Rebuttal of Tony Red’s The Confederate Statue on the Square:
Date: March 30, 2007
Mr Red your grasp of the critical issues regarding slavery and especially secession is woefully lacking.
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, two major factions were vying for power in the country – Jeffersonian agrarians and Hamilton’s mercantilists. The Jeffersonians wanted accountable government and personal responsibility in which the central government was limited, checked and balanced; the Hamiltonians favored empire building which required a powerful, centralized state controlled by an elite few (e.g. present day neocons).
By 1860 these issues had a multitude of layers and attitudes which erupted when an avowed mercantilist, Lincoln, was elected President.
The secession of the Southern states would mean duty free ports to which Europe’s ships could sail, cutting off funding for the north’s infrastructure and factories. At this time, the South provided a grossly disproportionate percentage of Federal revenue with the proceeds going mainly to northern projects.
As you should know, the north built and outfitted the ships on which the slaves were transported and made obscene profits off their human cargo (you failed to mention this sin).
As to the north’s "noble" fight for human rights, 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 IL’s codes (circa 1857) as well as being a supporter of the "first" 13th Amendment which guaranteed perpetual slavery (General Grant didn’t free his slaves until forced to by the 2nd 13th Amendment stating as his reason, "good help is hard to find").
2. Why did Lincoln prosecute a policy of mass genocide against the Plains Indians? Lincoln personally authorized the execution of 40 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 north vs. South.
Nothing about that war was about rights for blacks. 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 aggression been avoided, would have been among the voices phasing out that archaic economic system, thereby saving some 620,000 lives (I suspect you didn’t know that the Davis family adopted a 5-year old black boy during the war).
Meanwhile Lincoln & business interests were creating wage slaves among the urban poor. These workers were worse off than the majority of the blacks in the south. Research has shown that slaves were better fed and had more spacious living quarters than northern factory workers at the time. According to the testimonies of 2,300 former slaves ("Slave Narratives" circa 1930) 86% had positive comments about their masters.
Slavery is WRONG… PERIOD but your misrepresentation of the facts is too. The South did not fight to preserve slavery; they fought to secure for themselves the original intent of the Constitution – 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 during Sherman’s "total war" in his march to the sea?
You hate slavery… I hate murder, rape and pillage.
As for your argument that secession was a form of treason… poppycock. If the supreme law of this land is the U.S. Constitution and its touchstone is the Declaration of Independence, then the South had every right (and duty) to throw off a government operating outside that document.
It was the mercantilist factions in the north, led by bankers and manufacturers who had access to illiterate and poor white immigrants for cheap, servile labor, who pushed for war against the South. I submit to you that the traitors to the Constitution were to be found in the north. If the South were traitors trying to ‘destroy the union’ then we need to rejoin Great Britain and should not cheer the independence of Eastern Europe and Taiwan should rejoin Communist China.
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 his reasons for invading Iraq, don’t be so sure that what you "learned" about the War Between the States has any more merit.
If you are so unhappy with our South, Mr Red, I for one would applaud your departure.