may keep vour slaves, but you cannot keep your duty-free ports!rnBritish intellectuals like John Stuart Mill blithely declared,rn”Slavery the one cause of the Civil \4ir.” But, as Adams writes,rnothers in Britain put the cause elsewhere:rnhi the British House of Commons in 1862, WilliamrnForster said he believed it was generally recognized thatrnslaver’ was the cause of the U.S. Civil War. He was answeredrnfrom the House with cries, “No, no!” and “Therntariff!” It is quite probable the British commercial interests,rnwhich dominated the House of Commons, werernmore in tune with the economics of the Civil War thanrnwere the intellectuals and writers.rnThe tariff was “a prime cause of the civil war,” writes historianrnJohn Steele Gordon, author of Hamilton’s Blessing.rnBut, while tariffs were a cause of sectional rancor and division,rnand one of the reasons for secession, Lincoln never discussedrnthe tariff in depth after his speech in Pittsburgh beforernthe inauguration. Henry Carey, the great protectionist, neverrnforgave Lincoln, whom he had supported to the hilt, for thernomission. And given Lincoln’s devotion to the Union—therncause to which he subordinated all others—it would seem that,rnfor him as for Andrew Jackson, the tariff was not the end, butrnthe means to the end: a greater, more glorious Union. MurrayrnRothbard was not too far off when he wrote that Abraham Lincolnrn”made a god out of the Union.”rnThe South’s Fatal DependencyrnThough the abolition of slavery was not why Lincoln went tornwar, slavery and the South’s dependence on trade for the necessitiesrnof national life were the South’s undoing in that war.rnSlavery had kept the South in mercantilist bondage. Eightyrn’ears after Yorktown, the South was still shipping raw materialsrnto Britain for manufactured goods. Had slavery been abolished,rnthe Deep South would have been forced off her dependence onrncotton, tobacco, and rice. Given her natural resources, the capacitiesrnof her people, black and white, the South would haverndeveloped alongside the North and West. Instead, it was in thernNorth where 90 percent of the manufacturing was done, wherernwarships were built, cannons were forged, locomotives werernconstructed, and most of the railways laid. R-om the war’s outset,rnthe position of the South to the North was like that of therncolonies to Great Britain in the Revolution.rnWith its fleets, the North quickly imposed a naval blockade,rnand sliced the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi. Dependentrnon trade, the South saw her cotton and tobacco rot inrnwarehouses, and her trade dry up. The South’s slaves, unlikernNorthern immigrant labor, could not be used to producernweapons of war. Slavery and the agrarian character of thernSouth tied them to the land. There may be truth in what I lenrvrnCarey wrote: “Had the policy advocated by Mr. Clay, as embodiedrnin the tariff of 1842, been maintained, there could havernbeen no secession, and for the reason, that the southern mineralrnregion would long since have obtained control of the plantingrnone.” Without slavery, the South’s statesmen would not havernbeen forced to use their brilliance defending an institution thernSouth’s greatest men—Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson,rnLee—knew could not be reconciled with the ideals inrnwhich the believed.rnSoutherners were bound to a system they inherited at birth.rnBecause that system depended on three-and-a-half millionrnslaves, the South had to submit to abuse from moral posturersrnfrom the North who ignored the exploitation of immigrant laborrnand could not care less about the plight of slaves. Eventuallyrnthe South had to leave a Union their fathers helped create,rnand fight to their defeat and ruin in an independence strugglernmade almost impossible of victory because they had relied sornlong on the land and neglected the “work bench” Jefferson andrnRandolph had so detested.rnOne cannot read the story of that four-year struggle withoutrncoming away with boundless admiration for the bravery ofrnSouthern soldiers, the perseverance of her people, the brilliancernof her generals. From Bull Run to Antietam, Gettysburg to Appomattox,rnthe men in gray wrote a chapter in glory that willrnbring tears to men’s eyes as long as thev have hearts.rnAnd Mr. Lincoln? Unquestionably, the war changed thernman. The President-elect who arrived in Washington anxiousrnto appease Southern slave-owners, that ambivalent man ofrnwhom Richard Hofstadter wrote that his mind on the Negrornwas a “house divided against itself,” seemed, by the war’s end,rnto have become a remorseless Abolitionist. At Gettysburg,rnwhether he had intended it or not, Lincoln had succeeded forrnall time in “ennobling” the Northern cause and immortalizingrnhimself. In those brief, haunting, and memorable words, Lincolnrnhad proclaimed that the war, all along, had been about thernequality of man.rnAntietam, the Battle of the Wilderness, the March to thernSea, had hardened Lincoln. Unlike the conciliatory rhetoric ofrnhis First Inaugural, his second rings like the final warning of impendingrnjudgment from an Old Testament prophet. In thatrnSecond Inaugural, the armies of Sherman and Grant have becomerninstruments of God’s will. This Inaugural could havernbeen delivered by John Brown:rnFondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that thisrnmighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, ifrnGod wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled byrnthe bond-man’s two hundred and fifty vears of unrequitedrntoil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawnrnwith the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with thernsword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still itrnmust be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true andrnrighteous altogether.”rnThe war had not been about slaver- when it began. But, by itsrnend, Abraham Lincoln had declared it to be so. And, so it was.rnAnd the terrible and tragic manner of his death affirmed itrnforever.rnWas the Cause Just?rnWis the great war a just war?rnFor the South, the issue conies down to a single question:rnDid the South have the right to secede from the Union? For, ifrnthe South had a right to secede—as the colonies had a moralrnand legal right to break away from the British Empire—thenrnthe South had the right to fight for that independence, and tornresist a Union invasion and forcible return at the point of Unionrnbayonets.rnOn that first question, the South in 1861 had at least asrnstrong a case for secession as the Federalists of the 1 lartfordrnCon’ention, or ex-President John Quincy Adams, who threat-rnOCTOBER 1997/21rnrnrn