Let’s for a moment imagine that you are the proud new owners of a new house in a recently constructed housing development. You, and your neighbors, decide to establish a neighborhood watch to ensure that no crimes are committed on your block and to help each other out if need be. Your neighborhood watch group establishes a committee to act on behalf of all those living on your street. Soon this committee begins assessing monthly dues for the tasks they are doing on your behalf, but you don’t complain because it serves the overall good of the neighborhood.
Then, as time goes by, you begin noticing substantial improvements to the homes and properties on the other side of the street. You find out that your dues are being used to subsidize these improvements. You petition the committee to spread the wealth; so to speak, or to cease and desist using your due money for purposes other than the overall protection of the entire block. The committee refuses your requests and goes so far as to raise your dues.
Now my question is; what binds you to that neighborhood watch group? Would it not be your right to tell the committee that you are withdrawing from the neighborhood watch group; that you could do a better job of managing and protecting your property than they could? What if, after leaving the neighborhood watch group, those on the other side of the street ganged up on you and attacked you; demanding that you rejoin it? Wouldn’t you feel that your rights were being violated?
What if, after you were forced to rejoin the neighborhood watch you were told that before you could reassume your full status as a member of the group you must accept certain NEW rules regarding how you managed your home; wouldn’t you feel a bit of animosity towards those who were forcing you to accept these rules under duress?
I wonder, would that piss you off if it happened to you? Well that, my friends, is what basically happened during that era of American history known as the Civil War and Reconstruction. In 1789 the States, as independent political entities, by the voice of those living within them, chose to form a more perfect Union and be governed by a ‘committee’, if you will called a government, for certain specific purposes.
Over time that committee called government began imposing extremely high tariffs that mainly affected the Southern economy, as well as attempting to interfere in the internal affairs of the States; particularly in regards to the institution of slavery. Now slavery is a crime against humanity; of that I have no doubt. But, for 75 years it had been perfectly legal under the Constitution to own slaves, and it was NOT within the authority given the government to interfere with the ownership of them; unless a Constitutional Amendment were first ratified banning slavery altogether.
I know slavery is one of those hot topic issues that causes tempers to flare, but the fact is that it WAS LEGAL in 1860 to own slaves; and many Northerners owned them as well; not to mention the fact that many a Northern family, particularly along the New England Seaboard, had made fortunes in the slave trade. So the North did not have the moral high ground when it came to attempting to put an end to the institution of slavery.
So what did the South do? They simply issued statements, or resolutions, that basically said, “It’s been nice being part of your little group, but we’re going to have to leave and resume our status as independent States so that we can form our own group that serves our needs better than yours does.” And what did Abraham Lincoln do? He sent a ship to Fort Sumter, (which was on Southern soil) to resupply it; thereby provoking South Carolina into attacking it. He also raised an army of 75,000 soldiers to invade the South to coerce them into rejoining the Union.
Now whether Lincoln was pro or anti slavery in his personal views is beside the point. What is germane to the discussion is that, as President, he had no lawful authority to interfere with it as an institution. Even he understood that, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” (Source: Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address)
Therefore, if Lincoln did not amass an army of 75,000 to end slavery, what did he do it for? Well the answer is twofold; and both parts are intertwined with each other as to make them almost inseparable. First of all he wanted to maintain the Union as it was before the South chose to secede and form their own system of government. I’ll bet that your history books did not teach you that there was substantial support for the South leaving the Union in peace among those living in the North; did they? I’ll bet they also didn’t teach you that those who spoke the loudest against Lincoln’s war against the South had their voices silenced and were often imprisoned for doing questioning his policies.
One of them, Horace Greeley, a prominent Northern journalist, published the following in his newspaper, “If the Cotton States decide that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace.” In fact, Greeley went on to say, “The South has as good a right to secede from the Union as the colonies had to secede from Great Britain. I will never stand for coercion for subjugation. It would not be just.”
Even the Brits saw the Civil War in the same light, saying, ” [T]he contest is really for empire on the side of the North, and for independence on that of the South, and in this respect we recognize an exact analogy between the North and the Government of George III, and the South and the Thirteen Revolted Provinces. These opinions…are the general opinions of the English nation.” (Source: London Times, November 7, 1861)
There is a key distinction that most people do not consider; the South did not revolt against the North, they simply withdrew their consent to be governed by the entity established by the Constitution in 1789. If anything, the North, led by Abraham Lincoln, attacked the authority of the States to withdraw from the Union anytime they felt adhering to it was harmful to their internal affairs, sovereignty and general welfare.
So why did Lincoln instigate war rather than let the South leave in peace? Well, the answer is simple; he knew his government could not continue to subsidize Northern business interests if the tariffs derived from duties imposed at Southern ports were to up and vanish. Yes, the basis for the entire war was founded upon the fact that Lincoln sought to maintain control over the South just so the money could keep flowing into the coffers of the federal treasury.
This was the stated reason for the entire war from the perspective of the South; to keep the money flowing into Washington D.C., and was stated thusly in the New Orleans Daily Crescent on January 21, 1861, “They (the South) know that it is their import trade that draws from the peoples pockets sixty or seventy millions of dollars per annum, in the shape of duties, to be expended mainly in the North, and in the protection and encouragement of Northern interest. These are the reasons why these people do not wish the South to secede from the union.” And just in case you’re questioning Louisiana’s loyalty, that was published BEFORE Louisiana seceded; meaning they were still part of the Union at the time.
There were also those in the Northern Press who saw that without the money from the tariffs imposed upon the South that the government, and the North itself, would suffer greatly. On February 19, 1861 the Union Democrat Manchester, of New Hampshire, published the following, “The Southern Confederacy will not employ our ships or buy our goods. What is our shipping without it? Literally nothing… it is very clear that the South gains by this process and we lose. No…we must not let the South go”.”
That sentiment was not limited to New Hampshire, in the Chicago Daily Times, dated December 10, 1860 we read, “In one single blow our foreign commerce may be reduced to less than one-half what it now is. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all its immense profits. Our manufactories would be in utter ruin. Let the South adopt the free trade system, or that of a tariff for revenue, and these results would likely follow.”
So you see, Lincoln initiated a war over what; to free the slaves or to keep the money taken from the South flowing into the North? But it was more than that really. Lincoln wanted to ensure that the federal authority could not be questioned by entities as insignificant as the States…those who just happened to have created the federal authority in the first place. What Lincoln sought to do; and that which is his legacy is to establish the federal government as superior to the will of those who created it; thereby fulfilling Alexander Hamilton’s vision regarding the relationship between the States and the federal government.
At what cost? How many Northern cities and how much Northern countryside suffered the devastation that the armies under Lincoln’s command inflicted upon the South? How many Northern cities were burnt to the ground by Confederate troops? How much raping and pillaging was committed by those under the command of Robert E. Lee in comparison to those under the command of Ulysses S. Grant? How many died because Lincoln simply would not let, as Jefferson Davis wished, for the South to part ways amicably? All the horrors of war; all the lives lost; all the devastation wrought could have been avoided had Lincoln respected a State’s right to withdraw from the Union. And then, of course, there was the aftermath of the Civil War; which affects us to this day.
There are still probably those who think the Civil War was fought to free the slaves, and this is primarily due to two things; Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment; which was ratified after the end of the conflict between the North and South. Let us now take a look at these two events from a historical viewpoint.
First of all, how many of you have ever read Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? Did you know that it DID NOT free a single slave held in bondage in Northern States? If you don’t believe me, read Lincoln’s words for yourself, “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Only those held in bondage in States Lincoln declared to be in rebellion against the United States were declared free by this document. So, if Lincoln truly wanted to end slavery, why did he limit his Proclamation to the areas he considered to be in rebellion and not the entire country?
Now let’s look at the 13th Amendment; which ended slavery as an institution in America. Now Lincoln may, or may not have wanted to end slavery in America; but as President he only sought to do that which maintained the federal government’s authority and control over all the component parts of the Union. Are you aware that before the war Lincoln supported a proposed amendment to the Constitution which would have made slavery permanent and irrevocable? That’s right, Lincoln supported an amendment making slavery permanent in the United States and untouchable by Congress or by Constitutional Amendment.
This amendment, known as the Corwin Amendment, states, “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” It was approved by BOTH houses of Congress as a last ditch effort to prevent the Southern States from seceding; an olive branch so to speak.
In his Inaugural Address Lincoln said the following in regards to the Corwin Amendment, “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution–which amendment, however, I have not seen–has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.” Those do not sound like the words of a man whose primary goal is ending slavery; at least not to me they don’t.
But the war came and the Corwin Amendment was tabled; relegated to dust heap of history where nobody mentions it in their recollection of the events leading up to the Civil War because it might tarnish Lincoln’s reputation as the Great Emancipator.
Instead the 13th Amendment that people praise today as the highlight of Lincoln’s war of aggression is what we all know. But, was it ratified legally? I say it wasn’t; and I will explain why.
Since most of you probably haven’t read the Constitution in its entirety, I’m willing to bet that you weren’t aware of a little know clause in Article 4 that states, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” What does that mean, a Republican Form of Government? Well what it means is that those living in the States would be free to elect those they felt would best represent them in their State governments.
Did you know, that after the Civil War the South was denied a Republican form of government? Did you know that, instead of being free to decide who would govern them, former Union Generals were chosen by the federal government to rule over districts, and that anyone who had shown loyalty to the Confederacy was prohibited from holding public office? In short, the South was treated not as prodigal son’s returned home, but as conquered territories.
That’s exactly what Thaddeus Stevens, a Republican from Pennsylvania wanted. Stevens is quoted as saying, “This talk of restoring the Union as it was, under the Constitution as it is, is one of the absurdities I have heard repeated until I have become sick of it. The Union can never be restored as it was.” (Source: The Legislative Record for the State of Pennsylvania, 1864)
Stevens went on to say, “The Union never shall, with my consent, be restored under the Constitution as it is, with slavery to be protected by it.” That sounds to me like the words of a man who would use coercion, or any other means possible to eradicate slavery in America. While that, in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, what about the violation of a States right to self-government as protected by Article 4 of the Constitution?
The 13th Amendment was not ratified in the South by governments of the people’s choosing, it was ratified by Reconstruction Governments; meaning those who flocked to the South after the war; Carpetbaggers and others, to fill the vacancies the Confederate loyal were prohibited from holding. Now I have nothing against the fact that slavery was finally ended in America; only the manner in which it was accomplished. If the Constitution was ratified by the voice of the people living in each State, then any amendment to it should be ratified in the same manner. But that did not happen, those Southern States that voted to ratify the 13th Amendment did so under governments not of their own choosing; thereby nullifying, at least from a purely constitutional viewpoint, the 13th Amendment.
And if that even causes you any amount of concern, you’re going to love knowing what happened next. Once the slaves were freed the Radical Republicans in Congress quickly moved to grant the former slaves all the rights and privileges held by the white man…at least that’s what you have been taught to believe. What actually happened is that Congress quickly moved to make federal debt slaves of every man, woman and child in this country by creating a new status of citizenship; United States Citizen.
First of all, let’s talk about how the 14th Amendment was ratified. Basically, what happened was this. After the war the South sent representatives to Washington D.C. to represent them in the Senate and in the House. But, when they got there Congress told them, “Uh, uh, you can’t come in until your State ratifies the 14th Amendment.” So the federal government was telling them that they could not leave the Union, but at the same time they could not participate in making the laws of the Union until they accepted an amendment they had no part in writing. I don’t know if you are aware of it but there is a word for that; it’s called blackmail. Anyway, that is, in a nutshell, how the 14th Amendment was ratified; so let’s see what it actually did.
The 14th Amendment was disguised as a move to grant rights and privileges to the former slaves. The pertinent clause states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
That’s important because prior to the 14th Amendment there was no such thing as a United States citizen; each person was a citizen of the State they resided in. They all lumped themselves into the same category of Americans, but their citizenship was to their State. In fact, many of the former Confederate soldiers and officers believed their State to be their country, and that their loyalty was first and foremost to their State, and secondly to the federal union.
But if you read that clause of the 14th Amendment carefully you will see that all people born, or naturalized in the United States, held dual citizenship; both State and United States, and were subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. But what is, or what was the United States back then? Was it the States that had joined together as a confederation, or union of independent sovereignties, or was it the entity created in 1789 when the States voted to ratify the Constitution?
It’s important to ask yourself that question because it determines under whose jurisdiction you fall. If you are a State citizen then the State Legislature has jurisdiction over you by the laws they pass. On the other hand, if you are a citizen under the jurisdiction of the federal government, (a UNITED STATES CITIZEN) you fall under the jurisdiction of Washington, D. C. and are subject to whatever laws it enacts.
The question is, does that entity in Washington D.C. have any valid authority over you? By that I mean is the government you currently vote people in to office for, a constitutionally legal entity, or is it a new entity with absolute authority over both the States and the people of America; and was this all due to the Civil War and the unlawful ratification of the 14th Amendment?
If I were to ask you what country you were a citizen of, how would you respond? I’m guessing most of you would say United States Citizen. If you have a passport, then you probably checked the box saying you were a U.S. Citizen. That is a lawful declaration of your citizenship status, made by you, and legally binding. Essentially you have revoked your dual citizenship and have claimed UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP. In doing so you voluntarily agreed to become a subject of the United States government, and accept that you are under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
This goes against all that Madison said about the relationship of federal power over the lives and liberty of the people in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people…” (My emphasis)
The purpose of the 14th Amendment was made clear in the case of Van Valkenburg v Brown in the California Court of Appeals in 1872, “No white person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, or born without those limits, and subsequently naturalized under their laws, owes the status of citizenship to the recent amendments to the Federal Constitution. “The history and aim of the Fourteenth Amendment is well known, and the purpose had in view in its adoption well understood. That purpose was to confer the status of citizenship upon a numerous class of persons domiciled within the limits of the United States, who could not be brought within the operation of the naturalization laws because native born, and whose birth, though native, had at the same time left them without the status of citizenship.”
So I have a two part question for you. First, why do you claim US citizenship when that status does not apply to you according to that ruling?
Secondly, if you are a US Citizen, how did you become one? The ruling said no white person born in the US owes their citizenship to the 14th Amendment. So if the 14th Amendment created the status of US CITIZEN, what status did you hold at birth? You were a State Citizen, and the only way you became a US CITIZEN is by you, or your parents upon your birth, declaring you to be a US CITIZEN.
There is something else you should know. Nowadays one of the first things that happens once a child is born is that they are issued a Social Security Number. Do you know what the government calls your Social Security Number? They call it a taxpayer identification number; a number that identifies you for tax collecting purposes.
By issuing you that card, that number, you are bound in perpetuity to the debt created by the government; which leads me to the true evil within the 14th Amendment. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, (and I bet you didn’t know there was a Section 4, did you?) states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”
There are two keywords, or phrases in that. First is the term public debt. It is not government debt, it was debt incurred by your government for which YOU are responsible paying back. It does not matter whether you oppose the reasons for which that debt was incurred, as the 14th Amendment declares, “The validity of the public debt … shall not be questioned.” Now do you see what happened to your freedom when the 14th Amendment was ratified?
The Civil War was fought because one segment of the country got tired of having taxes imposed upon them to benefit another segment of America, so they seceded. The government said, “Wait a minute, you can’t secede, we need your tax dollars” and then proceeded to invade and conquer them. After the war, the federal government ratified, under duress, and amendment which tied every man, woman and child to the debt created by the government; making debt slaves of us all. Then in 1913 they ratified the 16th Amendment, which gave them the ability to tax your income at their discretion. The rest, as they say, is history.
I could go on and on and on about this, but I’ve already written 8 pages; and that is pushing the limits as to how much most people will read. But, if I have piqued your interest you can always ask me for more information, or even better, you could begin researching what I’ve said on your own. But I do hope I have at least set the record straight as to the cause and effects of what you call the Civil War. If I have done that, then that’s at least a small step forward.