“Civil War” Sesquicentennial – A War to End Slavery?
About 50 years ago we began hearing how the so-called “American Civil War” was all about freeing the slaves. How the North’s pure motives were vindicated by ultimate success and therefore how evil and wrong the South must have been. More recently that mantra has become so pervasive as to be laughable; provided you have studied honest history. The poor souls given diplomas may not know any better, but I and countless others do. It should be argued that the unnecessary war was waged in order to substitute a new and improved servitude over the old. Any informed observer can recognize that orders have emanated from higher authority to all those who receive Government largesse; that Academics and Parks especially must tow the party line. It’s all about and has always been about world-view.
As a Western Christian Civilized Nation and people we have been tasked by very God to practice the Ten Commandments. Additionally, that Christian practice must result in fidelity to our Lord, personal responsibility, brotherly love and all the resultant Fruits of the Spirit which Christian stewardship evidences. Those who argue that ours was not founded upon Christian Principles are very simply wrong; which reinforces the fact that theirs is shoddy history.
John Henry Hopkins (1792-1868) who made his fortune in the iron business in Pennsylvania and later removed to Massachusetts, not only emphasizes the Christianity of our Founding but provided ample evidence in his text “The American Citizen” published in 1857, that “Christianity is the only religion Constitutionally allowed in these United States.” Henry Hopkins stood with the men of the South during that conflagration which further supports the view as his work is ignored by modern history filtering academics.
The King James Version on God’s Holy Word mentions bond servant, bondman, servant, man servant and maid servant et. al. over 850 times. In each instance the Hebrew or Greek word translates enslaved or slave in the original text unless the context specifies day labor. Commandment 5 (Exodus 20:8-11) states: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy…in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant (male slave), nor thy maid servant (female slave)…”Commandment 10 (Exodus 20-17) states: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house… nor his manservant (male slave), nor his maidservant (female slave), nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” Abraham and all the patriarchs owned slaves. Israel as a people became slaves themselves. The Apostle Paul in Rome sent the slave Onesimus back to his master Philemon in Colosse. What does this mean?
Human slavery was introduced when Adam (who was created to serve God) refused personal responsibility and chose disobedience to satisfy his human appetite. Resultant sin entered the world system and as a consequence slavery and death. Sin and consequences of sin are two distinct realms. Sin is disobedience to God’s word while it’s consequences become the resultant franchise. All men today are slaves to the world money system; as well as slaves either to their passions, appetites, work, or amusement. Because you face a myriad of daily meaningless choices and believe yourself free; that does not make you free. An abundance of trivial preoccupation simply means you are distracted. You are tethered to the banks, all levels of government and your job, you are also saddled with the franchise your sin has wrought. The father of modern international banking Anselm Rothschild (1743-1812) said, “Give me the power to issue a nation’s money; then I don’t care who makes the law.” The Russian Aristocrat, writer and proletariat wanna-be Leon Tolstoy (1828-1910) aptly discerned, “Money [Fiat Money] is the new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply because it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”
A social and theological rift that was apparent at our founding became wider and wider as the decades progressed. Our Northern brethren by 1850 had become totally confused by the revolutionary theories and radical theologies they imported from the slums of Europe. The prosperity they enjoyed by building slave ships, distilling rum for slaves and selling slaves to the Caribbean and Brazil was rapidly ending. Their lust for easy money focused their attention on the West and South. The greater part of the Western frontier was a gift from Virginia; the remainder made possible by the Virginian Thomas Jefferson, while making that territory safe to occupy was accomplished by Southern frontiersmen. The South was prosperous but that prosperity was in decline due to the ever increasing costs of birth to death maintenance of their slave population. Southern Slavery was destined to collapse under its own weight sooner rather than later. The South was happy, organized, Christian, and ever discouraging to Yankee attempts to pilfer the central treasury. A Times of London correspondent William Howard Russell (1820 – 1907) observed in an article appearing May 28, 1861:” The New Englander must have something to persecute, and as he has hunted down all the Indians, burnt all the witches, and persecuted all his opponents to death, he has invented Abolitionism as the sole source left to him for the gratification of his favored passion. Next to this motive principle is his desire to make money dishonestly, trickily, meanly, and shabbily. He has acted on it in all his relations with the South, and has cheated and plundered her in all his dealings by villainous tariffs.” In his 1872 History of the United States, Alexander H. Stephens (1812-1883) says with regard to Yankees, “…persecution [in England] produced its natural effect on them. It found them a sect, it made them a faction. To their hatred of the Church was now added hatred of the Crown. The two sentiments were intermingled, and each embittered the other… After the fashion of oppressed sects, they mistook their own vindictive feelings for emotions of piety; encouraged in themselves, by reading and meditation, a disposition to brood over their wrongs; and, when they had worked themselves up into hating their enemies, imagined they were only hating the enemies of heaven.” Thus abolitionism came forth from the womb of a harlot who would not take personal responsibility by a father overcome with the passions of pride, lust, greed, ambition, pleasure and force. The spirit of abolitionism is still with us today in the guise of confused but well meaning folk intent on blaming inanimate objects or circumstance as excuse for poor choice and the wickedness of the human heart. It is impossible to navigate life satisfactorily when you don’t know you’re lost.
Christianity teaches that we must be personally responsible (Exodus 20:2-17, II Thessalonians 3:10, I Corinthians 3:13), abolitionism rather prefers placing blame elsewhere. By 1860 the world-views of North and South were diametrically opposed; Yankee Christianity had morphed into Unitarian, Transcendental, Humanistic, might makes right, ends justify the means, my way, prideful State religion. After all, immense wealth was at stake, and by using free trade absent virtue the resultant capitalism could control the world; but the South stood in the way.
While reading, watching or listening to history; if freeing the slaves was the cause of the “American Civil War” then you are reading, watching or listening to propaganda as flawed history. And if those historians claim that America was not founded upon Biblical principles, they are lying for selfish motives.
In the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debates Mr. Lincoln said, “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…” Then in his 1861 First Inaugural Address he said, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Additionally he said in an open letter in 1862 to Horace Greely, editor of the New York Tribune, as a consequence of his firing Union General John Fremont commanding Union troops in Missouri for issuing an order to free the slaves in that district: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union [from whom or from what?], and is not to save or destroy slavery.” and he rescinded General Fremont’s Order.
After the 1860 elections talk of secession from the Union abounded from the South and East to as far North and West as Wisconsin. On December 10, 1860, before any referendums were held, The Chicago Daily Times opined on potential consequences: “In one single blow, our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half of what it is now. 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 manufacturers would be in utter ruins.”
A true Southern gentleman and hero Raphael Semmes, understood what most Southerners comprehended and he stated it precisely when he wrote, “If we succeed in preserving the principle of State sovereignty – the only principle which can save this whole country, North and South, from utter wreck and ruin – all will be well, whatever the combinations of particular States being made, from time to time. The States being free, Liberty will be saved…But if this principle be overthrown, if the mad idea be carried out, that all the American people must be molded into a common mass, and form one consolidated government, under the rule of a majority – for no constitution will restrain them – constitutional Liberty will disappear, and no man can predict the future – except in so far, that it is impossible for the Puritan, and the Cavalier to live together in peace.” At this point, if you are historically challenged, you may wish to substitute blue State and red State for the comparison.
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America had this to say: “The truth remains intact and incontrovertible, that the existence of African servitude was in no wise the cause of the conflict, but only an incident…to whatever extent the question of slavery may have been an occasion, it was far from being the cause…[and] when the cause was lost, whose cause was it? Not that of the South only, but the cause of constitutional government, of the supremacy of law…”
So why did the South legally and peacefully secede from the Union? Because the 16th President called for the States to provide 75,000 troops to put down rebellion! Yet it was not rebellion; but people exercising their constitutional rights. James Madison stated: “The use of force against a State would be more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts.” Alexander Hamilton concurs when he says: “To coerce a State would be one of the maddest projects devised; no State would ever suffer itself to be used as an instrument of coercing another.” Rebellion was the term chosen by the 16th President because of his claim that the South fired upon the flag of the Union at Fort Sumter. An accepted fact of history is that the aggressor in a war is not the first to use force, but the first to render force necessary; and it is historical fact that the 16th President, after his election and before his inauguration, devised a plan for the first shots to be fired at either Fort Sumter in South Carolina or Fort Pickens in Florida. It was not rebellion but self defense, goaded by the 16th President.
General J.B. Gordon remarked after the war: “No. We did not want war and we did not inaugurate it. All we asked was to be let alone. But the North, which had become more populous and powerful than the South, determined to preserve her commercial interests, hence the war.” General Jubal Early remarked also: “The people of the United States will find that under the pretense of saving the life of the Nation and upholding the old flag, they have surrendered their own liberties into the hands of that worst of all tyrants, a body of senseless fanatics.” General U.S. Grant who retained his slaves until December 1866, said: “Should I become convinced that the object of the Government is to execute the wishes of the abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and soldier I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side.” Interestingly, the Governor of N.J., Joel Parker said in 1863, “ Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery.” Finally, the U.S.Congress passed a resolution on July 23, 1861: “The war is waged by the Government of the United States, not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of interfering with the rights or institutions of the States, but to defend and protect the Union.”
The senseless war that was begun in 1861 and ended after reconstruction in 1877 freed no one; it simply expanded the boundaries so that we all share the servitude. Don’t take my word for it, read real history for yourself .
Crossroads Country Store – Rex Miller © 2011