Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"The Economic Causes of the War"

The excellent explanation of the economic causes of the War Between the States by Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr. is added in its entirety.  It was published in September 2001. Please pass this website along to family, friends and acquaintances to help them better understand American history, the reasons for the 1861-1865 conflict, and the unsurpassed valor of North Carolinians who fought for their independence.  Read an excerpt below:


"Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North.  The love of money is the root of this, as of many evils.  The quarrel between the North and the South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel."  Charles Dickens

In the schoolbook account of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln rose to the presidency and took the steps needed to end slavery.  He led the country in a great Civil War against the slaveholding States that seceded, restored these states to the Union, and ended slavery. Accordingly, historians rate Abraham Lincoln as one of our greatest presidents.

People in the South, like my great-great-grandfather Louis Thomas Hicks, had a different view of the war. Louis Hicks fought in the Battle of Gettysburg in the Army of Northern Virginia, commanding the 20th North Carolina Regiment (in Iverson's Brigade of Rodes Division in Ewell's Second Corps). He led his regiment into action on the first day of the battle and was forced to surrender after losing eighty percent of his men (238 out of 300) in two-and-a-half hours of fighting. In his personal account of the battle, he wrote, "[As a prisoner] I lied awake, thinking of my comrades and the great cause for which we were willing to shed our last drop of blood."

His daughter, Mary Lyde Williams, echoed similar sentiments in her Presentation Address given at the Unveiling of the North Carolina Memorial on the Battlefield of Gettysburg on July 3, 1929.  She began her address with the words, "They wrote a constitution in which each State should be free." Four children, including her granddaughter, my mother, who was then 10 years old, removed the veil that covered the statue.

Today's Standard View of the War

Today American children are taught in the nation's schools, both in the North and South, that it was wrong for people to support the Confederacy and to fight and die for it.

Well-intentioned, "right thinking" people equate anyone today who thinks that the South did the right thing by seceding from the Union as secretly approving of slavery. Indeed, such thinking has now reached the point where groups from both sides of the political spectrum, notably the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center on the left and the Cato Institute on the right, want to have the Confederate Battle Flag eradicated from public spaces. These people argue that the Confederate flag is offensive to African-Americans because it commemorates slavery.

The war did enable Lincoln to "save" the Union, but only in a geographic sense. The country ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign States. Instead,
America became a "nation" with a powerful federal government. Although the war freed four million slaves into poverty, it did not bring about a new birth of freedom, as Lincoln and historians such as James McPherson and Henry Jaffa say.  For the nation as a whole the war did just the opposite: It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America, as historians Charles Adams and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have argued – Adams in his book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (published in 2000); and Hummel in his book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996).

Read more at: http://www.ncwbts150.com/EconomicCausesoftheWAr.php