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Ten Neo-Confederate Myths
March 9, 2013 | vanity

Posted on 03/10/2013 8:19:44 AM PDT by BroJoeK

Ten Neo-Confederate Myths (+one)

  1. "Secession was not all about slavery."

    In fact, a study of the earliest secessionists documents shows, when they bother to give reasons at all, their only major concern was to protect the institution of slavery.
    For example, four seceding states issued "Declarations of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify Secession from the Federal Union".
    These documents use words like "slavery" and "institution" over 100 times, words like "tax" and "tariff" only once (re: a tax on slaves), "usurpation" once (re: slavery in territories), "oppression" once (re: potential future restrictions on slavery).

    So secession wasn't just all about slavery, it was only about slavery.

  2. "Secession had something to do with 'Big Government' in Washington exceeding its Constitutional limits."

    In fact, secessionists biggest real complaint was that Washington was not doing enough to enforce fugitive slave laws in Northern states.
    Mississippi's Declaration is instructive since it begins by explaining why slavery is so important:

    It goes on to complain that the Federal Government is not enforcing its own Fugitive Slave laws, saying that anti-slavery feeling:

    In fact, the Compromise of 1850 shifted responsibility for enforcing Fugitive Slave laws from northern states to the Federal Government, so this complaint amounts to a declaration that Washington is not powerful enough.

  3. "A 'right of secession' is guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution."

    In fact, no where in the Founders' literature is the 10th Amendment referenced as justifying unilateral, unapproved secession "at pleasure".
    Instead, secession (or "disunion") is always seen as a last resort, requiring mutual consent or material usurpations and oppression.
    For example, the Virginia Ratification Statement says:

    James Madison explained it this way:

  4. "In 1860, Abraham Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery in the South."

    In fact, the 1860 Republican platform only called for restricting slavery from territories where it did not already exist.
    And Lincoln repeatedly said he would not threaten slavery in states where it was already legal.

  5. "Abraham Lincoln refused to allow slave-states to leave the Union in peace."

    In fact, neither out-going President Buchanan nor incoming President Lincoln did anything to stop secessionists from declaring independence and forming a new Confederacy.
    And Buchanan did nothing to stop secessionists from unlawfully seizing Federal properties or threatening and shooting at Federal officials.
    Nor did Lincoln, until after the Confederacy started war at Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) and then formally declared war on the United States, May 6, 1861.

  6. "Lincoln started war by invading the South."

    In fact, no Confederate soldier was killed by any Union force, and no Confederate state was "invaded" by any Union army until after secessionists started war at Fort Sumter and formally declared war on May 6, 1861.
    The first Confederate soldier was not killed directly in battle until June 10, 1861.

  7. "The Confederacy did not threaten or attack the Union --
    the South just wanted to be left alone."

    In fact, from Day One, Confederacy was an assault on the United States, and did many things to provoke and start, then formally declared war on the United States.

    From Day One secessionists began to unlawfully seize dozens of Federal properties (i.e., forts, armories, ships, arsenals, mints, etc.), often even before they formally declared secession.
    At the same time, they illegally threatened, imprisoned and fired on Federal officials -- for example, the ship Star of the West attempting to resupply Fort Sumter in January 1861 -- then launched a major assault to force Sumter's surrender, while offering military support for secessionist forces in a Union state (Missouri) .
    And all of that was before formally declaring war on the United States.

    After declaring war, the Confederacy sent forces into every Union state near the Confederacy, and some well beyond.
    Invaded Union states & territories included:


    In addition, small Confederate forces operated in California, Colorado and even briefly invaded Vermont from Canada.
    You could also add an invasion of Illinois planned by Confederate President Davis in January 1862, but made impossible by US Grant's victories at Forts Henry and Donaldson.

    In every state or territory outside the Confederacy proper, Confederate forces both "lived off the land" and attempted to "requisition" supplies to support Confederate forces at home.

    Secessionists also assaulted the United states by claiming possession of several Union states and territories which had never, or could never, in any form vote to seceed.
    So bottom line: the Confederacy threatened every Union state and territory it could reach.

  8. "The Union murdered, raped and pillaged civilians throughout the South."

    In fact, there are remarkably few records of civilians murdered or raped by either side, certainly as compared to other wars in history.
    But "pillaging" is a different subject, and both sides did it -- at least to some degree.
    The Union army was generally self-sufficient, well supplied from its own rail-heads, and seldom in need to "live off the land."
    In four years of war, the best known exceptions are Grant at Vicksburg and Sherman's "march to the sea".
    In both cases, their actions were crucial to victory.

    By contrast, Confederate armies were forced to "live off the land" both at home and abroad.
    Yes, inside the Confederacy itself, armies "paid" for their "requisitions" with nearly worthless money, but once they marched into Union states and territories, their money was absolutely worthless, and so regardless of what they called it, their "requisitions" were no better than pillaging.
    Perhaps the most famous example of Confederate pillaging, it's often said, cost RE Lee victory at the Battle of Gettysburg: while Lee's "eyes and ears" -- J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry -- was out pillaging desperately needed supplies in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Lee was partially blind to Union movements and strengths.

  9. "There was no treason in anything the south did."

    In fact, only one crime is defined in the US Constitution, and that is "treason".
    The Constitution's definition of "treason" could not be simpler and clearer:

    The Constitution also provides for Federal actions against "rebellion", "insurrection", "domestic violence", "invasion" declared war and treason.
    So Pro-Confederate arguments that "there was no treason" depend first of all on the legality of secession.
    If their secession was lawful, then there was no "treason", except of course among those citizens of Union states (i.e., Maryland, Kentucky & Missouri) which "adhered to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort".
    But the bottom line is this: in previous cases -- i.e., the Whiskey Rebellion -- once rebellion was defeated, rebels were all released or pardoned by the President of the United States.
    And that pattern, first established by President Washington, was followed under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.

  10. "If you oppose slave-holders' secession declarations in 1860, then you're just another statist liberal."

    In fact, lawful secession by mutual consent could be 100% constitutional, if representatives submitted and passed such a bill in Congress, signed by the President.
    Alternatively, states could bring suit in the United States Supreme Court for a material breach of contract and have the Federal government declared an "oppressive" or "usurping" power justifying secession.

    But Deep-South slave-holders' unilateral, unapproved declarations of secession, without any material breach of contract issues, followed by insurrection and a declaration of war on the United States -- these our Founders clearly understood were acts of rebellion and treason -- which the Constitution was designed to defeat.

    That leads to the larger question of whether our Pro-Confederates actually respect the Constitution as it was intended or, do they really wish for a return to those far looser, less binding -- you might even say, 1960s style "free love" marriage contract -- for which their union was named: the Articles of Confederation?

    But consider: the Confederacy's constitution was basically a carbon copy of the US Constitution, emphasizing rights of holders of human "property".
    So there's no evidence that Confederate leaders were in any way more tolerant -- or "free love" advocates -- regarding secession from the Confederacy than any Union loyalist.

    Then what, precisely, does the allegation of "statism" mean?
    The truth is, in this context, it's simply one more spurious insult, and means nothing more than, "I don't like you because you won't agree with me."
    Poor baby... ;-)

Plus, one "bonus" myth:



TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: 1quarterlyfr; 2civilwardebate; abrahamlincoln; bunk; cherrypicking; civilwar; confederacy; decorationday; dixie; godsgravesglyphs; kkk; klan; memorialday; myths; thecivilwar; top10
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To: Teacher317
No one, including the author from what I can tell, is asserting that the Union "do nothing to stop independence" after the illegal secession. It was Lincoln's hope that cooler heads would prevail and the errant states return to the fold.

The fire-eaters however had only war on their minds.

Why wouldn't the Union defend those forts, etc? After all they were the property of the federal US government.

41 posted on 03/10/2013 9:10:46 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Teacher317

Because The U.S. did not recognize the independence of S. Carolina and thus had no obligation to just leave federal forts. Yeah, some group met in Charleston and just said “see ya”, but that is not “independence” no more than what happened in Philadelphia in 1776.

The feds did not stop these people from declaring whatever they wanted. But it didn’t mean they had to play along.


42 posted on 03/10/2013 9:10:55 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: BroJoeK

Hugo Chavez was a great humanitarian and saviour of the Venezuelan people. He died leaving a country that was greatly equalized with opportunity for all.

IF you want to know the truth about something—NEVER ask a twit professor of scatology masquerading as history. The people who actually were there, their families, the stakeholders.

Let’s take the logical conclusions from these “results”, and fast forward into the 1900’s and to today. You have buttinsky Progressive BS from the get go. And obamaumao is Abe Lincoln. Got news— he suuuure is. Statists of the World, Unite.


43 posted on 03/10/2013 9:12:42 AM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: BroJoeK

I generally agree with the thrust and tone of this post, but as far as pillaging goes, even Lee’s worst critics admit his army never caused any unnecessary harm or damage and never took more than they could use. They were driven by necessity, not wantonness. Sherman intended to inflict harm and damage to bring the Confederacy to its knees. The Confederate armies avoided contact with the Union forces as much as possible after Gettysburg, they were trying to wear down resolve in the North. Sherman and Grant’s strategy was to force the Confederate armies to confront them or face ruin. In the end they got both.


44 posted on 03/10/2013 9:16:40 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (What word begins with "O" and ends in economic collapse?)
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To: Dysart

The Threadnaught has cleared the harbor. Full steam ahead.


45 posted on 03/10/2013 9:19:33 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: WXRGina

Racism has always been practiced more intensely in liberal states. Maintaining rigid welfare ghettos, restricting economic opportunity to minorities, and installing race baiting politicians are common practices in liberal northern states.


46 posted on 03/10/2013 9:21:38 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (Better the devil we can destroy than the Judas we must tolerate.)
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To: Texas Fossil

Thank You! The Eyes of Texas. “The gallant Hood of Texas played Hell in Tennessee”


47 posted on 03/10/2013 9:26:17 AM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: rockrr
No one, including the author from what I can tell, is asserting that the Union "do nothing to stop independence"

Do you not read? I copied the quote from the article above. I'll post it again, just to help you out...

In fact, neither out-going President Buchanan nor incoming President Lincoln did anything to stop secessionists from declaring independence and forming a new Confederacy

Look up above. It's Reason #5 up there, and incorporated into 2 other Reasons.

48 posted on 03/10/2013 9:27:30 AM PDT by Teacher317 ('Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

‘Minority’ professional athletes have frequently named Boston, ground zero for the liberalism bomb destroying America, as the most racist city they visit.


49 posted on 03/10/2013 9:28:07 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: stainlessbanner
stainlessbanner: "Yankee defenders here used to be so much smarter.
I’ve tangled with the best ones and this post is amateur."

That's odd, I was just going to say the same about our Pro-Confederate posters these days... ;-)

50 posted on 03/10/2013 9:30:35 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: Louis Foxwell
Racism has always been practiced more intensely in liberal states. Maintaining rigid welfare ghettos, restricting economic opportunity to minorities, and installing race baiting politicians are common practices in liberal northern states.

Sooooo, ironic, isn't it?

51 posted on 03/10/2013 9:31:58 AM PDT by WXRGina (The Founding Fathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: Teacher317

Of course I read - but do you think? Would you feeeeeeeeeeel better if Lincoln had immediately set out to crush the treasonous rebellion instead of first attempting peaceful solutions?


52 posted on 03/10/2013 9:33:33 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: WXRGina; Louis Foxwell

I know - right? Like all those Jim Crow laws that the north passed...oh wait.


53 posted on 03/10/2013 9:35:32 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: rockrr
I know - right? Like all those Jim Crow laws that the north passed...oh wait.

Again, we are talking about today. Today. Not decades ago, when racist Democrats passed such laws that are now history. History.

54 posted on 03/10/2013 9:37:47 AM PDT by WXRGina (The Founding Fathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

State rights like Jim Crow?

We have Federal rights, not state rights. A state cannot ban guns for instance.


55 posted on 03/10/2013 9:38:05 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: WXRGina

Jim Crow can come back if we allow states to take away rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


56 posted on 03/10/2013 9:40:17 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: BroJoeK

Even if all of this is true — and for the most part, it’s just revisionist bunk — the next Civil War WILL be about states’ rights. And if it’s about slavery, it will be about American citizens refusing to become slaves.


57 posted on 03/10/2013 9:40:20 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Vaquero

Many Americans simply would not exist if the country had not suffered the tragic irreplaceable genetic losses between 1861-1865. Over 600,00 killed outright and probably an equal number so damaged as never to procreate again. Many of the lineal descendants of the original Americans were obliterated. The country was forced to open the immigration gates to Eastern and Southern Europeans to restock and provide the manpower necessary for the industrial revolution. The irony is that today, in the Northeastern states the descendants of those immigrants clearly outnumber and dominate the descendants of those who served in the Civil War and had those passionate arguments. Sic transit omnia.


58 posted on 03/10/2013 9:40:55 AM PDT by allendale
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To: CatherineofAragon
You have to wonder why Yankees hold the South in such comtempt, yet continue to flood down here like locusts

I've often wonder about that! They come here because they like it better, the people are so nice... then, the first thing they do is they try to tell us how we should do things, how they did it up North. Don't they realize they are trying to turn the South into exactly the same quagmire they are escaping?

59 posted on 03/10/2013 9:43:09 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: ConradofMontferrat
ConradoMontferrat: "In this “list”, I don’t see where the UNFAIR TARIFFS or the opening of the flood gates to immigrants in the 1830’s were mentioned."

In item #1 above, I posted a link to the "Declarations of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify Secession from the Federal Union".

If you will read those, or even do a quick word search, you'll find that neither tariffs nor immigration are even mentioned, much less treated as major items of complaint.

ConradoMontrerrat: "Northern industries found out that immigrants were cheaper than slaves, so they opened up the flood gates and let bunches in."

In fact, seeds for the death of slavery first began when poorer northern & western voters realized that slaves could be trained to do their work and take away their jobs -- jobs which, then as now, were the highest paying in the world.
This is why by 1860, they insisted there must be no further expansion of slavery into states or territories which didn't want it.

60 posted on 03/10/2013 9:43:40 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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