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Friday, April 16, 2010

All for Naught

Much ado has been made of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's decision to resume the tradition of recognizing April as Confederate History Month.  Most of the uproar has come from the racism-means-insufficient-pandering crowd.  This group prefers a Soviet style retelling of history in which events are fabricated or erased, relatively insignificant people are accorded disproportionately inappropriate significance, and current sensibilities are applied to events that took place 150 years ago.

Today's children are taught that the War Between the States was fought to end slavery.  This claim is nonfactual historical revisionism.  That war, like virtually all other wars, was fought for economic reasons.  Northern legislators were keen to confiscate money that was earned from slave labor in order to build roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals and leave southern states without the means to create similar infrastructure.

At that time the majority of the electorate was in favor of maintaining slavery, in part because people were reluctant to compete for scarce jobs with recently freed slaves who would work for less than the prevailing wage rates.  Abolitionists were relatively few in number.

If Lincoln and his cronies had but followed the British example, they would have purchased freedom for the slaves.  The tragic loss of life and property resulting from that war was unnecessary.  It occurred because Congress and the president took lawfully owned property away from its rightful owners against their wishes.  Congress continues this practice today.

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