State's Rights To Do What?
Last updated 4/7/2021 at 3:19pm
A recent letter emphatically proclaimed that America’s Civil War was fought over state’s rights, and not over slavery.
Sadly, that kind of overly simplistic explanation of what was an incredibly complex situation has become increasingly common, and is, I believe, a primary reason for the ugly divide that exists in our great country today.
Was state’s rights the main cause of the Civil War? One could certainly argue yes. However, the major issue and question was the Southern state’s rights to do what?
Historians have long agreed that the answer is the Southern state’s rights to have its citizens own others as their slaves.
Those Southern states were largely controlled by legislators who were prominent, slave-owners, many of whom were lawyers. Those prominent citizens saw their personal fortunes being threatened, and they responded by circling the wagons and declaring secession from the Union.
This scenario has played out in various ways thousands of times across the planet over recorded history.
If you threaten my economic success, I will retaliate in whatever fashion I think necessary, even if that response includes the enslavement of other human beings.
I believe that even my long-dead Confederate veteran relatives, one an infantry private and one a brigadier general, would, in retrospect, agree.