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Posted January 13, 2007
I much appreciated this book, and I heartily recommend it for two main reasons: First, it addresses the historically relevant and poignant philosophical arguments for and against secession. I don't do very well in remembering numerous quotes, dates, and facts but I try to get a grasp on the main ideas of an argument. Rather than getting bogged down in the tedium of making a case for the legality of secession by citing obscure documents, this book replays the drama of the historical debate over secession from the fiery speeches made by Daniel Webster against John C. Calhoun, and of Lincoln against the free citizens of the South. Hearing the actual rhetoric, and seeing the fallacies of their arguments against the South, is very enlightening. Second, it highlights the virtue and centrality of the State of South Carolina in regards to the question of American secession. South Carolina was not only the first state to leave the Union, but it played a central and leading role in the whole cause of Southern Independence. The captivating story of the events leading up to the battle of Fort Sumter is retold, with emphasis on the point that South Carolina was backed into a corner through intentional subterfuge and provocation from the Lincoln administration. This teaches history like you could never learn it in a government school, and in a way that you will not easily forget.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2006
Hawes shares quotes from the founders: Jefferson, Madison, and many others. Included are Congressional Records going back to secessionist feeling in the 1830's, speeches from Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun and Lincoln's speeches upholding the right of secession. The book documents the historical evidence supporting States' rights to secession. Saving the Union was not seriously considered by New England in 1814 when it wanted to secede. The book refutes that the war was over slavery. Lincoln is quoted speaking in favor of slavery. Slavery was Constitutional. The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to Northern slaves, not to slaves in Confederate territory. A Constitutional amendment voluntarily ratified by the States was not tried. Instead Lincoln waged war and then forced Southern states to ratify that amendment. The book documents how Lincoln turned from swearing to uphold the Constitution to subverting it -- such as ordering Northern newspapers against the war to be closed -- with force. The book explains how Lincoln usurped Congressional power: declaring war, calling out the militia and suspending the writ of habeas corpus even for civilians. Lincoln also ordered the arrest of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court -- all to 'save the union.' Confederate ambassadors seeking peace before the war were refused an audience with Lincoln. Meanwhile Union troops threatened South Carolina's harbor with their actions at Fort Sumter. Lincoln's provocation to get South Carolina to fire the first shot is documented. The book explains how the war was waged against civilians: homes burned, crops and livestock destroyed, fields salted, cities leveled, children murdered and women raped. All this upon the orders of union generals who, in turn, were supported by Lincoln. The South was conquered and occupied. Votes by Southern States are shown to be not by Southerners but by Northern puppets and carpetbaggers put in charge of Southern State governments. This book is a powerful, well documented, heavily researched study of the real reasons for the War of North against the South. It also makes a strong Constitutional case in favor of near future secession of any group of States such as the West Coast, the Northeast, or Midwest -- all have which have talked of secession in recent years.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.