Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

THE TRUE CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR 1861 - 1865



DOCUMENTATION OF THE TRUE CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR.

The documentation of these excerpts from Lincoln's speeches while running for office against Stephan Douglas, his first inauguration speech, etc., can be found at most public libraries.

( A) LINCOLN

Although Lincoln opposed slavery on moral principles, he often announced his intentions during his campaign for the office of the presidency, to do nothing about the issue and planned to permit slavery to continue in states where it existed. He was no abolitionist. Also, President Lincoln is considered by many to be a bigot. Notice his comments about the black race. He was certainly no friend to any race other than his own and was more of a segregationist than later day KKK members. His view is reprehensible especially for a national leader.

(A - 1) Lincoln's Campaign For President. 14th paragraph of the
- First Joint Debate Lincoln - Douglas

Ottawa, August 21, 1858

"Now, gentlemen, I don't want to read at any greater length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. This is the whole of it, and anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man."

He gave similar comments in most other debates.

December 24, 1860....

South Carolina ratifies Ordinance of Secession by a Convention of the People of the State of South Carolina in Institute Hall in Charleston, proclaiming South Carolina an independent commonwealth and to remove the state of South Carolina from the union known as the United States of America

January 9, 1861 -- Mississippi ratifies an Ordinance of Secession
January 9, 1861 January 10, 1861-- -- Florida ratifies an Ordinance of Secession
January 9, 1861 January 11, 1861-- -- Alabama ratifies an Ordinance of Secession

(B) Lincoln's Inauguration 1861

March 4, 1861,

Lincoln's first inauguration speech, fourth paragraph reads as follows: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

This was only ONE month prior to the South firing on Fort Sumter, starting the war against the union. It is further proof that the cause of the Civil War was NOT about slavery since the president of the United States took such a strong stand for NOT interfering with the institution of slavery. My opinion is that it really should have been outlawed.

Click here for the complete text of Lincoln's first inauguration address:

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

Lincoln states he will invade and use force if any state does not pay the taxes levied by the Union see the 22nd paragraph, which follows:

"THE POWER GIVEN TO ME WILL BE USED TO HOLD, OCCUPY, AND POSSESS THE PROPERTY AND PLACES BELONGING TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND TO COLLECT THE TAXES. BUT BEYOND WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR THESE PURPOSES, THERE WILL BE NO INVASION, NO USING OF FORCE AGAINST OR AMONG THE PEOPLE ANYWHERE."

April 12, 1861. The first shots were fired starting the Civil war with the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. No bill had been passed regarding slavery as of this date even though the South had seceded and combat begun.

Check here for more information regarding he battle of Fort Sumter:
Sumter Tour.

( C ) Emancipation Proclamation
September 22, 1862

The "Emancipation Proclamation", freeing the slaves, was drafted and signed with the date being September 22, 1862, which was one year and nine months AFTER South Carolina's ordinance of Secession and one year and four months AFTER the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter (the start of the war). Lincoln's comments while signing were , "Now we have a JUST cause for The Conflict".

( D ) ALAN KEYES AND WALTER WILLIAMS

The esteemed Alan Keyes (past ambassador to the United Nations and candidate for president this term) and Walter Williams (famous national syndicated newspaper columnist), both stress the civil war did NOT involve the slavery issue. These are very intelligent men with a high level of integrity. They also have "grit". One can only imagine the wrath and insults they have faced from many Civil Rights activists today since both of these renowned gentlemen are black. I feel they are willing to endure this pressure in order that the truth may be told and to aid the black race.

It is generally accepted that it was only a matter of a short time before the practice of slavery would be abolished. Slavery is inhumane and is a "dark period" in our history as well as for other nations who maintained this horrible practice. As other cruel practices of our nation, such as burning "so called witches" at the stake in Salem, random killing of Native Americans and placing large numbers of them into captivity ("Trail of Tears"), etc., the slave market was doomed to failure. Our inhumanities, past and present, are difficult to face. Total war by one part of our nation upon other segments was no less inhumane.

( E ) Causes of the Civil War

..."The Yankee ... is marked by a peculiar perversity of nature, which makes them our (the South's) natural protagonist.
Thomas Jefferson"

Some say simplistically that the Civil War was fought over slavery. Unfortunately, there is no "simple" reason. The causes of the war were a complex series of events that began long before the first shot was fired. Competing nationalisms, political turmoil, the definition of freedom, the preservation of the Union, and the structure of our society and economy could all be listed as significant contributing factors in America's bloodiest conflict.

Complaints of Southerners

Many of the problems Southerners saw more than one hundred fifty years ago are being reiterated today. The "oppressive" federal government. High taxes (tariffs before the war). A growing government unwilling to listen to law abiding citizens. Sound familiar? They were complaints levied from 1816 on in the South.

Constitutional Questions

People argued about the meaning of the Constitution since its infancy. From a legal standpoint, the document defines the relationship between the people of the United States and the federal government, detailing the powers and responsibilities of each. In 1828 Vice-president John C. Calhoun said if a state felt a federal law extended beyond the Constitutional rights of the government that state had the right to ignore (or "nullify") the law. This concept dated back the Articles of Confederation. President Andrew Jackson felt the federal government was the highest authority (Article VI, Section 2) and the states had to abide by its law.

Tariffs and the Nullification Crisis

The North looked towards southern markets, rich with cash from the lucrative cotton and other agricultural business; to buy the North's manufactured goods. However, it was often cheaper for the South to purchase the goods abroad. In order to "protect" the northern industries Andrew Jackson slapped a tariff on many of the imported goods that could be manufactured in the North.

When South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Nullification in November 1832, refusing to collect the tariff and threatening to withdraw from the Union, Jackson ordered federal troops to Charleston. A secession crisis was averted when Congress revised the Tariff of Abominations in February 1833.

The rhetoric changes

However, the political climate changed during this "Nullification Crisis." Designations of States Rightist, Pro-Union, loose or strict constructionalist became more important than Whig or Democrat. In North Georgia when John Thomas, a local politician, was asked what to name a new county he said, "Name it Union, for none but Union-like men live here." Many of the southern population remained pro-Union until the outbreak of war almost 30 years later. From this point on factional politics would play an increasing part in the division of a country.

Economic changes affect society

The Panic of 1837 and the ensuing depression began to gnaw like a hungry animal on the flesh of the American system. The disparity between northern and southern economies was exacerbated. Before and after the depression the economy of the South prospered. Southern cotton sold abroad totaled 57% of all American exports before the war. The Panic of 1857 devastated the North and left the South virtually untouched. The clash of a wealthy, agricultural South and a poorer, industrial North was intensified by abolitionists who were not above using class struggle to further their cause. Great Britain was paying far better prices for cotton than the northern factories. While many New England textile factories were idle for lack of the valuable cotton supply, British ships waged heavy traffic through the port of Charleston, South Carolina transporting southern cotton to England. The congress and senate, dominated by northern senators, were outraged and forced through both houses of congress a very oppressive tariff bill for exports as well. Their goal was to make it very uneconomical for the South to trade with Great Britain and hoped the action would leave no alternative but for the Southern trade to be diverted to the north.

The breakdown of the political system


The ugliness of the political process quickly began to show as parties turned upon themselves and politics on a national level were more like local politics. Feuds and fights in political arenas were common. From 1837 until 1861 eight men became presidents, but no man served more than a single term in office. One sitting president was not renominated by his own party and another withdrew his name after being nominated. New political parties were created with names like Constitutional Union, American, Free-Soilers and Republican. In Georgia, Democrats were strong, but factional fighting broke the party along pro-Union and States Rights lines.

By the time Buchanan was elected (1856) the country was divided on many issues, including slavery. Former Georgia Governor Cobb spoke in the North as a moderate Southerner for Buchanan and served on his cabinet. Over the next 4 years Cobb changed from pro-Union to secessionist. A similar process occurred across much of the South.

A concise history of slavery

At Jamestown, Va. in 1611 a group of Scottish women and children were sold as slaves. 7 years later in Jamestown the first Africans were sold in slavery. From 1611 until 1865 people from virtually every society on earth were sold into slavery in North America. Citizens in each of the thirteen colonies enslaved people, but slavery was viewed as a southern institution after the early 1800's. Along the coastal areas of the South a majority of the slaves were black. In some inland areas whites (mostly Scottish Irish) and Native Americans outnumbered black slaves. Slavery is still legal in the United States as a criminal punishment, but is not practiced.

In 1789 Southerners saw slavery as a dying institution. Eli Whitney's stolen modification of the cotton gin (1793) created a greater demand for slaves, so rather than "wither on the vine" the institution prospered. The Northwest Ordinance, adopted in 1787 banned the practice in the Northwest Territories. In 1798 Georgia forbid further importation of slaves and the Constitution allowed Congress to outlaw importation of slaves in 1808, which they did. Over the next 40 years lesser skirmishes were fought over slavery including the Compromise of 1820. In North Georgia slavery was not widespread and a majority of the slaves were of Native American, Scottish or Irish decent.

Slaves often spoke of "our cotton" or "our cattle". The only item they would concede was the master's carriage. Trusted slaves were permitted to go to town unescorted. Others suffered horribly. Conditions in northern factories were as bad or worse than those for a majority of the slaves, but it would be 40 years after the war when they were properly addressed.

So what caused the war?

The United States had been moving towards a fractured, divisive society for a number of years. Cultural and economic differences served to widen the rift. Battles among North, South, and West grew more heated, especially after 1850. Politicians and the judiciary sent conflicting signals trying to appease each of the groups involved; yet all remained dissatisfied. Southerners saw a federal government controlled by northern industrialists who were unresponsive to the problems of their state. Tariffs paid by Southerners bought improvements in northern and western states.

The South was wrong to assume Lincoln intended to free the slaves. He had never advocated action to abolish slavery nor did he speak out against the Illinois rules prohibiting blacks from testifying against whites. The true abolition candidate, Gerrit Smith of New York drew few votes. In his inaugural address Lincoln made it clear he would not interfere with slavery where it existed. Even though he made this speech after the South seceded he left the door open for their return.

During the war

Southerners abolished the African slave trade in the Confederate Constitution. In the North "Preserve the Union" was the battlecry and Lincoln quoted "...a house divided shall not stand..." from the Bible. In fact the Emancipation Proclamation (debated in 1862 and passed in 1864), a foreign affair ploy, cost Republicans control of the legislature in November of 1862. A year later Lincoln restated why the war was fought when he said, dedicating a cemetery at Gettysburg " for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live."

Although slavery was an issue debated often in the houses of congress, it was not "on the floor" in the form of a proposed bill when senators from South Carolina walked out declaring secession from the union, followed swiftly by senators from other southern states. What bills were the focal points of the southern senators? They were the high tariffs (taxation without representation due to the northern domination of the government), and federal government control instead of state's rights.

The first action of the South was to demand the tariff laws no longer applied to the confederacy. The union manned the harbor of Charleston at Fort Sumter and established a blockade to stop the British ships from entering the port and transporting cotton to England. The South ordered the federal troops to leave and when they refused, southern military fired on the fort and captured all union troops. Navel action was intensive at the harbor throughout the war. Since the South had very little navy, I often marvel why people today, who claim the war was about slavery, do not question why the war started at the port of Charleston and heavy military action took place there until the end of the war. Also, why do they not question why England gave their 100% support to the South?

My family had three members to fight and give their lives for the South and "state's rights". Almost all of the southern army were just poor dirt farmers, scratching out a living for their families. Why would they leave home, take up arms against a vastly larger army from the North, and so many give their lives to the "cause". Some people would have us believe it was to protect the assets and investments of the few affluent slave owners. Think about it! These people claim our poor southern farmers died by the hundreds of thousands just so a few wealthy men could hold on to their slaves. What planet are these people from?

Actually, the southern cause was identical to my ancestors' who fought for America during the revolutionary war. They all fought for freedom from an oppressive nation, to end excessive taxation and for right of self-control.

After the war


Union officers, such as; Phil Sheridan, George Armstrong Custer and others adapted very quickly from killing rebels to the genocide of Native Americans. The South was "reconstructed" for the next 87 years.

Have you ever wondered why history always records events as if the "good" people won over evil forces, without exception?

"TO THE VICTORS GOES THE OPPORTUNITY TO REWRITE HISTORY IN THEIR FAVOR!"



Click on the buckle to
visit the webpage for Jonas Simpson.



Click on the buckle to
visit the webpage for Enos and John J. Gray.



Click on the buckle to read General
Robert E. Lee's Farewell address to the troops.



Click on the buckle to
return to the Civil War webpage.



Click on the buckle to
return to our homepage.

View My Civil War Message Board
Free Guestbook by Guestpage

Leave Comments On My Civil War Message Board