Debunking the Civil War Tariff Myth


Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

The outbreak of the American Civil War is now more than 150 years past. All the while, the question of what caused the conflict continues to spark disagreement, this despite a longstanding consensus among specialists that slavery – a cultural, political, ideological, and economic institution that permeated (and divided) mid-19th-century American society – was the primary cause of the war. One of the most egregious of the so-called Lost Cause narratives instead suggests that it was not slavery, but a protective tariff that sparked the Civil War.

On 2 March 1861, the Morrill Tariff was signed into law by outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan to protect northern infant industries. A pernicious lie quickly formed around the tariff’s passage, a lie suggesting that somehow this tariff had caused the US Civil War. By ignoring slavery’s central role in precipitating secession and Civil War, this tariff myth has survived in the United States for more than a century and a half – and needs to be debunked once and for all.

In trying to make their case but lacking adequate evidence for the 1860-61 period, “Lost Cause” advocates instead commonly hark back to the previously important role that another protective tariff had played in the 1832 Nullification Crisis. They then (mistakenly) assume the political scenario to have been the same three decades later – that southern secession from 1860-61 was but a replay of the divisive tariff politics of some thirty years before. From this faulty leap of logic, the argument then follows that the Republican Party’s legislative efforts on behalf of the Morrill Tariff from 1860 until its March 1861 passage became the primary reason for southern secession – and thus for causing the Civil War.

Because of the unfortunate timing of the Morrill Tariff’s passage – coinciding closely as it did with the secession of various southern states – this has remained perhaps the most tenacious myth surrounding the Civil War’s onset, and one that blatantly ignores the decidedly divisive role of slavery in mid-century American politics and society. Accordingly, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War has  witnessed a slew of ahistorical tariff-centered explanations for the conflict’s causation, articles like “Protective Tariffs: The Primary Cause of the Civil War,” which appeared in Forbes Magazine in June 2013. Although the article was quickly pulled from the Forbes website following a rapid response from historians on Twitter (#twitterstorians), this particular piece of tariff fiction still exists on the author’s website as well as in a local Virginia newspaper, the Daily Progress.[1]

Similar tariff-driven arguments for the war’s causation continue to be given voice in American news outlets, in viral Youtube videos, and even on a recent Daily Show episode: No, not by host Jon Stewart, but by that evening’s guest, Judge Andrew Napolitano, a FOX news analyst and NYC law professor. In response to Stewart’s question “Why did Abraham Lincoln start the Civil War?”, Napolitano answered: “Because he needed the tariffs from the southern states.”[2]

The Civil War’s tariff myth has somehow survived for more than a century and a half in the United States. Let’s put an end to it.

In debunking the tariff myth, two key points quickly illustrate how the tariff issue was far from a cause of the Civil War:

1. The tariff issue, on those rare occasions in which it was even mentioned at all, was utterly overwhelmed by the issue of slavery within the South’s own secession conventions.

2. Precisely because southern states began seceding from December 1860 onwards, a number of southern senators had resigned that could otherwise have voted against the tariff bill. Had they not resigned, they would have had enough votes in the Senate to successfully block the tariff’s congressional passage.

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In other words, far from causing the Civil War or secession, the Morrill Tariff of March 1861 became law as a result of southern secession.

The Tariff Myth’s Transatlantic Origins

Okay. So the Morrill Tariff clearly did not cause either secession or the Civil War. Then how and why did the myth arise?

As I have recently explored in the New York Times (“The Great Civil War Lie”) and at greater length in the Journal of the Civil War Era, the Civil War tariff myth first arose on the eve of the bill’s March 1861 passage. But the myth did not originate in the United States – it first took root in Free Trade England.

Southern congressmen had opposed the protectionist legislation, which is why it passed so easily after several southern states seceded in December 1860 and the first months of 1861. However, this coincidence of timing fed a mistaken inversion of causation among the British public, with many initially speculating that it was an underlying cause of secession, or at least that it impeded any chance of reunion.

The tariff thus played an integral role in confounding British opinion about the causes of southern secession, and in enhancing the possibility of British recognition of the Confederacy. And thus “across the pond” the myth was born that the the Morrill Tariff had caused the Civil War.

Nor was the tariff myth’s transatlantic conception immaculate. As I’ve previously noted, it was crafted by canny Southern agents in the hopes of confounding British public opinion so as to obtain British recognition of the Confederacy:

Pro-Southern business interests and journalists fed the myth that the war was over trade, not slavery – the better to win over people who might be appalled at siding with slave owners against the forces of abolition. On March 12, 1861, just 10 days after the Morrill Tariff had become law, The London Times gave editorial voice to the tariff lie. The newspaper pronounced that “Protection was quite as much a cause of the disruption of the Union as Slavery,” and remarked upon how the Morrill Tariff had “much changed the tone of public feeling” in favor of “the Secessionists.”

The pro-North magazine Fraser’s made the more accurate observation that the new Northern tariff had handily given the Confederacy “an ex post facto justification” for secession, but British newspapers would continue to give voice to the Morrill myth for many months to come.

Why was England so susceptible to this fiction? For one thing, the Union did not immediately declare itself on a crusade for abolition at the war’s outset. Instead, Northern politicians cited vague notions of “union” – which could easily sound like an effort to put a noble gloss on a crass commercial dispute.

It also helped that commerce was anything but crass in Britain. On the question of free trade, the British “are unanimous and fanatical,” as the abolitionist and laissez-faire advocate Richard Cobden pointed out in December 1861. The Morrill Tariff was pejoratively nicknamed the “Immoral” tariff by British wags. It was easy for them to see the South as a kindred oppressed spirit.[3]

As a result, over the course of the first two years of the Civil War, the tariff myth grew in proportion and in popularity across the Atlantic, propagated by pro-South sympathizers and by the Confederate State Department.

Debunking the Tariff Myth

It would take the concerted efforts of abolitionists like John Stuart Mill, alongside Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, to debunk the Civil War tariff myth in Britain:

The Union soon obtained some much needed trans-Atlantic help from none other than the English liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill. By the beginning of 1862, the tariff myth had gained enough public traction to earn Mill’s intellectual ire, and he proved quite effective at voicing his opinion concerning slavery’s centrality to the conflict. He sought to refute this “theory in England, believed by some, half believed by many more … that, on the side of the North, the question is not one of slavery at all.”

Assuming this to be true, Mill asked, then “what are the Southern chiefs fighting about? Their apologists in England say that it is about tariffs, and similar trumpery.” Yet, Mill noted, the Southerners themselves “say nothing of the kind. They tell the world … that the object of the fight was slavery. … Slavery alone was thought of, alone talked of … the South separated on slavery, and proclaimed slavery as the one cause of separation.”

Mill concluded with a prediction that the Civil War would soon placate the abolitionists on both sides of the Atlantic. That, as the war progressed, “the contest would become distinctly an anti-slavery one,” and the tariff fable finally forgotten.

Mill’s prescient antislavery vision eventually begin to take hold in Britain, but only after Abraham Lincoln himself got involved in the trans-Atlantic fight for British hearts and minds when he put forth his Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863.

By February, Cobden happily observed how Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had aroused “our old anti-slavery feeling … and it has been gathering strength ever since.” […] And so, two years after the Morrill Tariff’s March 1861 passage, Northern antislavery advocates had finally exploded the transatlantic tariff myth.[4]

It only took the British public about two years to see through the tariff myth, and to recognize the centrality of slavery. In contrast – and tragically – for more than 150 years afterwards the same tariff myth has somehow continued to survive in the United States.

Dr. Marc-William Palen is lecturer in imperial history at the University of Exeter, and research associate at the U.S. Studies Centre, University of Sydney. He is the author of “The Great Civil War Lie,” New York Times, 5 June 2013; “The Civil War’s Forgotten Transatlantic Tariff Debate and the Confederacy’s Free Trade Diplomacy,” Journal of the Civil War Era (March 2013).


[1] “Protective Tariffs: Primary Cause of the Civil War,” Daily Progress, 23 June 2013. See, also, Mark Cheatham’s critical response to the Forbes piece, “Were Tariffs the Cause of the Civil War?“, showing how slavery overwhelmingly dominated state secessionist conventions; Phil Magness’s dismantling of both extreme ends of the debate in “Before You Start Claiming that Tariffs Caused the Civil War…” and “Did Tariffs Really Cause the Civil War? The Morrill Act at 150“; and Andy Hall, “Walter E. Williams Polishes the Turd on Tariffs.” You can read the secessionist ordinances in full here.

[2] (If you must), see, et al., “Tariffs, not Slavery, Precipitated the Civil War,” Baltimore Sun, 6 July 2013; “Understanding the Causes of the Uncivil War: A Brief Explanation of the Impact of the Morrill Tariff,” Asheville Tribune; The True Cause of the Civil War,” Soda Head, 4 October 2010; “The Morrill Tariff Sparked War Between the States,” Madison Journal Today, 10 March 2014; “Real Causes of ‘The Civil War,’Youtube; “Economic Reasons for the War,” TV Ad, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

[3] “The Great Civil War Lie,” New York Times, 5 June 2013.

[4] “The Great Civil War Lie,” New York Times, 5 June 2013.

85 thoughts on “Debunking the Civil War Tariff Myth

    1. Prof. Palin deals, at once, with two different issues which, while closely related, might be addressed separately for greater clarity:
      1. Was the Morrill Tariff either the principal or the but-for cause of Secession and, hence, of the American Civil War? Current thinking seems to be that it was neither; that it was only one of a series of subsidiary Southern grievances. It seemed currently agreed that Southern concern over the in eminent loss of ability to protect slavery for the long-term was the principal cause of Secession. That seems to be correct but not at a confidence level to make the counterargument risible. The public utterances of Southern decision-makers prior to Secession and the declarations of the State Legislatures just might have been propaganda designed to appeal to a common denominator of Southern opinion. On the other hand, Southern statements supporting the tariff argument made after commitment to secession probably were propaganda for overseas consumption and entitled to little weight. The revisionists would seem to bear the burden of proof and, as yet, not to have met it.
      2. The more interesting topic is the effect of the tariff argument upon the actions of the British Government That might be worth studying in isolation, while assuming arguendo the generally accepted answer to the first question above.

  1. May I respectful suggest that “pernicious lie” and the attitude it suggests is out of uniform in a serious historical discussion.

  2. Southern leaders were already killing to spread slavery, and bragging of it, from 1856 on. Loudly, proudly, repeatedly, in context, bragging about killing to spread slavery, and stop speech against slavery.

    When you understand who David Rice Atchison was (US Senator who got Kansas bill passed) you won’t be so easily duped by Southern apologists nonsense.

    What SOuthern leaders bragged about then, in speeches, in books, in official documents, you will see they were livid and intent on killing to spread slavery, and were already doing that. Jeff Davis himself said the resistance to the spread of slavery in KS was the “intolerable grievance”.

    No one — not one human being alive then — was at all surprised to see the five ultimatums by the South, after they seceded. In Richmond headlines, they claimed proudly that the “TRUE ISSUE” was the spread of slavery into Kansas and the West. Of five ultimatums, the first two were about the spread of slavery west.

    Never mind that Kansas was already a free state, and already the voters there rejected slavery by 95%, and fought a war against Davis paid mercenaries under David Rice Atchison.

    Enough drivel about states rights and tariffs — South hated states rights and killed to stop anyone from even speaking against slavery.

    Learn what SOuthern leaders did and boasted of at the time, you wont be so gullible.

    1. If you knew anything about history you would know that expansion of slavery westward was all but shut off. The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery in the west above 36’30” North except for the state of Missouri. All the lands west below that latitude was mostly Indian land or desert land. The only lands which were in condition to be farmed out west was above the 36’30” line. There was no place to expand slavery. The Constitution of the CSA also outlawed the importation of slaves from any lands outside the CSA or USA.

      95% of southerners could not afford a slave which cost more than some southerners made in a lifetime.But they were effected by the tariffs as they were limited as to where they could sell their crops and also limited as to where they could buy needed goods. Lincoln never even mention slavery in context of the war until after the 2nd battle of Antietam. As Confederate troops had taken the battle to the Union Forces and were fighting was mainly taking place in the north. As Union troops lost battle after battle.

      Slavery issue did not keep England from entering the war on the side of the Confederacy. It was threats by Russia who said they would declare war on England if they did, which prevented England from coming into the war on the side of the Confederacy. This was due to the work of ambassador Cassius M Clay. A former slave owner himself who was a candidate for President when Lincoln won. Lincoln awarded with with an ambassadorship for supporting him in the convention. Yes, before you ask a former slave of Cassius M Clay named his son after the former slave owner and his grandson was named after his father until he converted to islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

      1. Apparently it is you who has no clue about American History. The South wanted to expand into the Western territories, and that is a fact. Actually, they wanted to purchase Cuba & spread slavery there as well. The CSA Constitution also made slavery permanent & no states could get rid of it. Seeing as how 9% of Southerners “Held Title” to slaves, your “95%” is flat wrong. If you count in families, the numbers jump to 30%-in some states like Mississippi & South Carolina, it was closer to 50%. The tariffs were a small factor-the Deep South left before the Morrill Tariff was passed & no Southern states left immediately after it passed. Union troops lost battle after battle? You must be only thinking of the Eastern theater. The Union was winning battle after battle in the West, Trans-Mississippi, and Coastal battles. The slavery issue DID keep England from entering in the war. Not one nation formally recognized the Confederacy. England gave them belligerency status so they could trade. That was it. The majority of folks in England did not support the South. Read Amanda Foreman’s “The World on Fire”, which quickly destroys the myth of an England enthusiastically wanting to support the South.

    2. By chance would you have the cites for your statement “Richmond headlines, they claimed proudly that the “TRUE ISSUE” was the spread of slavery into Kansas and the West”?

    3. By chance would you the cites to document your statement “…Richmond headlines, they claimed proudly that the “TRUE ISSUE” was the spread of slavery into Kansas and the West…”? Thanks

  3. This is a bunch of opinion why did Lincoln say when asked why not let the South go in peace his reply was Who will pay for Government. The Emancipation Proclamation why did that only free slaves in the states of rebellion not the Northern Slave States. Very few White Southerners owned Slaves that fought against the Union. Most Union Soldiers to quote history did not believe in fighting and dying for the Darkies meaning the African Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation that freed the Slaves only for the states in rebellion would have to be redone as the 13th Amendment which was not ratified by Delaware I believe until 1901 a Union State. Earlier the South tried Succession Under Andrew Jackson’s adminastration until he threatened Military force.

    1. Because Lincoln didn’t say as much. Lost Cause nonsense. There was almost no slavery left in the North-only New Jersey had 18 elderly slaves as “apprentices for life”. The Border states had them, but those weren’t “Northern states”. And the reason the EP couldn’t free them was because of the Constitution. It would literally take an act of Congress (13th Amendment)to destroy slavery in the U.S. The EP only targeted those states in rebellion. 8% of Southerners “held title”, but that is misleading-the father in a family normally held title to all slaves. That doesn’t mean that the sons weren’t affected by it. Indeed, if you count families, the numbers rise to 30% for the whole South & approach 50% in South Carolina & Mississippi. While Delaware didn’t ratify till 1901, the slaves there were freed in 1865. And no, the South didn’t try secession (not sucession) under Andre Jackson-South Carolina alone tried nullification & threatened secession. A History course in college would refute most of this.

      1. New Jersey and Delaware northern slaves state rejected the 13th amendment when it was first came up for ratification in the state and still allowed slavery after the civil war. Delaware did not ratify it until 1901.

        What people did not realize is that Lincoln never freed a single slave. The emancipation Proclamation was nothing but a ceremonial PR piece since he had no authority to free slaves in the Confederacy which was no longer a part of the union and it did not cover slavery in northern states. Andrew Johnson was President when the 13th amendment was ratified.

        There was very violent draft riots in NYC when Lincoln changed the focus of the war from preserving the Union to freeing the slaves. Thousands refused to go to war to free slaves. Which led to lynching of blacks on the streets of NYC while other blacks were driven out of town by mobs.

      2. Regardless of when they ratified, slavery was dead in 1865. Adoption of the Amendment was by majority, not by unanimous consent. Trying to twist history to suit an agenda there? Lincoln freed thousands of slaves. That shows an utter lack of historical knowledge. The 13th passed under Lincoln. The draft riots weren’t about race, they were about politics. Again, your ignorance is showing.

    2. Thank-you for your query, I believe those quotes to be completely false but nevertheless I will offer you what I know of it. The earliest publication of the quote that I am aware of comes from the Southern Historical Society Papers Volume 1 printed in 1876 the Reverend John William Jones. In a section entitled Memoir of a Narrative Received of Colonel John B. Baldwin, of Staunton, Touching the Origin of the War is the location from which this quote was attributed. Baldwin was a Virginia commissioner sent to Washington on April 4th of 1861 to discuss how to keep Virginia loyal to the Union. Supposedly during the course of the interview when Baldwin suggests to Lincoln about allowing the South to go peacefully and that they would eventually return of their own volition that Lincoln responds “And open Charleston, &c., as ports of entry, with their ten per cent. tariff. What, then, would become of my tariff?” Now here is where I take issue with this supposed direct quote and its historical accuracy. First of all, the tariff of 1857 which is what the country had been operating under was not ten percent but rather closer to twenty percent depending on the individual items. Secondly, the ports of the south had not yet been closed when this meeting took place. It would be nearly two weeks later, after the attack on Fort Sumter when Lincoln ordered that the United States Navy begin blockading operations. The third problem I have with this whole story is that the author admits that he heard the story from Colonel Baldwin in March of 1865 regarding what had happened four years earlier. The author asked the Colonel at that time if he would write it down for him but the Colonel refused. So sometime between 1865 and its publication in 1876 the author wrote the story to the best of his recollection and published it in this book. In the end you have a man recalling a second hand conversation held years earlier and is offering it up as historical truth.

  4. Apparently there is no end to Liberal history revisionism. You people never cease to amaze me. The war started over tariffs is historical FACT. And if you think for a minute white people from north or south would fight and die for slaves, is on its face ludicrous and you know it. Please keep your fantasy to yourself.

    1. Kevin’s ignorance as to History is pretty profound. All you have to do is read what the Southern leadership was saying at the time. Slavery was the primary reason.

  5. Mr. Palen,

    I’m afraid you’ve overlooked something. The Morrill Tariff passed the House of Representatives on May 10, 1860, (105 votes to 64 votes), more than 7 months prior to South Carolina’s secession. The North outnumbered the South in the Senate, which proves that the bill would probably have passed anyway.

    Here’s a direct quote from the “Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States”, from December 24, 1860:

    “And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British Parliament for their benefit. 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 manufactures …

    “…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. Our foreign trade is almost annihilated.”;view=1up;seq=1

    The following is a direct quote from Jefferson Davis’s First Inaugural Address, February 18, 1861:

    “An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of commodities required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest and that of all those to whom we would sell, and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of these commodities.”

    I think it’s safe to say that the tariff issue isn’t a myth.

    1. Dear JCC,

      I never deny that the tariff was a political issue in 1860. It certainly was. I do, however, argue that it neither caused secession nor the Civil War. As you point out, the bill passed the Republican-controlled House in May 1860. But it was then quickly tabled by Robert Hunter (D-VA) in the Senate, which the Democrats controlled. It was only with the secession of various southern states in Dec. 1860-Jan. 1861 (and the corresponding resignation of those states’ Democratic senators) that the Republicans gained a senatorial majority. Thus, as I point out in the piece, southern secession allowed for the Morrill Tariff to pass the Senate and get signed into law, not the other way around.

      1. What you are conveniently leaving out is that about 1/4 of the Senate democrats in 1860 where NORTHERN free state democrats which voted with the GOP on issues which benefited the Northern industrial states. But we know you would not leave out those small details on purpose.

      2. And you are conveniently leaving out the fact that the Deep South seceded under the Tariff of 1857, one of the lowest on record. And that no Southern state seceded immediately AFTER the Morrill Tariff was passed. But we know you would not leave out that MAJOR detail on purpose, right?

  6. I would like to know why the Southern State decided to rebel against something that was legal? Slavery was legal in all the states that joined the confederacy. Your argument suggests that the South was fighting for something they already had. Also, if the Tyrant A. Lincoln and the Abolitionist/Republicans were so concerned about and believed they were fighting to free the slaves why did it take so long for the Union to use the emancipation proclamation? Seems if the war was really about slavery they would have “Lead” with that and not have waited almost 3 years.

    The tariff that broke the camels back, so to speak, was one that levied a tax based on distance sailed to trade in foreign markets. Since Europe was the main consumer of tobacco and cotton Southern states would have to pay a higher tax than northern goods going to the same places, Boston being much closer to Europe than South Carolina. This is why South Carolina decided “Enough was Enough”

    You should have tried the argument that the Northern states continually passed punitive tariffs because they were of good moral standing and wanted to use the punitive tariffs to cripple the Southern states and force them to give up slavery a couple of years earlier than the natural progression of economics would have. This argument, although being more plausible, would also fail for obvious reasons.

    Slavery was on it’s way out, everyone knew it, as It was about to be much cheaper to plant, maintain and harvest crops with what was about to come out of the industrial revolution. Plantation owners would not keep slaves they would need to feed, house, cloth and attend to medical needs year round if they could own a machine that did the work of 25 slaves for a fraction of the cost. I am pretty sure the Southern gentry were not a bunch dim wits that would look at all this and decide to go to war for a right they already had and was about to be moot point anyway.

    Forgive my grammar, as I know it is lacking, but I think you get the gist of my reply.

    Jeff Grajek


    1. Dear Jeffery grajek,
      You don’t understand what it means to say the war was about slavery. Events up to the war were a result of the growing sectionalism in the United States. The issue wasn’t the existence of slavery itself but rather the expansion of slavery to the western territories. Whichever ideology survived the western territories would give rise to its corresponding political support in congress. Simply put, if western territories became slave states then support for slavery would grow and eventually dominate congress. On the other side, if western territories became non-slave states, then support for anti-slavery policies would eventually overcome congress. This is what the south was very of afraid of. At the time, congress was fairly balanced in power with regards to pro-slavery and anti-slavery representation. But had slavery been prevented from expanding west, pro-slavery representation would shrink, and with this, the southerners believed, anti-slavery congressman would vote to abolish slavery.

      At first glance, it might seem questionable to believe they were fighting for slavery. But it wasn’t as simple as the north wanted to end slavery. The north really didn’t want to end slavery. They weren’t against the existence of slavery in the south. They were, however, against free labor taking away paid labor opportunities from northern migrates.

      What broke the camel’s back was an anti-slavery president that had vowed to keep slavery in the south. By keeping slavery in the south, southerners believed, its existence would surely come to an end due to the resulting anti-slavery congress AND very first anti-slavery president.

      I believe tariffs matter. But taxes are always going to be an issue. And if you check the history, the tariffs that were currently in place were in fact at a record low since the 1810’s. The new introduced tariff bill was an issue, but not one the south wasn’t prepared to fight against, and would have won on, had they not vacated their spots in congress.

      As for your references to Lincoln as a tyrant, what did he do to cause the states to secede before even taking office? But let’s just say he was power hungry and wanted the south for the taxation. If a state nullifies a constitution, do they still have protection under that same constitution? Another question, why would Lincoln want the south back in the union for taxation, but then destroy its only source of production to create income?

      To address your question as to why Lincoln waited 3 years to take a stance to end slavery, it simply was due to the fact that, even though Lincoln was anti-slavery, he did not have any plans to abolish slavery, nor did he believe that men would fight to end slavery. Had the S.C. militia not attacked union troops, the war wouldn’t have ever started. But once it became clear to Lincoln that this was his opportunity to rid of slavery, he pushed the idea that the existence of slavery is what split the country in half and fueled the south’s will to fight.

      I want to address one more thing. Many people try to differentiate the cause of the war and the cause of secession. But had the states not seceded, would there have been a war?

      1. I do not say this often but your agreements are very pervasive. When taken in the aggregate I see your point that there was no one issue that started the secession rather several issues which included slavery. At lest I think that is what you are saying?

        The Western Expansion issue, I believe, would have been settled the way the new states were being admitted, one slave state, one non-slave state. I may be missing something though so more reading is required.

        I also wanted to point out that New York was a breath away from joining secession. New York paid a lot in Federal tariffs and import and export taxes. Eliminating these Federal taxes/tariffs meant a lot more revenue for the state and would have made foreign much more profitable.

        Thank you very much for the response.
        Jeff Grajek

  7. Extremely well written & researched. One only has to look at the dates to see that this is a fact. The Deep South left under the Tariff of 1857-one of the lowest on record. The Morrill Tariff wasn’t passed until March of 1861-not one Southern states seceded immediately afterwards. None. It wasn’t until 6 weeks later after Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter that the rest of the South followed. Not to mention, the majority of the tariff was being paid for in the North:
    Slavery was the main cause of the war. The Southern leadership repeatedly stated as much:
    The Declarations of Causes, the “Cornerstone speech”, the Apostles of Secession, etc., all make it clear-slavery was primary, but not only, cause.
    Alexander Stephens in a speech to the Georgia Assembly in November of 1860:
    “The next evil that my friend complained of, was the Tariff. Well, let us look at that for a moment. About the time I commenced noticing public matters, this question was agitating the country almost as fearfully as the Slave question now is. In 1832, when I was in college, South Carolina was ready to nullify or secede from the Union on this account. And what have we seen? The tariff no longer distracts the public councils. Reason has triumphed. The present tariff was voted for by Massachusetts and South Carolina. The lion and the lamb lay down together– every man in the Senate and House from Massachusetts and South Carolina, I think, voted for it, as did my honorable friend himself. And if it be true, to use the figure of speech of my honorable friend, that every man in the North, that works in iron and brass and wood, has his muscle strengthened by the protection of the government, that stimulant was given by his vote, and I believe every other Southern man. So we ought not to complain of that.

    [Mr. Toombs: That tariff lessened the duties.]

    [Mr. Stephens:] Yes, and Massachusetts, with unanimity, voted with the South to lessen them, and they were made just as low as Southern men asked them to be, and those are the rates they are now at. If reason and argument, with experience, produced such changes in the sentiments of Massachusetts from 1832 to 1857, on the subject of the tariff, may not like changes be effected there by the same means, reason and argument, and appeals to patriotism on the present vexed question? And who can say that by 1875 or 1890, Massachusetts may not vote with South Carolina and Georgia upon all those questions that now distract the country and threaten its peace and existence? I believe in the power and efficiency of truth, in the omnipotence of truth, and its ultimate triumph when properly wielded. (Applause.)”

    The tariff was a minor issue for sure, but it didn’t cause the split of the major Protestant religions, didn’t have an “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and was not the object of the primary resolutions, compromises, & political arguments for most of the 19th Century. The tariff was a millions issue-slavery was a BILLIONS issue, with the 4 million slaves being worth over 3 billions dollars. The tariff was not necessarily regional-slavery was. It is no surprise that the various Southern states referred to each other as “fellow slave-states” & NOT “fellow tariff hating states”.

    The United States didn’t take “3 years to address the slavery issue” either. The Contraband policy was implemented in May of 61. The First Confiscation Act was in 1861. Slavery was abolished in Washington DC in April of 1862. The Second Confiscation Act was passed in July of 62. And Lincoln had the preliminary EP written out in the Summer of 62 when he sent the Greeley letter foreshadowing it.

    Hats off to Ronald for a great response above. Well done sir!

  8. You only need to find out that Judah Benjamin, “The Brains Behind the Confederacy” was a Jew in the service of the Rothschild’s Banking and Government Manipulation Consortium to realize that the view stated here is propaganda generated by the same organization and disseminated by half bright dupes who normally would be appalled by such activity but are ensnared by the brutal mindfuck called ANTISEMITISM, either afraid of it or proud of it in some twisted sort of way that makes people draw swastikas on their own doors… without realizing that Jews are a hate group that has preached death to gay men for thousands of years, first gained control of the land now called Israel by exterminating the seven nations that lived there and gave the world the idea that black people should be slaves. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. Don’t fall for this pack of lies.

    1. Annnnnd queue the conspiracy theories. Fun fact, there were far more “Jews” in the North than in the South. More Jews fought for the Union army than the Southern. A Jewish person attained a higher rank in the Northern armies than did in the Southern. Antisemitism was prevalent across the entire country, North & South. “ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY”-yep to the tune of the fact that the 4 million slaves were worth over 3 BILLION dollars-more than the land & cotton combined. The only lie being perpetrated here is that of Genrikh & the other Lost Causers.

  9. So, not knowing anything about this tariff at all until I read this “story” about why the southern states left because of this or slavery. Haven read this “story”, and instead of taking this as fact, I went and looked up this tariff myself, (you know instead of taking hearsay as fact) well I have to tell you sir, you are so damn off base and wrong in some many ways. Ha, it’s laughable to see someone lies to push a “myth” I’ll break it down for ya where you are wrong:
    1. The Morrill Tariff was trying to be passed in mid-1860 because it wanted to raise the taxes for shipping on the Southern states to other countries.
    2. The Morrill bill was sent on to the Senate. The Senate was controlled by Democrats, and so the bill was bottled up in the Finance Committee, chaired by Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia.
    3. This insured that the Senate vote would be put off till the second session in December. It also meant that the tariff would be a prominent issue in the 1860 election.
    4. The Republican party included a strong pro-tariff plank in its 1860 platform.
    5. Abraham Lincoln’s record as a protectionist and support for the Morrill Tariff bill, he notes, helped him to secure support in the important electoral college state of Pennsylvania, as well as neighboring New Jersey. Lincoln carried Pennsylvania handily in November, as part of his sweep of the North.
    6. The second session of the 36th Congress began in December 1860. At first it appeared that Hunter would keep the Morrill bill tabled until the end of the term in March.
    7. However,In December 1860 and January 1861, seven southern states declared secession, and their low-tariff Senators withdrew. Republicans took control of the Senate in February, and Hunter lost his hold on the Finance Committee.
    8. On February 14, 1861, President-elect Lincoln told an audience in Pittsburgh that he would make a new tariff his priority in the next session if the bill did not pass by inauguration day on March 4.

    Now, placing facts here for all to read, (remember, look up all “facts” before you take them as facts, until then it’s only hearsay) notice no southern state left until after the election in Nov. 1860. Lincoln before the election was in his pocket in Nov. 1860, he said he supported this tariff and would pass this once his is in office.
    Ok, the states who were against this tariff was against it because of the high taxes that were going to be placed upon them to pay for the debt the federal government created. After the election, these states saw the writing on the wall and then voted to leave the Union.
    The 10th amendment and the (DOI) informs the federal government that all states are free and independence. Not one state (if know before joining the union) would join a union knowing they could never leave. Don’t believe me, why then as Puerto Rico voted twice not to join the union? Because she knows she could never leave once in and take on the debt of the federal government 19 trillion dollars.
    So here is another point that will debunk your “myth”, when Alabama seceded from the Union, in their proclamation they basically stated (not verbatim) “we are leaving because you are trying to take our slaves away from us.” Ah ha you say? I got ya?” Proof you say? Well, dig deeper before you say, “I got ya” Look up the first 13th amendment that was created just before President Buchanan left office. He passed this amendment in March of 1861, basically stating (again, not verbatim) “Congress shall not touch your slaves”. Wait! What? Yes, it’s true, Alabama can now rejoin the Union because it was about slavery wasn’t it? Alabama is back in the U.S. as their state again to keep their slaves…. What? That didn’t happen you say? That’s right, Yes Alabama left because of slavery, but it was no longer about slavery, but because of this tariff is why Alabama didn’t join the Tyrants in the Union. BAMMMMM! (Again do not believe me folks, look it up for yourself and then you’ll know the facts, until then it’s only hearsay.
    Point made: The only thing here in this myth “story” is the lie the writer would have you believe. The Southern States left because of many reason, but the main one was because of this tariff. State Rights is key to all this and when the federal government forced this tariff on the Southern States, the writing was on the wall.
    Luckie McDonald

    1. Wow, speaking of hearsay and myths, Luckie, you just took the cake. Your ignorance is pretty amazing when it comes to this topic and it shows in your response. Not one of the Declarations of Secession mentioned the tariff. The tariffs was a minor affair and several in the South said so, including Alexander Stephens, who said as much in a speech before the Georgia Legislature on November 14th, 1860:
      “The next evil that my friend complained of, was the Tariff. Well, let us look at that for a moment. About the time I commenced noticing public matters, this question was agitating the country almost as fearfully as the Slave question now is. In 1832, when I was in college, South Carolina was ready to nullify or secede from the Union on this account. And what have we seen? The tariff no longer distracts the public councils. Reason has triumphed. The present tariff was voted for by Massachusetts and South Carolina. The lion and the lamb lay down together– every man in the Senate and House from Massachusetts and South Carolina, I think, voted for it, as did my honorable friend himself. And if it be true, to use the figure of speech of my honorable friend, that every man in the North, that works in iron and brass and wood, has his muscle strengthened by the protection of the government, that stimulant was given by his vote, and I believe every other Southern man. So we ought not to complain of that.

      [Mr. Toombs: That tariff lessened the duties.]

      [Mr. Stephens:] Yes, and Massachusetts, with unanimity, voted with the South to lessen them, and they were made just as low as Southern men asked them to be, and those are the rates they are now at. If reason and argument, with experience, produced such changes in the sentiments of Massachusetts from 1832 to 1857, on the subject of the tariff, may not like changes be effected there by the same means, reason and argument, and appeals to patriotism on the present vexed question? And who can say that by 1875 or 1890, Massachusetts may not vote with South Carolina and Georgia upon all those questions that now distract the country and threaten its peace and existence? I believe in the power and efficiency of truth, in the omnipotence of truth, and its ultimate triumph when properly wielded. (Applause.)”

      If you read the actual words of Southern leaders, they harp on the slavery issue time and time again, in a FAR greater degree than anything as far as the tariff. The Deep South left BEFORE the tariff was passed under the Tariff of 1857, one of the lowest on record. When they left, leaving the door open for the Morrill Tariff to be passed, not a single Southern state seceded AFTER it was passed. The 10th Amendment doesn’t override the rest of the Constitution and the DOI has nothing to do with it at all. The Constitution was the law of the land, NOT the DOI. Your ignorance about the Corwin Amendment is likewise amazing. The Corwin Amendment would have left slavery intact where it was, but would not have helped it in the territories. In other words, slavery would have withered away and died as the new territories became free states. THAT is why the South rejected it. You talk about the plank on the Republican ticket supporting a high tariff, but you seem to forget that the same Republican platform contained FAR more planks about slavery. The OP does a great job of knocking Lost Cause nonsense like yours to the ground. Go somewhere else to preach that stuff as the folks here will not buy into it.

    2. BTW “Luckie”, I challenge you to pull quotes from Southerners before the war where they complain about the tariff causing the conflict. I’ll bet I can pull 20 to 1 quotes about slavery being the highest priority. The tariff question didn’t cause Brooks to beat Sumner on the floor of Congress. The tariff question didn’t have a book like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that took the nation by storm. The tariff question didn’t cause 3 of the major protestant religions to split on sectional lines (Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian-the Baptists apologized for their role in slavery in 1995). The tariff was worth millions-the slaves were worth BILLIONS. Socially, the politicians and religious leaders were telling everyone in the South just how important slavery was to them-no such thing was being done with tariffs. People like you try to spread these myths, but when you come across people in the know, they just fall on deaf ears.

  10. I do research and take nothing as hearsay. Had I taken hearsay as fact, I’d be on your side right now. Everything I looked up and stated here are facts. I put in (DOI) as proof that each state was independent, I didn’t say nothing about the DOI and the tariff were related. There were a lot of RICH Southerners who wanted to keep slaves I will not denied that. However, there were Northerners who moved to the South to keep their slaves when laws were passed they didn’t like in their state they left from. For every 20 you pull who were slave owners, I’ll pull 40 soldiers who didn’t fight the fight for slavery, they fought to send the invaders back from where they came. So, if you want to play the ” I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” game. Let’s play. Plus, in the 40 soldiers, I’ll also pull on the other side where the union soldiers weren’t fighting to end slavery, they fought because of many other reasons. I’ll throw the first name at ya to start it off….. U.S. Grant didn’t free his slaves until the 13th. amendment was ratified in Dec. 1865.

    . The book “Three months in the Southern states” by Lt. Col. Freemantle of England 1863 will help you out about slavery as he saw it. The tariff was the writing on the wall when Lincoln came out in favor of the tariff before he was elected. The South was hoping he wouldn’t win, because they knew Lincoln and his tyrant government would force the tariff on the Southern states to force to pay for their debts and build up the Industrial movement up North. The Tariff passed the House, staled in the Senate. And in Dec. 1860 if Lincoln lost the election, the tariff would have never passed and nor would the southern states have left. FACTS.

    Slavery was only used as an issue by Lincoln in late of 1862 to prevent England from entering the war. Study the “Trent Affair” and you’ll see a lot more. After you study the “Trent Affair”, for starters, then dig deeper why England was still thinking about invading the Union after the Trent Affair was over….. you’ll see it, study it. The cause and effect. Emancipation Proclamation was illegal, Article one section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, “Congress shall declare law, war etc… It didn’t free one slave in uncontrolled areas of the federal government or controlled by them.

    Feb 1861 the tariff passed the senate and in March the tariff was signed into law by Lincoln. I believe if the Tariff didn’t pass, in Feb 1861 the other 4 southern states would have never left the Union.

    In March of 1861 the 13th amendment was signed into law by President Buchanan before leaving office. Question: Why didn’t the “SLAVE HOLDING” states rejoin the Union after the 13th amendment came out? If it was to keep slaves, the Slave Holding states should have been tripping over each other to rejoin…… WRONG. it was the tariff. Remember, not knowing nothing of this tariff until I read this story yesterday, did the research and found you wanting.

    Good day,

    P.S. you have no clue who I am…Haha

    1. “U.S. Grant didn’t free his slaves till the 13th amendment”-I’ve already got you dead to rights on that one. Grant only owned one slave in his life and that was prior to the American Civil War:

      “Did Grant Own a Slave?
      Yes. For a brief period in 1858-9, Grant was the owner of a 35 year old mulatto man named William Jones. The details surrounding the ownership of Jones are still murky. We do know that Grant wrote to his father on March 21, 1858, “I have now three Negro men, two hired by the year and one of Mr. Dent’s.” On October 1, 1858 Grant wrote again to his father: “Mr. Dent thinks I had better take the boy he has given Julia along with me, and let him learn the farrier’s business. He is a very smart, active boy, capable of making anything, but this matter I will leave entirely to you. I can leave him here and get about three dollars per month for him now, and more as he gets older.”

      Grant freed William Jones on March 29, 1859, though he could have sold him for approximately $1,000. At this time Grant was in significant financial straits, but was unwilling to sell another human being under the hammer.”

      So there goes your first “soldier” that you quoted right out the door. If you are a “researcher”, you would know as much. You’re relying on Lost Cause websites and such to draw your facts from and that is painfully obvious. So yes, by all means, let’s start quoting people. I’ll start right here:

      “Henry L. Benning, Georgia politician and future Confederate general, writing in the summer of 1849 to his fellow Georgian, Howell Cobb: “First then, it is apparent, horribly apparent, that the slavery question rides insolently over every other everywhere — in fact that is the only question which in the least affects the results of the elections.” [Allan Nevins, The Fruits of Manifest Destiny pages 240-241.] Later in the same letter Benning says, “I think then, 1st, that the only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union.”

      Yes to the “rich Southerners”-they were the ones who caused the war. You try to use the soldiers in the field as those responsible for the cause of the war? Not hardly. Causes of the war are distinguished from why men fought the war. And many of those who fought had family who owned slaves. Not to mention, many in the South rented slaves. The entire system benefited whites throughout the South. The EP was not illegal-see the Militia Acts of 1792, 1795, 1807, and 1861. Congress was out of session when the Confederacy attacked the United States. When Congress was called back into session 6 months early AFTER the Spring of 61 elections, they fully endorsed ALL of Lincoln’s actions, and so did the Supreme Court.

      “Feb 1861 the tariff passed the senate and in March the tariff was signed into law by Lincoln.”-again, if you were an actual researcher, you would know this statement is FALSE. Buchanan signed it into law 2 days before Lincoln took office (March 4th 1861). You can’t seem to get these basic facts straight. The tariff didn’t cause the South to secede as the Deep South left BEFORE the Morrill Tariff was passed and no Southern states left AFTER it passed.

      “And another thing – All other countries who had slaves ended without a war, same could have been true in America.”-you are right, but it was the South who seceded and started the war.

      “In the cabinet meeting, Toombs warned Davis that firing on Fort Sumter would inaugurate the Civil War.

      “Mr. President, at this time it is suicide, murder, and will lose us every friend at the North. The firing upon that fort will inaugurate a civil war greater than any the world has yet seen.” [Robert Toombs to Jefferson Davis, quoted in W. A. Swanberg, _First Blood: The Story of Fort Sumter,_ p. 286]

      But Davis knew this anyway. He had predicted a civil war earlier. “When Lincoln comes in he will have but to continue in the path of his predecessor to inaugurate a civil war” [Jefferson Davis to Franklin Pierce, 20 Jan 1861]

      Davis went ahead and ordered the fort reduced.” Obviously, you need to go back and actually do some research, as you do not know your facts from a hole in the ground. I’d start with actual books.

  11. BTW – I’m spreading anything, like I said…. I didn’t know nothing about this tariff until this “weak of a story”, until I did the research I wasn’t going to add my two cent worth until I can form an opinion of mine. Your “myth busting” is your opinion and my opinion is just that….mine. I respect yours, as well as you should mine. The reason I am on top of this “myth” of late is because a person told me to add this “tariff” into my book I’m writing. So how I missed this part of history in all of my 10 years of research, I’m not sure. So, I typed in this tariff and the first thing that popped up was your\or this story, so, I clicked onto the story with an open mind from your side, then read the other side and then compared the two and I’ll have to side with the “tariff is what broke the camels back” Had this story held just a little water, I would have let ya know…. again, good day.

      1. You certainly aren’t spreading anything factual. I keep catching you on failed facts and flat out lies.

  12. And another thing – All other countries who had slaves ended without a war, same could have been true in America. It wasn’t about slavery, it was to force the southern states back into the union at any cost. They even past the 13th amendment to allow the states to keep slaves. No matter what y’all try to throw out there, the 13th amendment trumps your lies. Southern states should have been running back to the union to keep their slaves because of the amendment. After the tariff passed the senate in Feb of 1861, you had four other states leave and after the 13th amendment was past, zero rejoined the Union and that’s FACTS you can’t hide.

    1. Actually, that is a flat out lie, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from you…’ve already demonstrated that your lack of knowledge in the basic facts taints your responses. BTW, “after the 13th amendment was past”-you mean “passed”. If you cannot get English sentences and words together correctly, then you’re really in trouble. Oh, and it PASSED the Senate on April 8th, 1864 and the House January 31st, 1865. There were most certainly states who rejoined the Union AFTER that. Go back to school and learn the basics.

      1. Mr. Morrison God forbid anybody disagree with you sir. The victors always write the history books for generations to come to be taught history the way they wanted inturperited

  13. BTW, if you try to claim that Julia’s slaves were Grant’s, then that is false. But for the record:

    “Did Grant’s Wife Own Slaves?
    Yes, for periods in her life, Julia Dent Grant owned four slaves, Eliza, Dan, Julia and John. Whether she held title to them or her father retained ownership is still unclear. As a teenager, her personal slave was “black Julia.” When she married Grant, she went north to various army posts, and had to do without her “servants,” as she euphemistically called her slaves. For the first 4 years of her marriage, her slaves remained in Missouri. From 1853-1863, Julia continued to use four slaves, whom she mentions specifically in her Memoirs. They were all house “servants,” and took turns attending to Grant’s children, cooking and cleaning. Mary Robinson, served Mrs. Grant for many years.

    In a March 12, 1859 letter to his father, Grant made it plain that Julia was unable to do without her chattel. He wrote, “Julia and the children are well. They will not make a visit to Kentucky now. .. with four children she could not go without a servant and she was afraid that landing so often as she would have to do in free states, she might have some trouble.” Yet Grant told Mary Robinson, one of the Dent slaves, that if he was the owner of White Haven, he would give freedom to all the family slaves.

    When the Grant family moved to Galena, Illinois in 1860, Julia reluctantly left her property in Missouri and had to make do with one paid servant, Maggie Cavanaugh. Incredibly, Julia brought along one of her slaves on all of her visits to Grant’s headquarters during the civil war. When Julia was with Grant, their youngest son, Jesse, was in the charge of “black Julia,” the slave that Julia had used since her girlhood.

    With the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Julia’s four slaves were set free. It is claimed in the footnotes of her Memoirs that they were not freed until December, 1865, with the passage of the Thirteenth amendment, but this doesn’t concur with other primary sources of the period and Missouri’s slaves were freed in January, 1865. Grant himself noted that on a visit to White Haven in 1863, Julia’s slaves had already scattered and were no longer on the plantation. On extended visits to Petersburg, in 1864, Julia brought along a hired German girl to tend to 6 year old Jesse.”

    P.S. I really don’t care who you are, since you admitted to the fact that you didn’t research this till the day you read it, it is painfully obvious that you went to Lost Cause sourced materials online to find your answers. I’ve got a degree in History and have been researching it for over 35 years. I’ve got hundreds of sources who will say that slavery was the main reason. I can quote from all before the Civil War on different things that had to do with slavery that helped cause it-you only have the time period of the Tariff of Abominations that possibly back up your argument-and that was one incident well before the Civil War. The slavery issue permeated American history from the time that the British ruled us till all the way through the Civil War. Come back when you have some time and research under your belt.

    1. I did respond to it-the original 13th was called the Corwin Amendment. Apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suit. Of course you are out, you were never actually in… usual, the Lost Causers run when confronted with the facts.

    1. Actually, I did. If you can’t understand, not my fault. You aren’t even in the same ball park as I am. Bless your heart, you just need to actually study American history for more than a day. Come back when you have some time under your belt.

    2. BTW, since we started the quote contest, you’re 0 for 1. Here’s another one for you:

      Speech of Henry Benning to the Virginia Convention

      “I have been appointed by the Convention of the State of Georgia, to present to this Convention, the ordinance of secession of Georgia, and further, to invite Virginia, through this Convention ‘ to join Georgia and the other seceded States in the formation of a Southern Confederacy. This, sir, is the whole extent of my mission. 1 have no power to make promises, none to receive promises; no power to bind at all in any respect. But still, sir, it has seemed to me that a proper respect for this Convention requires that I should with some fulness and particularity, exhibit before the Convention the reasons which have induced Georgia to take that important step of secession, and then to lay before the Convention some facts and considerations in favor of the acceptance of the invitation by Virginia. With your permission then, sit, I will pursue this course.

      What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North-was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery. This conviction, sir, was the main cause. It is true, sir, that the effect of this conviction was strengthened by a further conviction that such a separation would be the best remedy for the fugitive slave evil, and also the best, if not the only remedy, for the territorial evil. But, doubtless, if it had not been for the first conviction this step would never have been taken. It therefore becomes important to inquire whether this conviction was well founded.

      Is it true, then, that unless there had been a separation from the North, slavery would be abolished in Georgia? I address myself to the proofs of that case.

      In the first place, I say that the North hates slavery, and, in using that expression I speak wittingly. In saying that the Black Republican party of the North hates slavery, I speak intentionally. If there is a doubt upon that question in the mind of any one who listens to me, a few of the multitude of proofs which could fill this room, would, I think, be sufficient to satisfy him. I beg to refer to a few of the proofs that are so abundant; and the first that I shall adduce consists in two extracts from a speech of Lincoln’s, made in October, 1858. They are as follows: “I have always hated slavery as much as any abolitionist; I have always been an old line Whig; I have always hated it and I always believed it in the course of ultimate extinction, and if I were in Congress and a vote should come up on the question, whether slavery should be excluded from the territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it should.”

      These are pregnant statements; they avow a sentiment, a political principle of action, a sentiment of hatred to slavery as extreme as hatred can exist. The political principle here avowed is, that his action against slavery is not to be restrained by the Constitution of the United States, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. I say, if you can find any degree of hatred greater than that, I should like to see it. This is the sentiment of the chosen leader of the Black Republican party; and can you doubt that it is not entertained by every solitary member of that same party? You cannot, I think. He is a representative man; his sentiments are the sentiments of his party; his principles of political action are the principles of political action of his party. I say, then; it is true, at least, that the Republican party of the North hates slavery.”

      I still have hundreds more to post. When are you going to actually start posting quotes from Southerners before the war that the tariff is the main issue? We await your response.

  14. Funny how you don’t care who I am, but you think you know me. Insult after insult is all you know until you can learn to debate properly without insulting then maybe I will play your game but until have a blessed day. Taking the high road sir.

    1. First of all, I am a Southerner. There is no hate in my heart for Southerners. In fact, I graduated with a History degree from the University of Georgia (where they house the Confederate Constitution). My ancestors fought for the Confederacy. I have a deep residing respect for the valor of those men. However, it doesn’t change the facts. Please point out where I am wrong… far you haven’t managed to do it. I sincerely don’t think you are scared and I welcome healthy discussion as well, but when the wrong facts are spouted off, I certainly take offense. The OP was attacked and when you were called on it, then you changed your tune and act astonished that someone would attack back or defend them. The OP has his facts correct and several of your posts were way off. If you have a different OPINION, I have no problems with that. But don’t misrepresent the facts and then be surprised when you get called on it. I have discussed the Civil War for years here in North Georgia and am on many Civil War sites on Facebook myself. In fact, I moderate a lot of them.

  15. Usually when somebody insults or argues in a debate they lack the proof or the stamina to stand up against what they do not believe in. It’s always a good healthy debate when both sides do not insult each other throughout facts and move on or move on with opinions but insult after insult no one wants to play your game so have a good day

    1. Right… were sitting here calling out the OP with this statement in your original post:
      “I went and looked up this tariff myself, (you know instead of taking hearsay as fact) well I have to tell you sir, you are so damn off base and wrong in some many ways. Ha, it’s laughable to see someone lies to push a “myth””. So apparently it is ok for you to attack and insult, but not anyone else? Double standard much? Hypocrisy, thou art a strumpet. If you can dish it out, you had better be able to take it. The next time you enter a discussion, keep it respectful and you will get respect. Come in guns blazing and you will be shot down in a like manner. Have a great day!

  16. And again you don’t care who I am but you think you know me and you want to tell me to go do research sir you need do away with the Hate in Your Heart against Southerners or Southern sympathizers or the Confederacy life is too short to hate maybe one day you and I can have a good clean debate some areas I may be wrong some areas you may be wrong and we can walk away with a healthy discussion no clear up some of the areas we were both wrong until then I’m finish with this. Look me up on Facebook I hide from no one and when you find me I’ll give you my cell phone number and we can talk I’m not scared I always welcome a challenge.

  17. LOL, your last post – is my comment. It was an opinion talking about taking hearsay as facts. So, coming in hot is not what I did, they offered their opinion on this tariff and I offered mine. It’s not an attack when both are throwing out opinions. You on the other hand attack because you lack the ability to have a debate without attack on a person. Why do you feel you need to defend\attack an opinion as such as this story when other respectfully disagree. Coming in hot is this very story, if you want to talk about that…let’s. Had this story not been posted attacking southerners and their “myth” you and I wouldn’t be posting on this and as you claim…”you’re coming in hot”. I believe this writer has every right to post this story, it’s his opinion…that’s freedom. and as someone who didn’t know anything about this tariff until this post, I researched until I can form an opinion… however, I found I disagree with this story, but I respect it all the same. I do not respect (and I know you’ll not care, neither do I) people who like to bully or attack others who disrespect who disagrees with them. I love to debate people from the other side, it is fun, however I do not like bullies like yourself who attack because they lack the abilities to debate. And having degrees doesn’t make a person any smarter then the person you are attacking. Have you notice I’ve not once showed my hand on the studies I know? That’s right, I haven’t. If I can’t debate with a person without throwing out my degree after degree or attacking the person because I disagree with them, then I’m no different then a bully who does.
    (601)-443-**** here is my number. please call me, I believe if we were face to face, we both would be agreeing on a whole lot more then we disagree with. Again sir, I respect your opinions, just not your bullying, have a good day and I really mean that. God bless you.

    Luckie McDonald
    P.S. if you know anything about (I’m sure you do) the confederacy and their best year, call me.

    1. Coming in hot is exactly what you did. You can try to twist and turn and try to avoid it, but anyone reading what I quoted would say you are not being truthful to claim as much. If it is your OPINION, then say as much. You keep trying to make it like it is a fact. Since you claimed as much, your opinion is noted. The rest of us will stick to the facts of the matter. It isn’t a “story”, it fact. I certainly don’t lack any skills to debate. I’ve been debating this stuff online since the Internet came along in the early 90’s. I’m no bully, you’re just crying because you’re getting spanked. You attacked the OP, I responded in kind, then you got bent out of shape. We understand and can see as much. I agree that a face to face meeting would probably be more cordial, but then I expect you wouldn’t have lit into the OP as harsh as you did to begin with either if he was right in front of you. I debate this stuff face to face will people a lot. Respect is earned, not given. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I have spent a lifetime arguing this stuff and I have the materials to help me do so. Debating can be fun when you engage in civility. When you don’t, expect what you put out to come back on you just as well if not more. Bless your heart, maybe next time you’ll be nicer out the gates and avoid this. Then again, I haven’t seen one quote from a Southerner before the war saying that the tariff was the main issue. I’m waiting with hundreds more slavery quotes. Till next time, have a good night.

  18. LOL, too funny. There you go again, throwing out cred’s to bust yourself. You fight the fact you can’t keep this “myth” as such. Again you are found wanting. what about that phone call?

  19. (GAO) BTW – how in the hell is what I posted not the truth? They are fact. Look again at my first post numbered 1 to 8. those as stated came from the truth. So, to say I’m wrong shows how much you know….wasted school learning on your part I’d say. You’ll need to run back to that school and demand a refund. The fact that someone can only come in (me) knowing very little of the tariff only a couple of days, doing the research “without hearsay” and come back to see both sides and school a person who claims he’s been doing this with degree after degree and on the internet like forever. Again sir, you are really found wanting and it’s very sad, so bless your heart, may you win the next person by bullying them. Not me.
    Come back with your big boy pants and when you can crawl away from the kiddy table to the big boy table, then we’ll debate. Until then, go see if you can get another degree, maybe that’ll help.

    1. Lol, I haven’t been “found wanting”, you’ve been raked over the coals and you act like you’ve actually proven something? Hilarious! I don’t have time to school you in lessons tonight. This site, however, is a great place to start:

      You’ve been taken to task. You’ve been asked to prove things that you haven’t proven yet. You’ve been asked for proof that you cannot provide. Not a single quote.

  20. Did the tariff pass the house before the election in 1860? Yes

    Did the tariff stale in the senate before the election? Yes

    Did 7 southern states leave the union before Feb 1862? Yes

    Did the tariff pass in Feb 1862 on the senate floor? Yes

    Did 4 other southern states leave the union after the tariff passed the senate floor? Yes

    Didn’t Lincoln support the tariff before, during and after the tariff was signed into law March 1862? Yes

    Before Lincoln took office, didn’t President Buchanan pass the 13th amendment ( )
    “Two days before his first inauguration in March 4, 1961, Lincoln and the Republicans passed a proposed 13th Amendment, which enshrined slavery by prohibiting Congress from abolishing or interfering with state-allowed slavery. (Today it is known as the Corwin Amendment.}” – Yes

    With this new 13th amendment and the tariff passing the desk of both presidents, why didn’t the southern states run back to the union with the 13th amendment?

    Did any state rejoin the union after the 13th was passed? No

    If the tariff wasn’t signed into law by Lincoln in March of 1862, would southern states have rejoined the union? I don’t know, because it didn’t happen. But, my opinion would be that some and not all of the southern states would have came back. So, for someone not knowing about this tariff one bit before this “hit piece” here, I say I’ve done a fair job at holding up one side in the debate then someone who has been at this forever and has many degrees under his belt to just fall to the waste side of wanting….LOL Good night to you sir.

    1. I already explained the Corwin amendment to you. Again, since your ability to read is so impaired, I guess I will do so again. I find it amusing that you whine and cry like a little girl about being attacked, then continue to turn around and do it again. You seem to have schizophrenic personality. The Corwin Amendment was offered as an appeasement to the Southern states to stop secession and the war that was sure to come. All the Corwin Amendment did was to ensure slavery WHERE IT STOOD. What it did NOT do was to provide for new territories or states. In other words, slavery would whither on the vine and die. The South saw this and understood it. They chose not to come back because-as the leadership said OVER and OVER again, that the “Black Republicans” under Lincoln would attack and destroy slavery. Read the Declarations of Causes. Read the Cornerstone Speech. Read the Apostles of Disunion. Read the speeches, sermons, declarations, letters, and such the Southern leaders pushed on the public. The cries about slavery were vast and overwhelming. The cries about the tariff were meek, but there. Again, I agree that the tariff was an issue-just a minor one. Listen to what they said:

      Stephan Dodson Ramseur, future Confederate general, writing from West Point (where he was a cadet) to a friend in the wake of the 1856 election: “…Slavery, the very source of our existence, the greatest blessing both for Master & Slave that could have been bestowed upon us.”
      Albert Gallatin Brown, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, speaking with regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America: “I want Cuba . . . I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason — for the planting and spreading of slavery.” [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 106.]
      Brown, again, December 27, 1860: “Mr. President, it seems to me that northern Senators most pertinaciously overlook the main point at issue between the two sections of our Confederacy. We claim that there is property in slaves, and they deny it. Until we shall settle, upon some basis, that point of controversy, it is idle to talk of going any further.” [Quote taken from The Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 201.]
      Representative Benjamin Stanton, Republican of Ohio, January 15, 1861: “Mr. Chairman, I desire to state, in a few words, what I regard as the real question in controversy between the political parties of the country. The Republican party holds that African slavery is a local institution, created and sustained by State laws and usages that cannot exist beyond the limits of the State, by virtue of whose laws it is established and sustained. The Democratic party holds that African slavery is a national institution, recognized and sustained by the Constitution of the United States throughout the entire territorial limits, where not prohibited by State constitutions and State laws…All other questions about which we differ grow out of this, and are dependent upon it…” [Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 2nd Sess., (Appendix), p 58]
      Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia: “There is not a respectable system of civilization known to history whose foundations were not laid in the institution of domestic slavery.” [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 56.]
      Richmond Enquirer, 1856: “Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery.”
      Atlanta Confederacy, 1860: “We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing.”
      Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: “African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism.” Later in the same speech he said, “The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States.” Taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe supplied by Steve Miller.
      Keitt again, this time as delegate to the South Carolina secession convention, during the debates on the state’s declaration of causes: “Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it.” Taken from the Charleston, South Carolina, Courier, dated Dec. 22, 1860. See the Furman documents site for more transcription from these debates. Keitt became a colonel in the Confederate army and was killed at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864.
      Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall; December 11, 1860, on the floor of the Senate; “I said that one of the causes, and the one that has created more excitement and dissatisfaction than any other, is, that the Government will not hereafter, and when it is necessary, interpose to protect slaves as property in the Territories; and I asked the Senator if he would abandon his squatter-sovereignty notions and agree to protect slaves as all other property?” [Quote taken from The Congressional Globe, 36th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 58.]
      Isham Harris, Governor of Tennessee, January 7, 1861, (Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, p. 255); “The systematic, wanton, and long continued agitation of the slavery question, with the actual and threatened aggressions of the Northern States and a portion of their people, upon the well-defined constitutional rights of the Southern citizens; the rapid growth and increase, in all the elements of power, of a purely sectional party,…”
      Senator John J. Crittenden, Kentucky (Democrat), March 2, 1861, (Congressional Globe, page 1376); “Mr. President, the cause of this great discontent in the country, the cause of the evils which we now suffer and which we now fear, originates chiefly from questions growing out of the respective rights of the different States and the unfortunate subject of slavery…”
      Henry M. Rector, Governor of Arkansas, March 2, 1861, Arkansas Secession Convention, p. 4 “The area of slavery must be extended correlative with its antagonism, or it will be put speedily in the ‘course of ultimate extinction.’….The extension of slavery is the vital point of the whole controversy between the North and the South…Amendments to the federal constitution are urged by some as a panacea for all the ills that beset us. That instrument is amply sufficient as it now stands, for the protection of Southern rights, if it was only enforced. The South wants practical evidence of good faith from the North, not mere paper agreements and compromises. They believe slavery a sin, we do not, and there lies the trouble.”
      Thomas F. Goode, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, March 28, 1861, Virginia Secession Convention, vol. II, p. 518, “Sir, the great question which is now uprooting this Government to its foundation—the great question which underlies all our deliberations here, is the question of African slavery…”
      Methodist Rev. John T. Wightman, preaching at Yorkville, South Carolina: “The triumphs of Christianity rest this very hour upon slavery; and slavery depends on the triumphs of the South . . . This war is the servant of slavery.” [The Glory of God, the Defence of the South (1861), cited in Eugene Genovese’s Consuming Fire (1998).]
      G. T. Yelverton, of Coffee County, Alabama, speaking to the Alabama Secession Convention on January 25, 1861: “The question of Slavery is the rock upon which the Old Government split: it is the cause of secession.”
      Robert M.T. Hunter, Senator from Virginia, “What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?”

      I believe the actual Southerners from back then over anyone who claims different. Your timeline on the tariff is useful, but ultimately not nearly as important as the slavery issue. Not even by a long shot.

  21. “Did any state rejoin the union after the 13th was passed? No”……once again, that is utterly false. You sir, do not know the history of the conflict. That much is abundantly clear. That or you are lying, which I would not put past you at this point. You continue to get basic facts wrong. Once again, even though I pointed out your crass mistake before, I will point it out again…..Lincoln did NOT sign the tariff into law. It was signed into law by Buchanan. And NO Southern state seceded AFTER it was passed. The Deep South left BEFORE it passed-thus giving the Republicans the votes needed to pass it. Had the South stayed, it would not have passed. Therefore, them seceding ensured its passage. Why? Because they weren’t concerned about the tariff like you claim (and have yet to provide any quotes from them on-funny that). But I can provide proof of them being terrified of slavery being attacked all day. Now are you going to cry and moan and groan again? Claim I am a bully when you attempt and fail at the same tactics? This is actually pretty amusing to watch you flounder around. What’s next, another attempt to throw Grant under the bus? Taking Lincoln out of context with the Greeley letter? Or maybe the 4th Debate with Douglas? Are you going to claim tens of thousands of black confederates fought for the South? Or maybe that because there were black slave owners that slavery wasn’t all that bad? That Lee and Jackson were abolitionists? Yes, we’ve seen this all before. We’ve seen better, more coherent arguments that didn’t go anywhere on the tariff. Mr Palen isn’t the only one who sees through the nonsense of the claims of tariffs:

  22. Can we get someone on here to debate with us who actually understand American History so we can actually take them seriously? The opposition is laughable.

    “Yes, Slavery Did Cause the American Civil War.
    Posted on April 28, 2014.

    Slavery as the cause of war, by Christopher Shelly.

    “The central pillar of the Lost Cause Myth is the notion that somehow slavery was not the ultimate cause of the Civil War. While this seems laughable on its face, the fact remains that almost every day I encounter some perfectly intelligent, reasonable well-educated person who still says, at the very least, “But there was other stuff too, right? Tariffs and stuff?” So clearly, our “Civil War memory” (which, by the way, is an excellent blog) is not as good as we could hope, and we have some work to do. But once we demolish this pillar of the neo-Confederate argument, the whole ridiculous edifice collapses.

    Before we do this, let’s get one thing absolutely clear:

    Slavery was the ultimate cause of the American Civil War.

    Anyone who asserts anything else is either grossly uninformed or willfully misrepresenting the facts. Plainly stated, if slavery didn’t exist, there would have been no Civil War. This is simply incontrovertible. And so the question before us is, how did slavery cause the war? This is a fine question, and one worth answering at length. But for those of you interested, here is the short answer:

    The Southern slaveholding states felt that Lincoln’s election in 1860 was a direct threat to slavery, in spite of the fact that Lincoln never claimed to have any power or jurisdiction over slavery where it existed. Because of this perceived threat, seven states of the Deep South seceded from the Union. After this new “Confederate States of America” fired on Ft. Sumter, Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the insurrection. This provoked four more states to join the new Confederacy.

    These Southern slaveholding states asserted an alleged right to peacefully secede from the United States, while Lincoln maintained that the Union was perpetual and no state could unilaterally secede. Thus, both sides could technically claim that the war was not over slavery.”

    Or if you prefer video…..

  23. Wow, you sir are a man all bent out of shape… I’m not lying, you sir hate facts.

    How many of the 4 states left after the first 13th amendment passed by President Buchanan? I’ll let you answer that one.

    The numbers don’t add up with your math. Plus, to use all CAPS in a debate shows a man at his wits end. You know nothing of me, if you had, you would be wearing egg right now.

    Complete Victory +(A) = my response below:


    still found wanting sir. good night

    1. Lol, you really are losing so badly that you resort to such trickery. I love facts, but you don’t seem to have any pertinent ones to add to the discussion. You’ve won nothing. Again, let’s see those quotes and declarations where those 4 states said that the tariff was the main reason they left. Can’t provide them? Not surprised. The 13th Amendment wasn’t the cause of the war-slavery was the main cause. You keep using bad logic to make your point. You are showing no facts. I just love tearing apart ignorant Lost Causers like yourself. BTW, the caps are used for emphasis….not for admitting defeat. Since we don’t have bold fonts and such, that is how you show something to be more important. I wouldn’t expect someone of your poor debating caliber to understand. Any academic professor would fail you for this silly attempt at trying to argue the tariff as the main reason. F- for you on the grade here. All 7 states of the Deep South left BEFORE a vote on the tariff, thus rendering that argument null and void. And what did those states say was the reason they left?

      South Carolina:
      “We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

      For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.”

      “Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

      The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.”

      “In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

      Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.”

      “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. ”

      Here’s a question for you, where was the majority of the tariff paid? 90% of it was paid in the North.
      How much was the tariff? The tariff was millions of dollars, slavery was worth billions. I’ll take the words of the people back then and the facts and figures over some modern day wannabe who spends more time trying to argue how he won than actually researching the facts. Later tater!

  24. I did give you my phone number. I told you if you knew the best year of the confederacy, call me. I do no trickery here sir. Everything was shot to you straight. I’m getting bored with this. It was fun while it lasted, I must really get back to writing this book and stop messing with you. Honestly it was fun, no hard feeling?

    I have a few questions for ya, despite all we have been through, I do value and respect your opinion, if you don’t mind. I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but this is the only place I can contact you. You do have my number however, call me.

    Questions are: Do you know anything about the Trent affair? If not, that’s fine and thanks anyways.

    If you do, do you feel Charles Wilkes was wrong in detaining the RMS Trent and arresting the “Confederates”?

    Do you feel had Capt. Wilkes taken the RMS Trent as a price, England would have declared war on the United States?

    If England did enter the war, do you feel England would have pressured the Confederacy to end slavery for or after the war if England was to provide their help as well?

    And what do you think would have been the out come?
    Thanks for your thought in advance and again no hard feelings. I have none from your end.

    Luckie McDonald

    1. Therein may lie the confusion. Your post showed the area code and first three digits, then showed a **** for the last four. Maybe you didn’t do that-maybe the site did it. I thought that you had done so, which is why I said that you had not given it to me. I am very much aware of the Trent affair. A very interesting episode early in the war that could have turned ugly. I am very thankful for your cordial response.

      I think he was wrong in detaining them, yes. I don’t know about taking them as a “prize” as it was a British ship. I don’t think England was going to enter the war without full provocation. And I honestly don’t think that Lincoln and company were going to provoke a war. I think there were some in the cabinet who wanted to do so, but Lincoln was not going to allow it. I do believe England would have pressed them into ending slavery, but that is simply speculation on my part. With England involved, it would not have gone very well for the Union unless they had 100% war footing and quickly. Even then, it would not have ended well. Cheers!

  25. “Southern congressmen had opposed the protectionist legislation, which is why it passed so easily after several southern states seceded”
    This is pretty powerful evidence that the tariff caused the war. You’re trying to say that they were debating the tariff, then the southern states seceded, so the tariff couldn’t have caused the war. If they were debating a tariff that would’ve caused harm to the southern economy while benefiting the northern economy, that’s a very good reason to secede.
    You’re argument is roughly as effective as saying that slavery had nothing to do with the civil war because it wasn’t outlawed until after the war. Except that Lincoln offered the south a constitutional amendment ensuring the institution of slavery in exchange for staying in the union.

    1. Actually, it isn’t evidence that the tariff caused the war at all. The Tariff that the Deep South seceded under was the Tariff of 1857, one of the lowest on record. Those seceding states cost the remaining Southern states their votes and the Morril Tariff was passed. Yet even after it passes, no Southern states secede. The proof is in the pudding. The tariff was an issue, I don’t deny that…..but it was evidently NOT a major issue for the South. Slavery was the main issue.

    1. Sorry Luckie, but “wrong” doesn’t cut it. It was the main issue because the Southern leadership said it was. I’ll believe them or any modern day wannabe.

      1. Dear Mr. Morrison hundreds of thousands of brave men on both sides didn t line up in a open field to march into the jaws of death so a very very small part of the population could or could not keep there slaves

      2. Actually, they did. If you actually study the war, then that becomes readily apparent. The Southern leadership repeatedly said that was why they were seceding and going to war. Do you need to be educated on these quotes and such?

      3. Well if you know your history so well then you should know Generall LEE just to name one of many leaders was not fighting to keep slaves. And if you really think every union soldier was fighting to free slaves you er nuts. You have ate up all the BS taught in our school system the Civil War over the last 150 yrs.

      4. Sorry Darren, false logic doesn’t work on me, I’m a bit smarter than that. Lee was certainly fighting to keep slaves as he said that slavery was a necessary evil, that slaves were better off here in captivity, and that only God would free them in his time-that abolitionists were going against his will. Read his letter to his wife from 1856. I’ve researched this for years-your ignorance and listening the Lost Cause nonsense is making you sound like a fool. Grow up and do the research.

      5. Haha. Good try sir. Call me ignorant, a fool and tell me to grow up, just to see if you can get me all rattled up. I have read Lee’s letter to his wife. Believe you added necessary evil to his letter. Lee did say slavery was evil, but not a necessary evil. Either way I’m sure we will not see eye to eye on this. But you have to remember how people saw the world back then. 90% of the people during the war and long before were probably racists
        Against blacks. And I can see why Lee might think they were better off here as slaves then free in Africa where lots of them would been killed. But then there’s the great saying. BETTER TO DIE FREE THEN A SLAVE. But I bet we both can agree that slavery is damn sad thing that nobody should suffer. Yes it was one of reasons for the war but not the number one. And yes I know you er shaking ya head right now. Like I said agree to disagree.

      6. Slavery IS a damn bad thing. We can totally agree on that. Slavery was not the number one issue for the North in 1861, but it was for the South. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. The Southern leadership made it very plain that slavery was the primary reason for seceding and going to war. It’s what they said. But if you are talking in general and about both sides, I would agree that it wasn’t the number one issue for everyone.

      7. Yes sir I was talking in general about both sides , and how a white person anywhere in the country might look at any black person , racism was everywhere. We both know about the hangings during the war in NYC. Glad we could find some common ground to agree on, even if we ‘ll never agree on the cause of war. Either way a lot of good men died on each side. My g,g g,grandfather and g,g,g uncle fought for N.C. My wife’s g,g,g, uncle was with 20th Maine. He was killed on April 9th. I fly old glory and confederate flag to honor all on both sides. I enjoyed our chat on this subject . Have great evening Mr. Morrison

      8. I wouldn’t consider 30% of all Southern households a “very, very small part of the population.. In some states (MS & SC) it’s 50 percent. Individual soldiers fight for many reasons, but they don’t cause wars. The Civil War is the only war where soldiers are looked at to see why the war happened.

  26. Go through all the quotes, speeches, declarations, editorials, sermons, etc., on this site from Southerners and then get back to me. Ignore the Cornerstone Speech, the Declarations of Causes, the Apostles of Disunion, and everything else on there and no academic historian will take you seriously:

  27. Then I suggest you start on reading what the actual soldiers said about slavery. Read Chandra Manning’s book, “What This Cruel War Was Over” and get back to me.

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