The Death of a Nation

Unfortunately, too many people today do not understand the actual historical causes of the war that set brother against brother and State against State. It is unfortunate, because that war encompasses many fundamental causes of current American problems and without understanding its true cause we will be unable to repair what went wrong or prevent it from happening in the future.

The one definitive conclusion everyone should take away from that national calamity, commonly known as the Civil War, is that one breach of the Constitution, the President unilaterally calling up troops, will lead to others. A short history lesson will help people understand the validity of this statement.

It is often assumed the South seceded to preserve slavery and the North went to war to abolish it, but this simplified explanation is misleading, concerning its first assertion, and completely devoid of truth concerning its second.

While it is true, slavery was a catalyzing issue, it is not true it was the sole cause of secession or even a cause for Lincoln to take the nation to war. Most Americans, North and South, leading up to 1860, who were concerned with slavery as a national issue, were concerned about the balance of power in Congress implications between free and slave State Senators and the effects the respective legislation would have upon their lives.

Later, a minority faction, known as northern abolitionists, turned slavery into an incendiary issue by demonstrating their eagerness to kill southern men, women and children to achieve their goal. This behavior exponentially inflamed the pre-existing economic antagonism between the North and the South, but the slavery issue could and should have been settled without bloodshed, like how every other western slave holding nation achieved emancipation in the 19th century except for Venezuela and the United States.

It is no coincidence the first seven States to secede, prior to Lincoln calling up troops, were all coastal States. The majority of the Federal government’s revenue, at that time, came from import taxes. The coastal states were generating a large portion of the federal revenue via the tax on goods they received from foreign countries, while northern politicians dominated the House of Representatives from where all spending bills originate.

In the aggregate, the seven coastal States contributed approximately 68% of the Federal government’s revenue before they seceded, while only 10 to 20% of the total federal revenue was reinvested in the South. A major concern of those States was that for over three decades the northern controlled House of Representatives had been trying to pass, successfully and unsuccessfully, pro-northern legislation that was detrimental to the southern economy while the South was contributing the majority of the revenue. By 1860, the balance in the Senate between slave and free States was upset with the free States having eight more Senators than the slave States.

This imbalance of power, coupled with a pro-northern big business administration taking the oval office and northern contempt for the lives and livelihood of southerners caused many southern States to vote on the issue of secession. Of the fifteen slave States in the union in 1860 and 1861, only the seven previously mentioned voted in the affirmative to secede prior to Lincoln calling up troops to suppress the “rebellion” on April 15, 1861.

Lincoln understood that with seven coastal States no longer contributing to the national treasury, his administration would have a significant reduction in revenue.[1] Since Lincoln primarily owed his nomination and election to northern protectionists, who demanded he defend high tariffs, he was also compelled to uphold the Morrill Tariff, passed by President Buchanan on March 2, 1861 which raised tariffs up to nearly 50% of their retail value. This meant he had to keep the States in the union in order to collect the tariffs from them.

The loss of the southern coastal States would destroy the northern economy, because northern industrialists would no longer be able to treat the South as an agriculture colony to finance their infrastructure improvements. They would instead, have to finance their infrastructure improvements through their own revenue.  This shift in revenue streams would completely disrupt the northern economy, because government spending would stall while the States remaining in the union, wrangled out a new revenue system.

In comparison, the South would be a virtual free trade zone causing most imports to go through the South before they got to the North and with a 68% cut to the North’s federal revenue, the North would have to endure extreme belt tightening along with higher prices of goods. Ironically, the war made them do all these things along with finding a new revenue system, but in a far more extreme way than they would have had there not been a war.

Lincoln had a few choices; he could try to ameliorate the ill feelings in the South and attempt to coax them quickly back into the union, which he knew the seceded States most likely would not do; he could allow the States to secede and peacefully coexist with them while attempting to work out their differences, which would have been political suicide for him; or he could vilify their cause in public and fan the flames of hatred to intervene militarily. The first and second options were the constitutionally correct ones as well as ones that would have saved lives and been more economically beneficial to everyone involved, but Lincoln chose war.

By the testimony of his own words, Lincoln did not go to war against the South to abolish slavery, free the slaves or make life better for African Americans held in bondage in any way. [2] As he said several times, he took America to war “to preserve the Union.”

Lincoln’s claim that he went to war to preserve the union is accurate if understood in that he went to war to preserve his administration, otherwise his claim holds no merit in fact. Had Lincoln not called up troops to attack the South, four more States would not have seceded and the seven seceded States would not have attacked the North, because they only went to war to defend themselves against the union of States that attacked them. Had Lincoln not attacked the southern States, the union would have been preserved and endured[3] with seven less States and 68% less revenue.

The standard of living in the States that remained in the union would not have been as good as before secession, but they would have still existed along with the national government, although Lincoln’s administration most likely would have been ushered out of office at the earliest opportunity.

To be clear, the States in the United States have always had a constitutionally protected right to secede from the union[4], and only Congress can declare war[5] and then only for a just cause.[6] Had President Lincoln upheld these truths he would not have unilaterally provoked a war by sending an armed flotilla to Ft. Sumter and then called up troops to suppress the South in response, which was a violation of constitutionally delegated powers.

As a result, the voluntary union of States established on April 30, 1789 when President Washington first took office died on April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. A new nation was inaugurated at that time in which the rule of law is only upheld if it is convenient for those in power. This is not to say abuses to the Constitution were non-existent prior to Lincoln taking office, but by denying the States’ right to their ultimate veto and check on the national government’s power, which is secession, Lincoln set the precedent and removed the roadblock for unhampered constitutional abuse that is still going on today.

The so called Civil War may have preserved the integrity of the States existing in it prior to secession, but it did not preserve our Constitution and it has not made the citizens of America better off, either fiscally or ethically.

The actual results of Lincoln’s war are far worse than most people have taken the time to consider. His war killed nearly 2% of Americans living at the time, North and South. Set the stage for caustic southern race relations in which African Americans were unjustly blamed for the war and although the causes have been forgotten the animosity has been carried into the present. Cost America the equivalent of approximately 81 million ounces of gold or five billion ounces of silver.[7] Impoverished the South for generations in which some areas still have not recovered. Set America on a course of imperialism and enabled those in power to interpret the Constitution to suit their agenda by manipulating the masses into believing constitutional violations are necessary and beneficial.

The national income tax, the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, the Department of Education, the Social Security Act, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, subsidies and transfer payments of any kind,[8] and the Affordable Care Act are just a few examples out of many gross constitutional violations perpetrated against Americans since the end of that war.

While the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of some of these, it is only their opinion and the court has a long history of upholding unconstitutional laws for the purpose of political expediency. Two examples of this are when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the greenback[9] and, most recently, the Affordable Care Act.

National recognition of and understanding for the States’ right of secession would put power back behind a State’s objection to any national government abuse of power, such as oppressive laws or unconstitutional proliferation and expansion of federal departments, without abdicating their future into the hands of one of the three branches of our national government.

[1] Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, paragraph 18.

[2] American Founding Principles, A War to End Slavery, November 26, 2012.

[3] American Founding Principles, The Case Against Secession, November 2, 2013.

[4] American Founding Principles, Can States Constitutionally Secede from the United States?, November 19, 2012.

[5] American Founding Principles, When is the President the Commander in Chief?, October 22, 2012.

[6] American Founding Principles, Law of Nations, September 18, 2012.

[7] This equates to over $100 billion in 2014 Federal Reserve Notes.

[8] American Founding Principles, Who is General Welfare?, October 15, 2012.

[9] American Founding Principles, The Birth of a National Fraud, January 16, 2014.


8 thoughts on “The Death of a Nation

  1. Also, the next group to secede in 1860, seceded because Lincoln said that he was, unconstitutionally, going to raise an army and invade those 7 states. VA & the others said that “honest abe” did not have either the authority to raise an army, congress was in recess, nor have the authority to move a federal army into a peaceful member of the union w/o that state’s permission, which VA would not give.

    On the issue of slavery, The Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves at all, and was indirectly responsible for the deaths of 80,000 colored & indian peoples. Over 25,000 blacks died as a direct result of this as Sherman moved through the Confederacy and the slaves ran to the union army for salvation. Sherman refused them all aid and forced them into concentration camps where they died. (Slavery by race in 1860: African 58%, Amer-Indian 38%, Chinese 3%, White [Irish] 1%.)

    The Emancipation Proclamation was a political maneuver designed to kill the confederacy through diplomatic pressure. Antietam was so deadly that both The United Kingdom and France were about to recognize The Confederacy, thus forcing Lincoln to concede its legitimacy and end the war, but with the shift of issues from legal secession and self-determination, to slavery, unpopular in both the UK and France, neither gov’t thought it politically safe to recognize a slave state.

    For more: and read, buy, and promote the book, “The Albany Plan Re-Visited.”

    • 1861, ok, Foote has it that it was Antietam, according to my copy. Napoleon III started the trend that ended with deGaulle, of Britain supplying the Navy and France supplying the Army that, together, would keep Prussia in check. Foote has it that Britain & France received the casualty count and then talked “amongst” themselves, while Lincoln & his cabinet discussed the unconstitutionality of The Emancipation Proclamation, coming to the same conclusion that Obama’s come to: if no one is going to challenge you, you can do whatever you want with impunity.

      I used to use Bruce Caton’s work for the War of 1861, but I came across “The South Was Right” and started researching the authors’ references. Ronald & Donald Kennedy have a website that is filled with material.

      I went to law school in Jackson MS, and frequently toured historic sites. Vicksburg is a trove of history that contradicts the nonsense taught in NYC, where I grew up.

  2. This information allows us to better understand the current situation in America today. What still leaves me confused is the “why” portion of the story. It seems greed is the presumed reason but could there be more to the event? Would we not be better prepared to thwart a repeat event if we better understood why this event took place and who benefited? The how and the when seems to be a good background but I believe why and who are more important. Would you have any input to these questions?

    Great article!

    • The long answer is in Section III of “The Albany Plan Re-Visited”. The short answer is the, its not just the money, its the power that goes with control of the federal budget.

      In the 1840’s, right after The Mexican War and The Republic of Texas joining the union, there was a public works project designed to unite the USA and eliminate the economic chains that bound The South to England and New England to Canada. It was to run a transcontinental railroad from Boston, to New York, to Philadelphia, to D.C., to Richmond, to Birmingham, to Jackson MS, then pretty much straight West where I-20 now is, ending up in San Diego, which was a major port.

      Northern interests kiboshed this plan, promoted by Senator Jefferson Davis of MS, and ran it across The Mason Dixon line to St. Louis with a spur to Chicago, St. Louis westward to KC, but then the Chicago Banks drove it to Denver and into the mountains, making huge profits from land speculation. This practice can be seen in how the Pelosi’s have gone from $0 to $25,000,000.00 (See: “Throw them all Out” for details) by contorting the interstate road routes.

      Money & greed, coupled to atheism, cause much of the problem. When the amoral control the power, having no fear of accountability, they do these things. So, to actually answer your query re power and money, the lack of morality, the certainty that there is no accountability, must be added in as a factor at least as important as greed.

      For more, see:, start with the repost of the Feb 2013 post.

  3. Thanks for your service and the article. However, I’m still a little bit confused at the part where the “north” begins to be “free states” and the “south” remains “slave states”. I am familiar with the point of view that the south paid for the north. Actually, it’s in the “Appendix 1” portion of this book. No need to respond – thanks.

    • Reference book on slavery: Hugh Thomas, PhD Oxford University UK “The Slave Trade, a history of the North Atlantic slave trade”. (Not to be mistaken for the book of homo-erotic essays of the same name – which is what happened when I ordered it the first time at B&N, the clerk doing the ordering. – chuckle – my wife was very amused when we went to pick it up at the store!)

      Several things happened. First, the English colonies were established slave free and local laws were designed to keep them that way. Around 1500, The Pope was about to promulgate a Bull declaring it sinful to keep another human in slavery as it demeaned the God given spirit. The French King told him that if he published the Bull, The French Army would level Rome and the Vatican. The Pope chose the better part of valor.

      Because the slave trade was a Crown Monopoly, the British Crown got a franchise fee from every sale. When the colonies declared universal manumission, The Crown faced the prospect of the loss of an important source of revenue. Slavery was forced on the colonies.

      In the 1720’s The Scottish Reformation included an encyclical that, even though from an independent source, basically reiterated the papal reasoning of a few centuries before. Thus, when 1776 came about, Free Thinkers where generally opposed to slavery, however, because of both soil conditions and the export trade, African slavery in the southern states was so deeply imbedded in the economy and slaves such a capital investment, that slavery had to be recognized as legitimate. In the Northern States, because of the rocky soil, and because they were not growing export crops, cochineal, tobacco, cotton &c., slaves were only economically feasible as household servants, thus unnecessary to the economy.

      Until 1860, the richest state in the union was Virginia, where the slave population had dropped to less than 5% of the total. Two things occurred here to do this. First, the soil that had been used, especially in The Piedmont where it is still depleted today, became so depleted that big plantations had started to convert to cash crops instead of export crops. The second thing was Steam Engines.

      When Imperial Rome was The Power, human slaves did all of the work. Horses did not because there was no shoulder harness. During IR, you put a noose around the horse’s neck in order for him to pull a plow or tow a cart. Wagons had fixed hooks which sat on a horse’s spine and roped around the mid-drift much as a saddle does. Anyway, because of the choking, the cost of a horse’s labor was equal to that of a man, and the man was capable of independent action, thus the preferred source of cheap labor was man. When harnesses came into being during the alleged “Dark Ages”, which weren’t dark, horses took over from human labor as being less expensive. By 1860, Steam Engines were taking over from equine labor. There were steam combines for cash crop, wheat, corn, potatoes, &c, harvesting.

      So, by 1860, The Northern States, except for domestic service, had no economic need for slaves at all. This transition happened along the time line of 1800 through 1860, as steam took over. The Southern States, because steam combines could not harvest cotton, cochineal, tobacco &c., African Slaves, capable of working in the hotter and more humid clime, were still an economic necessity. For verification, consider that Brazil was the last country to end slavery as an economic necessity around 1888.

      Today, only those countries where cheap human labor is important, China, India, &c., and Muslim countries, because The Q’Ran specifically allows for and promotes slavery, for various reasons which are gone into in App C of “The Albany Plan Re-Visited”, have slavery.

      For a current analogy, consider the arguments against the use of petrochemicals, primarily because we were supposedly running out of oil. Now, thanks to fracking, a technological/ engineering advancement, we have over 2.000 years of cheap, $16/bbl, petrochemicals available to us. Thus, a truly inexpensive source of energy capable of independent usage, as in internal combustion engines, and for generating electricity. For more, visit for my essay on petrochemicals.

      Thus, Cap & Trade is exposed as a fraud and middle class rip-off, as is ALL OPEC policy. Technology and Engineering triumph over superstition and ignorance, once again.

      And, I hope that this un-confuses you as to one of the cultural divides between The North and The South. There are others, and I can start you with suggesting that you get a copy of Shelby Foote’s, “The Civil War; a narrative”. I personally recommend the Time ™ set of hard backs as it includes all sorts of maps and additional academic comment which the original/ standard publication does not have.

      Also, somewhere here on wordpress is a blog called taxicab depressions or hack cab, but hunt for it as there is a truly informative discussion going on regarding secession and government. The article posted is called, “The Pig Trap”.

  4. Pingback: Flag of Contention | American Founding Principles

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