Wednesday, April 14, 2010

States' Rights and Wrongs

I got an email regarding my last post. Rather than add his comments to the blog, this fellow chose to write me directly. I don't mind, but it more interesting for all of us if people post their opinions for everyone to read. So, in the interest of doing just that, let me post what was sent to me:

Dear Rabbi,

As a Jew I don't expect you to understand what happened during the War of Northern Aggression. [I think his grammar is off; he means that since I am a Jew I don't understand, not that he is a Jew]. I am not an antisemite (sic) and know that the Confederacy was bankrolled by Jews, but you probably came over much later. Anyway, the war was not fought over slavery, but over states' rights. It was a defense of the Southern way of life against Northern imperialism. We are still fighting that war today, though now states northern and southern are battling the encroachment of the Federal Government. Please get your facts straight. Sincerely...

I sent the following email back and have heard nothing in reply:

Dear XXX,

Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your thoughts. I urge you to do so in the comments section so others can benefit from them, but I will respond briefly to you in any case.

While I agree with you that the South was defending states' rights, but the only right they were defending was the right to own slaves. The North wasn't going to war over cotton prices, musical styles, fashion, religion, food, or land. If the Southern States hadn't endorsed slavery there would have been no war. I don't think any state has a right to buy and sell human beings.


1 comment:

Derek said...

If one looks at the history, the southern states were actively trying to suppress the rights of other states to oppose slavery and strengthen the federal governments hand in not allowing any state to outlaw slavery.

They were calling for an enlargement rather than a reduction of Federal authority, at least in regard to the territories, though this authority could be exercised only to protect slavery.

Proslavery advocates looked to the Supreme Court for an endorsement of their theory of state sovereignty. Dred Scott case (1857).

Yeah, it was about states rights.

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