What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 11, 2010

Welcome To The New History Of America

From the AP:
At South Carolina's Secession Gala, men in frock coats and militia uniforms and women in hoopskirts will sip mint juleps as a band called Unreconstructed plays "Dixie." In Georgia, they will re-enact the state's 1861 secession convention. And Alabama will hold a mock swearing-in of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Across the South, preparations are under way for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. And while many organizations are working to incorporate both the black and the white experience, there are complaints that some events will glorify the Old South and the Lost Cause while overlooking the fundamental reason for the war: slavery.
In the New History, we learn the real reason for the Civil War:
Mark Simpson, commander of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, acknowledged that an event such as the Dec. 20 Secession Gala in Charleston is seen by some Americans as politically incorrect. But "to us it's part of our nature and our culture and our heritage."

"Slavery was a very big issue. Anyone who denies that has his head in a hole somewhere," said Simpson, a Spartanburg businessman who counts 32 ancestors who fought for the South. "But slavery was not the single nor primary cause, and that's where the line gets drawn." [emphasis added.]

Simpson said the primary cause was states' rights — the purported right of states to nullify federal laws and freely leave the Union they voluntarily joined.
See that? The War of Northern Agression was not about slavery as much it was about freedom!

They fought for the Freedom of those freedom-loving southern states to be free of Guv-ment intrusion into their legislative decisions to freely continue their traditional southern culture.

It's real unfortunate that that culture included slavery, doncha think?


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Civil War was about State's Rights. More specifically, one right in particular. The right to own human beings as if they were cattle.

EdHeath said...

"The War of Northern Aggression", or perhaps (as I have heard it put) "The Recent Unpleasantness Between the States" is a wee bit more complicated than some would like to see. The economic anxiety of the South, seeing a North becoming increasingly industrialized and threatening the economic livelihood of the South by demanding the South give up its source of inexpensive labor, etc etc. Of course you had guys like Robert E Lee who knew better, but put the fate of slavery in God's hands. Of course, when God arguably decided to end slavery with the Civil War (one possible interpretation) Lee still chose the wrong side.

All that aside, my fellow Southerners ought to understand that slavery is a chapter we need to put behind us. We should acknowledge it happened, be glad that it is over, and do what we can to help African Americans escape what institutional racism persists.

Anonymous said...

Ed, (and not that I disagree at all with your conclusions. Hear, Hear!)....What drove people from states and territories in the Plains and Rockies to fight for the North, and to fight bitterly from the start, was not that they wanted abolition in the South, as much as they resented having slavery forced upon them as a condition of statehood. (To protect their Peculiar Institution, the Slave States demanded that, for a "Free" state to be admitted to the Union, a "Slave" state had to be admitted, with it. To many sod-busters, that was absolutely repugnant.

It never ceases to amaze me that slavery was ever accepted in these United States.

EdHeath said...

gtl, yeah, there are several different interesting views in the Civil War. The book the Killer Angels covered some of that, as I sure many others I have no idea about.

And I think we would agree on the point of the post, that the past should stay in the past. Slavery was absolutely an unfortunate chapter in our history, and the racism that still exists, along with the nearly inescapable poverty that results from it, are all unforgivable. They are a constant reminder of how far short we fall from our ideals.

Definitely do not talk about the good old days of the pre-civil war south.

Seeker said...

You have a whole in your head if you don't think slavery was the ONLY real issue.

For the South that is.

Read the South's own words at the time. Read the Southern leaders in Montgonmery, March 1861, just days before the official start of the war.

The Southern leaders issued Five Ultimatums. All five Ultimatums were about the SPREAD of slavery.

SPREAD --S P R E A D of slavery.

Read what the Southern newspapers said about the Southern Leader's Ultimatums.
Richmond Enquirer

Saturday Morning, March 23, 1861

The True Issue

The ultimatum of the seceded States is left in no uncertainty; it is to be found in the solemn action of the Montgomery Constitution and may be analyzed as follows:

1)That African slavery in the Territories shall be recognized and protected by Congress and the Territorial Legislatures.

2 That the right to slaveholders of transit and sojourn in any State of the Confederacy, with their slaves and other property, shall be recognized and respected.

3 That the provision in regard to fugitive slaves shall extend to any slave lawfully carried from one State into another, and there escaping or taken away from his master.

4)That no bill or ex post facto law (by Congress or any State,) and no law impairing or denying the right of property in negro slaves, shall be passed.


Seeker said...

No, the Civil war was NOT about slavery or the right to own slaves.

It was about the SPREAD of slavery by FORCE.

Literally. We stupidly have ignored what the SOuth screamed from the roof tops at the time.

The SOuth said it was about the SPREAD of slavery --over, and over, and over. And then again.

See the SOuthern Ultimatums -- issued by Southern leaders, reported in Southern papers joyously as "THE TRUE ISSUE!"

The TRUE ISSUE? Read it -- the SPREAD of slavery.