Legislation passed during Civil War and other issues than slavery causing war

WJC

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Slavery built America piece by piece until the War came. Oh, but that was OK, you see?
Change happens. What was accepted yesterday may not be accepted tomorrow. Unfortunately, when attitudes concerning slavery were occurring, one region had a far more difficult path to change than the other. That disparity ultimately led to war.
 

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jgoodguy

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Why, yes I did notice the dates. Many weren't just before Lincoln's call for troops but, well before. As in, before April 12th.

Looks like delegates in Virginia feared war/invasion coming long before it was a reality. Yet, until it was confirmed, they remained in the Union.
They were fence sitting. In the end, however, they chose to protect slavery. They went with the side that they were ideological closest too and that their civilization was most compatible with and whose distinguishing factor was slavery. At the Constitutional convention protection of slavery was the price of union. At every compromise, the price of union was the protection of slavery. At the last compromise attempt, the loyal states accepted any compromise excluding forcing them to accept slavery in their State territory and forcing poor white farmers to compete with wealthy slave owners in new territory. Upon that rock of Northern obstinateness, the South seceded. Virginia went along. The price of Union was always for the Slave South the protection of slavery.

Why did VA wait so long? The order of secession is close to the extent of slavery in a state, where slave owner had the political power to do so, they succeeded. They had been threatening secession for 8 decades so they did, just like a spouse threatening divorce starts accepting divorce as a normal thing to do after so many threats. Virginia also split over this with West Virginia staying loyal. If we deduct West Virginia's population from VA then the percent claves in the population goes up considerably.

1553277199773.png

In short, the deciding factor in VA was the protection of slavery. As long as there was not a hot war, they had the luxury of fence sitting. Once there was a hot war, the political pressure to protect slavery overcame loyalty to the United States and they joined the CSA. The least slaveholding section, West VA, remained loyal.
 

unionblue

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I don't think anybody would argue with established, historical, fact.
Not true, as we see such every day on this forum in many of the threads that are posted here.

Most of the time we see the same topics and the same tactics bought into play to dispute that established, historical, facts.

First we are told that not every Confederate soldier did not fight for slavery, that most didn't even own slaves. While somewhat true, this continued excuse denies the obvious fact that those soldiers were not stupid or ignorant of the fact the role slavery took in bringing on that war. It also denies the obvious fact that while soldiers enlist for a variety of personal reasons, their country employs them for stated, political and economic goals of that nation's leadership.

Then we see the obvious historical evidence such as the declarations of secession, the political speeches and issues of the time that were at the base of that historical fact. But we are led into the bushes of personal opinion, told repeatedly that there were "other issues," other issues that in no way would have led to the disaster of civil war by themselves alone. We are constantly asked to minimize or completely ignore, that one, vital, ingrediant that had to be added to bring on that bloody conflict, slavery.

We continue to see repeated attempts to minimize historical fact by resorting to emotion over those facts, or the demonizing of historical text and authors by calling them "PC," Edited. and the like. Worse, we all seem to draw some satisfaction in naming our fellow members part of some social subset, by calling them "Yankees," or "Neo-Confederates," as if such labels somehow negate the words of our direct ancestors, dictated by them at the time. The fact is, there are no more "Yankees" or "Confederates," "Billy Yanks," or "Johnny Rebs." They are only found in the grave yards of the past.

No, actual, historical, fact is debated all the time here on these threads and this forum, denied and twisted, over and over again, with out regard for that fact. It is only viewed partially, with the use of a selective blindness when reading and debating that historical fact.

My problem has always been, when viewed without that selective blindness, when the historical sources are clearly and impartially researched and read, and without that last-ditch stand at labeling those who disagree with us, we're left with the historical fact, that only slavery could bring about the worst four years of our nation's history and the legacy of denial that prevents our nation from moving past that history.

Unionblue
 

CSA Today

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Not true, as we see such every day on this forum in many of the threads that are posted here.

Most of the time we see the same topics and the same tactics bought into play to dispute that established, historical, facts.

First we are told that not every Confederate soldier did not fight for slavery, that most didn't even own slaves. While somewhat true, this continued excuse denies the obvious fact that those soldiers were not stupid or ignorant of the fact the role slavery took in bringing on that war. It also denies the obvious fact that while soldiers enlist for a variety of personal reasons, their country employs them for stated, political and economic goals of that nation's leadership.

Then we see the obvious historical evidence such as the declarations of secession, the political speeches and issues of the time that were at the base of that historical fact. But we are led into the bushes of personal opinion, told repeatedly that there were "other issues," other issues that in no way would have led to the disaster of civil war by themselves alone. We are constantly asked to minimize or completely ignore, that one, vital, ingrediant that had to be added to bring on that bloody conflict, slavery.

We continue to see repeated attempts to minimize historical fact by resorting to emotion over those facts, or the demonizing of historical text and authors by calling them "PC," Edited. and the like. Worse, we all seem to draw some satisfaction in naming our fellow members part of some social subset, by calling them "Yankees," or "Neo-Confederates," as if such labels somehow negate the words of our direct ancestors, dictated by them at the time. The fact is, there are no more "Yankees" or "Confederates," "Billy Yanks," or "Johnny Rebs." They are only found in the grave yards of the past.

No, actual, historical, fact is debated all the time here on these threads and this forum, denied and twisted, over and over again, with out regard for that fact. It is only viewed partially, with the use of a selective blindness when reading and debating that historical fact.

My problem has always been, when viewed without that selective blindness, when the historical sources are clearly and impartially researched and read, and without that last-ditch stand at labeling those who disagree with us, we're left with the historical fact, that only slavery could bring about the worst four years of our nation's history and the legacy of denial that prevents our nation from moving past that history.

Unionblue
Actually, I agree, I see them here every day, I was trying to avoid in the earlier post getting in a "personal argument. They are discouraged here especially if one is arguing a Pro-Confederate/ Southern point of view.
 

Old_Glory

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Cotton was an issue for one reason and one reason only: it was planted and harvested primarily by slaves. Cotton was what made slavery profitable.
And that is why cotton was the more important issue to the South. Slavery was more important to the North because it gave them a moral cause to oppose the Southern Democrats.

The North had no way to grow cotton or profit from slavery, which gave the Republicans an opportunity to push the issue. It was a great issue to unite under to destroy the political Behemoth that was the Southern Democrat Party.
 

unionblue

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Actually, I agree, I see them here every day, I was trying to avoid in the earlier post getting in a "personal argument. They are discouraged here especially if one is arguing a Pro-Confederate/ Southern point of view.
And again, here is where I have a problem.

There should be no "Pro-Confederate" or "Southern" point-of-view, just as there should be no "Pro-Union' or "Northern" view. There should only be the view of documented, historical, fact.

I believe because there is a decided, personal, response to much of the debate given here, there seems to be a need to defend a point-of-view from a Confederate/Southern point and a Union/Northern one, when the evidence, plainly presented, in full context, should be the standard every member of this forum should be striving for. I also believe this only happens when one feels he/she is being personally challenged, that his/her own beliefs are being called into question, leaving historical fact a poor second to those personal beliefs.

I am of the decided view that personal attachment, personal investment, brings on these feelings of personal attacks and brings on more emotional responses vice actual presentations of historical documentation and clouds the ability to view such in a critical, factual light.

I am also aware that our membership at this forum is made up of people, all from different backgrounds and learnings, different education levels and styles and differences in ages and experiences. Some of us are set in our ways or believe certain things and not too much can be said to change those 'things.' But I believe that all of us here should take the time to count to ten, then count ten again, and do our absolute best to challenge our own views and beliefs with the intent of trying to further our knowledge and understanding of the period of history that we have all come to love and to commit to our understanding. It's too important to permit it to degenerate into something other than a study to further that understanding.

Unionblue
 

CSA Today

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And again, here is where I have a problem.

There should be no "Pro-Confederate" or "Southern" point-of-view, just as there should be no "Pro-Union' or "Northern" view. There should only be the view of documented, historical, fact.

I believe because there is a decided, personal, response to much of the debate given here, there seems to be a need to defend a point-of-view from a Confederate/Southern point and a Union/Northern one, when the evidence, plainly presented, in full context, should be the standard every member of this forum should be striving for. I also believe this only happens when one feels he/she is being personally challenged, that his/her own beliefs are being called into question, leaving historical fact a poor second to those personal beliefs.

I am of the decided view that personal attachment, personal investment, brings on these feelings of personal attacks and brings on more emotional responses vice actual presentations of historical documentation and clouds the ability to view such in a critical, factual light.

I am also aware that our membership at this forum is made up of people, all from different backgrounds and learnings, different education levels and styles and differences in ages and experiences. Some of us are set in our ways or believe certain things and not too much can be said to change those 'things.' But I believe that all of us here should take the time to count to ten, then count ten again, and do our absolute best to challenge our own views and beliefs with the intent of trying to further our knowledge and understanding of the period of history that we have all come to love and to commit to our understanding. It's too important to permit it to degenerate into something other than a study to further that understanding.

Unionblue
Maybe not, but the reality is that's how they are argued here.
 

Potomac Pride

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They were fence sitting. In the end, however, they chose to protect slavery. They went with the side that they were ideological closest too and that their civilization was most compatible with and whose distinguishing factor was slavery. At the Constitutional convention protection of slavery was the price of union. At every compromise, the price of union was the protection of slavery. At the last compromise attempt, the loyal states accepted any compromise excluding forcing them to accept slavery in their State territory and forcing poor white farmers to compete with wealthy slave owners in new territory. Upon that rock of Northern obstinateness, the South seceded. Virginia went along. The price of Union was always for the Slave South the protection of slavery.

Why did VA wait so long? The order of secession is close to the extent of slavery in a state, where slave owner had the political power to do so, they succeeded. They had been threatening secession for 8 decades so they did, just like a spouse threatening divorce starts accepting divorce as a normal thing to do after so many threats. Virginia also split over this with West Virginia staying loyal. If we deduct West Virginia's population from VA then the percent claves in the population goes up considerably.

View attachment 298416
In short, the deciding factor in VA was the protection of slavery. As long as there was not a hot war, they had the luxury of fence sitting. Once there was a hot war, the political pressure to protect slavery overcame loyalty to the United States and they joined the CSA. The least slaveholding section, West VA, remained loyal.
Thanks for your comments. However, the historical evidence shows that slavery wasn't the only factor that led to the secession of Virginia.
 

unionblue

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Maybe not, but the reality is that's how they are argued here.
Which, in my view, dishonors the history we are trying to learn.

Every time "TOV" is hurled as an attempt to belittle, every time "Neo-Confederate" is thundered in reply, we distract from learning about that history.

Either we control ourselves or we are controlled by others, thereby learning nothing.
 
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I know. That WAS the point, & why I quoted yours

Interesting theory how, if Virginia says anything about slavery, it's 1000% accurate yet, anything else whatsoever, they must be lying :O o:
I tend to care more about what politician do, then what they say. ie: How they vote on legislation, etc vs. their notes, & musings inside chambers, or convention halls attempting to sway votes in their favor. Votes are what matters. Legislation is what changes courses, & or lives.

Did some folks want to leave the US solely on the basis of slavery..? Sure. However, it wasn't that simple for some states, & people. I put way more stock into Virginia's secession VOTES than I do rhetoric from delegates. What they DID do, was vote against secession when the major deciding factor was just slavery, & possibly war/invasion. As soon as it was now about slavery, AND a DEFINITE war/invasion, they set their fate with the lower South.

To guess what could've, or should've, or what they were gonna do, is simply hyperbole. I'm simply stating what they DID in fact do. What is actual history.

As a side, I can't speak for all those Yankee states in your query. I haven't studied them nearly as much as my beloved Virginia. :cool:
RE: Interesting theory how, if Virginia says anything about slavery, it's 1000% accurate yet, anything else whatsoever, they must be lying

Actually, I never said they were lying. I was being rhetorical, suggesting different scenarios that might explain VA's reaction to Ft Sumter and thereafter. (I will note that I have seen people on this forum say that secessionists were disingenuous or even lying when they issued their secession declarations, such as here.)

RE: To guess what could've, or should've, or what they were gonna do, is simply hyperbole. I'm simply stating what they DID in fact do. What is actual history.

Actually, I was not trying to guess what they could or should have done. I am trying to divine the reasons for what they did what the did or said what they said.

RE: However, it wasn't that simple for some states, & people. I put way more stock into Virginia's secession VOTES than I do rhetoric from delegates. What they DID do, was vote against secession when the major deciding factor was just slavery, & possibly war/invasion. As soon as it was now about slavery, AND a DEFINITE war/invasion, they set their fate with the lower South.

If we're talking about what caused people to do things, words are important. Because actions can be interpreted in different ways. Indeed, we are right now having a discussion about the causes of their actions.
=========

The point I was making is that, the reactions of VA and northern states were wildly different. In fact, they weren't just different; they were opposites, and oppositional. Their actions were at odds with each other, to use a phrase.

VA uses the word "coercion" when talking about the Union's actions, while Union men talked about beating back "traitors." That is, VA and the northern states had different meanings for those words and their use. There differences are remarkable, coming from people who were geographically close, who were part of a single country, spoke the same language, and were part of a transformative Revolution less than 100 years earlier. What could account for that, in a nation that was a republic?

You properly say that VA "set their fate with the lower South." Notably, both PA and OH were physically closer to VA than any lower South state. But of course VA did not ally itself with the Confederates simply because of geographic positioning. They had political, socio-economic, and cultural similarities and ties with the Deep South that prompted their decisions and actions. The North and the South had different world views.

In his book At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis, author Shearer Davis Bowman writes
The inability to engineer an acceptable compromise during the secession crisis reflected the reality that neither northern nor southern stalwarts could endorse concessions that did not seem to undermine what they perceived to be their fundamental interests rights and honor as citizens of the American Republic.​
Avery Craven has powerfully concluded, "neither the North nor the South could you yield its position because slavery had come to symbolize values in each of their socio-economic structures for which men fight and die but which they do not give up or compromise."​
The northern free labor society and the southern slave society evolved differently, to the point where they interpreted and defined particular events in fundamentally different ways. This is so obvious that we fail to appreciate the extent to which the nation changed in so little time.

Author Shearer Davis Bowman goes on to say in his book:

Certainly, as Alexander Stevens made clear, the spread and security of black chattel bondage had become the most important "interest" in the sectional dispute, together with what Alan Nevins termed "it's complementary problem of race adjustment." Other "interests" were at stake for southerners, but slavery was paramount.​
However as Stevens... suggests Southerners— and Northerners —generally preferred to discuss the questions of slavery and later session in terms of threats to their constitutional and the national rights and to their honor as citizens of a state and a section within the Union.​
Although historians can see the economic and racial foundations of Southern and Northern complaints against each other, the sectional combatants, like the great majority of human beings, much preferred to address and defend those "interests" in terms of powerful abstractions such as "rights" and "honor." Such abstractions rendered sectional interests in language and concepts that seemed transcendent and universal and hence eminently admirable and defensible.​
To be simplistic, the interests of the sections informed their world view, principles and rhetoric. We think it was the other way around, but it wasn't. In the view of Bowman and others, the need to protect the slave labor society led to the construction of the rhetoric of states rights, for example. The free labor society of the North evolved such that its honor would be forfeit if it backed down to the Slave Power, for example. The American values that exited from the Revolution were evolved and constructed around the aspects of the free labor and slave labor societies.

Were other interests so pervasive and even overwhelming that they so impacted the sections' world view? Bowman and others argue that was not the case.

- Alan
 
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And that is why cotton was the more important issue to the South. Slavery was more important to the North because it gave them a moral cause to oppose the Southern Democrats.
The North had no way to grow cotton or profit from slavery, which gave the Republicans an opportunity to push the issue. It was a great issue to unite under to destroy the political Behemoth that was the Southern Democrat Party.
People did not vote for Lincoln, and against Southern Democrats, because of a moral fervor against slavery. Indeed, abolitionists were held in disregard by some, probably many northerners.

Somebody said (perhaps you?) that northerners did not want to compete with slave labor in the West. For northerners, manifest destiny meant a free labor country from sea to sea. Northerners desired free labor and free soil more than they disparaged slavery. Eric Foner has said that free labor was not an oppositional ideal meant to contest or contrast with slave labor. It was its own ideal, and tied to the belief in a post-class society where somebody's inheritance did not determine their destiny. In a free labor society, men could raise themselves up by the bootstraps, and become "self-made men." Competition with slave labor stood in the way.

Northerners could stand slavery as long as it wasn't in their back yard. Many free labor thinkers, like Lincoln, assumed slave labor would just die eventually because it was an inferior labor system. In this way, the country would become not just "half free" but entirely free.

One person has made the point that northerners didn't so much hate slavery, they hated slave holders. There is some truth to that. In national politics slave holders were the enemy of free labor and free soil. It is certainly true their maltreatment of enslaved people made them easy to demonize, and they certainly were demonized. And Southern Democrats were their champion. If Southern Democrats had been willing to accept a free labor West, there would certainly have been less national conflict in 1860-61. But Southern Democrats were not feeling that...

It was a great issue to unite under to destroy the political Behemoth that was the Southern Democrat Party.
Outside the South, the Southern Democrats were no behemoth. Indeed, the Northern Democrat Douglas got more votes in the 1860 election, although he won far fewer votes in the electoral college.

- Alan
 

CSA Today

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Which, in my view, dishonors the history we are trying to learn.

Every time "TOV" is hurled as an attempt to belittle, every time "Neo-Confederate" is thundered in reply, we distract from learning about that history.

Either we control ourselves or we are controlled by others, thereby learning nothing.
Or "Lost Causer" when one doesn't know quite what else to say.
 
Last edited:

jgoodguy

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Thanks for your comments. However, the historical evidence shows that slavery wasn't the only factor that led to the secession of Virginia.
I appreciate that my communication skills have improved so much that you understand my posts. One of those factors was that pro secessionist forces attacked federal installations in VA before the final vote leading some to switch their votes figuring war was upon them no matter what. I assume that we are in agreement except for a pending post with a list of those other historical factors with evidence which I eagerly anticipate.
 

jgoodguy

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To be simplistic, the interests of the sections informed their world view, principles and rhetoric. We think it was the other way around, but it wasn't. In the view of Bowman and others, the need to protect the slave labor society led to the construction of the rhetoric of states rights, for example. The free labor society of the North evolved such that its honor would be forfeit if it backed down to the Slave Power, for example. The American values that exited from the Revolution were evolved and constructed around the aspects of the free labor and slave labor societies.
I like this summary.

IMHO part of the protection of slave labor was to get the North to agree it was a good thing and for the North to suppress criticism of it.
 

Potomac Pride

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Not true, as we see such every day on this forum in many of the threads that are posted here.

Most of the time we see the same topics and the same tactics bought into play to dispute that established, historical, facts.

First we are told that not every Confederate soldier did not fight for slavery, that most didn't even own slaves. While somewhat true, this continued excuse denies the obvious fact that those soldiers were not stupid or ignorant of the fact the role slavery took in bringing on that war. It also denies the obvious fact that while soldiers enlist for a variety of personal reasons, their country employs them for stated, political and economic goals of that nation's leadership.

Then we see the obvious historical evidence such as the declarations of secession, the political speeches and issues of the time that were at the base of that historical fact. But we are led into the bushes of personal opinion, told repeatedly that there were "other issues," other issues that in no way would have led to the disaster of civil war by themselves alone. We are constantly asked to minimize or completely ignore, that one, vital, ingrediant that had to be added to bring on that bloody conflict, slavery.

We continue to see repeated attempts to minimize historical fact by resorting to emotion over those facts, or the demonizing of historical text and authors by calling them "PC," Edited. and the like. Worse, we all seem to draw some satisfaction in naming our fellow members part of some social subset, by calling them "Yankees," or "Neo-Confederates," as if such labels somehow negate the words of our direct ancestors, dictated by them at the time. The fact is, there are no more "Yankees" or "Confederates," "Billy Yanks," or "Johnny Rebs." They are only found in the grave yards of the past.

No, actual, historical, fact is debated all the time here on these threads and this forum, denied and twisted, over and over again, with out regard for that fact. It is only viewed partially, with the use of a selective blindness when reading and debating that historical fact.

My problem has always been, when viewed without that selective blindness, when the historical sources are clearly and impartially researched and read, and without that last-ditch stand at labeling those who disagree with us, we're left with the historical fact, that only slavery could bring about the worst four years of our nation's history and the legacy of denial that prevents our nation from moving past that history.

Unionblue
I have always tried to examine historical facts. I have never denied that slavery was a major issue that led to the Civil War but also believe there were other issues involved in the conflict. People like to bring up the Articles of Secessions of the southern states but some of those don't even mention slavery. Furthermore, some of the Articles of Secession that do mention slavery also bring up additional issues of concern. In the past generations, there have been different schools of thought regarding the reasons for the war. Some of these schools of thought maintain that slavery wasn't a significant cause of the war and were put forth by noted historians and scholars. These people were not Neo-Confederates or Lost Causers as some on this board would call them. The problem is that history is a matter of interpretation of historical facts which may lead to differences in opinion. Furthermore, conflicts such as wars can be complicated matters that have more than one cause.
 

unionblue

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@Potomac Pride ,

What historical facts concerning the American Civil War require "interpretation?"

Here on this very thread we have tried to see "other issues than slavery causing the Civil War" but what has been presented as "other causes" that are not intertwined or simply dominated by slavery? Has not every other issue presented as "another" cause been lifted from a source that contained, to some degree, the issue of slavery? Has there been one documented source completely free of that issue?

Unionblue
 

Viper21

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And again, here is where I have a problem.

There should be no "Pro-Confederate" or "Southern" point-of-view, just as there should be no "Pro-Union' or "Northern" view. There should only be the view of documented, historical, fact.
Couldn't agree more..! Yet most folks only believe documents, accounts, & historical facts, when they align with their views/bias.

Is it a coincidence that the same folks who believe as you, slavery, slavery, & nothing but slavery, also believe Secession was illegal, & unconstitutional..? Is it a coincidence the same folks relate Black Confederates to UFO's..?

Everybody is bias. Most are firmly entrenched in their positions, & nothing will change their minds, or even open them a little.

In the words of Silas Tripp (Denzel), "Ain't nobody clean...... we all covered up in it"
 

unionblue

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Couldn't agree more..! Yet most folks only believe documents, accounts, & historical facts, when they align with their views/bias.

"Only believe documents, accounts, & historical facts when they "align" with their views/bias?"
Or perhaps they have come to this view/bias because of those very same documents, accounts, & historical facts when they previously believed the exact opposite BEFORE they examined such?


Is it a coincidence that the same folks who believe as you, slavery, slavery, & nothing but slavery, also believe Secession was illegal, & unconstitutional..? Is it a coincidence the same folks relate Black Confederates to UFO's..?

IS it a personal coincidence that all of the above folks fit into your above definition as the "same folks?"

Everybody is biased. Most are firmly entrenched in their positions, & nothing will change their minds, or even open them a little.

So, no need to try and offer alternatives based on in context, historical evidence? Seems to me, a lot of folks are very comfortable in that bias and are too lazy to take a chance on learning something, not something new, but something far more dangerous. Something that counters a long-held, cherished belief.


In the words of Silas Tripp (Denzel), "Ain't nobody clean...... we all covered up in it"
And from a nonfictional, actual, historical source: "History is not history, unless it is the truth." A. Lincoln.
 

Viper21

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So, no need to try and offer alternatives based on in context, historical evidence?
:O o:
There's been hundreds of pages of alternatives offered on many subjects. The same folks usually poo poo those alternatives. So, not really sure what you're referring to here. Check out Anderson's award winning thread. Even my lazy self made some contributions to that thread. :wink:

Seems to me, a lot of folks are very comfortable in that bias and are too lazy to take a chance on learning something, not something new, but something far more dangerous. Something that counters a long-held, cherished belief.
Again, couldn't agree more.
 



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