Oops, big lump of your posts....

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For all his "good intentions," Maximilian by Imperial Decree re-introduced peonage in September 1865, and encouraged "foreign entrepreneurs" who might want to settle their "clients" on Mexican soil.
Yes he officially brought it back, but unofficially it had never stopped. It may have been officially illegal, but if there is one certainty in Mexico in those days its that they tended to be ruled by nothing but dictators, regardless of political party with laws routinely ignored at will. Heck peonage was happening under different names when the Revolution of 1910 commenced. Plus one must remember he was a foreigner, given a crown by the conservatives of Mexico, who wanted those kind of things. He had to throw them a carrot, and it was probably represented to him as a good thing.

As for "foreign entrepreneurs" it may not have gone as planned, but Maximillian was trying to encourage investment in Mexico, a country long deemed to unstable to invest in, and was deeply in debt, a debt that had resulted in the Intervention to begin with. So really its hard to fault him for that. Look at it this way, the "2nd Mexican Empire" was a new country, that had just been formed, inherited the debt from the previous Republic that had been a dictator ridden wreck for decades and accumulated a very substantial debt, and on top of that the interest of it increased, and his government was bound by the Treaty of Miramar to pay for the French Army to police the country, while his government was busy building their own military from scratch. Encouraging foreign investment in Mexico wasn't a bad thing when looking at it from his throne.

But look at some of his other agendas:
Abolishing Child Labor (a practice that returned after his execution and I personally wouldn't be surprised if it still existed in Mexico)
Establishing a democratically elected congress
Limited working hours
Abolishing the land tenancy of Indians (something that also returned after his execution and Juarez was an Indian, speaks for his character to me)

At the end of the day, I feel Maximillian has been judged a little too harshly, now whole his "Black Decree" may seem unforgivable it really wasn't his idea so much as it was Marshal Bazaine's who had been demanding he issue it for some time, and finally forced him too, which it was rescinded when the French left. But while unforgivable when looking from afar, when you look at the realities of the war up close, it was simply fighting fire with fire. Just look at the fight for control of the Mexican side of Rio Grande and the realities of a very nasty war with no quarter being the rule of the day, that action by Maximillian can be forgiven to some extent.

Maximillian was far from perfect, mostly naïve to my eyes, but he was miles above the corrupt alternatives. Literally the only example in history I'm more sympathetic to a monarch than to republicans, and I'm only that way because of how un-republican and thoroughly corrupt Juarez and his forces and government were.
 
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I believe many on this thread have missed an important point. For this hypothesis to work, the Southern States HAD to view slavery as important enough to go to war over. I don't see this to be an argument over Slavery vs. TRR, but the theoretical belief that Northern Industrialists could manipulate the political process to ensure any competing, non-northern route for the TRR be eliminated.

Would be interesting to see if any of these same Industrialists helped bankroll John Brown's little foray into Harpers Ferry...

Great discoveries often start with controversial ideas. If evidence is found, then remember, you read it in Civil War Talk first!
 
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Are all the post going to end like this one?
 

CSA Today

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The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
Perhaps too simplistically put, but certain facets of truth in the statement –Southern Democrats vs. Republicans, anti-war Northern Democrats, out right Copperheads.
 
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Nope, you called it that.
Nope, I was referring to Stevens' frame of mind. I am not trying to introduce presentism or my own opinion into his view.

Correct, but it was a threat made over several years and extending into the post-war period.
What were the "traitors" suppose to think of it?
I assume they didn't like it. And that they realized that they were not being exterminated.

"It was never implemented." We know that now, but they didn't know that when the threat was made.
I agree that anybody who heard those comments would have been alarmed. But the fact is, it was angry rhetoric. I imagine that sooner or later people in the South realized they weren't being exterminated.

You're making this into more than this than it deserves. Stevens' statements were not like state secession declarations. He was not speaking for his state, or the North, or even the Republican Party. He was not speaking for the House, or the entire Congress. He was not speaking for the president. Stevens was angry and his rhetoric harsh, but he was not speaking for the US government and there was no extermination and Southerns surely understood that they were not being exterminated. Indeed, as time went on, white Southerners got more and more power, culminating in Home Rule.

He was not the first nor was he the last politician to say alarming things that did not come to pass.

- Alan
 
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ebg12

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Interesting quote. Do you have a more detailed source for it..? As in, the date, & possibly a photo of the article in print..? I've briefly looked, & haven't been able to find it.
yes...I have a book Lincoln that shows all his letters....I will find it and post it.
 

ebg12

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Maybe one failure of Reconstruction, was the failure not to Invest in the South post war. All of the Investment when to the West. The South had been decimated. Northern thought was that the South would quickly bounce back. Planters didn't have the Capital to do it. Black and White suffered and recovery was slow.

The North had their own problems with Social Integration. Free Labor during this period, Both North and South was less than free. Abolitionist Thought didn’t work out like they expected. Hirelings in the North had the same problems that X Slaves and others did in the South . Free Labor was more like, getting Labor as close to Free as possible. Instead of the Lincoln era theory of Free Labor. Piece meal jobs and landless Farmers change that concept.
In the beginning Reconstruction was the instrument that gave former slaves the plantation land they once work...but in a very short time, the courts awarded the land back to the plantation owners. the institution of share cropping was born...a marriage between owners and free black men. by 1870, cotton export were back to the 1850 level, and by 1920 over 80% of black farmers were sharecroppers
 

Old_Glory

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A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.
<http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp >

A quick listing of all of the "immediate causes" presented by Mississippians to justify secession is:
1. Slavery;
.
Let me show you a problem with your theory, here is a map of the entire Confederacy


?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.swanbournehistory.co.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F08%2FCivil-war-map.jpg



As you can see, the Confederacy involves a large number of states beyond Mississippi. The most significant speeches of Jefferson Davis (Mississippi's primary representative) also do not support your evidence either.

“The declared purpose of the compact of Union from which we have withdrawn was "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;" and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States now composing this Confederacy, it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot-box declared that so far as they were concerned, the government created by that compact should cease to exist.”

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America
February, 1861 Inaugural Speech
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/archives/documents/jefferson-davis-first-inaugural-address
 

trice

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Apparently this 1953 book is still a good reference, thanks. (i.e according to one reviewer “…Although this book is now over 50 years old, it remains a classic and well suited for any university survey course or graduate work.” - Glen Ely), so I'm gonna find a copy and read it.

But still, according to reviews, some listed here below, Craven’s description of southern nationalism -- the grievances the South had -- were primarily tied to slavery after all.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Reviews of The Growth of Southern Nationalism, 1848-1861. By Avery O. Craven. Louisiana State University Press: United States of America, 1953:

“…this is a book written in a certain time period. In spite of it's incisive academic points, there are segments of the text that appear downright insensitive, or overly emotional or sympathetic to the plight of one group or another …For a casual reader of today, however, one might be taken back at some of the dated sentiments, especially in regards to slavery.” (John McCarron)

“…The problem with Craven’s analysis is obvious: slavery was not just a symbolic political issue but a very real institution that held millions of men, women, and children in bondage in the South. And those Southern states who voluntarily left the Union and formed the Confederacy did not do so to defend an abstraction but, rather, to preserve the “peculiar institution” where it stood.” (Joseph Rzeppa)

“…Southerners knew that without additional territory and economic growth the South would fall behind the North both politically and economically. Additional slave states meant not only increased cotton production, but also more Southern representation in Congress…" (Glen Ely)

“… Cravens studied the drift to civil war, focusing on how the sectional divisions became irresolvable in the democratic process… an urge to fight inequality of opportunity and distribution of wealth that eventually became an attack on the greatest violation of democratic ideals, slavery.” (Harold Rich)
Craven was a respected historian of his day, one of the "revisionist" school developing in the 1930s as a reaction to the earlier Charles Beard school. He was born in Iowa in 1885, the child of Quakers who had left North Carolina over slavery issues. Because he concentrated on a different view that blamed the war on a climate of fear and suspicion, and was very critical of the Abolitionists, he is thought of as pro-South and even pro-slavery. Some think of his approach to history as too psychological.
 

ebg12

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An actual quote from Governor Hicks appears in the 30 April 1861 edition of the Baltimore Sun and reads:
"To all my requests I could but get but the reply: that Washington was threatened with attack - that the government had resolved to defend it - that there was no other way of obtaining troops than by passing over the soil of Maryland - and that the military necessity of the case rendered it impossible for the government to abandon its plans, much as it desired to avoid the dangers of collision."​
A clipping of part of the article containing the quote is attached.

View attachment 303125
Also, to paraphrase a letter Lincoln wrote: "Because the troops can't go under or over or around Maryland, they have to go through it..., so if the Baltimore people don't want any bloodshed then they should stay home and refrain from attacking federal troops because the troops will defend themselves."

I will find the letter in my book Lincoln and will post it when I get the chance.
 

WJC

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Let me show you a problem with your theory, here is a map of the entire Confederacy

View attachment 303163

As you can see, the Confederacy involves a large number of states beyond Mississippi.
Thanks for your response.
I furnished information on Mississippi as ONE EXAMPLE, not intended to exemplify every one of the seceding state's rationales. If one is interested, those documents are available elsewhere on the internet. That they differ ought not be a surprise.
To repeat, "I don't think it of any value to repeat all of the discussions or present all of the evidence that has been presented in other threads that supports this conclusion in this Forum."
Those discussions are readily available to interested parties who may want to join them. There is no point in repeating their content here.
 

WJC

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The most significant speeches of Jefferson Davis (Mississippi's primary representative) also do not support your evidence either.

“The declared purpose of the compact of Union from which we have withdrawn was "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;" and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States now composing this Confederacy, it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot-box declared that so far as they were concerned, the government created by that compact should cease to exist.”

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America
February, 1861 Inaugural Speech
https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/archives/documents/jefferson-davis-first-inaugural-address
Thanks for your response.
Are you suggesting that since Davis did not use the word slavery in his Inaugural Address that it must not have been a factor in secession? What did he mean by saying that the Union had been "perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established"?
Incidentally, Davis' last speech as a U. S. Senator is far more revealing of his views. For example, he claims the rights of Mississippians are endangered because of "the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions".
<https://jeffersondavis.rice.edu/archives/documents/jefferson-davis-farewell-address >
Could those "social institutions" have included slavery?
 

ebg12

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Thanks for your response.
Are you suggesting that since Davis did not use the word slavery in his Inaugural Address that it must not have been a factor in secession? What did he mean by saying that the Union had been "perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established"?
Incidentally, Davis' last speech as a U. S. Senator is far more revealing of his views....
let's not forget the confederate vice president's "cornerstone speech"...it specifically states the 'cause' of the south was fighting for slavery!
Like in the Wizard of Oz: to find your way back to Dixie; close your eyes, click your confederate boots three times, and say:
there's no speech like the cornerstone speech...
there's no speech like the cornerstone speech...
there's no speech like the cornerstone speech...
 
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Reason says that the TRR could not be the cause of secession. But, it could have been something that might have prevented it.
Of course, into the 1850's there were no more National Statesmen. But had enough sanity existed, a national TRR project could have prevented a Civil War.
Bringing a national RR through the Gadsden Purchase into the new undeveloped territories into the center of the US and terminating, not in Memphis, nor Chicago nor Iowa, not St. Louis, but at or below Cairo Il--that would have made it a National road....that is what Congress should have been promoting.
What Congress was promoting was, individually and in groups, sectional strife. And that weighed into secession. If the project went through Kansas and MO and ended in Cairo, nobody would be happy, but nobody would be mad. It would be as if Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were still annoying everybody, but keeping them off each other.
 

WJC

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Threatening to exterminate an entire population is righteous anger?


Hundreds of thousands were disfranchised. Lands were confiscated.
All of this -threats of extermination, disfranchisement, land confiscation- took place well after secession. How does discussing them further our attempt to understand whether or not slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War?
 

WJC

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No need for anyone to take a 'guilt trip'. No one is suggesting that anyone here- or, for that matter, anyone alive today- is guilty of supporting slavery. And as I have said at least twice in this very thread, slavery was a national 'sin', not limited to any particular region.
So let's get over the need to defend (or attack) this dead institution and get back to answering the question posed in the OP.
 
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