Civil War Caused by Rise of Industrial Capitalism?

Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
122
#1
When discussing Civil War causation, the Declaration of Immediate Causes documents are often brought up as proof the war was just about slavery. However, South Carolina issued another document along with it that was sent to other slave states to entice them into secession and even recommended the Confederacy, the Address of the People of South Carolina to Slaveholding States.

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/...ess-of-south-carolina-to-slaveholding-states/

This document mentions issues of taxation and representation of states in the federal union. They compare the North to Great Britain during the American Revolution over tax policies that effectively caused the most federal revenue to go to the North for their industrial development which was antithetical to the Southern states' rights zealotry. They reference Lincoln's "A house divided against itself" speech, they seem to refute it insisting free and slave states can coexist in union. They acknowledge how states can choose to follow industrialization but prefer their own system and insists upon Northern despotism against the South in pushing for their economic system upon the rest of the country while exploiting the Southern economy to their benefit as a means to an end. They compare the two economies saying the industrial capitalist economy of the North has several moral flaws that the South's does not have (with the morality of slavery not considered). They acknowledge Northern moral opposition to slavery but refute it claiming the North was effectively ruling the union and was responsible for slavery's continuance showing a sense of Northern hypocrisy and implying ulterior motives.

What do you guys think of this document? How do you interpret its text in the context of the Civil War causation debate?

Edit Note: Correction of facts
 
Last edited:

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
122
#3
Because most of them cite slavery as a cause for secession.
Ummm....yeah, I acknowledged the declarations but that doesn't explain the conflict running for reasons deeper than just slavery in of itself. You should read the document I linked. South Carolina's secession convention issued the declaration of immediate causes to elaborate on their ordinance of secession, and then they issued a third document going even more in-depth with more nuanced explanations for conflict that suggest something larger than slavery was at play.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
122
#7
Yeah, pretty much. Ain't the first time someone's tried the "hey look, a shiny thing" to try to distract from the elephant in the room around here.
Well that's some funny logic you got there, especially considering you think a certain document is the end of the line but its much more in-depth follow up of a sister document should be ignored.
 

mobile_96

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,517
Location
Ill.
#9
They acknowledge Northern moral opposition to slavery but refute it claiming the North was effectively ruling the union and was responsible for slavery's continuance showing a sense of Northern hypocrisy and implying ulterior motives.
Maybe you need to look a bit farther here. The South had effectively held control of the government for most of the previous 80 years. One example of their domination was getting the gag rule in place for a number of years, that prevented any action by Congress relating to slavery. And when it Was possible to get something from being presented, it seems that most actions could be stopped with much help via the 3/5 clause.

policies that effectively caused the South to bear the brunt while most of the revenue went to the North for their industrial development
Actually, the North bore the brunt of most of the revenue collected by the Government, as has been proved quite often here. Now, the North can be accused of reaping much, if not Most, of internal improvement, but it has also been shown, that the South Rejected proposals for improvements in the Southern states themselves.
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,552
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#11
In 1860, the tariff collected in Northern ports amounted to $48.3 million (92.4% of the total), in Southern ports $4.0 million (7.6% of the total). The tariff collected at the port of New York alone constituted 66.7% of the total -- $34.9 million. By comparison, the total value of all goods imported through Charleston was only $2.0 million (and the net tariff collected there in 1858/59 was only $299,339.43). [Douglas B. Ball, Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat, p. 205, Table 18, "Trade Figures by Port in 1860" and "Customs Collections by Major Port (1860)"]
You could start by looking at post #178 earlier in this thread.

One fairly recent broadcaster of this untruth ("Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859") was Prof Walter Williams of George Mason. We discussed that here . Look to post #206 in that thread for a nice graphic comparison of tariff revenues.

You can look at some raw data on customs collections 1854-1859 here. From the US Treasury Department. Enjoy and be sure to email all the authors you have read with your findings. It's been done before, but the lie is obviously still being spread, as evidenced by your postings above.

Sadly, this particular lie has a long history of being spread. Like I said previously, if you are unaware that this is a lie, it is a sure sign that you don't know much about this topic. Folks desperate to place any cause other than slavery onto secession are pretty easy marks for the dishonest folks who peddle this ****. I am sorry that they seem to have you completely fooled. Once you've honestly looked at actual data and hopefully realized what a "whopper" this one is, you'll understand why the rest of the argument these folks have provided for you needs to come under such severe scrutiny.

Perhaps you've read the _Red Badge of Courage_? Well: "Around 80% of all federal revenue was raised in southern ports" is the Red Badge of BS.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
7,639
Location
California
#13
... They reference Lincoln's "A house divided against itself" speech, they seem to refute it insisting free and slave states can coexist in union.
I did not find where they claim that free and slave can coexist. I did find the following passage, this I think powerfully articulates the situation:

The people of the North have not left us in doubt, as to their designs and policy. United as a section in the late Presidential election, they have elected as the exponent of their policy, one who has openly declared that all the States of the United States must be made free States or slave States. It is true, that amongst those who aided in this election, there are various shades of anti-slavery hostility. But if African slavery in the Southern States, be the evil their political combination affirms it to be, the requisitions of an inexorable logic, must lead them to emancipation. If it is right, to preclude or abolish slavery in a territory–why should it be allowed to remain in the States? The one is not at all more unconstitutional than the other, according to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. And when it is considered, that the Northern States will soon have the power to make that Court what they please, and that the Constitution has never been any barrier whatever to their exercise of power–what check can there be, in the unrestrained councils of the North, to emancipation? There is sympathy in association, which carries men along without principle; but when there is principle–and that principle is fortified by long-existing prejudices and feelings, association is omnipotent in party influences. In spite of all disclaimers and professions, there can be but one end by the submission by the South, to the rule of a sectional anti-slavery government at Washington; and that end, directly or indirectly, must be–the emancipation of the slaves of the South.​

What do you guys think of this document? How do you interpret its text in the context of the Civil War causation debate?
Its an appeal by one slave state to other slave states that their interests are at risk in a Union with non slave states and therefore they should form a new union of just slave states. I see a common denominator.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
122
#15
Maybe you need to look a bit farther here. The South had effectively held control of the government for most of the previous 80 years. One example of their domination was getting the gag rule in place for a number of years, that prevented any action by Congress relating to slavery. And when it Was possible to get something from being presented, it seems that most actions could be stopped with much help via the 3/5 clause.


Actually, the North bore the brunt of most of the revenue collected by the Government, as has been proved quite often here. Now, the North can be accused of reaping much, if not Most, of internal improvement, but it has also been shown, that the South Rejected proposals for improvements in the Southern states themselves.
Actually, the Republican party took control of the House of Representatives in 1858 then the Senate and White House in 1860 (Lincoln being elected with virtually no Southern support whatsoever) spurring secession as there was a sense of Southern nationalism vs American nationalism. The second point you make is fair, I guess I didn't word that right. But there is still the issue of equal representation between free and slave states being disrupted by the Kansas-Nebraska Act and popular sovereignly movement. The Confederate Constitution called for no federally funded internal improvement based on strict states' rights principles (except when it came to slave ownership) Maybe they just didn't believe in federally funded internal improvements for any state. But with all that, what do you think about the rise of industrial capitalism and its effect on the conflict?
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,552
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#18
Trying to accept that metaphor is hurting my brain... :yellowcarded:
I know, but it was formulated by another member in response to a newbie coming up with yet another cause or repeating a cause other than slavery only to find that slavery was the ultimate cause.
 

19thGeorgia

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
2,787
#19
Cash: In 1860, the tariff collected in Northern ports amounted to $48.3 million (92.4% of the total), in Southern ports $4.0 million (7.6% of the total). The tariff collected at the port of New York alone constituted 66.7% of the total -- $34.9 million. By comparison, the total value of all goods imported through Charleston was only $2.0 million (and the net tariff collected there in 1858/59 was only $299,339.43). (Douglas B. Ball, Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat, p. 205, Table 18, "Trade Figures by Port in 1860" and "Customs Collections by Major Port (1860)")
"The tariff collected at the port of New York alone constituted 66.7% of the total"

Did New York City consume 67% of the imports to the United States? No.
Cost of the tariff is passed on to the buyer - wherever he may be. New York City was just the main entry point of goods to the US.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
122
#20
I did not find where they claim that free and slave can coexist nore could I find a reference to the house divided speech. I did find the following passage, this I think powerfully articulates the situation:

The people of the North have not left us in doubt, as to their designs and policy. United as a section in the late Presidential election, they have elected as the exponent of their policy, one who has openly declared that all the States of the United States must be made free States or slave States. It is true, that amongst those who aided in this election, there are various shades of anti-slavery hostility. But if African slavery in the Southern States, be the evil their political combination affirms it to be, the requisitions of an inexorable logic, must lead them to emancipation. If it is right, to preclude or abolish slavery in a territory–why should it be allowed to remain in the States? The one is not at all more unconstitutional than the other, according to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. And when it is considered, that the Northern States will soon have the power to make that Court what they please, and that the Constitution has never been any barrier whatever to their exercise of power–what check can there be, in the unrestrained councils of the North, to emancipation? There is sympathy in association, which carries men along without principle; but when there is principle–and that principle is fortified by long-existing prejudices and feelings, association is omnipotent in party influences. In spite of all disclaimers and professions, there can be but one end by the submission by the South, to the rule of a sectional anti-slavery government at Washington; and that end, directly or indirectly, must be–the emancipation of the slaves of the South.​

"If they prefer a system of industry in which capital and labor are in perpetual conflict–and chronic starvation keeps down the natural increase of population–and a man is worked out in eight years–and the law ordains that children shall be worked only ten hours a day–and the sabre and bayonet are the instruments of order–be it so. It is their affair, not ours. We prefer, however, our system of industry, by which labor and capital are identified in interest, and capital, therefore, protects labor–by which our population doubles every twenty years–by which starvation is unknown, and abundance crowns the land–by which order is preserved by unpaid police, and the most fertile regions of the world, where the white man cannot labor, are brought into usefulness by the labor of the African, and the whole world is blessed by our own productions. All we demand of other peoples is, to be let alone, to work out our own high destinies."

The document highlights the sectionalism. They didn't have a problem with industrialization of other states but may have had issued with principle of limited government and the funding of internal improvements for them offsetting the spread of slavery.

Its an appeal by one slave state to other slave states that their interests are at risk in a Union with non slave states and therefore they should form a new union of just slave states. I see a common denominator.
Umm.. yeah, it's in there.

"United as a section in the late Presidential election, they have elected as the exponent of their policy, one who has openly declared that all the States of the United States must be made free States or slave States."

It doesn't mention Lincoln by name but it's obviously referring to him. And slavery is discussed elsewhere in the document.

"It is not at all surprising, such being the character of the Government of the United States, that it should assume to possess power over all the institutions of the country. The agitations on the subject of slavery, are the natural results of the consolidation of the Government. Responsibility, follows power; and if the people of the North, have the power by Congress–“to promote the general welfare of the United States,” by any means they deem expedient–why should they not assail and overthrow the institution of slavery in the South? They are responsible for its continuance or existence, in proportion to their power. A majority in Congress, according to their interested and perverted views, is omnipotent. The inducements to act upon the subject of slavery, under such circumstances, were so imperious, as to amount almost to a moral necessity. To make, however, their numerical power available to rule the Union, the North must consolidate their power. It would not be united, on any matter common to the whole Union–in other words, on any constitutional subject–for on such subjects divisions are as likely to exist in the North as in the South. Slavery was strictly, a sectional interest. If this could be made the criterion of parties at the North, the North could be united in its power; and thus carry out its measures of sectional ambition, encroachment, and aggrandizement. To build up their sectional predominance in the Union, the Constitution must be first abolished by constructions; but that being done, the consolidation of the North to rule the South, by the tariff and slavery issues, was in the obvious course of things."

This is where I got the ulterior motive of exploiting the Southern slave economy to their benefit from. Sectionalism is highlighted in this document implying a competition of economic systems and implies the moral argument about slavery was not the ultimate cause of conflict.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top