What Caused the Civil War: Slavery and More - History

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  8 comments

By:   President Franklin Pierce (History)

What Caused the Civil War: Slavery and More - History
Southern secessionist leaders' own words made clear their economic dependence upon slavery, the interconnection between slavery and white supremacy, and their violent reactions to perceived threats to the peculiar institution—reactions that led them to secede. As the British historian D. W. Brogan concludes, Southerners "seceded over one thing and fought over one thing: slavery."

There seems to be a lot of confusion among some people as to what led to the Civil War. This article goes into some detail, yet is relatively brief. 

I hope reading this puts some people back on the correct track. 


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What caused the Civil War? Is slavery the primary cause of secession and the Civil War?

WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR: THE MYTH


At the heart of the Myth of the Lost Cause is the insistence that secession, the Confederacy, and the Civil War were all about states' rights, not slavery. This myth began almost as soon as the war ended. The newspaperman-turned-historian Edward A. Pollard in his immediate postwar histories described slavery as "an inferior object of the contest." His flimsy evidence included the rebels' supposed program of "Negro enlistments and consequent emancipation," which is discussed in detail below. Robert E. Lee disavowed slavery's role in the war: "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished."

More significantly, Confederate President Jefferson Davis explained in his postwar memoirs, "The truth remains intact and incontrovertible, that the existence of African servitude was in no wise the cause of the conflict, but only an incident." He argued that North-South hostility was "not the consequence of any difference on the abstract question of slavery. . . . It would have manifested itself just as certainly if slavery had existed in all the states, or if there had not been a negro in America."

His vice president, Alexander Stephens, claimed after the war that the strife was between federalism and centralism: "Slavery, so called, was but the question on which these antagonistic principles . . . were finally brought into actual and active collision with each other on the field of battle." He also asserted that the war "was not a contest between the advocates or opponents of that Particular Institution, but a contest . . . between the supporters of a strictly Federative Government . . . and a thoroughly national one. . . . "

In the first three postwar decades, Pollard, Davis, Stephens, Jubal Early, William Nelson Pendleton, the Reverend J. William Jones, and others made and developed the proposition that slavery was not the cause for secession or the formation of the Confederacy. Their position became a "cardinal element of the Southern apologia," and postwar Southerners manifested "a nearly universal denial to escape the ignominy attached to slavery."

In the North, where white racism and a desire for national reconciliation made slavery an issue no one wanted to discuss, the idea that slavery was not the cause of secession and the war found acceptance. According to Alan Nolan, "This belief was advanced by such prominent twentieth-century historians as Charles and Mary Beard, Avery Craven, and James G. Randall, influenced surely in part by their own racism. Others set slavery aside as the critical concern of the Confederacy and critical issue of the war."

Non-slavery rationales for the Civil War certainly are not dead. For example, in his 1988 foreword to a republished edition of Pollard's The Lost Cause, Stefan R. Dziemianowicz writes, "If one were to look for a common denominator that linked all of the many reasons given for the Civil War—the slavery issue, the secession of the southern states and the formation of the Confederacy, the growing disaffection between the North and South as they evolved into separate political entities—the search would end on a difference in interpretation of the United States Constitution." He proceeds to compare the Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian interpretations of the Constitution.

There is, however, much evidence that contradicts the myth that slavery was not the cause of secession and the war.

WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR: THE SETTING


Because the war resulted from the secession of seven Southern states and their formation of the Confederate States of America after Abraham Lincoln's election as president on November 6, 1860, and his inauguration on March 4, 1861, whatever caused those states to secede is the primary cause of the Civil War. The distinguishing feature of Lincoln's and the Republicans' campaign was opposition to the extension of slavery into the Western territories. That was, in fact, almost the only issue in the four-way presidential race. Did that question or others related to slavery affect those seven states' decision to secede and form the Confederacy?

But before examining why South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas seceded from the United States and founded the Confederacy, we must distinguish between the motives of the secessionists and the motives of individual soldiers. Even if slavery was the catalyst, it does not follow that all rebel soldiers believed they were fighting for that cause. They may have been fighting for any number of other reasons. The Civil War, however, "was certainly not the first time in history . . . that good people fought valiantly for disgraceful causes. . . . But by joining the Confederate war machine, all of them, irrespective of their personal motivations, advanced their nation's political agenda—the perpetuation and territorial expansion of human bondage and the misery that it entailed."

BACKGROUND OF WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR


The Founding Fathers generally sidestepped the awkward issue of slavery but did provide it with a constitutional foundation. Despite their declaration in 1776 that "all men are created equal," they affirmed the continuation of slavery in the U.S. Constitution of 1787. Each slave was to count as three-fifths of a person for purposes of determining a state's representation in the lower house of Congress, and the importation of slaves was to continue until at least 1808. The Constitution also provided that fugitive slaves who escaped across state lines were to be returned to their masters, a provision that would be a source of controversy for the next seventy-four years.

Slavery became a serious point of contention between the North and South in 1820 with the proposed admission of Missouri to the Union as a slave state. In the face of national turmoil over this issue, Congress reached the Missouri Compromise. Missouri was admitted as a slave state, Maine was admitted as a free state, slavery was prohibited north of Missouri's southern border except in Missouri itself, and a fugitive slave provision was applied to those slavery-free territories. Thus slavery was prohibited in all new states north of the latitude thirty-six degrees, thirty minutes.

Over the next two decades, a Northern abolitionist movement, the Nat Turner Revolt of 1831, and Southern reaction to both revived the national contention over slavery. The issue was so divisive that it split America's major religious denominations into Northern and Southern wings. Of course, both sides claimed that God and the Bible were on their sides and had numerous biblical quotations to support their positions.

ANTI-STATES' RIGHTS: THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN PRESERVING SLAVERY

The interplay between slavery and states' rights was always complex. David Blight observed, "The relationship of states' rights to slavery in all discussions of Civil War causation appears to be an eternal riddle in American public memory."

According to the Myth, Southerners were moved by the principle of states' rights to secede. As their secession resolutions demonstrated (see below), Southerners were disappointed that some Northern states were exercising state power to obstruct federal enforcement of slave-owners' rights. Gary Gallagher explains the situation in late 1860 from a contemporary perspective:

The best friend of the slaveholding South in that regard is the federal government. Increasingly the states and slaveholders of the South look to the United States government to ensure their hold on their property. They expect the entire nation to follow through with the legislation that came out of the Compromise of 1850 that said escaping slaves will be returned. State rights have been a problem from the Southern perspective in that many of the Northern states have passed laws that make it difficult to enforce federal law.

Looking back on the growing national controversy over slavery, Lincoln's secretaries and biographers John Hay and John Nicolay wrote: "It is now universally understood, if not conceded, that the Rebellion of 1861 was begun for the sole purpose of defending and preserving to the seceding States the institution of African slavery and making them the nucleus of a great slave empire. . . ."

Perhaps surprisingly, Edward Pollard of Richmond, who had his finger on the Confederate pulse, explained in 1866 that Lincoln's 1860 election, with its power shift to the North, caused the South to leave the Union, "which no longer afforded any guaranty for her rights or any permanent sense of security" and which intended to "destroy her institutions, and even involve the lives of her people." His analysis continued: "Power in the hands of the North affected the safety and happiness of every individual in the South." The code words for slavery protection were the substance of his conclusions.14 In fact, the seceding states themselves complained that the federal government was not doing enough to protect slavery and that non-slave states were exercising their own rights in a manner disagreeable to the slave states (for example, by passing "liberty laws" to hinder efforts to retrieve runaway slaves). They were upset that the Underground Railroad had helped between one thousand and five thousand slaves to escape each year between 1830 and 1860.

At the root of these anti-states' rights complaints was the return of fugitive slaves. As the price for their signing the Declaration of Independence and ratifying the U.S. Constitution, the Southern states had demanded that anti-slavery statements in the Declaration be deleted and that certain concessions to slavery be made in the Constitution. In between, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, governing what is now the upper Midwest, forbade slavery there but provided that any slave who escaped to the Northwest Territories "may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service."

The federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 required state and local governments to return runaway slaves to their owners and penalized those who assisted the runaways. Northern opposition to that law led to conflicts about its enforcement and Southern anger about its non-enforcement in the North. The result was a strengthened Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, part of the Compromise of 1850, authorizing federal officials to compel the return of runaways slaves, requiring state officials and the public at large to aid in their capture and return, providing a modicum of nonjudicial due process for alleged runaways, and setting magistrate fees of five dollars when an alleged runaway was released and ten dollars when that person was ordered to be transported to the slave state from which he or she allegedly had fled.

This tougher law provoked even more opposition in Northern states—including riots and fatal shootings. Clearly, many in the North disagreed with returning fugitive slaves to their owners and especially to the shipping south of innocent free blacks as alleged runaways under the new procedures. Northern Democrats, led by President Franklin Pierce, aggressively enforced the new Fugitive Slave Act, and the fear of being kidnapped and sold into slavery led some fifteen to twenty thousand free Northern blacks to migrate to Canada between 1850 and 1860.

The efforts by congressional Democrats and Presidents Pierce and Buchanan to appease Southerners on the fugitive slave issue failed to satisfy them. The essence of the slave-states' complaints was not that their rights were being violated but rather that the federal government and the non-slave states were insufficiently helpful in defending slavery. As the New York Times pointed out in 1859, the South had made "the doctrine of state rights, so long slavery's friend . . . its foe."

Michael C. C. Adams agrees with this analysis: "Appeals to state sovereignty usually masked other, more pragmatic, interests. Southerners embraced states' rights when convenient but insisted that national authorities return fugitive slaves, overriding the states' rights protest of Northern local officials."

The Democratic conventions of 1860 demonstrate Southerners' interest in greater federal government protection of slavery. At two conventions (Charleston and Baltimore) in mid-1860 Southern Democrats bolted because of the majority's unwillingness to approve a platform plank calling for a federal slave code for the territories. Their walkouts, which split the party and led to two separate party candidates for president, demonstrated the Southerners' concern for greater protection of slavery by the federal government—far from a states' rights position. Their desire for explicit central government protection of slavery in the territories came in the Confederate Constitution of 1861.

Dwight Pitcaithley sheds light on this ironic twist: "The use of the term 'states rights' in modern discussions of the causes of the Civil War almost exclusively connotes a cause separate from that of slavery[;] indeed it is used largely in opposition to the idea of slavery as a cause. Yet, when the South's political leaders discussed the subject of denied rights during the secession crisis they spoke almost exclusively with reference to federal rights not states' rights."

Slavery, in Edward L. Ayers's formulation, is the "one-word" answer to the question of what caused the Civil War, but slavery per se was not the cause of the war. Ayers identifies slavery as "the key catalytic agent in a volatile new mix of democratic politics and accelerated communication, a process chemical in its complexity and subtlety." Specifically, "People on both sides were playing out future scenarios even as they responded to immediate threats. They recognized how deeply contingency could run and how quickly things could shift; a Supreme Court decision or a presidential election could change the evolution of vast structures of slavery and economic development."

WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR: SLAVERY-RELATED DEMOGRAPHICS


Did the extent of slave ownership in a state or the size of its slave population have anything to do with how likely a state was to secede? The demographics of slavery reveal a strong correlation. The higher the percentage of slaves and the higher the percentage of slaveholding families, the likelier a state was to secede.

Each of the first six states to secede had a slave population between 44 and 57 percent of the total population. Each of the last five states to secede had a slave population between 25 and 33 percent of the total, while the non-seceding slave states had slave populations between 2 and 20 percent. The average percentage of families that held slaves in the first seven seceding states was 37. That figure was 25 in the next four seceding states, and it was 16 in the four non-seceding slave states.

Whatever part states' rights allegedly played in secession, concern for those rights corresponded to a state's interest in maintaining or protecting the institution of slavery.

One other set of numbers sheds some light on the connection between slavery and secession. Slave-owning soldiers' higher casualty rates and lower desertion rates suggest that they may have been more enthusiastic about participating in the war. Joseph Glatthaar's statistical study of the soldiers in Lee's army finds that soldier slave-owners had a 56.5 percent casualty rate, while that for non-slave-owner soldiers was 48.5 percent. Slave-owning soldiers, moreover, deserted at a "low" rate of 8.4 percent, while 18.1 percent of non-slave-owners deserted. Glatthaar concludes:

As various Confederate states clearly explained in their justification of secession, they left the Union to preserve the institution of slavery. Although attempts by the Northern states to restore the Union required an invasion of those seceding states and Confederates rushed to arms to protect their home and homeland, among the issues central in their thoughts was the mission of safeguarding their right to own bondsmen and bondswomen. Soldiers who owned slaves—or lived with family members who did—turned out in great numbers to fight on behalf of their newly created nation. They incurred higher casualties, deserted less frequently, and suffered more for their slaveholding Confederacy than the troops who did not own slaves and were otherwise unconnected to the peculiar institution.

SUMMARY OF SLAVERY AS THE CAUSE OF SECESSION AND THE CONFEDERACY

In summary, contrary to the Myth of the Lost Cause, preservation of slavery was the primary cause of Southern states' secession and their creation of the Confederacy. Evidence of this connection is found in the slavery-related demographics of the South, the dedication of slave-owners to the war, the official secession resolutions and declarations of the seceding states, prewar settlement efforts, lobbying and diplomatic activities by early-seceding states, contemporaneous pronouncements of the Confederacy's military and political leaders, the Confederate Constitution, Confederate diplomacy, Confederate refusal to arm and liberate slaves, and Confederate prisoner-of-war exchange policies.

Southern secessionist leaders' own words made clear their economic dependence upon slavery, the interconnection between slavery and white supremacy, and their violent reactions to perceived threats to the peculiar institution—reactions that led them to secede. As the British historian D. W. Brogan concludes, Southerners "seceded over one thing and fought over one thing: slavery."


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
In summary, contrary to the Myth of the Lost Cause, preservation of slavery was the primary cause of Southern states' secession and their creation of the Confederacy. Evidence of this connection is found in the slavery-related demographics of the South, the dedication of slave-owners to the war, the official secession resolutions and declarations of the seceding states, prewar settlement efforts, lobbying and diplomatic activities by early-seceding states, contemporaneous pronouncements of the Confederacy's military and political leaders, the Confederate Constitution, Confederate diplomacy, Confederate refusal to arm and liberate slaves, and Confederate prisoner-of-war exchange policies.
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2  Sean Treacy    2 weeks ago

That all makes sense and I would agree with it, but now the BLM rioters are destroying the statues of the guy who destroyed the confederacy.  Since BLM is now fighting for the confederacy,  there must be more to the story.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1  Split Personality  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    2 weeks ago
Since BLM is now fighting for the confederacy,  there must be more to the story

Since they are not fighting for the Confederacy, maybe you should do some research on Grant and slavery, Grant and the way he treated Amerindians.

Grant crushed the Confederacy and the KKK, but was very slow to emancipate his few slaves, they eventually ran away,

Grant waged a secret war against the Plains Amerindians.

He fails the purity test like Robert Byrd.  They both were pressured into "doing the right thing", at least publicly, is spite of what many believe they held dear to their hearts until their deaths.

Does it diminish their contributions to the country to the point of destroying a statue?

I think not, but it was a riot of non thinking people...

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Split Personality @2.1    2 weeks ago
deracy, maybe you should do some research on Grant and slavery, Grant and the way he treated Amerindians.

Maybe you should, as your facts are simply wrong.

K, but was very slow to emancipate his few slaves, they eventually ran away,

Grant married into a save holding family and told his father in law that he would free any slave that came into his possession. . One of his father in law's did as a gift. Grant, though he was dead broke and almost homeless, gave the one slave he ever owned his manumission papers for free rather then making the slave purchase his freedom or selling him for even more money. 

re pressured into "doing the right thing", at least publicly, 

What are you talking about? He could easily have been a slave holding gentleman in the pre war Missouri but refused to give into his in laws and take the easy road.  As President, he withstood tremendous pressure to back off the South and to stop prosecuting  the Klan. His actions were incredibly unpopular with democrats and the progressive half breed faction of the Republican party who supported a more hands off attitude towards the south..  The situation is the exact opposite of what you claim. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Well at least you are partially correct...

Between 1857 and 1859, Julia’s father—aging and widowed—granted Ulysses Grant almost complete oversight of White Haven and the enslaved laborers there, truly testing Grant’s newfound knowledge of farming and labor management. A letter from Grant to his sister, Mary, in 1859 describes the progress he had made at White Haven in the supervision of both crops and enslaved people: “I now have three negro men, two hired by the year and one of Mr. Dents, which, with my own help, I think, will enable me to do my farming pretty well.” Though impossible to know how Grant felt about these interactions, Julia’s sister, Emma Dent Casey, wrote that “although I know that he [Grant] was opposed to human slavery as an institution I do not think that he was at any time a very rank abolitionist or that he opposed it so violently that the acceptance of Julia’s slaves had to be forced upon him.”Grant’s involvement in slavery eventually went beyond the “acceptance” and management of the Dent family’s enslaved laborers — Grant himself came into ownership of a man named William Jones from his father-in-law at some point during the 1850s. While there are no known documents or letters related to a bill of sale, Grant later emancipated Jones in 1859. The motivation behind this is unclear; with a number of enslaved individuals already at his disposal at White Haven and larger financial troubles, it seems unusual that Grant elected to become a slave owner. Whatever the reason, Grant assumed a more personal but short-lived role in the perpetuation of human bondage. On March 29, 1859, U.S. Grant manumitted “my negro man William, sometimes called William Jones, of Mulatto complexion, aged about thirty-five years…being the same slave purchased by me of Frederick Dent.” Many historians have pointed out Grant’s choice to manumit William Jones rather than sell him in a time of financial hardship for his family. Ronald C. White wrote that “Grant could have received at least $1,000 for this slave if he’d tried to sell him… at this point he could have surely used the money.”

...

Mrs. Grant did not have to survive without Jules for long. Although the fates of Dan, Eliza, and John are unknown, it is clear that upon leaving Illinois Julia reclaimed control of Jules, her most trusted enslaved nurse, when Ulysses Grant became a Colonel in the Union Army at the start of the American Civil War in 1861. As Grant rose through the ranks, ultimately assuming his position as Commanding General, Julia followed Grant through battle-ridden cities across America, with Jules in tow. In fact, Julia wrote in her memoirs that Jules “came very near being captured at Holly Springs.” This memoir entry demonstrates one way that Julia put Jules in harm’s way without her consent, but their proximity to battle also put them both in danger of imprisonment, disease, and death every day. Moreover, Jules’ status as a black woman created a heightened risk at the hands of Confederate soldiers, known to treat African-American prisoners more violently than their white counterparts.

...

Unsurprisingly, Julia’s use of enslaved labor did not go unnoticed, especially as the wife of a Union officer. In 1862, Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine reported: “Until we can secure pure men in habits and men without secesh [secessionist] wives with their own little slaves to wait upon them, which is a fact here in this camp with Mrs. Grant, our country is lost.”

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to enslaved individuals in Confederate-held territory, but Missouri, a border state during the Civil War, was exempt from this act. As a result, Jules remained in bondage; Missouri would not abolish slavery until January 1865.

Rather than languishing in wait for freedom, Jules self-emancipated—running away from the Grant family during a stay in Louisville, Kentucky in 1863 and eventually marrying. Julia Grant wrote that she “regretted this, as she was a favorite with me.” At White Haven, it is likely that many enslaved individuals owned by the Dent family similarly took advantage of the Civil War by running away.As Julia came to terms with the loss of Jules, Ulysses Grant.

...

As president, Ulysses Grant also supported the migration of African Americans to areas outside of the continental United States—an idea previously held by other presidents including Abraham Lincoln, Monroe, Madison, and others.

https://www.whitehousehistory.org/the-formerly-enslaved-household-of-the-grant-family

Complicated but hardly the opposite.

You can take some comfort in the White House.gov  pages for both Grant and his First lady which barely mention slavery at all.  Enjoy

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/julia-dent-grant/

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/ulysses-s-grant/

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

History, like science, is multi-faceted and can support any political argument at any time by carefully selecting what is expedient and ignoring the rest.

The institution of African slavery began in Africa.  Similar to what we see with today's globalization, African slavers wanted to profit from a global market.  And African slavers sold slaves to both the West and the East.  Just as we see in today's global markets, the colonial slave ships were operated by middlemen whose primary interest was profiting from global trade.  The middlemen traders did not sell Africans into slavery; African slavers had already enslaved African people and sold them as a commodity.  Colonial North and South America bought a commodity that African slavers were selling.  The institution of African slavery did not originate in the Americas, Middle East, or Europe.  It's true that slaves were bought around the world but African slavers sold Africans into global slavery for their own benefit.

States rights was a contentious issue during the Federalist and anti-Federalist debates over the Constitution.  The colonies had originally established a confederation between independent, sovereign colonies during the American Revolution.  The Continental Congress was more of a diplomatic conference between sovereign entities than a legislative body.  Compromises achieved by the Continental Congress were similar to multi-lateral treaties than laws.

While the institution of slavery was a contentious political issue at the time, it would be unwise to ignore the underlying history of independent sovereignty claimed by the colonies before the Constitution and by the states after the Constitution.  The fact that the Confederate States of America modeled it's government after the pre-Constitution confederation of colonies cannot be ignored.  The confederacy did not establish a pro-slavery Federal government modeled on the Constitution.  So, yes, the Civil War really was about more than slavery.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Nerm_L @3    2 weeks ago

When people describe the Civil War as being about "states rights", or western expansion, what they are intentionally ignoring or not stating is that the states rights issues and the western expansion issues that concerned the south so much were directly tied to the disposition of slavery.  Without the contentious issue of "what was to become of slavery" there wouldnt have been secession and there wouldnt have been a Civil War. 

Why are some people so insistent on declaring that the war wasnt over slavery?  That is the real question. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    2 weeks ago
When people describe the Civil War as being about "states rights", or western expansion, what they are intentionally ignoring or not stating is that the states rights issues and the western expansion issues that concerned the south so much were directly tied to the disposition of slavery.  Without the contentious issue of "what was to become of slavery" there wouldnt have been secession and there wouldnt have been a Civil War.  Why are some people so insistent on declaring that the war wasnt over slavery?  That is the real question. 

Slavery, trade, and sovereign rights.  That should be apparent by the type of government adopted by the Confederate States of America.  The confederacy was modeled on the colonial confederation rather than the federal republic established by the Constitution.  If the Civil War was only about slavery then the Confederate government would have established a pro-slavery federal republic.

Slavery was the divisive issue to justify testing the Constitution.  If the Civil War was only about slavery then do not ignore that slavery had been prohibited in the Ohio valley from the beginning of the nation before the Constitution had been adopted.  Don't ignore the Federal prohibition against importing slaves that had been imposed on the states.

Citing the big slave owners who had a vested interest in free trade is only telling one part of the story.  It's no different than today's big businesses asserting rights to engage in free trade.  Not every white person in the Confederacy owned slaves.  And there were discussions in the south about when and how to end slavery that the big slave owners opposed.  Poor white people in the south really were complaining that rich slave owners were using slavery to deny them jobs and keep them poor.  The same arguments were taking place over slavery as we see today concerning offshoring jobs and automation.  Big businesses were using slavery then just as today's big businesses are using automation.  Yesterday's slaves have been replaced by today's robots.  But the arguments over sovereign rights concerning labor and trade hasn't changed at all.

The Confederacy serves as the model for today's corporate control of government.  And those interests are still attempting to nullify the Constitution.  Today's equivalent of slaves are still fighting on the side of big business interests.  Today's protests are contributing to toppling the Constitution just as Confederate slaves did 160 years ago.

And today's Democratic Party is still sowing the seeds of division just as the party did almost 200 years ago.  Toppling the Constitution removes all protections for human rights.  Giving Congress the power to nullify the Constitution for political gain infringes upon human rights.  Political expediency may be emotionally gratifying but beware of what will be lost.

 
 
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