He’s at it again. The obviously mentally ill governor of the State of Maine, Paul LePage, opened his mouth and firmly inserted his foot once again.
In a radio interview Tuesday, August 22, 2017, LePage said, “What was the war? If you really truly read and study the Civil War, it was turned into a battle for the slaves, but initially — I mean, 7,600 Mainers fought for the Confederacy. And they fought because they were concerned about — they were farmers — and they were concerned about their land. Their property. It was a property rights issue as it began. The President of the United States, who was a very brilliant politician, really made it about slavery to a great degree.”
Wow. Just wow.
Anyone who has read what the secessionists said and wrote knows the root cause of the war was always slavery. They weren’t concerned about their land, they were concerned about maintaining slavery. And there is no way 7,600 Mainers fought for the confederacy. The highest number I’ve seen is 30 people who were students at Bowdoin College and Colby College went South to fight for the confederacy, and that is probably because they were southerners to begin with.
CNN interviewed two historians, David Blight of Yale University and Matthew Karp of Princeton University. “David Blight, Civil War historian and professor at Yale, told CNN in an interview that it was doubtful more than a handful of Mainers fought for the Confederacy. The state of Maine was one of the strongest supporters of the Union. Blight also took issue with LePage’s claim that the Civil War was initially a conflict over land. ‘That’s patented nonsense. It’s appalling degree of ignorance and misinformation by a governor of a New England state, or any state for that matter,’ he said. Blight reiterated that the war was fought over slavery and its expansion into new territories. ‘This war was rooted in the problem racial slavery and its expansion, and the ways in which that issue tore apart the American political system and then tore apart the Union,’ Blight said. ‘And to say that the war was only in the interest of farmers worried about their property rights is beyond ridiculous in the 21st century.’