Thursday, October 19, 2017

My. . . that is a lot of hats. Second Liberty Load Drive, October 19, 1917. New York City.

Enough hats to make a hat vender cry.

Vietnam: Could we have avoided it?

 Map showing respective areas of French and Viet Minh control, and contested ground, in 1954.  Purple is the zone controlled by the French.  Looking at this, it's really hard to see why anyone would have wanted to follow the French into Vietnam.  Don-kun, NordNordWest - Own work, based on file:Indochina blank relief map.svg map of first Indochina war 1954.

We recently looked at whether we could have won the war.

Let's look at a question that seems to have a presumed answer, but which might be a harder question to actually answer.

Could we have avoided entering the war entirely?

The answer to this question often seems a simple presumed "yes".   I know that was my mother's opinion, "we shouldn't have gone there".  And she certainly isn't alone in that view.  Quite a few people hold that as an opinion of fact, perhaps even the majority of Americans.

But avoiding wars is often more difficult than it seems and the path around the conflict  only apparent, in some cases, after the war's over.  Once you choose to walk down certain streets, it''s hard to run back down them. So we should look at this seriously.  Maybe the Vietnam War was a disaster, but an unavoidable one.

 Japanese troops entering Saigon in 1941.  French Indochina acquiesced to Japanese presence as after the fall of France in 1940 it was isolated and had little choice.  This lead to a French war with Thailand in 1940 in one of the more surreal moments of the war in which French naval forces defeated Thai forces but were forced to accept a resolution with Thailand over territory that basically amounted to a Thai victory.  In March of 1945, in an example of flagrant self delusion, the Japanese sponsored a coup in Vietnam and established it as a pupped empire which was not long to exist.

We showed up in Vietnam for the first time during World War Two in the form of an OSS mission. That we surely could have avoided and its impact on the war overall was no doubt extremely negligible.  That may have had an impact on the Vietnamese indigenous effort against the Japanese, but I'm not terribly familiar with that story and I frankly doubt that it did. What it seems to have done is to have raised Viet Minh hopes that the United States would recognize the Viet Minh as the legitimate government of Vietnam and help keep out the French. The hope was not irrational.

The OSS was the predecessor to the CIA, as is well know, but it was not the same  hardcore anti Communist organization that the CIA was. Indeed, the freewheeling OSS had a fair number of Communist and Communist sympathizers in it, including, perhaps, at least one, Lt. Col. Duncan Chaplin Lee (a descendant of Moss Robert) who were very high placed in the organization.*  Donovan, much like Frankly Roosevelt, was basically blind to the dangers that Communism posted and the OSS only half heartedly complied with instructions to make sure that its operatives were not Communists. This isn't to say that they were all Communist by any means, but in those early days during the Roosevelt Administration Communists were basically assumed to be sort of extremely left wing Democrats and weren't taken very seriously.  Additionally, Roosevelt was highly anti Colonial in his views and the OSS reflected this view very strongly.  British secret service agents complained to their superiors repeatedly that they felt that they were in a constant struggle with the OSS and the OSS in the field was pretty open that they indeed were at that.

So, in context, that the United States would send OSS agents into occupied French Indochina, and that the indigenous guerilla organization there, a nationalist anti French and anti Japanese movement with strong Communist elements would receive our support is hardly surprising.  But did that make much of a difference to anything?  Probably not.

 British sailors accepting the surrender of Japanese arms in Vietnam. The British, not the French, were the first European power to return to Vietnam albeit on a temporary basis until the country could be stabilized and returned to the French.  Ironically, they had to rearm Japanese troops in order to fulfill that mission.

The US left as the French came back in, really having nothing further to do.  The US wouldn't return in any fashion until the French effort to restore their colony was badly failing.

In the interval between the Japanese surrender in 1945 and the increasing disaster of the French effort in the mid 1950s a lot had occurred, all of which we've already discussed.  The Cold War was now on.  So here we have the first thing to consider.

Should we have simply refused to aid the French in any fashion in Vietnam?  That would have kept us away from the country, maybe.

Well, that would have been very hard to do.  Colonial power that it was, and anti colonial power that the United States was and is, both countries were western democracies.  Moreover, France was one of our World War Two allies but a highly unstable one.  Prior to the war French democracy had teetered on the brink occasionally as the European right slid into fascism.  France had surrendered under a massive German assault in 1940, as is well known (and contrary to what armchair generals may think, there was no realistic way that the French could have stopped the 1940 German invasion).  France thereafter legally became a neutral and the Free French forces that fought with the British and the the British and the Americans up through Operation Torch.  Vichy basically fell after Operation Torch which saw French forces defect, after some period of doubt, to the Allied cause, and the Germans thereafter marched into southern France.  Vichy as a real sovereign, therefore, only existed until November 1942, having therefore existed only a little over two years, but Vichy officials continued to exercise civil authority, unwisely, thereafter, fleeing to Germany after the Allied landings in France in 1944.

The Cross Lorraine, the Christina symbol that DeGaulle chose for the French resistance movement.  The hammer and sickle wold have been a more appropriate symbol for many French Maquis.
From November 1942 onwards the only French soldiers in the west were those who were serving the Free French cause but on the mainland of France things were a mess.  Guerilla operations were going on all over France and saw a mix of Communist, republican and even monarchists operate against the Germans.  There's no doubt  that that Communist were a major part of the French resistance effort and only the rapid advance of the Western Allies and the quick organization of liberated areas by Charles DeGaulle prevented the country from falling into a Greek like contest over who would control France following the liberation of the country.  Americans in later years found DeGaulle aggravating but his role in securing France for democracy was a large and successful part of the post war map of Europe.

French maquis with a British Sten gun, an American lieutenant with a M1911 pistol, and French police and a disinterested American soldier in the background.  Hopefully this was a staged photographs as otherwise the Frenchman is basically serving as cover for the lieutenant.

Following the war the French had many wartime ghosts to contend with as well as major political problems to immediately deal with.  This necessitated a dedicated an effort, in their view, to restore their colonial empire and to defeat Communism wherever it was, just as at home Communist remained a major actor on the French political scene.  That the reconstituted French military would be highly anti Communist and pro empire is not surprising.

Nor could the United States in anyway ignore France.  The US had to do what it could to support France's return to the European scene as a functioning, free, European state. And that meant supporting France, at least to some degree, where she elsewhere was.

The United States was never very keen on that, but looking back its difficult to see what choice the US had. The US was partially rearming France (France was also partially rearming itself).  The US needed a free France as a European ally.  That in and of itself meant that the French military was receiving US aid and part of that aid was being used in Indochina.  When the Korean War came France contributed to forces on the Korean peninsula and those forces were equipped and trained to fight in the logistically rich American way with American equipment.  Those same units later went directly from Korean to Indochina.  The US was supporting the war in Indochina whether it meant to or not.

French marines disembark from a formerly American landing craft in Vietnam.

That in turn lead to growing reluctant direct support to the French effort in the war. But not, in the end, to direct involvement in spite of that nearly coming to pass.  In the end, the US backed down from intervening in the French fall in Indochina and instead it let the French fall.  This decision was probably the wise one, and so the US did in fact avoid Vietnam, at first.

But it stopped doing that as the negotiations to end the French Indochinese War commenced.  The US took a very direct role in that.  And here's where our real involvement in Vietnam began.

The French Indochinese War was resolved after nearly a decade of fighting through a conference that was held in Geneva.  The war in Indochina wasn't the only topic, and the conference was somewhat of a mess.  The situation in Korea was also on the table..  The then current members of the United Nations Security Council were the participants, those being the USSR, the US, the UK, France and the People's Republic of China, plus those countries and parties that had a role in the two pending conflicts. 

No resolution was reached on the topics that pertained to Korea.  The resolution, in the case of Indochina, occurred, but was far from perfect.

 Bảo Đại, Emperor of Annam, Emperor of Vietnam, Head of State of Vietnam and then exile in France.

Concerning Vietnam, which had only just acquired that name, the conference reached what was called the Geneva Accords.  Prior to that the concept of a united Vietnam was in some ways oddly introduced by way of the combined effort of the Viet Minh, which was fighting for it, and Emperor Bảo Đại, who had managed to go from being the Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty under French protection, in Annam (Emperor of Annam), to being the Japanese sponsored Emperor of Vietnam, to being the Head of State of Vietnam.  In short, he was a survivor, and by that time was living mostly in France, which would prove to be wise.  Bảo Đại appointed Ngô Đình Diệm, whom we have already discussed, as the Prime Minister of the country.  He'd soon depose the Emperor and declare the nation a republic.

As a republic, under the Geneva Accords, he found himself President, with dubious democratic credentials of only that part of the country below the 17th Parallel.  The accords split the country in two with the concept that an election would soon follow, but the entire process, including who would monitor an election that would obviously be subject to fraud, was subject to debate and the American proposal that the UN monitor the election ultimately failed.  The resulting agreement was not agreed to at all by what would become South Vietnam and the United States and none of the parties on the ground adhered to its tenants.  The North did not withdraw its forces and the South, which wasn't really part of the agreement anyway, did not hold an election.

By the time the agreement was reached the United States was heavily involved in efforts concerning Vietnam.  It was just sort of increasingly sucked in.  But that event made some sense.  Being a strategic coastal region of the Asian continent, having been heavily involved in Korea, and being the major democratic power in the world, there was no realistic way that the United States could sit it out.  In the end, it didn't sign the agreement, but by the time it was reached it was heavily involved in the diplomatic developments.

It seems impossible that anything else could have occurred.

That brings us to the period from 1955 to 1963 in which South Vietnam fought against increasing odds against North Vietnam. We've already discussed that.  Having allied with Diem, who was anti Communist and anti French, the United States necessarily became South Vietnam's military supplier and military backer.  Again, it's hard to imagine any other result occurring.  So the period of increasing military involvement, from 1955 to 1963, seems more or less inevitable.

What was not inevitable, by any measure, was the 1963 coup that deposed Diem. That was extraordinary and the United States was complicit in it.  There's little excuse for that, although a person can question whether or not that coup would have occurred anyhow, perhaps in 1964 or, if the country had managed to hang on that long, 1965.  By that time, at any event, the Untied States was increasingly involved in the Republic of Vietnam's war against the Viet Cong and not always in a way that the RVN appreciated.  But here too, it's difficult to imagine this occurring otherwise.

Indeed, today the United States is likewise involved in odd wars all over the world.  Just this path month we've seen an example of American troops being involved in combat in Niger, a country that few Americans know anything about, and we're told that the US is waging a drone war against Al Shabob in Somalia.  All told, the US is involved in greater or lesser efforts in Iraq, Niger, Somalia, Afghanistan and likely other places, often on a small scale. At the height of the Cold War, U.S. involvement in South Vietnam's struggles in the 1955 to 1963 time frame do not seem possible to have avoided.  The coup, however, could have been avoided in 1963.

The 1963 coup did nothing to arrest the slide that the South was under and in 1964 and 1965 US involvement increased considerably.  Here's where we have to really question if the US was getting in too far, but even in those years the steps were small enough that you can see how they occurred.  In 1965 the US established an air base at Da Nang and soon thereafter was patrolling in the area to protect it.  U.S. involvement increased steadily from there.

I've twice mentioned that the Australians could have come in deeper when they were asking for the US to prior to 1965.  That's true, but it didn't happen, therefore we won't reconsider that scenario.  The real breaking point is the 1965 commitment of air power to Vietnam.  Did we have to do that?

Looking back it's easy to say no. But it was, after all, just air power. . . at first.  Its hard, once again, to see how that limited increase in our involvement would inevitably mean 400,000 men on the ground soon thereafter, if viewed from the prospective of 1965.  Looking back, it seems inevitable.

And hence the point.  

The war was hard to avoid.


*Lt. Col. Lee was a confidential assistant ot Wild Bill Donovan, the head of the organization.  His status as a supplier of information to the Soviets is not proven beyond a doubt, but he was named by Elizabeth Benchley as a supplier of information and is associated with a second Soviet spy, Mary Price, with whom he was having an affair.  Benchley's accusation lead to hsi downfall in the American military but he went on to be a successful lawyer thereafter and moved to Canada with his wife, who was a Canadian, in his retirement in the 1970s.

The Army considers a new uniform fabric made out of that super high tech substance. . . .


Gates Frontiers Fund Wyoming Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Here's the story, in part, as reported by Kit Up! the blog that tracks the latest and greatest in military gear:
U.S. Army researchers want to improve the service’s flame-resistant, protective apparel by developing a U.S.-manufactured, wool-blend uniform.
The Army has developed a wool-blend uniform composed of 50 percent wool, 42 percent Nomex, 5 percent Kevlar and 3 percent P140 antistatic fiber, according to a recent Army press release.
One goal of textile research and development effort is to create a flame-resistant combat uniform made solely from domestic materials, said Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist with the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.
 The research reveals all sorts of nifty stuff regarding wool:
“We have a lightweight fabric that is inherently flame resistant; no topical treatments are added to provide FR,” Winterhalter said. “We are introducing a very environmentally friendly and sustainable fiber to the combat uniform system. We don’t have other wool-based fabrics in the system right now. This is a brand new material.”
Soldiers were issued the new wool blend and sent to summer maneuvers. They liked them.


Seems like we issued wool uniforms for field use once. . . .

World War One Sheep Club poster.

Indeed, wool uniforms remained standard throughout World War Two in the European Theater of Operations.  It was only after WWII that the combat uniform became cotton. . . which may very well change soon.

Washable wool would be the reason why.  Washing wool has never been easy.  Washing cotton is. But they've been working on that and washable wool hunting clothes were introduced a few years back. The same may become to the military soon.

On wool uniforms, the Army is thinking about going back a "pink and green" dress uniform.  This was the dress uniform worn by offices, but only officers, in the 1930s through some point in the 1950s, and is uniformly regarded as a pretty sharp uniform.  Enlisted men at the time wore a less spiffy Army Service Uniform, although it was still a lot better looking than the ones that came after it.  In the 1950s the Army went to the Army Green Uniform which was the dress uniform for many ears. At first, when it was a wool uniform with a khaki shirt, it looked pretty good but in later years it became a polyester uniform with a mint green shirt and was pretty bad.  That gave way to an equally bad blue dress uniform with white shirt that nobody has ever liked.  The Army's now pondering reintroducing the pink and green uniform, which is actually a green and khaki uniform, and I hope they do.

If they do however, they'll be right behind the Canadian Army which has reintroduced the same uniform, with tan beret and black paratrooper boots, for their special forces. This recalls the First Special Services Brigade which was a joint American and Canadian special forces until during World War Two which was equipped with American uniforms.  This would likely be the first time, should the Americans follow suit, since World War Two in which some units of the Canadian Army and the American Army would be wearing the same dress uniform.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Mid Week At Work Query: What is the meaning of your job, (or does it have one)?

I suppose the title says it all.

When people speak about career fields they often attach a meaning to them, as in "serving people", "helping people", and the like.  But these terms can just be camouflage for fields in which the reality is much different and are sort of a workplace delusion used by people to justify the existence of their line of work and perhaps rationalize their place in it.  In some cases, however, the descriptions are very real.

What about your work?  Does it have a meaning, or at least a meaning to you?  If so, what is it?

Camp Sevier, Greenville, South Carolina. October 18, 1917.

No place for boys. . .

or at least no officially sanctioned ones, anyway.  There will still be groups of boys organized without girls, probably largely self organized, and that's a problem.

The Third Liberty Load was a World War One era liberty loan drive.  Nearly every single thing about this poster would be regarded as abhorrent by our social guardians today.
The Boy Scouts of America's board of directors has unanimously agreed to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and to forge a path for older girls to pursue and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, the organization said Wednesday.
And why?

Well, because boys will be boys, and we can't have that.

There's basically a war on masculinity going on in this country and in Western society as a whole, waged by social theorists and backed and staffed by members of my profession, lawyers, whose allegiance is principally to the theory that everything presents a good cause of action.  And its destroying things.  I'd say that at some point it becomes dangerous, but we've passed that point long ago.  It needs to stop, and in a major way, but nobody has the guts to really take it on.

And this is an example of this.

I've posted on the Boy Scouts fairly recently.  In that item I went into the history of the Boy Scouts and how they came about. As noted in that post, the Boy Scouts were an expression of the "Muscular Christianity" movement, a movement principally focused in Protestant Faiths (the Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity already had a strong masculine expression at the time).  The Boy Scouts specifically came about as Lord Baden Powell was getting concerned that British youth was exhibiting all the foundation of a mass of boiled noodles and looking rather pathetic in comparison to their equivalents in Africa who had been raised in a heartier more outdoorsy fashion.

That was, of course, because those Boer youth in Africa had been raised in a very outdoors fashion and the English were by that time largely urban, just as Americans are today.  But that concern existed even at that time in the United States and not without good reason.

And underlying theme of the early Boy Scouts was to instill Christian virtues in boys.  At a time in which a lot of children started working in their early teens there was reason to be concerned.  Looking back, its fairly amazing the extent to which American youth of that era did largely stick to the values they had been exposed to early on, as the pressure in the opposite direction was enormous.  I know, for example, that my grandfather was a loyal Catholic his whole life and that he was good friends with the Monsignor who was at the local parish.  He'd left home at age 13 and worked first in San Francisco.  How much strength of character must have that taken (and how adult were 13 year olds at that time)?

But that wasn't true of everyone.

Boy's scouting. . . but not in a good way.  Coal thieves, 1917.

One of the tragedies of the very recent modern world and a major problem for European society (of which we are part) has been the acceptance that there is such a thing as the feminine and denial that there is such a think as the masculine.  Both exist by nature, but modern social theorist abhor that fact.  This has meant, over time, that anything that is either masculine by social construction, or even more disturbingly by nature, has been attacked and has to be dismantled.  This has given is a bizarre world where female athletics must be protected, in that fashion, under Title IX while at the same time sports that are fairly naturally male (and which revert that at the professional level) must be open to any girl foolish and reckless enough to subject themselves to them.  Combat, the unfortunate occupation of men since the dawn of time, now must be open to women too, even though anyone even remotely familiar with what that means should be horrified.  And no male organization can stands.

Critics might reply that female ones are likewise open to men, but for the most part, men and boys want nothing to do with them. Yes, the Girl Scouts are open to boys but generally most boys would not want to join it, and those who do are likely unusual or have parents who are rather unusual.  Usually in their teens the attention of males starts focusing on females, but not in the sense that most teenage men want to hang out in a large group of teenage girls and attempt to engage them on that level.  Even as adults most men do not like being the only man in a group of women as the talk and interactions will rapidly become gender unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and uninteresting (let alone exceedingly complicated. . . the relationship between women, by nature, is subject to a set of seemingly genetically foreordained rules that no man understands or wants to understand).

In the real world, the world where young men form gangs by nature and where the attention of young men is naturally outdoors (as it naturally is for older men as well), and where the influences on the school yard and locker room are often highly immoral, having an organization dedicated to boys alone, lead by virtuous men, and with a focus on nature, would be a good thing.

But now, the societal Nazis have taken one of the few ones that existed down, to the loss of us all.  Can a feminist BDM be far behind?


Lest anyone wonder, as I've noted before, yes I was a Cub Scout, but I was only a Boy Scout for about 2.5 seconds.  Even in my day, which is now long ago, the Boy Scouts weren't what they once were, at least in my experience.  But they were boys.

Anyhow,. my comments here aren't due to any residual nostalgia for my days in Scouting. Frankly, I wasn't terribly impressed back then. But I also recognize that my experiences are just mine.  And I also feel that boys ought to have some place that they can seek to develop as men, without having to have the constant influence of the better half.  They'll get plenty of that elsewhere.  Having a few places they can go with just men and boys isn't too much to ask.

And so our prize for splitting the GOP vote in the primaries last Fall. . . .

so that the candidate who likely would have acquired the lesser of the votes in a two candidate race, Liz Cheney, won in a contest that was a three way affair, is that we now are being gifted with two potential out of state candidates who seek to remove John Barasso.

This is because the message we seem to have sent, but which I'm sure we did not, is that Wyoming's political door is open to candidates whose connections with this state are thin.

Cheney, as you will recall, is really a Virginian. I think this was widely known here and nobody was really fooled except maybe for Liz Cheney, who made an effort to appear like the rest of us.  It's up to her now to make sure she represents us in the way that we want her to, but that's another story entirely.  She might, or she might not, but she's not dumb so we can hope that she'll have a short learning curve and do well.

Doing well otherwise, however, would mean that we not be repeatedly afflicted by the assumption that the door is open to imported candidates.

The ones we are getting now are interesting examples of this.  One has the backing, apparently, of Steve Bannon who has declared himself to be "at war" with the GOP Establishment. Bannon apparently believes that the Tea Party movement that contributed to Trump's election can be solidified by taking on members of the Congress in the GOP and replacing them with insurgents who share Bannon's view.

I doubt he's right.

At least I don't think he's right about Erik Prince, Blackwater founder and a resident of Virginia and the United Arab Emirates.  Apparently his family has a ranch in Wapati, but that hardly makes him a resident.  I just don't see it.  And I doubt his politics will sell well here.

I don't see it either for Foster Friess a wealthy Republican philanthropist who has a home in Jackson.  I don't know anything about him, but I just don't see it.  He's an interesting contrast to Prince, however.

Well, I suspect that this effort won't amount to much.  Indeed, I'd surprised if either one of these candidacies gets off the ground.

Still, interesting times . . . .with all that means.

One thing it apparently means is that Cheney will avoid commenting on this, while Enzi already has.  That's interesting in and of itself as Cheney must be sensitive to being an outsider and might feel a bit vulnerable.  I haven't heard of anyone stepping up to run against her, but you do have to wonder what might occur if somebody like Matt Mead decided to start looking for his next job, not that he'll really need to or want to take that one.

Another irony is that for people like me, who have never been very impressed with some of Barasso's stands, particularly his stand on public lands that was inserted into the GOP platform, we now find ourselves really rooting for Barasso against potential challengers of the Bannon type.  Prince can, at least in my view, go home. . . and that home isn't Wapati.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why Learning and Teaching History, Real History, is Really Important

 Moss Robert visited the blog the other day and left some comments on the Southern cause and maybe on Taoism.  He's become a little hip and cool and quit using capitol letters, but was he right?

Some time ago I posted a thread called "Fighting Terrorism Since 1861". Eh? Your bumper sticker makes no sense.  It lurked there for over a year without anyone commenting on it.

In that year's time, however, nearly a quarter million new views to the blog occurred and of course there came to be the entire controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments and the combined impact of that was that apparently people started to surf into that thread as a result.  Not all of them were pleased at all.  Specifically, two felt moved to comment, which I appreciate as I very much encourage comments including those by people I do not agree with.  One person posted anonymously, which is perfectly fine.  Fairly surprisingly, the blog was also visited by the late Robert E. Lee, former Commander of the Army of Virginia, who to my added surprise apparently eschews capitalization of his middle initial and last name, sort of like e e cummings but less so, as in Robert e lee.

e e cummings.  Apparently he and Robert E. Lee are now pals. . . . I guess.  It's a bit surprising as Cummings was such a bohemian and Lee was not, but then politically they both ended up being pretty conservative.

My comment upset a reader a few weeks back and they came in with this comment.

That view lacks a very significant aspect of this often made argument, which I pointed out when I replied:
There's one significant problem with your comment, this being it; "The South voted to leave the Union and stated so by forming the Confederacy."That's not true.But that is the basis of the Southern claim to sovereignty.In actuality, the Southern white landed class voted to leave the Union.By and large, the Southern Yeoman class didn't vote on the issue at all. Indeed, in at least one instance the question presented to the delegates left no other option but to vote for one of two succession options in and of itself. In that particular instance, the white yeoman delegate was nonetheless held in contempt by his county for having voted for succession.Moreover, blacks obviously weren't voting on this issue at all, which makes the claim that Southerners voted to leave the union all the more suspect. South Carolina had more blacks than whites as residents of that state, but they were almost all held in bondage. If they, the majority of South Carolinian's, had been able to vote, do we suppose that they would have voted in favor of succession?So, at the end of the day, no vote of the Southern populace was ever held. There was never a referendum per se. And the voting demographic of the South in 1860 was pretty much limited to the planter and professional classes, who were all white, and who were a minority of Southerners.Not very democratic, was it?And if a person is to defend that vote, shouldn't they address how white Southern yeomen and the millions of Southern blacks would have voted had they had the chance?
Then, just recently late Gen. Robert E. Lee was even more strident in his defense of the Lost Cause, noting, twice:
Robert e lee said... 
No stupid, the south was fighting the terroism of the government wanting to tax you and has lead to the corrupt crap of a government he have today. It was never about slavery as both sides had slaves. You people need a truthful history lesson and stop believing the left wing liberals on the TV. Again the good old Confederate army was fighting the over reaching long arm of government and the Yankee types we're and are stupid enough to fight for being taxed and large government, Moran's. I'm Confederate till the day I die. 

Robert e lee said... 
Was never about slavery, north and south had slaves, it was about the south fighting the terroism of the government and taxes, long over reaching government that has resulted in the crap government we have today, Yankees were stupid enough to fight in a war against common sense to get to be taxed and be stolen from by government, and the same dump Yankee and Westerner mind set is still on display today fighting against common sense at all cost, I'm a confederate till my dying day, another revolution against this government is past due.
Here I confess I must digress just a bit as I may in fact not understand Gen. Lee's post.  As you know, Gen. Lee was a well educated, slave owning, patrician who used correct English, so I have to assume that this continues to be the case even now that he is occupied in his final reward.  So, while I have presumed that he was posting in regards to the bumper sticker in question referencing "terrorism", he has instead referred to "terroism" twice.  Once would indicate a typographical error, and twice persistent intent.  I'm not really sure what "terroism" is actually,  I know what terrorism is, however.  Perhaps Gen. Lee, having gone on to the next world and having had the opportunity to more greatly mix with those of other backgrounds wants us to know that the South was not departing the Union over Taoism.  If so, that's certainly glad to know.
Laozi, founder of Taoism.  Gen. Lee (perhaps whith e e cummings) may be hanging around with Laozi now, which frankly surprises me quite a bit.

His reference to Moran's is also curious.  My assumption here is that, as a practitioner of mobile warfare, he is referring us to Nicholas Moran, the popular Irish immigrant Armor branch officer who posts on armor on Youtube.  It's nice to know that Gen. Lee is keeping up on military affairs even now, after his long retirement from it.

Okay, I'll quit being a snot and note something more serious.  First, here's my reply to Gen. Lee:

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said... 
"Was never about slavery, north and south had slaves"

A couple of points.

By 1860 the only states in the north that retained slavery were the border states, so you're pretty much looking at Maryland and Tennessee, if you consider those "northern" states. Neither left the Union although you can debate that in regards to Tennessee. FWIW, of course, there were large segments of the South where slavery was legal and succession was opposed, the western portion of Virginia being the most obvious example but there being others. So your point is here is quite far off the mark historically.

It would also be a real shock to southern legislators that voted to leave the Union as they specifically and repeatedly made reference to slavery as the reason they were leaving. It's all well and good today to declare that the whole thing was not about slavery, but that makes liars out of the southern legislators who said it was. Why, if they said in 1860 that they were taking their states out of the Union due to slavery, would we say they were lying about that now?

2. "it was about the south fighting the terroism of the government and taxes"

Oh? What act of terrorism would those be, exactly. Surely you can site some, if that was the causi belli? Any?

And regarding taxes, that's odd, as there was hardly any taxation before succession. The US was nearly completely funded on import excises at the time and there was no income tax at all until the war, as you no doubt are aware. Was the war over the import excise? I've never heard anyone claim that. If so, there's a huge irony in regards to that as the import excise is how the Confederacy funded their war effort. If the war was about income taxation, that'd be bizarre as the Confederacy would have had to have known in advance that the US would impose the first income tax in its history due to the Civil War. But for the South leaving, in other words there would have never been an income tax in the 19th Century, because as you know it was phased back out after the war was over.

And of course as you also no doubt know, the CSA in part got along by direct confiscation of some things such as horses and payment for them at below market rate while the North actually paid market rate for them. Many Southerners at the time resisted that effort of the Southern government due to a sense that it was unjust.

So, while you may happily be Confederate till your dying day, if these are your points, I'm sorry to say that the basis of your latent Confederate sympathies actually would make you, gasp, a Yankee. The war was in fact about slavery, the southern states aid so. Taxation was never part of the issue leading to war, and it was the South, through animal conscription, that hurt the average man the most.
Both of these comments are really off base, and the second one is an example of blistering ignorance.  And that's dangerous.
History is important

A knowledge of history, at least to some degree, is necessary to form a competent understanding of the present and your place in it.  If formed in ignorance, or with an inaccurate view of history, a person's world view will be ignorant at best and wrong at worst.  And in a democracy, to have an electorate that believes in a false past makes for a very dangerous present.

Perhaps no better example of that is provided than Nazi Germany.  In near record time Germany manged to convince itself that its loss in World War One was not on the battlefield but due to being "stabbed in the back", and that the Jews did the stabbing.  That was a complete and utter fantasy, but that fantasy lead to the death of millions.  A refusal to accept history, and recent history at that, helped blind and delude them to the reality of what they were doing in their present.  That blindness was lethal.

American blindness, and more specifically the blindness in the deep South, to horror of the Confederate cause and the absolute repugnant nature of slavery has been a ball and chain around the nation for over a hundred years and its been something that, if having not lead to a horror on the level of World War Two, has hindered the nation and broken out in lethal violence from time to time.  The sad thing is that the truth about the Southern cause is so easy to learn, even if we've been so unwilling to learn it.  And then we wonder why we still struggle with racism in 2017.
The fact that we don't know it is, and we should be disturbed by this, due to a massive propaganda effort by the patrician class of the South that commenced soon after the war and which reached its zenith just about a century ago.  That effort gives us a very real example of the losers in a war basically writing the history of it to a large degree, for a significant period of time, although they have never had the sole voice.  In the American South, however, they came to have nearly the only voice after a time, particularly as the aged participants in that war started to die and the monuments to the war and the Southern cause went up.  Histories in the South, monuments, state flags, and the like all operated to create a fictionalized account of the war that denied the very words of those who lead the South into war.  That fictionalized view has done untold damage and provides a perfect example of why teaching history is important, and why history needs to be history as it is, not as people wish it had been.

Aged Confederate dignitaries in front of the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond, Virginia, in 1907.

The American Civil War was about One Thing.  Race Based Slavery.

The Civil War was about one thing, and one thing only. It was about race based slavery. That is it.

Don't take my word for it, dear reader.  And for goodness sake, don't take your views from television, as Gen. Lee councils. Don't take your views from your collective set of friends either (hear that, General).  Read the words of those who actually took their States out of the Union and pitched them into war.  Here are the words departing states declared themselves, when I can find them (and I can find most of them) when they left, in the words of their own legislators on the bills (once you get nauseous from all the pro slavery stuff in this declarations, you can just skip to the bottom of them and go on to the next issue, if you choose):

South Carolina

South Carolina got the ball rolling.  It was first to depart. So surely it must have explained its liberal enlightened or tax based beefs in leaving. What did they have to say?

Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union 
The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue
And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.
In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; 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."
They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "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."
In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that 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."
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, 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."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.
In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.
The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.
If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.
By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared 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. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.
Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.
We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.
In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.
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."
This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.
The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.
The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.
For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.
Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with 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.
Adopted December 24, 1860
Gosh, South Carolina seemed pretty upset about the North not liking slavery.  It's the only thing they referenced actually.


The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. 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, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation.

Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a large majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state. The question of slavery was the great difficulty in the way of the formation of the Constitution.

While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then, as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the North, even if united, could not control both branches of the Legislature during any portion of that time. Therefore such an organization must have resulted either in utter failure or in the total overthrow of the Government. The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade.

Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency.
The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

But when these reasons ceased they were no less clamorous for Government protection, but their clamors were less heeded-- the country had put the principle of protection upon trial and condemned it. After having enjoyed protection to the extent of from 15 to 200 per cent. upon their entire business for above thirty years, the act of 1846 was passed. It avoided sudden change, but the principle was settled, and free trade, low duties, and economy in public expenditures was the verdict of the American people. The South and the Northwestern States sustained this policy. There was but small hope of its reversal; upon the direct issue, none at all.

All these classes saw this and felt it and cast about for new allies. The anti-slavery sentiment of the North offered the best chance for success. An anti-slavery party must necessarily look to the North alone for support, but a united North was now strong enough to control the Government in all of its departments, and a sectional party was therefore determined upon. Time and issues upon slavery were necessary to its completion and final triumph. The feeling of anti-slavery, which it was well known was very general among the people of the North, had been long dormant or passive; it needed only a question to arouse it into aggressive activity. This question was before us. We had acquired a large territory by successful war with Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the conflict began. Northern anti-slavery men of all parties asserted the right to exclude slavery from the territory by Congressional legislation and demanded the prompt and efficient exercise of this power to that end. This insulting and unconstitutional demand was met with great moderation and firmness by the South. We had shed our blood and paid our money for its acquisition; we demanded a division of it on the line of the Missouri restriction or an equal participation in the whole of it. These propositions were refused, the agitation became general, and the public danger was great. The case of the South was impregnable. The price of the acquisition was the blood and treasure of both sections-- of all, and, therefore, it belonged to all upon the principles of equity and justice.

The Constitution delegated no power to Congress to excluded either party from its free enjoyment; therefore our right was good under the Constitution. Our rights were further fortified by the practice of the Government from the beginning. Slavery was forbidden in the country northwest of the Ohio River by what is called the ordinance of 1787. That ordinance was adopted under the old confederation and by the assent of Virginia, who owned and ceded the country, and therefore this case must stand on its own special circumstances. The Government of the United States claimed territory by virtue of the treaty of 1783 with Great Britain, acquired territory by cession from Georgia and North Carolina, by treaty from France, and by treaty from Spain. These acquisitions largely exceeded the original limits of the Republic. In all of these acquisitions the policy of the Government was uniform. It opened them to the settlement of all the citizens of all the States of the Union. They emigrated thither with their property of every kind (including slaves). All were equally protected by public authority in their persons and property until the inhabitants became sufficiently numerous and otherwise capable of bearing the burdens and performing the duties of self-government, when they were admitted into the Union upon equal terms with the other States, with whatever republican constitution they might adopt for themselves.

Under this equally just and beneficent policy law and order, stability and progress, peace and prosperity marked every step of the progress of these new communities until they entered as great and prosperous commonwealths into the sisterhood of American States. In 1820 the North endeavored to overturn this wise and successful policy and demanded that the State of Missouri should not be admitted into the Union unless she first prohibited slavery within her limits by her constitution. After a bitter and protracted struggle the North was defeated in her special object, but her policy and position led to the adoption of a section in the law for the admission of Missouri, prohibiting slavery in all that portion of the territory acquired from France lying North of 36 [degrees] 30 [minutes] north latitude and outside of Missouri. The venerable Madison at the time of its adoption declared it unconstitutional. Mr. Jefferson condemned the restriction and foresaw its consequences and predicted that it would result in the dissolution of the Union. His prediction is now history. The North demanded the application of the principle of prohibition of slavery to all of the territory acquired from Mexico and all other parts of the public domain then and in all future time. It was the announcement of her purpose to appropriate to herself all the public domain then owned and thereafter to be acquired by the United States. The claim itself was less arrogant and insulting than the reason with which she supported it. That reason was her fixed purpose to limit, restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity. This particular question, in connection with a series of questions affecting the same subject, was finally disposed of by the defeat of prohibitory legislation.

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.

For forty years this question has been considered and debated in the halls of Congress, before the people, by the press, and before the tribunals of justice. The majority of the people of the North in 1860 decided it in their own favor. We refuse to submit to that judgment, and in vindication of our refusal we offer the Constitution of our country and point to the total absence of any express power to exclude us. We offer the practice of our Government for the first thirty years of its existence in complete refutation of the position that any such power is either necessary or proper to the execution of any other power in relation to the Territories. We offer the judgment of a large minority of the people of the North, amounting to more than one-third, who united with the unanimous voice of the South against this usurpation; and, finally, we offer the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial tribunal of our country, in our favor. This evidence ought to be conclusive that we have never surrendered this right. The conduct of our adversaries admonishes us that if we had surrendered it, it is time to resume it.

The faithless conduct of our adversaries is not confined to such acts as might aggrandize themselves or their section of the Union. They are content if they can only injure us. The Constitution declares that persons charged with crimes in one State and fleeing to another shall be delivered up on the demand of the executive authority of the State from which they may flee, to be tried in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed. It would appear difficult to employ language freer from ambiguity, yet for above twenty years the non-slave-holding States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons charged with crimes affecting slave property. Our confederates, with punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us. This clause of the Constitution has no other sanction than their good faith; that is withheld from us; we are remediless in the Union; out of it we are remitted to the laws of nations.
A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to surrender fugitives from labor. This provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern States. Without them it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a law to give full vigor and efficiency to this important provision. This act depended to a considerable degree upon the local magistrates in the several States for its efficiency. The non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce them to discharge their duty. Congress then passed the act of 1850, providing for the complete execution of this duty by Federal officers. This law, which their own bad faith rendered absolutely indispensible for the protection of constitutional rights, was instantly met with ferocious revilings and all conceivable modes of hostility.

The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all of its provisions. Yet it stands to-day a dead letter for all practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union. We have their convenants, we have their oaths to keep and observe it, but the unfortunate claimant, even accompanied by a Federal officer with the mandate of the highest judicial authority in his hands, is everywhere met with fraud, with force, and with legislative enactments to elude, to resist, and defeat him. Claimants are murdered with impunity; officers of the law are beaten by frantic mobs instigated by inflammatory appeals from persons holding the highest public employment in these States, and supported by legislation in conflict with the clearest provisions of the Constitution, and even the ordinary principles of humanity. In several of our confederate States a citizen cannot travel the highway with his servant who may voluntarily accompany him, without being declared by law a felon and being subjected to infamous punishments. It is difficult to perceive how we could suffer more by the hostility than by the fraternity of such brethren.

The public law of civilized nations requires every State to restrain its citizens or subjects from committing acts injurious to the peace and security of any other State and from attempting to excite insurrection, or to lessen the security, or to disturb the tranquillity of their neighbors, and our Constitution wisely gives Congress the power to punish all offenses against the laws of nations.
These are sound and just principles which have received the approbation of just men in all countries and all centuries; but they are wholly disregarded by the people of the Northern States, and the Federal Government is impotent to maintain them. For twenty years past the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite insurrection and servile war among us. They have sent emissaries among us for the accomplishment of these purposes. Some of these efforts have received the public sanction of a majority of the leading men of the Republican party in the national councils, the same men who are now proposed as our rulers. These efforts have in one instance led to the actual invasion of one of the slave-holding States, and those of the murderers and incendiaries who escaped public justice by flight have found fraternal protection among our Northern confederates.
These are the same men who say the Union shall be preserved.

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs. The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.

Approved, Tuesday, January 29, 1861 
Gee, seems like Georgia was concerned about that $3,000,000 in property. . . the value that is, of the slaves.  Georgia left due to slavery.


A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.
In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.
The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.
The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.
The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.
It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.
It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.
It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.
It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.
It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.
It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.
It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.
It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.
It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.
It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.
It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.
It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.
It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.
Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.
Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.
Gosh, Mississippi was accusing the North of wishing for negro equality. . . . so they had to leave.


A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.
The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states thereof,
The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- 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. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.
The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.
These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.
When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.
The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions-- a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.
In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.
By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments. They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a 'higher law' than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.
They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.
They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.
They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.
They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.
And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.
For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons-- We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.
Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.
Here again, it was about slavery.  Texas was upfront about what it's legislators thought, which is that blacks were slaves by nature, and the North was threatening that institution.


The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States
Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.
This ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule to be hereafter enacted.
Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the 17th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
JNO. L. EUBANK, Secretary of Convention
Well how about Florida?  Surely the land of sunshine, etc., didn't leave for such a base cause as slavery, right?


The people of the State of Florida assembled in Convention having declared the separation of the state from the confederacy of the United States of America and resumed all the powers granted to the Government of that Confederacy, it is due to ourselves to our – late – confederates and to the civilized world that we should set forth the causes which have forced us to adopt this extreme measure fraught as it is with consequences the most momentous. We have not acted in haste or in passion but with the utmost deliberation and from what we regard as immeasurable necessity.
An incursion has been instigated and actually perpetuated into a sister State the inevitable consequences of which were murder rapine and crimes even more horrible. The felon chief of that murderous band has been canonized as a heroic martyr by public meetings by the press and pulpit of all of the Northern States – others of the party have been demanded by the Governor of the State they invaded and their surrender refused by the Governors of two States of the Confederacy, demanded not as fugitives from service but as fugitives from justice charged with treason and murder.
Laws clearly constitutional and as decided to be by the Federal Judiciary as well as by the Courts of all the non slaveholding States where the question has been presented for adjudication have been by counter legislation rendered inoperative, laws without the power to pass which none will deny that the Constitution would not have been adopted.
The nullification of these laws by the Legislatures of two thirds of the non slaveholding States important as it is in itself is additionally as is furnishing evidence of an open disregard of constitutional obligation, and of the rights and interests of the slaveholding States and of a deep and inveterate hostility to the people of these States.
The Congressional halls where the members should meet with fraternal feelings, a just regard for the interests of all the States there represented and respect for the feelings of all its members has been prostituted to the daily denunciation and vituperation of the slave holding States as sanctioning oppression robbery and all villainies, thus subjecting the members from these States to the degradation of gross and constantly repeated insults, and compelling the exclusion from our public press of the debates of our national Legislature or the circulation of the most incendiary matter.
By the agency of a large proportion of the members from the non slaveholding States books have been published and circulated amongst us the direct tendency and avowed purpose of which is to excite insurrection and servile war with all their attendant horrors. A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle. That no more slave States shall be admitted into the confederacy and that the slaves from their rapid increase (the highest evidence of the humanity of their owners will become value less. Nothing is more certain than this and at no distant day. What must be the condition of the slaves themselves when their number becomes so large that their labor will be of no value to their owners. Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by an inability to procure subsistence. Can any thing be more impudently false than the pretense that this state of things is to be brought about from considerations of humanity to the slaves.
It is in so many words saying to you we will not burn you at the stake but we will torture you to death by a slow fire we will not confiscate your property and consign you to a residence and equality with the african but that destiny certainly awaits your children – and you must quietly submit or we will force you to submission – men who can hesitate to resist such aggressions are slaves already and deserve their destiny. The members of the Republican party has denied that the party will oppose the admission of any new state where slavery shall be tolerated. But on the contrary they declare that on this point they will make no concession or compromise. It is manifest that they will not because to do so would be the dissolution of the party.
Additional territory is generally only acquired by conquest or purchase. In either case the slaveholding States contribute at least this equal proportion of men or money – we think much more than an equal proportion. The revenues of the General Government are almost entirely derived from duties on importations. It is time that the northern consumer pays his proportion of these duties, but the North as a section receiving back in the increased prices of the rival articles which it manufactures nearly or quite as much as the imposts which it pays thus in effect paying nothing or very little for the support of the government. As to the sacrifice of lives which recent acquisitions have caused how small is the proportion of Northern blood shed or laurels won in the Mexican war.
Last and not least it has been proclaimed that the election of a President is an authoritative approval of all the principles avowed by the person elected and by the party convention which nominated him. Although that election is made by little more than one third of the votes given. But however large the majority may have been to recognize such a principle is to announce a revolution in the government and to substitute an aggregate popular majority for the written constitution without which no single state would have voted its adoption not forming in truth a federal union but a consolidated despotism that worst of despotisms that of an unrestricted sectional and hostile majority, we do not intend to be misunderstood, we do not controvert the right of a majority to govern within the grant of powers in the Constitution.
The representative principle is a sufficient security only where the interest of the representative and the Constituent are identical with the variety of climate productions and employment of labor and capital which exist in the different sections of the American Confederacy creating interests not only diverse but antagonistic.
The majority section may legislate imperiously and ruinously to the interests of the minority section not only without injury but to great benefit and advantage of their own section. In proof of this we need only refer to the fishing bounties, the monopoly of the coast navigation which is possessed almost exclusively by the Northern States and in one word the bounties to every employment of northern labor and capital such a government must in the nature of things and the universal principles of human nature and human conduct very soon lead as it has done to a grinding and degrading despotism.
It is in no weak and imaginary fear of the consequences but that we regard them as certain and inevitable that we are prompted by every consideration of duty and honor and of policy to meet the issue now instead of leaving it to those who are to come after us who will be less able to vindicate their rights and honor, nor is it without the sincerest sorrow that we are about to separate from that noble band of patriots in the nonslaveholding states who have faithfully vindicated our Constitutional rights that we have been impelled by every consideration which should have influence with honorable men to declare our separation from the confederacy of the United States of America trusting for the maintenance of that declaration to the virtue courage and patriotism of our people and to that God who guided our fathers through similar trials and dangers.
Wow, Florida's declaration was incredibly racist.  The Union, it said, needed to add more slave states as the lazy blacks were only suited for that and were going to breed themselves into starvation.  Yikes!  A copy of A Modest Proposal anyone?

Well, what about Alabama, where we're informed they love the Governor?

Alabama was actually unique.  It didn't bother with a declaration like the rest of the departing Confederate "slave owing states".  It just passed an ordinance and called it good. But even there, with something that just basically says "we're leaving" (all the Southern states also passed an ordinance as well as a declaration), its plain.


AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of Alabama and other States united under the compact styled “The Constitution of the United States of America.”
Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the officers of President and Vice-President of the United States of America by a sectional party avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security; Therefore,
Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn, from the Union known as “the United States of America,” and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and independent State.
SEC. 2. Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in convention assembled, That all the powers over the territory of said State and over the people thereof heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America be, and they are hereby, withdrawn from said Government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the State of Alabama.
Be it resolved by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, That the people of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri be, and are hereby, invited to meet the people of the State of Alabama, by their delegates in convention, on the 4th day of February, A. D. 1861, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama, for the purpose of consulting with each other as to the most effectual mode of securing concerted and harmonious action in whatever measures may be deemed most desirable for our common peace and security.
And be it further resolved, That the president of this convention be, and is hereby, instructed to transmit forthwith a copy of the foregoing preamble, ordinance, and resolutions to the Governors of the several States named in said resolutions.
Done by the people of the States of Alabama, in convention assembled, at Montgomery, on this the 11th day of January, A. D. 1861.
And so on.

Now, a person can try to put a pretty picture on this any way you want, but the message is repeatedly clear.  The South obviously feared that the North was interfering with slavery and the election of Lincoln meant that slavery would be capped in place and slowly eliminated. They couldn't have that, so they left.  Moreover, they rationalized slavery on the basis of racism and nothing else.

That was it.

Now, a person can try  to pretend otherwise, but there you have it.  The Southern declarations (or most of them, you can look up the rest) in their own words.  If you are an unreconstructed Confederate, so be it, but be aware that your cause was that of race based slavery, and nothing more.  To really believe in the Southern cause, then or now, you have to believe that blacks were inferior human beings who deserved, by their natures, to be slaves.
Well, um, what about that tax stuff Gen. Lee cites.  That must mean something. . . right?
Well a little, but not very significantly.
It is true that Southern declarations of secession referenced economic issues, but mostly in the context of a belief that the North was using economic policies to oppress the South due to slavery, or occasionally on the basis that the North was freeloading.
The truth of the matter is that there were differences in opinion on taxation and that taxation didn't fall evenly on every section of the country.  It never does.  But the war wasn't over that and that's pretty clear.  Indeed, while the South may have perceived that taxation was being imposed upon them punitively, the fact of the matter was that the South was largely able to fight the war without imposing new taxes, which was not the case for the North.
And why the South believed, where it did, that the North was benefiting from the public coffers where the South was not is not clear really.  Federal expenditures at the time were minuscule compared to today.  If more public projects were going on on the North its likely because the North was much more economically developed than the South, a situation that would continue on well into the 20th Century.  That wasn't the fault of the government, however.
For a variety of reasons, including arguably the existence of slave labor in the South, the North had started participating in the Industrial Revolution while the South was skipping it.   This came to mean that while most residents of the North were small farmers the North had a lot of industry as well and well developed, for the time, infrastructure.  The South, in contrast, had a population that was mostly made up of yeoman farmers but an economic system that heavily favored production agriculture, i.e., cotton (and tobacco).  The South had very little industry and very poor infrastructure.  

Now, I'm not hear to argue about whether its better in some philosophical way to have more yeomanry than industrial workers, or anything of the type.  But what is the case is that the South had a very skewed agricultural based economy. Almost all of the product of the South was agricultural and almost all of the wealth in society was generated by slave based production agriculture.  Most of the farmers, however, were yeoman on subsistence farms. This mean that the well off were those who owned land and slaves and planted cotton, and tobacco, while the average Southern was on the lower end of the economic scale and was engaging in subsistence agriculture with a marginal production crop.  Wealth was very unevenly distributed.  The wealthy, moreover, did not really benefit from a developed infrastructure so it just wasn't developed.  If Southerners felt that the North was getting more in the way of public improvements, such as they were, its' because the North was making them, while the South was avoiding them.

All of which means that from a Southern prospective the Civil War was truly a rich man's war and a poor man's fight, which was a fact appreciated by Southern soldiers at the time.  Latter day Confederates who wax romantic about the Lost Cause aren't looking at it the same way that so many Southern troops did, which is that they were asking to bleed for a class that didn't have to fight itself and stood to benefit from the war while they did not.  By the war's end Southern troops were deserting in droves.  After the war, in many places, they'd exist in tense hostility to the planter class that had sent them to war.  Latter day Confederates would do better to reflect on that fact.

If the war wasn't about slavery, how come only slave states left?
There were fifteen states in which slavery was legal in 1860.  Of those,  eleven clearly seceded from the Union and Confederacy claimed thirteen.  The states that did not leave, often called the "border states", were Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri.  
Missouri split into a virtual internal civil war within its own borders during the American Civil War over whether it should stay or go, so it hardly provides an example of how there was "slavery in the north"
Maryland was in a position in which succession was a practical impossibly as it was the Union front line and there was no way it was going in spite of strong Confederate sympathies within it.  Furthermore, the administration had twenty seven Maryland legislators arrested early in the war which truncated any effort to leave, an action that was taken as Maryland's position was so strategic.  Chances are high that left to its own devices Maryland in fact would have succeeded.

Delaware was a slave state but slavery was on the way out within its borders and less than 2% of the states' population were slaves. A vote on the topic was held in the legislature but received very little support.

Kentucky was the only state that tried to act as a true neutral.  It voted to be a neutral and asked both sides to respect its borders.  The Confederacy, however, didn't (so much for the latter day term of "The War of Northern Aggression") and the legislature demanded that the Southern troops be evicted by force if necessary, putting Kentucky into the war on the Union side.
If, as Southern apologist claim, the war wasn't about slavery, how come only slave states left?  Not one single state that was not a slave holding state, anywhere, attempted to leave.  Wouldn't it make sense that if the war was about something other than slaver, some other state would have departed over that issue, whatever it supposedly was?

The cases of Tennessee and West Virginia.
Tennessee and Virginia did vote to leave the union, as is well known, but seemingly oddly less recalled is that large segments of the populations of those states, in regions were there slavery was not strong, voted to leave their states, or tried to.
West Virginia is the best example. Western Virginia was populated by yeomanry and there were few slaves within it.  The rest of the state was dominated economically by the slave holding planter class. When that class took Virginia out of the Union, the yeomen in the western part of the state took their part of the state out of Virginia.

This same thing was attempted by eastern Tennessee but the Confederacy managed to suppress it, arresting large numbers of people from that reason and holding them.  Once again, they were in a region where slave holding was rare.

If the Civil War was about something other than slavery, why did these two states break apart over the issue?

Oklahoma wasn't a state at all and its situation is complicated and therefore its dangerous to draw too much of a conclusion from it, but in Indian Territory at that time slave owning was legal and practiced by various tribes.  Tribes that owned slaves showed an affinity for the Southern cause and contributed to the Confederate armies to a small extent.  That shows that the war was not only about slavery, but the feelings about holding on to it crossed cultures. That's a pretty strong indication of what the war was about.
Oklahoma, as Indian Territory, expected admission to the Confederacy as a slave holding state if the CSA won the war, which shows another clear way the war was about slavery.  Contrary to the assertion that the North invaded the South for some mysterious region, the South was actually territorially aggressive.  The South, with no prodding from the North, invaded Kentucky early in the war and no doubt expected it to leave the Union, while actually prodding it to do the opposite.  The South expected to pick up the Indian Territory.  And Confederate forces in Texas attempted to invade New Mexico with the expectation of adding that territory to the Confederacy.

Perhaps Florida's declaration of succession said it best.  The slave holding states, taking a page out of the earlier Intolerable Acts, were complaining that their "peculiar institution", slavery, was not being allowed to expand westward.  This was not only going to leave them out numbered in Congress, as they already were by that point, but it was also going to mean that they'd become increasingly outnumbered in Congress.  Moreover, the slave population in much of the South was quite larger and growing.  Florida's fears were no doubt held by many that you really can't keep a large population in bondage forever. . . the South wanted to export slavery westward to keep it alive.
Whose ancestors are being celebrated anyway?
Additionally, in choosing to revere one set of ancestors about the Antebellum South, Southerners who embrace the Lost Cause myth choose to blind themselves to another group, which is interesting and dangerous.
There are, of course, many Southerners today who had no relations of any kind living in the South during the Civil War. Be that as it may its really those who did who form the backbone of the concept of a glorious Southern cause. But the odd little secret there is that most of those same people have relatives who were slaves.

Concerning long term white residents of the South its estimated that 6% of their DNA is of African origin. That's not much, but what means is that almost every Southerner today who celebrates the Confederate cause had an ancestor at some point who was enslaved due to the same set of views.

The reverse is also true, FWIW. That is, for African Americans whose ancestors predated the Civil War in terms of residence, the vast majority are almost certainly likely to have European ancestors.  

So, today, there are no Southerners, or at least a minority of Southerners, who don't have a mixed heritage of black and white, slave and free.  To celebrate succession as if your own ancestors weren't held in bondage it to tell yourself a dangerous lie.

Now, nobody should really be surprised by this.  I'll wholly avoid the more controversial aspects of this and simply note that human nature, being what it is, was going to make that a fact.  The institution of slavery, at the same time, meant that it was a fact that was ignored even in plain sight at the time.

Most people now, for example, are familiar with the Sally Hemmings story to some degree.  And it provides a good example.

Sally Hemmings was a slave held, as is well known, by Thomas Jefferson and his wife Martha. Less well known or discussed, was that Sally's father was white and her mother was half white and  half black. That means that Sally was 3/4s of European descent and 1/4 of African descent.  She was also the half sister of Martha Jefferson.  That means that the Martha's family was keeping their own kin in bondage and that Martha brought to her marriage to Thomas her half sister, who was nearly as European as they were, into the marriage in bondage.

After Martha's death he fathered six children by Sally but never married her.  Such a marriage would have been, of course, impossible.  Those children, therefore, were 1/8th black and 7/8's European by descent.  Nonetheless they were held in bondage until after Jefferson died.  That they knew that he was their father was reflected by the fact that they used his last name.

Now, upon being freed they scattered to new locals, in part, and some simply omitted the fact that they had any African heritage. And, indeed, by that point their heritage was sufficiently remote that any physical indicator would likely have only been noticed had the fact been pointed out.  The condition of their prior servitude was shocking, to be sure, but the fact of it was known to them because it was known to them. To others it would not have been.

Scenes like this played out all over the South again and again.  It's common to consider this story in terms of rape, but its pretty clear that not all of these relationships met that definition by any means.  Jefferson's may very well not have. The ages between he and Sally were large, but that was not uncommon at the time.  A public marriage was out of the question but that does not mean that, in an age when the concept of common law marriages arising was strong, that all kinds of unions like this were not privately acknowledged at all sorts of levels. If Jefferson's reputation was not destroyed by the likely common local knowledge that this was occurring there's no strong reason to believe that in the backwoods where the yeomanry were that similar things did not occur.  It's perfectly possible to be highly biased on things and, at the same time, not react when they occur in your family. Turning a blind eye to conduct that was illegal in these regards was obviously fairly common over the years. The DNA evidence speaks too loudly to suggest otherwise.

I'm noting all of this because the insistence of some that the Southern cause was not about slavery mocks some of the very ancestors that those taking this position in the name of ancestor worship take.  The story of slavery is a horrific one, but its a complicated one.  Southern slaves were overall deprived of their liberty and treated horribly. They were murdered raped and abused. At the same time, however, some became members of the households they served and some, over the course of time, literally became part of the families that held others in bondage, both in reality and as a demographic. Whites and Blacks in the South today are all part of that story figuratively and, for many of them, genetically, whether they realize it or not. And that was true at the time of the Civil War itself.  Many of the men who marched off to protect slavery from abolishment were distant, or even not too distant, relatives of men on plantations who yearned to be freed.  That they didn't recognize that was in part a wilful act of self deception as what it meant was that the entire system was built on a vast lie.
Which takes me to my next point regarding the dead hands that many in the South feel should be able to control the story today.  I tend to think that the reality of the story, that the war was about slavery, tends to be taken by some as an argument that every white in the South including Southern soldiers who fought hard for years were uniformly evil men and therefore their ancestors are being slandered.  I'm not saying that.

Dead Southern infantryman.  Am I saying that he was an evil man who deserved to die?  No, I'm not.  I'm saying that he didn't deserve to die for a cause he probably had little say in and which was at its root an evil cause.

Southern soldiers undeniably put up a hard fight for years.  Their cause was a bad one, but that does not mean that they were necessarily bad men.
 Monument at Gettysburg to the high water mark of the Confederacy.

Most of them were frankly yeoman farmers who had little direct stake in the goals of the Confederacy at all.  The South conscripted soldiers, just like the North, and for most Confederate soldiers the options on going to war or not for a host of reasons were not all that optional.  They couldn't get deferments for going to graduate school or drive to Canada if they didn't want to serve in the war.  Living in small communities that were tight knit, by and large, if their fellows were going they were likely going to, irrespective of the cause or whether they agreed with the war.  That they fought hard was evidence that they were tough men and that they fought for each other, not necessarily that they held ardent beliefs about the cause.
North Carolina monument at Gettysburg.
Indeed the story of these same men after the war is largely overlooked.  After the Civil War, in many areas of the South, a near civil war smouldered for years between the yeoman class which had fought the war and the patrician class that had caused it. This was over the rights of the yeomanry to common land and hunting rights and was caused by the patricians operating not only to regain their pre war position in the Southern economy but to crowd out the yeoman class as well.  To associate the average Southern yeoman too strongly with the Southern patrician class is far too simple and tends to disregard the complicated reasons that the Southern yeoman class fought so hard for a cause that was so bad.

Nor should we be too quick to paint with too broad of brush concerning every Southern officer either. Their reasons for fighting for the CSA were also mixed.  Nor should we, however, fall into the error of the Lost Cause and pretend that those who lead the South in battle and into a horrible war did so for noble reasons based on independence and self reliance. That would be very far from true.

So, having addressed the points of Moss Robert, let us turn now to the arguments of our fried, Mr. Anonymous.
 Virginia Memorial at Gettysburg. ..  how the South sort of imagines the cause it fought for.
You can't have a democracy where people can't vote.
Our fried Anonymous used the classic pure democracy argument.  He put it this way:

Let's see. It was well and good for colonist to revolt against King George,but not ok for Americans in the South to seek independence for the same reasons? Slavery? Really? Week excuse for an invasion and war. The South voted to leave the Union and stated so by forming the Confederacy
I set forth my reply above, in detail, but let's break it down a bit.  First of all, did the "South" vote to leave the Union?

No, it didn't.

You can only take that position if you hold that blacks were intrinsically by nature not deprived to have a voice, which is exactly what the South actually held. But that's not the "South" voting. That was the white men of the South voting.  Indeed, where the white men of the South did not want to leave the Union, which in a considerably number of places, their votes were made not to count.  So, at the end of the day, it was the white patrician class of the South that voted to leave, not "the South".

Let's consider the actual demographics of the South.  Indeed, let's consider what percentage of the population of the Southern states was considered "black" at the time of the 1860 Census.  It's rather revealing.

Here's how that played out:

South Carolina:  57.2%
Mississippi:  55.2%
Florida:  44%
Alabama 45.1%
Georgia:  43.1%
Louisiana:  46.1%
Texas:  30.2%
Virginia:  30.7%
Arkansas:  25.5%
North Carolina: 33.4%
Tennessee:  24.8%

Pretty revealing.

Now lets also consider the "Border States" that did not secede and look at the percentages of their populations held in bondage as black slaves.
Kentucky:  19.5%
Maryland:  12.7%
Missouri:  9.7%
Delaware:  2%
So now let us suppose that, in those slave holding states that "voted" to leave the Union the black male population had been given the same right to vote, as the white male population and that this had translated into actual delegates.  Is there a single one of those states that would have voted for secession?
It doesn't seem very likely.
Not, the South didn't vote to leave . .  the white slave owning patricians voted to leave. 

You can't argue for democracy if you don't extend it.

But that is in fact what the South had always done, a fact that they conveniently ignored then and now.  Indeed, they'd done it since 1787 when they were given more votes in Congress than they were proportionally entitled to.


Exactly right.  In spite of the whining by the Southern secessionist that their rights were being trampled by the nineteen non slave holding states, that trampling actually was a demand that the North not act according to the democratic impulses of their own residents and acquiesce to the demands of Southern states. This had first occurred in force when the South insisted that the black population of the South be counted for purposes of apportionment in the House of Representatives even though blacks could not vote.  This lead to the 3/5s Compromise, which read:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
That compromise was utter hypocrisy.  Representatives in Congress from those states were not representing the non voting interests of the "three fifths of all other Persons" held in bondage, but the South's vote was enormously boosted none the less.  Consider a State like South Carolina'.  Its representation in Congress would have been half of what it was had only those eligible to actually vote in an election been counted for purposes of that Representation.

Which takes us to. . . 
The madness of King George
 King George III.  His views on his rights, or at least Parliament's view on its rights, were closer to the South's view of its "rights" than the North's on its actions, although a lot of the example of the Revolutionary War has no actual application to the Civil War.
Our friend Anonymous cites to the Revolution against the United Kingdom (it wasn't really against King George personally) as a precedent to the South's revolution against the Union.  But the precedent isn't a very good one in numerous ways.

Fortunately for us, those looking at the historical record, the Continental Congress was kind enough to leave us a list of the reasons that they decided to leave the patronage of the Mother Country, just as most of the Southern States did the same when they left.  That list has been termed The Intolerable Acts.  Here's what they had to say,.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Now, many of these have no relation to the secession of the Southern States ninety years later at all.  For example, nobody was being transported across the seas for their offenses. But those Intolerable Acts that are relevant mostly cut against the argument posed by the South.

A big part of the thirteen Colonies' beef with the United Kingdom related to Parliament passing laws and imposing taxes upon the colonies without the colonies having any representation in Parliament.  If the Continental Congress is to be believed, and there's no reason that we should doubt them, their complaint wasn't that the laws could be imposed, but rather that they were imposed without the colonies having a vote, or rather votes, in Parliament about them.  If the Parliament had said, "well, okay, we'll give you seats in Parliament" (a wholly unrealistic hypothetical), for the most part, the American complaints would have been fully addressed.  For example, these acts were amongst those found to be intolerable:

None of that was true for the Southern states. They had the vote in Congress and in fact in the House of Representatives their vote was artificially enormously boosted by the counting of slaves, who had no vote, as "3/5s" of a person.  The only reason that slavery existed for so long after the Revolution is that the Southern legislative advantage had worked up until 1860.  Only then, at which time nineteen states were "free" and it was clear that no more slave states would exist, did the South complain about feeling at an elective disadvantage to the point that they'd leave and take the country into war.

Even then, the complaint wasn't that "we have no voice".  Rather, they complaint was with the democratic process itself.  Free states refused to cooperate with slave states, on the free state's own soil. That was their right as a state, i.e., it spoke in favor of "state's rights", but the South didn't like it. And it was clear that each new admission into the Union, and they were coming, was going to bring in only free states who did not sympathize with slavery's' expansion, or with slavery itself.  It was democracy, not the lack of it, that the South feared.
If the logic of most of the applicable set of Intolerable Acts is therefore applied to 1860s, that is if we look at the reasons we declared independence in 1776 and apply that logic to 1860, it was the South that was acting in a right which mandated a democratic and free people intervene. But the North never did any such thing. Rather, the Southern states determined to leave to avoid the meaning of democracy, not the other way around.

So, what does it matter?

Quite a bit, really.
[T]he greatest efforts made by the defeated insurgents since the close of the war have been to promulgate the idea that the cause of liberty, justice, humanity, equality, and all the calendar of the virtues of freedom, suffered violence and wrong when the effort for southern independence failed. This is, of course, intended as a species of political cant, whereby the crime of treason might be covered with a counterfeit varnish of patriotism, so that the precipitators of the rebellion might go down in history hand in hand with the defenders of the government, thus wiping out with their own hands their own stains; a species of self-forgiveness amazing in its effrontery, when it is considered that life and property—justly forfeited by the laws of the country, of war, and of nations, through the magnanimity of the government and people—was not exacted from them.
Gen. George Henry Thomas, U.S Army general from Virginia, 1868.

The fraud perpetrated on Southerners by the foisting, as a dedicated effort, of the concept of a noble cause grounded in liberty rather than a racist cause grounded in slavery and nothing else acted to retard he healing of the wounds of war and, more important, the wounds of slavery from 1865 until this very day.  The denial that the war was caused by the South and fought by the South as part of a dedicated effort to keep over 1/3d of the Southern population in chains required that the root of the cause itself, racism, had to be tolerated and even excused.  The problem remains amazingly persistent to this very day even though we occasionally believe that we have overcome it, and we have in fact made great strides.  The Lost Cause Myth operated to camouflage the fact that black and white Americans and in particular black and white Southerners have much more in common than separates them and, indeed, black and white Southerners are not only the figurative products of their past but more often than not the literal one, i.e., they are kin but don't realize it.

The lie of the Lost Cause also has served to blind its adherents to a  history of the war and to the times that produced it, and followed it, that could and should provide very real lessons in modern times.  Rather than an example of fierce self reliance and independence the Southern effort was an example of a massive political advantage being gained by an economic elite that manipulated events to their end, both before and after the war.  That the Lost Cause Myth even exists as a widely belief myth is testimony of that success of that class's effort.  The entire history of the yeoman class in the end was swallowed by the lie the patrician class advanced and the lessons that history could and should teach us is likewise nearly lost.

Those who would honor the men of the South who fought the Civil War would do best to honor them the way they really were by recalling them as they were, and the nature of that war as it really was.

Confederate infantryman.  Those who would honor him would do well by remembering the war as it really was, what it was really about, and what his place in the world really was.


Note: This entry has something odd going on in terms of formatting in that quite a bit of the text is in bold when I'd rather it not be.  Unfortunately,  it doesn't show up when I go to edit and the format of the blog therefore won't allow me to correct that.

It is distracting, but, unfortunately, cannot be addressed.