For some reason, intelligent men of good will seem always to get shuffled off to the cloakroom, while the hotheads have their way. It seems reasonable that the sudden demise of slavery, as opposed to a gradual evolutionary change, accelerated the descendants of slaves into the mainstream, a painful process that still continues to this day, exacerbated by government meddling. Without revolutionary change, human nature being what it is, these changes would be much slower in coming--if at all. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.) Just because new farm machinery may have obsoleted the need for field slaves, what's to stop them from being channeled into other "necessary" occupations benefiting from cheap labor? Or should we assume that some kind of "great awakening" would have occurred within the economic power structure to drive the abolition (there's that word) of a key economic engine, or "cash cow," that directly impacted its wealth and position? Perhaps we would have seen a Wilberforcean drama play out here. But would it have emanated from within or without? And when?