Denmark was the first nation to abolish the slave trade in 1792. Although the United States of America and Great Britain both abolished the slave trade in 1807, slavery still existed in both the North and South until the middle part of the nineteenth century. The French emancipated their slaves in 1848. The Dutch slaves had freedom conferred on them in 1863. Most of the new republics of South America provided for the means for emancipation of slaves at the time of their establishment. Brazil never abolished slavery until 1888. From the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century, with the beginning of the Portuguese slave trade, other nations bought slaves in Africa apparently from Negroes that rounded up African males and females imprisoning them for trade. It appears that the nineteenth century was the century in which most nations began to free their slaves.
The first English colony was founded the Jamestown Colony in 1607. In 1609 the London Company was authorized to govern the colony and the crops of tobacco and other products were grown causing the colony to flourish. In 1619 the company imported the first Negro slaves into Virginia, as the colony was designated, convoking a representative assembly, the first in North America.
The first permanent English settlement in New England was the Plymouth Colony founded by the Pilgrim Fathers, a group who separated from the Church of England. They produced the first written American constitution, the Mayflower Compact. When the Puritans came to New England they later established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629. About twenty thousand Puritans came to the New World in the 1630s, which comprised of about twenty percent of the settlers in New England. In 1641 slavery was given legal status in Massachusetts, and at the end of the seventeenth century the opportunity to own slaves was sanctioned by law in all of the English colonies. The North had condoned slavery in their States long before the South became an agricultural territory. During the Confederate Convention, when the South began their decision to secede from the Union, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri and the western counties of Virginia, which became West Virginia, were Northern slave States.
In its beginning, there were three distinct cultural and economic traditions that arose among the English colonies; New England had communities of citizen-farmers; the middle colonies a flourishing commercial life; and the plantation system produced the aristocratic culture of the South. By the time the Southern colonies were established, the New England population now consisted of several distinct classes. A small number of noblemen and affluent merchants used their influence to bring to the New World the ideas of the English, but a much larger class of artisans and farmers lived with a simplicity that was in harmony with their religion. The Puritans established communities in which they could live and worship according to their principles. Slavery was not introduced in the Southern colonies until the latter half of the seventeenth century, when they mostly became servants of agricultural plantations. As everyone recognizes, the North later became primarily industrial and the South became primarily agricultural.
After winning the War of Independence from Great Britain and forming the Constitution of the United States, many political parties had disputes about adding new slavery territories to the new nation. Finally Texas, a slave State, was admitted into the Union. More mid-western and western States were included after wars were fought and portions were bought from other nations. The Caucasian or White race, mostly British, bought and captured the Blacks in Africa and shipped them by the shiploads to introduce to the new Continent. Slavery had been condoned in both Northern and Southern States until the Bill of Rights and the XIII Amendment were enforced in 1865, but when Abraham Lincoln was elected President the North immediately put their focus on the Southern States and the Confederacy.
As you will see in the documents below, the United States government abolished slavery in 1865 by the XIII Amendment, but never prohibited slavery in the Northern States until after the Civil War. The Constitution of the Confederacy resembled the United States Constitution, except the Confederate Constitution had entered a clause allowing slavery in the Confederate States where it already existed. But at the time the Confederate Constitution was written, slavery still existed in some Northern States. The slave trade from Africa and other countries was prohibited in the Confederate Constitution, even as the United States and England had prohibited the same in 1807. If the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln had been announced before the War, this clause allowing slavery in slave States in the Confederate States probably would not have been written in the Confederate Constitution, and the South would possibly have won the War. The subject of slavery had been disputed and debated by the many political parties in the United States for decades in the nineteenth century.
There were many Southerners, according to the history of the South, who abhorred slavery or wanted to abolish slavery altogether, even before the War began. Slavery was probably already on its way out. Most volunteers of the Confederate Army fought because they realized the Northerners were trying to increase their commerce in the North from the prosperous South, and to force their Northern culture upon them. Many Southerners volunteered for service in the Confederacy who had young children, some less than one year old. They would have never left their wives and young children if the war had been only about slavery. The Southerners were prosperous, while the North had become somewhat unproductive. The North wanted the wealth of the South to flow to the Northern States. England and France were almost ready to furnish goods and arms to the Confederacy until the Proclamation was announced. After that, the issue then focused on slavery solely in the South, and the English and French discontinued their support. The Confederacy was only trying to prohibit the North from dominating the Southern States. The Confederacy fought for the independence of the Confederate States of America, even as the United States of America fought for their independence from Great Britain. The Civil War was a War of Independence of the Southern States of America.
If the Confederacy had won the War of their independence, unlike the United States of America which has drifted towards Socialism, the Confederate States of America would almost certainly have continued to have a more limited government with individual State's rights. But in the meantime, if the Northern United States had been granted independence from the Confederacy and had achieved its world supremacy as the United States of America has, it probably would have dominion over the Confederacy by this time anyway. The Confederacy would probably have not incorporated the Northern States into the New Nation even as the Northern United States did the Southern States of America. As stated, the Confederate States of America only wanted to achieve their independence from the North.
It seems as though most of the nation believe those who support the Confederacy are advocating slavery. To almost all supporters of the Confederacy, slavery is horrifying to their imagination, and believes there is no way it can be justified. As the ‘unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America’ declares: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But in most of the world’s existence, slavery has prevailed in some parts of it.
There are extremists in both the Northern and the present Confederate States that claim slavery was the cause of the Civil War. But when one begins to force his ideas, especially the assertion that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, on Southerners it will only do harm. Southerners are proud of their heritage and want to keep the Confederacy alive. There are monuments and memorials going up everywhere in the Southern States to remind people of the ones who fought for the Confederate cause. Celebrations and reenactments of the War go on every year commemorating the bravery of the Confederate soldiers. Memorials are being erected in many towns and cities in the South.
Because of many who have tried to place the blame of the Civil War solely on slavery in the South, the Battle Flag of the Confederacy has become a symbol of racism. It will eventually be unlawful to even display the Confederate Flag. This will be sad for the descendants of the ones who fought and gave their lives for the Confederacy. The Flag should not be a symbol of slavery. It was the official Battle Flag of the Confederacy, even as the United States Flag was of the Union Army.
The link at the bottom of this page is a large site with articles that are articulately written in a manner that should clearly indicate why so many Southerners volunteered for service in the Confederacy. The South had a different culture, different ideas, different interests in life, and many other things that were different from the North. This different culture with the many different ideas, a different English accent, and a different religion by most Northerners still exists. There are also differences in the diets of the people in the North and South. Many words and names are even pronounced differently in the South than the North. The accent and pronunciation of words of the North are more compatible to that of the British. The Southerners have an accent and pronunciation of words and names altogether different from both the North and British.
Other differences are the meaning of meals in the South. Lunch is called dinner and dinner is called supper. There's no such thing as lunch! Back before the industrial revolution, almost all Southerners were farmers. When they heard the old dinner bell ring at lunchtime, it meant it was time for the noon meal – “dinnertime”, not time for lunch. When going out for a meal at a restaurant in the evening, Southerners don't say they are going out for dinner; they say they're going out to eat tonight. When Southerners say they are going some place tomorrow evening, they mean some time after twelve o'clock noon. They understand afternoon as evening until sundown, and from sundown to sunrise they understand it as night. However, this was the figure of speech during the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. During the past half-century, some of the younger generations in the South have adopted the customs and cultures of the North.
Being more accurately as to what the war was all about, although slavery may have been partially the root of it in the very beginning of the American Colonies, it was not a War of Slavery, but a War of Culture, Commerce, along with different Northern and Southern Political views. The Confederate States held to the position of States' Rights, and Southerners have held this same position up to this time, that each of the several States should be independent from the Union. The Liberals in the United States of America, on the other hand, have the idea that each State should be controlled by a Federal Standard, thereby disregarding Amendment Article X of the United States Constitution. The Amendment upholds the position of States' Rights, that each shall be independent from the Union by the powers not delegated by the Federal Government of the United States. Liberal politicians embrace Socialism, and the United States of America has drifted in that direction for decades, with apparently the average citizen becoming placid and not alarmed of the nation’s destiny. At present, the ideas of the Confederacy and Southerners most definitely favor the return to the position of individual States’ Rights.
Below are links to Internet sites that present the first written constitution of America; a preparation of the articles for the thirteen colonies of America to declare war with the British; and sites that present the many items the government has constituted since the thirteen colonies in America were established. The bottom link is a connection to a site that presents several articles, including the Confederate view of the War Between the States. You should read all the items on the complete site, but before you exit the Index Page you should especially go to the “Civil War Potpourri” and read the different articles presented. The articles presented here will give you a better understanding of all phases, both before and after the War Between the States. It gives the basic reasons of the war from prominent, responsible, trustworthy, dependable, and reliable Southern writers. After reading these articles, you will have a better understanding and what Southerners believe is the true history of the Civil War.
Maury Baggett, Editor
Journals of the Continental Congress
..The Declaration of Independence
...The United States Constitution
The United States Constitution: Bill of Rights
Amendments of the United States Constitution: 11 thru 27
Slavery Abolished. Amendment Ratified December 26, 1865
....The Constitution of the Confederate States of America
Southern Views of the Civil War Not Found In Schools
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