Slavery truly did foment the Civil War

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After reading Dewey Hill's April 27 letter on the Civil War, and Reubin Loper's response May 20, I must respond -- although, with all due respect to Eugene Robinson, you could find someone with less socialistic views to replace him.

I am yet another student of that historical period who sees the integral cause as racial, not money or states' rights. Yes, most wars have ties to money and rights. But no nation fights a long, bloody war over money. Think about it. The poorer entity would quickly lose. Cartels and gangsters go to battle over money.

It is a huge mistake to believe that the Civil War was not fomented by slavery. The Founding Fathers actually tabled the issue of slavery to keep the Constitutional Convention from collapsing, so eager were they to have all states sign the Constitution.

Furthermore, in their private writings, Washington, Jefferson and Adams despaired that their efforts to create a democratic nation might not last even 100 years due to the evil of slavery, a contradiction to the principles they were establishing. At that point they hoped for a miracle -- perhaps an Abraham Lincoln.

Eugene Robinson was right, in my educated opinion, that this nation could never have succeeded as a purveyor of slavery. While slaves were essential to the South's economy (money?), far too many citizens, in both South and North, harbored deep-seated loathing for slavery -- owning other human beings. I myself would have fought for this principle.

How can Mr. Loper say, "President Lincoln was not that concerned about slavery"? History does not support that statement. Americans should know that a deal-breaker (slavery) was challenged and abrogated, demonstrating our capability to self-correct. Jefferson wrote, "We can tolerate error in judgment as long as we have the freedom to choose our path."

Pam Shumway

McCormick, S.C.

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Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 05/26/10 - 10:22 pm
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Ms. Shumway gets the "cart

Ms. Shumway gets the "cart before the horse." Why did slavery exist?...BECAUSE OF MONEY. No Money--no Slavery. Slaves were free labor. No one can complete with totally FREE labor, not even China.
The love of money, is the ROOT of all evil! Go ask your minister.
If you say the Civil War was fought because the South wanted to keep their Slaves....You are absolutely right. But the South wanted to keep their slaves so that they could continue to make MONEY. In order to make MONEY you had to have SLAVES. And in order to have SLAVES you had to have MONEY.

That War will never be over, will it?

I guess we all died a little in that damned War! Josey Wales.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 05/27/10 - 02:36 am
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More sniping about history.

More sniping about history. It's pretty clear no revision needs to be printed. Most people just believe what they're told to believe by their leaders. Thank you government schools.

Dixieman
17558
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Dixieman 05/27/10 - 04:13 am
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Much heat, little light, is

Much heat, little light, is being generated about this issue in the AC's columns.

mpowel21
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mpowel21 05/27/10 - 04:30 am
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slavery had nothing to do

slavery had nothing to do with the civil war. it was about greed and arrogance on the part of the northerners, milking the funds and monetary assets of the South. the hypocrits of the north owned slaves themselves. do not try to misconstrue history . work on educating yourself

justus4
113
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justus4 05/27/10 - 04:42 am
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"Self-correct!?" America has
Unpublished

"Self-correct!?" America has NEVER did what any so-called Christain nation would do: Admit the sins, then make atonement for the sins. Anyone with a passing knowledge of religion knows the path to redemption, but know that America has resisted doing whats right by those slaves and their ancestors at every turn. Lie after lie will be offered along with half truths to make excuses for the nation's original sin, the government's response to it and the historical attempts to avoid responsibility. The article offers some accurate truths, but the ignorance in some quarters and inability to be truthful regarding causes of historical events, demonstrates that most history books are filled with wishfull thinking about slavery, resulting in a complete distortions of events and atrocities associated with the building of the nation. However, at some point the nation will have to address her evils and the article allows for a good first step.

mpowel21
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mpowel21 05/27/10 - 04:54 am
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lord, sounds like a true

lord, sounds like a true hypocrite, uneducated person trying to use big words that she doesn't know the meaning of.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 05/27/10 - 05:28 am
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Slaves were not owned by

Slaves were not owned by every Southerner in fact very few could afford to own one as they were terribly expensive to purchase. Somehow I doubt that most of the Rebels would sign up for a war and risk their lives to protect the rights of the elite few to own them. The war was made up of many issues of which slavery was only one part.

NoCatchyName
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NoCatchyName 05/27/10 - 05:38 am
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Justus4 and I do not agree

Justus4 and I do not agree about many things, but we can agree that slavery was one of the causes of the War Between the States. Another cause was the South's disproportionate share of the cost of the operating the Federal Government and the broad concept of States Rights. Most of the Southerners who took up arms did so to repel an invasion from the north. The great majority of them did not own slaves and of those who did many disfavored secession.

One of the sticking points in this never ending argument is that both sides paint with a very broad brush. Those who wish to honor the memory of their Confederate ancestors tend minimize the role of slavery. Those who wish to maximize the role of slavery tend to denigrate all the other motives the Confederates had.

Slavery existed before the the Union was formed. It existed during America's first ninety years as a formal institution. It existed for the next one hundred years in this country as an informal institution, share cropping and company stores. It exists today as a formal government program, Welfare (Social Security, AFDC, Food Stamps, E.I.T.C., and etc.) Sadly, it will continue to exist so long as there is a class of people willing to enslave others and a class of people willing to tolerate being enslaved.

Rhetor
1082
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Rhetor 05/27/10 - 05:51 am
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Actually, most of the expense

Actually, most of the expense of the federal government was born by import tariffs. The US government collected very little money from internal taxes of any kind in the 19th century. What we see here is simply more of the myth of the Lost Cause.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 05/27/10 - 05:53 am
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Good comment, NoCatchyName.

Good comment, NoCatchyName. (by the way, I like your name, kind of catchy)

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 05/27/10 - 05:54 am
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What we see posted by your,

What we see posted by your, Rhetor, is most of the myth.

confederate american
0
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confederate american 05/27/10 - 06:20 am
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Of the 13 southern states

Of the 13 southern states only 4% of its people owned slaves,so Lincoln sent troops into the south for just this reason.Wake up people,research,research.I will not buy a book if it doesn't have its sources and i will check them also,to many people beleive everything they read and everything someone tells them,instead of doing a study for themselves,Thats one of the things wrong with this country today.

augustadog
96
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augustadog 05/27/10 - 06:29 am
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Why did the North invade the

Why did the North invade the South. Because the country got 85% of it's tax base from the south through tariffs on cotton etc. Wake up people and get educated if you want to discuss the Civil War. The yankees wrote the history books you grew up on.States Rights are being trampled on today by the federal government.

mary dits
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mary dits 05/27/10 - 07:59 am
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i love the argument that

i love the argument that since the majority of people didn't own slaves, race couldn't have played a part. kind of like how poor republicans today cry about tax burdens on the rich, the death tax, capital gains taxes, drill here drill now, all the things that really matter to working-class republicans. tea parties are about taxes and nothing at all to do with freaking out over a black president. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgGKxN6KFFE

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 05/27/10 - 08:15 am
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Good grief, people on both
Unpublished

Good grief, people on both sides of this issue, please, GIVE IT A REST!!

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 05/27/10 - 08:21 am
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justus4, you will neverget it

justus4, you will neverget it right. If you do not realize that we, America now, cannot make atonement for and/or receive redemption for people two to three generations ago, then you will never understand how forgiveness really works. I cannot pray for forgiveness of anyone(except myself) and that forgiveness be given. Every single person must ask for themselves, that is how it works. I cannot pray for all the hate you have,to be removed, you must do that. I can ask that God come into your mind and help you and your way of thinking, but you must ask for it and the forgiveness for all your bad deeds and bad thoughts. You need to understand, there is no person that must pay for another person's iniquities. That same thought is this time in America cannot be held accountable for another time in history. WE all believe and know slavery was, and is wrong. So please stop that same ol' song you sing.............

Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 05/27/10 - 01:33 pm
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Justus states that "at some

Justus states that "at some point this Nation will have to address her evils." Well what in the heck do you think we are talking about. This Nation addressed her evils in the Civil War--the worst War, the worst tragedy that this Nation has ever endured. What's it going to take to satisfy you other than the blood sacrificed by this Nation. Blood Money?

That War will never be over, will it?

I guess we all died a little in that damn War. Josey Wales

confederate american
0
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confederate american 05/27/10 - 09:07 am
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My Grandfather in the 1863

My Grandfather in the 1863 census in Burke county,25 acres of land,4 room house,milk cow,plow mule,a few chickens and pigs,total worth of all $247.52.Yea thats right he left his wife and 2 small children to go off to war to fight to keep slavery,YEA RIGHT !

afskyefan
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afskyefan 05/27/10 - 09:12 am
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Two seldom heard quotes from

Two seldom heard quotes from the 'Great Emancipator':
1. 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. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
2. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.

I do not post these to impugn Lincoln. The fact is, Abraham Lincoln is certainly on record as opposing slavery. Yet, he was a politician and, like any politician, he used the issues of his day to advance his agenda. Slavery, and it's abolition, were fundamental in Lincoln's need to make the war a moral cause. The north was not going to fight to preserve the revenues produced from tariff's on cotton. The world was not going remain neutral, or oppose the south, over economic or political issues.

Lincoln was not some civil rights pioneer. He did not love the black race. He loved the union. He abhorred slavery, yet he made it clear that he did not see the black man as an equal. He was no saint, and he was no devil. He was a man of his times with a conviction that the union had to be preserved.

All that aside, this debate should be set aside for more pressing matters. The war is over. The confederacy lost, the union was preserved, and we would all be better served if we worked on making the union stronger. All this debate over causes, apologies and reparations is absurd. The causes are moot. Apologies fall on deaf ears, and there are no living former slaves to whom reparations can be made.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/27/10 - 09:29 am
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Confederate American had an

Confederate American had an interesting post. He said that in an 1863 Burke County accounting, an ancestor of his had the following as his total wealth:

  • 25 acres of land
  • 4 room house
  • milk cow
  • plow mule
  • a few chickens and pigs

For a total worth of all $247.52. Then Confederate American said

Yeah, that's right. He left his wife and 2 small children to go off to war to fight to keep slavery. YEAH, RIGHT !

Actually, he left his wife and 2 small children to go off to war to fight because some wealthy politicians in Burke County whipped him into a frenzy with patriotic rhetoric — making him think it was his duty to go off to war to fight to keep that politician's way of life and income.

garner49
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garner49 05/27/10 - 09:51 am
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Mmmmm. So it was about

Mmmmm. So it was about slavery? (so you say) Then why did the north have them and from history, treated them worse than the South did?

Yet another bend in the History books...
As 'Nat the Cat' said, that war will never be over.

confederate american
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confederate american 05/27/10 - 10:47 am
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littlelamb -True men of the

littlelamb -True men of the south have their on convictions we don't let liberals and demos jerk us around like most of you do.You got suckered into voting for old smack daddy long legs,nothing more than a talking head,how do you like the change.LMAO.

ohhsweetconcord
3
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ohhsweetconcord 05/27/10 - 11:03 am
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How about everyone rent "Ken

How about everyone rent "Ken Burn's Civil War." Its a really good retelling of the history of the Civil War. Lots of good nuggets of info.

Mr. Thackeray
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Mr. Thackeray 05/27/10 - 11:21 am
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I love the ignorance you

I love the ignorance you folks exhibit on a daily basis. Do us all a favor and CITE YOUR SOURCES rather than simply saying others are wrong. Where are you PRIMARY SOURCES, without them, you have no proof.

usafveteran
32
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usafveteran 05/27/10 - 11:42 am
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This letter doesn't surprise

This letter doesn't surprise me, for it was written by a Yankee transplant from New York who received an education that is typically Northern biased.

Labatt
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Labatt 05/27/10 - 11:49 am
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Again.. southern education,

Again.. southern education, ignorance or arrogance (you pick) at its finest.
Justus..err I mean Chiquita, do you know what year it is?
Why is this even in the paper? I think my subscription just ran out.

Labatt
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Labatt 05/27/10 - 12:17 pm
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usavet.. We "yankee's" know

usavet.. We "yankee's" know that slavery was not the issue of the war. Not sure what school the dipstick that wrote this article is from, but if it was a northern school, I would suggest they close it.

uptheseventhplanet
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uptheseventhplanet 05/27/10 - 12:37 pm
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"Good comment, NoCatchyName.

"Good comment, NoCatchyName. (by the way, I like your name, kind of catchy)"

And here I thought it was the chinese version of the question, "What was your name again?"

KatieLou
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KatieLou 05/27/10 - 12:39 pm
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I always wonder what

I always wonder what "atonement" Justus4 would prescribe for this awful, hypocritical nation that once allowed slavery. What would satisfy you, big J?

Please, be specific.

KatieLou
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KatieLou 05/27/10 - 12:43 pm
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Great comment, NoCatchyName.

Great comment, NoCatchyName. On the money in every point you make.

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