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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: What the War Was and Was Not About

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What the War Was and Was Not About

Well, Leonard Pitts, there you go again. I'm not sure why it is so difficult for that man to get anything right. After reading his article that appeared in this paper on Monday, April 11, I was reminded of that statement oft-repeated by the wonderful humorist/philosopher Will Rogers that the real problem in America "is not what people don't know" but, rather, "what they know that just ain't so".

In his latest screed, what Pitts "know(s) that just ain't so" is that the sole reason the Southern states seceded was to preserve the institution of slavery. Allow me to present an inconvenient truth of history that shatters this myth.

It is likely that Pitts is totally unaware of the Corwin Amendment. I dare say that most reading this article are likewise unaware of the "original 13th Amendment" since politically-correct professors, historians, journalists, etc. don't like to discuss it or even acknowledge it.

On December 4, 1860 the U.S. House of Representatives, at the request of President James Buchanan, created a special committee to develop a compromise which would, hopefully, prevent the Southern states from seceding. The federal government needed the Southern states since these states were supplying approximately 75% of all federal revenues.

The committee drafted a proposed constitutional amendment that would have prohibited any interference with slavery where it already existed and would also prohibit any future amendment from touching that institution.

The proposal was sponsored by Congressman Thomas Corwin of Ohio in the House and in the Senate by Senator William Seward of New York. The text of the proposed constitutional amendment is as follows:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will
authorize or give to Congress the Power to abolish or interfere,
within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including
that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State."

This amendment passed the House by a vote of 133 to 65 and the Senate by a vote of 24 to 12 - both overwhelming. The House vote was on February 28, 1861 and the Senate vote on March 2, 1861. What's the significance of these dates? By the time these votes were taken, seven Deep South states had already seceded from the Union so the votes for passage were made by northern and border states politicians.

These politicians thought that by protecting slavery in perpetuity in the Constitution that the Southern states would rejoin the Union. What these politicians did not understand was that the list of grievances the South had against the North was long and primarily fiscal and the primary desire of the South was to be free and independent of any political bands connecting them to the North (shades of the Declaration of Independence).

Not a single Southern state opted to rejoin the Union. Surely if slavery was the sole motivation for the South, as Pitts and others contend, then the Southern states would quickly have rejoined the Union. Both Charles Dickens and Karl Marx understood this. Each covered the War as a correspondent for European publications. Dickens wrote: " Union means so many millions a year lost to the South, secession means the same millions to the North...The quarrel between the North and the South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel." Marx, a strong supporter of Lincoln, wrote:" The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery and, in fact, turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty."

Abraham Lincoln, in his inaugural address on March 4, expressed his support for the Corwin Amendment. He said: " I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution...has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service...holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."

How about that! Seems Old Abe had no problem with slavery being in perpetuity if the Southern states would just come back into the Union and bring their revenues. Folks, with government it is always about power, money and territory.

Pitts, of course, is not the only one touting the assertion that the War was only about slavery. In this paper there have been at least three previous articles (Chuck Hobbs, Gerald Ensley and Pitts, again) making the same dubious claim and nationally all the leftist and progressives are repeating the line incessantly and will likely throughout the four-year commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Great War of 1861-65. It's eerily Goebbelsesque to observe this phenomenon.

I do not have the space to counter other erroneous statements by Pitts (he made two about Nathan Bedford Forrest) but I will certainly challenge his assertion that the Confederates were traitors. It is not the policy of the U.S. Military or government to name major military installations for traitors. Pitts is obviously unaware that Fort Hood, Fort Polk, Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, Fort Hill, Fort Lee and others are all names for Confederate generals. Fort Rucker is even named for a Confederate colonel. By the way, Pitts, there is no Fort Benedict Arnold anywhere to be found.

I just don't understand why Pitts has such a hard time getting anything right.

P.S. There will likely be at least two leftist professors who will write letters-to-the-editor attempting to discredit what I have written. I encourage you, readers, to do your own research. It's all there.

Bob Hurst
Tallahassee, FL


Anonymous f. d. said...

a man who insulted the death
of two young people , should
take care of his soul .

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I commend you for telling it like it is, the truth and nothing but the truth! Even though I was born in New Jersey I always believed that the South was never the evil it was taught to us in school. Lincoln sent troops into his own country not the South into the North. 620,00 mem lost their lives because of his ignorance--yes I said it-he was; allowing Yankee greed to dominate his actions. God Bless all those who gave their Last Full Measure for a cause that will on forever!!

south into the North

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you have made the same mistake about the Karl Marx reference of the war being a tariff war. That is not his comment but the comment of the English papers and Marx in his letter is saying that it is not about tariffs, but slavery.

You may want to read this....

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure whatever Marx may or may not have said;He had his own motives for saying it.
You did fail to mention that Marx was a very enthusiastic supporter of the Lincoln regime albeit, from a distance.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the civil war's primary
cause was slavery . the civil
rights movement was about black
men getting white women .

3:44 PM  

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