Watchman Willie Martin Archive

1888 Book written for average American‑‑5 Causes

Gentlemen, Today while glancing at a history book written for the average American in 1888,  History of the United States by J. C. Ridpath, LL.D., I noticed that he gives five (5)  causes leading to the War Between the States.  These five causes became only  one during the last one hundred years as only slavery is mentioned by today's South haters.  Perhaps some may wish to see these he listed on page 486. I  have only typed part of these chapters.

1). The FIRST and most general cause of the WBTS was the different construction put upon the national Constitution by the people of the North and the South.

One party held that under the Constitution the Union of the States is indissoluble; that the sovereignty of the nation is lodged in the central government; that the States are subordinate; that the acts of Congress, until they are repealed or pronounced unconstitutional by the supreme court are binding on the States; that the highest allegiance of the citizen is due to the general government, and not to his own State; and that all attempts at nullification and disunion are in their nature disloyal and treasonable.

The other party held that the national Constitution is a compact between sovereign States; that for certain reasons the Union may be dissolved; that the sovereignty of the nation is lodged in the individual States, and not in the central government; that Congress can exercise no other than delegated powers; that a State feeling aggrieved may annul an act of Congress; that the highest allegiance of the citizen is due to his own State, and afterward to the general government; and that acts of nullification and disunion are justifiable, revolutionary and honorable.

For a long time the parties who disputed about the meaning of the Constitution were scattered in various sections.  In the earlier history of the country the doctrine of State sovereignty was most advocated in New England.  With the rise of the tariff question the position of parties changed. Since the tariff; a congressional measure, favored the Eastern States at the expense of the South, it came to pass naturally that the people of New England passed over  to the advocacy of national sovereignty, while the people of the South took up the doctrine of States rights.  Thus it happened that as early as 1831 the right of nullifying an act of Congress was openly advocated in S. Carolina, and thus also it happened that the belief in State sovereignty became more prevalent in the South than in the North.  These facts tended powerfully to produce sectional parties and to bring them into conflict.

2). A SECOND general cause of the war was the different system of labor in the North and in the South. In the Eastern and Middle States the system of slave‑labor was gradually abolished, being unprofitable. With the invention of the cotton gin, the industry of the South was revolutionized. Just in proportion to the increased profitableness of cotton slave‑labor became important, slaves valuable and the system of slavery a fixed and deep‑ rooted institution. The Southern States had become cotton‑producing; the Eastern States had given themselves to manufacturing. The tariff measures favored manufactures at the expense of producers.

In population and wealth the North had far outgrown the South. In the struggle for territorial dominion the North had gained a considerable advantage. In 1860 the division of the Democratic party made certain the election of Mr. Lincoln by the votes of the Northern States. The people of the South were exasperated at the choice of a chief‑ magistrate whom they regarded as indifferent to their welfare and hostile to their interests..

3). The THIRD general cause of the war was the want of intercourse between the people of the North and the South. The great railroads and thoroughfares ran east and west.  Emigration flowed from the East to the West.  Between the North and the South there was little travel or  interchange of opinion.  From want of acquaintance the people, without intending it, became estranged, jealous, suspicious. They misjudged each other's motives. They misrepresented each other's beliefs and purposes. They  suspected each other of dishonesty and ill‑will. Before the outbreak of the war the people of the two sections looked upon each other almost in the light of different nationalities.

4). A FOURTH cause was found in the publication of sectional books. During the twenty years preceding the war many works were published, both in the North and the South, whose popularity depended wholly on the animosity existing between the two sections. Such books were generally filled with ridicule and falsehood. The manners  and customs, language and beliefs, of one section were held up to the contempt and scorn of the people of the  other section. The minds of all classes, especially of the young, were thus prejudiced and poisoned. In the North the belief was fostered that the South was given up to inhumanity, ignorance and barbarism, while in the South the opinion prevailed that the Northern people were a selfish race of mean, cold‑blooded Yankees.

5). The evil influence of demagogues may be cited as the fifth general cause of the war. It is the misfortune of republican governments that they many times fall under the leadership of bad men. In the United States the demagogue has enjoyed special opportunities for mischief,  and the people have suffered in proportion. From 1850 to 1860 American statesmanship and patriotism were at a low ebb. Many ambitious and scheming men had come to the front, taken control of the political parties and proclaimed themselves the leaders of public opinion. Their purposes were wholly selfish. The welfare and peace of the country were put aside as of no value.

West Virginia was the last slave state admitted to the Union, annexed in 1863. If the western counties of Virginia stuck with the Confederacy, they'd be forced to free their  slaves by the Emancipation Proclamation. If they joined the Union,  they could keep them. There's just no argument here. You can't say the Union fought to free the slaves when they were busy  admitting a new slave state at the same time, as well as having 1/2 million slaves in Union border states. What hypocrisy!

Horace Greeley's American Conflict Vol. I The first state to actual exercise its right to secede was not South Carolina, not even one from the South at all,  but low and behold one from New England. Vermont declared its independence from the "union" over disagreements in our participation in the war of 1812. "[Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States]"  breathes the very essence of States' rights, and the right of secession is distinctly set forth by Rawle's...When we remember that only seven years had then elapsed since New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and, perhaps, other Northern States asserted this right, and threatened to exercise it or make dishonorable terms of peace with Great Britain unless the war, was stopped, we can understand that Mr. Calhoun was not violating Northern sentiment in introducing Rawle on the Constitution at West Point.

It there remained as a text book till 1861, and Mr. Davis and Sidney Johnston, and General Joe Johnston and General Lee, and all the rest of us who retired with Virginia from the Federal Union, were not only obeying the plain instincts of our nature and dictates of duty, but we were obeying the very inculcations we had received in the National School.

Each state was to remain a separate entity and retain their individual sovereignty. Virginia, Rhode Island and New York, in their ratification of the Constitution, stated that they reserved the right to secede from the union whenever the National Government used its powers to the oppression and injury of the people. Were they not admitted without question? Was not the declared right of these States the absolute right of all? 'On the twenty‑fourth day of May, 1860,' the United States Senate passed a

set of resolutions introduced by Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, strongly indorsing the right of secession by a vote of thirty‑six to nineteen. Twenty States voted for the resolutions, one State divided its vote, four voted against it, and eight refused to vote. The people still remained citizens of the state in which they lived. The "U.S. citizen" did not exist.  Daniel Webster himself said that all states are nations.

In 1844 the admission of Texas was a question. Did not the Legislature of Massachusetts pass the following resolution, "That the project of the annexation of Texas, unless arrested on the threshold, may drive these States into a dissolution of the Union"

Forty‑six years after the war Charles Stowe, son of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," addressing a negro university in Nashville, Tenn., said: "It is certain there was a rebellion, but the Northerners were the rebels, not the Southerners."

'Jefferson Davis was never tried. That mountain fact lifts its tall testimony to tell the ages that the North waged an unconstitutional war against the constitutional South.'

Senator Thomas Hart Benton: "Under Federal Legislation, the exports of the South have been the basis of the Federal Revenue. Virginia, the two Carolina's, and Georgia, may be said to defray three fourths of the annual expense of supporting the Federal Government; and of this great sum, annually furnished by them, nothing or next to nothing is returned to them, in the shape of Government expenditures. that expenditure flows in an opposite direction it flows north, in one uniform, uninterrupted and perennial stream. This is the reason why wealth disappears from the south and rises up in the north. Federal Legislation does this."

Patrick Cleburne: "As to my own position, I hope to see the Union preserved by granting the South the full measure of her constitutional rights. If this can not be done, I hope to see all the Southern States united in a new confederation and that we can effect a peaceable separation. If both of these are denied us, I am with Arkansas in weal or woe. I have been elected and hold a commission of captain of the Volunteer Rifle Company of this place and I can say for my company that if the Stars and Stripes become the standard of a tyrannical majority, the ensign of a violated league, it will no longer command our love or respect but will command our best efforts to drive them from our state.

“I am with the South in life or in death, in victory or in defeat...I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of government. They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and inaugurate a servile insurrection, murder our men and dishonor our women.  We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone."

"If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, while my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right." (Cleburne before his fatal wound at the battle of Franklin, Tenn. Major General Patrick Cleburne).

"We could have pursued no other course without dishonour. And as sad as the results have been, if it had all to be done over again, we should be compelled to act in precisely the same manner."

"Every one should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns, and battles, and generals or other individuals, but that which shows the principles for which the South contended and which justified her struggle for those principles."  (Gen. Robert E. Lee)

Remember: If Edwards or Gephardt become President

of the United States, you can kiss your Confederate

 Heritage goodbye!!

US Senator John Edwards, the presidential candidate from North Carolina, today stepped deeper into the Confederate flag controversy. He became the first presidential candidate to call for the end of North Carolina's practice of flying the Confederate flag over the State Capitol in Raleigh on Confederate Memorial Day. He

said, "I wish the state would not do that...Those flags are a  divisive and painful symbol of a shameful era, and they should not be displayed on State Capitol grounds." The... article is...below.

Interestingly enough, his comments appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on the same day that one of his black constituents wrote a letter to the editor in support of the Confederate flag

US Senator John Edwards from North Carolina stated Monday that the Confederate flag should not fly on public grounds. Speaking in Columbia SC, he stated, "The flag should come down." The complete story is reprinted below.

Sen. Edwards also said that "every politician from the South; whether you're a mayor, a governor, a senator, or president, has  a moral obligation to make the mission of civil rights our own." Apparently he has not learned the lesson learned by Southern governors in South Carolina and Georgia, who were removed from office for removing Confederate‑themed flags from public grounds.

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