Restricted Greed vs Grievance the Cause of Civil War

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Was our Civil War one of a "Greed" rebellion or of a "Grievance" rebellion?

  • "Greed" Rebellion...

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • "Grievance" Rebellion...

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Combo of Each One... If you choose this one explain...

    Votes: 4 40.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • This poll will close: .

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Greed vs Grievance is a baseline model for the causes of societies in Civil Wars. It was a resent theory being forward by academia about societies and Civil Wars.

From: wiki...

The phrase "greed versus grievance" or "greed and grievance" refer to the two baseline arguments put forward by scholars of armed conflict on the causes of civil war, though the argument has been extended to other forms of war, such as violent conflict in general, rebellion and insurgency, for example.

"Greed" is shorthand for the argument that combatants in armed conflicts are motivated by a desire to better their situation, and perform an informal cost-benefit analysis in examining if the rewards of joining a rebellion are greater than not joining. "Grievance" stands for the argument that people rebel over issues of identity, e.g. ethnicity, religion, social class, etc., rather than over economics. In practice, even proponents of strong versions of these arguments admit that the opposing argument has some influence in the development of a conflict.

Whether the cause of war is attributed to 'greed' or 'grievance' the common factor is the perception of a certain deprivation. If it is an economic deprivation, the inequality will be a 'vertical inequality' and the cause of war will be 'greed'. If the deprivation is caused by ethnicity, age, religion or gender, it will be a 'horizontal inequality' and the cause of war will be due to the 'grievances'.


Most rebellions are ostensibly in pursuit of a cause, supported by a narrative of grievance. But since grievance assuagement through rebellion is a public good that a government will not supply, economists predict such rebellions would be rare. Empirically, many rebellions appear to be linked to the capture of resources

Where would our American Civil War fall on the graph? I believe very high up if not straight up the vertical side for Greed!
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
I have a general problem with either or questions. I believe questions can rarely be pigeon-holed into two discrete categories. I am convinced, by the Confederates who wrote and spoke about secession, that the primary motive was to protect and expand slavery. However, there was also a sense of grievance about the growing political power of the North and about the increasing call to end slavery, which would end their style of life.
 
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JerseyBart

Brigadier General
Moderator
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 19, 2006
Location
New Jersey
I have a general problem with either or questions. I believe questions can rarely be pigeon-holed into two discrete categories. I am convinced, by the Confederates who wrote and spoke about secession, that the primary motive was to protect and expand slavery. However, there was also a sense of grievance about the growing political power of the North and about the increasing call to end slavery, which would end their style of life.
I can't add too much more to it than this.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
Tallahassee, Florida
I decided to say grievance, but I kind of already regret it because I think I don't like the binary between these two. Yes, the desire to "capture resources" motivated secession the same way it motivated suppression of said secession. But without a divisive, resentful cultural climate full of grievance you probably couldn't have gotten armies of common men together on either side who for the most part didn't stand to gain or lose that much based on the outcome, let alone a significant enough portion of the population to go along with the war. I know that's a simplification, but I just don't think I like the model.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
sense of grievance about the growing political power of the North and about the increasing call to end slavery, which would end their style of life.
It was a false grievance because usually the loss of political power means a loss of economic power... and that was the south was facing in the near future. They lived an agrarian lifestyle which would not have changed except they have to pay wages, again economic...
 
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5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
I decided to say grievance, but I kind of already regret it because I think I don't like the binary between these two.
I think a binary model is to simplify the issue... What was the grievance of the common folk was "Your not going to allow us to own slaves"... Slavery was a social status symbol in the south. A sign of a successful man socially and economically was by owning slaves.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Sep 27, 2017
Location
Tallahassee, Florida
I think a binary model is to simplify the issue... What was the grievance of the common folk was "Your not going to allow us to own slaves"... Slavery was a social status symbol in the south. A sign of a successful man socially and economically was by owning slaves.
So do you consider slaveholding to be both greed and grievance? I think given the fact that it constitutes both an economic and social system you fairly could. And if you can place the issue in both camps then I think the model just gets murkier. I'm sorry I just don't like trying to boil it down to majority one or the other, I'd say greed - the desire to capture resources is a grievance in and of itself. I can't think of any revolution, rebellion, or insurrection where both factors weren't fueling passions. If the model works for you though, good I'm glad.
 

8thFlorida

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Slavery was and is an international scourge. It was not unique at all to the US or the Southern states. that’s the first thing to remember. It was encouraged by the New England slave traders and provided cotton to the North. Believe me it was a risk of the industry and many slaves and owners paid the ultimate price. It was a violent end for many.
 
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5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
If the model works for you though, good I'm glad.
No, it just a model and I am trying to find a good argument for the grievance by my Southern forebearers... I only find the fear of losing power in Congress and then desire to protect slavery for their own economic self-interest.

. that’s the first thing to remember.
Yes, slavery remembered first because they fought a war to protect with a desire to expand it...
 
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Carol

Private
Joined
May 26, 2019
Location
Western North Carolina
Greed; personalities conflicted by personal gain, status, wealth and the perception of future dreams. The lack of ability to administer a communication of compromise, an acceptance to change and the capability to adapt to it. Pride played as a co-existing partner of greed which created action.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Using the Greed and/or grievences as a common baseline it is obvious, I think, that in very general terms, the leadership class of the South, who supported secession, had economic interests(greed) close to the top of their list of grievances, while in very general terms, the general populace of thos supporting secession, had economics/Greed near the bottom of their list of grievances, especially in regards to to their fears of emancipation.

Both baselines, were interlocking and intertwined, not separate, in the southern deciision for secession.
 
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jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Interesting, I voted for "grievance" but that so far, has the fewest votes. My reasoning being that the decision by the original 7 seceded states was the culmination of a years-long campaign of the slaves states to protect and expand their right to slave ownership. Through much of the 1840's and 1850's, the southern "slave power" was able to parry increasing northern demands for halting the spread of slavery in the acquired Mexican Cession territories, and to maintain its political hold on the federal government to protect its interests, as it understood them to be. But the increase in northern population and influence, combined with the threatened rise of the Republican Party, its position on slavery, and finally its capture of the presidency in 1860, brought on the secession crisis, a crisis whose origins were based on perceived southern grievances against northern encroachment on the southern way of life.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
When I thought about this, I came to the conclusion that, in fact, secession was about percieved grievences(whether real or not) and asamatter of human nature, 'Greed' would be an important baseline for the percieved grievences of some secessionists. But, would that a general rule across the whole of southern secessionists, I do not know for sure, but I have my doubts.
 
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