I see by the calendar on the wall that we’re coming up on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War — or the “War of Northern Aggression,” as some of our neo-Confederate friends laughably prefer to call it.
The departure of Southern states from the Union began on Dec. 20, 1860, when South Carolina formally adopted (above) an Ordinance of Secession (see HERE). Four days later, South Carolina adopted a Declaration of Causes for its secession, lest anyone doubt that the issue of slavery was a paramount consideration (see HERE).
Indeed, all of the secession resolutions adopted by the states that comprised the Confederacy made prominent mention of slavery. Yet, for many years now, historical revisionists have pretended that slavery was not the principal cause of the Civil War. They want us to believe that the war was fought over the philosophical abstraction of “states’ rights.”
This revisionist rationale still persists in some quarters, especially in the South. Consider, for example, the upcoming sesquicentennial celebrations sponsored by a group that calls itself the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Yesterday’s edition of The New York Times had an ARTICLE about these observances, which included this pathetic passage:
“We in the South, who have been kicked around for an awfully long time and are accused of being racist, we would just like the truth to be known,” said Michael Givens, commander-in-chief of the Sons, explaining the reason for the television ads. While there were many causes of the war, he said, “our people were only fighting to protect themselves from an invasion and for their independence.”