Skip to comments.Confronting Civil War Revisionism: Why The South Went To War
Posted on 08/01/2006 7:08:16 AM PDT by Sopater
WallBuilders not only seeks to present an accurate view of American history but through our strong reliance on primary source documents also seeks to expose and rebut instances of revisionism. The dictionary defines revisionism as advocating the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine; especially a revision of historical events and movements. 1 Many special interest groups over the past sixty years have urged upon the public a revisionist view of history in a manipulative attempt to justify their particular agenda.
For example, those who rely on activist courts to advance an agenda they are unable to pass through the normal political process frequently defend their misuse of the courts by asserting three historically unfounded doctrines: (1) the judiciary is to protect the minority from the majority; (2) the judiciary's primary purpose is to review and correct the acts of Congress and the presidency; and (3) the judiciary is best equipped to determine and meet the needs of an ever-changing society. These three errant doctrines are disproved by scores of original writings from the Founding Era, especially in The Federalist Papers. (See also our book, Restraining Judicial Activism.)
Similarly, those who aggressively pursue a secular public arena also invoke a revisionist view of history, frequently arguing that: (1) the Founding Fathers were atheists, agnostics, and deists; and (2) the Founders wrote into the Constitution a strict separation of church and state that requires the exclusion of religious influences and expressions from the public arena. These assertions are also easily rebuttable through hundreds of the Founders' own writings and public acts and laws. (See also our book, Original Intent.)
Another prominent example of modern historical revisionism involves an inaccurate view of the Civil War, asserting that: (1) the secession of the southern states at the start of the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery; and (2) slavery was not a significant issue in the conflict. (Irrefutable Confederate documents disproving this assertion will be presented shortly.)
One example of this type of Civil War revisionism can be found in a plaque displayed in the Texas State Capitol, declaring:
Other sources make this same false claim, 2 instead blaming the war on what they claim was the federal government's incessant lust for power and what they consider its unconstitutional intrusiveness into what they believe to be solely states' affairs. Regrettably, the acceptance of this revisionist view of the Civil War is actually gaining strength among many Americans.
Because we desire to perpetuate, in love and honor, the heroic deeds of those who enlisted in the Confederate Army and upheld its flag through four years of war, we, the children of the South, have united together in an organization called "Children of the Confederacy," in which our strength, enthusiasm, and love of justice can exert its influence. We therefore pledge ourselves to preserve pure ideals; to honor our veterans; to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is that the war between the states was not a rebellion nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery), and to always act in a manner that will reflect honor upon our noble and patriotic ancestors. (emphasis added)
1. Southern Secession DocumentsFrom December 1860 through August 1861, the southern states met in conventions to decide whether to secede from the Union; on December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to do so. In its secession document, South Carolina boldly proclaimed to the world why it left the Union. Note its repeated emphasis on preserving slavery:
South Carolina's stated reasons for secession irrefutably affirm that the preservation of slavery was a major cause.
[A]n increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding states to the institution of slavery has led to a disregard of their obligations. . . . [T]hey have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery. . . . They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes [through the Underground Railroad]; and those who remain have been incited by emissaries, books, and pictures to servile insurrection. . . . 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 [Abraham Lincoln] 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 "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. . . . The slaveholding states will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the federal government will have become their enemy . . . 3
Undeniably, the preservation of slavery was a primary factor in Mississippi's decision to help break up the Union.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. . . . [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 [slavery], 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. . . . It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves and refuses protection to that right on the high seas [i.e., banning the slave trade], 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 [slavery] by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion. . . . It advocates Negro equality, socially and politically. . . . It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the states and wherever else slavery exists. . . . We must either submit to degradation and to the loss of property [i.e., slaves] 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. 4
Florida not only seceded because of the growth of the antislavery sentiment in the northern states but it even openly described itself as a member of the slaveholding states.
All hope of preserving the Union upon terms consistent with the safety and honor of the Slaveholding States has been finally dissipated by the recent indications of the strength of the anti-slavery sentiment in the Free States. 5
Since several of the secession documents directly blamed the Republican election victory of 1860 as a reason for secession, what caused that specific election to become such a focus?
. . . the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice-president of the United States of America by a sectional party [the Republicans], avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions [slavery] and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama . . . 6
Other planks throughout Republican platforms articulated both their firm opposition to slavery and their willingness to use congressional powers to combat its growth. This was seen as a direct threat by southern Democrats; and Democrat platforms (and every southern state at that time was a solidly Democrat state) announced their support for the Dred Scott decision 10 and the continuation of slavery, 11 and also condemned all antislavery and abolition efforts. 12
We deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislation, of any individual or association of individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States. 9
Alabama, like the three states before it that had already seceded, made clear that its desire to preserve slavery was a major factor in its secession.
It is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding states of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent government [the Confederacy] . . . 13
Unquestionably, Georgia seceded in order to sustain the institution of slavery.
For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate states with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have . . . persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property [i.e., slaves]. . . . A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of antislavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the federal government [i.e., the Republican Party] 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 antislavery party. . . . - antislavery is its mission and its purpose. . . . That reason was her [the Republican Party's] 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 [abolition] to the last extremity. . . . 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 [Republican] leaders and applauded by its followers. . . . The prohibition of slavery in the territories is the cardinal principle of this organization [the Republican Party] . . . . For twenty years past, the abolitionists and their allies in the northern states have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions [i.e., slavery] and to excite insurrection and servile war among us. 14
Clearly, Louisiana had seceded over the issue of slavery and urged Texas to do the same. This encouragement turned out to be unnecessary, however; for even before Commissioner Williamson had arrived from Louisiana, on February 1, 1861, Texas had become the seventh state to secede. In its secession document, Texas announced:
Louisiana looks to the formation of a Southern Confederacy to preserve the blessings of African slavery. . . . As her [Texas'] neighbor and sister state, she [Louisiana] desires the hearty co-operation of Texas in the formation of a Southern Confederacy. . . . Louisiana and Texas have the same language, laws, and institutions. . . . and they are both so deeply interested in African slavery that it may be said to be absolutely necessary to their existence and is the keystone to the arch of their prosperity. . . . The people of Louisiana would consider it a most fatal blow to African slavery if Texas either did not secede or, having seceded, should not join her destinies to theirs in a Southern Confederacy. . . . As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of annexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. § The people of the slaveholding states are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery. The isolation of any one of them from the others would make her a theater for abolition emissaries from the North and from Europe. Her existence would be one of constant peril to herself and of imminent danger to other neighboring slave-holding communities. . . . and taking it as the basis of our new government we hope to form a slave-holding confederacy . . . . 15
Texas therefore chose to unite her destinies with the South, following her sister slave-holding states in secession. With seven states having now seceded, on March 11, 1861 (only eight days after Lincoln was inaugurated President), a constitution was formed for the new confederacy of slave-holding states. The secession of southern states, however, was not yet finished.
[Texas] 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 [Texas] - 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 slaveholding states of the Confederacy. . . . The controlling majority [i.e., Republicans] of the federal government . . . has so administered the same . . . for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions [i.e., slavery] of Texas and her sister slaveholding states. . . . In all the non-slave-holding states . . . the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party [i.e., the Republican Party] . . . 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. . . . 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. 16
Eventually, eleven states seceded; and secession documents undeniably affirm that slavery was a major reason for their secession. Furthermore, the fact that the Confederacy regularly described itself as a confederacy of southern slave-holding states further confirms that sustaining slavery was indeed a primary cause of the Civil War.
[T]he federal government, having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia but to the oppression of the southern slave-holding states, . . . 17
2. Declaration of Confederate Vice-President Alexander StephensOn February 9, 1861, following the secession of the seventh southern state (Texas), Jefferson Davis (a Democrat U. S. Senator from Mississippi) was elected president of the new Confederate States of America, and Alexander Stephens (a Democrat U. S. Representative from Georgia) as their new vice-president. The southern Democrats in the U.S. Congress also resigned their seats to join the new Confederacy 18 (no Republican left the Union, for there were no Republican Members of Congress from the South).
Just weeks later on March 21, 1861 (and just three weeks before the outbreak of military hostilities with the South's attack against Fort Sumter), the new Vice-president, Alexander Stephens, delivered a major policy speech for the new nation: African Slavery: The Corner-Stone of the Southern Confederacy. In that speech, Stephens first correctly acknowledged that the Founding Fathers - even those from the South - had never intended for slavery to remain in America:
So what did Vice-president Stephens and the new Confederate nation think about these antislavery ideas of the Founding Fathers?
The prevailing ideas entertained by him [Thomas Jefferson] and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature - that it was wrong in principle - socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent [temporary] and pass away. 19
Notice that by the title he assigned his own speech, Vice-president Stephens affirmed that slavery was not just a peripheral issue but that it was the cornerstone of the Confederacy; and the content of his speech only reaffirmed what he had initially declared in its title.
Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. . . . and the idea of a government built upon it. . . . Our new government [the Confederate States of America] is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid - its cornerstone rests - upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man. That slavery - subordination to the superior [white] race - is his natural and moral condition. This - our new [Confederate] government - is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. 20 (emphasis added)
3. Confederate ConstitutionOn March 11, 1861, the constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted. Given the strong support of the individual confederate states for slavery, it is not surprising that the Confederate constitution contained a number of clauses not only protecting but also making it illegal to end slavery. For example:
If slavery was not an issue, then why was its preservation so aggressively safeguarded throughout the Confederate constitution?
ARTICLE I, Section 6, (4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in Negro slaves shall be passed.
ARTICLE IV, Section 2, (1) The citizens of each state . . . shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any state of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.
ARTICLE IV, Section 2, (3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any state or territory of the Confederate States under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall . . . be discharged from such service or labor but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs. 21
SummaryAs noted earlier, there are numerous official documents - official Confederate documents - affirming that slavery was a primary issue that drove the secession movement and was indeed central in the rebellion. Those who would assert otherwise are not only ignoring but even rewriting history. They either have not read the original documents of the Confederacy and the public policy positions of its elected leaders, or else they have chosen to ignore the significant body of authoritative evidence disproving their errant claim. Therefore it is blatant and unmitigated revisionism at its worst to assert - as do Confederate apologists - that one of the most important of the truths of history is that the war between the states was not a rebellion nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery. 22
(For a pdf version of this article click here.)
 The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, © 2004, by Houghton Mifflin Company.
 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Derby, Kansas Middle School Suspension Denounced by Sons of Confederate Veterans (at http://www.scv.org/press/scvpr03.htm) which declares [T]he War Between the States was fought over issues such as the rights of individual states to set their own tariffs, establish their own governments, and receive full profit from their agricultural production. . . . the question of slavery was brought into the war by Lincoln in late 1862 as an emotional one to bolster the sagging Northern war effort . . .; and United Daughters of the Confederacy, Children of the Confederacy: Creed (at http://www.hqudc.org/CofC/index.html) which declares We, therefore pledge ourselves . . . to study and teach the truths of history (one of the most important of which is, that the War Between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery); etc.
 Edward McPherson, The Political History of the United States of America During the Great Rebellion (Washington: Philip & Solomons, 1865), pp.15-16, Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, December 24, 1860.
 In 1787, the nation still governed itself under the Articles of Confederation; and on July 13, 1787, the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance (which Mississippi called the well-known Ordinance of 1787). That Ordinance set forth provisions whereby the Northwest Territory could become states (eventually Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota entered from that Territory). As a requirement of statehood, Article 6 of that Ordinance stipulated: There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory.
When the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, the Founding Fathers re-passed the Northwest Ordinance to ensure its continued effectiveness under the new Constitution. Signed into law by President George Washington on August 7, 1789, it retained the prohibition against slavery.
As more territory was gradually ceded to the United States (the Southern Territory - Mississippi and Alabama, the Missouri Territory - Missouri and Arkansas, and others), Congress applied the requirements of the Ordinance to those new territories. Mississippi had therefore originally entered under the requirement that it not allow slavery.
 The Civil War Home Page, A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union, January 9, 1861 (at http://www.civil-war.net/pages/mississippi_declaration.asp).
 Orville Victor, The History, Civil, Political and Military, of the Southern Rebellion (New York: James D. Torrey, 1861), Vol. 1, p. 194, Florida, Preliminary Resolution Prior to Secession, January 7, 1861.
 Victor, Southern Rebellion, Vol. 1, p. 195, An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of Alabama and the other States united under the compact styled 'The Constitution of the United States of America,' January 11, 1861.
 Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U. S. 393 (1856). The Dred Scott decision is arguably the first example of judicial activism by the Supreme Court: it struck down the congressional law of 1820 prohibiting the extension of slavery into certain federal territories.
 Dred Scott at 449-52.
 Thomas Hudson McKee, The National Conventions and Platforms of All Political Parties, 1789-1905 (New York: Burt Franklin, reprint 1971; 1906 original), p. 98, Republican Platform of 1856.
 See, for example, the Democrat Platform following the Dred Scott decision; not only was there no condemnation of decision, but the platform instead declared: The Democrat Party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of constitutional law. McKee, Platforms, p. 108.
 See, for example, the Democrat Platform of 1856 declaring: That Congress has no power under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States. . . . [And] the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made. . . . [T]he only sound and safe solution of the 'slavery question.' . . . [is] non-interference by Congress with slavery in state and territory, or in the District of Columbia. McKee, Platforms, pp. 91-92.
 See, for example, the Democrat Platform of 1856 declaring: All efforts of the abolitionists, or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences; and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union. McKee, Platforms, p. 91.
 Victor, Southern Rebellion, Vol. 1, p. 195, An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of Alabama and the other States united under the compact styled 'The Constitution of the United States of America,' January 11, 1861.
[¥] A corollary to an errant view of the non-importance of slavery to the Confederacy is an equally errant view of Abraham Lincoln that deprecatingly portrays him as a dictator, tyrant, atheist, incompetent, drunk, etc. To prove this view, Confederate apologists rely heavily on The Real Lincoln by Thomas Dilorenzo (2002), The Real Lincoln by Charles Minor (1901), or Herndon's Lincoln by William H. Herndon (1888). Unquestionably, these three books (and a handful of others) portray Lincoln in a negative light; but there were literally hundreds of scholarly biographies written about Lincoln that reached an opposite conclusion - including classic biographies by Pulitzer Prize winning historians such as Carl Sandburg, Ida Tarbell, Garry Wills, Merrill Peterson, Don Fehrenbacher, and others.
To understand the competing perspectives, consider the analogy of a courtroom where one side presents hundreds of witnesses attesting to one fact, and the other side presents a handful attesting to an opposite fact; an objective, unbiased jury, after considering all the arguments for and against, certainly would side with the preponderance of evidence from the hundreds rather than from the handful. This is what most scholarly writers have done in their analysis of Lincoln, but Confederate apologists usually ignore or reject out of hand any evidence that does not comport with their predetermined viewpoint. This is not to say that Lincoln was not without faults or did not make errors - perhaps even grievous errors; but it is to say that there is little or no respectable evidence that Lincoln was a drunk, atheist, tyrant, etc.
A similar fallacious historical comparison would be to study only The DaVinci Code and The Last Temptation of Christ in order to learn about the life of Jesus; or to read only W. E. Woodward's George Washington: The Image and the Man in order to learn about George Washington. In each case, hundreds of other sources present a different and more accurate view. So, too, with Lincoln. The view of Lincoln presented by Confederate apologists is indeed a view, but it is a view contradicted by scores of other writers who, after examining all the historical evidence, have reached an opposite conclusion.
 The Civil War Home Page, "A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Georgia to Secede from the Federal Union, January 29, 1861" (at http://www.civil-war.net/pages/georgia_declaration.asp).
[§] Great Britain abolished slavery in 1833; within a decade (by 1843), southern statesmen were alleging - with no evidence - that Great Britain was involved in a plot to abolish slavery in America. This concocted threat quickly incited strong and immediate southern opposition, and southern voices therefore quickly called for the immediate annexation of Texas to help secure pro-slavery interests. However, leading antislavery voices in Congress - including John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster - led the opposition against the annexation of Texas. The reason for that opposition was slavery - as made clear in John Quincy Adams' diary entry for June 10 & 17, 1844: The vote in the United States Senate on the question of [admitting Texas] was, yeas, 16; nays, 35. I record this vote as a deliverance, I trust, by the special interposition of Almighty God. . . . The first shock of slave democracy is over. Moloch [a pagan god requiring human sacrifices] and Mammon [the god of riches] have sunk into momentary slumber. The Texas treason is blasted for the hour. In 1845, however, Texas was eventually admitted.
 Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, E.W. Winkler, editor (Austin Printing Company, 1912), pp. 122-123, address of George Williamson, Commissioner from Louisiana, February 11, 1861.
 The Civil War Home Page, A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union, February 2, 1861 (at http://www.civil-war.net/pages/texas_declaration.asp).
 The Civil War Home Page, An Ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United State of America by the State of Virginia, April 17, 1861 (at http://www.civil-war.net/pages/ordinances_secession.asp).
 Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1927 (United States: Government Printing Office, 1928), pp. 258-264.
 Echoes From The South (New York: E. B. Treat & Co., 1866), p. 85; see also The Pulpit and Rostrum: Sermons, Orations, Popular Lectures, &c. (New York: E. D. Barker, 1862), pp. 69-70, African Slavery, the Cornerstone of the Southern Confederacy, by Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy.
 Echoes From The South, pp. 85-86; see also The Pulpit and Rostrum, pp. 69-70, African Slavery, the Cornerstone of the Southern Confederacy, by Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy.
 McPherson, Political History, pp. 98-99.
 Plaque from the Children of the Confederacy hanging inside the Texas State Capitol.
You wouldn't believe the crap that was in college American History book!
The democrats were the slaveholding party of the confederacy and kept blacks down for 100 years after the civil war to boot.
How the democrats get 90% of the black vote is a testament to brilliant propganda on their part and incomptence on the GOP's.
There is a lesson to be learned and heres hoping the same mistake won't be made with the Hispanics.
However this is not to say that the Union went to war to end slavery. Though Lincoln,, being a moderate abolitionist wanted an end to slavery, he understood that the majority of the North would not fight to end negro servitude. Some say the Fort Sumter attack by Confederate forces did more to doom the secession than anything else, as images of the flag being fired upon appeared all over the North, enflaming the population into a war for Union.It was only after groundwork had been laid, and the fear of European intervention grew that slavery took on a major role in the Union's war. Many scholars believe that the Emancipation Proclamation did not change the war aim of Lincoln which was Union. It was a means to that end by attacking Southern economic life and debilitating its war effort through encouraging slaves to escape to Northern territory. It also forced abolitionists to continue to support the war as the only way of ending slavery in America
. Many abolitionists, unhappy with Lincoln, were increasingly interested in allowing the slave owning South to go its own way to remove the stain of slavery from the United States. They were nowhere convinced that Lincoln, until the Proclamation, would reallly end slavery. And as a footnote, Lincoln, even during the war, believed that only a change in the Constitution could end slavery legally. His action was as military commander seeking to damage the war making capability of the rebels. That is one reason it applied to the states in rebellion and not Kentucky etc. Another of course ws fear those states would seek to secede as well.
Article VI notes that "Judges in every State" will be bound by oath to support the "Law of the Land" and its Amendments, - which protect the minority from the majority.
(2) the judiciary's primary purpose is to review and correct the acts of Congress and the presidency
Nope, it's to support the Constitution, -- establish justice, -- and convey the blessings of individual liberties to the people. [see the Preamble]
(1) the Founding Fathers were atheists, agnostics, and deists;
Some were, some weren't. -- But no "religious Test shall ever be required" to hold office in the USA. [Art. VI]
(2) the Founders wrote into the Constitution a strict separation of church and state that requires the exclusion of religious influences and expressions from the public arena.
Not true. -- "In god we trust".
(1) the secession of the southern states at the start of the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery;
Not true. It had become clear that individual liberty and the institution of slavery could no longer coexist.
(2) slavery was not a significant issue in the conflict.
It was made clear after the conflict that individual rights to life, liberty, or property were a significant issue, -- by the 14th amendment .
The South fought the Civil War to Defend Slavery
Source: The Savannah Republican
Published: March, 1861 Author: Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens
Posted on 03/20/2001 15:07:03 PST by santafetrail
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I believe that this is inaccurate. The platform called for the making and enforcement of laws prohibiting the spread of slavery into the territories. Everybody at the time was generally agreed that only a state legislature or a constitutional amendment could end slavery within a state.
Notice the red states / blue states electoral breakdown among the states nowadays? Is the South not ready to take charge of its own destiny once again? 2 catalysts that I foresee playing a role:
*President Clinton returns to the White House in 2008;
*The national debt keeps reaching record levels even as baby boomers are about to retire in droves:
Don't you just love it when a newspaper actually lets a little truth slip through the cracks? See "Black Confederate Protests Klan" in September 7, 2006 Emmitsburg Dispatch.
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