Reasons for Civil War were many and complex, but South had
good reason to fight it

by Jeff Lovelace

The issue of slavery being the cause for the Civil War has always
been a misguided fantasy. The “War of Northern Aggression”
aptly reflects the true cause, and the revisionists who are unwilling
to accept the truth should hold their delusory tongues forever.

Richard Humble’s “Illustrated History of the Civil
War” put it best when he said, “The simplest answer
is that there is no simple answer. The causes of the American
Civil War were many and complex and spread out over a half a century.
Indeed, there were probably as many causes of the war as there
were men who marched off to fight it. … One thing, though
is clear. Popular mythology aside, the American Civil War was
not fought as an impassioned crusade against slavery.”

Let’s go back to the Declaration of Independence and look
at the substance of the last two paragraphs. Due to space limitations,
the entire text cannot be quoted: “That these United Colonies
are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; …
and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power
to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,
and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may
of right do.”

The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights within the Constitution,
goes even further to explain state sovereignty: “The powers
not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people….”

This gives us another appropriate title for the War of Northern
Aggression, which is, The Second War of Independence.

If every home in the North had contained a copy of the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution, the Northern propaganda
war would have had little effect on its people. Industrialism
ruled in the North, and newborn industries were raising an uproar
for every type of protection and aid they could get from the federal

The North wanted safeguards from the lower priced European imports.
The North was growing much faster than the South, and immigrants
were pouring in by the tens of thousands. Northern finance and
transportation was also booming.

In contrast, the South had much smaller towns for the most part
and had maintained a much more static agrarian society.

Immigration was not a factor, and our industrial base grew very
slowly. The South wanted the lower priced imports to join their
ranks to do business in the South. Our annual crop of “King
Cotton” netted a whopping $190 million annually, around
57 percent of the total Gross National Product. The North was
drooling at the prospect of getting a big slice of that pie.

The South believed that if Washington was ever controlled by
the Yankees, the South would be ruined. The 1828 and 1832 legislation
of a high-tariff law is but one example of the venom the South
could be injected with by the Northern federal government.

Going back to 1824, the president of South Carolina College,
Thomas Cooper, questioned, “Is it worthwhile to continue
this Union of States, where the North demands to be our masters
and we are required to be their tributaries?”

After Confederate President Jefferson Davis was inaugurated,
he pointed out the American idea that “governments rest
on the consent of the governed.” He wished to avoid armed
conflict, but held the position of the Southern nation to be sacred.

On March 6, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln refused to deal with
the Confederate commissioners appointed by Davis. Their pleas
for peaceful negotiation rather than armed conflict fell on deaf

On April 29, 1861, Davis spoke to the Confederate Provisional
Congress detailing the reasons for secession; “We protest
solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice
save that of honor and independence.”

After the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Lincoln called for 75,000
troops from the South, to in his words, “put down the rebellion.”
North Carolina Gov. Ellis answered Lincoln’s call in his
Boundary “Proclamation” speech by saying that this
was a “high-handed act of tyrannical outrage… in violation
of all constutional law, in utter disregard of every sentiment
of humanity and Christian civilization, and conceived in a spirit
of aggression unparalleled by any act of recorded history.”

My final quotation comes from the “New History of the Civil
War” by Bruce Catton which says Yankee abolitionists desired
a cringing insurrection, with “unlimited bloodshed and pillage
from one end of the South to the other.”

On my father’s side alone, I have 10 ancestors who fought
for the Confederacy. I am proud to say that none of these honorable
men owned any slaves. They fought for North Carolina’s right
to Independence and to keep U.S. soldiers from marching on our
beloved soil.