Monday, November 22, 2010

The Constitution and the Issue of Slavery, A new Look at it. (part IV )

So, what did we find out about the Civil war era? Eleven States seceded from the union that the founding fathers built. The underlying reason being is that they no longer felt that they could trust that the federal government would remain true to the principles as written in the Constitution. I say this even though it can be shown that through political compromise neither side was abiding by the intent of the principles that the founding fathers set for this nation.


We found out that there were numerous amendments proposed for the purpose of not only assuring the slave States of their State rights but also to avoid a war that seemed inevitable at the time. One of those proposed amendments, the Corwin amendment, can be said as expressly declaring what the Constitution implied by assumption. This assumption being that all rights not expressly declared in the Constitution belonged to the States or to the people.

We have learned that a president was elected 1860 whose primary goal was to maintain the unity of the States not the freedom of the slave as some would have us believe. This intent was expressed in a letter to Horace Greeley as shown here. Now exactly why this unity was so important to Mr. Lincoln so as to engage in a war in order to maintain it is a question only better men then I am can answer. In that letter, Lincoln clearly identified his intent by the following words.

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

Yet, in spite of this declared intent, we know that seven States seceded from the Union as a result of the election of this man as president. We learned that four more States seceded from the Union when federal troops refused to hand over the fort at Fort Sumter which was on land of a State that had seceded from the Union. We also know that certain counties of one of those States, Virginia, seceded from that State and was admitted as a State into the Union.

Was the Civil war inevitable and necessary? Based upon Lincoln's frame of mind and his intent on keeping the Union intact then the only conclusion must be yes it was inevitable. Whether or not it can be declared as a necessary war, now that is the debatable issue.

We must remember that the primary reason for the formation of the Union of States was for self defense against foreign invasion. Without this reason there would have been no need for the States to unite as one nation after they gained their independence from the motherland. And the importance of this was such that the founding fathers were willing to compromise on the issue of slavery at the beginning in order to bring about this union.

From this we know that Lincoln could have permitted those States to secede from the Union in the same spirit that the original States seceded from the motherland and in the same spirit that West Virginia seceded from Virginia.

If there were those that believed that such a division would weaken the Union's ability to defend itself then seeking a defense pact with the Confederacy would have accomplished the purpose of the intent of the formation of the Union in the first place. This would allow both nations to lie side by side in a peaceful manner, each remaining true to their own principles.

This would declare that while the war may have been inevitable it was not a necessary war in our history. To me, it went against all of the principles that the founding fathers hoped to accomplish by the ratification of the Constitution. The only thing it accomplished was to create a nation united by force based upon ideology out of a nation that was united voluntarily based on agreed upon principles as it was founded.

6 comments:

LandShark 5150 said...

And with that, Sir, I concur.
Excellent series. Sorry for not participating in, had read up to freshen me noodle, be readily prepared to joist thoughts about and then got busy with the do's of reality of the home. As always, I've enjoyed your and your guest's insights.

Rational Nation USA said...

Griper - Excellent series. And on the following I must concur...

"This would declare that while the war may have been inevitable it was not a necessary war in our history. To me, it went against all of the principles that the founding fathers hoped to accomplish by the ratification of the Constitution. The only thing it accomplished was to create a nation united by force..."

Fine job Sir!

The Griper said...

thank you, gentlemen for your kind words. i will also add that i must give credit to my followers who inspired me throughout these last few series. it was their words that led me to what you have read.

LandShark 5150 said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Lista said...

I Must Really be Slow. I have to Summarize Everything or I can't Remember it. Apparently your Other Students are much Brighter than me.

Basically what you are saying is that the Reason the States Seceded from the Union was because of Lack of Trust, yet Neither Side was Abiding by the Intent of the Principles that the Founding Fathers set for this Nation.

Numerous Amendments were Proposed for the Sake of Assuring the Slave States of their State Rights in the Hope of Avoiding War. The Corwin Amendment actually declared what the Constitution already Implied.

Lincolns Primary Goal was to Maintain the Unity of the States, not the Freedom of the Slaves and this Unity was so Important to him, than he Felt it was Worth Fighting a War Over.

I Guess that Lincoln Believed in Unity at any Cost. Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

The Main Intent Originally was the Union for the Sake of Self Defense Against Foreign Invasion, but should it have been United by Force?

The Solution that you are Suggesting, Griper, is that a Defense Pact should have been Made with the Confederacy.

The Griper said...

exactly, lista

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