Loewen’s Myths #2: Secession was About Tariffs and Taxes

Loewen presents a little history to this myth and seems to believe it started in a meeting of Confederate volunteers at the end of the Nineteenth Century. What he fails to mention is that many people even during the war (as well as before) indicated the tariffs were the primary reason for the conflict. So it was already a talking point long before he claims it was “birthed”. But then history does not seem to be his strong suit in any parts of this article.

Just because no state joined South Carolina’s move to secede in the Nullification Crisis of 1831-33 does not mean it was an invalid issue. And, yes, Loewen was correct that the Southerners had written the mild tariffs of 1857… but this was no longer 1857. And the newly elected President was already talking about increasing the tariffs. And the South knew it was not just a talking point for Lincoln.

The fact that only the Northern States elected Lincoln told the South that their days were numbered. The North had now gained the power to force the Southern States to pay whatever they determined… and there was nothing the South could do.

Well, except secede.


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