Editor, I am really tired of all of the “political correctness,” especially concerning the Confederate battle flag.
There are those who just want to keep racial tensions to further their agenda. They want everyone to think that the battle flag is a sign of slavery.
The problem here is that these troublemakers didn’t study history.
The key factors that caused the South to secede from the Union were partisan politics, Southern nationalism, Northern nationalism, economics and the North’s violation of the Constitution. The primary reason for the North to reject secession was to preserve the Union, a cause based on American nationalism.
The nation suffered an economic downturn during the 1820s, and South Carolina was predominantly affected. The highly protective Tariff Act of 1828 was designed to protect Northern industry by taxing imported manufactured goods from other countries, causing the South to lose business with those countries.
Congress enacted a new tariff in 1832, but it offered South Carolina little relief, resulting in the most dangerous divisional crisis since the Union was founded.
Some militant South Carolinians wanted to withdraw from the Union in response. A state convention voted to declare null and void the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 within the state. President Andrew Jackson responded, declaring nullification an act of treason. He then strengthened federal forts in South Carolina. South Carolina started the war in 1861.
Slavery was a minor issue at the time, and only one-fourth of Southerners owned slaves. Lincoln wasn’t an abolitionist. When President Lincoln realized that the South could actually win the war in 1863, he emancipated the slaves, but only in the South. It didn’t apply to border slave states, such as Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, which remained loyal to the Union. The Emancipation Act didn’t free one single slave, as it only applied to the Southern states over which Lincoln had no control.
My ancestors were in Sicily during the Civil War, and I grew up in the North. I just want the record straight, as it’s time that we see through the troublemakers and realize that the Confederate flag was no more than a battle flag.