Misleading Causes of the American Civil War


Well, this week Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley said something that upset people who weren’t going to vote for her anyway. At a Town Hall setting someone asked her “What caused the American Civil War?” It’s not at all a question with great relevance 163 years later, but it is a modern litmus test for many people on the left, i.e. people who likely weren’t going to vote for her anyway.

History is amazing. Like all hindsight, it can be 20-20 in vision and clarity. Over the past 30 years, this is less and less the case. Led by late-night comics and pretend “news” history-when told in partiality and half-truth, is stranger than fiction. It’s entertaining. Political activists, politicians, media, and academia have all since found that telling half of history is a great way to manipulate people. Rather than be steered by what can be learned from studying all of history, they’ll tell us half a story that would lead to a conclusion that would support their activist causes. There is no better example of this, NONE, than the American Civil War.

Those who advocate for studying more “Black History” in school inevitably and emphatically declare that, unlike every war in all human history, the American Civil War was caused by one thing: slavery. Slavery was an aspect of the causes of the American Civil War, but the ultimate proof that it was NOT the cause, is to point out that even if there were no slavery, the war still would have happened.

Those who want to really learn about history-all of it-will study more than just “Black History.” One simply cannot learn with the intent of repeating mistakes, by studying a single facet. These people will remember the first time the United States almost fell to Civil War. In 1832 and 1833 there was an event in American history called, The Nullification Crisis. President Andrew Jackson was trying to balance the Federal budget. At the time, there was no income tax all income came from tariffs on goods. Led by states in the North, the tariffs were raised. This hurt southern agrarian-based economies. Not even 50 years old, people in the South wondered why they should be taxed to help get money to the North. They felt like their representation in Congress was zero. The issue got so hot that the Vice President resigned, and he went to South Carolina to lead the rebellion. There, the state was considering secession based on the idea that higher tariffs were unconstitutional/not for the general welfare, and just for the welfare of the Northern states. President Jackson prepared to personally lead troops into South Carolina and vowed to personally hang anyone who opposed him-including and specifically the former Vice President. The crisis ended when both sides agreed to raise tariffs temporarily, and then gradually lower them back down to about 20%.

Civil War over taxes was avoided.

In the following years, more and more states joined the Union. As they did, an agreement was made that for every state admitted that allowed slavery, another state could be admitted without slavery. The idea was that states where slavery existed would not be outnumbered in the House and Senate, and thus another tariff that would hurt slave/agrarian states would not happen. This worked until The Mexican War happened (1846-1848). After that war, the Federal government needed money again, and so politicians began examining ways to raise tariffs. In Kansas and Missouri, a micro Civil War erupted as wealthy people in the South tried to make both states slave states, and wealthy abolitionists in the North tried to make them both free states. If either group of powerful people had their way, then the balance of power in Congress would be tilted and increased tariffs would pass or fail.

The abolitionist movement in the North grew, but it never became a majority. Its leaders all had far more to gain from raising tariffs than they ever did from freeing slaves. Followers of the movement became increasingly radical. They threatened terrible violence in the South. John Brown, one of the popular followers (more celebrity than leader), went to Kansas and Missouri. There he led violent raids against people who wanted to make the states slave states. One night he and his family broke into some pro-slavery family homes, pulled people out in the middle of the night, and butchered them all. A few years later he and his family tried to seize control of the Federal armory at Harper’s Ferry Virginia (1859). A young Colonel Robert E Lee led a band of US Marines and put down the pathetic attempt to start a slave rebellion.

Slave rebellions were a serious fear in the South. Many believe that the fear of reprisals is what convinced slave owners to stand firm and demand that the US Constitution allow slavery back in 1789. In fact, the year after it was ratified (1792) all the slaves in Haiti rebelled, tortured, and killed everyone who was white or even 1/8 white. There had been several smaller attempts at slave rebellion in the South as well. Given the choice to keep slavery or to risk being butchered in retaliation, most powerful people in the South chose to keep slavery. John Brown’s raid shocked the people in the North, but in the South, it spread terror.

Immediately following John Brown’s raid, Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party began their push for the Presidency. In his highly distributed debate transcripts, Lincoln said the way to handle the debt from the Mexican War was to dismiss the Compromise of 1833 and raise tariffs as high as 45%. This upset people in the South, but in Charleston, Carolina it caused fury. Lincoln was an abolitionist celebrity at the time-though not one pledging violence like most of the abolitionists in 1860. Southern states refused to allow someone like Lincoln to become President so they removed him from the Presidential ballots in the South.

THIS is a lesson today as blue states are doing the same thing to President Trump in an era when people are openly talking about Civil War. People who only study “Black History” and convince themselves that the Civil War was just about slavery, will never learn this important lesson for today and next year.

With only 32-34% of the popular vote, Abraham Lincoln was elected President. He made it clear to everyone that if keeping slavery would keep the Union together, then he’d support that. Still, people in South Carolina were enraged. Other states as well. Lincoln made no effort to free the slaves for the next two years. Both northern and southern states began assembling armies. In the North, people enlisted to protect the Union. In the South, most states made it so slave and plantation owners were exempt from serving in the army. There, most people enlisted to protect their homes and families. People on both sides still looked at states as independent nation-states bound by a loose union. People from Maine saw people from Florida in much the same way that people from Spain viewed people from Portugal.

In the South, states began having votes for or against secession. It did not go smoothly. Western Virginia voted against slavery and seceded from Virginia instead. Western Texas didn’t vote at all. In Western Louisiana, most people still thought they were ruled by France or Spain and voted to stay with them. The same thing happened in Eastern Florida. Across a wide swath of Appalachia from West Virginia down into the northern half of Alabama and central Georgia counties voted to form a new state called, Nickajack, and they wanted to stay in the Union (this included parts of eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina). Individual counties all around Mississippi, Alabama, etc. did so as well. Scott County Tennessee voted to secede from Tennessee and join the union (they didn’t officially rejoin until 1987). Lincoln had the US Navy surround the Maryland statehouse as they voted to stay in the Union (with slavery), but literally under the threat of being annihilated by the USN.

When Lincoln was inaugurated the abolitionist rhetoric increased severalfold. In turn, the fears of slave owners facing retribution and of wealthy people facing massive tax increases all resounded against the abolitionist rhetoric. Both sides became increasingly vitriolic. In the South, as county and state votes to secede weren’t working well, states held conventions instead. Here delegates were often ignored, bribed, threatened, or otherwise swayed to support and vote for secession regardless of the people or the slaves. At the time a slave counted as 3/5ths of a person, and were they to get even 3/5ths of a vote, surely they’d have voted against slavery, and no state could secede with that amount of popular opposition.

Having lost faith in the House, Senate, Judiciary, the Presidency, and banks (i.e. all of the controlling institutions in the Federal Govt), having a massive economic and cultural difference between industrial and agrarian, and having decidedly different cultures, the Southern states seceded.

Then they waited. Federal garrisons around the country were either abandoned if too indefensible or strengthened (as was the case with the forts around Washington D.C. In Charleson Harbor, Ft Sumter sat as a blocking piece that could interdict and sink any ship breaking Federal Law-including not paying an increased tariff. South Carolina-led by the powerful people in Charleston, couldn’t stand for that. It’s why they almost seceded in 1832 and why they did in 1860. They ordered the fort abandoned, and when the commander refused, it was reduced to rubble by South Carolina militia forces.

The Civil War began.

African Americans studying African American culture will think it was all about African Americans and slavery. Clearly, like all wars, it had many reasons and many lessons. Blaming it all on slavery ignores those lessons which as we see a candidate blocked from ballots-are increasingly important today.

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Good read and explanation which is similar to what I was taught in school many years ago. Thank you………Bob

They are not allowed to teach the truth anymore. Too offensive to the victimized group who feel modern day Americans should freely give them money.

yeah, back before the history got changed to suit the narrative.

Haley was initially correct but lacked the courage to stand behind the facts. That’s what is wrong with many Republicans; they think they can court leftist and media favor by surrendering point after point when the fact is, unless they 100% submit to leftist (anti-American, ruinous, anti-Constitutional) ideology, they are hated and targeted for destruction.

Hopefully, Haley learned a lesson.

I would feel more comfortable with her if she embraced herself more, yes Haley is her married name but she seems to hide her heritage.

Although brief, it is well to the point of factual history, thanks.

The federal government tries to control the states.
Tries to control the narrative, the history…+
Reason are complicated and there is no black and White. Education is key, more need to read this and understand.
But why the removal of our Heritage legacy sculptural monuments? It makes no sense.

But why the removal of our Heritage legacy sculptural monuments? It makes no sense.

It makes perfect sense if you don’t like the idea of venerating traitors in the public square.

Mike go fuck yourself, hiding history is not learning from it.

Are you a Confederate sympathizer? It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Like the reconciliation statue, a monument to forgiveness and unity? All that honors is the end of the war and peace, but it follows the script that the left hates that and wants any celebration of it destroyed.

The Democratic party is the greatest monument, memorial, and symbol of slavery, racism, segregation, lynch mobs, and violent militants like the KKK.
Should the segregationist Democratic President Woodrow Wilson’s crypt be removed from the Washington National Cathedral?
The Democratic party tries to scapegoat Republicans for the historical slavery and mistreatment of Blacks in America.
The Democratic party’s Neo-Confederates are trying to rewrite history and use Socialism to cancel liberties.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cjones1

Turds like Michael like to support the destruction of Civil War monuments because the Confederates were “traitors” and should never be forgiven. However, as you point out, the “traitors” were the Democrats and he supports that party. They haven’t admitted their guilt and begged forgiveness; ne, they have merely blamed Republicans for the residuals that they themselves created. So, they remain the “traitors” and Michael supports the “traitors”. Hell, as late as 2010 they were celebrating one of their own that was a KKK Grand Kleagle. Michael hasn’t forgiven them because he doesn’t forgive; he just aligns himself with racist traitors… like most Democrats.

Ask any generational member of a family in the south whose ancestors may have fought, been injured or died in the civil war about what the confederacy meant to them. I can assure you slavery was not at the top of their concerns.

No, most of those soldiers probably had more in common with the slaves than the slave holders. The ignorance of some people is simply too progressed to cure.

I can assure you slavery was not at the top of their concerns.

That doesn’t make them any less traitorous.

I’m from the South, and I had ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. I’ve heard the family stories, and I’ve done the reading. It doesn’t change the fact that they committed treason.

So, why do you forgive the Democrat party when you won’t forgive those who have been pardoned? Democrats don’t even admit their complicity in initiating the War, creating the KKK, creating Jim Crow and implementing institutional racism in the South, they just try to blame Republicans for the results; why do you so easily forgive them? You don’t believe in reconciliation but you don’t hold your Democrats accountable for their actions, even with an openly racist President; I guess some traitors are just OK with you.

Yeah the American colonists committed treason against the British too.

Yes I sympathize for our Southern citizens, as after 100 years their history is mutilated by asswipe half-wits like you.

It makes perfect sense if you are a whining, crybaby that can’t stand for anyone else to have something they enjoy.

Are you okay with the Church of Satan statues being erected in public? There are people who enjoy that.

Last edited 4 months ago by Michael

I don’t like them, but it depends on where they are erected. Yeah, there are people who enjoy it; you are probably one of them.

Mike is just an Antifa BLM gender studies major who rode the special little blue bus to school. His heros are Mao, Che, Stalin and Hitler.

Sure thing, kitt.

Of course it makes sense. It’s part of the marxist playbook – rewrite/revise/dump *actual* history, and replace it with some absurd lie. Those communists have to obliterate American history, as our American exceptionalism exposes the ruinous results of communism. Americans want no part of marxist tripe, so we stand and oppose any PC garbage. And at some point, they’ll be driven out – or perhaps carried.

60 years ago this is what I learned in school in Missouri. They taught it all because of the Missouri Compromise.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ray

Well, that’s what was taught here 60 years ago in Kommieforinastan before it went all Marxist.

A nice, brief summary. There’s a lot to the story, and had Haley said that, she might have gotten away with it. There’s also a very long history of secession in the US, not only during the War of 1812 by the New England states, but before that in Vermont, which seceded from New York, New Hampshire, and Great Britain all on the same day. Also see “Shays Rebellion: The Final Battle of the Revolution” (we lost!). Fort Sumter was a deliberate ploy by Lincoln to get the South to fire the first shots. A fantastic read is “The Real Lincoln”, if you’re interested.

This is interesting but I note that the prime reason for the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ was not mentioned. In a word – mercantilism. It’s true. Look it up. That is, in a book that tells the truth, not some ‘revisionist’ bilge.

War of Northern Aggression


Mikey demonstrates his IQ. And I though Biden was stupid. Clearly you are a failed gender studies major.

Clearly you’re one of the regulars using a different name—and not smart enough to realize you’ve revealed that yourself.

It’s the little tic that she can’t control.

The slavery proponents wanted to make Cuba and other areas States in order to increase the number of slave States and thus increase Congressional representation. In California, the Democratic party candidate for Senate killed his abolitionist Republican opponent.
To say that slavery wasn’t the major factor is misleading in my opinion. The Slave State/Free State compromises to prevent succession reinforces that opinion.
As far as tariffs are concerned, many American jurisdictions sought to stimulate domestic production of products and restrict foreign products
I’ve read the British mill aristocracy and merchants supported American slavery as a cheap source of cotton and frowned on cotton goods production in the Northern States.
The Democratic party’s legacy is slavery. That I can agree on.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cjones1

Tell us the difference between southern slavery and using 5 year olds sixty hours a week in textile mills in Boston?

Tell us the difference between southern slavery and using 5 year olds sixty hours a week in textile mills in Boston?

I’ll tell you three:

The kids were being paid.

When the kids grew up, they were legally allowed to not work in the textile mills.

Their kids didn’t have to work in the textile mills just because their parents had.

What an ignorant view of child labor.
1844, there were 362 deaths in the mills, 200 of which were children under the age of ten.
All for 1.85 a week if an operator of the machines.
About 19 cents per day for a child.
They were not fed, clothed or housed, no medical care.

Last edited 4 months ago by kitt

You are literally apologizing for slavery now, and you’re using a sock puppet to do it. Just when I think that you can’t sink any lower…

Um… YOU support the party of slavery, the party that fought for slavery and has never confessed to it or begged forgiveness. Even Germany and Japan has admitted to their sins in World War II and asked for forgiveness, but not the Democrats. Yet, there you are, supporting and defending them, the propagators of slavery and racism. I don’t think a person CAN sink lower than that.

You are a twisted soul, you were the one saying there was nothing wrong with child labor cause they got paid. Many slaves were treated better than the people that worked in those mills, and the mills survived like that long after slavery was abolished. Expanded moved south closer to the supply of cotton.
You have to know history to learn from it.
The attitudes remain unchanged.
The elite dine on kobe beef fly in private jets, and tell the tax slaves and peasants they have to good a lifestyle, eat bugs peasants.
You cant have a gas appliance or tool no gas car. And the fan in your icebox is using to much of their resources.

Last edited 4 months ago by kitt

you were the one saying there was nothing wrong with child labor cause they got paid. 

No, you asked someone simply to list one difference between slavery and working in the mills, and I gave you three, with being paid as one of them.

You answered a different person. I called you out for ignorance.

Mikey is a moron. He is the embodiment of a failed federal educational system. He thinks he is relevant but in reality is just a garden variety stooge.

Mikey never learned, he memorized some stuff but never learned it.

Slavery was a factor in the South, and lesser so in the North. Despite the rhetoric from abolitionists and slave owners, it was never in jeopardy. Lincoln would have allowed it. The people in the North showed via enlistment collapse in 1862 that they didn’t want to fight for slaves. In 1864 half the north voted for McClellan to keep slavery. The 13th Amendment barely passed, and wouldn’t have passed if the South remained in the Union. ie, it was a factor, but at no point in history was it in real jeopardy until the South seceded and lost the war. Had they NOT seceded, slavery would have endured by political appeasement, lack of popular support, and by Southern protectionism had they remained in the Union. Given all that, we can SAY it was about slavery, but since slavery was never at real risk…it wasn’t

The South had every right to leave the Union. When ratifying the Union, three states demanded and were given the right to leave the Union for any reason; at any time ; with the approval of the 13 states approving the Constitution. Hence Lincoln’s action’s were not only illegal but tortured truth, history and reason and sacrificed over a million Americans to satisfy his ego.

Articles of Confederation (1777) –  “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.”

I wonder if the North would have won if the North didnt have all those fresh off the boat immigrants to toss in for cannon fodder.
Wonder if this open borders thing will be a repeat of that history.

I’m no fan of Haley. But as a life long student of history, esp of the American Civil War, I am awed at reading this article which is a flat out modern re-write in support of the Lost Cause Theory…. If you believe the pre-war writings and speech transcripts of Jefferson Davis and other Sr Confederate politicians, slavery and the southern aristocracy- the preservation of both – were the sole reasons for leaving the Union. Read them for yourself, NOT this book.

1600 words is hardly a book, and shouldn’t be too hard a read for a student of the Civil War. Slavery was never in danger of being taken away from the South if they chose not to secede; ie, the war-like all wars-had multiple reasons, and slavery was but an aspect. Even with the war no one was going to end slavery in 1861. In 1862, Lincoln tried w the Emancipation Proclamation, and the effect was the enlistment fell off so dramatically (people didn’t want to fight to end slavery) that he had to bring about the draft. People enlisted to fight for the Union. There was no end to slavery in 1863. In 1864 McClellan almost won the Presidency based on the pledge to live w slavery in the South. In 1865 Lincoln only got the 13th amendment passed because the South wasn’t genuinely represented in Congress. In 1866, if the South hadn’t seceded, slavery would have still existed, and so on and so on. Never ever ever in the 19th Century was there a majority of Americans who wanted to see it end. That even continued in much of the US into the 20th Cent.

Cherry picking a few speeches from the South that talk about slavery is like cherry picking a few abolitionist speeches: neither represented a majority of the North or the South.

Please, tell me what year there was a majority of Americans-or even just people in the North-who wanted to see slavery end?

The south had a GNP of slightly over 20 billion. The north only 500 million. Congress demanded a redistribution of wealth. John C. Calhoun said no. Calhoun and colleagues were assaulted as they left Congress. The rift had become too great to breach.

If slavery violates freedom of association by forcing the slave into a relationship with the owner, wasn’t forcing the south to be part of the union just slavery on a larger scale? The most evil part of slavery in the US was its multigenerational aspect. If your grand father was a slave you were too. If you believe in “government by consent of the governed”, the fact that your great grand father’s generation wished to be part of a union should not obligate your generation to do so. That is why secession is a reserved power under the 10th Amendment. We still have the right to secede and a court ruling (Texas v White) does not override the constitution.

If we look at the declarations of the seceding states it becomes clear on why they seceded.

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. 

South Carolina
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States | American Battlefield Trust (battlefields.org)

Interesting point about Maryland’s state house being threatened by Lincoln’s navy.

Even more interesting is Lincoln instituting slavery in defense of the union. He did what? The draft. He ENSLAVED young men to fight a war against secessionists in the south.

The most egregious irony of the war was Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which, while “freeing” the enemy’s slaves did no such thing, merely virtue-signaled his desire to subvert the economy of the south; in reality not only did news not reach largely illiterate slaves, slave states in the NORTH, Maryland and Delaware to be specific, ran farms, warehouses, trains, shipping ports all with slave labor while Union forces fought a war to – wait for it – to free slaves?

Tell me another one, my sides are splitting from the LULZ.