December 9, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: War’s causes can be traced to Europe

— Why did the American Civil War happen? The primary cause was sectional differences. The spark was the election of Abraham Lincoln and the rising influence of the Republican Party. The divisions came from Europe.

The Jamestown colony was an axpression of English royal society transplanted into Virginia. The English crown influenced the development of the colony. The Mason-Dixon line existed. In the folk song “Dixie,” the idea of the South was announced.

The Plymouth colony was established by followers of Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England. The Plymouth Pilgrims dressed like Cromwell’s New Model Army. The idea of freedom was expressed in the song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

During the period 1830 to 1860, three events became paramount. Andrew Jackson failed to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States. At about the same time, he threatened to arrest his own vice president, John C. Calhoun over states rights issues. And, finally, railroads connected the Middle West to the East.

Then came Lincoln. This man who wore a stovepipe hat and long black suit jackets. Lincoln refused to allow the expansion of slavery. Slavery was a static answer in a dynamic situation. Commerce was growing, and slaves didn’t have any money. The slaveholders feared President Lincoln. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see him as another Oliver Cromwell.

Therefore, people could talk themselves into Civil War or war among the people.

Ken Kumler, Logansport