Thursday, March 20, 2014

Schmuckery Of Claim That Civil War Began Over States' Rights

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free ~ Abraham Lincoln (2/12/1809 to 4/15/1865) the 16th president (3/4/1861 to 4/15/1865) as quoted in a 8/22/1862 letter to the New York Tribune. This section of Lincoln's letter follows the more often quoted portion that reads "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".

As commander of the Northern forces during the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant apparently said "The sole object of the war is to restore the Union. Should I become convinced it has any other object, or that the government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the abolitionists... I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side".

Or maybe he didn't say that. None-the-less the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart cites this quote as proof that the civil was wasn't about slavery - and on this matter commenter Rusty Schmuckelford whole-heartedly agrees, saying (2 comments)...

Rusty Schmuckelford: As I said before... the Civil War began over states rights... slavery was a secondary issue. [AND] Its unfortunate there are still american's suffering from a bad case of "white guilt". These deluded folks see a racial aspect in everything. They cant fathom the civil war being fought for anything but slavery... of course they are dead wrong, yet due to their guilt cannot accept the truth. (3/18/2014 at 8:42pm AND 3/9/2014 at 12:12pm).

Rusty may have said it before, but he was as dead wrong then as he is now. And a schmuck for thinking "white guilt" is any kind of factor for those who acknowledge the facts. Fortunately bullplop like Rusty's is pretty easy to disprove - all one has to do is take a look at the Declaration of Causes of Seceding States which all cite slavery as their reason for leaving the union. And, as pointed out in a 2/25/2011 WP opinion piece by the historian James W. Loewen "Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery".

Between 12/20/1860 and 11/20/1861 13 states ratified ordinances of secession, with four states - "Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issued separate declarations of causes, in which they explained their reasons for secession". (quoted from Wikipedia).

What follows are brief excepts from the Declaration of Causes documents issued by the four previously mentioned states...

12/20/1860, South Carolina: The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due". [complaint about the North not returning escaped slaves, as per the 4th amendment's Fugitive Slave Clause].

1/19/1861, Georgia: For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property... [another complaint about the North not returning escaped slaves].

2/1/1861, Texas: [Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding [into the Confederated Union], maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery - the servitude of the African to the white race... a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

6/6/1861, Mississippi: ...the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...

As you can plainly see, all four documents cite slavery as the reason the state in question decided to leave the union. None cited States' Rights as a determining factor, or any kind of factor at all. The Civil War was fought because of slavery; case closed. Also, in regards to that "quote" from Ulysses S. Grant - there is serious doubt as to whether or not he actually said it.

The words have been removed from Wikiquote, with the remover giving the reason of... "I hate to admit it but Grant did not say [it]". Also, on the website Dead Confederates: A Civil War Era Blog, blog proprietor Andy Hall concludes that the quote is "given as a years-old reminiscence by a third party and printed in The Democratic Speaker's Handbook [and that no] serious person can attribute [it] as an actual quote, in good faith". (Note: "Dead Confederates" is listed on the Center for Civil War Research's resources page. The Center was established by the University of Mississippi in 2009).

Finally, in regards to the assertion by the blogger being rebutted here that "we could have done what England did and purchased the freedom of the slaves"... compensated emancipation was proposed by Lincoln in a 3/6/1862 message to Congress, but "the southern states, now in full rebellion, ignored the proposals" (source: Wikipedia).

Doesn't the fact that such a proposal was offered by Lincoln pretty much prove that the Civil War was fought over African Americans in bondage and forced servitude? I mean, here Lincoln is specifically offering a solution to the succession problem that phases out slavery. And Lincoln's message to Congress also points to that Grant quote being almost certainly false as well. Are we to believe that Grant was unaware of Lincoln's proposal? If the quote were true wouldn't Grant have resigned his commission and carried his sword to the other side? (Note: both Lincoln's message to Congress on compensated emancipation and the supposed Grant quote have a date of 1862 attached to them).

So that, I believe, pretty much debunks and refutes all (or most of) the nonsense about the Civil War not being fought because of slavery but because of tariffs or States' Rights from the blog of Will Hart. Both assertions are false and a disservice to those who seek an honest accounting of history. Because without such an honest accounting we cannot acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them - which is exactly what many who dissemble on this issue desire. They don't want us to learn from history. Their desire is that minorities should continue to be discriminated against and deprived of their voting rights.

I'm not saying this is Mr. Hart's motivation, but he surely is not a part of the solution with his recent (and numerous) Ahistorical commentaries on the subject of the Civil War and slavery.

SWTD #242. See also OST #6.


  1. You shouldn't let your personal white guilt consume you this way WD..Please consider seeking professional help.

    Your problem will not allow you to think rationally. You did not personally cause slavery....there is no need for you to carry the guilt for it.

  2. "White guilt" is a term used by racists like Rusty to excuse their racist behavior... it's due to a lack of "White guilt", or so they convince themselves. Rusty should get help for that. Perhaps Rusty has some White guilt, and that is what is causing him to deny the reality of slavery being the reason the Civil War was fought? He simply can't face up to the truth.

  3. Perhaps rational people can agree that even notable historians differ on the primary drivers of the conflict.

    And... that DS isn't suffering from "white guilt" but may just be slightly delusional in his certainty.

    Besides, if it isn't going to affect the price of a rack of lamb and a bottle of fine burgundy is it really all that important?

  4. It's quite interesting watching dmarks and will hart get hard-ons discussing this revisionist, pro-confederate argument. Even RN seems to be enjoying it a little bit too much. Normally we think of confederate die-hards as people who somehow feel a magic connection to the romantic past of "My OId Kentucky Home," or just blatant racists such as Ted Nugent. I can't help wondering what is the brain orgasm driving this ridiculous argument? Why does it hold such an appeal to libertarians? It seems that just a few years back, the one thing that conservatives and liberals could agree upon was the greatness of Abraham Lincoln. Being a scholar of Lincoln, the man and his times more than the tariffs that led up to the war, I guess I'm not really prepared to jump into the fray. But all I can guess is that the simply preposterous denial of the obvious truth must have something to do with the thrill.

    1. Damn, I didn't realize the revisionist history was started by libertarians. I mean like I got my info and schooling before libertarians hit the radar. Always thought it was the progressives that were the revisionists.

      Oh well. Time for that rack of lamb and a fine burgundy. Tomorrow is another day. Americans have short memories and attention spans. And, I'm an American.

      Perhaps we can take up the discussion in another say, 150 years or so?

  5. Col.Sanders wants every white person to feel as guilty about slavery as he does.Typical liberal,he wants to take the weight of all injustice on his shoulders and slavery is a big one for them. Worrying about slavery makes him feel better about himself,it relieves some of his guilt. The same white guilt was evident when they elected a man whose resume could have been written on a cocktail napkin to the office of matter the man was a total incompetent...what did matter,he was black.....whew,they got that guilt off their backs.

    Look family landed on Ellis Island in 1905....they had nothing to do with the Civil War or consequently I could give a shit less about slavery and have zero guilt about it..

    The only reason I got in the conversation about the cause of the Civil War was because one of my minors in school was American History and my instructor felt states rights was the driving cause....RN feels the leading cause was economics,we disagree but I think we are both correct.

    You Col.Sanders are dead wrong when you blindly try to rewrite history...all your stomping of feet and screeching cant change history.......slavery was way down on the list of causes....sorry.

  6. You tiny little man. Do you believe that slavery is ancient history like Moses and the Pharaoh? I am probably a little bit older than you, but in the 1960s, when I was a little boy, our housekeeper, or cleaning lady, as we called her, was the grand-daughter of a slave. The fucking grand-daughter! And she was still riding the bus to clean the homes of white people.

    You just don't get it. But I don't expect you to really understand anything. You do not present to me as a very serious intellect on any level whatsoever.

  7. Rusty ShackleTurd has apparently been unshackled. He keeps floating back to the surface.

  8. Rusty's stomping of feet and screeching can't change history, which is that the Civil War was fought over slavery. As RN (with clarification by FJ) correctly pointed out in a comment to my last post... the first reason the civil war was fought was slavery (economics of an economy based on it), the second reason was slavery (the States' Rights aspect of it - slave states right to have escaped slaves returned to them), plus a third reason of slavery (an "afterthought" of the seceding Southern states who already thought of slavery as the reason they wanted to leave the Union... Twice).

    So, that makes slavery the top three reasons the Southern states gave for seceding. Maybe tariffs were an AFTER afterthought?

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I wish people like Rusty and Ed would get over it and stop lying about our racist past. But people like Rusty and Ed will probably never get over it. We won't be able to move on from our racist present unfortunately, until asshats like Rusty and Ed are dead. That sad truth is the REAL bottom line.

    2. I just noticed that "Ed Degorio" deleted his comment, so I went to my Google email to retrieve it (as deleting comments is NOT ALLOWED under my blog commenting guidelines).

      Ed's original comment is as follows...

      Ed Degorio: Rusty is right , get over it already , it's been 120 years, these asshats won't be happt until they are paid off, and that's the bottom line.

      Wrong, as well as disgusting. The "paid off" part, I mean. Not that all of Ed's comment rewriting history isn't disgusting, but the "paid off" part (implying African Americans are seeking reparations for slavery). It's another slander of African Americans as lazy freeloaders who want something for nothing... because WHY should descendants of slaves ("Asshats", according to "Ed") get reparations for something they should "get over"?

      Also, for the record I should point out that "Ed Degorio" is a sock puppet of "Rational Nation" (AKA Les Carpenter) as proven here (see last paragraph of comment) and acknowledged by Ed/RN here (where Ed/RN says "I guess you caught us"). So, is RN playing a racist character, or is RN actually racist? Me, I'm inclined to believe that RN agrees with "Ed" more than he disagrees with him and that RN is expressing his own thoughts while pretending to be "Ed".

  10. Of course, it started over "State's Rights", the right to own people and treat them as they wished.

    State's Rights... What a joke. Of all the lies told by Right-Wingers State's Rights as cover for their desire to Oppress is the top one. Right-Wingers love to use the awesome power of the government to enforce their will.

    Oppression, Intolerance and Adulation of the Rich are what State's Rights means to Right-Wingers.

  11. Why Lester....are we cross?

    I don't think I could bear it if we were cross.

  12. Tisk...tisk......Grung_a_Gene,yet another angry lib who hates successful people.

    I guess he's tired of saying......."sir,would you like regular or extra crispy?"

    1. Absolutely, conservatives adore "successful people". They pine and grovel for the big strong-man to stride into their lives and rule them, to degrade them, to control them. Domination is what Rusty wants, and like any sub when someone stops him from enjoying his masochism he gets petulant and lashes out.

  13. This Flying guy's family were slave holders? Or did they just take advantage of a poor black women? Either way his guilt in understandable.

  14. This Flying guy, is one of Shaw Stooges.

  15. Shaw has Stooges Ben Gazi?

    Whose stooge are you?

  16. Because asshat not everything YOU think are lies are. Perhaps in your muddled analysis they all are are, but that does not make them so.

    Have fun, enjoy yourself, you deserve it. And, watch out for that funny farm guy. I hear he's a looking for ya.

  17. By the way jackass, ever hear the phrase "you can lead a horse to water but...."

    My task is not to think for, or tell others what to think. That is what progressives like you excel at.

  18. RN may to a stooge, but he is somewhat of a disloyal stooge. He attacks me on my blog, and says he agrees with Will here and on Will's blog, but on his own blog he quotes and links to a speech by MLK praising the Emancipation Proclamation. But when Will Hart said "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is one of the biggest jokes in American history" RN only offered some meek and mild pushback, saying " make the argument that the document put an exclamation point after... "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..." Just food for thought".

    "Food for thought", huh RN? Can't bring yourself to tell your buddy he's wrong... and idiotically so? I'd guess RN was being diplomatic, but then he comes here and sticks up for Will. And writes a post agreeing with Will's stupidity on his own blog.

    Why not refute ALL the lies that add to the stain on our nation's character, RN? Why refute (and mildly, at that) some lies while embracing others?

  19. Only people who don't know shit about Southern ultimatums to spread slavery, AGAINST STATES RIGHTS, would claim South cared about states rights.

    In fact, Southern leaders officially rejected states rights, by demanding the SPREAD of slavery into Kansas, which rejected slavery by votes of 98% -2% and 68% against, and also fought a four year war.

    Learn about the Southern leaders insane but dramatic and proud rejection of states rights and popular sovereignty HERE


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