American civil war Robert Morgan / Jack Frost

Morgan vs. Anon

On The Unz Review, Robert Morgan said:

Anon: “The men that wrote and agreed on the words “all men are created equal” meant just that. But these same men did not view male negros as men, no more than any sane person today views male chimpanazees as men.”

Would that it were true! But, unfortunately, it is not. That negroes were regarded as men in those days is shown irrefutably by the fact that of the thirteen original states, five had already granted citizenship and the vote to negro freemen. As Supreme Court Justice Curtis wrote in his dissent to the Dred Scott decision, it is even likely that some of these negroes voted on whether or not to ratify the Constitution.

If it had been common at all to regard full-blooded negroes as non-human, then instead of a Civil War being fought over the question of their slavery, they could simply have been disposed of like a herd of infected cattle. But, perhaps fatally for the white race, it was the Christian religion and not science that shaped its conception of what was or was not human, and from Christianity’s earliest days negroes had been included in that category.

In modern times, as belief in miracles and the supernatural has given way to science, and nobody really takes Jesus seriously anymore, I think people have difficulty conceiving of how sincerely white people believed such religious nonsense back then. The above article’s author begins by quoting an historian who characterizes the Civil War as a Crusade, and that’s entirely correct. It was a religious dispute between two factions of white people, each considering the other a kind of heretic. The North’s attitude was summed up perfectly in their theme song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, the original version of which contained the lines:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.

This religious motive of the North is confirmed, on the part of the South, by Confederate General Henry Louis Benning, who in his speech to the Virginia Convention said:

The North entertains the opinion that slavery is a sin and a crime. I mean, when I say the North, the Republican party, and that is the North; and they say that any stipulation in the Constitution or laws in favor of slavery, is an agreement with death and a covenant with hell; and that it is absolutely a religious merit to violate it [source: here].

I notice that in his latest column, Paul Craig Roberts continues to push the canard that the Civil War was fought primarily for economic reasons. But this makes as much sense as saying that the original Crusades of medieval times were fought for economic reasons, and that the Christian religion had nothing to do with it. One can find economic reasons for anything, but when all of the participants are claiming that their motives are religious, it seems to me that it’s foolish not to give that side of it proper weight.


Nota bene: The commenter of The Unz Review uses the pseudonym ‘Dr. Robert Morgan’: a character who appeared in the film The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price. Hence the image above, taken from a poster advertising the 1964 film.