What Were the Main Causes of the American Civil War

ABSTRACT:  As prelude to the American Civil War most Confederate States left the union shortly after the election victory of Abraham Lincoln in November, 1860.  Proof that the Civil War was not fought over slavery is the Corwin Amendment. It would have authorized any state to allow slavery. Passed by the all Northern Congress two days before Lincoln took office, on March 2, 1861, Lincoln approved it in his Inaugural Address. They were trying to woo the Southern states to come back in. It didn’t work because that same day they voted to double the protective tariff to 40% on Southern ports. The Civil War officially started on April 12, 1861.

The American System

Lincoln was a champion of the  centralizing tendencies of Henry Clay’s American System of public works.  It was the old British mercantile system rebranded. The American System was a three-legged stool. It included public works like railroads and canals, with increased tariffs and a central bank to pay for them.

As a railroad lobbyist, Lincoln was America’s first “Crony Capitalist.” Why today’s conservatives defend him to their death is a great mystery.

As a champion of the American System, Lincoln provoked a war at Fort Sumter to force the Southern States and their tariff-rich ports back into the union.  Lincoln’s many speeches indicate that he was a bigoted racist. For example, he said, “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races” (1858 debate in Ottawa, Illinois). Had he made such a statement today, he would be immediately canceled.

Slavery Not the Main Cause

These documented facts demonstrate that Black slavery was emphatically not the cause of the American Civil War.  Rather it was a smoke screen to justify it, especially with the terrorism of John Brown in Kansas and at Harper’s Ferry.  Only a handful of some 16,000 books written about Abraham Lincoln report these facts.  Among the best in this tiny genre is a book by Thomas DiLorenzo:  The Real Lincoln. Virtually, none of the rest mention the fact that all of the slave ships in the Triangular Trade were owned by industrialists in Rhode Island.

Nowhere does the Bible command a nation to go to war to end slavery. Four New Testament books contain exhortations for masters and slaves and one (Philemon) is excusively about slavery. Biblical slavery is limited to 7 years for the purpose of paying off debt or making double repayment for theft.

Northern Hypocrisy

The Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America in 1832 to research his book, Democracy in America. He reported far more discrimination against freed Blacks under the Northern Black Codes than in the South, with a few extreme exceptions. Pastor Steve Wilkins tallied the Slave Narratives for his curriculum on American History. He found that about 90% of former slaves described their former owners with the words “good masters,” about 7% “stern masters” and only 3% “cruel masters.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe took those few exceptions and wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, bearing false witness against Southern Christians and provoking a war that left 620,000 dead. She was mute regarding discriminatory Black Codes in the North or Northern ownership of all the kidnapping, slave ships.

When introduced to Mrs. Stowe, Mr. Lincoln rose awkwardly from his chair, saying, “Why, Mrs. Stowe, right glad to see you!  Then with a humorous twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!,” So according to Lincoln, one “little woman” with a poison pen was responsible for a war that killed more than all other American wars combined.

I. Introduction

A. Overview of the American Civil War

1. Slavery Not Main Cause of the American Civil War

The American Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, is oversimplified, with the prevailing narrative of slavery as the primary cause. The  War, of course, stands as a pivotal chapter in America’s history. The conflict raged from 1861 to 1865, leaving an indelible mark on the American psyche. It is a war often distilled into a narrative centered around the abolition of slavery, a profound struggle for freedom and equality. However, when we take the time to peel back the layers of this historical saga the facts tell a different story.

The Civil War in effect reversed the hard-fought gains of liberty in the American Revolution. It put America back under the financial dominance of the Bank of England as the leading component of the international financial system.  Some have gone so far as to label Lincoln “The Great Centralizer,” rather than “The Great Emancipator.” This was because of the irreversible damage he did to state rights and loss of liberty for people of all races.  In particular, the post-war 14th Amendment, applied the restrictions of the Bill of Rights to the states. The original intent was to restrain the power of the Federal government.  There was a corresponding shift in semantics.  Prior to the Civil War people said, “the United States are…”  After the Civil War they said, “The United States is…”

2. Biblical Causes of the American Civil War

It’s easy to forget, amidst the forlorn landscape of the battlefields and the drums of war, the origin of the conflict was more than just a parochial clash of regions. Rather, it was a complex interplay of economic, political, and social forces. To grasp the essence of it, we must cast aside the narrow lens that confines it to the slavery issue. There were an array of factors that propelled the nation into the devastating war.

It is of first importance to understand the Biblical doctrine of slavery, better understood as indentured servitude. This system lies at the heart of the Bible’s restitutionary system of criminal justice. This system has been replaced by the thoroughly corrupt, outrageously expensive, and ineffective prison system. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one of the wartime Amendments, enshrines this corrupt system in law. It has done this by outlawing the Biblical alternative.

What happens when a person commits a property crime and cannot afford to pay the double restitution the Bible requires in Exodus 22:1-4? The Bible requires he must be sold into indentured servitude until the debt is paid. However, this period of indentured servitude or slavery cannot exceed seven years. The same is true of a person in debt. That makes every 30-year mortgage ever issued both immoral and illegal under Biblical law. Instead, the offender is placed in the family of the victim in order to learn responsibility in a safe, and concerned environment. Chattel slavery, or permenant servitude is forbidden by the Bible.

3. The 7 Year Release

Thus, most slavery in the Old South was close to the Biblical model, with the critical exception of the 7 year release. This was complicated by the fact that banks held a mortgage on most slave purchses. It was something like a modern farmer purchasing an expensive piece of equipment on credit. But that was enough to call down the judgment of God on the entire nation, because it was New England merchants who owned the kidnapping, slave ships.

All Israel was judged for this very thing, when they violated the command, “At the end of seven years each of you shall set free his Hebrew brother, who has been sold to you and has served you six years…Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother, and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,,’ declares the Lord,’to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I wil make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth” (Jer. 34:14,17).

4. Lincoln’s War Crimes in the American Civil War

It’s ironic that so many conservatives, who claim to favor reductions in the size of government, have been fooled into embracing the very demagogue who converted America irreversibly into an out-of-control corporate welfare leviathan. Even most of Lincoln’s staunchest supporters are forced to admit that he assumed dictatorial powers during the war. First, he shut down opposing newspapers in the North. Second, he suspended habeas corpus, keeping thousands of Northern citizens who opposed his war locked up indefinitely. Third, he used his army to suppress opposing voters. Fourth, he deported a U.S. Congressman who criticized his war policy, and much, much more. He even imprisoned the grandson of Francis Scott Key, a Northern editor who opposed his war policy. He kept him in indefinite confinement in the very prison that inspired his grandfather to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What a killjoy.

But Lincoln is excused as “a benevolent dictator.” Tell that to the defenseless Southern women, children, and slaves who suffered under Lincoln’s scorched earth policy against civilians, contrary to Biblical law. “You may only cut down trees that you know are not valuable for food. Use them to make the equipment you need to attack the enemy town until it falls” (Dt. 20:20).

B. Slavery Not the Cause of the American Civil War

1. Slavery Was A Smokescreen

The prevailing narrative emphasizes slavery as the primary cause of the American Civil War. In doing so, it overlooks other significant economic and political factors that drove the Southern states to secession.  Etched in popular opinion is the notion that the American Civil War was primarily a noble struggle to end the institution of slavery. It was North good, South evil and that’s the end of it. While slavery was a factor, such a narrow perspective overlooks the 30-year history that drove the Southern states to secede. The war’s origins are deeply rooted in a web of economic interests, regional disparities, and political maneuvering that transcended emancipation.

To illustrate this complexity, consider the economic tensions brewing between the industrial North and the agrarian South. The clash of these divergent economies fueled deep frustration in the Southern states. They felt marginalized and oppressed by the tax burden on Southern ports. This discontent laid the groundwork for secession, with concealed roots for War far below the surface-level narrative regarding slavery. 

2. The Lincoln Myth

There was substantial sympathy in the Northern city of New York for the Southern cause because that was the only significant port in the North.  In fact, New York had even threatened to join a secession of New England States a few decades earlier for that very reason.  Nobody threatened New England with charges of insurrection or challenged her right to secede.  These were all legal challenges manufactured from whole cloth by the lawyer’s lawyer, Abraham Lincoln.

Estimates range as high as 16,000 books contributing to the Lincoln myth, virtually all of them positive.  This article challenges the conventional wisdom. To have any hope of understanding the war, we must start with the central role of Henry Clay’s American System.  For virtually all Americans the mention of the “American System” draws a blank stare. The sheer volume of 16,000 pro-Lincoln books drowns out the truth. It was otherwise known as the British Mercantile System which led to the American War for Independence.

3. The American System

Henry Clay’s American System was a set of centralizing policies aimed at allegedly nurturing economic prosperity. It emerges as the motivating factor in this narrative. Clay’s vision included internal improvements, protective tariffs, and a national bank to pay for it all. This propelled the nation in a radical new direction. It was a three-legged stool. However, it was these policies that sowed the seeds of discontent in the Southern states.

Picture a Southern farmer who felt the burden of protective tariffs squeezing the livelihood of his family. He is one of the 75% of Southerners who owned no slaves. Yet the entire South is stereotyped as a devilish hoard of whip-cracking Simon Legrees. https://theconversation.com/american-slavery-separating-fact-from-myth-79620

The struggle of this individual is a microcosm of the economic tensions that initiated the secession movement. The political climate of the era, planted seeds of resistance to the centralization of power that ignited the war. All of this dispells the myth of slavery as the cause of the American Civil War

4. Lincoln the Dictator

Such is inevitable when government embraces a policy of legalized theft from one group in order to enrich another group. Let’s not overlook 620,000 dead in a totally unnecessay war, and illegally closing and imprisoning hundreds of Northern newspaper editors and state legislators who spoke out against Lincoln’s War. This was the legacy of railroad lobbyist, Abraham Lincoln.

Let us never forget Lincoln’s waging total war against civilian populations, mostly women, children, and their slaves. This set a marvelous precedent for WW I, WWII, and even into the 21st Century, “his truth is marching on.”

It is also interesting to note that only about 4-6% of the total slaves kidnapped by their African countrymen ended up in America. In addition, “In 1830, there were 3,775 black (including mixed-race) slaveholders in the South who owned a total of 12,760 slaves.” This might be a good place to start for aspiring young authors who want to perpetuate the Lincoln legend, not much has been written about that. They could also come up with a novel or two about white slaves mutilated by black Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_slave_owners#:~:text=In%201830%2C%20there%20were%203%2C775,South%20Carolina%2C%20Virginia%20and%20Maryland.

5. Manufactured Consent

The years 1824, 1828, 1832 had all witnessed substantial hikes in the rate of the so-called protective tariff, the burden of which fell on the South.  In addition, the very day Congress passed the Corwin Amendment to legalize slavery in all states, it also doubled the protective tariff to 40%.  Particularly egregious had been the “Tariff of Abominations” in 1828 which hiked the tax rate to 50%.  The tariffs made it difficult for Southern farmers to sell their goods abroad and forced them to purchase from the North at higher prices.

These are hard facts to swallow for Christian, Neo-Con warmongers. Even more challenging is a willingness to entertain the thought of conspiracy — the purposely engineered false flag event. This almost always arouses a nation to war. Enter “The Secret Six,” the elite New Englanders who financed terrorist John Brown.

We might also ask who funded the Liberator, the anti-slavery paper started by William Lloyd Garrison and his friend William Knapp. At some point there was a falling out between the two, with Knapp leaving this interesting comment, “In 1841 Knapp complained that ‘he has been deprived of his interest in the Liberator unjustly—that Mr. Garrison and ‘a certain rich man’ have treated him badly—therefore he intends to print a paper to be called ‘Knapp’s Liberator.’” (Wikipedia,  “All Sorts of Paragraphs”Boston Morning Post. December 17, 1841. p. 2 – via newspaperarchive.com.)

The identity of “a certain rich man” may never be known. Nonetheless, it may be a good topic for research for the aspiring young journalist.

II. The American System and Secession

A. Henry Clay’s American System

Henry Clay’s American System aimed at economic development through policies such as internal improvements (public works), protective tariffs, and a national bank.  To understand the catalysts of Southern secession, we must first grasp the ambitious intent of Henry Clay’s American System. This intent was nurtured by Abraham Lincoln for years in his legislative capacity. If Thomas Huxley was Darwin’s Bulldog, then Abraham Lincoln was Clay’s Buldog. Lincoln had set the table for the Northern economic feast, that left very few crumbs for the South. It became a clash of economic interests between the industrial North and the agrarian South.

Any increase of protective tariffs disproportionately impacted Southern agrarian economics, as these fees protected Northern industries for the most part. This friction between economic policies and regional interests was just one more impetus for secession.

B. Centralizing Policies and the American Civil War

These policies favored Northern industries and stimulated discontent among Southern agrarians, as they were exploited.  All of this deficit spending was promoted as fostering economic growth and national unity. In reality it saddled several Northern states with years of debt repayment bills. The Rich men North of Richmond reaped the profits, as they still do in 21st Century America.

However, these policies also bore heavily on the South, exaggerating existing tensions. The construction of canals and roads benefited the North to some extent, while tariffs aimed at protecting Northern industries hindered Southern agricultural exports. However, most of the canal and road projects were never completed, as the funds were diverted to corrupt politicans and bureaucrats. Where have we heard that story before? This is another big part of Lincoln’s legacy.

The seeds of discontent were stored up as Southern farmers struggled with the inflationary pressures imposed by tariffs and banks. The clash between the economies of North and South became increasingly strident. Up to this time the right to secession had been assumed. A few states had actually written the option into their state ratifying documents before voting to approve the U.S. Constitution. Now they were having second thoughts, which Lincoln crushed with his “preserve the union” meme.

C. Southern Discontent with Centralizing Policies

These economic disparities exacerbated regional tensions, leading to growing resentment in the South against perceived Northern favoritism.  As Northern industries flourished under protective tariffs, Southern agrarian economies languished. With complaints falling on deaf ears the feeling grew that separation was the only viable solution.

Lincoln couldn’t have made it any more clear: “I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank…in favor of the internal improvements system and a higher protective tariff.” (Abraham Lincoln, 1832).

Today many conservatives dismiss these complaints, at the same time failing to stop and think that the American System simply morphed into what today we call corporate welfare.  The emotional power of the slavery issue clouds their vision to the genuine abuses inflicted on Southerners at the time.  They fail to understand or appreciate the blood that was shed on their behalf in a losing cause.

III. Abraham Lincoln’s Role

A. Lincoln as a Proponent of the American System

Abraham Lincoln embraced the American System, endorsing its policies and principles long before he became president.  Lincoln’s ascent to the presidency marked a critical pivot point in American history. A steadfast advocate of Henry Clay’s policies, Lincoln was committed to a well-oiled system of political patronage. This was incipient Keynesianism.  

Lincoln was a railroad attorney, elected by wealthy elites to promote their agenda in Congress.  Even as the guns of the Civil War roared, the transcontinental railroad crossing the plains was hastening to completion. 

Lincoln’s commitment to the American System became a flashpoint, abandoning free-market exchange for monopolistic privilege resulting from protectionism. Lincoln’s devotion to Fascism is an open secret. Take a closer look at the vertical arms of Lincoln’s throne in the Lincoln Memorial. You’ll see the bound rods symbolic of Fascism.

To this day, the Republican Party devotion to this almost fanatic promoter of big government defies imagination. It is virtue signalling based on ignorance and false pride. The Lincoln myth seems virtually unassailable.

B. Impact of Lincoln’s Policies on the South

As noted, Lincoln’s support for these punitive economic measures further alienated the Southern states.  As president, Lincoln’s policies unfolded against the backdrop of a nation at war against itself.  His true motives became evident as the threat of losing the tariffs loomed as a reality with the secession of the South. “Where will I get my money?” he implored.

Hundreds of thousands spent on canals in particular in the decades leading up to the war ended up as boondoggle projects that were never completed.  Much of the money ended up lining the pockets of government bureaucrats and fueling Southern animosity.

C. Lincoln Provoked the American Civil War

The events at Fort Sumter which triggered the war, led to the strong suspicion that Lincoln deliberately provoked the conflict as a false flag to reclaim tariff-rich Southern ports.  Just days prior he had refused to entertain a delegation of Southern officials who were sent to Washington to avert the crisis.  They were even prepared to pay the Southern share of the national debt had they been permitted to separate in peace.

The flashpoint that ignited the Civil War was the conflict at Fort Sumter. The question of whether Lincoln intentionally provoked this confrontation remains a topic of historical debate. However, Lincoln’s motivations become clear when we examine the events leading up to the Fort Sumter incident.

We can almost feel the tension in the South Carolina air as Fort Sumter loomed larger and larger on the horizon.  There is little doubt that Lincoln’s decision to reinforce the federal garrison at the fort was a calculated move, designed to force the Southern states into a confrontational stance.  The ship’s captain was given strict orders not to initiate or return fire. 

Lincoln’s congratulatory message to him the next day made it clear that Lincoln was quite pleased with the outcome.  As the first shot boomed across Charleston harbor in the early hours of April 1861, the die was cast.  It made no difference that John Brown’s provocative terrorist attacks had occurred just months earlier, the onus of “firing the first shot” now lay on the South and Lincoln got “his little war.” 

D. Lincoln’s Primary Motive to Regain Tariff-Rich Ports

The focus on economic considerations provides perspective on Lincoln’s motivations during the Fort Sumter incident.  To understand these, we must not overlook the economic underpinnings that drove the drama at Fort Sumter.  Most Americans don’t realize that Fort Sumter was on the very island where the Charleston tariff was collected from incoming vessels.  Thus, the skirmish was highly symbolic. The strategic importance of Southern ports, particularly those rich in tariff revenues, makes it easy to unravel Lincoln’s true objectives.

In the port of Charleston the rhythmic flow of trade had long been a source of economic vitality. That gives Lincoln’s moves to retain federal control a new significance. The tug-of-war over these crucial tariff-rich ports — Charleston and New Orleans in particular — sheds light on Lincoln’s economic calculus. Remember, this was in the days before the Federal income tax Amendment was ratified. By maintaining control over these economic lifelines, Lincoln aimed to ensure the financial stability of the federal government.  The stage was now set for the Northern “anaconda strategy” to blockade Southern ports and starve them into submission.

IV. The Corwin Amendment and the Question of Slavery

A. The Corwin Amendment and American Civil War

The Corwin Amendment, passed by an all-Northern Congress just a few weeks before the start of The American Civil War, aimed to address alleged Southern concerns about the institution of slavery. Amidst the fervor of secession and looming hostilities, the Corwin Amendment emerged as a last-ditch effort to quell the growing crisis. Proposed early in 1861, the Amendment sought to address Southern concerns about the future of slavery within the Union. Its timing, March 2, 1861, just weeks before the outbreak of war, cuts through the confusion of the narrative surrounding the causes. The North was more than willing to sacrifice the freedom of slaves for taxes.

We can only imagine the tense atmosphere in Washington as lawmakers grappled with the impending secession crisis. What can we do to woo the South and its lucrative harbors back into the fold?  The corridors of power in Washington echoed with debates over the Corwin Amendment. Its language was carefully crafted to appease Southern states who had only recently left the union.

Yet, this seemingly conciliatory gesture concealed deeper political motives. And it revealed the intricate balancing act between sectional interests.  The fact that the South didn’t take the bait is proof that it was oppressive taxation which had driven them away.  If slavery was the motive for secession, the attractive Corwin Amendment would certainly have wooed the South back.  On the other hand, the Corwin Amendment serves also to reveal the rank hypocrisy of all claims that the North went to war due to righteous indignation over slavery. The only Northern indignation was the Southern denial of their lucrative tariff revenues. https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/tariffs-and-the-american-civil-war.html

B. The Corwin Amendment and the Secession Crisis

Thus, the Corwin Amendment effectively dispells the notion that slavery was the primary cause of the conflict.   The proposed Constitutional Amendment outwardly addressed Southern concerns about the issue of slavery. At the same time, its passage reflected the North’s desperate attempts to salvage the Union. Lincoln’s favorite catch-phrase of “saving the union” was a euphemism for centralizing power. Regardless, the dualistic nature of the Amendment dispels the simplistic notion that slavery was the sole catalyst for the conflict.

Attitudes toward slavery just prior to the outbreak of the war had little to do with a spirit of long-standing, righteous indignation in the North. The average Northerner had no desire to go to war over slavery; tens of thousands fled to Canada. Nor did scores of Northern newspapers, which Lincoln subsequently shutdown, in violation of the First Amendment. The litany of Black Codes in virtually every Northern state reflected racist attitudes toward blacks in the North. These ranged from denial of right to vote, serve on a jury, marry a white, own real estate, and much more.

While some Southern leaders saw it as a gesture of compromise, most viewed it as a concession designed to maintain Northern economic dominance. The varying interpretations deepened the divide, revealing the complexity of motives.  The huge protective tariff passed on the same day by the Morrill Act is further evidence of the primary economic motive for war.

C. Facts Against Slavery As Cause of American Civil War

1. Economic Factors

Economic factors and regional tensions both contributed to causing the American Civil War.   As noted, the Corwin Amendment challenges the conventional wisdom that slavery was the primary cause. Rather than a unified Northern stand against the institution of slavery, the Amendment exposes the intricate political game being played in the weeks leading up to the War.

In the years prior to the Civil War, Congress had been playing a delicate chess match as new states entered the union.  Slavery was an issue only to the extent that it served as a bargaining chip to maintain a balance of political power.  To maintain the balance of power in Washington, every other state that entered the union was designated free and every other state was slave.  In 1820 for example, Missouri had been admitted as a slave state, counterbalanced by Maine entering as a free state. It was dissatisfaction with this procedure that provided a tinderbox for John Brown to strike a match of terrorism in “bleeding Kansas.”

2. Moral Factors

It had nothing to do with a morally superior North displaying righteous indignation against a morally degenerate South.  Black Codes in the North made a mockery of “free blacks.”   These restrictions on “freedom” ranged from denial of the right to vote or sit on juries, to restrictions on movement between states, no legal right for a black to marry a white, and restrictions on the ability to own real estate, and much more.  

The vast majority of Southern blacks were treated with far more care and respect. The testimony of hundreds of former slaves in The Slave Narratives proves this beyond any doubt. For example, because plantation owners on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina were susceptible to disease while blacks were immune, white plantation owners in South Carolina often migrated north for the summer, leaving black overseers in charge.

D. Political Motivations Behind the Corwin Amendment

The Corwin Amendment exposes motives far more deeply intertwined with the economic and political realities of the time, than the remonstrances of the abolitionists. The radical abolitionists had repeatedly expressed their frustration with Lincoln’s inaction on the issue. It was only as a political maneuver to rally support when the North was losing the war that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  

The Corwin Amendment would have allowed any of the states to legalize slavery within its borders. The overwhelming Northern support for the Amendment (2/3 majority), belied any claims that the North was concerned about the well-being or freedom of the slaves.  Far from being a pure stance against slavery, the Corwin Amendment was a showcase for Northern hypocrisy.

It reflected a desperate attempt to salvage the Union and the loss of tax money in the face of the South’s secession. The  Corwin Amendment was a thinly veiled, pragmatic move to keep the Southern states tethered to the Union.  The Corwin Amendment tossed all pretense of Northern concern for Black slaves to the wind. Their only concern was to maintain economic stability and political hegemony.

E. Northern Hypocrisy

1. Northern Black Codes

The treatment of “free” slaves under Northern policies and economic interests brings Northern hypocrisy into even sharper focus. Very few Americans today are aware of the harsh realities faced by “free” slaves within the Northern states. We can dispense with pollyanna images of freed blacks welcomed with open and loving arms into the bosom of Northern hospitality and the warm glow of freedom. Northern hypocrisy is laid bare by the Black Codes and Northern ownership and operation of the slave ships in the Triangular Trade.

The Black Codes were discriminatory laws restricting the rights of free Blacks in the North. This, and the North’s involvement in the kidnapping of African slaves, provide a sobering counterpoint for all attempts to position the North as the champion of abolition.

2. Northern Slave Trading

In the Northern ports of Boston and New York, where fortunes were made through the slave trade, the discrepancy between Northern cupidity and abolitionist rhetoric is glaring. The reality of slaves transported on ships owned by Northern merchants received little or no media attention. This news blackout underscores the hypocrisy of the Northern financial elite. It is the same hypocrisy that funds America’s never-ending wars in the 21st Century. As Marine General Smedley Butler has written, “War Is a Racket.”

This “uncomfortable truth” challenges the simplistic narrative that portrays the North as a bastion of anti-slavery sentiment. The Old Testament requires the death penalty for kidnapping, such as the Northern slave ship owners were engaged in, but inflicts no penalty whatsoever for purchasing or owning a slave. At least four New Testament books simply urge slaves and owners to live in harmony until the seven year term is fulfilled.

But “slavery as sin” and “emancipation now” rhetoric emanated from the Burned-Over District of New York State. Yet most Northerns had no appetite for war, with many fleeing to Canada to avoid Lincoln’s tyrannical draft. This compelled Lincoln to appeal to Europe to empty its prisons of hardened criminals willing to be cannon-fodder in his armies of liberation.

V. John Brown and Terrorism

A. John Brown  in Kansas and Harper’s Ferry

John Brown’s violent actions in Kansas and the Harper’s Ferry raid added fuel to the already simmering tensions between North and South.  To comprehend the impact of John Brown on the lead-up to the Civil War, we must look closely at the turbulent events in Kansas and his audacious raid on Harper’s Ferry. In the mid-1850s, Kansas became the battleground for the ideological struggle over the extension of slavery. Brown, a fervent abolitionist, entered the conflict with a determination to tip the scales.  He was interested in far more than simply debating the issue. He would be satisfied with nothing less than murder.

Kansas was deeply divided between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, who clashed violently. Brown, activated by a deep-seated belief in the righteousness of his cause, led a series of brutal retaliations against pro-slavery families. In one instance a mother pleaded with him to spare her son because the family was actually on his side. All to no avail. The stories of bloodshed and retaliation spread like wildfire, turning Kansas into a symbol of the nation’s deepening divisions.

B. Southern Perceptions of John Brown’s Actions

Brown’s acts of terrorism and his martyrdom at Harper’s Ferry convinced Southerners that a spirit of anarchy had possessed the North. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back to justify their secession. Brown’s violent tactics in Kansas sent shockwaves through the South. Who could blame them for interpreting his actions, not as a heroic stand against slavery, but as the precursor to an impending wave of Northern aggression. The terrorism in Kansas fueled Southern fears, convincing many that the North was not merely interested in ending slavery, but willing to employ any ruthless means to do it. As it turned out, their fears were justified.

John Brown’s atrocities fueled the narrative that Northern abolitionists were not just advocating for freedom but were willing to unleash terror on the South. Brown’s actions became a rallying cry, a potent symbol of the perceived Northern threat to the Southern states and their way of life.

What we witness in the build-up to the Civil War is the power of false-flag propaganda to sway public opinion. Based on scientific analysis of The Slave Narratives, we have seen how Uncle Tom’s Cabin projected the cruel abuses of about 3% of Southern slave owners to the entire Southern population. In the same way the elements of the Northern Press turned the brutal murders of John Brown in Kansas and Harper’s Ferry into heroic displays of martyrdom. Americans of the 21st Century should be wise to these tactics in 2024 having witnessed first-hand the power of “fake news” to control the narrative about Covid, Russia, and the Middle-East.

C. John Brown’s Raids Provoke the American Civil War

The violent acts of John Brown and his sons served as a rallying point for Southern states. It reinforced their belief in the necessity of secession.  News of Brown’s audacious raid on Harper’s Ferry spread rapidly. It became a turning point in the national trajectory toward war.

Brown lost the physical battle at Harper’s Ferry, but the Northern Press made sure he won the PR battle.  His attempt to incite a slave rebellion and seize federal weapons solidified Southern perceptions of Northern extremism. On the other hand, the incident, rather than inspiring indignation, was weaponized by Northern leaders for a holy and righteous cause.

In the courtroom where Brown stood trial for his role in the Harper’s Ferry raid, he was lionized. Instead of being universally condemned, his acts of terror were elevated to the status of martyrdom in Northern eyes, further deepening the divide. Southern leaders seized upon Brown’s radicalism to justify secession.

The radically different reactions to John Brown’s actions in North and South underscored the power of the False Flag event for provoking war. The Secret Six who funded Brown were now free to appropriate his legacy and shape the historical narrative for the descent into conflict.

VI. The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo

A. Thomas DiLorenzo Analysis of American Civil War

Thomas DiLorenzo’s “The Real Lincoln” challenges conventional views on Lincoln’s role in the Civil War by presenting this alternative perspective.  In this provocative work, the author challenges traditional perspectives on Abraham Lincoln and his role in the Civil War. DiLorenzo argues persuasively that Lincoln’s economic policies and centralization efforts on behalf of his corporate clients played the pivotal role in provoking the conflict.

One of the key points DiLorenzo raises is the impact of protective tariffs on the economy of the Southern states. He shows how these taxes exacerbated economic tensions and contributed to the Southern secessionist movement.  DiLorenzo’s arguments gain traction in light of his accounts of struggling businesses and stifled economic growth in their sector.

As a professor of economics at the University of Loyola, he is able to trace the economic implications of Lincoln”s weaponizing the economy against one group on behalf of another group. He thereby illustrates how Lincoln blazed a trail for the art of crony capitalism in the 20th Century and beyond.

B. Assessing the Credibility of DiLorenzo’s Arguments

1. Scientific Analytic Tools

DiLorenzo’s contrarian arguments are based on the scientific analytic tools of modern economics. They empower readers to grasp the economic impact of Lincoln’s 19th Century actions on the impetus for succession and ultimately war.

From a spiritual standpoint this comports with the analysis of the Apostle James in the New Testament James 4:1. “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel…”

2. Lincoln’s Bigotry

Moreover, the author demonstrates through multiple quotes that Lincoln was a bigot when it came to slavery.  For example, take this statement from one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates: 

“I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races.  There is a physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position, I have never said anything to the contrary.” Again we witness the power of propaganda to bury these historical facts under the weight of 16,000 pro-Lincoln books and hundreds of thousands of articles.

3. Alternative Viewpoints and Historical Perspectives

From the standpoint of an economic historian, DiLorenzo provides an expert analysis of primary sources from the period. Thus, he reveals the economic grievances expressed by Southern leaders in letters and speeches. The book’s arguments thereby gain credibility when aligned with the historical record. They provide a compelling counter-narrative to the traditional portrayal of Lincoln as a unifying force. On the contrary, he was a force for devastating disunity.

DiLorenzo exposes the relative ease by which entire populations are propagandized by the simple repetition of a big lie.  There’s a great need for critical thinking skills to grasp the multifaceted nature of historical events. Otherwise, we risk dismissing viable alternative explanations out of hand. Challenging deep-seated beliefs requires an open-mindedness and intellectual integrity that few people possess.

But, DiLorenzo nudges us to take up the challenge and consider alternative viewpoints of what actually happened. His work invites readers to challenge the established narrative related to the purity of Lincoln’s motives. Of all people, 21st Century Americans should be the most suspicious of official government explanations. Especially those who survived the Covid manipulation of 2020 and beyond.

VII. Conclusion

A. Facts Against Slavery Causing American Civil War

By retracing the history that led to the American Civil War, we have unraveled a tapestry of complexities often overshadowed by a simplified narrative. The prevailing notion that slavery alone ignited the conflict is a handy explanation for those desiring to virtue-signal their superiority over a defeated foe. The winners write the textbooks. But, by this defense mechanism we fail to learn from history and risk repeating our mistakes. Only when we take the time and effort to reconsider all the evidence can we understand the not so obvious causes that propelled the Southern states towards secession.

As we reflect on the economic disparities between the North and the South, vivid stories of economic oppression emerge. These narratives illuminate the experiences of individuals caught in the crossfire of government policies. They contribute to a deeper understanding of the root causes of the Civil War and perhaps the wisdom to avoid another.

B. Suppressed Causes of the American Civil War

The causes of the American Civil War are multifaceted, extending beyond the simplistic narrative often repeated in history books. Abraham Lincoln’s alignment with the American System, though championed for its nationalistic ideals, inadvertently fueled regional tensions. The Corwin Amendment, presented as a compromise on slavery, exposes the misconception that slavery was the cause of the War.

The Corwin Amendment highlights the alternative interpretation that aggravated the sectional divide. The treatment of slaves under Northern Black Codes and on slave ships owned by the North challenges the dichotomy of a morally superior North. By exploring these little known facts, we peel back the layers of history, and expose the true causes of the American Civil War. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5). 

C. Unbiased Understanding of the American Civil War

John Brown’s violent acts and terrorism underscore the impact of false flag events on shaping perceptions and contributing to the nation’s descent into conflict. Likewise, the violent words of William Lloyd Garrison and the deceptive words of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Thomas DiLorenzo’s “The Real Lincoln” beckons us to question established narratives. And, by employing critical thinking to move toward a deeper grasp of historical complexities.

The American Civil War, with its intricate blend of economic, political, and social forces, challenges us to move beyond oversimplified narratives. We must be willing to grapple with the nuances that define America’s complex history. Otherwise we risk lionizing a persuasive politician whose intrigues did more than any other President to guide America down the slippery path of socialized central planning and crony capitalism.


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