After reading the previous two articles, you might be left wondering how America evolved from the White Republic of the Founders to become the country that it is today.
The answer is that the Jim Crow South and its Southern Race Creed was a regional consensus. Segregation was a Southern system of race relations. There was a milder version of it in the American West until the aftermath of the Second World War. The East and the Midwest were the dominant sections of the country in the early 20th century and had their own racial systems. Both had been largely integrated since the 1880s because the cause of equal rights had become identified with the Republican Party during the War Between the States when the Union defined itself against the Confederacy.
In our quest to figure out what went so terribly wrong in the Northern states, which is to say, why are Yankees so unusually attracted to utopian social reform movements like abolitionism, feminism, environmentalism, temperance, civil rights, women’s rights, vegetarianism, gay rights, transgenderism, anti-racism and so on, we have identified what appears to be the root of the problem in the Christian heresies that emerged in North in the antebellum era during the Second Great Awakening.
The following excerpts on Northern perfectionism come from Elizabeth R. Varon’s book Disunion: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859:
“It was through these early influences that Garrison beheld and tried to make sense of the major trends of his day – the concomitant rise, in the North, of economic modernization and of religious revivalism. Everywhere that the hallmarks of modernization were to be found – in proliferating cities and towns, with their “new”middle class of urban professionals and capitalists; in stunningly efficient factories, staffed by working-class wage earners, churning out goods such as textiles; along the networks of canals and railroads that transported such mass-produced goods to distant markets – so too did one find eager audiences for a new kind of evangelicalism. Popularized by itinerants like the charismatic Charles Finney, this religion was calculated to comfort and guide Northerners caught in a whirlwind of change.
Finney’s message was “perfectionism”: Individuals could and should seek to be as perfect as God, and thus seize control of their own destinies and fortunes. Perfectionism found expression in a wide array of charitable (or “benevolent”) causes embraced by antebellum Northerners, including campaigns to eradicate drunkenness and prostitution, to extend aid to impoverished orphans and widows, and to distribute religious tracts to the poor. Garrison and his circle of immediatists he gathered around him were caught up in this spirit of reform and drew out its most radical and egalitarian implications. They sought “moral revolution” not “moral renovation,” James Brewer Stewart explains, and “shattered religious orthodoxies time and again by improvising still more expansive ways of enacting God’s will in everyday life.” If the new “free labor” economy produced such wealth and opportunity, they asked, why shouldn’t its benefits extend to blacks and to the South itself? If reformers could promote moral perfection, why shouldn’t they seek to eradicate America’s worst sin, that of slaveholding? These questions formed the backdrop for the Liberator. …”
“Perfectionism” is the heretical theological core of the entire Northern leftwing enterprise known as “progressivism.” It started out as the idea that Yankees could become godlike saints. It should be stressed here that like Mormonism, which hatched out of the same culture at the same time, that this IS NOT synonymous with Christianity. In fact, it is a modern day revival of the old Pelagian heresy and is a repudiation of both traditional Catholicism and Protestantism which were grounded in St. Augustine’s theology who buried Pelagianism until it was revived in the 17th century.
“Garrison’s view was even more complicated, for he drew a distinction between the false Union – the “hollow mockery” created by the Constitution – and the true Union, a “glorious reality” that had never yet been achieved. The false Union, he repeated again and again, was not divinely ordained but rather “the work of men’s hands”: quoting the Bible, he declared that “it is only those things which are made, that can be shaken down.” As Garrison saw it, slavery depended on the false Union for its survival – Northerners furnished Southern slaveholders with the markets for their slaves’ produce, with the laws and slave-catching mobs that policed the boundaries of the system, with the votes to give slaveholders control of the federal government, and with the moral approbation to embolden slaveholders to spread their pernicious labor system. If this Northern support were withdrawn, slavery would be doomed. The spirit of the true Union, by contrast, was present in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence – it was the spirit of equality. A binding and valid compact between freedom and slavery was, for Garrison, a moral impossibility, and thus, in a sense, disunion already prevailed. With slaveholders campaigning aggressively to extend their domain and to curtail the rights of Northern citizens, it was inevitable and fitting that political disunion would flow from moral disunion. An 1842 antislavery meeting in Boston, presided over by Garrison, resolved that “the time is rapidly approaching when the American Union will be dissolved in form, as it is now in fact.” In this formulation, disunion connoted not failure, shame, and anarchy but the necessary prelude to a national rebirth: the demise of the false, corrupt Union would prepare the way for the establishment of the true, righteous one. From the early 1840s on, then, disunion for Garrison connoted not only a threat and an accusation, but also a process by which Northerners were coming to see that only a total repudiation of the South could purge the nation of sin.”
The South was totally repudiated by the Radical Republicans in the Reconstruction era. The demise of Garrison’s “false, corrupt Union” was replaced by the “true, righteous one” dictated solely by triumphant Yankees in the form of the Reconstruction amendments which are effectively a second Constitution. Eric Foner has a new book coming out about this in September called Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.
Following William Lloyd Garrison, Abraham Lincoln and Black Republicanism, True Conservatism interprets the “spirit of the true Union” as “the spirit of equality” which is conjured like a snake out of a single misrepresented passage in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution created by the Founders was the “false Union” – it was a compact with a wicked Southern civilization based on slavery and racial prejudice that had to be overthrown by righteous, godlike Yankees to realize the Glorious Union that had never existed but embodied the spirit of equality found in the Declaration of Independence.
America had to be recreated by Yankees in their own image of a Shining City on a Hill. The Union had to be rebuilt on Northern terms. The terms of the Union would be dictated to the defeated Confederacy which was placed under military occupation in 1867. Those terms were negro citizenship, racial equality and civil rights and the meaning of America would henceforth be “all men are created equal.”
The following excerpt on Northern perfectionism comes from David Brion Davis’ book Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World:
“Like the early Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century, abolitionists were confident they had discovered and uncovered the fatal flaws of the entire social system; they were determined to clarify and reanimate an altogether different approach to self-fulfillment. It is significant that the main targets of radical reformers were precisely those forces that stunted or impeded the full development of an individual’s moral capacities, as defined by the religious revivals: the violence and aggression of dueling and war; capital punishment and retributive punishment in general, which brings out the lowest, most un-Christian and bestial impulses of human nature; alcohol, which dulls or extinguishes a sense of social responsibility while simulating aggression, self-assertion, and “animal passions”; laws and institutions that discriminate against women, depriving them of self-respect and subjecting them to male violence and sexual exploitation and degradation; above all, black slavery, the very epitome of institutionalized violence and debasement of the human spirit, treating humans as objects or animals, subject to unlimited coercion and manipulation.”
The Great National Sin in the eyes of Yankees has been different things at different times. From 1830 to 1860, it ranged from dueling to war to alcohol to the denial of “women’s rights” to Indian Removal before finally zeroing in on slavery, represented by the demonic Southern cotton planter and the “Slave Power” conspiracy which sought to control the federal government.
After the abolition of slavery in 1865, The Great National Sin immediately shifted to the new crusades of civil rights and civil service reform, as well as traditional fixtures of the reform movement such as temperance, world peace and women’s suffrage, which climaxed in Prohibition, the League of Nations and the Nineteenth Amendment. In the 1930s, “racism” was revealed as The Great National Sin. Today, The Great National Sin ranges from climate change to transphobia to White Nationalism.
“A common theme in these related reform movements, which were religious in inspiration but too radical to be accepted by existing churches, was the removal of obstacles to human perfectibility. All the same, as Wendell Phillips suggested, participation allowed the reformer to escape from a purely competitive or acquisitive life as he or she joined an ennobling yet deeply unpopular cause. As the letters of Weld and Stuart suggest, individual abolitionists enjoyed a profound love, conviviality, and fellowship within transatlantic reform groups as they redefined their own identity and faced common persecution, at least in America. Abolitionists acquired a shared a language and outlook as they differentiated themselves from former friends and often even from family members.”
The core theological belief here is that the individual must be liberated from all restraints in order to develop into a morally perfect being. This is the impulse behind both abolitionism and feminism: human beings are basically good, but are degraded by social institutions and traditions, which must be demolished and overthrown for free and equal human beings can develop their full moral capacities. The first state in America to legalize gay marriage was Vermont which was also the first state to abolish slavery.
“As spectacular religious revivals established enclaves of piety in the midst of a so-called unregenerate society, the question arose how to translate an individual’s momentary repentance and religious commitment into a just and righteous society. While this “Second Great Awakening” was partly a reaction to the dramatic and unsettling economic and social changes of the 1820s, the evangelical churches and revivalists were also addressing fundamental questions about the meaning of human life, justice, and the human ability to rise above sin.
The last issue of overcoming the inclination to sin acquired special urgency by 1830 because of a new American Protestant emphasis on human ability and freedom. For many Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists, it was not only within the power of the individual to achieve sanctification, that is, a total transformation of moral character, but it was within the power of the American nation to establish a new golden age, a new Eden or New Jerusalem on earth. Here we see a striking amalgamation of secular and spiritual aspirations – a sacralization of time and of ethical questions like alcohol abuse and slaveholding. The extremely high expectations of superstar revivalists like Charles Grandison Finney generated a new sensitivity to the fatal discrepancies between American ideals and American practice.”
America in 2019 has become this New Eden or New Jerusalem on earth although the Democrats will tell you we still have a long way to go before we can overcome the legacy of white privilege.
Clyde Wilson first turned me on to this years ago:
“Since the 2000 presidential election, much attention has been paid to a map showing the sharp geographical division between the two candidates’ support. Gore prevailed in the power- and plunder-seeking Deep North (Northeast, Upper Midwest, Pacific Coast) and Bush in the regions inhabited by productive and decent Americans. There is nothing new about this. Historically speaking, it is just one more manifestation of the Yankee problem.
As indicated by these books (listed at the end), scholars are at last starting to pay some attention to one of the most important and most neglected subjects in United States history – the Yankee problem.
By Yankee I do not mean everybody from north of the Potomac and Ohio. Lots of them have always been good folks. The firemen who died in the World Trade Center on September 11 were Americans. The politicians and TV personalities who stood around telling us what we are to think about it are Yankees. I am using the term historically to designate that peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can be easily recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, lack of congeniality, and penchant for ordering other people around. Puritans long ago abandoned anything that might be good in their religion but have never given up the notion that they are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America, and the world, into the perfection of their own image.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, raised a Northern Methodist in Chicago, is a museum-quality specimen of the Yankee – self-righteous, ruthless, and self-aggrandizing. Northern Methodism and Chicago were both, in their formative periods, hotbeds of abolitionist, high tariff Black Republicanism. The Yankee temperament, it should be noted, makes a neat fit with the Stalinism that was brought into the Deep North by later immigrants.
The ethnic division between Yankees and other Americans goes back to earliest colonial times. Up until the War for Southern Independence, Southerners were considered to be the American mainstream and Yankees were considered to be the “peculiar” people. Because of a long campaign of cultural imperialism and the successful military imperialism engineered by the Yankees, the South, since the war, has been considered the problem, the deviation from the true American norm. Historians have made an industry of explaining why the South is different (and evil, for that which defies the “American” as now established, is by definition evil). Is the South different because of slavery? white supremacy? the climate? pellagra? illiteracy? poverty? guilt? defeat? Celtic wildness rather than Anglo-Saxon sobriety? …
If this were true, then anything that stood in the way of American perfection must be eradicated. The threatening evil at various times was liquor, tobacco, the Catholic Church, the Masonic order, meat-eating, marriage. Within the small area of the Burnt Over District and within the space of a few decades was generated what historians have misnamed the “Jacksonian reform movement:” Joseph Smith received the Book of Mormon from the Angel Moroni; William Miller began the Seventh Day Adventists by predicting, inaccurately, the end of the world; the free love colony of John Humphrey Noyes flourished at Oneida; the first feminist convention was held at Seneca Falls; and John Brown, who was born in Connecticut, collected accomplices and financial backers for his mass murder expeditions.
It was in this milieu that abolitionism, as opposed to the antislavery sentiment shared by many Americans, including Southerners, had its origins. Abolitionism, despite what has been said later, was not based on sympathy for the black people nor on an ideal of natural rights. It was based on the hysterical conviction that Southern slaveholders were evil sinners who stood in the way of fulfillment of America’s divine mission to establish Heaven on Earth. It was not the Union that our Southern forefathers seceded from, but the deadly combination of Yankee greed and righteousness.”
America as we know it today could have only been created by millions of people who share this mindset. Jews didn’t create this mindset, but have manipulated it for generations to their advantage.