Korsgaard's Commentary

Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

As a number of you no doubt know, I live in Richmond, Virginia, and for the most part love this town. Of the biggest things that I do not like about the area though, aside from the growing number of hipsters moving here of course, as you might expect what with being the former capital, is the large degree of Confederate Nostalgia, especially in some of the rural areas surrounding the city.

It’s a long running joke of mine that the American South is perhaps the only region of the planet that celebrates the fact it was on the losing end of a war, let alone one over the right to own other human beings. Of course, perhaps a large part of this might be due to the massive shift in tone led by historical revisionist Lost Causer’s like Jubal Early, and assisted by teary eyed accounts from folks like Margaret Mitchell who popularized and romanticized the image of an Antebellum Southern society that, in real life had never existed. The result is a mythological image of the South, and the Confederacy in particular, has been accepted by the general public without regards to the actual history.
confederate-heritageTo be clear before I begin, there are many parts of Southern culture for its residents to be proud of, ranging from barbeque and bluegrass to smooth jazz and Coca-Cola. The Confederate States of America however, is not a part of the Southern identity that should be anything other than a stain upon the entire region, and anyone who glorifies its name and memory ought to be ashamed of themselves. As a man who knows his history, I take any opportunity to destroy to myths surrounding Confederate Nostalgia, and in this article, will correct five of the biggest myths about the Confederacy that anyone should remember before they salute the Stars and Bars:

1) The war was over States Rights, not Slavery

Not surprising that this is the one point those who claim to revere the Confederate identify rush to say that slavery was not a part of that identity – even the staunchest Dixiecrat would be hard pressed to defend the right to own another human being. As a result, many Confederate apologists wrap the Southern cause as one of States Rights, something Libertarian minded folk like myself should greet with great scorn and ridicule, and for good reason.
confederate-slaves-moneyThe picture above is of the Confederate 100 Dollar Bill, and the picture right in the middle of it is of slaves growing cotton. Not content to only enshrine slavery on their money, the Confederacy also wrote it into their Constitution, their respective state Constitutions, which among other things, made slavery one of the requirements of statehood, and had the abolition of slavery quite literally outlawed in the Constitution, enshrining it even above the Freedom of Speech, among others.

Much the same, many of the Founding Fathers of the CSA made speeches claiming slavery as the heart of the new nation, most famously in Vice President Alexander Stephen’s “Cornerstone Speech”, which included the following passage:
Alexander-Stephens-Speech-African-Slavery-the-Cornerstone-of-the-Confederacy“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; 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.”

In the words of their own leaders, their own laws, and even their own constitution, the right to own slaves was the core of the national identity of the Confederacy – I guess life liberty and the pursuit of happiness was too radical for the plantation owners. Granted, the Union was hardly a poster child for racial harmony, as a number of incidents prove, but even lip service to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ makes a better national cause than ‘right to own slaves’.

The most ironic part is that it was the North that had the right to claim the mantle of states’ rights more than the South had any claim to it – after all, the slave owners defended their peculiar institution by means of federalism any chance they got, because if it was left to popular opinion, slavery would have been left without a leg to stand on. One of the big reasons for the upswing in abolitionist support in the 1850s was that of the two latest efforts to prolong the lifespan of plantation slavery, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dredd Scott Decision, one sparked a miniature Civil War in Kansas, and the other basically did away with the idea of Free States altogether.

So no, the slave owners that formed the Confederacy didn’t give two damns about states’ rights, and were more than happy to use federalism to defend their position, and the moment it no longer became possible to do so, they left the Union. It has all the political maturity of a toddler throwing a tantrum – if a toddler’s temper tantrum could spark the bloodiest war in the history of the United States that is.

2) The Confederacy supported Limited Government

Ironically, this myth was not only pushed by folks who revered the Confederacy, but by many political opportunists who sought to slander those who support state’s rights or limited government as bigoted neo-Confederates, and not surprisingly, by claiming the Confederacy to be a bastion of limited government, all either side does is showcase their ignorance.
Confederate-ConstitutionAs if writing slavery and prohibiting its abolition into their Constitution wasn’t a big enough hint, another notable part of the same document was to outlaw secession for any member of the Confederacy. So yes, not only did the group that claimed they has the right to leave the United States under the US Constitution forbid that same right in their own Constitution, but as a latter point will prove, they killed those who tried it.
gainesville_mass_hanging_of_Southern_UnionistsAnother infamous law of the Confederacy was the Twenty Slave Law, which exempted anyone who owned more than twenty slaves from military service, which not only meant the ones who pushed for session wouldn’t be the ones who fought for it, it also went the extra mile in restricting the civil liberties and voice in government of the vast majority of southerners who owned no slaves, while forcing them into conscription. To enforce this, you had the Confederate Home Guard, a band of proto-Gestapo thugs that was granted extra-constitutional rights to stifle dissent, enforce conscription and other edicts, and was authorized to use force, lethal or otherwise, to do so. I don’t know about you, but when I think of limited government, roving death squads are one of the last things I associate with it.

If restricting the voice in government to a small rich minority, reducing poorer citizens to cannon fodder and having roving death squads to restrict their rights isn’t big government enough for you, the Confederacy also had price and wage controls, internal passports restricting internal travel, government nationalized salt and alcohol production, required railroads to operate at a loss, and required shippers to transport government goods at no charge, all regulations that even in the current era of bloated big government, we have yet to see. There were more bureaucrats in Richmond then there were in DC, which is one reason while the Confederate Government couldn’t even determine what qualified as a Confederate citizen, the folks up in DC worked hard to ensure that argument was a moot point.

So yes, between the restrictions on freedom and voice in government, intense regulation and nationalization of many sectors of the economy, and having a group of government affiliated paramilitary groups enforce the will of the small group of elites who ran the nation, the Confederacy boasted a limited government – at least in comparison to the myriad of dictatorships that all used the same policies a century later.

3) The Southern people almost universally supported the Confederacy

Another popular myth about the Confederate Cause is that it had wide and broad support from all parts of Southern society, aside from perhaps the slaves (and some revisionists go as far as to say even they supported it). Of course, this is not the case, as even in the North, the Civil War was far from universally supported.

One only needs to look to the existence of West Virginia to tell that the cause of secession was far from universally supported. The entire reason for the split from Virginia centered that the residents of West Virginia, who were mainly poor mountain farmers, very few of whom owned slaves, saw little reason to send their sons to die for the cause of the plantation owners. And they were far from the only ones – similar movements formed in places from Eastern Tennessee to Texas – West Virginia was just the only ones the Union could defend, as most of the others (the Texan one especially) were met by the guns of the Confederate military. Seems the support for the right to secede only went one way in the CSA.
sheltonAnother huge sign of just how popular the CSA was with the masses was the desertion rate of the Confederate military, which by the end of the war, left the CSA to use its Home Guard units to round-up deserters, usually running roughshod over due process in the process. Though a long, dry obvious bit of Oscar Bait, and boasting a largely British/Australian cast (poorly) playing Southerners, the movie Cold Mountain is a wonderful example of just how popular the Confederacy was with the general populace (ie, not very).
Southern_loyalistsIn addition, over 100,000 Southerners actually fought for the Union Army, with every Southern state except for South Carolina raising at least a battalion of men - and those numbers only include WHITE Southerners, not the scores of slaves who enlisted to fight for their freedom. Southern loyalists included men ranging from Sam Houston to Winfield Scott, and there were enough of them that they were a key part of Union war strategy and are referenced in Union marching songs.

Truth is, rather than boast popular support, you could have gauge how fervently someone in the CSA supported the Rebel Cause by how far away they were from running a plantation. Yes, there was a vocal minority in the South that wanted and supported succession – the majority however, only fought to defend their homes and families, and most threw down their arms at the first chance they had to go back to them, while many others took up arms to support the Union. Turns out, the only part of Southern Society that wholeheartedly supported succession was the same group of aristocratic plantation owners that pushed for it in the first place. Speaking of which…

4) The Confederate Military/Government leaders were brilliant/gentlemen/honorable

One of the huge reasons behind the modern trend of Confederate sympathy was the movement led by groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans to rehabilitate the image of many members of the Confederate figures, both government and military. The movement to both paint the leaders of the rebellion as chivalrous gentlemen of honor, and their cause for Southern Independence as hopeless in the face of the Union’s sizable advantages largely succeeded and this is likely one reason for the near mythological status of men like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and for the lacking of Union flag-clad Dodge Chargers named the General Grant. The truth of course, is quite less romantic, and at times, their white washing is downright insulting.
Confederate_congressNowhere is that more apparent than with the members of the Confederate government, which revisionists have painted as a picture of a group statesmen that claimed the mantle of the US Founding Fathers, many of whom members of the Confederacy could claim decent, and even claimed a Jew and a former US President among their ranks. In truth, the group had more in common with a den of cartoon super-villains, than with the Founding Fathers. While a number of them could claim decent from the Founding Fathers, it had more to do with the deeply entrenched Southern aristocracy then any connection to their ancestor’s cause, something all the more clear when you take a look at some of the kooks and crooks among their ranks.

Jefferson Davis was a hot-headed and mostly incompetent former Senator whose micromanagement of both the Confederate government and the military weakened a nation that could ill afford more weakness. What’s terrifying is he got the Presidency because some of the alternatives were worse. Alexander Stephens, whom I mentioned before, was a bigoted elitist that spent most of his tenure as Vice President either spouting slaver dogma or saying how he should replace Davis. Robert Rhett was one of several members who suggested restarting the African Slave Trade, and one of a vocal minority that considered enslaving the South’s poor whites. As a whole, Richmond played host to the biggest gang of racists with delusions of grandeur this side of 1930s Berlin.
fort_pillow_massacreThe military was hardly any better. Nathan Bedford Forrest, in addition to selling slaves before the war, and leading the Kl Klux Klan after the war, would commit war crimes against black soldiers and Southern loyalists on a number of occasions, most notably the Fort Pillow Massacre. Braxton Bragg was a poor tactician and hot head who, along with the incompetence of men like Leonidas Polk and John Bell Hood, had as much to do with Confederate defeats in the West as the Union Army. Stonewall Jackson for all of his brilliance as a tactician, was a religious zealot who felt the Confederate cause a divinely sanctioned crusade, and whose lack of drilling his troops likely led to his death by friendly fire.
Picketts-ChargeEven Robert E. Lee, who is one of the more honorable Rebels, was far from the brilliant commander culture has painted him as. Lee was a gifted commander, and his victories at Second Manassas and Chancellorsville were great achievements, but Lee’s many mistakes and failures were at least as marked as his successes. In particular, his passion for launching foolish frontal attacks, most infamously Pickett’s Charge, where he ordered 12,000 men to charge well-entrenched Union gun emplacements at Gettysburg, left over half of them dead, a loss his Army of Northern Virginia would never fully recover from. Over the course of the war, Lee alone was responsible for over a quarter of Confederate dead, and he is just as infamous for his textbook military blunders as he is for his more clever moments. This is in addition to one of the main drives for both his invasions of the north being to capture free blacks and sell them as slaves in the South.

Of course, the biggest flaw of the Confederate military, more than the failings of their generals, was their insistence of fighting by the same tactics used in the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars while the weaponry had gone from muskets to bolt-action rifles and machine guns. There is a reason why aside from World War II, the American Civil War is the most studied war in history, and a big part of that was that it was the first modern war. While tactical blunders in adapting to this were on both sides, the Union military eventually adapted, while the Confederate habit of frontally assaulting machine gun nests or entrenched Union soldiers was responsible for several notable Confederate defeats, including Gettysburg. Of course, another key weakness of the Confederate military was the Union possessed machine guns, which leads to the final revisionist myth…

5) The Confederacy could have won the Civil War (or long survived it)

To an extent, this particular myth has been debunked to all but the firmest of Confederate diehards – there was a reason early Confederate apologists were called ‘Lost Causers’ after all. Nonetheless, I will say it here: there is no way the Confederacy could have won the Civil War on the field of battle.
union+vs+confederacyAs many Americans learned in grade school, one of the biggest advantages of the Union in the War was that they made more guns, more railroads, more industry, more ships, more men to recruit into the army, and even more crops than the regions South of the Mason-Dixon Line. Though the American Civil War would be the first showcase of it, industrial warfare determines its victors just as much by the supply lines as the battle lines, and the Union’s ability to outgun, out supply and outman the Confederacy left the slavers cause with the deck already stood against them. The only prayer the Confederacy had, outside of foreign intervention, and what formed the core of their war strategy, was to fight on until the Union lost the will to fight, which though close at times, never happened. Somehow, the Southern cause, lost or otherwise, seems a lot less romantic when you realize the Confederate battle plan boiled down to keep sending waves of poor schmucks to die until the Union gets bored while the men in charge sipped on mint juleps on their plantations.
Only_Confederate_Flag_that_mattersIn the long run, defeat may have been the best fate for the CSA. Even if the Confederacy had won, its future was guaranteed to be grimmer than defeat. After all, nothing quite says national stability like a deeply indebted, neo-feudalist proto-banana republic built on chattel slavery. Odds are good, the best fate of an independent CSA, as its founders would have envisioned it, would be akin to your standard issue Latin American tin pot dictatorship. Far more likely, it would either be reabsorbed by the United States, splinter into separate nations, collapse due to anything from racial violence to economic crisis, and in any case, would likely not survive the century, and if it did, it would be as an economically broken, backward pariah state, masses of black slaves and poor disenfranchised whites itching to set aflame the powder keg, with a vengeful United States in the midst of jingoism staring hungrily across the border. Look away Dixie Land indeed!

*******

So rather than salute the actions of a handful of traitorous slave-owning aristocrats that left hundreds of thousands of their countrymen dead, or mourn the loss of a nation that would have been fated no matter what to be an embarrassing footnote in the history of the continent, the folks sporting Confederate flags on their cars or shirts need to realize what I and many of our fellow southerners already know: That the best thing that ever happened to the South was that the attempt to swap the Stars and Stripes for the Stars and Bars failed miserably. To those who say otherwise, allow me to put a twist on a slogan of yours. If this offends you:
Grant and LeeThen you need a history lesson.

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Comments

Mitro 05-05-2012, 20:00

Excellent article Korsgaard.

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Korsgaard 08-05-2012, 23:44

Glad you liked it Mitro!

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apocryphon 06-05-2012, 00:25

An excellently well-formed and well-researched essay, written excellently.

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Korsgaard 08-05-2012, 23:44

Thank you, glad you liked it!

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Lidren Diters 23-07-2012, 16:46

I’m a confederate re-enactor, and everything you’ve got it right on. Good job. I only disagree with the last point, on a wholly personal experience basis as a tactician. You know your history, so you should know that odds a hundred times worse have been overcome.

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Korsgaard 24-07-2012, 12:47

Glad you liked it Lidren!

While it may have been overcome, as I stated in the article, the odds were stacked very heavily against the Confederacy, and the two plausible ways of winning the war, the Union giving up or foriegn intervention, never happened.

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James V. Carter 28-07-2012, 22:30

You are as bigoted as anyone I have ever met ! That in reality does not make you a bad preson but why don’t you investigate a little more than taking college courses taught by “all knowing” professional students of history that were taught by the same and so on and so on etc. Talk to people active in SCV units who have done tons of research and can substatiate alot of fact and can intellegently dismiss a lot of what you call “myths” There is much more I can say but enough for now, go ahead, make a fresh start !

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Korsgaard 08-09-2012, 04:14

I’m bigoted? On what grounds?

For the record, much of what I wrote here comes from years of reading and researching on the Civil War, not what I was told in college. Most of these are cold facts and realities.

Plus, I would never consider the Sons of Confederate War Veterans a viable group for information – they have an agenda, and not one of them was alive to have fought in the war or know anyone who has, so it’s not like they have any facts or accounts to use as a reliable source.

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bobilee 22-08-2012, 05:20

Your reason #3, re: West Virginia, is not really accurate. West Virginia was created as a war effort, and a reward by the Federal government to a minority government in Wheeling. The Confederate secession vote in West Virginia went right up to north central West Virgina and the counties along the Kentucky border. About two-thirds of the territory of West Virginia consists of secessionist counties. According to Mark Snell’s new book, “West Virginia and the Civil War”, at least half of West Virginia’s soldiers were Confederate. The state was created under military control with a minority of citizen participation. Even Gov. Pierpont admitted to Lincoln on Dec. 30, 1862 -”The Union men of West Va were not originally for the Union because of the new state-but the sentiment for the two have become identified. If one is stricken down I don’t know what is [to] become of the other.” You can find this letter at the Library of Congress. West Virginians would never have supported the new state in a free, democratic election. West Virginia history is a lot more complicated than even most Civil War historians understand.

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Korsgaard 08-09-2012, 04:20

I may need to pick up that book.

While it is a given West Virginia didn’t leap into the arms of the Union, they were more against being split off from Virginia than against staying in the Union.

As for gaging Union support in West Virginia, it is comparable to Union support in other border states like Maryland and Missouri – while they weren’t fanatical Unionists, they felt that sending thier sons to fight and die for the slavers was a raw deal, and did not join the CSA.

In any event, thanks for that useful bit of info!

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Anonymous 26-10-2012, 23:27

What garbage! #1: Slavery was not the cause because there was no federal threat to slavery at that time, but the economic burdens placed on the South were real and severe. #2:Like WW2, sacrifices and compromises were necessary on a war footing…don’t be foolish enough to believe that the principle of state’s rights would have disappeared in peacetime. #3: With a total population of 5 million, 750000 to one million served in the Confederate military. Imagine one fifth of today’s population in uniform; I believe that would be classified as “support” for the Confederacy #4: “Machine guns and bolt action rifles”???? Such ignorance of the actual arms used in the war minimizes, even eliminates, your already tiny credibility #5: Yes, the Union had a tremendous advantage in men and material, but one disadvantage: the Southerners were defending their homes and rights against the corrupt invaders of the despot Lincoln….ask all powerful George III, ruler of the 18th century’s most prosperous and powerful empire, how that worked out for him in 1783 America.

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Korsgaard 29-10-2012, 03:27

Where to begin?

#1: No slavery was the cause. As mentioned in the article, the South used federalism to defend thier peculiar institution to the bitter end, and as soon as the Northern population’s sheer numbers and the economic unfeasibility of slavery made abolition the future, the seceded.

#2: Those so called sacrifices and compromises were written into the Confederate Constitution, so it’s no stretch to say they planned on keeping them long after the war.

#3: Conscription of the era was hardly a voluntary thing, and hardly a way to gage popular support. Especially when they had death squads killing deserters and forcing kids as young as 14 into the military by wars end.

Also, A good chunk of that five million were slaves.

You want a true measure of support, look at the confederate desertion rates.

#4: I should say the same about you – the technological edge given to the Union is one of the main reasons they won the war, including better arms. Just the facts.

#5: So were the Germans in 1945, and I would hardly excuse thier actions or thier cause. Home field advantage doesn’t apply to warfare – force multipliers, numbers, technological edge, and causus beli do.

As for the American Revolution comparisons, the Redcoats didn’t share the same borders or even the same continant. The USA did. And calling Lincoln a despot only shows the depths of your already shocking levels of ignorance.

Passions do not stand up to cold historical facts. The willingness you have shown to defend a den of slavocrats who butchered thier own countrymen and commited treason to defend chattel slavery should disgust any self respecting member of the free world.

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Ian 20-11-2012, 00:12

As a fellow history maniac, I’m rather impressed about how well put together and to the point this article is. Above all… I agree compleately that it is shameful to glorify the confederacy.

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Jay R 29-12-2012, 01:48

Okay, a lot of your facts are spot on. Not all of them. Keep in mind the classic saying of “history is written by the victors” and all that. I’m only going to talk about the slavery thing. The secession of the states couldn’t have anything to do with slavery. You’ve got two presidential candidates going for office, and of the two of them, Lincoln was the on who was against pushing abolition. Yes, the whole “Lincoln owned slaves” is not true. He never owned slaves. But his agenda was not to free them, either. His big push was for industrialism, he wanted to push the US economy in a way similar to that of Germany. That in itself was not why the states seceded, though. The election happened, everything was fine, waiting for the poll results to come in, and bam. Look at that. Not a single electoral vote from any state in the south. Yet this man was still elected. The vast majority of the country’s economic power, geography, and a huge chunk of the population gave this man a resounding “no,” and was blatantly ignored because of the electoral college. This spurred a whole new rage over the division of power and influence in the federal government, not rage at the federal government itself.

States began seceding, which was entirely legal, seeing as the existence of the 10th amendment states that all powers not given directly to the federal level are there for the states to decide on their own, and nowhere had a law or article been written about secession, not before this point anyway. The Confederacy wrote into law that Slavery must be maintained. But I hope you remember that the USA did the exact same thing when it was founded. People were bigots, racists, and honestly felt that the slaves were inferior. Doing this was the only way to get major landowners to sign on and agree to the cause. If you’re going to say the south rebelled because of slaves, then it’s exactly the same as saying the USA rebelled from England because of slaves. In both cases it was written as law to be upheld, in both cases the leader of the ruling government had an open dislike for slavery, in both cases though, slavery was not an issue on the government’s agenda, and the government was making decisions and electing leaders without the consent of a huge chunk of people being governed. If you’re going to say any of those parallels are incorrect, then I want your sources cited.

Even after all that, though, the Confederacy intended to keep friendly relations and open trade. They were family and friends all over the place, and the leaders knew this. Lincoln and his military officials did not recognize the rights of the states to secede, and very quickly had his armies march towards “Union” military bases. The first of note was Fort Sumter, where Union soldiers occupied a military base in South Carolina. General Beauregard opened communications with Anderson in the fort, Anderson refused all terms offered for relinquishing control of the fort. I shouldn’t need to remind anyone that a foreign military occupying land without the consent of the sovereign government is an act of war. Beauregard still kept time, sending his aids back and forth three separate times to convince Anderson to just get his men and leave. Finally, he said enough was enough, and moved his men to Fort Johnson and proceeded to open fire. And so the war had officially begun.

So, from the point of view of the families living down here at the time, here’s what happened (and yes, these words are written with excess, because that’s how the families saw it):
1- a man was put in control of their nation without any of their consent or say so
2- this man refused to acknowledge their rights as promised to them in the Constitution, and sent his armies to occupy their land
3- his armies blockaded their trade routes and occupied military bases, but when their armies retaliated, spread propaganda vilifying them for shooting first
4- this man unleashed his dog of war to burn down their homes, steal their belongings, and rape their women freely
5- this man made a huge deal of his Emancipation Proclamation, which in effect did nothing because it was written as to free slaves only in “states of open rebellion,” in a further effort to vilify them for the desires of 3% of their population. (That’s the percentage of southerners who owned a vast majority of the slaves. Total percentage of southerners owning any slaves at all was still only a wopping 6%) This made them look evil, selfish, and forced their allies in France and England to slow down, or in some cases completely halt, their aid and supply of the South.
6- After the war was over, the northerners flooded the south, freely taking southern land, and for 10 years left the southerners to poverty on the whole.

That’s the point of view from the average soldier or family in the Confederate States. Most of the people fighting, including the military leaders, did not own slaves. They did not like slavery. They were fighting to protect their homes and their families. Just like most northern soldiers and military leaders weren’t fighting to end slavery, they were fighting to keep the Union intact. Slavery was -made- into an issue 2 years into the war as an effort to hurt the morale of the South, and force England and France to halt their aid and not directly intervene with military support.

So why do I have pride of my family, and our heritage, as a son of the Confederacy? Because my family had the balls to fight for their homes, even if it meant going against their own friends within a much greater military power. My family survived through the war, through reconstruction, and through all the sick, horrible things that were done to them and around them. And through it all, they still had pride and faith that they were doing the right thing. And, if you ask most educated people who have pride in their southern heritage, they’ll tell you the same as I will: I fucking despise Jefferson Davis AND Alexander Stephens. The both of them, arrogant, selfish, bigots and cowards.

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J.R. Digby 02-05-2014, 03:01

“another notable part of the same document was to outlaw secession for any member of the Confederacy.”

I stopped reading right there as that is a lie. There is no mention of secession, one way or the other in that document.

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Sean CW Korsgaard 02-05-2014, 17:49

You’re half right – there is no mention of secession in the Confederate Constitution. There is however, mention that the Confederacy is a “permanent federal government”, right in the preamble of the Confederate Constitution. Once a admitted as a state in the Confederacy, membership was considered binding.

Once more, an attempt to pass an amendment to ALLOW states to have the rights to secede was proposed in the Confederate Senate on February 25th, 1863. “It shall do so in peace,” read the proposal, “but shall be entitled to its pro rata share of property and be liable for its pro rata share of public debt to be determined by negotiation.” It spent two days in the Judicial committee before being rejected.

So not only was the Confederacy forbidding secession of the states under their founding constitution, they rejected the opportunity to ALLOW states the right to secede. You might want to keep reading this article to see just what they did to those who TRIED to exercise that right.

Sources:
The Confederate Constitution (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp)
Dixie Betrayed: How The South Really Lost The Civil War, by David J. Eicher (Chapter 11 cites the failed Session Amendment)

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