Mili Note: Because of its length, I have also converted this to PDF format, which can be downloaded here for more convenient reading.
The War Between The States: 1860-1865
by Al Barrs
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Ethnic and economic opposing forces began to develop in the new United States of American shortly after the American War of Independence with Great Britain ended. Both economic and population demographics contributed to the coming economic crisis in America.
The southern regions of the United States began to fill with English emigrants and entrepreneurs while the northern U.S. regions filled with continental Europeans and entrepreneurs. True there was some mixing of nationalities in the new United States but the predominant populations were English in the South and continental Europeans in the North, birds of a feather and all that. Each population had distinct ideas of what a new nation needed in order to become successful. Sadly their sectional ideas would shortly come into conflict.
Both sections however agreed on one thing. Each region of the new United States would have to find and develop their own regional industries if they were to become economical viable and accumulate the wealth they had come to American to seek.
While the northern regions of the United States struggles to find and build a viable and suitable economic base compatible with the northern regions climate, topography and people upon which to build an industry and wealth the southern regions had early on found economic wealth in the very profitable agriculture crop tobacco and later cotton. The first profitable tobacco enterprise began with John Rolfe of Jamestown of The Virginia Colony.
In 1612 John Rolfe began growing tobacco which he hoped to sale for profit in England and continental European nations. Contrary to popular belief Rolfe shunned the harsh tobacco strain grown by the local North American Native Americans or “Indians” called Nicotiana Rustica. Rolfe reasoned that it would never sell in London. Somehow he obtained tobacco seeds from the coveted Nicotiana Tabacum strain of tobacco of the Spanish being grown in Trinidad and South America although Spain had declared a penalty of death to anyone selling Nicotiana Tabacum tobacco seeds to a non-Spaniard. The dramatic success of John Rolfe’s Virginia tobacco crop is credited not only to Rolfes’ importation of the Spanish strain of tobacco seed, but to his finding better ways of growing and curing it in Virginia. We may only surmise how much he was guided in cultivation and curing techniques by Pocahontas who Rolfe would later marry. She would be converted to Christianity and her name would be changed to “Rebecca.” Colonists made a practice of playing down the names of the Native Americans they married or cohabitated with, which is probably why her name was changed to Rebecca. Her birth name was “Matoaka” and John Rolfe would marry her in April of 1614. The energies of the colonists could be devoted to the growing of its new cash crop…tobacco, which indeed was soon to become the New World’s currency.
In 1614, in what has been called, by at least one historian, the most momentous event of the 17th century, the first shipment of Virginia tobacco was sold in London. Two years later, in June, 1616, Rolfe and other leaders of the colony arrived in London to promote the newly successful American tobacco products.
Rolfes’ trip to England was very much about the colony’s new economic industry, the export of tobacco products. Fortunately cured tobacco products were not perishable and could be safely shipped on the long sailing voyage to England and then continental Europe. Later cotton, also not perishable would join tobacco as the primary agriculture products the South would export and become very wealthy. Meanwhile, the North continued to experiment and search for an industry of their own.
Tobacco became the rage in England and continental Europe, tobacco and nothing else. There are historic reports of tobacco being grown in the very streets of Jamestown. Laws had to be passed forcing farmers to devote a percentage of their efforts to growing food crops. The race to build economic wealth on tobacco production in America was on. However, the northern region’s farmers quickly learned that their efforts to duplicate Virginia’s economic success were allusive. Because of a variety of intervening topographical and weather conditions they
were unsuccessful in the cultivation of tobacco and would eventually discontinue attempts to become the agriculture northern region of the new United States.
Their energies would have to turn to other endeavors to establish a viable economic industry across the northern United States.
By 1619 Jamestown had exported 10 tons of tobacco to England and continental Europe and had become a financial boomtown. The export business was going so well in Virginia the colonists were able to afford two imports which would greatly contribute to their productivity and quality of life: Slaves from Africa and women from England. The Africans were paid for in food; each woman cost 120 pounds of tobacco. By 1639 Jamestown had exported 750 tons of tobacco. At that time Tobacco was the American colonies’ chief export. The Jamestown colonists had not found gold or silver, nor a route to the South Seas. But they had found tobacco. Tobacco had brought the settlement from failure to economic success. Tobacco had created the need for labor at any price, and–since it wore out the soil every 4-7 years–the mad rush for land all through the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay–or, as the entire area soon became known, the “Tobacco Coast.”
Tobacco can well be credited with making Jamestown the first permanent English colony in the new United States.
The fact that cured tobacco could be exported to England and continental Europe markets was a major factor in the wealth building of the southern regions of the U.S. leading up to the U.S. constitutional convention.
While the northern regions had some agriculture they had difficulty growing tobacco and later cotton. The products that northern farmers could grow were perishable food crops and not suited to the long ocean trip to England and continental Europe where to lucrative markets were. Therefore the northern regions of the U.S. had little opportunity on which to build an industry and therefore regional wealth based on an agriculture industry.
The northern regions of the U.S. did have suitable harbors and rivers to develop a manufacturing industry however. Eventually the northern United States would
realize that their only chance of building a regional industry was not in agriculture but manufacturing. This reality propelled them into a catch up mode with England and continental Europe since the European Industrial Revolution had begun almost one hundred years earlier. While the northern regions finally found and embarked on a struggle to build a manufacturing industrial, called the American Industrial Revolution, the southern region expanded tobacco exports and finally discovered the profitability of growing and exporting cotton along with tobacco to England and continental Europe. The southern regions of the new United States was booming and growing increasingly wealthy while the northern regions struggled for capital to develop and expand their fledgling manufacturing industry. The North was playing catch up with the South. The sectional race was on to accumulate wealth.
Heretofore manufacturing in the United States had been a “cottage industry” where individual and families built products in their homes or outbuildings for their personal use and local sales. Farming also had been a cottage industry, producing food stuff for family use and selling surplus in local villages and towns. Demand for tools and equipment would drive the expansion of the northern region’s “cottage industry” and would become the basis for the North’s American Industrial Revolution.
The southern region of the United States had successfully embraced an agriculture industry that included tobacco and cotton exports while the northern regions of the United States struggled with the challenge of developing and expanding their fledgling American Industrial Revolution. But even there the northern regions had financial difficulty. Capital was short in the colonies of the new United States and investors in England shunned the colonies following the War for Independence, and the European Industrial Revolution was almost one hundred years ahead of the northern region’s American Industrial Revolution. The European Industrial Revolution, born in England, had sucked up most of the available capital in Europe which the American industrialists needed to build, develop and expand their industries in the northern regions of the U.S.
Northern regions of the United States needed large amounts of capital to develop and accelerate their industrial expansion. Investment from England and continental Europe had dried up because those investors were investing in English and continental Europe manufacturing industries. This created a very dire financial problem for the northern U.S. region’s industrialists. Northern industrialists needed a new strategy to obtain the needed funds to develop and expand American industry in the northern regions of the United States. After all they were almost one hundred years behind England and Europe in developing their manufacturing based industry and a lot of catching up was needed. But, where to obtain the capital needed to develop and expand their fledgling industry?
The northern industrialists would eventually settle on a devious plan to siphon off wealth from the southern regions’ agriculture industry so that it could be invested in developing the northern regions’ manufacturing industry. This strategy would earn for the northern industrialists the name “robber barons”. But to do so they had to build a financial conduit. That conduit would ultimately become the U.S. House of Representatives and the new Central Government of the U.S.
Northern industrialists, most from continental Europe and some from England would settle on a subversive strategy to move southern agriculture profits through the use of protectionist tariffs and duties north for use in developing their industrial base, develop manufacturing facilities and expansion throughout the northern regions and eventually into the new western territories and states following the purchase of the Louisiana Territory on April 30, 1803.
The northern region’s industrialists understood the urgency of putting their plan into action since the European Industrial Revolution was almost one hundred years ahead of the American Industrial Revolution and the “foreigners” were flooding the colonies with their cheaper manufactured goods, tools and equipment.
Eventually the title, “robber barons” would be attached to these devious northern region industrialists for their greed and devious behavior. But, it is important that I say that not all of the northern industrialists were robber barons. Some were Christian businessmen who cared about their employees, products and new nation however they were few and far between. Finally the elements of the northern American industrialists’ devious economic plan would come to light, but not until hundreds of thousands of Americans had been slaughtered in an unnecessary sectional war over economics.
The objective of the northern region industrialists was to devise a way that southern agriculture wealth could be legally siphoned out of the South and invested in northern industrial development and expansion “for the good of the new United States”…yea!
The goals of the northern region industrialists became to first form and fund a new political party and work to elect friendly U.S. House of Representative members and a U.S. president friendly to their industrial goals and who would be totally supportive of their plan to siphoned funds from the southern agriculturists and pass them through the Central Government to the northern industrialists. This goal violated the equality clause, Article IV, of the new U.S. Constitution.
The northern industrialists and their cabal would attempt to stack the U.S. House of Representatives with members sympathetic to the northern industrialists plan to develop and expand industry in the northern regions of the U.S. but not the southern regions at the expense of the wealthy southern agriculture industry.
To this end the northern industrialists would need a political sledge hammer. Rather than take the time and funds to take over an existing political party the northern industrialists would start their own national political party which they could easily exert complete control over. Events would suddenly intervene to spur the northern industrialists to action.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President in 1854. The Great Plains area west of Missouri and Iowa was a refuge for thousands of Native Americans, but white settlers learned that these vast expanses offered opportunities for freedom, grain farming and cattle ranching. The Native Americans (“Indians”) had no effective champions in the U.S. central government and would again be forced to give way to the white man’s encroachment.
Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic senator from Illinois and chairman of the Committee on Territories, introduced a bill in early 1854, dealing with these unorganized lands. Douglas was anxious to see the region developed. Part of his motivation was personal financial gain. He was a heavy speculator in western lands and also, as a resident of Chicago, Illinois supportive of the development of the central route for a transcontinental railroad. Further, an exposure on the national stage might be helpful to Douglas’ presidential ambitions.
Douglas’ bill succeeded in luring Southern politicians with the following provisions:
• The Nebraska Territory was to be divided into two units — Kansas and Nebraska
• The question of slavery, which had seemingly been answered in the U.S.
Constitution ratified in 1787, was to be decided by “popular sovereignty“—
allowing the territorial or new state legislatures to decide.
The effect of this proposal was to repeal the Missouri Compromise, a prospect that enraged antislavery forces in the North. Not content, the Southern leaders insisted on a formal amendment which specifically repealed the slavery provisions of the Missouri Compromise.
A bitter debate followed in the U.S. Congress, culminating in May 1854 in a narrow victory for Douglas and the southern regions of the South. President Franklin Pierce signed the measure immediately.
The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act exerted a tremendous impact, which included:
• The reopening of the slavery question in the territories with almost immediate
tragic results in “Bleeding Kansas”
• The president’s hope for reelection was dashed
• The complete realignment of the major political parties occurred
• The Democrats lost influence in the North and were to become the regional
proslavery party of the South
• The Whig Party, which had opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, died in the South
and was weakened in the North
A new Republican Party emerged in 1858 as an immediate political force, drawing members from anti-Nebraska Whigs and Democrats. The founding of the new Republican Party is a matter of some dispute. Some point to a mass meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin in March 1854; others cite a later gathering in Jackson, Michigan. In any event, there appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of anger following passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Large public meetings were held in numerous Northern communities, some of which used the term “Republican.”
The ranks of the emerging Republican Party were filled by the following:
• Northern Whigs united in their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but
dieing in 1852
• The Free-Soil Party, which had played a spoiler role in several presidential
elections, but now was lacking effective leadership
• The Know-Nothing movement whose roots lay in the fear of immigrants in
general and Roman Catholics in particular
• Northern Democrats who deserted their Southern cousins over the slavery
The new Republican Party experienced almost overnight success, winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the fall of 1854.
Issues that brought the new Republicans together included:
1. Repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska Act—the Republican opposition to the
extension of slavery was based more on economic concerns than moral ones
2. Support of the central route for the construction of the transcontinental
3. Support of a Homestead Act, which would ease the process for settlers to own
4. Support of high protective tariffs and liberal immigration laws—both were
attractive to Northern industrialists.
Importantly, the Republicans were originally the party of free working white men; they were opposed to the spread of slavery because they did not want to compete against unpaid or cheap labor in the northern manufacturing shops or in the lands opening in the West. They were not friends of the blacks, slave or free. Further, the Republicans were purely a sectional party; they did not attempt to run candidates in the slave states. Their plan was to gain complete political control in the North and in the U.S. House of Representatives; if they did, they would have sufficient electoral strength to elect a president and control U.S. legislation in the future, including the passing of protectionist tariff and shipping duty bills that were punitive to southern agriculture and the South’s people, their overseas suppliers and shippers.
Slavery was not a “slave” issue! Slavery was an economic and demographic issue. Remember the South had built a wealthy sectional enterprise on the agriculture products of first tobacco and later cotton and tobacco. The northern regions of the U.S. had proved to be unsuited to the growth of both tobacco and cotton. The western regions of the U.S. were likewise unsuited for the growth of tobacco and cotton. The West was only suited for the growing of grains, primarily wheat. While wheat was a profitable crop in America it was, unlike tobacco and cotton, unsuited for export since it was and is perishable. The West’s farming industry would be limited to the American west. The operation of northern manufacturers required “skilled” laborers and the northern industrialists shunned African slaves and black freemen because they saw them as ‘savages’ and not suited for work in factories, many of which became “sweat shops”. Neither the northern manufacturing industry nor the western grain farmers required large numbers of laborers. Only the southern region’s farmers required large numbers of untrained laborers. Neither the North nor the West would have ever been large slave holding regions for those reasons, particularly after Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical grain harvester in 1831, long before the American War of Economics in 1861.
Since the northern industrialist’s new Republican Party had formed the northern industrialists partnered with the small abolition movement and ran their first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont in 1856, but he failed to win the election by a small majority. Emboldened by the near win the northern industrialists began their search for another presidential candidate and accelerated their financial contribution to elect their House of Representative candidates. Eventually they settled on Abraham Lincoln who favored the industrialization of the northern region and had been an attorney for the railroad. With the narrow multi-party win by 39% Abraham Lincoln won the presidency in 1860. With the win by Lincoln the Republican Party gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
It’s important here for readers to understand that the makeup of the U.S. Congress constituted two U.S. Senators from each State and U.S. House of Representative members according to the level of residents of each individual State. The U.S. Constitution required a national census beginning in 1790 to determine the numbers of residents in each State. The Constitution also declared that the States would have one House member for each thirty-thousand residents. However there was a hitch. When the Constitution was being written one of the most contentious slavery-related issues was the question of whether slaves would be counted as part of the population in determining representation in the United States Congress or considered property not entitled to representation.
U.S. House of Representative delegates from the southern region states, with a large population of slaves, argued that slaves should be considered whole persons in determining U.S. legislative representation, but as property if the new government were to levy taxes on the states on the basis of population. This was kind of a self defeating proposition for the South.
U.S. House of Representative delegates from northern region states, where slavery had declined because of the Revolutionary War and where most businessmen and farmers came to realize that they did not need and could not afford the cost of buying and maintaining large numbers of slaves. Slavery simply became a defeating economic issue in the northern regions of the U.S. They argued that slaves should be included in taxation, but not in determining U.S. legislative representation.
Finally, delegate James Wilson, of Pennsylvania born in Scotland and immigrated to America in 1765, proposed the Three-Fifths Compromise. This was eventually narrowly adopted by the Constitutional Convention and was inserted into the U.S. Constitution.
Another issue at the Convention was what should be done about the slave trade itself. The U.S. Constitution had also required that no new slaves could be brought into the United States after 1808. This constitutional clause would come back to hurt the southern region’s agriculture industry, not because of the importation of slaves, since that clause was also inserted in the Confederate States of American Constitution, but because the importation of new slaves into the U.S. would critically limit the numbers of southern state U.S. House of Representatives in Congress. Meanwhile the northern industrialists would continue their search for a solution to the coming bankruptcy of its slave ship building, barter goods manufacturing used to buy slaves in Africa from African tribal chiefs and ship crews. Since they were intent on building up and expanding their manufacturing industry they reasoned rightly so that they would need skilled workers for the new factories they were building with southern tariff and duty funds flowing into the U.S. treasury. They would therefore come to the aid of and assist the northern ship owners, manufacturers and ship owners to switch from transporting slaves to transporting indentured servants and freemen from Europe. Remember they did not desire slaves for factory work because they believed them to be inferior, un-trainable and “savages”.
By 1808 ten states in the North had already outlawed slavery because of the passing of the Importation Act of 1808. Many delegates heatedly denounced it, but the three states, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, that allowed slavery threatened to leave the constitutional convention if slave trade were banned. That is why the word “slave”, “slavery” nor “slave trade” is found in the U.S. Constitution. The convention delegates used other code words in the Constitution that could only apply to slaves. The delegates to the Convention did not want its ratification to fail because of the conflict over slavery. Therefore, a special committee worked out another compromise: Congress would have the power to ban the importation of slaves, but not until at least 20 years had passed, in 1808, a time which the nation could use to peaceably end slavery. The 20 year statute came about because every state in the U.S. had slave holders, North and South, and the delegates did not want the northern delegates to vote against the Constitution. The common understanding was that slavery would slowly disappear as more emigrants came to America to replace them, or if the Central Government accommodated slaveholders so as to not impact agriculture production adversely.
There were several efforts in the northern regions of the U.S. to transport American slave back to Africa or elsewhere called “colonization” of which Lincoln supported. Some free blacks were transported to Africa and some to Central America. However, most slaves in the South did not want to be sent back to Africa. Poverty and birth death rates were so high survival was tenuous in their former homelands. Northern slaveholders began selling their able and well slaves to southern plantations but most were shipped by northern slave traders to South and Central America and the Island Nations where they were sold for large profits before the 1808 law became effective. Northern states never advocated that northern slaveholders emancipate their slaves. Those slaves that were too old, injured or sick to sell were simple turned loose to fend for themselves. These former slaves attempted to find jobs in the North but were generally run out of town because the townspeople, most factory workers, that feared that the former slaves would take their factory jobs, meager as they were. Slave race riots occurred and many slaves, freemen and former slaves were maimed and murdered. Many went south. The slave emancipation model was the British Slave Trade Act which was finally passed by Parliament in 1807 without conflict. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 by Eli Whitney, of Massachusetts while living in Savannah, Georgia would usher in a new era of cotton production in the South. Fewer slaves would be needed to process the cotton crop and the slave population stabilized. This would stabilize the overall population of the southern states but the northern state’s population would continue to rapidly grow because of the aggressive importation of European workers and indentured slaves for northern factories.
This population imbalance would eventually give the North a decidedly larger number of U.S. House of Representative than the South could muster. With this eventuality the northern industrialist’s plan had succeeded. With the industrial friend Lincoln in the Whitehouse and a clear majority in the U.S. House the northern industrialists could have any central legislation passed that they desired. This they did. Their next goal and focus was on passing protectionist tariff and high duty bills that taxed and financially punished southern agriculturists and
their overseas shippers and suppliers heavily while awarding grants unproportionally regardless of what the Constitution read about the fairness of the distribution of federal funds proportionally to the northern industrialists to upgrade, build and expands their American Industrial Revolution.
The southern politicians realized that they had been boxed in by the northern industrialists’ friends in the U.S. House of Representatives. Talk of withdrawal from the Union as provided in the Declaration of Independence began. The American War of Economics was on and the North having fired the first shot was winning, winning at least the first battle.
Then the South was struck by a second blow from the northern industrialists. The western territories (Louisiana Territory) were being settled and many were becoming new states which allowed them seats in the U.S. Congress. Upon becoming a state the people would have two U.S. Senators in the U.S. Congress and one U.S. House of Representatives for each thirty-thousand residents within the new State. A struggle began between the North and South delegates to persuade the new western states to come into the Union as non-slave or slave states. Since the western territories were not suited to cultivation of tobacco or cotton everyone understood that the new western states would never be large slaveholding states. With the invention by Cyrus McCormick of the mechanical grain harvester in 1831 the need for a large unskilled labor force disappeared in the West. The final nail in the coffin of the South was the northern industrialists offer to expand their American Industrialist Revolution into the West. The South had nothing that they could offer the new western states.
The struggle between the South and North was over U.S. House of Representative members. It was understood, rightly so, that territories that came into the Union as slave states would side and vote with the South’s U.S. House of Representative delegation and those territories coming in to the Union as non-slave states would side with the northern U.S. House delegation, friends of the northern industrialists. Slavery simply became the football which the South used to try and gain U.S. House members in hopes that they would at least gain
enough U.S. House members to be able to offer bills, pass bills and stop punitive tariff and duty bills. The South wanted some equality or parody in Congress.
In an attempt to regain some legislative power the southern U.S. House delegates attempted to pass a House Bill to require a two-third vote of House members to pass a bill instead of the then simple majority of 51%. The northern delegation voted the bill down and House bills continued to be passed with a simple majority vote. Essentially the southern U.S. House of Representative delegation and the entire South were at the mercy of the northern industrialists friends in the U.S. House of Representatives. Several compromises were offered to get the House back into balance but Republicans including Lincoln would have none of it. They clearly wanted to keep their majority. Much later we learned why.
Beginning in 1828 and until 1861 and the beginning of The American War of Economics the U.S. House passed a number of tariff bills, mostly punitive to the southern agriculture industry and their overseas suppliers and shippers, to fill to overflowing the U.S. treasury. As much as 80% of the taxes going into the Central Government treasury came from southern agriculturists and their overseas suppliers and shippers. Talk of withdrawal began among southern politicians and businessmen based on provisions of the Declaration of Independence.
It became obvious that the U.S. House members, from the northern regions of the U.S, had no intentions of reversing their runaway and unchallengeable efforts of the South and no compromises would be acceptable to President Lincoln, his Republican Party and their benefactors the northern industrialists community, Americas new “robber barons”.
Lincoln was elected on November 6th, 1860 and was inaugurated on March 4, 1861.
Several southern states had threatened to withdraw from the Union but the new minority President, Lincoln (He received only 39% of the vote in a multi-party election.) believes them to be bluffing and chose to keep their feet to the fire on U.S. House disagreements. Lincoln knew well that he had to keep all the states in the Union if the amount of funds demanded by the northern industrialists was to be forthcoming and continual to develop and expand their northern industry.
South Carolina would withdraw from the Union on December 20, 1860. On February 8, 1861, South Carolina joined other Southern states to form the Confederate States of America. On March 5, 1861, the day after his inauguration as President, Abraham Lincoln order military detachments, ammunition, medical supplies and foodstuff to Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor.
South Carolina was at that time an independent and sovereign nation that had voluntarily joined the Confederate States of America nation. Lincoln’s orders to General Scott to re-supply and increase the troop level in Fort Sumter was contrary to an earlier written and signed agreement to not try and re-supply the forts in southern waters, which was only custom houses for the sole purpose of collecting tariffs and duties from shippers supplying southern agriculturists and transporting their tobacco and cotton to Europe. The question of the time is why would the President of the United States, i.e. the Union, knowingly and intentionally break an agreement or contract with South Carolina unless he intended to cause an armed confrontation to give him justification to raise and army of 75,000 militia volunteers for 90-days to intimidate the withdrawn southern states and force them back into the Union so that the tariff and duty collections would continue flowing into the Union’s treasury and through to the northern industrialists. Especially since Lincoln himself said that to withdraw from a contract both parties had to agree when making excuses for using military force to bring the South back into the Union and back onto the tax rolls. Clearly Lincoln though he could use military posturing to force South Carolina and the withdrawn states back in the Union with a 90-day timeframe with 75,000 untrained northern state militia volunteers. I don’t think he intended or thought he would ignite a nation destroying war. No U.S. Congress member resisted the fact that Lincoln had no power under the Constitution to declare war or call up military troops. That was a constitutional power delegated only to the Congress of the U.S.A. Lincolns despotism began to emerge and become apparent.
Then on July 21, 1861 Lincoln sent his new army into Northern Virginia, then a sovereign state of the Confederate States of America to force Virginia back into the Union. The battle of First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run to the Confederates was a clearly Lincoln’s attempt to invade the South and force them back into the Union at gunpoint. He failed and the Union was badly mauled by the Confederate troops. Lincoln’s war to force the South back into the Union and continue collecting high tariffs and duties would mark the beginning of the America War of Economics 1861 – 1865 where over 630,000 young Americans would loose their lives, over a million would be wounded and many maimed for life and the economy of the thriving South destroyed. Lincoln and his northern industrial benefactor’s plan had backfired and the U.S. was at war with itself over money. In fact The War would have never occurred if Lincoln had been allowed by the Confederacy to maintain its custom houses in Confederate waters and continue collecting the high tariffs and duties from southern agriculture and its foreign shippers and markets.
Some say and falsely write that The War of Economics was a “Civil War”. Evidence that it was not lies in the aftermath of the first battle of The War, The Battle of Bull Run. With the Union troops and the Washington City residents and politicians who had rode out to picnic and watch the northern soldiers teach the southern boys a lesson in full panicked flight back toward Washington the Confederate commanders could have easily wheeled its army behind the retreating and unarmed Union troops and the Washington residents and politicians and could have easily captured Washington and the entire Union government including President Lincoln, Congress, the Supreme Court and all U.S. Central government burocrats and workers. They didn’t. If they had wheeled and captured Washington The War would have been over many lives would have been spared and wholesale destruction of the South and its people would never have occurred.
The Confederacy didn’t want to overthrow the government of the Union, which is the definition of a “civil war”. All the Confederate states wanted was to be left alone to manage their own affairs, grow tobacco and cotton and be trading partners with a new independent Union. Lincoln however could not live with that arrangement since it would cut off needed funds to his industrialists and destroy the North’s American Industrial Revolution almost before it had started.
Many claim that The War was over slavery…not! Some claim The War was over states rights…not! The War, the terrible war, was over money…an economic war of desperation, planned by northern industrialists “robber barons” and implement by Lincoln and his new industrial development leaning Republican Party in total control of the U.S. Central Government.
Al Barrs is a retired (FEB 1997) former corporate general manager, corporate HR training and development director, president of Performance-Based Industry Training Design (P-BIT Design), president of Aerodyne Industries, president of Gill-Check Valve Manufacturing Company and an independent training system consultant, train the instructional designers and trainers lecturer and teacher, family history researcher and writer and American history researcher and writer.