Restricted Is Lost Cause a real thing or not?

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Lincoln was not seeking anything other than preserving the Union.

wbull1 said he believed Davis and Stephens had said at the start of the war that the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery. I questioned the historical accuracy of that claim and then made the argument that it can't make any sense to say the main reason for the war was "the protection and expansion of slavery" unless it's true that concessions with regards to slavery could have averted/ended the war. As I suggested in that comment, given that I've never heard anyone even claim that any slavery-related concessions following secession (particularly not by any of the Confederate states) could have averted the war, then it must be nonsense to say the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery. Your latest comment, saying Lincoln was not seeking anything other than preserving the Union, certainly seems consistent with my earlier claim.

But then in your previous comment you seemed to think it was very important to modify my comment that the reason for the war was a dispute over whether the South could have independence to say the reason for the war was a dispute over whether the South could have independence "to practice, protect, and perpetuate the practice of slavery." But that that modification is unnecessary and misleading was precisely my original point. It wouldn't have mattered if the South had been willing to make any concessions with regards to slavery, i.e. whether the South was going to use its independence "to practice, protect, and perpetuate the the practice of slavery" or not; as you've suggested yourself, Lincoln's demands were effectively blind to any questions of slavery, and you can't have a war, the main reason for which is something to which one of the combatants is willfully blind. The main reason for the war can only have been something where concessions on that point would have mattered.

the passionate rationale various Senators and Representatives gave to justify their leaving Congress.

Reasons for secession aren't reasons for war unless it's true that peaceful tolerance of secession (as Thomas Jefferson advocated in his first inaugural address and as Alexander Stephens advocated in his 1864 speech before the Georgia legislature and as other countries have actually peacefully accepted/tolerated in history) is an impossibility and, as I just said above, that any concessions with regards to the alleged reasons for seceding would make a difference as to the demand for war.

Please remind me what I "quoted".

You already responded to that point in your next comment, quoting me where I repeated the same point, although I apparently wasn't clear enough that I was repeating that earlier point. Thank you!

The secessionists never challenged Lincoln's policies in the court's

But they did, as is currently being discussed in the thread about rebels in the borders states, and they won in court, but then Lincoln basically just vowed to defy the Supreme Court ruling. As the Georgia declaration of causes for secession states, "we offer the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial tribunal of our country, in our favor."

instead the secessionists sought trial by combat.

I don't think it's reasonable to equate secession with combat, but even if I were to grant that false equivalency, if anyone is to blame for not submitting to judicial resolution of differences, doesn't that blame fall first of all on the Republican party? And of whom then can we more appropriately say they "had no choice but to respond in kind"?
 

DanSBHawk

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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.
I've read this a couple times over, and it still makes no sense to me.

It was the south that wanted "every possible concession" in regards to slavery. And it was the south that wanted to break off because it didn't get "every possible concession."

If the South had been willing to make concessions, such as restricting slavery expansion, there would have been no secession and war.
 

Dead Parrott

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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.

Davis's Address doesn't directly detail any causes at all. So that's a true non-argument. There's plenty of other quotes from Jefferson and others regarding the key role of slavery. So attempting to use the inaugural address as an argument which it was not intended to make is a bit questionable IMHO. There are other official sources more on point, whose actual intention was to state causes. Those sources will not favor your interpretation, however.

Actually I was more struck by how strongly the Address feeds the 'King Cotton' line of misreasoning - suggesting early on the heavy reliance the CSA would erroneously place on that strategy. I found it interesting how prominent that theme was in the speech. Was Davis trying to reassure the audience, I wonder?


Finally, I find this line quizzical - "The South could have made every possible concession with regards to slavery, and the North wouldn't have allowed the South to peacefully secede." If the South made every possible concession in regards to slavery - including a concession to denying expansion into the territories - then by their own official admissions, there would have been no reason to succeed. So the question seems a bit twisted - the answer is actually the other way around.

I can appreciate the gymnastics necessary to deny slavery as the cause; yet I still marvel at them.
 

leftyhunter

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What exact US Supreme Court decision are you referring to in terms of Lincoln defying said decision? If it us true that Lincoln violated said decision then the aggrieved parties could of filed an injunction vs engaging in a war.
Leftyhunter
 

John S. Carter

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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.
To the political the LC was slavery .to the common foot soldier it was the freedom from the fear of the aggressiveness of the North against a way of life .not of slaves but of self rule and not of a central bureaucracy which threatened to take this from them.The North and West political faction after the war used the Bloody Shirt to maintain the same control as the LC was to the South.In the end the Black was the loser as both sides joined in a romantic version of the war and in the end the LC of the South became the Found Cause of the Republican party /ironic=Slavery was the issue but the cause was a deep historical differences between the sections of the country,
 
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It was the south that wanted "every possible concession" in regards to slavery.

I was discussing reasons for the war, not the Deep South's reasons for seceding. And I already noted why reasons for secession aren't necessarily reasons for war. I'll add to that what Lincoln said after the Deep South had seceded: "You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors." So even Lincoln said war didn't necessarily need to follow secession. And so my previous comment is perfectly valid, isn't it? I'll repeat:

given that I've never heard anyone even claim that any slavery-related concessions following secession (particularly not by any of the Confederate states) could have averted the war, then it must be nonsense to say the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery.
 

DanSBHawk

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As I suggested in that comment, given that I've never heard anyone even claim that any slavery-related concessions following secession (particularly not by any of the Confederate states) could have averted the war, then it must be nonsense to say the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery.

The best way to avert a war is Don't Start Shooting. This is something the South failed to do.

But slavery cannot be separated from the war, because the entire process of secession and war on the part of the CS was to protect slavery, by establishing an independent slave-holding republic. Both secession and the war were part of the same attempt to create a separate slave-holding nation.
 

NedBaldwin

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...given that I've never heard anyone even claim that any slavery-related concessions following secession (particularly not by any of the Confederate states) could have averted the war, then it must be nonsense to say the main reason for the war was the protection and expansion of slavery...
Ill make that claim...

A slavery-related concession of freeing all slaves and outlawing slavery would have averted the war, since that would make secession unnecessary

The effort to separate secession from war is meaningless. As Senator Daniel Webster declared in 1850, "Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility."
 
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As Senator Daniel Webster declared in 1850, "Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility."

Of course, numerous examples in world history since that time have proven Webster utterly wrong.

The best way to avert a war is Don't Start Shooting.

So what were the options for the South if they hadn't started shooting?
 
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I am unaware of a single example of secession from the USA that proved Webster wrong.

There are plenty of other states in the world that have forcibly suppressed (successfully) any attempt by any subset of their people to secede over the last 200+ years (besides others that have sought to forcibly suppress secessions and failed), so of course peaceful toleration of secession is far from a given, but neither is it an utter impossibility. Are you suggesting some principle that makes it an utter impossibility in the United States (and maybe some other limited places) but not elsewhere? If so, what is that principle?
 
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The effort to separate secession from war is meaningless. As Senator Daniel Webster declared in 1850, "Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility."
Different countries have different constitutions and different laws

Except other countries whose constitutions and laws have been no more open to secession than under the US Constitution have been able "to separate secession from war," so if you're trying to use the Webster quote as evidence that "the effort to separate secession from war is meaningless," then the historical facts of other countries still disprove the point.
 

DanSBHawk

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So what were the options for the South if they hadn't started shooting?
That is a whole other subject, and it has been discussed here in other threads. But basically, the option to pursue secession through the same type of political process that the states went through when they entered the union.

Key point - If you want a peaceful secession, don't start shooting.
 

GwilymT

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Yes, the Lost Cause was and is a real thing. It was very successful in its efforts, as many posts and threads here can attest.
 

NedBaldwin

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Except other countries whose constitutions and laws have been no more open to secession than under the US Constitution have been able "to separate secession from war," so if you're trying to use the Webster quote as evidence that "the effort to separate secession from war is meaningless," then the historical facts of other countries still disprove the point.
Webster is talking about the US. Using other countries as examples (if such examples exist) doesnt disprove anything about the US.
 

GwilymT

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Except other countries whose constitutions and laws have been no more open to secession than under the US Constitution have been able "to separate secession from war," so if you're trying to use the Webster quote as evidence that "the effort to separate secession from war is meaningless," then the historical facts of other countries still disprove the point.

I am unaware of any peaceful secessions where the secessionists didn’t work within the existing government to secure their independence.
 
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That is a whole other subject, and it has been discussed here in other threads. But basically, the option to pursue secession

The question is what options the Confederate States had after seceding if they hadn't "started shooting", as you've put it. Obviously, what actually happened was one option, and obviously unconditional surrender was an option (before seceding, between seceding and the start of the war, and throughout the course of the war.) Were there other options? Or when you say they shouldn't have started shooting, are you just saying you think they should have unconditionally surrendered from the start? If you can't differentiate between options after seceding that involved shooting and options that didn't involve shooting, then saying they shouldn't have started shooting is just a red herring.
 

DanSBHawk

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The question is what options the Confederate States had after seceding if they hadn't "started shooting", as you've put it. Obviously, what actually happened was one option, and obviously unconditional surrender was an option (before seceding, between seceding and the start of the war, and throughout the course of the war.) Were there other options? Or when you say they shouldn't have started shooting, are you just saying you think they should have unconditionally surrendered from the start? If you can't differentiate between options after seceding that involved shooting and options that didn't involve shooting, then saying they shouldn't have started shooting is just a red herring.
As has been noted above, they should have attempted to secede by going through a political process. Similar to admitting a new state, but in reverse. Instead, they chose to start shooting.

In fact, a good part of the country did not recognize the unilateral secession as valid because they had not gone through the existing system of government, so your "after seceding" is premature.
 
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