Restricted Is Lost Cause a real thing or not?

Status
Not open for further replies.

American87

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Location
PENNSYLVANIA
I'm not even sure what "Lost Cause" is. Some people say it's when Southerners tried to retain their ways of life during Reconstruction, while others, typically Northerners, argue that it's any positive or sympathetic opinion about the Civil War South. If we could get a consensus on what it means, then we can decide if its real or not.

I think it's a bogeyman that's used to discredit a "pro-Southern" argument without having to use facts or sources.
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
The Lost Cause is that body of work produced following the Civil War which justified the position taken by the states that attempted to secede.
Eric Foner briefly describes the 'Lost Cause' as having three elements:
1. Slavery was a fairly benign institution, which probably should have been ended eventually, but it was good for Blacks who were well treated and introduced to Christianity;
2. The Civil War was about States' Rights and local self-government, not slavery; our soldiers fought gallantly and we should respect them all;
3. Reconstruction was a disaster because Blacks were given the right to vote. It was a tremendous mistake to give Blacks the right to vote: therefore, the violent campaigns to take away their right to vote was justified.
"The Lost Cause is a glorification of the Confederacy, but it's also a glorification of White Supremacy."
From Uncovering Reconstruction, a January 21, 2019 interview. Comments appear at the 43-minute point. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/uncovering-the-civil-war/e/58309163?autoplay=true
There is a recent thread that discussed the Lost Cause which you might find helpful: "Agree to Define 'Lost Cause'", https://civilwartalk.com/threads/agree-to-define-lost-cause.157834/
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
It seems to me, and please let me know if I am mistaken, that Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens said the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery for the early part of the war. I believe independence was not invoked until some time had passed, which leaves the impression that downplaying slavery was a pillar of the early Lost Cause argument.

Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.

And, in any case, the undeniable reason for the war wasn't at all about slavery but obviously about whether the South could have independence. The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede. I've never heard anyone dispute that.

What exact state right was lost to the Southern states that it never regained?.

All of them. The 10th amendment was rendered completely meaningless and unenforceable in its entirety. To prove that there aren't any exceptions we would have to discuss modern politics, but there's no longer any mechanism for holding the federal government accountable for any overreach nor for disregarding any constitutional obligations, nothing other than a constitutional amendment, which with the 3/4 of the states to ratify requirement is such a practical impossibility that it's never been used to hold the federal government accountable.

Or straight from the Mercury propaganda Mill.

The abolitionist Lysander Spooner (and supporter and possibly even sponsor of terrorism against the South) said very much the same thing, so it can't be dismissed as Southern propaganda.

Alas, 2019, and there are still Southerners about who haven't bought into the Yankee screed.

Not to mention Northerners and foreigners.

In fact, most of the actions and legal cases during the 1850s had more to do with slave states desire to use the Federal government to force their views regarding slavery on free states. Though some would have us believe that statesmen from slave states were stalwarts in advocating States' Rights, it is clear that they were not interested in the rights of free states.

That strikes me as a distortion of what states' rights are. If the Constitution promises that fugitive slaves will be returned on demand, then that constitutional guarantee is itself a state's right under the Constitution. I don't think it makes sense to say that nullifying parts of the Constitution (like the fugitive slave clause) can be a states' rights issue. States' right issues, properly defined, are 10th amendment issues (and nullification, properly defined, is the right of states to nullify unconstitutional laws/rulings, not the right of states to nullify parts of the Constitution itself.) So there's no contradiction between states' rights and states using the federal government to enforce the guarantees of the Constitution. There is a contradiction between states' rights and the federal government limiting the states apart from any constitutional authorization.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.

And, in any case, the undeniable reason for the war wasn't at all about slavery but obviously about whether the South could have independence. The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede. I've never heard anyone dispute that.



All of them. The 10th amendment was rendered completely meaningless and unenforceable in its entirety. To prove that there aren't any exceptions we would have to discuss modern politics, but there's no longer any mechanism for holding the federal government accountable for any overreach nor for disregarding any constitutional obligations, nothing other than a constitutional amendment, which with the 3/4 of the states to ratify requirement is such a practical impossibility that it's never been used to hold the federal government accountable.



The abolitionist Lysander Spooner (and supporter and possibly even sponsor of terrorism against the South) said very much the same thing, so it can't be dismissed as Southern propaganda.



Not to mention Northerners and foreigners.



That strikes me as a distortion of what states' rights are. If the Constitution promises that fugitive slaves will be returned on demand, then that constitutional guarantee is itself a state's right under the Constitution. I don't think it makes sense to say that nullifying parts of the Constitution (like the fugitive slave clause) can be a states' rights issue. States' right issues, properly defined, are 10th amendment issues (and nullification, properly defined, is the right of states to nullify unconstitutional laws/rulings, not the right of states to nullify parts of the Constitution itself.) So there's no contradiction between states' rights and states using the federal government to enforce the guarantees of the Constitution. There is a contradiction between states' rights and the federal government limiting the states apart from any constitutional authorization.
The argument that the federal government is immune from judicial review and decisions is absolutely false.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.

And, in any case, the undeniable reason for the war wasn't at all about slavery but obviously about whether the South could have independence. The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede. I've never heard anyone dispute that.



All of them. The 10th amendment was rendered completely meaningless and unenforceable in its entirety. To prove that there aren't any exceptions we would have to discuss modern politics, but there's no longer any mechanism for holding the federal government accountable for any overreach nor for disregarding any constitutional obligations, nothing other than a constitutional amendment, which with the 3/4 of the states to ratify requirement is such a practical impossibility that it's never been used to hold the federal government accountable.



The abolitionist Lysander Spooner (and supporter and possibly even sponsor of terrorism against the South) said very much the same thing, so it can't be dismissed as Southern propaganda.



Not to mention Northerners and foreigners.



That strikes me as a distortion of what states' rights are. If the Constitution promises that fugitive slaves will be returned on demand, then that constitutional guarantee is itself a state's right under the Constitution. I don't think it makes sense to say that nullifying parts of the Constitution (like the fugitive slave clause) can be a states' rights issue. States' right issues, properly defined, are 10th amendment issues (and nullification, properly defined, is the right of states to nullify unconstitutional laws/rulings, not the right of states to nullify parts of the Constitution itself.) So there's no contradiction between states' rights and states using the federal government to enforce the guarantees of the Constitution. There is a contradiction between states' rights and the federal government limiting the states apart from any constitutional authorization.
There are many US Supreme Court decisions that absolutely prove that no state has lost any rights regarding the 10th Amendment. The Wikipedia article on the 10th Amendment gives many examples of this.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.

And, in any case, the undeniable reason for the war wasn't at all about slavery but obviously about whether the South could have independence. The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede. I've never heard anyone dispute that.



All of them. The 10th amendment was rendered completely meaningless and unenforceable in its entirety. To prove that there aren't any exceptions we would have to discuss modern politics, but there's no longer any mechanism for holding the federal government accountable for any overreach nor for disregarding any constitutional obligations, nothing other than a constitutional amendment, which with the 3/4 of the states to ratify requirement is such a practical impossibility that it's never been used to hold the federal government accountable.



The abolitionist Lysander Spooner (and supporter and possibly even sponsor of terrorism against the South) said very much the same thing, so it can't be dismissed as Southern propaganda.



Not to mention Northerners and foreigners.



That strikes me as a distortion of what states' rights are. If the Constitution promises that fugitive slaves will be returned on demand, then that constitutional guarantee is itself a state's right under the Constitution. I don't think it makes sense to say that nullifying parts of the Constitution (like the fugitive slave clause) can be a states' rights issue. States' right issues, properly defined, are 10th amendment issues (and nullification, properly defined, is the right of states to nullify unconstitutional laws/rulings, not the right of states to nullify parts of the Constitution itself.) So there's no contradiction between states' rights and states using the federal government to enforce the guarantees of the Constitution. There is a contradiction between states' rights and the federal government limiting the states apart from any constitutional authorization.
Not true about constitutional amendments. Constitutional Amendments have been past since the end of the ACW.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.

And, in any case, the undeniable reason for the war wasn't at all about slavery but obviously about whether the South could have independence. The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede. I've never heard anyone dispute that.



All of them. The 10th amendment was rendered completely meaningless and unenforceable in its entirety. To prove that there aren't any exceptions we would have to discuss modern politics, but there's no longer any mechanism for holding the federal government accountable for any overreach nor for disregarding any constitutional obligations, nothing other than a constitutional amendment, which with the 3/4 of the states to ratify requirement is such a practical impossibility that it's never been used to hold the federal government accountable.



The abolitionist Lysander Spooner (and supporter and possibly even sponsor of terrorism against the South) said very much the same thing, so it can't be dismissed as Southern propaganda.



Not to mention Northerners and foreigners.



That strikes me as a distortion of what states' rights are. If the Constitution promises that fugitive slaves will be returned on demand, then that constitutional guarantee is itself a state's right under the Constitution. I don't think it makes sense to say that nullifying parts of the Constitution (like the fugitive slave clause) can be a states' rights issue. States' right issues, properly defined, are 10th amendment issues (and nullification, properly defined, is the right of states to nullify unconstitutional laws/rulings, not the right of states to nullify parts of the Constitution itself.) So there's no contradiction between states' rights and states using the federal government to enforce the guarantees of the Constitution. There is a contradiction between states' rights and the federal government limiting the states apart from any constitutional authorization.
Jefferson Davis used code words such has the "right of property" now what property would that be? Davis also mentioned "sectional differences" such has what? Anyone can just goggle " Jefferson Davis Inaugural Address Rice University" and view it for themselves.
Davis definitely mentioned slavery he just used euphemisms.
Leftyhunter
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Jefferson Davis's first inaugural address doesn't directly mention slavery a single time. Unless you have other evidence, I suggest you're wrong.
Thanks for your response.
Why would it? Like all inaugural addresses, it was intended to rally the general populace looking forward, not backward. The underlying assumption was that the so-called 'Confederate States' was independent and toward a bright future. The time to list complaints and argue causes was past.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Independence to practice, protect, and perpetuate the practice of slavery.

Before you can say that's of any significance (to whatever extent those issues were actually the points of contention, which the Corwin amendment (endorsed by Lincoln) provides very strong evidence against), you'll have to deal with the next two sentences following the one you quoted, specifically what concessions the CSA could have made with regards to slavery (if it had been willing) that could have averted the war. The answer is clearly none, right? How then do you have a war over slavery if no concessions (by either the CSA or the remaining Union) with regards to slavery could have averted/ended the war?

Forcing Free States to allow slaveholders to bring slaves within their domain was not a blow to the rights of those Free States?

Maybe so. I wouldn't necessarily dispute that point, except to question whether and the details of how the slave states particularly sought to force the issue? If they merely sought to force the issue through political compromise, then I don't think there's any abuse of states' rights involved. Did they seek to force the issue through federal legislation? And how should the interstate commerce clause have applied? Was that not a proper basis for federal legislation on the issue?

Why would it? Like all inaugural addresses, it was intended to rally the general populace looking forward, not backward. The underlying assumption was that the so-called 'Confederate States' was independent and toward a bright future. The time to list complaints and argue causes was past.

Wbull1 seemed to be suggesting that hiding (allegedly) the real cause of the war (an abolitionist crusade) originated with the Lost Cause movement and that Davis' and Stephens' words particularly provided evidence to that fact. Davis' first inaugural address, on the other hand, seems to provide strong evidence that opposition to an abolitionist crusade (or any other such thing) was not the central focus prior to the Lost Cause movement. I certainly can't see saying that it was the central focus of that very notable speech at the beginning of the CSA.

Did Davis use euphemisms for slavery? Whatever references he made to slavery, any defense of slavery certainly didn't form the central rallying cry for the war-to-come, which is the point I was disputing.

Not true about constitutional amendments. Constitutional Amendments have been past since the end of the ACW.

I didn't say constitutional amendments hadn't been passed since the WNA; I said that the constitutional amendment process has never been used to hold the federal government accountable to overreach of powers.

The argument that the federal government is immune from judicial review and decisions is absolutely false.

How does that relate to anything I said?

And to whatever extent it is relevant to this discussion, was the Lincoln administration and the Republican party platform not proceeding as if the executive and legislative branches were immune to the Supreme Court's ruling that "the act of Congress which prohibited a citizen from holding and owning property of this kind in the territory of the United States north of the line therein mentioned is not warranted by the Constitution, and is therefore void"?

There are many US Supreme Court decisions that absolutely prove that no state has lost any rights regarding the 10th Amendment. The Wikipedia article on the 10th Amendment gives many examples of this.

I find your argument entirely uncompelling, but I'm at a loss for how to continue discussion of that point without getting into modern politics.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Before you can say that's of any significance (to whatever extent those issues were actually the points of contention, which the Corwin amendment (endorsed by Lincoln) provides very strong evidence against), you'll have to deal with the next two sentences following the one you quoted, specifically what concessions the CSA could have made with regards to slavery (if it had been willing) that could have averted the war. The answer is clearly none, right? How then do you have a war over slavery if no concessions (by either the CSA or the remaining Union) with regards to slavery could have averted/ended the war?



Maybe so. I wouldn't necessarily dispute that point, except to question whether and the details of how the slave states particularly sought to force the issue? If they merely sought to force the issue through political compromise, then I don't think there's any abuse of states' rights involved. Did they seek to force the issue through federal legislation? And how should the interstate commerce clause have applied? Was that not a proper basis for federal legislation on the issue?



Wbull1 seemed to be suggesting that hiding (allegedly) the real cause of the war (an abolitionist crusade) originated with the Lost Cause movement and that Davis' and Stephens' words particularly provided evidence to that fact. Davis' first inaugural address, on the other hand, seems to provide strong evidence that opposition to an abolitionist crusade (or any other such thing) was not the central focus prior to the Lost Cause movement. I certainly can't see saying that it was the central focus of that very notable speech at the beginning of the CSA.

Did Davis use euphemisms for slavery? Whatever references he made to slavery, any defense of slavery certainly didn't form the central rallying cry for the war-to-come, which is the point I was disputing.



I didn't say constitutional amendments hadn't been passed since the WNA; I said that the constitutional amendment process has never been used to hold the federal government accountable to overreach of powers.



How does that relate to anything I said?

And to whatever extent it is relevant to this discussion, was the Lincoln administration and the Republican party platform not proceeding as if the executive and legislative branches were immune to the Supreme Court's ruling that "the act of Congress which prohibited a citizen from holding and owning property of this kind in the territory of the United States north of the line therein mentioned is not warranted by the Constitution, and is therefore void"?


6
I find your argument entirely uncompelling, but I'm at a loss for how to continue discussion of that point without getting into modern politics.
[
The secessionists went to war shortly after Lincoln was inaugurated. The secessionists never challenged Lincoln's policies in the court's instead the secessionists sought trial by combat.
Lincoln had no choice but to respond in kind.
If Southern whites were truly dedicated to Independence without slavery they would of tried to use peaceful means of secession has others have since the end of the ACW.
Leftyhunter
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
the Corwin amendment (endorsed by Lincoln)
Thanks for your response.
Although the provisions of the Corwin Amendment echo Lincoln's views and suggestions for avoiding the developing conflict, he did not "endorse" the Amendment. It was passed by Congress prior to his inauguration.
In his inaugural address, Lincoln stated that he "had no objection to its being made express and irrevocable." In his March 16, 1861 letter of transmittal, he simply fulfilled his Constitutional duties in forwarding the proposed amendment to the States for their ratification consideration. In that letter, he neither endorsed nor opposed the amendment.
Further,
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
what concessions the CSA could have made with regards to slavery (if it had been willing) that could have averted the war. The answer is clearly none, right?
Thanks for your response.
Right. Lincoln was not seeking anything other than preserving the Union.
Often the solution does not necessarily address the cause, particularly when there is a higher priority at stake. In the crisis of 1860-61, it was more important to Lincoln to preserve the Union than to end slavery.
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Whatever references he made to slavery, any defense of slavery certainly didn't form the central rallying cry for the war-to-come, which is the point I was disputing.
Thanks for your response.
You might want to review some of the readily available evidence, such as the passionate rationale various Senators and Representatives gave to justify their leaving Congress.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
The Lost Cause is that body of work produced following the Civil War which justified the position taken by the states that attempted to secede.
Eric Foner briefly describes the 'Lost Cause' as having three elements:
1. Slavery was a fairly benign institution, which probably should have been ended eventually, but it was good for Blacks who were well treated and introduced to Christianity;
2. The Civil War was about States' Rights and local self-government, not slavery; our soldiers fought gallantly and we should respect them all;
3. Reconstruction was a disaster because Blacks were given the right to vote. It was a tremendous mistake to give Blacks the right to vote: therefore, the violent campaigns to take away their right to vote was justified.
"The Lost Cause is a glorification of the Confederacy, but it's also a glorification of White Supremacy."
From Uncovering Reconstruction, a January 21, 2019 interview. Comments appear at the 43-minute point. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/uncovering-the-civil-war/e/58309163?autoplay=true
There is a recent thread that discussed the Lost Cause which you might find helpful: "Agree to Define 'Lost Cause'", https://civilwartalk.com/threads/agree-to-define-lost-cause.157834/

Curious would General Custer, Ewing, Granger, Crook and McCook have been "lost causers"?

They seemed to have thought the confederates did fight valiantly and the ex confederates deserved to have their rights and votes restored, and after administering reconstruction for a year, they thought black suffrage was a mistake as well.
 

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Curious would General Custer, Ewing, Granger, Crook and McCook have been "lost causers"?

They seemed to have thought the confederates did fight valiantly and the ex confederates deserved to have their rights and votes restored, and after administering reconstruction for a year, they thought black suffrage was a mistake as well.
Thanks for your response.
Mr. Foner is not attempting to identify individual "lost causers". He is defining the basic tenants of the phenomenon.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top