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The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause

of the War Between the States

 

Slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States because the economic annihilation of the Northern economy when the Southern States seceded what caused the North to need war.
The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause of the War Between the States

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

(Published in Confederate Veteran magazine,
March-April, 2017)

 

Slavery as the cause of the American War Between the States is an absurdity of biblical proportions. The great historian Shelby Foote was right when he said that slavery "was not the true cause of the war. It was an element in the cause of the war, but it was not what the war was really fought about. The war was really fought about whether the federal government should dominate state government. In other words, it was basically states' rights . . . ".i

 

I have written a book entitled Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument.ii in which the argument is laid out in detail with 218 footnotes and over 200 sources in the bibliography. In this brief article, I would like to touch on the main reasons why slavery was not the cause of the War.

 

The primary cause of the War Between the States was the impending economic annihilation of the North when the first seven Southern states seceded. The rapidly deteriorating Northern economy created a backdrop of extreme urgency, fear, unrest and anger in the North, and it drove all actions of Lincoln and Northern leaders in the winter and spring of 1861. A solution had to be found quickly or a major catastrophe was going to happen in the North and lead to, at worst, anarchy, and, at best, a greatly diminished economic position in the world. Just the talk of secession caused extreme trepidation to many such as the Daily Chicago Times, which wrote on December 10, 1860, a week before South Carolina's secession convention was to convene:

 

In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all its IMMENSE PROFITS. Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. Let the South adopt the free-trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue, and these results would likely follow. If protection be wholly withdrawn from our labor, it could not compete, with all the prejudices against it, with the labor of Europe. We should be driven from the market, and millions of our people would be compelled to go out of employment.iii (Emphasis added.)

 

Northerners quickly discovered that their enormous wealth and power, as well as most of their employment, were dependent on the South, on manufacturing for their captive Southern market and shipping Southern cotton. Cotton alone was 60% of US exports in 1860. Southerners were growing 66% of the world's cotton, but Northerners shipped that cotton and "handled virtually everything else" making huge profits in the process.iv

 

Without the North, the South was in great shape with 100% control of King Cotton.

 

Without the South, the North was dead.

 

To make matters worse, the insatiable greed of Northern leaders in Congress, who were utterly ignorant of basic economic principles, led directly to devastating mistakes such as the astronomical Morrill Tariff. The Morrill Tariff threatened to instantly rerout most US trade from the North into the South because of the South's low tariff. Protective tariffs were unconstitutional in the South where a free trade philosophy reined. The Morrill Tariff added 47 to 60% to goods coming into the North. Compare that with the South's 10% tariff for the operation of a small federal government in a States Rights nation. As with all the protective tariffs of the antebellum period, the Northerners who passed the Morrill Tariff assumed it would fall on the South. However, the South was out of the Union and no longer obliged to pay Northern tariffs. This one fell on the North with disastrous effect. Economic historian Philip S. Foner, in his excellent book Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict, writes:

 

On April 1, the Morrill Tariff would go into effect, and after that date the duties on the principal articles of import would be nearly twice as heavy at New York as they would be at New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah. The consequences of this difference in duties were not difficult to see. Anything that had happened thus far in the secession crisis was mild compared with what the immediate future would bring.v

 

The Morrill Tariff was like pumping gasoline into a fire. It was a one-two punch for the North.

 

The North had lost its manufacturing market because Southerners were dying to get out from under exorbitant Northern prices jacked up by the federal government, which gave Northern businesses protective tariffs, bounties, subsidies, monopoly protection, etc. Texas Representative John H. Reagan told Northern representatives in Congress in early 1861: "You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers."vi Georgia Senator Robert Toombs called it a suction pump sucking wealth out of the South and depositing it in the North, and it was made up of:

 

Bounties and protection to every interest and every pursuit in the North, to the extent of at least fifty millions per annum, besides the expenditure of at least sixty millions out of every seventy of the public expenditure among them, thus making the treasury a perpetual fertilizing stream to them and their industry, and a suction-pump to drain away our substance and parch up our lands.vii

 

Henry L. Benning, one of Robert E. Lee's most able brigadier generals and for whom Fort Benning, Georgia is named, said $85,000,000, a gargantuan sum in those days, was the amount flowing continually through Robert Toombs's suction pump: "Eighty-five millions is the amount of the drains from the South to the North in one year, drains in return for which the South receives nothing."viii The prescient Benning also said:

 

The North cut off from Southern cotton, rice, tobacco, and other Southern products would lose three fourths of her commerce, and a very large proportion of her manufactures. And thus those great fountains of finance would sink very low. . . . Would the North in such a condition as that declare war against the South?ix

 

So, the North had lost its manufacturing market due to greed and abuse via the federal government, and now it was going to lose its shipping industry overnight, again, because of greed, the unbelievable greed of the Morrill Tariff as Northern ship captains beat a path to the South. Foner goes on:

 

The war of the tariffs has been ignored in most studies devoted to the antebellum period, yet it is doubtful whether any event during those significant months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War was as influential in molding public opinion in the North. Certainly in New York City, it caused a political revolution. It brought to an end any hope that Union could be preserved peacefully.x

 

Southerners were paying 3/4ths of the taxes going into the federal treasury, but 3/4ths of the tax money was being spent in the North.xi How long do you think Northerners would tolerate paying 3/4ths of the taxes if 3/4ths of the tax money was being spent in the South?

 

No wonder the Northern states loved the Union and no wonder Abraham Lincoln said over and over for the first two years of the war that the purpose of the war is to preserve the Union, not end slavery. That's why Lincoln supported the Corwin Amendment that left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress, and he used it to lobby seceding governors to stay in the Union.

 

That's why the North's War Aims Resolution of July, 1861 states that "this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions [slavery] of the States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution [which allowed and protected slavery], and to preserve the Union."xii

 

That's why the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862 states: "I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that HEREAFTER, AS HERETOFORE, THE WAR WILL BE PROSECUTED FOR THE OBJECT OF PRACTICALLY RESTORING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RELATION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES, AND EACH OF THE [seceded] STATES, . . ." (Emphasis added).

 

The great Southern writer, William Gilmore Simms, said: "No doubt that, in one sense, they [Northerners] cherish the Union, but only as the agency by which they prosper in uncounted prosperity. It is to them, the very breath of life; it has made them rich and powerful, & keeps them so. No doubt they love the South, but it is as the wolf loves the lamb, coveting and devouring it."xiii

 

For the North, the War was not about ending slavery. Four slave states fought for the North throughout the War, and West Virginia, the fifth Union slave state, was admitted to the Union during the war. It is an indictment of the North that so few slaves lived in Union states yet the North still refused to abolish slavery. For the North, it was about preserving the Union, which was the source of Northern wealth and power. It was about establishing the supremacy of the federal government over the states (Northerners were the "Federals" during the War) because that arrangement allowed the North to control business and rule the entire country with its larger population, and it flowed money into the North from the rest of the country.

 

Even Northern anti-slavery was economic, and it is misnamed. It should be called anti-South instead of anti-slavery because it was in no sense pro-black. Charles P. Roland said "There was a significant economic dimension in the Northern antislavery sentiment" and "a racial factor contributed to the Northern attitude" because:

 

Many Northerners objected to the presence of slavery in their midst, in part, because they objected to the presence of blacks there.xiv

 

This objection to the presence of blacks was also why many Northerners did not want slavery in the West, because they didn't want blacks near them in the West, and most Northern and Western states including Lincoln's Illinois had laws on the books forbidding free blacks from living there or even being there longer than a few days. Historian David M. Potter states that Northern anti-slavery was "not in any clear-cut sense a pro-Negro movement but actually had an anti-Negro aspect and was designed to get rid of the Negro."

 

From the very beginning, Northerners, especially New Englanders, were America's slave traders who, with the British before them, brought most of the slaves here and made huge fortunes in the process. Even after the slave trade was outlawed in 1808, Northerners still carried it on vigorously right up to the war.xv Besides, genuine abolitionists in the North were only 2 to 5% of the electoratexvi and many were hated. Elijah Lovejoy had been murdered in Illinois in 1837.

 

Charles Dickens, the great British writer also published a periodical All the Year Round and was up on current events and horrified by the American war. He said that "Every reasonable creature may know, if willing, that the North hates the Negro, and that until it was convenient to make a pretence that sympathy with him was the cause of the War, it hated the abolitionists and derided them up hill and down dale."xvii Dickens also said that the federal government compelled the South "to pay a heavy fine into the pockets of Northern manufacturers" so that "every feeling and interest on the one side [South] called for political partition, and every pocket interest on the other side [North] for union."xviii

 

For the South, 1861 was 1776 all over. The War was about independence, self-government and maintaining the republic of the Founding Fathers in which states were supreme and the federal government weak and subservient. It was about economic independence and free trade, and not being ruled over by the Republican Party, which had used unbridled hatred and encouragement of terrorism to rally its votes. George Washington had warned that sectional parties would destroy the country but Wendell Phillips proudly proclaimed that the Republican Party is the party of the North pledged against the South.

 

For the North, war was better than anarchy as Philip S. Foner notes: "It was also exceedingly logical that when all the efforts to save the Union peacefully had failed, the merchants, regardless of political views, should have endorsed the recourse to an armed policy. . . . When they finally became aware of the economic chaos secession was causing, when they saw the entire business system crumbling before their very eyes, they knew that there was no choice left. THE UNION MUST BE PRESERVED. ANY OTHER OUTCOME MEANT ECONOMIC SUICIDE."xix (Emphasis added.)

 

The Manchester (N.H.) Union Democrat wrote on February 19, 1861, one day after Jefferson Davis's inaugural: "In the manufacturing departments, we now have the almost exclusive supply of 10,000,000 of people. Can this market be cut off, and we not feel it? Our mills run now, why? Because they have cotton. . . .But they will not run long. We hear from good authority that some of them will stop in sixty days."xx They went on:

 

[W]hen people realize the fact that the Union is permanently dissolved, real estate will depreciate one half in a single year. Our population will decrease with the decline of business, and matters will go in geometrical progression from bad to worse until all of us will be swamped in utter ruin.

 

The Morrill Tariff made things worse. In a March 12, 1861 editorial "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?", ten days after the passage of the Morrill Tariff, The New York Evening Post warned of the hopelessness of the Northern situation:

 

[A]llow railroad iron to be entered at Savannah with the low duty of ten per cent., which is all that the Southern Confederacy think of laying on imported goods, and not an ounce more would be imported at New York: the railways would be supplied from the southern ports. Let cotton goods, let woolen fabrics, let the various manufactures of iron and steel be entered freely at Galveston, at the great port at the mouth of the Mississippi, at Mobile, at Savannah and at Charleston, and they would be immediately sent up the rivers and carried on the railways to the remotest parts of the Union.xxi

 

The New York Evening Post goes on to say that if the taxes aren't collected from the South then "the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe."

 

Tennessee Representative Thomas A. R. Nelson, who had submitted the Minority Report of the House Committee of Thirty-three, observed firsthand the crumbling Northern economy. In a speech just before the War, he said:

 

Three short months ago this great nation was, indeed, prosperous and happy. What a startling, wondrous change has come over it within that brief period! Commercial disaster and distress pervade the land. Hundred and thousands of honest laboring men have been thrown out of employment; gloom and darkness hang over the people; the tocsin of war has been sounded; the clangor of arms has been heard.xxii

 

Representative Nelson is talking about the North only, where "the tocsin of war has been sounded; the clangor of arms has been heard." Down South, there was no such feeling of desperation, only triumph, patriotism and jubilation over independence.

 

Imagine the calculation in the mind of Abraham Lincoln, president of the North, as his region collapsed. He could see no way out. He knew the South controlled the most demanded commodity on the planet, cotton, and he knew the South was tight with England and seeking to be tighter. He knew that once Southerners completed trade and military alliances with Great Britain and other European countries, the North would not be able to beat the South. Because of cotton, the South would ascend to dominance in North America, trading freely with the world.

 

The Confederate Constitution encouraged free states to join the Confederacy. Slavery was not required. Slavery was up to each state. Southerners were convinced that several Northern and Western states, especially those along the great rivers such as the Mississippi, would join the CSA and this petrified Lincoln. Southerners would also start manufacturing for themselves very soon.

 

Lincoln knew he had to get the war started as quickly as he possibly could. With each day that went by, the South got stronger and the North got weaker. There was no advantage to waiting a second longer. He was anxious to put up a naval blockade and force Europe to take a wait-and-see attitude toward the South, then he could let the North's huge advantages such as four times the white population, almost all of the country's manufacturing, an army, a navy with fleets of warships, a functioning government with unlimited immigration for the army, huge advantages in armaments, etc. wear out the South. War would also solve his political problems as people rallied to the flag.

 

The economic issues in play in the spring of 1861 are far more powerful causes of the war than slavery. I have only scratched the surface in this short article.

 


i Shelby Foote in article "Foote defends flag's meaning," The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier, front page, January 16, 2000.

ii Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014).

iii Daily Chicago Times, "The Value of the Union," December 10, 1860, in Howard Cecil Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1964), Vol. II, 573-574.

iv Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jenifer Frank, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery (New York: Ballantine Books, 2005), 7, 25.

v Philip S. Foner, Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1941), 277-278.

vi John H. Reagan, "Speech of Representative John H. Reagan of Texas, January 15, 1861," in Congressional Globe, 36 Congress, 2 Session, I, 391, as cited in abridged version of Kenneth M. Stampp, ed., The Causes of the Civil War, 3rd revised edition (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1991), 89.

vii Robert Toombs, "Secessionist Speech, Tuesday Evening, November 13" delivered to the Georgia legislature in Milledgeville, November 13, 1860, in William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, Secession Debated, Georgia's Showdown in 1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 38.

viii Henry L. Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19, 1860, in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, 132.

ix Henry L. Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19, 1860, in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, 132.

x Foner, Business & Slavery, 282.

xi See earlier quotations of Sen. Robert Toombs, and Henry L. Benning in this article. Also, the Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States, adopted 24 December 1860 by the South Carolina Secession Convention, Charleston, S.C. in John Amasa May and Joan Reynolds Faunt, South Carolina Secedes (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1960).

xii The War Aims Resolution passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 22, 1861, and the Senate July 25, 1861. There were only two dissenting votes in the House and five in the Senate.

xiii William Gilmore Simms, "Antagonisms of the Social Moral. North and South.", unpublished 1857 lecture housed in the Charles Carroll Simms Collection of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 38-42.

xiv Charles P. Roland, An American Illiad, The Story of the Civil War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1991), 3.

xv Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, xxviii.

xvi Lee Benson, "Explanations of American Civil War Causation" in Toward the Scientific Study of History (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1972), 246, 295-303, in Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978), 136.

xvii Charles Dickens, letter to W. W. De Cerjat, 16 March 1862, in Graham Story, ed., The Letters of Charles Dickens (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), Vol. Ten, 1862-1864, 53-54.

xviii The short quotations from Charles Dickens come from articles that are all quoted in Charles Adams, When in the Course of Human Events, Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publilshers, Inc., 2000), 90-91.

xix Foner, Business & Slavery, 322.

xx The Manchester (N.H.) Union Democrat, "Let Them Go!", editorial of February 19, 1861 in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 592.

xxi New York Evening Post, March 12, 1861, "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?" in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 598.

xxii Thomas A. R. Nelson, "Speech of Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson, of Tennessee, On the Disturbed condition of the Country" (Washington: H. Polkinhorn, 1861), 1-12.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

The Introduction to Slavery Was Not the Cause

of the War Between the States,

The Irrefutable Argument.

 

Around 60.1% of the electorate voted against Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The loser in the next five presidential elections got more popular votes than Lincoln.

 

The Introduction to
Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States,
The Irrefutable Argument.1
(enhanced with captioned photographs)

 

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

 

Slavery was and is a horrible institution. There is nothing in this book, whatsoever, that defends slavery in any way, form or fashion.

 

The War Between the States is the central event in American history and, by far, our bloodiest war. It is important to know exactly what caused it and why.

 

In Part I of this book, I argue that slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States. There is absolute, irrefutable proof that the North did not go to war to free the slaves or end slavery. The North went to war to preserve the Union as Abraham Lincoln said over and over.

 

The reason Lincoln needed to preserve the Union was because, without it, the North faced economic annihilation, the magnitude of which easily made war preferable. Economic problems multiply geometrically. By the time Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861 there was gloom, despair and panic in the North with thousands of business failures, hundreds of thousands of people out of work, serious trouble with the stock market, threatened runs on banks, and Northern ship captains heading South because of the South's low tariff. There was no talk whatsoever of ending slavery. Just the opposite. There were guarantees galore of preserving slavery forever.

 

Just use common sense. If your house is on fire, you don't care about your neighbor's barking dog or anything your neighbor is doing. You have to put out the fire or lose your house. It's just that simple.

 

The North's economic house caught fire in the winter of 1860 to 61 when the first seven Southern States seceded. The North quickly discovered that manufacturing and shipping for the South were the sources of most of its employment, wealth and power. Cotton alone was 60% of U.S. exports in 1860. Without the South, the North was headed for bankruptcy. By the spring of 1861, the North's house was a raging inferno.

 

The latest death statistics for the War Between the States have raised it from 620,000, to between 650,000 and 850,000. These are the widely accepted statistics of historian J. David Hacker of Binghamton University. He splits the difference and uses 750,000.2 I believe it was on the higher end of his range so I use 800,000 in this book.

 

The wounded usually end up, statistically, as a multiple of deaths. For example, in WWII we lost 405,399 and had 670,846 wounded, which is 1.65.3 Sometimes the multiplier is higher, sometimes lower, and I realize that a higher percentage died of disease in the War Between the States, but the number of wounded would still be astronomical, well over a million to add to the 800,000 dead.

 

If the soldiers of World War II were killed at the same rate as the War Between the States, we would have lost 3,870,000 instead of 405,399; and we would have had 6,385,500 wounded instead of 670,846.

 

That the South, with less than 1/4th the white population of the North, did not hesitate to fight for its rights and liberty, says everything about the courage of Southerners and their desire for independence.

 

Especially when one considers the other huge advantages of the North such as 100-to-1 in weapon manufacturing, 19-to-0 in marine engine manufacturing, a merchant marine fleet, a standing army, a substantial navy with fleets of war ships, and a functioning government over 60 years old that had relationships with most of the countries on the earth.

The North also had access to unlimited immigration, and 25% of  Union soldiers ended up being foreign born.4

 

The War Between the States was a completely unnecessary war.

 

Historians know that the Crittenden Compromise (late 1860) would almost certainly have prevented the war. It was based on the old Missouri Compromise line that had worked well for 30 years. Slavery had been prohibited north of the line and allowed south of it.5

 

Sen. John Jordan Crittenden of Kentucky, 1855 portrait by Matthew Brady.
Sen. John Jordan Crittenden of Kentucky, 1855 portrait by Matthew Brady.
 

The Crittenden Compromise had widespread support, North and South, from good men trying to prevent war, but Abraham Lincoln shot it down. Lincoln had political allies to pay back so he would not compromise on slavery in the West. He had no problem with slavery where it existed. He just didn't want it "extended," so he supported the Corwin Amendment, which left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress, where slavery already existed.

 

The defeat of the Crittenden Compromise at the behest of the partisan Lincoln is a major tragedy of world history, and more bitterly so because slavery was not extending into the West. There were few slaves in the West after being open to slavery for 10 years. Esteemed historian David M. Potter writes that the Crittenden Compromise had widespread support from Southerners as prominent as Robert Toombs as well as strong support in the North and West, and "if these conclusions are valid, as the preponderance of evidence indicates, it means that when Lincoln moved to defeat compromise, he did not move as the champion of democracy, but as a partisan leader."6 Potter's choice of words is far too kind.

 

Abraham Lincoln was the first sectional president in American history.

 

Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the day of his Cooper Union speech. Photo by Matthew Brady.
Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the day of his Cooper Union speech. Photo by Matthew Brady.
 

Around 60.1% of the electorate voted against him. The loser in the next five presidential elections got more popular votes than Lincoln.

 

Of the total 4,682,069 votes cast in 1860, Lincoln  received 1,866,452, which is 39.9%. The eighteen states voting for him were all above the Mason-Dixon line plus California and Oregon. He received no electoral votes in fifteen of the thirty-three states. His name was not even on the ballot in ten Southern states. Lincoln's opponents together totaled 2,815,617, which was almost a million votes more than he got.

 

Potter makes it clear that Lincoln had absolutely no voter mandate to not compromise with the South at this critical juncture in our country's history. With a large majority of voters, excluding slavery from the territories was a non-issue. Potter writes:

 

[A] majority, not only of the voters as a whole, but even of the voters in states which remained loyal to the Union, regarded the exclusion of slavery from the territories as non-essential or even undesirable, and voted against the candidate who represented this policy. When Lincoln was inaugurated, the states which accepted him as President were states which had cast a majority of more than a half a million votes against him, and even when the outbreak of war caused four more states to join the Confederacy, the remaining Union still contained a population in which the majority of the electorate had opposed the Republican ticket.7

 

Potter notes that part of Lincoln's uncompromising position was political fear that any compromise on slavery in the territories, after campaigning on it, meant the dissolution of the Republican Party, which was made up loosely of so many diverse groups of non-related voters such as those who wanted a tariff or bounty or subsidy for their business, or free land, or were Northern racists who didn't want blacks near them in the West.

 

It is a tragedy of unfathomable proportion that Lincoln killed the Crittenden Compromise. The Crittenden Compromise would have prevented the war and 800,000 deaths and over a million wounded, and would have given the country time to work on ending slavery.

 

Most other nations on earth, as well as the Northern States, used gradual, compensated emancipation to end slavery. The Northern capital, Washington, DC, freed its slaves a year into the war with compensated emancipation, which proves slavery could have been abolished quickly and bloodlessly if the will had been there, North and South.

 

It is a regrettable fact, but slaves were property and governments that wanted to end slavery in their countries were glad to compensate slaveowners for the loss of their property.8

 

It is not just racial either. One of the largest slaveowners in South Carolina was William Ellison, the famous cotton gin maker in Sumter County, who was black. There were a lot of black slaveowners and I'm sure they would want to be compensated along with whites.

 

William "April" Ellison, Jr., successful African American, owned 60 slaves. He died Dec. 5, 1861.
William "April" Ellison, Jr., successful African American, owned 60 slaves. He died Dec. 5, 1861.
 

Gradual, compensated emancipation was Lincoln's strong belief and desire as well, as he stated in the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation with respect to the Union slave states.9 Lincoln talked and wrote about gradual compensated emancipation at many other times and places as well.

 

But ending slavery was not the goal of the Republican Party in 1856 and 1860. Taking over the government so they could rule the country for their own benefit and aggrandizement was their goal.

 

George Washington had warned that sectional political parties would destroy the country but Wendell Phillips proudly proclaimed that the Republican Party is the first sectional party in American history and is the party of the North pledged against the South.

 

A daguerrotype of abolitionist Republican Wendell Phillips in his 40s, by Matthew Brady.
A daguerrotype of abolitionist Republican Wendell Phillips in his 40s, by Matthew Brady.
 

For the entire decade of the 1850s, Republicans used the most virulent hatred against the South to rally their votes. Republicans celebrated John Brown's terrorism and murder of Southerners, and Republicans endorsed Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South as a campaign document. Helper's book

 

urged class agitation against slavery or, failing that, the violent overthrow of the slave system by poorer whites. Helper concluded that slaves would join with nonslaveholders because 'the negroes . . . in nine cases out of ten, would be delighted with the opportunity to cut their masters' throat.'10

 

Hinton Rowan Helper from North Carolina wrote, in 1857, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It.
Hinton Rowan Helper from North Carolina wrote, in 1857, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It.
 
 
Title page of Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet it.
Title page of Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet it.
 
 

William H. Seward, soon to be Lincoln's secretary of state, said "I have read the 'Impending Crisis of the South' with great attention. It seems to me a work of great merit, rich yet accurate in statistical information, and logical in analysis."

 

William Henry Seward was U.S. Secty of State, 1861 to 1869, and earlier governor of NY and U.S. Senator.
William Henry Seward was U.S. Secty of State, 1861 to 1869, and earlier governor of NY and U.S. Senator.
 

Lincoln's predecessor, President James Buchanan, in an article he wrote entitled "Republican Fanaticism as a Cause of the Civil War," said The Impending Crisis "became at once an authoritative exposition of the principles of the Republican Party. The original, as well as a compendium, were circulated by hundreds of thousands, North, South, East, and West."11

 

James Buchanan Jr., from Pennsylvania, served as the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861).
James Buchanan Jr., from Pennsylvania, served as the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861).
 

Southerners would have been crazy not to secede from a country now ruled by a party that called for their throats to be cut. Republicans were not a great political movement trying to solve the difficult slavery issue with good will. Most people in the North (95 to 98% according to historians Lee Benson and Gavin Wright) were not abolitionists.12 They did not care about freeing the slaves who would then come North and be job competition.

 

No Republican could be elected in the North on the platform of directly ending slavery but they could agitate on slavery in the West with good results. It was a hot political issue driven as much by rallying votes -- vote Republican: 'Vote yourself a farm,' 'Vote yourself a tariff!' -- as it was by Northern racism. Lincoln himself stated in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates that the West was to be reserved for white people from all over the earth.

 

The West was important in the presidential campaigns of 1856 and 1860 because the North needed the West for its surplus population, as both Horace Greeley and Lincoln stated. "Go West, young man!" said Horace Greeley.

 

Lincoln added that he wanted those white Northerners and immigrants to reach the West with Northern institutions in place, which meant no blacks allowed. Period. Neither slaves nor free blacks were welcome in Lincoln's West.

 

Horace Greeley, hypocrite extraordinaire.
Horace Greeley, hypocrite extraordinaire.
 

Greeley, editor of the New-York Tribune, believed in the right of secession and wrote passionately about it until he realized it would affect his money, then he wanted war.

 

Slavery in the West was a bogus issue anyway, as stated earlier. Slavery was not going beyond the Mississippi River and they all knew it.

 

Republican James G. Blaine said that slavery in the West was "related to an imaginary Negro in an impossible place."

 

James G. Blaine, Republican from Maine, Spkr of House, Senator, Secty. of State twice, a charismatic speaker.
James G. Blaine, Republican from Maine, Spkr of House, Senator, Secty. of State twice, a charismatic speaker.
 

Lincoln scholar Richard N. Current writes that "Lincoln and his fellow Republicans, in insisting that Congress must prohibit slavery in the West, were dealing with political phantoms."

 

He points out that Congress "approved the organization of territorial governments for Colorado, Nevada, and Dakota without a prohibition of slavery" because they did not think it was necessary.

 

In 1860, there were only two slaves in Kansas and 15 in Nebraska, and that was after being open to slavery for 10 years. As stated above, Current did not believe slavery would have lasted another generation, even in the deep South.13

 

Charles W. Ramsdell wrote an article entitled "The Natural Limits of Slavery Expansion" and he also concluded "that slavery had about reached its zenith by 1860 and must shortly have begun to decline, for the economic forces which had carried it into the region west of the Mississippi had about reached their maximum effectiveness. It could not go forward in any direction and was losing ground along its northern border."14

 

The New Mexico territory had also been open to slavery for ten years and there were only twenty-nine there in 1860, though that figure was challenged by William H. Seward. He said there were twenty-four.15

 

It is a great irony that Northern anti-slavery was mostly economic or racist. Paraphrasing historian David Potter, Northern anti-slavery was in no sense a pro-black movement but was anti-black and designed to get rid of blacks.

 

Many Northern and Western States had laws on the books forbidding free black people from even visiting, much less living there, including Lincoln's own Illinois. If a black person stayed too long in Illinois he was subject to arrest and imprisonment by the sheriff.

 

In 1859, Oregon, which, as stated, voted for Lincoln in 1860, became the 33rd state and this was part of its constitution:

 

No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this state at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall ever come, reside, or be within this state, or hold any real estate, or make any contract, or maintain any suit therein; and the legislative assembly shall provide by penal laws for the removal by public officers of all such free negroes and mulattoes, and for their effectual exclusion from the state, and for the punishment of persons who shall bring them into the state, or employ or harbour them therein.16

 

In Part II of this book, I argue the right of secession. No American who believes in the Declaration of Independence -- in the just powers of the government coming from the consent of the governed -- can doubt the right of secession. Horace Greeley certainly didn't. He believed in it thoroughly until he realized it was going to affect his money.

The secession conventions of the South and the creation of the Confederate States of America are the greatest expression of democracy and self-government in the history of the world.

 

In state after state, in a landmass as great as Europe, Southerners rose up against what they viewed as a dangerous, economically confiscatory government now run by people who hated them and whose campaign documents called for their throats to be cut.

 

The Southern states called conventions to decide the one issue: Secession. A convention to decide one issue is closer to the people than even their legislatures.

 

That's why the Founding Fathers in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 decided that conventions of the people in each state would be used to ratify the Constitution. That's where the convention precedent started, with the Founding Fathers and the ratification of the Constitution.

 

Southerners followed suit with their conventions to decide secession. They debated the issue fiercely then elected delegates as Unionists and Secessionists who went into their state conventions and debated more.

 

Seven states voted to secede, then they formed a democratic republic that was the mirror image of the republic of the Founding Fathers of 1776 but with States' Rights strengthened and an economic system based on free trade. Southerners had always wanted free trade with the world as opposed to the heavy protectionist tariffs that had benefited the North to the detriment of the South the entire antebellum period.

 

Slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States. Once you understand the true cause -- the imminent economic annihilation of the North which was coming fast -- all other actions taken by Lincoln and everybody else make infinitely more sense.

 

Abraham Lincoln needed to start his war as quickly as he could. He needed the blockade of the South in place as fast as possible to keep Europeans and especially the English from forming trade and military alliances with the South, which the South had been aggressively pursuing.

 

Lincoln announced his blockade before the smoke had cleared from the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

 

In Part III, Charles W. Ramsdell's famous treatise, Lincoln and Fort Sumter, shows in magnificent detail how Lincoln started the war in Charleston Harbor.

 

I hadn't read this brilliant piece in several years but had to type in every word for this book and I am deeply pleased that every single word written by Mr. Ramsdell strongly supports the argument of this book -- that the inevitable economic annihilation of the North is the reason Abraham Lincoln had to have his war and get it started as quickly as he could.

 

Justin S. Morrill authored the Morrill Tariff that threatened the Northern shipping industry with annihilation.
Justin S. Morrill authored the Morrill Tariff that threatened the Northern shipping industry with annihilation.
 
 
Harper's Weekly Apr 13 1861, caption "The New Tariff on Dry Goods."
 
Harper's Weekly Apr 13 1861, caption "The New Tariff on Dry Goods."
 

Mr. Ramsdell states also that the North's gaping self-inflicted wound, the Morrill Tariff, kicked in and greatly added to the panic and call for war in the North as the Northern shipping industry faced rerouting away from the high-tariff North and into the low-tariff South where protective tariffs were unconstitutional.

 

Arguing history is very much like arguing a case in a court of law. All you can do is present your evidence in as persuasive a manner as possible and hope the jury agrees with you.

 

My argument is thoroughly documented and I believe it is irrefutable.

Gene Kizer, Jr.
Charleston, South Carolina
October 31, 2014

 

Abraham Lincoln is executed for killing 800,000 people & destroying the republic of the Founding Fathers.
Abraham Lincoln is executed for killing 800,000 people & destroying the republic of the Founding Fathers.
 
 

NOTES:

1 Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston and James Island, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014).

 

2 Rachel Coker, "Historian revises estimate of Civil War dead," published September 21, 2011, Binghamton University Research News -- Insights and Innovations from Binghamton University, http://discovere.binghamton.edu/news/civilwar-3826.html, accessed July 7, 2014.

3 United States military casualties of war,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war, accessed August 1, 2014.

 

4 James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 606.

 

5 The Missouri Compromise was superseded by the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, which opened up the territory north of the Missouri Compromise line (latitude 36--30' north) to slavery. This made the Missouri Compromise irrelevant.

 

6 David M. Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942; reprint, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 200.

 

7 Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis, 200.

 

8 As stated, ending slavery did not have to be too gradual as long as compensation to slaveowners was included. The successful Washington, DC 1862 compensation program proved it could work and be more immediate than gradual, although that is a small example. There would definitely need to be programs in place to help the new freedmen incorporate into society but that could have been done and is what serious people, as opposed to fanatics, were pushing. It was certainly Lincoln's position most of his life. Historian Richard N. Current believed slavery would not last another generation, and that seems a reasonable assessment.

 

9 Paragraph two of Abraham Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued September 22, 1862 "By the President of the United States of America" reads:

 

That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States [Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky and later West Virginia] and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment [sic] of slavery within their respective limits; and that the efforts to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the Governments existing there, will be continued. (Emphasis added.)

 

10 Ronnie W. Faulkner, 2006, "The Impending Crisis of the South," NCpedia sketch on Hinton Rowan Helper's book, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It (New York: Burdick Brothers, 1857). NCpedia is the Encyclopedia of North Carolina, The University of North Carolina Press: http://ncpedia.org/print/2723, accessed July 31, 2014. The article also states that Hinton Helper was "A racist to the core, he advocated white supremacy."

 

11 The quotations of William H. Seward and President James Buchanan come from an article by Buchanan, "Republican Fanaticism as a Cause of the Civil War," an essay in Edwin C. Rozwenc, ed., The Causes of the American Civil War (Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1961), 62.

 

12 Lee Benson, "Explanations of American Civil War Causation" in Toward the Scientific Study of History (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1972), 246, 295-303, in Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978), 136.

 

13 Richard N. Current, The Lincoln Nobody Knows (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1958), 95-97.

 

14 Charles W. Ramsdell, "The Natural Limits of Slavery Expansion" in Edwin C. Rozwenc, ed., The Causes of the American Civil War (Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1961), 150-162

 

15 For an excellent report on an in-depth conversation between U. S. Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, William H. Seward, Stephen A. Douglas, John J. Crittenden and others on the extension of slavery, see Honorable John A. Campbell, "Memoranda Relative to the Secession Movement in 1860-61," in the "Papers of Honorable John A. Campbell - 1861-1865.," Southern Historical Society Papers, New Series - Number IV, Volume XLII, September, 1917, (Reprint: Broadfoot Publishing Company and Morningside Bookshop, 1991), 3-45.

 

16 Taliaferro P. Shaffner, The War in America: being an Historical and Political Account of the Southern and Northern States: showing the Origin and Cause of the Present Secession War (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1862), 337-38.

 

 
 

 

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Part Two, Conclusion, of the Review of

Robert E. Lee and Me

A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause
by Ty Seidule, Professor Emeritus of History at West Point

By Gene Kizer, Jr.

53K

[Publisher's Note: Last week Col. Jerry D. Morelock gave us Part One of this two-part review of Ty Seidule's book, Robert E. Lee and Me. Here is Part Two, the conclusion.]

 

A number of good historians have written reviews recently of Ty Seidule's book, Robert E. Lee and Me, including historian Phil Leigh who produced the video, Robert E. Lee and (Woke General) Please Like Me. Leigh also wrote a good article, Robert E. Lee and Ty Seidule.

 

All of these reviews note that the tone of Robert E. Lee and Me is a desperate plea by Seidule for academia to "please PLEASE like me!" Academia is Seidule's new home. He has gone from the United States Military Academy at West Point, to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.1

 

For Seidule to write such an embarrassing screed on his way into academia is understandable. Most of academia looks down on the military and military personnel. One of my professors at the College of Charleston in 1999, when I was a middle-age student, was Dr. Clark G. Reynolds. We became close friends. He told me on several occasions about the condescension of other faculty members toward military historians and the military itself.

 

Dr. Reynolds would know because he was a very fine naval historian who had written several important books and served on the faculty of the United States Naval Academy, and as Chair of the Department of Humanities at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.2

 

Robert E. Lee and Me is a non-history book that is so historically irrelevant it doesn't even have an index.

 

It was written by a virtue-signaling narcissist whose obvious goal is to make sure academia knows that he is woke and correct on all the leftist political issues of today that resonate in academia and are the focus of history departments that have hired social justice warriors instead of historians.

 

It is extremely propagandistic. It is peppered with leftist talking points, references to white supremacy, fights over Confederate monuments, the Emanuel AME Church murders in Charleston, Charlottesville, George Floyd's death, and other current issues that Seiudule uses to tar Robert E. Lee and Southern history.

 

Seidule is going from the most successful colorblind meritocracy in all of history --- the United States Military --- into a racist, non-diversified, America-hating, free-speech hating, Marxist-loving indoctrination mill.

 

Academia has also given us the racist identity politics of Critical Theory, and the anti-white hate and racism of Critical Race Theory that now pollutes much of the country.

 

The problem with academia is that it is 100% liberal and aggressively politically correct meaning there is no real debate on anything. I know the actual percentage of liberal professors and administrators is closer to only 90%, but the other 10 are not going to speak up. Even the professors who disagree with leftist dogma don't dare say anything and risk losing tenure or having the mob show up at their office. The whole environment is sick, but Seidue's book will fit him right in.

 

My apologies to the truly open-minded folks still in academia who are appalled by racist identity politics, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory, attacks on free speech and all the rest of it. I know there are some wonderful people in academia, but you know I am right about my description of most of it.

 

On the very first page of Robert E. Lee and Me, Seidule talks about a PragerU video he did in 2015 entitled "Was the Civil War About Slavery?". He states that he answers that question in the first 30 seconds:

 

Many people don't want to believe that the citizens of the southern states were willing to fight and die to preserve the morally repugnant institution of slavery. There has to be another reason, we are told. Well, there isn't. The evidence is clear and overwhelming. Slavery was, by a wide margin, the single most important cause of the Civil War.3

 

No it wasn't.

 

Slavery was not the "single most important cause of the Civil War."

 

Not even close.

 

In Seidule's entire book, he does not even mention, once, the economic interconnectedness of the North and South in 1860, yet that was the underlying factor in causing the war, not slavery.

 

Southerners seceded to govern themselves. They expected to live in peace, but Lincoln could not allow that and the reason was 100% economic.

 

If it wasn't, Northerners like The Chicago Times would not have said things like:

 

In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all its immense profits. Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. Let the South adopt the free-trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue,4 and these results would likely follow. If protection be wholly withdrawn from our labor, it could not compete, with all the prejudices against it, with the labor of Europe. We should be driven from the market, and millions of our people would be compelled to go out of employment.5 (Emphasis added.)

 

The Northern economy was largely based on manufacturing for the South and shipping Southern cotton. See Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of the Hartford Courant (New York: Ballantine Books, 2005).

 

Without the South, the North was dead economically.

 

Without the North, the South, with 100% control of King Cotton, would ascend to dominance in North America, and Lincoln knew it.

 

Southerners were already paying 85% of the taxes yet 75% of the tax money was being spent in the North. Secession meant turning all that money inward, back on the South.6

 

Southerners wanted desperately to manufacture for themselves to get out from under the North's inferior goods that were greatly overpriced because of tariffs. In the meantime Southerners could buy from Europe at much lower prices than they had been paying.

 

The Morrill Tariff, passed by greedy, economically ignorant Northerners in the U.S. Congress after the Cotton States seceded, raised the rate for entry into the North to as high as 60%, as compared to the South's low 10% tariff for the operation of a small federal government in a States Rights nation. This threatened to shift the entire Northern shipping industry into the South overnight as Northern ship captains beat a path to the South where free trade reigned and protective tariffs were unconstitutional.

 

The loss to the North of their captive Southern manufacturing market, together with the damage to their shipping industry by the Morrill Tariff, was a one-two punch they would not be able to recover from. That's before even considering the loss of the 85% of tax revenue the South had been paying.

 

But the biggest thing driving Lincoln was the threat of European military aid. It would be for the South like French aid in the American Revolution was to the Colonists. The North would not be able to beat the South in that situation and, again, Lincoln knew it.

 

He needed to get his war started as quickly as he could so he could set up his blockade and chill European recognition of the South, because, with European recognition of Southern independence, it was game over for Lincoln.

 

So, Lincoln sent his hostile navy into the South to start the war, five different missions in April, 1861, to Fort Sumter in Charleston and Fort Pickens in Pensacola.7 The Charlestonians tried up to the last minute to avoid war and get Major Anderson to evacuate Fort Sumter but he did not feel like he could. He did, however, realize what Lincoln was doing and he answered a letter to Secretary of War Cameron and Lincoln stating:

 

. . . a movement made now when the South has been erroneously informed that none such will be attempted, would produce most disastrous results throughout our country. . . . We shall strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see is to be thus commenced. . . . (Emphasis added.)

 

Anderson sees that the war "is to be thus commenced" by Abraham Lincoln, who had to hurry up and get it started or soon the South with European trade and military alliances would be unbeatable.

 

Abraham Lincoln announced his blockade before the smoke had cleared from the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Just before the Fort Sumter drama, Lincoln had committed his act of war in Pensacola by secretly landing troops in Fort Pickens and breaking a long-time armistice with the Confederates down there.

 

Lincoln was determined to get his war started as noted by several Northern newspapers including the Providence (R.I.) Daily Post which wrote, April 13, 1861, the day after the commencement of the bombardment of Fort Sumter:

 

We are to have civil war, if at all, because Abraham Lincoln loves a party better than he loves his country. . . . Mr. Lincoln saw an opportunity to inaugurate civil war without appearing in the character of an aggressor.

 

"WHY?"
Providence (R.I.) Daily Post
April 13, 1861

 

It is immoral that Seidule completely ignores this overwhelming evidence in pushing his propaganda but that is the tactic of the left: Do like Goebbels said and repeat the big lie over and over, while ignoring everything else.

 

With everything Southerners had to gain economically by independence, it is absurd to say they seceded to protect slavery. That takes a lot of nerve anyway, since there were eight slave states in the Union when the guns of Fort Sumter sounded, soon to be increased by one with the admission of West Virginia.

 

There were only seven in the Confederacy.

 

On page 9, Seidule writes:

 

Eleven southern states seceded to protect and expand an African American slave labor system.

 

Again, Seidule is dead wrong.

 

As stated, there were eight slave states in the Union when the war started and only seven in the Confederacy. Four of the Union slave states had rejected secession at first: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina. And in those four states lived 52.4% of white Southerners, a majority.

 

But those states immediately seceded when Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South, and their reason was obviously federal coercion, not slavery. They believed, and rightfully so, that Lincoln's call to invade peaceful fellow states was unconstitutional and unconscionable. There was nothing in the Constitution in 1861 that required or allowed Lincoln and the Federal Government to force a sovereign state to do anything much less stay in a union they did not want. The Federal Government had no right to invade an American state, kill its citizens, and destroy its property.

 

The most widely quoted phrase in the secession debate in the South in the year prior to states calling conventions and actually voting to secede came from the Declaration of Independence:

 

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

 

Of the seven Cotton States that first seceded and formed the Confederacy, only four issued declarations of causes for their secession. In fact, those four declarations of causes were the only four issued by any of the 13 states represented in the Confederate Government.

 

Missouri and Kentucky were represented in the Confederate Government though they did not officially secede. They remained as two of the six Union slave states the entire war; and Kentucky had slavery well after the war, until the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery kicked in, in December, 1865.

 

The four declarations of causes do mention slavery along with numerous other grievances including economic, constitutional, and the hatred used by the North to rally its votes in the election of 1860.

 

That hatred was the primary reason for Southern secession. Northerners had supported murder and terrorism against the South. They had financed John Brown and sent him into the South to murder Southerners. He had hacked pro-South settlers to death in front of their families in Kansas.

 

Lincoln's party also used Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis as a campaign document. They had hundreds of thousands of them printed and distributed coast to coast. It called for slave insurrection and the throats of Southerners to be cut in the night.

 

Would you allow people who hated your guts and were already at war with you to rule over you? What kind of stupid, cowardly people would do that? Certainly not Southerners.

 

But the simplistic Seidule characterizes Southern secession like the fake news media characterizes those who have serious concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. Seidule writes:

 

Unwilling to accept the results of a fair, democratic election, they illegally seized U. S. territory, violently.

 

The truth of the 2020 election will come out eventually but there are certainly an enormous number of legitimate concerns that call into account Seidule's description of a "fair, democratic election" in 2020. The Texas law suit which was joined by 20 other states, lays out legion legitimate issues of corruption and constitutional violations that have never been adjudicated by a court. The Navarro Report also goes into great detail. Anybody with a brain knows that when mail in voting jumps from 5% to 35% at the same time that signature verification standards are lowered or dropped, it is a formula for disaster.

 

For over a year, Southerners debated seceding from the Union. After all, five times in U.S. history Northerners had threatened to secede from the Union so nobody questioned the right of secession, not even Horace Greeley, until he realize Southern secession would affect his money. Then he wanted war like the rest of them. Before that, he believe "Let our erring sisters go" and he editorialized in favor of the right of secession.

 

Three states had formally reserved the right of secession before acceding to the Constitution. They were New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Because all the other states accepted the reserved right of secession of New York, Rhode Island and Virginia, those states had it too, because all the states entered the Union as equals with the exact same rights.

 

The Stetson Law Review, a publication of the Stetson University College of Law, did a good article on the right of secession entitled "The Foundations and Meaning of Secession" by H. Newcomb Morse. He writes that the War Between the States did not prove that secession was illegal because:

 

[M]any incidents both preceding and following the War support the proposition that the Southern States did have the right to secede from the Union. Instances of nullification prior to the War Between the States, contingencies under which certain states acceded to the Union, and the fact that the Southern States were made to surrender the right to secession all affirm the existence of a right to secede . . .8

 

He adds that the Constitution's "failure to forbid secession" and amendments dealing with secession that were proposed in Congress as Southern states were seceding strengthened his argument that:

 

[T]he Southern States had an absolute right to secede from the Union prior to the War Between the States.9

 

Of course they did.

 

How can you believe in the Declaration of Independence and governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed and not believe a people can leave a government that has become tyrannical and oppressive. That was the essence of the Revolutionary War and the foundation of our country.

 

Northern hate, not unlike the hate we have in America today, drove the South from the Union, that and supporting terrorists and murderers like John Brown and encouraging mass murder in the South like Republicans did with Hinton Helper's book.

 

The one thing about American history that you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the North did not go to war to end slavery. They went to war because they faced economic annihilation when the Southern States seceded and took their captive manufacturing market and their tariff revenue with them.

 

The Corwin Amendment which passed the Northern Congress and was ratified by several states would have left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. That was the true feeling of the North and Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and it proves the North's motive was not to end slavery. And there is much much more irrefutable proof.

 

A near-unanimous resolution entitled the War Aims Resolution established early-on what the North was fighting for. It was passed by the Northern Congress in July, 1861, three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter:

 

. . . That this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions [slavery] of the States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution [which allowed and protected slavery], and to preserve the Union. . . .10

 

It is unquestionable and irrefutable that the North did not go to war to end slavery.

 

They went to war because they wanted to dominate the country economically. Northern wealth and power were all dependent on the Union. That's why Lincoln said over and over it was about preserving the Union, not ending slavery.

 

That puts Seidule's Union Army in a pretty bad light. Lincoln's troops were down here in the South. Southern troops were not up there in the North menacing any Northern city.

 

Why didn't Lincoln just remove his troops who were on sovereign South Carolina and Florida soil? If he had done that there would have been no war, no 750,000 deaths and over a million maimed.

 

The hateful Seidule argued against memorializing West Point graduates who fought for the Confederacy. He writes:

 

I believed we should exclude them. After all, they died fighting against the United States. I argued stridently that West Point should honor only those who fought for the Constitution we swear to support and defend. West Point's mottos of "Duty, Honor, Country" (especially country) would seem to argue forcefully for exclusion of those dedicated to the country's destruction.11

 

Southerners were certainly not dedicated to the destruction of the Union. No Confederate EVER said any such absurdity. The United States could have easily continued into the future as a major power on this earth but with just a few less states.

 

Seidule talks about support of the Constitution but Northern violations of the Constitution are one of the many legitimate grievances Southerners had and so stated many times. Many Northerners believed there was a higher power than the U.S. Constitution they should adhere to (and it always just happened to increase their political power).

 

Other Northerners like William Lloyd Garrison believed the Constitution was a "covenant with death" and "an agreement with Hell."

 

William H. Seward, Sr., Lincoln's secretary of state, asserted in 1850 that “[…] there is a Higher Law than the Constitution.”

 

None of these self-righteous Northerners in the antebellum era ever proposed a plan to end slavery such as they had used in the North with compensated, gradual emancipation. That is how all nations ended slavery and it would have been easy to do but Northerners were not about to spend their hard-earned sweatshop money to free the slaves in the South who would then go North and be job competition.

 

Lincoln did talk about it time to time but Lincoln's primary idea for dealing with slavery was to send black people back to Africa or into a place where they could survive. This was Lincoln's plan his entire life. See Colonization after Emancipation, Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement by Phillip W. Magness and Sebastian N. Page (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011).

 

In Chapter 7, page 238, Seidule writes:

 

Lee acknowledged defeat but felt neither he nor the white South had done anything wrong. In his famous General Orders No. 9, Lee bid his soldiers farewell. He stated his version of what the war meant and why it ended, initiating the Lost Cause myth. The Army of Northern Virginia "succumbed to overwhelming numbers and resources," a kind of code criticizing the immigrant army of the United States supported by unsavory businessmen and ruthless politicians.

 

To prove how utterly disingenuous Seidule is, below is Gen. Lee's General Orders, No. 9. Compare what Lee actually said with what Seidule wrote above. See if you can find "a kind of code criticizing the immigrant army of the United States supported by unsavory businessmen and ruthless politicians" in Gen. Lee's short, heartfelt address. This, alone, proves what a fraud Seidule's entire book is.

 

General Orders, No. 9
Robert E. Lee's Farewell Address to
The Army of Northern Virginia

Hd. Qrs. Army of N. Va.
General Orders
No. 9

 

After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

 

I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them; but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

 

By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection. With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

 

R.E. Lee, Genl.12

 

Lee was almost always outnumbered and outgunned.

 

Grant himself admitted this when he wrote Secretary of War Edwin Stanton July 22, 1865 to explain how he won the war:

 

The resources of the enemy, and his numerical strength, were far inferior to ours. . . I therefore determined . . . to hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources, until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there should be nothing left to him but . . . submission. . . "13

 

The numbers showing the Union advantage over Lee are startling. Here's one example. Phil Leigh writes:

 

Grant began his forty-day campaign with an approximate two-to-one numerical advantage. He had 124,000 troops compared to 66,000 for Lee. At the end, Grant had suffered 55,000 casualties, which was also about twice those of Lee. Losses for the two sides during the battles at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor correspond closely to the federal disasters at Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Fredericksburg.14

 

The North had four times the white population of the South. While slaves helped the Southern economy, and many served as Confederate soldiers, they were not a big source of manpower.

 

The North had a functioning government, an army, navy, merchant marine, sound financial system. They had a pipeline to the retched refuse of the world who came here often with only the shirts on their backs to find the Union Army recruiter with bonuses in hand, food and clothing.

 

Over 25% of the Union Army was foreign born but as James McPherson points out, over 30% of the North was foreign born. The North was a wild busting-at-the-seams society. The scenes in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York are historically accurate.

 

Some speculate that because of the wildness caused by massive immigration during the 1850s that the North would have had a revolution if not for the western lands where they could send their surplus population. "Go west, young man, and grow up with the country!" said Horace Greeley.

 

So Lincoln starting a war knowing he had four times the white population of the South plus unlimited numbers of people verses the South's impossibility of adding more people because of the Union blockade, is despicable but understandable. The Republican Party was new, and what is better than a war to give it power, money and solidify it in the political life of a nation.

 

Lincoln certainly figured it would be a short war but he found otherwise, that a people fighting for independence will fight until there are oceans of blood covering their sacred soil, and until their society is completely destroyed.

 

The Northern manufacturing for armaments, ammunition, guns and uniforms was unlimited while it was non-existent in the South. Seidule's Union soldiers were always well-fed and had the latest weaponry but Confederates were always hungry, cold and often barefoot.

 

There were 19 marine engine factories in the North. There were zero in the South.

 

Northern society throughout the war barely noticed a difference in their day to day lives while Southerners suffered at the hands of Seidule's barbaric animals in the South raping, pillaging, murdering. All of that did go on and has been well-documented, as in every war. The great British historian, Antony Beevor, estimates that 2,000,000 German women were raped by the Russian army at the end of World War II as it conquered Germany. Union soldiers raping black women is especially documented in the Official Records.

 

Gen. Lee often could not do things on the battlefield because he did not have the resources. That was never a problem for the North.

 

The Federal ration of grain for their horses was ten pounds a day per horse. Lee wrote this to President Davis August 24, 1863:

 

Nothing prevents my advancing now [against Mead] but the fear of killing our artillery horses. They are a much reduced, and the hot weather and scarce forage keeps them so. The cavalry also suffer and I fear to set them at work. Some days we get a pound of corn per horse and some days more; some none. Our limit is five per day per horse. You can judge of our prospects. . . . Everything is being done by me that can be to recruit the horses. I have been obliged to diminish the number of guns in the artillery, and fear I shall have to lose more.15

 

The South faced the same problem with railroads. Of the 30,000-plus miles that existed nationwide in 1861, 70% was in the North. There were 21,300 miles of track in the North and Midwest with 45,000 miles of telegraph wire while in the South there was only 9,022 miles with 5,000 miles of telegraph wire. The South had a much larger territory to cover with much smaller resources.16

 

Ramsdell writes:

 

For more than a year before the end came the railroads were in such a wretched condition that a complete breakdown seemed always imminent. As the tracks wore out on the main lines they were replenished by despoiling the branch lines; but while the expedient of feeding the weak roads to the more important afforded the latter some temporary sustenance, it seriously weakened the armies, since it steadily reduced the area from which supplies could be drawn.17

 

So, again, Gen. Lee's "overwhelming resources" of the North is correct and Seidule is wrong. The Lost Cause Myth is not a myth. It is simply the Southern view of what happened, and it is both accurate and truthful.

 

On the other hand, the Righteous Cause Myth of the North is truly a myth --- no, not myth, LIE. Their "righteous cause" was their money, power, and the lust to rule the country.

 

Lysander Spooner, who was an abolitionist in Massachusetts, agreed:

 

On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.

 

The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.18

 

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a West Point graduate and true American hero, is a much better representative of West Point and the United States Army than the virtue-signaling "please, academia, like me!" of Ty Seidule. Eisenhower is a much better judge of honor and character.

 

Gen. Eisenhower, 1st Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in World War II, later president of the United States for eight years, had a picture of Gen. Robert E. Lee on his wall in the White House his entire time there.

 

Eisenhower speaks with some of the 101st Airborne Division June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day invasion.EisenhowerNoIdeaWhyFighting
Eisenhower speaks with some of the 101st Airborne Division June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day invasion.
 

Like President John F. Kennedy, Eisenhower had great respect for Gen. Lee and his cause, and he appreciated Lee's efforts to bind up the nation's wounds after our bloodiest war.

 

On August 1, 1960, a New York dentist, Dr. Leon W. Scott, wrote an angry letter to President Eisenhower excoriating him for having that picture of Lee in his White House office.

 

Scott wrote: "I do not understand  how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me. / The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did, was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being held as one of our heroes."19

 

President Eisenhower wrote back on the 9th:

 

Dear Dr. Scott:

 

Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.

 

General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

 

From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee's caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation's wounds once the bitter struggle was over, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

 

Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.

 

Sincerely,
Dwight D. Eisenhower20

 

Robert E. Lee, oil on canvas, by Edward Calledon Bruce, 1865.
Robert E. Lee, oil on canvas, by Edward Calledon Bruce, 1865.
 

Seidule said people who use "War Between the States" as Gen. Eisenhower did, as I do, and as millions of others do, don't believe in equality; so I guess, yet again, Seidule is wrong.

 

NOTES:

 

1 Hamilton College appears to be a charming, small liberal arts college founded in 1793 and named for Alexander Hamilton who was on the first Board of Trustees when it was Hamilton-Oneida Academy. Hamilton.edu, accessed 3-22-21.

 

2 Dr. Reynolds also taught at the University of Maine, and was History Departmental Chair at the College of Charleston (SC). Among his books are Command of the Sea: The History and Strategy of Maritime Empires; Navies in History; History and the Sea; The Fast Carriers: The Forging of an Air Navy; and On the Warpath in the Pacific: Admiral Jocko Clark and the Fast Carrier. His complete bio is at www.WorldHistory101-102.com. Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_G._Reynolds.

 

3 Ty Seidule, Robert E. Lee and Me, A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2020), 1. Seidule did not capitalize "southern" in his quotation. I always capitalize it and Northern, as well as North and South, which are obviously proper names that should be capitalized.

 

4 See also Footnote #47 on page 44 of Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014) for the difference between tariff for revenue and protective tariff. What is meant by "a tariff for revenue" is a small tariff to raise a small amount of revenue to pay for the operation of a small federal government such as the government of the Confederate States of America. Southerners had always wanted free trade with the world. They believed in as small a tariff as possible. Contrast a small tariff for revenue with the huge protective tariffs the North loved that were punitive and meant to deter free trade so that one would be forced to buy from the North at jacked-up rates that were not determined by market competition but were jacked-up to the level of the tariff. The tariff is the perfect thing to contrast the differences in North and South. The moment the South was out of the Union, they made protective tariffs unconstitutional while the North passed the astronomical Morrill Tariff. The Morrill Tariff prevented the recovery of the Northern economy and made war Abraham Lincoln's only choice to save the North from economic annihilation. Of course, Lincoln's choice resulted in 800,000 deaths and over a million wounded out of a population of approximately 31 million.

 

5 Daily Chicago Times, "The Value of the Union," December 10, 1860, in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 573-574.

 

6 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History,  2020), 103.

 

7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 142.

 

8 Morse, "The Foundations and Meaning of Secession," 420.

9 Ibid.

 

10 The War Aims Resolution is also known by the names of its sponsors, Representative John J. Crittenden of Kentucky and Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee: the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, or just the Crittenden Resolution. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 22, 1861, and the Senate July 25, 1861. There were only two dissenting votes in the House and five in the Senate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crittenden-Johnson_Resolution, accessed March 29, 2014.

 

11 Seidule, Robert E. Lee and Me, 4.

 

12 Douglas Southall Freeman, R. E. Lee: A Biography, 4 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936), Vol. 4, 154-55.

 

13 Phil Leigh, Civil War Chat, "Ty Seidule's Falsehoods About Grant and Lee", https://civilwarchat.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/ty-seidules-falsehoods-about-grant-and-lee/, accessed 3-25-21.

 

14 Ibid.

15 Charles W. Ramsdell, "General Robert E. Lee's Horse Supply, 1862-1865" in Gene Kizer, Jr., compiler, Charles W. Ramsdell, Dean of Southern Historians (Charleston: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2017), 250. The quotation is from the OR, ser. I, v XXIX, pt. 2, 664-665.

 

16 "Railroads In The Civil War: Facts and Statistics (North vs South)," https://www.american-rails.com/civil.html, accessed 3-23-21.

 

17 Charles W. Ramsdell, "The Confederate Government and the Railroads," in Gene Kizer, Jr., compiler, Charles W. Ramsdell, Dean of Southern Historians, 300.

 

18 Lysander Spooner, "No Treason. No. 1, Introductory," Boston, by "the Author, No. 14 Bromfield Street. 1867".

 

19 Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee, August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively, https://www.civilwarprofiles.com/dwight-d-eisenhower-in-defense-of-robert-e-lee/, accessed 5-3-20.

 

20 Dwight D. Eisenhower letter, August 9, 1960, to Leon W. Scott, in "Dwight D. Eisenhower in Defense of Robert E. Lee," August 10, 2014, Mathew W. Lively, https://www.civilwarprofiles.com/dwight-d-eisenhower-in-defense-of-robert-e-lee/, accessed 5-3-20.

 

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