Civil War Truths Pt. 2

As Confederate monuments continue to be torn down, there is a push by some to repaint the events surrounding the Civil War to justify their eradication. There are many falsehoods being spread about that need to be refuted. These actions and this rhetoric is just another in a long line of attacks on Americans institutions, traditions, and history. The truth is important to preserve. We, as a people, need to do what is right, not what is comfortable or politically correct.

Eleven states decided in the early 1860s that they did not want to be in the Union anymore. They formally removed themselves from the United States of America and started their own country, referred to today as the Confederate States of America, or  the “Confederacy.” They were then attacked by the United States of America, and a war ensued. More Americans were lost in this war than any other conflict, before or since, by almost a factor of 10. It was an illegal war that need not have happened.

Many today say it was over slavery. That assertion is a bold faced lie which most people used to recognize as such.  Many laud Lincoln as a great leader, but his motivation for entering the war was economic, not moral. He also set the standard for later presidents to ignore the Constitution during times of war.

First of all, secession is not violence; it is how this country was founded. The violence occurred when the bullies that were left behind decided to attack. We celebrate that fact every July 4th. When the southern states seceded, they did so because they did not want to be part of the United States anymore. Secession is an idea that is supported by our own Declaration of Independence.

Slavery was an issue but economic issues were much more prevalent. The South accounted for over 80% of the tax revenue generated at the federal level. Lincoln was a fan of the American system which was very much like the merchantile system that Britain had imposed on the colonies which led to our revolution.

This American System was characterized by high tariffs which impacted the South much more than the North to be used for internal improvements which was spent in the North much more than in the South.  Tariffs enacted against the South were a common occurrence by the time secession was finally initiated. For example, the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 had South Carolina talking about secession if it was not repealed.  This trend continued on, and in 1860, the southern states had enough and began to secede.  There was no violence, just goodbye. They were not going to be exploited anymore. On Dec. 25, 1860, South Carolina declared unfair taxes to be a major cause for their secession:  “ The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North”

Another fallacy spread by some to justify the entry of the North into the war was that the South fired the first shot in the conflict, and the North properly retaliated. This is a blatant mistruth. South Carolina seceded December 20, 1860. Fort Sumpter, a fort located on Charleston harbor, was still occupied by American troops until April of 1861. Lincoln had promised to evacuate the fort (after all it was in a foreign country at that point) but did not pursue doing so. Just the opposite.

On April 12th, ships arrived to resupply the fort, not evacuate it. The ships were driven off and the Fort was bombarded. Earlier in January, the same scenario had occurred, and those ships were driven off as well. Most do not know that the ONLY casualty from that bombardment in April was a mule. No men were killed. The next day the soldiers holding the fort surrendered, and South Carolina forces took control of it. The majority of forts in the South had already been voluntarily evacuated. This was the proper course of action to take, but in Sumpter’s case, Lincoln was looking for justification to support a war he wanted to wage.

The biggest lie spread about the Civil War was that it was initiated over slavery. The American people used to know this was a lie. Was slavery pertinent? Of course. It was one of the reasons that the South seceded. Was slavery the reason that Lincoln attacked the South? Of course not. But many people parrot that lie everyday not realizing that Lincoln’s own words refute the idea.  The actions and rhetoric from the North said NOTHING about going to war to free the slaves.

There were four candidates in the 1860 elections. None of them were in favor of the abolition of slavery. The abolitionist movement was very small and had little political power. The idea of abolishing slavery was not included on any of the candidates’ platforms.

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln made it clear he was not going to end slavery. He stated early on in the speech: “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.”

Just a couple of paragraphs later, Lincoln reiterated the right of the states to determine their own destiny and restated a campaign pledge that was part of his platform:

“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

Lincoln then went on to voice his support for the Fugitive Slave Acts. His own words certainly destroy the idea that slavery was an issue from the North’s or his own perspective.

In a letter to Horace Greeley, In August of 1862, Lincoln continued to voice his opinion that the institution of slavery was not in jeopardy from him:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

The war had been going on for over a year at this point.

When the Emancipation Proclamation in September of 1862, Lincoln characterized it as a “military action.”  To this point, the war had been going badly for the North. Most battles across the map saw Southern forces winning. Lincoln was desperate. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed NO slaves in the North, and excluded freeing slaves in Union occupied areas in the South to keep those Southerners mollified. Nor did it free slaves in the border states. It only applied to the places that the Union held no sway. Lincoln was criticized by many who implied he did this to stage a slave uprising, an idea that was very unpopular in the North, the South and even Europe.

Another effect the Emancipation Proclamation had was to cause riots in some northern states, dersertions of Union soldiers, and Northerners moving to Canada to evade the draft. New York City experienced significant riots over the fact that conscription had started and those men were going to war to free the slaves. Until the Proclamation, the idea of slavery being the purpose for the war had not been espoused.  Over 100 people were killed in the quelling of these riots in New York City alone.

It should be noted that General Robert E. Lee, a target of those looking to pull down statues, had already freed his slaves, slave he had inherited, not bought, before the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. General Ullyses S. Grant, retained his slaves until 1865 when Missouri outlawed the practice. Grant had emancipated one slave in 1859, but his wife continued to own slaves at White Haven, the family home, and as personal servants.

Lincoln’s view of blacks contradict the narrative espoused by those attacking our history and advocating for the removal of Confederate statues. In  his 4th debate against Douglas, Lincoln stated:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

Lincoln’s actions during the war showed his disdain for the rule of law and the Constitution. He suspended habeus corpus and imprisoned tens of thousands without due process, just like FDR did when he imprisoned Japanese during WW II. He ignored the Constitution which states that this is a power of Congress and a Supreme Court opinion reiterating the same. He shut down newspapers in the North that disagreed with him and had editors arrested for unpopular opinions. He had a sitting US Congressman, Clement L. Vallandigham, dragged from his home and put in a military prison for his speeches on the floor of Congress because they “discouraged enlistments” in the Union Army.  Lincoln authorized military tribunals to try anyone arrested which was also against the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. This was especially important in border states where convictions by juries would be problematic.

History teaches us that::

  • A group of states decide that the voluntary union they had entered was no longer good for them so they left. An idea supported by our Declaration of Independence.
  • A megalomaniacal President who, supported by big business and bankers, launched an unprovoked and unlawful attack against those states to keep them in the union for the tax revenues, not to abolish slavery.
  • The same President who later recanted everything he had previously stated to make the war about slavery. The great flip flop of American history.
  • The same President who greatly expanded his own powers which infringed on the rights of Americans and ignored the Constitution all in pursuit of “saving” our country.

The narrative being pushed is that only white supremacists or racists oppose the removal of Confederate statues and is being supported by lies. The North initiated aggression for the express purpose of keeping the tax revenues from the Southern states to support Northern modernization. Lincoln was a tyrant. He is painted as a hero to protect big government and crony capitalistic interests that would be harmed by the truth.

I will finish with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: ” Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”

Join me at Constitutional Cappuccino to get plugged into a website that is all about the education Americans need to move our country back to its proper trajectory. My new book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available and teaches of our founding documents and principles.

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Reconstructing Civil War History

Since the revisionist crowd has hit Orlando and are pushing for the removal of a Confederate Statue from the grounds of Lake Eola citing blatant lies as their reason, I feel it is incumbent on those of us who actually know the history of the war to speak out. The Civil War was not started because of slavery. It had nothing to do with white supremacy or hate. These ideas are ludicrous and those that push this fabrication have no basis in fact. The war had everything to do with the continued economic subjugation of the southern states by the federal government.

Slavery was not the reason for the attack by the North. It is true that some of the southern states did cite maintaining slavery as one of the reasons for their secession, but this truly makes no difference. It does not matter why the South left the Union. They are not the aggressors in this conflict and merely exercised their sovereignty as states to peaceably leave the United States of America. It is the North’s response to this legal action which merits scrutiny.

Slavery was an established practice and supported by law. The Fugitive Slave Acts and the Dred Scott decision both supported the institution of slavery. In the election of 1860, not one of the candidates ran on an abolitionist platform. Far from it. Abolitionists were a very small minority of the people and had little influence.

Lincoln ended up winning the election. Lincoln had plans which were upsetting to the South which had nothing to do with slavery. On the campaign trail. he supported the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. He was in ardent opposition to abolition. Lincoln in his first inaugural address stated:

“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.”

He further stated that if he was to do something then he would be acting against the Constitution in doing so. Lincoln made it crystal clear during this speech that slavery was NOT under attack under his administration. What was under attack was the secession of the states from the Union. He wanted to “save the Union”.

Flashback to 1776. When we declared our independence from Great Britain, we in effect seceded from their influence. Secession was recognized as a right of any state or group of people who felt they were not being governed correctly by those in power. This was one of our founding principles.

“That to secure these rights, 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”

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”

No one disputed the right of the sovereign southern states to secede until Lincoln came along. The voluntary union that the states had created by the Constitution had no qualms about secession. Talks of secession had been bandied around for a few decades before the issue resurfaced in the 1860’s. These cries for secession came from the northern states in most instances. No one had any legal or moral problems with the action. Why should they? Our country was formed by a voluntary agreement between the sovereign state to form this nation. The states made the decision on their own to be part of the country.  It was a voluntary act and could be reversed if necessary.

Why Did the North Attack? This had everything to do with Abraham Lincoln and his support of Henry Clay’s “American System”. This was the agenda that was pushed by Lincoln throughout his political career and was the main plank of the Whig Party. This system was about unconstitutional government sponsorship of internal improvements, a centralized federal bank and protective tariffs to fund it all. This is also where the idea of the United States of America becoming the world policeman got its start. This system protected northern industry while invoking high tariffs on exports by the South. It protected northern interests at the cost of southern solvency. By the 1860’s, the South accounted for over 70% of the tax revenue that the federal government took in. In contrast, the high majority of money spent on internal improvements were spent in the north. The south was the loser in this unconstitutional system and the main reason they left the union. This is very similar to the merchantile system set up by Great Britain that led to the colonies revolting.

This was not the first time that southern states had threatened secession. In 1828 a tariff was passed that became know as the ‘Tariff of Abominations”. It was so unpopular that in South Carolina secession was openly talked about and the tariff was nullified by the state legislature. A compromise was finally reached but the problem still festered.

These tariffs were also the reason that the South needed to be forced to stay in the union and why Lincoln attacked. Without the southern states the USA would have gone bankrupt or the American System would have had to been done away with. Instead Lincoln chose to conduct THE most bloody war in American history.  It was all about money, influence and a departure from constitutional values. Lincoln proved during the war he had no love of the Constitution. It should be no surprise that he opposed the legal secession of the southern states.

The out of control government we see today is directly tied to the illegal war waged by Lincoln and his supporters. He was the one who initially took us away from the Constitution and its promise of a limited government of enumerated powers. Lincoln’s actions during the war prove beyond a shadow of a doubt his disdain for the Constitution and the ideals it espouses.

How many know that Lincoln suspended habeus corpus and jailed 1000’s of people in the north without charging them with a crime? How many know that the “war” against the south was never declared by Congress? How many know that he nationalized the railroads? Or his deportation of a sitting congressman from Ohio for opposing his war stance? How about his imprisonment of newspaper publishers who were opposed to his policies? Or his conscription of newly “freed” blacks to serve in the military against their will? Ever heard of the American Colonization Society and its aim to deport all newly freed black slaves out of the country? How about Lincoln’s statement on the proper relationship between whites and blacks?

“I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is 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.”

This is who the ignorant are defending when they attack the confederacy and support the actions of the north during the War Between the States. The mental gymnastics required to support this position cannot exist when the truth is revealed. The lie of slavery being the cause of the Civil War is easily revealed yet it is still pushed by the ignorant.

On this Memorial Day in 2017 I am amazed that some think to attack American servicemen by improperly segregating the Confederate serviceman from his rightful place in our history books. These men and women died for our country and have been since recognized as American veterans. Confederate soldiers are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Yet here in Orlando thanks to Mayor John Dyer, “Buddy” to some, these servicemen are being ostracized by his attacks on a memorial which honors those that died in service to their country. The Mayor has being touted for the presidency of University of Central Florida. How can a person who supports the revision of history and opposes recognizing the truth about the War Between the States have any position in an educational institution? His political pandering and repudiation of the truth makes him unfit for the position. His stance on this matter will not be forgotten.

The program we see today of erasing the history of the confederacy plays into the anti-American agenda. Diverting the conversation away from the illegal war and its hostility to our Constitution is what these actions against history are based. We have people who are attacking the history, traditions and institutions of this country to subvert our way of life here in the United States. Reducing the War for Southern Independence to slavery is simplistic and false but is required to move the un-American agenda of the radical left forward. Instead of identifying Lincoln as the fraud he is, the man who trashed our Constitution and set us on the path of tyranny, many instead praise him for “ending slavery” while ignoring any of the facts of the matter. The utter void of truth that is spoken about the Confederacy and what it stood for is nothing new. Neither is the contempt of those on the radical left for destroying the freedom we enjoy in this country in the name of “progress”.

500 Words or Less: Nullification

Nullification is a term that was coined by Thomas Jefferson in his famous Kentucky Resolution against the Alien and Sedition Acts. It refers to the idea that a state has the power to say that a “law” is unconstitutional and has no force within their state boundaries. Madison also penned the Virginia Resolution which said much of the same. I strongly urge you to read these documents. They are very short  and very eloquently expresses the convictions of the author of the Declaration of Independence and the architect of the Constitution. Very powerful words.

Nullification has nothing to do with repealing the federal law. This has everything to do with saying that the sovereignty of the state is being exerted because the “law” (in parenthesis because it is not a true law) is an unauthorized act and is supported by no force of law. The states are the sovereign entity in our constitutional republic. They created the Constitution which in turn created the federal government. They are the final arbiters of what is constitutional because they are the creators of that Constitution.

Nullification is a tried and tested remedy to federal government overreach. One myth to clear up while teaching a lesson in the history of nullification is the idea of state’s rights being used to justify secession in starting the Civil War. States rights was involved in inflaming the passions which led to the Civil war but not like you were probably taught. The northern states exerted their state’s rights with a series of “Personal Liberty” laws which said that the Fugitive Slave act was nullified in these states. A trial by jury was guaranteed by these laws in contradiction to federal law among other provisions struck down. The secession movement was sped up by northern states not complying with the unconstitutional federal law.

Another myth to clear up- any law that the federal government passes is truly law. Only those laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution are truly law. If they violate the Constitution they are by definition unconstitutional. The states created the federal government to perform specific enumerated tasks. When the government does something outside of those bounds then it is up to the states to protect their citizens from any effects of these unconstitutional edicts.

Nullification is known to most, though it is not identified as such. What has happened recently in Colorado and Washington state concerning marijuana is nullification. Both those states told the federal government that the unconstitutional federal laws concerning marijuana are not going to be enforced in these states and that cooperation by any state or local official is forbidden.

And that is the beauty of nullification. It has to do with the state doing NOTHING. They do have to pass a law but the law states that NO help will be forthcoming to support this unconstitutional decree from the federal government. Whether it be ALPR’s , Stingrays or other unconstitutional edicts, nullification is the rightful remedy.

Join me at Constitutional Cappuccino to get plugged into a website that is all about the education Americans need to move our country back to its proper trajectory. My new book “Patriot Ammo: The Words Behind Our Flag” is also available and teaches of our founding documents and principles. The book would make a great present for anybody 16 and up.