civil war

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Albert Gallatin Brown, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, speaking with regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America: "I want Cuba . . . I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery." [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 106.]

Richmond Enquirer, 1856: "Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery."

Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: "African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism." Later in the same speech he said, "The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States." Taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe supplied by Steve Miller.

Methodist Rev. John T. Wightman, preaching at Yorkville, South Carolina: "The triumphs of Christianity rest this very hour upon slavery; and slavery depends on the triumphs of the South . . . This war is the servant of slavery." [The Glory of God, the Defence of the South (1861), cited in Eugene Genovese's Consuming Fire (1998).]

Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." [Augusta, Georgia, Daily Constitutionalist, March 30, 1861.]

Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: "If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule -- it is a question of political and social existence." [Steven Channing, Crisis of Fear, pp. 141-142.]

Political divisions

America was thus divided by economic structure, and was led into fratricidal warfare by a series of political clashes.

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