The True Blue Federalist is meant to do a couple things. First, it’s kind of a “one-stop” shopping place for arguments to destroy the so-called “Lost Cause” and Libertarian interpretations of the Civil War. That great conflict is too important to our history as Americans, regardless of our heritage or background, to leave to reckless polemicists of one particular political stripe.
It is also intended to expound a bit on this notion of federalism that marks our form of government. People can moo on and on about “states’ rights!” and “government overreach!”, but do they have any idea of which they speak? My experience is not so much.
In addition, my contention is that, along with the federal government and the states, there is a third sovereign force in this country: the Indian Nations. (The current governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, refers to this as the “three sovereigns.”) This greatly complicates the neat order set out by the Constitution; but any preliminary investigation of the treaties between Indian nations and the United States will clearly show that American Indians are part of this system, whether Constitutional scholars like it or not. Moreover, it’s my belief that honoring the treaties negotiated between Americans and Indians constitutes an important–indeed, crucial–part of modern environmentalism. If that seems far-fetched, so be it: my degree is in Environmental History, so what do you expect?
Last, this blog is a place where I can “think out loud” about these things.
Having said that, my main concern in this blog is to search out bogus arguments about the Civil War that have found their way into Popular Culture, and tear them apart. Which sounds like fun to me. I hope you enjoy.
That’s it? Where are the blogs about destroying Lost Cause?
And can I suggest — don’t even call it Lost Cause, because their cause was to spread slavery.
ANd by the way, the “Jefferson Davis” view (excuse) of Civil War is largely taught in our schools. You will see BS about states rights, tariffs, small government, blah blah.
But you will not see any text book in the United States (I have not found any) that even mentions the Dred Scott decision language — and order — that blacks are “so inferior” they are not human beings, not part of the people, but defines them, explicitly, as property. In other words NOT HUMAN BEINGS.
9 times in the Dred Scott decision the words “so inferior” or “inferior beings” is used. YOu don’t know this, but this meme was tossed around at the time, by Southerners, to claim, in effect, blacks are sub human BY order of God and science. Some of Southern leaders were tying to be “scientific” about it– others using religion as excuse. But this “inferior being” cliche was buzz wor for not hum\an.
In Dred Scott, the slave owners had a field day with “inferior beings”.
Then in the decision itself, they “recognized slaves as property”.
What else did they say — in that very sentence? Bet you don’t know. Taney wrote that the federal government is “pledged to protect it ” — it being slavery.
It would help if you also know that while Taney was wrestingly with which words to use in Dred Scott to smite any legal recourse to keeping slavery out of the West — Davis had his killers IN the west, doing what killers do. Did you know that?
Unless you know what was going on — literally – as Taney and Davis were concocting the language in DS – you can’t know why they used “protect it” and “property not persons”.
Davis own book “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” actually goes into this. He suggested strongly the South would have given up slavery, BUT FOR THE DRED SCOTT DECISION. And he specifically pointed out -blacks are not persons, and that the government SHALL protect slavery.
Of course — Davis was not about to give up slavery — his narrative is always distorted and fraudulent. But he wanted to make it seem like the South was eager to obey the court — and they were just following Court orders to protect slavery in KS. Davis would insist that for the rest of his life — btw –when later asked about KS. He said he was just doing what the constitution required. He “forgets” to mention what he and Atchison were doing was killing to spread slavery. And he forgets to mention — Dred Scott decision, foul and contrived by him as it was — came AFTER his killing sprees, not before. And indeed they were Davis killing sprees, as you can see when you learn about Atchison and who he worked for, who paid him, (Jeff Davis). and who ran cover for him (Jeff Davis)
It’s crucial to know Kansas whites had rejected slavery overwhelmingly — when real votes were taken, 95% and more voted against slavery. We are fed BS in our text books, giving the impression (often just the repeated narrative by Southern apologist) that there were many pro slavery folks in Kansas in 1855. and those damn “free soilers” were violent thugs.
In fact, there were almost no local slave owners — the killers brought in by Atchison were from Texas, as his speech indications. His speech is at Kansas Memories, but also available in that link — http://civilwarkillers.blogspot.com/ Ive done an unscientific survey of a dozen or so Southern apologist writings — like Kenneth C Davis of “Dont know much about history” and they are very clever indeed how they parse words about KS and the killings. Unfailingly, they either use passive voice “The killing got out of hand” kinda thing — or they write about the “shot gun totting” abolitionist. The shot guns only came, AFTER Atchison hired his 1700 killers and used them to kill and terrorize.
Again and again — this narrative is adopted. This narrative of violent free soilers, and then no mention about the hired killers from Texas — paid for by Jeff Davis. John Brown is shown as a nut job — again, by leaving out what came first.
Do you realize that Jeff Davis and President Pierce not only put Atchison in charge in Kansas, with help of Stephen A Douglas, and that Atchison went on killing sprees he bragged of, but when Kansas farmers naively sought their help in stopping Atchison killing sprees — they backed Atchison and Jeff Davis even got the US military to help arrest or disperse Kansas farmers.
Kansas white men — overwhelmingly against slavery — had no possible way to win this one.. Atchison had hired 1700 irregulars — thugs really — and even bragged to them that they could keep the loot from the houses they would invade, often by killing. So there were 1700 terrorist in KS, PLUS Jeff Davis control of the military.
Of course people at the time knew — the Crimes Against Kansas Speech was about this. Lincoln’s House Divided speech was about this. Newspapers, speeches, books, – – were filled with reports about Kansas and the killings.
Yes that’s been white washed.
I even spolke recently — by twitter — to a guy who thought he was an armchair historian FROM LAWRENCE Kansas, which was the first place Atchison invaded with his killers. This guy had no clue who Atchison was, or what he did.
So rather than wrestle with some Lost Cause BS — just show what Southern leaders bragged about.and did. Show what our history books would show, if not so heavily influenced by Southern school boards, which played a big role in the narrative that is in our text books, and which our history teachers today, grew up reading