The doctrine of white supremacy was invented in 17 th century North America to justify the use and practice of slavery in the British colonies (and at the time not just limited to the south of what became the United States, but in all of them). Just before the First US Civil War, the doctrine was well-summarized by Alexander Stephens, a Southern Unionist who later became Vice-President of the Confederate States of America under the arch-secessionist Jefferson Davis:
"Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race. Such were, and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's law. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the Negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Cain, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. Our new government is founded on the opposite idea of the equality of the races. Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the Negro is not equal to the White man; that slavery --- subordination to the superior race --- is his natural condition."
Remind anyone of current political tactics and strategy? Nah. Couldn't be. Could it?
(Image by Elvert Barnes) Permission Details DMCA
As I wrote in a column published in 2009, as it started the First Civil War in support of secession, the South had six principal war aims:
1. The preservation of the institution of African and African-American (the latter the courtesy of the slave owners and slave masters) slavery and its uninhibited expansion into the Territories of the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountain region, and the Southwest.
2. The acceptance by the whole United States of the Doctrine of White Supremacy on which the institution of slavery was established.
3. The establishment and subsequent strong prosecution of American Imperialism outside of North America (a position much more strongly held in the South than in the North).
4. The full, irrevocable, placement in Constitutional law of the Southern version of the doctrine of "States Rights," that before the First Civil War primarily was in place to serve the maintenance of the institution of slavery.