The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause
of the War Between the States
The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause of the War Between the States
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
(Published in Confederate
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 If protection be wholly withdrawn from our labor, it could not compete, with all the prejudices against it, with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
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
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
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.
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:
Northerners objected to the presence of slavery in their midst, in part, because they objected to the presence of blacks
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.
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
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
[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.
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
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),
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),
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
of the War Between the States,
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.
Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War
Between the States,
The Irrefutable Argument.1
(enhanced with captioned photographs)
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
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
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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,
accessed August 1, 2014.
4 James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom,
The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 606.
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.
Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis, 200.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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:
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.
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
Without the North, the South, with 100% control of King Cotton,
would ascend to dominance in North America, and Lincoln knew it.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
E. Lee's Farewell Address to
The Army of Northern Virginia
Hd. Qrs. Army of N. Va.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Dwight D. Eisenhower20
Robert E. Lee, oil on canvas, by Edward Calledon
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.
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.
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
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
8 Morse, "The Foundations and Meaning of Secession,"
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.
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.
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.