Re: Slavery and the Confederacy: Who is the revisionist?
This man must be responded to by a “gonzamacher” from our side, not just an ordinary individual – even a well educated one. Dr. Clyde Wilson, Dr. Tom DiLorenzo, Mr. Thomas Moore and a host of other well known Southern apologists are certainly more than able to refute him. I suggest DiLorenzo for anything on Lincoln – and especially anything to do with God telling Lincoln anything – and the others to point out that the term slavery often indicated the location of the state rather than any really desperate need to vindicate the institution. Virginia came within three votes of outlawing slavery at least once.
Ordinary folks aren’t going to get a response even if they are “spot on” in their points, but some academic and historic credentials might at least get a reading and this is too important to let it pass by.
Slavery and the Confederacy: Who is the revisionist?
David Barton http://www.wallbuilders.com/SCHbioDB.asp, a repeat visitor on Glenn Beck’s TV show, wrote the piece found at the following link: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=92. Therein, Barton
makes the claim that "the South’s desire to preserve slavery was indisputably the driving reason for the formation of the Confederacy." He cites "four notable categories of Confederate records" as "proof."
I’d love for someone knowledgeable to refute Barton, particularly since he appears to have standing in some prestigious circles, e.g., his name appeared briefly on Dr. Charles Stanley’s Fourth of July television program.
The aforesaid piece notwithstanding, there is another on Barton’s website, written in 2003 by Stephen McDowell, president of the Providence Foundation, a Christian educational organization, http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=120#FN40 which, near its conclusion, makes these points:
"The causes behind the war were many. Certainly slavery was a part of the cause (and for a small number of wealthy and influential Southern slave owners, it was probably primary), but slavery was not the central issue for
all people in the South. Most Southerners did not own slaves and most of those who did had only a small number.
"States rights and perceived unconstitutional taxes were also motivations for secession. There were many abolitionists in the North, both Christian and non-Christian, who pushed for the war, seeing it as a means to end slavery. Though slavery was not initially the reason Lincoln sent troops into the South, he did come to believe that God wanted him to emancipate the slaves."
Albert Bushnell Hart, The American Nation: A History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906), vol. 16, Slavery and Abolition, 1831-1841,, pp. 67 ff. Hart records that in 1860 only about 5% of the white population made a
substantial profit of slave-keeping (a direct profit; many others benefited from the commerce associated with slavery). About 2% of this number (0.1% of the total white population) were large plantation owners who exerted much political influence. Some people have pointed out that only 3% of Southerners owned slaves. While this is technically true in some measure, it is misleading. The 3% reflects ownership by the head of the household and
does not include all its inhabitants. Taking this into account, at the time of the Civil War about 19% of the population lived in households with slaves; and this was 19% of total population which included a large number
of slaves. When you consider that in 6 Southern states (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina), there were almost as many or more slaves than whites, this 19% figure actually represents 35%-45% of the white population (in those states) having a direct relation to a home that had slaves.