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In The Absence Of Slavery There Would Have Still Been Secession Over Other Fiscal Issues

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by OpnCoronet, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    In relation to the four border states, what made Texas more of a sister state to Va. than Pennsylvania?

    Would any of those 'economic' issues cited, have anything to do with slavery?(i.e., without slavery would those economic issues be considered worth secession and civil war?)

    Any claim that secession did not revolve around the issue of slavery, has to claim that without slavery there would still have been secession and civil war in 1860-1861?
     
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  3. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    According to what Lincoln said. Save the Union.
     
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  4. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Yes, I think in the absence of slavery there would have still been secession at some point over other fiscal issues. It would have been later, and wouldn't have looked like the Civil War of 1861, but a split would have happened. We almost got armed conflict in 1832 during the nullification crisis, so the precedent was there. New England states had considered secession over fiscal issues in the past, so again, there was precedent.
     
  5. DaveGberg

    DaveGberg Corporal

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    That's not what Lincoln said at all. He said his objective was to save the union, even if that meant keeping slavery. He never said that the states would have seceded anyway without slavery in their midst.
     
  6. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Poppycock.

    The Nullification Crisis had slavery at its core.

    New England states had not considered secession before. There were individuals in New England, who did not speak for their states, who had publicly spoken about secession, but the states themselves never considered it.
     
  7. DaveGberg

    DaveGberg Corporal

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    The only precedent set by the Nullification Crisis was the threat of secession itself, and that wasn't even new. Read what the fire eaters were writing through the 1840s and forward. They weren't agitating to separate over tariffs and internal improvements.
     
  8. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    I cannot see why you would think any of that. Certainly, History, does not support such suppositions. All those 'other' issues, existed after the CW and some were very divisive and some led to rots and blood shed, but the political system functioned(as it was designed to) to settle through the political process provided by the Constitution and its law.

    Only the issue of slavery proved impervious to the political process provided by
    the organic laws of the United States.



    P.S. John Calhoun, the spiritual and intellectual voice for the Nullification crisis, admitted that the real issue was not Tariffs but the agitation over Slavery, with, Andrew Jackson(Calhoun's opponent on the issue of Nullification) agreed with Calhoun.
     
  9. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    One problem is that on Tariffs, there were some that Southerners liked for example Iron and Sugar. Southerners welcomed the income from coastal forts and harbor improvements. As the South industrialized, it would have welcomed protection.

    Political horse trading would have resolved the rest.
     
  10. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    I see lots of running about by Modern Southerners trying avoid slavery when the Southerners in the time and place thought slavery was as good of a thing as moderns see capitalism.
     
  11. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard 2nd Lieutenant

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    I find it fully possible that at some point some state would want to leave the union. But without the fire eaters and huge issue of slavery, I think the issue could have been solved.

    And if not, secession would have been done as a political deal with consent of the other states...
     
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  12. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    IMHO any secession must have a huge amount of wealth at risk and the ability of those wealth holders to mobilize the population.
     
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  13. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    I've read Calhoun's letter where he made that comment, and I've read Jackson's comments, and I think you're not fully understanding just what both meant, because the tariff was most certainly the basic and very real bone of contention in 1832. Can you trace from point A to Z for me exactly how slavery was the "real issue" according to both Calhoun and Jackson?

    The tariff certainly damaged the South, and they knew it too.

    This was also the period of the high protective tariffs , and in some particulars the effect of these seems to follow with astonishing clearness, though in others it is not to be so distinctly traced, unless by taking long intervals. Thus, the imports at Charleston in 1821 were slightly over three millions, but by 1828 had fallen to one million and a quarter, and by 1830 to but little over one million. In this same period (1821 to 1830) the imports into the whole country had increased from about sixty-three to seventy-one million. If it be borne in mind what was the very purpose of the tariff acts and that the South imported finished goods alone, it can hardly be doubted that those laws had largely accomplished their first purpose and had dislocated and destroyed a system of life to which the South had long been accustomed. But cause and effect can by no means be here traced accurately step by step, but only roughly, as the various tariff laws came into being and their effects began slowly to show.

    Other statistics are more striking. Thus, the South Carolinians maintained, not only that a large trade to their ports was broken up by the higher tariff acts and especially by the act of 1828, but that they had themselves built and owned a considerable portion of the Shipping engaged in this trade, and that their vessels simply rotted at the docks, after the passage of the act in question. "We had thirty or forty Ships,” said Hayne in 1832, "many of them built, and all owned, in Charleston. Look at the state of things now. Our merchants bankrupt or driven away, our ship—yards broken up, our ships all sold.” If the orator’ s coloring is to be found in these words, the burden of them, at least, is borne out by cold records, which show that for several years prior to 1829 there was registered tonnage at Charles ton and Georgetown amounting to nearly 30,000 tons, and latterly to 33,100 but that this fell off suddenly in 1829 to 13,500 and only very slightly increased in the two following years . The tonnage in the whole country also fell off to a considerable degree in 1829, it is true, but to nothing like the same extent.

    These statistics seem to show, more clearly than can usually be traced in economical questions, a marked influence of the tariff in bringing about the Southern distress, and this influence was and is often admitted. Even John Quincy Adams, deep-dyed by local jealousy and the man to whose signature as President the Act of 1828 owed its validity, came in a very few years to think the tariff oppressive to the South
    . - The Life of John Caldwell Calhoun by William Meigs, vol. 2, pp 42-44
     
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  14. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    Over fiscal issues? No matter what country they wanted to form, there still going to have to have a navy, a court system, flood control on the Mississippi, and other public works.
    An independent south is still going to have to either have domestic steel and railroad industries, or be dependent on foreign companies, which are evaluating the risk characteristics of the southern economy.
    The colonial states looked at the expense and problems of independence from the other colonies and gave it up very rapidly.
    There is not much probability that Virginia would secede over fiscal issues. Without Virginia, the secessionist movement never gets beyond the cotton 7.
     
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  15. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    Was New York duty free? Was a tax imposed on Charleston that was not imposed in Philadelphia? Tariffs were a combination of a national sales tax on luxuries and an excise tax on equipment. The South Carolinians did not want the federal government to collect any taxes. They did not want there to be any power outside their legislative body consisting of later day imitation Dukes and Counts.
     
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  16. O' Be Joyful

    O' Be Joyful First Sergeant

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    They are simply following the well trod path laid down by the original secessionists themselves...as soon as the guns fell silent.
     
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  17. WilliamH

    WilliamH Private

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    If there had been no slavery and no ACW then I think the issue of a State’s right to secede would have been forced over some other issue.

    However, whereas slavery was a regional issue that united multiple States, another issue is probably limited to only one or two States making open warfare unlikely, resulting in the issue being settled in the Courts.

    As evidence of this happening just look at the recent talk of California seceding under President Trump or Texas seceding under President Obama. I grant you that most of the talk was not serious but if we didn’t have the precedent set by the ACW of secession being illegal then such talk might be much more serious.
     
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  18. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    None of that talk was serious. None of it would be serious.
     
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  19. Potomac Pride

    Potomac Pride Sergeant

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    In all fairness, some of the secession documents did mention fiscal issues and their dissatisfaction with unfair federal legislation that was harmful to the south.
     
  20. WilliamH

    WilliamH Private

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    Maybe… Maybe not… Politics can be a heated emotional thing that doesn’t always follow logic.
     
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  21. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    I respectfully disagree. I firmly believe slavery was the only issue big enough to lead to secession. Also, I believe most other issues grew out of the economics and politics of slavery.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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