Ignorance on the issue of the war
I can’t remember ever going even one week without seeing some negative stereotype of southern people on television. I think it’s the northerners who can’t get over the War for Southern Independence. They still feel the need to persecute and ridicule us after nearly 140 years.
I don’t blame people for their ignorance on the issue of the war. Most public school children (even in the south) are indoctrinated with revisionist northern history. Here are the facts:
Abraham Lincoln’s corrupt government was taking advantage of the south economically. It was well known that Lincoln was a Henry Clay protege and a whig who believed in and supported protectionist tariffs and corporate welfare for the railroads. His entire reason for the invasion of the south was economic and not based on any morality (something which he was notorious for lacking). In fact, Lincoln’s own words were that "if I could save the union without freeing a single slave, I would do so". He was also a racist – check out the Lincoln-Douglass debates.
And as far as the south not respecting the fugitive slave laws (as stated in an earlier post), what about Massachusettes? They nearly seceded over the whole thing because they didn’t want to cooperate with it. Furthermore, remember where the slave trade began – New England – not the south. The stars and stripes was the flag that flew over those slave ships, not the confederate flag. In fact, the Confederate Constitution outlawed the importation of slaves into the southern states.
But back to Mr. Lincoln and his plans for the south. He basically was robbing the cotton states of their wealth and transferring it to the north with tariffs on cotton. That money was all being spent in northern states and making the northern industrial complex more powerful and wealthy. The south knew they were being taken advantage of. When the south decided to secede because of economic as well as cultural differences, Lincoln realized that it would cause a loss of revenue to the federal government. That’s when he decided to invade. At first Lincoln had trouble raising support for his position among the northern states – until they realized that it would affect them economically if they didn’t have the transplanted wealth from the south that they had become accustomed to. Believe me, there were very few that agreed with the abolitionists, so most didn’t care much about the plight of the enslaved black man. Their only concern was having to make up for the loss of revenue when the south left the union. All wars are about money, no matter what anyone says.
The fact is, with the invention of new mechanical harvesting equipment, slaves were increasingly becoming more of a financial liability than a commodity. Several had already been freed before secession even began. No southerners were under the illusion that it wasn’t on its way out. Besides, most southerners didn’t even own slaves – only the wealthiest among them could afford to. Anywhere from 70 to 80% of the Confederate Army was made up of men who owned no slaves. So does anyone think these poor dirt farmers would die for a rich man’s right to own slaves? It’s simply not a valid argument.
The evidence supports the argument that the south was fighting for independence, plain and simple. They saw the way the Lincoln administration had trampled the Constitution of their founders. You know, southerners like Washington and Jefferson….founders.
Lincoln trampled the Constitution in many ways. He had no constitutional authority to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus, but he did it anyway, imprisoning hundreds of northern newspaper editors and others who spoke out against his invasion of the south. His protectionist tariffs were unconstitutional, his interference with states rights was a violation of the constitution, his federalization of the railroads was a violation of the constitution. There’s a long list. No president has ever done more to destroy our constitutional republic than Abraham Lincoln (the northern god of morality) did. He was a despot, plain and simple….a dictator who declared war without the consent of Congress. He had no love for the liberty our founders fought to preserve. Yet he is idealized by many historians and his portrait hangs in nearly every elementary school classroom.
So the north invaded the south and killed civilians along with soldiers. They robbed, raped, burned cities and destroyed personal property (especially Sherman’s troops). And it was all because the southern states exercised their constitutional right to secede from the voluntary union. A right that is backed up by the writings of Jefferson, and by Madison in the Federalist Papers. The south wanted no war, but Lincoln and his out-of-control federal government wouldn’t allow them to leave, and forced them back at the barrel of a gun. In "preserving the union" Lincoln only destroyed it because a union is by definition a voluntary alliance of soverign states. Before the War for Southern Independence, the United States was used as a plural, not a singular as it is now.
Because of Lincoln’s nasty little war, we now have a federal tax on personal earnings (unconstitutional); we have corporate welfare out of control; we have a no check on federal power by the states; no check on executive power; an activist supreme court where conservative, southern appointees are routinely discriminated against by Congress; federal control of thousands of acres of land within our states (unconstitutional). The socialist agenda we now see succeeding in America has its roots in the victory of the north over the south.
People don’t realize the significance of what was lost in that war. Our constitutional republic was lost, and may never be regained.
As far as slaves are concerned; There were many southerners who didn’t believe in slavery. Genereal Robert E. Lee didn’t own any slaves, even though he was wealthy. On the other hand General Ulysses S. Grant still owned slaves even as he was fighting against the south. True enough the flaw of the founders was to allow slavery to continue in our republic. However, the institution of slavery was dying of natural causes. By the time of the war, there were black land owners in the south who even owned slaves themselves. More blacks were becoming educated all the time. The relationship between blacks and whites in the south was (and still is) largly misunderstood by northerners. These were not adversarial relationships. They were often friendships. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States even had an adopted black son whom the entire family adored. He was taken away to the north when Davis was imprisoned after the war, and they were heartbroken because they were never able to find him.
Family histories all throughout the south have letters from former slaves who addressed them in a friendly manner – like family. There was no rush among most former slaves to go to the north after the war – most wanted to remain in the south. Especially since racist northerners in states like Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania passed laws against blacks migrating into them. Southern states never did that. I think the racism found in the south during the earlier part of the twentieth century was mainly the product of northerners who came here and brought their prejudices with them, and contrary to popular belief, racism wasn’t unique to the south. Didn’t all the race riots of the last century occur outside of the south? Our people loved our black, southern friends. They lived and worked among them every day. Northerners didn’t understand that. That’s why they were surprised to see blacks fighting for the south, even free ones. That’s a fact. It’s recorded by the federal government in a book called "Official Record of the War of Rebellion" which can be found in the library of congress. The book was compiled by the government about fifty years after the war. There are quotes from former slaves that confirm that they believed in the southern cause as well. There is even record of one slave who was captured along with his master by Yankee troops. In order to be released, they had to sign an oath to the union. The master signed, but the slave refused – on principle. He obviously understood what the war was about and what was at stake for the future of his decendants. There are blacks today who realize this as well. Check out a website called "Issues and Views", a publication by and for blacks. There are articles on the site on the unfairness toward the south.
The south’s loss was devastating to the concept of liberty. It established that there is actually no limit on federal power over the people. That’s why they can now routinely rob their own people by confiscating 30% of our earnings before we even get our paychecks. George Washington once said that "government is not eloquence. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master". Americans, like sheep, have just become conditioned to accept and trust the government. That’s a mistake the founders and my southern ancestors would’ve never made.
So all you people who posted before me who are so surprised about feelings still running so deep in this part of the country, take a second look. The south wasn’t the only loser in this war, you’re just too blind and simple to realize it.