If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

An Answer for President Trump




Why Was There A Civil War? An Answer for President Trump by Warren Bull

During an interview with Salena Zito for ”Main Street Meets the Beltway,” released on April 30, 2016 when discussing President Andrew Jackson President Trump said:

I mean had Andrew Jackson been president a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War. If you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

Dear President Trump,

After the interview you clarified that you knew Andrew Jackson died before the war started, but intended to say that if he had been alive and president he would have prevented the war.
Sir, you raise a fascinating question that people have been pondering ever since the start of the war. Could a strong and intelligent president have brokered an agreement to avoid war? Respectfully, I would like to answer your question
Before war broke out, the two most powerful men in the United States government, President James Buchanan, who personally opposed slavery and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger Brooke Taney, who personally supported slavery, tried to do exactly what you suggested was possible. They considered what was politically expedient, i.e., what was achievable and least disruptive to settle the growing rancor between states and most likely to avoid bloodshed. Their conclusion was that the continuation of slavery was the solution. They decided slavery should be protected where it existed and expanded when people in new territories and states wanted it.

After all, they probably reasoned, slavery existed in the colonies before the nation was formed. In forming the United States the southern delegates to the Constitutional convention insisted that slavery had to be legal for the nation to be formed. They got what they wanted. The way to end slavery already existed. The Constitution could be amended if and when a two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate called for an amendment. Also a constitutional convention could be called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures and the convention could change the document.

Besides, slavery was good for the economy. Cotton production in the south was the primary engine running that economy. In the north banking, insurance and ship building all benefited from the slave trade. Exports made the entire country economically stronger. Whatever people say, they usually act to favor whatever adds to their financial well being.

There was a way open to settle issues without the need for bloodshed. Dred Scott, an enslaved African-American man, sued for his freedom in lower courts. One court said he should not be freed. Another court ruled in Scott’s favor. The case was appealed to the highest court in the land.

Taney seized upon the case, which asked only if one individual because of his particular circumstances and history should be freed, to answer the greater unasked for issue of whether slavery should be continued. Simply put, Taney ruled that African-Americans had no rights at all under the Constitution. I admit he had to misrepresent the case before him, misstate the opinions of the other justices and misread the Constitution to reach his decision. But consider that he wanted to preserve the nation.

President James Buchanan was willing to go against his personal beliefs for the “greater good” of keeping the country together. If others had been willing to follow his example, union could have been preserved. He backed the court decision to the hilt.

Question settled. No need for any more fuss. Sorry, enslaved people. Maybe the Constitution will be amended someday.
However, this elegant solution did not work. People on different sides hardened their positions. The war that resulted was the bloodiest in American history. Fathers against sons. Brothers against each other. Even the newly elected President had in-laws fighting against the union.

Before I continue, I should mention that some people, no doubt including some who advise you, now claim the basic conflict was not about slavery but states rights versus federal rights. They are half right. The first state to secede, South Carolina, wrote an explanation of why secession was necessary. In that document the people mention a number of states rights. They reported that there was one state right which northern states failed to honor, which required their succession. That right was to hold people in bondage, i.e. the right to keep slaves.

Those same people might tell you that Abraham Lincoln said he was willing to keep slavery intact to keep the union intact. In this they are entirely correct. Lincoln said and believed that…at first. Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri, all states where slavery was legal, joined the union side of the conflict.

Over time Lincoln revised his beliefs. He acted on his new beliefs even though they were not popular with a majority of voters. Unlike Buchanan, he remained faithful to his core principles. Unlike Taney, he never did more than he could legally justify.

I am the first to admit that James Buchanan was not a strong President, but I do not believe that any President could have persuaded people to give up their core belief that slavery was morally wrong.  

So, no. Sometimes the willingness to act against a person’s basic beliefs (if that person has firm beliefs) in order to appeal to a popular trend will only exaggerate differences between others. Flexibility can be a real asset, but so can having and sticking with core beliefs. I see no way the Civil War could have been avoided by mediation.
By the way, if the expedient solution suggested, to leave slavery in place and support its expansion, had been accepted, it would have been an absolute horror.

Thank you, Mr. President, for your attention.

10 comments:

Grace Topping said...

Thank you, Warren. So many people have a distorted view of what happened in our history. And some are too arrogant to think they may be wrong in what they think happened.

carl brookins said...

Thank you.
You post an accurate (!) explanation of what happened and of the principal players. There is so much distorted "belief" over the runup to the Civil War, it has frightening parallels to the pronouncements from the current administration.

Shari Randall said...

Clear, cogent, persuasive - I do hope the president sees this and I also wish he were surrounded by more people like you.

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Warren. This is a wonderful and explanatory blog. I don't think our current president possesses the attention span to read and absorb what you wrote here. Sigh.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Have you tweeted the link to POTUS?

In the past six months, we've re-learned everything about the Federal government we were force-fed in high school. Who does what? With or without Senate confirmation? And now it's time for a complete review of American history. Thanks, Warren, we'll have some more.

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks, Warren. But I doubt you've made a dent in the president's ignorance. After all, he claims no one ever asked why we had the Civil War. Good example of the paradigm principle.

Jim Jackson said...

While it is true that Andrew Jackson (while a general, not as president) prevented the "Toledo War" that had the result of making me a Michigan resident rather than a Wisconsin resident, it's unlikely that had he and Lincoln switched places in presidential order, there would have been any different result.

In 1830 Jackson is reputed to have offered a toast in which he proclaimed the preservation of the Union over all else (thereby opposing his Vice President's stand that states could nullify laws if they thought them unconstitutional). That's not much different from the position Lincoln held regarding session.

Kaye George said...

I agree that it would be great if @realDonaldTrump would read this, but it's highly doubtful he could get through so many words. You never know, though. Pigs may fly.

Polly Iyer said...

Excellent post, Warren. I certainly hope you send this to the president. Maybe he can have someone read it to him.

Laura Brennan said...

Thanks, Warren, for this thoughtful and well-reasoned explanation. Well done.