I’ve heard it from women and from men, from sober people and from people liquored up on anti-Washington talk. The North wouldn’t let us govern ourselves, they say, and Congress laid on tariffs that hurt the South. So we rebelled. Secession and the Civil War, in other words, were about small government, limited federal powers and states’ rights.
But a look through the declaration of causes written by South Carolina and four of the 10 states that followed it out of the Union — which, taken together, paint a kind of self-portrait of the Confederacy — reveals a different story. From Georgia to Texas, each state [including Arkansas] said the reason it was getting out was that the awful Northern states were threatening to do away with slavery.
Coincidentally, the commemoration of the Civil War comes as a new movement gathers steam for a constitutional amendment to allow the states to override federal laws.
Perhaps the Yugoslavian solution is next.
UPDATE: For history buffs, Guy Lancaster of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture has assembled scans of resolutions adopted in Arkansas during the secession debate.
It took two votes for Arkansas to approve secession, but the successful vote rested on the reasons laid out in the first batch of resolutions.
UPDATE II: Good post from Clarence Page on the Confederate sympathizer groups trying to scrub slavery from the discussion. And this Daily Show clip:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The South's Secession Commemoration|