ry was a primary cause of the decline and fall of Rome. In the American controversy, therefore, the lesson to be drawn from Roman experience was utilized to support the cause of free labor.
After the Middle Ages, in which slavery under the modified form of feudalism ran its course, there was a reversion to the ancient classical controversy. The issue became clearly defined in the hands of the English and French philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In place of the time-honored doctrine that the masses of mankind are by nature subject to the few who are born to rule, the contradictory dogma that all men are by nature free and equal was clearly enunciated. According to this later view, it is of the very nature of spirit, or personality, to be free. All men are endowed with personal qualities of will and choice and a conscious sense of right and wrong. To subject these native faculties to an alien force is to make war upon human nature. Slavery and despotism are, therefore, in their na
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