Monday, March 31, 2008

The War Between The States: Rebellion or Adherence?

For the most part, one cannot speak of the so-called "Civil War" without mentioning rebellion.

I feel that this is a disservice to American history, whether one is for or against the ideologies at war. The simplest research into the matter would show that the South was not in rebellion, rather, it was the North.

The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
To willingly create any law against the Constitution is treason.
The southern cause was to leave the Union due to Washington D.C.'s lack of respect for the Constitution. The rights of individual states were being infringed upon.

To be in rebellion, whether on a personal or national level, there must something or someone to rebel against. In the case of the War Between the States, it would, at first, appear that the South started the war against the morally upright and abolitionist North.

However, it would seem war was started, in fact, by the North; hence the term "War of Northern Aggression".

The southern states primary objectives were to separate from what they felt was a tyrannical government, not to control it.

There were no apparent provocative attempts at war on the part of the South once their provisional government was set up. And it would seem that such an endeavour, by itself, was not at ideological fault, as I shall explain.


"Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and most sacred right - a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.

Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can may revolutionize and make their own of so many of the territory as they inhabit." ~January 12, 1848.

Who do you think said this?

Robert E. Lee? Sam Davis? Stonewall Jackson?

It was Abraham Lincoln. Not twenty years later would he face such a situation. Not a revolution, but a "shaking off". Apparently, Lincoln wasn't one to allow the practice of what he preached. Sort of ironic, huh?

Lincoln made quite a few contradictory statements such as this.

Popular culture has it that Lincoln freed all the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation; truth be told, he didn't. That famous document only freed slaves in states that were "in rebellion", not anywhere else.

"I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people.

There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man."
~ Lincoln in his speech to Charleston, Illinois, 1858.

"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;"~ Acts 17:26.

It would seem he didn't much care at all for ending slavery, and clearly states that the war was not about slavery, instead, he wanted to "save the Union" at any cost:

"My paramount object, is to save the Union, and not either destroy or save slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing the slaves, I would do it. If I could save the Union by freeing some and leaving others in slavery, I would do it.

If I could save it by freeing all, I would do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps save the Union." ~Lincoln in a letter to Greeley.

Sad to say, Lincoln also denied the Christian faith:

"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them." ~ 1862 letter to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln.


The point I am making is that to say the war was about slavery is a deep injustice to the 618,000 men that died in one of the most uncivil wars in history. It appears that the war was about the prevalent issue of state's rights, versus the centralized control of Washington, D.C.

The Southern states tried to remove themselves from the Union, and had no intention of provoking or invading their Northern counterpart. They felt that the differences between the southern and northern cultures were too great to stay in the same union. And even today some feel that the United States has too diverse a populace to remain a peaceful nation.

While the legality of secession is debatable, the founding documents seem to overwhelmingly support that choice by each state. The Southern states were adhering to the letter of the law.
Many states' constitutions contain clauses which indicate that the state has the unquestionable right to dissolve the contract binding it to the U.S.

Think of what "U.S.A." means.

United States of America, the Union of States, before the War of Northern Aggression, it was known as these United States, not the United States, denoting the fact that the Union was made up of several sovereign states.

In fact, when the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the American Revolution, Britain made peace with each state individually, not the whole Union.

I used to always enjoy movies where the glorious Union troops would wipe out rabble encampments to protect the United States from the dreaded "Johnny's", but, they were Americans killing Americans.

One should note that the South made no offensive manuevers until the war was well underway, and even that was a last ditch effort to end the war quickly, as the South did not want a war with the North.

The entire war was an unnesesary and revolting display of rash insanity.

Each side fought for their nation, and no one really won that war, but I have a new found respect for the men in butternut and grey. I happen to have relatives who fought on both sides, one of which actually served in the Second Confederate Congress.

I wonder just what would have happened if the South won the War between the States.

Monday, March 24, 2008

To Get Caught Up

See'n's how I found out I don't technically live on the Great Plains, I changed the title of my blog from Great Plains Boy to Son 3. Kinda sounds like an oriental blog if you say it fast.

And see'n's how I haven't blogged for nearly a year, I shouldn't throw stones when my own house is made of glass, nor should I fling incendiary shot from an onager whilst I live in thatched roof fortification.

But, you should know that nothing happend that you couldn't read about on Little House on the Prairie.

Lately, I've been constructing a fence for our 20 goats in another field, chopping wood, and trying to save up some sweet moolah to go to Alaska and prospect for gold.

There, you're pretty much caught up from a year ago.

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