A Creeping Death
Monuments are being removed. Why? The powers-that-be want you to forget. They want us all uprooted, with nothing to cling to, nothing to fight for. Those without tradition make for a malleable population, you see. That is simply not good enough. In fact, it’s inexcusable. So is the average American’s poor knowledge of the Civil War, otherwise known as the War Between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression. Ask any passerby, why did it happen? Most will respond with an automatic, because of slavery. Let it be known that this damn war was not about slavery or human rights at all. This bloodbath on our soil was not about black or white. The Civil War, like most wars, was about money and power.
States had a Constitutional right to secede should the Federal government overstep its bounds, and overstep it did in the form of costly tariffs on cotton goods imported from Europe. The result? European buyers, being fleeced by the North, offered less money for raw cotton in the South. Consider the so-called Tariff of Abomination of 1828, which raised the tariff on imported cotton products to one-third their selling price. Due to public outcry, this was lowered but more increases were threatened. When Lincoln was elected in 1860, the South know full well its markets could not absorb the cost of another tariff.
With laws and tariffs being imposed from the North, the South exercised their right to secede. The Attorney General at the time ruled that it was indeed their right and that the Federal government could lawfully do nothing about it; unless the seceding states started a war, that is. Enter the drama at Fort Sumter. Lincoln insisted on sending provisions to a “starving” garrison but what he sent were war provisions. Sumter’s garrison was not starving; we have correspondences between those within and without the fort pertaining to grocery deliveries. In fact, relations between the garrison and the town were peaceful if not amicable, until armed reinforcements arrived. It was then that the South fired the first shot and they took the fort before it could be filled with hostile troops. The garrison was allowed to leave peacefully. Not a single Union soldier was harmed.
The outcome, nonetheless, was war. Even with the above information in hand, some will argue but slavery was a reason… Was it? Here’s some more information: There were plenty of abolitionists in the South, whereas plenty of Northerners wanted to retain the status quo because, well, those rowdy slaves might move into their neighborhoods. In 1750, both Virginia and South Carolina passed anti-slavery laws. England nullified these laws. By the dawn of the nineteenth century it was far more profitable to hire wage workers than to buy and maintain slaves. In short, slavery was a dying institution; war was not necessary to bring it to an end. In the first decade of the 1800’s, legislation was introduced from Georgia to abolish slavery and reimburse the owners to encourage them to free their property. It was voted down by non slave-holding states.
Let’s look briefly now at the Great Emancipator, Abe Lincoln. When the war had been burning for more than a year, he refused to take any action to free the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation came a year later, and only affected states and areas still under Confederate control. The idea, you see, was to create chaos and thereby give the Union every advantage. Further, this put the South at a moral disadvantage ~ it seemed they were now fighting to preserve slavery. So how did Southerner’s feel about slavery? Some surely wanted to keep their slaves, but these were in a shrinking minority. Others, like Robert E. Lee himself, said that slavery “was a moral and political evil.” He further asserted that the “best men of the South” oppose it. Guess who’s statue is next on NOLA’s chopping block? The statue of General Robert E. Lee, an opponent to slavery.
Obviously, the Civil War was not simply a black and white issue. Nonetheless, those who would erase our past want you to think it is. Why? If you protest the removal of history, you must be a racist. This shuts down opposition and those wielding the cultural erasers can do as they please. To those who scream racist at every turn: At this point, the word racist has lost all meaning. Call me what you will. I hereby protest.
For further reading, see John S. Tilley’s short introduction on the matter entitled, Facts the Historians Leave Out: A Confederate Primer. A more in-depth treatment of the war and its aftermath can be found in Thomas Goodrich’s The Day Dixie Died, a book rich in primary source material. Primary sources are invaluable, for if you don’t believe me, you will find it hard to argue with those who lived through it.