Oops, big lump of your posts....

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After reading through the thread, I am still at a loss to understand the end goal.

Questions:
(a) What do you believe that the SC Sec Dec was supposed to say? If you were writing their Secessions Declaration, what do believe it should have included?
(b) What is it that you feel they were supposed to say that they didn't say?

I would note that the constraints of time, precision, brevity, and other things, limit what they could or would say in their Declaration. They were not writing a laundry list of issues, they were trying to get to the point, in as persuasive a way as possible. They were writing what they knew was a momentous document, and they were writing a document that would stand the test of time. A persuasive argument for secession does not necessarily have to include everything there is to say about secession. Things that might be "true" but not persuasive would and could and maybe should be omitted.

I believe they wrote the truth they thought was important to tell, which distilled the essence of their argument for dissolving the Union. Of course they could have written more. But the things that were essential for them to say, they said.

As an aside: we have all written stuff that, on review, we could have improved upon. The SC Sec Dec might have imperfections that are due to people being imperfect, as opposed to, not being truthful.

- Alan

EDIT: It might be that per your reading, the Sec Dec is not persuasive. But they were writing for their peers, and if it worked for their peers, then they accomplished their goals.
Alan,

I just launched the new thread prompted by your thoughtful post. I look forward to your answer(s) to the question.

James
 

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I remain interested in pointed answers to my OP. I thank all of you who have engaged with me on this question.

Unless I err, I think the prevailing view so far is that SC's Seceshers did not tell the whole truth and that there was some lying. I welcome any counterclaim that the majority who have contributed to this claim see them as pretty honest fellows. I did not actually count the posts, just an impression. I might be wrong. No problem. I am still interested in answers.

Phrased another way, if you lived in Charleston in 1860 and were to vote on SC's Declarations, would you have said

a. Amen. Right on. Well spoken. No corrections necessary.

or would you say, if given the opportunity,

b. Hey, just wait a minute here . . .

But you are free to reply anyway that you want. And I suppose you are even free to respond off post, but I still prefer on post.

James
How do you know that the secessionists lied about anything in their Ordinances of Secession? There actions and the Confederate Constitution clearly showed the they wanted o expand and preserve slavery. So far you have not provided any proof that the secessionists wanted anything different then to preserve and expand slavery.
Leftyhunter
 
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How do you know that the secessionists lied about anything in their Ordinances of Secession? There actions and the Confederate Constitution clearly showed the they wanted o expand and preserve slavery. So far you have not provided any proof that the secessionists wanted anything different then to preserve and expand slavery.
Leftyhunter
I never promised any proof. I asked posters how they would grade these documents. Edited.
 

USS ALASKA

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WARNING / DANGER - Heavy Math

Financial Deepening and Economic Growth During the US Antebellum Era 1834-1863
by Abdus Samad
Utah Valley University

INTRODUCTION
Financial deepening, and economic growth and economic development are widely discussed and debated issues. Schumpeter (1912) argued that banks providing intermediary services such as mobilizing savings, allocating resources, facilitating transactions, risk taking, and risk management support innovation, and produce economic development.

Industrial development in Britain and elsewhere has been viewed as a direct result of the development of financial institutions. Hicks (1969) and Bagehot (1962) argued that financial institutions played a pivotal role in Britain’s industrial revolution. In the continental United States, bank success stories during the antebellum period were mixed. In the Antebellum Period, banks were considered “wildcats” (Hamond, 1957), “legal swindle” and fraudulent. Repeated suspension of specie and a large scale failure were the reason of for these assumptions. It was widely believed that banks invariably issued depreciated currency, these practices benefited a few but “everybody would suffer from the harm they would cause” (Scott, 2000). As a result, several states in the Midwest banned banks. Illinois was one of them.

In addition, there were also persistent complaints by the farmers of the antebellum period that banks were biased against lending farmers even though agriculture was an important source of GDP. Banks, according to Redlich (1968), did not provide capital to the development of industries. Banks were established by the merchants and traders to cater to their needs of short term capital supply. Importantly, banks, according to Redlich (1968), were engaged in merchant lending because of the mercantile philosophy of the early banks—lending for the very short term (Redlich 1968).

The other views were that banks were engaged in the internal development programs.

Taus (1967) said that “during the 1850s, banks became heavily interested in railway road construction” (page, 53). The construction of railroads, roads, and canals began. The railroads construction boom started in the 1830s and continued until the Civil War. The railroads connected to various parts and cities. At the end of the 1850s, the Eastern coast and the Great Lakes were connected to the western side of the Mississippi, and Chicago by the railroads.

By the end of the 1840s not only was the Erie Canal linked to Lake Eire, more than 10,000 miles of turnpikes were operating. Travel times significantly reduced before the Civil War. In the center of these developments were banks which contributed to the American economic growth. Due to the development transport, population growth, and industrial boom in the North and increased agricultural production in the West and South, the American economy experienced economic growth during the antebellum period. As a result, the average per capita GDP increased during these periods.

http://www.na-businesspress.com/JABE/SamadA_Web18_5_.pdf
53

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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I never promised any proof. I asked posters how they would grade these documents. Straw man. Please try again. Or you might wish to go to my new thread.
Fair enough that you didn't ask for proof. However no evidence at all has been provided that the secessionists have lied about the critical role slavery played in the importance of Secession.
Leftyhunter
 

jgoodguy

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WARNING / DANGER - Heavy Math

Financial Deepening and Economic Growth During the US Antebellum Era 1834-1863
by Abdus Samad
Utah Valley University

INTRODUCTION
Financial deepening, and economic growth and economic development are widely discussed and debated issues. Schumpeter (1912) argued that banks providing intermediary services such as mobilizing savings, allocating resources, facilitating transactions, risk taking, and risk management support innovation, and produce economic development.

Industrial development in Britain and elsewhere has been viewed as a direct result of the development of financial institutions. Hicks (1969) and Bagehot (1962) argued that financial institutions played a pivotal role in Britain’s industrial revolution. In the continental United States, bank success stories during the antebellum period were mixed. In the Antebellum Period, banks were considered “wildcats” (Hamond, 1957), “legal swindle” and fraudulent. Repeated suspension of specie and a large scale failure were the reason of for these assumptions. It was widely believed that banks invariably issued depreciated currency, these practices benefited a few but “everybody would suffer from the harm they would cause” (Scott, 2000). As a result, several states in the Midwest banned banks. Illinois was one of them.

In addition, there were also persistent complaints by the farmers of the antebellum period that banks were biased against lending farmers even though agriculture was an important source of GDP. Banks, according to Redlich (1968), did not provide capital to the development of industries. Banks were established by the merchants and traders to cater to their needs of short term capital supply. Importantly, banks, according to Redlich (1968), were engaged in merchant lending because of the mercantile philosophy of the early banks—lending for the very short term (Redlich 1968).

The other views were that banks were engaged in the internal development programs.

Taus (1967) said that “during the 1850s, banks became heavily interested in railway road construction” (page, 53). The construction of railroads, roads, and canals began. The railroads construction boom started in the 1830s and continued until the Civil War. The railroads connected to various parts and cities. At the end of the 1850s, the Eastern coast and the Great Lakes were connected to the western side of the Mississippi, and Chicago by the railroads.

By the end of the 1840s not only was the Erie Canal linked to Lake Eire, more than 10,000 miles of turnpikes were operating. Travel times significantly reduced before the Civil War. In the center of these developments were banks which contributed to the American economic growth. Due to the development transport, population growth, and industrial boom in the North and increased agricultural production in the West and South, the American economy experienced economic growth during the antebellum period. As a result, the average per capita GDP increased during these periods.

http://www.na-businesspress.com/JABE/SamadA_Web18_5_.pdf
53

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Interesting!

Not dull at all, got to have money to fight wars or run governments.
 
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To be fair, you have not provided any standards for 'grading' the documents. A simple post showing how you believe they were or were not truthful and your reasoning would be very helpful.
I'll take a shot at addressing this, once I get past football tomorrow. Maybe I will just grade the documents myself and let others agree or take a swing at my standards.
 

OpnCoronet

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To be fair, you have not provided any standards for 'grading' the documents. A simple post showing how you believe they were or were not truthful and your reasoning would be very helpful.
Fair enough that you didn't ask for proof. However no evidence at all has been provided that the secessionists have lied about the critical role slavery played in the importance of Secession.
Leftyhunter



Good points. It is a truism, especially when making a case defending a controversial subject, that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is seldom advanced. But, that truism, by itself, is not proof that the case is based upon less than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, i.e., that the history of SC from its inception, through 1865, shows clearly enough, I think, that any additional truths would, more likely than not, only tend to confirm the truths, as the writers of the document understood them, in their declaration of causes, rather than deny them.
 
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I have read in places that taxation was a part of the problem. That it was unfair to the southern states, but none of that was disclosed by the declaration. Perhaps I missed it as I minutes ago read the entire declaration for the first time. This is great I am learning a lot. Thank all of you for your posts. Please continue.
 
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To be fair, you have not provided any standards for 'grading' the documents. A simple post showing how you believe they were or were not truthful and your reasoning would be very helpful.
Thank you again for your post. I have begun work on grading SC's Declarations. In anticipation of my submission of that report, you and other interested posters might wish to consult the following rough draft addition to a chapter in my book. The main ingredients of this abstract are the paragraphs about Robert Hayne and John C. Calhoun and their views about what would save the South, if anything. The rest is just to contextualize those paragraphs. You can skip all this, of course, but I am reproducing it here to shed light on how I am grading the Declarations. Here goes:

III. From Charleston to China: The Best Friends of Charleston

and The Best Friend of Charleston



The vision of a transcontinental railroad and trade with not only China but also Japan, India, and the Orient in general that Perry and Cushing opened up, is traceable to the mind of future Confederate president Jefferson Davis, and also to a growing host of his fellow southern sympathizers, at least as early as 18 November 1845. On 12 November of that year in Memphis, Tennessee, John C. Calhoun attended and presided over the first of what became thereafter in the southern states a series of commercial conventions the purpose of which was to explore ways and means for the South in particular --and particularly not the North-- to exploit the natural resources of both the Far West (not yet swiped from Mexico until later in 1846 through 1848) and then the entire world; i.e., in just a few words, to exploit the natural resources of the world by means of railroads and ships all the way from Charleston to China.

I repeat: from Charleston to China. I.e., Charleston, South Carolina, at one time or another the home of some of the most influential figures in antebellum American history, to wit, Joel Poinsett, who instead of Andrew Jackson was appointed by John Quincy Adams to be America’s first minister to Mexico (the owner of California); Stephen Elliott, editor of the southern Review and one of the earliest promoters of a railroad to the west out of Charleston; Robert Y. Hayne, the great debater of Daniel Webster in the U.S. Senate, a governor of South Carolina, once the mayor of Charleston, and until his death in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1839 on railroad business the president of the several railroads from Charleston to cities (Louisville and Cincinnati) on the Ohio River; C.C. Memminger, a colleague of Hayne and later the Secretary of the Treasury during the Confederacy; Wade Hampton III, said by some to own the largest and most plantations stretching all the way to the Mississippi River; John C. Fremont, the Republican Party’s first presidential candidate in 1856 and also the conqueror of California; James Gadsden, whose purchase of northern Mexican territory rounded out the present continental United States; James D. B. De Bow, publisher of an influential Southern commercial magazine known by his name and an appointee by President Pierce in 1853 as the Superintendant of the Census Bureau; and in the case of President Monroe's Secretary of War, Presidents' Adams's and Jackson's vice-president, Presidents' Tyler's and Polk's Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator, John C. Calhoun, his final resting place under a hugh tombstone. All were obsessed with the West and in most cases also with the Orient and the trade possibilities with both.

Hayne has largely been forgotten by modern historians in antebellum secession discussions, overshadowed by the larger-than-life Calhoun and a dozen or two fire-eaters a la Langdon Cheves. But no one in South Carolina between 1830 and Hayne's death in 1839 in Asheville, North Carolina, had done more in the service of Charleston's sectional salvation through western trade by railroad than this politician who had abandoned the rhetoric of nullification for the rhetoric of railroad supremacy. In fact, Hayne had morphed from a Nullifier to a Unionist, even believing that sooner or later slavery would wither away, when it came into greater and greater contact with free labor. p. 208. In the meantime he thought that by means of a railroad into the North and the West, represented at the time by cities like Cincinnati and Louisville, that the railroad would bring into closer intercourse the two potentially warring sections, helping them to understand each other and smooth out their differences. It did not hurt his perspective that such a railroad would also contribute to the economic and military supremacy of the South in general and South Carolina in particular by such an iron highway, a highway harder than the frozen canals up North in New York and elsewhere. In short, Hayne saw a railroad from Charleston to Cincinnati or to Louisville as binding the nation together from Michigan to Florida and "causing the stream of commerce to spread its benign and fertilizing influence through regions which want only this to become the fairest portion of the globe." 402. Railroad devotees never met a superlative that they did not relish.

Accordingly, of the above-named "best friends of Charleston," certainly one of the best of the best was Hayne. Hayne, who studied law in Charleston under Langdon Cheves, the notorious advocate of Secession in Nashville in 1850, is recalled mostly today, if at all, for his senatorial debate with Daniel Webster over the right to nullify federal law. However, he ultimately became far more concerned with the building of a railroad out of Charleston into the West (at the time Kentucky and Ohio, both on the Ohio River, constituted the West) than he was with public service in which he had paid more than a decade of dues. Once a U.S. Senator (the immediate predecessor of John C. Calhoun in that office), once the governor of South Carolina, and once the Mayor of Charleston, Hayne opted in the mid-1830s to spend the rest of his life in service to the western trade of Charleston and South Carolina by means of a railroad. When he died in Asheville in 1839, he was at that time the president of the Charleston and Hamburg Railroad (on which railroad line ran The Best Friend of Charleston on Christmas Day 1830 --and also, not so insignificantly, the railroad that carried the fire-eating and fire-watered Secessionists traveling between Charleston and Columbia between December 17 and December 20, 1860, on their way to independence) and also the president of the Charleston, Cincinnati and Louisville Railroad, one of whose directors was his close friend, John C. Calhoun. More of Calhoun's involvement with Hayne momentarily.

Hayne's dedication to the railroad and to Charleston was the frequent topic of toasts to him at banquets, commercial and otherwise. At a dinner given in honor of Charleston's Robert Barnwell Rhett, whose Harvard-trained son would lead South Carolina out of the Union in December 1860 by his creation of public opinion in favor of it in the pages of the incredibly tendentious Mercury newspaper he edited, an unidentified diner lifted a glass and declaimed, "[To] Robert Y. Hayne: His untiring efforts in behalf of the Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad declare to the world that his patriotism requires not the excitements of power to maintain its existence." p.463 At another dinner during a commercial convention in 1839, an unnamed delegate from Tennessee offered this toast: "[To] General Robert Y. Hayne, President [of the] Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Railroad: He who governs the power of a people to overcome foreign enemies [the North?] deserves their warmest gratitude and lasting remembrance; but he who superintends the energies of the states, to bind kindred spirits closer in the bonds of friendship, deserves all that head and heart can bestow." p. 493-94. At still yet another dinner at a commercial convention in Virginia in December 1838, the soon to become U.S. President, John Tyler, toasted railroader Hayne with a prophecy: "[To] General Robert Y. Hayne: Distinguished Senator, distinguished as Governor, but destined to be still more distinguished as president of the Charleston and Ohio Railroad." p.492. In short, Hayne seems to have had the best railroad bona fides in all of South Carolina.

In one of the speeches that Hayne delivered, remarkably he took issue with the tariff question over which he had obsessed during the Nullification crisis a decade earlier. In that speech Hayne made a great pitch to the public in Charleston to subscribe to railroad stocks and bonds. Not so incidentally, one of the subscribers to those stocks had been none other than Wade Hampton III, alleged by some to own the most slaves and the biggest plantations in the South, stretching all the way from South Carolina to the Mississippi River. p 407. Hayne called the need for such subscriptions critical. And in a complete tariff turnabout, he said that it was not the tariff primarily (I repeat: NOT the tariff PRIMARILY) that caused South Carolina to lag, but instead failing soil and emigration to the West. He argued that South Carolina's salvation was in a railroad into the West and pointedly not in Secession. Simple trade with Europe would do no good for South Carolina, if there were no railroad into the West, this because with its comparatively small population Charleston itself could not consume enough European goods to make their port worth the docking by Europeans. Somehow such goods had to be transshipped into the West or they would do no good for the Palmetto State. p. 456-460. The only problem with his speech was that other states learned of it and copied its thought for their own constituencies. It did not immediately help Charleston's resurrection that on April 27-28, 1838, it had a great fire that destroyed 150 acres of the commercial district and 1,100 structures.

John C. Calhoun, Hayne's senatorial successor, was for a while totally in tune with his predecessor. Calhoun called a connection between the Atlantic and the West "an object which I have long considered the most important in the whole range of internal improvements." He said this in reference to railroads from Charleston into the West. Ironically, in light of the transcontinentally divisive factor that it eventually became, Calhoun and others actually saw the beginning of this railroad as binding the Union together because it would promote intercourse between the North and South and better understanding between peoples. While Calhoun saw the railroad as drawing the South and West together, Hayne saw it as bringing the North and South together. Hayne even saw the possibility of slavery disappearing as a result of this intercourse. 389 But "Calhoun's plan was to make the South commercially independent of the North, and to closely connect South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas together by rail, [emphasis mine], thus uniting South Carolina with Texas, which would practically force into the closest intercourse with the combination Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. The slave holding states would then be strong enough to hold their own in the Union or out of it [emphasis mine]. He was not striving to take them out. He was for the Union, but for a Union in which the South might be commercially independent of the North, --too strong to be interfered with, and with 'a substratum of population' [slaves], 'the best in the world.'" p. 439. That Wade Hampton was on board did not hurt this prospect. Nor did the prospect of investors from London who had been contacted. p. 493. (Double Check on Rothschild's citation).

Calhoun and Hayne differed in another respect, one that caused Calhoun to resign as a director of the railroad to Cincinnati of which Hayne was president. Calhoun came to believe that the better rout to the West was not the French Broad route through Flat Rock, North Carolina, and on to Cincinnati and/or Louisville. That was the route that Hayne favored, calling it somewhat hyperbolically "a passage for a railroad 'unexampled in the topography of the world.'" p. 474. On the other hand Calhoun favored a footprint westerly to Augusta, Georgia, there hooking up with Georgia's western headed rails and moving onward to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. That is what actually happened, and that leg of the desired transcontinental railroad became known as the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, the first railroad under one name to reach the Mississippi River which it did in March 1857. Great celebrations of that accomplishment took place both in Memphis and Charleston on this occasion, celebrations in which some noted fire-gulping secessionists were present. But that is to get ahead of the story just a bit.

All these best friends of Charleston post-dated the 1820s far lesser-known best friends of Charleston like Stephen Elliot who first began to conceptualize the idea of getting from Charleston into the interior; and, not just blandly into the interior but as a later traveler on the very first transcontinental railroad, England's Oscar Wilde, would say in 1882 as he paid a visit to Doc Holiday's Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, Colorado, during his travels and lectures from New York to San Francisco, that all of the cities in America's interior became the equivalent of trading "port" cities (like Charleston, Norfolk, Wilmington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, et al.) because of the railroad. No longer did such coastal cities have a corner on trade. Even Leadville had become a port city. And every last city or village or hamlet in America had that potential because of the iron horse and the depots in them. The 1820s visionaries in Charleston had captured that same vision, though they never knew of Wilde, Doc Holiday, or the Silver Dollar Saloon with its famous sign above the saloon's piano, to wit, "Don't shoot the piano player. He is doing his best." Long before 1882 this idea had burst upon the brains of antebellum Charlestonians who projected from the recently completed (1825) Erie Canal what solid iron flowing westward instead of water would do for them, as DeWitt Clinton's ditch had done for New York.

And so it was that Charleston became the location of one of America’s first and longest commercial railroads with a steam engine quite aptly and prophetically named The Best Friend of Charleston. The long trail leading from 12 November 1845 and then to the firing at Ft. Sumter on 12 April 1861, had really begun over 30 years earlier in Charleston with the arrival of this engine and this railroad whose promoters at first saw dimly yet enthusiastically --but then gradually more clearly and eventually even rapturously-- its extension to the Pacific port city of preferably San Diego, Los Angeles, or even San Francisco, where it would suck in for the South, especially for South Carolina and even more especially for Charleston, the wealth of not just California and the Far West but also the Far East: China, Japan and India --or, simply Asia. Orient fever was spreading faster than Oregon fever and no doubt was a contributing cause of the better-known latter.
 
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Probably mine! However, in all seriousness Robert Russel's.
Two books I would recommend, but not for buying: At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis by the late Shearer Davis Bowman and Emotional and Sectional Conflict in the Antebellum United States by Michael E. Woods. These books let us peer into the cultural and social factors that led to the war, and they were essential to me in understanding how sectional animosity was able to erupt in warfare.

These books are written, it seems to me, for graduate level historians and social scientists; they're not for everybody. I'd see if I could get them from a library before buying them.

Why were these books useful to me? I used to be one of those folks who ascribed all of human behavior to economic determinism... the idea that economics and economic relationships are the foundation upon which all other social and political arrangements in society are based. But if that was true, then, for example, religion would not matter... but it does. I still do regard economics as a key force in explaining our actions, but I understand that other forces must be reckoned with.

These books go beyond economic determinism. They helped me to understand the social and even emotional conditions and states of people of the era, which provided an understanding of why people behaved the way they did.

Many people will say that the secessionists left the Union because of slavery. This is a very simplistic, imprecise statement, although, if you wanted to use just one word, that is it. But one word does not suffice.

More precisely, people seceded because they perceived that the Republican Party was pro-abolition, or beholden to abolitionists; and that the Party would enact policies that would ruin slavery, and thus southern society. It was more about a distrust and even hatred for the so-called "Black Republicans" that led to secession.

Recollect that the SC Sec Dec states

On the 4th day of March next, this (Republican) party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

If SC believed that the Republicans were indeed hellbent on waging a war against slavery, their decision to secede makes sense. Why did they feel that way? The books I mention give some insight into why specific southerners felt and believed that Northerners in general and Republicans in general were a threat to their way of life.

- Alan
 
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Both the OP’s assertion that South Carolina’s Declaration is untruthful as well as his broader thesis claiming railroads to be the primary cause of the war suffer from being non-falsifiable due to his a priori presumptions. Any bit of evidence in favor of the railroad-China hypothesis is taken to be true, while any of the (enormous) evidence in favor of slavery or states rights or whatever is considered a “ruse” or “for posterity” or a “mantra” and so on. Given that, it is hard to see how the OP could ever be convinced in principle that his thesis is wrong.


For example, Jefferson Davis wrote a giant tome post-war in defense of himself and the Confederacy. Its discussion of railroads or China, I believe, is somewhere between “nothing” and “almost nothing”, despite the fact that non-slavery based arguments in favor of the Confederacy and the war would have been quite useful to Davis. Would the OP even consider this (and the many other non railroad-mentioning post-war Confederate memoires) a strike against his theory? Or will some other a priori reason be found to dismiss them, too, along with all the Declarations of Secession by SC and the other states?


Contrast the OP’s method with those who assert the primacy of slavery. They do no presume a priori that the considerable mass of evidence for the states rights position is just a “ruse” or “for posterity” or “mantras” and such. Rather, they find evidence that they believe reduces the states rights position to the right to have slaves. In this, they are considerably aided by the fact that a number of prominent Confederates more or less explicitly stated such. They have also, for example, compared the USA and CSA Constitutions and argued that the only “state right” appreciably strengthened by the latter is slavery. This sort of argumentation is what the OP’s theory is lacking, and thus the need for a priori dismissal of the slavery evidence and presumably the states rights evidence as well.


Of course, that is theory is non-falsifiable does that mean it is wrong (rather, it is “not even wrong”). But a self-closing system crafted to be immune from refutation is not one worth debating.
 
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Both the OP’s assertion that South Carolina’s Declaration is untruthful as well as his broader thesis claiming railroads to be the primary cause of the war suffer from being non-falsifiable due to his a priori presumptions. Any bit of evidence in favor of the railroad-China hypothesis is taken to be true, while any of the (enormous) evidence in favor of slavery or states rights or whatever is considered a “ruse” or “for posterity” or a “mantra” and so on. Given that, it is hard to see how the OP could ever be convinced in principle that his thesis is wrong.


For example, Jefferson Davis wrote a giant tome post-war in defense of himself and the Confederacy. Its discussion of railroads or China, I believe, is somewhere between “nothing” and “almost nothing”, despite the fact that non-slavery based arguments in favor of the Confederacy and the war would have been quite useful to Davis. Would the OP even consider this (and the many other non railroad-mentioning post-war Confederate memoires) a strike against his theory? Or will some other a priori reason be found to dismiss them, too, along with all the Declarations of Secession by SC and the other states?


Contrast the OP’s method with those who assert the primacy of slavery. They do no presume a priori that the considerable mass of evidence for the states rights position is just a “ruse” or “for posterity” or “mantras” and such. Rather, they find evidence that they believe reduces the states rights position to the right to have slaves. In this, they are considerably aided by the fact that a number of prominent Confederates more or less explicitly stated such. They have also, for example, compared the USA and CSA Constitutions and argued that the only “state right” appreciably strengthened by the latter is slavery. This sort of argumentation is what the OP’s theory is lacking, and thus the need for a priori dismissal of the slavery evidence and presumably the states rights evidence as well.


Of course, that is theory is non-falsifiable does that mean it is wrong (rather, it is “not even wrong”). But a self-closing system crafted to be immune from refutation is not one worth debating.
Edited.

Unless you correct me, I am going to take this post as a "Yes," that you do find SC's Secesh Declarations as the truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth. If I err, please advise. I have no interest in putting words into the mouths of posters.

You have sort of telegraphed that you really do not understand my TRR thesis or my methodology. But there are plenty of posts on this thread and others that make my views pretty clear. Check them out and post again, if you like.

I see that you really like that a priori phrase. I like the word "tendentious."
 
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