by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
Awhile back I reviewed Gene Kizer Jr.s informative book Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States. Mr. Kizer brought out some excellent points about the Republican Party in the early part of his book, things we maybe need to reflect on today in light of where the present Republican Party seems intent on taking us–down the same path the Democrats are.
We have all been dutifully informed, via our public school “history” books that the North went to war to free the slaves. I have often asked the question–if that is true, then why did the North not first free those slaves in the four slave states that, for one reason or another, had to remain in the Union? The silence in reply to my question has been deafening! This is one issue no one wants to touch, so they just ignore it and hope no one really important, with a big audience, ever bothers to bring it up.
Gene Kizer’s commentary on the early Republican Party is quite revelatory. He says: “But ending slavery was not the goal of the Republican Party in 1856 and 1860. Taking over the government so they could rule the country for their own benefit and aggrandizement was their goal…Wendell Phillips proudly claimed that the Republican Party is the first sectional party in American history and is the party of the North pledged against the South. For the entire decade of the 1850s, Republicans used the most virulent hatred against the South to rally their votes. Republicans celebrated John Brown’s terrorism and murder of Southerners and Republicans endorsed Hinton Helper’s The Impending Crisis of the South as a campaign document.” Helper’s book advocated slaves murdering their masters. This was the line the Republicans were pushing in the 1850s.
Can you begin now to understand why the South wanted out of this Union? The party now in power was advocating their destruction. I can’t think of a better reason for wanting out. Kizer observed: “Republicans were not a great political movement trying to solve the difficult slavery issue with good will. Most people in the North (95 to 98% according to historians Lee Benson and Gavin Wright) were not abolitionists. They did not care about freeing the slaves who would then come North and be job competition. No Republicans could be elected in the North on the platform of directly ending slavery but they could agitate on slavery in the West with good results…Neither slaves nor free blacks were welcome in Lincoln’s West.”
The concern over the expansion of slavery in the West was yet another Republican faux issue. Kizer noted that the territory of New Mexico had been open to slavery for ten years and in that decade there was a grand total of twenty nine slaves there in 1860.
Historian Charles Ramsdell had noted that slavery had about reached its peak by 1860 and “…must shortly have begun to decline, for the economic forces which had carried it into the region west of the Mississippi had about reached their maximum effectiveness. It could not go forward in any direction and was losing ground along its northern border…It is a great irony that Northern anti-slavery was mostly economic or racist.” Look at what Ramsdell is telling you here. By 1860 slavery was beginning to be on the way out. So why would the North then fight a war to get rid of it? All they had to do was to wait and eventually it would have died a natural death.
And Kizer also noted that “The reason Lincoln needed to preserve the Union was because, without it, the North faced economic annihilation, the magnitude of which easily made war preferable…By the time Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861 there was gloom, despair and panic in the North with thousands of business failures, hundreds of thousands of people out of work, serious trouble with the stock market, threatened runs on banks, and Northern ship captains heading South because of the South’s low tariff. There was no talk whatsoever of ending slavery.”
Almost seems like this situation we have today with this Chinese virus with the Deep State trying to keep the country shut down and the economy in tatters–and all so they can make sure Trump doesn’t get a second term. They need to get rid of him because he is not “one of the boys.” And the Republicans here are every bit as guilty as the Democrats because the Deep State controls both parties. Trump isn’t one of the boys–Lincoln was!
The Republicans would not protect the South in 1860, but rather planned to make war on it. The Republicans today refuse to protect us from the Democrats. They tell us they will, but more and more, their actions belie their words. When the Republicans start acting like the Democrats then you better watch out–but also learn from history. The original Republican Party was not conservative–they were socialists. It seems in our day they are headed back toward their origins and we need to keep an eye on that because it will affect us all, and our children.