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How much of a role did slavery play in leading to the Civil war?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Confederates are awesome, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Bomac

    Bomac Sergeant

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    Whew!! This thread really took a bad turn. From slavery's role for the war to the comparison of racist of the 19th century. Finger pointing, name calling etc. Etc..
    Thought I was at work. Good start, terrible finish. Attention deficit maybe.
    We really aren't much different from our forefathers.
     

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  3. Old_Glory

    Old_Glory 2nd Lieutenant

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    I would like to see quotes for that second bullet on how his view was much different than Lincoln's view. You forget that it is Lincoln who would politically gain from slavery's fall, and Davis would politically rise and preserve the South's political and economic power from it remaining legal. But that couldn't possibly be the real reason they acted the way they did, no, racism and the love or hate of enslaved black people sounds much better (probably sells more books as well).

    That last bullet is complete fantasy. What are you basing this off? If slavery were to end, he wanted it on his parties terms, Lincoln wanted it to end on his parties terms. Davis was not a monster, but you write like you are convinced he was.
     
  4. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Major

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    FYI, this was written in post #108 of this thread:

    That post necessitated some review of the actual positions of Lincoln on race and slavery.
     
  5. Tar Heel Blue

    Tar Heel Blue Private

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    You didn't get the memo?

    Lincoln was glorious and justified. Davis was evil and careless.
     
  6. Bomac

    Bomac Sergeant

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    Yessir, it did indeed. Still, the discussion ends up being the old argument of who was the bigger racist.
    Most here agree the vast majority of 19th century people and especially their politicians were racist. That settled, I would like to know Confederate Gray n Tar heel's opinions as to what other issues played an equal or more role in leading to war. How did the institution weigh less than others?
     
  7. CharacterGroove

    CharacterGroove First Sergeant

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    Below is an excerpt from a speech by Abraham Lincoln on August 17, 1858 as reported by another in attendance. I suspect somebody else knows more about the details of this particular address if you're indeed seeking to educate yourself.

    Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln Volume II

    "These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: ``We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'' This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children's children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began---so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished."

    Below is an excerpt from Jefferson Davis's Farewell Address to the United States Senate on January 21, 1861. I also suspect others know more about the context of this speech and any others on the subject.

    Link

    It has been a conviction of pressing necessity—it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us—which has brought Mississippi to her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races. That Declaration is to be construed by the circumstances and purposes for which it was made. The communities were declaring their independence; the people of those communities were asserting that no man was born—to use the language of Mr. Jefferson—booted and spurred, to ride over the rest of mankind; that men were created equal—meaning the men of the political community; that there was no divine right to rule; that no man inherited the right to govern; that there were no classes by which power and place descended to families; but that all stations were equally within the grasp of each member of the body politic. These were the great principles they announced; these were the purposes for which they made their declaration; these were the ends to which their enunciation was directed. They have no reference to the slave; else, how happened it that among the items of arraignment against George III was that he endeavored to do just what the North has been endeavoring of late to do, to stir up insurrection among our slaves? Had the Declaration announced that the negroes were free and equal, how was the prince to be arraigned for raising up insurrection among them? And how was this to be enumerated among the high crimes which caused the colonies to sever their connection with the mother-country? When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable; for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the equality of footing with white men—not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three-fifths. So stands the compact which binds us together.

    I'm curious where you read your information on Jefferson's plan for emancipation. Could you please point to me your source? I've read several quotes by him on the divine right of slavery. It seems odd that he'd be obliged to interfere with his interpretation of God's will.
     
  8. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Hey, don't worry about it , these threads can often get quite heated but they also cool down quickly enough lol
     
  9. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    You keep bringing up the theory that an important reason to free the blacks would be the boost the republicans would get from these new voters.. You have yet to show any evidience that anyone or Lincoln had even thought of this as a reason to end slavery.. Especially at a time when victory for the Union in the war was in doubt..Do you have any letters or diaires or any source at all that would lend credence to this theory?
     
  10. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Major

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    Second bullets
    Lincoln believed that the Declaration of Independence included blacks as among those who were "equal," that is, entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." and
    Davis: did not believe that the Declaration of Independence included blacks among those who were "equal."

    I provided some references in post, including:

    (a) in 1854, Lincoln said:

    "When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that "all men are created equal," and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another."

    (b) In 1861, Davis said:

    "It has been a conviction of pressing necessity, it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has brought Mississippi into her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races."

    I don't know what more there is to say. One person (Lincoln) specifically invokes the notion that "all men are created equal" to say that slavery is wrong. The other says that the idea of the races being equal is an attack on the institutions of his state, and a reason to secede.

    There's your smoking gun. I would invite you to look at the all the sources cited in my post.
    ****

    I'm not sure I understand the point you're making.

    But just so that we're on the same page, I note that both Lincoln and Davis would be considered racist by today's standards. But one believed that slavery was right, the other believed that slavery was wrong.
    ****

    OK, I said that before the war started, Davis did not want to end slavery. Are you saying you doubt that... that you actually believe that before the war, Davis wanted slavery to end? Before you answer that question, I would refer you to the Mississippi secession declaration, which is here; and then ask you to recollect that Davis said he fully supported that declaration; and to recollect that he said the very idea that blacks were equal to whites was a threat to his state's "social institutions."

    That doesn't sound to me like a guy who believed slavery should end. But I'll listen to what you have to say on this.

    And note that, I am not saying that Davis was a monster. What's happening is, you're looking at these various ideas and beliefs he had, and you are characterizing him as being a monster. I'm not the one who's saying he fits the shoe...
     
  11. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Confederates are awesome,

    Slavery, based on race, is the most extreme form of racism, is it not?

    And was not slavery in the US primarily based on race, the negro, black race?

    How is it possible to talk about slavery in the US without touching upon race and racism?

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  12. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    "It is not at all surprising that the people of the South are so indifferent to the rights of the African race. For, as far as the negro is concerned, the press, the pulpit, the bench, the bar, and the stump, conspire with a unity of purpose and pertinacity of zeal, which is no less lamentable than extraordinary, to eradicate every sentiment of justic and brotherhood from their hearts. They sincerely believe Wrong to be Right, and act on that unhappy conviction." - James Redpath, The Roving Editor: or, Talks with Slaves in the Southern States, 1859.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2001.05.0060%3Achapter%3D4


    "The slavery controversy in the United States presents a case of the most violent antagonism of interests and opinions. No persuaions, no entreaties or appeals, can allay the fierce contention between the two mutually repulsive elements of our system." - Mississippi Free Trader, August 28, 1857.

    Unionblue
     
  13. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze Captain

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    As you know, he never thought of slaves or the black race as equals to the white race.

    Neither did any of the Southern leaders. Lee, Davis, Jackson, all supported slavery. None believed blacks were their equal in any way. All believed blacks were best suited for slavery. If you condemn Lincoln for his views, what does that say about them?

    Lincoln's actions and personal sentiments alone can be used to make an argument against slavery being THE ONLY issue and cause.


    From the Union standpoint, yes. From the Southern standpoint, defense of slavery was the single overriding reason for launching the war.
     
  14. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Honored Fallen Comrade Member of the Year

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    It won't matter. Davis was glorious and justified. Lincoln was evil incarnate.
     
  15. Confederates are awesome

    Confederates are awesome Private

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    You are right
     
  16. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Honored Fallen Comrade Member of the Year

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    Well said, Keyser. Welcome to the forum.
     
  17. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Honored Fallen Comrade Member of the Year

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    CharacterGroove and ForeverFree,

    Off-topic for just a second to ask a technical question. I've noticed from time-to-time you include links in your posts like the following:

    Are you doing this by writing HTML code in your post (i.e. <A HREF=...), or is there some "magic button" you're using to do this?

    Thanks,
    brass
     
  18. jharold587

    jharold587 Private

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    OK follow the money!!! By federal law all states were to assist in returning escaped laborers (slaves) this included US marshalls assisting in transporting and or holding escapees for transport. Because it was a federal law local law enforcement was required to assist recovery agents (slave catchers) by housing the escapees with out any fees. I know of at least one case in Ohio which was not a hotbed of abolitionists where the governor called out the malita to stop rioting over slaves being housed in the local Courthouse office of the sheriff to await transportation because of financial considerations. The locals were angry because they were holding property of a wealty southern slave master for free! The state officials were angry because they paid the malitia to come out and paid to transport them to the riot. Once more to protect the property of a wealth slave master.The bullet holes are still in the door. Slavery, expansion of slavery, and the economic impact of slavery caused the war. I can not document it but I doubt this only happened here.
     
  19. CharacterGroove

    CharacterGroove First Sergeant

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    No problem. Write the phrase you want to label your link. Next, find the actual link and copy the full address. Next, highlight that label in your text and hit the little globe/paperclip icon just above your text's body. Lastly, paste the link's address.
     
  20. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Honored Fallen Comrade Member of the Year

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    Excellent!
     
  21. Savez

    Savez Sergeant Major

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    Sources please?
     

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