Restricted Debate 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: 1 16.7%
  • "Grievance" Rebellion...

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Combo of Each One... If you choose this one explain...

    Votes: 4 66.7%

  • Total voters
    6
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5fish

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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!
 

5fish

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The Confederacy fought a war for the greed of Slavery and later tried to mask their sin by wrapping our civil war as a grievance "men defending a way of life" ...
 

wbull1

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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

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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.
 
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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

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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

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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.
 
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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

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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

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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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