CLIO 7 (1) - page 62

an attempt at a defence of slavery took place in
these Confederate States. However, it is debatable
whether its defence was in the name of economic
security or in the name of racism. This therefore
begs the question, do these men deserve to have
their faces honoured in American cities? Or should
they instead have their statues torn down, a treat-
ment fitting the criminals of liberty that they may
In a war purely fought to preserve economic
security, it would be difficult to understand why
a soldier would not have been honoured. In some
senses, the American Civil War can be interpret-
ed not as a war about slavery, but one fought to
preserve the Southern way of life and a safe eco-
nomic situation which would be endangered by the
emancipation of slaves. Lincoln and the Union did
not take into account the possible consequences
of freeing slaves, overlooking the implications it
would have on Southern life. There were neither
the resources nor the finances to build factories and
create the flourishing industry that existed in the
north, whereas plantations represented a stable
source of money. As stated by the vice-president
of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, slavery
was the ideological "corner-stone" of the Confed-
erate government; the Union seemed to overlook
the difficulties that the Southern economy would
face following emancipation. Furthermore, many
historians contend that the suddenness of emanci-
pation was due to southern secession, and was an
attempt by Lincoln to starve the south due to their
stated independence, arguing that he would have
“Sad to see the history and cul-
ture of our great country being ripped
apart with the removal of our beauti-
ful statues and monuments,” Trump
said in a series of morningTwitter
posts. “You can’t change history, but
you can learn from it.” -Time
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