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Essay:Notes on the Confederate States of America

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Many people claim that slavery and race were not the main reasons that the Confederate States of America was formed, breaking away from the United States of America. This question has been discussed, studied and answered by professional historians over many, many decades, and so it is not the purpose of this article to make a detailed discussion of the causes of secession. It is, simply, a collection of writings and quotes from the time of the Civil War, to demonstrate the attitude to race and slavery shown by the leaders and population of the Confederate States of America. Perhaps it shall be a useful linking point in debates, who knows?

Confederate States of America Constitution[edit]

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America expressly forbids Congress from taking away ownership, or punishing ownership, of 'negroes.' This would mean, that at a constitutional level, ownership of blacks was a matter reserved to individual states. The Constitution treats blacks and whites differently. The Constitution also requires the congress to establish legal slavery of blacks in all territories of the CSA.

In Article I, Section 9, we find:

4. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

In Article IV, Section 3, we find:

3. The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several states; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form states to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states.

Texas' Declaration of Causes[edit]

Texas' Declaration of Causes for Secession states that the idea of black-white equality is 'debasing' and says that it is a doctrine at war with nature.

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.