The American Civil War

The story behind President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation to give the Union forces the high moral ground in a brutal and bloody war is revealed in a parody of West Wing.

As well, the Crocodile Hunter goes Slave Hunting in the old south, and the Discovery Channel looks at how marvellous new technologies like the telegraph, Iron Ships, and steam power, are being used to make war more efficient. Mass production leads to mass destruction.

Original Air Date: April 18, 2002

Welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green
some years ago the United States was
locked in a struggle with a corrupt some
would say evil nation whose political
system was based on the suppression of
individual freedoms both sides used up
vast resources in a deadly arms race to
get the most advanced weapons technology
in submarines telecommunications and
aerial reconnaissance this was not the
Cold War but the American Civil War and
the enemy nation was the CSA the
Confederate States of America now
Americans are obsessed with the wars
that they’ve won and the wars that
they’ve lost and in the Civil War they
kind of did both
so let’s look back at the war which
ended slavery and brought freedom the
freedom to speak the freedom to vote and
the freedom to watch television
president this victory at Antietam is a
godsend time we won one finally and mr.
president we have to take another look
at the slave issue what the slavery
issue is not on the table but this Wars
about slavery no this wall is about
secession didn’t you hear the
President’s speech national integrity
that is to say the integrity of the
nation one nation indivisible under
Canada and above Mexico excuse me but
this civil war is about preserving our
rights and exactly what rights are we
talking about civil war for civil rights
you dunderhead deserve be civil know
about the right to decide important
issues in huge committee I second the
I fourth it gentlemen what about the
right to inter I was gonna say the right
to interrupt each other no no the right
to disagree with each other nonsense
free speech you don’t pay a tax the
right to speak in our own – damn it clip
sentences powerful punchy the right
tarnish off each others ideas and build
on those ideas and build even further on
those ideas until we achieve a
we now return to slave hundred on
Confederate television for the Negro
slaves to be truly happy they have to be
kept in areas where there are enough
resources to support their population
but when an area becomes overcrowded
there may not be enough food to go
around and they may die that’s when it’s
up to Steve to go in and relocate some
of the extra numbers there’s a new slave
baby in this group and we’re gonna get
it out of here and Transplant it into a
new population about thirty miles from
here in this year and as you can see
she’s watching us warily as we approach
preparing to strike okay
whoo-hoo all that blah this country was
created by a bunch of people who were
afraid to stand up and demand their
independence and I for one do not want
to see this nation destroyed by a group
of rebels who have stood up and demanded
their independence it does give one
pause mr. president yes pause dramatic
pause hello and welcome to techno talk
I’m Jay Ingram and I’m Joe beacon we’ll
be looking at war what do you think of
war Jill I hate it Jay I wish there was
some way to end it
well Jill a number of scientists and
inventors feel the same way tell me Jill
did you ever find yourself they hide
often thinking why can’t Lincoln and
Jefferson Davis just talk to each other
and sort out their problems right away
but of course the problems of distance
make that impossible
well maybe not anymore joining us now is
mr. Otto Fang Horne a senior executive
with a telegraph company hello Jay or
should I say dit dit dit dit dit dit dit
dit dot is that Morse code do you know
Morse code no well in that case yes it
is Morse code can you tell our viewers
how this exciting new code will be you
well III see Morse code emerging as a
new international language of people
will will speak in Morse and shop in
Morse well perhaps even even make love
and Morse make love not war exactly well
in fact right right now a Morse code is
is being used to to win this this
terrible Civil War by allowing enemy
leaders to communicate no no by allowing
our generals to send orders to our
troops so they can wipe out these rebels
this code will allow us to mop the
Confederate entrails Robert what massive
project will make crossing the continent
safer and faster exterminating Indians
the Transcontinental railway Jerome what
this President Lincoln’s nickname Honest
Abe Michael what religious sect believe
the Native American Indians are the lost
tribes of Israel
Zionists Robert what phrase expresses
Americans belief this continent is
theirs to settle and tape exterminating
Indians the North went to war to stop
the South from leaving the happy United
States family how’s that for tough love
the main reason the South wanted to
leave was the slavery issue many
Northerners wanted to abolish slavery
but for the South slavery was like a
pair of smelly old sneakers if you get
rid of them you may have more friends
but you’ll be a lot less comfortable hi
Jill mr. Whitney could you explain how
these new machines will help put an end
to slavery
well Jill separating the cotton fibers
from the seeds used to be male breaking
work but now that’s changed well that’s
right Jill these new cotton engines can
separate the cotton fibers from the
cotton seeds automatically using
exciting new technology we call rotating
spikes it’ll do the same work and 150th
of the time now this machine looks
pretty complicated is it hard to use
both Sal the four could operate it and
in fact they do and that means big
savings that do you know how little you
pay it tell the poor I hate to say it
mr. president but the only way to end
this war may be to let the South go
their own way makes sense to me you know
mr. president I really didn’t like mint
juleps all that much anyway it may be
our best option mr. president but the
south secede the Confederacy leave I
mean who needs Georgia Florida Alabama
let the south have South Carolina and
North Carolina and Virginia my wife no
the state it sounds almost too good to
be true
income for our little children and
slaves don’t have to work in the cotton
oh yes it’ll free them from the
factories and allow them to do their
slave labor in the cotton field that is
once we have peace again if and we
Whitney’s are doing our best to help
bring that piece of boat with our latest
mass-produce product what is it
gentlemen before you make that decision
you should remember the departure of the
south will have one other consequence
for this country of ours the
continuation of slavery the route of the
Transcontinental Railroad a nation
diminished dream defeated just no good
below the southern star as a military
man mr. president I have to say that the
composition is all wrong I guess we keep
I’m putting General Grant in charge good
idea in charge of the flag or the army
when we come back 50 ways to leave the
it’s hard to believe that the land of
personal freedom and liberty was once
torn apart by the issue of slavery and
it’s hard to imagine the mindset of
people who lived in the Confederacy if
the United States was torn by conflict
well so were many southerners many of
them felt deep down that slavery was
wrong but they were afraid that ending
it would be dangerous they lived in a
kind of fantasy world turning a blind
eye to slavery and focusing on romance
and the fine points of etiquette and the
lack of realism didn’t stop there looky
what we’ve got here this is a white
abolitionist looks like a young female
probably a Quaker slavery goes against
the laws of man and God only an evil man
can support it for what applies to the
white man the Constitution also protects
all right to protect our property
don’t be T Tauri do we were in the
middle of it to fight she used inductive
reasoning and an ad hominem argument and
then she beat me boy let my guard down
any more line of work that can be deadly
especially since that was your index
finger – right now we’re gonna tag the
abolitionist this red hot SS brand
stands for slice Tila it’ll help us
track her movements so we can find out
more about these beautiful but
endangered liberal creatures she’s been
sedated with a few Wallops so this
really doesn’t hurt all right hold it
there Bruce that was me hold it down
brands not pretty hot and crikey who do
that isn’t that a beauty there she goes
off into the wall again they’re rioting
in New York Negroes have been lynched
they’re sending in the troops to help
quell it like it or not mr. president
slavery may be abhorred by most but not
all aboard or not in the south
slavery is an economic reality slavery
is an abomination
our troops are weary victory seems
distant we must claim the moral high
ground it’ll backfire on us mr.
president Missouri may switch and join
sides with the rebels Proclamation will
only free the slaves in the south
did you even read this we aren’t free
and slaves in areas that support us
we’re only freeing the slaves of our
enemies they aren’t our slaves to free
they are if we win the war they should
be no one slaves
coming up we have the fifth Vermont Fife
and drum corps with more patriotic
ballads but first in our audience
tonight the man who made drinking wine
safe again thanks to his brilliant
scientific mind decent honest American
citizens can drink wine without getting
ill from journey that’s right we can out
drink till we puke mr. Louis Pasteur
take a bow Louie seems to me that these
freed slaves in the south would create
another headache for the Confederate
forces reduce their manpower guerilla
Gorillaz you take that back those slaves
are men like you and I guerrillas gu er
well that’s fine then my mistake look at
the discord this issue is causing mr.
president I say we shouldn’t free any
slaves mark my words
it’ll be women next all men are created
equal men not women those were the words
handed down to us by the founders of
this nation Washington Jefferson
Franklin they were proud free and the
richest slave owners in the country the
new field of ironclad design is now
being used on ships talking with us now
we have the captains of the two new
ironclad ships these two ships are
currently locked in battle but both
captains have agreed to take a break to
talk with us hello Jay can you tell us
how is the fight going the enemy cannons
are having no effect on our ship this
ship is for all practical purposes
perfect although I hear your cannons
aren’t doing much damage to the enemy
either so maybe the ship isn’t as
perfect as you think I see no point in
continuing this conversation
Daisy yes Thank You captain let’s go now
– Commodore Franklin Buchanan the
captain of the Virginia could you
explain to our viewers how this
technology works I can’t go into details
let’s just say we build these ships in a
stronger way Senate bail them out of
wood we use a secret new material iron
with gold your secret well it was just
again to use a word invincible tang but
let’s just say they’ve been loving
cannonballs against the side of our
metal home for three hours now
I didn’t say anything is weakest Lincoln
Robert an 11-year old girl
suggested that Lincoln should walk what
Lords a beard Jerome the novel Uncle
Tom’s Cabin treated popular opposition
to what practice do-it-yourself builder
slavery Michael which act allows poor
people from the East to obtain land in
the West killing Indians a Homestead Act
of 1862 Todd the Dred Scott decision
denied what I denied the right of a
slave to sue for freedom and the right
of territory to exclude slavery within
its boundaries this denial of any rights
for the slave contributed to the
arrogance of all by inflaming
anti-slavery factors in defeating sexual
antagonism that is correct
well a few minutes with Andy Rooney when
photography first appeared I was a big
fan it was fascinating to see all the
tiny details in these pictures and no
annoying brushstrokes but these days
with all these war photos the novelty
has worn off we see photos of soldiers
after they’ve enlisted then we see them
standing in their camps in long rows
then we see them lying ripped to pieces
on the battlefields I’m starting to
think we should go back to paintings
they’re more colorful they show more
action and they’re just more fun in a
painting when you see a soldier dying
he’s usually surrounded by his friends
and looking at what the heavens it’s a
lot more uplifting than seeing a lot of
corpses face down in some muddy field I
see that you voted for yourself we can
think and ask why I was just trying to
get rid of the dead wood on this team so
I can get to the end win that money you
have got to the end Jerome you are the
weakest link
when we come back some new ways to break
down that awkward slavemaster barrier
the issues that fueled and then sparked
the American Civil War and all of the
battles between the blues and the grays
were not exactly black-and-white not
even when it came to the issue of blacks
and whites I was surprised to learn that
not all of the states and the Union had
banned slavery and in the South not all
slave owners were cruel to the slaves
they owned some love their slaves really
loved their slaves of course that led to
some problems of its own have you been
accused of immoral relations with slave
women a father and the child of asleep
are you facing the jealousy of a wife or
loved one because of your inappropriate
affection for your slave lovers but your
unnatural offspring with them well we
can help whether it’s arranging for the
auction of an illegitimate child to a
new home far away or ensuring that your
slave girlfriends received the same
harsh discipline as the rest of your
slave property and do blond hair and we
can solve your slave related personal
problems because all slaves are created
the slave is happiest when kept in
captivity but sometimes they escape a
time they do it’s up to Steve to get
them back well so what are we going in
here whitey well I say we’re moving
these boxes around to ship them up north
and we heard a sound coming from inside
this one here so we’re thinking maybe
there’s a slave crawled in there crikey
we see he’s quite a bit the Negro mile
likes captivity and you crawl into any
small spice so we can feel like he’s
even more in captivity it’s a good thing
we caught this one when we did otherwise
he could end up running around the
northern states fighting people it looks
like we’ve got a full grown Negro mile
in there what unlike me facin specimen
now I’m gonna stick my hand in there and
I just hope he doesn’t bite it making it
bleed spectacularly for the camera he’s
called me naughty little Negro what
about the issue of cotton and the slaves
who producing will Britton join the war
to protect its cotton supply Peter we’re
not keen on this slave issue cotton is
important of course but if it has to be
produced by poor exploited workers were
mistreated and underpaid just because
their skin happens to be darker than
ours we’ll have to buy it elsewhere and
where you get it our colony of India the
point is we absolutely must have cotton
to keep our cotton mills humming
otherwise we will throw thousands of
British children out of work well let me
turn to you Monsieur
Oh tray what is the French perspective
on America’s Civil War well as far as
the French are concerned we think the
South has a right to a distinct society
does France water fight to protect the
south we yes you yes we the French we
the French yes for oui
we want to help the south you the French
yes yes that time it was we the French
but the other time it was we yes we want
to fight we we that thousand times we
does French have the army to do it
no no that Napoleon business really kind
of shot our boat there I have made my
decision Andy I’m gonna make that
anti-slavery speech Doug get the train
ready we leave as soon as the road is
clear you won’t regret this sir I’ll
make sure that we have that railway
secured by our forces what if people
need to get in touch with you they can
reach me at my Gettysburg Address right
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and later
his Emancipation Proclamation changed
the focus of the Civil War instead of
the north fighting to keep the south
they were now fighting to put an end to
slavery nearly a century earlier the
American War of Independence had been
fought over the issue of personal
but it took the American Civil War to
show just how far those ideas of
personal liberty went many people in the
south had believed their comfortable
lifestyle and rural economy would be
destroyed by emancipation instead their
lifestyle and economy were destroyed by
war a war which killed more Americans
than any other war in history as General
Sherman once said
war is hell and as I have more than once
said history bites I’m here in
Philadelphia New START garments recently
our First Lady Mary Todd swiped into
town and dropped a bundle of taxpayers
money on some really incredible clothes
I spoke to designers and spoiled the
woman it’s a national treasure she came
in here yelled at my spat just like she
was royalty she just had this whole
energy about her of that trickery jumpy
she smacked one girl and spent a bundle
she must have dropped enough to outfit a
Wow major Shopaholic