Northern Economic Annihilation: The True Cause of the War Between the States

Northern Economic Annihilation:
The True Cause of the War Between the States

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

The North cut off from Southern cotton, rice, tobacco, and other products would lose three fourths of her commerce, and a very large proportion of her manufactures. And thus those great fountains of finance would sink very low. . . . Would the North in such a condition as that declare war against the South?

Henry L. Benning
Speech before the Georgia legislature
in Milledgeville November 19, 1860

(This post is Chapter Three of my book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument., available on this website)

Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. by Gene Kizer, Jr. - front cover - slavery not the cause of the Civil War

The cause of the war itself is not complicated -- the South seceded and the North immediately began a dramatic economic collapse.

Northerners quickly discovered that their great wealth and employment depended on the South -- on manufacturing for the South, on financing Southern agriculture, on shipping Southern commodities around the world. Cotton alone made up 60% of U.S. exports in 1860.

This was the era of the Pax Britannica and Great Britain ruled world trade, not the North. The North's biggest customer, by far, was the South.

Economic historian Philip S. Foner wrote extensively on business in the North. In his excellent book, Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict, he explains with crystal clarity why the North quickly decided that war was preferable to economic ruin:

It was also exceedingly logical that when all the efforts to save the Union peacefully had failed, the merchants, regardless of political views, should have endorsed the recourse to an armed policy. They had conducted their long struggle to prevent the dissolution of the Union because they knew that their very existence as businessmen depended upon the outcome. When they finally became aware of the economic chaos secession was causing, when they saw the entire business system crumbling before their very eyes, they knew that there was no choice left. The Union must be preserved. Any other outcome meant economic suicide.1  (Bold emphasis added.)

That was the choice the North was facing. Preserve the Union or face economic disaster which meant the collapse of the entire North into anarchy. Northerners were not concerned about slavery when their economic house was a raging inferno.

The most prominent economist of the antebellum era, Thomas Prentice Kettell, wrote a famous book entitled Southern Wealth and Northern Profits as Exhibited in Statistical Facts and Official Figures: Showing the Necessity of Union to the Future Prosperity and Welfare of the Republic. He argued that Southerners were producing the wealth of the United States with cotton and other commodities but Northerners were taking all the profits. Kettell understood the extensive interaction between the two regions and the North's dependence on the South:

These transactions influence the earnings, more or less direct, of every Northern man. A portion of every artisan's work is paid for by Southern means. Every carman draws pay, more or less, from the trade of that section [the South]. The agents who sell manufactures, the merchants who sell imported goods, the ships that carry them, the builders of the ships, the lumbermen who furnish the material, and all those who supply means of support to them and their families. The brokers, the dealers in Southern produce, the exchange dealers, the bankers, the insurance companies, and all those who are actively employed in receiving then distributing Southern produce, with the long train of persons who furnish them with houses, clothing, supplies, education, religion, amusement, transportation, etc., are dependent upon this active interchange, by which at least one thousand millions of dollars come and go between the North and South in a year.2

There were two components of the North's enormous economic success. The first was simply the luck of having an agricultural region as successful as the South to do for. The South was vast, warm, fertile and productive. Southerners were as ambitious as Northerners and wanted to make money too. They did so with agriculture. It had been this way since Jamestown when colonists found they could make fortunes with tobacco, then later when the cotton gin made short-staple cotton profitable. Per capita income in the South, in the years before the war, was roughly the same as in the North. So, supplying the successful South with goods and services, and shipping for the South, gave Northerners jobs.

The second was the utterly unfair taxation of the South for the direct benefit of the North: 3/4ths of the federal treasury was supplied by the South, yet 3/4ths of federal tax revenue was spent in the North. It was mostly Southerners who had to pay the high tariffs that protected Northern businesses and industry. It was a direct transfer out of the South and into the pockets of Northerners.

In a frank editorial, "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?" March 12, 1861, one month before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the New York Evening Post writes:

That either the revenue from duties must be collected in the ports of the rebel states, or the ports must be closed to importations from abroad, is generally admitted. If neither of these things be done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe. There will be nothing to furnish means of subsistence to the army; nothing to keep our navy afloat; nothing to pay the salaries of the public officers; the present order of things must come to a dead stop.3 (Bold emphasis added.)

Think about the American Revolution and the taxation without representation issue. Those taxes were minuscule compared to 1860 when millions of dollars per year were flowing straight out of the South and into the pockets of Northerners.

Those Northerners had not earned a penny of it. It was through government manipulation that they had managed to get monopoly status for most Northern industries and shipping, which killed competition and allowed Northerners to charge high rates. There was a protective tariff, and bounties and subsidies to Northern businesses that were like tax credits and payments from the federal treasury, even though most of the money in the federal treasury -- 3/4ths of it -- had come from the South.

The Report on the Causes of the Secession of Georgia stated it clearly:

The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the South not at all.4

The great Southern writer, William Gilmore Simms, knew the North well and concluded the same:

No doubt that, in one sense, they cherish the Union, but only as the agency by which they prosper in uncounted prosperity. It is to them, the very breath of life; it has made them rich and powerful, & keeps them so. No doubt they love the South, but it is as the wolf loves the lamb, coveting and devouring it.5

Southerners woke up one day and realized that they were being robbed blind and from then on, they would have no way to protect themselves. Henceforth in American history, the South would be outvoted by the North and any manner of confiscatory economic manipulation could and would continue. The North had four times the white voting population and the Republican Party had rallied them.

The governance of the entire country would now be by the North, for the North. George Washington had warned against sectional parties but Wendell Phillips proudly stated that the Republican Party was the party of the North pledged against the South.

Alexis de Tocqueville had predicted that if any one state gained enough power to control the government, it would make the rest of the country tributary to its power and would rule for its benefit. That's exactly what happened except it wasn't one state, it was the Northern States with their similar commercial interests.

This section from The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States in December, 1860 explains precisely why the Southern States were now in the exact same position toward the North that the Colonies had been toward Great Britain:

The Revolution of 1776 turned upon one great principle, self-government - and self-taxation, the criterion of self-government. Where the interests of two peoples united together under one Government, are different, each must have the power to protect its interests by the organization of the Government, or they cannot be free. The interests of Great Britain and of the Colonies were different and antagonistic. Great Britain was desirous of carrying out the policy of all nations towards their Colonies, of making them tributary to her wealth and power.

The Southern States now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British Parliament. "The General Welfare," is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British Parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation this "General Welfare" requires. Thus, the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern States are compelled to meet the very despotism their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776. . . .

For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States, have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue -- to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufacturers.6

The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. . . . No man can, for a moment, believe that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown.7

All of this had started right after the Revolution when Northerners begged for federal protection for their industries to get them going so they could compete with Great Britain. Southerners had gone along with it out of the good feelings from winning the Revolution, and patriotism.

But, like Ronald Reagan said, the closest thing to eternal life is a government program and none of the measures protecting Northern industry ever ended. The North became dependent on them, like a drug addict, and clamored for more and more.

It was nothing but Northern greed for other people's money and it -- not slavery -- was the seed that grew into war. Texas Representative John H. Reagan told Northern representatives in early 1861:

You are not content with the vast millions of tribute we pay you annually under the operation of our revenue law, our navigation laws, your fishing bounties, and by making your people our manufacturers, our merchants, our shippers. You are not satisfied with the vast tribute we pay you to build up your great cities, your railroads, your canals. You are not satisfied with the millions of tribute we have been paying you on account of the balance of exchange which you hold against us. You are not satisfied that we of the South are almost reduced to the condition of overseers for northern capitalists.8

The most quoted phrase from the secession debate in the South in the months leading up to secession comes from the Declaration of Independence:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Any government that forces a region to pay 3/4ths of the country's taxes then turns around and spends 3/4ths of the tax money in a different region for the benefit of those who demanded the taxes but pay little themselves -- is a thief and a far worse tyranny than Great Britain in 1776.

The federal government in 1860 did not have the consent of the governed in the South or any "just powers." It had become the enemy of nine million Southerners, just as Great Britain had become the enemy of three million colonists in 1776. There is not one iota of difference in 1776 and 1861.

That's why Northern-biased and politically correct "historians" are so determined to keep the focus on slavery as the cause of the war with the implication that Northerners are the good guys and Southerners the bad, even though slavery as the cause of the American War Between the States is one of the biggest frauds in world history, as noted by Charles Dickens, who was a contemporary.

Northerners don't want to be the British in the second American Revolution but they were. They were far worse.

Georgia Senator Robert Toombs created an apt metaphor -- a suction pump -- to describe the Northern confiscation of Southern money which was made up of

bounties and protection to every interest and every pursuit in the North, to the extent of at least fifty millions per annum, besides the expenditure of at least sixty millions out of every seventy of the public expenditure among them, thus making the treasury a perpetual fertilizing stream to them and their industry, and a suction-pump to drain away our substance and parch up our lands.9

Henry L. Benning, nicknamed "Rock" and for whom the sprawling U.S. Army base, Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia is named,10 calculated the exact amount flowing through Toombs's suction pump:

Eighty-five millions is the amount of the drains from the South to the North in one year, -- drains in return for which the South receives nothing.11

Benning argues that this $85,000,000 -- a gargantuan sum in 1861 -- was not legitimately-earned profit but the extra above normal profit that Southerners had to pay because prices were higher than they should have been. Monopolies protecting Northern businesses and shipping exempted them from market competition therefore they had no incentive to keep costs down. They could charge what they wanted, and, of course, it was going to be as much as they could get.

When a customer needs a product but the government says you can only buy from one supplier -- you have to pay that supplier's price, even though a hundred suppliers might make the exact same product and charge half the price.

Say it's 1860 and you need a widget on your farm that costs $50 from any of several different European companies.

You would have your choice -- but then the federal government steps in and says you can ONLY buy from Monopoly Company of the North and their price is $175.

The $125 difference is what Benning is talking about. It is unearned money sucked out of the South and deposited into the pockets of Northerners simply because the Northern owners of Monopoly Company of the North lobbied the federal government to grant them monopoly status.

The same thing happened with monopoly shipping rates.

The tariff worked similarly too. It allowed Northern businesses to ignore market competition and charge right up to the level of the tariff. The higher a tariff they could get, through political manipulation, the more money that went into their pockets.

Preserving the Union, the North's money machine -- its suction pump, its cash cow -- was critical, not just desirable. As the Northern businessmen concluded: "The Union must be preserved. Any other outcome meant economic suicide,"12 which meant bankruptcy, anarchy, and societal collapse. Lincoln and the Northern Congress understood this completely and agreed wholeheartedly, which is why they said over and over and over: The War Between the States is about preserving the Union, not ending slavery.

Slavery, obviously, is not why the North went to war. In the weeks before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Northerners either bent over backwards to protect slavery or were virtually silent on the slavery issue -- but they were screaming at the threshold of pain about the impending economic catastrophe.

The prescient Benning asked a question which predicted the violent future with 100% accuracy:

The North cut off from Southern cotton, rice, tobacco, and other Southern products would lose three fourths of her commerce, and a very large proportion of her manufactures. And thus those great fountains of finance would sink very low. . . . Would the North in such a condition as that declare war against the South?13

These are the issues that caused the War Between the States. It had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, especially not with any kindness on the part of the North toward black people, or desire by the North to end slavery. It was all about money, power and the ascendence of one region's economic interests over another's.

Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and so many other wonderful books, who is thought of as a literary colossus and the greatest novelist of the Victorian period, also published a periodical, All the Year Round. He was up on current events and horrified by the American war. He correctly identified it as a tariff war over economic issues and "Slavery has in reality nothing on earth to do with it."14

Dickens said the federal government compelled the South "to pay a heavy fine into the pockets of Northern manufacturers" so that "every feeling and interest on the one side [South] calls for political partition, and every pocket interest on the other side [North] for union."15

Dickens said the North "having gradually got to itself the making of the laws and the settlement of the Tariffs . . . taxed the South most abominably for its own advantage . . . ."16

He noted the hypocrisy of the North and its bad treatment of black people, and the South's right to secede:

Every reasonable creature may know, if willing, that the North hates the Negro, and that until it was convenient to make a pretence that sympathy with him was the cause of the War, it hated the abolitionists and derided them up hill and down dale. For the rest, there is not a pin to choose between the two parties. They will both rant and lie and fight until they come to a compromise; and the slave may be thrown into that compromise or thrown out of it, just as it happens. As to Secession being Rebellion, it is distinctly provable by State Papers that Washington considered it no such thing -- that Massachusetts, now loudest against it, has itself asserted its right to secede, again and again -- and that years ago when the two Carolinas began to train their militia expressly for Secession, commissioners were sent to treat with them and to represent the disastrous policy of such secession, who never dreamed of hinting that it would be rebellion.17

Dickens was adamant that "the quarrel between North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel" because "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 many other evils."18

Of course, it is the Northern love of other people's money that is the root of all evil Dickens is talking about. Southerners were simply trying to keep their money from being confiscated by the government and given to Northerners -- just as the Colonists were trying to keep their money from being confiscated by King George III and distributed throughout the British Empire. Every man and woman can understand that. Nobody wants their hard-earned money confiscated by the government and given to somebody else.

Dickens's famous biographer, Peter Ackroyd, used Scrooge's favorite word to describe the Northern lie later in the war that slavery was suddenly their reason for fighting even though the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves (or few), deliberately left close to a half-million in slavery in the five Union slave states, and left hundreds of thousands in slavery in captured Confederate territory. Ackroyd writes:

The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern states.19


1 Philip S. Foner, Business & Slavery, The New York Merchants & the Irrepressible Conflict (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1941), 322.

2 Thomas Prentice Kettell, Southern Wealth and Northern Profits as Exhibited in Statistical Facts and Official Figures: Showing the Necessity of Union to the Future Prosperity and Welfare of the Republic (New York: Geo. W. & John A. Wood, 1860; reprint: University: University of Alabama Press, 1965), 75.

3 New York Evening Post, March 12, 1861, "What Shall Be Done for a Revenue?", in Howard Cecil Perkins, ed., Northern Editorials on Secession, Vol II (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1964), 598.

4 Report on the Causes of the Secession of Georgia, adopted by the Georgia Secession Convention, Tuesday, January 29, 1861, in the Journal of the Georgia Convention, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1900; reprint, Historical Times, Inc., 1985), Series IV, Volume 1, 81-85.

5 William Gilmore Simms, "Antagonisms of the Social Moral. North and South.", unpublished 1857 lecture housed in the Charles Carroll Simms Collection of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 38-42; hereinafter cited as "Antagonisms." Simms (1806-1870) had a brilliant literary career. There is a bust of him in White Point Gardens at the Battery in Charleston. Edgar Allan Poe said Simms was the greatest American writer of the 19th century. Simms wrote 82 book-length works in his career, 20 of which are very important in American history and literature. Simms understood the mind of the North. His books had been published in the North. He knew the national publishing industry inside and out and had many friends and associates in the North.

6 "Duties on imports for revenue" and "a tariff for revenue" mean the same thing. They both refer to a small import tariff whose sole purpose is to generate the small amount of revenue needed to run the government. The paragraph above, to which this footnote belongs, points out the difference between a small tariff for revenue, which the South always wanted because they craved free trade, verses a high protective tariff designed to protect Northern industry from competition. A tariff is a penalty, it's punitive, thus a high protective tariff worked by making certain imported goods so expensive Southerners could not afford them and would have to buy from the North. To make matters more unfair, a tariff allowed Northerners to ignore market competition and simply charge what they wanted, up to the level of the tariff. A product which cost $100 on the free market might cost Southerners $400 by the time they paid the protective tariff or the jacked-up Northern price. This is exactly what is meant by "to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests." Protective tariffs promoted Northern goods by putting cost prohibitions on any other goods. An additional outrage occurred if a Southerner decided to go ahead and buy an imported item and pay the tariff because 3/4ths of the money the Southerner had to pay would go straight into the pockets of Northerners. It is not hard to see the unfairness of this system nor why Southerners wanted free trade with the rest of the world. Southerners were in a far worse position verses the North than the Colonists had been with Great Britain in 1776. (Bold emphasis added.)

7 The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States, in John Amasa May and Joan Reynolds Faunt, South Carolina Secedes (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1960), 82-92.

8 John H. Reagan, "Speech of Representative John H. Reagan of Texas, January 15, 1861," in Congressional Globe, 36 Congress, 2 Session, I, 391, as cited in abridged version of Kenneth M. Stampp, ed., The Causes of the Civil War, 3rd revised edition (New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1991), 89. Reagan served as Confederate Postmaster General and in Jefferson Davis's cabinet as one of Davis's most trusted advisors.

9 Robert Toombs, "Secessionist Speech, Tuesday Evening, November 13" delivered to the Georgia legislature in Milledgeville, November 13, 1860, in William W. Freehling, and Craig M. Simpson, Secession Debated, Georgia's Showdown in 1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 38.

10 Benning was a justice on the Georgia Supreme Court at the beginning of the war. He became one of Gen. Robert E. Lee's most able brigadier generals in the Army of Northern Virginia.

11 Henry L. Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19," delivered in Milledgeville, Georgia, November 19, 1860, in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, Georgia's Showdown in 1860, 132.

12 Foner, Business & Slavery, 322.

13 Benning, "Henry L. Benning's Secessionist Speech, Monday Evening, November 19" in Freehling and Simpson, Secession Debated, Georgia's Showdown in 1860, 132.

14 The short quotations from Charles Dickens come from articles that are all quoted in Charles Adams, When in the Course of Human Events, Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000), 90-91: Charles Dickens, "The Morrill Tariff," All the Year Round, 28 December 1861, 328-330; "The American Tariff Bill," Saturday Review, 9 March 1861, 234-235; Dickens, "American Disunion," 411.

15 See Note 14.

16 See Note 14.

17 Charles Dickens, letter to W. W. De Cerjat, 16 March 1862, in Graham Storey, ed., The Letters of Charles Dickens (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), Vol. Ten, 1862-1864, 53-54.

18 See Note 14.

19 Peter Ackroyd, Dickens (London, 1990), 271, as quoted in Adams, When in the Course of Human Events, 89.

The North Did Not Go to War to End Slavery

The North Did Not Go to War to End Slavery

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

If they had, they would have started by passing a constitution amendment abolishing slavery. They did the opposite. They overwhelmingly passed the Corwin Amendment, which left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. This alone proves, unequivocally, that the North did not go to war to end slavery or free the slaves.

(This post is Chapter Two of my book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument., available on this website)

Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. by Gene Kizer, Jr. - front cover - slavery not the cause of the Civil War

The North does not get to redefine, in the middle of the war, its reason for going to war. What the North proclaimed in the beginning, stands, as its reason for going to war -- and it is unchangeable. War measures halfway through the war, such as the Emancipation Proclamation that freed no slaves (and prevented close to a million slaves from achieving their freedom), have nothing to do with why the North went to war in the first place.

A near-unanimous resolution entitled the War Aims Resolution established early-on what the North was fighting for. It was passed by the Northern Congress in July, 1861, three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter:

. . . That this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions [slavery] of the States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution [which allowed and protected slavery], and to preserve the Union. . . .1

Throughout the antebellum years as the country achieved its Manifest Destiny marching westward, winning the Mexican War, growing in wealth and power, no credible Northern leader said they should march armies into the South to end slavery.2

Throughout the first two years of the war, almost nobody in the North said they were fighting to end slavery. To do so would risk racist Union soldiers deserting because they signed up to fight for the Union, not to free slaves whom they feared would move north and inundate their towns and cities and be job competition. Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, might have freed her four slaves if she had thought it was an abolition war and not a war for the Union.3

Most Northerners, excluding a few truly good-hearted abolitionists, accepted slavery. As stated earlier, historians Lee Benson and Gavin Wright maintain that the percentage of abolitionists in the North was "probably no more than 2 per cent, almost certainly no more than 5 per cent, of the Northern electorate,"4 and, ironically, many of them didn't like slavery because they didn't like blacks and did not want to associate with them. Prominent abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy had been murdered by an outraged Northern mob in Lincoln's own Illinois in 1837. The mob was trying to destroy Lovejoy's abolitionist materials and his press.

By 1861, Northerners had been supporting slavery for 241 years and would continue supporting it throughout the War Between the States since five slave states, as noted earlier, fought for the North. Again, those states are Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia, which came into the Union during the war as a slave state.5

If the North was fighting to end slavery, it would never permit slave states to fight for the Union -- or, it would have ended slavery in the Union slave states immediately.

It did the opposite and made sure by constitutional amendment and proclamation that slavery in the Union was protected, just as it was, and had always been, by the Constitution.

That's how the North really felt about slavery and freeing the slaves.

Lincoln himself took it a step further. He supported the first Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- the Corwin Amendment -- which would have left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. It passed March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln's first inaugural. It reads:

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof [slavery], including that of persons held to labor [slaves] or service by the laws of said State.6

About the Corwin Amendment, Lincoln said, in his first inaugural on March 4, 1861:

I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which amendment, however, I have not seen — has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

(Bold emphasis added.)

Before Lincoln took office, President James Buchanan actually signed the Corwin Amendment after it had been approved by Congress and was ready to be sent to the states for ratification. Buchanan's act was symbolic only.

It is important to note that the Corwin Amendment had required a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and it had passed with mostly Northern votes because seven Southern states were out of the Union by then and did not vote. Indeed, the bill's sponsor, Representative Thomas Corwin, was from Ohio.

Three Northern states ratified the Corwin Amendment -- Ohio, Maryland and Illinois -- before the war made it moot.

After the Corwin Amendment's passage, Lincoln sent a letter with a copy of the Corwin Amendment to each state's governor pointing out that Buchanan had signed it. Lincoln was making sure everyone knew of his strong support of slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress.

Before even mentioning the Corwin Amendment in his first inaugural, Lincoln made it clear that he strongly supported slavery and had "no inclination" to end it:

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And, more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

I now reiterate these sentiments; and, in doing so, I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming administration.

(Bold emphasis added.)

On August 22, 1862, sixteen months into the war, Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, in response to a letter Greeley had sent him, and reiterated:

. . . My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that--What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help the Union. 7 (Bold emphasis, which is italics in the original text, is Lincoln's.)

Exactly one month -- September 22, 1862 -- after writing his letter to Horace Greeley, Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and the very first paragraph states clearly that the war is being fought to restore the Union and not to free the slaves:

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States, and each of the States, and the people thereof, in which States that relation is, or may be, suspended or disturbed.
(Bold emphasis added.)

Clearly, the North did not instigate a war to end slavery.

The focus on slavery as the primary cause of the War Between the States -- even indirectly -- is a fraud of biblical proportions and it prevents real understanding of American history.

Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Lincoln scholar, David H. Donald, back in the 1960s, was concerned about the overemphasis of slavery as the cause of the war. He said the Civil Rights Movement seems to have been the reason for stressing slavery as the cause of the war.

I have already proven that the North did not go to war to end slavery. There is much more evidence but the following is a good summary of the things in the beginning that show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the North did not go to war to free the slaves or because of slavery:

1) The North's War Aims Resolution, which states clearly that they are fighting to preserve the Union and not "for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions [slavery] of the States."

2) Lincoln's constant promises in high profile forums such as his first inaugural address, to protect slavery where it existed.

3) The United States Congress's overwhelming passage of the Corwin Amendment, which would have left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. If the North was fighting to end slavery, it would have passed a constitutional amendment ending slavery, and not one that guaranteed that black people would be in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. Three Northern states ratified the Corwin Amendment including Lincoln's own Illinois before the war made it moot. This alone proves, unequivocally, that the North did not go to war to free the slaves or to end slavery. (Bold emphasis added.)

4) Lincoln's strong support for the Corwin Amendment as stated in his first inaugural and in personal letters to the governors.

5) The North's historical support for slavery and slave-trading.

6) The fact that, when Lincoln sent his hostile military mission to Charleston to start the war, just prior to the bombardment of Fort Sumter, there were more slave states in the Union than in the Confederacy.8

7) Northern leaders -- no credible Northern leader throughout the antebellum period said they ought to march armies into the South to free the slaves. Indeed, abolitionists were hated in the North. Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in Lincoln's Illinois.

8) Northerner leaders -- almost none of whom for the first two years of the war said that they were fighting to free the slaves. Ulysses S. Grant's wife, Julia, owned four slaves. It would be hard for Grant to say he had gone to war to end slavery when his own house was a slaveholding household.

9) The five slave states that fought for the North throughout the war: Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

10) The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued September 22, 1862, that states clearly in the very first paragraph that "hereafter, as theretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation" between the U.S. and seceded states i.e., the Union. There is no mention of slavery. (Bold emphasis added.)

11) The Emancipation Proclamation that freed no slaves (or few) and deliberately left at least 832,259, who were under Northern control, in slavery. Most of those black people officially stayed slaves until well after the end of the war. They could have been freed easily if the North had wanted to free them.9

The Emancipation Proclamation states, literally, that it is a war measure, and it was not issued early on.

It was not issued before Lincoln took office, or after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, or during Lincoln's first inaugural. It was issued two years into the war -- and it freed no slaves (or few).

The conditions around the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and its timetable establish the fact that the North most certainly did not go to war on April 12, 1861 to end slavery or free the slaves.

The North's support for slavery goes back to the beginning of the country when Northern (and British) slave traders brought most of the slaves here and made huge fortunes in the process. Dr. Edgar J. McManus in his excellent book, Black Bondage in the North, writes that "Boston merchants entered the African trade as early as 1644, and by 1676 they were bringing back cargoes from as far away as East Africa and Madagascar."10 McManus writes:

[The slave trade] quickly became one of the cornerstones of New England's commercial prosperity . . . which yielded enormous commercial profits.11

Virtually the entire infrastructure of the Old North was built on profits from the slave trade and slave traders such as Boston's Peter Faneuil of Faneuil Hall, the ironically named "Cradle of Liberty," which might have been a cradle for him but sure wasn't for the tens of thousands of black Africans he was responsible for snatching from their families and forcing into the horrors of the Middle Passage.

McManus explains the importance of the slave trade to the New England economy:

[The slave trade] stimulated the growth of other industries. Shipbuilding, the distilleries, the molasses trade, agricultural exports to the West Indies, and the large numbers of artisans, sailors, and farmers were all dependent upon the traffic in Negroes. It became the hub of New England's economy.12

See also the excellent 2005 book Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant.13

Let's go beyond the North's guilt for enthusiastic, widespread slave trading and look at the whole picture.

The North could not have gotten cargoes of slaves without tremendous help from blacks themselves. Black African tribal chieftains had captives from tribal warfare rounded up and waiting in places like Bunce Island off modern Sierra Leone to be picked up by slave traders from all over the world. The constant unrest in Africa today with genocides, kidnappings, never-ending warfare, people hacked to death, makes it easy to understand. Black tribal chieftains were worse then because there was no media attention on them. They made slavery easy. White people did not even have to get off the ship and usually didn't. Slavery could never have happened without those blacks in Africa who were all too willing to sell other blacks into slavery for profit.14

Slavery has always existed including today. Indians enslaved other Indians. The Romans would conquer a place and kill all the men and take all the women and children into slavery. Most cultures, worldwide, had slavery at one time or another. American slavery is not the first. Only 5% of slaves in the exodus from Africa, called the African Diaspora, ended up in the United States. Many ended up in Brazil and other places in South America and the Caribbean.

Slavery is a blight on humanity but a fact of human history and we should understand the truth of it and not the politically correct lie that blames only the South. All Americans, but especially African-Americans, deserve to know the entire truth about slavery and not some white-washed version. "Truth" is why Lerone Bennett wrote Forced into Glory, to reveal that racist Abraham Lincoln deliberately did not free any slaves (or freed very few) with the Emancipation Proclamation, and, most of Lincoln's life (Lerone Bennett says all of his life) supported sending African-Americans back to Africa or into a climate suitable to them. The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation confirms this long-held belief of Lincoln's that "the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the Governments existing there, will be continued."

There would have been no American slavery without black tribal chieftains in Africa, and British and Yankee slave traders.

The reason the South gets all the blame is because of a half-century of political correctness15 in which only one side of the story has been told16 because, if you tell the Southern side, even in a scholarly manner, you open yourself up to charges of being a racist and member of the KKK who wishes we still had slavery.
Esteemed historian, Eugene D. Genovese, writes:

To speak positively about any part of this Southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural and political atrocity an increasingly successful campaign by the media and an academic elite to strip young white Southerners, and arguably black Southerners as well, of their heritage, and therefore, their identity. They are being taught to forget their forebears or to remember them with shame.17  (Bold emphasis added.)

NAACP resolutions passed in 1987 and 1991 spewing hatred on the Confederate battle flag also intimidate scholars who would rather not weigh in or who will take the anti-South side without a fair examination of the issues. Professors know that they stand almost no chance of getting tenure if they say anything good about the South in the War Between the States. They know that we live in a shallow and superficial time and just an accusatory whiff in the air that someone is a racist, whether they are or not, will end a college history career or prevent one from getting started.18

But, remember the old proverb: "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him"19

The War Between the States is the central event in American history. It should be examined thoroughly just as Lerone Bennett has examined Abraham Lincoln and given us a fresh perspective on old Honest Abe the racist who used the "n" word more than the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, the same Abe Lincoln who wanted to ship black people back to Africa and who deliberately freed no slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation when he could have freed close to a million under Union control. There is a lot to know and think about in order to understand what really happened.

1 The War Aims Resolution is also known by the names of its sponsors, Representative John J. Crittenden of Kentucky and Senator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee: the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, or just the Crittenden Resolution. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 22, 1861, and the Senate July 25, 1861. There were only two dissenting votes in the House and five in the Senate., accessed March 29, 2014.

2 Indeed, there is much evidence that illegal slave trading was still being conducted by many Northern ship captains right up to the beginning of the war, though slave trading had officially been outlawed since 1808.

3 There is a well-known story about Ulysses S. Grant wherein Grant states that he is fighting to preserve the Union and if anybody accuses him of fighting to free the slaves, he will promptly go join the Confederacy and fight on their side. There may be some truth to it, and maybe not. Grant did own one slave whom he freed in 1859, but his wife, Julia, owned four throughout much of the war, therefore Grant's household was a slaveholding household. Grant's supposed quotation was published in 1868 in the Democratic Speaker's Hand-Book, which was a Democratic Party campaign document in the 1868 campaign when Grant was running for president as a Republican. However, in 1861, Grant was a Democrat, and, as stated, living in a slaveholding household. The Democratic Speaker's Hand-Book on page 33 states that Grant was the Colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois, stationed near Mexico in 1861, and that Grant's quotation was provided by the editor of the Randolph Citizen, a Missouri newspaper. It starts: "In a public conversation in Ringo's banking-house, a sterling Union man put this question to him [Grant]: 'What do you honestly think was the real object of this war on the part of the Federal Government?'"

'Sir, said Grant, 'I have no doubt in the world that the sole object is the restoration of the Union. I will say further, though, that I am a Democrat--every man in my regiment is a Democrat--and whenever I shall be convinced that this war has for its object anything else than what I have mentioned, or that the Government designed using its soldiers to execute the purposes of the abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier that I will carry my sword to the other side, and cast my lot with that people.'

Source: Democratic Speaker's Hand-Book: Containing every thing necessary for the defense of the national democracy in the coming presidential campaign, and for the assault of the radical enemies of the country and its constitution, compiled by Matthew Carey, Jr. Cincinnati: Miami Printing and Publishing Company, 1868.

4 Benson, "Explanations of American Civil War Causation" in Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, 136. David M. Potter also points out that Northern antislavery had a strong anti-black bias and was not designed to help black people but to get rid of them. See David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861, completed and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1976), 35-36.

5 The District of Columbia, which included the Northern capital, Washington, permitted slavery for the first year of the war. Slavery was abolished in DC with compensation to slaveowners in 1862, but it continued in the five Union slave states throughout the war and a while afterward.

6 Corwin Amendment, Accessed March 26, 2014.

7Letter, A. Lincoln to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953) V:388.

8 The eight slave states in the Union on April 12, 1861 when Fort Sumter was bombarded are Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri. West Virginia was admitted to the Union as a slave state during the war. The seven states first to secede and form the Confederate States of America are South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

9 The argument that Lincoln had to word the Emancipation Proclamation to protect slavery in the Union slaves states because he did not have the constitutional authority to end slavery in the those states has some merit and makes my point -- that Northerners did not go to war to end slavery. If they had, they would have started by passing a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. As stated above, they did the opposite and overwhelmingly passed the Corwin Amendment, which would have left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress. It was ratified by three Northern states before the war made it moot. ALSO, if one buys the argument that Lincoln didn't have the constitutional authority to end slavery in the Union slaves states, then how did he get the authority to end slavery in the Southern slave states, which, according to Lincoln, were still part of the Union? As Lincoln stated, the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure and its authority came from Lincoln's power as commander-in-chief. It was not designed to help black people but designed to help Union armies win the war by encouraging slaves in the South to rise up and kill women and children in the South, which would cause men in the Confederate Army to want to go home to protect their families. Of course, this didn't happen because the slaves were loyal to the South for the most part throughout the war. The EP would, however, cause slaves, in the excitement of impending battle, to run off as the Union Army invaded further into the South. This would be advantageous to the North. Two other HUGE reasons the EP was issued: To get the North favorable press in Europe, and to help stymie official recognition of the Confederacy, which would almost certainly bring military assistance. But, getting back to the constitutional argument, the North allowed slave states to be part of the Union, and the South allowed free states to be part of the Confederacy. The South anticipated that several free states with economic ties to the South would join the CSA and this bothered Lincoln greatly. In keeping with its States' Rights philosophy, slavery in the CSA was up to an individual state.
(Bold emphasis added.)

10 Edgar J. McManus, Black Bondage in the North (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1973), 9-10.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery (New York: Ballantine Books, 2005).

14 See James Walvin, Slavery and the Slave Trade, A Short Illustrated History (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983) and numerous other books on the slave trade.

15 Political correctness -- to be correct "politically" -- is the opposite of being correct in a scholarly manner. Scholarship seeks truth. Politics does not. Politics seeks to persuade or intimidate so power can be won. Sometimes truth is used. Oftentimes lies are used such as President Obama's "If you like you healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Period." which was labeled by Politifact the Lie of the Year for 2013.

16 Joe Gray Taylor, in attempting to examine the causes of the war 25 years ago, notes that David H. Donald "seems to have been correct when he said in 1960 that the causation of the Civil War was dead as a serious subject of historical analysis" and that "A 'Southern' point of view on the secession crisis no longer exists among professional historians." These quotations come from Joe Gray Taylor, "The White South from Secession to Redemption," in John B. Boles and Evelyn Thomas Nolen, Interpreting Southern History, Historiographical Essays in Honor of Sanford W. Higginbotham (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987), 162-164. (Bold emphasis added.)

17 Eugene D. Genovese, The Southern Tradition, The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1994), xi-xii. Dr. Genovese passed away September 26, 2012.

18 The 1987 NAACP anti-Confederate-battle-flag resolution was passed at their Southeast Region Convention in March of that year and can be found in Don Hinkle, Embattled Banner, A Reasonable Defense of the Confederate Battle Flag (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company, 1997), 23-25. The 1991 resolution can be found in NAACP convention minutes from that year, as cited in Hinkle, Embattled Banner, 157-186.

19 English Standard Version of the Bible, Proverbs 18:17.