Posts Tagged ‘Confederation’

Civil War Ignorance – Southern Perspective

April 7, 2010

by Dahni

© Copyright 4/7/10

all rights reserved

HOW can WE the People regain control of OUR right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” WE have delved into what won’t work in order to find what will work.

The List (simplified)

8.   Establish a new service to restore OUR rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Today: Civil War Ignorance – Southern Perspective

Last time WE looked at Civil War Ignorance from the Northern Perspective and its part in shaping the corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” within and around OUR republic. In the midst of so learned and freedom seeking society in the 1800’s in what is now the U.S.A., ignorance still prevailed in matters of slavery. Generation after generation passed this ignorance forward often without detection, but certainly without correction. Over time, this ignorance – justified and rationalized, became a ‘mindset.’ WE need to understand how this “mindset,” this ignorance; this corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” caused the Civil War. Today WE will look at the Southern Perspective. WE will look at 1 man – Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States, his ‘Cornerstone Speech’ and the Confederate Constitution for the justification or rationalization of this ignorance from the Southern Perspective.

Before WE begin, it is important to understand why Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States was not chosen in comparing his inaugural address to that of Abraham Lincoln, which WE have already detailed, from the Northern Perspective. However, some of Jefferson Davis’ speech will be presented to follow.

Having read Jefferson Davis’ inaugural speech in its entirety and several times, it is interesting to note that he does not even one single time, mention or imply the word “slavery” or any of it’s forms. One would think that if slavery were the cause or the issue of the American Civil War, surely the president of the Confederate States would have mentioned it at least once in his inaugural address? He did not!

From the northern perspective, the issue rested solely on the belief that no single or several states could secede from the Union as it was ‘perpetual’ and only all the states could disband it. Therefore, what the southern states did, were considering, doing or that other states would later do, was illegal, according to the Union perspective. The resolve of the Union was to suppress or put down what it considered to be a rebellion or an insurrection. Lincoln made slavery the single issue which caused the separation and could not, would not address the possibility of any other cause.

Jefferson Davis in his inaugural address as president of the Confederate States had a completely different perspective.

“Our present condition, achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations, illustrates the American idea that governments rest upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish governments whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established.”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861
Excerpt from the 2nd paragraph

Davis drew his perspective above from the Declaration of Independence. He continues with the view that the former Union, which the Confederate States had withdrawn from, was a “compact,” a contract which could be rescinded by any of the parties in concern.

The declared purpose of the compact of Union from which we have withdrawn was “to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;” and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States now composing this Confederacy, it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot-box declared that so far as they were concerned, the government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted a right which the Declaration of Independence of 1776 had defined to be inalienable…”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February18, 1861,
Excerpt from the 3rd paragraph

It is clear from Davis’ words above that the separation centered upon states rights and ultimately, the right of the people. His view was that their former association with the Union was considered a “compact” and that this agreement or contract had become perverted which necessitated their withdrawal from it. Much of the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of his address alludes to the Declaration of Independence and implies their reasoning for the separation. It is interesting that Davis uses the word “inalienable,” above. This supposedly is taken from the Declaration of Independence. However, the word “inalienable” was not used in this document, it was the word “unalienable,” in at least as it has come to US.  Several copies of Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address were compared and each uses the same word “inalienable.”

This word was either intentional or an oversight. If an oversight, it was due to Davis or on the part of those which copied his original text with the original word having been “unalienable, ” which is the word actually used in the Declaration of independence. Words have meaning. Do the words “inalienable” and “unalienable mean the same thing?

According to most dictionaries in common use today, they apparently are defined the same and used interchangeably. Later, WE will look at these two words and find that there is a distinction between them. Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural addresses in March of this same year basically considered this new Constitution, was an illegal act. Therefore, all those that voted for it and all those which had or would vote to secede were considered to have been involved in illegal acts. Again, from Davis’ address we read:

“…rights of States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recognize in the people the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented proceeded to form this Confederacy, and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution.”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861,
Excerpt from the 3rd paragraph

“As a necessity, not a choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separation; and henceforth our energies must be directed to the conduct of our own affairs, and the perpetuity of the Confederacy…”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861,
Excerpt from the 5th paragraph

Just as Lincoln would argue the idea of ‘perpetuity’ in his inaugural address less than 30 days later on March 4, 1861, Davis used the same idea here. The idea of a perpetual Confederacy is just as illogical as the Union being perpetual from which the Southern States had or would withdraw from. How can one separate from something considered perpetual (the Union) and suggest the perpetuity of a Confederacy? This is just ignorance.

Actuated solely by the desire to preserve our own rights and promote our own welfare, the separation of the Confederate States has been marked by no aggression upon others and followed by no domestic convulsion. Our industrial pursuits have received no check. The cultivation of our fields has progressed as heretofore, and even should we be involved in war there would be no considerable diminution in the production of the staples which have constituted our exports and in which the commercial world has an interest scarcely less than our own.”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February18, 1861,
Excerpt from the 9th paragraph
According to Davis, the whole cause of separation was the preservation of rights and the promotion of their own welfare.

“When they entered into the Union of 1789, it was with the undeniable recognition of the power of the people to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of that government whenever, in their opinion, its functions were perverted and its ends defeated. By virtue of this authority, the time and occasion requiring them to exercise it having arrived, the sovereign States here represented have seceded from that Union, and it is a gross abuse of language to denominate the act rebellion or revolution.”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861,
Excerpts from the 2nd paragraph
“As a necessity, not a choice we have resorted to separation, and henceforth our energies must be devoted to the conducting of our own affairs, and perpetuating the Confederacy we have formed.”

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address
Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861,
Excerpt from the 5th paragraph
Here again, Davis addresses the idea of perpetuity. Lincoln apparently having read this address, would argue the same ignorance in perpetuating the Union.

It is quite clear in Davis’ address that he believed along with all those which voted to secede from the former Union, had every right to do so. It is clear that their cause was assumed just, for the preservation of state rights and ultimately the individual. It is also clear that their cause for separation was the promotion of their own welfare which would suggest it was not being promoted on their behalf, by their former association with the Union.

Newspapers across the country at the time, including those principal papers in New York, were in support of the right to secede. The idea was not new to the times!

“If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation…to a continuance in union… I have no hesitation in saying, ‘let us separate.’ “

Thomas Jefferson

With relative ease some may seek to quote and invoke the name and words of someone of fame and or of historical significance when attempting to justify their position. It is quite another matter when words of others are interpreted, omitted or taken out of context to support some cause for its justification. Lincoln did not know or chose not to include the words of Thomas Jefferson when he would declare in his inaugural address that the Union being perpetual was “unbroken.” Jefferson Davis in his address with 5 of the 11 states which would make up the Confederate States having already seceded or separated suggests the concept is unchanged in “perpetuating the Confederacy.”

The idea of perpetuity is indefensible and wholly ignorant from both the northern and southern perspectives. How can perpetuity be argued when the original 13 colonies had separated from England? How could Lincoln have argued perpetuity, but that all the states could disband it? How could the south argue that they had the right to secede from the Union in order to form a perpetual Confederacy?

It is my firm belief that that the South and any state today, has the right to secede if they so choose. Having separated from mother country (England) or from sister states (the Union), each have the right to form whatever government they deem appropriate to the needs of the people. While both Constitutions of the United States and the Confederate States are remarkably similar and in many ways, word-for-word declarations identical, the Southern version cannot be considered an interpretation in how the original was changed. They had every right to make whatever changes they deemed necessary. For comparison, look at the Preamble to their Constitution.

Preamble

“We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.”

From the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, March 11, 1861

Notice some of the differences from the U.S. Constitution in bold red italics above. The C.S. Constitution adds to and makes clear the sovereignty and independent character of each state, which would indicate that they had the right to secede again if they so chose. Notice how they changed “in order to form a more perfect Union,” to “in order to form a permanent government.” If the word “permanent” does not refer to the idea of perpetuity then perhaps it refers to the provisional government from which the Constitution of the Confederate States sprang. What may have been alluded to in the U.S. Constitution, the C.S. Constitution was clear in the inclusion of God in their government. Although no preamble carries the same legal force of the Constitution’s intentions, it does show the foundation upon which it was built.

From the entire address of Jefferson Davis’ inaugural speech and at this point in the Confederate Constitution, there is no mention or implication of slavery as to the cause, a cause or even an issue existing which precipitated the South to separate from the North. WE will need to look deeper into the Confederate Constitution and the ‘Cornerstone Speech’ by Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

Alexander Hamilton Stephens was an American politician from Georgia. He was Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He also served as a U.S. Representative from Georgia before the Civil War and after the Reconstruction period, after the Civil War. He later became Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.

The great principle of religious liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old constitution, is still maintained and secured. All the essentials of the old constitution, which have endeared it to the hearts of the American people, have been preserved and perpetuated…”

Excerpt from the 4th paragraph: Cornerstone Speech
Alexander H. Stephens, March 21, 1861
Savannah, Georgia

Stephens alludes to the essence of the former constitution was preserved in the new one and also uses the word “perpetuated.” WE have previously and more than sufficiently have dealt with the ignorant notion of perpetuity and need not address this any further.

Allow me briefly to allude to some of these improvements. The question of building up class interests, or fostering one branch of industry to the prejudice of another under the exercise of the revenue power, which gave us so much trouble under the old constitution, is put at rest forever under the new. We allow the imposition of no duty with a view of giving advantage to one class of persons, in any trade or business, over those of another. All, under our system, stand upon the same broad principles of perfect equality. Honest labor and enterprise are left free and unrestricted in whatever pursuit they may be engaged. This old thorn of the tariff, which was the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 5th paragraph March 21, 1861

Stephens here by the words “revenue power” is referring to the power of Congress to tax and the broadly used Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The principal way in which revenue was raised during these times was the ‘tariff,’ which is basically a tax. Federal law prohibited tariffs or taxes on exported goods. The North was primarily concerned with industry and the South with agriculture, particularly cotton. The South often needed to import other goods and services from either a foreign country or states from the former Union. On their imports, tariffs were applied, but not on their exports.

Raw cotton was exported to the North to be turned into finished goods. The North was not taxed or did not have the tariff applied to what was exported from the South. Once the raw goods were finished, if the South needed them, it was considered an export from the North and they were not taxed or the tariff did not apply to them. In many cases, the South was taxed twice. Once for whatever goods they needed to produce the cotton and the second time in importing ‘finished’ goods made with the cotton they had produced.

This inequality fell on deaf ears in Congress though the South technically had representation. In essence, the Southern perspective was similar to that of the original 13 colonies when they cried, “taxation without representation.” So here, Stephen lays out both the causes which had resulted in their separation from the Union and how the Constitution of the Confederate States had resolved the issues for their future.

Again, the subject of internal improvements, under the power of Congress to regulate commerce, is put at rest under our system.

Notwithstanding this opposition, millions of money, from the common treasury had been drawn for such purposes. Our opposition sprang from no hostility to commerce, or to all necessary aids for facilitating it. With us it was simply a question upon whom the burden should fall.

“…we were compelled to pay into the common treasury several millions of dollars for the privilege of importing the iron, after the price was paid for it abroad.”

The true principle is to subject the commerce of every locality, to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it.”

This is again the broad principle of perfect equality and justice, and it is especially set forth and established in our new constitution.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, Excepts from the 6th paragraph

The South, in order to compensate for what they saw as an unequal tax burden, would by necessity, force them to reduce their costs. With the invention of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, their prospects for success and their production increased greatly, but the cotton would still have to be brought in from the fields to be ginned. They needed manual labor and cheap labor to accomplish this to remain competitive and profitable.

The labor of slaves long in the history of the United States and even before the South separated from the Union, had been used. Slave labor and the cotton gin enabled the South to produce even more raw cotton and as their production went up, so did their tariffs or taxes. To the South, this process was unequal and no longer acceptable.

Another change in the constitution relates to the length of the tenure of the presidential office. In the new constitution it is six years instead of four, and the President rendered ineligible for a reelection.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 9th paragraph
“This is certainly a decidedly conservative change. It will remove from the incumbent all temptation to use his office or exert the powers confided to him for any objects of personal ambition. The only incentive to that higher ambition which should move and actuate one holding such high trusts in his hands, will be the good of the people, the advancement, prosperity, happiness, safety, honor, and true glory of the confederacy.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 10th paragraph

Note: This change might appear to and clearly intends to limit the term of office of the president. It would however, eliminate wasted time and resources of the People, particularly the last year of a four-year term in trying to get reelected for another term. In contrast, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in his third term as president of the United States. This precipitated the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1951, which would only allow anyone to serve in this capacity, only two four-year terms, maximum. But no matter the length of term, it does not prevent corruption of the one holding office or the possible consequences of that term of office held. Just remember the words from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

“…no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.”

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861, Excerpt from the 35th paragraph

Under the title of ‘Divide and Conquer’ WE will look to see what was done, “in the short space of four years.”

Having established the justification for the South to have seceded from the Union, under such issues as equality, state rights, fair and just taxation, Stephens then moved to the subject of slavery.

“The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.”

Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.””

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, Excerpts from the11th paragraph
Note the words “peculiar institution,” from above. It is not clear to whom Stephens was speaking as slavery was familiar to most people in the country, even while Thomas Jefferson penned the famous words, “all men are created equal,” from the Declaration of Independence. Slavery by circumstance and population had become familiar in the South, years before Stephens made his ‘Cornerstone Speech,’ in 1861.

Stephens considered slavery as the “proper status” of the slave. According to Stephens, slavery was “the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution,” which caused their separation from the Union. If this were so, then why did not Jefferson Davis, the new president of the Confederacy, in his inaugural address, mention or imply slavery even once? And in the Constitution of the Confederate States, slaves were not mentioned until Section Nine. Stephens made slavery an issue and now begins to justify this position. He even quotes Jefferson in saying this was the “rock upon which the old Union would split.”

Note: This quote believed to be made by Thomas Jefferson, has not been verified as to him being the author. Every Internet reference to this quote that was found (at least 100), points to the ‘Cornerstone Speech,’ by Stephens.

Going back to November of 1860, after Lincoln had been elected President, Governor Joe Brown of Georgia called the legislature into session to consider the question of calling a secession convention. The legislature heard from the leading Georgians of the day on the question. The following excerpt from his speech to the legislature, future Secretary of State for the Confederate States, Robert Toombs, delivered on Nov. 13, 1860, the following:

“…In 1790 we had less than eight hundred thousand slaves. Under our mild and humane administration of the system they have increased above four millions. The country has expanded to meet this growing want, and Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have received this increasing tide of African labor; before the end of this century, at precisely the same rate of increase, the Africans among us in a subordinate condition will amount to eleven millions of persons. What shall be done with them? We must expand or perish. We are constrained by an inexorable necessity to accept expansion or extermination. Those who tell you that the territorial question is an abstraction, that you can never colonize another territory without the African slavetrade, are both deaf and blind to the history of the last sixty years. All just reasoning, all past history, condemn the fallacy. The North understand it better – they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits – surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death.”

Excerpt from: Robert Toombs’s Speech to the Georgia Legislature, Nov. 13, 1860

Though slavery is mentioned above, it is in reference to future expansion of not the already determined borders of the then existing states, but the expansion of the entire country (The United States of America) in the forming of new states from the existing territories at the time.

Returning to the ‘Cornerstone Speech’ by Stephens, WE will see the clear and bold position of slavery in contrast to Lincoln’s non-stance on position of slavery and his promise to not interfere with slavery in his first inaugural address. Stephens however, makes his position clear.

“Our new government 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 race is his natural and normal condition.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, Excerpt from the12th paragraph

No one could dare argue that slavery was unique to the South. It had long been in existence in both the North and the South. Slavery cannot be argued solely from the standpoint of equality as both the North and the South viewed the slave as not being equal. For those which owned slaves and those which even near slaves, would break upon three viewpoints.

  1. A slave was not human, but more like an animal and force and even cruelty would be necessary to control the slave.
  2. A slave was not human, but more like an animal and humane discipline would be necessary to control and guide the slave to become a content with his or her place in life.
  3. A slave was a human being, just inferior to others; not able to have their own rights, but protected by compassionate treatment and perhaps then guided to some future freedom upon heaven’s shore in the hereafter.

But in all of these three, a slave was still considered to be property, by both the North and the South. The Southern viewpoint just made this position clear. As property, the Southern viewpoint was not about slavery as an institution, but among other things, it was about property rights. WE cannot even argue that this position was racist as the word was not used until 1865, after the American Civil War had ended. It is just ignorance, for it is what they knew and believed to be true. For any that knew it to be wrong for conscience sake, the conscience had long been seared as if by some hot iron, the nerves deadened, the ‘mindset’ of this ignorance no longer allowed them to feel right from wrong.

Stephens said that, “slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” WE cannot argue that the word “his” was a wholly Southern ‘sexist’ term as both the North and the South considered all females inferior to the male. This was just ignorance, for it is what they knew and believed to be true.

Not knowing or understanding ‘Mendel’s Law’ in the variations and the potential for the evolution of a species, based on internal and external circumstances, false conclusions end from having had false premises. It is just ignorance.

Not knowing or understanding genetics and functioning of the human brain, false conclusions end from having had false premises.

I am a man, but I am not nor ever will be as intelligent as Albert Einstein or as many great and notable women of many races. I can run, but have never been able nor will I ever be able to run a four minute mile. Because of my genetics, environmental conditions, my upbringing, educational background and other factors, I accept that I am inferior to others in many regards and in comparison to many races. But none of these things negate the truth that, “All men…” (all inclusive noun – women, races and by age of adulthood) “…are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 12th paragraph

Stephens accurately describes a logical argument in that false premises lead to false conclusions. However, he does not take into account that false premises and therefore false conclusions can not also, be due to ignorance as opposed to “fanaticism” and “insanity” as he purports. And he contradicts himself in concluding this paragraph with the words in reference to the slave as, “things equal which the Creator had made unequal.”

Having said those words, he must substantiate or justify those words. Truth needs no defense, only error does! Stephens will attempt to justify this ignorance.

“As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.” The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief of the corner” the real “corner-stone” in our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 14th paragraph

It is no secret that for many years prior to the American Civil War, the negro race, the brown race, the black race, the African American race, the darker skinned race or what ever words you want to use, were considered to be cursed by God, which resulted in the color of their skin, inferiority and unequal status. It is interesting that it was not until around 1860, that “the curse against Canaan,” was first used to justify slavery.

Thousands of people who begin to understand these truths are not yet completely out of the shell; they do not see them in their length and breadth. We hear much of the civilization and Christianization of the barbarous tribes of Africa. In my judgment, those ends will never be attained, but by first teaching them the lesson taught to Adam, that “in the sweat of his brow he should eat his bread,” and teaching them to work, and feed, and clothe themselves.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 15th paragraph

What are these so-called “truths,” that Stephens alluded to and implied that people had or would need to evolve in their acceptance and understanding of them? What was, “the curse against Canaan?”

In forming the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, it was based upon the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the United States Constitution of 1789. In the Preamble of their new constitution, they added the words, “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God…” Their constitution and the South as whole were based on Judeo-Christian beliefs in a Supreme Being, God the Father and God the Creator.

Stephens’ argument that a slave is a slave either by “nature” or as a direct result from “the curse against Canaan,” is based on the idea of natural superiority or religious belief. He does not explain either. He only presents them as established “truths.”

According to the Bible, all people descended from Adam and Eve. Wickedness and corruption dominated the entire world as it was populated at the time. A flood was prophesized to Noah and he was given instructions to build an ark. After the flood, Noah, his wife and the three sons of Noah and their wives would repopulate the earth. Noah had three sons, Japheth the elder (Genesis 10:21), Shem the middle son (Genesis 10:21) and Ham the youngest son (Genesis 9:24), from which all the nations of the earth, after the flood, would descend.

All the gentile nations would come out of Japheth such as, Europe including England where many of the fore-parents of the 13 original colonies came from.

Shem, the eldest son of Noah, is the father from which the Jews (Israelites), as well as the Semitic (“Shemitic”) nations in general have descended.

From Ham, the youngest son, would come Cush or Ethiopia (Genesis 10:6), after which comes Mitsrayim, or Egypt, then PuT or Libyia, and Canaan last.

Sometime after the flood, Noah planted and cared for vineyards. One time he was drunk from too much vine. Ham the younger son according to Genesis 9:22 “saw the nakedness,” of his father Noah and told his two brothers. When Noah awoke from his drunken state and understood what his younger son Ham had done, he cursed just one of Ham’s sons, Canaan. According to the belief formed in about 1860, this curse instantly turned the skin of Canaan black. This belief is purely ignorant and cannot be substantiated from biblical text, history or science.

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, it suggests the meaning of the names of Noah’s three sons as follows:

  • Japheth – “fair”
  • Shem –  “dusky”
  • Ham – “black” supported by the evidence of Hebrew and Arabic, in which the word chamam means “to be hot” and “to be black,” the latter signification being derived from the former.

If this is true, from a scientific point a view, Noah’s three sons by dominant and recessive genes were lighter, medium and darker skinned, that all. However, the nation of Egypt descending from Ham from the son of Canaan (see Psalms 105:23), were not as dark skinned as Cush, also a son of Ham.

As to a “perpetual” curse to the black race, this is ignorant as well and there is nothing to support it. In contrast, a curse was considered ended by the third of fourth generation.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”

Exodus 20:5

In context, theses curses were a consequence of a ‘mindset’ which caused certain actions and the cause(s) was because they hated God, which means the walked a different path, contrary to the will and protection of God.

It is true however, that because of what Ham had done, his one son Canaan (not all his sons) would be cursed to the 3rd or fourth generation into servitude. Remember also, that Israel was enslaved in Egypt whose nation had descended also, from Ham through Canaan.

The Bible is full of mixed marriages, mixed blood, interracial relationships and even incest. There are two genealogical records in what many refer to as the four Gospels.

In the book of Matthew this genealogy traces the legal standing through Mary, the mother of Jesus, which enabled her son to be a king from the tribe of Judah, from David, the king of Israel. David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was the son of Obed. Obed was the son of Boaz and Ruth. Ruth was the daughter from one of the daughters-in-law of Lot. Lot’s daughter-in-laws husbands had died. They got their father Lot drunk and slept with him which resulted in them bearing children.

So Jesus Christ was born from a history of incest and interracial relationships.

Equality and superiority has absolutely nothing to do with pure bloodlines as this does not exist in the human species. But it does however, have absolutely everything to do with unalienable rights and that all are created equal for the same opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

Stephens’ arguments for slavery being property and this being the slave’s true status and race and skin color being the consequence of being a cursed is, just wholly ignorant. He would have just been better off never mentioning it, but at least he tried to justify it whereas, Lincoln was mostly uncommitted in defining slavery and promised not to interfere with it.

As to whether we shall have war with our late confederates, or whether all matters of differences between us shall be amicably settled, I can only say that the prospect for a peaceful adjustment is better, so far as I am informed, than it has been. The prospect of war is, at least, not so threatening as it has been. The idea of coercion, shadowed forth in President Lincoln’s inaugural, seems not to be followed up thus far so vigorously as was expected. Fort Sumter, it is believed, will soon be evacuated. What course will be pursued toward Fort Pickens, and the other forts on the gulf, is not so well understood. It is to be greatly desired that all of them should be surrendered. Our object is peace, not only with the North, but with the world. All matters relating to the public property, public liabilities of the Union when we were members of it, we are ready and willing to

adjust and settle upon the principles of right, equity, and good faith. War can be of no more benefit to the North than to us. Whether the intention of evacuating Fort Sumter is to be received as an evidence of a desire for a peaceful solution of our difficulties with the United States, or the result of necessity, I will not undertake to say. I would feign hope the former. Rumors are afloat, however, that it is the result of necessity. All I can say to you, therefore, on that point is, keep your armor bright and your powder dry.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 27th paragraph

The surest way to secure peace, is to show your ability to maintain your rights. The principles and position of the present administration of the United States the republican party present some puzzling questions. While it is a fixed principle with them never to allow the increase of a foot of slave territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch “of the accursed soil.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 28th paragraph

It is interesting to note that many believe that 80% of the population of the South which fought in the Civil War were neither slave owners nor fought for the institution of slavery. In the North, many refused to fight against slavery or for the black race. Clearly, there were more important issues from these facts alone!

Notwithstanding their clamor against the institution, they seemed to be equally opposed to getting more, or letting go what they have got. They were ready to fight on the accession of Texas, and are equally ready to fight now on her secession. Why is this? How can this strange paradox be accounted for? There seems to be but one rational solution and that is, notwithstanding their professions of humanity, they are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor. Their philanthropy yields to their interest. The idea of enforcing the laws, has but one object, and that is a collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor to swell the fund necessary to meet their heavy appropriations. The spoils is what they are after though they come from the labor of the slave.”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 29th paragraph

That as the admission of States by Congress under the constitution was an act of legislation, and in the nature of a contract or compact between the States admitted and the others admitting, why should not this contract or compact be regarded as of like character with all other civil contracts liable to be rescinded by mutual agreement of both parties? The seceding States have rescinded it on their part, they have resumed their sovereignty. Why cannot the whole question be settled, if the north desire peace, simply by the Congress, in both branches, with the concurrence of the President, giving their consent to the separation, and a recognition of our independence?”

Alexander H. Stephens
Cornerstone Speech, 30th and final paragraph

From the paragraph above, compare this to a paragraph in Lincoln’s inaugural address.

“It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.”

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861, From the 19th paragraph

From these two paragraphs above, it clearly shows the perspectives of both the North and the South. There was only one true issue which caused the American Civil War. Lincoln believed along with many from the North that no state or less than all the states could get out of the Union. Stephens believed along with many from the South that any one or several states had every right to secede.

Everything else was secondary, but slavery was made the issue by both sides.

Not soon after Stephen’s speech, Fort Sumter was fired upon first by the South, April 12 – 14, in 1861, which officially was the start of the American Civil War.

Soon after, the Northern public wanted the military to march against the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia, hopefully to put an early end to the war.

On Wilbur McLean’s farm near Manassas, Virginia, some 60,000 ‘green’ and unseasoned troops from the Union and Confederate armies met.

Former friends, neighbors and even family members drove wagons with their families and picnic lunches to watch the sight. Perhaps they were close enough to wave to those they knew on the other side of the armies which met in the middle. Perhaps some were there to be a part of history? Perhaps others had a sick sense of what they considered new, different and entertaining? Perhaps others like what WE refer to as ‘ambulance chasers’ today, felt that they needed something so traumatic, in order to feel something?

Whatever the motivations, this was the first major land Battle of the Civil War, known as the Battle of Manassas or Bull Run on July 21, 1861. It was on a farm owned by Wilmer Mclean. The entertainment was not expected to last very long. Perhaps it would be over before dinner?

It was however, like an omen, for not only was this one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, it would foreshadow the length of four years to come. It would in the costs of lives lost, be greater than all the wars fought in and by this country, from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War combined!

In coming full circle, four years later, it would end at Wilmer McLean’s new home in Appomattox, VA.  The signing of the surrender documents occurred in the parlor of the house owned by Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9, 1865. On April 12, a formal ceremony marked the disbandment of the Army of Northern Virginia and the parole of its officers and men, effectively ending the Civil War.

Note: Wilmer McLean (May 3, 1814 – June 5, 1882) was a wholesale grocer from Virginia. Some say the Civil War started in his front yard (his farm in Manassas, VA) and ended in his front parlor of his home in Appomattox, VA.

But the seeds of ignorance; a ‘mindset;’ a corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” had already begun to root and expand and is still among US to this present-day and in OUR present time.

WE here today, have the benefit of history to not make the same mistakes as OUR families, friends and neighbors past, from both the North and the South. If WE do not know this history of ignorance; this ‘mindset’ and this corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system,” then WE are sure to allow it to continue!

In closing, remember the words of Abraham Lincoln from his first inaugural address.

“…no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.”

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861, Excerpt from the 35th paragraph

This is where WE are going next time.

Next Time: Divide and Conquer

Check out the other blogs listed to the right. Come often. Bring others. Get involved. Do something. See:

How You Can Help


Ask not what your country can do for you

or what you can do for your country,

but what can WE the People do, for each other!”


1 of WE,

Dahni
An Amer-I-Can eagle

Next Post – Divide and Conquer Coming Soon
Previous Post – Civil War Ignorance – Northern Perspective
Front Page – Welcome & Introduction
Advertisements

Civil War Ignorance – Northern Perspective

April 2, 2010

by Dahni

© Copyright 4/2/10

all rights reserved

HOW can WE the People regain control of OUR right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” WE have delved into what won’t work in order to find what will work.

The List (simplified)

8.   Establish a new service to restore OUR rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Today: Civil War Ignorance – Northern Perspective

Last time WE looked at ignorance and its part in shaping the corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” within and around OUR republic.  In the midst of so learned and freedom seeking society in the 1600’s and 1700’s in what is now the U.S.A., ignorance still prevailed in matters of slavery. Generation after generation passed this ignorance forward often without detection, but certainly without correction. Over time, this ignorance – justified and rationalized, became a ‘mindset.’ WE need to understand how this “mindset,” this ignorance; this corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” caused the Civil War. Today WE will look at the Northern Perspective. WE will look at 1 man – Abraham Lincoln, his first inaugural address and the U.S. Constitution for the justification or rationalization of this ignorance from the Northern Perspective.

Even before Lincoln was sworn in as president of the United States, several states had already seceded. After Lincoln’s first inaugural address, other states quickly followed. Representatives and Senators had already made their intentions known in Congress. Congress had already passed a motion to remove their names from the roll call, but not to expel them. Lincoln knew this.

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln begins with the issue of slavery.

4

“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
4th paragraphMarch 4, 1861

First of all, Lincoln in his opening remarks, made slavery an issue, because in his mind, the constitutions of the previously seceded states and those considering secession, already made slavery an issue. Remember the bold red and underlined words above, as WE will later see an apparent contradiction to each of them.

Lincoln’s address then proceeds to states rights.

5

“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address, 5th paragraph
March 4, 1861

The words “domestic,” “perfection” and “lawless” are interesting. Domestic rights would by the omission here, exclude the state’s foreign rights to be exercised between other states, which would be foreign in the same sense that the state would have no rights to deal with a foreign country. The word “perfection” refers to OUR system of government and it would later in his address, imply that it is perfect. The word “lawless” would only mean that invasion by armed forces of any state or territory could only occur if there was such a law allowing it.

8

“There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 8

9

[“No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”]

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 9

(Lincoln quoting from the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2, 3rd paragraph)

His answer or solution to resolving this issue is in:

10

“Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 10

But then he argues that oaths should still be kept despite any difference of opinion as to how they should be kept.

11

“And should anyone in any case be content that his oath shall go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 11

13

I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 13

Lincoln’s suggestion implies that those states which had seceded or that were considering secession were violating the law “to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.”

Lincoln continues and addresses the idea or concept of secession.

15

“I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 15

The words “I hold” are in direct contrast to the first three words of the Constitution which are, “WE the People.” Perpetuity though Lincoln believed it may be implied is not written in the Constitution to which his words “if not expressed” indicate his belief that perpetuity is implied. However, the absence of “perpetuity” in the Constitution relates to its jurisdiction (the creators not that which is created) which is, “WE the People.” The argument that no government including OURS has never provided a means for its own termination, may be true for other governments, but not OURS! OUR government may be changed by amendments by congress or the people and it may be terminated by the very source from which it began, by the same three first words of the Constitution, “WE the People.”

Lincoln continues to argue the perpetuity of OUR union.

16

“Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it-break it, so to speak-but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it? Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 16

This is the address of the president and Chief Executive. Lincoln was a lawyer and he here presents a legal argument as if addressing the court, the judges being the people. His arguments are interpretative of the law. This is the first indication that the executive branch of government would take control of both the Legislative and Judiciary branches of government, which Lincoln would later do.  Not only does the Constitution not mention contracts and associations, neither does it mention perpetuity which Lincoln in his address has already indicated it was not mentioned.  He mentions that contracts cannot be peaceably terminated, but there is no mention that they could not be forcibly terminated by one or all parties in concern. The Constitution was not ratified by all the states, at the same time, but by a majority of the states and at specific times. His premise that all states would be necessary to break a contract or comparing contracts to a “government proper,” is based on the premise that OUR union is perpetual. He then uses history to substantiate his premise in support of his conclusion.

17

“Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was “to form a more perfect Union.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 17

Although over a hundred years of associating with one another, confederating or constituting with one another, may seem like the union is perpetual, but this is not a logical argument, because the premise is wrong and therefore so likewise, is the conclusion. The only accurate reference in writing or in the above history to which Lincoln referred to in citing the word “perpetual,” was the Articles of Confederation. The literal title of this document is: The Articles of Confederation of the Union Perpetual. The word “perpetual” does not appear in the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution was a wholly new government which ended the previous one in replacing the Articles of Confederation. John Adams, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson did not attend the Constitutional Convention. Jefferson referred to all those in attendance as “demigods.”

To be honest however, Jefferson later came to respect many of the changes made and the Constitution itself. But he and other founders of OUR republic wrote of the states rights to secede. Some states had even considered secession long before the birth of Lincoln. Newspapers all across the country in 1860 including New York wrote editorials in support of the states rights to secede. Of these historical facts, Lincoln does not mention in his first inaugural address when using history, endeavoring to argue that the union was perpetual.

Lincoln relates in his argument that the Union is perpetual with the words from the Constitution, “to form a more perfect Union.” WE need to understand these words and to be perfectly clear about them. They are not literal!!! They are a figure of speech. If they were literal, it would be completely illogical. If something is perfect, it cannot become more perfect or less perfect. As a figure of speech, the emphasis is on perfection as a goal to strive for. The Constitution was considered to be a better union than the previous Confederation. But the fact that Lincoln views these words in a more literal sense and to further make his argument on the perpetuity of the Union is seen, in his next paragraph of his first inaugural address.

18

“But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 18

Lincoln himself uses a figure of speech to further his argument with the words, “less perfect.” His reasoning that the Union would be “less perfect” if it lost the “element of perpetuity is illogical.” It is illogical because his premise is incorrect. Less perfect in the literal sense is illogical. The figure of speech here emphasizes “perfect” as a goal, but to the infallible human being, perfection is not possible, nor is to make something more perfect or less perfect.

Having stated his false premises, Lincoln then makes his conclusion, which would also, be false.

19

“It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 19

The words, “the authority of the United States,” clearly state Lincoln’s perspective and that of many of the north. This is indicative of the idea that the thing created (the Constitution) is superior to the creators, WE the People.

Lincoln according to his conclusion states that “acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.” According to the dictionary, an “insurrection” and a “revolution,” are defined as follows.

Insurrection: an act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against civil authority or an established government.

Revolution: an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

Definitions based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Lincoln further cements his conclusion with the following paragraph.

20

“I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 20

If the Union was “unbroken” according to Lincoln’s argument, there was no reason to state that “the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States,” unless the southern states by an “act of violence as either an insurrection or a revolution under the authority of the United States required it. This requirement would necessitate force, which contradicts what he already said and what WE have already read from the 5th paragraph of his first inaugural address. Here it is again:

5

“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address, 5th paragraph
March 4, 1861

So this action would necessitate the South in essence, to fire first which would be responded to by the use of force. However, to execute the law in “all the States,” since the southern states were not abiding by this Union, either coercion or force would be necessary according to Lincoln’s argument. Coercion is defined as follows:

1. the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance.

2. force or the power to use force in gaining compliance, as by a government or police force.

Definition based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010

Coercion could include other means, methods and manners to enforce the law besides force, whereas the word force is clear.

Coercion or force is implied by Lincoln in his next paragraph.

21

“In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 21

How would it be possible to enforce the law in holding, occupying and possessing the property belong to Government unless by coercion or force if this property was questioned as to its ownership? How would it be possible to enforce the law in collecting duties and imposts unless by coercion or force if they were questioned as to its legitimacy? The southern states believed it was their property and as a foreign nation, they were not subject to the duties and imposts of the United States. Therefore, the only action the Union could take against the Confederacy would have to be by coercion or force, whether the South would invade or not.

Lincoln has gone further than as if to argue a case before a court. His conclusions and subsequent actions are indicative of judgment being made by a court. His interpretation of the Constitution is indicative of “legislating from the bench.” In his first inaugural address, Lincoln has become the Chief Executive, and has dominated both the Legislative and the Judiciary branches of the Government. This will be substantiated as WE continue here.

23

“That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events and are glad of any pretext to do it I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 23

If he neither affirms nor denies that there are those that “seek to destroy the Union,”

Why bring this up and why use the word “destroy.” Was there only two types of people at this time, those that “seek to destroy the Union,” and those “who really love the Union?”

The opposite of this would be if you do not love the union then therefore you seek to destroy it. The words used here are inflammatory.

24

“Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from, will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 24

Lincoln suggests here that perhaps there is no real reason for their secession and the possibility of greater consequences in leaving the Union. Is this statement to discredit the South and a veiled threat? This is the second use of the root word or “destroy.” He also suggests that perhaps there exists no “real” reason for the South to secede and the consequences would be greater in so doing than for having left it for no reason.

25

All profess to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right plainly written in the Constitution has been denied? I think not. Happily, the human mind is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view justify revolution; certainly would if such right were a vital one.”

What is a vital right as opposed to a non-vital right? It is obvious that the south was not content to remain in the Union. If his argument is correct that there is no Constitutional reason for the South to secede, it must rest with slavery on the part of the South, according to Lincoln’s viewpoint.

25

“But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length, contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpts from paragraph 25

This obviously shows that the Constitution is not perfect, was never intended to be perfect and the Union of the states are not nor ever were considered to be either perfect or perpetual. Again, Lincoln argues that no Constitutional right has been violated and so therefore the only disagreement between the Union and the Confederacy would be slavery? This is spelled out plainly in the next paragraph.

26

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 26

Now his argument centers on two choices, to “acquiesce” or not and the latter would cause the government to cease. If neither the majority nor the minority are willing to cooperate, then another choice would be to separate? And if separate, government could still continue for both.

26

“There is no other alternative, for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 26

The words “the Government” relates to the 19th paragraph of this address with the words, “the authority of the United States.” Again the thing created appears to be greater than those that created it (WE the People), it is perpetual and only all the states could disband it.

27

Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only and prevent renewed secession?”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 27

28

“Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 28

First of all, what is the definition of “anarchy” and what was its origin?

Anarchy – a state of society without government or law.

Origin:
1530–40; (< MF anarchie or ML anarchia) < Gk, anarchía lawlessness, lit., lack of a leader, equiv. to ánarch(os) leaderless (an- an-1 +arch(ós) leader + -os adj. suffix) + -ia -y3

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

From where does Lincoln derive his interpretation that secession is anarchy? What would the Revolutionary War have been, anarchy? And just because changes to the Constitution are made from popular opinion or sentiment, does this mean any have lost their unalienable rights or opposing those changes would be considered anarchists flying to anarchy or despotism? According to Lincoln’s viewpoint and those of the North that agreed with him, it would be anarchy or despotism. But what then was the Revolutionary War? What then are unalienable rights?

According to Lincoln, it is only the Constitution which is, “the only true sovereign of a free people.” The Constitution is a created thing, created of, for and by the people, and it is OUR unalienable rights which are the true sovereignty of a free people! And what are the sovereign nations of the Native American Indians and in many respects, the nature of exemptions of the Amish people?

Lincoln states that, “Unanimity is impossible.” Was not the Declaration of Independence a unanimous decision? Was not the Articles of Confederation of the Union Perpetual, a unanimous decision? Do not all members “All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution,” (from Lincoln’s 10th paragraph) and is this not unanimous? Seventy two years later in 1933 and even though only ¾ of the states were required to amend the constitution (36 of 48 states at the time), 39 states ratified the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. This included all the former Confederate States except for Florida. However nine additional states including Florida subsequently ratified this amendment.  Since Hawaii and Alaska were not then states in 1933, 48 states were unanimous in ratifying this amendment. Total agreement or unanimity may not always be probable or possible, but it is not impossible!

29

“I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 29

The words in bold red italics are the true purpose of secession, that the people are the rulers (creators) and not the government (the created thing).

30

One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpts from paragraph 30

Again, slavery is made an issue here and that according to Lincoln, “the only substantial dispute.” In as he has thus argued, the Union is perfect, to withdraw from it would make it “less perfect,” and “the only substantial dispute,” (slavery) “can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before.”

31

“Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Paragraph 31

Why would is not be possible to physically separate? Why would it not be possible to build a wall of separation between the North and the South, impractical, but why not possible? China built a wall thousands of years ago. Kingdoms built walls for protection to keep enemies out. The analogy of a divorced couple is inappropriate. It is possible to divorce and due to custody and other issues, the former husband and wife could remain in the same location and even the same house with or without ever speaking to each other. So the states could do the same thing.

“Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.” Who is the word “you” repeatedly used here referring to? Is it not the Confederate States? And are WE not in essence face to face with Canada and yet separate nations, but for the most part WE each maintain an amicable relationship? The words here are accusatory – you go to war, you can’t fight forever, you cease fighting and then, “the same old identical questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.”

32

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 32

These two sentences are accurate, but WE have already seen from Lincoln’s address that “the people” refer to all the people of the United States. His argument is that the Union is perpetual, the Constitution was written as “a more perfect union,” and to disband it would make it “less perfect.” Along with perpetuity and perfection he equates the “revolutionary right” in overthrowing the government can only be done by all the people of all the states since all got into the Union when OUR country first began. This would therefore be a unanimous decision and Lincoln has already stated that “unanimity is not possible.” This all appears to be contradictory. He finishes out this paragraph in basically referring to Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution about amendments.

32

“I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which amendment, however, I have not seen — has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 32

The amendment referred to here was called The Corwin Amendment and was passed by Congress on March 2, 1861 and just two days before his inaugural address. The proposed amendment would have forbidden attempts to subsequently amend the Constitution to empower the Congress to “abolish or interfere” with the “domestic institutions” of the states, including “persons held to labor or service” (a reference to slavery). The Corwin Amendment was intended to prohibit the Congress from banning slavery in those states whose laws permitted it. This amendment has never been ratified by the states, although it was submitted to the states without any time restraints. Adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, ended any realistic chance of it ever being adopted. It reads as follows:

“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

Non-ratified Corwin Amendment

Why did Lincoln bring up this amendment other than to strengthen his point that it was only slavery which was the sole point of division between the North and the South? See paragraph 30 previously and note the words:

“One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 30

33

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.”

Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address,
Excerpt from paragraph 33

Magistrate – mag·is·trate    (māj’ĭ-strāt’, -strĭt)  noun

a. A civil officer with power to administer and enforce law, as:

b. A local member of the judiciary having limited jurisdiction, especially in criminal cases.

[Middle English magistrat, from Old French, from Latin magistrātus, from magister, magistr-, master; see meg- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

It is interesting that Lincoln chose the word “magistrate” here, having its root in the word “master.” As president of the United States he was the Chief Executive and he states that authority “comes from the people.” He also stated that there was no authority to “fix the terms for the separation of the states,” and the duty is to administer the government as received and pass it on to the next executive, “unimpaired.”  Then why has he presented in his first inaugural address arguments as if before a court? Why has he interpreted the Constitution? In so doing, he is as if legislating from the bench and by his conclusions, he makes rulings as if a judge. In essence, which will become clear in a future presentation here – ‘Divide and Conquer,’ Lincoln would later dominate both the Legislative and Judiciary branches of government in prosecution of the American Civil War, or technically, the suppression of a rebellion.

35

“By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.”

Paragraph 35

Even though the Constitution with its set of checks and balances had endured to this point, if it were perfect and all the people were content, then secession would never have been considered throughout the history of the United States nor first attempted by the Confederate States of America. Lincoln stated that no administration “by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.”

For now, this is where we will leave off.  But WE will look at the consequences of those four years another time under the title of: ‘The Basis and Consequences of Ignorance.’

37

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

Paragraph 37

Although the Confederacy technically fired fist on Fort Sumter, which officially started the Civil War, there is more than sufficient evidence to support that Lincoln manipulated the response in favor of Union justification to put down a rebellion.

38

“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Paragraph 38

Perhaps, there are no equal words to compare with these? Where is a clearer example as to heartfelt and sincere desire for peace among the states and to avert war? If a man is to be believed to say what he means and to mean what he says, perhaps there is no greater proof of the intentions and the innermost being of President Abraham Lincoln, than this last paragraph of his inaugural address. But sadly, these words of a man and for those which agreed with him were from decisions based on ignorance. False premises lead to false conclusions. These conclusions led to consequences so great, they are still felt by every person within United States of America and maybe even the entire world today!

Next Time: Civil War Ignorance  – Southern Perspective

Check out the other blogs listed to the right. Come often. Bring others. Get involved. Do something. See:

How You Can Help


Ask not what your country can do for you

or what you can do for your country,

but what can WE the People do, for each other!”


1 of WE,

Dahni
An Amer-I-Can eagle

Next Post – Civil War Ignorance – Southern Perspective Soon
Previous Post Civil War Ignorance
Front Page – Welcome & Introduction

Pre-Civil War Ignorance

March 23, 2010

by Dahni

© Copyright 3/23/10

all rights reserved

HOW can WE the People regain control of OUR right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” WE have delved into what won’t work in order to find what will work.

The List (simplified)

8.   Establish a new service to restore OUR rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Today: Pre-Civil War Ignorance

Last time WE looked at the hypothetical possibility of what life would look like today, if the Southern states were allowed to secede from the Union in 1860-1861.  The previous post ended where this one begins and it begins with slavery. Despite the many experts and theories as to the cause or causes of the Civil War, I do not believe slavery was the issue. Does this surprise anyone? Slavery was not an issue! It was made an issue, by both the North and South!

WE will now look at some history of slavery in what is now called, the United States of America. This understanding is important as it relates to “legal fiction,” the corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” and the “mindset’ WE have been endeavoring to discover and remove from OUR republic.

This “mindset” is related to the title of this post, “Pre-Civil War Ignorance.” Let us now look at “mindset” and its origins in this country, as it pertains to slavery.

Everything has an origin or a beginning. The words ‘gene,’ ‘genetics,’ ‘genealogy,’ and the first book of the Jewish and Christian Bible, ‘Genesis,’ all share the same root word. From the Greek word [genus], its definition is origin, beginning, race, kind etc.

Before actions are taken, they are preceded (originate, begin) by thoughts. Through time, a ‘mindset’ develops. This thinking and the corresponding actions get passed on from generation to generation. An evolving or otherwise civil society, when faced with something that is not understood, will often seek to justify or rationalize its position even through logical discourse. But in logic, no matter how logical the premise, if the premise is wrong, the conclusion will be wrong.

So without knowledge, WE are ignorant. Ignorance is just the state of being without knowledge or understanding.

Stupidity is to know and understand, but refusing to change.

As long as people have been a species upon this planet, slavery in some form or another has existed. Every continent, country and culture has some history of slavery in their societies. It has not always been an issue of race or the color of skin. Any person or people could have been under the subjugation, involuntarily servitude, or considered as the property of others. Some of those under whatever form or names you want to call slavery were enslaved, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and all of the above. Some were treated kindly and some cruelly. But slavery kind or cruel is, still slavery!

Imagine living in a little village thousands of years ago. It makes no difference the color of your skin or your race, but everyone in you village are all the same color or race. One day, for the very first time in your life, you meet someone that looks similar, but has a different color of skin, culture and even language. What would you think?  The world has a history of making up stuff. Instead of finding the answers to OUR differences by conversing with the person and instead of looking at OUR similarities, the differences become the focus. Maybe WE ask others instead of the person WE meet about these differences. Maybe they don’t know and no one wants to look foolish, so things often get made up, fictionalized and even vilified. What WE do not understand, WE often fear. WE often defer to others that seem to be wiser or have some connection to the ‘divine ear.’ These wise and ‘spiritual’ people are, themselves, people too. And if they don’t know, they make up stuff too. So here WE see clear examples of ignorance and how it is often passed from one generation to the next. Religion is often the source from which this ignorance begins and continues.

Slavery as it came to this country must have had some beginning. To the best of my understanding, slavery as it evolved in America, started with the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1441, Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão captured 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) and took them to Portugal as slaves. This no doubt continued so that around 10 years later, the Roman Catholic church was the dominate religion of the area and addressed slavery officially.

June 18, 1452, Pope Nicholas V issues ‘Dum Diversas’, a bull authorizing the Portuguese to reduce any non-Christians to the status of slaves.

“We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property […] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.”

Excerpt from: ‘Dum Diversas’ by Pope Nicholas V

Note: A papal bull is a letter or announcement from the Pope to the Catholic world. It is so named, because a lead bulla or seal was attached to the Pope’s edict by a cord, thus authenticating it was from the Pope.

January 8, 1454, Pope Nicholas V issues ‘Romanus Pontifex’, a bull granting the Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa. Nevertheless, Spanish traders brought slaves from Africa to Spain. By the time Christopher Columbus sailed the blue in 1492, slavery was already imbedded in his country of Spain.

Natives of various countries were enslaved by the Conquistadors (from Spanish and Portuguese languages meaning “Conqueror”); were taken as slaves from one place and put or sold as slaves in other places.

By the 1700’s, African slaves was the preferred choice for the Colonies.

Note: The reason African slaves were the “preferred choice,” was that as a people, they were found to be more adaptable to conditions and training (discipline); could work harder and longer than Native Americans, or slaves from South America, Central America and the Caribbean. This is just one fact that should shut the door to the argument that the African slave was an inferior race.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were known to have slaves. Although there is no evidence to support that they were cruel to their slaves, slavery is still slavery. Perhaps they thought it was their Christian, civic, or human duty to help those inferior? The ‘mindset’ of slavery nonetheless, prevailed in the minds and the culture of the colonies and our founding fathers.

When George Washington was 16 years old, he had copied by hand, ‘110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.’ These rules were based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first English translation, appeared in 1640, and is ascribed to Francis Hawkins, the twelve-year-old son of a doctor.

These many rules today may seem fussy and silly, but courtesy, manners, decency and good behavior were believed to be an absolute necessity, if one desired to be a true civic minded person; a gentleman or a gentlewoman of the 1700’s.

Thomas Jefferson was by the standards of the 1700’s, a highly educated man. He lived in or near Williamsburg, VA as a young man and was tutored and mentored by many of the finest minds of his day. Through his association with George Wythe, young Jefferson was afforded many opportunities and was introduced to the Governor and became a frequent visitor to the Governor’s mansion, in what we now call, Colonial Williamsburg.

George Wythe was the first signer from Virginia whose name appears on the Declaration of Independence. He was also a framer of the Constitution and instrumental in the design of the seal for the state of Virginia.

Jefferson wrote of George Wythe the following.

“No man ever left behind him a character more venerated than George Wythe,” Thomas Jefferson wrote. “His virtue was of the purest tint; his integrity inflexible, and his justice exact; of warm patriotism, and, devoted as he was to liberty, and the natural and equal rights of man, he might truly be called the Cato* of his country.”

*Cato – Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95 BC, Rome – April 46 BC, Utica), commonly known as Cato the Younger (Cato Minor) to distinguish him from his great-grandfather (Cato the Elder), was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy. He is remembered for his legendary stubbornness and tenacity (especially in his lengthy conflict with Gaius Julius Caesar), as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.

Wythe lived a long and prosperous life and was well respected. He was the first Law Professor of the College of William & Mary. He even boarded many students and treated them as his own children. He was long opposed to slavery and freed his own, which included one that chose to stay with him for the rest of Wythe’s life. One of Wythe’s heirs had gambling debts and forged checks of his uncle to pay them. To avoid detection and inherit his uncle’s estate, he is believed to have murdered George Wythe. The evidence was circumstantial and there was no conviction. The only possible witness was the black woman, the once former slave that chose to stay with him. But no black person was allowed to testify against a white person in court.

This is just one example of the consequences of ignorance, which ironically allowed a guilty person to go free, because of the ‘mindset’ of slavery.

But of books and learning and influence, there can be no doubt of the education of Thomas Jefferson. Even his work in the Declaration of Independence was inspired by the Magna Carta and clear influences from John Locke.

John Locke (1632 –1704) was widely known as the Father of Liberalism. He was an English philosopher and physician and regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the times. In London in 1689, he published, ‘Two Treatises of Government,’ which arguably offers a justification for slavery.

Many Europeans came to America for religious freedom. But slavery was a form of persecution which, in the eyes of colonial America, had to be justified. So the black slave was viewed as being inferior, subhuman, and fated for servitude. The early Christian churches did not consider eliminating slavery until much later in the century. In 1693, Cotton Mather, a famous theologian from Boston, in his ‘Rules for the Society of the Negroes’ wrote,

“Negroes were enslaved because they had sinned against God.”

Later, Mather included a heavenly plan for the slaves in writing,

“God would prepare a mansion in Heaven.”

In the Colonial religious mind, the plight of the slave was servitude on earth and freedom was only possible in heaven.

King George on Dec. 10, 1770, issued an instruction, under his own hand, commanding the governor of Virginia,

“…upon pain of the highest displeasure, to assent to no law by which the importation of slaves should be in any respect prohibited or obstructed.”

In 1772, the Virginia Assembly earnestly discussed the question, “How shall we get rid of the great evil?” Jefferson, Henry, Lee, and other leading men anxiously desired to rid the colony of it. “The interest of the country,” it was said, “manifestly requires the total expulsion of them.”

Interestingly, the 1600’s and 1700’s is commonly referred to as part of the ‘Age of Enlightenment,’ with such forward thinkers as Descartes, Isaac Newton and John Locke among others. All of these influences had significant weight in the mind of Thomas Jefferson.

Despite the rules of conduct, manners, and civility as mentioned earlier about Washington and the learned environment of the Colonial mind and the mind of Jefferson, slavery was wrestled with as “the great evil,” but left uncorrected, continued to be justified.

From a capitalistic or economic view, slavery was justified as for the good of the people, and slaves were not people but property.

Some indentured servants were freed after their terms expired. Some of these became slave owners themselves. Some slaves were freed and some of them also, became slave owners. Some servants and slaves had their issues by others challenged in court and were successfully freed legally. Some of these cases were overturned by other courts. But in practice and policy, slavery continued, deepened and expanded in the consciousness of people as a whole.

From a religious or humanistic point of view, slavery was justified as the master’s duty to treat their property kindly and to bring them to independence in heaven or their contented place on earth, under the benevolent hand of the superior master race.

Looking back to the history of this ‘mindset,’ and comparing it with OUR most treasured documents, many people see exclusion and hypocrisy. What then is the profit of such beautiful and flowery words as, The Declaration of Independence?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson

Though slavery existed in the home of the writer and perhaps even in very room where these words were penned and “men” did not include slaves, women, or children on July 2 – 4, 1776, the truth of these words cannot be negated!

How can such language be justified when in practice, it was exclusive, contradictory or hypocritical? There is no justification as WE will see this definitively in the next post. But neither is there justification for discarding truth, because it is not practiced of, for, and by ALL of US, WE the People!

These words were authored by Enlightenment and penned by a collective civil and learned, Colonial ignorant mind or ‘mindset!’ It was and is wherever it may exist today, part of a corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system.”

The concepts and practice of slavery was wrestled with during the formation of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, but was never settled; never corrected.

The whip or shackles are not the only means to enslave. The pen can be used to enslave. The law and the courts to enforce them can enslave. Even OUR Constitution if interpreted, has and in the present-day,  can, enslave. But it is ignorance; a “mindset;” a corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” which perpetuates the ignorance and enslaves the bodies, souls and spirits of people.

Though it is possible that some knew the truth during these times and practiced otherwise and therefore, were and may still today be hypocrites, slavery was not the cause of the Civil War, to occur almost 100 years hence. It was a “mindset” passed down from one generation to the next. It was part of a corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system.”  In a single word, it is simply, ignorance.

Next Time: Civil War Ignorance

Check out the other blogs listed to the right. Come often. Bring others. Get involved. Do something. See:

How You Can Help


Ask not what your country can do for you

or what you can do for your country,

but what can WE the People do, for each other!”


1 of WE,

Dahni
An Amer-I-Can eagle

Next Post – Civil War Ignorance
Previous Post – What if – The U.S.A. & C.S.A.
Front Page – Welcome & Introduction

What if – the U.S.A. & the C.S.A.

March 22, 2010

by Dahni

© Copyright 3/22/10

all rights reserved

HOW can WE the People regain control of OUR right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” WE have delved into what won’t work in order to find what will work.

The List (simplified)

8.   Establish a new service to restore OUR rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Today: What if: The U.S.A. & the C.S.A?

Last time WE went back into some of OUR history, beginning in 1861 to see examples of the Hegelian dialectic. WE saw a series of crises which preceded the reaction and how the government synthesized the solutions which ultimately took more of our liberty. Instead of these solutions becoming no longer necessary when the crises ended, the government continued to hold what was seized, modify and expand the jurisdiction over the several states, OUR union and US, WE the People. This corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” was compared to a ‘beast’ and the beast must eat. The only solution is to no longer feed this beast and allow it to die. Before WE get to this post, I just want to focus on the word ‘allow’ above, which is a lead-in for this post today.

I was having a conversation with a neighbor recently and we talked of many things. It is quite clear that the majority of people if asked and if honestly answered, would almost all agree that something is seriously wrong in this country. What this ‘wrong’ is has been what WE have been trying to discover and uncover in this blog. For only in so doing, could WE find the solution to correct it! My neighbor made the following statement:

WE have the government WE deserve.”

Think about that statement for a moment. Is it true? Is this an accurate statement? Does this depict OUR mindset?

Deserve –verb (used with object)

1. to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Based on the definition above, you have the right to draw your own conclusions, but I do not believe the word “deserve” fits with the government WE have. I just happen to believe that WE the People are better than this which is supposed to be representative of US and therefore, WE the People deserve better, much better! So what word would more appropriately define the government we have?

WE have the government WE allow!

If WE have allowed this and if WE allow this corrupt “system” to continue, WE the People can also, disallow it.

Today, I thought it would be interesting to imagine the answer to a ‘what-if’ question. What if, there was the United States of America and the Confederate States of America?

Now I realize this is all speculative, but what if all those desiring to secede from the Union in or around the year of 1861 were allowed to secede?

I am quite confident of two things which would have most likely not have occurred, the great tolls of death and destruction.

Most experts conclude that over approximately 600,000 people lost their lives directly or indirectly attributed to this war which lasted four years. These deaths may be summarized as deaths resulting from combat, wounds from combat that led to death and other deaths indirectly caused from this war, such as starvation etc.

The following figures are taken from:

“The Civil War, Strange and Fascinating Facts,” by Burke Davis

“At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. The number that is most often quoted is 620,000. The Union armies had from 2,500,000 to 2,750,000 men. Their losses, by the best estimates:”


“The Confederate strength, known less accurately because of missing records, was from 750,000 to 1,250,000. Its estimated losses:”


http://www.civilwarhome.com/casualties.htm

Source: “The Civil War, Strange and Fascinating Facts,” by Burke Davis

From the above figures alone, the cost to the Union forces in ending the conflict were almost twice the number of combat deaths than those of the Confederacy.

Beginning with the Revolutionary War in 1775 through the first year of the Vietnam War in 1964, is a period of 189 years. Subtracting the four years of Civil War leaves a total of 185 years. Most estimates show that of all the wars fought in and by this country since 1775, it would take nearly 185 years or through the first year of the Vietnam War to equal the deaths attributed to war in the four years of the Civil War!

For another reference see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualties_of_war

If any death from all of this were not more than enough destruction, it does not address the devastation of land, property, poverty, civil liberties and civil rights that were also consequences of the so-called, American Civil War.

Perhaps now you can understand why I am so reluctant in calling this conflict among OUR states, the Civil War. It was neither technically a war nor was there anything civil about it.

If this was not a question of Civil Liberties, than why was it necessary to secede from the union and why was it necessary to pit families and friends against each other?  If this was merely a question of Civil Rights, than why did it take until 1964, just one year short of 100 years after the Civil War ended to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964? And one final question. Ever since the “crisis” ended in 1865, has the government seized more or less control over OUR lives?

Well imagine what would have happened if the South had been allowed to secede.

Map of 1865

This map was modified from an edition of the National Atlas of the United States and is in the public domain.

By 1865, there were a total of 35 states – 11 states in the Confederacy =  24 in the Union. Borders and boundaries would have been well defined by this time. A good possibility exists that the Border States (in yellow on the map) if allowed, might have joined the Confederacy. Missouri and Kansas might have spilt in half. Union territories allowing slavery (Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona) may have become a part of the Confederacy. This would make a possible future of 20 states in the South and 28 states in the North, not counting Hawaii or Alaska. The physical separation between the U.S.A. & the C.S.A. would be obvious, but what else?

Governments:

The constitutions of the U.S.A. and the C.S.A. are remarkably similar and in some cases are word for word the same. Some of the distinctions of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America are as follows:

  1. The preamble clearly defines the several states as independent and sovereign as was the central government being independent and sovereign.
  2. What we call the ‘Bill of Rights’ was incorporated into the C.S.A. Constitution and not added later as they were in the Constitution of the U.S.A.
  3. It was their intention and written in the Constitution that this Confederacy was to be a “permanent” government
  4. Slavery is mentioned several times in this Constitution and the position of it as held by the C.S.A.
  5. The “Commerce Clause” was more narrowly defined as to what the central government could and could not do.
  6. Taxes could only be appropriately by special “request” or by 2/3 passage in Congress.
  7. The president could only serve (1) single six year term.

Note: To read the entire Constitution of the Confederate States of America see:

http://www.usconstitution.net/csa.html

There are other differences, but the above, are some of the most distinct. Would these distinctions have been great enough for other states to secede and join the C.S.A.?

Landmarks:

France, intending to provide the gift of the Statue of Liberty in celebration of the Centennial (1776 -1876), would this have occurred, for what location and what would it have looked like? The chains of slavery at her feet may never have appeared in the design. Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia would have been in the C.S.A. Those of the North would have to most likely have a passport to visit this historic area. Would there have ever been a Washington monument of perhaps two? Would there have ever been a Jefferson Memorial or perhaps two? There may have been many other landmarks common today, never built or completely different.

Highways:

The Interstate highway system may not have been built under the Eisenhower administration as Dwight Eisenhower may have never been the supreme Allied Commander in WWW II or elected president from Kansas, which may or may not have been in part or wholly from the Kansas of the C.S.A. Border posts and patrols may have made travel from the north and south and vice versa difficult, require passports and possibly tolls.

Media:

Would CNN have ever been conceived or achieved, making 24 hour news possible? Cable?  Telephone, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet?

Military Cooperation:

I think it is reasonable to assume that the north and south on friendly terms with each other, would have separately concluded the necessity of  military cooperation in both World Wars, but what about the Korean War, Vietnam and those conflicts we are presently engaged in?

Trade:

I am confident that trade among the north and south would remain necessary, favored and friendly. It may have been difficult to retire in Florida without a separate passport or surrendering one for citizenship in the C.S.A. What would the north be paying for orange juice? Would the car industry have been born in Detroit?

Space Exploration:

Would space exploration have occurred? Would the PC or the Mac have evolved from computers used to make space exploration possible?

I am sure there are many other things to consider, but as I began, this is all speculative. But just as WE have good relations with the country to the north (Canada), I am confident that two countries (the U.S.A. & the C.S.A.) could peaceably coexist.

Would these two countries (either or both) ever have evolved to end slavery? Would the words “created equal” ever have been a practical reality? It must never be said or even contemplated that the Civil War was necessary to end slavery. It can only be said that sometimes, good things come out of bad situations. Be this by the grace of God, in spite of ourselves or…

“…by the better angels of our nature.”

From the final 7 words, the First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861

If slavery was lifted from OUR nation by divine providence, political necessity or “the better angels of our nature,” then what were the bad angels of OUR nature? This is an important question to answer as it relates to the corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system” WE have been exposing throughout this blog. Previously WE have looked at when this “system” began in 1861, now WE need to understand why. Slavery was not the issue as to the cause of the Civil War; it became an issue on both sides. Next time WE will look at the real causes for all OUR conflicts, all OUR passions and the fuel that feeds the fire of the beast, this corrupt, corrupting and corruptible “system.”

Next Time: Ignorance, Hypocrisy, Liberty and Supremacy

Check out the other blogs listed to the right. Come often. Bring others. Get involved. Do something. See:

How You Can Help


Ask not what your country can do for you

or what you can do for your country,

but what can WE the People do, for each other!”


1 of WE,

Dahni
An Amer-I-Can eagle

Next Post – Pre-Civil War Ignorance
Previous Post – The Beast Must Eat
Front Page – Welcome & Introduction

How to Restore, WE the People!

February 21, 2010

by Dahni

© Copyright 2/21/10

all rights reserved

HOW can WE the People regain control of OUR right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? WE have delved into what won’t work in order to find what will work.

Here is where we are so far:

The List (simplified)

1.   Overthrow the government by a military coup or para-military militias?

2.   The 9/12 Project?

3.   ‘The Commerce Clause?

4.   Convening a Constitutional Congress

5.   Hope that the present circumstances will change and the will of WE the People will be implemented?

6.   Hope that the other party will get its act together and produce the necessary changes for WE the People in future elections?

7.   Remain divided and work for self, other causes, parties and candidates?

8.   Establish a new service to restore OUR rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” – WE are working on this Now!

Today: How To Restore WE the People

WE the People in order to form a more perfect union…,” must understand that it is a corrupt, corrupting and corruptible system which has undermined OUR republic, ever since 1861. WE the People must understand that this system started at the Executive Branch of the federal government and worked downward through the Legislative and Judiciary Branches, to the once sovereign states and finally, to WE the People. WE the People must understand that OUR republic began with WE the people, and a corrupt system worked downward to WE the People. WE the People must understand that WE need to work backwards or reverse engineer OUR republic. WE the People must understand that OUR republic still exists. WE the People must understand that OUR republic started with US, WE the People and it can only be restored by US, WE the People!

How do WE the People restore OUR republic? The answer is so simple and it begins with US, WE the People!

WE the People with unalienable rights (rights which cannot be taken or forfeited) decided to secure those rights for all of US, WE the people. WE would form a bond, a union. The forefathers and foremothers of US, WE the People of 13 colonies in 1776, decided individually, mutually and together to appoint, designate or vote for certain servants to represent US in the Continental Congress. The separate and individual colonies voluntarily decided and unanimously declared OUR independence.

One could certainly view the bonds formed were compulsory and out of fear that unless they were united together, they would fall separately. My view is that those decisions were of wisdom knowing that unless they united they would fall. And the decisions to unite were from bonds stronger than fear. For what other reason, than the mutual love of independence and liberty, would they have united against an enemy so formidable that they had little if any chance of defeating? But unite they did and win they did!

After securing OUR individual and unified independence, WE the People voluntarily formed individual, separate and independent, sovereign states. Once again, WE the People sent representatives to serve OUR will, to the Constitutional Congress. By 1789, WE the people of the several sovereign and independent states voluntarily entered into a union (one by one) of a republic around a Constitution, with limited powers granted to a central government. Each separate, individual and sovereign state had its own voluntary constitution; its own constitutional republic, by the will of its own people.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Excerpt from: The Declaration of Independence

OUR first Constitution was a confederation. OUR second was a federation. By definition the difference between a confederation and a federation is that the membership of the member states in a confederation is voluntary, while the membership in a federation is not. This definition and this assumption are FALSE within the confines of OUR republic; OUR Constitutional government. The federalists argued with the anti-federalists over this very thing in the 1700’s and it also invariably led to the formation of the Confederation of States, from the so called American Civil War.

WE do have a federation, a federal republic and OUR Constitution is the supreme law of OUR country. WE do have a democratic republic. A democracy is the rule by majority whereas a republic is the rule by law. So how could these seemingly contradictory elements possibly coexist or be in harmony? The answer is found first in OUR unalienable rights (rights which cannot be taken or forfeited) and government “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” (WE the People.). All of these centers upon one single word ‘confer,’ as opposed to ‘transfer.’

The individual is sovereign, endowed with certain unalienable rights. Therefore OUR states are sovereign and OUR country is a sovereign nation. Together, WE mutually and voluntarily agreed to form a union among US of the separate and sovereign, component states. WE sent servant representatives to represent US. WE mutually and voluntarily agreed to a Constitution and to form a government with limited powers, and separate branches to secure OUR unalienable rights. To expedite matters, WE voluntarily agreed to settle many of OUR disagreements by the principles of democracy or by a majority. WE have transferred none of OUR individual rights, those rights which cannot be taken or forfeited, to anyone or to any thing! WE have simply conferred certain powers to be executed by the government, by the consent (permission, will etc.) of the governed which is US, WE the People.

Originally in OUR first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation stated that to change the Constitution, all member states had to unanimously agree. Another distinction was that if the central government needed anything, from the separate, sovereign and component states like taxes etc., the central government would have to ask for it. Yet another distinction between OUR first and second Constitution was the idea of a perpetual union.  There are other differences between the two constitutions, but for now, WE are focusing on these three. But all the distinctions between the two constitutions, proceed from the individual unalienable rights and the consent of the governed which is US, WE the People!

Imagine a national election. Would WE the People all agree on the same person to become president? Can you imagine that if under invasion by some foreign entity that the sovereign states could unanimously act in time to respond? Could you imagine the government, in order to fund the response to such an invasion, having to wait until the sovereign states all unanimously and voluntarily agreed to provide the funds? Would these things be impossible, No! Is it probable that WE would not all voluntarily agree or act in time, Yes! So here are some practical applications where a democratic republic could continue to function, while still securing OUR individual and sovereign rights.

In the first Constitution, the government would need to ask US for money and each of the sovereign states by the consent of those sovereign citizen governments would have to voluntarily agree, but they could also voluntarily disagree. In OUR second Constitution, it is more like OUR government just sends a bill, which WE the People have voluntarily and mutually agreed to pay.

The ideas of a perpetual union were stricken from OUR second Constitution and would logically allow secession among the several states. How can I write these things?

In the preamble to our Constitution it states clearly the following:

“…in Order to form a more perfect Union

The constitution was not considered the document of a perfect union, but “a more perfect union.” If it was not a perfect union, why should it remain a perpetual union? That is neither its intent nor its purpose!

Read the above excerpt to The Declaration of Independence again. Then read the following, also from the same document.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Excerpt from: The Declaration of Independence

Whose “right” and whose “duty” (responsibility) is it, “to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security?” It is the right and the responsibility of US, WE the people.

So here WE have the reconciliation of seemingly contradictory words, phrases and concepts as: Confederation, Federation, Republic, Democracy, and Sovereign. All these have proceeded out of the People, by the People and for the People! The rights of the individual are unalienable. They can not be taken, forfeited, transferred or even conferred. WE the People do not transfer or confer rights. Privileges and even some freedoms can be transferred and these are inalienable rights, not unalienable rights.

What is an inalienable right? For example, years ago Coors beer was only available in Colorado and in Kansas. If you lived in a border state, you had the freedom, the privilege and the inalienable right to buy beer in Colorado or Kansas and take it to your state for consumption, but not for sale. Now one can purchase Coors Beer from wherever it is sold (provided that you are of legal age to purchase it). The only difference is the price difference based on taxes and the law of supply and demand (whatever the market will bear) and what the seller can get for it. By the way, Miller Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin now owns Coors, but that’s another story.

WE the People confer power, limited powers to governments to secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. This is the only thing that may be construed as being perpetual, OUR unalienable rights!

It has only been through crisis (real or perceived) and interpretation of OUR laws that WE the People have experienced more power being executed by our governments, over the past many years and especially, since 1861. It must be clear, one last time that governments derive their just powers by OUR consent, OUR mutual, voluntary and individual consent. This nation did NOT begin and does NOT continue without US, WE the people! Above all, each of US, WE the People have unalienable rights. Each of US, WE the People are equal and therefore each equally powerful! Do I understand this power? Do you? Do WE, understand this power?

If you and I and If WE the People understand OUR individual and unified power because of OUR unalienable rights, then the HOW to Restore, WE the People rests upon sovereign rights!

In a sense, WE do not need to restore US, WE the People. It is more of recognition of what WE already have. What WE already have cannot be restored in the concept of restoring something that is damaged, altered, changed or missing. Sovereign rights, no matter how they are defined, are rights. They are OUR rights! Whether these sovereign rights have come from a monarch, by God, or by default as the rights were just always in existence, they are still rights. They are unalienable and sovereign rights that cannot be taken, forfeited, transferred or conferred, with or without OUR consent! If this were not true, they would not be unalienable rights, they would be inalienable rights which could be taken, forfeited, transferred or conferred. But they are not!

As this nation of sovereign individuals that mutually and voluntarily agreed to form sovereign states united, to mutually and voluntarily form a sovereign nation constituted, it so continues or can be changed by WE the People, if WE the People so will.

From 1776, empowerment of, by and for the people went up to government – limited. From 1861, legal fiction empowerment went down from the government to the people with seemingly power unlimited. Where it stands right now is with US, WE the People. It is OUR right and OUR responsibility to send the message of, by, and for the People that governments works for US. WE do not work for the government. This is the recognition of OUR individual and sovereign unalienable rights. And it begins again where it has always been, with each one of US, WE the People. It begins with the recognition of our individual sovereign rights in the sovereign state where WE live and with the governor of OUR sovereign state. This is the solution. It is so very simple. If you recall or look at a previous post, it has already been brought up. See:

The Most Important Person

So what is involved in the recognition of OUR sovereign rights? It is nothing different than what WE the People already do and that is, WE vote. But the distinction here is not what particular person or party WE vote for, but what office and how. The office is the governor of OUR particular state. The how is by voting for this governor to be the governor of OUR sovereign, individual and component state. How do WE the People do that? The point here is not necessarily to change the person, persons or party WE the People vote for or when WE vote, but HOW WE vote. The HOW is that our votes are recognized as sovereign citizens for a sovereign governor of OUR separate, sovereign, individual state, among the states voluntarily united in OUR republic.

For a long time now, I have promised you that what WE can do about all of this and HOW to do it is coming! I have in part, kept my promise in this post of this blog. Is this too simple? WE rarely believe, trust or accept simplicity, in the complex world in which WE live. Are WE ready to believe, trust and accept a simple solution, to re-forming “a more perfect union?”

The solution has been given! What remains to be seen is HOW; WE the People can apply the solution. It too, is really quite simple. It will not take forever or even a lifetime. It will only take a small amount of time and your direct participation. It may be difficult, but WE can do it IF, WE the People so will to do it. Do WE so will?

What may seem as insurmountable odds in regaining control of our liberties may appear hopeless, but there is an answer! Stay tuned here as we continue with…

Next Time: Recognition of OUR Sovereign Rights

Check out the other blogs listed to the right. Come often. Bring others. Get involved. Do something. See:

How You Can Help


Ask not what your country can do for you

or what you can do for your country,

but what can WE the People do, for each other!”


1 of WE,

Dahni
An Amer-I-Can eagle


Next Post – Recognition of OUR Sovereign Rights
Previous Post – Re-Forming “a more perfect union”
Front Page – Welcome & Introduction