Skip to comments.Ten Neo-Confederate Myths
Posted on 03/10/2013 8:19:44 AM PDT by BroJoeK
Ten Neo-Confederate Myths (+one)
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.
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.
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:
"It is the nature & essence of a compact that it is equally obligatory on the parties to it, and of course that no one of them can be liberated therefrom without the consent of the others, or such a violation or abuse of it by the others, as will amount to a dissolution of the compact.
Applying this view of the subject to a single community, it results, that the compact being between the individuals composing it, no individual or set of individuals can at pleasure, break off and set up for themselves, without such a violation of the compact as absolves them from its obligations."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
No, no, no way...
Yes, FDR could be the O-man's political daddy, and his political mother those 1960s radicals like, well, his mother.
And one of his grandparents is well known: his intellectual maternal grandpa is Karl Marx.
But the other grandpa is certainly not Lincoln.
Rather, it is Lincoln's evil doppelganger, the other tall thin President born in Kentucky: Jefferson Davis.
How can that be?
Well, here's my list -- both Obama and Davis are/were:
The South's embrace of big government dates back to FDR and the New Deal.
Not only do neo blue bellies rewrite 19th century history, they deny current facts. Wow you guys are sick.
Your inbred regional bigotry is noted.
Which region of the USA is the most conservative?
I dare say 90% would answer 'B'.
Wrong on all counts, FRiend.
The objective fact is that rural counties, or rural congressional districts, in the South are no more or less conservative than rural areas anywhere else, including such Peoples' Republics as New York and California.
Indeed, as other posters have pointed out here: many conservatives live in big cities, simply too few to control their governments.
More to the point: if you study rankings in Congress from most Conservative to most Liberal, you'll see that as many conservative leaders come from outside the South as not.
For example, in it's most recent rankings the National Journal (strange, but I can't find ACU's rankings) lists the six most conservative Congressmen as two from Arizona, one from Colorado and three from Texas.
The Senate's most conservative member comes from Oklahoma.
So the truth of the matter is, while Southerners can today legitimately claim to be as conservative as anyone else, they cannot seriously pretend to be more conservative than every other region.
Perhaps I can summarize it this way: while the South is welcomed as valuable members of our Conservative team, the South is not automatically the coach, or even, necessarily the quarterback.
Ouch! I’m crushed! Lately even cva has been turning in a better effort than you. So sad to see it when someone has lost their edge.
We’re all pulling for ya ;-)
Calling Lincoln "fascist" is just as ludicrous as calling, say, George Washington a "fascist".
Both loved their country, neither was a "fascist".
First of all, the political word "fascism" wasn't even invented until the First World War and Mussolini's party in Italy, so nobody before that could necessarily match Mussolini's definition.
Second, fascists all claimed to be socialists -- i.e., National Socialists -- which in no way describes George Washington or Lincoln.
Third, like Washington's, Lincoln's actions merely defeated a military power that not only provoked and started war against the United States, but in the Confederacy's case, formally declared war on the United States.
So there's nothing "fascist" about defeating a declared enemy of the United States.
“Lincoln was a fascist in my opinion. Maybe the first fascist.”
I don’t disagree with you on that, but I think modern research is starting to reflect that Lincoln was likely a bi-polar closet queer.
There is your third time posting "that word", which by common understanding means you have now three-times admitted to losing the argument, and so resort to nothing but name-calling.
But more to your point: in the immortal words of John Adams and Ronald Reagan:
So whatever facts we learned in school, they are still facts, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.
Yes, of course, there may well be more facts, which would change the picture considerably, but those have to be carefully establish.
And your repeated use of "that word" does not change any facts, FRiend. ;-)
central_va: "Some as adults, study original sources and rise above it, some don't."
Sorry, but "original sources" don't support Neo-Confederate revisionists' "history", since it is only a collection of myths intended to salve "wounded pride" in descendants of the losing side.
Sorry, I let you get away with a ludicrous post trying to equate your views to Madison's.
You couldn't be more wrong.
Lee'sGhost: "Even Federalist Madison opined that there was/is an 'extraconstitutional right to revolt against conditions of intolerable oppression; but if the case cannot be made (that such conditions exist), then he rejected secessionas a violation of the Constitution."
Madison's view is exactly my own, and yours exactly the opposite.
Lee'sGhost: "The only way Comrade Brojoe can square with his beliefs is to have us believe that the oppression being brought upon the south was of the tolerable type."
When South Carolina first declared secession, in December 1860, there was not only no "tolerable type" oppression, there was no oppression -- none, zero, zip, nada.
So South Carolina and every other Deep South state declared secession, in Madison's term: "at pleasure", meaning not for some constitutionally justifiable reason.
Then those states immediately committed many acts of rebellion, insurrection and "domestic violence" before starting outright war by assaulting Fort Sumter, in April 1861.
On May 6, 1861 the Confederacy formally declared war on the United States.
But the first Confederate soldier killed directly in battle with a Union force came on June 10, 1861.
Bottom line: while the Confederacy declared secession "at pleasure" thus violating our Founders Original Intent, the Union delayed responding to the Confederacy's many acts of rebellion or war until all possibility of peace was gone.
Better put some ice on that lip, comrade.
I'll take that to mean you have no serious response, and concede my points.
Modern research is a bit high-falutin' a term for it.
"Anti-Lincoln propaganda" might be more accurate.
The fact is that Lincoln was as much a loyal family-man as anyone of his time, or of ours for that matter.
As for allegations of "bi-polar", the evidence shows that when times were worst, Lincoln obviously felt bad.
When events improved, so did Lincoln's outlook.
So that's not "bi-polar", that's being a normal human being.
Finally, the smartest, most experienced man in Lincoln's cabinet was William Seward, Secretary of State.
After an initial rough go, where Seward's views clashed with Lincoln's, Seward reported to friends that Lincoln was "the best among us".
Seward was correct, the rest is nonsense.
I see that the Lost Cause Losers’s 3rd string have arrived to the discussion ;-)
Most posters here concede the point that Reconstruction was not as nice to the South as it should have been, and so there has been virtually no debate on it -- not that I've seen.
But we should note that after Lincoln's assassination, East Tennessean Democrat Andrew Johnson became president, and did his best to protect the South from Radical Republicans' hopes for vengeance.
That was behind their efforts to impeach Johnson and remove him from office.
The question is whether Lincoln woulda, coulda been "kinder and gentler" to the South than Johnson was?
Some historians think so, but maybe the point can be debated?
LOL. There is not much of a discussion to be made here. It is the same old yanqui propaganda repeated over and over, and used to justify the wayward nature of the beast Lincoln helped create.
The other question is whether, anywhere in world history, there’s ever been a rebellious region that waged war against the government that’s ever been treated as well in defeat as the south was.
Again, you are wrong. That is my very serious response and concede only that you are a neo-comm.
Guess that’s all takes to beat the neo-comm’s turd string.
I don't think anyone in their right mind would include Virginia in that description.
All would say South or Central-West.
Based on the last 80 years or so, the most consistently conservative area of the country starts in Oklahoma, goes north through Kansas and Nebraska and the Dakotas, takes a left and continues through Montana and Idaho, then goes south to Utah and Wyoming. The south are recent converts by comparison.