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Causes of the War Between the States

The War Between the States was fought according to some because of the slavery issue.  Others claim that the war was really fought because of government intervention in the economy that favored the north and oppressed the south.  We claim that it wasn’t one or the other of these issues but the combination of both.  Both are contrary to the principles upon which the Constitution was framed.  Both are mortal enemies of freedom!  When it comes right down to it, a country is either going to practice freedom or it will resort to some form of oppression by each of its laws and allowed practices.

Frederic Bastiat, a French philosopher, in his book The Law written in 1850 makes this observation:

“Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself?  If such proof is needed, look at the United States.  There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person’s liberty and property.  As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation.  But even in the United States, there are two issues-and only two-that have always endangered the public peace”.

Bastiat goes on to explain that these issues are slavery and the protective tariff.  In his words:

“Slavery is a violation, by law of liberty.  The protective tariff is a violation, by law, of property.

It is a most remarkable fact that this double legal crime-a sorrowful inheritance from the Old World-should be the only issue which can, and perhaps will, lead to the ruin of the Union.” [The Law pp 14-15]

A decade later, the nation fought the worst war of self destruction in its history because we did not repair these two breaches in the paradigm of freedom.