Of The Union and of Unions Part 1

This photo isn’t the only thing to come through my newsfeed recently, but it is the only one that made me laugh.  A lot.

Earlier in the week with all the Confederate talk, both sides were giving me a headache.  It’s like a train wreck that you can’t look away from, but I had to stop looking and be selective in what I read or saw.  I’m sure any of you are well aware of what the against and for camps for the Confederate flag have been saying; in articles, on their Facebook pages, and in comments to both of these.

If you’ve been reading this for a bit, then you are well aware that I am a southerner, from Mississippi.  I love my home state.  I love and don’t love a lot of things about it, but I still love this state.  I also don’t like people hating my state, citing they know all about it because they’ve read things, drove through once, or visited for a week.  I like to defend and protect my state.  However, it does not mean that I glorify any villainous past or try to make events seem better.  I will talk about the good things my state has done, but I won’t bend the truth for anyone.  Which does mean that most people don’t like what I have to say on the matter, because I tell histories, not fancies, about any topic.

From the history, both sides are right, but are also wrong.  I notice they include what they want to suit their argument, but leave our important information; either because they do not know it or because they simply choose to ignore it.  I don’t know why it’s left out, but it is.  It is the same as the Christians who pick and choose from the bible to prove their points; citing Leviticus to claim that being gay is an abomination, but neglecting to see that in that book it also states that you should also not eat shellfish or the milk that comes from the meat you will eat (example: a cheeseburger is forbidden under this law) or that you are not allowed to shave your beard.  Or how they will cite traditional marriage as outlined by the bible, but neglect to mention that it includes other various marriages that are allowed in the eyes of God, but are unseemly by todays standards.

But getting back to the Confederacy, I won’t go into what each side is stating, as you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded with all of that for this past week.  So, I will state the facts on our both sides are wrong (or right).

The only three flown during the Confederate States of America | 1861-1865
Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag – 1861 | Confederate Battle Flag, “Dixie”, post Civil War – 1865 – present

The battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia was created in 1861.  The emblem of it later was used in the second and third flags for the Confederate States of America, in an effort to lessen confusion on the battlefield since the Stars and Bars was so similar to the Stars and Stripes of the Union.  So, while the current flag is not any original battle flag, it’s a technicality.  Just because the bars are more seemless and there is no white border, there’s still no getting around that it’s not directly taken from the Army of Northern Virginia’s battle flag.  And although there is no large white field, or a dash of red at the end as with the last two Confederate States of America flags, it is certainly nit-picking to say the least.

Mississippi State Flags since the Civil War | The Bonnie Blue – 1861 | The Magnolia – 1863 | Current State Flag – 1894

As you can see there’s no real need for government buildings in Mississippi to fly Confederate flags as our state flag basically is one.  As far as any Confederate flag is concerned, even the Mississippi state flag, I don’t love them, but I also don’t hate them either.

Really one needs to understand basic war principles.  Without that, how can one possibly understand any war?  The majority of any war that has ever been fought has these basic principles.  The wealthy feel slighted in some way.  They want to continue or to start doing whatever is that they want to do, which is something that really only affects the wealthy.  But to fight and to win a war, one needs infantry.  The little people who make up the most numbers, with the calvary and high-ranking official places being alloted to the wealthy.  The infantry is what keeps the wealthy from having to sully their hands with war.  Of course there are some high-ranking officials who do go in for the charge, but they would never be a lowly infantryman.  They are the pawns in a game of chess.  They are the playing pieces.  They are the one’s you can have to defend whatever your war is for by the thousands or millions.  They are disposable.

People are not stupid.  They understand war is a thing in which you lay your life on the line for the cause of that war.  No one, in the history of ever, is stupid enough to lay down their life for a cause that isn’t something they can get behind.  I’m not denying that there were a lot of wealthy slave owners in the southern states.  I’m not even denying that their cause was to keep their way of life, which meant keeping people enslaved.  The majority of free peoples in the south, however, were not wealthy.  Owning a person was not something any of them could have ever done whether they agreed with owning slaves or not.

Here’s an example:  Say a wealthy man in the U.S. wanted six mansions, but was told that he couldn’t.  He rallied other wealthy people to his cause because they also want to be allowed to own six mansions or as many as they want.  But the U.S. government says no.  All the wealthy men say, “Well, fuck you U.S. government, we will anyway.”  But then there’s going to be a war about this.  How many of you, as non wealthy people, would willingly fight and lay down your lives so that those wealthy one-percenters could have multiple million dollar homes?  Not one of you.  Wealthy men have always known this when wanting to wage war over something.  You, as a little person, won’t willingly fight for them, but you’ll fight for yourselves.  There needs to be a cause that you believe in for a war to proceed and those instigators to actually win what they want.

In the prequel to war, the wealthy, slave-owning southern heads of states announced their succession with the reasons that it was their right to own slaves.  A thing that only effected the wealthy.  In the prequel to war, the little people who would serve as infantry for the Confederate States’ war, had no idea why they were going to war.  There were rumours it was about slavery, but nothing was fact yet.  Knowing they could not fill the infantry if the cause was slavery, the wealthy told the poor that it was about freedom.  They instilled it so strongly, that it was whole-heartedly believed that everyone’s freedom was at stake, so the poor took up arms and joined the Confederate infantry.  By the middle of the war, morale was waning and people were starting to think they were just fighting for the wealthy on an unimportant cause.  By that time it was too late.  The war was on.  No side ever wants to lose.  If you weren’t willing to fight, then you were forced to fight or were forced to support the war effort.

It was not only the South who used basic war tactics.  The South (the wealthy and heads of state) may have succeeded from the Union in order to retain slaves, but the Unions reasoning for war was simply, at first, to keep the Union together, as per the thoughts of the Union leaders.  Succession for whatever reason would not be tolerated.  It was the succession and not the reasons that started the war on the northern side.  By the middle of the war morale started waning among the people, but the Union had to win.  There had already been circulated rumours at the start that a lot of the North could get behind and that was also the reason that a lot of the South couldn’t get behind; Slavery.  The majority of the South didn’t want to fight FOR slavery to endure as it only pertained to the wealthy, which they were not.  A lot of the North wanted to fight to END slavery in the south, but that wasn’t really on the board at the beginning of the war in terms of the reasons the Union decided to war.  But, since it was known that it was a cause that most of the people of the Union could get behind, Lincoln was advised by his administrators to make that a new cause to rally the people again.  And thus, the Emancipation Proclamation happened.  I’m not saying it wouldn’t have happened ever, I’m not even saying it was bad, on the contrary it was wonderful, however, the reason it happened at the time that it happened was simply to boost morale for the Union armies in order to continue fighting so that the Union could win.

Basic tactics, gain infantry in any way you can.  Once you are in war, do everything in your power to keep it going until you are the victor.  The saying, “All’s fair in love and war”, isn’t simply a saying for nothing.  Most people either do not realize these basic war tactics or just do not want to realize this into their arguments.  Grey area’s are there for a reason.

So, while one side is screaming that the entire south fought for slavery, they are technically correct, but are also incorrect.  While the wealthy most certainly did list slavery as their cause for succession, the wealthy were by no means the majority of the free people in the South, and one would be forgetting that news was not very fast spreading as it is today.  It was much easier to suppress a cause for war, to gain the little peoples trust and claim they were fighting for something good, something for themselves, instead of the real cause, which benefited only a small portion of the free population.  The statement assumes that every single person who was not enslaved was a wealthy person with a mansion and slaves.  It also assumes that the majority of people who were poor, would willingly fight for something that had nothing to do with them.  People, in general, are rather selfish.  If it doesn’t benefit them, most of them tend not to bother, in terms of life and death.

The other side is screaming that the cause was never about slavery, or that the war was never fought about slavery, and they are technically correct, but also incorrect.  It was the reason the South succeeded, but only the wealthy in the South knew that for certain, because rumours of that were quickly silenced in order to gain infantrymen.  The Union obviously knew of the South’s (the wealthy) intent for succession, as per the formal letters, and while a lot of the Union wanted slavery to end, the heads of the Union did not set out to end slavery in the South, only to bring the Union back together.  At least half of the poor South, by the end of the war, still believed they were defending their own freedom, which is what they told their children and so on and so forth.

I’m not defending the war.  While I am interested in the Civil War, as well as others prior to the Korean War in the 1950s, it was very tragic.  It may be part of who I am, as in my history, just as it’s a part of any one whose ancestors were here at the time, but I don’t glorify it in the least.  Where this war is concerned I like the “little people” who fought and died in the Confederacy.  I feel bad for them fighting for a cause that didn’t exist (freedom), but is what they truly believed they were fighting for.

I do not really care about the wealthy Confederates; the generals, the calvary, the admirals, the president, etc.  I’m not convinced they were all total villains, as the same can be said for people today; they might be misguided, even a lot, but they’re not all evil villains, though some certainly are.  Robert E. Lee was even a pretty amazing general.  Civil War historians from both sides will agree he was a genius with military tactics.  Do I think we should be celebrating his birthday instead of Martin Luther King Jr’s in January?  Absolutely not. (clears throat)  I’m looking at you, little town not ten minutes from me, who is, as I type this, asserting their rights to continue flying the state flag at government buildings in their city.

But I certainly think that the Confederate dead should be remembered and honoured, when we remember and honour the dead on Memorial Day.  I believe this for several reasons.  First, the vast majority of the Confederate Dead were the little people.  Secondly, because we were all the same people of the same country.  That would be like your sister moving in with your grandmother because you told her not to do something and you never spoke to her again and when she died you were not sad.  Thirdly, which is the big reason that most southerners want to remember the Confederate Dead; they were forgotten.

After the battle of Gettysburg, President Lincoln came to the battlefield to observe the situation with the dead and pay his respects to all of the Union dead that were carefully and respectfully buried/still being buried there.  The Confederate dead were left to rot on the field, when the smell was so bad, the Union soldiers dug a trench, tossed them in and basically said fuck you.  It took several years after the war for the women of the South to finally be able to have the Confederate dead of Gettysburg brought home, to be buried as humans should be buried.  While not everyone in the South could be bothered to forgive the North for any of its wrong doings; whether real or exaggerated, several places in the South, because of the women, honoured the Union Dead along with their own Confederate Dead.  Their reason was that they know what it’s like to lose, and there were mothers and wives in the North grieving just as they were.  To my knowledge, this did not happen in the North, either because it did not happen, or it’s simply not well documented.

I don’t think people should be forgotten.  Does that mean we keep “the colours” flying at government buildings, plaster it all over ourselves or erect new monuments?  No.  Does it mean that we glorify the wealthy in their cause that the vast majority, even today, can not stand with?  No.  But shouldn’t we remember the fallen dead, because they were people, because they followed a war like so many before them because of lies, because they were our ancestors and your countrymen (and possibly ancestors) on Civil War battlefields, in Civil War museums, and in cemeteries and on Memorial Day?  I say yes.

I think the main reason why I talk about this so much is because of both sides either leaving things out or glorifying events, which honestly bothers the fuck out of me.  To me, history, while it might not define us, is a part of us.  You don’t have to revel in it, but it should not be forgotten.  The entire truth should be laid out bare; the good along with the bad.  Things should not be left out, emotions shouldn’t really get in the way of what happened.  I can not help but to lay it ALL out there.  I have tried to not do this, but it just ends up happening anyways.  Like I have no control over it and my brain alerts me to people changing history to suit their needs.  Most people do this.

One example:  I’m sure you are well aware of Liberia, the country along Le Côte d’Ivoire in Africa.

The Anti-South group’s statement basically reads like this.  Southern states wanted to remove freed blacks, so sent them back to Africa, to a state they reserved for them; Liberia.  They would send them back whether they wanted to go or not.  Because of the slave-owning in the south, and the conditioning, these freed black people were, in turn, slave-owning masters running on principles of white superiority.  One man in Mississippi shipped his slaves back against their will.  Disgusting.

The For-South group’s statement reads like this.  “We didn’t hate black people.  We sent them back home, because that’s what they wanted.  Issac Ross of Prospect Hill Plantation in Mississippi sent his slaves back home.  Isn’t that wonderful?!  They all wanted to go back.  And they owned slaves too once back in Africa, because slavery has been around forever, so we didn’t do anything wrong.”

Inaccuracies written as “historical facts” from the pro-southern camp. (HattiesburgPatriot.com)

For any logical readers, this is making you shake your heads in disbelief, as it is for me.  Again, both are right and both are wrong.

Prior to the Civil War or any succession by southern states, the American Colonization Society, led by philanthropists, clergy and abolitionists, was started in about 1816.  It was an effort to decide what to do with freed blacks.  This was just after the British Empire abolished slavery and the U.S. banned International slave trading (no slave importation), and the U.S. banning National slave trading (within the U.S.), and a few years before slavery would be abolished in the North, and a few years from the ACS establishing Liberia for freed slaves.  Also of note, the ACS should not be confused with the CSA.  The ACS, is the American Colonization Society, founded by people north of the Mason-Dixon Line; Northerners; The Union.  The CSA, is the Confederate States of America, founded by people south of the Mason-Dixon Line; Southerners; Confederates.

Liberia was set up by the ACS, a Northern advocacy group, consisting of prominent members such as Fifth U.S. President James Monroe; Seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson; penner of the National Anthem during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key; (now defunct) Whig Party Senator and Statesman Daniel Webster, Kentucky Senator, Representative and Speaker of the House Henry Clay; and Sixteenth U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Most northerners wanted the enslaved to be free, but felt that an overwhelming freed black population would flood the job market.  There was also the perceived notions that blacks were “savage” and wild, had a propensity for criminal activity, and that they were mentally inferior to whites.  The whites did not want the commingling of freed blacks with white citizens.  And that was just in the North.  In the South, slave owners basically could only see a smaller picture, so to speak, of the “evils” of freed blacks staying in America; that they would incite unrest amongst the blacks that were still enslaved and cause numbers of runaways to skyrocket.

Because freed blacks were so undesired to live amongst whites, the plan was to ship them off, back to Africa.  It seemed logical from an early 1800s perspective, except for one glaring thing that white people of the era had never bothered to consider.  White people tended to not (and most still see it this way) see or recognize peoples.  With the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indians are all Indians, basically.  Africans, too, were all just Africans.  The key fault here is that is not correct.  While you can lump all of the “American Indians” together, they are all different.  The Choctaws are not the Comanche and the Arapaho are not the Chinook.  They were, and still are, all individual tribes and groups.  The Choctaws did not know the Arapaho and the Comanche warred with the Apache.

It was the same in Africa.  Those people were, and still are, different tribes and groups.  You could not take someone as a slave from Ghana and then think it was perfectly alright to deposit them back in Africa, in a completely different region, amongst a different group of Africans.  It’s like people from New York and people from New Jersey.  For the most part, the states are comprised of white Americans.  But New Yorkers are not New Jersians and vice versa.

Both Northerners and Southerners alike simply saw all Africans as Africans.  Both sides shipped freed slaves back to Africa to the newly established colony of Liberia.  Most southern slave owners, however, wanted to keep their slaves enslaved, so more freed blacks were shipped out of the North than out of the South, willingly or not.

As for Issac Ross of Prospect Hill Plantation in Mississippi, I am not one who even remembers those names without looking it all up again.  He, however, did want to have his slaves freed, upon his death, and those that wished could go back to Africa.  After his death though, his children wanted all of their inheritance and that included slaves.  They refused to free any of them, much less send any back.  After ten years of waiting, the slaves revolted and burned down the house.  Some ran away, some stayed and insisted on being freed and sent back, so they were.

William Johnson House – Natchez, Mississippi

As far as freed slaves turning around and enslaving other blacks, it is true and it is sad.  One of many stories includes William Johnson.  He was a freed black man who took up the profession of barber.  He had been a slave in Natchez, Mississippi and when he was freed, he stayed and took up residence with his family, and his own slaves in the left building pictured above.  People from the pro-South camp, like to recall that William Johnson was a freed slave that owned slaves to somehow lessen the impact of slavery.  Yes, tell William Johnson’s history, but why white-wash it so?  Not all previously enslaved blacks, once freed, acquired slaves of their own, but it did happen, and while not a common occurence, was also not rare.  It happened because of their breaking and seasoning.  A sort of Stockholm syndrome that made them see the world as the white wealthy slave owner.  Being a slave, as well as owning slaves was all surrounded in conditioning.  It’s tragic, it’s sad, and it was a perverse sickness of sorts.  It should never be condoned, or used as an argument for slavery, but should be a topic of pity and sadness that a sickness engulfed peoples of varying colours.

As for using the topic of Africans or Native Americans enslaving their own people since the beginning of time, or slavery in general since the beginning of time, there’s a huge and significant gap here.  First of all Africans are not all the same people, nor are Native Americans.  Also these people never just rounded up neighbours, all willy nilly, to be their slaves.  Such and such tribe would war with a completely different tribe.  Prisoners of war were returned with the victors.  They either used these POW’s as slaves or integrated them into their own societies.  The same goes for the Romans.  They conquered and integrated or enslaved captors and the conquered.  This is how they grew their empire.  This is pretty much how slavery worked from the beginning of time until 1492.

Not that I’m condoning that, but there is a big difference of conquering to acquire territory and having those people stay in their own land and be part of your empire, or bringing some back to be slaves through out your empire (or to kill off in the colosiums), and warring with enemies that are not you and bringing POWs back into your own lands to integrate or enslave.

The Atlantic Slave Trade was unprecedented.  No one was at war with Africa, nor were they, at the time, trying to colonize it.  They simply chose a place they felt where no one “important” would miss the people and ship them by the thousands upon thousands upon thousands to different lands.  The numbers for that are staggering compared to any single POW or conquering slavery exportation in all of history.  There is really no comparison.

This is in correlation to the Jewish Holocaust during WWII.  And that’s just taking into account the populations of Jewish people and excluding (which I never do) the populations of political prisoners, homosexuals, physically or mentally disabled, Bohemians or Gypsies that were slaughtered in the camps.  People throughout history have, barring war, killed off groups of people, but nothing nearly as devastating or staggering in numbers as the Holocaust of WWII.

People will cite how there’s been slavery or genocide forever, but the scope during history vs the one incident can not even being to compete as far as the horrors.  While both are fruit, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.  It can’t be done logically, and should never really be done.  There is no real comparison for either the Atlantic Slave Trade or the Holocaust, and to try to do so negates the colossal impact of both.

The freed blacks that were returned to Liberia did enslave the local population.  Why?  Because the local population, while African, were not these people; not in tribe or region origin, nor in enslavement disposition.  They never would have seen these people as being akin to them, even without the new comers being formerly enslaved.  The conditioning of becoming a slave and living in the white mans twisted world of slavery sickness had been instilled in them and while they might have (or might not have) enslaved the native inhabitants of the region regardless, the conditioning was a direct reason.  The ACS did not name the streets after American Presidents nor did they build replica U.S. government buildings; the freed blacks did that themselves, as a direct result of the conditioning.

Old World slavery was simply a working feature of life.  War and occupation brought about slavery.  It was part of daily life in certain cultures.  This, however was a whole new game.  This was a business thriving on sickness and greed, that in turn infected others with the same sickness and greed and so on and so forth.  If you could afford a person, you’d better buy one or five.  More, more, more.  Comparing things or weasling them into your arguments paints a completely different and unreasonably untrue picture of history.  There’s no place for that.  Especially since it trumps up one side more than it needs to be and down plays the horrors of the other side.  Don’t be that person.

The U.S. with territories, 1816 – 1817 & 1820 – 1821

Moving forward, the U.S. only comprises of twenty states in 1816.  Florida, Texas, and the southern parts of Mississippi and Alabama are still owned by the Spanish.  The majority of Mississippi and Alabama are a territory of the U.S., as well as the future state of Arkansas.    There was no Confederacy at this time, just the U.S. with a North and South line, and a four territories.

A few things had changed by 1820, but not a lot.  The majority of Mississippi and Alabama are now states, as well as Illinois and the southern part of Maine.  The Missouri Territory has been 3/4 split to include Arkansas Territory, and we gained Oregon Country which we shared with Britain.  1820 is important, because the U.S. government passed the Compromise of 1820, better known as the Missouri Compromise.  All that happened was that the U.S. government wanted the country (and the senate) equally divided into slave holding states and non slave holding states.  The compromise was that Maine would enter the Union as a free state, while Missouri would enter the Union, (as a territory state, though not illustrated on this 1820 map) as a slave holding state.  The compromise was balance.

While it is true that the North was ending slavery, they didn’t simply pass a bill that would end all slavery in the north instantaneously, and at the time they certainly weren’t even trying to end (gradually or not) slavery in the South.  Their method was a gradual phasing out, where a lot of the states would end slavery within a certain time-frame, or would have the slaves freed once they hit a certain age; while some states still had made no such declaration yet.  It is not unlike methods I see implemented today.  Such and such nation or state declares to be (or end) such and such by the year blah blah blah.

Which leads me into this rig-a-marole about Anti-South people stating that the American Slave Trade began and ended, and only encompassed the southern states, basically what was the Confederacy.

European Colonies in the New World – 1763

I won’t go into all the details because this is going to be a long post regardless.  The Dutch started the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.  Spain was their first customer, so to speak, and predominantly England, France, and Portugal followed suit.  Later the nations decided they didn’t really need a middle man, The Dutch, and created their own teams to go to Africa and distribute the enslaved to their own territories.  This was after the Indigenous North & South American tribes had been decimated by disease, enslaved, and shipped off.

The British Atlantic Slave Trade
The British Atlantic Slave Trade

 

As this nation is a result of British colonization, this is the Atlantic Slave Trade course most Americans learned in school.  The enslaved were captured onto ships and sailed, chained, in grueling conditions for months before arriving in the West Indies (the Caribbean Islands) to be seasoned.  Seasoning is similar to breaking in of horses or akin to military boot camp, only much, much worse.  In military boot camp they break the potential soldier down to their core, so that all of the soldiers work together as a unit.  You take orders without questioning.  It’s meant to improve war conditions on the battlefield.  A seamless unit working the way ants do, all thinking the same.  Keeps you alive.  Keeps your side winning the war.  Breaking a horse is the conditioning process of getting it used to you, the bit, the bridle, the saddle, and following commands.  In the West Indies, slaves were broken down to their cores to be conditioned to being owned, enslaved, and worked like a farm animal.  They were conditioned to never say no, do anything and everything asked of them.  To stand still when on the trading block while being sold off.  Torture was not uncommon.

Once properly conditioned or “seasoned” into this new, obedient, work “horse”, the slaves were then shipped off to major ports of British North America, but it was also common for some to be shipped back with goods to other ports in the vast British Empire.  The British North America consisted of the Thirteen Colonies.

Thirteen British Colonies in the New World.
The Thirteen British Colonies in the New World.

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  Only four out of thirteen would later become southern states.  Slavery was prevalent in all thirteen colonies.  All thirteen.

We separated from Britain, not because of tyranny, but because of miscommunication.  King George III was doing the best he could ruling a vast, and relatively new empire.  The colonists were here, over 3,000 miles away, trying to strike out into uncharted lands and keep their settlements, towns, and cities thriving and surviving.  That right there does not make for good communication.  Bring in King George III’s advisors and delegates.  The delegates jobs were to report to the King what was going on in his empire.  The advisors jobs were to advise the King on what to do.

Basically reasons to unseat George III or promises of wealth or domains in the New World kept correct news from reaching either party.  The colonists, at first, only wanted George to listen, not realizing their news was being kept from him.  When he wouldn’t (because he couldn’t), they wanted to become independent.  It is not too far off from the same events that led to the Civil War.  They both boil down to lack of proper and true communications, though the reasonings are a little different.

 

Which leads me to all thirteen of the British colonies had slavery.  When the colonists won independence, slavery still endured… in all of the land occupied (or would be occupied) by these colonists.

Which leads to how members of the pro-Southern camp want to state that Queen Victoria and France wanted to help the South during the civil war, because they agreed with us.  Whether it was the small cause for slavery or the largely believed cause for freedom, neither England nor France wanted to help the South for our benefit.

King George III’s two sons had already started plans to eliminate slavery and slave trade.  More of this was done under Queen Victoria prior to the American Civil War.  It’s funny to note that the British were huge into slavery when it first started up.  Forcing two different peoples to be enslaved.  By the time of Queen Victoria, she was basically forcing people to end their slavery ways.  Oh England, you’re such a bully!  But, she abhorred slavery.  She did not wish to help the South on those grounds, but in an effort to reclaim some lost property.

Since The Confederacy was new, if they won, it would not be difficult to reclaim those area’s, as opposed to trying to reclaim what was the Union.  The War of 1812 proved that England didn’t stand a chance at that.  France’s reasons for wanting to help the South were of the same.  They wanted to reclaim lost lands.  Neither ones efforts were put to fruition or able to be accepted though.  The South lost and France and England with them, in a way.

What people forget to realize is that France did indeed help the American colonists during The Revolutionary War.  King Louis XVI was promoting better ways for France, which they were not down with for some reason.  He was advised against aiding the Patriots during our war, but he believed they should have freedom and France and England were not on good terms, so I’m sure besting England would be of top priority.  But the new advances he was promoting for France, coupled with the depletion of the countries coffers to support the colonists, and I mean us, lead to his execution during France’s Revolution only a few years later.

But while our former country was building a campaign of pressure to end slavery amongst other nations, we as the United States, were only trying to balance the country between slave-owning and non slave-owning states, gradually, and in a rather lazy way, to phase out slavery in the North, not really caring about phasing out or ending slavery in the south, and enacting the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850.  One might assume, as many actually do, that this means slaves were either protected or that it only applied in the South.  What it did do, however, was that runaway slaves in the South, who made it to the North were to be returned to their owners in the South.  It was not southern slave owners returning runaway slaves to other southern slave owners.  It was the Union making a law that Northerns had to return runaway, or fugitive, slaves back to their owners in the South.

An example, one of many multitudes you can find online or hear from peoples mouths.
An example, one of many multitudes you can find online or hear from peoples mouths.

Yes, there was better year-round weather conditions for growing crops in the southern states, than in the northern ones.  This would mean more slaves flowing into the South than into the North.  But simply because there are different numbers, it does not simply erase the slavery of the then British Colonies, or the slavery that occurred in the American North.  It also doesn’t erase segregation.  Though sending freed blacks back to Africa was popular for a time, it fell out of favour because of the cost.  The freed blacks were going to have to stay.  While The Emancipation Proclamation only immediately freed slaves in the southern states, all slaves were free after the end of the war in the North.  With a failed ACS and no more ships to Liberia, the freed blacks were there to stay, so the North instigated segregation.  The Northern segregation did not end until 1945, after the end of WWII.  That war saw the need for lots of men, and segregation was only a hinderance in the ranks, so blacks were integrated with whites in the regiments.  Since the black people handled themselves like “civilized” humans and fought well, the North saw no more need of segregation.

These reasons are why most southern people are still angry at northerners.  I, myself, do harbour a bit of resentment for them.  First and foremost, however, my initial feelings have always been that it is wrong and insulting to the memories of the Indigenous peoples and the slaves that were in the north, or to the segregated freed blacks in the north.  Not remembering this or even stating this is insulting to the terrible lives they lived and lost.  Hang the number difference.  One can cite any reason they want for not including it, but at the end of the day it is simply not included and thus forgotten and that is not OK.

More selfishly, however, is my next thought.  That while the North gets to deny all of the above, and were allowed to phase out slavery in a slow manner that appealed to them, that they deemed African-Americans in such a bad light as to want to ship them all back to Africa so as not to deal with them.  That while slavery was still being slowly phased out in the North, the South had to do it immediately; that congress, during the Civil War, had to debate about even freeing any slaves…

And yet everything is always lumped onto us.  We’re the most evil of all the evil, we started everything, we couldn’t bear to let slaves go, we didn’t want them around after they were freed, we found them less superior.  Anti-South people will cite that we’re just sore losers.  No, we’ve just been beaten down for far too long.  They will also cite that it is what we deserve.  I’m going to say wrong again.

I am glad, as many people in the South are, that the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves immediately.  It is wonderful.  But to paint the South as the ultimate villain is not very logical.  The North, the entirety of the Union, didn’t give up their slaves immediately.  The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves in the Union.  Only by the end of the war did Congress say, “Well, better go ahead and free the slaves up here, shall we.”

It doesn’t matter on which topic you are speaking, when one side gets to do things their own way and another is forced into it and more quickly than the other side, people get pissed.  I will agree all day long that the South is slow.  Though slavery was falling out of favour in the world, and the North was sort of trying to phase it out, we ended up succeeding and fighting a war over a topic that was then becoming taboo.  We were slow, but so was the Union, compared to the rest of the world.

I’ll also agree all day long that segregation was implemented in the South and it lasted until the 1960s.  But that implementation was a decree by the U.S. Supreme Court to once again balance out the nation, in 1896 with Plessy vs Ferguson.

I have also noticed that most people do not understand what the terms U.S. Supreme Court or Congress really mean.  After watching the film, Lincoln, so many people were taking about the bad and evil southerners trying to stop the good and gracious Union from eliminating slavery.  If you aren’t familiar with the film, Lincoln has to take this to congress for them to decide, just as the Presidency and Congress runs today.  Only thing is, that during the Civil War, there were no southerners in Congress.

These people (and it’s sadly a lot of people) do not realize that when the South succeeded, they formed their own nation, and that included their own congress.  THE congress shown in the film Lincoln, or any time that congress is mentioned in relation to the Civil War (1861 – 1865), comprises only of northerners.  When referencing anything during the Civil War, if it’s the Union, it is simply The President, or The Congress, or The State Delegates, or The Capital.  If it’s the Confederacy, it is the item of The Confederacy or The Confederate item; The President of The Confederacy, or The Confederate Congress.  If Confederate or Confederacy is left off, then it is the Union.

And of course anything mentioned prior to or after the Civil War is the United States.  No longer merely southern or northern and is the majority of the vote in that particular venue, as it is today.  There hasn’t really ever been a time when the south was the majority in congress, the senate, or the supreme court.

I’m not here to blame the Union, nor am I really here to exonerate the South.  I’m only trying to say that both people are painting the wrong views of history.  I’ll admit that some people of the south are sore losers, just as some people of the north are level-headed.  But, no one likes having to shovel their own shit as well as everyone elses.  Take responsibility for what you did and stop shrugging it off as your problem and putting it in someone else’s yard.  It’s juvenile and it’s gone on for far too long.

Both sides need to stop picking and choosing their “truths” in this matter or any other matter.  I do feel bad for the majority of the South.  The majority being told they were fighting for freedom, being part of terrible war for a stupid reason.  Their dead not being remembered.  And every day for the past 150 years having  to be called stupid, having to be slapped in the face by their own history as well as having to claim the entirety of the New World cruelties since 1492, while the Union can sit back and whistle Dixie, basically, and not own up to anything.

Any peoples that are constantly berated and belittled and forced to atone for everything do not sit there and take it for long.  I don’t care about victors getting to write history or this sore loser business.  It is simply beyond illogical to ridicule the South for not being up to par, when the North was not either.  It’s inaccurate and it’s just baffling to me.

I’m not saying there aren’t terrible people in the South.  There are.  They are everywhere.  It’s a miracle that I don’t hate the majority of the North for being so asinine all of these years, and honestly, continue to be so.  I’m not certain, but I’m thinking without this sort of treatment that things might have gone a lot more smoothly.  When humans ridicule other humans on a constant basis, that second group seems to say, “whatever!”, they stop listening and it turns humans into people they might not normally be.

I’m sure that the racist people of the South, at least some of them, would be racist no matter the treatment.  I’m also not trying to condone racism of any kind, but if one has blinders on, one can’t see the entire picture.  There are causes and effects to situations, and they should be considered, or the argument is illogical and really therefore, invalid.

I’m also not certain why it’s only OK to say that people in the South are racist, but not to shine light on the racism of other parts of the US.  Is it because of a numbers thing, because I’m still not buying that reason.  I have read and heard numerous people defend their racism simply because the group they are treating as subhuman are not African-Americans, so it’s not racist.  Indigenous peoples, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, and Muslim Americans are people too, damnit.  Just because they are not black doesn’t mean your actions are not completely racist.  They are, they most certainly are.  Treating a person of colour, who is not African-American, as a sub-human is not justifiable simply because they are not African-American.  You’re denying your racism, while at the same time stating that these other races do not matter.  They matter.  And you are most certainly a racist.

I’m also not saying all of Southerners, but a large number of Southerners remember the Confederate dead and they also remember the enslaved.  As in mourn for them.  Not as in remembering the “better times”.  The enslaved of the South have not been forgotten.  We remember them, we talk about them, we are glad slavery is over.  But it pisses me off more than anything that the enslaved are forgotten in the North.  Their lives are swept under the rug.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I’m not mad because of so and so Yankees getting out of something.  I’m mad because those people; ripped from their homelands, dragged across the ocean, beaten, berated, worked to death…  it’s as if it didn’t happen.  Those people were enslaved and died for nothing, basically.  I am hopping mad for the enslaved of the North.  I am more angry that they have been forgotten by almost everyone, more than I could ever be angry that the Confederate dead, fighting for believed lies, have been forgotten by most, or that the anti-South throws all the New World shit onto us.  This is the apex for me.  It is beyond atrocity.  It is harrowing, appalling, and insanely monstrous.  How could you?  How could you deny that they existed?  How could you deny what you also did to these people?  Because of numbers and logistics?  Fuck you.

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2 thoughts on “Of The Union and of Unions Part 1

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