There are major aspects of the Civil War that will never be taught in schools that people today need to realize. The role of slavery in the Civil War was not that important in the overall reality of the matter. Some in the North knew that they needed an emotional spark plug to rally people in support of the war. The main importance was the ports of the south. If the south was able to secede from the Union then the ports would represent a major loss for the northern industries and the boom being experienced by those industries. But the people would not necessarily support a war based upon the economy factors of the ports. So there was a need for an emotional rally point to get the general populous of the north in support of the war. In order to find this emotional point many exaggerated and at times totally fabricated issues of slavery and the crimes against humanity that was reported in some cases regarding slavery. This is not to say that there were not evils portrayed in some cases of slavery but it was not nearly as widespread as the abolitionist were want people to believe.
Slavery was a hot topic button for many years. There were many purist movements such as wanting to drive out ‘demon rum’ and whiskey as well as slavery. The abolitionist movement was making major waves and wanted to see slavery completely removed. Slavery was not as popular or as practiced in the north so it was not an economic issue for the north. But the south was a different story. The south had practiced used slaves for decades. It was a major part of the economy and was essential for getting in crops. Likewise, it was not the evil that the north tried to portray it as being with constant crimes against humanity. In many cases, if there would be a comparison, the evils of slavery in the south would not be any more an action against humanity than the child labor of the north. Children and ethnic groups were being used in inhuman settings for many years by northern industries. They were cheap and seen as expendable. The main difference was that in the north they were called employees while in the south they were called slaves. Many slave owners viewed their slaves as part of their families. There were many occasions where the slave intermarried with their slave owners out of love as contrary to the present view that if a slave owner had sex with a slave it was rape and not mutual love.
Many of the slaves did not want to be freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. The slaves were provided for and cared for so they were comfortable and did not want to leave. In many cases where the slave owner had no choice but to release their slaves the slaves were turned out into the streets where they had no job, no prospects, no education and no home. In many cases the slaves were worse off after the Proclamation than they were before. The issue that is understated regarding the Civil War was that of State’s Rights. As the north and the abolitionist were making their cries and demands more heard the pressure was being forced upon the south to end slavery. The right for the State to define its own course of action was being eroded by what was seen as a federal government which was trying to expand its control where the Constitution did not allow.
The methods and procedures used regarding slavery are the same methods and procedures which are being used today regarding many of the federal programs that the government is trying to establish. Regarding slavery the image was being presented that every slave was being beaten on a regular basis, women were being raped daily and children were being sold away from their parents being snatched away as the baby was still trying to suckle. In today’s arena there are the stories which try to get people to think that there are millions of people dying every day being denied lifesaving health care while the fat cat insurance executives are chewing their big cigars rolling their fat carcasses to the bank with hundred dollar bills falling out of their tailor made suitcoats. The government is being presented as the white knight riding in on his horse defeating the soulless insurance companies to offer healthcare to all. The States, as with slavery, are being presented as being incapable of managing their own affairs and needing the federal government to know what is best for all mankind. The will of the federal government is to be imposed upon the States regardless of the wishes or consideration of the State. There are other issues which are also being presented from the federal government to be accepted by the States such as gun rights or gun control, amnesty, and restrictions pertaining to local law enforcement. The truths of the Civil War are issues which are directly being faced by the States today but the federal government wants to keep the Civil War solely about slavery. This is an area of history where either the people learn from it or are doomed to repeat it. The government want to keep the area of slavery and now the Confederate flag as smoke screens so that people could not being able to see through the lies. The demand to keep emotions in an uproar is the same today as it was in the middle 1800’s. The government uses the red herrings of gun violence, racism, and other issues while all the time they are trying to dismember State’s Rights as granted in the Constitution.
The Civil War is a school teacher which needs to be considered and reviewed. The voice of the Civil War must be adhered to today as much as it was yester-year. The lies of the few in order to enrage the masses are as deceptive today as it was over a century ago. The primary difference is that the stakes are higher today than it was during the Civil War. If the federal government is able to force its will upon the States and the people of those States then it effects more today such as transportation, communication, internet, and mass media. Instead of drinking the political ‘kool-aid’ concerning the Confederate flag it would be more wise to learn from the meaning of the Jolly Roger and the warrior spirit it represents.