Friday, December 31, 2010

Anniversary of the Civil War is no cause to celebrate

EJ Dionne wrote and excellent editorial about the Civil War entitled "Don’t Spin the Civil War." 

Rightardia read the editorial in the St. Petersburg Times and LtSaloon also picked it up. Dionne addresses the cause of the Civil War which was the containment of slavery in the Old South.

This year will be the 150th anniversary of this terrible war in which 618,000 Americans died.

James McPherson, a civil War historian  has noted that Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a major slaveholder, “justified secession in 1861 as an act of self-defense against the incoming Lincoln administration.” Davis said:

Abraham Lincoln’s policy of excluding slavery from the territories would make “property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless . . . thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars.

The big concern of Southerners was that slavery would not be extended in to the new territories that the US was purchasing or annexing. Lincoln never said that he planned to abolish slavery. His strategy was to contain it.

However, as the Union forces advanced into the Southland, Lincoln abolished slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to quicken the end of the war. 

The vice president of the confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens said this on March 21, 1861 in Savannah, Georgia during his Cornerstone Speech:

African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right . . .

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone 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 and normal condition . . .

With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system . . .

We hear much of the civilization and Christianization of the barbarous tribes of Africa. In my judgment, those ends will never be attained, but by first teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that "in the sweat of his brow he should eat his bread," and teaching them to work, and feed, and clothe themselves . . .
Jefferson Davis didn't start talking about State's Rights until after the Civil War ended. Of interest, the CSA Constitution had the same federal supremacy clause that the US constitution contains.

Alexis de Tocqueville commented on slavery in the United States in 1835.

When I contemplate the condition of the South, I can discover only two modes of action for the white inhabitants of those States: namely, either to emancipate the Negroes and to intermingle with them, or, remaining isolated from them, to keep them in slavery as long as possible . . .

All intermediate measures seem to me likely to terminate, and that shortly, in the most horrible of civil wars . . .

The ancients kept the bodies of their slaves in bondage, but placed no restraint upon the mind and no check upon education; and they acted consistently with their established principle, since a natural termination of slavery then existed, and one day or other the slave might be set free and become the equal of his master. 

But the Americans of the South, who do not admit that the Negroes can ever be commingled with themselves, have forbidden them, under severe penalties, to be taught to read or write; and as they will not raise them to their own level, they sink them as nearly as possible to that of the brutes.

We agree with EJ Dione. We hope the GOP will be smart enough to avoid spinning he 150th anniversary of that terrible war. The historians will be waiting for them with their long knives if Republicans try to bull shit about the real causes of the Civil War. 


Subscribe to the Rightardia feed: 

Netcraft rank: 6603

No comments: