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Recent Comments

Re: “If the Confederacy had won, slavery would have continued in the South

I take issue with your beef.

You state “[T]he war began with the signing of the Ordinance of Secession in Charleston on Dec. 20, 1860.”

This is incorrect. Secession started with the signing in Charleston. The war began when Lincoln called for troops on April 15, 1861. Secession did not necessarily mean there had to be a war. South Carolina and the other States could have been allowed to leave in peace.

You are also incorrect in your reasoning.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed zero slaves. The EP only applied to States not under Union Control. Maryland and Delaware were both slave States that did not secede. Missouri and Kentucky were under federal occupation at the time. Slavery continued there until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in December 1865. Simply because the abolition of slavery was a byproduct of the Union victory does not prove that is why the war was waged. One could also say a byproduct of the Union victory was Republicans stayed in control of White House for another 20 years. Therefore, it could be said, with equal merit, that the war was fought to keep Republicans in the presidency.

Other issues besides slavery threatened to cause States to leave the Union prior to 1860. In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Act caused Virginia and Kentucky to issue resolutions reaffirming their rights as States and limited role the Federal government was to play.

In 1814, the Hartford Convention, composed of delegates from the Legislatures of the States of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and from the Counties of Grafton and Cheshire in the State of New Hampshire and the county of Windham in the State of Vermont assembled to discuss secession over President Madison’s war against Britain.

In reaction to the Tariff of Abominations, a tax, passed in 1830, South Carolina threatened to leave the Union at that time.

All of these issues arose prior to 1860. What you have written is simply wrong.

You are correct that South Carolina and six other States seceded over the issue of slavery. Specifically, other States had passed laws nullifying Article IV section 2 of the Constitution which provided for the return of fugitive slaves as well as federal laws passed to enforce Article IV section 2. Secession was not over slavery. The seceding States had had slavery from the beginning. The issue was over the selective enforcement of federal law that left slave States paying the import tariff, but getting little in return.

If you wanted to see slavery ended, allowing the slave States to leave the Union in peace would do it. Then slaves dissatisfied with their lot in the CSA could seek refuge in the USA and the U.S. States could protect them there. They would have been under no constitutional obligation to return them. In this way, slavery would have ended in the cotton States without killing hundreds of thousands of people and destroying millions of dollars in property in the process.

You state “slavery is now widely understood to have been immoral, even in the South.” I agree.

What makes slavery immoral? Can you tell me? What makes the master - slave relationship immoral, but say, the husband - wife relationship not so? There are people who make good spouses and those who don’t. There were masters who treated their slaves like family while others did not. What is it that makes slavery immoral? It is the fact that the slave has no choice in the matter. The relationship is forced on the slave.

Can you tell me how this compares to Federal government - State relationship? Let’s see. If a slave tries to leave, the slave is beaten. If a State tries to leave, the State is invaded. It sounds like a pretty close comparison to me. Since you so correctly state that slavery is immoral, are you willing to draw the same conclusion about forcing a State back into the Union? Does this put the whole “celebration of Southern valor and bravery in the face of so-called Northern aggression” thing into a new light? States joined the Union voluntarily. The relationship was supposed to be voluntary and mutually beneficial. When the benefit for one party or the other ends, the relationship ends. It should end peacefully.

It is obvious that you do not get it. It is not the war nor slavery that is being celebrated. It is a reminder that the struggle for the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed continues. Resistance against tyranny is justified and laudable. The immorality of slavery and war are not the point unless you want to blame the victim and justify one set of immoral acts by falsely claiming the goal was to stop another. Sure, the Civil War is over, but that is not what this is about, is it?

29 of 41 people like this.
Posted by PappyYokum on December 30, 2010 at 8:36 PM
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