Wednesday, January 4, 2012


If you have studied anything about the Civil War, chances are that you have been indoctrinated to believe that the Civil War was only about one thing and one thing only:  SLAVERY.

But this is not entirely true.  In fact, it's not true at all.  That is of course unless you define the term sightly diferently than most people do and and who the term is is applied to.  For there is more than one kind of slavery.

Many today believe the South was the bad guy in the Civil War, and they were "evil" for owning slaves.  But is that true?  Was that really all there was to it?  Or was there more?  If you will study history, you will see there was a whole lot more to it than just the slavery issue.  In fact, the Civil War, like almost every war ever fought in the history of man, had a lot to do with money, land, and power.

Before going any further on the topic of slavery, let me briefly state what I believe personally about Slavery.  I don't like it.  The way I look at it, I would not want to be a slave to anyone, and for that reason, I wouldn't want to own a slave myself.  In other words, because I wouldn't want to be "enslaved," I would not want to partake in enslaving others to myself.  It's that simple to me.  It's so clear cut and to the point.

With this stated, let us get back to our topic at hand:  Slavery and the Civil War.  And we must first ask ourselves why Southerners had slaves.  The reason they had slaves was three fold:


If you know your history, you know that it was the British who first brought slaves to America (or the Portuguese, depending upon which version of history you choose to believe).  And if you have done your homework, you also know that it was the Northern states and their Northern Ships which sold slaves to the South.  So Southerners owned slaves because they were taught by the British and the Northerners that it was okay to have them.   In fact, they encouraged it.  They wanted $, and their practice of capturing and selling negroes brought them a pretty penny.  It was all about money, and the North got rich off of their business of selling slaves.  It was the NORTH who started the slave trade!  Southerners just bought them.  Why?  Because they assumed the Northerners thought it was okay!

The second reason that Southerners had slaves was because it was legal.  The laws at the time allowed it.  And as you probably know, when the Constitution of the United States of America was set up, slavery was written into the document and allowed.  This is important to know, as Southerners were labeled "rebels" by the Northern hordes, and "immoral" for owning slaves.  But they were simply following the laws of the land, laws which were set up in the Northern colonies, in New England.

The third reason that the South owned slaves was because they read that it was allowed in the Bible.  As you probably know, the South was as a whole a very religious and God-fearing people.  They believed the word of God (the King James Bible).  So when they read in the book of Genesis that Canaan was to be "cursed" and to be a "servant of servants" they believed it was to be so.  (For those who don't know, Canaan, was the son of Ham, a black man).
Almost all Southerners read the scriptures, and because of this they believe slavery was not wrong.  For it was clearly something that God allowed in the Bible.  Many Southerners took 1 Timothy 6:1-5 as a very clear passage that the owning of slaves was indeed a Biblical ideal.  There we read: 

6:1  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2  And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
3  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

And many Southerners even took verse 3-5 as applying to the North, when they tried to outlaw slavery, even taking the last four words "from such withdraw thyself" as a scriptural passage in favor of sucession from the union.

Southerners, therefore, viewed slavery as something not only that was legal but also something that was Biblical.  And they practiced it not only because it was allowed in the Constitution of the United States, but because it was clearly found in the Bible.

Now whether or not they were right is subject to debate.  Many people today hate slavery, and for this reason they want to demonize the South and uplift the North, and their noble cause to free the slaves.  But to do so is quite hypocritical.  For history clearly teaches us that the North was those who sold the slaves to the South to begin with, and it was the Northern New England States as well as the Southern ones who wrote the Constitution, allowing slavery. 

Thus, wouldn't it stand to reason, that to be against slavery and the South demands that a person be against the Constitution, the North, and the Bible?  (I'll let you answer that one for yourself).

But here, we will not delve into the moral issue of slavery, and whether it is right or wrong to own slaves.  We will leave that to others.  What we need to examine now is whether or not the cause of the Civil War was about "slavery" or not. 

My own personal belief is as follows:  The Civil War was not about slavery, although the Civil War was indeed about slavery.

Kinda sounds like a conflicting statement, doesn't it?  But please let me explain.  The truth is that in the eye of the beholder, something can look completely different to one person than to another, especially when people don't see eye to eye.  Thus, the issue of Slavery and the Civil War all depends upon the eye of the beholder. 

To the North, many abolitionists believed they were fighting an immoral foe who owned slaves, something they deplored.  So they thought they were fighting a just war, because they were helping to free a certain race of people.  (Note:  Not all Union soldiers thought this way.  In fact, very few did.  The truth is most of the Northern soldiers were drafted and had to fight.  And they didn't really care about black people.  Other Northerners actually owned slaves themselves!  In fact, General Grant owned slaves even after the Emancipation Proclamation and even had them in the White House when he was president!)

To the South, the war was not about slavery at all, rather about "States Rights" or their God-given and Constitutional right to govern themselves.  They did not look at the North as people who were trying to steal their slaves, rather as invaders on their own soverign soil, who were trying to take them over and enslave them to a tyrannical government, who would not even abide by its own laws.  (It's common to hear many stories of black slaves who fought along side their masters.  They too looked at the North as invading their land and trying to take away their soverign right to govern themselves).
So if you look at it from a Southern perspective, the Civil War was not about the slavery of black people, but free Southern Citizens who were fighting for their liberty, desiring not to be enslaved by a tyrannical government in Washington who wished to take away their rights.

Who was right is often a subject of debate, with people forming all sorts of opinions.  Some think the North was right, and are glad the North won.  But such people conviently overlook the horrible atrocities of the Northern occupation, and the many rapes (often on young black girls) and plunder and burning down of whole towns by Sherman's troops.  Nor do they desire to talk about the corrupt rule of the Carpet baggers, or the mass starvation of the South after the war. 

On the other hand, those who think the South was right don't take into consideration the Northern belief of "union" above all, and the desire to have a strong Centeralized big government in Washington under the rule of Lincoln.

One could argue either side.  But let's not argue at all.  Let's look not at the cause of the war, nor the actual war itself.  Instead, let's focus on the fruit of the war.  What did it produce?

The answer is not that simple.  For after the war, the United United States became a very big, powerful, and rich superpower.  It grew by leaps and bounds and eventually became the greatest country on earth!  

But what is it now.  It is better off than before?  The facts are that America today is almost exactly what it was in Lincoln's day.  It is a country divided.  Part of the country wants its freedoms back and wants to separate from a tyrannical government that wants to tax it to death.  The other part of the country likes the idea of communism and socialism, which is nothing sort of trading one's liberty for security, of which Benjamin Franklin aptly put it that if you do, you'll have neither liberty nor security.

In our day, our nation is in debt up to it's eyeballs.  There is more racial tension and terrorism today then ever before in the history of the nation. 

It's hard to find a job.  It's harder to make ends meet.  It's even harder to suceed.  It's almost like we are living just like those Southerners did in the South during the time of Reconstruction.  No one has any money, and for this reason the economy is so bad.

It's almost like the government is once again trying to make slaves out of us all by taking away our rights, our property, our freedom.  No, that couldn't be, could it???

However you look at it, the issue of Slavery is indeed interwined with the Civil War.  But was it really a war to FREE slaves, or was it rather a war to ENSLAVE the populace.  This is something that you must decide for yourself.  Remember, history is always written by the conquering force.  And historically, they always seem to embellish the facts, and try to make themselves look better than they actually were.