I’m sure nearly every one of you grew up learning about the “Civil War” in public school. You learned that it was fought over slavery and that the Confederacy wanted to keep slavery and the Union who was full of good hearted abolitionists wanted to end this horrible practice. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m sure a good number of you know that the Union also had slaves and it was far from an exclusive Southern practice. I’m sure you know too that the vast majority of citizens on both sides of the war never owned a single slave. Slavery would have gone the way of the horse and buggy given time and everyone knew it. Why would you keep 20 slaves and their families, feed them, clothe them, pay for their medical expenses when you can upgrade to modern industrial farm equipment? The Industrial Revolution changed the world forever and given time would’ve made slavery impractical.
Everyone hails Lincoln for freeing the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation, however this only freed slaves in the Southern states over which he had zero control as they were another country. It was done for two reason, one as a PR push and the second to cripple the Confederacy economically. Had Lincoln had genuine concern for the enslaved he would’ve and could’ve easily freed slaves in all states but he did not.
The second main point I would like to convey is that this “Civil War” wasn’t a Civil War. A Civil War is 2 factions fighting to take over one country. This was two separate countries fighting because the Union didn’t want to lose the tax dollars if the South seceded. The South wanted nothing more than to be let alone and have fair taxation just like any of the Northern states. They wanted to trade freely with Europe and not have high tariffs put on the goods by our government.
It is incredibly ironic the similarities between the “Civil War” and the Revolutionary War. As I see them they are as follows.
1. We didn’t want a war in either case.
2. The North and England taxed our goods unfairly.
3. The North and England attacked because they didn’t want to lose the tax revenue.
4. The reason for secession in both cases was freedom from oppression.
I think these are major similarities that link the South to Early America. Yet when you learn about the Revolutionary War in school it is always England who is the bad guy (and rightly so) yet the nearly identical (ideologically) war that happened not even 100 years later it is the North/England who is the hero. People always talk about this War of Northern Aggresion being so sad as it was “brother vs. brother” yet they never delve deeper as to why it actually started. Over 620,000 people died in the war and it could’ve been so easily avoided had the Union just left us alone.