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The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause

of the War Between the States

 

Slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States because the economic annihilation of the Northern economy when the Southern States seceded what caused the North to need war.
The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause of the War Between the States

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

(Published in Confederate Veteran magazine,
March-April, 2017)

 

Slavery as the cause of the American War Between the States is an absurdity of biblical proportions. The great historian Shelby Foote was right when he said that slavery "was not the true cause of the war. It was an element in the cause of the war, but it was not what the war was really fought about. The war was really fought about whether the federal government should dominate state government. In other words, it was basically states' rights . . . ".i

 

I have written a book entitled Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument.ii in which the argument is laid out in detail with 218 footnotes and over 200 sources in the bibliography. In this brief article, I would like to touch on the main reasons why slavery was not the cause of the War.

 

The primary cause of the War Between the States was the impending economic annihilation of the North when the first seven Southern states seceded. The rapidly deteriorating Northern economy created a backdrop of extreme urgency, fear, unrest and anger in the North, and it drove all actions of Lincoln and Northern leaders in the winter and spring of 1861. A solution had to be found quickly or a major catastrophe was going to happen in the North and lead to, at worst, anarchy, and, at best, a greatly diminished economic position in the world. Just the talk of secession caused extreme trepidation to many such as the Daily Chicago Times, which wrote on December 10, 1860, a week before South Carolina's secession convention was to convene:

 

In one single blow our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all its IMMENSE PROFITS. Our manufactories would be in utter ruins. Let the South adopt the free-trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue, and these results would likely follow. If protection be wholly withdrawn from our labor, it could not compete, with all the prejudices against it, with the labor of Europe. We should be driven from the market, and millions of our people would be compelled to go out of employment.iii (Emphasis added.)

 

Northerners quickly discovered that their enormous wealth and power, as well as most of their employment, were dependent on the South, on manufacturing for their captive Southern market and shipping Southern cotton. Cotton alone was 60% of US exports in 1860. Southerners were growing 66% of the world's cotton, but Northerners shipped that cotton and "handled virtually everything else" making huge profits in the process.iv

 

Without the North, the South was in great shape with 100% control of King Cotton.

 

Without the South, the North was dead.

 

To make matters worse, the insatiable greed of Northern leaders in Congress, who were utterly ignorant of basic economic principles, led directly to devastating mistakes such as the astronomical Morrill Tariff. The Morrill Tariff threatened to instantly rerout most US trade from the North into the South because of the South's low tariff. Protective tariffs were unconstitutional in the South where a free trade philosophy reined. The Morrill Tariff added 47 to 60% to goods coming into the North. Compare that with the South's 10% tariff for the operation of a small federal government in a States Rights nation. As with all the protective tariffs of the antebellum period, the Northerners who passed the Morrill Tariff assumed it would fall on the South. However, the South was out of the Union and no longer obliged to pay Northern tariffs. This one fell on the North with disastrous effect. Economic historian Philip S. Foner, in his excellent book Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict, writes:

 

On April 1, the Morrill Tariff would go into effect, and after that date the duties on the principal articles of import would be nearly twice as heavy at New York as they would be at New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah. The consequences of this difference in duties were not difficult to see. Anything that had happened thus far in the secession crisis was mild compared with what the immediate future would bring.v

 

The Morrill Tariff was like pumping gasoline into a fire. It was a one-two punch for the North.

 

The North had lost its manufacturing market because Southerners were dying to get out from under exorbitant Northern prices jacked up by the federal government, which gave Northern businesses protective tariffs, bounties, subsidies, monopoly protection, etc. Texas Representative John H. Reagan told Northern representatives in Congress in early 1861: "You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers."vi Georgia Senator Robert Toombs called it a suction pump sucking wealth out of the South and depositing it in the North, and it was made up of:

 

Bounties and protection to every interest and every pursuit in the North, to the extent of at least fifty millions per annum, besides the expenditure of at least sixty millions out of every seventy of the public expenditure among them, thus making the treasury a perpetual fertilizing stream to them and their industry, and a suction-pump to drain away our substance and parch up our lands.vii

 

Henry L. Benning, one of Robert E. Lee's most able brigadier generals and for whom Fort Benning, Georgia is named, said $85,000,000, a gargantuan sum in those days, was the amount flowing continually through Robert Toombs's suction pump: "Eighty-five millions is the amount of the drains from the South to the North in one year, drains in return for which the South receives nothing."viii The prescient Benning also said:

 

The North cut off from Southern cotton, rice, tobacco, and other Southern products would lose three fourths of her commerce, and a very large proportion of her manufactures. And thus those great fountains of finance would sink very low. . . . Would the North in such a condition as that declare war against the South?ix

 

So, the North had lost its manufacturing market due to greed and abuse via the federal government, and now it was going to lose its shipping industry overnight, again, because of greed, the unbelievable greed of the Morrill Tariff as Northern ship captains beat a path to the South. Foner goes on:

 

The war of the tariffs has been ignored in most studies devoted to the antebellum period, yet it is doubtful whether any event during those significant months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War was as influential in molding public opinion in the North. Certainly in New York City, it caused a political revolution. It brought to an end any hope that Union could be preserved peacefully.x

 

Southerners were paying 3/4ths of the taxes going into the federal treasury, but 3/4ths of the tax money was being spent in the North.xi How long do you think Northerners would tolerate paying 3/4ths of the taxes if 3/4ths of the tax money was being spent in the South?

 

No wonder the Northern states loved the Union and no wonder Abraham Lincoln said over and over for the first two years of the war that the purpose of the war is to preserve the Union, not end slavery. That's why Lincoln supported the Corwin Amendment that left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress, and he used it to lobby seceding governors to stay in the Union.

 

That's why the North's War Aims Resolution of July, 1861 states that "this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions [slavery] of the States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution [which allowed and protected slavery], and to preserve the Union."xii

 

That's why the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862 states: "I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that HEREAFTER, AS HERETOFORE, THE WAR WILL BE PROSECUTED FOR THE OBJECT OF PRACTICALLY RESTORING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RELATION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES, AND EACH OF THE [seceded] STATES, . . ." (Emphasis added).

 

The great Southern writer, William Gilmore Simms, said: "No doubt that, in one sense, they [Northerners] cherish the Union, but only as the agency by which they prosper in uncounted prosperity. It is to them, the very breath of life; it has made them rich and powerful, & keeps them so. No doubt they love the South, but it is as the wolf loves the lamb, coveting and devouring it."xiii

 

For the North, the War was not about ending slavery. Four slave states fought for the North throughout the War, and West Virginia, the fifth Union slave state, was admitted to the Union during the war. It is an indictment of the North that so few slaves lived in Union states yet the North still refused to abolish slavery. For the North, it was about preserving the Union, which was the source of Northern wealth and power. It was about establishing the supremacy of the federal government over the states (Northerners were the "Federals" during the War) because that arrangement allowed the North to control business and rule the entire country with its larger population, and it flowed money into the North from the rest of the country.

 

Even Northern anti-slavery was economic, and it is misnamed. It should be called anti-South instead of anti-slavery because it was in no sense pro-black. Charles P. Roland said "There was a significant economic dimension in the Northern antislavery sentiment" and "a racial factor contributed to the Northern attitude" because:

 

Many Northerners objected to the presence of slavery in their midst, in part, because they objected to the presence of blacks there.xiv

 

This objection to the presence of blacks was also why many Northerners did not want slavery in the West, because they didn't want blacks near them in the West, and most Northern and Western states including Lincoln's Illinois had laws on the books forbidding free blacks from living there or even being there longer than a few days. Historian David M. Potter states that Northern anti-slavery was "not in any clear-cut sense a pro-Negro movement but actually had an anti-Negro aspect and was designed to get rid of the Negro."

 

From the very beginning, Northerners, especially New Englanders, were America's slave traders who, with the British before them, brought most of the slaves here and made huge fortunes in the process. Even after the slave trade was outlawed in 1808, Northerners still carried it on vigorously right up to the war.xv Besides, genuine abolitionists in the North were only 2 to 5% of the electoratexvi and many were hated. Elijah Lovejoy had been murdered in Illinois in 1837.

 

Charles Dickens, the great British writer also published a periodical All the Year Round and was up on current events and horrified by the American war. He said that "Every reasonable creature may know, if willing, that the North hates the Negro, and that until it was convenient to make a pretence that sympathy with him was the cause of the War, it hated the abolitionists and derided them up hill and down dale."xvii Dickens also said that the federal government compelled the South "to pay a heavy fine into the pockets of Northern manufacturers" so that "every feeling and interest on the one side [South] called for political partition, and every pocket interest on the other side [North] for union."xviii

 

For the South, 1861 was 1776 all over. The War was about independence, self-government and maintaining the republic of the Founding Fathers in which states were supreme and the federal government weak and subservient. It was about economic independence and free trade, and not being ruled over by the Republican Party, which had used unbridled hatred and encouragement of terrorism to rally its votes. George Washington had warned that sectional parties would destroy the country but Wendell Phillips proudly proclaimed that the Republican Party is the party of the North pledged against the South.

 

For the North, war was better than anarchy as Philip S. Foner notes: "It was also exceedingly logical that when all the efforts to save the Union peacefully had failed, the merchants, regardless of political views, should have endorsed the recourse to an armed policy. . . . When they finally became aware of the economic chaos secession was causing, when they saw the entire business system crumbling before their very eyes, they knew that there was no choice left. THE UNION MUST BE PRESERVED. ANY OTHER OUTCOME MEANT ECONOMIC SUICIDE."xix (Emphasis added.)

 

The Manchester (N.H.) Union Democrat wrote on February 19, 1861, one day after Jefferson Davis's inaugural: "In the manufacturing departments, we now have the almost exclusive supply of 10,000,000 of people. Can this market be cut off, and we not feel it? Our mills run now, why? Because they have cotton. . . .But they will not run long. We hear from good authority that some of them will stop in sixty days."xx They went on:

 

[W]hen people realize the fact that the Union is permanently dissolved, real estate will depreciate one half in a single year. Our population will decrease with the decline of business, and matters will go in geometrical progression from bad to worse until all of us will be swamped in utter ruin.

 

The Morrill Tariff made things worse. In a March 12, 1861 editorial "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?", ten days after the passage of the Morrill Tariff, The New York Evening Post warned of the hopelessness of the Northern situation:

 

[A]llow railroad iron to be entered at Savannah with the low duty of ten per cent., which is all that the Southern Confederacy think of laying on imported goods, and not an ounce more would be imported at New York: the railways would be supplied from the southern ports. Let cotton goods, let woolen fabrics, let the various manufactures of iron and steel be entered freely at Galveston, at the great port at the mouth of the Mississippi, at Mobile, at Savannah and at Charleston, and they would be immediately sent up the rivers and carried on the railways to the remotest parts of the Union.xxi

 

The New York Evening Post goes on to say that if the taxes aren't collected from the South then "the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe."

 

Tennessee Representative Thomas A. R. Nelson, who had submitted the Minority Report of the House Committee of Thirty-three, observed firsthand the crumbling Northern economy. In a speech just before the War, he said:

 

Three short months ago this great nation was, indeed, prosperous and happy. What a startling, wondrous change has come over it within that brief period! Commercial disaster and distress pervade the land. Hundred and thousands of honest laboring men have been thrown out of employment; gloom and darkness hang over the people; the tocsin of war has been sounded; the clangor of arms has been heard.xxii

 

Representative Nelson is talking about the North only, where "the tocsin of war has been sounded; the clangor of arms has been heard." Down South, there was no such feeling of desperation, only triumph, patriotism and jubilation over independence.

 

Imagine the calculation in the mind of Abraham Lincoln, president of the North, as his region collapsed. He could see no way out. He knew the South controlled the most demanded commodity on the planet, cotton, and he knew the South was tight with England and seeking to be tighter. He knew that once Southerners completed trade and military alliances with Great Britain and other European countries, the North would not be able to beat the South. Because of cotton, the South would ascend to dominance in North America, trading freely with the world.

 

The Confederate Constitution encouraged free states to join the Confederacy. Slavery was not required. Slavery was up to each state. Southerners were convinced that several Northern and Western states, especially those along the great rivers such as the Mississippi, would join the CSA and this petrified Lincoln. Southerners would also start manufacturing for themselves very soon.

 

Lincoln knew he had to get the war started as quickly as he possibly could. With each day that went by, the South got stronger and the North got weaker. There was no advantage to waiting a second longer. He was anxious to put up a naval blockade and force Europe to take a wait-and-see attitude toward the South, then he could let the North's huge advantages such as four times the white population, almost all of the country's manufacturing, an army, a navy with fleets of warships, a functioning government with unlimited immigration for the army, huge advantages in armaments, etc. wear out the South. War would also solve his political problems as people rallied to the flag.

 

The economic issues in play in the spring of 1861 are far more powerful causes of the war than slavery. I have only scratched the surface in this short article.

 


i Shelby Foote in article "Foote defends flag's meaning," The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier, front page, January 16, 2000.

ii Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014).

iii Daily Chicago Times, "The Value of the Union," December 10, 1860, in Howard Cecil Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1964), Vol. II, 573-574.

iv Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jenifer Frank, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery (New York: Ballantine Books, 2005), 7, 25.

v Philip S. Foner, Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1941), 277-278.

vi John H. Reagan, "Speech of Representative John H. Reagan of Texas, January 15, 1861," in Congressional Globe, 36 Congress, 2 Session, I, 391, as cited in abridged version of Kenneth M. Stampp, ed., The Causes of the Civil War, 3rd revised edition (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1991), 89.

vii Robert Toombs, "Secessionist Speech, Tuesday Evening, November 13" delivered to the Georgia legislature in Milledgeville, November 13, 1860, in William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, Secession Debated, Georgia's Showdown in 1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 38.

viii Henry L. Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19, 1860, in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, 132.

ix Henry L. Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19, 1860, in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, 132.

x Foner, Business & Slavery, 282.

xi See earlier quotations of Sen. Robert Toombs, and Henry L. Benning in this article. Also, the Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States, adopted 24 December 1860 by the South Carolina Secession Convention, Charleston, S.C. in John Amasa May and Joan Reynolds Faunt, South Carolina Secedes (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1960).

xii The War Aims Resolution passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 22, 1861, and the Senate July 25, 1861. There were only two dissenting votes in the House and five in the Senate.

xiii William Gilmore Simms, "Antagonisms of the Social Moral. North and South.", unpublished 1857 lecture housed in the Charles Carroll Simms Collection of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 38-42.

xiv Charles P. Roland, An American Illiad, The Story of the Civil War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1991), 3.

xv Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, xxviii.

xvi Lee Benson, "Explanations of American Civil War Causation" in Toward the Scientific Study of History (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1972), 246, 295-303, in Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978), 136.

xvii Charles Dickens, letter to W. W. De Cerjat, 16 March 1862, in Graham Story, ed., The Letters of Charles Dickens (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), Vol. Ten, 1862-1864, 53-54.

xviii The short quotations from Charles Dickens come from articles that are all quoted in Charles Adams, When in the Course of Human Events, Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publilshers, Inc., 2000), 90-91.

xix Foner, Business & Slavery, 322.

xx The Manchester (N.H.) Union Democrat, "Let Them Go!", editorial of February 19, 1861 in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 592.

xxi New York Evening Post, March 12, 1861, "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?" in Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol. II, 598.

xxii Thomas A. R. Nelson, "Speech of Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson, of Tennessee, On the Disturbed condition of the Country" (Washington: H. Polkinhorn, 1861), 1-12.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

The Introduction to Slavery Was Not the Cause

of the War Between the States,

The Irrefutable Argument.

 

Around 60.1% of the electorate voted against Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The loser in the next five presidential elections got more popular votes than Lincoln.

 

The Introduction to
Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States,
The Irrefutable Argument.1
(enhanced with captioned photographs)

 

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

 

Slavery was and is a horrible institution. There is nothing in this book, whatsoever, that defends slavery in any way, form or fashion.

 

The War Between the States is the central event in American history and, by far, our bloodiest war. It is important to know exactly what caused it and why.

 

In Part I of this book, I argue that slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States. There is absolute, irrefutable proof that the North did not go to war to free the slaves or end slavery. The North went to war to preserve the Union as Abraham Lincoln said over and over.

 

The reason Lincoln needed to preserve the Union was because, without it, the North faced economic annihilation, the magnitude of which easily made war preferable. Economic problems multiply geometrically. By the time Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861 there was gloom, despair and panic in the North with thousands of business failures, hundreds of thousands of people out of work, serious trouble with the stock market, threatened runs on banks, and Northern ship captains heading South because of the South's low tariff. There was no talk whatsoever of ending slavery. Just the opposite. There were guarantees galore of preserving slavery forever.

 

Just use common sense. If your house is on fire, you don't care about your neighbor's barking dog or anything your neighbor is doing. You have to put out the fire or lose your house. It's just that simple.

 

The North's economic house caught fire in the winter of 1860 to 61 when the first seven Southern States seceded. The North quickly discovered that manufacturing and shipping for the South were the sources of most of its employment, wealth and power. Cotton alone was 60% of U.S. exports in 1860. Without the South, the North was headed for bankruptcy. By the spring of 1861, the North's house was a raging inferno.

 

The latest death statistics for the War Between the States have raised it from 620,000, to between 650,000 and 850,000. These are the widely accepted statistics of historian J. David Hacker of Binghamton University. He splits the difference and uses 750,000.2 I believe it was on the higher end of his range so I use 800,000 in this book.

 

The wounded usually end up, statistically, as a multiple of deaths. For example, in WWII we lost 405,399 and had 670,846 wounded, which is 1.65.3 Sometimes the multiplier is higher, sometimes lower, and I realize that a higher percentage died of disease in the War Between the States, but the number of wounded would still be astronomical, well over a million to add to the 800,000 dead.

 

If the soldiers of World War II were killed at the same rate as the War Between the States, we would have lost 3,870,000 instead of 405,399; and we would have had 6,385,500 wounded instead of 670,846.

 

That the South, with less than 1/4th the white population of the North, did not hesitate to fight for its rights and liberty, says everything about the courage of Southerners and their desire for independence.

 

Especially when one considers the other huge advantages of the North such as 100-to-1 in weapon manufacturing, 19-to-0 in marine engine manufacturing, a merchant marine fleet, a standing army, a substantial navy with fleets of war ships, and a functioning government over 60 years old that had relationships with most of the countries on the earth.

The North also had access to unlimited immigration, and 25% of  Union soldiers ended up being foreign born.4

 

The War Between the States was a completely unnecessary war.

 

Historians know that the Crittenden Compromise (late 1860) would almost certainly have prevented the war. It was based on the old Missouri Compromise line that had worked well for 30 years. Slavery had been prohibited north of the line and allowed south of it.5

 

Sen. John Jordan Crittenden of Kentucky, 1855 portrait by Matthew Brady.
Sen. John Jordan Crittenden of Kentucky, 1855 portrait by Matthew Brady.
 

The Crittenden Compromise had widespread support, North and South, from good men trying to prevent war, but Abraham Lincoln shot it down. Lincoln had political allies to pay back so he would not compromise on slavery in the West. He had no problem with slavery where it existed. He just didn't want it "extended," so he supported the Corwin Amendment, which left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress, where slavery already existed.

 

The defeat of the Crittenden Compromise at the behest of the partisan Lincoln is a major tragedy of world history, and more bitterly so because slavery was not extending into the West. There were few slaves in the West after being open to slavery for 10 years. Esteemed historian David M. Potter writes that the Crittenden Compromise had widespread support from Southerners as prominent as Robert Toombs as well as strong support in the North and West, and "if these conclusions are valid, as the preponderance of evidence indicates, it means that when Lincoln moved to defeat compromise, he did not move as the champion of democracy, but as a partisan leader."6 Potter's choice of words is far too kind.

 

Abraham Lincoln was the first sectional president in American history.

 

Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the day of his Cooper Union speech. Photo by Matthew Brady.
Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the day of his Cooper Union speech. Photo by Matthew Brady.
 

Around 60.1% of the electorate voted against him. The loser in the next five presidential elections got more popular votes than Lincoln.

 

Of the total 4,682,069 votes cast in 1860, Lincoln  received 1,866,452, which is 39.9%. The eighteen states voting for him were all above the Mason-Dixon line plus California and Oregon. He received no electoral votes in fifteen of the thirty-three states. His name was not even on the ballot in ten Southern states. Lincoln's opponents together totaled 2,815,617, which was almost a million votes more than he got.

 

Potter makes it clear that Lincoln had absolutely no voter mandate to not compromise with the South at this critical juncture in our country's history. With a large majority of voters, excluding slavery from the territories was a non-issue. Potter writes:

 

[A] majority, not only of the voters as a whole, but even of the voters in states which remained loyal to the Union, regarded the exclusion of slavery from the territories as non-essential or even undesirable, and voted against the candidate who represented this policy. When Lincoln was inaugurated, the states which accepted him as President were states which had cast a majority of more than a half a million votes against him, and even when the outbreak of war caused four more states to join the Confederacy, the remaining Union still contained a population in which the majority of the electorate had opposed the Republican ticket.7

 

Potter notes that part of Lincoln's uncompromising position was political fear that any compromise on slavery in the territories, after campaigning on it, meant the dissolution of the Republican Party, which was made up loosely of so many diverse groups of non-related voters such as those who wanted a tariff or bounty or subsidy for their business, or free land, or were Northern racists who didn't want blacks near them in the West.

 

It is a tragedy of unfathomable proportion that Lincoln killed the Crittenden Compromise. The Crittenden Compromise would have prevented the war and 800,000 deaths and over a million wounded, and would have given the country time to work on ending slavery.

 

Most other nations on earth, as well as the Northern States, used gradual, compensated emancipation to end slavery. The Northern capital, Washington, DC, freed its slaves a year into the war with compensated emancipation, which proves slavery could have been abolished quickly and bloodlessly if the will had been there, North and South.

 

It is a regrettable fact, but slaves were property and governments that wanted to end slavery in their countries were glad to compensate slaveowners for the loss of their property.8

 

It is not just racial either. One of the largest slaveowners in South Carolina was William Ellison, the famous cotton gin maker in Sumter County, who was black. There were a lot of black slaveowners and I'm sure they would want to be compensated along with whites.

 

William "April" Ellison, Jr., successful African American, owned 60 slaves. He died Dec. 5, 1861.
William "April" Ellison, Jr., successful African American, owned 60 slaves. He died Dec. 5, 1861.
 

Gradual, compensated emancipation was Lincoln's strong belief and desire as well, as he stated in the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation with respect to the Union slave states.9 Lincoln talked and wrote about gradual compensated emancipation at many other times and places as well.

 

But ending slavery was not the goal of the Republican Party in 1856 and 1860. Taking over the government so they could rule the country for their own benefit and aggrandizement was their goal.

 

George Washington had warned that sectional political parties would destroy the country but Wendell Phillips proudly proclaimed that the Republican Party is the first sectional party in American history and is the party of the North pledged against the South.

 

A daguerrotype of abolitionist Republican Wendell Phillips in his 40s, by Matthew Brady.
A daguerrotype of abolitionist Republican Wendell Phillips in his 40s, by Matthew Brady.
 

For the entire decade of the 1850s, Republicans used the most virulent hatred against the South to rally their votes. Republicans celebrated John Brown's terrorism and murder of Southerners, and Republicans endorsed Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South as a campaign document. Helper's book

 

urged class agitation against slavery or, failing that, the violent overthrow of the slave system by poorer whites. Helper concluded that slaves would join with nonslaveholders because 'the negroes . . . in nine cases out of ten, would be delighted with the opportunity to cut their masters' throat.'10

 

Hinton Rowan Helper from North Carolina wrote, in 1857, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It.
Hinton Rowan Helper from North Carolina wrote, in 1857, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It.
 
 
Title page of Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet it.
Title page of Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet it.
 
 

William H. Seward, soon to be Lincoln's secretary of state, said "I have read the 'Impending Crisis of the South' with great attention. It seems to me a work of great merit, rich yet accurate in statistical information, and logical in analysis."

 

William Henry Seward was U.S. Secty of State, 1861 to 1869, and earlier governor of NY and U.S. Senator.
William Henry Seward was U.S. Secty of State, 1861 to 1869, and earlier governor of NY and U.S. Senator.
 

Lincoln's predecessor, President James Buchanan, in an article he wrote entitled "Republican Fanaticism as a Cause of the Civil War," said The Impending Crisis "became at once an authoritative exposition of the principles of the Republican Party. The original, as well as a compendium, were circulated by hundreds of thousands, North, South, East, and West."11

 

James Buchanan Jr., from Pennsylvania, served as the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861).
James Buchanan Jr., from Pennsylvania, served as the 15th president of the United States (1857–1861).
 

Southerners would have been crazy not to secede from a country now ruled by a party that called for their throats to be cut. Republicans were not a great political movement trying to solve the difficult slavery issue with good will. Most people in the North (95 to 98% according to historians Lee Benson and Gavin Wright) were not abolitionists.12 They did not care about freeing the slaves who would then come North and be job competition.

 

No Republican could be elected in the North on the platform of directly ending slavery but they could agitate on slavery in the West with good results. It was a hot political issue driven as much by rallying votes -- vote Republican: 'Vote yourself a farm,' 'Vote yourself a tariff!' -- as it was by Northern racism. Lincoln himself stated in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates that the West was to be reserved for white people from all over the earth.

 

The West was important in the presidential campaigns of 1856 and 1860 because the North needed the West for its surplus population, as both Horace Greeley and Lincoln stated. "Go West, young man!" said Horace Greeley.

 

Lincoln added that he wanted those white Northerners and immigrants to reach the West with Northern institutions in place, which meant no blacks allowed. Period. Neither slaves nor free blacks were welcome in Lincoln's West.

 

Horace Greeley, hypocrite extraordinaire.
Horace Greeley, hypocrite extraordinaire.
 

Greeley, editor of the New-York Tribune, believed in the right of secession and wrote passionately about it until he realized it would affect his money, then he wanted war.

 

Slavery in the West was a bogus issue anyway, as stated earlier. Slavery was not going beyond the Mississippi River and they all knew it.

 

Republican James G. Blaine said that slavery in the West was "related to an imaginary Negro in an impossible place."

 

James G. Blaine, Republican from Maine, Spkr of House, Senator, Secty. of State twice, a charismatic speaker.
James G. Blaine, Republican from Maine, Spkr of House, Senator, Secty. of State twice, a charismatic speaker.
 

Lincoln scholar Richard N. Current writes that "Lincoln and his fellow Republicans, in insisting that Congress must prohibit slavery in the West, were dealing with political phantoms."

 

He points out that Congress "approved the organization of territorial governments for Colorado, Nevada, and Dakota without a prohibition of slavery" because they did not think it was necessary.

 

In 1860, there were only two slaves in Kansas and 15 in Nebraska, and that was after being open to slavery for 10 years. As stated above, Current did not believe slavery would have lasted another generation, even in the deep South.13

 

Charles W. Ramsdell wrote an article entitled "The Natural Limits of Slavery Expansion" and he also concluded "that slavery had about reached its zenith by 1860 and must shortly have begun to decline, for the economic forces which had carried it into the region west of the Mississippi had about reached their maximum effectiveness. It could not go forward in any direction and was losing ground along its northern border."14

 

The New Mexico territory had also been open to slavery for ten years and there were only twenty-nine there in 1860, though that figure was challenged by William H. Seward. He said there were twenty-four.15

 

It is a great irony that Northern anti-slavery was mostly economic or racist. Paraphrasing historian David Potter, Northern anti-slavery was in no sense a pro-black movement but was anti-black and designed to get rid of blacks.

 

Many Northern and Western States had laws on the books forbidding free black people from even visiting, much less living there, including Lincoln's own Illinois. If a black person stayed too long in Illinois he was subject to arrest and imprisonment by the sheriff.

 

In 1859, Oregon, which, as stated, voted for Lincoln in 1860, became the 33rd state and this was part of its constitution:

 

No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this state at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall ever come, reside, or be within this state, or hold any real estate, or make any contract, or maintain any suit therein; and the legislative assembly shall provide by penal laws for the removal by public officers of all such free negroes and mulattoes, and for their effectual exclusion from the state, and for the punishment of persons who shall bring them into the state, or employ or harbour them therein.16

 

In Part II of this book, I argue the right of secession. No American who believes in the Declaration of Independence -- in the just powers of the government coming from the consent of the governed -- can doubt the right of secession. Horace Greeley certainly didn't. He believed in it thoroughly until he realized it was going to affect his money.

The secession conventions of the South and the creation of the Confederate States of America are the greatest expression of democracy and self-government in the history of the world.

 

In state after state, in a landmass as great as Europe, Southerners rose up against what they viewed as a dangerous, economically confiscatory government now run by people who hated them and whose campaign documents called for their throats to be cut.

 

The Southern states called conventions to decide the one issue: Secession. A convention to decide one issue is closer to the people than even their legislatures.

 

That's why the Founding Fathers in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 decided that conventions of the people in each state would be used to ratify the Constitution. That's where the convention precedent started, with the Founding Fathers and the ratification of the Constitution.

 

Southerners followed suit with their conventions to decide secession. They debated the issue fiercely then elected delegates as Unionists and Secessionists who went into their state conventions and debated more.

 

Seven states voted to secede, then they formed a democratic republic that was the mirror image of the republic of the Founding Fathers of 1776 but with States' Rights strengthened and an economic system based on free trade. Southerners had always wanted free trade with the world as opposed to the heavy protectionist tariffs that had benefited the North to the detriment of the South the entire antebellum period.

 

Slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States. Once you understand the true cause -- the imminent economic annihilation of the North which was coming fast -- all other actions taken by Lincoln and everybody else make infinitely more sense.

 

Abraham Lincoln needed to start his war as quickly as he could. He needed the blockade of the South in place as fast as possible to keep Europeans and especially the English from forming trade and military alliances with the South, which the South had been aggressively pursuing.

 

Lincoln announced his blockade before the smoke had cleared from the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

 

In Part III, Charles W. Ramsdell's famous treatise, Lincoln and Fort Sumter, shows in magnificent detail how Lincoln started the war in Charleston Harbor.

 

I hadn't read this brilliant piece in several years but had to type in every word for this book and I am deeply pleased that every single word written by Mr. Ramsdell strongly supports the argument of this book -- that the inevitable economic annihilation of the North is the reason Abraham Lincoln had to have his war and get it started as quickly as he could.

 

Justin S. Morrill authored the Morrill Tariff that threatened the Northern shipping industry with annihilation.
Justin S. Morrill authored the Morrill Tariff that threatened the Northern shipping industry with annihilation.
 
 
Harper's Weekly Apr 13 1861, caption "The New Tariff on Dry Goods."
 
Harper's Weekly Apr 13 1861, caption "The New Tariff on Dry Goods."
 

Mr. Ramsdell states also that the North's gaping self-inflicted wound, the Morrill Tariff, kicked in and greatly added to the panic and call for war in the North as the Northern shipping industry faced rerouting away from the high-tariff North and into the low-tariff South where protective tariffs were unconstitutional.

 

Arguing history is very much like arguing a case in a court of law. All you can do is present your evidence in as persuasive a manner as possible and hope the jury agrees with you.

 

My argument is thoroughly documented and I believe it is irrefutable.

Gene Kizer, Jr.
Charleston, South Carolina
October 31, 2014

 

Abraham Lincoln is executed for killing 800,000 people & destroying the republic of the Founding Fathers.
Abraham Lincoln is executed for killing 800,000 people & destroying the republic of the Founding Fathers.
 
 

NOTES:

1 Gene Kizer, Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. (Charleston and James Island, SC: Charleston Athenaeum Press, 2014).

 

2 Rachel Coker, "Historian revises estimate of Civil War dead," published September 21, 2011, Binghamton University Research News -- Insights and Innovations from Binghamton University, http://discovere.binghamton.edu/news/civilwar-3826.html, accessed July 7, 2014.

3 United States military casualties of war,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war, accessed August 1, 2014.

 

4 James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 606.

 

5 The Missouri Compromise was superseded by the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, which opened up the territory north of the Missouri Compromise line (latitude 36--30' north) to slavery. This made the Missouri Compromise irrelevant.

 

6 David M. Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942; reprint, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 200.

 

7 Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis, 200.

 

8 As stated, ending slavery did not have to be too gradual as long as compensation to slaveowners was included. The successful Washington, DC 1862 compensation program proved it could work and be more immediate than gradual, although that is a small example. There would definitely need to be programs in place to help the new freedmen incorporate into society but that could have been done and is what serious people, as opposed to fanatics, were pushing. It was certainly Lincoln's position most of his life. Historian Richard N. Current believed slavery would not last another generation, and that seems a reasonable assessment.

 

9 Paragraph two of Abraham Lincoln's Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued September 22, 1862 "By the President of the United States of America" reads:

 

That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States [Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky and later West Virginia] and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment [sic] of slavery within their respective limits; and that the efforts to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the Governments existing there, will be continued. (Emphasis added.)

 

10 Ronnie W. Faulkner, 2006, "The Impending Crisis of the South," NCpedia sketch on Hinton Rowan Helper's book, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It (New York: Burdick Brothers, 1857). NCpedia is the Encyclopedia of North Carolina, The University of North Carolina Press: http://ncpedia.org/print/2723, accessed July 31, 2014. The article also states that Hinton Helper was "A racist to the core, he advocated white supremacy."

 

11 The quotations of William H. Seward and President James Buchanan come from an article by Buchanan, "Republican Fanaticism as a Cause of the Civil War," an essay in Edwin C. Rozwenc, ed., The Causes of the American Civil War (Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1961), 62.

 

12 Lee Benson, "Explanations of American Civil War Causation" in Toward the Scientific Study of History (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1972), 246, 295-303, in Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, Households, Markets, and Wealth in the Nineteenth Century (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978), 136.

 

13 Richard N. Current, The Lincoln Nobody Knows (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1958), 95-97.

 

14 Charles W. Ramsdell, "The Natural Limits of Slavery Expansion" in Edwin C. Rozwenc, ed., The Causes of the American Civil War (Boston: D. C. Heath and Company, 1961), 150-162

 

15 For an excellent report on an in-depth conversation between U. S. Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, William H. Seward, Stephen A. Douglas, John J. Crittenden and others on the extension of slavery, see Honorable John A. Campbell, "Memoranda Relative to the Secession Movement in 1860-61," in the "Papers of Honorable John A. Campbell - 1861-1865.," Southern Historical Society Papers, New Series - Number IV, Volume XLII, September, 1917, (Reprint: Broadfoot Publishing Company and Morningside Bookshop, 1991), 3-45.

 

16 Taliaferro P. Shaffner, The War in America: being an Historical and Political Account of the Southern and Northern States: showing the Origin and Cause of the Present Secession War (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1862), 337-38.

 

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