TEN CAUSES of the War Between the States

by James King

Historians have long debated the
causes of the war and the Southern perspective differs greatly from
the Northern perspective. Based upon the study of original documents
of the
War Between The States (Civil War) era and facts and information
published by Confederate Veterans, Confederate Chaplains, Southern
writers and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war,
I present the facts, opinions, and conclusions stated in the following

I respectfully disagree with those who claim that the War Between
the States was fought over slavery or that the abolition of slavery
in the Revolutionary Era or early Federal period would have prevented
war. It is my opinion that war was inevitable between the North
and South due to complex political and personal differences. The
famous Englishman Winston Churchill stated that the war between
the North and South was one of the most unpreventable wars in history.
The Cause that the Confederate States of America fought for (1861-1865)
was Southern Independence from the United States of America. Many
parallels exist between the War for American Independence ( 1775-1783
) and the War for Southern Independence.

There were 10 political causes of the war —one of which was slavery–
which was a scapegoat for all the differences that existed between
the North and South. The Northern industrialists had wanted a war
since about 1830 to get the South’s resources ( land-cotton-coal-timber-minerals
) for pennies on the dollar. All wars are economic and are always
between centralists and decentralists.The North would have found
an excuse to invade the South even if slavery had never existed.

A war almost occurred during 1828-1832 over the tariff when South
Carolina passed nullification laws. The U.S. congress had increased
the tariff rate on imported products to 40% ( known as the tariff
of abominations in Southern States ). This crisis had nothing to
do with slavery. If slavery had never existed –period–or had been
eliminated at the time the Declaration of Independence was written
in 1776 or anytime prior to 1860 it is my opinion that there would
still have been a war sooner or later.

On a human level there were 4 causes of the war–New England Greed–New
England Fanatics–New England Zealots–and New England Hypocrites.
During "So Called Reconstruction" ( 1865-1877 ) the New
England Industrialists got what they had really wanted for 40 years–THE
coalition between the New England economic interests and the New
England fanatics and zealots that caused Southern secession to be
necessary for economic survival and safety of the population.

1. TARIFF–Prior to the war about 75% of the money to operate the
Federal Government was derived from the Southern States via an unfair
sectional tariff on imported goods and 50% of the total 75% was
from just 4 Southern states–Virginia-North Carolina–South Carolina
and Georgia. Only 10%–20% of this tax money was being returned
to the South. The Southern states were being treated as an agricultural
colony of the North and bled dry. John Randolph of Virginia’s remarks
in opposition to the tariff of 1820 demonstrates that fact. The
North claimed that they fought the war to preserve the Union but
the New England Industrialists who were in control of the North
were actually supporting preservation of the Union to maintain and
increase revenue from the tariff. The industrialists wanted the
South to pay for the industrialization of America at no expense
to themselves. Revenue bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
prior to the War Between the States were biased, unfair and inflammatory
to the South. Abraham Lincoln had promised the Northern industrialists
that he would increase the tariff rate if he was elected president
of the United States. Lincoln increased the rate to a level that
exceeded even the "Tariff of Abominations" 40% rate that
had so infuriated the South during the 1828-1832 era ( between 50
and 51% on iron goods). The election of a president that was Anti-Southern
on all issues and politically associated with the New England industrialists,
fanatics, and zealots brought about the Southern secession movement.

was founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic in 1789 composed
of a Limited Federal Government and Sovereign States. The North
wanted to and did alter the form of Government this nation was founded
upon. The Confederate States of America fought to preserve Constitutional
Limited Federal Government as established by America’s founding
fathers who were primarily Southern Gentlemen from Virginia. Thus
Confederate soldiers were fighting for rights that had been paid
for in blood by their forefathers upon the battlefields of the American
Revolution. Abraham Lincoln had a blatant disregard for The Constitution
of the United States of America. His War of aggression Against the
South changed America from a Constitutional Federal Republic to
a Democracy ( with Socialist leanings ) and broke the original Constitution.
The infamous Socialist Karl Marx sent Lincoln a letter of congratulations
after his reelection in 1864. A considerable number of European
Socialists came to America and fought for the Union (North).

Christianity as presented in the Holy Bible.The North had many Secular
Humanists ( atheists, transcendentalists and non-Christians ). Southerners
were afraid of what kind of country America might become if the
North had its way. Secular Humanism is the belief that there is
no God and that man,science and government can solve all problems.
This philosophy advocates human rather than religious values. Reference
: Frank Conner’s book “The South Under Siege 1830-2000.”

4. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES–Southerners and Northerners were of different
Genetic Lineages. Southerners were primarily of Western English
(original Britons),Scottish,and Irish linage (Celtic) whereas Northerners
tended to be of Anglo-Saxon and Danish (Viking) extraction. The
two cultures had been at war and at odds for over 1000 years before
they arrived in America. Our ancient ancestors in Western England
under King Arthur humbled the Saxon princes at the battle of Baden
Hill ( circa 497 AD –516 AD ). The cultural differences that contributed
to the War Between the States (1861-1865 ) had existed for 1500
years or more.

5. CONTROL OF WESTERN TERRITORIES–The North wanted to control Western
States and Territories such as Kansas and Nebraska. New England
formed Immigrant Aid Societies and sent settlers to these areas
that were politically attached to the North. They passed laws against
slavery that Southerners considered punitive. These political actions
told Southerners they were not welcome in the new states and territories.
It was all about control–slavery was a scapegoat.

Industrialists wanted a war to use as an excuse to get the South’s
resources for pennies on the dollar. They began a campaign about
1830 that would influence the common people of the North and create
enmity that would allow them to go to war against the South. These
Northern Industrialists brought up a morality claim against the
South alleging the evils of slavery. The Northern Hypocrites conveniently
neglected to publicize the fact that 5 New England States ( Massachusetts,
Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York ) were primarily
responsible for the importation of most of the slaves from Africa
to America. These states had both private and state owned fleets
of ships.

ties in to the above listed efforts by New England Industrialists.
Beginning about 1830 the Northern Newspapers began to slander the
South. The Industrialists used this tool to indoctrinate the common
people of the North. They used slavery as a scapegoat and brought
the morality claim up to a feverish pitch. Southerners became tired
of reading in the Northern Newspapers about what bad and evil people
they were just because their neighbor down the road had a few slaves.
This propaganda campaign created hostility between the ordinary
citizens of the two regions and created the animosity necessary
for war. The Northern Industrialists worked poor whites in the factories
of the North under terrible conditions for 18 hours a day ( including
children ). When the workers became old and infirm they were fired.
It is a historical fact that during this era there were thousands
of old people living homeless on the streets in the cities of the
North. In the South a slave was cared for from birth to death. Also
the diet and living conditions of Southern slaves was superior to
that of most white Northern factory workers. Southerners deeply
resented this New England hypocrisy and slander.

. Abolitionists were a small but vocal and militant
group in New England who demanded instant abolition of slavery in
the South. These fanatics and zealots were calling for massive slave
uprisings that would result in the murder of Southern men, women
and children. Southerners were aware that such an uprising had occurred
in Santa Domingo in the 1790 era and that the French (white) population
had been massacred. The abolitionists published a terrorist manifesto
and tried to smuggle 100,000 copies into the South showing slaves
how to murder their masters at night. Then when John Brown raided
Harpers Ferry,Virginia in 1859 the political situation became inflammatory.
Prior to this event there had been five times as many abolition
societies in the South as in the North. Lincoln and most of the
Republican Party ( 64 members of congress ) had adopted a political
platform in support of terrorist acts against the South. Some (allegedly
including Lincoln) had contributed monetarily as supporters of John
Browns terrorist activities.. Again slavery was used as a scapegoat
for all differences that existed between the North and South.

9. SLAVERY. Indirectly slavery was a cause of the war. Most Southerners
did not own slaves and would not have fought for the protection
of slavery. However they believed that the North had no Constitutional
right to free slaves held by citizens of Sovereign Southern States.
Prior to the war there were five times as many abolition societies
in the South as in the North. Virtually all educated Southerners
were in favor of gradual emancipation of slaves. Gradual emancipation
would have allowed the economy and labor system of the South to
gradually adjust to a free paid labor system without economic collapse.
Furthermore, since the New England States were responsible for the
development of slavery in America, Southerners saw the morality
claims by the North as blatant hypocrisy. The first state to legalize
slavery had been Massachusetts in 1641 and this law was directed
primarily at Indians. In colonial times the economic infrastructure
of the port cities of the North was dependent upon the slave trade.
The first slave ship in America, "THE DESIRE", was fitted
out in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Further proof that Southerners
were not fighting to preserve slavery is found in the diary of an
officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He stated
that "he had never met a man in the Army of Northern Virginia
that claimed he was fighting to preserve slavery". If the war
had been over slavery, the composition of the politicians, officers,
enlisted men, and even African Americans would have been different.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee had freed his slaves (Custis estate)
prior to 1863 whereas Union General Grant’s wife Julia did not free
her slaves until after the war when forced to do so by the 13th
amendment to the constitution and court action. Grant even stated
that if the abolitionists claimed he was fighting to free slaves
that he would offer his services to the South. Mildred Lewis Rutherford
( 1852-1928 ) was for many years the historian for the United Daughters
Of The Confederacy (UDC). In her book Truths Of History she stated
that there were more slaveholders in the Union Army ( 315,000 )
than the Confederate Army ( 200,000 ). Statistics also show that
about 300,000 blacks supported the Confederacy versus about 200,000
for the Union. Clearly the war would have been fought along different
lines if it had been fought over slavery. The famous English author
Charles Dickens stated “ the Northern onslaught upon Southern
slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire
for the economic control of the Southern states.”

Lincoln wanted war may be found in the manner he handled the Fort
Sumter incident. Original correspondence between Lincoln and Naval
Captain G.V.Fox shows proof that Lincoln acted with deceit and
willfully provoked South Carolina into firing on the fort ( A
TARIFF COLLECTION FACILITY ). It was politically important that
the South be provoked into firing the first shot so that Lincoln
could claim the Confederacy started the war. Additional proof
that Lincoln wanted war is the fact that Lincoln refused to meet
with a Confederate peace delegation. They remained in Washington
for 30 days and returned to Richmond only after it became apparent
that Lincoln wanted war and refused to meet and discuss a peace
agreement. After setting up the Fort Sumter incident for the purpose
of starting a war, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to put down
what he called a rebellion. He intended to march Union troops
across Virginia and North Carolina to attack South Carolina. Virginia
and North Carolina were not going to allow such an unconstitutional
and criminal act of aggression against a sovereign sister Southern
State. Lincoln’s act of aggression caused the secession of the
upper Southern States.

On April 17th 1861, Governor Letcher of Virginia sent this message
to Washington DC: “ I have only to say that the militia
of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers of Washington
for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object
is to subjugate the Southern states and the requisition made upon
me for such a object-an object in my judgement not within the
purview of the constitution or the act of 1795, will not be complied
with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; having done so
we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the administration
has exhibited toward the South.”

The WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 1861-1865 occurred due to many complex
causes and factors as enumerated above. Those who make claims
that "the war was over slavery" or that if slavery had
been abolished in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was
signed or in 1789 when The Constitution of the United States of
America was signed, that war would not have occurred between North
and South are being very simplistic in their views and opinions.

The Union victory in 1865 destroyed the right of secession in
America,which had been so cherished by America’s founding fathers
as the principle of their revolution. British historian and political
philosopher Lord Acton, one of the most intellectual figures in
Victorian England, understood the deeper meaning of Southern defeat.
In a letter to former Confederate General Robert E. Lee dated
November 4,1866, Lord Acton wrote " I saw in States Rights
the only available check upon the absolutism of the sovereign
will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction
but as the redemption of Democracy. I deemed you were fighting
the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization
and I mourn for that which was lost at Richmond more deeply than
I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo (defeat of Napoleon).
As Illinois Governor Richard Yates stated in a message to his
state assembly on January 2,1865, the war had " tended, more
than any other event in the history of the country, to militate
against the Jeffersonian Ideal ( Thomas Jefferson ) that the best
government is that which governs least.

Years after the war former Confederate president Jefferson Davis
stated " I Am saddened to Hear Southerners Apologize For
Fighting To Preserve Our Inheritance". Some years later former
U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt stated " Those Who Will
Not Fight For the Graves Of Their Ancestors Are Beyond Redemption".

James W. King
Commander Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
PO Box 70577 Albany, Georgia 31708