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Representative Clingman and Anti-Slavery as the Cause of War

With great zeal, many Confederate apologists attempt to convince themselves and others that the Confederacy seceded from the United States for the noble causes of liberty, self-rule and states rights. This is only understandable - the historical reasons given by most Southern leaders were not exactly heroic, becoming or moral.

Slavery, the Southern Democratic Platform and the Confederate Constitution

Prior to the Civil War, the idea to allow slavery to expand unfettered into the territories had been around for decades. Similarly, the fugitive slave law was as old as the original Constitution. Yet, these demands for slavery's protection did not coalesce into a neatly ordered list of grievances until the

The Peculiar Doctor Cartwright: Justifying Slavery Through Medical Quackery

As slavery grew and expanded, slave owners worked out new justifications for the institution. While many focused upon the various ways that slavery "improved" the lives of the African race, some fearlessly delved into the sciences. The number of slaves escaping into the free states and Canada greatly increased as the

The Failure of the South to Convince Delaware to Secede

During the Secession Winter of 1860-1861, several seceding slave states sent commissioners to border slave states in the hopes of convincing them to join them in leaving the United States. In some cases, such as Virginia and Tennessee, the targeted states seceded. In others, such as in Kentucky and Delaware,

Three-Fifths of All Other Persons: How the Constitution Gave the South an Advantage

The Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution states that population determined both "representatives and direct taxes". That number was "to be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons ... and three-fifths of all other Persons." While the document stopped just short of referring to these "other persons" as slaves,

Exploring the Depths of ‘White Slavery’

In conversations about slavery in the United States, the question of “white slavery” is often raised. It is reasoned that if whites could also be slaves, then slavery wasn’t necessarily based upon race, but upon social status or some other factor. This understanding problematic as it attempts to redefine chattel slavery as it was understood in pre-Civil War America.

Maybe it’s a good idea to take a deeper look at what hereditary slavery was and whether white people were actually subject to such an institution.

Using Fear of Racial Equality to Sell Secession

Before the Confederates fired upon Fort Sumter, even before Abraham Lincoln took office, the seven seceded states sent commissioners to the still-loyal slave states in the hopes of convincing them to join their fledgling Confederacy. They all said basically the same thing: the destruction of slavery and the equality of