Apostles Of Disunion

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“Apostles of Disunion” In Apostles of Disunion, Charles Dew attempted to explain what led to the South’s decision to secede and ultimately cause a civil war. The one reoccurring theme he brings up as the major reason for the South’s secession was their widespread pro slavery attitude held at the time. Dew believed that if slavery had not existed, then the civil war would have never occurred. Throughout his writings he showed this Southern pro slavery attitude and used several examples to support this idea. Two of his best used examples were the the popular propaganda speeches made by slave owners in attempt to gain allegiance against the North and the South’s almost hatred of the Republican Party as a whole. One key example that Dew provided was the use of scare tactics by the pro-slave Southerners. In an effort to build an alliance through the South, Southern leaders would use emotion to gain support of the common people. They would give examples of what would happen to them and their families if blacks would be free. These examples would explain how the lives of Southerners would be ruined and that the country would come to an end if slaves were freed. On page 22, Dew gave portions of a speech, by Governor John J. Petus of Mississippi that was given to the state legislature. In this speech he said, “Secession was the only way to avoid the blight of Black Republicans politics and free Negro morals”, he continued to say that if slaves were freed, Mississippi would become “a cesspool of vice, crime and infamy” (22). Petus was attempting to rationalize that the state would become a haven of criminals if slaves were freed. What he was more than likely concerned with was the idea of losing the vast revenue accrued from slavery, but he used scare tactics to get approval for secession. Another major factor that attributed to Southern secession was the commissions that
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