Why the South was Right
During founding of The United States, in the Declaration of Independence, the representatives felt that it was necessary to explain their moral rationale for seceding from the British. In discussing this rationale, the following was said;
...to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government... to effect their Safety and Happiness
A document that lays forth a similar rationale for a Revolt against the Status Quo
is the Declaration of Secession of the State of Georgia, which reads as follows:
The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint... by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment...
Clearly, the moral basis for secession is the same, whether by the United States as a whole from Britain, or by States of the Union formed by this secession. After the Secession, The North lauched a completely unprovoked attack on territory that it had no legal, moral or rational right to attack. This aggression
, and the reconquer
ing of territory to which it had no right led to over 50 years of what is now know as "Reconstruction
", a period of intense poverty for the south, beginning with taxation continued from before the secession, without any corresponding representation, clearly thereby violating all pretense at a fair model for governing the newly conquered territories.
Even though the moral and political realities were/are more complicated than can be discussed in any dozen books, The reason that the war occured was blatantly politcal, and despite apologists and revisionist understanding of the moral basis of the war, and even the fact that it, more than any other single factor, stopped slavery in the western hemisphere, it was not justifiable by any of the reasons offered by the north. Because of this basis of the war, many in the south still refer to The Civil War as The War of Northern Agression.
Please understand that this post is not about slavery, and does not attempt to justify it. This does not touch on the fact that the north was clearly as racist as the south in post civil war "reconstruction." It is taken as a given that despite apologists, slavery was an issue that promted the question of secession, and was therefore an important, but secondary cause of the war. (Much like Oil allowing the Muslim extremists enough power to influence events on a world scale, leading to terrorism, and additionally serving as a springboard to make an otherwise unimportant regional instability into a factor that needs to be dealt with. And I don't think the war is really about oil, I think that vengeance is clearly more than enough motive.)
PS. David Kohn Thinks I'm Wrong