The War Was Not Fought Over Slavery

The War for Southern Independence (or as the U.S. Congress officially declared it to be -- The War Between the States; it was not a "civil war") was fought over slavery, with the North fighting to free Southern slaves and the South fighting to keep her slaves.
This is, of course, not true.

First of all, all thirteen original states which seceded from England in 1776 and which formed the United States of America, from Maine (a part of Massachusetts at that time) to Georgia, owned slaves. Was the First American Revolution fought over slavery. If not, then neither was the Second American Revolution fought over slavery when the Southern states withdrew from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Is the Fourth of July a racist holiday because all thirteen original colonies had slaves? If not, then neither are our Confederate holidays. Is the U.S. flag a racist flag because all thirteen original states had slaves? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a racist flag -- or do these intolerant individuals and the news media advocate taking down the U.S. flag as well? If they do, then they will need to take down nearly every national flag in the world, starting with the flag of Nigeria in Africa. What blatant bigotry to call the Confederate flag racist!

During the War for Southern Independence, many in the North also had slaves, but refused to free their slaves until after the War. People in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, and even Washington, D.C., owned slaves; these states never seceded and were under the control of the United States throughout the course of the entire War. However, they were not required to free their slaves by the U.S. government. The U.S. Congress in 1862 even refused to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, when the only Senators and Representatives in Congress were from the North (all Southerners had left Congress to form their own nation). How could the North be fighting the War to free Southern slaves when they would not free their own, such as Ulysses S. Grant's personal slave or Abraham Lincoln's father-in-law's slaves? What hypocrisy! Even worse, Lincoln and the U.S. Congress offered to pass a constitutional amendment for the South, guaranteeing permanent slavery forever in the slave states, if only the Southern states would return to the Union. The South refused the offer.

Northern slaves were even exempt from Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Furthermore, captured Southern slaves on the Mississippi River were forced to work on the plantations as slaves for the United States Army, growing cotton for Northern factories, rather than being set free. Also, during the War, just as many Union soldiers owned slaves as Confederate soldiers. Is the U.S. flag a symbol of slavery because the North owned slaves during the War? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a symbol of slavery. How could the War have been fought over slavery when both sides had slaves?

The War for Southern Independence was fought over local self-government by the South versus centralist government by the North; the centralist government won and the local self government lost. The Confederate battle flag is the symbol of the right of the local people and the states to govern themselves and is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who gave their lives for less government, less taxes, and Southern independence.

In his inaugural address of March 4, 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stated, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Furthermore, Union General U.S. Grant said, "If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side."

A war over slavery? Not hardly!

The Confederate States of America even offered to free all Southern slaves in return for independence; Lincoln refused the offer. The term "free state" meant free from Blacks. Northerners did not want to live with Blacks, slave or free, and many Northern states and territories actually passed laws prohibiting free Blacks from entering into them. Lincoln himself stated the opinion of the Northern people during a meeting with a group of Black leaders during the War, saying, "There is an unwillingness on the part of our people [Northern Whites] to live with you free colored people. Whether this is right or wrong, I am not prepared to discuss, but it is a fact with which we must deal. Therefore, I think it best for us to separate." Acting upon this sentiment, Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress purchased land, passed laws, and started shipping free Northern Blacks out of the country down to poverty-stricken Haiti. Lincoln put together several such schemes to remove free Blacks from the United States, to send some back to Africa and some to Central and South America. At the end of the War, a few weeks before Lincoln was assassinated, Union General Benjamin Butler asked him what he was going to do with all the recently free Southern Blacks. To this Lincoln replied, "I think we should deport them all."

Meanwhile, down South, Confederate States President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina were adopting an eight-year-old free Black orphan boy named Jim Limber. After his mother died, little Jim was placed with a free Black family as foster parents. However, this family badly mistreated him to such a degree that the news reached the ears of the President and Mrs. Davis, who, in the middle of the War, took the time and effort to intercede and rescue Jim from this child abuse. Little Jim's wounds were doctored and he was welcomed into the Confederate White House as a member of the Davis family. President Davis himself went to court in Richmond and had free papers registered on Jim Limber, so he would always be free. Even when our President was on his way to prison for trying to obtain independence and self-government for the Southern people, he made arrangements and provided for Jim Limber's future education and care. In the Old South it was not uncommon for Blacks to take in orphaned Whites or for Whites to take in orphaned Blacks. There was a relationship between Blacks and Whites that Northerners even today do not understand or appreciate.

The War for Southern Independence was fought over the right of the local people to govern themselves versus a centralist government by the few, the rich, and the powerful. The South wanted less government, less taxes, independence, and decisions made at the local level where the people have control. The North wanted more taxes, more government, and centralism, with a compulsory union at bayonet point and decisions made in Washington D.C. rather than by the local people. The South stood on the principles of the Southerner Thomas Jefferson, who in the Declaration of Independence, stated, "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government." In other words, the people should control the government, not the government controlling the people. The North stood on the principles of the Northerner Alexander Hamilton, who believed that government should be ruled by an intellectual aristocracy, maintained by the enlightened self-interest of the wealthy rather than the common people, governing themselves. Northern Abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, burned the U.S. Constitution in the streets, calling it "a pact with the devil." Lincoln likewise brutally violated nearly every article and amendment to the U.S. Constitution, throwing over 35,000 Northern Citizens in prison as political prisoners, including state legislators, without cause or trial, as well as, violently closing a dozen opposition newspapers and suppressing freedom of speech.

President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States Congress never did such things. The Southern people took the U.S. Constitution with them when they voluntarily withdrew from the voluntary Union and brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, where the right of the local people to govern themselves was protected.

Just as with the War for American Independence of 1776, the War for Southern Independence of 1861 was fought over "taxation without representation." The North was constantly trying to raise taxes on Southerners through high tariffs on imported goods, in order to protect the inefficient big businesses in the North which could not compete with manufactured goods from England and France with whom the South traded cotton. The South did not have factories and had to import most finished products.

The Industrial Revolution allowed England and France to produce and ship across the Atlantic products that were cheaper than the products Northern manufacturers, who refused to modernize, could produce with their White child labor- ten-year-old children working sixteen hours a day in "sweat shops" for mere pennies and sleeping in the streets. Slaves in the South were treated much better than child laborers in the North.

When the taxes on imports were rejected, rich big businessmen in the North were promised that, if elected, Lincoln would drastically raise the import tax. That is why the Southern states quickly began to escape from the tax net that Lincoln was spreading. Within Lincoln's first month in office, the U.S. Congress had passed the Morrill Tariff, which was the highest import tax in U.S. history, more than doubling the import tax rate from 20% to 47%, which was enough to bankrupt many Southerners. This oppressive tax was what pushed Southern states to legally withdraw from the voluntary Union, not slavery.

Since the Southerners had escaped the tax by withdrawing from the Union, the only way the North could collect this oppressive tax was to invade the Confederate States and force them at gunpoint back into the Union. It was to collect this import tax to satisfy his Northern industrialist supporters that Abraham Lincoln invaded our South and not to free any slaves. Lincoln's war cost the lives of 600,000 Americans.

When Lincoln invaded Charleston and then Virginia, all Southerners- Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Orientals, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, rich and poor, male and female almost to a person rose up and volunteered their services in defense of the Confederate States of America because all were going to suffer from this horrible federal tax. Nowhere in the history of movements of independence and self-government have a people been so united in purpose and dedicated to the cause of Independence. No, not even in 1776 did the thirteen colonies receive such support and sacrifice by the people, and that war was fought over a 3% tax on tea!

My fellow Americans, the South was right! The Confederate battle flag represents all Southerners and even Northern Confederates from states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and others, who supported the South and who even tried to secede from the Union and form their own nation but whose efforts for freedom were crushed by Lincoln's troops. Confederate Indians, Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites all received Confederate pensions after the War and attended Confederate veterans' reunions together, year after year, just as they had suffered and fought together during the War. The Confederate battle flag represents all Confederates, regardless of race or religion, and is the symbol of less government, less taxes, and the right of a people to govern themselves. It is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who willingly shed their blood for Southern independence.

Believe It or Not
You Decide!



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