Skip to main content

Archive:

History of North America: The Civil War From A Southern Standpoint, Volume 14 by William Robertson Garrett & Robert Ambrose Halley

History of North America: The Civil War From A Southern Standpoint, Volume 14 
by
William Robertson Garrett & Robert Ambrose Halley


From
CHAPTER I: SECESSION AND ITS CAUSES
(pp. 4-5) 

William Robertson Garrett

“When the people of a great nation, who have lived together in amity, who have been happy and prosperous under the operation of beneficent institutions which they cherish with the warmest sentiments of love and pride when such a people, enlightened, generous, ardent lovers of liberty, become estranged from one another, alienated in affection, divided into geographical sections by the conflict of geographical interests, it becomes them to consider seriously, but none the less frankly, whether it is better for the sections to separate in peace or to be held together by the sacrifice of the institutions of one section for the aggrandizement of the other. This question of preserving her institutions, to which she had every right, or of sacrificing them and becoming subservient to the prosperity of the North, came to the people of the Southern States in 1860. If it appeared in a different aspect to the people of the North, it was not the first time in the history of the world that men, arrayed on opposite sides of a great political conflict, were animated respectively by the most exalted motives that can influence human action.

Before entering upon the narrative of the greatest internal struggle which history records, let us briefly trace the long conflict between the centripetal and centrifugal forces of the Union, in order that we may the more clearly comprehend the spirit which animated those who took part in that stupendous contest. The great centripetal force has always been the spirit of American brotherhood and faith in American institutions. It was engendered by the Revolution. It gained strength with the establishment of a general government, and the many blessings which that government brought. It grew into a conviction of the excellence of American institutions and inspired the most enlightened patriotism. This sentiment is deep rooted in the heart of every American of every State and every section. The great centrifugal force has always been the contest between the geographical sections for the balance of power. The dread of losing this balance of power delayed the completion of the Confederation through nearly the whole period of the Revolution, and nearly proved fatal to the adoption of the Constitution.

Previous to the War between the States the operation of these two forces had produced constant political strife. Sometimes these conflicts were bitter, but they always ended in conciliation and compromise. Thus, the whole framework of the Constitution and the laws of the United States was a series of compromises. All our institutions had been founded in conciliation. During the first fourteen years under the Constitution there were some causes of irritation between the geographical sections, some alter nations of geographical influence, some friction of partisan politics. There had been, however, an acquiescence in the results which had agitated Washington’s Cabinet. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, never intended to be more than a protest, or party platform, had accomplished their purpose and brought about a change of administration. 

If the United States had remained within the original limits there would have been no fear by any section that it would be tyrannized over by any other section; and the centripetal and centrifugal forces would have settled into equilibrium, disturbed only by the friction of conflicting interests.”


William Robertson Garrett, Robert Ambrose Halley, History of North America, Volume 14: The Civil War From A Southern Standpoint, Volume 14 (Philadelphia: George Barrie & Sons, 1907), 4-5.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag

Origin of the Confederate Battle Flag


[The facts concerning the origin of the battle flag contained in this article are derived from a speech by General Beauregard before a special meeting of Louisiana Division, Army of Northern Virginia Association, December 6, 1878.—EDITOR.]
This banner, the witness and inspiration of many victories, which was proudly borne on every field from enemy. General Beauregard was momentarily expecting help from the right, and the uncertainty and anxiety of this hour amounted to anguish.
Still the column pressed on. Calling a staff officer, General Beauregard instructed him to go at once to General Johnston, at the Lewis house, and say that the enemy were receiving heavy re-enforcements, that the troops on the plateau were very much scattered, and that he would be compelled to retire to the Lewis house and there reform hoping that the troops ordered up from the right would arrive in time to enable him to establish and hold the new line.
Meanwhile, the unknown t…

Some Truths of History (I) by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby

SOME TRUTHS OF HISTORY:  A Vindication of the South Against the Encyclopedia Britannica and Other Maligners by Thaddeus Kosciusko Oglesby
I.
Since the Evolution days the few thinkers of America born south of Mason and Dixon's line — out-numbered by those belonging to the single State of Massachusetts — have commonly migrated to New York or Boston in search of a university training. In the world of letters, at least, the Southern States have shone by reflected light; nor is it too much to say that mainly by their connection with the North the Carolinas have been saved from sinking to the level of Mexico or the Antilles. Like the Spartan marshaling his helots, the planter lounging among his slaves was made dead to art. It has only flourished freely in a free soil, and for almost all its vitality and aspirations we must turn to New England." — Encyclopedia Britannica {ninth edition), Volume 1, p. 719. 
If the sons and daughters of the South do not themselves uphold the truth of histor…

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery

Confederate & Union Soldiers Had Slaves Compiled by Dr. Richard Lee Montgomery
“They do not tell that General Grant, a slaveholder, was put as leader of the Northern Army and General Lee, who had freed his slaves, as the leader of the Southern Army, but they do say that the war was fought to hold the slaves yet do not tell that only 200,000 slaveholders were in the Southern Army, while 315,000 slaveholders were in the Northern Army.” Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Truths of History: A Fair, Unbiased, Impartial, Unprejudiced and Conscientious Study of History. Object: To Secure a Peaceful Settlement of the Many Perplexing Questions Now Causing Contention Between the North and the South (Athens, Georgia, 1920), iv.

By Fannie Eoline Selph: “The War between the States was not caused by the question of the emancipation of the slaves, nor did it begin with the firing on Fort Sumter. The cause and its declaration centered in the order issued by Abraham Lincoln for 2,400 men and 265 guns for the de…