Gut Rumbles
 

August 15, 2005

seems clear to me

A lot of people simply DO NOT read history. A lot of them are spoon-fed leftist or "politically correct" cant and that's all they know. They are either too lazy or too fucking dumb to go read about what actually happened in the past.

History fascinates me, because people haven't changed in 10,000 years. TIMES and TECHNOLOGY have changed, but people haven't. The same things motivate people today that motivated a cave-man: Money, sex and power.

I honestly ask you to find ANY significant piece of history that can't be traced to those three things. The Civil War was no different.

Yeah, it's politically correct today to say the war was fought to end slavery, but that's not true. Very few Southerners owned slaves. Most of 'em lived a hard-scrabble life trying to make a living off a dirt farm. They damn sure didn't go to war to protect some plantation owner's right to own his "nigras."

The abolitionists and the "fire-eaters" were out there, but they were a mouthy minority. A lot like some leftist assholes today, who blame every problem blacks have on racism, no matter what the actual evidence shows. The "black community" has a lot of problems. But a legacy of slavery is NOT the root cause of that.

You don't end up with a 70% illegitimate birth rate and 50% of the prison population because your great-grandfather was a slave. Somebody made some personal choices along the way. The choices were the wrong ones, but we don't dare say that today for fear of being branded a racist.

I'd like to ask my darling troll, BETH, who seems to have a Master's Degree in everything, to explain the impact of the cotton tariff on the South right before the Civil War. That may not have involved sex, but it surely was about money and power.

Cotton in the South wasn't called "King Cotton" for nothing. It was the life-blood of the Southern economy. Northern politicians decided that they could dictate what a bale of cotton should cost and the federal government could take a slice of that money right off the top.

Southerners didn't like that idea.

There's a great, two-volume book that you can buy at historical museums (it's on display at Fort Pulaski) called The Blue and the Gray. I recommend that ANYBODY with an interest in history read both books.

It's a compilation of diary entries, old letters written to loved ones, and journals written by people who FOUGHT in that war. You want to know the strangest thing? Almost NOBODY mentions slavery in their writing.

States rights and the Union are mentioned frequently. Love of country and state is very evident (you have to understand--- we were only 60-odd years from the American Revolution at the time). The South fought for their "rights." The yankees fought to subject Southerners to a federal government.

I'm being simplistic here, but you have to understand one thing. A LOT of those soldiers in the war had fathers who fought the British for independence. They simply disagreed about rights.

Slavery was a minor side-issue. And anyone who says differently is a fucking liar.

Comments

I think slavery was the excuse to start the war.

Posted by: Kelly on August 15, 2005 10:33 AM

Lincoln himself is quoted as saying something to the effect, "If I could end the war without freeing a single slave I'd do it."

The freeing of the slaves was nothing more than a tool of war, period. It gave the North the moral highground when France, Brittan, AND Russia were hovering in US waters trying to decide who's side to take, if any at all. After the emancipation, to take sides with the South would have meant, "condoning slavery".

Of coarse it's far more complicated than just the above and many, many other factors came to play but it gets the true point across.

Posted by: Daniel Medley on August 15, 2005 10:45 AM

ACtually the tariff problem was not a tariff on exported cotton-the constitution precludes a export tariff but the tariiffs the northern indutrial states put on imported goods from Europe which was the life line to the south. It was actually just about as cheap to pay the freight from England as it was from the Northeastern US and moreover there was a trade deal with Brittian who likeed the short staped cotton from the piedmont areas for their mills. The Northern states imposed the high tariffs for two reasons-one to foce the south into buying the northern consummer goods and to stop the south from trading the cotton to Brittian so they could buy it themselves. It was a unbridled attempt to curb a supply and demand economy in the south. DAmn-I get on a rant on this. Sorry about that.

Posted by: GUYK on August 15, 2005 11:02 AM

Another point that has had historians wondering about is the issue of slave owners.

At the start of the war over ninety percent of slaves were owned by ten percent of southerners. Of that ten percent at least half owned fewer than ten slaves. The question is
why would the ninety percent of non-slave holders rise in arms against the Federal government. It damn sure wasn't because of slaverty. It was because of a percieved loss of liberty and the imposition of unwanted Federal rule. Kind of reminds me of what the donks are tring to dotoday.

Posted by: GUYK on August 15, 2005 11:07 AM

Outside of New England (Yankees) few wanted slavery to end. Most soldiers from the Midwest (indiana, Illinois, Ohio, etc.) would not have joined if they thought they were freeing slaves. Indiana and Illinois were not even recruited much in the southern half of the states. Several Illinois regiments went home en mass after the Emancipation Proclimation (which only freed slaves in states in Rebellion, so not in Ky, Maryland or Missouri. For most Americans at the time the issue was States Rights vs. Preserving the Union. It was that simple. Slavery was one of the side issues, just like taxes and tariffs. But all of these issues fit into the above.

Those of us from the West and midwest were not and still are not fuckin Yankees.

Posted by: hoosierboy on August 15, 2005 11:14 AM

The books are still available at this URL:

http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?S=R&qwork=8702187&qsort=p&siteID=Pw2LQAj_zJk-GaDTqbI5f8YKPWnvXksGbg

Posted by: Gene on August 15, 2005 11:19 AM

I'm amused that Chablis blames her lack of understanding of history on her school. When did responsibility for education fall on schools.? Individuals are responsible, parents are responsible. To be ignorant and blame one's school is lazy and slothful.

If one can't read, one can learn.

Perhaps Chablis needs to get off the internet for a while and pick up a book or two and learn something.

It might even lead to a job one day.

Unless, of course, one prefers to wallow in self-pity, and rationalization for failure.

If you failed to learn something in school, it does not mean you should live in ignorance forever.

I'm surprised she doesn't already know this.

Posted by: Evelyn on August 15, 2005 12:20 PM

Rob, now you're only stating the obvious. It's been brought up in previous comments that slavery was only incidental in justifying the Civil War. It was an important rallying point, mainly in the North, giving moral justification for war. Your commenters seem already to have grasped this idea. You come a little late with YOUR superiority.

I admit I know nothing about the cotton tarrif. Give me a gun....

You want to use me as a straw dog in your pompous palaver fine. I'm happy to play the role.
But, be intellectually honest. Don't put words in my mouth, or attribute to me values and opinions you would like me to hold.

By dismissing opposing viewpoints as leftist, trollish, moonbat, marxist, commie, anti-American evil-doer is cheap, easy and quick--something Bush does because he's too stupid to think through the issue, and thinks the American people are too stupid to be able to understand.

I've read a lot of history. The thing is, most historians write opinion. One needs to read primary source material or a broad spectrum of writing to get a clear picture.

BTW, "spoon-fed leftist or "politically correct" cant" reflects your prejudice. The white, European, protestant ethic history of which I assume you are so taken with has as much fiction in it as any 'leftist cant' you could name.

Imagine an American history written from the point of view of a Native Americans, or a history of the American west writtne by a Chinese railroad worker. Would you reject those perspectives?

If you do, you're a hopeless intellectual dilettante.

Sometimes I think you want everything 'political correct' according to your existing prejudices.

Posted by: Beth on August 15, 2005 12:43 PM

Then there's the arguement that the war actually increased slavery. As you say, most Southerners didn't own slaves. An example was my great-great grandfather in Monroe County, Georgia. But when Sherman's army came through, burned the crops, stole the two horses and one mule, and burned the house, he and his family had to become sharecroppers - wage slaves - just like the former chattel slaves.

The one thing that the war did not change was that the land was owned by, and the government run by a small group of people in the Lawyer/Planter class.

Posted by: Juan Paxety on August 15, 2005 12:45 PM

Another interesting fact is that were in the Bayous ofla a few black plantation owners who were also slave holders. The point is that history is written by the winners and it takes a couple of centuries and sometimes never for the whole story to be told. As a historian by education I will say this, anytime someone uses the phrase "history proves" be leery. History doesn't prove a gotdam thing except that humankind is to stupid to learn anything from it.

Posted by: GUYK on August 15, 2005 12:59 PM

You don't end up with a 70% illegitimate birth rate and 50% of the prison population because your great-grandfather was a slave. Somebody made some personal choices along the way. The choices were the wrong ones, but we don't dare say that today for fear of being branded a racist.

Bill Cosby found that out. Branded a traitor for speaking out against his own people.

Took a lot of courage for him to come forth.

Posted by: gordon the magnificent on August 15, 2005 01:06 PM

Kudos to you again Acidman! Reading your blog yesterday spurred me to write my own experience with the whole slave issue and how people cling to it today on my blog. You are an inspiration most days, and pretty damn funny the others!

Posted by: Kellie on August 15, 2005 01:08 PM

Outside of New England (Yankees) few wanted slavery to end.

That's too broad a statement. Perhaps the social elite felt that way, but I can assure you that the farmers, fisherman, and loggers in Maine could have given a rat's ass about slavery let alone marching all the way to Virginia or Georgia to put their lives on the line for the cause. I'm sure the same went for Vermonters and New Hampshire.

Posted by: gordon the magnificent on August 15, 2005 01:15 PM

See how Beth the "historian" responded? No links, no books to read, no references to where she became so "educated."

I call that being an asshole.

Posted by: Acidman on August 15, 2005 01:15 PM

I like how you hold your punches. Hehe.

As far as I'm concerned, we traded one type of slavery for another.

Of course, we mitigate modern economic and social slavery with all kinds of doodads like big screen TVs, which are amazingly efficient at keeping most people dumb and happy.

Posted by: Trevor on August 15, 2005 01:22 PM

Beth can't distinguish between her asshole and her face let alone history from leftist propoganda.

Posted by: gordon the magnificent on August 15, 2005 02:01 PM

Very well said, Rob. about missing the lessons of history, I mean.
Going back and learning about war and its affects on the lifestyle of the spoils. One has to look at the big picture painted by the conquests in ancient Greece, the Rise and fall of the 3rd Reich, Roman Empire, Viking conquests, Boxer wars, Boer wars as well as our revolution and civil war. i am rambling, but the
biggest lesson to be learned is the "Politics of Conquest".
And
among those is the right to re-engineer the causes of the conflict.

Posted by: GrampaPinhead on August 15, 2005 02:55 PM

Does beth think it impossible that one may consider an opposing point of view and determine it to be poppycock?

Yes, I'm criticizing dishonest rhetoric; that is the thrust of many of my observations.

Posted by: Brett on August 15, 2005 03:08 PM

Beth, I am a native American. I was born here. I am also a historian by education, so if you want "history" from a native Amaerican point of view I can give it to you. Now my relatives came from Germany and England, but I am a native american.

See what happens when you lefties use stupid tags for human beings?

Posted by: hoosierboy on August 15, 2005 03:09 PM

I freed who?

Posted by: catfish on August 15, 2005 04:16 PM

Beth, to put in the most PC way I know how, is a stupid bitch.

Posted by: Kellie on August 15, 2005 04:19 PM

You don't end up with a 70% illegitimate birth rate and 50% of the prison population because your great-grandfather was a slave. Somebody made some personal choices along the way. The choices were the wrong ones, but we don't dare say that today for fear of being branded a racist.

Ahh! Such loaded statements. Rich with theories, explanations, and excuses. But this isn't the place to discuss all of that. I'll just say work needs to be done in my Negro community and needs to be done fast.

As far as Civil War history goes, I have no problem with slavery being a "side issue". In the end, I think that slaves would have been freed anyway since as technology advanced and the labor movement started. Who wants to keep all those laborers (remember you have to keep them healthy) when you can buy better technology? I know that takes the humanity out of the issue but it is a fact.

Posted by: T-Steel on August 15, 2005 04:36 PM

Chablis, who appointed you blog-nanny? Why should you care what I write? I've asked you to ignore me and go on about your business--such as it is--but you persist in scolding me for all sorts of things, most of which you imagine in your otherwide idle mind.

Really, you should get a job. Occupy your time productively. Do something for others or your community. Clearly you have too much free time on your hands.

Vulgar, crass, low IQ women need to keep busy. Ever thought of needlepoint or quilting?

Posted by: Beth on August 15, 2005 06:00 PM

Chablis, comeona my house. we can get you into a beginner's class right away.

You'll still have spare time on weekends to get laid.--which clearly you need reallllllll baaaaad.

Posted by: Pig Meat on August 15, 2005 06:08 PM

hmmm I need money, I'm thinking I should sell tickets to this!

My money's on Chablis, anyone else care to bet?

Posted by: livey on August 15, 2005 06:35 PM

Hate to interrupt the sissy wars & get back on subject, but I recently ran into something kind-of ironic. For a bunch of people attempting to preserve state-rights, the south picked just about the worst method-

"The war caused tremendous disruptions in civilian life and altered southern society beyond all expectations. One of the first traitions to fall ws the southern preference for local and limited government...

Promptly Davis moved to bring all arms, supplies and troops under his control.. the scope and duration of the conflict required something more... Davis secured passage in April 1862 of the first national conscription draft in American history. Davis also adopted a firm leadership role toward the Confederate Congress, which raised taxes and later passed a tax-in-kind-- paid in farm products. When opposition arose, the government suspended the writ of habeas corpus and imposed martial law. In the face of political opposition that chreished states' rights, Davis proved unyielding.

Soon the confederate administration in Richmond gained virtually complete control over the southern economy... the Confederate Congress also gave the central government almost complete control of the railroads. New statutes even limited corporate profits and dividends. A large bureaucracy sprang up to administer these operations. By the war's end, the southern bureaucracy was larger in proportion to population than its northern counterpart."
-A People And A Nation, Volume 1, pg. 257-258, copyright 2003

There's the states rights they were defending, and there's some real history for you.

Posted by: William on August 15, 2005 07:48 PM

I concur, William. A war for national survival promoted central authoritarian government.

States rights was always a misnomer. Powers would be more accurate. I'm fussy in assigning rights to individuals.

Posted by: Brett on August 15, 2005 07:54 PM

Davis' ideas didn't work. When Richmond fell to the yankees, they looted warehouses FULL of flour, rice, beans and all kinds of other stuff that was stored there by speculators while soldiers and civilians starved.

I wrote earlier that the Confederacy never would have worked the way the rebs set it up. But I still believe that they had the right to try it.

Posted by: Acidman on August 15, 2005 08:47 PM
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