Sunday, July 12, 2015

War Between the States Revisionism Falls Flat

The Lazy C is hard at it again, doing their best to destroy “PRIVATE PROPERTY rights” and spew revisionist history.

Odd how their revisionist history stated in the screen capture from the Saturday July 11, 2015 Cheers & Jeers column is deemed so important when there are ample quotes from the era showing the opposite of their claim.

For example, “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, and I have no inclination to do so.” Lincoln's first inaugural address.

“I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.” Lincoln from an 1858 letter.

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of ... making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

“I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” Lincoln in the Lincoln - Douglas debates

“I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion,” adding “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” Lincoln in explaining his rationale with the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.” William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State expressing the hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” Lincoln 1862 letter to Horace Greeley

“This war must go on till the last of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for Slavery. We are fighting for independence, and that or extermination we will have.” Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy as quoted in a July 25, 1864 New York Times editorial, “Is Peace Attainable? How?”

“It was only during Reconstruction that the cause of the war, slavery, was wedded so inextricably to the war’s eventual byproduct, emancipation. But six months after Fort Sumter, these issues were so hotly contested that the Union effort seemed threatened not merely by the surprisingly capable Confederate forces, but by the battle over abolition and its place in the Union fight. How could the remaining states in the Union prevail if they were so divided over the issue of freeing the slaves?”

“Seemingly always there to stir up more trouble, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner leapt into the headlines with a speech at the Republican State Convention in Worcester on Oct. 1 called ‘Emancipation: Our Best Weapon.’ In trying to transform the war for Union into a ‘war of abolition,’ conservatives feared that Sumner would draw out the war and poison the Republicans as ‘a ‘John Brown Party’.” A War Not for Abolition, New York Times October 11, 2011

Finally, the one part that I feel most dispels this revisionist history of the war fought solely over ending slavery, The Corwin Amendment proposed by President Buchanan and promoted by President Abraham Lincoln, a constitutional amendment that would have protected the institution of slavery and made it fully legal for all time in the states where it then existed.

If, as claimed by revisionist historians and the likes of the Lazy C, the war was solely about slavery, this one offer would have prevented the war and very well might have restored the Union prior to any hostilities, in my estimation.

Let there be no mistake, I personally feel slavery was a hideous institution that never should have been. My argument is not to defend slavery, but to show the truth that while an issue at the time, the North’s War of Aggression against the South was about much more.

I also make no claim of Black people in America ever being treated well overall. To do so would be a complete fallacy as it is a well documented fact that they have been wrongfully treated throughout America and our history, not just in the South. But, that is a subject for a future post.

As much as slavery should have never existed, neither should Lincoln have sent Troops to the South after South Carolina ousted the Union Army from their land at Ft. Sumter. Nor should Lincoln have been allowed to get away with the many violations of the Constitution in the Northern States, arbitrary midnight arrests of thousands of civilians suspected to have sympathies to the Confederacy, arresting the legislature of Maryland to prevent a legislative vote on secession, establishing Martial Law to forcibly keep Northerners in line and more.

Also ignored by so many is that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declaring slaves free in states not under his control, not only still allowed slavery to exist in the states under Union control where slavery was practiced, but would have allowed slavery to exist in the South if they surrendered.

Another fallacy is that the South wanted to overthrow the United States Government. If that was the goal, Gen. Lee could have easily done that by surrounding Washington D.C. early in the war and arresting Lincoln and the government since the Confederacy was winning the early battles.

He did not as the goal was the same as when the Colonies rebelled against Great Britain, freedom to self determination and Liberty from an oppressive government.

Even citizens of the North were very reluctant and opposed to a fight for freedom of slaves, as stated in this PBS article, The Civil War and emancipation 1861 – 1865

“President Lincoln insisted that the war was not about slavery or black rights; it was a war to preserve the Union. His words were not simply aimed at the loyal southern states, however -- most white northerners were not interested in fighting to free slaves or in giving rights to black people. For this reason, the government turned away African American volunteers who rushed to enlist. Lincoln upheld the laws barring blacks from the army, proving to northern whites that their race privilege would not be threatened.”

About midway through the war, slavery transitioned to a cause for the war as we read from PBS,

“Though ‘contraband’ slaves had been declared free, Lincoln continued to insist that this was a war to save the Union, not to free slaves. But by 1862, Lincoln was considering emancipation as a necessary step toward winning the war. The South was using enslaved people to aid the war effort. Black men and women were forced to build fortifications, work as blacksmiths, nurses, boatmen, and laundresses, and to work in factories, hospitals, and armories. In the meantime, the North was refusing to accept the services of black volunteers and freed slaves, the very people who most wanted to defeat the slaveholders. In addition, several governments in Europe were considering recognizing the Confederacy and intervening against the Union. If Lincoln declared this a war to free the slaves, European public opinion would overwhelmingly back the North.” (emphasis added)

It is well known that history is written by the victors and nothing shows that more than the North’s oppression of the South over the last 150 years in fabricating the cause of the war. In my estimation, they had to do that in order for them justify the war in the first place, forgetting that everywhere else slavery was ended, it did not require such a war.

We will never know for sure, but several people have claimed slavery was very gradually dying in the South. Reinforcing my speculation in that regard, I read from Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his article, Free Blacks Lived in the North, Right?

“In that raging year of Lincoln’s election and Southern secession, there were a total of 488,070 free blacks living in the United States, about 10 percent of the entire black population. Of those, 226,152 lived in the North and 261,918 in the South, in 15 states (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) plus the District of Columbia. Let me break that down further: A few months before the Confederacy was born, there were 35,766 more free black people living in the slave-owning South than in the North, and removing D.C. from the equation wouldn’t have shifted the result. And they stayed there during the Civil War.”

“At no time before the Civil War (at least not after the first U.S. Census was taken in 1790 and future states were added) did free blacks in the North ever outnumber those in the South!”

And, we cannot forget that many of those Free Blacks voluntarily fought for the Confederacy for any variety of reasons.

For some insight into the main reasons the war was fought, I invite you to read Walter Williams
Dec. 2, 1998 article: The Civil War wasn't about slavery

I’ve said many times to friends that this current flap over the Confederate Flag is not about the flag itself so much as it is the complete eradication of Southern Heritage, a heritage steeped in the desire of and willingness to fight for freedoms and liberty. Black or White, doesn’t matter, Southerners hold a deep respect for America’s promise of freedom and liberty and even though it was denied in the past to some, that desire remains today.

 Once that is gone, a large block of resistance to totalitarian rules is gone.

Likewise, my recent research into the War Between the States, seeking out early documents, speeches, letters and what have you convinces me more than ever those modern revisionist historians and media like the Lazy C are completely full of crap!

Stand up for yourselves, America.

Daily Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, Feb 23, 1890, Speech given by former slave, Confederate veteran and MS Rep. John F. Harris.

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