Dear Ms Thompsett
Your grasp of the critical issues regarding slavery and secession is woefully lacking. Such a simplistic view suggests the acumen of a middle school student, not a PhD recipient.
Please revisit (or visit for the first time) the differing agendas of the urban north vs the agrarian south.
As early as the beginnings of the Republic itself, two major factions were vying for power in the country – Jeffersonian agrarians and Hamilton’s mercantilists. One wanted accountable government and personal responsibility in which the central government was limited, checked and balanced; the other favored empire building which required a powerful, centralized state controlled by an elite few.
By 1860 these issues had a multitude of layers and attitudes which erupted when an avowed mercantilist, Lincoln, was elected President. The deal was sealed when William A Seward of New York assumed the role of Secretary of State. You may recall Seward had tried to engineer an ‘incident’ in the north as a ruse to annex Canada. He did the same after the War Between the States when he tried to sue Great Britain for helping the CSA and wanted Canada ceded to the US in return. Seward famously told a British ambassador that he was in charge of the government and that Lincoln was a mere figurehead, much like Queen Victoria.
The secession of the Southern states meant the prospect of free ports to which Europe’s ships would sail, leaving the Union without funding for their infrastructure and factories. At this time, the South provided most of the revenue with the proceeds going mainly to northern projects.
This recalls how Athens taxed the Delian league heavily, used the money to beautify Athens and brought about the Peloponnesian war.
Slavery, which had benefited both regions to some degree, could have been abolished as it was in Britain – by law, with some compensation going to slave holders so they could transition from one system to another.
By the way, the north came out ahead on the matter, since it built and outfitted the ships on which slaves were transported and made money off the transactions, but didn’t have to care for the human cargo at all. Think of the yankee slave traders as 18th and 19th century used car dealers!
For the South, the government instituted among men (and for which many
Southern lives were lost) no longer secured the blessings of liberty. Northern business interests profited from the slave trade, and sold their slaves either to the South or to Caribbean masters when that institution no longer benefited them. Initially opposed to Lincoln’s threats of invasion and war, they supported it once they ‘crunched the numbers’. Even Charles Dickens saw through the charade, as did Karl Marx (who championed Lincoln, by the way. I’m sure that further brightens Lincoln’s halo in your estimation).
As to the noble north’s fight for the rights of black slaves, ask yourself these questions:
1. Why were blacks prohibited from living in much of the north (see 1840-1850s’ Black Codes in IL, IN, OH, PA and NY)? Note that Lincoln was signatory to one of the IL codes about 1857.
2. Why did the government under Lincoln prosecute a policy of mass genocide against the Plains Indians? Lincoln authorized the mass execution of Plains Indian leaders.
3. Why did Lincoln and many abolitionists want to send ‘freed’ blacks to either Haiti or Africa (‘anyplace but here’)? Recall deTocqueville’s observations about race relations in north and South.
4. Did the ‘free-soil’ advocates oppose the introduction of slavery or of blacks? Read those documents carefully!
Nothing about that war was about rights for blacks… propaganda at best.
Were you to read anything written by Lee, Jackson, Davis or Polk, you might be amazed to find those gentlemen opposed to institutional slavery and, had Lincoln’s insanity been stopped, would have been among the voices phasing out that archaic economic system, thereby saving some 600,000 lives and millions of dollars. However that option was not conducive to the wealth making opportunities afforded by war.
Conversely Seward, Lincoln & other business interests were creating wage slaves among the urban poor. These workers were worse off than the majority of the blacks in the south. You are familiar with the Pullman strikes of the 1880s, tenement slums and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. What were those workers if not slaves? You might want to research the Buffalo dock strikes of 1863.
Saying slavery is wrong is one thing. I agree. Gross misrepresentation of the issues is another. The South did not fight to preserve slavery; they fought on behalf of the original intent of the Constitution which called for a federal system of limited government.
The south was aggressively invaded. How many northern civilians were murdered during the war? Upwards of 50,000 Southern women, children and elderly were slaughtered. What about Sherman’s total war in his march to the sea? You hate slavery… I hate murder, rape and pillage. But your politically correct ilk always give these butchers a pass even as you castigate current US policies that merely take their cue from Mr. Lincoln’s war.
Because religious services were made available to the slaves, I am confident of the salvation of their souls and that they are in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not so confident of the final disposition of the souls of the inclusive Episcopal church. Hell, too, is inclusive.
Congratulations on regurgitating the talking points of the mercantilist/Marxist propaganda machine. Text without context is pretext. If you’ve railed against President Bush for lying about reasons for invading Iraq, don’t be so sure that what you ‘ learned ‘ about the War Between the States has any more merit.
May I suggest _When in the Course of Human Events_ by Charles Adams and visiting this website:
In the spirit of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ you might consider the other side of the contest.
But this isn’t about diversity or tolerance. Your group wants now what Seward, Lincoln et al wanted then:
Worship of the state.
By the way – you mentioned the unacceptable ‘exclusivity’ of Polk who would allow only certain white males to attend the University. How inclusive is Sewanee: The University of the South with its current $30K plus per year tuition?
San Antonio Texas