Sat 25 Oct, 2003 01:08 pm
Nothing in America has stirred, and continues to stir more passion than the institution of slavery and the Civil War. When the word is mentioned, rational thought disappears and only shows again when the Souths has been thoroughly flailed, kicked and punished for the sin of slavery. Yankee myth maintains the entire buden for this should be carried by us...the people of the South. We are to believe the "Civil War" was fought by the noble and freedom-loving Yankees to free their black brothers from cruel Southern slavery. They attempt to justify their own criminal invasion of the South by claiming that the South was fighting to protect its slave property. Only those who accept this myth of history WITHOUT questioning and those who refuse to read impartial histoical evidence succumb to this shallow thinking.
The North was co-equally responsible for the system of slavery. They wer less humanitarian in their treatment of these slaves too. Just to provide some proof...here are some important questions?
1. Who first legalized slavery in America?
2. Who first attempted to prohibit the importation of slaves?
3. How was slavery abolished in the North?
4. How were the freed blacks treated in the North?
1. The Northern Colony of Massachusetts. When the abolition of slavery is mentioned, most people think of Lincoln, radical Republicans, and the terrorist John Brown. But long before these extremists spoke, the state of VIRGINIA had already gone on record as opposing the African slave trade. By an act of the Gen. Assy of Va, with Patrick Henry as Governor, the state outlawed the slave trade here, in my home town of VA. This was on October 5, 1778, 10 years before Massachusetts and 30 years before the British Parliament acted on the trade. This law also stipulated that any slave brought into the state contrary to the law would be then and forevermore FREE. And it wasn't even the first time VA had tried to stop it. This law was passed after VA had declared itself independent (seceded) from Great Britain. In the months before Thomas Jefferson (a Virginian) writing the Declaration of Independence, stated that one of the reasons the people of VA felt compelled to secede from British Gov't was that the British had forced the state to endure the slave trade. He stated that the King had "refused us permission to exclude by law" the slave trade. James Madison (another Virginian) said this, "The British Gov't constantly checked the attempts of VA to put a stop to this infernal traffick. Throughout the South, the move was on to end the slave trade, but the commercial interest of first England and then New England put a stop to this. After the American War for Independence was won, it would be the commercial interest of the Noth, allied with two Southern states, that would take the lead in protecting the slave trade. Years later, the blue-clad soldiers from the North would march down South to free the slaves that THEY had sold into bondate. While they sang, Glory, Glory Hallelujah, the very money they made from the slaves was in their pockets. In other words, it is wrong to own one, but ok to sell them. It was only after the South had seceded from the union that a clear and unqualified prohibition was written into the Constitution outlawing the slave trade. It was not the United States Constitution that made the first clear and unqualified prohibition against the slave trade, but the Confederate States Constitution.
2. I just explained who...The Southern State of Virginia. But how was it abolished? We are told of the Underground Railroad stories...how it led to the poor, downtrodden slave from the Southern land of slavery to the Northern land of freedom and equality. You know, the righteous North struggling to improve the plight of man and save the glorious Union while fighting off vicious attacks of hate-filled Southerners!? Yankee myth, Yankee lies and Yankee propaganda. At the signing of the Dec of Ind...there were slaves in every American state. Not one Northern state rushed to free its slaves after signing it. Slavery was never very profitable in the North...and if its one thing they had a eye for, it was profits. The Northern Slaveholders property rights were protected by the states, because no law was ever passed that granted freedom to a person already in slavery. (something they must have forgotten to do when they came down South). If the north was the land of equality and freedom, why did it not just do away with slavery in one quick step? If slavery was wrong in the South, it was just a wrong in the North. The answer? The North used the method of granting "gradual" freedom to the slaves and their unborn for 2 reasons...one was greed and the other was racism. They weren't deprived of the slaves they owned at the time the law passed. And it did not prohibit the slave owners from removing their property from the state to be sold in other parts of the country. Which they did. It allowed them to rid themselves of the people they didn't want in Northern society. In 1788, eight years after Massachusetts started its judicial emancipation, it passed a law ordering every black, mulatto, or Indian who came into the state and remained two months to be whipped publicly. And was repeated if they didn't leave. It remained in effect until 1834, by which time it had done its work of purging Massachusetts of the "undesirables".
3. As I said, "By a system of gradual emancipation that allowed the Northern Slave Owners to remove their property to the South, sell the slaves, and thereby rid themselves of the human responsibility while making a handsome profit.
4. They weren't allowed to vote or testify in a court of law. Even in Lincoln's home state if IL, blacks were banned from moving into the state! And common sense would tell you that if they were treated so much better, then the rate of population would increase in blacks. According to the 1860 census records, the % of increase in the black population in the South was 23%. The increase in the North was 1.7%. The returns from the 1850 census show that of white Northerners and Southerners, one person in every 1,000 was either deaf, dumb, blind, insane or idiotic. For the free blacks of Yankeedom, one in every 506 was afflicted with one of these conditions. If the North was such a better place for blacks, then it would be natural to assume that the Southern blacks would be in worse condition. Not according to the 1850 census records. It demonstrated that only one in 1,464 had a condition as described above. the Negro slave in the South was in a better mental and physical condition than his free black brother in the North. Here's a better example:
(ratio of persons with disability)
White Northern AND Southerner 1 out of every 1,000
Free Northern black 1 out of every 506
Southern slave 1 out of every 1,464
There is enough guilt to go around. The blacks in Africa who kidnapped and sold their own kind, the Yankee merchants who traded rum and guns for black slaves in the North and South America all deserve - yet do not receive - the larger portion of the guilt. Why is it that Southerners have been singled out for criticism and guilt? Because the North needed this myth and other lies to justify its war of conquest, and to continue its oppression of the legitimate rights of the Southern people. In both the North and the South, there were different views on the issue of slavery and how to end it. The only difference is that the North had the opportunity to end slavery without disrupting its economy or social fabric. This was a luxury the Yankee never allowed the South. Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis were two of the quickes to abolish the idea of slavery. They sought to uplift and educate the slaves to make them ready for freedom. Just to show those who believed that black people could never be made ready for freedom.
If you want proof of just how successful the Yankee myth has been, just go into a Southern classroom. On the wall, you'll probably see a picture of Abraham Lincoln. You'll probably be required to recite or memorize the Gettysburg Address! But, ask the teacher where the picture of Jefferson Davis is, and why you're not studying his inaugural address, and you'll get a quizzical look. Most teachers who teach our children about the Great Emancipator have never even read the proclamation! If they did, they'd find that it was a self-styled war measure. Its purpose was to hide the invasion of the South with morality. Real good propaganda ploy to convince England and France not to recognize the Southern nation. The truth is that Lincoln's so-called Emancipation Proclamation wasn't designed to free slaves, it only declared free those slaves who were held "within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States". In other words, he freed those he had no control over. But what about those he did have control over and could have declared free? Not a word is said about these slaves. The 6 parishes of Louisiana that were at that time under Yankee control were specifically excluded from this great document of freedom, as were the 48 counties designated as West Virginia! For the Lincoln lovers, I remind you that the Yankee General Ulysses S. Grant's wife held personal slaves at the beginning of the war. They were freed, not by Lincolns proclamation, but by the 13th amendment passed after the end of the war. Grants excuse for not freeing his slaves was "good help is so hard to come by these days". Lincoln declared free those slaves he had no power to free, and left in bondage those he could have freed! Honest Abe, the great humanitarian and emancipator! He was guilty of the two unforgivable sins of modern times - a belief in white supremacy and a belief in a system of apartheid! His ideas were are a well-kept secret. But, worth repeating...Lincoln said, "I will say, than, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qulaifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races...I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race".
Yet, we, the Southerners are the ones who are accused of these ideologies, yet, none of the writings or speeches of any Southern General, leader or Jefferson Davis himself, mention anything of the kind.
As far as apartheid, Lincoln was planning a system of geographical separation similar to what has been practiced in South Africa. Here's another comment he made in a debate with Stephen A. Douglas:
"Such separation if effected at all, must be effected by colonization:...what colonizatioin most needs is a hearty willl...Let us be brought to believe that it is morally right, and at the same time favorable to, or at least not against, our interests to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be."
The difference between Yankee myth and reality. He is also sometimes called "Protector of Liberty". The dictatorial power of Lincoln is evidenced when he suspended the writ of habeas corpus and then moved to silence his critics in the North not in the South. (at that time Southerners were goverened by one who was governing with the consent of the governed - what a novel idea! Perhaps we should try this again!)
Some writers place the number of Lincolns political prisoners as high as 40,000. They were held indefinitely, without even know what, if any, charges were brought against them and without receiving bail or an attorney. He imprisoned people he hated. And he rewarded men who were conducting a campaign of terror against the Southern civilians. We were forced to endure rape, robbery, pillaring and plundering, all at the hands of the US military personnel. These acts were very well known in Washington, yet they continued thoughout his presidency. If he had been a truly compassionate human being, then he would have tried to prevent this suffering. Needless suffering. Not accidental civilian casualties as a result of war. These were intentional crimes committed on Southerners who were innocent, but Southern. Lincoln, also, btw, was also the only American president who personally ordered the mass execution of Americans whose guilt couldn't be positively determined! In 1862, several tribes of Native Americans revolted against his policies. General John Pope was sent to Minnesota to put down the uprising. After the end of the hostilities, Pope sent a message to Lincoln that he had ordered more than 300 warriors executed by hanging. The whites of Minnesota were wanting the execution of the Indians. Lincoln knew that the "trial" had been a sham, but he also knew that he needed the white votes. His "political" compromise was to make a blood offering to the whites there. As a toaken to appease the whites, he selected 39 Indian prisoners at random, to be executed. He carried Minnesota in the next election, but the price was paid by Native Americans.
Let it pass
Sherman kicked ass
The war is over
Red rover, red rover
There is absolutely nothing more unattractive to behold -- nor more boring to endure -- than a southerner with an attitude trying to relive the Civil War in a fantasy setting.
The war is over.
Frankly, most northerners never even mention it -- unless provoked to do so by some southerner.
Most southerners -- at least among the ones I know -- are content to let the contention between the north and south in the mid-19th century remain in the past -- where it belongs.
But then there are the professional southenahs...like you, SG, who will not let this particular dog lie. You come here to an Internet forum with that in-your-face avatar of yours -- and feign surprise and indignation at some of the reactions it provokes. You then proceed to post these fanciful revisions of history complete with its tortured and twisted logic and rationalizations -- and feign surprise and indignation at some of the reactions it provokes.
And you do this while arrogantly protesting superior ethics and morality for yourself -- and a longing for others to be more like you.
Stop adding to the turmoil of the world and instead try contributing to a bit of understanding and tolerance. Nor would it hurt to lighten up considerably and inject some humor and humanity into your diatribes from time to time.
As I said to someone else just a few moments ago -- stop taking yourself so seriously. You really don't have what it takes to pull it off.
Other than that, SG, I am happy that you have decided to join us here at A2K. You certainly project a much needed alternative perspective of the world -- and the important issues. I respect the devotion you show to your topics -- and admire the tenacity you bring to the forum.
Keep up the good work.
We were forced to endure rape, robbery, pillaring and plundering, all at the hands of the US military personnel.
So, should some of us carry guilt for having ancestors who were slave holders and should we pay restitution to the slaves descendants?
Post and replies interesting to me. I was born outside the US, came here in my preteen years, was raised first in the South, then in the north, then shortly in the south again (though Texans deny they are a southern state) then finally in the North. As an adult I've travelled back and forth between the two regions continually.
SG's tract is something I've heard before... none of the details new. The idea that the Civil War was actually more about trade, the North not allowing the South to trade freely with Europe, is the major subtext of US history as she is taught in the south. Apparently there's some truth to this. There is truth also to the idea that slavery flourished in the North as well as the South, and that the North's hands were not clean before or after the war in regard to racial relations.
But then, so? Fact is slavery was abandoned after it became economically obsolete due to the evolution of modern industrial agriculture. One machine could do the work of thirty slaves and took less care and attention. Slavery was well on its way to extinction by the 1860's and I do believe that it was less than half of the force that drove the war.
As someone who has lived in both regions of the US, I note that racial discrimination knows no borders. Blacks and other minorities are treated badly wherever... the KKK in CT is one of the largest and most powerful in America, after all.
The real issue of how we choose to treat one another continues to need our attention. But it is not just black and white... it is a matter of class now. The comfortable in America can be horrible to the less than comfortable. The very richest treat all others as an unimportant underclass.
That it is not racial is exemplified by the fact that there are billionaire Black, Chinese, Latino entrepaneurs.
To unleash a screed concerning who was right or wrong in a war fought a century and a half ago is to ignore the fact that we still need healing. It is not that the south was right or wrong, or the north. Both regions contain their goods and evils. The real war for human dignity and equality is fought inside of each of us; never because we are better, or more right, to entertain these thoughts is to lose before we begin... but because we recognize the fragility and beauty of all living beings.
sg has been shown that some of her "facts" are incorrect and her rsponse was that the facts were unimportant ones.
Ultimately when being "right" disconsiders facts, "right" becomes less attractive. It starts to mean having an tightly held opinion and "facts be dammned, it will be proclaimed on the rooftops".
Anyway, even if everything Southerngrl says is true, this does not suggest the South was right, just that the North was wrong, too...
Yep. God was not on anybody's side!
LOL! Well, one would hope that if there IS a god, and if it involved itself in the matter, it was on the side of the slaves.....though the Hebrew version of it, in the old testament, seemed to have no problem with such - as was also true, I think, for all the other deities at the time.
Tarnation! I feel like I'm in Gone With the Wind, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
It was that time period's expression of the same cultural war that rages today. Emotions are still that high, just kept slightly under control.
I just love to read crap like the above.
As if it teachs anything.
or changes what was, until the defeat of the Nazis, America's proudest moment.
It completely ignores the history and yells a lot of meaningless yeahbuts.
The Civil War was the final meeting of the Constitutional Congress,
it decided once and for all whether this nation would be
(A) half-slave and half-free
(B) all slave and none-free
It decided for free, with all it's warts and injustices and frailties.
Still, human beings are not, and cannot be, held slave within
the borders of these United States.
Whoever yet argues for either of the two other options is
either a fool or a traitor and ought to look for other harbor.
Joe (warts and all) Nation
I enjoyed reading this article as well as the responses of the the members. After carefully analysis I would concede that the South is partly right on some points. It is however a far distance from being totally right.
And here I was thinking the US civil war was over. One thing I do know. Both sides treated their prisoners like animals.
A bit like what's happening in camp X-ray right now.
Hmmm - seems to be a bit of an international habit - it is also a bit like how the Australian government is treating would-be asylum seekers in detention camps now although, they are at last subject to the laws of the country - not outside of the law.
But - quite what that has to do with the topic, Wilso, I do not see....?
Just wondering what's changed in the last 150 years, besides the end of slavery!
That reminds me of the famous question in Monty Python's Life of Brian - "What have the Romans ever done for us?"
A lot has changed in the USA in the last 150 years - just as it has for us. I guess the penchant for those with power to mistreat those without has not, though - nor has people's ability to justify just about anything for "the good of the state" - just as the Taliban were able to justify their outrages in the name of Islam.
My whole life I've been listening to trumpeting about the US being the land of freedom and liberty and above all personal rights. I couldn't count the number of times I've heard the statement "I disagree with what you're saying, but will fight for your right to say it".
Where's the rights for these people? The right to a fair trial, the right to legal counsel? Where's the actions to back up the rhetoric? Just seems to be flushed down the toilet whenever it's not convenient.
I do take your point about the asylum seekers. It's a situation that disgusts me no-end.