Robert E. Lee on American Imperialism

It is fitting that Robert E. Lee’s monument is coming down in Richmond. Clearly, there are a lot of things which are going down the drain in America these days.

“I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the States and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard of the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the States into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it. I need not refer one so well acquainted as you are with American history, to the State papers of Washington and Jefferson, the representatives of the Federal and Democratic parties, denouncing consolidation and centralization of power, as tending to the subversion of State governments, and to despotism.”

Robert E. Lee to Lord Acton, Lexington, VA, 15 Dec. 1866

“We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, this we must, resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amity and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine Power which covers with its protection the just cause, we will continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self-government.”

Jefferson Davis, Montgomery, AL, 29 Apr. 1861

“We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race the free white race. ..

We make a great mistake, sir, when we suppose that all people are capable of self-government.  We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged in a very respectable quarter, that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent.  It is a great mistake.  None but people advanced to a very high state of moral and intellectual improvement are capable, in a civilized state, of maintaining free government.”

John C. Calhoun, Washington, DC, 4 Jan. 1848

The one great evil from which all other evils have flowed, is the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States. The Government of the United States is no longer the government of a confederate republic, but of a consolidated democracy. It is no longer a free government, but a despotism. It is, in fact, such a government as Great Britain attempted to set over our fathers, and which was resisted and defeated by a seven years struggle for independence.

They had been settled under charters which gave them self-government, at least so far as their property was concerned. They had taxed themselves, and had never been taxed by the Government of Great Britain. To make them a part of a consolidated empire the Parliament of Great Britain determined to assume the power of legislating for the colonies in all cases whatsoever. Our ancestors resisted the pretension. They refused to be a part of the consolidated Government of Great Britain. …

Thus the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government, and the people of the Southern States are compelled to meet the very despotism their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett, The Address of the people of South Carolina, assembled in Convention, to the people of the Slaveholding States of the United States

“No one can understand the nature of a Consolidated Government, without perceiving, that it is only the first step to Imperialism.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett, A Fire Eater Remembers: The Confederate Memoir of Robert Barnwell Rhett

“A political union can only exist, between independent political entities. Such was the Union constituted by the Constitution of the United States, “between the States.” But this Union – a Union of independent political entities – a Union of free-will and choice -, is gone; and the connexion now existing themselves what were formerly States, is no union at all; but is the operation of the different parts of a central consolidated power, held together by fear and force.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett, A Fire Eater Remembers: The Confederate Memoir of Robert Barnwell Rhett

“You are the vassals and slaves of a consolidated empire.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett

“The spirit which yields one position will yield another, until at length, self-respect and self-confidence is gone, and a conscious degradation prepares the people to be the victims of corrupt and traitorous demagogues.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett, 1847

“From the commencement of the Government of the United States, the money power of the North, controlled the North, and hovered over the Government like a vulture seeking its prey.”

Robert Barnwell Rhett

“Our opponents, conscious of the weakness of their cause, seek to confuse imperialism with expansion, and have even dared to claim Jefferson as a supporter of their policy. Jefferson spoke so freely and used language with such precision that no one can be ignorant of his views. On one occasion he declared: “If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” And again he said: “Conquest is not in our principles; it is inconsistent with our government.”

The forcible annexation of territory to be governed by arbitrary power differs as much from the acquisition of territory to be built up into states as a monarchy differs from a democracy. The democratic party does not oppose expansion when expansion enlarges the area of the republic and incorporates land which can be settled by American citizens, or adds to our population people who are willing to become citizens and are capable of discharging their duties as such. …

If we have an imperial policy we must have a great standing army as its natural and necessary complement.  The spirit which will justify the forcible annexation of the Philippine islands will justify the seizure of other islands and the domination of other people, and with wars of conquest we can expect a certain if not rapid, growth of our military establishment. …

A large standing army is not only a pecuniary burden to the people, and, if accompanied by compulsory service, a constant source of irritation, but it is ever a menace to a republican form of government.

The army is the personification of force, and militarism will inevitably change the ideals of the people and turn the thoughts of our young men from the arts of peace to the science of war. The government which relies for its defense upon its citizens is more likely to be just than one which has at call a large body of professional soldiers. …

It is said that we have assumed before the world obligations which make it necessary for us to permanently maintain a government in the Philippine islands. I reply first, that the highest obligation of this nation is to be true to itself. No obligation to any particular nations, or to all the nations combined, can require the abandonment of our theory of government, and the substitution of doctrines against which our whole national life has been a protest. And, second, that our obligation to the Filipinos, who inhabit the islands, is greater than any obligation which we can owe to foreigners who have a temporary residence in the Philippines or desire to trade there. …

In addition to the evils which he and the farmer share in common, the laboring man will be the first to suffer if oriental subjects seek work in the United States; the first to suffer if American capital leaves our shores to employ oriental labor in the Philippines to supply the trade of China and Japan; the first to suffer from the violence which the military spirit arouses and the first to suffer when the methods of imperialism are applied to our own government. …”

William Jennings Bryan, Imperialism

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18 Comments

  1. More checks and balances, states’ rights, sheriff and jury nullification, and other brakes on the growth of the system and its ability to engage in imperialism don’t change the System itself. Nor do populism, social cemocracy or any other kind of reformism. The system is still what it is, with the same tendency or need to conquer the world, and exploit the world, including the working class at home. The love of money, as the Scripture says, is the root of all this evil.

  2. That’s good stuff from the general, and a nice picture of one of the great heroes of the 20th century, Charles Lindbergh

  3. Some radical slave holders in there, pontificating about freedom. The consolidation came when the Imperial Constitution of 1787 was ratified. As Patrick Henry saw so clearly, American freedom died when the Lawyers of Philadelphia succeeded in foisting their Imperial government upon the States.

    I do wish the Confederate leaders had been better men. They lost for a reason. Their position was a rash of contradictions. They were also the biggest race mixers of their day. Wiser men would have sent the jigs back to Africa.

    Why didn’t they do the right thing? It was the 3/5 provision in that Masonic document. By voting their slaves, the big slave owners controlled not only state politics, but it gave them more House seats in the electoral college, and allowed them to elect many Presidents.

    Their failure is our curse. We only got on try, and it failed. And we still have men, who should know better, exalting that putrid document, which declared that we shall have no religion.

    How has that worked out?

  4. Lee monument in Richmond Va, is coming down Tuesday and Wed. I hope at the very least one of us will be there to blast a loud tune of ‘Dixie’ over some loudspeakers, as a protest.

    • Just record the speech quoted above. Leave recordings of it everywhere for people to pick up and hear. Lee nailed the problem of the civil war.

  5. Note how they are leaving the pedestals intact after removing the statues all up and down Monument Ave. in Richmond Va. . The plan is to replace Confederates with new statues of blacks. No ‘inclusion’ allowed, whites need not apply.

  6. The Mexican American war was the last one that truly benefitted the people or the states. The Civil war was a tragic loss, not only for the South but the North as well. The Spanish American war was imperial expansion which whetted the appetite for spreading “freedom and democracy” abroad. All the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries were fought for words, not territory. All were tragic losses.


  7. Richmond Robert E Lee statue coming down Wednesday

    RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond’s controversial Robert E. Lee monument will finally be removed on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

    The largest Confederate statue has been the center of a flurry of court battles since Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to take it down last June.

    Last week, however, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that the Commonwealth can remove the contentious statue.

    Northam’s announcement came in the wake of massive protests against police violence in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

    During the protests, statues and monuments celebrating the Confederacy or racist figures in the nation’s past were torn down as a matter of course.

    Preparations for removing the statue will begin Tuesday at 6 p.m., when crews will set up protective fencing around it.

    The 40-foot granite base will remain in place for now.

    The 1890 monument was once celebrated but is now widely seen as a symbol of white supremacy and Black oppression.
    — Fox 5 Washington, DC, “Richmond Robert E Lee statue coming down Wednesday”, 09/06/2021.

    What a real shame and absolute insult!

    Supporters of the South feel abandoned. No fiery leaders standing up to oppose this anti-South anti-White racial attack against White Southerners. If Southern Whites were to vandalize and then remove statues to Blacks or Northern heroes the Yankee Empire would step in and stop it immediately.

    I blame the Republicans most of all. The party of Lincoln is the worst protector of White Southern Americans. Never vote for or support a Republican ever again. The War for Southern Independence continues since the only solution for White Southerners is to leave and form a nation or nations that will protect them and their interests.

    May God Save the South!

    • If at first you don’t secede…not just the South but all of red state America needs to get off the USS Titantic before she drags them to the bottom with her!

  8. Library of Congress — editorial cartoon item:

    https://www.loc.gov/resource/cph.3g02623/

    About this Item

    Title
    The “Strong” government 1869-1877–The “weak” government 1877-1881 / J.A. Wales.
    Summary
    Two part cartoon showing: woman, “the Solid South”, carrying Ulysses S. Grant in a carpet bag marked “carpet bag and bayonet rule”; Rutherford B. Hayes plowing under the carpet bag & bayonets with a plow marked “Let’em alone policy”.
    Contributor Names
    Wales, James Albert, 1852-1886, artist
    Created / Published
    1880.
    Subject Headings
    – Grant, Ulysses S.–(Ulysses Simpson),–1822-1885–Portrayals
    – Hayes, Rutherford B.,–1822-1893–Portrayals
    – Politics & government–United States–1880
    – Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
    Headings
    Editorial cartoons–1880.
    Lithographs–Color–1880.
    Periodical illustrations–1880…

    Been in the “strong government” mode (at least against the White Southerners in the South) since the neoconservatives (former Marxists) hijacked the conservative movement. The South’s honor, history, heritage, etc gets violated by the radical Left (approved by these pro-Left neoconservatives) as if the former haters — Carpetbaggers, Scalawags, radical Blacks, etc are now manifested in BLM, Antifa, Anarchists, etc reviving (their form) of Reconstruction on the South (and Big Deep State, Big Tech, Big Media, Big Etc has their back). The Yankee Empire is “despotic at home” instead of a coexistent, a “weak” (“Let’em alone policy”) government.

    May God Save the South!

  9. I trust everybody has seen on You Tube selections from the HBO series John Adams whereby Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were discussing economics. Jefferson sounds like a modern day populist!

    • We didn’t do this just to give it all back to a London stock jobber. Almost names the Jews.

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