The Way I See It - "The Reason the South Fought the Civil War Was the Preservation of Slavery"
By Jack Crawford
The Civil War Was About Slavery - Not Just Northern Control
So many of our detractors write unkind comments in our guestbook. Many question our knowledge of history and say the Civil War was fought to eliminate Northern control over the South. Well those of you who honestly believe that should read the document below. These are Virginia's conditions for remaining in the Union as stated by the then Governor.
The piece below is a speech from the pre-Civil War governor of Virginia. He is talking about conditions required to avoid secession. You don't need to be a super genius to figure out that every condition he states is about SLAVERY and ITS PRESERVATION. I agree, he wants control. But control for what: Control over slavery and freedom to enslave and keep his slaves in bondage. He is saying that no one should interfere with slavery, period. If you read the secession documents of the other states that joined he Confederacy, you'll see the same issues and complaints. The southern aristocracy wanted to continue getting rich by enslaving blacks. It was a highly inefficient system. Northern, non-slave agriculture was many times more productive. The vast majority of southern citizens did not directly benefit from slave ownership. But those who controlled the Southern economy and the press would rather have a war than to let go of their slaves and the wealth they produced. And, again, I assert that the average white in the pre-Civil War south went to war to tell those "Yankees" that the collective "We" can do as "We" please with our dark people. That is where the control issue comes into play. But even that was motivated by racism. There was no way they could contemplate equality with blacks. That is the fear spread by racist landowners to control the thinking of the masses of whites. That divide and control game is the same that has been effectively played since white and blacks were in servitude together n the English colonies of the 1600's and 1700's.
[And please don't try to act like whites were never enslaved in America. They may call it indentured but initially Africans were also indentured. And during the period of "indentureship" the white people were also treated very harshly -- and initially the same as Africans. It was later that the owners figured out that to keep the poor whites on their side they needed to put them on a higher status than blacks. In the early days, blacks and whites participated in rebellions together. That's when the rulers put chattel slavery in place for blacks. That is when white women were severely discouraged from marrying Africans (their children could be slaves for life). This was around 1650-1675.]
This is lifted from the link below and reprinted for your convenience: http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/letcher.html
In early January, 1861, Gov. John Letcher called Virginia's legislature into special session to consider, among other things, whether or not to call a secession convention. The Jan. 8 issue of the Richmond Enquirer contained a long speech which Gov. Letcher made to the legislature at the opening of this special session. During this speech Letcher, normally characterized as opposed to secession, gave a list of six conditions which he believed could relieve the growing secession crisis. I am indebted to Steve Miller of the University of Maryland for sending me a photocopy of Letcher's speech, from which this excerpt is taken.
Virginia Gov. John Letcher's Conditions for Settlement— [Conditions under which Virginia would consider not seceding from the Union]
What, then, is necessary to be done? The Northern States must strike from their statute books their personal liberty bills, and fulfill their constitutional obligations in regard to fugitive slaves and fugitives from justice. If our slaves escape into n n-slaveholding states, they must be delivered up; if abandoned, depraved, and desperately wicked men come into slave States to excite insurrections, or to commit other crimes against our laws, and escape into free States, they must be given up for trial a d punishment, when lawfully demanded by the constituted authorities of those States whose laws have been violated.
Second --- We must have proper and effective guarantees for the protection of slavery in the district of Columbia. We can never consent to the abolition of slavery in the district, until Maryland shall emancipate her slaves; and not then, unless it shall be demanded by the citizens of the district.
Third --- Our equality in the States and Territories must be fully recognized, and our rights of person and property adequately protected and accrued. We must have guarantees that slavery shall not be interdicted in any Territory now belonging to, or which hereafter may be acquired by, the general government; either by the Congress of the United States or by the Territorial Legislature: that we shall be permitted to pass through the free States and Territories without molestation, and if a slave shall b abducted, that the State in which he or she shall be lost, shall pay the full value of such slave to the owner.
Fourth --- Like guarantees must be given, that the transmission of slaves between the slaveholding States, either by land or water, shall not be interfered with.
Fifth --- The passage and enforcement of rigid laws for the punishment of such persons in the free States as shall organize, or aid and abet in organizing, either by the contribution of money, arms, munitions of war, or in any other mode whatsoever, companies of men, with a view to assail the slaveholding States, and to excite slaves to insurrection.
Sixth --- That the general government shall be deprived of the power of appointing to local offices in the slaveholding States, persons who are hostile to their institutions, or inimical to their rights -- the object being to prevent the appointing power from using patronage to sow the seeds of strife and disunion between the slaveholding and non-slaveholding classes in the Southern States.
These guarantees can be given without prejudice to the honor or rights, and without a sacrifice of the interest, of either of the non-slaveholding states. We ask nothing, therefore, which is not clearly right and necessary for our protection: And surely, when so much is at stake, it will be freely, cheerfully and promptly assented to. It is the interest of the North and South to preserve the Government from destruction, and they should omit the use of no proper or honorable means to avert so great a calamity. The public safety and welfare demand instant action.
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