Unveiling the Truth: The Civil War and the Real Meaning Behind "States Rights

Lucas Rainfall

Updated Monday, February 12, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

In the vast realm of internet memes, there are some that catch our attention and make us ponder the deeper implications behind their captions. One such meme is a black-and-white photograph featuring three African American soldiers from an earlier era, possibly during the time of the Civil War in the United States. This thought-provoking image has a caption that reads, "THAT FACE YOU MAKE when someone says the civil war was about states rights." But what lies beneath this seemingly innocuous statement? Let's dive into history and uncover the true meaning behind the Civil War and the concept of "states rights".

The photograph captures a moment frozen in time, portraying three young African American soldiers with distinctive military attire. The central figure, whose gaze meets the camera with a skeptical and questioning expression, holds our attention. His raised eyebrows and tight lips convey a sense of disbelief or disagreement. Dressed in a high-necked coat adorned with buttons and shoulder boards, and sporting a forage cap with an insignia, his appearance unmistakably aligns with the military fashion of the Civil War era.

To his left stands another soldier, slightly out of focus, partially obscured as he turns towards the central figure. He clutches what appears to be a rifle, its barrel pointing downward. On the right side of the image, a third soldier, partially visible, directs his gaze outside the frame. While his facial expression is harder to discern, his attentiveness suggests that he, too, is engaged in the discussion surrounding the true cause of the Civil War.

The caption beneath the image, presented in bold white letters against a black background, triggers curiosity. It humorously challenges the notion that the Civil War was solely about "states rights." The phrase "that face you make" implies a shared experience, as if the image captures a universal reaction to a misconception. But what is the misconception being addressed here?

Digging deeper, we find that the concept of "states rights" was indeed a significant aspect of the Civil War. However, it is essential to unravel the true meaning behind this term. While some may argue that the war was fought primarily to preserve states' rights, this oversimplification masks the underlying issue that fueled the conflict: slavery.

Through historical analysis, it becomes evident that the Civil War was, at its core, a battle over the institution of slavery. The southern states, driven by their economic reliance on the slave labor system, sought to preserve their right to own other humans. This fundamental disagreement between the North and the South ultimately led to a war that would shape the course of American history.

The photograph, with its captivating subjects, challenges us to question the narratives surrounding the Civil War. It serves as a reminder that history is complex and multifaceted, requiring us to critically examine the events that have shaped our nation. Understanding the true motivations behind historical conflicts is crucial, as it enables us to learn from the mistakes of the past and work towards a more inclusive and just society.

So, the next time you come across the meme featuring these three African American soldiers, take a moment to reflect on the deeper meaning it conveys. Let it serve as a catalyst for conversations about our shared history and the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


"...states rights to do what?" ~Padme, concerned


My favorite argument is "But not all white southerners owned slaves!" That didn't stop them from committing treason now, did it?


...'ates Rights' .. to own other humans, to cause generational grief and misery, to r*** with impunity, and to sell the products of that r*** (for a profit).


He's thinking "you won't give flying f*** about 'state's rights' when it comes to abortion or kicking Trump of the ballot for making himself invalid."


but muh heritage


They made it pretty clear: "The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery."


Or calling it the "War of Northern Aggression" in spite of the fact the South attacking Ft. Sumpter being what initiated the Civil War, or spouting any of The Lost Cause nonsense.


Now it's states rights to control a woman's body. States rights to let kids get killed in school. States rights as to who or who doesn't go to jail for weed. Kind of a f***ed up country.


It was abotu states rights. States rights to keep slaves. Google "Why does Oklahoma have a panhandle" Spoiler alert: Texas likes slavery.


He’s looking at you Nikki Haley!

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