Examining Mississippi's Secession, Was Slavery really the Cause?

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Daniel

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Jul 21, 2011
Below is the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union."

I'm posting this to try and show that Slavery was not their reason for seceding from the Union.
Alongside each point that this doc. mentions, I have posted a definition of what they mean by this in Parenthesis, and how I believe that it shows that Slavery wasn't the cause of the War


In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery(This doesn't mean That They are seceding over Slavery, it simply means they associate with it) - the greatest material interest of the world(This simply refers to the FACT, that Slavery was the largest industry in the world). Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth(This points out that the World's economy relied on Slavery). These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.(This was a scientific misconception, that Black people could bear the Heat, and hard labor better then white people) These products have become necessities of the world(Simply stating a fact), and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.also a fact That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.(Simply I think this boils down to the South believed that if Slavery went away, that they South would be reduced to utter despotism, due to an inability to maintain its Economy)

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.(This restricted State's ability to Expand their Territory, it established the precedent by which the United States would expand westward across North America by the admission of new states, rather than by the expansion of existing states.)

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.(This refers to the Missouri Compromise, which caused more the half of the South's Territory, to be lost to either the Northern States(or newly formed states) or to the unincorporated Territories)

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.(This refers to the Large portion of Texas's territory to end up being disputed between Mexico, and many of the unincorporated Territories)

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.(This refers to the banning of Slavery in the Territories)

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.(This also refers to the Restriction of Slavery)

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.(This refers to the belief that the North was attacking the South's Culture/way-of-life)

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.(This refers to the Federal Government violating the States mutual agreement to uphold the Law)

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.(This refers to the Southern belief that the North was trying to instigate a Rebellion among Blacks)

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.(This refers to the Northern Media turningThis Refers to the belief that the Union was turning the Northern Media against the South, to inflame hatred and to spread misinformation toward the South)

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.(This refers to the Union funding organizations to bypass the authority of Congress, and to further demonize the South)

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.(This refers to the concept of freeing the Slaves without an Economy capable of supporting millions of Free Slaves, The south believed that this would only cripple the Nation's economy)

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.(I believe this refers to the Union Military build up, But honestly I'm not sure on this one)

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.(This Refers to the Union violating the agreements that it had the the States)

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.(This refers to the examination of the north's actions, and coming to the conclusion that the North was purposefully attacking the South's Economy)

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.(This refers to the Union refusing to end its aggressive attitude toward the South)

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.(I believe that this refers to the election of Lincoln, and the rise of a powerful centralized federal government)

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.
______________________________________________
From all of this, It comes to the conclusion that through the rise of the Anti-slavery movement, the Union has also seen the Rise of a Nation that has a thorough disregard for the Rights(Sovereignty) of the States, and the Rise of an ever-growing Centralized(Federal) government.

It doesn't however do this by stating that Slavery is Right or Wrong, but simply that there is a correlation between the rise of Anti-slavery and the power of the Federal govt. , plus the utter disregard of the States Rights/Sovereignty, either through sheer coincidence or through a Northern agenda

I think this makes it quite clear, that Slavery was not the Cause of the war, but rather a Disregard for State Rights/Sovereignty
 
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