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WJC

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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.
Stephen Douglas deserves much of the credit or blame for the route of the transcontinental railroad. Beginning as early as 1845, he insisted that it run from Chicago to a proposed terminus at San Francisco Bay.
 
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History is a social resource that contributes to shaping national identity culture, and the public memory. Through the study of history, people are imbued with a particular cultural identity; therefore, by negatively revising history, the negationist can craft a specific, ideological identity. Because historians are credited as people who single-mindedly pursue truth, by way of fact, negationist historians capitalize on the historian's professional credibility , and present their pseudo history as true scholarship. By adding a measure of credibility to the work of revised history, the ideas of the negationist historian are more readily accepted in the public mind. As such, professional historians recognize the revisionist practice of historical negationism as the work of "truth-seekers" finding different truths in the historical record to fit their political, social, and ideological contexts. It is not a reinterpretation of known facts, but the denial of known facts.
Usually, the purpose of historical negation is to achieve a national, political aim, by transferring war-guilt, demonizing an enemy, providing an illusion of victory, or preserving a friendship.
History provides insight into past political policies and consequences, and thus assists people in extrapolating political implications for contemporary society. Historical negationism is applied to cultivate a specific political myth– sometimes with official consent from the government – whereby self-taught, amateur, and dissident academic historians either manipulate or misrepresent historical accounts to achieve political ends. Illegitimate historical revisionism may use techniques inadmissible in proper historical discourse, such as inventing ingenious but implausible reasons for distrusting genuine documents.
(Wikipedia)

Trump administration Chief of Staff John Kelly – supposedly a moderate voice of reason in the often chaotic and extremist White House – recently declared that the American Civil War was caused by the failure of North and South to compromise on certain unspecified issues. Kelly is not alone in this view. Republican Texas lawmakers in 2015 whitewashed teaching standards for American history by deciding to treat slavery as a secondary issue and inserting the myth that states’ rights were the central cause of the Civil War. Many also romanticize the “lost cause,” attempting to find nobility of purpose in the fight to preserve slavery where none exists.
These are the manifestations of illegitimate revisionist thought; slavery (and the institutionalized racism it represented) was indisputably the primary cause of the Civil War. And our country’s painful history with race is still very much with us today – our politicians may pretend we’re living in a post-racial society, but it’s simply not true. Such willingness to politicize and alter the historical record is abhorrent and begs tough questions. (Whitman Wire)

The 14,000 members of this [American Historical] Association, however, know that revisionism is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable “truth” about past events and their meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past — that is, “revisionism” — is what makes history vital and meaningful. Without revisionism, we might be stuck with the images of Reconstruction after the American Civil War that were conveyed by D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation and Claude Bowers’s The Tragic Era. Were the Gilded Age entrepreneurs “Captains of Industry” or “Robber Barons”? Without revisionist historians who have done research in new sources and asked new and nuanced questions, we would remain mired in one or another of these stereotypes. Supreme Court decisions often reflect a “revisionist” interpretation of history as well as of the Constitution. James McPherson.
The historian James M. McPherson said that negationists would want revisionist history understood as, "a consciously-falsified or distorted interpretation of the past to serve partisan or ideological purposes in the present".

Neo-Confederates or Southern nationalists are the various groups and individuals who use historical negationism to portray the Confederate States of America and its actions in the American Civil War in a positive light.
The "Lost Cause" is the name commonly given to a literary and intellectual movement that sought to reconcile the traditional society of the Southern United States with the defeat of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War of 1861–1865.Those who contributed to the movement tended to portray the Confederacy's cause as noble and most of the Confederacy's leaders as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry, defeated by the Union armies not through superior military skill, but by overwhelming force. They believe the commonly-portrayed Civil War history to be a "false history". They also tended to condemn Reconstruction and giving the vote to African Americans. (Wikipedia)

If history has defined the South, it has also trapped white southerners into sometimes defending the indefensible, holding onto views generally discredited in the rest of the civilized world and holding on the fiercer because of that. The extreme sensitivity of some Southerners toward criticism of their past (or present) reflects not only their deep attachment to their perception of history but also their misgivings, a feeling that maybe they've fouled up somewhere and maybe the critics have something. David Goldfield

This is an active attempt to reshape historical memory, an effort by white Southerners to find historical justifications for present-day actions. The neo-Confederate movement's ideologues have grasped that if they control how people remember the past, they'll control how people approach the present and the future. Ultimately, this is a very conscious war for memory and heritage. It's a quest for legitimacy, the eternal quest for justification. Brooks D. Simpson
 
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Stephen Douglas deserves much of the credit or blame for the route of the transcontinental railroad. Beginning as early as 1845, he insisted that it run from Chicago to a proposed terminus at San Francisco Bay.
Yes, Stephen A Douglas was a symptom of the nation's malady. But he was only a little bit of the sawdust in the gears. A National RR from California to the east could have been a great unifier. But it became another point of division.
 

uaskme

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As @RobertP could tell, you are making a Tu quoque fallacy argument. {Tu quoque (/tjuːˈkwoʊkwi, tuːˈkwoʊkweɪ/; Latin for "you also"), or the appeal to hypocrisy, is a fallacy that intends to discredit the opponent's argument by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with its conclusion(s).}

It is true that white Northerners were complicit in slavery, and there was labor exploitation in the North.

But the point is that the Union, in alliance with African Americans, ended slavery in the United States. You can't take that away from them.

The North, led by the Republican Party, is responsible for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The gains of Reconstruction; and of the Civil Rights movement 100 years after the Civil War; were based in a very large part on those Amendments. You can't take that away from them.

At the end of the day, I am so blessed, that I am not somebody's property, that I have privileges and protections my ancestors could only dream of. You want me to feel bad for these gains, but I can't and I don't.

Having said that, it would be inaccurate to say that emancipation was solely a construct of moral imperative. Northerners and Southerners should certainly be taught that racism pervaded the North and South. But that doesn't mean that the end of slavery was any less significant or momentous, or that we should look at emancipation as something that just happened and nobody deserves credit for it. We should all celebrate emancipation and have a realistic understanding of how it occurred.

I would think that sentiment would be embraced by all. We'll see.

- Alan
And so, we have seen your analysis of how to interpret History. You Cherry Pick, what you see as good and eliminate the rest. Is it not important that the North had NO Intention to disturb Slavery when they marched South? Is it not important the North Had No Intention of letting the Emancipated Negroes remain here after Emancipation? Lincoln used Slavery as a negotiable Principle, up until the Spring of 65. Lincoln repeatedly stated that Emancipation was a War Measure.

Is it not Important, that the Republicans bartered away all of the gains, of the Negro, that only a few of them agreed in principle to begin with? Is, it not important the the Republicans, leading the Federal Government, lead the Country back to White Supremacy, by Nullifying the Civil Rights Acts, Banning the Chinese, a whole race of people, and led the massacres of the Native Americans.

I'm sorry, I don't see how the White Man or the Federal Government can take but very little credit for Saving the Negro, Chinese, or Native American. I think people who try to put forth this Narrative, and doing a disservice to the accomplishments these minority groups, did for themselves. No Historian, that I have read, has ever proclaimed that the North would in anyone's wildest dream, have fought a War for the Negro.

War would of ended Slavery, no matter what happened. The Institution started to unravel as Confederates used Slaves to build fortifications. So, the Context of these events have meaning. But I guess in the end, the TOV conquers all.
 
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uaskme

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P.S. by the way, I think the word James is looking for is Mainsgtream History. Not new of course, but perfectly adequate for its purpose.
Help us out, with this chain of thought. James has brought to us events which were glossed over, for a Single Cause Fallacy. Slavery Causation is Mainstream History. It you don't believe Slavery is the Only Cause for Secession, people think of you as, Off your Rocker. Many had never heard of the PRS, China Trade, Manifest Destiny to East Asia, or the Issue of the TRR as a Cause for Secession. He is anything but, MainStream in his analysis. This is the reason, people don't understand him.
 

uaskme

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@James Lut


Actually @James Lutzweiler assertion is undercut by the Yangtze River Patrol thread in st least two ways. @James Lutzweiler never even mentioned the Yangtze River Patrol. The Yangtze River Patrol from 1854 through at least 1865 appears to have consisted of only four small ships of less then 500 sailors in all. The exact sources are listed on my thread. If you or @James Lutzweiler can find evidence that the Yangtze River Patrol was larger then please post the sources.
@James Lutzweiler had not provided any evidence that China which per previously posted sources only accounted for two percent of American foreign trade is somehow the major theme if American history.
@James Lutzweiler had not answered my question how if seizing California and establishing a Southern TRR was the main reason for the ACW then how was all that supposed to be accomplished by sending just one thousand one hundred men to seize at a minimum the present day states of New Mexico,Arizona and at least San Bernardino and Los Angeles Angeles County California.
Leftyhunter
Your having a good argument with yourself. I would hate to get between you and your argument. LOL
 

uaskme

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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?
Actually Not. John Brown's Raid made the threats of starting a Race War in the South, more that just crazy people talking. He was Well Financed and Well Supported. Perpetrators always lie about their crimes. Republicans and Abolitionist used Brown as a Martyr. Should tell us something.

If someone threatens you, is it you responsibility to with 100% probability that it is real. The Upper South, knew they were going to be attacked by a hostile force. Did they not have the right to respond. 30 years of Rancor between the Sections, was ample proof that the Federal Government led by the Republicans was going to be Hostile to them. The Treatment of the States who wanted to stay neutral is evidence enough, they were correct in their analysis.
 

uaskme

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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
Recon how many northern Hirelings owned property?

Plantations were being sold for 10 cents on the Dollar. Half of the Farm Equipment was destroyed. The South had No Cash. Investment in the South would of spurred the Economy and might have negated the Economic Collapse the started the Financial Panic of 1873. Which had dire consequences of the Yankee as well.

It took sometime to work out the Labor Problems. However in the end, Southerns abandoned the plan of using Blacks or Chinese as a alternative source of Labor. They turned to the White European Immigrants. This allowed the South to align with the North and march to the tune of White Supremacy and Reconciliation.
 

uaskme

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No one claims that slavery was limited to the South and was not a national disgrace. What is asserted is that while some states saw fit to end the practice through at least a lengthy, gradual process, other states chose to cling to the practice and even destroy the Union and establish a new nation so that they could practice slavery in perpetuity and extend its reach.
We should, indeed, recognize the national 'sin'; but we ought not forget that some failed to see it as a 'sin', but rather saw it as "a positive good".
There were MANY, pro Slavery Northerners. It is estimated that only in the Single Digits those who want Immediate Abolition. So all those Others, would technically be Pro-Slavery. That would include the DoughFace Lincoln. If you were willing to postpone Abolition for 50 or 100 years, you would be Pro Slavery. Lincoln also vowed not to touch it where it lay, and to enforce the FSL.

And, all during this period, Yankee Merchants were Human Trafficking and and making money, hand over fists, with Commodity trading, all attached to Slavery, In my eyes, anyone who used Sugar was ProSlavery.
 
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USS ALASKA

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Master's Theses Theses and Dissertations
1949

The Relationship of William H. Seward to the Trent Affair
by Christopher J. McGarigle

Loyola University Chicago
This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses and Dissertations at Loyola eCommons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Master's Theses by an authorized administrator of Loyola eCommons. For more information, please contact ecommons@luc.edu. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Copyright © 1949 Christopher J. McGarigle

PREFACE
The purpose of this paper, as the title states, is to show the relationship of William H. Seward to the Trent Affair".

In order for the reader to gain a true insight to this problem, he must understand the background of the relations between Great Britain and the United states between 1860 and 1862. The reader must also be familiar with the public and private life of William H. Seward up to this time. To blend these two ideas into the subject, it was necessary for the writer in the introduction to mention the attempts of the Confederacy to secure their recognition as a nation by Great Britain and France; the attempts by the United states to prevent this recognition; and the place and attitude of Great Britain and France towards the Confederacy and United States in 1861.

In the second. chapter the author states the speeches, views, and beliefs of William H. Seward on matters which the author considered led to a feeling of distrust of Seward by Great Britain.

The third chapter consists of advice to Seward from the friends of the United States in London at tre time of the Trent episode. It was the letters of these people which gave Seward insight and advice on the public opinion and attitude of Europe, mainly Great Britain, towards the Trent case. This advice, together with Seward's viewpoints on the seizure helped to bring the affair to a peaceful settlement, and thus eliminated European military interference which might have proved disastrous to the North in the Civil War.

https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1732&context=luc_theses
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USS ALASKA
 

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OpnCoronet

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As previously noted, the primacy of Slavery to both Secession And the War is quite clearly marked out by carefully recorded historical events and actions(not to mention the words and thoughts of their contemporaries.

Excluging slavery, What was denied SC in TRR's, California or, even, the China Trade, that required an Independent South, even at the cost of Civil War?
 

Bruce Vail

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FYI -- old book review from Baltimore Sun sheds a little, not a lot, of light on the subject....


Slave or free, blacks made an impact on city
JACQUES KELLY
THE BALTIMORE SUN

A diligent student of thousands of newspapers, census data and court documents from 19th century Baltimore has painted a previously undocumented view of slavery in the city during the pre-Civil War years.

In an unusual book, Ralph Clayton, who heads the Central Enoch Pratt Free Library's microfilm department, sketches a Baltimore in which, during the decade immediately before the Civil War, slavery was waning fast.

His research clearly confirmed that this breakdown was occurring not necessarily because of a widespread change in the moral concerns of whites, who had owned and traded in slaves almost from Maryland's beginnings as a colony.

Edited because of Copyright concern.

Read the rest of the article at https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1994-08-23-1994235147-story.html
 
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And so, we have seen your analysis of how to interpret History. You Cherry Pick, what you see as good and eliminate the rest. Is it not important that the North had NO Intention to disturb Slavery when they marched South? Is it not important the North Had No Intention of letting the Emancipated Negroes remain here after Emancipation? Lincoln used Slavery as a negotiable Principle, up until the Spring of 65. Lincoln repeatedly stated that Emancipation was a War Measure.

Is it not Important, that the Republicans bartered away all of the gains, of the Negro, that only a few of them agreed in principle to begin with? Is, it not important the the Republicans, leading the Federal Government, lead the Country back to White Supremacy, by Nullifying the Civil Rights Acts, Banning the Chinese, a whole race of people, and led the massacres of the Native Americans.

I'm sorry, I don't see how the White Man or the Federal Government can take but very little credit for Saving the Negro, Chinese, or Native American. I think people who try to put forth this Narrative, and doing a disservice to the accomplishments these minority groups, did for themselves. No Historian, that I have read, has ever proclaimed that the North would in anyone's wildest dream, have fought a War for the Negro.

War would of ended Slavery, no matter what happened. The Institution started to unravel as Confederates used Slaves to build fortifications. So, the Context of these events have meaning. But I guess in the end, the TOV conquers all.
1) Your post fills me with sadness. I am reminded of the saying "no good dead goes unpunished."

2) RE: I'm sorry, I don't see how the White Man or the Federal Government can take but very little credit for Saving the Negro, Chinese, or Native American. I think people who try to put forth this Narrative, and doing a disservice to the accomplishments these minority groups, did for themselves.

Why do you say this to me? Nothing in my post says that minorities did nothing to free themselves. In fact, I explicitly said in my post that "But the point is that the Union, in alliance with African Americans, ended slavery in the United States." Of course African Americans had a role in this. That's not the point of this thread, though.

Meanwhile, I think I have made as many posts and threads as anybody on the subject of African American agency during the Civil War. I feel like I am being lectured-to about something for which I have championed in this forum. Your comments are depressing and upsetting.

3) RE: Is it not important that the North had NO Intention to disturb Slavery when they marched South? Is it not important the North Had No Intention of letting the Emancipated Negroes remain here after Emancipation? Lincoln used Slavery as a negotiable Principle, up until the Spring of 65. Lincoln repeatedly stated that Emancipation was a War Measure.

You mischaracterize my comments. I said this:

...it would be inaccurate to say that emancipation was solely a construct of moral imperative. Northerners and Southerners should certainly be taught that racism pervaded the North and South. But that doesn't mean that the end of slavery was any less significant or momentous, or that we should look at emancipation as something that just happened and nobody deserves credit for it. We should allcelebrate emancipation and have a realistic understanding of how it occurred.
I would think that sentiment would be embraced by all. We'll see.

...and this...

There is another issue, which is: can northerners feel proud that they helped to end slavery, since that was not a wartime goal of the Union when the war started?
I know people who say they shouldn't, and it does seem like there are people on this forum who feel that way.
I feel that, regardless of the fact that that emancipation was prompted by military necessity, it nonetheless was a significant and momentous event in US history. It is no less significant and momentous because it happened due to the exigencies of war.
And it's not like emancipation was inevitable. Military necessity should have driven Confederates to adopt emancipation as well. But Confederates would not adopt that policy ~ and even then, only partially so ~ until their putative nation was on the brink of collapse. Differing social and cultural worldviews between the sections helps explain the differences in timing, scope, and extent of their policies.
I have no problem saying that US emancipation policy was driven mainly by wartime necessity, and only partially out of moral idealism. That makes me no less happy that the institution ended.

Note that I am not saying that Northern attitudes and policies toward race and slavery before and at the start of the war were unimportant, at all. My point is that nonetheless, white Unionists deserve some credit for their role in emancipation, such as it was.

4) Rather than speak for the people of the era, I want to tell of two things that African Americans themselves did. In this post I refer you to a happening in May 1865. In Charleston, SC, African Americans held a memorial for Union soldiers, most of them white at The First Decoration Day; these are excerpts from an article by David W. Blight:

At the end of the Civil War the dead were everywhere, some in half buried coffins and some visible only as unidentified bones strewn on the killing fields of Virginia or Georgia. Americans, north and south, faced an enormous spiritual and logistical challenge of memorialization. The dead were visible by their massive absence. Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the war. American deaths in all other wars combined through the Korean conflict totaled 606,000. If the same number of Americans per capita had died in Vietnam as died in the Civil War, 4 million names would be on the Vietnam Memorial. The most immediate legacy of the Civil War was its slaughter and how we remember it.​
War kills people and destroys human creation; but as though mocking war’s devastation, flowers inevitably bloom through its ruins. After a long siege, a prolonged bombardment for months from all around the harbor, and numerous fires, the beautiful port city of Charleston, South Carolina, where the war had begun in April, 1861, lay in ruin by the spring of 1865. The city was largely abandoned by white residents by late February. Among the first troops to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the Twenty First U. S. Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the formal surrender of the city.​
Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. The largest of these events, and unknown until some extraordinary luck in my recent research, took place on May 1, 1865. During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some twenty-eight black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”
Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freedpeople. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.”​
At 9 am on May 1, the procession stepped off led by three thousand black schoolchildren carrying arm loads of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses. Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. As many as possible gathering in the cemetery enclosure; a childrens’ choir sang “We’ll Rally around the Flag,” the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and several spirituals before several black ministers read from scripture. No record survives of which biblical passages rung out in the warm spring air, but the spirit of Leviticus 25 was surely present at those burial rites: “for it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you… in the year of this jubilee he shall return every man unto his own possession.”​
Following the solemn dedication the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: they enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches, and watched soldiers drill. Among the full brigade of Union infantry participating was the famous 54th Massachusetts and the 34th and 104th U.S. Colored Troops, who performed a special double-columned march around the gravesite. The war was over, and Decoration Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration. The war, they had boldly announced, had been all about the triumph of their emancipation over a slaveholders’ republic, and not about state rights, defense of home, nor merely soldiers’ valor and sacrifice.​

So, I ask you: do you condemn these black folks who gave honor and credit to white Union soldiers, and placed their freedom within the context of the service and sacrifice of those soldiers? Do you feel they are doing a disservice to what minority groups did for themselves to gain freedom? Do you denounce them for being exponents of the TOV?

- Alan
 
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