Secession Declarations Explained 

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By: James W. King
SCV Camp 141 Commander
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson’s Rangers
Albany Georgia

The fact that all Causes of Secession Declarations by the seceding Southern states list slavery as a cause of secession has led liberals and Marxist Socialists to claim that the South seceded solely for the purpose of keeping and defending slavery. The declaration by Georgia was the most thorough presentation of abuses by the North that justified secession. Those who make such claims berating and disparaging the seceding Southern states for secession do not have a thorough understanding of the political situation that existed prior to and at the time of Southern secession.
  
Most Southerners were in favor of gradual orderly emancipation of slaves and it was occurring. Prior to the war there was an estimated five times as many abolition societies in the South as in the North. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America prohibited the importation of slaves. The Northern colonies, later states, of New England–Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and New York- were primarily responsible for the development of slavery in America. The port cities of New England had grown wealthy from profits derived from the slave trade. Initially the South had resisted slavery but as time went by they succumbed to the encouragement and pressure from New England to purchase and use slave labor on the plantations of the South.
  
The use of slave labor in the industrial cities of the North had not been successful as it had been in the agricultural South. Therefore the Northern states began emancipating slaves and in 1808 the further importation of slaves was outlawed by the United States of America. But Yankee slave traders, in violation of the law, continued transporting slaves up until the time of the War for Southern Independence (Civil War).
  
By 1820 to 1830 the slave trade had became unprofitable to most Northerners and agitation began against the Southern states demanding instant abolition of slaves as opposed to the orderly graduated emancipation that was already taking place in the Southern states. Initially the Northern abolitionists were a small but very vocal and militant group. But abolition sentiment continued to grow and lies and propaganda based on ignorance began to slander the Southern people. The English historian Cecil Chesterman is quoted as saying “what can exceed the hypocrisy of the New England men who accuse the South of grave moral sin while the profits made from the slave trade are still in their pocket”.
 
The Northern abolitionists were radicals, fanatics, zealots, and criminals and they offered no plan for the compensation of freed slaves to Southerners. Instead they demanded instant abolition and supported and worked to foment a massive slave revolt that would cause the deaths of thousands of Southern men, women, and children similar to that which had occurred in Santa Domingo (Haiti) in the 1790-1803 era. The Marxist Socialist Republican Party that was formed in 1854 had many of these radicals, fanatics, zealots, and criminals as members. The Republican Party passed a resolution that was signed by 68 of 117 members advocating violence against the South as outlined in the 1857 book by Hinton Helper “The Impending Crisis of the South”. Then they financed and outfitted criminal and murderer John Brown to go to Virginia and implement a slave rebellion. All through the North the psychopathic murderous criminal John Brown was perceived as a hero and saint who had gone straight to heaven after he was hung in Virginia following his failed attempt to instigate servile insurrection and the planned massive slave rebellion.
  
Lincoln was a member of this radical group  and after he was elected president the South refused to voluntarily be ruled by Northern radicals, fanatics, zealots, and criminals. Southerners determined that the best way to avoid more impending criminal actions by the North was to separate so seven Southern states seceded and this was followed by four more after Lincoln initiated aggression against the seceded states.
 
The extremely high tariff rate of 47-50% in the upcoming Morrill Tariff was also a major factor in Southern secession. The South was being forced to pay 75-85% of the money to operate the Federal Government and 80-90% of that tax money was being kept and spent in the North.

The Northern industrialists were forcing the South to pay for the industrialization of America at no cost to themselves. The machinery of the Federal Government, which was designed for the common benefit, was made the means of despoiling the South, to enrich the North”.  The workings of the iniquitous tariffs had reduced the South to a dependent colonial condition, almost as abject as that of the Roman provinces, under their proconsuls nearly 2000 years ago. A coalition of Northern economic interests with the Northern radicals, fanatics, zealots, and criminals forced Southern secession. The Robber had joined hands with the incendiary and the South was their target.
  
I recommend reading pages 30 thru 38 of the booklet “A Southern View of the Invasion of the Southern States and War of 1861-65” by Capt. Samuel A. Ashe in 1935 titled “Secession, Insurrection of the Negroes, and Northern Incendiarism”. He was the last surviving commissioned officer of the Confederate States Army and a highly educated man who presents a concise and scholarly explanation of the events leading to the war and the lasting consequences. I also recommend reading the 1894 speech given by former Confederate general Joseph Wheeler to the U.S. congress in which he presents the facts concerning the development of slavery in America and the causes of the War for Southern Independence. He places the blame where it belongs–on the North. Also I recommend reading the book “Truths of History” by Mildred Lewis Rutherford who was a historian for the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Altogether there were 10 causes of Southern secession. Contact me at jkingantiquearms@bellsouth.net to receive an e-mail copy of my article “The 10 Causes of Southern Secession”.


From the Confederate Society of America Original Story