Historians, politicians, and neo-secessionists who argue that the Civil War… was caused by the Federal government’s manipulation of tariffs are at best terribly deluded, at worst, they are scurrilous ideologues with a shameful political agenda.
A brief history lesson for Tom DiLorenzo, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump, the Freedom Caucus, Ron and Rand Paul, and any other woefully misguided students of history:
- Article 1, Section 8 of the Federal Constitution- The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States……… Really, this should explain it, but secessionists were never concerned with Constitutional restraint.
- The first tariff in our history was signed into law by George Washington on July 4, 1789.
- The Walker Tariff of 1845 slashed duties in place since the Whig’s controlled Congress- A southern coalition pushed for the reduction
- Tariffs were reduced again in 1852 and 1857. The 1857 tariff was only 18%- the lowest since the 18th century.
- The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was not passed until Southerners had already resigned from Congress. During the secession crisis, Southern Senators had blocked the increase. When in place, it raised the duty from 18-36%.
The Civil War was caused by slavery- not tariffs.
Donald Trump continues to display a disturbing ignorance of American history… A recent interview with a friendly reporter on Sirius Radio gave President Trump the opportunity to question the necessity of the Civil War.
Confederates in the attic
“People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
Look how far we’ve fallen
Slavery, Mr. President– The Rebellious states started the war, Lincoln finished it…. It would be no surprise if Trump’s understanding of Civil War history came from an academic huckster like Tom DiLorenzo. Clearly, Trump is pandering to his ultra-right wing, states rights base.
Anniversary of “Seward’s Folly” raises doubts in Russia… right wing in Russia questions the sale of Alaska
German radicals call for a new Reich… the right wing in Germany questions validity of post Hitler government
Trump’s poor grasp of history is troubling… the President lacks basic knowledge and respect for predecessors
James K. Polk cannot stay buried… Tennessee politicians look to move him for fourth time since 1849
April 1st is also Park Day with the National Park Service… join cleanup efforts in 130 parks nationwide
On the move….again
Would Dwight D. Eisenhower be welcomed in today’s Republican party?… Today’s GOP- dominated by fiscal Conservatives like the so-called “freedom caucus;” scrawny descendants of Do-Nothings of the 80th Congress who obstruct, protest, and bloviate over the slightest Federal spending. The insistence on labeling government programs as “entitlements” will give these rank amateurs undue influence in policy making. Programs like Social Security, GI Bill, unemployment insurance, the interstate system, Civil Rights and the National Parks are all seen as drains on our government and in need of outsourcing.
Let’s build interstates
Eisenhower oversaw the expansion of all these “drains” and expanded so-called entitlements …. and had a very different view of governing:
“In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”
Ike’s domestic policy was bold and equitable in the face of … the traditions of his party. Sadly, such a leader would be expelled by today’s Republicans– no longer the party of Lincoln.
Friends and rivals
The American experience has always been built on experimentation… Our very existence doubted by most of the world, the optimism of Thomas Jefferson became essential to the survival of our republican experiment.
As the election of 1796 loomed… the friendship between Jefferson and John Adams waned. Jefferson reminded his friend of their experiment:
“I am aware of the objection to this, that the office becoming more important may bring on serious discord in elections. In our country I think it will be long first; not within our day; and we may safely trust to the wisdom of our successors the remedies of the evil to arise in theirs. Both experiments however are now fairly committed, and the result will be seen. Never was a finer canvas presented to work on than our countrymen…. This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded on principles of honesty, not of mere force….If ever the morals of a people could be made the basis of their own government, it is our case.” Jefferson to Adams, February 28 1796