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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

The Truth About 'Treasonous' Confederate Generals and Texas Republican Turncoats

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph. D. August 7, 2020

Prior to the 1960s nearly everyone understood that the tariff was the main issue between the Northern Yankees who wanted a very high protectionist tariff and Southerners who wanted the country to be a free zone with limited import tariffs. Everyone also understood that slavery had nothing to do with Lincoln’s launch of a military invasion on his own country.

This changed in the 1960s when leftwing historians decided to rewrite the history of the war and reconstruction to portray New England Yankees as martyrs for freedom of blacks a thousand miles away and all Southerners as treasonous racists.

For several years, Democrats have been calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the Capitol Building. Recently the House passed H R 7573with 72 Republicans – including six Texans – voting with the Democrats to remove Confederate statues on display in the U.S. Capitol Building. Passage of the resolution in the Senate is not certain.

Nancy Pelosi, in her letter to the Joint Committee on the Library, stated that Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America, respectively, were both charged with treason. She did not add that they were not tried for treason.

The six Texans -- Will Hurd (the only black House Republican), Michael Burgess, Van Taylor, Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, and Pete Olson – seem to be more concerned about being politically correct than in following their constituents’ wishes and the Republican Party platform.

In 2019, 97.3% of Texas Republican voters supported a primary ballot proposition to preserve all historical monuments. The Texas Republican Platform Planks 314 and 315 call for preservation of all American and Texan symbols of heritage, including Confederate, and the return of those removed to their historical locations.

The public statements of these liberal Texans show a deplorable ignorance about the real facts of the era. Their politically correct comments reflect the distortions of liberal revisionist historians.

The Dallas Morning News reported, “Hurd, the only Black Republican in the U.S. House, says 'anyone committing treason' to protect slavery doesn't deserve a statue in Congress.”

The 11 Southern states that seceded did not commit an act of treason. That’s why Confederate leaders were not tried for treason. Secession was lawful under the U.S. Constitution. The Founding Fathers had deliberately omitted from the Constitution the clause in the Articles of Confederation which bound the states perpetually to the Union. Since the Constitution was binding upon the states, so was the omission about secession.

Taylor stated, “...Tributes to slavery contradict the blessings and freedoms that make America great.” The DMN points out that Taylor seems not to worry about contradictions when he stops at the statues of Texans, Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, in his Washington tours for constituents. Not disclosed is that Austin owned slaves and resisted Mexico’s effort to end slavery in Texas before independence. It seems that only politically incorrect Southern Confederate statues bother Taylor.

Crenshaw and Burgess justified their vote with Democrats to cancel American culture by attacking the racism of the Democrat party.  Crenshaw tweeted, “….I’m glad to help them confront that racist past & voted to remove these Democrat statues from positions of prominence.” Burgess’ statement noted that Southern politics was dominated by a racist Democrat party in the late 1880s.

A long ago era is being judged through a modern day prism. To quote Nigerian journalist, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, whose great grandfather was a slave trader, “Assessing the people of Africa's past by today's standards would compel us to cast the majority of our heroes as villains." This is what the radical left is doing to our American heroes, especially those from Southern states. And Republicans seem only too happy to accommodate them.

Slavery has been a worldwide social institution for centuries and still exists in some parts of the world. Practiced almost universally in ancient and classical societies around the world, slavery was recognized as an acceptable institution in the Bible and the Quran. It was only during the 19h century Industrial Revolution that slavery became outmoded as technology provided an alternate means of creating income.

Civil War historian Frank Conner notes that it is secular humanist propagandists, in their zeal to demonize the Christian South, who have made the word “slavery” synonymous with “guilt” and “the white south.” (The South Under Siege, p. 48) And, of course, the latest buzzword of the left – “white supremacist.”

These six Texans are unfairly trashing 19th century Confederate leaders and the Southern people as “racists” in their political retaliation against the Democrat Party.  Unlike its contemporary counterpart, the Republican Party of the mid-to-late 19th century -- which had socialist roots -- favored big government, corporate subsidies, high protectionist import taxes, and monetary policies while Democrat and "conservative" were virtually synonyms.

The Southern states did not need to secede to keep slavery because the Constitution did not ban it.Ending slavery immediately would have required a constitutional amendment. In his First Inaugural Address, Lincoln said he did not have the authority to interfere with slavery.

Although most wars are fought over economic and political issues, the aggressor nation is obliged to present a high road moral justification to garner citizen support. President Woodrow Wilson, in his History of the American People, explained the purpose behind the exaggeration of the issue of slavery:

“It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery.”

It was nearly two years into the war that Lincoln decided to employ slavery as a tactic and issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln admitted this was simply a war measure without Constitutional authority. The proclamation purported to free only slaves in the territory controlled by the Confederate States of America over which the U.S. government had no control whatsoever. It did not free any slaves in any Southern states that did not secede nor any slaves in Northern states. Historian Frank Conner (The South Under Siege, p. 171), notes,

“...the British and French governments needed some sort of moral justification for continuing to deal primarily with the North while ignoring its blatant war of aggression against the South. The Emancipation Proclamation furnished that excuse – even though the proclamation was excoriated stingingly in much of the British press for being precisely what it was.”

Yes, slavery was one of the issues that divided the North and South but it did not trigger secession. Economics did. At that time, 95% of the federal revenue came from a tariff on imported goods of which the South provided 83% even though it had only 29% of the nation’s population. Of that tax revenue, four out of every five dollars were used for Northern improvements.

Lincoln supported an increase in the tariff on Southern imports to speed up the industrialization of the North. With the passage of the Morrill Tariff that increased rates from 24% to 47% and the election of Lincoln, the Southern states knew they faced financial doom. With South Carolina in December, 1860, Southern secession began.

By voting to remove monuments of those who were widely considered to be men of character and honor in their day but today are considered “villains,” lawmakers have committed the unpardonable sin of supporting radicals who are destroying American culture to pave the way to a totalitarian society that will transport us back to the Dark Ages. 

Voters need to remember what these Republican 'traitors' have done.

 

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