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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Doomed To Repeat?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Doomed To Repeat?

Frankly Speaking

Frank Gillispie

Philosopher George Santayana’s contention that “those who ignore history are
doomed to repeat it” has been often quoted. That it is applicable to a
large number of people and events in today’s society. Santayana had another
quote about history that is not as well known, but just as significant. I
will use that quote to close this column.

I use his quotes because a very significant part of American history has
been ignored, and it is in the process of being repeated. At the center of
the19th century, between 1850 and 1860, a group of radical northeastern
politicians seized control of our national legislature and set out to take
over the nation’s economy. The first thing the did was to create a massive
tax increase.

Actually, the tax was already in place. Most of the federal budget was
financed with a protective tariff designed to force their products on an
unwilling people who preferred the better quality goods from England. The
rural states, mostly in the South, were paying up to 80% of all federal
taxes. Meanwhile, a major portion of the funds were being spent to
supplement the same northeastern businessmen. The change in the tax code
forced on the nation by these radicals would have doubled the amount of
money being drained from the poor Southerners and given to the rich Yankees.

Recognizing the total devastation this new tax would have on their economy,
the Southern states chose to leave the Union and set up their own country.
The North realized that this move would greatly interfere with their money
making schemes chose to launch a massive war to force the southern states
back into the union. Over 600,000 soldiers on both sides died in that
conflict. Another 50,000 civilians, women, children and elderly men, died
in the south due to the atrocities committed by Union generals.

So what about today? We have another group of left wing elitist with their
roots deep in the same northeastern culture who are trying, and succeeding
in taking over congress. And already we are hearing calls for more taxes
and more government spending. And who are encouraging them? The
descendents of those robber barons who think they can earn massive profits
from a high taxing, big spending government.

Now, that huge tax increase was the final straw that led the south to rebel.
But when the instigators of this unfair tax program saw the massive
bloodshed and economic devastation their plans were producing the had to
find something other than their plans to blame it on. So after over a year
of denying that slavery had anything to do with the war, they decided to use
that sad situation to excuse their destructive actions. Today, almost
anyone you ask about the causes of the War for Southern Independence will
only list Slavery. They have never heard of the Morrell Tax! Because of
our ignorance of history, we are letting them get away with it again. And I
fear that our nation will once again suffer drastic damage because of it.

Now here is the second Santayana quote I promised you. Santayana also called
history a "pack of lies" told by "people who weren’t there." He certainly
got that right.


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