I’m a happy camper that America has launched in a debate over the Confederate battle flag. I’m happy because all most Americans know of the Civil War is what is taught in the government schools. You know…that the war was fought to end slavery. Which is total bullshit.
My hope is that the debate over the Confederate flag will result in people learning the truth about the so-called Civil War.
First, can we finally put to rest the lie that the Civil War was initiated to free slaves.
Let’s look at some telling facts:
Lincoln wrote, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that….”
Slavery existed in the North as well as the South. The only difference was wealthy Northerners considered slaves merely a convenience, while southern plantation owners considered slaves part their agricultural business operations.
At the time Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 300,000 slaveholders were fighting in the Union army.
Unlike the public schools and the movies portray, slavery was not pervasive. The 1860 census showed that 95.2% of Southerners did not own slaves. While slavery is one of the worst evil of mankind, that number I just shared with you is a far cry from what most Americans are socialized to believe.
Throughout the war, Northern generals, such as Sherman and Grant, had their slaves attending them.
In 1860, the year before the Civil War began, the South produced almost 75% of all U.S. exports. Lincoln wanted the southern states to pay the Union a 40% tariff on their exports. But the Constitution does not authorize a federal tax on exports. The Southern states quite rightly considered this an unconstitutional tax and refused to pay it.
By the time hostilities kicked off, the South was paying 70% of the all the revenues coming into the U.S. Treasury.
Lincoln stated, “The War is waged by the government of the United States not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions of the states, but to defend and protect the Union.”
Lincoln also wrote Alexander Stevens the following: “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington.”
And here’s a cute little speech made by Lincoln to a group of free black men in 1862:
“Why should the people of your race be colonized and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we should be separated. You here are freemen, I suppose? Perhaps you have been long free, or all your lives. Your race is suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of our race.”
This wasn’t a war to free to slaves. This was a war pushed by wealthy northerners to keep the revenue imbalance in affect; to keep the Northern states – and their citizens – from having to pay their equitable share of the federal revenue. It was all about the money!
Is it a great thing that slavery ended in America? You bet your ass it is! It should never have been permitted in the first place! The fact that it end is excellent. But we should recognize the historical truth that ending slavery was merely an unintended by-product of the Civil War and, in my opinion, we should stop teaching young Americans the lie that it was fought to free the slaves.
Copyright Dave Champion 2015