History 101: Tariffs, Secession and the General Politico-Economics of Slavery

Those who argue that tariff increases, and not slavery, were the key reason for secession have some basic problems with the historical sequence.

One of the prevailing myths that animates the argument that secession was motivated by a “complex” set of issues, of which slavery was only one (if not a minor) aspect, is the notion that tariffs were a central reason for secession.

Now, it is true that tariff policy was an issue of significant contention between the northern and southern states, due to the differing economies of the regions.  However, the idea that the south was being taxed to death at the hands of the north and that that, above all else, led to secession is an incorrect understanding of history. Indeed, tariff policy was of issue for all of the US’ antebellum history and was not as cut and dry an issue as confederate apologists often make it out to be.

Let’s consider why it might be the case that there were regional differences over tariff rates.  In broad brushstrokes it is easy to note that the northern economies was more based on industrialization while the southern economies were based far more heavily on agriculture.  Many northern interests wanted protection for their products, while many southern interests wanted freer trade for their agricultural output.  In short, the vary political interests of the day were inextricably linked, as one might suppose, to economic interests.

The plantation-based economies of the south required vast pools of cheap labor to function.  Hence, the need fort slave and the steadfast desire to maintain slavery.  As such, even the issues that undergirded the tariff debate are linked to the southern slave-driven economy.  It is impossible to escape the issue of slavery when talking about the politics of the day and slavery.

Specifically, the tariff that is used as the supposed best example of why secession was not about slavery was the Morrill Tariff of 1861.  It is true that raising tariffs was a key plank of the Republican Party and something that Lincoln campaigned on.  Further, it is true that the House of Representatives passed the Morrill bill in 1860, before the elections.  However, the legislation did not become law until 1861.  More importantly, the Act only passed the Senate after several Southern states seceded,  actions which flipped control of the Senate from Democratic to Republican hands.  Note that this was back when the new Congress did not come into office until the March after the election, so we are talking about the same Congress (the 36th) that had passed the Act in the House.*

Indeed, when the Morrill  Tariff first came to the Senate after its passage by the House, the Democratically controlled Finance Committee blocked the bill from going forward.  Instead, it took the secession of seven states from December 1860 to January 1861 (in chronological order:  SC, MS, FL, AL, GA, LA and TX) to shift the partisan balance of the Senate to Republican hands, allowing for the Morrill Tariff to pass.

So:  secession not only predated the tariff, secession allowed for the tariff to pass.

This does not fit the “Lost Cause” narrative, wherein the tyrannical Congress forced the hands of the southern states, but the historical sequence is quite plain.  It is further worth noting that northern political interests were not uniform in supporting the tariff.  Indeed, the Chamber of Commerce of New York petitioned the Senate not to adopt the bill in February of 1861 (Hofstadter, 54).  As such, it is hardly the case that political opposition to the tariff was inconceivable.  In other words, despite the narrative preferred by many, secession was hardly the only potential solution to the problem.

Further, it is rather difficult for the seven states listed above to have claimed the tyranny of the tariff, given that their state of rebellion meant that they did not have to abide by said legislation.

Attempts to pretend like secession can be linked to the tariff fight are a way to try, however lamely, to say “See!  It wasn’t about slavery, it was about taxes!” which has a lot more resonance in contemporary politics than fessing up to the fact that fundamental issue at hand was the right of human beings to own other human beings.

Going beyond the tariff, if we look at many of the major political events that led up to secession and the subsequent war, they all have one common thread, and it is slavery.  Consider the following list:  The Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Bloody Kansas, the Fugitive Slave Law, Dred Scott v. Sanford.  The basic facts are inescapable:  the fundamental issue was slavery.

I do not seek to condemn the contemporary South for the sins of the past, nor do I think that southerners and southerners alone were responsible for slavery.  Slavery was the original sin of the United States itself.  However, this constant attempt on some quarters to downplay that sin, and its subsequent results needs to stop.  This is why things like Haley Barbour stating that the civil rights struggle in Yazoo City, MS “wasn’t that bad” is a problem and why we don’t need to be commemorating the sesquicentennial  of secession nor Jefferson Davis’ swearing in.  (It is also why the Confederate battle flag is problematic, btw).

—————-

Taussi, F. W. (1909).  The Tariff History of the United States, Part I. 5th Edition.  New York:  The Knickerbocker Press. (available online [PDF]).

Hofstadter, Richard (1938). “The Tariff Issue on the Eve of the Civil War,”  The American Historical Review. 44,1 (October):  50-55.

*As such, the tariff was passed during a lame duck session, which is at least an interesting coincidence given the recent lame duck Congress.

FILED UNDER: Race and Politics, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. I would only add that debates over tariffs, taxes, and trade were intricately bound up in slavery, and divided the nation on north-south lines going back to the debates at the Constitutional Convention (for example, the ban on export tariffs was a compromise between the north and south, as was the more famous 3/5 Compromise).




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  2. Indeed.




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  3. steve says:

    Alexander Stephens was the VP of the CSA. From his famous Cornerstone speech.

    “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—sub-ordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth”

    Steve




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  4. PD Shaw says:

    The Whig view on the tariffs was they were not merely intended to protect and foster industry, but to help fund internal improvements to develop the country and increase access to markets and capital. According to this view, opposition to the tariffs was not merely about the pecuniary interests of different regions of the country attuned to different economics, but it was about making sure that the South remained an economy and society that was centered on the plantation. It was anti-development in general and anti-economic diversification in particular. It purported to promote a romanticized agrarianism, but was opposed to free soil. This is also my view, but not the only one.




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  5. PD Shaw says:

    I notice the Taussi makes an interesting point that doesn’t get mentioned much: By about 1814-1816, Madison and Jefferson had essentially abandoned opposition to tariffs. I think Taussig rightly places this on developments in foreign policy — the simmering conflicts with the French and the British and the threat foreign wars posed to access to foreign markets. From this apostasy “Old Republicanism” was born, Jeffersonianism before Jefferson went over.




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  6. michael reynolds says:

    Steven:

    One of the reasons I really love this blog is that often you guys are giving away free education. In this particular case nothing I didn’t know, but I love it when you guys give in to your inner pedants and lay out a lesson. Even if I already know the basic facts it’s good to have it laid out differently, with a different twist or emphasis. And then to have the enhancement of informed opinion in comments is a bonus.

    As a matter of fact, since I’m being so pleasant (for the moment) I want to say this about OTB:

    I often disagree with the main writers at OTB, and even more frequently with the commenters, but James and the gang have created a very valuable forum. There’s plenty of heat but even at its hottest, OTB still manages to shine some light. I enjoy hanging out here. OTB and porn: two things that justify the internets.

    Merry Christmas (or holiday of your choosing) to all of you.




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  7. OTB and porn: two things that justify the internets.

    We may have just found out official tagline.

    And Michael: thanks for the kinds words, they are most appreciated.

    A Merry Christmas back atcha.




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  8. sam says:

    I think Alexis de Tocqueville may have, if only dimly, seen the Civil War coming before anyone else:

    For the first time we have had the chance to examine there the effect that slavery produces on society. On the right bank of the Ohio everything is activity, industry; labour is honoured; there are no slaves. Pass to the left bank and the scene changes so suddenly that you think yourself on the other side of the world; the enterprising spirit is gone. There, work is not only painful: it’s shameful, and you degrade yourself in submitting yourself to it. To ride, to hunt, to smoke like a Turk int he sunshine: there is the destiny of the white. To do any other kind of manual labour is to act like a slave. The whites, to the South of the Ohio, form a veritable aristocracy which, like the others, combines many prejudices with high sentiments and instincts. They say, and I am very much inclined to believe, that in the matter of honour these men practice delicacies and refinements unknown in the North. They are frank, hospitable,, and put many things before money. They will end, nevertheless, by being dominated by the North. Every day the latter grows more wealthy and densely populated while the South is stationary or growing poor.

    North and South were really two countries before the war. And Southerners despised the North as only a people in a state of dependency can. There’s this constant talk about the miserable condition of northern workers in the factories, the noisesome tenements of the big cities, the general clickety-clack of the North compared to the genteel and refined societies of the South. The disdain, of course, was reciprocated in the Northern states.

    I have a thesis about the Civil War (I may have presented it here before). I was watching some tv show once on the history of art in America, written and narrated by Robert Hughes, the Australian art critic. He said something that brought me up short. “Southern culture,” he said, “was created by disposed cavaliers.” The idea of the cavalier was pervasive in the South (think of JEB Stuart galloping around in a cape wearing hat with a large feather in it; or George Pickett, similarly attired.) That set me to thinking. In a sense, Northern culture was created by the enemies of the cavaliers, the Puritans. Tocqueville described the fissure this way:

    But what are the chief traits that distinguished the North and the South? ‘I should express the difference in this way. What distinguishes the North is its enterprising spirit, what distinguishes the South is l’esprit aristocratique. The manners of the inhabitant of the South are frank, open; he is excitable, irritable even, exceedingly touchy of his honour. The New Englander is cold and calculating, patient. While you are with the Southerner you are welcome, he shares with you all the pleasures of his house. The Northerner, after having received you, begins to wonder whether he couldn’t do some business with you.

    My thesis, then, is this: The American Civil was, in a cultural sense, the final playing out of the English Civil War, of the war between parliamentarians and royalists. And I think Lincoln, knowingly or not, captured this facet of the war in the Gettysburg Address when he said:

    “[W]e here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    The American Civil War, on this reading, was the final chapter in the conflict between commons and aristocracy that had begun some 200 years before in England.




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  9. PD Shaw says:

    sam, isn’t that the thesis of Kevin Phillips’, “The Cousin Wars”? I’ve not read that book, but that was how it’s been described to me. Anyway, I agree that the cultural differences are important.




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  10. sam says:

    I dunno, PD, I’ve never heard of that book. But it wouldn’t surprise me that somebody else would have seen the connection (if it is a connection). I mean once you start thinking about the cavalier culture in the South and the puritan foundations of the North, the historical antagonisms present themselves.




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  11. I have long thought that had the CSA maintained its independence that its development path would have looked a lot like that of many Latin American countries, as the basic social structures and economies were quite similar.




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  12. sam says:

    Well, had the repeated attempts to conquer Cuba,Honduras, Nicaragua been successful instead of the miserable failures they were…




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  13. mannning says:

    Robert E. Lee’s and Treveller’s South-facing statue is two blocks from my home in Richmond, and the ceremonial acts will begin there soon now revering the Confederate share of the 640,000 dead men, and probably triple that in wounded and ill that were the more obvious results of the war, besides preserving the union.

    But many things were invented or speeded into use as well, such as: repeating rifles, the telegraph, extension of railroads, rifled cannons, armored vessels, a submarine attempt, better mass production methods, the Carpetbaggers, the KKK, rising use of photography and a history industry that unearths the most minute details of events and artifacts during 1861-65. That is what war also does, and these memories linger on too.

    Indeed, the Civil War has been studied and studied and studied, with the ground being ploughed over and over again, and popularized in books and movies, as well as being celebrated in some sense every year. The Kappa Alpha fraternity used to secede from the union and fly the confederate flag each year–and they may still, I don’t know!–in an excess of misplaced loyalty and elan.

    Such a cataclysmic event in the lives of our people cannot be excised by reason and logic; the devastation, death and emotional destruction is buried deep in the genes of the Southerner, if not many Northerners as well, and no amount of sarcasm or degredation, or proof of the moral sins of the South will result in any good at all. The Southerner defended a now long dead way of aristocratic life and a loyalty to the people they lived with and loved and the land they tilled—and they still do, especially the legends!

    Even after these 150 years the emotions run high, and the awful memories of events become real again and romanticized as if they happened just yesterday, with reenactments assuring us that this is how it all came about on the battlefield. In a more sinister vein, you hear the cries in some places– “next time better!”– meaning a more successful separation. The fever lives on in generation after generation despite all that we do to promote the nation as united forever.

    Let them have their dream. it will die…. eventually.

    But slavery is dead and gone.




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  14. mannning says:

    oops! Traveller, not Treveller




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  15. michael reynolds says:

    Very poetic, Manning. Very wrong.

    There are no memories of those events. Everyone with a memory of the events is long dead. There are only memories of stories.

    It’s not in anyone’s “genes,” it’s in their heads.

    Where it was placed.

    By people telling deliberate lies.

    For the purpose of excusing a vile, despicable history. And for the purpose of perpetuating a story of white supremacy.

    Now you come to cast a gauzy veil over it all. What’s your purpose? I don’t know. Just as I never do know why people can’t just accept the facts. It’s always a mystery to me why people insist on believing bullshit. I mean, of course the novelist in me understands: people are weak and scared and demand clarity and need to feel justified and need to feel special and set-apart. And of course the biggest source of bullshit: the fear of death.

    But all those rationales do is kick the philosophical can down the road. If those are the reasons why people crave bullshit, what is the reason for those reasons? In the end, what is the profit in stuffing your head full of bullshit? What do people get from it?




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  16. mannning says:

    @MR

    There is such a thing as active genes with access to sensory data. Genes with memory. And there is a progression from reality to genes and reality to stories, the genes being the far more subtle and lasting. They do influence the development of man over the long term.

    Of course the stories persist in their telling, because I remember them myself from my great grandfather. But they were not the stories you seem to want to hear. They were of ordinary men doing extrordinary things in the midst of war Men both black and white that were revered for their deeds, their kindness, and their loyalty. I suppose you have never been to the home of a family that was proud of their heritage and their ancestors, and even have to this day a memorial display of artifacts and a picture in the parlor honoring a fallen soldier from the war—black or white!

    But you say bullshit. A rude, crude and highly disrespectful term that you apply to something you have zero knowledge of: the love and respect men demonstrated for each other, both blacks and whites, and the rememberences of those men for each other that do not seem to dim very much with time in the memories of their families, especially those vignettes that were put in writing.

    You, sir, have shown here a bitter, twisted, and yes, evil spirit that sees only the bad, the distorted, and some of the false ideas you have created for yourself about those times. Yes, it is respect where you show a terrible lack, seemingly for any Southern white man during the Civil War era, and perhaps from any era. I call that absolutely irrational.

    If there is any veil here, it is coverning your eyes from the human stories of those times, regardless of the moral war surrounding them and suffocating them. If it is facts you crave, why the history books are full to the last page with them. Bruce Catton does a fine job, for instance. We all know the ending of this story of the war. It is what it is, so there is no need for excuses or veils. How silly of you!




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  17. michael reynolds says:

    And merry Christmas to you, too, Manning.




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  18. mannning says:

    Merry Christmas to you Michael.




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  19. Wayne says:

    Some faulty arguments, first saying on one hand “It is true that raising tariffs was a key plank of the Republican Party and something that Lincoln campaigned on” then saying it couldn’t be about tariffs because it didn’t happen until some actually seceded. As you already stated the House past the Morrif Tariff before the elections. Lincoln won without a support from a single southern state. There were 23 states in the North and 11 states in the South with only 7 willing to succeed before war broke out. The North could past the bill with no help from the south and trying to break it down by party is disingenuous. That is like saying Senator Snowe votes is a Republican and votes party line all the time.

    Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. So by your logic it couldn’t have been anything to do with slavery since slavery was allowed in Southern states before they seceded. Clearly that is not logically correct as is your claim it couldn’t have been due to tariffs and State rights.

    That is by the way talking of only one bill. You made excuses of why tariffs and bills could be different between the South and the North. Excuses don’t change end results. The end results is when you treat one set of states differently from another set of states you will likely end up with one set feeling they are being mistreated.

    Dismissing claims of politicians of the time as “I know they really didn’t mean it because I know better” doesn’t fly. If the North had anywhere near the same attitude toward the South as they do now, it is no wonder they seceded. It gets tiring listening to the North set on their phony righteous pedestal and condemned others.

    Morth sayings “We tried to secede before but didn’t succeed so it doesn’t count” “We treated the Irish just fine” “We acted against the U.S. in the War of 1812 but that is OK” “We didn’t go to war with the South for slavery but now we will pretend we did”

    What a bunch of bull.




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  20. W Williams says:

    “When did celebrating treason become acceptable? 1776 or thereabouts, not that the British would agree.” Thanks, Rodney Dill, for a bit of sanity in this debate. Schooner, don’t equate “secession” and “treason”; learn the historical meaning of those words before you use them so inaccurately. Yes, yes, Schooner, the British do not celebrate July 4th; and in 1776 they denounced the American Declaration of Independence as “treason.”

    Brett weighs in: “South Carolina got off much too lightly. . . .” Has this Brett ever read about what Sherman and his Union army actually did to South Carolina, that is, to the PEOPLE of SC, including the slaves? Did the raped women slaves of South Carolina get “off much too lightly”?

    It gets much worse with Michael Reynolds: “Sherman did his best with South Carolina. People talk about his march through Georgia, but it was SC that took the worst of it. One of the reasons I’ve always liked Sherman despite his rather unenlightened views on race and a free press.”
    This man actually LIKES Sherman for doing his “best with South Carolina.” Reynolds has a fondness for a Union general whose military tactic of terrorism was the occasion for pillaging, burning, raping, and thieving. Reynolds, take some time to read about the burning and sacking of Columbia, SC. I’m sure the experience will only increase your sick fondness for such a monster. And don’t expect most readers here to now “admire” you for your so very delicate “distancing” yourself from the sorry likes of Sherman — that anti-semetic racist and avowed enemy of constitutional rights. But just in case: Reynolds, if you really do like Sherman for his torture of SC civilians and slaves, you might want to get some psychological help. And soon.

    Amazingly, PD Shaw speaks of General Grant’s scorn as if anyone in his right mind would give a damn about what such a man scorned or valued. True Virginians have never lost a moment of sleep worrying about what that corrupt drunk thought of them.

    Memo to “Bead Assortments”: YOUR memo is not worth reading. Sincerely, SC.

    Reynolds again: Yes, New England contemplated seceding from the Union. And no one denounced this as potential “treason.” The point here is not that New England did not secede, but that these northeastern states believed in the right to secede. Just like South Carolina did later.

    In general: take some time to study the War Between the States, what led up to it, how it was fought, and what happened afterward. Pay careful attention to actions of the Union Army as it invaded different parts of the Confederacy: like what happened in Missouri to silence sympathy for the South, Yankee atrocities in Tennessee, the pillaging of Fredericksburg, VA early in the war, the savage sacking of lovely Athens, AL, New Orleans under General Butler, Union actions in Tucker Cty, WV where the policy was “Their houses will be burned and the men shot,” the shelling of Charleston, Gen. Banks’ raids in LA, and, of course, the escapades of Sheridan and Sherman (and so much more). THEN, Yankees and Scalawags just might BEGIN to understand why South Carolina wants to celebrate the anniversary of secession.

    W Williams




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  21. An Interested Party says:

    “Did the raped women slaves of South Carolina get ‘off much too lightly’?”

    Proof please…

    “Reynolds has a fondness for a Union general whose military tactic of terrorism was the occasion for pillaging, burning, raping, and thieving. Reynolds, take some time to read about the burning and sacking of Columbia, SC. I’m sure the experience will only increase your sick fondness for such a monster.”

    I assume you have as much disgust for the institution of slavery and the people who practiced it in the South, that poor, mistreated region that just had no choice but to try to leave the Union? I mean, if you want to be intellectually consistent…

    “True Virginians have never lost a moment of sleep worrying about what that corrupt drunk thought of them.”

    Much as true Americans have never lost a moment of sleep worrying about what a bunch of sympathizers of treason think of them and their views on the Union and what had to be done to save it…

    It is truly laughable that anyone would despair over the treatment the South received from the Union Army while at the same time not mentioning anything about many people in the South treated an entire group of human beings that they considered their “property”…




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  22. wr says:

    Gosh W Williams, I must tip my hat in respect to your devotion to the innocent victims of war. I’m sure you felt the same way about the innocent Iraqi citizens killed by bombs during our “shock and awe” invasion, and about those killed, imprisoned and tortured afterwards. And I’m certain you are morally opposed to any military action against Iran for the same reasons.

    Or is it just that you hate the consequences of war when it happens to people who look, think, and feel the same way you do?




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  23. w williams says:

    Interested Party,

    “Proof please. . .”? Such a deep and so very intelligent response! Come on, IP, this is common knowledge. So your “rebuttal” “Proof please” is the response of a lazy coward. The proof is out there. You could begin with Cisco’s WAR CRIMES AGAINST SOUTHERN CIVILIANS. It is replete with horror stories, quotations from Union and Southern eyewitnesses of these crimes and with other numerous references to primary sources. Go ahead, don’t be afraid. The information is there. But YOU must do the homework. I dare you!

    “I assume you have as much disgust for the institution of slavery and the people who practiced it in the South, that poor, mistreated region that just had no choice but to try to leave the Union? I mean, if you want to be intellectually consistent…”

    Yes, I find slavery disgusting, but no, I don’t “have as much disgust for the institution of slavery and the people who practiced it in the South” as I do for murder and rape and the burning of the towns and homes of innocent white and black women and children. It is not “intellectually consistent” to equate slavery with rape or murder. All are immoral and unacceptable, but the latter two are worse, obviously. And no, the South DID have a choice for or against secession, and the Southern states exercised their constitutional right to secede and freely chose to do so. The Confederate States did not “try to leave the Union”; they left it. By choice.

    “Much as true Americans have never lost a moment of sleep worrying about what a bunch of sympathizers of treason think of them and their views on the Union and what had to be done to save it…”

    Now, now, IP, calm down! “Sympathizers of treason”? Here again you could spend some time studying things before you mouth off on the internet. How can secession be treason when all the way from the Revolution to the beginning of the Civil War most everyone assumed that secession was the constitutional right of a state? New England believed secession a right and actually considered seceding over the travesty of the war with Mexico. Now, what I am about to write is heretical and will shock you, so here it is: just because Uncle Abe said that secession is treason, that doesn’t make it so.

    If you really believe what the Union armies did in the South “had to be done to save” the Union, then that kind of “Union” and you yourself are beneath contempt. “True Americans” you say. If adopting your views is what it means to be a “true American,” then I am not one and don’t want to be. And, if it is true that Southern women, black and white, were raped by Union soldiers –and it is true — then my question still stands and is a challenge I fling in your face: “Did the raped women slaves of South Carolina get ‘off much too lightly’?” If the crimes of Union depravity against these women were necessary to save the Union, then that Union is not worth saving. You SOUND as if you are strongly adverse to the institution of slavery; yet YOUR only response to my reference to the raping of African-American women is “proof please.” YOU show not even a potential sign of disgust at the fate of these innocent women. You think it enough to merely hold to the official line against the evil of slavery, and so your acceptance of Northern barbarism is then okay.

    And so your stupidest remark. . .

    “It is truly laughable that anyone would despair over the treatment the South received from the Union Army while at the same time not mentioning anything about many people in the South treated an entire group of human beings that they considered their ‘property’…”

    I have not despaired “over the treatment the South received from the Union Army.” When such horrendous evils are committed — in this case, by the Union — guilt is much more likely to bring despair than suffering is. As to not mentioning slavery: the issue was not in the comments I was addressing. However, I did mention the suffering of slaves at the hands of Yankees, a subject you — so anti-slavery as you are — have never even bothered to study. Question: if you were to mature beyond the state of life that merely says “proof please” to serious and easily provable assertions about evil things that indeed happened, would this really change you at all? Would you be willing, in the light of the facts, to reconsider your views, to see the real moral tangle your mind is in when it defends or covers over these Union atrocities? Yes, IP, whether you realize it or not, you are defending the morally indefensible, and being anti-slavery, as I am too, will not make up for it.

    W Williams




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  24. w williams says:

    WR,

    Actually, no, I do not feel the same way. One feels more deeply about those “people who look, feel and think the same way” he does. This is only natural. But yes, I have sorrowed over the many innocent Iraqis killed in both Gulf wars. I have also helped a number of Iraqi refugees in this country. My opposition, from the beginning, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has involved me in numerous conflicts with other Americans, many of them friends. Likewise, my denunciation of the American and Allied fire bombing of German and Japanese cities as well as the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan during WWII has involved me in heated debates with others.

    I do not understand the source of your “certainty” in regards to my opposition to an intervention in Iran, but you happen to be right. Listen, WR, I am opposed to the above for the same reason I oppose and abhor Union atrocities in the South in the 1860s. Now, are YOU willing to apply the same standard to the Civil War that you seemingly do to the Iraqi wars? For if you are going to be consistent, you will have to oppose them all and for many of the same reasons. So, if Americans of the North could “justly” shell Southern cities, burn down whole towns, cities, farms and slave dwellings, rape women, imprison and execute civilians without trial, then how much easier it would be to do even worse to Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Serbia, et al. Yep, Lincoln’s victory all but destroyed the South and “saved” the Union and set the stage for the continuing approval of rank barbarism.

    W Williams




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  25. An Interested Party says:

    So much hot air, w williams, so much hot air…no amount of arguing will convince you to change your mind, so why bother? In the end, the fact is that the South lost the war, and no amount of revisionism on your part will change that, so get over it…




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  26. w williams says:

    IP,

    Can’t decide which illustrates your lazy cowardice the most: “proof please” or “so much hot air.” The latter is then followed by the amazing revelation to us Southerners that “the South lost the war.” Is that your wimpy-pooh exit strategy or escape? IP, hello, concentrate really hard now so that you might be able to grasp the simple point that we were not arguing who won the war; we were arguing about Union atrocities. You still awake? So are you saying that because the Union won the war, Yankee atrocities did not happen or do not matter? Could you explain that bit of “logic” to us readers? Should be. . . uh, well, sort of entertaining. . . .

    “[No] amount of arguing will convince you to change your mind, so why bother?” IP, you still with me? You need to mentally focus so that you might be able to grasp, at least the essentials, of the following: look at your first comment to me; it is empty of argument except for ad hominem. (At this point you might need a Latin dictionary; they are available in large print.) Now, take a careful look at my comments; yes, there is some ad hominem (couldn’t resist after reading your pabulum) but also arguments you “defeat” by calling them “hot air.”

    Ah, it’s tough, isn’t it, IP, to be goaded into actually thinking instead of sitting around with your “think-alike” friends swapping politically correct platitudes. Welcome to the real world. These days it’s rather small, but there is room for you, if you really want to start using your intellect. Welcome!

    W Williams




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