by Al Benson Jr.
It is no secret among those who understand the rationale for public, or government, schooling, that the teaching of real and accurate American history is not something that is a real high priority. In fact, in most cases, what passes for American history today in public schools is little more than politically correct propaganda.
One of the most important and critical periods of our history is that period embracing the War of Northern Aggression, the real reasons for it, and the horrendous period following it which has euphemistically been labeled as “reconstruction” a favorite term of Karl Marx’s.
For our youngsters to correctly interpret and understand our history, what happened during that time period must be understood by them. If they are unable to grasp what happened at that point, none of the rest of it will make any sense to them and we will wind up with the skewed version of “Americanism” that floods the land in our day.
Most public school history texts claim the War was fought to free the slaves in the South. Seldom mentioned is the fact, up until a few years before the War, slavery also existed in the North. Archaeologists are finding evidence of slave-holding plantations in Northern states–in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, which give the lie to the idea that only the Southern states engaged in this practice.
Cheryl LaRoche, a historical archaeologist from the University of Maryland has noted: “America was a slaveholding country–North and South…Over the years that reality has been lost, stolen, or just strayed from the history books.” Don’t you just wonder how that happened?
Even some historians, journalists, and lecturers don’t seem to know much of the truth nowadays. Author Douglas Harper has written: “I had written one book on Pennsylvania history and started a second before I learned that William Penn had been a slaveowner.” The historian Joanne Pope Mellish, who has written a perceptive book on race relations in ante-bellum New England recalls how it was possible to read American history at the high school level and never know there was such a thing as a slave north of the Mason-Dixon line…
Mr. Harper started a website dealing with slavery in the North, and noticed, after awhile, one of the major search engines had, somehow “lost” all his references to slavery in the Northern states. It had, miraculously managed to preserve his comments about slavery in the South, but his comments about slavery in the North went missing. He contacted them about this and soon his comments about Northern slavery reappeared–only to disappear again in a few days. Seems the search engine had a selective memory. The memory hole is a convenient place for such disturbing facts. If our children are only taught that the War was over slavery, they will never have any real grasp of the other important issues involved–tariffs, cultural differences, even theological differences–which separated the two regions of the country.
They will not begin to understand the important concept of the rights of the individual states within the framework of a confederated union. Unfortunately, many of the history books for the home school and Christian school market do not seem to deal with any of these issues to any meaningful extent either. These issues are glossed over, given a little lip service, like the lying politicians give us when they want our votes at election time, only to forget what they said if they make it into office.
Our children are never taught that the War of Northern Aggression changed how this country was run. We went from a confederation of states to a centralized national union, thanks to Karl Marx’s friend, Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, most public school-educated people today don’t know the difference between what we had before the War and what we have today–much in the same way they don’t know the difference between a republic and a democracy–and their “history” books ain’t about to tell them!
This is not all by accident. Here in Louisiana (I don’t know how it works in other states) the last time the students learn the history of the War of Northern Aggression and “reconstruction” is in the seventh grade! Nothing about it in high school at all! In all honesty, how much of what you learned in the seventh grade do you remember? Off the top of my head I can’t recall anything I learned in the seventh grade that has stuck with me. What sort grasp of this critically important period of our history–where our system of government was, for all intents and purposes, changed–will these kids even have when the leave high school? In most cases they will remember little, or nothing at all. And, as previously stated, this is not by accident. An ignorant people doesn’t know what questions to ask.
The War of Northern Aggression was America’s French Revolution, from which we have never recovered. Until our children are taught to understand that, we never will.
If our view of the past is faulty (and mostly it is) then our vision for the future will be also–and our children and grandchildren will be forced to live with the results.
A few books that deal with this critical subject are “The War Between the States–America’s Uncivil War” by John J. Dwyer, published by Blue Bonnet Press in Denton, Texas; “The South Under Siege 1830-2000” by Frank Conner, published by Collard’s Publishing Co. Newman, Georgia; and “Lincoln’s Marxists” by Al Benson Jr. and Walter D. Kennedy, published by Pelican Publishing in Gretna, Louisiana. These should be enough to give you a basic foundation of what the War was really all about and the results of it that we live with today.