Reminding revisionists about the facts of the civil war, part 1

Fact 1# Slavery was the core cause of the American civil war.

The reason for Confederate secession has been a source of much heated debate surrounding the American civil war over the years. It seems to be obvious to any objective historian researching this matter over what that motivation really was, but to many others, there are different reasons. To put it straight, the core grievence for Confederate secession surrounded that of the institution of Slavery. While the preservation of “States rights” is the term used by many to explain the motivation for secession of the Confederate States, that “States right” in question goes right back to the institution of Slavery.

So the question then becomes, how do we know that Slavery was the core reason for Southern secession? Well let’s go back in time and ask those very same people who pushed for secession from the Union in the first place. A great place to start is with the ordinances of secession and Declaration of immediate causes from those States whom declared secession between 1860-1861:

Texas ordinances of secession on February 2nd, 1861:

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquillity and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery–the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits–a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time

South Carolina declaration of immediate causes, December 24th, 1860:

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution.

Mississippi declaration of immediate causes:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.
Note that slavery and/or slaves are mentioned first as a grievence for secession and mentioned a total of 7 times. “Non-slaveholding States” are mentioned a total of 7 times . Tariffs are mentioned a total of “0” times and “taxes” are mentioned a total of “0” times.”Black race” is mentioned once.

Georgia declaration of immediate causes, 29th January 1861

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

Alabama ordinance to dissolve the Union, 11th January 1861

Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in Convention assembled, That all powers over the Territory of said State, and over the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America, be and they are hereby withdrawn from said Government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama. And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South,

Below is a letter sent by Alabama Commissioner, Stephen Hale, directed toward the then Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin, 27th December, 1860, concerning the stance of the CSA In the civil war:

“Upon the principles then announced by Mr. Lincoln and his leading friends, we are bound to expect his administration to be conducted. Hence it is, that in high places, among the Republican party, the election of Mr. Lincoln is hailed, not simply as a change of Administration, but as the inauguration of new principles, and a new theory of Government, and even as the downfall of slavery. Therefore it is that the election of Mr. Lincoln cannot be regarded otherwise than a solemn declaration, on the part of a great majority of the Northern people, of hostility to the South, her property and her institutions — nothing less than an open declaration of war”

So what about Florida, Louisiana, Virgina, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee?

They don’t mention slavery in either of their ordinances or immediate causes? Well the fact of the matter is that not every Confederate State came up with their own declaration of immediate causes. Some Confederate States used declarations of Immediate causes and ordinances to voice out their grievences while others merely allowed their delegations to speak about those grievances among their State legislators. We can only refer to the comments and accounts of and from the governors and the southern representitives of those States at that time on how they viewed what the motivation for secession was:
Louisiana Governor Thomas Moore, 1860-1864:

“I do not think it comports with the honor and respect of Louisiana, as a slaveholding state, to live under the government of a black Republican”
Florida Governor Madison Starke Perry, 1857-1861

“A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle.”
Virginia Governor John Letcher, 1861-1865

“The Northern States must strike from their statute books their personal liberty bills, and fulfill their consitutional obligations in regard to fugitive slaves and fugitives from justice. If our slaves escape into non-slaveholding states, they must be delivered up”
North Carolina Governor John Ellis, 1859-1861

“Such, gentlemen, are the parties to the contest. The issue between them should be clearly understood, especially here at the South. I assert, and shall maintain it with the proofs, that this issue is, whether African slavery shall be abolished here in the States, where it now exists? Let us not be deceived upon this point. Men may talk about our rights in the territories, but depend upon it they are not the questions now in issue. The abolition of slavery here at home is the design of our opponents. This is the bond that cements all the anti-slavery elements in one solid column against us.”

Arkansas Governor Henry Rector, 1860-1862

“Is it to be the Union without slavery,” he asked, “or slavery without the Union?”
“In answer to your requisition for troops from Arkansas to subjugate the Southern States, I have to that none will be furnished. The demand is only adding insult to injury. The people of this commonwealth are freemen, not slaves, and will defend, to the last extremity, their honor, lives and property against Northern mendacity and usurpation.”

Tennessee Governor Isham Harris, 1857-1862 7th January, 1861

“The systematic, wanton, and long continued agitation of the slavery question, with the actual and threatened aggressions of the Northern States and a portion of their people, upon the well-defined constitutional rights of the Southern citizen; the rapid growth and increase, in all the elements of power, of a purely sectional party, whose bond of union is uncompromising hostility to the rights and institutions of the fifteen Southern States, have produced a crisis in the affairs of the country, unparalleled in the history of the past, resulting already in the withdrawal from the Confederacy of one of the sovereignties which composed it”

What about the president of the Confederate States of America?

In 1861, Jefferson Davis, prior to assuming the role of president for the future Confederacy, made a farewell speech in front of the senate chamber on the 21st of January 1861. In that speech he made it clear that the motivation for secession was based on what he viewed as an attack on Southern Social institutions. Jefferson then narrowed down that specific social institution that was under attack by stating that:

‘our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable, for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men’ (1).

Just over 4 months after making that speech, by that time as president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis again made it clear what the civil war was about and what the motivation of Southern secession was about:

‘In twelve out of the thirteen States negro slavery existed, and the right of property in slaves was protected by law. This property was recognized in the Constitution, and provision was made against its loss by the escape of the slave’ (2).

So Jefferson made his view rather clear on what the core motivation for secession was.
Accusations against Lincoln and the Republicans of an abolitionist plot.

Even prior to the civil war, southern governors and representitives accused Lincoln and the Republican party of planning to enforce a Federal ban on slavery once they assume office. They warned that if Lincoln were to win the elections (which he eventually did) secession would be the only viable option given the abolishonist sentiment in that party:

The straw that broke the Southern camel’s back was the election of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican and avowed opponent of slavery who was supported by many vocal abolitionists. Fearful that the North, which was richer, more populous, and industrial, would even more insistently impose its will against them, the Southern states felt they had no recourse but to pull away from the Union and form their own nation.

Abraham Lincoln actually went on record prior to the elections stating that the institution of slavery would be preserved under his administration, however this could not quell the secessionist sentiment:

The Southern image of Lincoln began as a mere sectional stereotype, and Southern hostility to his presidential candidacy was largely impersonal. Secession, although undertaken in response to the outcome of the election of 1860, had nothing to do with the particular qualities and qualifications of the man elected. It was the “Black Republican party” that Southerners hated and feared, whoever might happen to be the party’s official leader.;view=fulltext
What do the Historians have to say?

The vast majority of historians agree that slavery was the core grievence for Southern secession. In 2011 on a panel discussion held by PBS with three Civil War historians, Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, Edna Medford from Howard University and professor Walter Edgar at the University of South Carolina, all three agreed that the civil war was sparked over the issue of Slavery (3).

‘historians are pretty united on the cause of the Civil War being slavery.

And the kind of research that historians have undertaken, especially in the years since the centennial, when there has been so much interest in this question of the role of race and slavery in the United States, that research has shown pretty decisively that, when the various states announced their plans for secession, they uniformly said that the main motivating factor was to defend slavery’

Ralph Mann is an associate professor of history at the University of Colorado:

“The war was about slavery,” Mann says.

Princeton professor James McPherson:

‘Everything stemmed from the slavery issue,’

David Blight of Yale:

‘No matter what we do or the overwhelming consensus among historians, out in the public mind, there is still this need to deny that slavery was the cause of the war.’,9171,2063869,00.html#ixzz2Ga5q2avc

So what can we conclude from all the evidence piled up above?

1. That slavery is clearly made the core grievence in the immediate causes of ordinances of secession.
2. That Southern Governors went on record both before and after the 1860 elections, citing slavery, and a fear of a black Republican party, as the core reason for secession. CSA president Andrew Jackson made slavery the key motivation as well.
3. That warnings were made of secession if Lincoln won the 1860 general elections due to his abolitionist support.
4. That the vast majority of historians have concluded that the cause of the American civil war was about the institution of slavery.

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23 Responses to Reminding revisionists about the facts of the civil war, part 1

  1. Bullseye5490 says:

    Outstanding work!!! I live in Jacksonville, FL. There is a controversy here over the naming of a school after Nathan B. Forrest-a confederate general and one of the founders of the KKK. How people can engage in such historical, factual and logical contortionism in explaining away the root causes of the civil war is beyond me.

  2. MCPants says:

    The cause of the war was secession, not slavery. If you want to say slavery was a part of the cause for secession you may, however it was bigger than that. After all slavery was legal in New York City until the decade before the war. U.S. Grant was a slave owner until forced to free them under the 13th Amendment. Even if you allow that slavery was the primary cause of secession that still does not justify the U.S. invasion and complete destruction of the southern states. The cause of the North was certainly not to end slavery, it was conquer a separate nation.

    • The cause of the war was secession, not slavery. If you want to say slavery was a part of the cause for secession you may,

      Slavery was the core reason and trigger of secession, the trigger of the war. Without it there would be no war. There is ample evidence in this very article I’ve written and out there, it’s fairly apparent. It’s also apparent to the vast majority of historians, now why would that be? But of course there will be people that will just push that reality aside to protect their political sensitivities.

      After all slavery was legal in New York City until the decade before the war. U.S. Grant was a slave owner until forced to free them under the 13th Amendment.

      This is a very common excuse trodded out by apologists. Blacks owned slaves, there for this proves southern secession had nothing to do with slavery. Some northerners owned slaves, there for this proves southern secession had nothing to do with slavery and so on and on. The fact is, whether slaves were allowed in New York City or whether blacks owned slaves or whatever else has little to nothing to do with the motivations of Confederate secession. You cannot ignore the wealth of evidence out there clearly pointing to the preservation of the institution of slavery as a core motivation for secession by insisting “they did it as well”, it is not a valid counter argument. An appropriate counter argument would be to point to clear statements at the time of Southern secession that slavery was not the root cause, but you can’t do that can you? Because slavery is mentioned rather clearly in the southern declarations and in the speeches of confederate leaders at the time. It’s an inconvenient reality we must apparently just ignore.

      Even if you allow that slavery was the primary cause of secession that still does not justify the U.S. invasion and complete destruction of the southern states.

      First of all the first shots of the war were fired by the confederate, this is a historical fact. The first act of aggression came from the South. Whether you are to argue that they would not ‘leave’ Fort Sumter is irrelevant, aggression was started by the South. As for destruction, that is the result of the south losing the war, it’s unfortunate but it’s a fact. They could accepted the fair election result of Lincoln as president, instead the South decided to respond with aggression, and likewise came forth the consequences. History is not fair to the losers, remember that.

      Speaking of the destruction of the South, this is a common cry I hear coming from apologists. Yet they so conveniently forget the enslavement, mistreatment, the rape of generations of black americans under the american institution of slavery. How many black men and women died under enslavement? It is estimated 1.5 million alone had lost their lives over the time of the great slave trade across the Atlantic. How many black women were raped? How many black men were whipped? Do you really want to come on here and talk to me about the injustices committed against the South (because of their arrogant actions) and yet we should just ignore the absolute injustice committed to an entire race of people? I don’t think so sir. You have a nice day now you hear?

      • Anskit says:

        Thank you. It amazes me that they can even talk about injustice against “the south” when, under the Confederate governments, ~50% of the south was quite literally enslaved. It just shows that what happens to black people doesn’t really matter to them and when they say “the south”, they’re thinking exclusively of the whites who lived there.

    • The Confederate Avenger says:

      Howdy, Anskit. In case you have it set to notify you via e-mail of replies, the Confederate Avenger would like to invite you to come read the discussion he’s been having with ALiberalThinker. Then you can decide who’s just or not with more balanced information. Something I forgot to say, in the discussion, a little side note that reflects what you said about slavery, is that no matter which society you look at in history, the only one that seems moral is your own, if you even think your own is moral (at the least, the most moral). The problem with talking about the right side of history is that, all too often, that is decided by the victors. In any given situation, however, there is a more just side than the other in the context of that particular situation. The colonies all had slavery for example, but we think they were better than the British because the overtaxed them, denied them selfgovernment, denied their liberties, and even had many of them killed. It can easily be demonstrated by the victors that those they vanquished were bad, because all societies do something bad, the next step is to ignore the things which the victor did that were bad, the final step is call anyone who disagrees a revisionist. Please read the conversion and the documents linked to and see for yourself.

    • 1. Yes the cause of the war was secession, but the reason the Southern States seceded in the first place was for the preservation of the institution of slavery. This is why, in the declarations of grievances, slavery is made clear as the reason.

      2. In 1799 New York passed a law for the gradual ending of slavery within state bounds. The last slaves were finally freed in 1827 so no it was not ‘a decade’ ago.

      3. In terms of justification of US invasion of the Confederacy, there was no ‘invasion’ because the Confederacy was not given recognition by the other powers. Not even Mexico recognized the Confederacy.

      Now, if you want to argue that slavery was not the cause for southern secession, where’s your evidence? It’s all talk. Do you have a reference from either of the Confederate leaders prior to 1861, not 10 years after when there was a revisionist movement in the South to wipe out slavery as the reason? Anything.

  3. dsloveandrage says:

    This is a great example of homework done. I am using this for a piece I’m writing up and I’ll give you credit. I’m glad I found this.


  4. Pingback: The Flag and the Facts |

  5. southernwhitegirl says:

    Growing up in the south (and still living here) I have heard and been told most all my life about the Civil War being about “states rights”. After reading the South Carolina “Declaration for the immediate causes which induce and justify the sucession of South Carolina from the Federal Union”. There is little doubt for the reason of sucession. It also appears to me not only was it NOT about states rights, it was anti states rights because half of the complaint is about northern states making laws about fugitive slaves and about northern states giving rights to black people, even free black people.

    • The Confederate Avenger says:

      Read the Confederate States Constitution and the Georgia Declaration of Independence. There are plenty of things about tariffs, internal improvements, and Northern business at the expense of the South in these documents. See for yourself.

      Also recall the “nullification crisis” in which South Carolina nullified the tariff, was met with the federal Force Bill, and forced to back down. Also recall that within the issue of slavery (which fell under states’ rights) the Northern state were bound by the Constitution to return fugitive slaves and therefore could not justly use the doctrine of nullification without breaking the Law of Compact. Both causes were equally true and neither should be regarded as pseudohistory.

      -The Confederate Avenger, Chief Diplomat of the Confederate States of America

      P.S. I can’t stand to see Yankees turn Southerners. The liars make my blood boil.

      • The Confederate Avenger says:

        P.P.S. I just found something else. It is a draft of an unreleased secession document from Florida that also talks about protective tariffs and internal improvements.

        You may also like to read the Texas, Arizona, and Cherokee secession documents, which broaden the picture a little bit. (Texas makes mention of the drainage of Southern substance for the Northern states, tariffs for internal improvements.)

        Besides, who caused the war? It wasn’t the South. Why they seceded is irrelevant. Lincoln would have attacked any state that seceded and resisted his attempt to rule over them anyway, no matter why they left. If I were a Northerner, I would be ashamed of my heritage, because that heritage is one of war, but ours is that of independence.

        The reason for the followup is partly because the Confederate Avener recently completed an essay on the topic. He plans to upload it when he gets it back from his professor. If you check back on his Facebook page in the next week or two, hopefully, it should be online.

      • So I’m going to assume now that you have not even bothered to read the article I wrote above or pay attention to the evidence out there pointing to slavery as the reason for Confederate secession. I know this because your last post on here was completely debunked, and I pointed out clearly why. It’s clear in the Confederate grievances, and now you’ve once again referred to documents that state the opposite from what you claim. You’re frantically trying to find anything that mentions something that’s not about slavery. It’s beyond desperate.

        Why are you in such denial that slavery was the reason for the war?

        P.P.S. I just found something else. It is a draft of an unreleased secession document from Florida that also talks about protective tariffs and internal improvements.

        Look, I’m going to give you a simple piece of advice here. Read the sources you post. Because they seem to be consistently contracting your claims. With the first source you posted to me, the Florida secession document

        This is what it says in the Florida declaration:
        “It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle.”

        The terms ‘slave’ and ‘slavery’ is mentioned a total of 16 times in that document. The terms ‘Tariff’ and ‘taxes’ are mentioned a total of zero times. Zero. They don’t mention it at all. I don’t know what you’ve been reading it but again, I ask you to actually read these sources of yours.

        You may also like to read the Texas, Arizona, and Cherokee secession documents, which broaden the picture a little bit. (Texas makes mention of the drainage of Southern substance for the Northern states, tariffs for internal improvements.)

        In regards to the links below. First of all I’ve already made reference to the Texas Declaration of Grievances. It states rather clearly their reasoning for secession is with the matter of african slavery. Go and check the link again. Count the number of times they state slavery, and then tell me how many times they mention ‘tariffs’ or anything else.

        Secondly, with the other two links, this is from the Cheerokee source of yours:

        The Cherokee people and their neighbors were warned before the war commenced that the first object of the party which now holds the powers of government of the United States would be to annul the institution of slavery in the whole Indian country, and make it what they term free territory and after a time a free State; and they have been also warned by the fate which has befallen those of their race in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oregon that at no distant day they too would be compelled to surrender their country at the demand of Northern rapacity, and be content with an extinct nationality, and with reserves of limited extent for individuals, of which their people would soon be despoiled by speculators, if not plundered unscrupulously by the State.

        Besides, who caused the war? It wasn’t the South. Why they seceded is irrelevant.

        I take it that it’s not relevant now because it’s very apparent slavery was the motivation behind secession? The cause of the secession is very relevant to historians, to history. This was a society supposedly seceded to preserve freedoms and liberty, by enslaving an entire race of peoples whom lived among them. Do you know what the estimated lives lost were in the North Atlantic slave trade? Approx 1.5 million africans. Do you know how many instances of rapes, abuse, has slaves suffered at the hands of so called freedom lovers of the south? Too many to count. But people like you couldn’t give a damn, you really could not. It’s nothing to do with freedom or liberty really.

        Lincoln would have attacked any state that seceded and resisted his attempt to rule over them anyway,

        Remind yourself who fired the first shots of the civil war. Here’s a guess, it wasn’t the north. That’s the reality here. Not a ‘what if’ or ‘what would’. It’s a reality of history that the South will have to live with.

        Get your facts straight then come back to me again you hear?


      • The Confederate Avenger says:

        The Confederate Avenger did read your article, and you gave quote after quote about slavery, but you left out the quotes about the other economic issue. So the Confederate Avenger was trying to balance the picture, without writing a book. He thought that the source documents should stand on their own merits and felt no need to write another essay when he could just show southernwhitegirl a few more documents that tell a somewhat different story. He never said that slavery was not an issue; slavery was in fact a big economic issue and the prospect of losing two to four billion dollars of property, a calamity which would lead to economic collapse and starvation for Blacks and Whites, was partly what triggered them to secede, because they did not trust the North, even with a Constitutional amendment protecting a state’s “domestic institutions.” Why did they not trust the North? Because they were inciting violence and murdering law abiding citizens in the South over slavery, and then both the slaves and the murders who escaped into the North were harbored knowingly by the states, even though there is a constitutional clause of extradition for fugitives from labor and the law. This by the way is not a moral question, but one of law. Mob violence is not the answer, not even to slavery, because then anybody can kill someone if they don’t think what he’s doing is immoral, and the Confederate Avenger has had some experiences with radical Christians recently who have opinions about the morality of fellow students on his campus. Only the law and the threat of governmental force against wrongdoers can protect us. The North at this time did not seem to think so.

        The other trigger cause of secession was the election of a president that supported nearly all of the historical wrongs against the South either directly from the North or through the Federal Government. These wrongs are the historical causes of secession.Tariffs were one of those causes. You are only talking about the things they said about slavery, the extension of which came to be the main issue nationally after 1846 (even though the tariffs and the Northern industries and fishers continued to take money from the South to the day of secession). The consciousness of Texas about the tariff issue would therefore be very limited, and the consciousness of the coastal states would be more lucid, and two out of three coastal declarations, including Florida’s draft, talk at length about the tariff issue that was at the political forefront before 1846. Also, the Confederate Avenger does read his sources, and here are the quotes about protective tariffs and how they are biased against the South in favor of the North:

        “The revenues of the General Government are almost entirely derived from duties on importations. It is time that the northern consumer pays his proportion of these duties, but the North as a section receiving back in the increased prices of the rival articles which it manufactures nearly or quite as much as the imposts which it pays thus in effect paying nothing or very little for the support of the government.”

        “The representative principle is a sufficient security only where the interest of the representative and the Constituent are identical with the variety of climate productions and employment of labor and capital which exist in the different sections of the American Confederacy creating interests not only diverse but antagonistic.

        The majority section may legislate imperiously and ruinously to the interests of the minority section not only without injury but to great benefit and advantage of their own section. In proof of this we need only refer to the fishing bounties, the monopoly of the coast navigation which is possessed almost exclusively by the Northern States and in one word the bounties to every employment of northern labor and capital such a government must in the nature of things and the universal principles of human nature and human conduct very soon lead as it has done to a grinding and degrading despotism.”

        Texas’s document is short and they came into the Union after 1846, but here is what Texas said:

        “They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.”

        Georgia discusses these in greater length. The Confederate Avenger assumes you found them because you didn’t assert that he lied about Georgia’s, just that he is distorting the picture, while he asserts that you distort the picture by selectively excluding these things. You would not even have an argument about them if the Confederate Avenger had not brought them up.

        As for the Cherokee document, the quote that you copied tells more than one story. The Cherokee were also afraid that they might have their life, liberty, and property (including land, not just slaves) taken from them under the rule of the United States, particularly by the North. I know the argument can be made against Georgia for the Trail of Tears, but at that time, as the Choctaw indicate their resolution, they had good relations with Texas and Arkansas and felt more secure with them than with the North.

        Now, about the slave trade. Who had the ships again? Who sold their slaves South? Who envisioned a White country? The North. In fact, White supremacy, not the immorality of slavery, was the reason many Northerners wanted to stop slavery’s extension into the territories, and gradual emancipation in the North meant time to sell your slaves South and have a White country. Beside that, the slave trade had ended a very long time ago. Those were the sins of the Northerners’ fathers and grandfathers, not them, so that is completely irrelevant and has no bearing on the events that we are speaking of. In fact the Confederate Constitution (which you have ignored, and which has just as much about proctective tariffs, limiting the federal government, and bounties as it does about slavery, and as the direct product of the labor of secession is a major testament to their causes) extended the ban on the foreign slave trade.

        As to the horror stories about slavery; I’m sure you only hear the bad. Doesn’t the saying go, “No news is good news.”? It’s called Yellow Journalism and just because the media said that they stopped that practice doesn’t mean they did. The humane question to ask is, why would someone be content living amongst several, sometimes hundreds, of miserable people? The capitalistic question to ask is, why would someone with heavy investment in someone else, treat him like dirt? Is a happy worker not a productive worker? Is an unhealthy worker not a potential loss? It just isn’t intelligent, or even common sensical to be the evil, one dimensional villian of a master told of in Northern fables. And if you read about paternalistic philosophy regarding slavery, there is ample evidence that many planters thought this way. One even said that he could do more with his slaves by rewarding them with a nice, chicken dinner, then he could with the whip. As for the planters’ sexual access to their slaves, I doubt it was that hard to convince a slave girl to willingly consent, because the special treatment that would come with such a position would be very enticing, just as a duke didn’t need to forcibly take a woman he desired, because plenty will throw themselves at him and the one he desired would most likely feel incredibly blessed and thrilled that he chose her. And that was an issue talked about in feudal times (see Macbeth), and a plantation was like the capitalist version of feudalism.

        Also, the South fired shots at Federal troops who were on Confederate soil. Every fort except for Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens was cleared peacefully, and then Lincoln got into office. His express opinion that no secession had even occured and no confederacy made. He then flat out told everyone that he was going to bait the first shot. In fact, if he had not done that, then the Middle South might not have seceded; in fact the trigger cause of the Middle South’s secession was state sovereignty, because Lincoln would not let the Lower South go in peace. To Lincoln the options were come back quietly or die, there was no highway option. The only connection between secession and war is continuity, the South seceded with a president that would make war to prevent successful secession. That makes Lincoln the direct cause of the war. If you want to argue that slavery lead to secession lead to Lincoln calling troops lead to war, then you are arguing the cause of the cause of the cause of the cause. So by that reasoning one could say that Northern Industry demanded protective tariffs and bounties, which were weighted against the South, so in 1846 an act was passed that prevented the extension of existing protectionist policies, so they needed a way to get back at the South and the North was conveniently nonslaveholding, so “cast about for new allies” in order to create a sectional party that was completely pronorthern and antisouthern on the basis of slavery, feeding off of the Mexican territorial cession, which would undermine Southern power in Congress and allow the North to control the Federal Government “in all its departments.” The consequential rise of the Republican Party led to Lincoln’s election and triggered secession, and this president who supported protective tariffs and internal improvements and had lots of industrial buddies, baited the South into firing on Federal troops who were in a South Carolinian fort, leading to a war. Therefore Industry caused the “Civil War.” But to argue the cause of the cause of the cause of the… is to say that the Big Bang caused the war, which is why the Confederate Avenger goes to the direct cause… Abraham Lincoln’s authoritarianism. You would be right to say that all of these preceding events were historical causes of the war, but secession could have happened without a following war, but Lincoln’s actions perpetuated the idea in this country that a war must follow secession, that secession is the anti of freedom and the Union is the pro of freedom. So now we rejoice that the Federal Government has declared that we are free… but leave and they’ll kill us. Yeah, that crap was totally worth “freeing” millions of people who were unprepared to care for themselves into a country that had just been laid waste to, putting them in Northern concentration camps so they don’t flood the cities, then sending them back South were they can flood their cities (and being as they were crowded together and in competition for survival, the crime rate increased), before the original Ku Klux Klan redeemed the states the Republicans were taking advantage of the Blacks for votes, and when they did the crime rates had made apartheid necessary to protect the Whites, and the “freed” slaves who didn’t end up in the cities went home to their masters and asked what rent was and it happened to be just as much as the pay (that is “sharecropping;” they were slaves again). Then it took nearly a century before civil rights marches could convince the Federal Government to forcibly end apartheid, and then we got a racist law that says that Blacks can’t pay a poll tax or pass a literacy test, so the states can’t decide how their vote of representatives is made. The politicians wanted that one so that anyone could vote; then they can use welfare and blame the ills of the “poor” (richest poor on the planet) on the rich, White man, so they’ll vote Democrat. Then after years of the poor getting poorer, gross economic regulations hurting the middle class, and the rich getting richer a Republican promises economic liberty, but instead hocks prohibition and religious morality at us through Congress, and there’s nothing we can do about it because voting for a third party is throwing our vote away. It’s great how free and wonderful the Union turned out; gee, Lincoln sure did a good thing by killing 700,000 people to force the rest of the South to stay in the Union, setting precedents that allow the government more power to deny people their rights, and, well, even inadvertently inspiring a twentieth century dictator to try taking over Europe! ( As far as the Confederate Avenger is concerned, the war did nothing for anyone but the rich Northerners and politicians. Slavery was just the issue Lincoln played off of halfway through to stop Britain from recognizing the Confederacy, and that emancipation only “freed” some of the slaves, “and left others alone.” Whatever it took to “save the Union.” Right?

        Get your facts straight then come back to me again, your hear?

        Your obedient servant,

        The Confederate Avenger, Chief Diplomat of the Confederate States of America

      • The Confederate Avenger says:

        Sorry about the typo in the first paragraph:
        *don’t think what he’s doing is moral

  6. First of all, the Constitution of the Confederate states, introduced in March 1861 makes zero mention of tariffs. It does however mention slavery. Maybe you should take some time to read it yourself before posting:

    But that aside, there’s a big difference between referring to a constitution, which is just a general rule of law laid out, and a declaration of grievance, which is written to state a reasoning or a motivation. If you want to know why the Southern States decided to secede, you go back to the grievances.

    Now in regards to the Georgia Declaration of independence (thanks for the link btw) did you know that ‘slavery’ is mentioned a total of 26 times in it? ‘African’ is mentioned twice, ‘race’ is mentioned 3 times but tariffs? Not mentioned at all. They do not mention ‘tariffs’ or ‘tariff’ at all. Not once. Maybe you should read this as well huh?

    This is what they state in the first part of the Georgia declaration of independence:
    “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery”

    Go ahead and read again, and then come back to me.

    Lastly the Nullification crises happened in 1828 and ended in 1832 with a compromise with South Carolina. There’s a good 30 years between that event at the secession of the first batch of Confederate States in 1860. There’s no correlation or link between the two events. Did you know as well that the South held majorities through the Democrats in congress in the 1950’s? And during that time, they put tariffs to their lowest levels in 1857? That means that at the time Confederate states seceded, Tariffs were at their lowest since before the nullification crises? Don’t believe me? here’s a link:

    So yes, I don’t know why your blood is boiling since you’re the one clearly not getting your facts right. Either that or you’re simply ignoring the facts head on. Come back to me when you’ve done proper research then maybe we can have a decent debate. Until then, I’m not interested in bothering.

    • The Confederate Avenger says:

      You must be skimming these documents. Georgia actually connects the protectionistic policies with slavery.

      “The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose.”

      They say that antislavery is the main goal of the Republicans, but after reading all of this below, it is clear that they are saying that such a goal is meant to disenfranchise the South, so they will have to pay their taxes. Yeah the South managed to lower tariffs, that is why the North kept on the slavery issue. A politically weakened South would be forced to pay higher tariffs. When the Republicans managed to elect a president with a purely Northern vote, that spelled total economic annihilation in the Union, both by way of slavery and tariffs. Here is the appropriate text from Georgia’s declaration. It’s pretty long and detailed, but worth more than a skim. (The Confederate Avenger has read all of the documents thoroughly by the way, apparently more than you.)

      “But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the North, even if united, could not control both branches of the Legislature during any portion of that time. Therefore such an organization must have resulted either in utter failure or in the total overthrow of the Government. The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

      But when these reasons ceased they were no less clamorous for Government protection, but their clamors were less heeded– the country had put the principle of protection upon trial and condemned it. After having enjoyed protection to the extent of from 15 to 200 per cent. upon their entire business for above thirty years, the act of 1846 was passed. It avoided sudden change, but the principle was settled, and free trade, low duties, and economy in public expenditures was the verdict of the American people. The South and the Northwestern States sustained this policy. There was but small hope of its reversal; upon the direct issue, none at all.

      All these classes saw this and felt it and cast about for new allies. The anti-slavery sentiment of the North offered the best chance for success. An anti-slavery party must necessarily look to the North alone for support, but a united North was now strong enough to control the Government in all of its departments, and a sectional party was therefore determined upon. Time and issues upon slavery were necessary to its completion and final triumph. The feeling of anti-slavery, which it was well known was very general among the people of the North, had been long dormant or passive; it needed only a question to arouse it into aggressive activity. This question was before us. We had acquired a large territory by successful war with Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the conflict began.”

      Also, the Constitution does mention tariffs. How about the Confederate Avenger just put to the clauses. Article I, Section VIII, Clauses I and III. Article I, Section IX, Clauses IX-X. These clauses address exactly was is stated in both Georgia and Florida’s declarations of independence. I realize that this is not a secession document, but it is the fruit of their efforts of secession. The government that they set up for themselves, they that institute in order to guard their very lives, is arguably very telling of the causes for which they left their old government in favor of creating a new one.

      As for the nullification crisis, this and other important details do connect it to secession. For one thing, Calhoun, the guy who made nullification happen, had been pushing for South Carolina to secede ever since. Lincoln himself was inspired by how Jackson kept South Carolina in line at gunpoint. And as has been demonstrated, that issue went into hiding underneath slavery issue until secession.

      The Confederate Avenger’s blood certainly is boiling, because you aren’t getting your facts right, and you’re still talking. Now he feels obligated to state his point to utter dullness (which you asked for). So that anyone who reads this will see both sides, not just yours. And the Confederate Avenger has done plenty of research, he has been studying this topic for many years, and this isn’t his first rodeo. You are the one ignoring large amounts of information that conflict the idea that slavery was the ONLY issue. Maybe you should do more research since you can’t seem to read and the Confederate Avenger keeps having to give you quotes of where it says things that you deny are in the text.


      A More Liberal Thinker Than You,
      The Confederate Avenger

      • Ok.

        You must be skimming these documents. Georgia actually connects the protectionistic policies with slavery.

        I’m reading the documents rather clearly. On numerous occasions, in all the documents, the matter of african slavery is put to the center. There’s no mix of words here, it’s made rather clear, and it’s been demonstrated time and time again. Why you continue to push aside the tonne of references to slavery out there is beyond me. Is it denial? Is it fear of being wrong? I don’t know? But it’s clear you’re too emotionally invested in this matter to admit you are wrong. It’s an unfortunate reality that the enslavement of an entire race of peoples was the center of the Confederate secession. It’s too much of an inconvenient reality for many, including yourself.

        Going back to the George Declaration, here’s the link:

        This is what the George declaration says on their own matter of secession:

        The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state.

        Now it’s rather clear in that link. You can argue, if you must, that protectionist policy was one of the issues made, but it was a very minor issue made by the South at the time. As I’ve made it so very clear to you, and to which you continue to willfully ignore, the South held majority power through the Democratic party in the decades leading up to the civil war. This is why and how the lowest tariff since 1816 was passed in 1857. Because of the pro-slavery south, which was also anti-tariff, pushed it through. This was almost 30 years following the nullification crises. Tariffs and protectionism simply was not a matter of concern in the years leading up to the civil war. It simply wasn’t. This is why people like you have to dig real deep to find anything that doesn’t argue slavery in 1861…. and then frantically jump at any reference that doesn’t include slavery. It simply was not enough of any issue to cause the war. If it was, the civil war would’ve occurred following the nullification crises of 1828. Rather simply put.

        You seem to be trying to argue there’s some larger underlying issue behind slavery that has nothing to do with slavery. But you don’t seem to demonstrate this sufficiently. Instead you post a bunch of links, insist that’s what they say when they don’t and then move on to the next.

        They say that antislavery is the main goal of the Republicans, but after reading all of this below, it is clear that they are saying that such a goal is meant to disenfranchise the South

        The anti-slavery movement was viewed as a threat to the southern economy… and why not? Slaves made up 38% of the entire Southern population. 30% of southern families owned slave(s) and depended on them. The institution was an essential part of the southern economy, so of course many in the South felt the abolitionist movement, with a strong presence in the Republican party, was a thread to the economic welfare of the South. It comes right back to slavery.

        As for the nullification crisis, this and other important details do connect it to secession. For one thing, Calhoun, the guy who made nullification happen, had been pushing for South Carolina to secede ever since.

        I’m not sure about Calhoun but he died in 1850, nearly 11 years prior to the civil war.

        Yep. You really have nothing solid to go on.

  7. The Confederate Avenger says:

    The Confederate Avenger never pushed slavery aside. He never said it was not an issue. You continue to put words in his mouth. He said it was not the only issue. Of course, someone who is determined to vindicate himself and his country of any wrongdoing might be emotionally invested in the idea that one portion of said country (the South) is entirely responsible for all its evils, including the war.

    As for the quote about Lincoln’s party. You just added an extra sentence that goes against your point. “By slavery it is made a power in the state.” So the issue of slavery, as the Confederate Avenger has said, made the Republicans powerful, because the northern states did not have slaves and could easily be incited against the issue. Again the South holding power in Congress (although the Democratic Party was partly Northwest, before the Republicans grabbed up most of the North.) is why someone in the Northeast with the desire of federal treasury money would want to stir up a feeling of hatred against the South. That is what Georgia means by “they cast about for new allies.” The Confederate Avenger posts links to these things assuming that you can read, and doesn’t find them so obscure being as they are in the states’ declarations of independence.

    As to the Southern economy. That was the Confederate Avengers point. It was a southern thing and not a northern thing. It was an institution that could easily be used to rally those whose father’s did not keep them invested in it, and whatever you think of it, it was a legal issue and not a moral issue at the time, although their moral argument had been made in many of these documents, that the destruction of slavery would destroy the economy and everyone would starve, Blacks and Whites. That and the election of Lincoln, however, are the trigger causes. The Confederate Avenger never said protective tariffs were the trigger cause of secession. He said they were a historical cause.

    As for Calhoun, thank you for pointing that out. The Confederate Avenger went off of memory on that one, he forgot Calhoun had died a decade earlier. So he should have said that Calhoun continued to push for secession until he died, but it seems that his state of South Carolina really wanted out of the Union for a long time; why wait? they must have figured, but they didn’t have the support of the other states who still felt like the Union was salvageable. They were right after all. The Confederate Avenger does not deny that the majority of the documents talk about slavery, but that was just the more recent of the two issues, and when the North is controlling the argument, why argue extensively over something else especially when economic collapse is scarier that tariffs?

    So Confederate Avenger guesses he should clarify his meaning a little more. The point is not that slavery was not an issue so the South must be good. The point is that the North was not just the heroic knight riding in on a white horse to save the day, they intended to do the South harm, and they didn’t care if the helped or harmed the southern slaves in the process, so when it is said that secession was caused by slavery and protective tariffs, and triggered by the Republicans rise to power, that is to say secession was caused by the intense harm that the North intended against the South in the interest of lining their own pockets, and triggered by their apparent success in acquiring the means to that end. Even the slaves should have been against that (and many probably were), because the economy of the South was in their interest as well, if they wanted to eat. Besides, the Yankee economy that would have been forced on them afterward would hurt their chances of rising to the top of their society, which was arguably better in the South for room and board slaves than in the North for wage slaves, considering the slaves who bought their own freedom, became planters and went on to own several more slaves, and studies of the North that showed that “rags to riches” was a very rare occurrence (found in the book Half Slave and Half Free, which although the author has a different opinion, has a more balanced set of information).

  8. Domar says:

    Useful information, thanks.

  9. Pingback: Indiana Bicentennial 4: 1849 – 1867

  10. Pingback: Indiana Bicentennial 4.4: School Law of 1852 & the Fugitive Slave Act

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