I’ve decided that with all the talk and action (both positive and negative) these days concerning Confederate monuments that I want to talk about the reasons for the secession of the Southern States from the Union and the causes for which each side was willing to go to war. I suppose that a large part of the desire to write about these causes is the fact that the Political Leftists (including hate groups like ANTIFA) seem to believe (or, like Lincoln, need others to believe) that the South seceded for the sole purpose of preserving the institution of Slavery on the continent of North America, and that the “Civil War” was waged upon the South for the express purpose of abolishing that same abhorrent institution. Now, I’ll not deny that slavery was indeed an issue at the beginning of that war, but it was a minor one, and I’ll explain that statement here in a little bit, but first I want to address the two major causes for which each side, politically speaking, was willing to pit American against American, brother against brother, and father against son in what I’ve decided to call (from now on) the War of the American Republics. I should also say that I will be the first to admit that I am writing with bias; that being said, it doesn’t mean my facts aren’t accurate.
What were the South’s two major reasons for secession and for going to war over the right to secede? Well, by December 1860 it was clear that the Morrill Tariff was going to be passed and signed into law, probably by then-President James Buchanan. The tariff, once passed, would place upon the predominantly agricultural Southern States the burden of being responsible for paying approximately ninety percent of the total revenue paid to the Federal Government, simply because they were the richest states. This action, in and of itself, would have plunged the Southern States into a general state of poverty seeing as how about ninety percent of those taxes to be paid to the Federal government by the Southern States were to be spent by that same government on subsidizing Northern industry and manufacturing and on upgrading and maintaining Northern public works, which would only enrich the Northern States even more at the expense of the Southern States. The unfair taxation of the Southern States and the subsequent unfair regional dispersion of the ensuing revenue was, to many Southerners, a violation of the Constitution (because it did everything but “promote the general Welfare” of the Southern States), and a just reason to exercise the Right of Secession, and on Thursday, 20 December 1860, the state of South Carolina did just that. President Abraham Lincoln abruptly called for seventy-five thousand troops to be raised for the purpose of invading South Carolina and, through the use of military action, forcing the state to remain a part of the Union. Such an invasion would have meant that Federal Troops would have had to march across Virginia and North Carolina in order to reach South Carolina (at least from a financially efficient standpoint), and neither Virginia nor North Carolina, nor the other Southern States for that matter, was willing to let any military force, Federal or not, to even cross their boundaries, let alone their entire state, in order to illegally and unconstitutionally invade another state. There were those people then, as there are now, that believe any state had/has the right to secede from the Union, and there are those now that believe no state has the right to secede no matter what, just as there were those then who believed the same. For proof that the states, each and every one of them, was supposed to be a free and independent state, I give you the following; excerpts from the historical documents that defined the Constitutional Republic that America was supposed to become and a quote from “Honest [Are you serious? You do realize there’s a reason they buried him under ten-f**king-feet of concrete, don’t you?] Abe” Lincoln.
I like things chronologically laid out, so that’s how we’ll go, starting on 4 July 1776 with the final paragraph of (unedited and as it was when it was ratified) The unanimous Declaration [of the Independence] of the thirteen united States of America: “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do…” Take note that the use of the word “united” in the document’s title and in the final paragraph (both times in “united States of America”) are the only two times in the entire Declaration that the word or the term is used, and the word “union” is not capitalized in either. That is extremely important to the States’ Rights debate; it signifies that the states themselves each hold the most sovereign power over themselves, not the union of states. Also take note that the original 13 colonies are twice declared “Free and Independent States” before lastly being called “Independent States” (note the capitalization). The individual states are clearly regarded as ultimately free and independent of the others; each holding its own Power of Divine Providence, but also part of a federation of small republics that are bound to each other through the mutual agreement to practice fair trade and help to protect each other’s sovereignty from any and all who might threaten that sovereignty.
It’s time to move on from the original Independence Day, but we’re going to stay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Instead of leaving town, we’re going to jump some time and go to 1 March 1781, the day the Articles of Confederation (as agreed to by Congress 15 November 1777) were ratified. The Articles of Confederation was the first document that “bound together” the states; you could say it created the union. Article 2 of the document states, clear as pure mountain air, the rights and powers to be retained and held by the individual states: “Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” It cannot be stated any more clearly than that. John Dickinson, author of the Articles of Confederation later said, “… a territory of such extent as that of United America, could not be safely and advantageously governed, but by a combination of republics [the individual States], each retaining all the rights of supreme sovereignty.” And by the way, Article 1 says: “The style of this Confederacy shall be “The United States of America.” The word “United” was finally capitalized, but Article 2 firmly preserved the individual states’ sovereignties. If you need to know the few powers granted to the Federal Government at the time; use Google; read the Articles of Confederation for yourself; I have too much material already.
Next we must go to Paris, France, 3 September 1783, and The Definitive Treaty of Peace between His Britannic Majesty, King George the Third of the British Empire and the United States of America. Article 1 of the treaty reads: “His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States… to be free sovereign and independent States, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.” As you can see, each individual state was guaranteed to be a free, independent, and sovereign state, and this was agreed upon by the United States.
From Paris, we travel back to Philadelphia, to Independence Hall on 17 September 1787, the day that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution of the united States of America. The sovereignty of the individual states is also guaranteed in this document. Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines “Treason against the United States” and dictates with whom the “Power to declare the Punishment of Treason [against the United States]” lies. Then, Article 4, Section 2, Clause 2 states that “A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.” Among other things, this gives each individual state not only the power to define Treason against that state, but also the power to dictate the punishment for Treason against that state. This, by the definition of Treason, especially when looked at alongside Article 3, Section 3, signifies individual states’ sovereignty. Our Constitution also contains ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is what guarantees us all the freedom to exercise our God-given rights as human beings. The last of these ten amendments tells us that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Here is another admission of states’ sovereignty, as the powers actually delegated to the Federal government are in reality reasonably limited by the Constitution. The designers of the Constitution obviously meant for the individual states to retain their sovereignty over that of the Federal government.
Lincoln himself even admitted that the individual states were indeed sovereign. In his first Inaugural Address on 4 March 1861, he said, “Resolved, that the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.” Not only did Lincoln admit that the individual states were sovereign, but that what he was about to set in motion was “among the gravest of crimes.” So by his own words, Lincoln was at best a criminal and at worst a war criminal; but that’s a different subject altogether.
Up ‘til now, when talking about States’ Rights, I’ve been talking primarily about the sovereignty of the individual states. That’s because that very sovereignty was one of the primary States’ Rights called into question; the other was the Right of Secession. Lincoln actually believed in the Right of Secession, according to himself. In a speech delivered to the House of Representatives on 12 January 1848 concerning the War with Mexico, he said, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.” In his first Inaugural Address he said, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.” Yet, he was willing to wage war upon the seceded states for doing something he admitted they had a “constitutional right” to do in order, he said, to “preserve the Union.” Who cannot see the hypocrisy in this?
The Right of Secession itself is not declared on paper, but instead is an assumed constitutional right, as it was by the Founding Fathers. However, it can be removed from the ethereal state of assumption and be solidified right here and now in the realm of ink and paper. The first step to this “solidification” is to completely understand the meaning of the term Free and Independent States. Here’s what it means: Each state is in and of itself a legitimate, recognized, sovereign world political and governmental entity, with clearly defined geographical boundaries and a government comprised of, and elected by, its citizens. The word “state” is used, not to indicate subservience to an outside government comprised of representatives of a collective, but instead to indicate its equality among world nations, as in “the State of Great Britain” or “the State of Spain” or “the State of France” or “the State of America.” The point of this is that as such, the states’ first loyalty was to itself and its citizens, and therefore could-should-would not submit itself to outside rule. The United States was merely alliance of such states; hence, secession was, and (not that I personally support secession) is, perfectly legal. To those of you who say, “Secession is a violation of the Constitution,” I would say this: Bullshit!
Here is the only thing that the Constitution of the United States has to say about secession of any kind from any thing: Article 4, Section 3 states that “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.” This means that Congress, and nobody else, can grant new states admittance to the union. This means that if any two or more states or parts of states should decide that they want to become one state, or if any part of any state should decide that it no longer wishes to be a part of that state (merging and splitting states), then the parties wishing to do so must have permission from Congress and from the legislature(s) of the state(s) involved. Nowhere within the document is secession of an entire state or states mentioned; not once, even to this day. Hence, the secession of a state or states from the union was/is not an unconstitutional act.
Before I leave the subject of the Right of Secession, I want to make at least one more point. Having shown the Declaration of Independence’s clarity on the sovereignty of the individual states, I want to quickly (if I can) address what credence it lends to the Right of Secession. Most Americans, I sincerely hope, know what they are listening to when they hear the words “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…” People remember that part of the Declaration of Independence because it’s catchy. What many don’t seem to think about is what the sentence right before and the one right after those immortal words say. The very next sentence is “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.” I said I was going to try and keep this paragraph short, so I’m not going to explain that one. The other sentence, the previous one, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, makes it eloquently, simply, and crystal-clearly: “WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.”
There it is in plain English; the God-given Right of Secession. No question mark; just one big-ass period.
Lincoln’s intent to so blatantly violate the Constitution and take illegal military action against a State for legally and with good reason exercising its Right to Secession further outraged not only Southerners, but many Northerners, also; it was a violation of the rights of the States involved. An editorial in the 21 November 1860 edition of the Cincinnati Daily Press said of secession: “We believe that the right of any member of this Confederacy [the Union] to dissolve its political relations with the others and assume an independent position is absolute.” An editorial in the 21 March 1861 edition of the New York Times said of secession: “There is a growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.” Stories abound of Confederate soldiers who, when asked why they were fighting the Northern invaders, would reply with “Because you’re here.” Regardless of whether or not it actually happened, or whether it’s a metaphor, it does accurately describe the feelings of most Southerners of the time. So, I guess if one were to put it in a (rather large) nutshell, one could simply say that from the beginning the rights of the individual states and the unfair taxation of the southern region of the United States and the unfair regional redistribution of said revenue were the two predominant reasons that thirteen States, many of them pro-Union, ultimately seceded from the United States of America and formed the Confederate States of America, and it is predominantly for these reasons that they fought a war against subjugation by (as Lincoln managed to pervert the Glorious Union of the Old Republic into) the United Empire of America.
What were the North’s two major reasons for waging war upon the South? Answering that question may be just as simple as it was with the South, but I think I can get through it faster. The reason is that the only two major reasons they really had weren’t both recognized from the beginning. The only way to address them is realistically; as if they have no connection to one another other than that they were excuses for waging war on the South. We’ll take them chronologically as used by Lincoln to excuse his illegal invasion of, and war against, the Confederate States of America. “Does that mean we’re going to talk about slavery now?!” Please. Not hardly. Instead, let’s talk about Lincoln’s first and only (as per his own [at least in 1861] words) reason for invading the South… The preservation of the Union.
From the outset Lincoln claimed his only purpose in strong-arming the South into submission was to “preserve the Union” even though he had as late as four months to the day previously said “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.” On 4 July 1861, in a speech given to a special session of Congress, Lincoln asked Congress to “call out the war power of the Government; and so to resist force, employed for its destruction, by force, for its preservation…” “…thus to preserve the Union from actual, and immediate dissolution.” His hypocrisy is sickening, his character vile, and people deify the man. That term, “to preserve the Union,” was a favorite line of Lincoln’s even though the Union wasn’t in danger of anything other than losing some land and citizens, but use it often he did, and it’s the reason he used when he asked Congress for, and was given, the Powers of War. For that reason alone it’s fair to say that officially, the North was fighting strictly for the preservation of the Union from the beginning of the war. My question then, is this: Why, on 4 April 1861, when John Baldwin (attorney, Unionist, and future Confederate soldier and Congressman) asked him if he would use force to return the South to the Union, did Abraham Lincoln answer, “Am I to let them go, and open Charleston [and other Southern ports] as ports of entry with their ten percent tariff? What then would become of my tariff?” Obviously, the only way that tariff could be collected was to “preserve the Union.” Lincoln was supposedly trying to “preserve the Union,” but the heart of the entire matter was money; a fact that the South not only recognized, but openly admitted. Again; unfair regional taxation and unfair regional redistribution of revenue.
As the war progressed, Confederate victories stacked up as did Union losses. As a result, among Northerners, support for the war to “preserve the Union” began to rapidly wane. Lincoln was going to lose the Southern states all the millions in revenue that they would take with them; he had to do something. He decided to change his reason for waging his unconstitutional war. In July of 1862 Lincoln informed his Cabinet that he was going to issue a proclamation stating that he was going to alter the purpose of his war, and what the alteration would be. He was advised to wait until the time was “right.” He decided the time was “right” about two and one-half months later, in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Maryland, during which the single bloodiest day, up to and including today, in American military history would be recorded. When the fighting ceased for the evening of Wednesday, 17 September 1862, the second day of battle, twenty-three thousand Americans had become casualties; four thousand of those were dead. Although the battle ended with no conclusive victory, it did mark the retreat of Confederate General Robert Edward Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia from Maryland back into Virginia. On 22 September 1862, Lincoln issued Proclamation 93, which reiterated the purpose of his war and foretold of the issuance of Proclamation 95, forever to be remembered as the Emancipation Proclamation. This brings us to the second major reason the Northern states supposedly fought the War of the American Republics; to abolish slavery in North America.
Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863. Although the proclamation did not outright state that the abolition of slavery was an official objective of his war, many, many people mistakenly considered it to do just that, and even more do today. All it actually did state was which states he considered “in rebellion” and that he, as President of the United States, was declaring all slaves in the Confederate States of America freed men. Abolitionists from the North, the South, and many of the western territories threw their support behind the Union and Lincoln’s plan had worked; he had the support he had needed. There are those who claim that it is with the issuance of this proclamation is when “Lincoln freed the slaves.” It was no such thing. First of all, it only “freed” the slaves in the seceded states, and second, it didn’t even free them, because, constitutionally speaking, Lincoln didn’t have the power to in any way affect the governing of the Confederacy. The truth is that Lincoln had nothing to do with “freeing the slaves” (a fact that I can and will prove) and he didn’t care about slavery one way or the other. In a letter dated 22 August 1862, one month to the day before he issued Proclamation 93, Lincoln told Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, “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.” Right from the horse’s mouth (or pen, as the case is), with no mistake to be made; Lincoln did not care.
As to Lincoln “freeing the Slaves,” that is a lie. As I said before, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves because it was constitutionally unsound. It isn’t “who” freed the slaves, it’s “what” freed the slaves, and that was the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Yes, Lincoln signed it, but it wasn’t by his power that slavery had been abolished on the continent of North America; it was by the power of Congress. On 11 January 1864, a resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery was submitted to the Congress of the United States. That resolution, the Thirteenth Amendment was passed by the United States Senate on 8 April 1864, and was passed by the House of Representatives on 31 January 1865. It was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on 01 February 1865, but it was not ratified until 6 December 1865, two hundred and thirty-five days after Lincoln’s years-too-late death; but, as accepted history and the temple to him in Washington, D.C. implies, “to Lincoln be the glory.”
So, as I see it, the preservation of the Union was the North’s primary official reason for waging the war, but I think I’ve presented enough facts to the contrary to at least warrant admission that Abraham Lincoln might have used the “preservation of the Union” as an excuse to unconstitutionally invade the Confederate States of America, post-secession, and wage an illegal war of subjugation against the citizens thereof in order to collect unfair and illegal taxes that he thought (for some reason) that the North deserved to benefit from far more than the South. When public support for the war started dropping drastically, the North decided to adopt the abolishment of slavery as a new goal of the war, and I’ve produced a credible piece of evidence that Abraham Lincoln did not care if slavery continued or was abolished until he needed to abolish it to be able to continue waging the aforementioned war. I feel that the evidence I’ve presented is enough to hopefully inspire you, the reader, to learn more; come up with your own informed opinion. As I see it, the truth is that the North was fighting for one single reason: To collect an unfair regional tax in order to unfairly regionally redistribute the collected revenue to their own advancement and benefit.
The majority of soldiers, sailors, and marines in the military forces of either the United States of America or the Confederate States of America were fighting for their own reasons and what they believed, and most of those were righteous reasons. Any man or woman who fights, maybe dies, for what they truly believe deserves respect for having the courage of their convictions, even if those convictions are not righteous ones. For example, Custer did not respect the Dakota as warriors; in fact, he despised them as such. Crazy Horse respected Custer, but he also understood him. They fought their battle, and the men of the Seventh Cavalry were annihilated by the Dakota and Cheyenne warriors led by Crazy Horse; slaughtered to a man; no survivors. Custer and the men of the Seventh Cavalry died because Custer was arrogant; because he didn’t give his enemy due respect. He was warned by Jim Bridger, a man who knew the Dakota intimately, and he did not listen. Instead, he sought out genocide, and as far as the field of battle goes, he found it. His cause was not righteous by any means, still, he and the men with whom he died each did so for something in which he believed enough to be there in the first place, and for having such courage of conviction, let alone displaying it, they deserve respect. What I’m trying to say is that all the men, Johnny Reb and Billy Yank alike, who fought and died in that war all deserve our respect; each was there for his own reasons, but, by God, they were there.
In closing, let me say that men often go to war for different reasons than do the governments which they represent on the field of battle, and it is far easier to recognize the reasons of governments than it is the reasons of men. In the War of the American Republics, the South fought primarily for the rights of the individual states and the unfair taxation of the southern region of the United States and the unfair regional redistribution of revenues collected. The North fought in order to collect an unfair regional tax in order to unfairly regionally redistribute the collected revenue to their own advancement and benefit, and they did it under the guises of “preserving the Union” and, when that ceased being enough, the abolishment of the institution of slavery in the United States. Not that either of those was a bad thing, but they were, as I said, guises.
Lincoln used the myth of “national consolidation” to gain public and political support for a war to collect an unfair tax; one of the major reasons why the United States seceded from the British Empire almost one hundred years prior. As to the men who actually fought in that war, I reckon every single one of them had his own reason(s) for being there, and I’m sure that States’ Rights, Federal taxation, preserving the Union, and slavery were prominent among them on both sides. States’ Rights, secession, and preservation of the Union were issues that affected everybody, as was taxation and the redistribution of revenue. Slavery was more important to some than others. Besides the fact that the abolitionist movement was gaining momentum in the South, the greater percentage of Southern soldiers were non-slaveholders, and most of those were either abolitionists or indifferent. The only ones with anything to lose when it came to Slavery were the slaveholders. Many who fought for the North undoubtedly were there to help abolish slavery, a cause which I feel to be a righteous cause. Many who fought for the South (and they were a large minority) were surely there to preserve slavery (like I have said, not all causes are righteous) but that doesn’t mean that the Confederacy and the vast majority of her peoples were pro-slavery. The War of the American Republics could easily have been avoided had the Issue of All Issues had been the abolition or preservation of slavery; the Corwin Amendment, which Lincoln supported, was on the floor in congress and would have decided the issue to the satisfaction of the slave states and the non-slave states, but it got pushed aside when the war broke out. The abolition of slavery versus the preservation of slavery and that alone was what that war was over, according to what has now been taught in our schools for more than four generations. The truth is that yes, slavery was indeed an issue, but it wasn’t THE issue it’s been made out to be, so these so-called Social Justice Warriors shouldn’t take their anger at the world for not caring about them or their feelings out on our heritage for invalid reasons; the Confederate and Revolutionary Era values and ideals we support have nothing to do with racism, slavery, or white supremacy, as these “SJW”s claim. They are solid family values, honor and integrity, and the belief in a society of free men with minimal governmental regulation of anything. We recognize and concede to them their right to be whom and what they are (even if we don’t agree with it); do we not deserve the recognition and concession? They preach tolerance, yet they refuse to tolerate people about whom they know nothing and don’t care to know anything; the hypocrisy is very Lincolnesque of them. What kind of background can lead to such misguided rage, unabashed hypocrisy, and mob-style behavior? Were their parents over-worked and under-attentive? Did someone close to them get excessively inebriated and while in that state of excessive inebriation get themselves hit and killed by a train, perhaps? Did somebody chain them (or anybody they actually know) up and beat them relentlessly? Somebody help me understand…
14 November 2019
K. Lance Spivey
Chairman, Board of Directors
Heirs to the Confederacy
Natura Sanguinis Gloriosum… [x]
~ The Author ~
Lance Spivey is the son of a Quaker preacher (also a United States Navy veteran). Born at the height of the Vietnam War, he is a twelfth generation North Carolinian and a descendant of Revolutionary and Confederate soldiers. Spivey grew up in the little community of Belvidere in Perquimans County, and has been remarried and re-divorced, and is now married to the woman God made just for him. He has kids and grand-kids, and now lives in Randolph County, where his family settled so long ago. Being a preacher’s kid, Lance have engaged in much more than his share of stupidity in his life, and, by way of the results of said engagements, has developed a very strong distaste for stupidity.