Recently I did a video on the real meaning of the Confederate Flag. Naturally this is a topic that has been debated, and while doing a video it may be difficult to express evidence in detail. It is also my aim in doing videos to make them entertaining, and muddling them with statistics would create long, drawn out, boring videos. Recently a comment was posted on this Video
Here is the comment: “2% of southerners owned slaves, the rich plantation owners who couldn’t handle the work by themselves, the slaves that came to North America saw the U.S flag flying on their slave ships, the civil war was started when the union forcefully took taxes from the southerners, and the south got pissed off. THE FLAG YOUR SHOWING ISNT EVEN THE CSA NATIONAL FLAG! THE BLOODSTAINED BANNER IS! There were black soldiers in the civil war. The south was kicking the norths butt up until 1863. Abraham Lincoln said “if I could save the union without freeing any African Americans, I would” . So if you ever get smart… Take down this video, if you go to a southern town and say this crap… Then God Help You!”
I decided that this was a good time to put some context to the video, and here is my reply:
I cannot begin to explain how excited I am that you replied, and with the content with which you replied. You know nothing of history, and your inability to do the bare minimum amount of research is astounding. I will go through your reply point by point, clearly refuting each one, providing evidence to support each of my claims. Since you refused to do any sort of reading prior to replying, I hope that you will take some time here and now to review all of these claims, examine the evidence, and attempt to escape the narrow bubble with which it seems your life has been lived.
1. “2% of southerners owned slaves, the rich plantation owners who couldn’t handle the work by themselves.”
I quite literally have no idea where you could have arrived at this number. It may have possibly been a part of a blog, but just looking at it with common sense allows one to dismiss it outright. For this claim we will look at the original eleven states that seceded from the Union, not the four other border states. Those states carried the bulk of slaves (though the North should be held accountable here as well, though that is not what you were discussing) and according to the 1860 census data, here is the percentage of families in each state that owned slaves:
(here is the link to said census data, http://www.civil-war.net/pages/1860_census.html)
South Carolina- 46%
North Carolina- 28%
As to the claim that rich plantation owners “couldn’t handle the work,” I actually do not know how to respond to this. It seems as though this is your reasoning for slavery, but I will address this claim more thoroughly later.
2. “the slaves that came to North America saw the U.S flag flying on their slave ships.”
This is yet another confusing comment. It is difficult to understand your frame of thinking due to your lack of explanation, but I must assume that you are attempting to use this as an excuse to say that the American flag should also be blamed, or even share more responsibility. In this, I agree. America should take responsibility as a whole, and a large majority of America has indeed done just that. Abolition was the beginning of that responsibility, and the 150 years following this abolition has been a very difficult process of understanding exactly what that responsibility should be. However, the United States as a whole (which the American flag represents naturally) abolished slavery. The Confederate Flag represents those states that did not want this to happen, which is the main part of the conflict here (more information about the Confederate Flag later).
3. “the civil war was started when the union forcefully took taxes from the southerners, and the south got pissed off.”
Sometimes the greatest part of history is the documentation left behind to explain what people were thinking at the time. For our study here, there are some perfect examples of this. Here are some examples of why states seceded from the United States, but I will leave this link here for you so that you can read it in its entirety. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
This is from Georgia, and is literally in the first couple of sentences of their Declaration of Causes of Seceding States:
“For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.”
And a few sentences later… “A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party.”
You will notice that taxes are not mentioned yet. While this may also be a complaint, it is clear that Georgia and the South were concerned with the anti-slavery North, the election of Lincoln, and what they considered property, which was of course slaves, and the rest of the Declaration continues in this manner. (Again, link above in case you do not want to take me at my word).
Mississippi– For this one, I believe only two sentences are needed, but again the link will allow you to read the entire Declaration.
“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.”
This quote is as plain as one can get. It has absolutely nothing to do with taxes and everything to do with slavery and property (which, again, were slaves).
“But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution.”
Most of this declaration focused on the constitutionality of slavery. I believe this quote summarizes South Carolina’s objections very well. Again, not taxes… slavery.
And finally, Texas:
“She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?”
Texas had a few other complaints (none of which were taxes) but again, the main complaint being the constitutionality of slavery.
4. “THE FLAG YOUR SHOWING ISNT EVEN THE CSA NATIONAL FLAG! THE BLOODSTAINED BANNER IS!”
This is perhaps my favorite argument of those defending the Confederate Flag. Yes, the South did indeed have a couple variations of flags. The first of which was called “Stars and Bars,” and while these flags were indeed used, the South and general public recognizes the Battle Flag or the Confederate Flag as we know it today. If the South used the Stars and Bars Flag as they use the Battle Flag today, then this conversation and debate would be about that flag. However, the South predominantly uses the battle flag, known as the Confederate Flag, which represents the states that seceded from the Union and formed the confederacy. This confederacy was driven by the debate about the constitutionality of slavery (as I proved earlier) which is the main reason that a majority of African-Americans and others consider it extremely offensive. Thus, saying “That’s not even the actual confederate flag!” is a worthless statement.
5. “There were black soldiers in the civil war.”
First and foremost, I must again assume your meaning because you refused to elaborate or even make a minimal amount of sense. If I am to take your statement literally… yes, of course African-Americans fought in the Civil War. However, I assume you mean that they fought for the South. There is little to no evidence of this. While there may have been isolated incidents, African-Americans were simply forced to follow their masters into war and labor, or tend to their wounds. This did not require discharging a weapon, which makes inherent sense. They were slaves, and not only was it literally illegal for African-Americans to enlist into the Confederate Army until the very end of the war, why would you give a weapon to a slave? You are keeping them as property… giving them a weapon does not make any type of sense, and beyond that there is merely anecdotal evidence. Here is a link for that claim as well. http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2011/jan/07/ray-mcberry/sons-confederate-veterans-spokesman-said-blacks-fo/
6. “The south was kicking the norths butt up until 1863.”
Hopefully after reading all of this evidence you now realize how insane this comment is. Mostly it is offensive to all of those who died. “kicking the norths butt” is not anyway one should describe the Civil War. Both sides encountered extreme casualties. To compare casualties is not only a disgusting way to analyze the war, it is also pointless. The North outnumbered the South two to one and controlled the most important resources which include Population, Railroad Mileage, Iron/Steel Production, Wealth, Value of Exports, and Factories. Here is a nice link identifying those resources. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/civil-war-overview/northandsouth.html
7. “Abraham Lincoln said “if I could save the union without freeing any African Americans, I would.”
While President Lincoln had his faults, he was the most progressive president the United States had elected to the point as it comes to slavery. While quickly looking up quotes, you should read the rest of it so that you can better fit it to your revisionist version of history. In this case you did not do that. In the letter you quoted, which was to the New York Tribune in 1862, Lincoln went on to say, “I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.” So while Lincoln was no saint, and he often gets too much credit for the abolition of slavery, he was much more progressive than many at the time. Also, if your claim is “Well, Lincoln did it!” is the best excuse you have for states keeping an entire race of people as slaves then you are a very sad individual.
In conclusion, every single statement you made was false. I suggest in the future when you want to comment on something you do much more research and devote a significant amount of time understanding a subject from multiple angles before you begin to reply. If not, this will happen repeatedly to you… and by this I mean you looking absolutely silly and extremely uneducated.
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