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RebelBugler
03-30-2008, 11:31 AM
Interesting article published at SouthernMarylandNews.Com http://www.somdnews.com/stories/03262008/indyfea114220_32185.shtml (http://www.somdnews.com/stories/03262008/indyfea114220_32185.shtml)

Confederate descendants help honor Union soldier

"It started less than two years ago when a local priest was able to secure a headstone for a Civil War soldier buried at St. Catherine’s Church in McConchie.


Actually, it started way before that.
The Rev. Edward P. O’Connell, a Bronx native, had been trying to get a grave marker for George Brown – a black farmer who fought for the Union – since the 1950s.
No one was all that interested in helping the history buff priest.
He tracked down every lead only to be turned down.

Then, the Sons of Confederate Veterans said they would help".

firstmdes
03-30-2008, 11:53 AM
Great story! There is a thread elsewhere related to "heritage not hate" and this article shows that some members of the SCV are definitely in it for the heritage. I have always thought both sides should be honored for their sacrifices even if you don't fully agree with all their reasons behind it.

Bully for the "Maryland chapters of Confederate Sons" and the others who worked together to honor this Union soldier! It may have taken about 143 years, but some people are finally getting over the war! :-)

Artyreb
04-02-2008, 12:29 PM
What exactly do you mean.."finally getting over the war"?

paul hadley
04-02-2008, 01:21 PM
Interesting article published at SouthernMarylandNews.Com http://www.somdnews.com/stories/03262008/indyfea114220_32185.shtml (http://www.somdnews.com/stories/03262008/indyfea114220_32185.shtml)

Confederate descendants help honor Union soldier

"It started less than two years ago when a local priest was able to secure a headstone for a Civil War soldier buried at St. Catherine’s Church in McConchie.


Actually, it started way before that.
The Rev. Edward P. O’Connell, a Bronx native, had been trying to get a grave marker for George Brown – a black farmer who fought for the Union – since the 1950s.
No one was all that interested in helping the history buff priest.
He tracked down every lead only to be turned down.

Then, the Sons of Confederate Veterans said they would help".

As a past Department Commander of the Sons of Union Veterans, I'm embarrassed that my Maryland Brothers either weren't visible enough to be considered as a contact or else were not paying attention to this situation in their own backyard. I'll admit that there are "only" 20,000 Civil War veterans buried in our state, so our task of honoring the vets out here may seem less strenuous, but why didn't the County Service Officer in that part of Maryland know the drill for ordering a federal headstone -- free to any American veteran? Good for the SCV. Hope at least some SUV and DUV members also attended.
Regards,
Paul Hadley
Lincoln, Neb.

firstmdes
04-02-2008, 02:34 PM
What exactly do you mean.."finally getting over the war"?
It just seems that some people, supporters of both sides of the war have yet to get over it! This is an example of descendants of both sides coming together to honor a veteran. They have put aside the fact that their ancestors fought for different causes and have put aside the fact that they are of different races and are honoring the person for his bravery and sacrifice.

The CSA ceased to exist in 1865, the Union was preserved, let's move on with life! Robert E. Lee did...James Longstreet did...John Singleton Mosby did...why can't we?

Does that better explain my statement?

RebelBugler
04-02-2008, 10:15 PM
Another news story on Cpl. George Brown's gravestone dedication

http://www.somdnews.com/stories/04022008/indytop105703_32202.shtml

tompritchett
04-03-2008, 01:15 AM
It may have taken about 143 years, but some people are finally getting over the war!

There was a war back then???? All this time I thought this forum was about role playing. :wink:

firstmdes
04-03-2008, 07:47 AM
There was a war back then???? All this time I thought this forum was about role playing. :wink:
From what I have read in some of the threads, many others think it is all about role playing too!! :)

FloridaConfederate
04-03-2008, 05:24 PM
I am not an SCV spokesman nor do I not tow their line..... but I am a member. I think you will find a vast number of SCV members are US veterans themselves.

I know of many in our camp alone..... including active duty, reservists, SOF, officers and combat veterans. In addition to law enforcement officers, clergy, public officials, high school teachers and business people. We do things James Haely Veterans Hospital, volunteer and donations of usable items quite frequently.

madisontigers
04-03-2008, 10:16 PM
[QUOTE=firstmdes]It just seems that some people, supporters of both sides of the war have yet to get over it! This is an example of descendants of both sides coming together to honor a veteran. They have put aside the fact that their ancestors fought for different causes and have put aside the fact that they are of different races and are honoring the person for his bravery and sacrifice.

"The CSA ceased to exist in 1865, the Union was preserved, let's move on with life! Robert E. Lee did...James Longstreet did...John Singleton Mosby did...why can't we?"

Millions of dollars of damage incurred upon personal property, over 600,000 dead, racial injustice, no, we will never totally get over it. Does that better explain my statement?"

By no means, do I feel that the war is still being fought. However, we must remember, the death of over 600,000 men, most of whom had their lives snubbed away in their youth, isn't an issue that is likely to just die away, ever.
Secondly, there are many parts of this nation, especially in the South, that still feel some of the results of the war.The war is over, yes, but those who died, well, there events during the war will never be forgotten.


David Long

firstmdes
04-04-2008, 10:19 AM
Millions of dollars of damage incurred upon personal property, over 600,000 dead, racial injustice, no, we will never totally get over it.

By no means, do I feel that the war is still being fought. However, we must remember, the death of over 600,000 men, most of whom had their lives snubbed away in their youth, isn't an issue that is likely to just die away, ever.
Secondly, there are many parts of this nation, especially in the South, that still feel some of the results of the war.The war is over, yes, but those who died, well, there events during the war will never be forgotten.

I am not suggesting that we forget those who died or the events which took place. On the contrary, let's remember them and and honor them! You will see that in my earlier posts in this thread, I was praising the local SCV for assisting with the memorializing of a USCT veteran. This sort of thing is wonderful to see, but does not seem to happen very much!

My point about getting over it was that Lee, Longstreet, Mosby and countless others who actually fought the fights and bled the blood were ready to admit defeat and move on with their lives. I understand not all of that generation of soldiers were so ready to forgive and forget, but if many of them can do it, why can't we? Do you mean to tell me that the physical and mental destruction caused by the U.S. Civil War is too great to overcome 140+ years later? WWII vets can visit Germany as tourists and speak in friendly ways to former enemies, Vietnam vets can visit a still communist nation and shake hands with former Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers, but descendants of the old CSA cannot? Their ancestors fought a good fight and lost. Whatever their reasons for fighting, they admitted defeat. They did not take to the mountains and fight guerrilla war for generations after. They put down their weapons and took-up their lives as best they could.

Should we return to Antebellum American laws? Allow slavery, the six-year presidential term, the line-item veto and any other "states rights" that were perceived as important enough to fight over? Would this allow the wounds to heal...make everyone happy?

Oh,...and one more thing...there was "racial injustice" before Ft. Sumpter was fired on...it was called Slavery!

firstmdes
04-04-2008, 02:49 PM
Sometime in the past year, I saw a primetime news program (60 Minutes or something) which reported that there was a fight in the leadership of the National SCV. One camp was trying to polish the image of the SCV and promote the heritage aspects of the flag, etc. The other camp (and I am only reporting what I saw on the program) was more political in nature and seemed to have high-level connections to the KKK. If this is true, it sure would be a shame to have the latter group gain control of the reigns.

Let's hope this recent occasion in Maryland is one of many nationwide!

FloridaConfederate
04-04-2008, 05:00 PM
Let's hope this recent occasion in Maryland is one of many nationwide!

If they keep it up..... who you gonna look down yer nose at ?

firstmdes
04-04-2008, 05:15 PM
If they keep it up..... who you gonna look down yer nose at ?
What's that supposed to mean? When, in this thread, did I ever say I was superior to anyone?

:confused:

FloridaConfederate
04-04-2008, 05:38 PM
I rekon if you're gonna give the ole boys the thumbs up. Maybe the other not so happy stuff, accurate or inaccurate, would more appropriately be interjected into other threads, where they are far better tinder.

firstmdes
04-04-2008, 05:56 PM
I rekon if you're gonna give the ole boys the thumbs up. Maybe the other not so happy stuff, accurate or inaccurate, would more appropriately be interjected into other threads, where they are far better tinder.
Instead of stopping by threads and dropping one liners that blast what others have written, maybe you should post something of substance. Why is this thread any different than "other threads" on this forum? What, do you propose, is a better place "where [my words] are far better tinder"? If you disagree with something I write, that is your prerogative...but give me something articulate to respond to!

RebelBugler
04-04-2008, 08:24 PM
I am not suggesting that we forget those who died or the events which took place. On the contrary, let's remember them and and honor them! You will see that in my earlier posts in this thread, I was praising the local SCV for assisting with the memorializing of a USCT veteran. This sort of thing is wonderful to see, but does not seem to happen very much!

My point about getting over it was that Lee, Longstreet, Mosby and countless others who actually fought the fights and bled the blood were ready to admit defeat and move on with their lives. I understand not all of that generation of soldiers were so ready to forgive and forget, but if many of them can do it, why can't we? Do you mean to tell me that the physical and mental destruction caused by the U.S. Civil War is too great to overcome 140+ years later? WWII vets can visit Germany as tourists and speak in friendly ways to former enemies, Vietnam vets can visit a still communist nation and shake hands with former Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers, but descendants of the old CSA cannot? Their ancestors fought a good fight and lost. Whatever their reasons for fighting, they admitted defeat. They did not take to the mountains and fight guerrilla war for generations after. They put down their weapons and took-up their lives as best they could.

Should we return to Antebellum American laws? Allow slavery, the six-year presidential term, the line-item veto and any other "states rights" that were perceived as important enough to fight over? Would this allow the wounds to heal...make everyone happy?

Oh,...and one more thing...there was "racial injustice" before Ft. Sumpter was fired on...it was called Slavery!

It is unfortunate that the race issue had to be brought into the discussion. Attempting to turn the war into a morality play about race is a relatively modern phenomenon. While slavery was one of many factors leading to secession and subsequently the war, it is inaccurate to portray the war in racial terms. There were any number of individuals that owned slaves-blacks, whites and Native Americans. In fact, Anthony Johnson a free black in Virginia is generally recognized as the Father of chattel slavery in the United States.

If the war was fought to achieve racial equality, there would have been no New York draft riots, Grant would have released his slaves prior to the passage of the 13th amendment and the gravestone of Private Brown would have read US, not USCT. Furthermore, Pvt. Brown would have received the same wages and equipment as his white counterparts. The US Colored Troops may have even been permitted to perform the task that they had so diligently trained to perform at the Battle of the Crater.
However, Burnside refused to allow them to lead, replacing the USCT with untrained white US troops.

"With the desperate situation in the crater, the racism of white Union soldiers became blatant. Knowing that the Confederates would give no quarter to black troops if taken prisoner, white soldiers feared that they would suffer the same if caught with black soldiers. They thus began to bayonet their own comrades in arms."

firstmdes
04-04-2008, 09:02 PM
I agree that slavery was not the only factor to cause war, though it was a factor. The only reason race came up in this discussion is because Mr. Long stated that "racial injustice" was a result of the war. That is patently untrue. The antebellum existance of slavery, cause or not of the war, proves there was racial injustice well before the end of the war and therefore not a result of the war.

Yes, the Colored Troops were segregated, underpaid, not trusted by some and hated by others, but it was a step towards equality. A step that was taken in each war after. Black soldiers, sailors and airmen through many of the 20th century wars were still trying to prove their use and equal to whites. Those who joined the USCT deserve the recognition they fought for and earned. In this case, the recognition came from the SCV, a move that I applaud.

My original post was applauding the working together of people from both sides. It boggles my mind that my comment about putting differences aside has caused such negative reactions. Maybe this disagreement proves my point that many more people need to get over the war...

tompritchett
04-04-2008, 11:55 PM
However, Burnside refused to allow them to lead, replacing the USCT with untrained white US troops.

Just a minor correction here - it was Meade that refused to allow the USCT troops to lead the attack for which Burnside had selected and extensively trained them.

tompritchett
04-05-2008, 12:02 AM
I think that he is commenting on your remarks about some Southerners seemingly not accepting that the North won the war and move on and your other comment about the 60 Minutes report on the conflict within the SCV over the future direction of the organization. I applaud the original intent of your post but I can see how these "side" comments could have gotten under some peoples' skins.

Georgia Frame
04-05-2008, 09:56 AM
John makes a good point about folk “getting over” the WBTS.

I have seen in the recent past that there are folk out there who are out to re-kindle the flames of that war. Books are being written, by authors that are terribly one-sided, and out to inflame folk’s passions. We need to be objective in looking at the war, and not just from one side/cause.

2 years ago, the LH group I belong to, organized a ceremony dedicating a Monument to all the 36 or more WBTS Veterans buried in a Cemetery north of Comanche, TX. We had about 60+ folk from the SCV, UDC, OCR, and folk who don’t belong to any of the mentioned groups, come for the dedication. Everyone was invited. There was one Union Soldier in the cemetery, and we honored him as much as the others. The man whom we had do the closing prayer, was a survivor of the USS Indianapolis!

As far as comments about changes in the SCV, that has happened, I have seen it. That organization has gone from looking at the war and the Veterans from a past/historical standpoint, to a reactionary perspective. The focus is now of fighting back against school dress codes not allowing the “Battle Flag” emblem on clothing, and in South Carolina’s situation, the Battle flag on the State Capitol grounds. You then have the “League of the South” organization that preaches Re-secession, and they have members of that group infiltrating the SCV.

It got ugly, and a lot of good folk left the organization because of disagreements on where the organization was going, and conducting itself. Here in Texas, there has been suggestions of allowing folk into the organization who can not prove they have Confederate ancestry.

A case in point is the Law Suit brought on by the SCV here in Burleson, TX. Girls brought purses into the school with Battle flag on them, against written school dress codes, and they had to leave school because they wouldn’t put them away. So the Texas SCV leadership brings a lawsuit against the School, using a Lawyer from North Carolina to bring the charges.

“Independent School District” used to mean something, and obviously the Dallas TX. Court thought so, and ruled against the girls/SCV. I bring this up because it’s an example of what I mean about “reactionary”! When I belonged to the SCV, I didn’t hear anything much about laws suits, mostly about Dedications. Now their focus is more about Confederate Emblems, less about the Veterans.

I am not anti SCV, I know some great folk locally in that organization, and they know without a doubt that I work hard at accurately portraying a Confederate Soldier. They still talk to me even when I show up as a union soldier.

My mileage is going to vary from yours…

Kevin Dally

CheeseBoxRaft
04-07-2008, 10:02 PM
If the war was fought to achieve racial equality, there would have been no New York draft riots, Grant would have released his slaves prior to the passage of the 13th amendment... Your statement that "Grant would have released his slaves prior to the passage of the 13th amendment..." presumes that Grant did not free "his" slave until after the 13th Amendment was passed. This is not true. The facts state otherwise.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, abolishing slavery as a legal institution. In 1859, Grant manumited one William Jones, the only slave he is known to have owned who, technically, was originally the property of his wife's family. Therefore Grant freed "his" one and only slave a full six years before the passage of the 13th Ammendment.

During the Civil War, other slaves at White Haven (Julia Dent's family home in St. Louis, MO) simply walked off, as they did on many plantations in both Union and Confederate states. Missouri’s constitutional convention abolished slavery in the state in January 1865, freeing any slaves still living at White Haven.

http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/historyculture/slaveryatwh.htm

reb64
05-17-2008, 08:48 AM
During the Civil War, other slaves at White Haven (Julia Dent's family home in St. Louis, MO) simply walked off, as they did on many plantations in both Union and Confederate states. Missouri’s constitutional convention abolished slavery in the state in January 1865, freeing any slaves still living at White Haven.

http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/historyculture/slaveryatwh.htm


Duh, if your married then your wifes property is your property, but in any case they werent freed, they walked off. I guess they got tired of waiting for freedom in the us and went south and got emancipated ironically.

firstmdes
05-17-2008, 09:20 AM
Duh, if your married then your wifes property is your property, but in any case they werent freed, they walked off. I guess they got tired of waiting for freedom in the us and went south and got emancipated ironically.
I believe you are not reading the original post correctly:


During the Civil War, other slaves at White Haven (Julia Dent's family home in St. Louis, MO) simply walked off, as they did on many plantations in both Union and Confederate states. Missouri’s constitutional convention abolished slavery in the state in January 1865, freeing any slaves still living at White Haven.

http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/historyculture/slaveryatwh.htm
While the slaves were at Julia Dent Grant's family home in MO, it does not mean they were her slaves. Her personal property might become her husband's property, but her family's property is not included in that transfer!

Besides, this is getting way of topic...I beleive this thread was intended to discuss the recent honoring of George Brown's USCT sevice and those members of the SCV who assisted in having a US veteran grave stone placed. Seems to me that stopping by over a month later and posting what you have is just being done to start an arguement. Is that your purpose?

CheeseBoxRaft
05-19-2008, 06:31 PM
Duh, if your married then your wifes property is your property, but in any case they werent freed, they walked off. I guess they got tired of waiting for freedom in the us and went south and got emancipated ironically.

"Duh"... ?

What is that for? My post was made in response to RebelBugler, not to you, reb64. As it is, I made a straightforward and scholarly observation without resorting to any smart remarks against him or anyone else. I even provided a source link. You bring nothing to this discussion other than a childish display of rudeness that is a far cry from how a true Southern Gentlemen should behave.

ElijahsGrtGranddaughter
05-20-2008, 04:39 PM
... "racial injustice" was a result of the war... The antebellum existence of slavery, cause or not of the war, proves there was racial injustice well before the end of the war and therefore not a result of the war.

I had no desire to post in this thread nor the one on Captain Henry Wirz, but why is it that the South (Antebellum) is the ONLY one recognized as having slaves?

Did the North not also have slaves and did so until the 13th amendment was ratified?

While my historical knowledge isn't what it should be, am I missing something here? :rolleyes: Why are a select few of you behaving like children on an Elementary School Playground pulling little girl's ponytails? :mad:

What was it my ole southern grandmother used to say to me, 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.'

Kind Regards,

Kerri Baker

firstmdes
05-20-2008, 05:20 PM
I had no desire to post in this thread nor the one on Captain Henry Wirz, but why is it that the South (Antebellum) is the ONLY one recognized as having slaves?

Did the North not also have slaves and did so until the 13th amendment was ratified?

While my historical knowledge isn't what it should be, am I missing something here? :rolleyes: Why are a select few of you behaving like children on an Elementary School Playground pulling little girl's ponytails? :mad:

What was it my ole southern grandmother used to say to me, 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.'

Kind Regards,

Kerri Baker
At no point during this thread or any other thread have I claimed the Southern states were the only ones with slaves. Those which formed the Confederate States of America did have slaves, as a matter of fact, quite a large percentage of their total populations. They also formed a new government based on a constitution which was nearly identical to the U.S. Constitution except for a few things:

- 6 year term with one term limit on president
- president has line-item veto power
- slavery is guaranteed

I may have missed a few, but these are the main differences between the U.S. and C.S. constitutions. The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of the C.S.A. try to claim that slavery had nothing to do with secession or the war. If this is true, than 600,000 Americans lost their lives fighting for the right to have a six year presidential term and the line item veto!? I think not...

If I am acting like a schoolboy pulling ponytails than I apologize. As to to your comment 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'...if we all followed that, there would be no discussion on this forum! ;)

Thanks for posting your thoughts!

ElijahsGrtGranddaughter
05-20-2008, 07:07 PM
... If I am acting like a schoolboy pulling ponytails than I apologize. As to to your comment 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'...if we all followed that, there would be no discussion on this forum! ;)

Thanks for posting your thoughts!

My sincerest apologies to you firstmdes, I did not direct that comment to you. I have found your information enlightening.

However, reading through this thread and the one on Capt. Wirz, there are those here who are behaving like a school boys pulling a school girl's ponytails. :(

As for my grandmother's senitment, it was directed to those few who were casting personal stones towards those who disagreed with them.

Please except my apology for such a general post. :(

~Kerri B.

RebelBugler
05-28-2008, 08:24 AM
I may have missed a few, but these are the main differences between the U.S. and C.S. constitutions. The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of the C.S.A. try to claim that slavery had nothing to do with secession or the war. If this is true, than 600,000 Americans lost their lives fighting for the right to have a six year presidential term and the line item veto!? I think not...



The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of political correctness claim that slavery had everything to do with secession or the war.

For starters, secession was not prohibited by the Constitution and several states required, as a condition of ratifying the Constitution, their right to secede. A textbook by Rawles, used at the US Military Academy, even acknowledged this right.

Yes, the South was indeed concerned about the abolitionist movement. After all, there had been the Nat Turner incident and the attempt to incite a slave insurrection, orchestrated by John Brown. Interestingly, the terrorist Brown murdered a Black railroad employee, Haywood Shepherd, in his failed attempt at Harpers Ferry. So much for Brown's claim of the moral high ground

There was also the issue of shifting political power, if new states admitted to the Union were designated as Free states.

Another issue was how to deal with and establish the necessary support for the substantial number of individuals who would suddenly be freed. Considering that the vast majority of slaves were in the South, and that many of the Northern states had laws refusing admission to people of color, there were realistic public safety concerns as to how to deal with a largely uneducated population of former slaves. Of course, most of us are familiar with Mr. Lincoln's plan to find ships to return the emancipated individuals back to Africa.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 08:44 AM
The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of political correctness claim that slavery had everything to do with secession or the war.

For starters, secession was not prohibited by the Constitution and several states required, as a condition of ratifying the Constitution, their right to secede. A textbook by Rawles, used at the US Military Academy, even acknowledged this right.

Yes, the South was indeed concerned about the abolitionist movement. After all, there had been the Nat Turner incident and the attempt to incite a slave insurrection, orchestrated by John Brown. Interestingly, the terrorist Brown murdered a Black railroad employee, Haywood Shepherd, in his failed attempt at Harpers Ferry. So much for Brown's claim of the moral high ground

There was also the issue of shifting political power, if new states admitted to the Union were designated as Free states.

Another issue was how to deal with and establish the necessary support for the substantial number of individuals who would suddenly be freed. Considering that the vast majority of slaves were in the South, and that many of the Northern states had laws refusing admission to people of color, there were realistic public safety concerns as to how to deal with a largely uneducated population of former slaves. Of course, most of us are familiar with Mr. Lincoln's plan to find ships to return the emancipated individuals back to Africa.
Just where have you read anywhere that the cause of the Civil War was due entirely to slavery? I think the PC argument runs both ways. The Confederate apologist version goes something like this: slavery was bad; the Confederacy was noble; ergo, the Confederacy could not have been created to protect slavery - slavery was just something the South was stuck with for the short term. Sheesh, talk about PC.

RebelBugler
05-28-2008, 08:58 AM
Just where have you read anywhere that the cause of the Civil War was due entirely to slavery? I think the PC argument runs both ways. The Confederate apologist version goes something like this: slavery was bad; the Confederacy was noble; ergo, the Confederacy could not have been created to protect slavery - slavery was just something the South was stuck with for the short term. Sheesh, talk about PC.

Have you visited the recently opened Gettysburg Visitor Center yet? Apparently, that is their latest take on the war. I paid $8.00 to view a half hour presentation entitled "A New Birth of Freedom" that discussed nothing but slavery and is full of historical inaccuracies.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 09:22 AM
Have you visited the recently opened Gettysburg Visitor Center yet? Apparently, that is their latest take on the war. I paid $8.00 to view a half hour presentation entitled "A New Birth of Freedom" that discussed nothing but slavery and is full of historical inaccuracies.
I have to confess I haven't made the trip yet - Gettysburg is a bit of a drive from western North Carolina. I do think that most leading historians today would cite slavery as the primary cause for the war - that it's protection was what Southern leaders had in mind when they decided to exercise their 'states rights'. Here's some support for that argument in the words of contemporary Southern leaders.
Henry L. Benning, Georgia politician and future Confederate general, writing in the summer of 1849 to his fellow Georgian, Howell Cobb: "First then, it is apparent, horribly apparent, that the slavery question rides insolently over every other everywhere -- in fact that is the only question which in the least affects the results of the elections." [Allan Nevins, The Fruits of Manifest Destiny pages 240-241.] Later in the same letter Benning says, "I think then, 1st, that the only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union."
Stephan Dodson Ramseur, future Confederate general, writing from West Point (where he was a cadet) to a friend in the wake of the 1856 election: "...Slavery, the very source of our existence, the greatest blessing both for Master & Slave that could have been bestowed upon us."
Albert Gallatin Brown, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, speaking with regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America: "I want Cuba . . . I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery." [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 106.]
Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia: "There is not a respectable system of civilization known to history whose foundations were not laid in the institution of domestic slavery." [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 56.]
Richmond Enquirer, 1856: "Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery."
Atlanta Confederacy, 1860: "We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing."
Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: "African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism." Later in the same speech he said, "The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States." Taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe supplied by Steve Miller.
Keitt again, this time as delegate to the South Carolina secession convention, during the debates on the state's declaration of causes: "Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it." Taken from the Charleston, South Carolina, Courier, dated Dec. 22, 1860. See the Furman documents site for more transcription from these debates. Keitt became a colonel in the Confederate army and was killed at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864.
Methodist Rev. John T. Wightman, preaching at Yorkville, South Carolina: "The triumphs of Christianity rest this very hour upon slavery; and slavery depends on the triumphs of the South . . . This war is the servant of slavery." [The Glory of God, the Defence of the South (1861), cited in Eugene Genovese's Consuming Fire (1998).]
From the Confederate Constitution:
Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 4: "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."
Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph 3: "The Confederate States may acquire new territory . . . In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and the territorial government."
From the Georgia Constitution of 1861:"The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves." (This is the entire text of Article 2, Sec. VII, Paragraph 3.)
From the Alabama Constitution of 1861: "No slave in this State shall be emancipated by any act done to take effect in this State, or any other country." (This is the entire text of Article IV, Section 1 (on slavery).)
Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." [Augusta, Georgia, Daily Constitutionalist, March 30, 1861.]
On the formation of black regiments in the Confederate army, by promising the troops their freedom:
Howell Cobb, former general in Lee's army, and prominent pre-war Georgia politician: "If slaves will make good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong." [Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 835.]
A North Carolina newspaper editorial: "it is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down." [North Carolina Standard, Jan. 17, 1865; cited in Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 835.]
Robert M.T. Hunter, Senator from Virginia, "What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?"
Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: "If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule --- it is a question of political and social existence." [Steven Channing, Crisis of Fear, pp. 141-142.]
John C. Calhoun, Senator from South Carolina: "The defence of human liberty against the aggressions of despotic power have been always the most efficient in States where domestic slavery was to prevail."
James H. Hammond, Congressman from South Carolina: "Sir, I do firmly believe that domestic slavery, regulated as ours is, produces the highest toned, the purest, best organization of society that has ever existed on the face of the earth."
Hammond again, from later in the same speech: "the moment this House undertakes to legislate upon this subject [slavery], it dissolves the Union. Should it be my fortune to have a seat upon this floor, I will abandon it the instant the first decisive step is taken looking towards legislation of this subject. I will go home to preach, and if I can, practice, disunion, and civil war, if needs be. A revolution must ensue, and this republic sink in blood."
Henry Wise, Congressman (and future governor) from Virginia: "The principle of slavery is a leveling principle; it is friendly to equality. Break down slavery and you would with the same blow break down the great democratic principle of equality among men."
From the diary of James B. Lockney, 28th Wisconsin Infantry, writing near Arkadelphia, Arkansas (10/29/63): "Last night I talked awhile to those men who came in day before yesterday from the S.W. part of the state about 120 miles distant. Many of them wish Slavery abolished & slaves out of the country as they said it was the cause of the War, and the Curse of our Country & the foe of the body of the people--the poor whites. They knew the Slave masters got up the war expressly in the interests of the institution, & with no real cause from the Government or the North." [This diary is on-line at: http://userdata.acd.net/jshirey/cw186310.html.]

hanktrent
05-28-2008, 10:41 AM
Of course, most of us are familiar with Mr. Lincoln's plan to find ships to return the emancipated individuals back to Africa.

It seems odd to refer to it as "Mr. Lincoln's plan."

So far as I know, the colonization movement was founded when Lincoln was only a boy, grew and thrived long before he had any national influence, and he was only one of many who considered it a possible positive solution.

By the time he had the most power, the movement had already peaked, and though Uncle Tom's Cabin gave it a new shot in the arm for a while, it never revived to its glory days of the 1830s-1840s era when all the ships were sailing and Liberia was being settled.

He supported the colonization society of course, the same as most any typical northerner uncomfortable with slavery in the antebellum era, but it wasn't his original idea nor was he even the most vocal or active of the many supporters who'd gone before.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
05-28-2008, 02:18 PM
The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of political correctness claim that slavery had everything to do with secession

In regards to the secession of the first 7 states of the Confederacy, I would suggest that you read Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War by Charles Dew (University of Virginia Press) and read the secession resolutions for those states. You will find that, for these states, slavery was very much a major factor in their decision to leave the Union. As for the remaining 4 states, things get a little more complicated.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 03:11 PM
Tom, please read my quote from Governor Letcher from Virginia that I posted above. These guys were proud to defend slavery and cited it as their chief cause for disunion.

firstmdes
05-28-2008, 04:33 PM
The problem arises when 21st Century supporters of political correctness claim that slavery had everything to do with secession or the war.

For starters, secession was not prohibited by the Constitution and several states required, as a condition of ratifying the Constitution, their right to secede. A textbook by Rawles, used at the US Military Academy, even acknowledged this right.

Yes, the South was indeed concerned about the abolitionist movement. After all, there had been the Nat Turner incident and the attempt to incite a slave insurrection, orchestrated by John Brown. Interestingly, the terrorist Brown murdered a Black railroad employee, Haywood Shepherd, in his failed attempt at Harpers Ferry. So much for Brown's claim of the moral high ground

There was also the issue of shifting political power, if new states admitted to the Union were designated as Free states.

Another issue was how to deal with and establish the necessary support for the substantial number of individuals who would suddenly be freed. Considering that the vast majority of slaves were in the South, and that many of the Northern states had laws refusing admission to people of color, there were realistic public safety concerns as to how to deal with a largely uneducated population of former slaves. Of course, most of us are familiar with Mr. Lincoln's plan to find ships to return the emancipated individuals back to Africa.
Looks like you all but argued that slavery was the cause of the war. Except for the point that secession was not prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, all of the other reasons and fears had to do with slavery or the lack of slavery in states.

I am not writing 21st Century PC, I am writting what your ancestors wrote:


But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other —though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the Negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. --Alexander H. Stephens, March 21, 1861 in Savannah, Georgia
So, when the Vice President of the newly formed C.S.A says that, and I am paraphrasing, we broke away from the Union because we want to guarantee slavery, it is not about slavery? If the leaders of the C.S.A. said it was about slavery in 1861 during the heat of the moment, then it was about slavery. I don't care what they said in the 1870s, 1880s or 1890s and I certainly don't care what the opposite of PC SCV say in the 21st Century!

Blockade Runner
05-28-2008, 04:49 PM
Looks like you all but argued that slavery was the cause of the war. Except for the point that secession was not prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, all of the other reasons and fears had to do with slavery or the lack of slavery in states.

I am not writing 21st Century PC, I am writting what your ancestors wrote:


So, when the Vice President of the newly formed C.S.A says that, and I am paraphrasing, we broke away from the Union because we want to guarantee slavery, it is not about slavery? If the leaders of the C.S.A. said it was about slavery in 1861 during the heat of the moment, then it was about slavery. I don't care what they said in the 1870s, 1880s or 1890s and I certainly don't care what the opposite of PC SCV say in the 21st Century!

You know, you're right regarding the emancipation of the slaves in the Confederacy. If the Confederacy would have listened to the enlightened voices of General Patrick Cleburne and some others, prior to the closing moments of the war, than the South may have ultimately won the conflict. As an aside, early in the war Louisiana raised a regiment of black soldiers who were not permitted to fight for their homeland. Many slaves felt that the war was also their fight. It's a shame that a plan for their service in the Southern army, in exchange for their ultimate freedom, was not adopted.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 05:01 PM
You know, you're right regarding the emancipation of the slaves in the Confederacy. If the Confederacy would have listened to the enlightened voices of General Patrick Cleburne and some others, prior to the closing moments of the war, than the South may have ultimately won the conflict. As an aside, early in the war Louisiana raised a regiment of black soldiers who were not permitted to fight for their homeland. Many slaves felt that the war was also their fight. It's a shame that a plan for their service in the Southern army, in exchange for their ultimate freedom, was not adopted.
So....let's see if I've got this straight. You're suggesting that the slaves of the South would have been willing to fight to keep themselves in bondage? Wait, that can't be right - you must mean something else. Something less ... well, less thoughtless.

tompritchett
05-28-2008, 05:21 PM
Tom, please read my quote from Governor Letcher from Virginia that I posted above. These guys were proud to defend slavery and cited it as their chief cause for disunion.

My response was for RebelBugler. Yes Virginia primary motivation for ultimately leaving was slavery combined with Lincoln's muster call. But it took the muster call to ultimately drive VA out. In the case of Tennessee, there had been a vote on secession during the first wave and TN voted to stay in the Union. However, as soon as Lincoln issued his muster call, the governor of TN called a special session of the legislature specifically to re-open the secession issue. I am not as up on the status of Ark and NC secessions except they too did not leave until after the muster call. Thus, I would hesitate to state that slavery had as much an influence in the secession of the last four states as it did with the first seven. I am also not saying that slavery was not a factor, as no one can read Virginia's Secession Resolution and still claim that slavery was not a major factor in her secession, but rather that prior to the muster call, these states were willing to stay within the Union and find a solution to the conflict over the election of the new Republican administration. Unfortunately, the firebrands on both sides would not let happen.

firstmdes
05-28-2008, 05:28 PM
As an aside, early in the war Louisiana raised a regiment of black soldiers who were not permitted to fight for their homeland. Many slaves felt that the war was also their fight. It's a shame that a plan for their service in the Southern army, in exchange for their ultimate freedom, was not adopted.
As I recall from reading The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War by James G. Hollandsworth, Jr., most of these gentlemen quickly switched sides and joined up for the Union cause. I believe it happened not long after Butler rolled into town. Oh, and by the way, these gentlemen were not slaves. They were rather wealthy land and slave owners with a mixed ethnicity. By today's standards they would not be recognizable as African Americans. Their driver's licenses would probably identify them as white.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 07:23 PM
It would be patently ridiculous to expect that anybody would willing to fight to ensure the continuance of their own bondage. Of course they switched sides - anybody in their position would. As to why they first offered their services to the Confederacy I would offer what psychologists call 'Stockholm Syndrome' wherein captives come to identify with their captors and cooperate with them. On a small scale we saw this with Patti Hearst and on a larger scale with Jews who served as Capos in the death camps of Nazi Germany.

firstmdes
05-28-2008, 07:42 PM
It would be patently ridiculous to expect that anybody would willing to fight to ensure the continuance of their own bondage. Of course they switched sides - anybody in their position would. As to why they first offered their services to the Confederacy I would offer what psychologists call 'Stockholm Syndrome' wherein captives come to identify with their captors and cooperate with them. On a small scale we saw this with Patti Hearst and on a larger scale with Jews who served as Capos in the death camps of Nazi Germany.
I would also argue that they would need to support whoever is in control of their area to preserve their belongings and slaves! They may have even thought they were protecting their property (human and otherwise) from the invading hoards from the North.

Just a thought or two...

hendrickms24
05-28-2008, 07:46 PM
I think the reason they first sided with the Confederates was to save their investment (slaves,) land and family. Of course the Confederate government did not want to equip them with weapons and just used them as a labor force. I'm sure the treatment that they received from the Confederates and securing the safety of their plantations and slaves was why they switched sides. Below is Capt. Pinckney B. S. Pinchback, one of the black officers in the 2nd Native Guards - Resigned 9/11/63. Looks African Amercan to me! :rolleyes:



http://www2.netdoor.com/~jgh/photos/pbsp_med.jpg

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 08:00 PM
I assure you that the apologists will not respond to this. They have an amazing and neverending capacity to to cover their ears and eyes and scream la la la... I don't hear or see anything.

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 08:13 PM
My response was for RebelBugler. Yes Virginia primary motivation for ultimately leaving was slavery combined with Lincoln's muster call. But it took the muster call to ultimately drive VA out. In the case of Tennessee, there had been a vote on secession during the first wave and TN voted to stay in the Union. However, as soon as Lincoln issued his muster call, the governor of TN called a special session of the legislature specifically to re-open the secession issue. I am not as up on the status of Ark and NC secessions except they too did not leave until after the muster call. Thus, I would hesitate to state that slavery had as much an influence in the secession of the last four states as it did with the first seven. I am also not saying that slavery was not a factor, as no one can read Virginia's Secession Resolution and still claim that slavery was not a major factor in her secession, but rather that prior to the muster call, these states were willing to stay within the Union and find a solution to the conflict over the election of the new Republican administration. Unfortunately, the firebrands on both sides would not let happen.
As someone trained in the ways of science, I have always wanted to do a correlation analysis looking at each county that became part of the Confederacy and look at the percent that voted for secession versus those against versus percent of population that constituded slavehalders. My own hypothesis is that there is a correlation pretty close to a slope of one regarding high slaveholder population and votes for secession. Just a thought.

Blockade Runner
05-28-2008, 08:25 PM
So....let's see if I've got this straight. You're suggesting that the slaves of the South would have been willing to fight to keep themselves in bondage? Wait, that can't be right - you must mean something else. Something less ... well, less thoughtless.

It is documented that many slaves voluntarily followed their masters into battle. Until very recently the PC'ers would not acknowledge the existence of Black Confederates. The very thought of Black Confederates does not coincide with the long standing misconception that slaves in the South would not fight unless pressed into service. Additionally, it flew in the face of the popular canard that slavery was the cause of the war. (There are many books on Black Confederates, so I need not go into their service to the South).

Moreover, the emancipation of Southern slaves may have also aided the South in obtaining foreign recognition from either France or England.:D

firstmdes
05-28-2008, 08:33 PM
Additionally, it flew in the face of the popular canard that slavery was the cause of the war.
Again I post:


But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other —though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the Negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. --Alexander H. Stephens, March 21, 1861 in Savannah, Georgia
What does the bold statement in the second paragraph say? This is a speech given by Vice President Alexander H. Stephens at the start of the war. Was he the only one to think this...I think not. He was articulating what many of the leaders of the secession movement were thinking.


Moreover, the emancipation of Southern slaves may have also aided the South in obtaining foreign recognition from either France or England.:D
I do have to agree with you on the above though. If the C.S.A. had liberated the slaves, maybe foreign recognition would have come their way. Maybe. But then, if they freed the slaves, they would have been admitting to being wrong from the outset of the war. It would never have happened in a million years! Good try! ;-)

Malingerer
05-28-2008, 08:39 PM
It is documented that many slaves voluntarily followed their masters into battle. Until very recently the PC'ers would not acknowledge the existence of Black Confederates. The very thought of Black Confederates does not coincide with the long standing misconception that slaves in the South would not fight unless pressed into service. Additionally, it flew in the face of the popular canard that slavery was the cause of the war. (There are many books on Black Confederates, so I need not go into their service to the South).

Moreover, the emancipation of Southern slaves may have also aided the South in obtaining foreign recognition from either France or England.:D
Actually, I think you do need to go into their service to the Confederacy. I don't doubt that maybe a few hundred slaves served as gun toters for their masters (see my above post regarding Stockholm Syndrome). And "vountarily followed"? Just how does a slave 'voluntarily' follow his master. I mean, do you actually read your own posts? Holy c**p, I need a bunch more alcohol.

firstmdes
05-28-2008, 08:46 PM
Actually, I think you do need to go into their service to the Confederacy. I don't doubt that maybe a few hundred slaves served as gun toters for their masters (see my above post regarding Stockholm Syndrome). And "vountarily followed"? Just how does a slave 'voluntarily' follow his master. I mean, do you actually read your own posts? Holy c**p, I need a bunch more alcohol.
I just noticed the quote from your signature line:

"If slaves will make good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong." Howell Cobb.

How appropriate for our discussion!! :lol:

As to voluntarily following your master to battle...I think that happened for those benevolent masters that were really nice to their slaves! ;)

Blockade Runner
05-28-2008, 09:48 PM
Again I post:


What does the bold statement in the second paragraph say? This is a speech given by Vice President Alexander H. Stephens at the start of the war. Was he the only one to think this...I think not. He was articulating what many of the leaders of the secession movement were thinking.


I do have to agree with you on the above though. If the C.S.A. had liberated the slaves, maybe foreign recognition would have come their way. Maybe. But then, if they freed the slaves, they would have been admitting to being wrong from the outset of the war. It would never have happened in a million years! Good try! ;-)

Thomas DiLorenzo, in his widely acclaimed book, The Real Lincoln asserts the following concerning Lincoln and slavery. " A crusade against slavery would have offered a compelling case for Lincoln's war, but he never made that case. Until the day he died, he insisted that the war was being fought to deny Southerners the right of secession that virtually all the founding fathers believed was fundamental. Slavery, according to Lincoln, was only incidental to the real cause of the war: "saving the Union". Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to surpress a rebellion, not to free the slaves. Indeed, the official name of the war is the "War of Rebellion". Lincoln and the Republican Party did use the slavery issue brilliantly, however, to advance their real objective: establishiing a consolidated federal government and essentially destroying state sovereignty".

DiLorenzo's arguements concerning Lincoln's real rationale for waging a war against the South are very persasive and compelling.:wink:

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 07:44 AM
Thomas DiLorenzo, in his widely acclaimed book, The Real Lincoln asserts the following concerning Lincoln and slavery. " A crusade against slavery would have offered a compelling case for Lincoln's war, but he never made that case. Until the day he died, he insisted that the war was being fought to deny Southerners the right of secession that virtually all the founding fathers believed was fundamental. Slavery, according to Lincoln, was only incidental to the real cause of the war: "saving the Union". Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to surpress a rebellion, not to free the slaves. Indeed, the official name of the war is the "War of Rebellion". Lincoln and the Republican Party did use the slavery issue brilliantly, however, to advance their real objective: establishiing a consolidated federal government and essentially destroying state sovereignty".

DiLorenzo's arguements concerning Lincoln's real rationale for waging a war against the South are very persasive and compelling.:wink:
Correct me if I am wrong, but I have not mentioned Lincoln's reasons for the war. I have only been arguing the Southern reason for the war...and based on what I have seen written and spoken by the leaders of the rebellion, they left the Union because of slavery. If slavery did not exist in 1861, there would not have been a war. If they left the Union for any other major reasons, please let know what they were and give me the sources of this information. And I would prefer the sources be contemporary to the Civil War and not written a generation later when the 'Lost Cause' movement was taking flight.

Thanks!

RebelBugler
05-29-2008, 08:42 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I have not mentioned Lincoln's reasons for the war. I have only been arguing the Southern reason for the war...and based on what I have seen written and spoken by the leaders of the rebellion, they left the Union because of slavery. If slavery did not exist in 1861, there would not have been a war. If they left the Union for any other major reasons, please let know what they were and give me the sources of this information. And I would prefer the sources be contemporary to the Civil War and not written a generation later when the 'Lost Cause' movement was taking flight.

Thanks!

In my view, you have been arguing the reason for Southern secession, not the War. Clearly, the question of slavery and the political, economic and public safety aspects of slavery and/or its abolition were key determinants in the South's decision to secede. However, it had always been the South's intention to secede peacefully and pay just compensation to the Federal authorities for any debts owed.

Similarly, Lincoln had made several public overtures, claiming it was not his intention to interfere with the institution of slavery but rather preserve the Union. If we are to accept his statements, slavery would have continued unimpeded. Had the South not seceded, we infer from Lincoln's commentary that slavery would have been protected.

Accordingly, the cause of the war is obviously divergent views over consolidated (Union) government versus the rights of states to secede from what they considered to be a voluntary compact.

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 11:51 AM
In my view, you have been arguing the reason for Southern secession, not the War. Clearly, the question of slavery and the political, economic and public safety aspects of slavery and/or its abolition were key determinants in the South's decision to secede. However, it had always been the South's intention to secede peacefully and pay just compensation to the Federal authorities for any debts owed.
So, let me think about this a bit...One of the "key determinants in the South's decision to secede" is slavery or its abolition. Lincoln decides to fight to keep the Southern states from seceding. That makes me believe that without slavery, there would have been no secession and without secession there would not have been a war; therefore, slavery is the main cause of the war. Makes sense to me. Why are you having such a hard time understanding it?

As to the South intending to pay compensation to the Federal authorities, please tell me where you got that. I have only heard that Lincoln justified the war, partly, to reclaim Federal property being illegally seized by the Southern states. He was trying to resupply Ft. Sumter when the rebel batteries opened fire on the fort. Seems to me that South Carolina was not trying to "to secede peacefully and pay just compensation to the Federal authorities for any debts owed." If I am wrong in this, please correct me with actual source material not just opinion. An intelligent debate requires statements backed by sources and proof. All I have gotten out of you is opinion.

Blockade Runner
05-29-2008, 01:01 PM
So, let me think about this a bit...One of the "key determinants in the South's decision to secede" is slavery or its abolition. Lincoln decides to fight to keep the Southern states from seceding. That makes me believe that without slavery, there would have been no secession and without secession there would not have been a war; therefore, slavery is the main cause of the war. Makes sense to me. Why are you having such a hard time understanding it?

As to the South intending to pay compensation to the Federal authorities, please tell me where you got that. I have only heard that Lincoln justified the war, partly, to reclaim Federal property being illegally seized by the Southern states. He was trying to resupply Ft. Sumter when the rebel batteries opened fire on the fort. Seems to me that South Carolina was not trying to "to secede peacefully and pay just compensation to the Federal authorities for any debts owed." If I am wrong in this, please correct me with actual source material not just opinion. An intelligent debate requires statements backed by sources and proof. All I have gotten out of you is opinion.

If you are correct in your erroneous supposition that slavery caused the War Between the States, can you name me any other nation in the "New World" where the issue of slavery caused a war??? :confused:

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 01:10 PM
If you are correct in your erroneous supposition that slavery caused the War Between the States, can you name me any other nation in the "New World" where the issue of slavery caused a war??? :confused:
Excellent question there blockader runner! Many modern historians have argued that slavery was responsible for the Texas War for Independence (the immigrant Americans wanted to bring their slaves with them but the Mexican Constitution forbade slavery) and many would argue that it played a central role in our war with Mexico. And, don't forget the Nicaragua Adventure. Arn't you glad you asked. Remember there are no stupid questions (although it seems there are an awefully lot of inquisitive idiots out there).

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 01:16 PM
If you are correct in your erroneous supposition that slavery caused the War Between the States, can you name me any other nation in the "New World" where the issue of slavery caused a war??? :confused:
I do not understand what that matters to this discussion. What causes other wars is not the same as what causes every war. If we follow your approach then we might be able to say that the invasion of Poland in 1939 was not the cause of England and France declaring war on Nazi Germany because when had the invasion of Poland ever caused a war before? Or, the U.S. did not really go to war against Imperial Japan in 1941, because when had the bombing of Pearl Harbor ever caused a war before? Odd logic if you ask me!

And to directly answer your question: Haiti. Without slavery would there have ever been a war for Haitian independence? I don't like using Wikipedia as a source, but this was from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiti#Independence:


At the end of the double battle for emancipation and independence, former slaves proclaimed the independence of Saint-Domingue on 1 January 1804, under the name of Haiti. Haiti was the first country in the western hemisphere to abolish slavery.
The emphasis was added by me. I await your thoughts.

Sgt_Pepper
05-29-2008, 01:19 PM
If you are correct in your erroneous supposition that slavery caused the War Between the States, can you name me any other nation in the "New World" where the issue of slavery caused a war??? :confused:

Addendum to Mr. Maranto's reply above:

This is a classic "straw man argument". It is an attempt to distract by asking a pointless, irrelevant question intended to confuse the issue.

However, the question brings up some history of which very few Americans are aware, the slave rebellions and uprisings in Haiti, Jamaica, St. Domingue, Guiana, Brazil and other parts of the Western Hemisphere. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_rebellion

Blockade Runner
05-29-2008, 01:48 PM
Addendum to Mr. Maranto's reply above:

This is a classic "straw man argument". It is an attempt to distract by asking a pointless, irrelevant question intended to confuse the issue.

However, the question brings up some history of which very few Americans are aware, the slave rebellions and uprisings in Haiti, Jamaica, St. Domingue, Guiana, Brazil and other parts of the Western Hemisphere. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_rebellion

No gentleman, that is incorrect. Everywhere else in the New World slaveholders were duly compensated for their property. Only in America was there no compensation ever rendered.

States rights and tariffs caused the war. Slavery was an ancillary issue

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 01:56 PM
No gentleman, that is incorrect. Everywhere else in the New World slaveholders were duly compensated for their property. Only in America was there no compensation ever rendered.

States rights and tariffs caused the war. Slavery was an ancillary issue
Not that I expect you'll provide any, but do you have any documentation to back up your compensation assertion? For the life of me, I just cant remember the French ever being compensated for their lost slaves in Haiti. Oh, and nice dodge on not responding to the several examples that some of us provided in response to your question. Reminded me of politicians dancing around an uncomfortable question - it just never gets answered.

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 02:02 PM
No gentleman, that is incorrect. Everywhere else in the New World slaveholders were duly compensated for their property. Only in America was there no compensation ever rendered.

States rights and tariffs caused the war. Slavery was an ancillary issue
What?? :shock: Being killed in combat by former slaves is considered compensation? If that is the case, then the Southern slaveholders were compensated as hundreds of thousands were killed in the U. S. Civil War!

You have got to be kidding!! Please show us some documentation, quotes, sources, anything that even hints at your assertion. I say it again and will keep repeating it like a little brother tormenting an older sibling...No slavery, no war...no slavery, no war...

(Wow! It's like being in Kindergarten again or sitting in the back seat of my dad's Chrysler Reliant saying, "Dad, he's touching me again!)

Pvt Schnapps
05-29-2008, 02:51 PM
Thomas DiLorenzo, in his widely acclaimed book, The Real Lincoln asserts the following concerning Lincoln and slavery. " A crusade against slavery would have offered a compelling case for Lincoln's war, but he never made that case. Until the day he died, he insisted that the war was being fought to deny Southerners the right of secession that virtually all the founding fathers believed was fundamental. Slavery, according to Lincoln, was only incidental to the real cause of the war: "saving the Union". Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to surpress a rebellion, not to free the slaves. Indeed, the official name of the war is the "War of Rebellion". Lincoln and the Republican Party did use the slavery issue brilliantly, however, to advance their real objective: establishiing a consolidated federal government and essentially destroying state sovereignty".

DiLorenzo's arguements concerning Lincoln's real rationale for waging a war against the South are very persasive and compelling.:wink:

Well, they don't convince everyone. It seems doubtful that DiLorenzo, an economist, could earn the credentials of a historian. Here's a portion of a review by Thomas Krannawitter in the Claremont Review:

"These examples barely begin to sketch the real political world in which Abraham Lincoln exercised his statesmanship. It is a world of which DiLorenzo appears to be almost wholly ignorant. His unreal Lincoln inhabits an unreal world, so crudely and tendentiously drawn as to beggar belief. One wonders if the libertarian neo-Confederates have run out of front-line troops. In this screed, at any rate, they have sent a giddy, careless, half-educated boy to do a man's job. And it shows."

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.736/article_detail.asp

There's also this discussion on World Net Daily by David Quackenbush, which explodes a series of DiLorenzo's arguments as being -- surprise, surprise -- unsubstantiated by the historical record:

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27346

The book was sufficiently bad that most reputable journals didn't bother with it and the Washington Times (the conservative paper in DC) trashed it.

Of course, there are many positive reviews of the book, too. You can read one here:

http://www.whitenationalist.info/forums/showthread.php?p=21242

On the whole, anyone wanting to understand Lincoln would do better to read Lincoln himself. A few other original sources would help too.

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 03:03 PM
Wow Schnapps, the truth can bet a bit harsh sometimes. I clicked that bottom link - holy c**p! If the IT people at work notice that I could have some 'splaining to do to my boss.

Blockade Runner
05-29-2008, 03:15 PM
My preference is not to put Lincoln on a pedestal. The war certainly could have been avoided, and DiLorenzo in both The Real Linclon and Lincoln Unmasked explains how and why Lincoln chose a different path.

History in many ways is like an ice cream store. All of us can choose flavor's that they prefer. Those that deal in absolutes regarding history are doing everyone a great disservice;-)

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 03:24 PM
My preference is not to put Lincoln on a pedestal. The war certainly could have been avoided, and Di Lorenzo in both The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked explains how and why Lincoln chose a different path.

History in many ways is like an ice cream store. All of us can choose flavor's that they prefer. Those that deal in absolutes regarding history are doing everyone a great disservice;-)
Scott Lesch has a great quote at the bottom of his signature line:

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but they are not entitled to their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynahan.

The truth only comes in one flavor - unless of course one is living in his own private Idaho.

Sgt_Pepper
05-29-2008, 03:27 PM
Those that deal in absolutes regarding history are doing everyone a great disservice ;-)

One must wonder, is the emoticon an acknowledgment of the vast irony of that statement? If I read you correctly, you're saying that you intend to continue believing as you have said regardless of any contradictory facts set before you. Sir, I must tell you I am a Southerner born and bred. No one stands ahead of me in my love for the South, yet my opinions and beliefs about its role in the history of the United States of America have changed considerably since I was a child, and are still changing as new information comes to light. Sir, as another Southern patriot, I tell you your position is untenable.

And with that, I now bow out of this conversation to allow others of greater ability to continue without my kibitzing.

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 03:39 PM
One must wonder, is the emoticon an acknowledgment of the vast irony of that statement?

And with that, I now bow out of this conversation to allow others of greater ability to continue without my kibitzing.
You may want to explain to blockade runner what irony means.

Ross L. Lamoreaux
05-29-2008, 03:47 PM
You know what they say about ice cream - whether its Breyer's or regular old supermarket brand, if it's made from **** it's gonna taste like ****

Blockade Runner
05-29-2008, 03:56 PM
Scott Lesch has a great quote at the bottom of his signature line:

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but they are not entitled to their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynahan.

The truth only comes in one flavor - unless of course one is living in his own private Idaho.

Truth is a very elusive commodity. Karl Marx thought the truth was the Communist Manifesto. Hitler thought the truth was fascism. Facts and opinions are often very blurred, particulalry in history and politics.

Everyone has their own individual biases that taint their opinions and perspective, even the indomitable Patrick Moynahan.:wink:

Malingerer
05-29-2008, 04:00 PM
Truth is a very elusive commodity. Karl Marx thought the truth was the Communist Manifesto. Hitler thought the truth was fascism. Facts and opinions are often very blurred, particulalry in history and politics.

Everyone has their own individual biases that taint their opinions and perspective, even the indomitable Patrick Moynahan.:wink:
OK, fair enough. It's my humble opinion that Pi = 3.0
As you say the truth is elusive.

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 05:01 PM
My preference is not to put Lincoln on a pedestal. The war certainly could have been avoided, and DiLorenzo in both The Real Linclon and Lincoln Unmasked explains how and why Lincoln chose a different path.
Again, we are not debating the motives of Lincoln or the North. We are debating the motives of the South, including Stephens and all the other fine gentlemen who have been quoted as saying they were seceding and fighting because of slavery. Let's stop with the Lincoln tangents!


History in many ways is like an ice cream store. All of us can choose flavor's that they prefer. Those that deal in absolutes regarding history are doing everyone a great disservice;-)
Funny coming from the man who is absolutely certain that slavery had absolutely nothing to do with the American Civil War! Time and time again you have ignored the words of the C.S.A.'s "Founding Fathers." I would have to assume that they had a better idea of what they were leaving the Union for than someone writing a politically motivated book 140+ years later. SHow me the words of these founding fathers that say, "Slavery has nothing to do with this war. I want to kill over the Line Item Veto and the Six Year Presidential Term!"

What a great war rallying cry: "Don't Tread on My Line Item Veto!"

Pvt Schnapps
05-29-2008, 05:04 PM
Truth is a very elusive commodity. Karl Marx thought the truth was the Communist Manifesto. Hitler thought the truth was fascism. Facts and opinions are often very blurred, particulalry in history and politics.

Everyone has their own individual biases that taint their opinions and perspective, even the indomitable Patrick Moynahan.:wink:

Truth can indeed be elusive; in case of historical truth, we try to vector in on it with interpretations from the facts as we know them. We can learn new facts that change our interpretations (for example, a new diary comes to light), or learn new ways of looking at the facts (for example, we find that the diarist recorded a few dates wrong), which will also alter our interpretations.

Most people recognize the line between these interpretations and mere opinion, which exists without any particular relation to any particular facts. Based on the evidence before us, this thread has pretty well demonstrated on which side of the line your posts fall.

firstmdes
05-29-2008, 05:11 PM
Truth is a very elusive commodity. Karl Marx thought the truth was the Communist Manifesto. Hitler thought the truth was fascism. Facts and opinions are often very blurred, particulalry in history and politics.

Everyone has their own individual biases that taint their opinions and perspective, even the indomitable Patrick Moynahan.:wink:
The weird part of this whole debate has been that many of us have used the words of the leaders of the secession movement to show their motives and their attempted defense of slavery. Others in this thread ignore the original sources and quote 20th Century interpretations of the "truth" and preach about how their interpretation is the truth. No room for the facts. Facts that come directly from the Southerner's mouths! Somehow you need to re-read your statement about truth and opinion and take it to heart.

Blockade Runner
05-29-2008, 09:19 PM
The weird part of this whole debate has been that many of us have used the words of the leaders of the secession movement to show their motives and their attempted defense of slavery. Others in this thread ignore the original sources and quote 20th Century interpretations of the "truth" and preach about how their interpretation is the truth. No room for the facts. Facts that come directly from the Southerners mouths! Somehow you need to re-read your statement about truth and opinion and take it to heart.

I have come to the conclusion that we will never agree on very much concerning the WBTS. I can present a thousand quotations, and your people can present a thousand quotations as a rebuttal. What does it really prove? Does it prove that my quotation is right, or that yours is right? Is it even remotely possible that some of the quotations you have cited were taken out of context. And is it possible that some of the individuals quoted may have eventually changed their opinions regarding slavery? Since the latter question is purely speculative, no one will ever really know the answer.

Let's face it, much of what we believe comes down to personal perspective. You claim that certain quotes are facts, and I can counter that there were voices inside the Confederacy, (such as General Cleburne), who wanted to use slaves as soldiers. That did occur at the end of the war. Many historians believe that slavery would have been eventually abolished with or without the war. Irrespective of that, I do not believe based on research and reading that I have done, that the war was fought over the issue of slavery. What you've read and researched brings you to a different conclusion.

I will never change your mind about certain aspects of the WBTS, and you will never change mine. It basically becomes an exercise in futility, and it's tedious.

Ross L. Lamoreaux
05-29-2008, 09:24 PM
"Minds are like parachutes - they only work when they're open."

Frenchie
05-30-2008, 01:21 AM
I will never change your mind about certain aspects of the WBTS, and you will never change mine. It basically becomes an exercise in futility, and it's tedious.

You didn't find it tedious until you realized the other side of the debate had far better ammunition and held an unassailable position on the high ground.

You said, in effect, that for you the truth is what you say it is and for others it is what they say it is. That is ridiculous nonsense. We can't speak to those people of the time, but they still speak to us - we can read what they put down as their beliefs, reasons, etc. What they said is what tells us why they tried to secede and started a civil war, and they said they did it to preserve slavery. Denying it is calling them liars, and the least silly thing about doing that is trying to get us to believe they were all in collusion to deceive everyone else about the real reasons. Ben Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret as long as two are dead." I say that every time I hear someone blathering about their favorite conspiracy theory.

I mean, come on, don't you realize the absurdity here? I guess not, it probably isn't part of your "truth".

tompritchett
05-30-2008, 06:45 AM
You said, in effect, that for you the truth is what you say it is and for others it is what they say it is. That is ridiculous nonsense. We can't speak to those people of the time, but they still speak to us - we can read what they put down as their beliefs, reasons, etc. What they said is what tells us why they tried to secede and started a civil war, and they said they did it to preserve slavery. Denying it is calling them liars, and the least silly thing about doing that is trying to get us to believe they were all in collusion to deceive everyone else about the real reasons. Ben Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret as long as two are dead." I say that every time I hear someone blathering about their favorite conspiracy theory.

I don't think that the argument was over the facts but how they were being interpreted. Both sides were in agreement that the slavery was the major catalyst that drove the secessions. However one side is arguing that the war was fought over slavery because without slavery there would have been no secessions, while the other side is saying that the war was fought over the right of those states to secede for whatever reason their reasons were. IMHO, in this case the disagreement is not over the facts but how each side believes those facts are linked.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 08:05 AM
I have come to the conclusion that we will never agree on very much concerning the WBTS.
I actually came to that conclusion quite a number of posts ago, but thought I would try a little longer.


I can present a thousand quotations, and your people can present a thousand quotations as a rebuttal. What does it really prove? Does it prove that my quotation is right, or that yours is right? Is it even remotely possible that some of the quotations you have cited were taken out of context.
Except for the Lincoln book, what quotes have you offered to refute the "slavery caused the war" argument?


And is it possible that some of the individuals quoted may have eventually changed their opinions regarding slavery? Since the latter question is purely speculative, no one will ever really know the answer.
I will not deny that many men and women of the Confederacy changed their minds over time. Four years of slaughter can change the most entrenched ideas. Kevin Dally (aka: Georgia Frame) sent me the following quote which backs up your claim of changing opinions:


Confederate Soldier, S. T. Foster , Captain in the 25th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) from his book, One
of Cleburne's Command…
April 30th, 1865…
“It seems curious that men’s minds can change so sudden, from opinions of life long, to new ones a week old.
I mean that men who have not only been taught from their infancy that the institution of slavery was right; but men who actually owned and held slaves up to this time, --have now changed in their opinions regarding slavery, so as to be able to see the other side of the question, --to see that for man to have property in man was wrong, and that the “Declaration of Independence meant more than they had ever been able to see before. That all men are, and of right ought to be free” has a meaning different from the definition they had been taught from their infancy up, --and to see that the institution (though perhaps wise) had been abused, and perhaps for that abuse this terrible war with its results, was brought upon us as a punishment… These ideas come not from the Yanks or northern people but come from reflection, and reasoning among ourselves.”


Let's face it, much of what we believe comes down to personal perspective. You claim that certain quotes are facts, and I can counter that there were voices inside the Confederacy, (such as General Cleburne), who wanted to use slaves as soldiers. That did occur at the end of the war. Many historians believe that slavery would have been eventually abolished with or without the war. Irrespective of that, I do not believe based on research and reading that I have done, that the war was fought over the issue of slavery. What you've read and researched brings you to a different conclusion.
Yes, there were a few members of the C.S.A. who were interested in the liberation of slaves for military service. If I remember correctly, these people were the exception to the rule and were considered crazy by the majority of those who heard their ideas. Personally, I am glad Patrick Cleburne was ignored and his career possibly ruined by this idea. If the idea had been put into practice, the war would have lasted longer and many more would have died for, more than likely, the same end.


I will never change your mind about certain aspects of the WBTS, and you will never change mine. It basically becomes an exercise in futility, and it's tedious.
I find this approach to debate and discussion rather defeatist. I have held many opinions and beliefs about the Civil War for years. Some have been firmly in place from the beginning and some are newly formed. The best way to convince me is to take the words and actions of the people who lived the history you are discussing and make your points from them. I find it hard to deny the words of Stephens, et al when they were written/spoken in the heat of the moment, when a person's true thoughts are being uttered. Anything they say years after the war borders on damage control.

Nice debating with you!

RebelBugler
05-30-2008, 08:31 AM
I don't think that the argument was over the facts but how they were being interpreted. Both sides were in agreement that the slavery was the major catalyst that drove the secessions. However one side is arguing that the war was fought over slavery because without slavery there would have been no secessions, while the other side is saying that the war was fought over the right of those states to secede for whatever reason their reasons were. IMHO, in this case the disagreement is not over the facts but how each side believes those facts are linked.


I believe Tom has clearly articulated the nature of the arguments.

For those still insisting that the War was fought over slavery, I would respectfully suggest examination the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, passed by Congress of the United States on July 25, 1861. Clearly, this is primary documentation from the period that states that the war WAS NOT being conducted for the purposes of "overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States," but to "defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union." If we are to believe Congress, this citation is irrefutable evidence as to why the Union engaged in War with the South.

Lastly, there had been questions as to attempts by the South to negotiate a peaceful settlement and provide financial compensation to the North for Federal installations. Following the inauguration of President Davis on February 9, 1861, and by a Resolution of the Confederate Congress, a Peace Commission was sent to Washington DC to discuss an amicable resolution of the crisis and compensation for Federal installations in the Confederate states and payment of the South's pro rata portion of the National Debt. Unfortunately, Lincoln refused to meet with these individuals.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 08:48 AM
I believe Tom has clearly articulated the nature of the arguments.
For those still insisting that the War was fought over slavery, I would respectfully suggest examination the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, passed by Congress of the United States on July 25, 1861. Clearly, this is primary documentation from the period that states that the war WAS NOT being conducted for the purposes of "overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States," but to "defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union." If we are to believe Congress, this citation is irrefutable evidence as to why the Union engaged in War with the South.
RebelBugler, I state again that we have not been debating the reasons Lincoln and the North went to war. Yes, Lincoln was trying to preserve the Union and defend the Constitution. Even if he wanted to end slavery from the beginning, he would not have gotten the support of all remaining states if he declared that the war was for the destruction of slavery. Look what happened in NY in 1863!

The debate that we have been having is about why the South went to war. Forget Lincoln quotes and U.S. Congressional debates or resolutions. These do not tell us why the South did what the South did. The "Founding Fathers" of the Confederacy were trying to defend their perceived rights to place other humans in bondage. They may have tried to package it as one of many "state's rights" issues, but the non-slavery related issues were not war-worthy! Can anyone truly think that men and women would be whipped into a frenzy over paper money, vetos and presidential terms?

Let's stop posting support for why the Union fought and post support for why the Confederacy fought.

tompritchett
05-30-2008, 01:05 PM
Let's stop posting support for why the Union fought and post support for why the Confederacy fought.

There are two issues here - why the typical Southern soldier took up arms and why the Confederacy took actions that ended up initiating a war. As for the first, I believe that most Southerners believed that they would not be allowed to leave the Union peacefully and took up arms to defend themselves from a possible Union invasion specifically and from what they perceived to be Northern interference into their affairs generally. Once the bullets started flying, there was loyalty to their home states (Confederate officers such as Lee as well as senior officials as Davis - both of whom were openly opposed to secession), defending the right of states to determine their own destinies without interference from the Federal government (a sentiment still shared by many today) as well as the motives listed in the prior sentence. As for why the Confederacy decided to fire on Sumter, the best reasons that I can give is a massive case of hubris and a sense that their honor was at stake in allowing Northern troops having any semblance of controlling access to one of her major ports (control that was true only in theory but not in fact because of the extreme vulnerability of the garrison to fire from the various shore batteries). Yes, one of the major items that they were protecting from Northern interference was their right to have slaves but, given that slightly less than 1/3 of families in the Confederacy actually owned slaves as of the 1860 census, I think that you have to look at the larger picture and the issues involved as I outlined them above.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 01:17 PM
There are two issues here - why the typical Southern soldier took up arms and why the Confederacy took actions that ended up initiating a war. As for the first, I believe that most Southerners believed that they would not be allowed to leave the Union peacefully and took up arms to defend themselves from a possible Union invasion specifically and from what they perceived to be Northern interference into their affairs generally. Once the bullets started flying, there was loyalty to their home states (Confederate officers such as Lee as well as senior officials as Davis - both of whom were openly opposed to secession), defending the right of states to determine their own destinies without interference from the Federal government (a sentiment still shared by many today) as well as the motives listed in the prior sentence. As for why the Confederacy decided to fire on Sumter, the best reasons that I can give is a massive case of hubris and a sense that their honor was at stake in allowing Northern troops having any semblance of controlling access to one of her major ports (control that was true only in theory but not in fact because of the extreme vulnerability of the garrison to fire from the various shore batteries. Yes, one of the major items that they were protecting from Northern interference was their right to have slaves but, given that slightly less than 1/3 of families in the Confederacy actually owned slaves as of the 1860 census, I think that you have to look at the larger picture and the issues involved as I outlined them above.
Tom, you makes some great points. Points which I think have great merit. I do have to disagree on the "slightly less than 1/3 of families in the Confederacy actually owned slaves as of the 1860 census" comment. The numerical fact might be true that most Southerners were not slave owners (just like most Northerners were not abolitionists), but those in power, those who breathed the most fire and stirred up the hornet's nest were not just slave owners, but major slave owners. Their entire way of life would be ruined if they lost control of the government. If too many free states entered the Union, they would lose their influence.

My point, the average Confederate fighting man and woman (now I have started another fight!) did not own slaves and probably could not care less about the institution of slavery, but those who led the rebelling states out of the Union were the institution of slavery! And they left the Union for the sole purpose of keeping slavery legal and alive. Read the C.S.A. Constitution, read Stephens' March 1861 speech and read the countless other writings or speeches of the rebel leaders from 1861.

No slavery in the U.S. in 1861 would have meant no 600,000 dead in 1865.

Pvt Schnapps
05-30-2008, 01:26 PM
I think a lot of the embarrassment felt by folks trying to defend the South's position on this issue would be alleviated if we could agree that while the war was caused by slavery, men fought for basically the same reasons on each side.

It wasn't primarily a war of slaveholders against abolitionists, though those folks stoked the fires. It was mainly a fight of boys from farms and small towns in one group of states against boys from small towns and farms in another group of states. And the boys went to war initially for their communities and later, more and more, for bounties and because of conscription.

Two very different economic systems faced each other in 1861. Slavery was the big divider. To argue that there was any other cause of equal significance puts the proponent on pretty thin rhetorical ice. The north fought to preserve the Union, but the Union had been sundered by southern politicians linked to the slave economy.

That said, it's equally clear from reading soldiers' diaries on both sides that the level of political sophistication wasn't particularly high on either side and, when it came to questions of race, there weren't many better angels to go around.

The agony that this caused thinking men of the time is difficult to imagine today. Robt. E. Lee, writing to Mrs. Anne Marshall on April 20, 1861, put his own situation this way:

"Now we are in a state of war which will yield to nothing. The whole South is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long struggle, has been drawn; and though I recognize no necessity for this state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end for a redress of grievances, real or supposed, yet in my own person I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native state."

We can only hope that none of us ever have to face such a decision.

5 th Alabama Infantry
05-30-2008, 03:00 PM
If too many free states entered the Union, they would lose their influence.


In my opinion, that states exactly why the South had to leave the voluntary union. They weren't going to allow themselves to be a perpetual minority colony subject to every whim of the north in a land that they and their Fathers had helped create.

tompritchett
05-30-2008, 04:40 PM
My point, the average Confederate fighting man and woman (now I have started another fight!) did not own slaves and probably could not care less about the institution of slavery, but those who led the rebelling states out of the Union were the institution of slavery! And they left the Union for the sole purpose of keeping slavery legal and alive. Read the C.S.A. Constitution, read Stephens' March 1861 speech and read the countless other writings or speeches of the rebel leaders from 1861.


Again, we are not in disagreement on why the majority of the states left the Union (exception for sure - Tennessee specifically left over the muster call and in defense of her sister states right to secede; she had already voted not to secede when slavery was driving the others out). It goes back to whether you see the secessions and the war as two separate acts that did not necessarily have to be linked, although historically they ended up becoming so, or as one long continuous event. I see it as the former and you see it as the latter. Thus, our disagreement. I do understand where you are coming from and do not disagree with any of the facts that you are presenting. I am just starting with a different premise than you on whether there were two distinct events or one continuous event.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 05:02 PM
In my opinion, that states exactly why the South had to leave the voluntary union. They weren't going allow themselves to be a perpetual minority colony subject every whim of the north in a land that they and their Fathers had helped create.
Hey! We have agreed on something, sort of. However, I cannot agree at all with the statement that the Southern states "had to leave the voluntary union." So, the Southern states were worried that they would become the, as you put it, "perpetual minority colony subject [to] every whim of the north in a land that they and their Fathers had helped create." So besides being in the minority as slave owners, what else were they in the minority over? And if previous statements, to which I agree, establish the fact that most Southerners were not slave owners, then most Southerners were a part of the majority to which the Northerners belonged. That would mean that most Southerners should have stayed in the Union with the Northerner majority. (Does that make sense? :confused: )

As to having to leave the union, what a difficult idea for me to understand! Can you imagine any democracy following that line of thought on a regular basis? Here is an example of what might happen:

Country A holds an election and Group A wins while Group B loses. This causes Group B to leave Country A, start Country B and hold another election. In this second election, Group C loses to Group B. This causes Group C to leave Country B, start Country C and hold another election. Hmmm, this could go on every election year until each country consists of one household!...at least until the kids grow-up and start their own country with Rap Music and baggy pants...The point I am trying to make in my exaggerated way is that leaving a union of states (legally or illegally) because you are starting to lose influence is almost childish.

And that brings me to another point...let me just say for the sake of argument that you are right that slavery is not the cause of the war, or for that matter slavery is not the cause of secession. Please tell me, what was the cause of secession? And please direct me to a book or two which may explain it to me in a way I may understand.

Thanks!

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 05:09 PM
Again, we are not in disagreement on why the majority of the states left the Union (exception for sure - Tennessee specifically left over the muster call and in defense of her sister states right to secede; she had already voted not to secede when slavery was driving the others out). It goes back to whether you see the secessions and the war as two separate acts that did not necessarily have to be linked, although historically they ended up becoming so, or as one long continuous event. I see it as the former and you see it as the latter. Thus, our disagreement. I do understand where you are coming from and do not disagree with any of the facts that you are presenting. I am just starting with a different premise than you on whether there were two distinct events or one continuous event.
I suppose that can be considered splitting hairs, but I accept your argument on this one. If the secession and war are two distinct events, then the war was caused by secession and the Union trying to stop it. Secession was therefore caused by the men of the Southern states trying to save their benevolent institution.

I guess my problem is I have a hard time trying to separate the secession of the Southern states and the war into two distinct events. To me they are nearly one in the same. (i.e.: The bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War II are the same basic event.)

Oh, and Tom...thanks for the debate. Your points have not come across as arrogant or insulting to me. They have come across as someone with an opposing viewpoint presenting the facts for my review. I appreciate being treated in such a civil manner. :-)

FloridaConfederate
05-30-2008, 06:09 PM
You may get a Southron to see the primary role slavery played....but you will never get a Yank to see how slavery was the primary factor if viewed entirely through the aperture of the application of law, particularly Constitutional law.

tompritchett
05-30-2008, 06:21 PM
To me they are nearly one in the same. (i.e.: The bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War II are the same basic event.)


To illustrate where I am coming from I will use parallels from WWII. To me the slavery issue would be similar to the expansionist, imperial aspirations of Japan prior to the war, secession would be equivalent to the U.S. embargo of scrap metal and oil to Japan, and Pearl Harbor would have been the equivalent to the South firing on Ft. Sumter. The tensions between the U.S. and Japan were directly related to Japan's expansionist and imperial desires. It definitely was an issue that had been growing between the two and was setting them on the course towards a potential conflict. When the U.S. set up the trade embargo on Japan, the war could still have been avoided depending upon Japan's response. Unfortunately, Japan decided to try to take the U.S. out of the picture in the Pacific by destroying our Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, just as the hot-heads in SC felt that for honor's sake they had to remove the Federal presence at Ft. Sumter (notice I am not defending either position here, but merely stating why the parties felt they must act as they did). Once Japan bombed Pearl Harbor they enraged the American people to the point that open war was unavoidable, just as the firing on Ft. Sumter and the American flag so enraged the populace of the North that there was no way that Lincoln could not have issued his muster call even if he had wanted to find another, non-violent method to re-unite the Union.

Blockade Runner
05-30-2008, 07:16 PM
You didn't find it tedious until you realized the other side of the debate had far better ammunition and held an unassailable position on the high ground.

You said, in effect, that for you the truth is what you say it is and for others it is what they say it is. That is ridiculous nonsense. We can't speak to those people of the time, but they still speak to us - we can read what they put down as their beliefs, reasons, etc. What they said is what tells us why they tried to secede and started a civil war, and they said they did it to preserve slavery. Denying it is calling them liars, and the least silly thing about doing that is trying to get us to believe they were all in collusion to deceive everyone else about the real reasons. Ben Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret as long as two are dead." I say that every time I hear someone blathering about their favorite conspiracy theory.

I mean, come on, don't you realize the absurdity here? I guess not, it probably isn't part of your "truth".

No, it's really not about anyone having "far better ammunition" or "an unassailable position on the high ground".

It's a matter of expending a huge amount of effort in identifying historians and others who agree with my position concerning the cause of the war. If I for a moment genuinely believed I could alter anyones opinion on this forum by exhaustively researching quotes and citations, I would gladly make that effort. However my instincts tell me, based on reading previous threads, that my time would not be well spent. I'm quite certain that the historians that I would cite would be disparaged and demeaned as revisionists, (see previous posts regarding Thomas DiLorenzo).

I would much prefer using my limited leisure time in happier pursuits...like marching in parades with my SCV brothers, or participating in the Captain Wirz Ceremony as we did several weeks ago.:-)

5 th Alabama Infantry
05-30-2008, 07:50 PM
No, it's really not about anyone having "far better ammunition" or "an unassailable position on the high ground".

It's a matter of expending a huge amount of effort in identifying historians and others who agree with my position concerning the cause of the war. If I for a moment genuinely believed I could alter anyones opinion on this forum by exhaustively researching quotes and citations, I would gladly make that effort. However my instincts tell me, based on reading previous threads, that my time would not be well spent. I'm quite certain that the historians that I would cite would be disparaged and demeaned as revisionists, (see previous posts regarding Thomas DiLorenzo).

I would much prefer using my limited leisure time in happier pursuits...like marching in parades with my SCV brothers, or participating in the Captain Wirz Ceremony as we did several weeks ago.:-)

Agreed . Some on this board seem to constantly be demanding a lengthy high school term papers with bibliography and foot notes for every post.
I’m afraid I can’t be bothered. It won’t change any minds.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 08:01 PM
Agreed . Some on this board seem to constantly be demanding a lengthy high school term papers with bibliography and foot notes for every post.
I’m afraid I can’t be bothered. It won’t change any minds.
Seems to me that you and Blockade Runner would rather walk away from the discussion because it is not going your way! I am not asking for a PhD dissertation or even a high school term paper from the opposite opinion. I am just asking for a little contemporary support for your "opinion" on the matter being discussed. Almost all of what I have posted on this thread and others has come from Internet sources with a few from my own books. I appreciate Blockade Runner's attempt by posting the DiLorenzo information, but that is a 20th or 21st Century interpretation of the events. Much of what I and others were posting were from contemporary sources. It seems that you would rather I take the opinion of a man writing 140 years after the event instead of the opinion of those whose actions we are debating.

It also sounds like you would rather walk away instead of having an intelligent conversation about an historical topic. Why not secede from the forum and start a new one not requiring any facts to support an opinion.

Georgia Frame
05-30-2008, 08:07 PM
“I am convinced the institution of slavery is now virtually destroyed & with it we lose the great object for which the Confederacy was made, and without which there never would have been a Confederacy”
Lt. O. C. Orange 19th Texas Infantry

“You came into our country with your army, avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only intend to rule over them, but you make Negroes your allies, and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race, in any country, in all time.”
General John B. Hood to General W. T. Sherman

“the apprehension those poor men had of the consequences of the emancipation of four million of Negro slaves in their midst, and they to be given the franchise and elevated to political and social equality with the whites… Southern pride was offended and the blood made to boil at the idea of enforced equality of an inferior race… they had the intelligence to foresee that with universal emancipation would come a rivalry with them in industries, unpleasant contact, mixed schools, Negro office-holders, indignities, miscegenation, and general demoralization.” William C. Oates, Col. 15th Alabama

“If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war.” Gen. Sherman to Gen. Hood
================================================== =======
I've followed this thread and have tried to stay out of it, and while I may have the right to remain silent...I just don't have the ability!

When I was a member, I tried to buy into the SCV’s line that our ancestors (the Confederate Veteran) was NOT fighting to keep slavery, but their rights.
No matter how I tried to rationalize the causes, slavery kept rearing up its head. The writings of the period from the soldiers, the southern newspapers, the speeches…all point to the Southern hierarchy on down, as going to keep slavery alive. Yes, they felt it was right to go to war over the issue. If not fighting for having slaves, then at least not having the slaves as equals! (I know a lot of Northern soldiers were not thrilled at having slaves equalized with them, either!)

To coin a cliché “Without Slavery, would there have been a war”?
I don’t think so.
I will honor the Confederate Soldiers that I descend from, and all others as well. I can find hardly any other who would be as bold or brave to take on the powerful enemy they were up against. I make no apologies for them. Any payment that folk want today will have to realize that it was all paid for with blood.

As far as DiLorenzo, I’m no lover of Lincoln, but I’m not ready to buy into all the conspiracy theories he’s come up with, making him the darling of many members of the SCV.

Kevin Dally

RebelBugler
05-30-2008, 09:24 PM
Please tell me, what was the cause of secession? Thanks!

Without trying to be overly simplistic, I think ultimately it boiled down to lack of trust.

firstmdes
05-30-2008, 10:24 PM
Without trying to be overly simplistic, I think ultimately it boiled down to lack of trust.
Okay. For some clarification, do you mean the Southern states did not trust the Northern states? Did not trust them to leave slavery alone or something else?

tompritchett
05-31-2008, 11:29 AM
I can find hardly any other who would be as bold or brave to take on the powerful enemy they were up against.

In the months between secession and the firing on Ft. Sumter, I would also have to throw in arrogant pride into the mix as many of the more vocal proponents felt that the South would have no trouble whipping anything the North would have thrown at them. Had more sober minds in the South been able to make a realistic assessment of the Union's war making abilities in terms of both manpower and material verus that of the Confederacy, I humbly believe that either the secession issue would ultimately have been resolved by major constitutional concessions by the Lincoln administration or that the Confederacy would have developed a relationship with the Union similar to the one that we have with Canada today, if nothing else because of the trade route of the Mississippi River. To me the saddest part of this issue is that probably one of the most qualified men in the nation based upon first hand experience to make such a realistic assessment was Jefferson Davis; but he failed to do so and thus, IMHO, greatly failed his country as its leader.

FloridaConfederate
05-31-2008, 11:42 AM
..... the Confederacy would have developed a relationship with the Union similar to the one that we have with Canada today, ....

Which to me could potentially mean: cheaper prescriptions, stronger beer, decriminalized hydro, greater availability of quality bacon products and a government that pretty much minds its own funeral..... all with the added plus of an influx thick gals with pasty white skin and funny accents.

Take off, eh!

RebelBugler
05-31-2008, 12:53 PM
Okay. For some clarification, do you mean the Southern states did not trust the Northern states? Did not trust them to leave slavery alone or something else?

Yes, that's precisely what I mean. As to the specific areas where trust was lacking, slavery would be one area but I believe it was much broader and deeper than the slavery issue alone. If slavery was the sole and primary issue, there is evidence to suggest that the South could have easily negotiated a deal to rejoin the Union in exchange for assurances that slavery could continue unabated.

There were fundamental differences between the North and South as to how the Constitution was to be interpreted, including the sovereignty of the States.

Even the inhabitants of the various regions, North and South, were quite different. The South was settled primarily by the Cavaliers and Scot-Irish while the North was primarily Puritan and the Mid-Atlantic Quakers. These groups had a certain distrust of one another that can be traced backed to England and even the English Civil War. There is an excellent book "Albion's Seed" that discusses this aspect in some detail and even suggests the WBTS was, in some fashion, a continuation of the English Civil War.

As to identifying precisely what tipped the scale in favor of the South's secession, answering the question would be akin to trying to describe why a love affair went bad. It's easy to develop a list of possibilities but difficult to say what precisely culminated in the ultimate dissolution

FloridaConfederate
05-31-2008, 01:02 PM
There were fundamental differences between the North and South as to how the Constitution was to be interpreted, including the sovereignty of the States.

And in 1857 the Supreme Court upheld what ??????

(in my earthwork waiting for the emotionally driven set to level a modern racism barrage..let me get a dip in)

tompritchett
05-31-2008, 03:52 PM
There were fundamental differences between the North and South as to how the Constitution was to be interpreted, including the sovereignty of the States.

This brings forth an interesting dichotomy in stances taken by various Southern politicians prior to the war regarding the role of the Federal and state governments as defined by the Constitution. Yes, they believed strongly in the power of the 10th Amendment in limiting the authority of the Federal government and the independence of the states to govern themselves and determine their own destinies. However, when it came to protecting their property rights to slaves versus individual states and cities protecting the freedom of all men within their borders, these same politicians were very quick to cite the "supreme law of the land" clause of the Federal Constitution in light of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott case as well as the Federal Constitution's clauses about the protection of property (read several of the secession resolutions starting with Virginia's). To me this has always been an interesting apparent contradiction.

FloridaConfederate
05-31-2008, 04:30 PM
The issue was constitutional jurisprudence.

The limit of constitutional involvement regarding slavery in 1860 was a Federally defined obligation to insure fugitive slaves were returned in inter-state flight.

The Supreme Court up help this in 1857.

Remember how powers are defined by the 10th Amendment.

The Federal government had only the power derived from the states (the people) to insure their lawfully owned property was returned. That is it. If the Federal gov (Republican not carrying one Southern State) wouldn't live up to its constitutional obligation, nor obey an edict from the supreme court of land...

Sounds like war'n time to me

hanktrent
05-31-2008, 05:06 PM
However, when it came to protecting their property rights to slaves versus individual states and cities protecting the freedom of all men within their borders, these same politicians were very quick to cite the "supreme law of the land" clause of the Federal Constitution in light of the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott case as well as the Federal Constitution's clauses about the protection of property (read several of the secession resolutions starting with Virginia's). To me this has always been an interesting apparent contradiction.

I don't really see it as a contradiction, though. If your cow strays onto your neighbor's property while you're trying to catch it, that doesn't mean your neighbor gets to keep it and do what he wants with it. That's just common sense and I expect it goes far back in common law. The fugitive slave act seemed an obvious "good neighbor" compromise, respecting the rights of southern slave-owners.

Without a fugitive slave act, there was too great a temptation for slaves to get across the border and become free, just as with the law, there was too great a temptation to kidnap free men "by mistake" and carry them south as slaves. Anti-kidnapping laws helped tweak the fugitive slave laws, but I think it was clear the north's heart really wasn't in the compromise, and I think it became just another example to southerners that compromises weren't going to work in the long run, and the north wouldn't be satisfied until the whole country was free.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
05-31-2008, 05:33 PM
I don't really see it as a contradiction, though. If your cow strays onto your neighbor's property while you're trying to catch it, that doesn't mean your neighbor gets to keep it and do what he wants with it. That's just common sense and I expect it goes far back in common law.

The problem arose where municipal and state law did not recognize slaves as property and in fact made it illegal to own slaves within the state. One complaint that surfaced in the Virginia secession resolution was the claim that Southern slave holders could be arrested in certain Northern juridictions if they were traveling with their slaves.

RebelBugler
05-31-2008, 11:03 PM
The problem arose where municipal and state law did not recognize slaves as property and in fact made it illegal to own slaves within the state. One complaint that surfaced in the Virginia secession resolution was the claim that Southern slave holders could be arrested in certain Northern juridictions if they were traveling with their slaves.

Interestingly, Virginia and the majority of Southern states vigorously opposed the Constitutional provision protecting the slave trade until 1808, but their efforts were quashed by commercial interests in the North, who insisted on the Constitutional provision. In fact, the General Assembly of Virginia outlawed the slave trade in Virginia in October of 1778 while Patrick Henry was Governor.

Another very bizarre and ironic twist is how chattel slavery was introduced into Virginia. It appears a free Black by the name of Anthony Johnson petitioned the Virginia Courts for permanent ownership of an Indentured servant, thus introducing chattel slavery to the Nation.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/johnson.html (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/johnson.html)/font (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/johnson.html/font)]


http://www.jamestown1607.org/ (http://www.jamestown1607.org/)

Be sure to click on the gentlemen wearing the Thank You Anthony Johnson T-shirt to learn more about this early Virginian, highlighted on the official Jamestown Anniversary web site.

hanktrent
06-01-2008, 08:43 AM
Interestingly, Virginia and the majority of Southern states vigorously opposed the Constitutional provision protecting the slave trade until 1808, but their efforts were quashed by commercial interests in the North, who insisted on the Constitutional provision. In fact, the General Assembly of Virginia outlawed the slave trade in Virginia in October of 1778 while Patrick Henry was Governor.

The African slave trade was competition for Virginia and the upper south, who had their own slaves they wanted to sell further south, so it makes sense they'd be against it. Coincidentally, on another thread, I just posted something on that. See the quote from General Pinckney here: http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showpost.php?p=72854&postcount=87

When you click on the link in that post, he also said, "South Carolina can never receive the [Constitutional] plan if it prohibits the slave-trade." Colonel Mason of Virginia adds a rant about how Virginia was stuck with the "infernal traffic" due to "the avarice of British merchants." That's when General Pinckney of South Carolina responds by explaining that a ban will prop up the price of Virginia's slaves, while hurting the states who need to buy, like his.

I've seen the debate reported in slightly different ways elsewhere, but the general meaning is the same, and makes sense. It's the age-old protectionism vs. free trade argument, and the question of who's helped and who's hurt by discouraging imports from overseas.

The different southern states had different commercial interests in slaves, just like the north, depending on whether they were mostly buyers or sellers. Were the southern states against the African slave trade the ones who benefitted from selling slaves to other states, while the ones for it were the ones who needed more slaves? I'd guess so, but it's a genuine question, since that's not really my era of focus.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

firstmdes
06-01-2008, 04:40 PM
Ok. I think I get where you are coming from. Slavery was definitely a contributing factor in the cause of the war, but the straw that broke the camel's back was the secession of the Southern states. Is that right?

I suppose if we keep arguing we would be just arguing over semantics. So you agree that without slavery there would not have been a war? Our difference of opinion comes in because of how we interpret each separate action leading up to the war.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this one point. I have been pretty much kept busy this weekend by my boys. I have checked in on the forum, but been unable to really post anything of substance.

tompritchett
06-01-2008, 10:59 PM
Ok. I think I get where you are coming from. Slavery was definitely a contributing factor in the cause of the war, but the straw that broke the camel's back was the secession of the Southern states. Is that right?

Almost, slavery had put quite a load on the camel's back. Secession then threw more cinder blocks into the load. IMHO, there was still a very slight chance for reconciliation had there been more time. But the true straw that broke the camel's back was the firing on Ft. Sumter. At that point, there would be war.


I suppose if we keep arguing we would be just arguing over semantics. So you agree that without slavery there would not have been a war? Our difference of opinion comes in because of how we interpret each separate action leading up to the war.

As far as the semantics, when I first got into the hobby, my first focus of research was into how in the blue blazes did our country ever get to the point that we had to have a war to settle the issue. Therefore, rather than focus on the details of my equipment or on the details of specific battles or campaigns, I focussed on the events and reasons that led up to the secession of the individual states and the events that led up to the firing on Sumter. I guess that shows in the semantics as I try to avoid simplifying the "causes" of the war.

As to whether or not there would have been a war without the issue of slavery, as do you, I do not believe that the other differences between the two regions would have led to a secession. Yes there would have been tensions as expressed in major p*****g contests in Congress and newspaper editorials over such issues as inequalities of tariff collections, inequalities in government spending within the various regions, and general views on the relative Constitutional roles and powers of the Federal government versus those of the states, and on the fundamental differences in the economies of the different regions. But I very seriously doubt that these tensions would have ever boiled up to the point that there would have been a secession. No, as like you, I fundamentally believe that it took the issue of slavery to generate grievances sufficient that 1) the Democrat party would self-destruct to the point that the election of a Republican President was even possible and that 2) such an election would trigger the first wave of secessions and ultimately a Civil War.

Finally, in regards to the fact that our basic disagreement is in our interpretation of the individual acts leading up to the war, yes I agree that is indeed where we disagree. In fact, I suspect that several of the disagreements that you have had with individuals here on the forum on the role of slavery as a cause of the war have all been over the same degree and type of differing interpretation of the actions leading up to the war. I am not the only one here that separates the secession and war itself into two separate but very inter-related events; I may just be better able to express myself on this issue in this type of dialog.

firstmdes
06-02-2008, 11:02 AM
Almost, slavery had put quite a load on the camel's back. Secession then threw more cinder blocks into the load. IMHO, there was still a very slight chance for reconciliation had there been more time. But the true straw that broke the camel's back was the firing on Ft. Sumter. At that point, there would be war.

As far as the semantics, when I first got into the hobby, my first focus of research was into how in the blue blazes did our country ever get to the point that we had to have a war to settle the issue. Therefore, rather than focus on the details of my equipment or on the details of specific battles or campaigns, I focussed on the events and reasons that led up to the secession of the individual states and the events that led up to the firing on Sumter. I guess that shows in the semantics as I try to avoid simplifying the "causes" of the war.

As to whether or not there would have been a war without the issue of slavery, as do you, I do not believe that the other differences between the two regions would have led to a secession. Yes there would have been tensions as expressed in major p*****g contests in Congress and newspaper editorials over such issues as inequalities of tariff collections, inequalities in government spending within the various regions, and general views on the relative Constitutional roles and powers of the Federal government versus those of the states, and on the fundamental differences in the economies of the different regions. But I very seriously doubt that these tensions would have ever boiled up to the point that there would have been a secession. No, as like you, I fundamentally believe that it took the issue of slavery to generate grievances sufficient that 1) the Democrat party would self-destruct to the point that the election of a Republican President was even possible and that 2) such an election would trigger the first wave of secessions and ultimately a Civil War.

Finally, in regards to the fact that our basic disagreement is in our interpretation of the individual acts leading up to the war, yes I agree that is indeed where we disagree. In fact, I suspect that several of the disagreements that you have had with individuals here on the forum on the role of slavery as a cause of the war have all been over the same degree and type of differing interpretation of the actions leading up to the war. I am not the only one here that separates the secession and war itself into two separate but very inter-related events; I may just be better able to express myself on this issue in this type of dialog.
Thanks for the clarification. It amazes me that two people can disagree on this forum and still have a civil discussion!

I accept your argument that secession is actually a step closer to causing the war than slavery, but I believe that war started the moment the first shot was fired from the Southern batteries in Charleston. The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.

Thanks for making the effort "to express [yourself] on this issue in this type of dialog." I have noticed some others have begun to ignore my posts as they "can't be bothered" with an intelligent and civil discussion.

5 th Alabama Infantry
06-02-2008, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the clarification. It amazes me that two people can disagree on this forum and still have a civil discussion!

I accept your argument that secession is actually a step closer to causing the war than slavery, but I believe that war started the moment the first shot was fired from the Southern batteries in Charleston. The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.

Thanks for making the effort "to express [yourself] on this issue in this type of dialog." I have noticed some others have begun to ignore my posts as they "can't be bothered" with an intelligent and civil discussion.


The act of war was Lincoln sending an armed resupply ship to a military installation in a sovereign nation.

firstmdes
06-02-2008, 11:21 AM
The act of war was Lincoln sending an armed resupply ship to a military installation in a sovereign nation.
At the time the Southern forces fired on Ft. Sumpter, the fort was the property of the United States Government, NOT the government of South Carolina or any other "sovereign nation." As to the "sovereign nation" mentioned in your post, did any other nation recognize it as a legitimate government?

tompritchett
06-02-2008, 02:43 PM
The firing on Ft. Sumpter may have been why the North went to war, but the South definitely went to war with the first shot (if not the motions leading up to the first shot). I cannot accept that the firing on Ft. Sumpter was just another step towards war. It was an act of war and, therefore, cannot be separated from the war itself.

Except that the North chose to ignore the fact that Confederate batteries fired on the Star of the West. Given the fact that Davis was warned by his Secretary of War that firing on Sumter would likely cause the U.S. to declare war, I have to think that Davis and his cabinet where either totally delusional and wanted to provoke the U.S. into a war or they sincerely believed that they could take Sumter by force and get away with it - similar to the way that the Japanese felt that the U.S. would not go to war over the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As far as 5th Alabama Infantry's comment about sovereignty, the fact that South Carolina felt that Sumter was now part of their sovereign territory as a result of the secession was no doubt a major factor in their sense that their honor was at stake in removing as soon as possible Maj. Anderson's force from Sumter.

firstmdes
06-02-2008, 05:44 PM
Except that the North chose to ignore the fact that Confederate batteries fired on the Star of the West. Given the fact that Davis was warned by his Secretary of War that firing on Sumter would likely cause the U.S. to declare war, I have to think that Davis and his cabinet where either totally delusional and wanted to provoke the U.S. into a war or they sincerely believed that they could take Sumter by force and get away with it - similar to the way that the Japanese felt that the U.S. would not go to war over the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I would assume that for a man of Davis' experience and presumed intelligence the firing on Ft. Sumter (sorry for the previous misspellings, brain freeze!) was either a blatant provocation of the U.S. government or a response precipitated by a perceived dishonoring. I will go with the provocation.


As far as 5th Alabama Infantry's comment about sovereignty, the fact that South Carolina felt that Sumter was now part of their sovereign territory as a result of the secession was no doubt a major factor in their sense that their honor was at stake in removing as soon as possible Maj. Anderson's force from Sumter.
I can buy that, but my unanswered question to 5th Alabama Infantry related to whether the CSA was truly sovereign. It was in their eyes, but seemingly not in the eyes of the rest of the world. No disrespect meant, but it looks like 5th Alabama Infantry will continue to ignore my comments in this thread and other threads because he cannot be bothered to question his own beliefs and adequately defend them.

tompritchett
06-02-2008, 05:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompritchett
As far as 5th Alabama Infantry's comment about sovereignty, the fact that South Carolina felt that Sumter was now part of their sovereign territory as a result of the secession was no doubt a major factor in their sense that their honor was at stake in removing as soon as possible Maj. Anderson's force from Sumter.
I can buy that, but my unanswered question to 5th Alabama Infantry related to whether the CSA was truly sovereign.

At the time of the conflict, we really will never know. South Carolina thought she was and Lincoln thought otherwise. As far as the rest of the world, I think no country was willing to commit one way or another. After all, most of Europe was willing to trade in arms to both sides and send emissaries to both sides. This latter point is especially important since the U.S. Constitution specifically claimed that only the Federal government had the authority to conduct diplomatic negogiations with foreign nations. I suspect that several of the countries were trying to straddle the fence on the sovereignty issue until they could be sure how it would resolve here in the U.S. Had the Confederacy been able to avoid defeat on the battlefield long enough for the Union to concede the existence of a separate Confederacy, I truly believe that Europe would have then quickly followed suit in recognizing her sovereignty.

hendrickms24
06-02-2008, 07:34 PM
I personally think that several of the countries were straddling the fence on the sovereignty issue because they were making tons of money off of the war. Remember money can be a powerful motivator.

firstmdes
06-02-2008, 08:39 PM
At the time of the conflict, we really will never know. South Carolina thought she was and Lincoln thought otherwise. As far as the rest of the world, I think no country was willing to commit one way or another. After all, most of Europe was willing to trade in arms to both sides and send emissaries to both sides. This latter point is especially important since the U.S. Constitution specifically claimed that only the Federal government had the authority to conduct diplomatic negotiations with foreign nations. I suspect that several of the countries were trying to straddle the fence on the sovereignty issue until they could be sure how it would resolve here in the U.S. Had the Confederacy been able to avoid defeat on the battlefield long enough for the Union to concede the existence of a separate Confederacy, I truly believe that Europe would have then quickly followed suit in recognizing her sovereignty.
Tom,

I agree. I just wanted to see if the person to whom I posed the question would produce an answer of any substance. In part, I agree with Mark. Money can be very influential. I also think that France and England, at least, could not commit to the Confederacy because of its heavy leanings toward slavery. (Yes, I know the U.S. had it too, but it did not guarantee its survival until the end of time.) I am sure that they would have jumped at the chance to recognize the Confederacy in hopes of knocking the U.S. down a few rungs on the world ladder.

RebelBugler
06-02-2008, 11:01 PM
I would assume that for a man of Davis' experience and presumed intelligence the firing on Ft. Sumter (sorry for the previous misspellings, brain freeze!) was either a blatant provocation of the U.S. government or a response precipitated by a perceived dishonoring. I will go with the provocation.

I can buy that, but my unanswered question to 5th Alabama Infantry related to whether the CSA was truly sovereign. It was in their eyes, but seemingly not in the eyes of the rest of the world. No disrespect meant, but it looks like 5th Alabama Infantry will continue to ignore my comments in this thread and other threads because he cannot be bothered to question his own beliefs and adequately defend them.
In my view, it was a blatant provocation by the US Government! Davis and the CSA perceived they were being dishonored. Emissaries of Lincoln, particularly Seward, had made overtures that Ft. Sumter would be abandoned. There was not a great deal of trust to begin with and the South undoubtedly felt they were being played for fools. You will recall that Davis sent Peace Commissioners to Washington, in an effort to negotiate an amicable financial settlement. Lincoln refused to meet or discuss resolutions for Peace. Subsequently, Lincoln as much admitted to purposely drawing the South into firing the first shot.

As to whether State sovereignty existed, and the rights of the States to secede:

Pope Leo and the Vatican afforded the Confederacy de facto recognition of its sovereignty, receiving envoys from the Confederate States and addressing the Confederate President as "His Excellency, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America."

James Madison was quite explicit in Federalist 39 that the Constitution must be ratified by the people "not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong". Could his recognition of state sovereignty be any more unequivocal?

New York, Virginia and Rhode Island insisted, as a condition of ratifying the Constitution, their absolute right to withdrawal from the Union if it ever became destructive of their liberties, a clear indication that the Union derived its power from the States.

Virginia stipulated to the Constitutional Convention “We the delegates of the people of Virginia . . . Do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them at their will . . .”

And finally, even the US Constitution refers to the “United States” in the plural construct versus the singular form. As examples, Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies.

My conclusion is an unqualified YES to the Sovereignty and Secession questions

Ross L. Lamoreaux
06-02-2008, 11:33 PM
I will admit, those are compelling arguments Terry. This is the stuff that makes for great debate, as there seems to only be a few people on this thread who get that - when you have a point, say it, back it up, and be ready to counterpoint. Good stuff! The only point that I could even counter would be an argument that Ft Sumter was indeed a United States military installation and no amount of rhetoric or bargaining was going to allow government troops to stand down or leave under an imminent threat and I would doubt that Lincoln would authorize even the Secretary of War to evacuate that installation.

tompritchett
06-03-2008, 06:35 AM
In my view, it was a blatant provocation by the US Government! Davis and the CSA perceived they were being dishonored. Emissaries of Lincoln, particularly Seward, had made overtures that Ft. Sumter would be abandoned.

One of the issues at the time was that these individuals, especially Seward, were not emissaries of Lincoln but rather were operating under the assumption that Lincoln was just a country bumpkin and that they (Seward) would be the ones behind the scenes actually making policy for the U.S. Ultimately, Lincoln had to set Seward and others in their place and let them know unequivocally that only he would be setting policy in his new administration. Unfortunately, there was no way that the Confederacy had any way of knowing that there was such an internal power struggle going on in Lincoln's administration.

jthlmnn
06-03-2008, 08:42 PM
As to whether State sovereignty existed, and the rights of the States to secede:

James Madison was quite explicit in Federalist 39 that the Constitution must be ratified by the people "not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong". Could his recognition of state sovereignty be any more unequivocal?

New York, Virginia and Rhode Island insisted, as a condition of ratifying the Constitution, their absolute right to withdrawal from the Union if it ever became destructive of their liberties, a clear indication that the Union derived its power from the States.

Virginia stipulated to the Constitutional Convention “We the delegates of the people of Virginia . . . Do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them at their will . . .”

My conclusion is an unqualified YES to the Sovereignty and Secession questions

I would not be so bold as to assert that one quote from Madison establishes an endorsement of a right to unilateral secession of a state. Contradicting such an assertion is this letter, written after Virginia had ratified the Constitution and while New York was still debating:



To Alexander Hamilton

[July 20, 1788]

N. York Sunday Evening

Yours of yesterday is this instant come to hand & I have but a few minutes to answer it. I am sorry that your situation obliges you to listen to propositions of the nature you describe. My opinion is that a reservation of a right to withdraw if amendments be not decided on under the form of the Constitution within a certain time, is a conditional ratification, that it does not make N. York a member of the New Union, and consequently that she could not be received on that plan. Compacts must be reciprocal, this principle would not in such a case be preserved. The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever. It has been so adopted by the other States. An adoption for a limited time would be as defective as an adoption of some of the articles only. In short any condition whatever must viciate the ratification. What the New Congress by virtue of the power to admit new States, may be able & disposed to do in such case, I do not enquire as I suppose that is not the material point at present. I have not a moment to add more than my fervent wishes for your success & happiness.

This idea of reserving right to withdraw was started at Richmd. & considered as a conditional ratification which was itself considered as worse than a rejection.

A later writing of James Madison provides still more insight as to his views on the issue:


To William Cabell Rives

Montpr, March 12, 1833

Dear Sir,

I have recd your very kind letter of the 6th, from Washington, and by the same mail a copy of your late Speech in the Senate, for which I tender my thanks. I have found as I expected, that it takes a very able and enlightening view of its subject. I wish it may have the effect of reclaiming to the doctrine & language held by all from the birth of the Constitution, & till very lately by themselves, those who now Contend that the States have never parted with an Atom of their sovereignty, and consequently that the Constitutional band which holds them together, is a mere league or partnership, without any of the characteristics of sovereignty or nationality.

It seems strange that it should be necessary to disprove this novel and nullifying doctrine, and stranger still that those who deny it should be denounced as Innovators, heretics & Apostates. Our political system is admitted to be a new Creation — a real nondescript. Its character therefore must be sought within itself, not in precedents, because there are none, not in writers whose comments are guided by precedents. Who can tell at present how Vattel and others of that class, would have qualified (in the Gallic sense of the term) a Compound & peculiar system with such an example of it as ours before them.

What can be more preposterous than to say that the States as united, are in no respect or degree, a Nation, which implies sovereignty, altho' acknowledged to be such by all other Nations & Sovereigns, and maintaining with them, all the in ternational relations, of war & peace, treaties, commerce, &c, and, on the other hand and at the same time, to say that the States separately are compleatly nations & sovereigns, although they can separately neither speak nor harken to any other nation, nor maintain with it any of the international relations whatever and would be disowned as Nations if presenting themselves in that character.

The milliners it appears, endeavor to shelter themselves under a distinction between a delegation and a surrender of powers. But if the powers be attributes of sovereignty & nationality & the grant of them be perpetual, as is necessarily implied, where not otherwise expressed, sovereignty & nationality according to the extent of the grant are effectually transferred by it, and a dispute about the name, is but a battle of words. The practical result is not indeed left to argument or inference. The words of the Constitution are explicit that the Constitution & laws of the U. S. shall be supreme over the Constitution & laws of the several States, supreme in their exposition and execution as well as in their authority. Without a supremacy in those respects it would be like a scabbard in the hand of a soldier without a sword in it. The imagination itself is startled at the idea of twenty four independent expounders of a rule that cannot exist, but in a meaning and operation, the same for all.

The conduct of S. Carolina has called forth not only the question of nullification, but the more formidable one of secession. It is asked whether a State by resuming the sovereign form in which it entered the Union, may not of right withdraw from it at will. As this is a simple question whether a State, more than an individual, has a right to violate its engagements, it would seem that it might be safely left to answer itself. But the countenance given to the claim shows that it cannot be so lightly dismissed.The natural feelings which laudably attach the people composing a State, to its authority and importance, are at present too much excited by the unnatural feelings, with which they have been inspired agst their brethren of other States, not to expose them, to the danger of being misled into erroneous views of the nature of the Union and the interest they have in it. One thing at least seems to be too clear to be questioned, that whilst a State remains within the Union it cannot withdraw its citizens from the operation of the Constitution & laws of the Union. In the event of an actual secession without the Consent of the Co States, the course to be pursued by these involves questions painful in the discussion of them. God grant that the menacing appearances, which obtruded it may not be followed by positive occurrences requiring the more painful task of deciding them?
(Italics and underlining added by me to highlight points pertinent to this discussion)

My reading is that Madison recognized a right of peaceful secession with the consent of the "Co States", not a unilateral action. Otherwise, the Constitution and the Union it formed were binding "in toto and forever".

RebelBugler
06-08-2008, 09:04 AM
I would not be so bold as to assert that one quote from Madison establishes an endorsement of a right to unilateral secession of a state. Contradicting such an assertion is this letter, written after Virginia had ratified the Constitution and while New York was still debating:



A later writing of James Madison provides still more insight as to his views on the issue:

(Italics and underlining added by me to highlight points pertinent to this discussion)

My reading is that Madison recognized a right of peaceful secession with the consent of the "Co States", not a unilateral action. Otherwise, the Constitution and the Union it formed were binding "in toto and forever".

Interesting points regarding Madison's views to which I can concur.
However, if we recognize that the Constitution was a compact, to which the individual States acceded, States would then have every right to secede if that compact was breached.

When a compact is broken, could any reasonable person argue that extracting oneself from said compact would be considered a unilateral action?

Clearly, the Federalists and anti-Federalists viewed the Constitution quite differently, ultimately resulting in compromise and conditional ratification.The inclusion of the Bill of Rights addressed some of the divergent views. Of particular importance to the secession question is the The Tenth Amendment, delineating the Powers of States and People. ”The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

3rd_PA_Artillery
06-08-2008, 10:36 AM
Bravo for those Johnnies! Great story!

Pvt Schnapps
06-08-2008, 11:44 AM
Interesting points regarding Madison's views to which I can concur.
However, if we recognize that the Constitution was a compact, to which the individual States acceded, States would then have every right to secede if that compact was breached.

When a compact is broken, could any reasonable person argue that extracting oneself from said compact would be considered a unilateral action?

Clearly, the Federalists and anti-Federalists viewed the Constitution quite differently, ultimately resulting in compromise and conditional ratification.The inclusion of the Bill of Rights addressed some of the divergent views. Of particular importance to the secession question is the The Tenth Amendment, delineating the Powers of States and People. ”The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Once the colonies found that the Articles of Confederation no longer worked and determined to form a more perfect union, they ceded a great deal of their independence to become states of a single country, with a central legislature, executive, and judiciary. The right of unilateral secession pretty much evaporated in the text of the Constitution, though it took a war to drive the point home.

While many adherents of secession quote the Tenth Amendment, it ought to be noted that the amendment does not alter the remaining text of the core document, which includes in Sections 3 and 4 of Article IV clear statements of the right of the government of the states as a whole to prevent unilateral action of states, whether taken individually or in combination. For example (I've highlighted certain passages with asterisks):

"Section 3 - New States

"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; ***nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, ***without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

"The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

Since Section 3 prevents the states from forming new states of themselves or portions of other states (even if those states agree) without the consent of Congress, it's no stretch to say it also prevents them from forming new nations. It also reserves to Congress the right to dispose of property of all the states, which would include arsenals and forts located in any one of them.

Clearly the honest, democratic, and constitutional solution for the gentlemen who engineered secession would have been to first propose it in Congress or get an opinion from the Supreme Court. Instead they took action unilaterally, armed themselves, and started confiscating Federal property (the property of all the states). Firing on a fort built at the expense of the nation as a whole with ordnance similarly procured was just the last and most egregious offense leading to the President's decision to call out the militia to enforce Section 4 of Article IV.

As for the stance of the European powers, it was not entirely or even predominantly pro-southern, despite the feelings of those largely aristocratic governments about the world's largest and most successful republic. Napoleon III wanted a free hand in Mexico, but England had to balance the difference in the views of its working and ruling classes. Austria-Hungary was pro-north from the beginning. Many of the German states were also pro-northern (and many German capitalists were heavily invested in northern industries and railroads). The support of the Czar came in handy for Lincoln at a critical time.

Overall most European states -- with the exception of France where Napoleon III had his own delusions -- recognized the Confederacy from the beginning for the losing proposition it was.

Che
06-08-2008, 08:22 PM
Overall most European states -- ... -- recognized the Confederacy from the beginning for the losing proposition it was.Including the Grand Duchy of Fenwick?

http://www.britannica.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/mousethatroared.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYMuJDajujc&feature=related

Sgt_Pepper
06-08-2008, 08:48 PM
:D Classic Peter Sellers! One of his best. Another was "Being There". Thanks for the reminder!

hendrickms24
06-08-2008, 08:53 PM
Including the Grand Duchy of Fenwick?


I think they would have sided with which ever side imported the most wine from the Grand Duchy of Fenwick's winery.

RebelBugler
06-08-2008, 09:41 PM
Once the colonies found that the Articles of Confederation no longer worked and determined to form a more perfect union, they ceded a great deal of their independence to become states of a single country, with a central legislature, executive, and judiciary. The right of unilateral secession pretty much evaporated in the text of the Constitution, though it took a war to drive the point home.

While many adherents of secession quote the Tenth Amendment, it ought to be noted that the amendment does not alter the remaining text of the core document, which includes in Sections 3 and 4 of Article IV clear statements of the right of the government of the states as a whole to prevent unilateral action of states, whether taken individually or in combination. For example (I've highlighted certain passages with asterisks):

"Section 3 - New States

"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; ***nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, ***without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

"The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

Since Section 3 prevents the states from forming new states of themselves or portions of other states (even if those states agree) without the consent of Congress, it's no stretch to say it also prevents them from forming new nations. It also reserves to Congress the right to dispose of property of all the states, which would include arsenals and forts located in any one of them.

Clearly the honest, democratic, and constitutional solution for the gentlemen who engineered secession would have been to first propose it in Congress or get an opinion from the Supreme Court. Instead they took action unilaterally, armed themselves, and started confiscating Federal property (the property of all the states). Firing on a fort built at the expense of the nation as a whole with ordnance similarly procured was just the last and most egregious offense leading to the President's decision to call out the militia to enforce Section 4 of Article IV.

As for the stance of the European powers, it was not entirely or even predominantly pro-southern, despite the feelings of those largely aristocratic governments about the world's largest and most successful republic. Napoleon III wanted a free hand in Mexico, but England had to balance the difference in the views of its working and ruling classes. Austria-Hungary was pro-north from the beginning. Many of the German states were also pro-northern (and many German capitalists were heavily invested in northern industries and railroads). The support of the Czar came in handy for Lincoln at a critical time.

Overall most European states -- with the exception of France where Napoleon III had his own delusions -- recognized the Confederacy from the beginning for the losing proposition it was.

Curious as to how you might reconcile the following issues:

The Conditional ratification of the Constitution by Virginia, New York and Rhode Island, and their expressed right to leave the compact, would inure to the benefit of all the States. Therefore, secession was permissible.

Under International law, the waiver of sovereignty must be explicitly stated. It cannot be inferred. There is nothing in the Constitution stating that States have waived their sovereignty.

Compacts are only enforceable when all parties comply with the terms of the compact. Clearly, the Constitution was not being enforced in its entirety. Therefore, parties to the Constitution had additional grounds to extract themselves from its terms.

Section 3 poses an even greater conundrum for those defending the position that the South illegally ceded from the Union. Specifically, "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; ***nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, ***without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress. By a strict application of Section 3, West Virginia cannot exist constitutionally as the Virginia Legislature never gave its consent.

Pvt Schnapps
06-08-2008, 10:47 PM
Curious as to how you might reconcile the following issues:

The Conditional ratification of the Constitution by Virginia, New York and Rhode Island, and their expressed right to leave the compact, would inure to the benefit of all the States. Therefore, secession was permissible.

Under International law, the waiver of sovereignty must be explicitly stated. It cannot be inferred. There is nothing in the Constitution stating that States have waived their sovereignty.

Compacts are only enforceable when all parties comply with the terms of the compact. Clearly, the Constitution was not being enforced in its entirety. Therefore, parties to the Constitution had additional grounds to extract themselves from its terms.

Section 3 poses an even greater conundrum for those defending the position that the South illegally ceded from the Union. Specifically, "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; ***nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, ***without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress. By a strict application of Section 3, West Virginia cannot exist constitutionally as the Virginia Legislature never gave its consent.

I'm just going by the Constitution as written, and not by any legalisms you've implied under your interpretation of ratification or international law. If you have a specific citation for either, please give it. Otherwise, explain why the Confederacy could not have presented its case to the Congress or Supreme Court.

In the case of West Virginia, you have to differentiate between the illegal government of that part of Virginia in rebellion, which had its capital in Richmond, and the loyal government, which had its capital in Alexandria.

I'm curious as to what you mean when you state that the Constitution was not being enforced in its entirety. One of the embarassments faced by defenders of the Confederacy is that, at the time of the first states' secession, no offense had been committed against them. In fact, Lincoln had not yet even been inaugurated.

The formation of the Confederacy was an offensive act, taken before the federal government had done anything to intrude on the rights of the states involved.

The funny thing about Jefferson Davis's postwar apologia for secession is that he spends hundreds on pages on the theme of "there's nothing in the Constitution that says we can't leave" without explaining why he didn't make that case to the national legislature, or judiciary, at the time.

Secession was always contrary to the Constitution and everyone knew it. That's why the parties in favor of it relied on electoral devices within their states and never presented the question to a national audience, including the ones established by all ex-colonies to deal with such matters in 1789.

PS -- Che, I think that Pinot Grand Fenwick was one of the favored beverages at General Fremont's headquarters in 1861. He went out of favor, but, as I recall, General Blenker took over his concession. Blenker only served his guests champagne -- for his friends he served PGF and a special Kabinett.

Frenchie
06-08-2008, 11:01 PM
Section 3 poses an even greater conundrum for those defending the position that the South illegally ceded from the Union. Specifically, "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; ***nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, ***without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress. By a strict application of Section 3, West Virginia cannot exist constitutionally as the Virginia Legislature never gave its consent.

Ben Butler, slaves and "contraband of war", anyone? Here's the conundrum, and it's yours: The Virginia Legislature had previously declared that Virginia was no longer a part of the United States, therefore it was not, according to its own government, in any position to claim the rights, privileges and powers of a State of the United States.

Pvt Schnapps
06-09-2008, 09:37 AM
Ben Butler, slaves and "contraband of war", anyone? Here's the conundrum, and it's yours: The Virginia Legislature had previously declared that Virginia was no longer a part of the United States, therefore it was not, according to its own government, in any position to claim the rights, privileges and powers of a State of the United States.

Good point, Frenchie.

I just want to emphasize for everyone that by 1863 there were three Virginias -- the new state of West Virginia, the part of old Virginia in rebellion, and the liberated portion of Virginia, or "the Restored Government of Virginia."

According to the "American Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1863" (available on Google Books for anyone to look up), loyal Virginia had a legislature, a full complement of state officers (including Governor Francis H. Pierpont, Lieut. Governor L. P. C. Cowper, & c.), and a temporary capital in Alexandria. It provided a necessary civil government for those areas not occupied by the Confederate armies, including the eastern shore, northern Virginia, and portions of the tidewater.

By the middle of the war, the Confederate government retained control of little more than half of the original state of Virginia. The rest was in the hands of the national government, to a large extent voluntarily.

sbl
06-09-2008, 09:39 AM
Sylvania, Concordia, and Ruritania didn't.

firstmdes
06-09-2008, 09:54 AM
Good point, Frenchie.

I just want to emphasize for everyone that by 1863 there were three Virginias -- the new state of West Virginia, the part of old Virginia in rebellion, and the liberated portion of Virginia, or "the Restored Government of Virginia."

According to the "American Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1863" (available on Google Books for anyone to look up), loyal Virginia had a legislature, a full complement of state officers (including Governor Francis H. Pierpont, Lieut. Governor L. P. C. Cowper, & c.), and a temporary capital in Alexandria. It provided a necessary civil government for those areas not occupied by the Confederate armies, including the eastern shore, northern Virginia, and portions of the tidewater.

By the middle of the war, the Confederate government retained control of little more than half of the original state of Virginia. The rest was in the hands of the national government, to a large extent voluntarily.
If secession is legal under the U.S. Constitution and the Confederate Constitution is nearly identical, then it was legal for those in Western Virginia (soon to be West Virginia) and Northern Virginia to secede back into the Union. Right?

Frenchie
06-09-2008, 09:58 AM
If secession is legal under the U.S. Constitution and the Confederate Constitution is nearly identical, then it was legal for those in Western Virginia (soon to be West Virginia) and Northern Virginia to secede back into the Union. Right?

Bravo! Wish I'd thought of that!

I was chatting with a WV National Guardsman once and I wondered if Virginia might think of trying to take back the western counties that re-joined the Union in 1863; he said, "Well, they can try. Win or lose, they'd know they'd been in a fight." http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/Darkfold_2006/Emoticons/boxing.gif

Pvt Schnapps
06-09-2008, 03:39 PM
Bravo! Wish I'd thought of that!

I was chatting with a WV National Guardsman once and I wondered if Virginia might think of trying to take back the western counties that re-joined the Union in 1863; he said, "Well, they can try. Win or lose, they'd know they'd been in a fight." http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/Darkfold_2006/Emoticons/boxing.gif

One of funniest things I've heard at a reenactment came out at the end of last year's McDowell. After the Sunday fight, both sides massed on the hill top for a look around at the countryside, a few photos, and a final good-bye. There were the usual good-natured exchanges between north and south. My favorite was the response given by a soldier of the 3rd Virginia (US) after a rebel cried, “Go home, yank!”

“We’re FROM Virginia – YOU go home, Georgia cracker!”

RebelBugler
06-09-2008, 11:31 PM
If secession is legal under the U.S. Constitution and the Confederate Constitution is nearly identical, then it was legal for those in Western Virginia (soon to be West Virginia) and Northern Virginia to secede back into the Union. Right?

Once again, we find ourselves in agreement. Since West Virginia exists, Secession must have been legal. This only proves the axiom, "If at first you don't secede, try again"

Pvt Schnapps
06-10-2008, 08:31 AM
Once again, we find ourselves in agreement. Since West Virginia exists, Secession must have been legal. This only proves the axiom, "If at first you don't secede, try again"

He was joking, as I suppose you must be. Actually, the formation of West Virginia from counties in western Virginia was done in accordance with Section 3 of Article IV of the U. S. Constitution, cited above. It received the consent of the legislature of the legitimate state of Virginia, as well as the U. S. Congress.

It was not secession and, in any case, complaints about the legitimacy of its independence from that part of Virginia that was then in rebellion sound a little like the parenticide who pleads for mercy because he's an orphan.

Brian Wolle
06-17-2008, 01:25 PM
Allan Nevins had a map of "west" Virginia counties and how they went.

Brian Wolle
06-17-2008, 01:30 PM
As to why Jefferson's attitude was that different from Steven's: thank a Yankee inventor: Eli Whitney. The resurgence of slavery was due to the cotton gin.

But again, remember, SC would not have left had not AL been elected. And that because they thought him an abolitionist.

jthlmnn
06-18-2008, 08:52 AM
But again, remember, SC would not have left had not AL been elected.

I wouldn't bet the plantation on that. I have long been tempted to believe that the hardliners who split the Democratic party knew that they were virtually guaranteeing Lincoln's election, and providing themselves with an excuse for secession.

tompritchett
06-18-2008, 12:21 PM
I have long been tempted to believe that the hardliners who split the Democratic party knew that they were virtually guaranteeing Lincoln's election, and providing themselves with an excuse for secession.

Bruce Catton makes the same implication in his The Coming Fury as far as Yancy was concerned.