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Was the Civil War about slavery?

Terry Garlock's picture

This year marks the 150th anniversary of America’s Civil War, and the occasion is raising the perennial argument over whether that war was about slavery or state’s rights. While the history and politics of slavery in America would fill a long bookshelf, the debate is an occasion to look past the simplicity of pop history to a few highlights that illuminate some warts and wrinkles in our country’s beginnings.

Long before slavery spread to North America, the practice had taken deep root in the Caribbean and what we now call Central and South America, brought by European colonists along with their more advanced civilization, Christianity and a few virulent diseases.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting by comparison the natives were pure. All over the world, humans have been killing and enslaving each other since long before any written history, with the spoils going to the strongest. Our own native Americans practiced a rich variety of brutality and slavery, though a few tribes like the Cherokee Nation were extraordinarily civilized, making our lousy treatment of them particularly egregious.

As colonies in North America became established, the British soon recognized the profit potential in slavery for labor-intensive agriculture. It seems the smell of gold can nudge our susceptible minds to rationalize almost anything, and the crop-intensive southern colonies soon built a slave-based economy. A lot of that money found its way back to England, and some would use the moral excuse that the system of slavery was forced on them by the king.

In 1776 when the colonies were struggling against the chokehold of the British, they finally broached the subject of independence. While they debated in the Philadelphia Continental Congress meetings, the elephant in the room nobody wished to mention was slavery.

The colonies had never before acted in concert on anything, and leading spokesmen knew they had a chance to unite to fight for independence, or they could fight each other over slavery, but that either choice precluded the other. Southern colonies would tolerate no intrusion into the slavery base of their economy. Northern colonies held a rather convenient morally dim view on slavery since their pocketbook was not affected, but they soon learned they had to postpone dealing with the abomination of slavery in order to gain the cooperation of southern colonies.

The first meetings did not even consider the treasonous idea of independence. When John Adams of Massachusetts sensed the Congress shifting towards his notion of independence, he made a strategic offer to form a committee to draft a declaration while negotiations continued. Adams persuaded Thomas Jefferson to draft the statement since Jefferson was a persuasive writer.

Jefferson was from Virginia, one of the southern slave colonies and the most populous by far. Jefferson’s paradox was that he owned hundreds of slaves to work his plantation while he was philosophically opposed to the slavery system, and in his list of grievances against the king he inserted the following language into his draft, surely knowing the firestorm of division it would create:.

“... Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them, thus paying off former crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another ...”

The drafting committee, perhaps Adams or Franklin, struck this slavery language out of the Declaration of Independence, replacing it with the following vague reference to the King’s promise of freedom to slaves in the colonies who would join the British to fight their masters: “... He has excited domestic Insurrections among us; ...”

And thus began what I would call a conspiracy of silence on the subject of slavery in America. Those deeply involved in politics kept this festering division under wraps, America’s version of a crazy aunt locked in an attic, not to be discussed openly, the subject of whispers in dark corners to preserve a fragile union.

Thomas Jefferson may have been bold in drafting his indictment of the British on the subject of slavery, possibly thinking that would absolve him and other slave owners, but the truth is not quite so tidy. While Jefferson accomplished many notable things in his life, the subject of slavery was not one to give him any cause of pride.

For such a powerful and influential writer, he was remarkably silent on slavery even while others railed against the inhumanity and injustice of the system. In the decades following the Revolution, the population of freed slaves in Virginia grew rapidly as one after another slave owner freed their slaves as a matter of conscience, or included such freedom at their death by their will. But while some of his fellow Virginians were setting their slaves free, Jefferson never did.

When the war ended with America’s independence in 1781, the country operated under Articles of Confederation until the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 to shape the form of our government. At last, America’s great thinkers were gathering to decide how we would govern ourselves, and surely the slavery issue would be finally settled, wouldn’t it?

In the Pennsylvania State House, over three months the representatives of the former colonies, now states, worked and argued, forming factions to support this or oppose that. The southern states were most interested in preserving their status quo on slavery while large and small states were at each others’ throats over the issue of apportionment and how votes in Congress would be counted.

As a prime example of Congress’ noxious deal-making specialty, northern states struck a bargain with southern states to extend the slave trade for 20 years in exchange for making federal regulation of commerce a mere majority vote in Congress instead of requiring a two-thirds majority. It seems that northern morality, just as southern morality, had its price.

The infamous Constitutional clause (Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3) counting slaves as three-fifths of a person is often derided as a gross example of racism, but that over-simplified view is mistaken even though the truth is not much better.

The fraction was a negotiated deal on enumeration to determine how taxes were distributed and how many representatives a state would have. Northern states didn’t want slaves counted at all, while southern slave states wanted slaves counted as a full person. Three-fifths was the compromise, the best deal either side could strike.

And so America’s Constitution was formed with nary an honorable attempt to get rid of slavery. While the new federal government kicked the slavery can down the road, the issue was bubbling at the state level and some states passed their own abolition laws.

By the time the first shot of the Civil War was fired in 1861, there had been ongoing struggles over slavery and compromises on the spread of slavery to western territories. Maybe the war and its bloodbath were inevitable, made necessary by deep, unresolved differences that grew into resentment, suspicion and suppressed anger just below the surface and ready to blow at the slightest provocation.

Does President Abraham Lincoln deserve the accolades he still receives for freeing the slaves in the Emancipation Proclamation? He said, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. ...”

Lincoln held the proclamation in abeyance as he waited impatiently for a Union victory on the battlefield to make the announcement, apparently to maximize political effect.

Furthermore, it was announced in September 1862, as a provision that would go into effect only for those Confederate states who had not returned to the Union by the following January. No Confederate state complied, and when Emancipation was announced on Jan. 1, 1863, it was an order to free 3 million slaves in the Confederate states where the Union held no power to enforce it, and it did not free the nearly 1 million slaves in Union states.

Secretary of State William Seward said of this absurdity, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

Lincoln, a Republican, angered northern Democrats with this proclamation as they favored ending the war by accepting slavery. Both parties have committed far too many offenses since that time for either to claim any virtue on the matter.

Personally, I think Lincoln was a great man and a fine President, albeit with many flaws, illustrating our tendency to overlook facts to simplify history and beatify our favorite historical figures.

Was the Civil War about slavery? Well, sure it was, but it was also about the absolute unwillingness of some states to bend to the will of outsiders, and it was about the cowardice of Congress to deal with tough issues, to sweep problems under the rug, to postpone controversy so someone else might handle it in the future, to trade away the most profound principles for a little mutual back-scratching.

Sound familiar?

[Terry Garlock lives in Peachtree City and occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

Comments

PTC Observer's picture

" if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. ...”

Lincoln did exactly what he said he would do, the Emancipation Proclamation was a military document.

The Constitution was flawed from the beginning on slavery, it took a war to correct that flaw. During and following the war the Republicians then went wild with centralized governmental power resulting in massive corruption that has never stopped.

mudcat's picture

Slavery was the sole reason that the South had a booming economy and was able to raise enough money to mount a war against the union. Not really a nice fact, but certainly a fact.

PTC Observer's picture

I don't know about that, but it certainly was the central reason.

Let's not forget the poor white immigrants who came here as indentured servants to work their way to freedom. They were not freed with the slaves. The work on plantations was shared by many.

what was that Vietnam war about?

Go Braves--Downed the Padres Last Night! Chipper Ties Mantle For RBIs By A Switch Hitter!

If you really want to know, why don't you buy Terry's new book "Strength & Honor" and read it--you just might learn something! I will tell you though, for many of us it was just another assignment, albeit it one where you were subject to get hurt in many ways.

Cyclist's picture

I blame the French.

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Mike King's picture

Funny how the media and and the social elite railed against that war and those who fought it, but remained starkly quiet when the genocide followed the fall of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). History keeps repeating itself despite the best intentions of those that profess to know better.

Florida Sweet Corn @25cents an ear at Publix in F'ville--will try it tonight but can't beat the price! Not huge ears, but well-filled out.

PTC Observer's picture

I went back to Vietnam 4 years ago and again last year, I can tell you there has been a complete invasion of the North to the South, as you would expect. However the discrimination against the southerners is quite striking. And if you happen to have any family member that was part of the "American" government, you're sunk financially. You can’t get a decent job and if you do get one and someone in your organization finds out, you’re blackmailed to keep it. Or you are simply, not needed any longer.

I went and visited some of the people I know there from the old government days and it is not a good situation. As you point out silence on what happened there following the fall of the south was deafening. It still is. Many, many died in re-education camps and many more trying to escape to freedom. We don’t know how good we have it here. Some of those that think they have it so bad here need to go there and learn some lessons about socialist regimes.

BTW, Ninja the healthcare system there is abysmal, but of course you have much more experience with socialist countries’ healthcare systems than I do. ;-)

Oops, I guess I gave my age away...I am really a teenager.

hear from you! I appreciate your candor in saying that 'it was just another assignment, albeit...' I think that is what Afghanistan and perhaps Iraq will turn out to be. Afghanistan for sure, but I hope not Iraq.

I think Michael Herr said it best when he said

"Vietnam was what we had instead of happy childhoods."

BTW, I'm really liking that new Black Eyed Peas Song-Just Can't Get Enough. That Fergie sure can sing, sometimes! Roundy, you into dat?

Bear in mind that I speak from the personal position of a professional military careerist at the time--I cannot speak for any members who have participated in the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts.

enough for me! I just don't like the higher ups and others that wrap wars up in patriotism, the flag, honor, duty, glory, guts, education, and all that other stuff. War is pretty simple--kill them other jokers before they kill us! I would like to see that on all recruiting posters!

Didi mao!

MajorMike's picture

Ah yes, the dirty Irish. And for those of you who have not heard that phrase, it does not mean physically dirty but rather that the Irish got every dirty job that came along. Lends new meaning to the words "second class citizen", doesn't it?

How refreshing it is that the Irish never developed the victim mentality that some other groups did.

Victim mentality ? Some groups see themselves as survivors and winners-which those who have difficulty with this concept insist on labeling an entire group of Americans as 'losers'. When Kennedy was elected as a proud Irishman, I think that few considered him or his LARGE family 'dirty'. ( There may have been and possibly still are a few of those extremists around) Some with that extremist thought appear to be having the same problem with Obama - a genealogy correct African-American - whose mother was born in Kansas no less! At least those who 'think' like this are now on the fringe of American society-right?

MajorMike's picture

DM You are soooooo funny when someone pushes one of your politically correct hot buttons. As usual, you don't have a clue about what you are babbling about.

Thaks for my "hump day" laugh.

Into a bunch of fighting cocks and the one that is hit hollers. :-)

mudcat's picture

But you did and I will forgive you. But please babe, not everything is about race or skin color. Get over it. Sure there is bias and prejudice and even hatred in some people, but certainly not in most people. You keep fanning the flames of the terrible things that Democrats and the KKK did in the 1900's. Get over it babe. Nobody on here wants a repeat. Stop acting like everyone is a racist. We ain't.

You shouldn't feel 'hit'! I am well aware that the majority of posters here are not racist- and I've often said this. I think the topic was history's treatment of Lincoln - and major mike intimating that some on here are operating from a victim mentality.
I know better than most the change that has occurred in the country since 1939. Just as the people of the Jewish faith will not allow us to 'get over' the holocaust , African Americans will not allow some members of the US to 'forget' or 'get over' Jin Crow mentality. We have overcome SOME aspects of slavery. Sorry if you feel I 'm calling you racist. I'm sure that label doesn't fit you.

I know a lot of Jewish people, and all of them are quite over it since most if not all of the instigators of that injustice are now dead. They don't go around inventing straw men that are out to get them and use it as an excuse for not being able to accomplish something in their lives.

Hardly my issue. . . Or Obama's and tens of thousands of other African Americans. Jewish people are over it? Why the museums, etc.? What is your issue grizz? No 'president ' in your family? Sorry . Get over it.

mudcat's picture

and Al Sharpton and their shakedown schemes and reparations for slavery and the simple fact that they claim to represent all black people and blame the man (whoever he is) for keeping them down. Only Bill Cosby has spoken up with a differing view - the one about personal responsibility.

He may also be referring to the Obamazombies who were dumb enough to go on TV and say that they were going to be free of house and car payments because Obama was nominated or elected. Sadly those silly people were black and it did not create a good visual image.

Might also have something to with what % of crimes are committed by 12% of the population or what % of that 12% of the population is in prison for violent crimes.

And the Jewish people not only "got over it" without forgetting "it"; they created a country that has a very low crime rate and probably the highest level of security in the world - which kind of makes it better than the US.

You took the words right out of my jaws. That is exactly what I was refering to.

Mudcat's are bottom feeders. I don't know what grizz's excuse is- but I leave these two to you Kevin. Most came here to discuss Lincoln, slavery, and history - not to denigrate other Americans .

That's David's Moms way of calling you a racist.

You are correct. They were given the most dangerous and dirty jobs, because they were not considered to be as valuable as slaves. Very few people have bothered to read about our real history. The inconvenient facts of our real history have been drowned out by people who whine and snivel and cry poor me. They still want special favors as a reward for what happened to their ancestors.

The real Americans I do feel sorry for in all of our history are the American Indians. They truly got the shaft.

suggarfoot's picture

Most people don't know that the 1st 'for life' slaves in the US were the Irish. The 'dirty' English picked up over half a million, men, woman, and children, and shipped them to America and Barbadoes. Their only crime was that they were Irish. Half million was only the 1st group. The English made a fortune selling them. They stole and sold millions of them. If you read the early Jamestown records, to keep them from running away to another settlement and blending in, they branded them with a hot iron on both cheeks of their face. Later the English decided to us blacks cause it was harder for them to go to another settlement and blend.

Perhaps I am confused but when did the Jim Crow laws keep the Irish from equal participation in economic and political freedom?

The Wedge's picture

Seriously My Name Here? Please consult your history books. How about the Know Nothing Party and the Nativist movement of the 1840's and up? The oppression was not codified in the books, only in the hearts of nineteenth century Americans.

suggarfoot's picture

but I've read countless old records and they were the most brutaly treated of all, except the Indians.

On the levees of the Mississippi, the plantation owners used them to do the dangerous work. They would work for pennies because they were starving. They died of maleria and exhaustion. That was ok, there were thousands more, starving and waiting in line for a chance. They were resentfull of the black slaves who were fed and clothed and didn't have to work so hard.

suggarfoot's picture

Until you get to digging, no one knows or understands the depths of the Irish suffering. The English treated them like dogs for no reason I can yet uncover.

There suffering goes backs hundreds of years, way before they came to the US as "life slaves".

If you read the Montgomery Manuscripts, it talks about the conditions the Irish were in when the Montgomerys and the Hamiltons came to Ireland to for the settlements of the Scot-Irish in 1580.

Some background.... the Montgomerys were looking for greener pastures away from the English control. The story is stranger than a Hollywood novel, but true.

Con O Neil, an Irishman who owned much of Northern Ireland, found himself in an English prison for some frivolous BS of having a drunken party and one of his people got into it with an Englishman and killed him. The English arrested Con O Neil and was going to kill him. The Montgomerys, hated the English, and helped him escape. The pay off was that O Neil would give Montgomerys half his land, which he did. The English got wind of the deal afterwards and everyone was going to jail if the Hamilton's weren't included so they could keep an eye on both Con O' Neil and the Montgomerys.

When the Montgomerys and other related families came to settle Northern Ireland, they were appalled at what they found.

The English had gone in and killed all Irish, men, women, and children, they could find. The lucky ones that lived were sold into slavery in America and Barbados.

The account that was given was horrible. They said that crops hadn't been planted in years as the English said they would kill them if they did. All their huts were burned, even the roof was pulled of the church so the Irish would have no place to take refuge against the fierce winters. If they built a hut, or even put a roof on the church, the English would hunt them down and kill them. England was only 20 miles by water, so it was a threat they could easily make good on.

The Irish were forced to live in the woods. They were starving. The 1st year, some of the Scot-Irish children were killed for food by the Irish. Yep, cannibalized.

The Scot Irish, (Montgomerys and related families), at 1st hired them and the 1st houses the Montgomerys and related families built, clearly had an Irish flare. When the English saw what was going on, they were told if they caught them hiring them, feeding them, or in any other way, helping them, they would have the same fate.

The Scot-Irish had to watch the Irish starve and give no assistance. Later, of course, they Irish declared war on the Scot-Irish and did their best to kill them.

What a bitter pill for the Irish to watch someone else come in and take their land so to speak, grow crops and feed their families, while they were banished to living in the woods with no shelter.

The account of this genocide, you won't find in history books, the Montgomery Manuscrips is the only place I've read it. It was an eye witness account.

mudcat's picture

For sure slavery was the engine that drove the South's agricultural economy. Lincoln freeing the slaves destroyed the economy in the South and it did not recover for decades - some would say parts of the South have not recovered to this day.

Sure, from a human point of view it was the right thing to do. Might even use the word "Fair" like Obama does when he diagrams the war on the businesses - large and small that are the backbone of our economy. Obama will probably go down in history as another Lincoln because in 100 years all the businesses that have gone under will be forgotten and all the people who have lost their jobs and homes will be dead.

"Fair". There's an adjective for you. Fair means let's drag everybody back into the 1865 era or better yet 1930's. Fair means everyone gets to start over again after the government takes the achievers' assets away.

G35 Dude's picture

The south succeeded because of economics. And as you pointed out the freeing of the slaves destroyed the economy of the south. But why was the south so dependent on agriculture? Because that was the way the north wanted it. No, or very little, tax money from the north ever came back to the south to help develop it. So the south did what it had to survive. The reason that the south had an economy that was starting to boom was because of Eli Whitney's cotton gin. Before the cotton gin one person could pick and clean, yes the seeds had to be removed before the cotton was usable, was 1 to 2 pounds a day. After the gin that number rose to around 50 pounds a day. When the north saw that the south was making money they petitioned congress to pass an import tax on anything the south purchased that did not come from the north. They wanted to force the south to send the money back north. This along with the election of a president that did not receive one southern electoral vote and only 40% of the popular vote were the straws that broke the camels back so to speak. Yes congress elected Lincoln by electoral vote not the people.

Now another point I'd like to make is that had not Lincoln been assassinated his plan was to ship all slaves back to Africa. While he was to a point against slavery he was no friend to the black man.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

MajorMike's picture

It's really nice to see tht some people actually study history rather than parrot the "politically correct" nonsense that we hear today.

While Lincoln is many times rated as the best President in history by current day academicians, more and more studies are rating him as the worst president in American history because he was in great part responsible for the war between the states.

It is so interesting for us who were not exposed to the 'southern' version of American history to see how 'facts ' can be used to make the 'feel good' version for some southerners more palatable. I was exposed to the facts of Lincoln's administration-but he did sign the Proclamation of Emancipation. The owner of my great grandfather taught him how to read. He realized that he wouldn't be able to return to Louisiana and find members of his family as he desired, so his owner sent him to Chicago to work for his friend Mr. Palmer (the Palmer Hotel), The Proclamation was a start. . . and Mr. Lincoln gets credit for that and keeping the union together. We're still working on freeing folk from slave labor in this country. . . but progress is being made! Refusal to move away from an economy that was dependent on slave labor caused the Civil War,

G35 Dude's picture

I'm sorry hon. Facts are facts. If I've misstated any facts please point them out to me. You may not want to see them that way because of your background. And all in all that is your right. There are 2 sayings that I like to reference as related by history. 1. History is an agreed upon set of lies. 2. The winners write the history books. If you need an example study the battle of the Alamo. Compare the Mexican version the to one taught in our schools. Most historians now agree that the Mexican version was more truthful.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

Never felt you misstated facts. My point, I was exposed to/taught the same facts. I was never taught what some here called the fantasy surrounding the Lincoln story. As I said, he signed the Proclamation- and for me and mine, that was the beginning of a good thing . We were taught that pragmatic leaders do what they have to do to achieve the 'bigger' goal. This helped us to understand / not necessarily accept some of the decisions made before the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Sorry - I thought some of your contributions to this discussion were 'right on'.

Cyclist's picture

the north's was exploding. The north was the center of manufacturing for the US at that time and still was until it was outsourced overseas recently. More capital was flowing into the north (both from domestic and foreign sources) to support the manufacturing gains during the years preceding and after that period. Population centers in the north were large enough to support the soon to occur US industrial age and still had enough reserves to field a large army.

What's interesting now a days, is that capital is flowing to China and the US is....well we will know where we are heading after 4 more years. (eyes rolling)

BTW, I don't want to upset any one's feelings but, when Lee failed to strangle Washington the gig was up. This war like others are fought with resources which the south was critically short of. That's why the union prevailed then and why the US prevailed against both Japan and Germany some 80 years later.

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at the time of the Civil War wrote about the need for the south to become more industrialized in order to maintain their economy. These visionaries could foresee the influence of the abolitionists. But slavery had created a 'way of life' for some southerners that was unheard of to 'give up'.

I recommend a book for people interested in the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream The author is Lerone Bennett Jr. The book is heavy with footnotes documenting sources. So far all of the ones I have searched check out.

An excellent read.

http://www.answers.com/topic/lerone-bennett-jr

For those who may be unfamiliar with this author of Forced Into Glory.

.

.

<strong>An indentured servant:</strong>

was typically a young, unskilled laborer contracted to work for an employer for a fixed period of time, <strong>typically three to seven years,</strong> in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of their indenture.[1] They included men and women; most were under age 21, and most became helpers on farms or house servants. They were not paid wages.

<strong>slave</strong>
   
–noun
1.
a person who was the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
2.
a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person:

One had 'hope' - the other did not.

The "indenture" was a legal contract which set out the terms of service (how long and in exchange for what). It got its name from the tiny patterned punctures (indentions) that established the document as a valid agreement. A contract involves 2 parties (at least) who stand in equal bargaining positions, either of whom can voluntarily reject the offer of the other party, cease negotiations and not get into the contractual relationship in the first place. In theory, an indentured (read: contractual) servant could seek legal redress in the courts and sue for breach of contract if they were not let out of their condition of servitude according to the terms of the indenture.

Nothing about a slave's conditions of service was voluntary. Nothing. Not the means by which they entered into slavery. Not the compensation (or lack thereof). Not the price that they paid to get out of slavery. At best, they could hope that any promises of freedom upon their master's death would be honored. Most times, they were not. And even those who purchased their freedom lived the rest of their days hoping that some enterprising slave catcher would not destroy their emancipation documents and drag them back to a slave state to be sold back into slavery. Under the Dred Scott decision, a slave had NO legal rights in US courts because property cannot be a citizen.

Most important, the hope of America -- the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Constitution -- was legally denied to one group of people simply by defining them (again, involuntarily) to exclude them from a right to enjoy in the "unalienable rights" America was created to protect.

The whole truth and nothing but the truth! Thanks for the additions.

Truth.

It's always worthy of an eye-roll to hear the revisionist historians trumpet how the Civil War was fought ONLY to free the slaves. The reasons for southern secession and the outbreak of the war could fill a 10 chapter book with each section dedicated to a different contributing circumstance. If given their way, these politically correct "experts" would have us rip out all of the chapters except for the one pertaining to slavery. Nowhere during my years of study have I read an account of Union troops exclaiming "Free the slaves ... free the slaves" as they marched or Southern troops advancing into battle chanting "Keep our slaves ... keep our slaves." This is just a complete distortion of history. Also ... while we're on the subject ... if African-American is an acceptable term in describing one's ancestry, then shouldn't Confederate-American be equally appropriate?

G35 Dude's picture

General Ulysses Grant is quoted as saying "If I thought this war would free the negro I would put my sword in its scabbard and go home."

It amazes me how little we as a people know about the Civil War. Maybe the most important event in this country's history. I took a date to see the Conspirator. She was stunned to learn that when Lincoln was assassinated he was not the only target that night. And I agree with you on the causes of the civil war. Anyone that says it was all about slavery is showing a complete ignorance on this topic!

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

No war is a 'one cause war' - however, the result of this war was important to many for many different reasons. Those who were 'freed' received 'rights' 100+ years later.

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