Slavery and the Civil War

In Reason’s August/September 2001 issue, Contributing Editor Charles Oliver demolished the myth that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War. As Oliver wrote:

Just look at what those fighting the war had to say. If we do that, the lines are clear. Southern leaders said they were fighting to preserve slavery....

Perhaps the most famous statement came from Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens. In 1861, in Savannah, Georgia, Stephens bluntly declared that slavery was "the immediate cause of the late rupture and the present revolution." He said the United States had been founded on the false belief that all men are created equal. The Confederacy, in contrast, had been "founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural moral condition."

There’s plenty more along those lines. Read the whole thing here.

Perhaps somebody should hand a copy to Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who just declared April to be “Confederate History Month” and failed to include a single reference to the crime of slavery in his official proclamation. When the Washington Post questioned him about this offensive and historically illiterate omission, McDonnell said, "there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."

Deep thoughts! Here's something else to think about: Richmond, Virginia was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Confederacy wanted to preserve and extend the slave system. That makes slavery one of the issues that are “most significant for Virginia.”

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  • ||

    You're totally trolling for page hits with this thread.

  • ||

    Agreed. 300 posts easy.

  • pebbles||

    Libertarians agree that slavery is evil. They also agree that jailing of the press, suspension of habeas corpus, and many of Lincoln's other activities are evil. Case closed?

    Nah. Let's bicker over silliness ad infinitum.

  • Lord Vetinari||

    I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are the good people and the bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.

  • HeadTater||

    Libertarians also generally agree in the concepts of self determination and the consent of the governed.

  • pebla||

    ***The North will rise again!***

  • Barrack HUSSEIN Obama||

    Go back to Boaz's celebration of progressive statism/libertarians are all a bunch of racists post. It should be well over 400 by now

  • Barrack HUSSEIN Obama||

    Up to 418 comments now.

  • Ty||

    Would have been cheaper to buy the slaves... and would have saved 300,000 American lives... or wait a decade or two for slavery to become economically unfeasible...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Slavery was already economically unfeasible. It was continued as a cultural legacy - the economic aspects were secondary.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Socialism is unfeasible, but doesn't stop people from trying to make it work.

  • ||

    I doubt plantation owners kept on practicing an uneconomic practice because of a "cultural legacy" -- if it had been cheaper to hire servants rather than buy slaves, they would have done so.

  • BarryJV||

    Slavery was profitable for the slave owners but detrimental to the wider economy. The non-slave owning south actually had an economic incentive to stand up for human rights, that they didn't is because of the cultural legacy BakedPenguin refers to.

  • MNG||

    Using the reason found by libertarians concerning endangered animals shouldn't the slave trade have been encouraged? Making them property would have mean they would be well take care of...

  • ||

    Live up to your principles. Go away.

  • MNG||

    SF, what is actually and literally in your panties lately?

  • ||

    Is there something wrong with wanting to help someone live up to their professed principles? Is not pointing out an error in ethics so it may be corrected a good act? I just want you to be able to live with yourself.

    Free yourself from your selfish action and bring happiness to dozens and dozens of people.

  • JB||

    Liberals are some of the most selfish fucks out there.

    Many of them get off by screaming "I care! I care!" while doing nothing to back it up.

    For example, if MNG took 1/10th of the time he spends ranting here, he could help all sorts of people. But he doesn't actually care about people, he CARES about saying he cares so others will worship him and his 'caring'.

  • MNG's Mom||

    Oh shi--!

  • Ouch my ears!||

    You know, you are correct - I've been wrong to care for my pets.

    Can I set my pet lion free in your house? I'm sure he'll get his fill of bloody MNG meat. I will feel just great about it, him being all self-actualized, free and all!

  • johnl||

    That was the Lincoln plan. That's what the confederates rejected. And it would have been a lot cheaper for everyone!

  • Ty||

    Sure, Lincoln let them go peacefully.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."

    What McDonnell means is "I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for white Virginia."

    Frankly, I'm a little amazed at the depth of McDonnell's racism. He clearly assumes that only white people count, and probably can't even imagine why other people could object to what he did. And as to the South's abysmal brutality towards blacks before, during, and after the Civil War, forget it. He hasn't a clue.

  • ||

    Vanneman, please stick to reviewing Glory and spare us your insights.

  • Samuel Clemens||

    I do declare, suh! We have a, matter of improprietay, that requires your immediate attention. I demand, satisfaction suh!

  • ||

    "So why was the Civil War fought? That seems a simple enough question to answer: Just look at what those fighting the war had to say."

    That seems a bit naive. If a hundred years hence, someone looks back on the war in Iraq through the same lens, would history then be right to assume it was fought to liberate Iraqis from Saddam Hussein's crazy WMD stockpiles?

  • Jennifer||

    I think a better analogy would be if Germany a century hence decided to celebrate "Nazi History Month" and insisted Nazism had nothing to do with Jew-bashing -- it was all about restoring health to the German economy, modernizing the German highway system, and getting rid of the snobbish class elements of the old aristocracy, so people really need to stop pretending "hatred of the Jews" was the be-all and end-all of Nazism when it was at most an afterthought.

    Side note: I grew up in Virginia, and occasionally wondered -- but never had the courage to ask -- what my black friends thought about, say, attending a public school named after the likes of Jefferson Davis.

  • ||

    I wasn't talking about McDonnell's celebration, but Charles Oliver's statement that "why the Civil War was fought" can be answered by looking at what the Confederate Vice President claimed about the war. I do not think a "Nazi History Month" is a more relevant analogy to Oliver's claim than Cheney's statements on the causes to resume hostilities in Iraq.

  • Jennifer||

    Then how about looking at what the Confederate Constitution said? It was effectively identical to America's save three differences: it mentioned God; the president was to serve one six-year term and never be re-elected; and the glory of slavery and white supremacy was damned-well encoded in it.

    I rather doubt the six-year presidency is what inspired those shots at Fort Sumter -- "We'd be happy to stay in the United States, but that four-year presidential term is just too much of a deal-breaker."

  • creech||

    Or look at the secession articles that each state passed - everyone mentioned continuation of slavery.
    While it is certainly true that most Southerners did not own slaves, it is also true that secession conventions had a majority of delegates who owned slaves. Virginia had fewer than 20% slave owners but nearly 80% of the delegates owned slaves.

  • 26thNC||

    You're almost right. The Civil War was fought over the non-slave holding states violating the Constitutional rights of the slave holding states. (Article 4 Section 2 specifically).

    Question for you: At the end of the war, who had slaves, Grant or Lee? If you guess Lee, you're wrong.

  • MNG||

    +1

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Slavery an' Nazis an' racists, oh my!
    Slavery an' Nazis an' racists, oh my!
    Slavery an' Nazis an' racists, oh my!
    Slavery an' Nazis an' racists, oh my!
    ...ad infinitum...

  • Barrack HUSSEIN Obama||

    Jennifer proved her low racism (for a white person)credentials when she cast her vote for me. Thank you for your support Jennifer.

  • Hampton VA?||

    Every once in a while a delegate around these parts will suggest renaming Robert E Lee elementary. Letters to the Editor of the local rags=fun times!

  • BarryJV||

    If you want to know what it was about, also ask what the North had to say.

    During negotiations to prevent war, slavery was the first concession the North made. The war happened because the North and South couldn't come to an agreement on the other issues. Yet, obviously, if the South had won, slavery would have continued.

    On balance I'd have to say no, the war wasn't about slavery, if it had been, there would have been no Civil War. Slavery was built up as an issue after war broke out because the British were pro-South and anti-slavery and the North needed to keep them out of the war.

    Contrast that with the War of Independence where the British absolutely refused to drop their demands that the states end slavery.

    Why do you remember the Civil War as being about slavery and the War of Independence as being about economics?

    Because the winners write history.

  • Not This Shit Again!||

    *facepalm*

  • ||

    "the myth that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War"

    Is there even a strawman somewhere saying that?

  • WTF||

    Oh shit yeah. I live in a suburb of Richmond and work in Richmond proper. I can tell you that there are PLENTY of Sons of the Confederacy and others who will argue - replete with bulging veins and flying spittle - that the War Between the States - a/k/a the Wawh of Nawthuhn Aggression (i.e., never the "Civil War") was about "states' rights" to self-determination and to leave the Union when they wanted to, and what started it was that tyrant Lincoln who violated the Constitution.

    It wasn't about slavery, that was just an excuse ginned up by those damn Yankees.

  • ||

    Just to clarify, these idiots you know believe slavery had literally NOTHING to do with the war? Wow. That's an extreme position. I mean sure, I've met folks who might argue that the war was 95% caused by disagreements over state rights or tarrifs or whatever you like and only, say, 5% about slavery. But I've never met an genuine absolutist who asserts, without qualification, that slavey was 100% irrelevant. That's wrong in my opinion. I'm no historian, but I think some good evidence exists that disagreements over slavery were at least a contributing cause of the schism. If there's a politicain out there proclaiming the absolutist view, he should be censored for sheer ignorance.

  • ||

    I think it is just unmentioned.

    Slavery was, to our shame, constitutional at that time. So mentioning constitutional issues without mentioning slavery is just avoiding using the word.

  • WTF||

    I don't think a lot of these people analyze it even to the extent that you just did in that one paragraph.

    More like, "It wasn't about slavery! It was about states' rights!" Usually accompanied by a firm shaking of the head, and if the speaker were to be completely honest, a finishing "dammit!"

    And my response usually is along the lines of, "yes - it was about states' rights - the right of states to continue the practice of slavery."

  • johnl||

    It was not about continuing slavery, but expanding it to the West.

  • ¢||

    I understand you guys are jealous of how Democrats get to call everyone racists all the time, and you're really frustrated that you can't join them in this round of 'baiting because the teabaggers are a bunch of almost-libertarians, but Jesus Christ.

    One Confederacy troll a month, max.

  • ||

    Between McDonnell and Cuccinelli it certainly hasn't been dull here of late.

  • MNG||

    Great handle

  • ||

    Thanks.

  • ||

    I think people often conflate what the willing recruits were about with what their leaders were about.

    There's some question about the leadership of the North being uniformly anti-slavery, from U.S. Grant on down. ...preserving the Union, however, seemed to be key with both the leadership and the recruits.

    There's little question about the leadership of the South being pro-slavery. ...but among the recruits? I'm still not buyin' it.

    Confederate troops fought for all sorts of reasons--not many of them owned slaves. And judging them by the interests of their leaders is bit like judging the Tea Party by Sarah Palin.

  • Mo||

    So what if people didn't actually own slaves. The vast majority of American soldiers don't own companies, but they'd pretty much all say that American free enterprise is one of the things they're fighting to protect.

    Confederate soldiers were fighting to protect their local culture and economy. Slavery was a huge part of that culture and economy.

  • Chicken George||

    But judging why the US Civil War actually happened by the interests of those leaders makes a lot of sense. What the soldier believed while he was fighting is less relevant to how the war happened than what his leaders believed when they were provoking it.

  • ||

    "What the soldier believed while he was fighting is less relevant to how the war happened than what his leaders believed when they were provoking it."

    Hardly.

    The fact of the matter is that the average Confederate soldier was fighting for Democracy as he understood it, if for anything any higher up would recognize as a central guiding principle.

    Popular sovereignty may be presented as if it came from the top down, but things like that resonate from the bottom up. ...with popular sovereignty being an excellent example of that actually.

    What motivated them was pride, a desire for adventure, what we might call nationalism, though applied very locally, and a desire to test themselves and be seen as real men by the people from their place of birth...

    In short, the things that have inspired men of that age to volunteer for war for centuries.

    And saying that "The Confederacy was all about slavery" completely ignores those facts. And talking about the views of the people who led the South is just a diversion.

    This would be a lot like saying that Bush supporters were largely in favor of the bailouts--or that Obama supporters largely supported the bailouts, neither of which is true.

    I think what is true is that there's been a demonization of Southern culture, particularly after the civil rights era in the '50s and '60s, and people think that if Southerners just came to realize that their ancestors were all about slavery, then maybe they'd abandon their bible-thumpin' ways.

    But good intentions don't make a noble lie true.

    In the meantime, U.S. Grant was a slaveholder, and in 1858, Illinois voted itself a legislature that supported Stephen Douglas' ideas about slavery and Popular Sovereignty...

    ...and those election results are a better indication of what the Union thought than anything any of their leaders ever said or did.

    But don't worry. The Union wasn't all about slavery either.

  • Chicken George||

    The fact of the matter is that the average Confederate soldier was fighting for Democracy as he understood it, if for anything any higher up would recognize as a central guiding principle.

    I think you missed my point. Your average lance corporal in Iraq may have been fighting for excitement, because it's his job, his patriotic duty, etc, but this hardly matters. It wasn't his beliefs or actions that started or guided the conflict; it was those of President Bush and his higher ranking executives.

    The war might mean one thing to the grunt on the ground and another to the man in the oval office, but when you're looking for root causes, you don't go to the troops, you go where the buck stops.

    Without the action of the Southern political elite, there would have been no Confederacy, and no war. And they were motivated by the threat to their economic well being that was posed the US westward expansion and the appearance of increasing numbers of slave-free territories.

  • ||

    "The war might mean one thing to the grunt on the ground and another to the man in the oval office, but when you're looking for root causes, you don't go to the troops, you go where the buck stops."

    We're getting into some ideological differences, I think, and putting all historical fads aside...

    I think it's wrong to suggest that history is the story of big men shaping society. They may make for interesting focal points, but they're mostly just the tip of the iceberg...

    I don't care if you're talking about Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln or Adolf Hitler, those people and the decision they made were a function of the social and market forces that made them...

    And when we're talking about social and market forces? We're really just talking about people, the things they think and the choices they make.

    We've had the tail wagging the dog in our history classes for a long time, Douglas, Lincoln, Grant and Lee were the tail--not the dog.

    We really are not just a few great men away from reshaping society into something better. And I think a lot of people think we are specifically because they subscribe to the myth of the great man of history.

  • Gene Berkman||

    "...in 1858, Illinois voted itself a legislature that supported Stephen Douglas' ideas about slavery and Popular Sovereignty.."

    Harry Jaffa, a noted Lincoln scholar, says that in 1858 Illinois voters actually voted for a Republican majority in the Illinois House of Representatives, and Republicans won a majority of the State Senate seats up that election, but Democrats retained control because of holdover Senators from the half of the state Senate that was not up for election.

  • ||

    I have no idea whether that's true.

    But I hope the point came across, regardless, that the results of such elections are more important in terms of indicating public sentiment...

    Certainly more so than the personal opinions of John Calhoun or any other Great Man of History.

    And when someone says "the Civil War was about slavery", I think it's important to remember that something decades in the making involving millions of willing souls is probably too complicated to boil down to something so simple.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Awesome. Harnessing the craziness of the Rockwellians to increase hit-counts. It's win-win, I tells ya!

  • ||

    if they didn't do that, their website would wither away.

  • ||

    Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?
    Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--
    Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.
    Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

  • ev||

    Dammit! I was gonna do that!

  • Gene Berkman||

    So, Andrew, is it your contention that the Ku Klux Klan was formed to protest high tariffs?

  • Daniel||

    Nice post, Ken...

    About Mr. Roots entry. Suggesting the South fought to preserve Slavery is false. They may have seceded to preserve slavery but fought because the Union Army invaded. Sumter was just an excuse.

    I will see your Alexander Stephens quote and raise you an Abe Lincoln quote, "If I could save the Union without freeing the slaves, I would do it."

    So if the Union was not fighting to free the slaves, why did they fight?

  • B.P.||

    Yeah.... 2 day bombardment of one of their military garrisons. Quite a flimsy excuse.

  • ||

    ""Yeah.... 2 day bombardment of one of their military garrisons. Quite a flimsy excuse.""

    We've started wars for less.

  • ||

    Root already represented Lincoln's position.

    "Abraham Lincoln said the North fought to preserve the Union, and later, to end slavery.""

    He may have said both, but I would be interested in when and context.

  • Chicken George||

    Sumter was just an excuse.

    Hey boys! These Yankees are just lookin' for an excuse to invade! Let's give'em one!

  • affenkopf||

    The civil war was about slavery. Karl Marx agrees.

  • Chicken George||

    Karl Marx wasn't wrong about everything. He was wrong about a great many things, but not when he pointed out that oppression of the masses by the few is nearly universal in human history.

  • Colin||

    Whatever the reason, there was nothing in the Constitution the forbade secession.

  • Dan T. ||

    Perhaps you could take more than a minute here and realize how very wrong you are.

  • ||

    SHUT UP DANNY DEVITO

  • ||

    That was not evidence that the Constitution forbids it.

    However, the union will not allow it. Rebelling, is a no-no in the Constituion. It give Congress the authority to supend Heabes.

  • ||

    Perpetual Union is the receipt of sale for the states so they can be considered the permanent property of the Federal government.

    And if, say, Vermont and New Mexico had a hideous state-baby, then the Federal government would own it too.

  • Chicken George||

    And if, say, Vermont and New Mexico had a hideous state-baby, then the Federal government would own it too.

    Her name is Colorado, thank you very much.

  • highnumber||

    Dan T.,
    Yer back?!

  • VikingMoose||

    REUNION!!!! WOO HOO!

  • ||

    I had really started to believe he had died in an arson-related zoo masturbation incident like we were told.

  • ||

    OK, sure slavery was a cornerstone of the Civl War. But State's Rights was the foundation.

    Just because slavery was an issue (and we clearly know right and wrong about it now) doesn't mean we have learned all the lessons of the civil war.

  • Mo||

    Please explain in 1,000 words or fewer how the Fugitive Slave Act goes along with State's Rights. Please show your work.

  • WTF||

    I also would love to see a clear explication of precisely what this purported doctrine of "states' rights" actually means - specifically.

  • ||

    Who gives a shit about states rights when it is used to enslave poeple.

    I care about individual liberty. I could give a shit weather it is the states or federal government protecting those rights.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Right on, Joshua!

  • Fluffy||

    I think this whole episode has been overblown.

    The only reason Virginia is declaring Confederate History Month [regardless of the boilerplate in the proclamation] is to encourage tourism to the vast number of Civil War historical sites within their borders. This is run-of-the-mill Visitor Bureau boosterism.

    If there were a bunch of ancient Roman sites in Vermont, you can be damn sure I'd support them declaring a Roman History Month to try to get bored New Yorkers to spend a few more tourist dollars at the towns around the sites. And it really would have very little to do with Roman slavery or Pontius Pilate or the brutalization of the Gauls or the sack of Corinth or the destruction of Carthage.

  • Jennifer||

    If Virginia were merely trying to drum up tourist business, they would've declared "Civil War History Month" rather than "Confederate."

  • Fluffy||

    Except for the fact that in Virginia the proper name of the war in question has been disputed for 140 years. But everyone agrees that Virginia was part of the Confederacy.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Rumrunners History Month?

  • Ska||

    I do my part by drinking at Claudio's in Greenport.

  • Abdul||

    I have to agree with Fluffy here. Confederate History Month is a marketing gimmick. VA had the most battles fought of any state. The majority of Civil War national parks are in VA. McDonnel is cashing in on history nuts.

    For whatever reason, the only history books that sell really well are the ones with confederate flags or swastikas on the cover. The counterpart symbols of the winning side just don't move books off the shelves. I don't know why this is, but I'm betting it's not because the pro-slave/pro-genocide market is really huge.

    In the end, though, you have to wonder if it's a little tone deaf to hold Confederate History Month just one month after Black History Month.

  • ||

    Nobody loves me at all.

  • ||

    I do March. Buck up and remember "In like a Lion and out like a Lamb!"

  • ||

    Ken, Godwin me if you will, but the reasons the most sons of Germany took up arms between 1933 and 1945 had nothing to do with Jews. But no one is going to tolerate "National Third Reich Month", as was already pointed out.

    Confederate dead have long been memorialized. This declaration was not a memorial act for dead foot soldiers.

  • Billy!||

    This is actually one of those funny little misunderstandings in history. The Civil War (or, more properly, The War Between The Former Colonies That Are South of Canada But North of Jamaica) was never at all about slavery. It was about LIVERY. Originally a dispute between North and South about the outfits that stablehands should wear. The south favoring a grey color that would be easier to bear in the hot sun, the North favoring the dark blue that would easier hide stains. Eventually it escalated, unfortunately.

    I see nothing wrong with celebrating those who merely sought comfort for the help. In fact I would think it'd be pretty racist to not celebrate them.

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    Declaring a Confederate History Month is as tone deaf as flying the stars and bars over public building a la a certain state a bit further South. It upsets people and that won't chance for centuries.

    Here in New Mexico some people (those of historical Spanish/Mexican extraction) were incensed at the installation of a statue of Popay in the US Capitol. (Popay led the revolt of the Pueblo Indians that slaughtered most of the Spanish settlers and sent the survivors back to El Paso and reverted the area to native control without any Spaniards for decades.) That episode was a crazy long time ago and given the way the Spanish treated the natives was pretty well justified.

  • Tim||

    Slavery wasn't the point of the Civil War. The whole point of the war was : "be yourself"...

    apologies to Homer Simpson.

  • Justin Raimondo||

    From "Dorothy Healey Remembers: A Life in the American Communist Party":

    "The great irony of the McCarthy period is that we did almost as much damage to ourselves, in the name of purifying our ranks, as Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover and all the other witch-hunters combined were able to do. One of the most catastrophically stupid things we ever did was to choose this moment to launch an internal campaign against white chauvinism."(125)

    While crediting the Party for its dedication to the cause of civil rights, Healey writes:

    "However, with the white chauvinism campaign of 1949-1953, what had been a legitimate concern turned into an obsession, a ritual act of self-purification that did nothing to strengthen the Party in its fight against racism and was manipulated by some Communist leaders for ends which had nothing to do with the ostensible purpose of the whole campaign. Once an accusation of white chauvinism was thrown against a white Communist, there was no defense. Debate was over. By the very act of denying the validity of the charge, you only proved your own guilt. Thousands of people were caught up in this campaign — not only in the Party itself, but within the Progressive Party and some of the Left unions as well. In Los Angeles alone we must have expelled two hundred people on charges of white chauvinism, usually on the most trivial of pretexts. People would be expelled for serving coffee in a chipped coffee cup to a Black or serving watermelon at the end of dinner. (p. 126 emphasis added.)

    Healey was herself brought up on a charge of "white chauvinism," forced to admit guilt, sign a statement, and abnegate herself before the Party leadership. If you criticized an African-American CP member, you were a "racist," and that was that. (126-129

    Communism, libertarianism, whatever -- all ideological movements are prone to such nonsense, and the motives of those who intiate the nonsense are invariably mixed up with personal and political opportunism score-settling, etc. Both the bizarre Boaz piece, and the above nonsense, are prime examples.

  • Dan T. ||

    Justin Raimondo, on 12/24/2005:

    Upon meeting Dr. Mahathir, whatever reservations remained were put completely to rest: the man seems to emanate benevolence and great gentleness, almost an aura of serenity, like some sort of Buddhist guru.

    Sooo...libertarians jump on to defend Confederates and anti-Semites (in the case of Mahthir Mohammed). Wow, I cannot figure out why your reputation is in the crapper.

  • VikingMoose||

    hay! broad brush, etc.

    Justin is obviously canadian, where "libertarian" translates to us as "wtf paranoid freakazoid pant pant austrian garble garh barg a bing bong.

  • ||

    There's some questionable begging here. The reputation of libertarians is not in the crapper. So, you can't figure out why something that hasn't happened hasn't happened.

  • ||

    One of those hasn'ts should be a has. Pick one.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Actually, what hurt the Communist Party more than their anti-racism was their hatred of America and blind defense of Soviet foreign policy. The same problem has hurt a certain small segment of the libertarian movement associated with Murray Rothbard.

  • Justin Raimondo||

    We're sending you to Afghanistan, Gene, where you can demonstrate your love of America. One way.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Justin, I guess you are the one who equates love of America with support for war. Not me!

  • ||

    Justin, with friends like you, the neo-Confederates need no more enemies.

  • Chip||

    'Neo-Confederate' in this context is just a cheap shot meant to imply 'modern racist'. You could be more direct.

    And there is nothing inherently 'racist' to the concept of a Confederate form of government. Just ask the unequivocably 'neo-Confederate' Swiss.

  • T||

    They're more paleo-Confederate, aren't they? I mean, the Helvetic Confederation dates back to what, 1300 or some such?

  • jkp||

    Looks like there's still some Virginians that need to have the Secesh burned out of them.

  • Fluffy||

    Since slavery was legal in the Colonies, if someone somewhere has a "Colonial History Month", should the proclamation about it also focus exclusively on the institution of slavery in the Colonies?

    Because the last time I checked, nobody was doing that.

    Should they stop Antiques Roadshow every time a Colonial era chair is shown for a five minute lecture about how the Colonies had the evil institution of slavery?

  • Jennifer||

    If the American revolution started because the British wanted to outlaw slavery and the Americans opposed that, your analogy would make perfect sense.

    What the modern Confederate apologists are doing is more akin to insisting the American Revolution had nothing, nada, el zilcho to do with tax policy. No, the colonists were just sick and tired of adding extraneous "u"s to perfectly cromulent phrases like "favorite color."

  • robc||

    No one has claimed that the Civil War had *nothing* to do with slavery.

    I have heard many people claim that the Revolution wasnt really about taxation because the Tea Act lower taxes.

  • Jennifer||

    And I've heard people claim anti-Jew bigots are not "anti-semites" because lots of Semitic peoples are not Jews. Don'cha just love people who believe quibbling over semantic bullshit will actually alter reality?

  • Mo||

    It wasn't about taxation. It was about taxation without representation.

  • robc||

    Bah. While that was part of it, it was more about creating a government monopoly on importation. This hurt the smugglers who were dodging the high taxes anyway.

  • wayne||

    "cromulent"... SuhWeet!

  • Fluffy||

    No, Jennifer.

    Your argument is that no mention of anything having to do with the Confederacy should ever be made without pausing for a ten-minute public service announcement about the evils of slavery.

    If your point is true, it should be true for ALL states that sanctioned slave-owning, in ALL historical time periods.

    But we don't do that.

    And the reason we don't do that is because it would be stupid.

    You seem to be now saying that we don't have to include a Standard Disclaimer when talking about colonial America, because the American Revolution wasn't about slavery. And that seems pretty stupid to me. When one slave turned to another slave in 1740 in Maryland, do you really think the conversation went something like this?

    Slave A: Man, being a slave really sucks.

    Slave B: Hey now, these colonies aren't ALL ABOUT slavery, so you really should quit your bitching.

    Somehow I don't think so. The institution of slavery was just as repugnant before 1861 as it was after 1861, and if we're going to say that everyone who at any point talks about Confederate history has to genuflect before the altar of sensitivity before doing so, that should be the case with EVERY nation and EVERY time period where slavery was practiced.

  • Jennifer||

    Fluffy, the difference is that the American Revolution was fought by a bunch of people criticizing tax policy, long-distance governance and other issues -- and some of those people owned slaves, yes, but slaveholding or the end thereof was not one of the issues which inspired the revolution. But the Confederacy was inspired entirely by slavery. The only "state's right" the Confederates cared about was the right to own slaves.

    On another topic: I don't get the strain of libertarianism dedicated to retroactively whitewashing the Confederacy. Is it perhaps akin to Holocaust denial -- "If the Holocaust never happened, Hitler would've actually been a pretty damned good leader! And if slavery weren't an issue, the Confederacy would be rather admirable too."

  • MNG||

    Wow, another +1
    I know I'm not doing Jennifer any favors by my support, but I can't resist

  • Fluffy||

    All of that is irrelevant, Jennifer.

    The condition of slaves in Virginia was absolutely identical in 1861 to what it was in 1859.

    That means that if the Confederacy was as bad as Nazi Germany, then whatever nation Virginia was part of in 1859 was ALSO as bad as Nazi Germany.

    What nation was Virginia part of in 1859?

    Whatever nation it was, we should immediately purge all positive references to that nation from our history. And we should crucify anyone who ever decides to talk about the history of that nation EVER AGAIN.

    I'm not seeking to whitewash the Confederacy at all. The Confederacy sucked. As a slave state it was inherently illegitimate. Had the slaves risen in rebellion and slaughtered their masters and destroyed the Confederacy, they would have been completely in the right to do so.

    I just object to the ritual self-mutilation sensitivity assholes demand we engage in any time anyone wants to TALK ABOUT the Confederacy.

    "Blah blah blah slavery!"

    We get it. Now please shut up, oh sensitive ones, because I don't fucking care about your feelings.

    If there were any living slaves or children of slaves I might care more. But there aren't.

  • Jennifer||

    Fluffy, I wonder if you and I are somehow talking past each other? For my point, the way Virginia slaves were treated in 1859 versus 1861 has nothing to do with this discussion; the point is, the states of the Confederacy feared that if they stayed in the Union, they wouldn't be allowed to own slaves anymore. That's it. That's all they cared about. Yet for some reason, neo-Confederates want to whitewash over that -- to hear them talk, even if slavery never existed in America there would have been a Civil War anyway, because the issue was entirely state's rights, not slavery, no no no.

    I just object to the ritual self-mutilation sensitivity assholes demand we engage in any time anyone wants to TALK ABOUT the Confederacy.

    I don't care what individual people say when they talk about the Confederacy; however, when a state government goes out of its way to honor the Confederacy then yes, I think they should be honest about what they're honoring.

  • Fluffy||

    OK, I will try to break it down for you very simply:

    1. You object to "honoring" the Confederacy by declaring a month devoted to studying and appreciating its history.

    2. You object to this because the Confederacy allowed the institution of slavery.

    3. The United States also allowed the institution of slavery.

    4. You should therefore also object to anyone "honoring" the United States by declaring any period of time that will be devoted to the study of and appreciation of its history.

    5. Can you provide me some links to occasions where you've objected to anyone studying or appreciating the history of the United States? Maybe a letter to a school board demanding the cancellation of history classes, or an online petition demanding the closure of the Smithsonian Institution?

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, had slavery never existed I imagine that eventually somebody somewhere would have tried to secede over some issue.

    In our own timeline we have the example of the Civil War to discourage attempts at secession. No Civil War, and maybe somebody decides to cause trouble in the 1890's over currency, taxation, tariff, or immigration issues. There's no way to know one way or the other.

  • Jennifer||

    2. You object to this because the Confederacy allowed the institution of slavery.

    No, I object to this because allowing the continuation of slavery was the Confederacy's entire raison d'etre.

    Would you be okay with it if the Germans decided to celebrate "Nazi History Month?" Granted, the Nazis were anti-Jewish bigots, but anti-Jew bigotry was pretty common all throughout European history, so there's really no difference between "Nazi Heritage Month" and, say, "British Heritage Month" or "Spanish Heritage Month," right?

  • Jennifer||

    2. You object to this because the Confederacy allowed the institution of slavery.

    No, I object to this because allowing the continuation of slavery was the Confederacy's entire raison d'etre.

    Would you be okay with it if the Germans decided to celebrate "Nazi History Month?" Granted, the Nazis were anti-Jewish bigots, but anti-Jew bigotry was pretty common all throughout European history, so there's really no difference between "Nazi Heritage Month" and, say, "British Heritage Month" or "Spanish Heritage Month," right?

  • wayne||

    So nice, you said twice!

  • MJ||

    Fluffy, in large part, the Confederacy existed to actively preserve and defend the institution of slavery, and not passively allow it.

    The US Constitution spoke of slavery in vague euphemism, the Confederacy boldly named it as something they wanted to continue.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, I think what's going on here is that although the United States and the Confederate States were BOTH slave states, the Confederacy has become a convenient repository for all the loathing directed at the institution of slavery, and by serving as such a repository it allows some Americans to ignore the slavery in the history of the US.

    It's like that Star Trek episode where aliens took all the evil in themselves and turned it into "Black Tar Guy" and left him behind on an asteroid.

    Ritually despising the Confederacy allows them to check off "Denounced Slavery" on their checklist of things to do, and they then feel free to celebrate, say, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

    There are monuments HONORING SLAVEHOLDERS on the National Mall, visited by schoolchildren every day.

    Did Thomas Jefferson "passively allow" slavery? Or did he actively participate in it?

    Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't celebrate or honor Thomas Jefferson. I'm just saying that Jennifer's absolute hysteria and incandescent rage that someone somewhere decided to declare a "Confederate History Month" is really, really misplaced until I see a picture of her bombing the Jefferson Memorial.

  • Jennifer||

    Uh-oh, Fluffy. Looks like Virginia's own governor has backtracked and now admits that yeah, for the Confederacy, slavery was a pretty big fucking deal, one central to the conflict.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2250095/

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    "But the Confederacy was inspired entirely by slavery."

    I think I've figured out a large part of the problem. The key word was entirely. A lot of people think it was ALL about slavery, which shouldn't be surprising since the human brain is better designed for discrete categories than shades of grey. It was about slavery OR it wasn't. It takes a lot of sustained effort to understand it was about slavery AND it wasn't.

    So when I notice the use of a word such as "always", "all", "every", etc. and argue against the author, it is often assumed I am saying the confederacy had NOTHING to do with slavery. I could be claiming slavery was 99.5% of the issue, and I would still be assumed equivalent to a holocaust denier.

    This of course polarizes the argument (reinforcing discrete rather than continuous positions) until both sides have invested so much of their egos that any form of retraction is nearly impossible.

    (I assume it works in reverse too, but I typically don't see as many people claiming slavery had NOTHING to do with the war.)

  • BarryJV||

    "If the American revolution started because the British wanted to outlaw slavery and the Americans opposed that, your analogy would make perfect sense."

    As with the Civil War, slavery was one of many issues that divided the two sides.

  • Chirol||

    Regardless of the role of slavery, the South was, is and always will be a distinct region of this country (like New England, Midwest, West etc) with its own culture and history. Given the huge effect of North's unconstitutional invasion of the South, it's hardly unusual or wrong to celebrate our history and culture. Nobody is condoning slavery but rather not giving in to the myopic focus on it.

  • B.P.||

    The Congress shall have power:

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

  • robc||

    Not in foreign lands.

    After succession, there was no insurrection to suppress.

  • B.P.||

    Okay then, bombardment of a fortress isn't an act of war?

  • robc||

    No more so that american troops firing on British forts in the colonies after 7/4/76.

    In other words, like the British, the Yankees should have packed the fuck up and gone home.

    Disclosure: all my ancestors in the war wore blue.

  • robc||

    Did the USA have a treaty with the CSA declaring Sumter to be USA territory? If no, then it was a CSA fort that was being occupied illegally.

  • Dan T. ||

    robc, I have legally declared your house mine. Now, do not argue - I seceded and just happened to choose your house for my secession.

    Sucker!

  • robc||

    Does anyone think Dan even realizes how bad that analogy is?

  • Gene Berkman||

    Actually, Dan T. made an excellent analogy.

    Fort Sumter was federal property located in the state of South Carolina. Apparently either the state or private landowners had sold the property or otherwise ceded it to the federal government. When South Carolina forces attacked Fort Sumter, it was an act of rebellion if S.C. was considered still part of the union, or an act of war otherwise.

  • WDIK||

    From what I understand the U.S. owned Fort Sumter. The U.S. and South Carolina were working on a resolution about what to do with the U.S. forts in S.C.'s harbor. While working on the resolution an agreement was made that Fort Sumter, which wasn't completed would remain unmanned by U.S. troops. A Major Robert Anderson breached this agreement by moving his troops from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. S.C. asked the Major to remove his troops from the fort and return to Fort Moultrie. Major Anderson refused to leave and the U.S. started to try and send supplies and troops to Fort Sumter. This is what promted the attack on Fort Sumter.

  • robc||

    Which answers my question, yes, there was a treaty, or at least an agreement, the north violated it, hence Ft Sumter reverts back to SC territory.

  • How MNG read this||

    From what I understand the U.S. owned Fort Sumter. The U.S. and South Carolina were working on a resolution about what to do with the U.S. forts in S.C.'s harbor. While working on the resolution an agreement was made that Fort Sumter, which wasn't completed would remain unmanned by U.S. troops. A Major Robert Anderson breached this agreement by moving his troops from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. S.C. asked the Major to remove his troops from the fort and return to Fort Moultrie. Major Anderson refused to leave and the U.S. started to try and send supplies and troops to Fort Sumter. This is what promted the attack on Fort Sumter.

  • MNG||

    I'm pretty sure that if you looked up in the land records who owned Ft. Sumter it would have been the feds, not SC.

  • Sam Grove||

    The Federal government insisted upon collecting tariffs on Confederacy trade.
    Fort Sumter was used to enforce those tariffs.

  • robc||

    Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

    Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--

    Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.

    Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

  • ||

    Trust me, there are "morans" out there that will claim up and down that slavery wasn't the reason for secession. I grew up in VA and visit regularly. You wouldn't believe some of the stupidity I encounter. One guy not too long ago was trying to tell me the northern states owned more slaves than the southern ones when the war started. This was from a guy who claimed to collect civil war documents. Another recently told me the n****** were better off being slaves in America than being free in Africa. When I asked him if he would rather be a slave in a modern world than free in his own land, it was like a light bulb went off. People that think like this never question or work through the idea.

  • Abdul||

    "morans"

    Is that a reference to Virginia rep Jim Moran?

    Well, he did once say that Robert E. Lee was a patriot.

  • robc||

    I think its a reference to this.

    Also, Lee was a patriot...to Virginia, not the USA.

  • ||

    That is the correct reference.

  • PicassoIII||

    *runs off to make popcorn and check stock of liquor cabinet*

  • ||

    I still don't understand how "preserving the union" was sufficient motivation for war. I just can't get into the head of your average 19th century Northerner. Why give a damn if the South wanted to start their own nation? Particularly since most of the wealth generation was in the North? The historical evidence I've read shows that your average Northerner thought that suppressing the uprising would take about as long as Iraq War 1. So maybe they were simply blinded by their own ignorance of your average Southerner's will.

    But the North's motivation for pursuing the war at its outset surely wasn't the elimination of slavery.

  • robc||

    Abolitionists such as Garrison had called for the North to succeed from the union over slavery.

  • robc||

    secede even.

  • ||

    Yes, and he had done so for years prior to 1860. And although Abolitionism was constantly gaining traction in the North, it was not the driving motivator for the majority that elected to fight.

    Also, Garrison was a pacifist. His eventual support of the war was pragmatic, not moral. And he certainly wasn't advocating that it be fought.

  • C-Dog||

    If you were just a normal white Northerner, you probably wanted to take your family West sometime in the future. The Confederacy and the Union would have had border skirmishes in the West for years, especially with a shared cultural identity including Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine.

  • ||

    There is a lot of historical ignorance in this thread. Whatever the role slavery played in the decision for the Deep South to leave the union, the point is it didn't play much role in Virginia's decision. To the contrary, the reason Virginia voted NOT to leave the union had a lot to do with the fact they didn't see much future for slavery within Virginia and thought their economic interests aligned more with the North. Virginia reversed it's earlier vote and left the USA only after Lincoln announced War. It was a moral decision for Virginia. They wouldn't be part of an illegal and immoral war of aggression against their Southern neighbors, and because of their geography this forced them in to the Confederacy by default. Had Lincoln allowed the Deep South to leave peacefully, Virginia never would have become part of the Confederacy.

  • ||

    They wouldn't be part of an illegal and immoral war of aggression against their Southern neighbors

    The South attacked first.

  • cynical||

    Absolutely. Granted, the people they attacked were foreign soldiers on their territory. Some might call that defense, but what do I know?

  • creech||

    Virginia's geography would have pretty much left them out of Lincoln's attempt to restore South Carolina and deep south states to the Union. Except for Norfolk, Ft. Monroe staging area, there would have been little or no need to march Northern troops across Virginia to get to South Carolina or Alabama or Florida.

    It should be noted that Virginia militia joined the march into Penna. to punish the Whiskey rebellers, so it is not like they respected state borders that much anyway.

  • Craig||

    It was about slavery for the rich people and about resisting invaders to the average no-slave having people.

  • Joe||

    As a native Virginian, color me unsurprised by this proclamation. This is the state that until 2000 celebrated January 15th as Lee-Jackson-King day--that's Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Martin Luther King.

  • Mike||

    The Daily Kosby Kidz have like 20 threads about this stupid attempt to bring some tourism to Virginia. If only they could get this excited over their leader keeping GITMO open.

  • ||

    for those who wanted to see what the average northern soldier thought of the war..

    "Dear Father and Mother:

    I received your kind letter last night and was glad indeed to hear from you and to hear you was all well as these few lines leave me and all of the boys in the best of health and spirits.

    Father, we are now 10 miles from the Penna. State line. We came from the muddy soil of Virginia. We crossed in Maryland 24th at Edward's ferry above Harpers. We are at South Mountain we are following up old Lee and driving him towards the North. I suppose you have force enough to stop him at Harrisburgh for he never can go through this Army of the Potomac.

    We have our whole army here, about 80,000 troops, and if he goes either way you will see him that way for we are bound to get him. Mother you was saying you would like to have me home for the fourth of July. Yes I would like to be there too but we have to do this army up now. Oh we live good here among the Rich old farmers of Maryland. Everything we want to eat we can have. We can't write much more for we are going on to Harrisburgh. I think we will spend the fourth in Penna.

    They say our corps is not going to go back in Virginia any more. We are going to stay around Maryland. The most of our boys think our Regt. will be home after this present trouble over for nine months. Man, won't we have a lovely old time.

    Father, you wanted to know if we would be payed off before the 4th. I don't think we will. We ought to be paid the first of July but it always runs two weeks after before the PayMaster comes around. We will have 52 dollars, 4 months pay, up to the first of July. You can send me a little money if you please for the 4th of July.

    Oh my boots are pretty good yet and I won't need any now. Please send me 10 postage stamps Jack.

    Well mother you must keep up good courage for I stopped in a house in Middletown and she gave me some milk and good bread and butter. It made me think of Mamy's old cellar.

    We have orders to march and I will have to stop. We are going towards home. We see plenty of pretty girls and they are all for the Union and they keep coming in our camp and talk with us. It seems like Camp Luzerne to see the girls. They have their flags all out and in every town we pass and great cheering some more.

    Please ans. soon. From your son G.H. Megines To his Dear Mother and Father.

    Hurrah for Pennsylvania forever. We will fight for it forever. I am a corporal now . I have a big promotion. Won't I shine with my two cents stripes on.

    Jake and Joel are well."
    The letter was written 3 days before Gettysburg, He was killed on the first day. He was a member of the 243 pa vol reg (Buck Tails). This was written after the battle of the wilderness in maryland on the way to PA.

  • creech||

    Nice, touching letter. Except there was no 243rd Penna. Volunteers and a search of Union soldier records uncovers no one named G. H. Megines.
    [There's a G. H. Maginnis in the 82nd Pa.]

  • ||

    You must have not looked to hard for this, Considering that GH megines was my great great uncle, I would think that he existed, and according to his sister that was three during the war, he most certianly did, she died in 1962.

    That being said, I live 15 miles from gettysburg, and the stone monument to the 243rd must be fake, because according to you there is no such thing.

    heres a pdf ulcwrt.org/243 history.pdf

    pabucktail.com/oldbuck.htm

  • ||

    Creech It was the 143rd, but the vol regs were moved around alot, due to troop loss and so on, so you may have found his records in the 82nd, And as for the name, he was a welsh man, not looked to highly upon by the wasp, comanders.

    George was killed in action on the first day's fight at Gettysburg. According to a copy of his death certificate I obtained from the National Archives he was killed by gunshot wound to the neck. He was 5' 4" tall with black hair and "black" eyes and a fair complexion. He was a carpenter by trade. He was 22 years old at the time of his death. Because the First Day's Battle field fell into Confederate hands, George's body, like most of the Union dead of July 1st was stripped and probably was not buried until sometime after the 4th. Evidently, he was initially identified by his comrades as his death certificate had his possessions listed at the time of his death and of course,
    the nature of his fatal wound. However, in October of 1863, the Union dead were disinterred from their battlefield graves to be reinterred at the newly
    formed National Cemetery(the ceremony for which Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, 1863). Apparently, upon disinterment, George's body could no longer be identified and any grave marker his comrades gave him was gone.
    He now lies in an unknown grave in the Gettysburg National Cemetery or possibly on the battlefield itself(it seems about every five years an unmarked grave is found on the battlefield).
    The article does continue, listing many of George's relatives who were alive in 1953. If you are interested in this let me know and I will send.
    Any other questions about George or the 143rd Pa Vol.

  • creech||

    Indeed, Corporal George H. Magines is found in Co. C, 143rd Penna., Reynold's I Corps. He was one of 21 from his regiment killed at Gettysburg. Monument shows bas relief of color guard Sgt. Ben Cripen shaking his fist at rebs before falling.
    As far as I can tell, 143rd was not a Bucktail regiment. The Original Bucktails were the 42nd; they fought on July 2nd near Devils Den and their colonel, Charles Taylor, was killed.
    Later regiments, the 149th and 150th wore bucktails, but the orignals always deried them as Bogus Bucktails.
    They, too, fought and suffered at Gettysburg.
    What a waste - 625,000 young Americans.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Even if this was legit, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the issue at hand.

  • WTF||

    ...so you got the point.

  • Itchy Puss||

    I think that they should have NOT fought the civil war and left the South as a separate Country. And, I would have loved to see the Southerner prohibited from entering the North. They could have kept their slaves to themselves and any Negro that happened to cross the Mason Dixon Line would have been welcomed.

    Me, I live in NYC, I'm pretty liberal and make great money...along with most of the people around me.

    Although I can't speak for all NYC, I can tell you that we generally:
    - are Pro Choice
    - tolerate alternative life styles
    - are OK with our hard-earned tax dollars going torwards helping people that can't help themselves (even the lazy ones as their are enough ambish ones here)
    - against the War Bullshit
    - would love to see a progressive solution to the healthcare and pension problems

    I would Love to see NYC separate from the USA and the rest of the idiots I see on TV.

  • MNG's Mom||

    You go ahead and keep NYC, and you can find a way to grow or import food, goods, etc. XD I'm sure your infrastructure can totally handle going sovereign.

  • ||

    Joshua,

    The South attacked a fort within it's own territory that Lincoln was attempting to resupply. The did not attack the North and had no intention of ever attacking the North. They wished merely to be left alone. Also note we are talking about Virginia here and Virginia wasn't part of the "South" at the battle of Fort Sumter. They joined only after the Tyrant Lincoln declared his intention to invade the South. The War Between the States had one cause and one cause only- Lincoln's desire for Territorial Expansion. His election saw the USA's territory decrease substantially, and he was hell bent on winning that land back, no matter how many Americans had to be butchered to do it.

  • Itchy Puss||

    I agree! They should have left the South alone and let it be it's own country. I wish we can split the USA today and let the red-necks have their confederate flag.

  • Tim||

    But where would Northerners buy their timeshares?

  • Itchy Puss||

    We have timeshares in New England

    - Cape Code in the Summer
    - Vermont in the winter (skiing)

  • ||

    I would Love to see NYC separate from the USA and the rest of the idiots I see on TV.

    Considering that NYC gets more money from the federal government then it pays to the federal government I would like to see it out of the Union as well.

  • Itchy Puss||

    Actually, given the diametrically opposed ideology between us progressives and the conservative/libertarians...I think splitting up the country wouldn't be a bad idea.

  • robc||

    We dont want the conservatives.

  • T||

    You deserve to continue your endless interminable argument with conservatives about who the state should be screwing this week. We don't.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    I think David Duke had a similar idea.

  • Itchy Puss||

    And he is absolutely right!!!

    Why should us progressives who can tolerate people of other colours/cultures be subjected to the Birthers/Tea Party/KKK/Texans/etc...

    Plus, I don't feel that these people really want to tolerate us.

    We'll take all of the undesireables up hear and work with them. And they can have their separate country.

  • cynical||

    Wait, do libertarians get our own state in this plan? If so, count me in. I vote for Ohio, since 97% of libertarians already live there.

  • Mad Max||

    In discussing the Civil War, I find it hard to avoid the n-word: nuance.

    If I may be permitted to quote myself:

    Bottom line:

    -The Deep South states were motivated by slavery when they seceded

    -Some other Southern states seceded once Lincoln's militia call made clear that the states would have to choose between supporting the North or supporting the Confederacy.

    -Many Southerners - black and white - fought for the North, and many Southerners fought for the Confederacy, including some black people.

    -The North did not get into the war out of a disinterested desire to abolish slavery, although abolition was forced on the North as a war measure after the war turned out to be prolonged (thanks in part to the incompetence of Northern generals, to whom we therefore owe an unacknowledged debt for the end of slavery in the U.S.).

    -The U.S. Civil war was not the only war in which the victor abolished slavery in the conquered territory.

    Nuance, deal with it.

  • ||

    With all due apologies to the legions out there who are smarter and better informed, I think slavery had something to do with it. I read that many 19th century republicans campaigned (and were elected) as abolitionists. And didn't some southern leaders adopt a "firm" pro-slavery stance? Seems like the presence of such men in government made warfare among the states somewhat more likley, as it would be difficult for such radicals & ideologues to compromise. But I wasn't a history major so who knows? In college I mainly drank corn whiskey and chased skirts.

  • Mad Max||

    Historians classify corn whiskey and skirt-chasing as additional contributing causes of the Civil War.

  • ||

    "What's so civil about war anyway?"

    - Guns & Roses

  • ||

    Without the action of the Southern political elite, there would have been no Confederacy, and no war. And they were motivated by the threat to their economic well being that was posed the US westward expansion and the appearance of increasing numbers of slave-free territories.

    I think this is correct... but it should be noted that 'increasing numbers of slave-free territories' does not equal "slavery."

    iraq war : oil :: civil war : slavery

    It's all about political power.

  • ||

    Slavery was one of the reason why the Deep South left the United States. But to say it was a reason for the War Between the States is incorrect. The War Between the States happened because Lincoln wanted to regain the lost Southern territory. And again I remind everyone that this post is specifically about Virgina, where the slavery argument actually cut the other way and caused them to vote to remain in the Union. Damon Root is simply wrong on the facts here. Lincoln's invasion of the South, not slavery is what pushed them to leave the Union. Their location forced them to take sides, and they sided with the victims rather than join the aggressor.

  • ||

    PS - I don't think the Northern white trash (if they're anything like the kind I meet today) who did most of the fighting and dying in the Civil War on their side were all that interested in doing so for a bunch of slaves...

  • IceTrey||

    The Civil War was about the Scots and Irish settled South fighting the hated English settled North. The roots of the conflict were hundred of years in the making.

  • Gnarled||

    I saw some comments that southern succession was legitimate and the evil Lincoln caused the civil war.
    Did the slaves vote to succeed? How can a democratic government be legitimate without the will of large part of the population.
    Let the southern states succeed? Why should anyone let a bunch of lazy aristocrats continue to hold millions of people hostage to rape, murder and torture.
    If I were a freed slave, I would be going back to the master's house for some serious payback.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I saw some comments that southern succession was legitimate and the evil Lincoln caused the civil war.


    The Confederacy was as legitimate as the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea is legitimate.

  • rationalizer||

    "How can a democratic government be legitimate without the will of large part of the population."

    I dunno, but I'm pretty sure Lincoln's presidency didn't have the legal sanction of any women, children, slaves, or resident aliens at the time, so it's sort of a moot point.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The North fought it over union.

    The South fought it over slavery.

  • cavalier973||

    While Slavery was a main reason for the first seven states to secede, it does not explain why the North invaded.

    Look at Lincoln's first inaugural address; he stated that no bloodshed was necessary unless states refused to collect the taxes for the FedGov.

    In the same address, Lincoln stated approval of the proposed Corwin Amendment, which would have forbid Congress from ever interfering with slavery in the South.

    Then, looking at the Emancipation Proclamation, one finds that Lincoln basically said that any state that ceased fighting and returned to the Union would be able to keep its slaves forever. Naturally, since the South was only fighting for slavery, they all stopped fighting and rejoined the Union.

    Oh, wait....

  • ||

    I think you're missing the point. People from the south don't ignore the fact that slavery was an abomination to God and unacceptable for society. However, the average Joe who served in the military did not even have slaves and was fighting for his individual rights to be free from the control of a government who would usurp their states rights, lands, homes, etc. Lincoln only issued the proclamation to free slaves later in the war when it served his purpose to unite the war under a righteous cause. It was a smart move on his part but only "after" the war for independence was well on it's way.

  • cavalier973||

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0396f.asp

    The firing on Fort Sumter was not a justification for invasion.

    "President Lincoln's best argument would seem to have been that South Carolina committed an act of war by firing on Fort Sumter. But the Confederacy did not thereby open general hostilities, and the bombardment warranted at most a limited response, not a full-scale invasion. In fact, Lincoln the politician invited conflict with his decision to resupply the U.S. garrison in Charleston and probably expected, correctly, the incident to unite the Northern public behind him. In short, Fort Sumter did not cause civil war. Rather, it enabled President Lincoln to successfully wage civil war."

  • cavalier973||

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0396f.asp

    In a real sense, the "Civil War" accomplished none of its goals except to force the Southern States back into the Union.

    "The sole genuine benefit of the war — the destruction of slavery — was partially overturned after Reconstruction when Southern states reimposed white supremacist rule. Thirty years ago, blacks still couldn't vote in many states. Thus, the Civil War did not actually free African-Americans in all respects. Peaceful separation in 1861 might have resulted in justice for blacks sooner than did coercive union."

    Lincoln would have done better to tell the Seceding States to "go in peace. However, the Fugitive Slave Law no longer applies to you. Any slaves escaping to Tennessee or Virginia will be set free rather than returned to you." Slaves would then be spared the hundreds of miles travelling to reach freedom in Canada.

    That's the sort of thing, coupled with international pressure, that compelled Brazil to end slavery some years later--with no major war necessary.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Let's say, just hypothetically, that the Confederate States had said to Mr Lincoln, "We'll get rid of Slavery, but we are still outta here baby, cause your tarriffs suck!". Would there have still been a war? Hell ya there would have.

    Let's say that Mr Lincoln had said "yall can keep your slaves, as long as you pay these taxes?", oh wait .... that was pretty much the actual offer on the table, wasn't it?

    If slavery was the "cause" of the war, then whatever you mean by "cause" isn't what I mean by cause. Keeping slavery wasn't sufficient to prevent the war. Getting rid of slavery wasn't necessary to start it.

  • ||

    In President Lincoln's first inaugural address, he said, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so."
    so whats that about? to think only slavery or mostly slavery was the cause of the Civil War is only a reason of justification. But...you have to admit its a sensitive issue that gets people riled. States Rights included the right to slavery but was far more encompassing than existence of slavery alone.

  • دردشة||

    thank u

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