny; and that destiny is a
democratic order of society which will
be an important contribution to the
Republic that their ancestors took so
large a part in establishing. Rich un-
developed resources of American life lie
in these great rural stretches that are
yet almost unknown. The foremost
patriotic duty of our time is to hasten
their development.

The End



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Online LibraryWalter Hines PageThe rebuilding of old commonwealths, being essays toward the training of the forgotten man in the southern states; → online text (page 6 of 6)