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 Civil War - General    
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1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 80

I'll Take my Stand- Causes of Southern Secession- the Cotton States
Posted on: 9/15/2017 6:03:18 AM
“Sirs, you have no reason to be ashamed of your Confederate dead; see to it they have no reason to be ashamed of you.”
-Robert Lewis Dabney, Chaplain for Stonewall Jackson

"Forced to take up arms to vindicate the political rights, the freedom, equality, and state sovereignty which were the heritage purchased by the blood of our revolutionary sires"
-Jefferson Davis 1863 quoted in Battle cry of freedom James McPherson Oxford U Press
 

The first states to leave the union were the original deep south “cotton states.” Leaving as individual states to later form a confederacy and a constitution. Those states were Alabama, Mississippi, Louisianan, Texas, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. The deep south were similar in culture and politics yet within the deep south cotton states their were multiple causes that led to secession.

The Election of A Republican President

“It [republican party] is, in fact, essentially a revolutionary party”
-New Orleans Delta

“To nationalize as much as possible, even currency, so as to make men love country first before their states, all private interest, local interests, all banking interests, the interests of individuals everything should be subordinate now to the interests of the government”
-Republican Senator John Sherman of Ohio


The election of the new “radical” republican party candidate Abraham Lincoln directly led to the secession of the deep south. This new political party was the first in American history based solely on sectional [northern] interests and boosted by recent immigration to the national stage. This was so clear to north and south that Many in the north blamed the republicans voters for disunion. President Buchanan [who did not believe in legal secession] and other northern democrats and unionist blamed republicans and said the south would be justified if they were elected in resisting.

“My politics are short and sweet...I am in favor of a national bank...in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff”
-Abraham Lincoln


This northern sectional party's interests were the antithesis to the southern interests. The republicans were for higher tariffs, protective tariffs, federal internal improvements, a national bank, in support of the homestead act, [ in 1858 the northern vote supported 114 of 115 the south rejected 64 of 65] a pacific railroad act, and grants to states for agricultural and mechanical collages. The republicans were openly big government nationalist who placed authority and sovereignty with the federal government and not with, as they south had maintained from the first, the peoples of the sovereign states. The south thought the republicans would disregard the constitution, states rights, and would rule the union by mob rule. All of these proved true.
See
http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?511407-Was-Lincoln-a-Tyrant

“Northern States of a political school which has persistently claimed that the government thus formed was not a compact between States, but was in effect a national government, set up above and over the States...The creature has been exalted above its creators; the principals have been made subordinate to the agent appointed by themselves.”
-Jefferson Davis Message to confederate Congress April 29, 1861

“Lincoln was the founding father of big government”
-Thomas J Diolernzo Author of the real Lincoln and Lincoln unmasked


This would play itself out in the fight over slavery in the territories. The republicans during the civil war and finishing with reconstruction, would radically transform the American union into their new centralized nation, their own version of America. The confederate constitution would be a direct response to these issues. So the south seceded.

“to save us from a revolution”
Jeff Davis quoted in battle cry of freedom

“Lincoln waged war in order to create a consolidated, centralized state or empire. The south seceded for numerous reasons, but perhaps the most important one was that it wanted no part in such a system”
-Thomas j Dilorenzo The Real Lincoln

“The north sought to convert a union of brotherhood and mutual benefit into a “nation” which they would dominate in their own interests”
-Clyde Wilson University of South Carolina Professor


The Confederate Constitution

“It was clear from the actions of the Montgomery convention that the goal of the new converts to secessionist was not to establish a slaveholders reactionary utopia. What they really wanted was to create the union as it had been before the rise of the new Republican party”
-Robert Divine T.H Bren George Fredrickson and R Williams America Past and Present

“when the dogmas of a sectional party, substituted for the provisions of the constitutional compact, threatened to destroy the sovereign rights of the States, six of those States, withdrawing from the Union, confederated together to exercise the right and perform the duty of instituting a Government which would better secure the liberties for the preservation of which that Union was established.”
-Jefferson Davis Inaugural Address Richmond 1862


The original deep south cotton States that left the union first acted as sovereign republics, it was called “Calhouns states right running riot.” But would soon join in a confederacy with its capital in Montgomery, Alabama. They joined and formed the Confederate constitution on March 11 1861. The CSA saw it as the original America constitution properly interpreted and clarified. President Jeff Davis said “The constitution framed by our founders, is that of these confederate states.” It was formed after the original united states constitution with some slight alterations. By these alterations we can see some of the reasons that the south left the union.

CSA State Sovereignty


“The CSA framers placed the government firmly under the heads of the states”
-Marshall L. Derosa Redeeming American Democracy Lessons from the Confederate Constitution

“CS constitution emphasis on small government and states rights”
-Lochlainn Seabrook The Constitution Of The Confederate States Of America Explained A Clause By Clause Study Of The Souths Magna Carta


The CSA constitution limits central [ federal] power. The south thought to keep government weak and poor, so that states would do the majority of governing. Each state being sovereign had only one vote on the confederate constitution ratification regardless of population. A main change in the CSA constitution from the United states version of “we the people of the US in order to form a more perfect union.... CSA version reads “we the people of the confederate states, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character ...” The confederacy formed a decentralized government. The states had the right to recall powers delegated [not granted] to congress. In the CSA 10th amendment, In uncertainties in ruling between states and CSA government, the states would override the federal government. All power to amend the Constitution was taken out of congress and given to the states. “centralization and its corrupting influence were held in check.”

“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supreme Court Case


Some USA federal court cases were moved to the states in the CSA version. Confederate officials working only in a state are subject to impeachment by that state. The Confederate states also gain the power to make river-related treaties with each other. In the US, the federal government regulates bodies of water that overlap multiple states. CSA had Fewer members of congress. The states of the CSA had the right to coin money. The confederates had the idea that the country capital would not be permanent [ Even Richmond the second capital was never suppose to be permanent] but float from state to state to avoid centralizing power. The CSA Presidents could not be reelected, not wanting politicians to say what was needed for reelection. There were no political parties within the csa. Later during the war President Jeff Davis complained that he did not have the control like Lincoln to fight the war, because of local and states rights.

“States rights dogma...produced secession and the confederacy”
-E Merton Coulter The Confederate States of America Louisiana State University press

“The confederacy was founded upon decentralization”
-Ken Burns The Civil War PBS documentary


CSA Weak Federal Government and Fiscal Responsibility

The CSA constitution removed the term “general welfare” from the US preamble as they felt it was misused by Lincoln and earlier whigs to say the federal government had powers for internal improvements.“The confederacy was founded on the proposition that the central government should stay out of its citizens pockets.” The CSA allowed for fair trade, had uniform tax code and restricted ominous bills and no corporate bailouts, or government subsides. The post office must be self sufficient within two years of ratification. The CSA President had line item veto on spending, No cost overrun contracts were allowed. Finally Congress could not foster any one branch of industry.

“The question of building up class interests, or fostering one branch of industry to the prejudice of another, under the exercise of the revenue power, which gave us so much trouble under the old Constitution, is put at rest forever under the new. We allow the imposition of no duty with a view of giving advantage to one class of persons, in any trade or business, over those of another. All, under our system, stand upon the same broad principles of perfect equality. Honest labor and enterprise are left free and unrestricted in whatever pursuit they may be engaged in”
-Alexander Stephens "Cornerstone Address," March 21 1861

“the subject of internal improvements, under the power of Congress to regulate commerce, is put at rest under our system. The power, claimed by construction under the old constitution, was at least a doubtful one; it rested solely upon construction. We of the South, generally apart from considerations of constitutional principles, opposed its exercise upon grounds of its inexpediency and injustice.”
--Alexander Stephens "Cornerstone Address," March 21 1861



Tariffs

“The revenues of the General Government are almost entirely derived from duties on importations. It is time that the northern consumer pays his proportion of these duties, but the North as a section receiving back in the increased prices of the rival articles which it manufactures nearly or quite as much as the imposts which it pays thus in effect paying nothing or very little for the support of the government.”
-Florida causes of Secession

“And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures... 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.  ” -Address of South Carolina to Slaveholding States Convention of South Carolina 1860

"The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole"
-Daily Chicago Times, December 10, 1860


As so often is the case in wars, money, in this case tariffs, had long been a point of conflict between the two sides. In 1824 the government tariff doubled. The south voting against the tariff being raised and the north voted for it, dividing the country along the 1860 civil war lines in 1824 over tariffs. Tariffs supplied the government 90% of it income and even gave a surplus to what the government needed. The majority was paid by the south given its inport/export agrarian economy. Ye the money was used in the north to protects its manufacturing, industrialist, and federal internal improvement programs. This the south thought was unconstitutional for the government to aim at a section or industry of the economy specifically for a tax to benefit another.

“The instant the Government was organized, at the very first Congress, the Northern States evinced a general desire and purpose to use it for their own benefit, and to pervert its powers for sectional advantage...until they have saddled the agricultural classes with a large portion of the legitimate expenses of their own business. We pay a million of dollars per annum for the lights which guide them into and out of your ports. We built and kept up, at the cost of at least another million a year, hospitals for their sick and disabled seamen when they wear them out and cast them ashore. We pay half a million per annum to support and bring home those they cast away in foreign lands. They demand, and have received, millions of the public money to increase the safety of harbors, and lessen the danger of navigating our rivers. All of which expenses legitimately fall upon their business, and should come out of their own pockets, instead of a common treasury...The North, at the very first Congress, demanded and received bounties under the name of protection, for every trade, craft, and calling which they pursue, and there is not an artisan in brass, or iron, or wood, or weaver, or spinner in wool or cotton, or a calicomaker, or iron-master, or a coal-owner, in all of the Northern or Middle States, who has not received what he calls the protection of his government”
-Robert Toomb's Speech before the Georgia Legislature, November 13 1860


“In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency.”
-Georgia causes of secession

“The people of the Southern States, whose almost exclusive occupation was agriculture, early perceived a tendency in the Northern States to render the common government subservient to their own purposes by imposing burdens on commerce as a protection to their manufacturing and shipping interests. Long and angry controversies grew out of these attempts, often successful, to benefit one section of the country at the expense of the other....abuse of the powers they had delegated to the Congress, for the purpose of enriching the manufacturing and shipping classes of the North at the expense of the South.... ”
-Jefferson Davis Message to confederate Congress April 29, 1861 (Ratification of the Constitution

“The south was being asked to pay to strengthen northern industry...the tariff would directly damage southern pocketbooks. This conflict played a important role in the division north vs south”
-Brevin Alexander Professor of History at Longwood University


Tariffs would be Raised again in 1828. Congress passed what southerners called the tariff of abominations to help northern industry against southern agrarian lifestyle. only 1 out of 105 southerners voted positive, yet the north voted for it [as they received free southern money that was used largely in the north] and it passed. This led South Carolina to first use a threat of secession. South Carolina Senator John Callhoun in the 1820's said of conflict between the north and south over tariffs “The great central interest , around which all others revolved” South Carolina argued they had states rights to reject unconstitutional federal ruling as a sovereign state, something Thomas Jefferson had recommended. Over the tariff Mary Chestnut said South Carolina "heated themselves into a fever that only bloodletting could ever cure." The tax had been 15% and the south had been complaining for decades.

“It does not require extraordinary sagacity to precive that trade is perhaps the controlling motive operating to prevent the return of the seceding states to the union”
-Boston Transcript March 18 1861

“High protective tariffs reduced the price of cotton and effective imposed a tax between 10-20% while they raised the income of northern labor and the profits of northern manufacturers”
-Robert William Fogel The Rise and fall of American Slavery


The Morrill Tariff Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 10, 1860, on a sectional vote, with nearly all northern representatives in support and nearly all southern representatives in opposition.

“The last session of Congress they brought in and passed through the House the most atrocious tariff bill that ever was enacted, raising the present duties from twenty to two hundred and fifty per cent above the existing rates of duty. That bill now lies on the table of the Senate... The result of this coalition was the infamous Morrill bill - the robber and the incendiary struck hands, and united in joint raid against the South.”
-Robert Toomb's Speech before the Georgia Legislature, November 13 1860

“The passage of an obscure, ill-considered, ill-digested, and unstatesman like high protectionist tariff act, commonly known as the‘ Morrill Tariff. The result was as inevitable as the laws of trade are inexorable. Trade and commerce . . . began to look South . . . .Threatened thus with the loss of both political power and wealth, or the repeal of the tariff, and, at last, of both, New England –and Pennsylvania . . . demanded, now coercion and civil war, with all its horrors . . .” 
-Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham D-Ohio 1863


With the election of Abraham Lincoln whose central campaign objective was to triple the tariff and the tariff issue was the “keystone” of the republican party “protection for home industry” was the campaign poster of the 1860 republican party. South Carolina did what it had done decades before, and seceded from the Union over the higher tariff rates soon to be imposed on the south by the north. It was not just the south, NYC mayor Fernando Wood wanted to make NYC a “free city” [free trade] and  secede from the Union. The debate over tariffs and internal improvements was not just a debate over those items, but a debate over the nature of the federal government. Free trade was a vital aspect of southern agrarian interests. The CSA Constitution allowed for free trade. In Jefferson Davis inaugural speech in Montgomery Alabama he stated the following.
“An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade, which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest, and that of all those to whom we would sell and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of commodities. There can be but little rivalry between ours and any manufacturing or navigating community, such as the Northeastern States of the American Union.”


Agrarian South vs Industrial North

“They are now divided, between agricultural–and manufacturing, and commercial States; between slaveholding and non-slaveholding States. Their institutions and industrial pursuits, have made them, totally different peoples.”
-Address of South Carolina to Slaveholding States Convention of South Carolina 1860

“Ours is an agricultural people, and God grant that we may continue so. We never want to see it otherwise. It is the freest, happiest, most independent , and, with us, the most powerful condition on earth”
-Montgomery Daily Confederation 1858

“It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.”
-Mississippi Declaration for Causes of Secession


A cause of the war, and some would say the major cause for prominent interest groups. Is northern industrialist vs southern agrarians. The Souths primarily agrarian and agricultural lifestyle contrasted with the growing northern industrial and urban lifestyle led to difference of opinion on culture, education, religion, role of government, tariffs, trade policies, internal improvements and many other differences. There were as many factories in the north, as there were factories workers in the south. From Americans agrarian roots the south had “little dynamic change, weather through immigration, the growth of new cities or new industrial manufacturing, was allowed to come in and stir up the pot.”

For a in depth look at the cultural, political and religious differences between agrarians and industrialist see here Southern Agrarians vs northern industrialists
http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?513086-Southern-Agrarians-did-America-Lose-its-Liberty-When-it-Lost-its-Agrarian-Roots


“1850's southern agrarians had mounted a counter attack against the gospel of industrialization”
-James McPherson Battle cry of freedom

“Leisure orientated agrarian society is the antithesis to materialistic northern life”
-Rapheal Semmes CSA navy commander


As argued in the book “I'll Take my Stand the south and the agrarian tradition.” The main cause of the war was the fight over western territories coming into the union. Before the civil war northern big business and industry needed industrial workers for factories for expansion, not farmers and planters. If these states were allowed to decide on their own slave or free, than the south might maintain agrarian, free trade, policies.

“The political and economic implication of agrarian expansion westward were alarming to certain mercantile interests in the east who red the loss of their political and economic control of an expanding America”
-Merrill Jensen The New Nation Northeastern University Press


If they were to all become free, than northern industrialist would dominate congress and high tariffs, protective tariffs and internal improvements would rise. Both the industrialist and the southern planters backed politicians in the fight over western territories. Northern politicians thought slavery “Stifled technological progress, inhibited industrialization, and thwarted urbanization” and would lead to the “Destruction of all industry” Something had to happen.

“Professor Holt quotes Ohio Congressman Joshua Giddings explaining: “To give the south the preponderance of political power would be itself to surrender our tariff, our internal improvements [a.k.a. corporate welfare], our distribution of proceeds of public lands . . .”
-Micheal Holt The Fate of Their Country: Politicians, Slavery Extension, and the Coming of the Civil War quoted by Thomas j Dilorenzo

“Theodore Weld declared that the South had to be wiped out because it is “the foe to Northern industry—to our mines, our manufactures, our commerce.”
-Clyde Wilson Professor of History at the University of South Carolina

“The game plan of northern industrialist, who were fighting not for black freedom, but for the freedom to exploit and devolve the American market...The only people who could say “free at last” after the civil war were northern industrialist and their allies”
-Lerone Vennett JR Forced into Glory Abraham Lincolns White Dream

“The conflict over the extension of slavery was a contest of political power between the north and the south which had grown steadily apart in economics, religion, customs, values, and ways of life...”
-Clyde Wilson professor at university of South Carolina


The industrialist “Hired” politicians to go anti-slavery and pro industrial expansion, fighting hard for western states to go anti slavery. Fomrmer slave trader James De Wolf became anti slavery when he started manufacturing companies. All of a sudden he wanted internal improvements and protective tariffs. The south wanted agrarian lifestyle, free trade, and states to decide on slavery. So as was said “The south had to be crushed out, it was in the way, it impeded the progress of the machine” if slavery could be abolished, than southern agrarian representation in congress would be reduced, if not

“Then the old whig economic agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare, and central banking, which had become the republican agenda, would continue to fail in congress”
Thomas J Dilorenzo Lincoln Unmasked


The more the north became industrialized, the more the need arose for stronger national government to support its growth and finical interests. The industrialist wanted higher tariffs as well to slow the flow of trade on the Mississippi. They instead wanted trade to flow west through railroads supported by higher tariffs and internal improvements. Northern General Sherman said the civil war was a war between agriculturalist vs mechanics. Confederate General Jubal Early said Lee's army was defeated by “Steam power, railroads, mechanism, and all the resources of physical science”

“The south saw the attack on the issue of slavery not so much as an attempt to end slavery in the united states as much as an attempt to end southern influence in the national government”
 -Walter D Kennedy Myths of American slavery

The freeing of the slaves was “Only an accident in the violent clash of interests between the Industrial north and the Agricultural south”
-African American Ralph Bunche
“Great pains have been taken, by the North, to make it appear to the world, that the war was a sort of moral, and religious crusade against slavery. Such was not the fact. The people of the North were, indeed, opposed to slavery, but merely because they thought it stood in the way of their struggle for empire”
-Raphael Semmes 1868

“The struggle over the expansion of slavery into the territories....was almost a purely political issue”
-Robert William Fogel The rise and Fall of American Slavery


In the book Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War by Marc Egnal he said “Economics more than high moral concerns produced the civil war.” The heart of the war was economical differences growing between the protectionist, manufacturing northeast and the free trade agrarian south. In the book I'll take my stand a book on southern agrarian life, the authors argue if no other differences, the war would have still happened over industrial vs agrarian interests. The industrialist won. After the war the north profit went up 45% the south down 15%.

“Military defeat moved the scepter of wealth from the agrarian south to the industrial north”
-Robert William Fogel The Rise and Fall of American Slavery 

“If the North triumphs, it is not alone the destruction of our property; it is the prelude to anarchy,infidelity, the ultimate loss of free and responsible government on this continent. It is the triumph of commerce, the banks, factories. ”
-Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson

“Southern movement was a revolt of conservatism against the modernism of the north” a “Reaction to industry.”
-E Merton Coulter The Confederate States of America Louisiana State university press

“The central issue in the civil war, to which all other questions including slavery and centralization were subordinate, was the movement of American society into modernization. Modernization among other things, implies economic, political, and cultural centralization and nationalism. To modernization the south provided a formidable obstacle”
-Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire


Loss of Political Power

“The contest on the part of the north was for supreme control, especially in relation to the fiscal action of the government.. on the other hand southern states, struggling for equality, and seeking to maintain equilibrium in government”
-Rose Oneal Greehow My Improvement and the first year of Abolition rule in Washington 1863

“The majority section may legislate imperiously and ruinously to the interests of the minority section not only without injury but to great benefit and advantage of their own section. In proof of this we need only refer to the fishing bounties, the monopoly of the coast navigation which is possessed almost exclusively by the Northern States and in one word the bounties to every employment of northern labor and capital such a government must in the nature of things and the universal principles of human nature and human conduct very soon lead as it has done to a grinding and degrading despotism.”
-Florida Declaration of Causes of Secession

“The Southern States, now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States, that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British parliament. “The General Welfare,” is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation, this “General Welfare” requires. Thus, the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern State, are compelled to meet the very despotism, their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.” -Address of South Carolina to Slaveholding States Convention of South Carolina 1860


Between 1800-1850 the House was controlled by the north but the south could block anything from the north in the senate. However with the edition of states like Minnesota 1858 Oregon 1859 and Kansas 1861 for the first time the north controlled the senate. Lincoln said he would not allow any more slave states into the union [Southerns felt a excuse for northern political dominance of both house and senate for his wanted major tariff increases] The south had seen their political power decline, and now saw the attack on slavery into new territories as a attack on the whole economic system of the south by the majority or mob of the north. The south saw the loss of political power, economic power, and rights granted by the constitution under threat from the majority north. a Georgian sated “we are either slaves in the union or free men out of it” in time the north would control the south politically with no safeguards from the constitution or state sovereignty.

"liberty is always destroyed by the multitude, in the name of liberty. Majorities within the limits of constitutional restraints are harmless, but the moment they lose sight of these restraints, the many-headed monster becomes more tyrannical, than the tyrant with a single head; numbers harden its conscience, and embolden it, in the perpetration of crime. And when this majority, in a free government, becomes a faction, or, in other words, represents certain classes and interests to the detriment of other classes, and interests, farewell to public liberty; the people must either become enslaved, or there must be a disruption of the government. ”
-Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes 1868

“Nothing but increasingly galling economical exploitation by the dominate sector and the rapid reduction of the south to political impotence”
-Robert William Fogel The Rise and Fall of American Slavery

“Equality and safety in the union are at an end”
-Howell Cobb of Georgia 1860


Two Separate Cultures “Yankees” and American

“If their was not a slave from Aroostock to the sabine, the north and the south could never permanent agree”
-Richmond Daily Whig April 23, 1862

“The Southern people...maintained a species of separate interests, history, and prejudices. These latter became stronger and stronger, till they have led to a war which has developed the fruits of the bitterest kind.”
-General Sherman to Union Maj. R.M. Sawyer 1864

“The best definition ever given. It was a war of one form of society against another form of society”
- Shelby Fotte


The divide between the two sides was much deeper than most today realize. The north and south started growing apart from each other socially, religiously, economically and politically. At times both would refer to each other as a separate race of people, usually northern Anglo-Saxon and southern scotch-Irish. These divides went back to early America. At this time there was not much love north for south, or south for north. In some ways the war started politically with the federalist/anti-federalist and the nationalist and compact theorist in the late 1700's. The south being largely anti-federalist/compact and the north federalist/nationalist. In 1819 a future disunion was predicted over the fight over a national bank. Later these differences were predicted to lead to the civil war back in 1824 and later Calhoun. A Congressional committee on northern interference in the south stated

“The hour is coming or is rabidly approaching, when the states from Virginia to Georgia, from Missouri to Louisianan, must confederate, and as one man say to the union we will no longer submit our retained rights to the sniveling insinuations of bad men on the floor of congress. Our constitutional rights to the dark and strained contraction of design men upon judicial benches. That we detest the doctrine, and disclaim the principle, of unlimited submission to the general [Federal] government.... Let the North, then, form national roads for themselves. Let them guard with tariffs their own interests. Let them deepen their public debt until a high minded aristocracy shall rise out of it. We want none of all those blessings. But in the simplicity of the patriarchal government, we would still remain master and servant under our own vine and our own fig-tree, and confide for safety upon Him who of old time looked down upon this state of things without wrath.”

“Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.”
-South Carolina Senator John Calhoun 1831

“Not over slavery but centralization and local sovereign government going back 70 years to federalist and anti federalist...they[ The south] quit the union to save the principles of the constitution"
- Alexander Hamilton Stephens A constitutional view of the late war between the states: its causes 1870


The cultures were separating as well. The south was generally conservative in cultural and religion compared to the north. The north was being transformed by large number of European immigrants who often came from the failed socialist revolutions of 1848. The north was also increasingly influenced by New England. Before the 1850's new england was seen as out of the american mainstream and “southern” was the American mainstream. 9 of the first 11 presidents were southern plantation owners, 7 of the first 12 were Virginians [many two term] 9 were southern, and 1 from New York, at that time was “southern” in politics. Washington, Jefferson, Jackson were the norm in America. After the war of 1812 New England was often seen with disdain by the rest of America.

“There is at work in this land a Yankee spirit and an American spirit”
James Thornwell 1859


New Englander's settled in western States and New York. Over time New York became half populated by decedents from New England and flooded with socialist European immigrants. Once new England could control half the north, the south was taken care of after the war, and new england was no longer outside mainstream, but know the south was out of the mainstream and the problem that needed to be fixed.

“The north changed radically after the founders of the united states, especially in the 1850's”
-Dr. Clyde Wilson Professor of History University of South Carolina  

“Southern society has never generated any of the loathsome isms, which northern soil breeds...the north has its Mormons, her various sects of Communists, her free lovers, her spiritualists, and a multitude of corrupt visoniaries”
-R.L Dabney A defense of Virginia and the South 1867

“It was a profound conservative movement. It was in fact a counterrevolution against the excess of northern demagoguery, mob rule, and dangerous fanaticism imported from Europe”
-E. merton Coulter The confederate States of America Louisiana State University Press


Northern Violations of the Constitution

“announce a revolution in the government and to substitute an aggregate popular majority for the written constitution without which no single state would have voted its adoption not forming in truth a federal union but a consolidated despotism that worst of despotisms that of an unrestricted sectional and hostile majority, we do not intend to be misunderstood, we do not controvert the right of a majority to govern within the grant of powers in the Constitution.
-Florida Declaration of causes of secession

“South Carolina has twice called her people together in solemn Convention, to take into consideration, the aggressions and unconstitutional wrongs, perpetrated by the people of the North on the people of the South.” -Address of South Carolina to Slaveholding States Convention of South Carolina 1860

“We are fighting for the god given rights of liberty and independence as handed down to us in the constitution by our fathers” -Confederate General John B Gordon to Pennsylvanian woman at York 1863

“I believe most solemley that it is for constitutional liberty”
-Confederate General Leonidas Polk June 22 1861 Reasons for Southern Secession


The south saw the north as violating the constitution in many ways. The south thought their liberties threatened by a growing northern majority and political influence. Had the constitution not been violated, and their rights maintained, there would have been no need to separate. The south saw the tariffs aimed at certain industry as a violation of the constitution. They saw the north's attempt to use that money to benefit the Norths wanted internal improvements as another violation of the constitution. The federal government under the control of Lincoln sought to violate the 10th amendment and states rights by not allowing the western states to decide on slavery, instead the federal government would overpower the states, and violate the constitution to the benefit of northern polices.

“If the south did not protect itself against the north, its whole way of life would be destroyed”
-E Merton Coulter The Confederate States of America Louisiana State university Press

“Northern population was increasing, by immigration and other causes, in a greater ratio than the population of the South. By degrees, as the Northern States gained preponderance in the National Congress, self-interest taught their people to yield ready assent to any plausible advocacy of their right as a majority to govern the minority without control. They learned to listen with impatience to the suggestion of any constitutional impediment to the exercise of their will, and so utterly have the principles of the Constitution been corrupted in the Northern mind that, in the inaugural address delivered by President Lincoln in March last, he asserts as an axiom, which he plainly deems to be undeniable, of constitutional authority, that the theory of the Constitution requires that in all cases the majority shall govern; and in another memorable instance the same Chief Magistrate did not hesitate to liken the relations between a State and the United States to those which exist between a county and the State in which it is situated and by which it was created.” 
-Jefferson Davis  Message to Congress April 29, 1861 (Ratification of the Constitution)

“The experiment instituted by our revolutionary fathers, of a voluntary Union of sovereign States for purposes specified in a solemn compact, had been perverted by those who, feeling power and forgetting right, were determined to respect no law but their own will. The Government had ceased to answer the ends for which it was ordained and established. To save ourselves from a revolution which, in its silent but rapid progress, was about to place us under the despotism of numbers...The tyranny of an unbridled majority, the most odious and least responsible form of despotism, has denied us both the right and the remedy. Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty ”
-Jefferson Davis Inaugural Richmond 1862




Slavery's Impact On the Cotton States

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery”
-Mississippi Declaration for Causes of secession

“The people who say slavery had nothing to do with the war are just as wrong as the people who say slavery had everything to do with the war”
-Historian Shelby Foote

“The bottom line, slavery was a issue but not an absolute cause”
-John C Perry Myths and realities of American Slavery


Slavery had varying degrees of influence on the deep south reasons for secession, from none at all, to the main reason. No question there were some in the south that were willing to leave the union simply to preserve slavery. The slave owner thought slavery was a constitutional, biblical, and state right. The south viewed slaves as any other legal property that the federal could not interfere with, if they tried to do so, it was tyrannical. A southern slave owner would view a northern abolitionist as a foreigner who was violating their rights. In the cotton states they had more financial gain and loss riding on slavery and were more apt to maintain slavery and their economy. No better example than Mississippi. With 4 billion dollars worth of value and the whole economic system of the state dependent on slavery, they wished to defend their economic system that had brought them so much wealth. However even in Mississippi, slavery was not the sole cause.

“Let not slavery prove a barrier to our independence...although slavery is one of the principles that we started to fight for... if it proves an insurmountable obstacle to the achievement of our liberty and separate nationality, away with it”
-The Jackson Mississippian 1864 quoted in McPherson's Battle cry of Freedom


Western States Free or Slave? Slavery was not the Cause but the Occasion

“Declared that the frequent violations of the constitution by the united sates, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union.”
-South Carolina Causes of Secession

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
-10th amendment U.S Constitution

“Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery”
-Joel Parker 1863 New jersey Governor

“Slavery, although the occasion, was not the producing cause of dissolution”
-Rose Oneal Greehow- My improvement and the first year of abolition Rule in Washington 1863


The major impact slavery had on secession was the fight over the extension of slavery into the new western territories. Slavery's involvement in southern secession is often overstated because slavery was the “occasion” to witch the fight over states rights and the nature of the constitution was fought. Just as Calhoun had said of the tariff of abomination was “The occasion, rather than the real cause” that cause was federal power expansion past its constitutional limits, and its encroachments upon the rights of the states. The deep south saw the republicans as violating the 9th and 10th amendment – and Dred Scott v. Sandford 1857 Supreme Court ruling for trying to decide the fate of slavery by federal control rather than state. Democratic plank 9 of the 1852 elections [and carried on to 1860] plainly stated that a attack on slavery was a attack on states rights, the two issues could not be separated.

“That Congress has no power under the constitution to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States, and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts of the abolitionists or others made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences; and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions.
-Democrat plank 9

“That the federal government is one of limited powers, derived solely from the constitution, and the grants of power made therein ought to be strictly construed by all the departments and agents of the government; and that it is inexpedient and dangerous to exercise doubtful constitutional powers.”
Democratic Plank 1

“It is not slavery that [Thomas] Jefferson fears as “the death kneel of the union” it is antislavery, the notion that has been raised for the first time that congress could tamper with the institutions of new states as a condition for admission”
-Clyde Wilson from Union to Empire


The fight over new western territories was a battle over the very nature of the federal government. Were these states coming into the union allowed their state sovereignty and states rights as had all previous states, or was the federal government allowed to violate those rights and dictate the states? Where states sovereign or subject to a federal master? The republicans and Lincoln said they would not allow new states the rights granted in the constitution to decide on the issue of slavery. The question was, is the federal government confined to the powers in the constitution, or was it allowed to step outside of its delegated powers by the states thus nullifying the constitution and transforming the republic, into a centralized nation. What the south asked for was that these new states coming in be allowed on their own to chose.

“That when the settlers in a Territory, having an adequate population, form a State Constitution, the right of sovereignty commences, and being consummated by admission into the Union, they stand on an equal footing with the people of other States, and the State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union, whether its Constitution prohibits or recognizes the institution of slavery.”
-Southern Democrat Party Platform 1860

“slavery was not the cause, but the occasion of strife...Rights of the states were the bulwarks of the liberties of the people but that emancipation by federal aggression would lead to the destruction of all other rights”
-R.L Dabney A Defense Of Virginia And The South 1867

The war was fought to “Preserve the sovereignty of their respective States.”
-Raphael Semmes Confederate Admiral 1868


Southerners who were still of the Jeffersonian tradition well understood that if the federal was allowed to encroach on the states on the issue of slavery [or any other issue] it would continue to expand

“I consider the foundation of the [Federal] Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”
– Thomas Jefferson, “Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank” [February 15, 1791]

“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society. “
– John Adams, Novanglus Letters, 1774



South Carolina Secession Document
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp

South Carolina was the first state to seceded from the union. If read in full it gives a good example of slavery as a states rights issue. Slavery was an occasion that states rights were fought over, not the sole cause. The cause of dissolving the union is given right off the bat “Declared that the frequent violations of the constitution by the united sates, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union.” The document is a states rights succession document. The writers of the document wanted that to stand out, that is why the first thing noticed at a glance of the document you will see “FREE AND INDEPENDANT STATES” capitalized three times in the document to stand out. South Carolina was also letting it be known in their declaration of Independence, that it was “FREE AND INDEPANDANT STATES” and state rights, that they were declaring independence. The document goes into the history of states rights in America mentions the failure of the federal government in upholding the constitution and its interfering with states rights. South Carolina said if they were to stay in the union the “constitution will then no longer exists, equal rights of the states will be lost” and that the federal government would become its enemy. While slavery is mentioned four or five times, states rights, independent state, and state sovereignty is mentioned sixteen times. States rights are mentioned not in connection with slavery, yet slavery is always mentioned in connection with states rights. Just as southern democrats had been saying for decades in there political party planks, an attack on slavery was an attack on states rights. Just as South Carolina when it first threatened to success was over states rights, that time [1830's] over tariffs, not slavery.

“The one great evil, from which all other evils have flowed, is the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States. The Government of the United States is no longer the government of Confederated Republics, but of a consolidated Democracy. It is, in face such a Government as Great Britain attempted to set over our Fathers; and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years’ struggle for independence. ....The great object of the Constitution of the United States, in its internal operation, was, doubtless, to secure the great end of the Revolution — –a limited free Government– — a Government limited to those matters only, which were general and common to all portions of the United States. All sectional or local interests were to be left to the States. By no other arrangement, would they obtain free Government, by a Constitution common to so vast a Confederacy. Yet by gradual and steady encroachments on the part of the people of the North, and acquiescence on the part of the South, the limitations in the Constitution have been swept away; and the Government of the United States has become consolidated, with a claim of limitless powers in its operations. ”
-Address of South Carolina to Slave-holding States Convention of South Carolina 1860



States rights were so important to southerners it became a name, a Brigade general in the confederate army's name was “States Rights Gist.” The town Phillippi Virginia, was named after states rights advocate Supreme court justice Phillip Pendleton Barbour. In the 1820's Georgia armed solders against the federal government over states rights regarding land in Georgia [non slavery issues] and president Adams backed down. States rights was originally used by southerners rejecting federal tariff in the 1830's. The song titled “Bonnie blue flag” some say was more popular than Dixie at the time of the civil war, in it the lyrics speak of southern rights being threatened by northern  treachery. The original southern secession movement in the 1820's-30's by founders like Jefferson, Madison, Charles Pickney, John Randalf

“Gained strength not on the question of slavery. But on constitutional questions....expansion of federal power and over states rights”
-Robert Wiliima Fogel The Rise and Fall of American Slavery


Most important, southerners knew consolidation of power in a central government would be Americas worst nightmare and the destruction of republican government.

"The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers." - -Thomas Jefferson

[states rights] “was the fundamental issue of the most bloody war in which Americans were involved”
-Clyde Wilson Nullification Reclaiming Consent of the Governed



It would be hard to accept that southerners were willing to leave the country they loved and fight a war simply to have slavery extended into new territories where it would simply provide more competition to southern slave states domination on cotton. In 1843 many rich southern planters and no less than Calhoun voted against Texas for statehood because they said it would reduce the price of cotton. Instead they would want a monopoly within the south where they lived. By leaving the union the south was giving up federal protection for there runaway slaves under the fugitive slave laws, as well as giving up there right to bring there slaves into the united states territories something they fought so hard for. Because the issue was much deeper as it involved states rights, constitutional protection, and the nature of the union.

“When the Government of the United States disregarded and attempted to trample upon the rights of the States, Georgia set its power at defiance and seceded from the Union rather than submit to the consolidation of all power in the hands of the Central or Federal Government..her sovereignty the principles for the support of which Georgia entered into this revolution.
-Georgia Governor Joseph E Brown 1862


The first federal vs state issue arose over the alien and sedition acts and later internal improvements, national banking, conscription, protective tariffs, land disputes, freedom of speech, free trade, state control of militia, fugitive slave laws etc. No matter what the issue states held firm to the union and fought against federal expansions. The south was doing what states north or south had done in antebellum America, resisted federal expansion past its constitutional bounds. The consequences of the Republican victory over the battle of a centralized nation vs a union of states with a limited federal government has led to the modern tyrannical government that shows no regard for its supposed limitations proving Jefferson correct.

See [From Union to Empire- The Political Effects of the Civil war http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?511837-From-Union-to-Empire-The-Political-Effects-of-the-Civil-war ]

“When all government domestic and forighn in little as in great things shall be drawn to Washington as the source of all power. It will render powerless the checks provided of one government [states] on another, and will become as vegal and oppressive as the government which we have separated”
-Thomas Jefferson

“The war was not a war of slavery versus freedom, it was a war between those who preferred a federated nation to those who preferred a confederation of sovereign states. Slavery was the ink thrown into the pool to confuse the issue”
-Andrew Nelson lytle the Virginia Quarterly Review 1931

“The South's concept of republicanism had not changed in three-quarters of a century; the North's had. With complete sincerity the South fought to preserve its version of the republic of the Founding Fathers--a government of limited powers that protected the rights of property, including slave property, and whose constituency comprised an independent gentry and yeomanry of the white race undisturbed by large cities, heartless factories, restless free workers, and class conflict. The accession of the Republican party, with its ideology of competitive, egalitarian, free-labor capitalism, was a signal to the South that the Northern majority had turned irrevocably toward this frightening future."
-James M. McPherson Ante-bellum Southern Exceptionalism



Slave Insurrection

“They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.”
-Texas Causes of Secession

“An incursion has been instigated and actually perpetuated into a sister State the inevitable consequences of which were murder rapine and crimes even more horrible. The felon chief of that murderous band has been canonized as a heroic martyr by public meetings by the press and pulpit of all of the Northern States – others of the party have been demanded by the Governor of the State they invaded and their surrender refused by the Governors of two States of the Confederacy, demanded not as fugitives from service but as fugitives from justice charged with treason and murder. ...By the agency of a large proportion of the members from the non slaveholding States books have been published and circulated amongst us the direct tendency and avowed purpose of which is to excite insurrection and servile war with all their attendant horrors. 
-Florida Causes of Secession


With recent slave uprising in Hati as well as Nat Turners uprising and finally John browns raid caused the south concern more and similar events would take place brought on by northern abolitionist inciting violence and uprising throughout the south. The most concern was over the northern reaction to John Browns raid. R.L Dabney said the event would have been trivial if not for pulpits and newspapers praising Browns actions.

“thousands of men who a month ago scoffed at the idea of a dissolution of the union...now hold the opinion that its days were numbered”
- Richmond Enquirer


While the north celebrated Browns raid, Virginia and the south saw itself as invaded by a foreign enemy. Southerners were concerned that innocent woman and children were at danger and they should resists such violence on its people.

Northern Violation of Fugitive Slave Laws

“The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [editor's note: the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
-Texas causes of Southern secession


No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
-Article 4 clause 3 us Constitution 

The south from the creation of the union had  constitutional protection of its property that included recognized slave property. The north by violating that right [and Dread Scott supreme court ruling/ fugitive slave laws] would not allow them their property and would in essence, steal it [by not working with federal workers]by not returning slaves. The south were not second class citizens and their property was constitutionally to be treated as any other property. It would be the same as if a Vermonters horse wondered across the border to New York, only to have a resident of that state keep the horse and say we dont recognize your right to this property. That is not a protection of the individuals property as granted under the constitution and was a cause of secession.


Abolitionist Ignored the Constitution to try and Abolish Slavery

“By focusing upon slavery, the bona fide story of the death of real states rights and the beginning of imperial america is overlooked...we stand naked before the awesome power to our federal master”
-Al Benson Jr and Walter Kennedy Lincolns Marxists


Some abolitionist were influenced by various abolitionist works of fiction like Uncle Toms cabin. Because of this They came to view southern slavery as a great moral evil and a biblical sin. Slavery was a vast enough evil in there eyes that the constitution, and state sovereignty had to be overlooked. Speaking of the constitution a famous abolitionist said

“Covenant with death and an agreement with hell”
-William Lloyd Garrison


The sinful slave owning south had to end. The north was also more influenced by the federalist party, with a more centralized view of government. Many immigrants joined the ranks of abolitionist from socialist backgrounds. The south who had first hand knowledge of American servitude saw the vast majority as being beneficial to the native African, elevating his position from slavery in Africa. They saw the slaves generally well treated and cared for. The majority did not see slavery as a great morale evil or a biblical sin. They viewed the northern abolitionist movement more from a political viewpoint.

“When abolition overthrow slavery in the south, it also would equally overthrow the constitution”
-R.L Dabney 1867 A Defense of Virginia and the South



Fight to Maintain Slavery? Or put Down Arms to Maintain Slavery?

“As for the South, it is enough to say that perhaps eighty per cent. of her armies were neither slave-holders, nor had the remotest interest in the institution. No other proof, however, is needed than the undeniable fact that at any period of the war from its beginning to near its close the South could have saved slavery by simply laying down its arms and returning to the Union.”
-Confederate Major General John B. Gordon Causes of the Civil War


If the south fought only for slavery, with no connection to states rights, it only had to not fight the war. Slavery was protected and not under attack by Lincoln in the states it already existed. At any time as Lincoln promised, the south just had to lay down arms and come back into the union with slavery intact, yet they chose to fight for another cause.

“The emancipation proclamation was actually an offer permitting the south to stop fighting and return to the union by January 1st and still keep its slaves”
-John Canaan The Peninsula campaign

“We were not fighting for the perpetuation of slavery, but for the principle of States Rights and Free Trade, and in defense of our homes which were being ruthlessly invaded.” -Moses Jacob Ezekiel


Virginia alone freed more slaves prior to civil war than NY, NJ, Pennsylvania,and New England put together. South Carolinian Mary Chestnut said slavery was a curse, yet she supported secession. She and others hoped the war would end with a “Great independent country with no slavery.” On June 1861 Mary Chestnut said “Slavery has got to go of course.”


Main References Same as on Upper South

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 80

Re: I'll Take my Stand- Causes of Southern Secession- the Cotton States
Posted on: 9/15/2017 6:04:47 AM
Common Claims the Cotton States Left to Only Preserve Slavery


Claim- Confederate Constitution Does not Allow States to Abolish Slavery


“It was clear from the actions of the Montgomery convention that the goal of the new converts to secessionist was not to establish a slaveholders reactionary utopia. What they really wanted was to create the union as it had been before the rise of the new Republican party”
-Robert Divine T.H Bren George Fredrickson and R Williams America Past and Present


Many say the south was not fighting for states rights but slavery because they falsely say the CSA constitution did not allow states to end slavery. However freeing slaves was a state issue in the CSA constitution. Article 1 section 9 clause 4 applies to congress, not to the sovereign states. This was in fact anticipating non slave states to join the confederacy. Article 4 section 2 clause 1 and article 4 section 3 clause 1 predicted future free states within the confederacy. As many in the confederacy including VP Stevens thought that the non slave holding upper Midwest would join the confederacy because of the tax and trade laws that would compel states connected to the Mississippi river to join the confederacy as non slave states.

“We made ample provision in our constitution for the admission of other States; it is more guarded, and wisely so, I think, than the old constitution on the same subject, but not too guarded to receive them as fast as it may be proper. Looking to the distant future, and, perhaps, not very far distant either, it is not beyond the range of possibility, and even probability, that all the great States of the north-west will gravitate this way.” 
-Alexander Stephens "Cornerstone Address," March 21 1861



The Confederate convention thought free states would join

https://books.google.com/books?id=zQ4wzvvk5dIC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=The+Confederate+Constitution+of+1861:+An+Inquiry+into+American+Constitutionalism+georgia+slave+only+states&source=bl&ots=88AqOaDyck&sig=mdQFt5U_usrc7So63Z8lsrZhqPA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1vve0mbXQAhUl7oMKHX_TBssQ6AEIOjAF#v=onepage&q=The%20Confederate%20Constitution%20of%201861%3A%20An%20Inquiry%20into%20American%20Constitutionalism%20georgia%20slave%20only%20states&f=false

During the constitutional convention Cobb of Georgia proposed that all states be required to be slave owning, yet this was rejected. The south wanted boarder states and the free midwest states to join. Senator Albert Brown of Mississippi stated in the CSA constitution “Each state is sovereign within its own limits, and that each for itself can abolish or establish slavery for itself.” So while slavery was a state option, states rights was applied in the CSA slave or free. The CSA constitution did protect slave owners individual property within the entire CSA regardless if the state was free or slave.



CSA Vice President Alexander Stevens Corner Stone Speech

Alexander H. Stephens “Corner Stone” Speech Savannah, Georgia March 21, 1861
http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/

Whenever a discussion is brought up on the causes of southern secession Stevens cornerstone speech that has a small section that some take as him saying slavery was the cause of secession will be brought up [I will get into more detail on this speech soon] His speech has been named the “cornerstone speech” however the majority of his speech is on tariffs, internal improvements and economical issues. Why take the small [misunderstood] section of his speech on slavery and try and paint the entire cause of the confederacy? Why not take a section like this

“The question of building up class interests, or fostering one branch of industry to the prejudice of another under the exercise of the revenue power, which gave us so much trouble under the old constitution, is put at rest forever under the new.”

or

“the subject of internal improvements, under the power of Congress to regulate commerce, is put at rest under our system.”

Than I find it interesting that Stevens seems to have been granted the authority to speak for all the people of all the sovereign states that made up the confederacy of the deep south. I think no one person or opinion should decide the matter. If any one person is granted that authority it should have been Jefferson Davis. I think too much priority is given to Stevens speech in his home state, and the deep south state of Georgia. But I think there are also other reasons to be cautious on the importance and understanding of the speech.

1] It is not his actual words, no transcript survived. The speech was done "Impromptu" and according to the newspaper reporter who transcribed it

"Is not a perfect report, but only a sketch of the address of Mr .Stevens"

Therefore it is an interpreted and partial from his actual speech.

2] Stevens said the speech was misinterpreted and misunderstood. He said he was merely restating what Baldwin of the US supreme court had said. Richard M Johnson in 1884 summed up Stevens speech by saying

"On the subject of slavery there was no essential change in the new [C.S.A] Constitution from the old as Judge Baldwin [of Connecticut] of the US supreme court had announced from the bench several years before, that slavery was the corner-stone of the old Constitution [1781-89] so it is of the new" [1790]
-Quoted in Lochlainn Seabrook Everything you Were taught About American Slavery is Wrong Sea raven Press 2014


3] It is clear from the speech that Stevens is clarifying disputed subjects that are know clarified and beyond dispute in the CSA Constitution. Subjects like tariff, internal improvement and slavery etc. 

4] Later when Stevens could write what he thought secession was over he said

“Not over slavery but centralization and local sovereign government going back 70 years to federalist and anti federalist...they[ The south] quit the union to save the principles of the constitution"
-Alexander Stevens A Constitutional View of the late war Between the States 1870


All these reasons make me think the speech should be used with caution and low importance to determining the southern causes of secession. I would also add most of his speech is on non slavery related disagreements between the cotton states and the north.

Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America 

“Northern States of a political school which has persistently claimed that the government thus formed was not a compact between States, but was in effect a national government, set up above and over the States...The creature has been exalted above its creators; the principals have been made subordinate to the agent appointed by themselves.”
-Jefferson Davis Message to confederate Congress April 29, 1861

 
farewell address to congress
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=87
First inaugural in Montgomery
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=88
Richmond inaugural
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=107

As I said above if anyone person has the authority to speak for southern secession it should be Davis. His three most important speeches his farewell to congress, first inaugural in Montgomery, and his inaugural in Richmond all speak to causes of secession. He mentions liberty, states rights, tariffs, the constitution and the founders were the main reason for states leaving the union. Davis mentioned slavery in two and only in passing in his three most important speeches yet not as the main cause. The south was leaving because Davis said the north fell to simple majority [Democracy not constitutional republic] what Davis called the “Tyranny of unbridled majority.”

"I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it."
- Jefferson Davis
 

So why is it that Stevens speech given in his home deep south state, given far more weight in determining the causes of southern secession than Davis three speeches?

The South was Against States Rights on the Issue of the Fugitive Slave Laws

“The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.”
-Texas causes of Southern secession


Some claim the south did not care for states rights, or only cared when slavery was involved, as they objected to northern states nullifying the federal fugitive slave laws. Therefore they say, the south cared for slavery more than states rights. This objection seems good on the surface, but stems from a misunderstanding of both the purpose of states rights, and the union that was, see

From Union to Empire- The Political Effects of the Civil war http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?511837-From-Union-to-Empire-The-Political-Effects-of-the-Civil-war

But even if we assume they are correct for the sake of the argument, at most it would prove the south did not care for the northern states, states rights, not their own. The south clearly spoke of states rights and violations by the north and federal as a cause of secession. It could hypothetically denounce northern states rights as well when the north violated their own states rights and still secede over southern states rights. Since these rights are in place to secure its own states citizens rights and not another, this would make sense. This is also the downside of having a union of self governing states if one side does not follow the compact or contract [constitution] and also why secession is vital to liberty.

Having said that a proper understanding of states rights is not lawlessness and states not following federal law or the constitution. In fact it is the opposite. States rights are in place to prevent the federal from violating the constitution or overstepping its bounds. In this case the northern states were violating the constitution. The southern rights were already granted within the constitution that northern states were violating. Here is the USA and CSA “supremacy clause”

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States [confederate version read confederate states]which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.


States Rights Were just to Protect Slavery

States rights were vital to our union and our whole political system.
http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?511837-From-Union-to-Empire-The-Political-Effects-of-the-Civil-war


“If their was not a slave from Aroostock to the sabine, the north and the south could never permanent agree”
-Richmond Daily Whig April 23, 1862

“It is evident that the three ruling branches of [the federal government] are in combination to stop their colleagues, the states authorities, of the powers reserved by them”
-Thomas Jefferson letter to William Giles 1825

“Sever ourselves from the union we so much value, rather than give up the rights of self government which we have reserved, and in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness”
-Thomas Jefferson to James Madison 1799


The CSA federal government could not end slavery in the confederacy constitutionally. Yet the confederacy still made a very strong states rights Constitution. If it was just to protect slavery than there would have been no need for stronger states rights than the American Constitution. During the confederacy when the federal overreached against the states, states nullified and fought back on non slave related issues and states like Georgia, threatened to secede.

http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/govbrown/brown.html
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/civil-war/

After Reconstruction and slavery, the south was still the strong states rights section of the country. The first states right advocates in the U.S were men like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George mason, St George Tucker, John Randolph many of whom spoke out against slavery, yet were strong states rights proponents. States rights was used more by northern states before the civil war than southern. States rights were used against slavery and federal ruling like the fugitive slave laws. There were strong states rights men in the north [democrats] that were anti slavery. For example over national banking during the war, northern democrats objected because

“It utterly to destroy all the rights of the states. It is asserting a power which if carried out to its logical result would enable the national congress to destroy every institution of the states and cause all power to be consolidated and concentrated here” [D.C ]
-Kentucky democrat Lazarous Powell


States had pushed back against federal overreach no matter what the issue, the issue in 1860 was over tariffs and slavery. The first federal vs state issue arose over the alien and sedition acts later internal improvements, national banking, conscription, protective tariffs, land disputes, freedom of speech, free trade, state control of militia, fugitive slave laws etc. No matter what the issue states held firm to the union and fought against federal expansions.

In the upper south slavery was better protected within their state than in the new confederacy. However states rights were better protected in the confederacy under its constitution. Many in the south such as Mary Chestnut wished slavery to be abolished in the confederacy as did others.

“Let not slavery prove a barrier to our independence...although slavery is one of the principles that we started to fight for... if it proves an insurmountable obstacle to the achievement of our liberty and separate nationality, away with it”
-The Jackson Mississippian 1864 quoted in McPherson's Battle cry of Freedom


General Patrick Claburne [and other generals] wanted to free all the slaves. Jeff Davis sent diplomats near the end of the war offering to end slavery if France/Britain would recognize them. Northern generals like general George Thomas of the union, were rich slave owners who fought for the north and said during the war “I am wholly sick of states rights.”

“As for the South, it is enough to say that perhaps eighty per cent. of her armies were neither slave-holders, nor had the remotest interest in the institution. No other proof, however, is needed than the undeniable fact that at any period of the war from its beginning to near its close the South could have saved slavery by simply laying down its arms and returning to the Union.”
-Confederate Major General John B. Gordon Causes of the Civil War


If the south fought only for slavery,it only had to not fight the war. Slavery was protected and not under attack by Lincoln in the states it already existed. At any time as Lincoln promised, the south just had to lay down arms and come back into the union with slavery intact, yet they chose to fight for another cause.

"The emancipation proclamation was actually an offer permitting the south to stop fighting and return to the union by January 1st and still keep its slaves”
-John Canaan The Peninsula campaign

“We were not fighting for the perpetuation of slavery, but for the principle of States Rights and Free Trade, and in defense of our homes which were being ruthlessly invaded.”
-Moses Jacob Ezekiel
 

Virginia alone freed more slaves prior to civil war than NY, NJ, Pennsylvania,and New England put together. South Carolinian Mary Chestnut said slavery was a curse, yet she supported secession. She and others hoped the war would end with a “Great independent country with no slavery.” On June 1861 Mary Chestnut said “Slavery has got to go of course.”


“The hour is coming or is rabidly approaching, when the states from Virginia to Georgia, from Missouri to Louisianan, must confederate, and as one man say to the union we will no longer submit our retained rights to the sniveling insinuations of bad men on the floor of congress. Our constitutional rights to the dark and strained contraction of design men upon judicial benches. That we detest the doctrine, and disclaim the principle, of unlimited submission to the general [Federal] government....Let the North, then, form national roads for themselves. Let them guard with tariffs their own interests. Let them deepen their public debt until a high minded aristocracy shall rise out of it. We want none of all those blessings. But in the simplicity of the patriarchal government, we would still remain master and servant under our own vine and our own fig-tree, and confide for safety upon Him who of old time looked down upon this state of things without wrath.” 
-1824 A Congressional committee


For why states rights was more important than slavery see under Western States Free or Slave? Slavery was not the Cause but the Occasion/States Rights and South Carolina secession document post.

“It is not slavery that [Thomas] Jefferson fears as “the death kneel of the union” it is antislavery, the notion that has been raised for the first time that congress could tamper with the institutions of new states as a condition for admission”
-Clyde Wilson from Union to Empire .

“Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States, or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.”
-South Carolina Senator John Calhoun 1831



Only Slave States Joined the Confederacy- Therefore, it was About Slavery


“Looking to the distant future, and, perhaps, not very far distant either, it is not beyond the range of possibility, and even probability, that all the great States of the north-west will gravitate this way, as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, etc. Should they do so, our doors are wide enough to receive them, but not until they are ready to assimilate with us in principle. “ -Alexander Stevens “cornerstone speech”


Confederate constitution thought future free states would join p71-71
https://books.google.com/books?id=zQ4wzvvk5dIC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=The+Confederate+Constitution+of+1861:+An+Inquiry+into+American+Constitutionalism+georgia+slave+only+states&source=bl&ots=88AqOaDyck&sig=mdQFt5U_usrc7So63Z8lsrZhqPA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1vve0mbXQAhUl7oMKHX_TBssQ6AEIOjAF#v=onepage&q=The%20Confederate%20Constitution%20of%201861%3A%20An%20Inquiry%20into%20American%20Constitutionalism%20georgia%20slave%20only%20states&f=false

The csa thought free north western states connected to the Mississippi would join due to the csa constitutions free trade policy. This was in fact anticipating non slave states to join the confederacy. Article 4 section 2 clause 1 and article 4 section 3 clause 1 predicted future free states within the confederacy. NYC almost left the union, and a middle confederacy almost formed including Penn, NY,NJ,MD,and DE during the war and about a third of its supporters wanted to join the south. However the states strongest on states rights, did leave the union. When the confederacy first formed, more slave states where in the union, that is until Lincolns call for volunteers.  Many volunteers fought for the south from the non slave state of California. New Jersey produced at least two confederate generals Gen. Samuel Gibbs French and Gen. Julius Adolph de Lagnel

“Had Buchanan in 1860 sent armed forces to prevent the nullification of the fugitive slave law, as Andrew Jackson thretned to do so in 1833, there would have been a secession of fifteen northern states instead of thirteen southern states. Had the democrats won in 1860 the northern states would have been the seceding states not the southern.”
-George Lunt of Massachusetts Origin of the Late war

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“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

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