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:
“For example, the Virginia Ratification Statement says:
“...the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression...”” - BJ
So is it your position that under *some* circumstances Virginia has the right to unilaterally secede?
What about the claim that West Virginia is not a legitimate state, if Virginia was part of the USA when it was created?
I will say this: States Rights are an important concept. Somewhere along the line, the federal government decided that it was everybody's boss, and that is a shame.
My own thoughts, exactly.
It is a bit like the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s: There were good reasons for opposing both sides.
As a strong believer in the fundamental concepts of freedom and liberty, I find it difficult to engender warm and fuzzy feelings toward those who wished to continue the odious institution of slavery.
But I am equally repelled by the heavy-handed approach of the Unionists, who desired an overweening federal government...
In all wars there in a primary aggressor, and there is a loser of every war.
In the end, when it is the aggressor that loses the war, the sycophants for that loser will for generations attempt to whitewash the true actual history.
The fact is that that the Neo-Confederates are simply Revisionist Historians, equipped not with facts, but simply a catchy song and fading Stars & Bars mud flaps on an old Ford F-150 sitting on cinder blocks in front of a manufactured home.
That was a decision reached in 1790 during Washington's administration. I am not aware of any controversy about Washington DC being the national capital in 1860.
The national debt and its fair share.
Public debt in 1860 totaled $64.8 million (the annual budget of the federal government at the time was $63.1 million). That is a historically very small amount of debt to have for any nation. Source: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/history/1800.htm
I'm not aware of any controversy about the national debt at the time.
Nobody opened any gates, for the simple reason that there were no gates to open. There were essentially no restrictions on immigration at all until the late 19th century, and no real "gates" until the 20s.
BTW, congratulations. You've finally come up with a new justification for secession. I've never seen anybody claim the South seceded over immigration issues, and certainly never seen any evidence of such from the period.
The Know Nothing nativist party was a pretty big deal during the early 50s, but it was a national party, with pockets of support in both north and south.
As far as the unfair tariffs go, they were lower in 1860 than they had been for some time.
If they’re liberals, I don’t think they have the ability of critical thought. All they know is that they’re highly impressed with themselves, and they’re eager to communicate their high self-esteem to everyone else.
I expect more from conservatives from the north, although it seems my expectations might be a little too high.
And you can cite, dear teach', the law somewhere which says that just because a bunch of slaving-holding secessionists issues formal declarations of independence, that means government property in those states is suddenly, magically, not government property?
What Constitutional principle says the government is not required to defend its property or officials?
The fact of the matter is that neither outgoing President Buchanan nor incoming President Lincoln lifted one finger to prevent secessionists from issuing their declarations, or forming their new Confederate government.
All either did, before the Confederacy's declaration of war (May 6, 1861) was attempt to hold onto a tiny remnant of dozens of major, and hundreds of minor, Federal facilities in secessionist-ruled states.
And I am even more repelled by the heavy-handed approach of the confeds who preferred the art of war to the rule of law.
“the Declaration of Independence(no, you are right, it is not a current legal document)”
Maybe, maybe not. If you go to the following link:
then click on a blue arrow pointing to the right, you’ll find The Declaration Of Independence listed as part of the “Organic Laws of the United States”.
Keep clicking on those blue arrows and you’ll also find The Articles Of Confederation, The Ordinance of 1787 (The Northwest Ordinance), and The Constitution Of The United States Of America.
When the facts are not on their side, they must create myths, and if one must create a myth to justify their actions, “George Washington started the Civil War because of where he placed the national capitol” is at least creative.
Yep...this thread should be titled neo-yankee revisionism, on full display.
The Constitution specifically allows for the division of a state, if the state and Congress agree. Doesn't even require a super-majority, or, I believe, the President's signature.
In the case of WV, a "state government" of VA was set up in the small section of VA the Union controlled and it agreed to WV splitting off.
It was pretty much a legal fiction, and recognized as such at the time, but I believe the Supremes decided it was legal.
I would like to bring to this thread’s discussion an interesting, to me at least, set of ideas presented by DeprogramLiberalism on another thread.
Commentators on this thread (BroJoeK’s)have referenced the dangers of the Democrat Party (and Liberalism).
DeprogramLiberalism has put forth some ideas which might actually be useful in reaching the low information voters.
It is not ideas they are worried about, but their fears. We must answer their fears and reclaim them to being able to conceive of living bravely and freely again, if I understand what DeprogramLiberalism has said. Please consider checking out those ideas.
Usually there are two sides to a debate...
If there's ever a "new" Jim Crow, it will not be against "minorities," but against Christians and conservatives.
All in all, a fair analysis. One note on this statement:
“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.”
You are correct that confederates were released and pardoned after the civil war, for the most part. There were exceptions. One was Col. James Madison Bell, who was arrested and charged with treason for serving with the confederacy. He was tried at Ft. Smith, Arkansas in November of 1876, acted as his own attorney and was acquitted.
Now, this charge really didn’t come as a result of the war. It was all about property because Bell was a Cherokee Indian and the government was doing another land grab of Indian territory which Bell was fighting.
Here is the phrase that splains it all (and if you want to see palpable daily bigotry and racism, go to Philly, or Southie Boston):
People in the South cared for and worked with the blacks as individuals, but not as a group. People in the North loved them as a group (especially in the intellectual leftwing halls of Haaaahvaahd et al), but would have no part of them as individuals in real life and hate them actually. You might imagine that blacks in the South feel the same way, likely at one point fearing whites as a group while caring about and working with them as individuals. The division and suppositions are political tools (especially for the MSM socialism propaganda units which have affiliated ONLY whites with the Taxed Enough Already Party, TEA. Lot’s of black business owners have had enough of this crap and of taxes).
So keep focusing on the past and applying righteous indignation. Maintain the classic tactics of the Comintern to agitate racial divide, foment division and distract from the real agenda of obamaumao and company.
Meanwhile, slavery exists ALL over the New World Order. Check Brazil (obamaumao’s preferred petroleum consortium, but never US resources) built on centuries of slavery, which continues today in many forms.
The intent of our keepers in DC is that we ALL become slaves of the State.
As I have indicated previously, I remain quite ambivalent about the matter of the Civil War; neither side was entirely pure, in my opinion.
But I would be careful about attaching the adjective, "treasonous," to the South's insurrection. The word tends to carry very negative implications; but what is called "treason" (when the insurrection is unsuccessful) is usually termed "patriotism" whenever it is successful. (For instance, just compare the insurrection known, in America, as the American Revolution, with the one known as the Civil War.)
Oh, and successful insurrections are usually known as revolutions (e.g. the American Revolution; the French Revolution; the Russian Revolution; etc.), whereas unsucccessful ones are known as rebellions (e.g. Shay's Rebellion; the Whiskey Rebellion; etc.).
In other words, language that may appear, on the surface, to be quite neutral, is sometimes anything but that...