Thursday, July 9, 2015

And Then There was Slavery.

We have come to the final component in the list of reasons that are proffered defending the necessity for Lincoln and his Federal army to invade the Southern states.  I hope you have enjoyed this foray into un-sanitized history.  I also hope that along with the Michael Medved piece from 2007, this serves to enlighten you.  I further hope that it will explain why it is not necessary to ban inanimate objects that belong in our history.  History is the story of our past, and it should remain complete whether good or bad.  Once again, I thank my late friend David for his extensive research in this area. I still have David's thoughts and research on the conduct of the war and the period of Reconstruction after the war.  Maybe we can post that at some later date.

"And then there was slavery.  Slavery was definitely an issue in the war, but it was never THE issue except for a tiny minority of Southern whites and Northern abolitionists.  Lincoln himself said that he would not interfere with slavery if that was what it took to preserve the Union.  He did not mention slavery in his call to war.  At the beginning of the war, slavery was legal in Washington, D.C.  As already noted Grant's wife and Father-in-law owned many slaves and refused to free them the entire time Grant was a Union general.  Lincoln's wife's family owned slaves.

It was not until the North appeared to be losing the war that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  However, humanitarianism had nothing to do with his declaration.  It did not free the slaves in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, or Missouri.  Nor did it free the slaves in those parts of the South occupied by Union forces.  It only freed the slaves in those areas over which Lincoln had no control.  It was intended to cause insurrection among slaves in the South and to disrupt the Confederacy on its home front.

It didn't work except to establish a moral purpose for some individuals in the North for an immoral and illegal war.

We can safely say that economic tyranny imposed upon Southern states by politicians subservient to northern industrialists, the invasion of Southern states by U. S. forces, and for some few, slavery were the three primary causes of the war.

Four Southern states, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas did not secede until after
Fort Sumter.  People in those times, in all of the states, considered themselves citizens of their state first and their nation second.  When they were invaded by Northern armies they fought illustrated by the young Confederate soldier quoted earlier.

All of that said, I believe the single greatest cause of the war was Abraham Lincoln.  He could have ended slavery with compensated emancipation as was done in England, Brazil, and numerous other countries. But, he did not attempt to avail himself of this option except in the Border States where he was rebuffed.

Interestingly, Lincoln lobbied Congress during his entire term for the funds to round up every single black in the U. S. at the end of the war and ship them to Africa or the Caribbean.  He did not intend to allow a single black to stay in this country.  As part of the above mentioned compensated emancipation offered to the Border States, he added the provisos that the emancipation would be gradual and that the freed slaves would be deported.  He had voiced and written his opinion that blacks were not generally the social or intellectual equal to whites many times, and apparently wished to rid the country of the freed blacks.

For those of you who may doubt this little known fact of Lincoln's intention to deport all blacks, you can find his efforts in this area documented in great detail in Carl Sandburg's six volume biography of the man.  Sandburg, from Illinois, was hardly a Southern sympathizer.

Lincoln's agenda was to institute a centralized government which held total power over the states. Secondly, he wished to destroy free trade, thereby enriching his Northern businessmen supporters. As a result, he could not allow a state to secede, even though it was and is constitutional for one to do so, because this was the ultimate challenge to a powerful central government.  He succeeded in these goals and was perfectly willing to sacrifice 600,000 Americans to achieve them."  This is the Michael Medved link on slavery mentioned in the introduction.

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