“This mythology of manners is adopted in lieu of the mythology of the Lost Cause. But it still has the great drawback of being rooted in a lie. The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why.”
a. Lincoln was a tyrant.
b. Secession was not illegal.
c. The War was over dollars. It was over taxes. It was another economic war. Dollars that had not yet been truly invented yet but were on the horizon. This was America’s first venture into Dollar Diplomacy. Lincoln’s War made everything that has occurred in the 20th and 21st Century possible.
No Lincoln. Probably no Versailles. No Versailles. No World War II.
No World War II. No Oil deal with the Wahhabist Saudi Arabia; no Iran, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan.
Yes, the becoming of THE United States of America and the falling away of THESE United States of America made everything that you think of as evil possible.
The Civil War CENTRALIZED American Politics in a way that was not possible prior.
That Confederate Battle Flag while it was defending a reprehensible thing called slavery was also defending a decentralized State oriented, loose confederation that worked together but with unique identities; common goals but no overpowering entity at the top which could force the nation into foreign adventures of the type that became possible AFTER the Federal Government became the paramount power with little to no controls.
The Civl War or War Between the States aka The Invasion of the South by the Federal Government was about economics. The South was a slave economy. The South was an agrarian economy.
“The Tariff of 1828 was almost more than [Vice President John C.] Calhoun and many other southerners could tolerate. The tariff was raised on imported textiles, manufactured goods, and a variety of raw materials produced in the West. The new tariffs were as high as 50 percent on some items. The south believed it saw no direct benefit from the tariff. The only items protected by the tariff were items the south did not produce. Because tariffs allowed domestic producers to charge more for their products, southerners understandably felt cheated. They believed the Tariff of 1828 was outrageous, calling it the “Tariff of Abominations.”
A debate raged on about the tariff for a few years until another tariff was passed in 1832 that increased taxes on manufactured cloth and iron, further enraging southerners.
South Carolina threatened to seceed but changed its mind when Calhoun suggested nullification. The state legislature agreed and nullified the tariff.
The federal government viewed nullification as treasonous and responded with a “force bill” that allowed the president to use Navy and Army power to enforce Congressional acts.
Finally, both sides reached a compromise, allowing the tariff to continue only if it decreased each year between the years 1833 t0 1842 until the tariff was at roughly the same rate as it was in 1816, according to the book “Causes of the Civil War”:
“Calhoun lost the battle over nullification. The Senator learned a valuable lesson, however: No state can stand alone against the federal government…Thus, the south in 1860 would respond very differently to the question of state’s rights and secession than it had in 1833.”
“Though the tariff question remained an open sore from its inception in 1828 right up to the Civil War, many modern historians have dismissed the impact it had on the growing rift between the two sections of the country. But any careful reading of newspapers, magazines or correspondence of the era indicates that here is where the feud began to fester into hatred. Some Southern historians in the past have argued this was the root cause of the Civil War. It wasn’t, but it was a critical ingredient in the suspicion and mistrust Southerners were beginning to feel about their Northern brethren, and by extension about the Union itself. Not only did the tariff issue raise for the first time the frightening specter of Southern secession, but it also seemed to have marked a mazy kind of dividing line in which the South vaguely started thinking of itself as a separate entity—perhaps even a separate country. Thus the cat, or at least the cat’s paw, was out of the bag.”
Slavery, yes, was a root cause of the Civil War.
But let us look Northward to the Corporate Towns that were slave plantations in all but name only.
It took another 70 years for the “slaves” of the North to rise up. It took another HB Stowe to write a book (Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle) to obtain Justice in the North and it took another President to force Justice on the Yankee Plantations. That President being Teddy Roosevelt.
The Civil War had nothing to do with honor. It had nothing to do with the goodness of mankind. It had nothing to do with humanity.
For a few thousand abolitionists, Slavery was the central issue. For Southern Plantation owners, slavery was a central issue.
Slave owners made up anywhere from 8 to 30% of the Southern Population. Why did the other 70% fight?
Why does anyone fight a war in which they have no real vested interests? They see an injustice. They see tyranny. They are propagandized. They are told half truths. They like violence. They fight because they are being invaded. They fight because their homes and people are being raped and pillaged.
And, yes, the Northern Armies did rape and pillage.
The Southern Armies? Not so much. The South fought most of the war in its own territory. Lee twice invaded the North. Antietam and Gettysburg.
There were battles in Kentucky which never officially seceded but had a population that was divided. Kentucky did send a delegation to the South and produced one Brigade led by John Breckinridge who won every Southern State in the 1860 Presidential Election.
My point is that the Civil War was not only about Slavery.
For you, Ingrid, and those like you, certainly, you concentrate on Slavery because that is all you know and you do not feel a need to know anything more.
The Civil War had many meanings and many sources. The North was no innocent child being attacked by a menacing South. No, it was not.
The North would go on to take over governance of the whole of the American body politic. It would crush the South and keep it down for a century.
The people of the South would blame Black people for their woes. They would also blame Yankee meddlers and carpet baggers.
There were no innocents in the War of 1861 to 1865.
There were also many folks who learned from the War.
Some of them were Southerners. Southerners such as Robert E. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
There are people such as myself who see what became of the United States after that war. We see how it was not all good that America became a centralized nation with soulless Corporations directing its every move.
While you claim that the South was evil no matter what because of Slavery. I see what the North and its Corporate Plantations did in enslaving millions for Profit and Greed.
I wonder what would have happened if the United States had been split in two. Would we still be enforcing the American Empire across the world via Dollar Diplomacy.
Would the Ottoman Empire have fallen and been splilt asunder by the greed of British and French Empire?
Would the United States be crushing its own Constitution in the name of “National Security?”
The South fought for State’s Rights which are human rights. The shame is that they also fought for slavery. The addition of Slavery tainted State’s Rights.
That is a shame. The States could have staved off the Corporate Oligarchy that now possesses the American Houses of Congress, the US Supreme Court and the Presidency. This is no longer possible.
Especially when ignorance about State’s Rights has so clearly and universally infested itself in so many of the Citizens of the United States of America. Especially those Citizens who vote for the Democratic Party of America.
Letter to Acton
On the political front, Lee responded to a letter from British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s advisers. Acton was seeking Lee’s views on American postwar constitutional questions and the South’s political future.
Lee assured Acton that the South accepted the de facto results of the war and “the extinction of slavery,” but he was concerned that an overly powerful federal government would prove to be a threat to “the rights and authority reserved in the states and the people” and would result in a nation that was “sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”
The real Lost Cause — AMERICAN FREEDOM
The War of 1861 settled the issue of secession through brute force that cost 600,000 American lives. We Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech: “It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense.” Lincoln said the soldiers sacrificed their lives “to the cause of self-determination — that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth.” Mencken says: “It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves.”
The War of 1861 brutally established that states could not secede. We are still living with its effects. Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution’s limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.