Tempers-flare-over-removal-of-confederate-statues-in-New-Orleans

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  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    I am sure it still exists. It isn't a bad thing either if both the landowner and person working the property benefit from it. But back in the day, sometimes people that owned the land free and clear had one heck of a time making it work even without sharing crops. Productivity per acre has gone up quite a bit over the years too-- hopefully that makes it a bit easier to make it working the land.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,960 Senior Member
    It exists and not just east of the Mississippi. It's alive and well right here deep in the heart of Texas. Whether you call it share cropping, tenant farming it's all about the same thing. The guy works the land and cuts the land owner in on a percentage of the profits.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,739 Senior Member
    Our local news showed them removing one of the statues of Jefferson Davis this morning and the work crews hid their faces and were wearing flak vests. They already removed the obelisk monument dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place and they have two more to go. One of General Robert E Lee and an equestrian statue of PGT Beauregard.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Our local news showed them removing one of the statues of Jefferson Davis this morning and the work crews hid their faces and were wearing flak vests. They already removed the obelisk monument dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place and they have two more to go. One of General Robert E Lee and an equestrian statue of PGT Beauregard.
    That is a damn shame. What is next? Burn the Constitution because it mentions slavery?
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,739 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    That is a damn shame. What is next? Burn the Constitution because it mentions slavery?


    I was wondering about all of the historic forts that dot the southeastern US, most of which were built by slave labor. Are there plans to start dismantling all of them?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    I was wondering about all of the historic forts that dot the southeastern US, most of which were built by slave labor. Are there plans to start dismantling all of them?
    That wasn't just the southeast-- there used to be slaves in the northeast too. Heck, the White House was supposedly built with the help of slave labor.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    May as well start taking down statues of Jefferson and Washington while we are at it-- no need to offend anyone with history. Heaven forbid.:roll:
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,656 Senior Member
    Hell, I'd start by burning down all log cabins.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    And the American flag-- The country was founded with slavery as an institutionalized concept, so our flag is a symbol of hatred and racism.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,231 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    May as well start taking down statues of Jefferson and Washington while we are at it-- no need to offend anyone with history. Heaven forbid.:roll:

    You forgot the statue of the great military dictator, Abraham Lincoln!

    Here's some light reading about black slave owners, and not just in the South. This is some history that was hidden by the 'winners' of the Late Unpleasantness.

    http://www.ironbarkresources.com/slaves/whiteslaves05.htm

    http://teachingushistory.org/lessons/BlackSlaveOwnersinCharleston.html

    http://www.theroot.com/did-black-people-own-slaves-1790895436


    Two more things about sharecropping and one more thing, maybe two, and then I'll let it lie.

    Sharecroppers were/are both black and white. This goes back past the time before the U.S. became the U.S. Slavery was actually detrimental to the poor whites as the black slaves were filling the available jobs as illegal immigrants today do to the job market. If you think this might cause some friction, then you'd be right. Sharecropping in the South now is different due to advances in farming practices and machinery used. The difference between methods in farming now bear little resemblance to methods 50-250 years ago. A sharecropper now can tend a lot larger crop than before due to mechanization alone.

    Cotton plantations: Large numbers of slaves were needed, not to pick the cotton, but to remove the cotton from the seeds. The cotton gin mostly solved that problem, but the gins weren't universally available for a long time. Hence the need for many hands to remove the seeds. Tobacco is a very labor intensive crop both in planting, tending, and harvesting. Needed lots of people to do that work back then. Mechanization and herbicides have eliminated most of that labor, including the harvesting and grading of tobacco leaves.

    That 'other' thing that just grates on the nerves. The Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln gave that speech twice, once in Sept. 1862 as a warning shot across the bow, and again for real in Jan. 1863. Funny thing about that proclamation; it 'freed' the slaves in the Southern states that had seceded from the Union over which he had no control, and kept slaves in slavery in states that were in the Union and had not seceded from the Union. the 'Great Emancipator' was more full of crap than a Christmas goose. This inconsistency was pointed out by my 5th grade teacher, and reinforced in HS American History class. You know, back when education didn't cull that non-PC stuff!
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    I haven't disagreed with anything you have said Tennmike. It is definitely interesting. We can't change the past-- we can only learn from it, and erasing our past in my view, is probably about the worst possible thing to do if your goal is to create understanding and harmony. Knowing where we have been helps us know where to go from here. How in the hell are we ever going to move forward as a country by erasing our past? This is crazy.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,858 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    You forgot the statue of the great military dictator, Abraham Lincoln!

    Here's some light reading about black slave owners, and not just in the South. This is some history that was hidden by the 'winners' of the Late Unpleasantness.

    http://www.ironbarkresources.com/slaves/whiteslaves05.htm

    http://teachingushistory.org/lessons/BlackSlaveOwnersinCharleston.html

    http://www.theroot.com/did-black-people-own-slaves-1790895436


    Two more things about sharecropping and one more thing, maybe two, and then I'll let it lie.

    Sharecroppers were/are both black and white. This goes back past the time before the U.S. became the U.S. Slavery was actually detrimental to the poor whites as the black slaves were filling the available jobs as illegal immigrants today do to the job market. If you think this might cause some friction, then you'd be right. Sharecropping in the South now is different due to advances in farming practices and machinery used. The difference between methods in farming now bear little resemblance to methods 50-250 years ago. A sharecropper now can tend a lot larger crop than before due to mechanization alone.

    Cotton plantations: Large numbers of slaves were needed, not to pick the cotton, but to remove the cotton from the seeds. The cotton gin mostly solved that problem, but the gins weren't universally available for a long time. Hence the need for many hands to remove the seeds. Tobacco is a very labor intensive crop both in planting, tending, and harvesting. Needed lots of people to do that work back then. Mechanization and herbicides have eliminated most of that labor, including the harvesting and grading of tobacco leaves.

    That 'other' thing that just grates on the nerves. The Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln gave that speech twice, once in Sept. 1862 as a warning shot across the bow, and again for real in Jan. 1863. Funny thing about that proclamation; it 'freed' the slaves in the Southern states that had seceded from the Union over which he had no control, and kept slaves in slavery in states that were in the Union and had not seceded from the Union. the 'Great Emancipator' was more full of crap than a Christmas goose. This inconsistency was pointed out by my 5th grade teacher, and reinforced in HS American History class. You know, back when education didn't cull that non-PC stuff!
    Interesting point about slavery's impact on poor whites. It is no doubt correct. And just another way in which those with power find ways to drive down labor costs for their own benefit and to the detriment of the masses. Pretty much the same as large agricultural interests currently fight tooth and nail to maintain the current status quo of unfettered illegal immigration. Given that I do find it slightly odd that so many of those poor whites that suffered from the system in place we're convinced by the powers that be to give their lives to try to protect it.

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  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,273 Senior Member
    Since virtually all of the great civilizations were slave based...shouldn't we tear down the Colosseum? The Great Pyramid and all the lesser structures? .
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Since virtually all of the great civilizations were slave based...shouldn't we tear down the Colosseum? The Great Pyramid and all the lesser structures? .

    Dont forget all the Mayan ancient ruins in South America............Come to think of it, didnt the American Indians trade in slaves? Maybe you should tear down all the casino's on Indian Land as well.....
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,231 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I haven't disagreed with anything you have said Tennmike. It is definitely interesting. We can't change the past-- we can only learn from it, and erasing our past in my view, is probably about the worst possible thing to do if your goal is to create understanding and harmony. Knowing where we have been helps us know where to go from here. How in the hell are we ever going to move forward as a country by erasing our past? This is crazy.


    True enough about erasing the past, or attempting to do it. If we don't know and acknowledge the past for what it was, and put in its context in that time, then we will eventually forget and do it all over again. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. It's being played out again in Continental Europe, and also GB and the Nordic countries. They have forgotten history and are seeing a repeat of it just a few centuries later.

    California brings to mind that in one way. The Governor and Legislature are attempting to tax themselves into prosperity. It isn't working. Like communism, it has been tried many times, and has failed as many times as it has been tried. But people keep doing it, thinking that if they just try it once more 'this way' that it will be wildly successful.

    Successful republics last about 200 years and then start to degenerate. And so it seems with this one. It was a good run, but it's degenerating into identity politics, with communists, fascists, and socialists thrown in the mix to make it more interesting. I don't see the future being very bright. At least I don't think I'll live long enough to see it implode, and that suits me just fine.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 20,118 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    They have forgotten history and are seeing a repeat of it just a few decades later.

    FIFY.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,858 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    True enough about erasing the past, or attempting to do it. If we don't know and acknowledge the past for what it was, and put in its context in that time, then we will eventually forget and do it all over again. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. It's being played out again in Continental Europe, and also GB and the Nordic countries. They have forgotten history and are seeing a repeat of it just a few centuries later.

    California brings to mind that in one way. The Governor and Legislature are attempting to tax themselves into prosperity. It isn't working. Like communism, it has been tried many times, and has failed as many times as it has been tried. But people keep doing it, thinking that if they just try it once more 'this way' that it will be wildly successful.

    Successful republics last about 200 years and then start to degenerate. And so it seems with this one. It was a good run, but it's degenerating into identity politics, with communists, fascists, and socialists thrown in the mix to make it more interesting. I don't see the future being very bright. At least I don't think I'll live long enough to see it implode, and that suits me just fine.
    Eh, the country goes in cycles and seems we face some serious trials and tribulations that usher in a new order about once every 4 generations (70-80ish years).

    Revolution 1776
    Civil War 1860
    Depression 1929
    ??? 2019ish???

    We're more than due for the next round. The status quo is unlikely to hold. The only question is the source of the disruption and what things look like afterwards. What is likely however is that the Republic will still stand. Those who currently run it and hold most of the power may not however.


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  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,765 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    ...states rights for its white citizens to own black slaves. Of course it was about slavery! It may not have been for the poor bastards that were fighting and dying on the front lines, but it certainly was for the elites of southern society.

    Abraham Lincoln repeatedly and forcefully stated that the war was not about slavery, until he realized that most northeners were apathetic about whether a state could secede. At least half of his generals were neutral on the subject of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was not even considered until Lincoln figured out that he had to have an emotional issue to fight for that would justify the carnage. The war raged for two years before slavery became the issue, and by that time it didn't matter to southerners about the politics, because they were defending the homeland.

    Racists abounded, on both sides of the conflict, but saving the institution of slavery was not what inspired the overwhelming majority of southerners to fight against an army that was far superior in numbers, arms, rations, and nearly every other category except toughness and good generals. It is completely illogical to think that farm boys would knowingly charge the union cannons so that the elite could maintain their political power over the average citizen.

    It is common, throughout history, for wars to begin over unresolved political differences and for the 'just cause' to be added in later...when the politicians figure out what will sustain the troops, once the blood starts flowing freely. The Battle Hymn of the Republic was much more effective at boosting troop morale than a politician speaking from the balcony of a posh railroad car that is pointed away from the battle.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    So if it wasn't about slavery, why did they secede? The answer is that they felt their economic system and political power was being uprooted because the balance of slave/non-slave states were going against their interests. Interests meaning slavery.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,392 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    After we are dead, or around another 50 years till anyone that remembers anything is no longer around. That's how we will move forward.
    Slavery and the Civil War ended in the 1860's. Blacks and southerners are still pissed off about it 150 years later...
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,765 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    So if it wasn't about slavery, why did they secede? The answer is that they felt their economic system and political power was being uprooted because the balance of slave/non-slave states were going against their interests. Interests meaning slavery.

    The decision to secede was made by the individual states, because the Constitution did not expressly forbid it, for whatever reason. The decision to have a war over it was made by the unionists. The seceding states justified their action against Fort Sumter as their right to remove the troops of a foreign government from their sovereign soil, and there were no casualties resulting from that action. The first act of war, by the Confederacy's logic, was when 18,000 federal troops marched on Manassas Junction, in Virginia - a sovereign state of the Confederacy.

    The reasons for secession were irrelevant to those who believed it to be their right. We are talking about what the war was about, and the initial actions were about the right to secede - not the details of the many 'state's rights' that were being argued for decades, prior to the war.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,381 Senior Member
    It was about states' rights...specifically, the right of individuals to own slaves.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
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  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 1,852 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Abraham Lincoln repeatedly and forcefully stated that the war was not about slavery, until he realized that most northeners were apathetic about whether a state could secede. At least half of his generals were neutral on the subject of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was not even considered until Lincoln figured out that he had to have an emotional issue to fight for that would justify the carnage. The war raged for two years before slavery became the issue, and by that time it didn't matter to southerners about the politics, because they were defending the homeland.

    Racists abounded, on both sides of the conflict, but saving the institution of slavery was not what inspired the overwhelming majority of southerners to fight against an army that was far superior in numbers, arms, rations, and nearly every other category except toughness and good generals. It is completely illogical to think that farm boys would knowingly charge the union cannons so that the elite could maintain their political power over the average citizen.

    It is common, throughout history, for wars to begin over unresolved political differences and for the 'just cause' to be added in later...when the politicians figure out what will sustain the troops, once the blood starts flowing freely. The Battle Hymn of the Republic was much more effective at boosting troop morale than a politician speaking from the balcony of a posh railroad car that is pointed away from the battle.

    Lincoln's main reason for the Emancipation Proclamation was to keep Britain and France from supporting/joining the South. He knew that by making the war about ending slavery that those 2 countries would not support the South. The reason he waited as long as he did was that he needed some Union victories to help make the proclamation more palatable to the North. Northerners were not willing to die for slaves.

    The proclamation ended slavery in those areas in rebellion against the Union. It did not end slavery in the 4 border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware.
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 1,852 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    It was about states' rights...specifically, the right of individuals to own slaves.

    That is mostly correct. There was also a fundamental difference in the views of the role of gov't. The South believed that the states were more powerful than the Fed. Gov't. The North felt differently. There were few Fed. Gov't. Funded internal improvements in the US before the 1860 because the South, who almost had a.lock on the presidency since Washington had a philosophy that was basically "If you want a road/canal/railroad built then the state or states that wanted it should be the ones to pay for.it.

    The South was very rural, towns/cities were far and few between. People handled problems themselves. A gov't entity or official was many miles away.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,381 Senior Member
    Much of the North was also rural and that time; most of America was, in fact. The Power Base in the North was in the large cities and industrial, the Power Base in the South was focused in a few smaller cities and mostly agrarian. And this agrarian economy was based largely on slavery for labor. Most Southern soldiers by far didn't own slaves, most Union soldiers didn't work in factories.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,858 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    FIFY
    Sure there are small cultural movements in between. Flapper in the 20's also come to mind, but what is coming will be MUCH bigger, with massive consequences. My bet is on the financial system. There is far too much debt in the world and too much wealth is tied up in essentially fictional "assets". Add in the fact that boomers are retiring and either don't have their own wealth saved (will be reliant on failing pensions or payments from the government) or will have to sell assets. We will shift from massive flows into financial (and housing) markets and assets to major flows out of them due to boomers moving from peak earnings and savings years to peak withdrawal and downsizing years. Regardless of the economy, supply and demand will dictate that stocks and bonds fall in value because millennials saddled with student loan debt and poor job prospects won't be able to pick up the slack. Other contributing factors include the continued and accelerating loss of jobs to robots/computers and you'll end up with log jams in the labor market with boomers having to work past retirement to make ends meet, jobs lost to technology, and growing population of young people. Maybe we'll muddle through without a major crisis, but seems unlikely to me. Looking back 30-40 years in the future they'll probably look at 2008 as a minor tremor before the massive earthquake that leveled the world economy.

    This is just my opinion of the most likely scenario. Trump could end up accidentally igniting a world war or maybe North Korean EMP blasts may knock us back to the Stone age, or the collapse of the EU could set off some unpredictable series of events. Maybe it will be purely a US thing with something major happening politically like a new political party rising up or a constitutional convention that radically changes things or results in the splintering of the Union along major fault lines. All of these are feasible too.

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  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 1,852 Senior Member
    I also think there will be a financial crisis in the US. It may end up similar to 1929+. And if it does the effects will be much worse than back then. It'll also be felt globally.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,231 Senior Member
    Eh, the country goes in cycles and seems we face some serious trials and tribulations that usher in a new order about once every 4 generations (70-80ish years).

    Revolution 1776
    Civil War 1860
    Depression 1929
    ??? 2019ish???

    We're more than due for the next round. The status quo is unlikely to hold. The only question is the source of the disruption and what things look like afterwards. What is likely however is that the Republic will still stand. Those who currently run it and hold most of the power may not however.


    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

    It's your side of the aisle, represented by the ANTIFA groups that are arming up, that are making this one different. The primary, secondary, and university school systems have turned out fools that are taught WHAT TO THINK rather than HOW TO THINK, and the results are there for anyone to see. Summer is almost here, and all those ANTIFA that are students now will be out there causing mayhem. If a few of them start popping off rounds into a crowd of conservatives, then the 'stuff's on' and it will be as ugly as Rosy O'Donnell before it's over. The old Black Panthers back in the '60s and '70s talked about revolution but nothing came of it. This ANTIFA bunch seems ignorant and foolish enough to start something they can't possibly finish. It will finish when they start shooting, and the rest of the country 'fires two 30 round magazines and then goes home for a steak dinner' finale.
    Gene L wrote: »
    It was about states' rights...specifically, the right of individuals to own slaves.

    And, again, No, it wasn't 'just about slavery'.
    I'll provide this link for the umpeenth time knowing you won't read it, but someone else might and gain a little enlightenment from it.

    http://www.ashevilletribune.com/archives/censored-truths/Morrill%20Tariff.html

    UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSES OF THE UNCIVIL WAR

    A Brief Explanation of the Impact of the Morrill Tariff

    By Mike Scruggs for the Tribune Papers



    Most Americans believe the U. S. “Civil War” was over slavery. They have to an enormous degree been miseducated. The means and timing of handling the slavery issue were at issue, although not in the overly simplified moral sense that lives in postwar and modern propaganda. But had there been no Morrill Tariff there might never have been a war. The conflict that cost of the lives of 650,000 Union and Confederate soldiers and perhaps as many as 50,000 Southern civilians and impoverished many millions for generations might never have been.



    A smoldering issue of unjust taxation that enriched Northern manufacturing states and exploited the agricultural South was fanned to a furious blaze in 1860. It was the Morrill Tariff that stirred the smoldering embers of regional mistrust and ignited the fires of Secession in the South. This precipitated a Northern reaction and call to arms that would engulf the nation in the flames of war for four years.



    Prior to the U. S. “Civil War” there was no U. S. income tax. Considerably more than 90% of U. S. government revenue was raised by a tariff on imported goods. A tariff is a tax on selected imports, most commonly finished or manufactured products. A high tariff is usually legislated not only to raise revenue, but also to protect domestic industry form foreign competition. By placing such a high, protective tariff on imported goods it makes them more expensive to buy than the same domestic goods. This allows domestic industries to charge higher prices and make more money on sales that might otherwise be lost to foreign competition because of cheaper prices (without the tariff) or better quality. This, of course, causes domestic consumers to pay higher prices and have a lower standard of living. Tariffs on some industrial products also hurt other domestic industries that must pay higher prices for goods they need to make their products. Because the nature and products of regional economies can vary widely, high tariffs are sometimes good for one section of the country, but damaging to another section of the country. High tariffs are particularly hard on exporters since they must cope with higher domestic costs and retaliatory foreign tariffs that put them at a pricing disadvantage. This has a depressing effect on both export volume and profit margins. High tariffs have been a frequent cause of economic disruption, strife and war.



    Prior to 1824 the average tariff level in the U. S. had been in the 15 to 20 % range. This was thought sufficient to meet federal revenue needs and not excessively burdensome to any section of the country. The increase of the tariff to a 20% average in 1816 was ostensibly to help pay for the War of 1812. It also represented a 26% net profit increase to Northern manufacturers.



    In 1824 Northern manufacturing states and the Whig Party under the leadership of Henry Clay began to push for high, protective tariffs. These were strongly opposed by the South. The Southern economy was largely agricultural and geared to exporting a large portion of its cotton and tobacco crops to Europe. In the 1850’s the South accounted for anywhere from 72 to 82% of U. S. exports. They were largely dependent, however, on Europe or the North for the manufactured goods needed for both agricultural production and consumer needs. Northern states received about 20% of the South’s agricultural production. The vast majority of export volume went to Europe. A protective tariff was then a substantial benefit to Northern manufacturing states, but meant considerable economic hardship for the agricultural South.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,231 Senior Member
    Northern political dominance enabled Clay and his allies in Congress to pass a tariff averaging 35% late in 1824. This was the cause of economic boom in the North, but economic hardship and political agitation in the South. South Carolina was especially hard hit, the State’s exports falling 25% over the next two years. In 1828 in a demonstration of unabashed partisanship and unashamed greed the Northern dominated Congress raised the average tariff level to 50%. Despite strong Southern agitation for lower tariffs the Tariff of 1832 only nominally reduced the effective tariff rate and brought no relief to the South. These last two tariffs are usually termed in history as the Tariffs of Abomination.



    This led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 when South Carolina called a state convention and “nullified” the 1828 and 1832 tariffs as unjust and unconstitutional. The resulting constitutional crisis came very near provoking armed conflict at that time. Through the efforts of former U. S. Vice President and U. S. Senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun, a compromise was effected in 1833 which over a few years reduced the tariff back to a normal level of about 15%. Henry Clay and the Whigs were not happy, however, to have been forced into a compromise by Calhoun and South Carolina’s Nullification threat. The tariff, however, remained at a level near 15% until 1860. A lesson in economics, regional sensitivities, and simple fairness should have been learned from this confrontation, but if it was learned, it was ignored by ambitious political and business factions and personalities that would come on the scene of American history in the late 1850’s.



    High protective tariffs were always the policy of the old Whig Party and had become the policy of the new Republican Party that replaced it. A recession beginning around 1857 gave the cause of protectionism an additional political boost in the Northern industrial states.



    In May of 1860 the U. S. Congress passed the Morrill Tariff Bill (named for Republican Congressman and steel manufacturer, Justin S. Morrill of Vermont) raising the average tariff from about 15% to 37% with increases to 47% within three years. Although this was remarkably reminiscent of the Tariffs of Abomination which had led in 1832 to a constitutional crisis and threats of secession and armed force, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Bill 105 to 64. Out of 40 Southern Congressmen only one Tennessee Congressman voted for it.



    U. S. tariff revenues already fell disproportionately on the South, accounting for 87% of the total. While the tariff protected Northern industrial interests, it raised the cost of living and commerce in the South substantially. It also reduced the trade value of their agricultural exports to Europe. These combined to place a severe economic hardship on many Southern states. Even more galling was that 80% or more of these tax revenues were expended on Northern public works and industrial subsidies, thus further enriching the North at the expense of the South.



    In the 1860 election, Lincoln, a former Whig and great admirer of Henry Clay, campaigned for the high protective tariff provisions of the Morrill Tariff, which had also been incorporated into the Republican Party Platform. Lincoln further endorsed the Morrill Tariff and its concepts in his first inaugural speech and signed the Act into law a few days after taking office in March of 1861. Southern leaders had seen it coming. Southern protests had been of no avail. Now the South was inflamed with righteous indignation, and Southern leaders began to call for Secession.



    At first Northern public opinion as reflected in Northern newspapers of both parties recognized the right of the Southern States to secede and favored peaceful separation. A November 21, 1860, editorial in the Cincinnati Daily Press said this:



    “We believe that the right of any member of this Confederacy to dissolve its political relations with the

    others and assume an independent position is absolute.”



    The New York Times on March 21, 1861, reflecting the great majority of editorial opinion in the North summarized in an editorial:



    “There is a growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.”



    Northern industrialists became nervous, however, when they realized a tariff dependent North would be competing against a free trade South. They feared not only loss of tax revenue, but considerable loss of trade. Newspaper editorials began to reflect this nervousness. Lincoln had promised in his inaugural speech that he would preserve the Union and the tariff. Three days after manipulating the South into firing on the tariff collection facility of Fort Sumter in volatile South Carolina, on April 15, 1861, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion. This caused the Border States to secede along with the Gulf States. Lincoln undoubtedly calculated that the mere threat of force backed by more unified Northern public opinion would quickly put down secession. His gambit, however, failed spectacularly and would erupt into a terrible and costly war for four years. The Union Army’s lack of success early in the war, the need to keep anti-slavery England from coming into the war on the side of the South, and Lincoln’s need to appease the radical abolitionists in the North led to increasing promotion of freeing the slaves as a noble cause to justify what was really a dispute over just taxation and States Rights.



    Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said these things about the war going on in America:



    “The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to

    conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”



    “Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means loss of the same millions to

    the North. The love of money is the root of this as many, many other evils. The quarrel between the

    North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.”



    Karl Marx, like most European socialists of the time favored the North. In an 1861 article published in England, he articulated very well what the major British newspapers, the Times, the Economist, and Saturday Review, had been saying:



    “The war between the North and South is a tariff war. The war, is further, not for any principle, does

    not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for power.”



    A horrific example of the damage that protective tariffs can exact was also seen in later history. One of the causes of the Great Depression of 1930-1939 was the Hawley-Smoot Act, a high tariff passed in 1930 that Congress mistakenly thought would help the country. While attempting to protect domestic industry from foreign imports, the unanticipated effect was to reduce the nation’s exports and thereby help increase unemployment to the devastating figure of 25%. It is fairly well known by competent and honest economists now that protective tariffs usually do more harm than good, often considerably more harm than good. However, economic ignorance and political expediency often combine to overrule longer-term public good. As the Uncivil War of 1861-5 proves, the human and economic costs for such shortsighted political expediency and partisan greed can be enormous.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,231 Senior Member
    The Morrill Tariff illustrates very well one of the problems with majoritarian democracy. A majority can easily exploit a regional, economic, ethnic, or religious minority (or any other minority) unmercifully unless they have strong constitutional guarantees that can be enforced, e. g., States Rights, Nullification, etc. The need to limit centralized government power to counter this natural depravity in men was recognized by the founding fathers. They knew well the irresistible tendencies in both monarchy and democracy for both civil magistrates and the electorate to succumb to the temptations of greed, self-interest, and the lust for power. Thus they incorporated into the Constitution such provisions as the separation of powers and very important provisions enumerating and delegating only certain functions and powers to the federal government and retaining others at the state level and lower. Such constitutional provisions including the very specific guaranty of States Rights and limits to the power of the Federal Government in the 10th Amendment are unfortunately now largely ignored by all three branches of the Federal Government, and their constant infringement seldom contested by the States.





    The Tariff question and the States Rights question were therefore strongly linked. Both are linked to the broader issues of limited government and a strong Constitution. The Morrill Tariff dealt the South a flagrant political injustice and impending economic hardship and crisis. It therefore made Secession a very compelling alternative to an exploited and unequal union with the North.



    How to handle the slavery question was an underlying tension between North and South, but one of many tensions. It cannot be said to be the cause of the war. Fully understanding the slavery question and its relations to those tensions is beyond the scope of this article, but numerous historical facts demolish the propagandistic morality play that a virtuous North invaded the evil South to free the slaves. Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner, put it this way:



    “All these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the

    Union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross,

    shameless, transparent cheats—so transparent that they ought to deceive no one.”



    Yet apparently many today are still deceived, are deliberately deceived, and even prefer to be deceived.



    Unjust taxation has been the cause of many tensions and much bloodshed throughout history and around the world. The Morrill Tariff was certainly a powerful factor predisposing the South to seek its independence and determine its own destiny. As outrageous and unjust as the Morrill Tariff was, its importance has been largely ignored and even purposely obscured. It does not fit the politically correct images and myths of popular American history. Truth, however, is always the high ground. It will have the inevitable victory



    In addition to the devastating loss of life and leadership during the War, the South suffered considerable damage to property, livestock, and crops. The policies of “Reconstruction” and “carpetbagger” state governments further exploited and robbed the South, considerably retarding economic recovery. Further, high tariffs and discriminatory railroad shipping taxes continued to favor Northern economic interests and impoverish the South for generations after the war. It is only in relatively recent history that the political and economic fortunes of the South have begun to rise.



    One last point needs to be made. The war of 1861-65 was not a “civil” war. To call it the “Civil War” is not a historically accurate and honest use of language. It is the propaganda of the victors having attained popular usage. No one in the South was attempting to overthrow the U. S. government. Few Southerners had any interest in overthrowing their own or anyone else’s state governments. The Southern states had seen that continued union with the North would jeopardize their liberties and economic wellbeing. Through the proper constitutional means of state conventions and referendums they sought to withdraw from the Union and establish their independence just as the American Colonies had sought their independence from Great Britain in 1776 and for very similar reasons. The Northern industrialists, however, were not willing to give up their Southern Colonies. A more appropriate name for the uncivil war of 1861-65 would be “The War for Southern Independence.”



    But had it not been for the Morrill Tariff there would have been no rush to Secession by Southern states and very probably no war. The Morrill Tariff of 1860, so unabashed and unashamed in its short-sighted, partisan greed, stands as an astonishing monument to the self-centered depravity of man and to its consequences. No wonder most Americans would like to see it forgotten and covered over with a more morally satisfying but largely false version of the causes of the Uncivil War.

    Mike Scruggs is an historian who now lives in Hendersonville, NC



    Principal References and Recommended Reading:



    Charles Adams; For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes in the Course of Civilization, 1993.



    Charles Adams; When in the Course of Human Events: Argueing the Case for Southern Secession, 2000.



    Frank Conner; The South Under Siege 1830-2000; A History of the Relations Between North and South, 2002.



    John G. Van Deusen; Economic Bases of Disunion in South Carolina, 1928. Reprinted by Crown Rights Book Company, 2003.



    Thomas J. DiLorenzo; The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, 2002.



    Ludwell H. Johnson; North Against South: The American Iliad 1848-1977, 2002 printing.



    Mark Thornton; Tariffs, Blockades and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War, 2004.



    Principal Reference and Recommended Listening



    Dr. David Livingston; Rethinking Lincoln: Abe Lincoln and Slavery, Lectures at League of South Conference, 2000. Available on cassette or CD at Apologia Book Shoppe online. A valuable portion of this lecture concerns the Morrill Tariff.



    Revised 4 June 2005
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



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