Looking back on the whole bloody mess, I truly believe that it was completely pointless EXCEPT as a maneuver to obliterate southern independence.

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
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Corn, because it was edible and it could support poultry and fatten hogs. It also was used to distill liquor, for which the US had high tolerance for in those decades. Hogs, because they could be herded to market, the meat could be salted and smoked, and the fat rendered into lard, candles and soap.
Corn and hogs were national. Cotton and cotton spinning were regional.
The division advocated by the secessionists was a fantasy. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee were made up of the same types of people doing very similar things to make a living. Three of those states allowed slavery, but the other three were made up of people who had little knowledge of African/American lives, and little interest in their lot in life.
There were reasons that as the US advanced in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, many aspects of life returned for normal, with many fewer enslaved people about. It was still, white, Christian, English and small d democratic, with the new Republicans and the old Democrats contending for offices.
 

Irishtom29

2nd Lieutenant
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Location
Kent, Washington
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee were made up of the same types of people doing very similar things to make a living.

Illinois had a large infusion of New Englanders and upstate New Yorkers after the opening of the Erie Canal. These people were lacking in the slave states mentioned and not as common in Ohio and Indiana as in Illinois. It was this group that settled the state north of the Shelbyville Moraine, subdued the Grand Prairie and gave Illinois an especially strong spirit of enterprise and industriousness.
 

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Looking on the matter out of a sublime perspective you all (@wausabob et.al.) are most probably right.

But it is the conclusion you are tending to draw about Southerners which I deem a bit problematic
as you (consequentially have to) depict them as given to illusory thinking and unreasonable
- a bit like children (something I already read in other threads elsewhere), that had to be taught to see what was better for them
(and if they should happen to be just too dumb to see it then force was the next best mean to make them understand...).

But out of a southern perspective that whole secession-thing wasn't that unreasonable at all
- they could just not that clearly see where the US were bound for as it is only statistical data since 1880 that let us see the whole picture
- the only thing they knew was that their current economical system had evolved into a kind of monoculture that was most probably only profitable when using slave labour
- they didn't universally acclaim to the development of such a monoculture but also deplored the waning of their other economical branches (and just like the majority of people of that age they detected a superior northern industry as the reason for that)
- and they knew that they (because of slavery) politically had become a rather disliked minority whose interests were most probably to be ignored in Washington

This should be the way of thinking of the ordinary reader of the papers in the South.

I am excluding from my calculation those fire-eating businessmen (mostly out of the planter´s class) who just wanted to keep up their slavery system at all costs and against all odds - because, well....such people followed only their own specific mercurial interests
- which is indeed unreasonable when shaping national politics, that's for sure....

But looking on the aforementioned ordinary reader of the papers somewhere in the South I do not conceive THEM as unreasonable - they saw secession as a chance to stay afloat,
to better shape politics according to their own interests
and to better keep out northern industrial influence...

and even if we today know that they most probably erred in some of this points
this does not lead to a point where they have to be seen as dumb or illusory thinking

- on the grounds of their knowledge and understanding secession was a viable and even tempting option

- and obviously it had to be such as a majority of people in the South bet everything on that horse...
(even the most ancient...the most respected in their communities...etc. pp.)

But of course the reply will be (as always...sigh...)
that they all were that intoxicated with their white supremacist thinking (or beguiled by racist propaganda)
that they just cannot be regarded as responsible people anymore -
and (because of that) really seriously needed someone taking over temporary custody over them....
 
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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
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Location
Denver, CO
Illinois had a large infusion of New Englanders and upstate New Yorkers after the opening of the Erie Canal. These people were lacking in the slave states mentioned and not as common in Ohio and Indiana as in Illinois. It was this group that settled the state north of the Shelbyville Moraine, subdued the Grand Prairie and gave Illinois an especially strong spirit of enterprise and industriousness.
Another version of obnoxious, optimistic Americans, with a strong interest in literacy and education.
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
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Location
District of Columbia
The same could be said about Slavery in the US. Yet to say so, is routinely classified as, "whataboutism", while the atrocities committed by Yankees, are considered "restraint". Weird... :O o:
An atrocity is an an atrocity, there is no such thing as a "restrained" atrocity. The point being made here is that the scope and extent of such during the US Civil War pales in comparison to that of other wars in other places.

I would add that, war and slavery are two different things. War is cruelty, you cannot refine it. Modern content edited. By contrast, labor systems are not inherently cruel, but that was the case in the antebellum US.

- Alan
 
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CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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Location
Laurinburg NC
Maybe @John Hartwell was just showing what contemporaneous Unionists might have thought (then) about their reason to go to war....at least I understood it that way....
I would just add that Southerners had an equal right to defend their independence from whom they deemed an oppressor.

"It was in the face of such tremendous odds that the South called her sons to fight—not for slavery—ah, no, young reader, be not misled; it was to fight the same fight our fathers fought—the right to live under a flag of their own choosing—the right to defend their homes from the spoiler."

Thornton Hardie Bowman
 
Joined
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I would just add that Southerners had an equal right to defend their independence from whom they deemed an oppressor.

"It was in the face of such tremendous odds that the South called her sons to fight—not for slavery—ah, no, young reader, be not misled; it was to fight the same fight our fathers fought—the right to live under a flag of their own choosing—the right to defend their homes from the spoiler."

Thornton Hardie Bowman
I cannot help but recall that many Southerners including notables such as Sam Houston were remarkably unconvinced by this.
 

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
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I would just add that Southerners had an equal right to defend their independence from whom they deemed an oppressor.

"It was in the face of such tremendous odds that the South called her sons to fight—not for slavery—ah, no, young reader, be not misled; it was to fight the same fight our fathers fought—the right to live under a flag of their own choosing—the right to defend their homes from the spoiler."

Thornton Hardie Bowman
Well.... hm....

as much as I deem the policy of secessionists understandable
(given the realities of the times and their perception of it I deem it even as reasonable to a certain degree)...

and as much as I am sceptical towards the morale high ground some people in the North seemingly liked to occupy
(maybe to wash away the stains of certain racial tendencies of their own -
maybe to justify some military actions that rather not were examples of outstanding morale restraint
maybe to consolidate national patriotism in a nation with high influx of immigrants
maybe because they were part of the rather small abolitionist community
maybe because they came upon examples of not so benevolent slavery - which of course existed also - and hence had their minds about race relations changed)
...

well...

I think it is out of the question that a group of relevant size in the South also fought to defend the status quo in their society -
which in certain (rather large) areas inevitably meant the undisturbed existence of slavery.

(a thing I deem also somehow understandable
- given the fact that they were Victorians and believed in racial superiority
- and consequentially felt that a perceived benevolent slavery was the best mean to avoid any changes
- especially in areas where high proportions of Africans lived)

Well... I am sorry... but this motivation existed in the South
(albeit it was of course not the only and not everybody's prime motivation).
 
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Piedone

Corporal
Joined
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Well, from a white southern perspective anyway. And not even all white southerners as strongly Unionist areas such as East Tennessee show.
Yes, that’s absolutely correct. But I reckon that at least about 60 to 70 percent of white Southerners should have embraced the idea initially.
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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Location
Laurinburg NC
I cannot help but recall that many Southerners including notables such as Sam Houston were remarkably unconvinced by this.


There will always be a significant number of people unwilling or afraid to take the step to independence. I recall the professor in a colonial history class saying that close to two-thirds of the colonists either opposed or didn't want to get involved. Loyalty was especially high in the Carolinas and Georgia.“

If we were wrong in our contest, then the Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a grave mistake and the revolution to which it led was a crime. If Washington was a patriot; Lee cannot have been a rebel.”
Wade Hampton
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Wisconsin
If we were wrong in our contest, then the Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a grave mistake and the revolution to which it led was a crime. If Washington was a patriot; Lee cannot have been a rebel.”
Wade Hampton
Hampton is engaging in what is called "special pleading" in comparing the secessionists to the revolutionary generation. Hampton wanted to ennoble the bad cause he fought for. But in fact, he himself was a prime example of a flaming white-supremacist, as was shown so clearly in his post-war political career.
 

Viper21

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Hampton is engaging in what is called "special pleading" in comparing the secessionists to the revolutionary generation. Hampton wanted to ennoble the bad cause he fought for. But in fact, he himself was a prime example of a flaming white-supremacist, as was shown so clearly in his post-war political career.
Presentism.

You're using a phrase & words to describe Hampton, that simply weren't in use in his day.

enhance.jpg
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Plenty of Corn was grown in the South. KY was a Southern State. How much Cotton was grown in the North or Midwest? Below is a description of the importance of Cotton explained by Gates. Even he says the single most important causation of the War was Cotton, not Slavery.Yankee Industrial Revolution was built on Cotton.

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/why-was-cotton-king/
 

Zack

Sergeant
Joined
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Location
Los Angeles, California
Plenty of Corn was grown in the South. KY was a Southern State. How much Cotton was grown in the North or Midwest? Below is a description of the importance of Cotton explained by Gates. Even he says the single most important causation of the War was Cotton, not Slavery.Yankee Industrial Revolution was built on Cotton.

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/why-was-cotton-king/
That's a pretty disingenuous reading of Gates.

To quote from that link, my emphasis:
As mentioned here in a previous column, the invention of the cotton gin greatly increased the productivity of cotton harvesting by slaves. This resulted in dramatically higher profits for planters, which in turn led to a seemingly insatiable increase in the demand for more slaves, in a savage, brutal and vicious cycle.

Now, the value of cotton: Slave-produced cottonbrought commercial ascendancy to New York City, was the driving force for territorial expansion in the Old Southwest and fostered trade between Europe and the United States,” according to Gene Dattel. In fact, cotton productivity, no doubt due to the sharecropping system that replaced slavery, remained central to the American economy for a very long time: “Cotton was the leading American export from 1803 to 1937.”

....

If there was one ultimate cause of the Civil War, it was King Cotton — black-slave-grown cotton — “the most important determinant of American history in the nineteenth century,” Dattel concludes. “Cotton prolonged America’s most serious social tragedy, slavery, and slave-produced cotton caused the American Civil War.” And that is why it was something of a miracle that even the New England states joined the war to end slavery.

Once we understand the paramount economic importance of cotton to the economies of the United States and Great Britain, we can begin to appreciate the enormity of the achievements of the black and white abolitionists who managed to marshal moral support for the abolition of slavery, as well as those half a million slaves who “marched with their feet” and fled to Union lines as soon as they could following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
 
Joined
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Plenty of Corn was grown in the South. KY was a Southern State. How much Cotton was grown in the North or Midwest? Below is a description of the importance of Cotton explained by Gates. Even he says the single most important causation of the War was Cotton, not Slavery.Yankee Industrial Revolution was built on Cotton.

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/why-was-cotton-king/

Erm no

If there was one ultimate cause of the Civil War, it was King Cotton — black-slave-grown cotton — “the most important determinant of American history in the nineteenth century,” Dattel concludes. “Cotton prolonged America’s most serious social tragedy, slavery, and slave-produced cotton caused the American Civil War.” And that is why it was something of a miracle that even the New England states joined the war to end slavery.

Excerpt from the linked article quoted. He says that cotton and slavery were inextricably linked.

May I suggest the argument was that with the intensity of human labour required to grow and process cotton and the high demand for cotton slavery remained a viable economic tool far longer than it would otherwise. Slavery still caused the Civil War. Cotton merely kept slavery going for long enough that it did so rather than it being allowed to wither naturally as it had in the Northern states in the preceding century.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Even he says the single most important causation of the War was Cotton, not Slavery.
No, that's not what he said in your link. He's quoting Gene Dattel, and he writes:

If there was one ultimate cause of the Civil War, it was King Cotton — black-slave-grown cotton — “the most important determinant of American history in the nineteenth century,” Dattel concludes. “Cotton prolonged America’s most serious social tragedy, slavery, and slave-produced cotton caused the American Civil War.”

In other words, if the cotton had been produced by free labor, there would have been no war. And in fact, some reviewers believe Dattel is a little too focused on cotton alone. Here is criticism of his book from a historian (which Dattel is not).

"Despite its impressive narrative power, however, Cotton and Race in the Making of America presents some difficulties for this reviewer. The first is that Dattel's South is the cotton South. He dismisses other economic activities in the region and downplays their importance in order to draw a sharply visible line of connection between cotton and race exploitation. Rather than a diverse and interlaced region in which numerous competing identities took shape in the nineteenth century, the South presented here is one-dimensional, flattened onto the axes of cotton and slavery. Slavery, according to Dattel, was only profitable on cotton plantations and could never work in industrial or other settings (pp. 80-81). Yet nearly all of the recent economic studies of slavery suggest not only its consistent profitability across crops but also its diversity and reach.[2] In overdrawing the signal importance of cotton, Dattel renders tobacco, sugar, and rice, for example, as "simply not relevant" (p. 163). Even with cotton as the focus of this study, Dattel might have opened up the geography of this economic activity and the diversity of experiences within the cotton region. Here, the South equals cotton, an equation that historians have spend decades disproving. Understandably, Dattel seeks to draw attention to cotton and to link America, not just the South, to its history. In this effort he undoubtedly succeeds, but he does so at the expense of a more nuanced interpretation of the South."​
 
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uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
No, that's not what he said in your link. He's quoting Gene Dattel, and he writes:

If there was one ultimate cause of the Civil War, it was King Cotton — black-slave-grown cotton — “the most important determinant of American history in the nineteenth century,” Dattel concludes. “Cotton prolonged America’s most serious social tragedy, slavery, and slave-produced cotton caused the American Civil War.” [/INDENT

In other words, if the cotton had been produced by free labor, there would have been no war. And in fact, some reviewers believe Dattel is a little too focused on cotton alone. Here is criticism of his book from a historian (which Dattel is not).

"Despite its impressive narrative power, however, Cotton and Race in the Making of America presents some difficulties for this reviewer. The first is that Dattel's South is the cotton South. He dismisses other economic activities in the region and downplays their importance in order to draw a sharply visible line of connection between cotton and race exploitation. Rather than a diverse and interlaced region in which numerous competing identities took shape in the nineteenth century, the South presented here is one-dimensional, flattened onto the axes of cotton and slavery. Slavery, according to Dattel, was only profitable on cotton plantations and could never work in industrial or other settings (pp. 80-81). Yet nearly all of the recent economic studies of slavery suggest not only its consistent profitability across crops but also its diversity and reach.[2] In overdrawing the signal importance of cotton, Dattel renders tobacco, sugar, and rice, for example, as "simply not relevant" (p. 163). Even with cotton as the focus of this study, Dattel might have opened up the geography of this economic activity and the diversity of experiences within the cotton region. Here, the South equals cotton, an equation that historians have spend decades disproving. Understandably, Dattel seeks to draw attention to cotton and to link America, not just the South, to its history. In this effort he undoubtedly succeeds, but he does so at the expense of a more nuanced interpretation of the South."​


Your weak interpretation. I’ve read Dattel’s books. Also a weak interpretation that Dattel isn’t a Historian. His resume confirms his ability to write about the Economic effects of Cotton and the U S and world economy. Gate’s paper is about King Cotton, not King Slavery. Gates also talks about sharecropper produced Cotton.

The War wasn’t over Racism. North was just as Racist as the South. Northerners just can’t seem to admit it.​
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
The North figured that Southern Independence would cost them more than war - so they opted for war.

"In the North the effects of the war, we are told, were everywhere visible. In the great commercial metropolis of New York, business was almost entirely suspended, and many of the largest mercantile houses had been forced to close. Every department of trade was paralyzed, and the streets even told of the depression of business. 'For sale' and 'To let' met the eye at every step, or some other evidence of the fast failing fortune of the North..." -Daily True Delta (New Orleans, LA), April 11, 1862
 

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