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'll Take My Stand – Causes Of Southern Secession

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5 months 4 weeks ago #89 by mark12345678910
'll Take My Stand – Causes Of Southern Secession

Today in America we can say America the nation went to war for one specif reason, we went to war over the attacks on 9/11, we went to war to stop Adolf Hitler etc. In antebellum America states were sovereign and the American nation was not yet to be. We were the united states, a union of states and the same could not be said. People saw and referred to their home state as their country, the state flag was flown first and the federal government second. Loyalty came first to the state, citizens were Virginians first, Americans second. The states of the south had varying reason they left the union among them tariffs, constitutional liberty, states rights, slavery, state sovereignty, violations by north of constitution and states, free trade, loss of political power, finical reasons related to slavery, fugitive slave law, Lincolns call for volunteers, Lincolns election, northern abolitionist inciting revolts in the south leading to innocent southern lives being killed, defense of country and agrarian interests among others.

No one state can speak for all the seceding states and no one person for all within a state, there was no one reason for the war north or south, but many issues that had been building for decades. A major distinction needs to be made as well between the original seceding deep south “cotton states” and the upper south. The confederacy separated in two separate major events, the original cotton states and later the upper south.

The Cotton States

[the south was]"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. Even within the deep south cotton states their were multiple reasons that led to secession.

The Election of A Republican President


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


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.

This northern sectional party's interests were the antithesis to the southern interests. The republicans were for higher tariffs, protective tariffs, federal internal improvements,in support of the homestead act, homestead act [ in 1858 the north 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. This would play itself out in the fight over slavery in the territories. [see below] The republicans during the civil war and finishing with reconstruction, would radically transform the American union into their new radical version of America. So the south seceded.

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


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

“The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern states... the love of money is the root of this...the quarrel between the north and south is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel”
-Charles Dickens, 1862


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. This the south thought was unconstitutional for the government to aim at a section or industry of the economy specifically for a tax.

“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 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


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 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


“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 Congress April 29, 1861 (Ratification of the Constitution)


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. With the election of Abraham Lincoln whose central campaign objective was to triple the tariff. Tariff 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.”

“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

“The tariff issue...exacerbated sectional tensions”
-James McPherson Battle cry of Freedom


Agrarian South vs Industrial North

“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 and the contrasted growing northern industrial, 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.”

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

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


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. If they were to all become free, than northern industrialist would dominate congress and high tariffs, 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.

“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 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


The industrialist “Hired” politicians to go anti-slavery and pro industrial expansion, fighting hard for western states to go anti slavery. 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. Northern general Sherman said the civil war was a war between agriculturalist vs mechanics. Confederate General Jubal Early said Lees army was defeated by “Steam power, railroads, mechanism, and all the resources of physical science”

“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 fight over agrarian vs industrial also led to a fight over tariffs. For example The agrarian south opposed high tariffs, but that is how internal improvements were founded for the industrial north. “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 rail supported by higher tariffs and internal improvements.

“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


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


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 very mature of the government was at stake in the fight over western territories. This political battle even turned to blood in Missouri/Kansas. The south was shown that even when unified, it could still be controlled by the growing urban population of the north and “mob rule” such as in the case with tariffs and the election of Lincoln. Both sides also saw the newer territories become states in the west as vital to control of congress. If these states were allowed to decide on their own slave or free, than the south might maintain agrarian, free trade, policies. If they were to all become free, than northern industrialist would dominate congress and High tariffs and internal improvements would rise.

“We had had experience of the fact, that our partner-States of the North, who were in a majority, had trampled upon the rights of the Southern minority, and we desired, as the only remedy, to dissolve the partnership......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


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 over tariffs in recent decades 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”

“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

“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


Two Separate Cultures “Yankees” and American

“Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain “
-South Carolina Secession Document

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

“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 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 saxson 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 fact these differences were predicted to lead to the civil war back in 1824. 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, jeferson, 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. New York became half populated by decedents from New England. 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

“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


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

“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

“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 [southern export] 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. The south complained that many northern states the refusal to obey the fugitive slave laws were a violation of the constitution and recognizance of southern property.

“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


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

“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 original deep south cotton States that left the union acted as sovereign republics, it was called “calhouns states right running riot.” But would soon join in a confederacy with its temporary 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. Later CSA 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


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 permenet, 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. 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.

“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. No corporate bailouts, or government subsides. The post office must be self sufficient within two years. The CSA President had line item veto on spending, No cost overrun contracts were allowed. Congress could not foster any one branch of industry.

Slavery's Impact On Southern Secession


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

“The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.”
-Georgia Secession Document


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 keep slavery. The south thought slavery was a constitutional, biblical, and state right. The south viewed slaves as any other legal property the federal could not interfere with. If they tried to do so, it was tyrannical. 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 who very much seems to have left the union for the protection of their economic system of slavery. 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 p 833


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

“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 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 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


The major impact slavery had on the war and what some north and south would have said the war was over is the extension of slavery into the new western territories. This has led some to falsely conclude the deep south left the union only to maintain slavery.

“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


Slavery's involvement in southern secession is often overstated because slavery was the “occasion” to witch the fight over states rights 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. 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. The 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

“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


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.

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

“After the bombardment of ft Sumter...patriots signed up to fight for states rights or union”
-John Cannon The Wilderness Campaign Combined Books PA

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


The fight over new western territories was also a battle over the very nature of the federal government. The republicans and Lincoln said they would not allow new states, the rights granted in the constitution. 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? Thomas Jefferson commenting on federal intrusion in the Missouri compromise stated “ this certainly is the exclusive right of every state, which nothing in the constitution has taken from them and given to the general government. could congress, for example say that the Non-freemen of Connecticut, shall be freemen, or that they shall not emigrate into any other state? 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

“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 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


This political battle even turned to blood in Missouri/Kansas. Republicans backed by the industrialist pushed for western territories to be free. If these states were free they would than industrialize and want rail laid to connect these distant lands to the east. They would support high tariffs and internal improvements and give the north more political power. Yet if these states were allowed to decide on their own slave or free, than the south might maintain agrarian, free trade, policies. British historian Marc Egnal said the fight over the extension of slavery was “more on economical policy” But of more concern to many in the south was that of states rights.

“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 war was at first was not about slavery, but was a struggle over the limits of states rights and the powers of the government in washington”
-David G Martin PHD in History from Princeton University


SC secession document
avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp

South Carolina was the first state to seceded from the union, It being a deep south “cotton state” gives the reasons for secession. 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 bottom line, slavery was a issue but not an absolute cause”
-John C Perry Myths and realities of American Slavery

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


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


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


The north was by and large for keeping the original continual republic of America from its foundation. However some 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. 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 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

-Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States
Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States
-Confederate States of America - Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union
Avalon Project - Confederate States of America - Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union
-Abraham Lincoln First Inaugural Address Monday, March 4, 1861
-Jefferson Davis' First Inaugural Address Alabama Capitol, Montgomery, February 18, 1861
-Jefferson Davis' Second Inaugural Address Virginia Capitol, Richmond, February 22, 1862
-Confederate States of America - Message to Congress April 29, 1861 (Ratification of the Constitution)

Avalon Project - Confederate States of America - Message to Congress April 29, 1861 (Ratification of the Constitution)
-The confederate constitution American Civil War :: Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library :: University of Georgia Libraries -The Confederate States of America, 1861--1865: A History of the South by*E.Merton coulter 1950
-The Confederate Constitution of 1861: An Inquiry Into American Constitutionalism *By Marshall L. DeRosa University of Missouri Press -Redeeming American Democracy Lessons from the confederate constitution Marshall L. Derosa Pelican press 2007 -The Constitution Of The Confederate States Of America Explained A Clause By Clause Study Of The Souths Magna Carta Lochlainn Seabrook Sea Raven Press 2012
-From Union to Empire Clyde Wilson The Foundation for American Education Columbia SC 2003
-The Great Civil War Debate hosted by american vision*c-span Peter Marshall Jr. vs Steve Wilkin s
-The federalist papers
-Nullification How to resits Federal tyranny in the 21st Century Thomas Woods Regnery Publishing inc Washington D.C 2010
-The Yankee Problem An American dilemma Clyde N Wilson Shotwell Publishing Columbia South Carolina 2016
-The Real Lincoln Thomas J Dilorenzo Three Rivers press NY NY 2002
- Lincoln Unmasked what your not suppose to know about Dishonest Abe Thomas J Dilorenzo Three rivers Press Crown Forum 2006
-Lincolns Marxists Al Benson Jr and Walter Kennedy Pelican Press 2011
-From Union to Empire essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition Clyde Wilson The Foundation for American Education Columbia South Carolina 2003
-Battle Hymns The Power And Popularity Of Music In The Civil War By Christian Mcwhirter The University Of North Carolina press 2012
-Battle Cry of Freedom James McPherson Oxford university Press
Gary Gallagher the American civil war great courses in modern history lecture series Teaching company 2000*
-Without Consent or Contract The Rise and Fall of American Slavery Robert William Fogel W.W Norton and company NY London 1989
-America Civil war Magazine - America's Civil War Magazine | HistoryNet
-Robert E Lee letter to his wife 1856
-The life and death of Jefferson Davis 1959
-Robert E Lee correspondence with British Lord action
-Woodrow Wilson, A History of The American People 1902
-Jefferson Davis The rise and fall of the confederate government
-The Virginia Quarterly Review 1931
-Alexis de tocqueville Democracy in America 1835-1840
-Jesse James last rebel of the civil war T.J Stiles Alfred A Knopf 2002
-A Defense Of Virginia And The South R.L Dabney 1867 Sprinkle publications
-Raphael Semmes,*Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States Baltimore, MD. Kelly Piet & Co. 1868 -
Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States, Chapter 6: , page 66
-Major General John B. Gordon*Causes of the Civil War. 1903
-A Constitutional view of the late war between the states: its causes By Alexander Hamilton Stephens 1870
-The Private Mary Chesnut The Unpublished Diaries* C Vann Woodward Elisabeth Muhlenfeld NY Oxford Press 1984*
-The politically incorrect guide to the south Clint Johnson 2007 Regnery publications inc
-The politically incorrect guide to the civil war H.W Crocker third 2008 Regnery publications inc
-The politically incorrect guide to American history Thomas e woods 2004 Regnery publications inc
-The south was Right James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy Pelican 2014 reprint
-General Stand waties confederate Indians 1959 by Frank Cunnigham University of Oklahoma press
-The US constitution
-33 questions about American history you're not suppose to ask Thomas Woods Crown forum NY 2007
-I'll Take my stand the south and the agrarian tradition by twelve southerners 1930 Louisianan state university press
-Rutland Free Library Rutland, Vermont
-Southern Secession and Reconstruction David Livingston Emory University professor
-Why the war was not About Slavery Clyde Wilson Professor of History at the University of South Carolina
-Myths of American slavery Walter D Kennedy 2003 Pelican publishing company
-Myths and Realities of American Slavery John C Perry Burd Street Press 2002
-Everything You Were Taught About American Slavery Is Wrong Ask A Southerner Lochlainn Seabrook Sea raven press 2014
-The Civil war PBS series by Ken Burns
-The American heritage series By Historian David Barton at wallbuilders.com
-Building on the American heritage series by David Barton 2011
- Americas godly heritage by David Barton 1992
-Foundations of freedom by David Barton 2015
-Warriors of honor- The faith and legacies of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson 2004
-Still Standing The stonewall Jackson Story 2007
-The life of Stonewall Jackson

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