It Was All About State’s Rights

College of Political Knowledge

American Civil War 

I enjoy history and I try to bring it to my readers for those that are not exposed to it.

State’s Rights is what was taught to me here in the South about the reason for the American Civil War…..and I read that at least in Arkansas that this lie (myth) is still being taught to the children of that state.

I have tried to educate my readers about this in 2020……

But since that post was about as popular as a turd in a punch bowl I feel I need to help fight the lie that is still being taught…..

An argument presented by apologists for the secession of the states which formed the Confederacy is that they did so to defend the rights of states as they were defined in the Constitution. The issue of states’ rights, rather than slavery, was the true cause of the war. They argue the Union violated the Constitution by threatening the practice of slavery in the South. At the time of secession, there were no bills in Congress to eliminate slavery. Lincoln announced, repeatedly and in clear terms, he had no intention of emancipating the slaves. Still, the Southern states, led by South Carolina, perceived the newly elected President as a threat. They voted for secession rather than accepting the results of the election of 1860. In their Declaration of the Immediate Causes, they made clear their primary reason for secession was the protection of slavery within their borders.

As other slave states followed suit they bound together, forming a central government they named the Confederate States of America. They created the Constitution of the Confederate States, which established a federal government. It denied the individual states the right to establish tariffs, print money, and import slaves from any foreign country. It also specified, “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed”. The Confederacy denied, through its Constitution, the rights of its member states to decide the issue of slavery at the state level, making slavery a federally protected institution. Those arguing the war was fought over states’ rights ignore this inconvenient fact. They also ignore another over the same issue, largely prevalent before secession. The southern states tried to deny states’ rights of their Northern neighbors before the war.

State’s Rights is just a cloaked excuse to try and paint the institution of slavery as something noble.

But do not take my word for it here are a few of the declarations of cessation from Southern States….read their words and know….

My state of Mississippi is in there and after reading their declaration there can be NO doubt why they felt the need for the actions….(that is if you bother to read the declarations)

There are so many myths about the American Civil War and I will try and break the cycle of ignorance.

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4 thoughts on “It Was All About State’s Rights

  1. I have read a LOT of books about your civil war, and watched every film ever made about it. The books always talk about State’s Rights, not slavery. So for someone (English) very young who was interested in the war, my sympathies were always with the Confederates against ‘big government’. Despite learning much more about it later in life, I still think that most of the ordinary ‘Johnny Reb’ soldiers fought for their state, not slavery. The majority of infantry soldiers in the CSA didn’t even own shoes, let alone a slave. In many cases, they were sharecroppers and day-labourers, not much better off than slaves. They were misguided, undeniably, but still very brave men. I don’t think that their history should be rewritten. (As it seems to be now.)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Taking nothing away from the ordinary soldier the reasons for their sacrifice needs to be studied…that is why I included the declarations for all to read. chuq

  2. Slavery was a dynamic engine of a dynamic economy. It provided food, shelter and employment to people who otherwise might have been totally destitute. With the dismantling of this economic engine the entire economy of the Southern States collapsed into a black hole and was all but destroyed. Another example of government overreach. That is not my viewpoint but I am sure there are more than a few right-wingers who would argue the same argument as that one.

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