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indguard
02-17-2006, 10:51 PM
I don't know how many of you get the Federalist Patriot report via email, but it is a great source of conservative news and opinion that all of you should get.

You can find their site at:

http://patriotpost.us/

Anyway, even though I support them, they sent out an email today that bashed Abe Lincoln fiercely. I was so moved to annoyance by their biased and ill thought out email that I had to write them and say how disappointed I was.

You can go to their site and see the anti-Lincoln screed that they put out to know exactly what I am replying to if you desire to do so.



My Letter:


To: The Federalist Patriot,

I have to say that I am a supporter of the Federalist. I have donated money in the past and I enjoy the updates I get via email. So, I must say that it came as a bit of a shock to me when I read your anti-Lincoln screed this week.

Not only was nearly everything you presented about Lincoln skewed badly, but some of it was just plain unfairly attached to the martyred president. Worse yet, you used a quote from Thomas DiLorenzo on whom you laughingly bestowed high credentials of a "Lincoln scholar" to support your positions. DiLorenzo is one of the worst polemicists I think I have ever seen. His MO is one you decry in leftists all the time; arrive at a conclusion, then warp the facts to support it. He is no scholar, and from some of the roundtable discussions I have seen between him and real Lincoln researchers, he ain't much of a gentleman either. You do both yourselves and your readers a disservice to use him as a source.

If you are still bothering to read this, you may want examples of my disagreements with your Lincoln bashing. Well, glad you asked...

Now, I would absolutely agree with you that Lincoln had eliminated the old order of the formation of the country. I agree with you that he instituted a nation of big government. I also lament this to a degree, as well.

However, you act in your piece as if things were going along swimmingly with the Founder's plans until that Lincoln, avaricious of power, came along and destroyed democracy! You are absurd to say so, too. The southern block had quashed democracy in the 1830s with the gag orders on the issue of slavery in Congress long before Lincoln ever decided to run for president. If you want to decry the destruction of the old order, you can thank the slave holding south for starting the ball rolling.

In light of this, I was flabbergasted to see you signing onto the mythical "reunification model" dream that has been touted by people who ignore everything that was happening in this country prior to the war's beginning. Not only that, but to assume that the south would have just meekly returned to the Union after a few decades alone in the wilderness is idiotic to say the least. Nations, once they have successfully assumed that mantle, do not just cast it aside voluntarily and the South would probably have been no different.

Now, I think I can agree that secession was a concept assumed as possible by most politicians of the day and those days previous to the War Between the States. However, I feel that shows a weakness of our system not a strength. And that weakness was exploited dozens of times from before the Constitution was signed to the day the first gun fired at Fort Sumter. Dissolution was a constant threat used by weaker sections to force conciliation. This is a tyranny of the minority and NOT very democratic, I'd say.

The war may have worked for posterity, but I would have stood up at the time in favor of allowing the south to depart in peace, I must admit. So, to this point I'd say Lincoln did overstep his bounds.

But your lauding the ability of the south to separate makes the lie to the very stance you take today on American involvement in the Mideast. Two of the biggest reasons we use to involve ourselves in other countries -- and reasons that are ultimately legitimate in light of American exceptionalism -- are the same ones we have used since the war with Spain; human rights and spreading democracy. If your desires to see the south separate and become a sovereign nation would have come to fruition you would thwart both concepts. The south was neither democratic, nor did it observe the human rights of its chattel slaves. Your inconsistency on this matter is not just incidental, but abhorrent.

Further you assume the consolidation of this southern confederacy was transcendent in the south. But, if you look at the numbers of southern men who fought for the Union from every single southern state, you would see that the Confederacy never had majority support even among its own people. Conversely, few Northern states had anything more than tiny handfuls of men go south to fight for the Confederacy, many states statistically had none. The south forced thousands upon thousands of people in every member state into slavish support of the CSA. So much for your vaunted democratic ideals, eh?

Next you lambasted Lincoln with the results of reconstruction, yet Lincoln was dead during that era and never had the chance to offer his guidance to much of what went on then. And it is widely recognized that radical, "bloody shirt waving" Republicans were the ones that drove reconstruction to the oppressive ends it reached. Lincoln cannot be blamed for reconstruction and you are illegitimate to discuss that era in a Lincoln piece tagging him for its failures and excesses, for sure.

And it is obvious you have read nothing but DiLorenzo's prosaic canard on Lincoln's supposed hypocrisy on the Negro question. Both he and you make it clear that you haven't a clue of the racial attitudes and relationships that most whites had with and for blacks of the time much less any grounding in Lincoln's.

Lincoln mentioned slavery over a thousand times in his personal papers. This idiotic claim that he somehow didn't care about blacks just reveals your lack of knowledge all the way around. Yes he used the emancipation as a war aim. Yes he was cagy at times about slavery and did his best not to be too forthright in his condemnation. But his whole career as a candidate for the presidency from the Cooper Union speech to the day he died was backed by his desire to materially alter and hopefully eliminate slavery in the USA.

The fact that he did not feel blacks were the mental equal to whites is so immaterial to that issue that it isn't even funny. Few whites anywhere in the entire world at that time felt a black could ever be an equal citizen to a white person. Even science at the time had arrived at a consensus that blacks were a lesser human being. And those who did think blacks could be equal thought so on the basis on radical, quasi-religious fervor, not societal or scientific principle. Why would you expect Lincoln to be so much above his society and even the scientists of his day on this issue???

Furthermore your claims that the war was not about slaves at the beginning is a meaningless point. The war, every war, was a political animal as well as a security issue. The war could not have been carried on if it was "all about the Niggers" as many of the day put it (in fact two entire regiments of Illinois troops quit the war when the Emancipation was issued). Like I said, Lincoln was enough of a politician to know that politics is more often about the possible than the principle.

Next you act as if the South would have given slavery up and that it didn't need to take the war to do so. In that contention, history would prove you wrong. As each decade passed after the Constitution was signed slave advocates grew stronger in he south. What on earth would make you imagine that could be reversed?

This feeling against blacks was one that was felt by whites on both sides of the Mason/Dixon line. And that is why Lincoln didn't free any slaves in the North with the Proclamation. Again, we see that politics is about the possible and it was not politically possible to free slaves in the Northern held areas. But, Lincoln was the first president that ever succeeded in making this first step toward eliminating slavery. The issue is far more complicated than your superficial assumption that any US president could just have eliminated slavery with the "stroke of a pen" makes it seem.

(Also, the story of Robert E. Lee being offered command of all Union forces is problematic and not one fully proven.)

As to your discussion of the civil rights abuses that Lincoln engaged in, well that is all quite true. And I also find this a dent in his sterling record. But, then again, every president and administration we have ever had has done similar things to one degree or another in time of war. After all, you have written in favor of the Patriot Act, it MUST be pointed out! (And I support that support, by the way)

We have always limited civil rights in some way when we have been faced with war, and that is as it must be. It is a truism that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. But, every time a war is over, we've gone back to a fuller enjoyment of our common freedoms and that is because our system is designed with the flexibility to respond to times of war.

Also, your harkening back to the abuses of Mad King George is also foolhardy. After all, our president was given powers stronger in many ways than that of the King's by the very men who fought a war to free themselves of that same King. Nearly every president until Lincoln used those powers liberally.

In the end, your reputation has taken a sever blow with me I am quite sad to say. This slanted, often illogical, and badly ahistorical polemic against Lincoln has made you look little better than a hood wearing, cross burning southern apologist from the late 1800s. It has also made you look just like the leftists who warp and bend facts to fit their needs of the day. You needed to bash Lincoln, so you warped things to do so.

I suggest you stay with current affairs. Your history seems a bit tarnished.

This is not my kiss goodbye, I feel it necessary to say. It is my democratic right of disagreement with you. I still support your work and look forward to seeing your next email missive. I just hope that I can trust it as fully as I have in the past.

Thank you
Warner Todd Huston

DonSmithnotTMD
02-20-2006, 05:18 PM
A lot of conservatives don't like lincoln. North and South (or maybe Smithsonian) had a good article related on why so many people from different political viewpoints don't like him.

FWL
02-21-2006, 09:42 AM
A lot of conservatives don't like lincoln. North and South (or maybe Smithsonian) had a good article related on why so many people from different political viewpoints don't like him.

I find this very interesting. Only since I've started reenacting and read many books on the civil war have I become aware of the modern revisionist history types taking shots at Lincoln. It first started with the left wing saying he was a racist and supported slavery, then the new-old south types saying he was a facist (suspension of due process)-I at least understand this in the historical context, then dribble that he was gay-what was that all about? And now the conservatives taking shots at him. I would like to get that article if you have a reference on it.

Is this stuff on Lincoln like the WWF of literary types? i.e. if I can take Lincoln down, I'm the baddest a&& intellectual on the planet?

I don't remember who said this but it was something like: we Americans love to put our heros on a pedestal then proceed to slow tear them down. We certainly have done that to Grant, Lincoln, Longstreet. What about Lee? Is he above them all?

Capt Terry
02-21-2006, 11:01 AM
Guys,

Like most Americans, I grew up admiring Lincoln. However, after doing alot of research, I have to admit I agree with the Patroit Post on this one.

Lincoln denied the states the rights that they (the states) had always understood as being without question.

Forcing any state to be part of a nation through the force of arms has absolutely no liberty in it.

Think about it, those states whose legislatures and populace had voted to peacefully leave the Union suffered an huge loss of life and property. They exercised the fundemental practice of liberty, they voted.

I always thought the Union was the protector of those "unalienable rights"
not the granter. I think the creator gave us those rights.

Sorry, Lincoln, though crafty and shrewd, trampled those states into submission. He did not live to see the long range effect on our country.
The wide spread property in the south comes to mind.

A peaceful reunification would have happened in time and would have been alot less costly in lives and property.

Do I advocate secession now? No, I do not, but those people had a right to follow their own dreams of liberty without being killed for it.

Doug Cooper
02-21-2006, 06:20 PM
WTH that is a superb response - would not change a word. Very, very well said.

Doug Cooper

7thMDYankee
02-21-2006, 07:57 PM
Capt. Terry,

I read this portion of your post with keen interest:

"Lincoln denied the states the rights that they (the states) had always understood as being without question."

In addition to being a re-enactor, I am also an AP US History teacher. I belong to a listserve where this topic was discussed at length. While the thrust of the discussion revolved around the question of whether or not Shelby Foote was a writer versus an historian, the argument you cited was key to the point of contention.

Those who argued that Mr. Foote was merely a writer argued from a particular rationale. That is, Mr. Foote made statements that were not supported by historical documentation. One such statement was his utterance that (and I'll paraphrase here), "the South would never have joined the Union if they didn't feel they could have left." No one in Mr. Foote's defense could offer any documentation to support the thesis.

In all fairness, I researched the topic myself and could find no such documentation. Thus, I ask that you please supply the documented foundation of that statement so I can share it with the listserve.

Thank you.

bill watson
02-21-2006, 08:16 PM
The fact that dissolving the union is not explicit anywhere might be an indication that the understanding of this was deliberately left vague in order to get the darn thing up and running. More like an unchallenged assumption on the part of those ratifying the Constitution rather than an articulated plan for how it could legally be dismantled.

Didn't some New England states threaten secession over the war with Mexico? And over some other issues?

It seems unlikely anyone can prove a right to secession; by the same token, it can be successfully argued that a great many folks obviously thought there was such a right, since New Englanders threatened it and Southerners did it. And, remember, the prevailing sentiment in the north for months was that the South ought to be cut loose and let go, editorials to that effect in northern papers and everything. Not too many people seemed to give a darn until the South fired on Fort Sumter, then Northerners got angry, patriotism kicked in, and they started up with a list of things that began with preservation of the Union and was added to as hostilities progressed for four years. Remember, some of those states had seceded for weeks and months without military repercussions. So, yeah, for a while folks everywhere were acting as if the right to secession did exist.

flattop32355
02-21-2006, 10:09 PM
Didn't some New England states threaten secession over the war with Mexico? And over some other issues?

They threatened to secede over the War of 1812, when told their state troops were required to leave their respective states' territory and enter Canada. Some NY troops actually stood on their side of the river watching other US troops get clobbered on the Canadian side, refusing to cross over and help.

indguard
02-21-2006, 10:26 PM
Mr. Shelton,

I think you might need to read some more! (Ha, ha)

- Lincoln denied the states the rights that they (the states) had always understood as being without question.

Thinking something is true and it actually BEING true are two different things. Even James Madison denied the right of secession during the 1830s when Calhoun tried to lead the South out of the Union.

-Forcing any state to be part of a nation through the force of arms has absolutely no liberty in it.

On the other hand, a nation so weak that it can break apart at any given time for any little reason is not a nation at all.

-Think about it, those states whose legislatures and populace had voted to peacefully leave the Union suffered an huge loss of life and property. They exercised the fundemental practice of liberty, they voted.

See, your problem is that this assumption ignores the hatred ginned up by the slave forces who wanted to destroy the Union. It also ignores the fact that EVERY southern state had thousands upon thousands of people who left the south to fight FOR the North. but the North had almost nobody go south in comparison. The south was NEVER consolidated on the idea of the Confederacy. And the votes to leave the union were a mere plurality, as opposed to a wide margin in agreement.

-The wide spread property in the south comes to mind.

I think you meant poverty, right? In any case, the south was poor in comparison to the north since the day the Constitution was signed. Lincoln did NOT cause the poverty in the south necessarily.

- A peaceful reunification would have happened in time and would have been alot less costly in lives and property.

This is just plain ridiculous. Name one country that willingly gave up its sovereignty, its identity to join another country and become one? No, the south NEVEr would have just thrown in the towel and decided to be a "United States" again. You seem to assume that the slavery controversy would have just gone away!!!

-Do I advocate secession now? No, I do not, but those people had a right to follow their own dreams of liberty without being killed for it.

This is the penultimate sophistry of today's consideration. If it ISN'T good now, WHY do you assume it should have been good THEN!?

Sorry, but I don't agree with you at all.

Yours, Warner Todd Huston

ilfed104
02-22-2006, 12:03 AM
Hey Todd,
Excellent first post on this subject, and very good follow-up to Mr. Shelton's rather weak arguments. He reminds me of the guy who shows up at the gunfight with a pocket knife.

Rick Keating

coffeecooler80
02-22-2006, 09:57 AM
Mr. Huston you wrote....

"This is just plain ridiculous. Name one country that willingly gave up its sovereignty, its identity to join another country and become one?"

Um.... The Lone Star Republic


Neil Carmichael

Capt Terry
02-22-2006, 02:39 PM
Ha Ha huh? It simply amazes me how some people cannot participate in a civil debate without interjecting this kind of useless comment.

It is a very busy day at work, but I will respond with information to back up my views. Rest assured.

Capt Terry
02-22-2006, 03:34 PM
What is weak about liberty?

indguard
02-22-2006, 04:49 PM
coffeecooler80,

Dude, the "Lone Star Republic" ALWAYS had in mind becomming a part of the USA. From before it bacame a "Republic" there were ongoing talks with the USA about being annexed! Not only that but it was just a few years old when it joined the US, so it never aquired that long history of being a separate nation.

NOR did it FIGHT the USA to GAIN its independence!

So, you expect me to believe that the South would

-Fight a war with the USA for its separation
-Have slavery sanctified by law, an idea anathema to the Northern states
-Start it's own nation by the rights of GOD

And then just volunatrily throw that all away a few decades later to REJOIN the USA???

And at the SAME time you expect that the USA would even WANT them back WITH slavery intact, something it fought a WAR to get RID of???

Man, you ARE in some kind of twilight zone.

WTH

SgtTodd
02-22-2006, 05:19 PM
The idea that the South, if allowed to seceed would eventually have reunited with the North in time I don't think is too far fetched.

During the war bickering between the Confederate states and refusal of one state to support troops of another were pretty common. I'd think that no sooner had the precident of secession been made, then states would have begun seceeding from the Confederacy.

Remember, Lincoln's call for troops tripped some states like Virginia to seceed when they might not otherwise have done so. The CSA allowed to leave would not have been the same CSA that went to war. Many southern cities, such as Vicksburg, voted against secession. Without a war, portions of states may have seceeded and joined neighboring states.
There probably wouldn't have been a viable CSA to speak of 10 years after secession.

Imagine now, Texas, having seceeded from the CSA, now alone with a French controlled Mexico salivating at the thought of regaining that lost territory. That would be a feather in ol Max's hat.

In time, some states, stuggling with economic problems, bullied by neighbors, etc, would likely opt to rejoin the Union, probably with some Yankee prodding.

coffeecooler80
02-22-2006, 05:33 PM
AH, you asked and I quoted you....

you wrote "This is just plain ridiculous. Name one country that willingly gave up its sovereignty, its identity to join another country and become one?"

I named one.

Ah, not sure of where I mentioned anything else in my reply.


Neil Carmichael

-----------------------------------------

Capt Terry
02-22-2006, 09:33 PM
Lincoln denied the states the rights that they (the states) had always understood as being without question.


Thinking something is true and it actually BEING true are two different things. Even James Madison denied the right of secession during the 1830s when Calhoun tried to lead the South out of the Union.

I am not just thinking it's true, I know that secession was widely accepted as being constitutional.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that a state does not have the right to leave the Union. Some folks say it was "understood." I say that since the constitution is the pillar for our laws, try going in any court and say something is "understood." That won't fly. There's numerous cases where people have been arrested and the police didn't know what to charge them with. If things are "understood" they could be charged with breaking an "understood" law.

Jefferson was at best back and forth on the issue. It seemed the party, Federalists or Repulican, that was out of power was pro states rights and the party in power was strong for central government.

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions asserted the following propositions: The Federal government bad been formed by a "compact" or contract among the states. It was a limited government, possessing only specific delegated powers. Whenever it attempted to exercise any additional, undelegated powers, its acts were "unauthoritative, void, and of no force." The parties to the contract, the states, must decide for themselves when and whether the central government exceeded its powers. The state legislatures must serve as "sentinels" to watch out for unconstitutional acts. And "nullification" by the states was the "rightful remedy" whenever the general government went too far. The resolutions urged all the states to join in declaring the Alien and Sedition Acts null and void and in demanding their repeal at the next session of Congress, but none of the other states went along with Virginia and Kentucky.

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions planted the foundation that the States Rights Doctrine was founded on.

Federalist Daniel Webster, for one, paraphrased the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: "The Government of the United States is a delegated, limited Government."

The Sedition Act--providing for the fining and imprisoning of those who uttered anything "false, scandalous, and malicious" against the government, caused great concern among the Repulicans. The very act otself trounced the entire concept of freedom of speech.

Forcing any state to be part of a nation through the force of arms has absolutely no liberty in it.

strongest assertion of state rights in defiance of Federal authority came not from any Southern state hut from Wisconsin, which invoked the doctrine to oppose slavery rather than to support it. When a Federal court convicted Sherman Booth of violating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Wisconsin Supreme Court repeatedly (1854--1855) issued Writs of habeas corpus to release him on the ground that the act was unconstitutional. Booth and fellow antislavery radicals made state rights a test of orthodoxy in the newly formed Republican party; they demanded that the party's candidates endorse the principles of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799. In the case of Ableman v. Booth (1859) Taney and the Supreme Court again upheld the Southern as opposed to the Northern state rights position. They overruled the supreme court of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin governor then reasserted the sovereignty of his state. As commander in chief of the state militia, he challenged the president as commander in chief of the U.S. Army and Navy. "It is reported," a Wisconsin official notified the captain of one of the militia companies," ... that you have stated that, in the possible contingency of a conflict between the U.S. authorities and those of this State, you . . . would obey a call for your company to turn out, made by the U.S. authorities, but would not obey a call by your superior officials under the State laws." When the captain replied that he would consider it treason to disobey a presidential order, the governor dismissed him and disbanded his company That was in 1860, only months before South Carolina began the secession of the Southern states.

During the presidency of Jefferson's friend and successor James Madison, the New England state rights men gained their largest following in opposition to the War of 1812. In Congress, Webster attacked and helped defeat a conscription bill. "The operation of measures thus unconstitutional and illegal ought to be prevented by a resort to other measures which are both constitutional and legal," he declared, hinting at nullification by New Hampshire. "It will be the solemn duty of the state governments to protect their own authority over their own militia and to interpose between their citizens and arbitrary power" In fact, some of the New England states, by refusing to support the war, virtually nullified the war effort of the Federal government. New England state-rightism and sectionalism reached a climax in the Hartford Convention (1814--1815), which demanded changes in the Constitution and threatened secession if they were not made.



On the other hand, a nation so weak that it can break apart at any given time for any little reason is not a nation at all.

The point is liberty, not the nation. No government that ever existed, even our own, supercedes liberty. None. And if our own pretends than the very foundation it rests on is a lie.


See, your problem is that this assumption ignores the hatred ginned up by the slave forces who wanted to destroy the Union. It also ignores the fact that EVERY southern state had thousands upon thousands of people who left the south to fight FOR the North. but the North had almost nobody go south in comparison. The south was NEVER consolidated on the idea of the Confederacy. And the votes to leave the union were a mere plurality, as opposed to a wide margin in agreement.

Where do YOU get these figures from, give me facts. The majority of the south was indeed set on success.

The wide spread property in the south comes to mind.


I think you meant poverty, right? In any case, the south was poor in comparison to the north since the day the Constitution was signed. Lincoln did NOT cause the poverty in the south necessarily.

Yes I meant poverty. One of the last reconstruction laws was repealed in the 1950s. Before that law qas repealed, it cost more for goods made in Memphis and shipped to Chicago, than it did for goods made in Chicago and shipped to Memphis. Over the same rail system!

A peaceful reunification would have happened in time and would have been alot less costly in lives and property.


This is just plain ridiculous. Name one country that willingly gave up its sovereignty, its identity to join another country and become one? No, the south NEVEr would have just thrown in the towel and decided to be a "United States" again. You seem to assume that the slavery controversy would have just gone away!!!

ah....Texas as someone said. (Thanks you by the way) It was a country and it did join the Union! Slavery was on the decline in 1860. That is well documented. As technology advanced the need for slavery would have lessened. Men like Lee, who opposed slavery and favored gradual emancipation would have had the greatest influence on the post war Confederacy.

Do I advocate secession now? No, I do not, but those people had a right to follow their own dreams of liberty without being killed for it.


This is the penultimate sophistry of today's consideration. If it ISN'T good now, WHY do you assume it should have been good THEN!?

Because in those people minds there was a reason for secession. There's not one in my mind today. That's very simple.

7thMDYankee
02-22-2006, 11:27 PM
Sir,

Do you have some documentation to back up your assertions?

You wrote:

"Dude, the "Lone Star Republic" ALWAYS had in mind becomming a part of the USA. From before it bacame a "Republic" there were ongoing talks with the USA about being annexed!"

I reply:

The Lone Star Republic did have intentions to remain independent - they still do. Mexico never recognized the LSR as a sovereign nation, always as a province in revolt. Mexico was just a bit dissatisfied with American annexation, they felt slighted. Mexico made at least two forays into Texas, which was becoming costly for the "mouse who roared." (reference to a great David Niven film)

Truth is, Texas did surrender their independence/sovereignty, thus, Neil was correct in answering your question.

31stWisconsin
02-23-2006, 01:32 AM
Well, what is liberty? Its different things to different people.It's all nice to say everyone must have all their liberties, but we have to realize somethings: some people believe that they have the liberty to steal another's property, to kill, etc.

Therefore, government was established to limit liberties to a set of standards. All government limits liberty; it ensures us life and property. Civilization resulted from some rescrictions on liberty; the dark ages in Europe are what total liberty was like.

These set of what liberties we have and what we don't have is set by the government. Fourtuanately in the United States, the people run the government, which means the people establish the accepted liberties.

In 1860 the people established who they beleived should be the head of the nation. A part of democracy is that sometimes we don't get what we want.

This democracy we set up is what protects our liberties; thus one could connect that liberty and the constitution go hand in hand. When the Southern States succeeded, they abandoned the constitution and thus the protection of liberty they abandoned as well.

One might argue that a small group of people should be able to establish their own standards of liberty. Then should child raptists be allowed to do what they do because within their small group they consider it allowable? Should a cult group infract on other's property just because they fell it's their liberty? Of course not. That's what government is for, and that's what Lincoln defended. He was defending the United States Constitution and the liberties it gave out.

indguard
02-23-2006, 04:25 AM
Capt. Terry,

Hmmm. I wasn't really going to bother answering this, but re-reading your questions it seems you are really serious that you want to engage in debate and that you think you have substantive points! So, I guess, just this once, I'll play along.

But, first I will answer to 7thMDYankee (Which also answers one of Capt. T's points)-

It is pretty easy to find the history of Texas, my friend. As soon as the Texians gained independence from Mexico they petitioned for annexation to the USA. You can find that in any number of books. (The latest I saw it in was "Storm over Texas", by Joel Silbey) they made such petitions from the 1820s all the way until it finally passed in the 1840s. It was an on again, off again concern that went on for a long time. It isn't really much of a secret at this point!

Your claims that Texas "always wanted to stay independent" are spurious and wrong. And, since they always really wanted to become part of the USA from the word "go" they cannot really be considered a full and sovereign country with a will to stay independent making Texas a bad comparison to the idea of "eventual reunification" between the USA and the CSA.

Now, to Capt. Terry...


C.TERRY--"Lincoln denied the states the rights that they (the states) had always understood as being without question."

Again, the states had NO such "right". It was NOT one the Founders all imagined, without question, that the states held. But, you are right that many assumed that such a right existed. But, as I said, ASSUMING a thing exists does NOT equate to its actual existence. I believed in Santa clause until I was 6 years old. Turns out he never really existed even as I THOUGHT he did!

I notice you conveniently IGNORED the fact that Madison fought against the idea of secession in the Nullification crisis and denied Calhoun was correct in his hints that South Carolina could secede from the Union. Madison is often (though not 100% properly) called the "Father of the Constitution" and HE said it was NOT a right. Shouldn't HE know better than either of us if secession was a right?

Here is what he said (And I quote him from my copy of "The Complete Madison" by Saul K. Padover, in which is taken from the Federalist No. LVIII- Fed 22, 1788):

"Lastly, it would facilitate and foster the baneful practice of secessions, a practice which has shown itself even in States where a majority only is required; a practice subversive of all the principles of order and regular government; a practice which leads more directly to public convulsions, and the ruin of popular governments, than any other which has yet been displayed among us."

Further more, in a letter Madison wrote to Nicholas Trist in 1830, Madison said that the Ken. and Vir. resolutions did NOT claim a right of secession but merely meant to deny the constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts. (I got this from my book, "The Last of the Fathers", by Drew McCoy. A great book, but it cost me $60 which was crazy!!)

No Constitution or government was ever created with a clause for its destruction contained within. that means that any consideration that there was an ability to "break the compact legally" is simply NOT one codified into law. Not even the Confederate constitution claimed that secession was a "right" in any way. Even the Confederate Constitution remained mute on the subject.


C.TERRY--The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions asserted the following propositions: The Federal government bad been formed by a "compact" or contract among the states."

But even your own paragraph ended with...


"... but none of the other states went along with Virginia and Kentucky."

Why is that you wonder? because the radical ideas of Jefferson on this issue were NOT assumed by one and all as sacrosanct, nor was it considered very smart to codify it into law!


C.TERRY--"The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions planted the foundation that the States Rights Doctrine was founded on."

And Lincoln proved that theory null and void, didn't he!


The rest of your Googled and cut and pasted stuff isn't worth replying to as most of it was not germane to our topic... so we move on to the next point.


C.TERRY--The point is liberty, not the nation. No government that ever existed, even our own, supercedes liberty. None. And if our own pretends than the very foundation it rests on is a lie.

See, you misunderstand the concept of "liberty" here. Individual liberty is not the same thing as the collective, state functions connected to the proposition of safeguarding that liberty. You can pick up any time you like and leave your home to go find one that better suits your concepts of liberty. A state, however, cannot dissolve its government at any time because a segment of its people are unhappy. You describe a state of anarchy, not a state of laws and order.


C.TERRY--"Where do YOU get these figures from, give me facts. The majority of the south was indeed set on success."

Like I said, check out the numbers of Southrons who DESERTED the South to fight FOR the North. Then compare that to a list of the numbers who deserted the North to fight for the South. The disparity in numbers is tremendous. It is estimated that over 100,000 white Southerners fought for the Union. the reverse is not true by any stretch of the imagination!

Furthermore, huge swaths of Tenn., N. Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas -- heck just about EVERY Southern state had major pockets of Union sympathy. The whole area now encompassing West Virginia separated from Virginia because it did not agree with or support the South. The North had its Copperheads and spates of trouble, granted, but you just cannot say that a corresponding number of areas in the North were against the Union like there were Southern areas against the Confederacy.

And the reason the fire eaters won support is because they split the the Union supporters among several factions allowing the fire eaters to win by a plurality.


C.TERRY--"A peaceful reunification would have happened in time and would have been alot less costly in lives and property."

Like I said, this assumption is just absurd.

To expect this to happen one would have to imagine the North would have even WANTED the South back in the union. The South had only one major thing the North wanted, really. Cotton. That was about it.

And the Texas example just doesn't pas the smell test. Texas didn't fight the USA for its independence, it looked to the USA for support the whole time and it desired annexation since the beginning. To claim that the South could have followed the Texas template would make the lie to every death of every Confederate soldier during the war, making their sacrifice wasted. Also, we still have people TODAY imagining that they are "Confederates" and not a part of the "Union"! Passions would never have cooled to the reunification point with all those deaths if they had gained their proud independence.

Further, slavery was part and parcel to the CS Constitution. For slavery to go away sufficiently enough for the Federal Government to agree to let the South back in would have required a complete overhaul of the CS Constitution, or an outright rejection of it. This would also have raised the ghosts of the Confederate soldier who's death would have become a wasted and useless effort. The South would have to have entirely rejected their heritage and all the reasons they fought the war to just meekly returned to the Union.

And the Union sure as heck wouldn't allow slavery to come right back after they had finally gotten rid of it!!

No, this whole "eventual reunification" idea is just ridiculous.


C.TERRY--"Do I advocate secession now? No, I do not, but those people had a right to follow their own dreams of liberty without being killed for it.

Because in those people minds there was a reason for secession. There's not one in my mind today. That's very simple."

Yes. simple. But, unfortunately, nothing is there to debate. You gave no real reason other than your feelings. I cannot debate your feelings. You have them and that is that.

Anyway, we should probably leave it all there. We both put forth our points and it is darn sure you and I cannot settle the issues that the nation went to war over!!

Finally, suffice to say that in 1867, "Samuel Chase disposed of, once and for all time, the question that had vexed the Republic for more than sex decades. Secession was not a constitutional possibility." As Forrest McDonald says in "States Rights and the Union" (A really good book go get it) that in Texas v. White, Chase entered into the Supreme Court decision that the Constitution was indestructible and so are the various state and the Union cannot be sundered. By Supreme Court precedent, then, secession is not possible.

Now, I need to get to bed.

Nice debating you.

Yours in service,
Warner Todd Huston

Graves Mercantile
02-23-2006, 08:31 AM
I believed in Santa clause until I was 6 years old. Turns out he never really existed even as I THOUGHT he did!


WAIT! Santa Claus doesn't exist?! Aw dang it! :cry:

SgtTodd
02-23-2006, 08:58 AM
See, if you were Jewish you'd never have had to suffer such trauma.

tompritchett
02-23-2006, 09:16 AM
Like I said, check out the numbers of Southrons who DESERTED the South to fight FOR the North. Then compare that to a list of the numbers who deserted the North to fight for the South. The disparity in numbers is tremendous. It is estimated that over 100,000 white Southerners fought for the Union. the reverse is not true by any stretch of the imagination!

Furthermore, huge swaths of Tenn., N. Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas -- heck just about EVERY Southern state had major pockets of Union sympathy. The whole area now encompassing West Virginia separated from Virginia because it did not agree with or support the South. The North had its Copperheads and spates of trouble, granted, but you just cannot say that a corresponding number of areas in the North were against the Union like there were Southern areas against the Confederacy.

Twice you have used this arqument and while I will not totally dispute the facts, I would argue that you are comparing apples and oranges. But first in regards to number of "deserters", I remember that before the forum crashed there was a post about the number of Southern officers that fought for the North and the number of Northern born officers that fought for the Confederacy. If my memory serves me correctly, there were a substantial number of Northern officers that resigned their U.S. commissions to take arms for the Confederacy - not as many as Southern officers that fought for the North, but still a sustantial number.

Secondly, one of the major reasons that the Northern states rallied to Lincoln's side was the fact that the Confederate forces actually initiated hostilities at Fort Sumter and had the audacity to fire on the flag. This one mistake by the Confederacy caused many who could have cared less about whether the South seceding into fierce defenders of the flag's honor. It makes you wonder just how much support Lincoln would have had for using military force to bring the Southern states back into the Union had the Confederacy never opened fire at Fort Sumter.

Thomas H. Pritchett
3rd Ark, Co. H

Scooby_308
02-23-2006, 11:10 AM
No, this whole "eventual reunification" idea is just ridiculous.

I don’t know about that. As pointed out by Mr. Todd, Mexico would have probably taken back a Texas from a CSA government. And the foreign influences of Great Britain on a CSA government to end slavery would have increased over the years. So if slavery was to be forced out by GB and Texas threatened by Mexico, I could see a type of military pact between USA and CSA. The US facing pressure from Canada (GB), native tribes in the north and west, and again Mexico looking at California, the threats from outside could have forced the two, US and CSA, to partner up. Don’t forget we are approaching that time in history when Imperialism really takes control. It is nice to have an ally with all the external pressures that would come to be.

No, this whole "eventual reunification" idea is just ridiculous.

As another hypothetical, look at the EU. How many Empires dating back to the Romans have there been? What about how many wars between Europeans in just the 1870’s through the 1970’s? Yet today they are forming an economic union between European countries that spent billions of dollars and millions of lives fighting each other. They are the key players in NATO with us there just for looks. The European community is growing closer together as opposed to further apart even though they have been killing each other for centuries.

As far as interpretation of the Constitution, it’s a time and event thing.

To say that rights are implied by the Constitution, such as slavery is understandable given the time frame and the ways the Constitution was interpreted at the time. It is the same Constitution that would give a succeeding territory a government and thus legitimacy. So it could be “understood” by some that it gave them the right to succeed. The rub lies in the interpretation of what is implied. Example: most conservatives say we should have freedom of religion, but they are also the ones who do not want to see Christianity replaced with Islam in schools. Liberals argue that you must include all religions in order to have freedom of religion, but try to pull Christianity from schools (these are hard-liner views, not the majority of either side). It is all in how you interpret the Constitution according to your views. That’s why we have a Supreme Court, to see that we don’t get too far skewed one way or the other but we also now that the Judges have their own opinions that influence the interpretation.

Presidents do usurp power.

Look at Lincoln and FDR. There are those who hate them because they far exceeded their limited powers as president in times of war. Is that written in the Constitution or implied. I am thankful we had such dictatorial presidents, if not we would not be having this conversation today.

I am not looking to start a second war. I am merely trying to say that it is all in how you look at it and believe. Who is right? Both sides are. Who is wrong? Both sides are. Human beings are not flawless. Lincoln and Bobby Lee were not gods. People interpret events based on their own opinion. If Lincoln would have been born and lived in SC, would there be two nations where one stands today? Probably not, the South just had too much against them.

And to Mr. Pritchett,

I wholeheartedly agree with your second point. It is much like today. The US knew that there were radical groups set on the demise of the US. But we did very little because the people would not have supported it (imagine an Afghanistan or Iraq before 9-11, the people just wouldn’t do it). Post 9-11, they fired on us, lets give them what for. That is why there is still support (although slipping) for our efforts in the Middle East today (here in the US). Pearl Harbor and a war with Japan is another good example of patriotism.

MDRebCAv
02-23-2006, 12:43 PM
What about the Vermont Republic?

Graves Mercantile
02-23-2006, 02:02 PM
See, if you were Jewish you'd never have had to suffer such trauma.


I seem to remember something about jewish circumcision and that being um...."traumatic"..... :shock:

7thMDYankee
02-23-2006, 02:37 PM
Dear Sir,

Well, I was unaware of any attempt by Texas to petition the US prior to 1833, and even at that they were not independent, yet. At that time it was a measure for self-preservation and the fact that many people in that area had recently arrived from the US. I simply asserted that Texans must have had some ambition to remain independent since nearly 10 years passed from Independence to annexation. If they were chomping at the bit to become part of the US, why the delay?

Now onto another matter, I will quote you:

"Your claims that Texas 'always wanted to stay independent'..."

I humbly request you provide me a location where I ever said this. In other words, this is in error as I never said it. I did include an off-the-cuff commentary reflecting the attitudes of my Texan friends. Are you referring to this?

31stWisconsin
02-23-2006, 03:00 PM
I don't agree either that there would be reunification. I have an exelent example: The Austrian Prussian War of 1866.

Both these nations belonged to the remains of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 1866 went to war over who had control over the remains of the HRE. (By this time is history it was modern day German, Austria, and Hungray)

They had a war and, unlike the ACW, they ended divided. Even though they had similar cultures and no major ideological differences(unlike slavery) there was never an attempt by Austria to annex itself to the HRE(by this time called Germany) These two nations are completly independent. Similiary I don't think the CSA would join back to USA.

I am from the school of though that contracts are binding. I view the US Constitution as a binding document. Did the founding fathers say: a.) Here's some rules, follow them as you please and you can leave at any time. or b.) this is the law of the land.

I think they said b.

Tim

Scooby_308
02-23-2006, 03:16 PM
A or B, depending on your point of view. Don't liberals and conservatives interpert the Constitution differently?

Graves Mercantile
02-23-2006, 03:54 PM
I am from the school of though that contracts are binding. I view the US Constitution as a binding document. Did the founding fathers say: a.) Here's some rules, follow them as you please and you can leave at any time. or b.) this is the law of the land

Aren't marriages a legally binding contract? If so, then why do we allow a 50% divorce rate, but not secession? I know that this is overly simplifying what has been a running argument for nearly 200 years. I just had to add this thought to unsolvable disagreement.

flattop32355
02-23-2006, 05:48 PM
As pointed out by Mr. Todd, Mexico would have probably taken back a Texas from a CSA government.

I think the best you can say here that that they probably would have tried. We're talking about a Mexico trying to take down part of a "country" (quotes intentional) that held off the USA for four years. Do you really think Mexico would have succeeded in recovering Texas? I'd find it more likely they'd end up ceding their northern provinces to the CSA to end a losing conflict.





And the foreign influences of Great Britain on a CSA government to end slavery would have increased over the years.

France also would have applied pressure on this issue.



So if slavery was to be forced out by GB and Texas threatened by Mexico, I could see a type of military pact between USA and CSA. The US facing pressure from Canada (GB), native tribes in the north and west, and again Mexico looking at California, the threats from outside could have forced the two, US and CSA, to partner up.

You're forgetting that both countries would have been busy vying for the same western territories in their push towards the Pacific Ocean. That would have kept animosities brewing. And even if they could have reached agreement over a "Mason/Dixon Line" they would both follow along, when they reached California, I'd expect a very pissed off CSA when they figured out their access to the ocean was blocked by that reaaaally long state that they should have half of.


Don’t forget we are approaching that time in history when Imperialism really takes control. It is nice to have an ally with all the external pressures that would come to be.

I'd say the internal pressures would have outweighed the external ones, as generated by the above paragraph. Europe would have played one off the other, seeking to keep both weakened and busy while they carved up the rest of the world (which they did anyway). And both USA and CSA would have been seduced by the same imperial desires as Europe, and have been in direct conflict, due to proximity, coveting over the same territories.



No, this whole "eventual reunification" idea is just ridiculous.

So, I agree with the above statement, just for different reasons.



As another hypothetical, look at the EU. How many Empires dating back to the Romans have there been? What about how many wars between Europeans in just the 1870’s through the 1970’s? Yet today they are forming an economic union between European countries that spent billions of dollars and millions of lives fighting each other. They are the key players in NATO with us there just for looks. The European community is growing closer together as opposed to further apart even though they have been killing each other for centuries.

The only reason Europe is "uniting" is US; the USA. Were we not the top dog now (which they can't do anything about, even together), they'd be fighting amongst themselves for the job, same as they did for so many years.


To say that rights are implied by the Constitution, such as slavery is understandable given the time frame and the ways the Constitution was interpreted at the time.

If you will recall, the issue of slavery was intentionally left out of the Constitution precisely because to include it would have kept the states from uniting. The South may well never have entered the Union had it been addressed to their dis-satisfaction.



It is the same Constitution that would give a succeeding territory a government and thus legitimacy. So it could be “understood” by some that it gave them the right to succeed.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess you mean "secede" instead of "succeed". Might want to activate that spell-checker. :lol:



It is all in how you interpret the Constitution according to your views. That’s why we have a Supreme Court...

This is the same Supreme Court who did Dred Scott, school busing, Roe vs Wade, etc. They are not infallible, and the judges were, and are, subject to their own biases.

Scooby_308
02-24-2006, 11:49 AM
I am using hypothetical arguments here. If the CSA had pulled away from the US without a war involved, would not at least one European power try to back Mexico in an attempt to grab back some lands (especially for cheaper cotton)? Could the Confederacy withstand a British naval blockade (although Egypt was now supplying GB with cotton)? With support from a European army, could the CSA have with stood the invasion?

California was admitted to the Union in 1850 as a Free State. That caused even more turmoil for the South. It played heavily in the minds of Southern politicians. But we are using the hypothetical of no shooting war in 1861, thus California is moot. I do agree that the animosity would have always been there. I would argue it is still there today.

I do see your point about the US and CSA coveting each other’s territories. With the South’s limited industry, the North would have won (wait they did that in real life). But if the South was recognized as a country by other European countries, would that not provide the Europeans with a justifiable excuse to support the CSA, and gain cheaper raw materials from them? The South as an Imperial threat could not occur due to limited industrialization. The North invading could have brought in CSA allies from Europe. Of course Europe would love to see the two nations weakened. That leads to easier colonization. Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had her plans for Imperialism and they were thwarted. Don’t forget they had the Ottoman-Turks as well. The smaller European countries united to defeat the 3 larger ones. Another hypothetical, would the CSA be able to stay as one country? With so much state independence, wouldn’t the states of the Confederacy try to break away when they thought there own government was too impeding to their rights? The US could then grab a few states here and there and Mexico could too. But what if the CSA stayed intact? And the CSA and Mexico agreed to let Mexico have California?

But he EU shows unification. Back in 1943 would anyone have said, “In 60 years all of Europe will unite under a common economic and military structure”? In 1953 would anyone have said, “In 50 years the Eastern Block countries will be members of NATO”? All I was trying to say was that the unthinkable at one time changes with the times. Could it have happened that the US and CSA could reunite, yes. Would it have been likely, I doubt it.

Yes slavery was left out of the Constitution, but it still was acceptable. It was never said you couldn’t have slaves; therefore it was implied. Perhaps, Southerners could have thought that the right to secede was implied.


“ That’s why we have a Supreme Court, to see that we don’t get too far skewed one way or the other but we also now that the Judges have their own opinions that influence the interpretation.”

I said that. R v. Wade is being challenged in one of the Dakotas (South?) now that there are two new “conservative” judges.

This is all hypothetical stuff, fact is the War was fought and South lost. But the what ifs are fun to think about. There is a new docu-movie out about what would have happened if the South won, just heard them talking about it on NPR this morning.

flattop32355
02-24-2006, 09:29 PM
Yes slavery was left out of the Constitution, but it still was acceptable. It was never said you couldn’t have slaves; therefore it was implied. Perhaps, Southerners could have thought that the right to secede was implied.


The difference here is that slavery existed as a reality within the Union. Secession was nothing more than a concept, and the few times it was brought up, it went no where fast, especially when force was implied (Andrew Jackson to South Carolina). The former was tangible, the latter was not.

"What if..." can go in any direction we choose. See Harry Turtledove's books on the subject concerning the Civil War and and its sequella: Because Britain backed the CSA against the USA, the USA allied with the Central Powers in WW1. This is just one way to twist history; many others, from subtle to ridiculous and everything in between, can be tried and made plausible to some extent. After all, much of real history has turned on even lesser things.

ca4penn
03-14-2006, 10:23 AM
The North would have lost its pure pro-British base. Also, more than likely Spain would have ceeded the Philliphines and several other imperial islands to Germany.

Personally, this writer thinks the big result of the South winning the Civil War would have been Germany winning the Great War.

America was a side show when you look at it through European eyes. The Prussians could field a much larger and far better trained army than the federalized militias found on both sides in the Civil War. Yes, that is what fought the Civil War, mobilized militias. Generally, a militia unit is never the equal of active duty unit. Is any modern guard unit the equal of the Big Red One or the 101st? Not likely. The whole German (Prussian) army was better trained than any large division in the whole armies of the North or South.

Germany would have been able to put more surface raiders against Britian in the Great War. Also, the Irish and German North would have had better relations with Germany. The ethnic Catholic Irish would have loved revenge against Britian.

If the South had won the Civil War then it's pretty certain there would have been no WWII.

Indeed, another effect of a Southern win is the north would have never had the great influx of black migrants to cities, like Detroit, in the 1920s. Imagine Chicago, Detroit, and all the other northern cities with no large African-American populace live in the inter-cities.