Tuesday, 30 June 2015

History is Not a Slogan, Civil War and Flag "Controversy" (It was Not About Slavery)


Why bother with the complexity of history when a offensive mythology based on the victor's war propaganda can take its place? The US put a naval blockade on its own states [before the war started] to prevent them from avoiding the tariffs and forcing them to buy internally. It wasn't about slavery.



I am not an expert on this subject but it seems that those saying that US Civil War came about because of a difference over slavery are wrong. My understanding, thus far, is that slavery was not an issue at the start of the conflict. Instances that mention slavery in Sucessionist Declarations appear to be cherry picked in the current debate whereas such a position at the time was a commonly accepted 'right'. Furthermore five slave states fought on the side of the North, and were not included in the Emancipation Act, while Lincoln himself was a white supremacist - and he admitted that his aim was to keep the United States together, with or without slavery. The war came about because of taxation (tariffs) without representation.

Related Info:

The Confederate Constitution

Special interests have long used the democratic political process to produce legislation for their own private benefit, and the U.S. Constitution contains flaws that make this easier. One attempt to remedy these flaws was the Confederate Constitution.

The Confederate Constitutional Convention opened in February 1861. Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina, called the "Father of Secession" for initiating his state's breakoff from the union, thought that the U.S. model was the best. The other 50 delegates agreed. He nominated Howell Cobb, a Georgia attorney and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to preside over the meeting, which was completed by March I 1, 1861. By the end of that year, 13 states had ratified the new Constitution.

In broad outline, the Confederate Constitution is an amended U.S. Constitution. Even on slavery, there is little difference. Whereas the U.S. Constitution ended the importation of slaves after 1808, the Confederate Constitution simply forbade it. Both constitutions allowed slave ownership, of course.

In fact, slavery only became a constitutional issue after the war had begun. In his 1861 inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said, "Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican administration their property [is] to be endangered.... I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.... I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclina6on to do so."

But the differences in the documents, small as they are, are extremely important. The people who wrote the Southern Constitution had lived under the federal one. They knew its strengths, which they tried to copy, and its weaknesses, which they tried to eliminate.

One grave weakness in the U.S. Constitution is the "general welfare" clause, which the Confederate Constitution eliminated.

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."

The Confederate Constitution gave Congress the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, for revenue necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States..."

The Southern drafters thought the general welfare clause was an open door for any type of government intervention. They were, of course, right.

Immediately following that clause in the Confederate Constitution is a clause that has no parallel in the U.S. Constitution. It affirms strong support for free trade and opposition to protectionism: "but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importation from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry."

The use of tariffs to shelter domestic industries from foreign competition had been an important issue since tariffs were first adopted in 1816. Southern states had borne heavy costs since tariffs protected northern manufacturing at the expense of Southern imports. The South exported agricultural commodities and imported almost all the goods it consumed, either from abroad or from Northern states. Tariffs drastically raised the cost of goods in the Southern states, while most of the tariff revenue was spent in the North.
https://mises.org/library/confederate-constitution

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 30th, 2015.]

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