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byron ed

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Reason says that the TRR could not be the cause of secession.
Reason doesn't have much to do with it. It's merely a repeated back-door attempt to defer from slavery being the primary cause of secession and the war. If the TRR precept can be sold, it is hoped someone will be swayed that Secession and the war were not primarily caused by slavery. In other words Lost Cause.

We can expect the attempt to be repeated as many times in this coming year as it has been over the past year, and it will be met with reason as many times this coming year and it has been over the past year, just to be prepared.
 
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I believe one is more qualified at knowledge by admitting the broader scope, 1830-1861.
Thanks, Lubliner.
I believe one is more qualified at knowledge by admitting the broader scope, 1830-1861.
Thanks, Lubliner.
Welcome to the thread. Would you like your jersey to have #2 Plutopicker on it? I would hope to build a team to do intellectual combat, not nasty combat, with those whom I view not the least bit unkindly as Cherrypickers. Or maybe Partialpickers would be a fair synonym. If you do not prefer the jersey, no problem at all. I consider them honorary and virtual rather than cotton or rayon. Cheaper that way.
 
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I believe one is more qualified at knowledge by admitting the broader scope, 1830-1861.
Thanks, Lubliner.
Sorry. You won't understand what I meant by Pluotpicker because of a deleted post. BUt you are welcome to the number anyway, if you like. I am Plutopicker #1, but not because I am superior. Only because I was the first o invent the term.

Best,

James
 

WJC

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What's wrong with the current, generally accepted definition? Antebellum is widely understood as the period after the War of 1812 and before the Civil War. That is, 1815 to 1861.
 

WJC

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I've always understood that it was purely political, a quid pro quo given Virginia to induce them to join the rebel cause. It appears that in the heady atmosphere of 1860/61, very little consideration was given to possible military consequences. Is there any contemporary evidence that the military consequences were considered?
 

trice

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Let's discuss the reasons and the contemporary assessment of the move:
In selecting Virginia as their battle-ground, the rebels committed a crowning blunder. At Montgomery, its very remoteness would have secured to it a sort of immunity from punishment. It is nearly a thousand miles, by the only practicable route, from Richmond. It is one of the most arduous duties to conduct a war so far removed from the base of operations. Our Government could hardly touch Montgomery for a year or two, at best; but Virginia is not two days' sail from the great centres of population at the North, New-York and Philadelphia, and is penetrated by magnificent estuaries, all of which we command. We still traverse without molestation, the whole course of the Potomac, from its outlet to Washington. We could not have wished the rebellion to take a better place for the concentration of our strength, or more untenable for defense. Had it chosen the extreme Southern States, it would have had the most powerful of all auxiliaries -- distance from the North, and an insalubrious climate, Had it taken the Southern prolongation of the Alleghanies, it would have a position almost inaccessible to attack. But it has chosen to risk all where it is really the weakest, and the North the strongest.​
<"A Short War Probable", New York Times, March 31, 1861.>
Hmm. If that date is correct, this was written before the attack on Ft. Sumter started the war. Possibly a typo? The decision to make Richmond the capital was made officially by the Confederate Congress on May 8, 1861.

Making Richmond the capital was more about politics and prestige than anything else. Montgomery was a small town, ill-suited to being the capital. Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans all would have had better facilities available. Montgomery's best feature might have simply been that it was roughly in the middle, geographically, of the Confederacy

From the American Battlefield Trust site:
On January 11, 1861, the State of Alabama seceded from the Union. Less than one month later, in early February, the Alabama secession convention invited delegates of the other seceded states to meet in Montgomery to form the new Confederate nation. Delegates from six of the seven seceded states (the Texans arrived late) wrote a constitution for the Confederate States of America in only four days; the next day they elected Jefferson Davis the Confederacy's president. In late February, Davis took the oath of office while standing on the portico of the state capitol in Montgomery.​
Montgomery's three hotels and numerous boarding houses were crowded with government officials, politicians, soldiers, and newspapermen. It became more of a metropolis than a quiet village, with its streets crowded with carriages and horses, and people on the prowl for gossip, argument, and discussion. Everyone admired the town's beauty.​
But by May the summer's humid heat and the mosquitoes changed many people's minds about Montgomery. So when the newly seceded Virginians offered their own state and their own capital as the seat of the Confederacy, many were eager to accept the offer. Mary Boykin Chesnut noted in her diary that her husband, a former U.S. Senator, was against the move. However, she remarked, "I think these uncomfortable hotels will move the Congress. Our statesmen love their ease."​
Jefferson Davis was at first opposed, believing the capital should reside in the Deep South, where the feelings for secession were most fervent. However, the Confederate Congress approved the move and adjourned May 21, and scheduled to meet in Richmond two months later. As Dr. James McPherson writes in Battle Cry of Freedom, "Virginia brought crucial resources to the Confederacy. Her population was the South's largest. Her industrial capacity was nearly as great as that of the seven original Confederate states combined. The Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was the only plant in the South capable of manufacturing heavy ordnance. Virginia's heritage from the generation of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison gave her immense prestige..."

From a military perspective, the Confederacy had to fight in Virginia and hold Richmond. If they don't, the Union can drive South through Richmond-Petersburg down to Columbia, SC cutting off the coast while a second force supported by the Navy takes places like Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah. Defeat will loom quickly and predictably if the Confederacy cannot hold Richmond, because the Richmond position is the choke-point that keeps that from happening. (Sherman's March through the Carolinas is the same thing in reverse, but requires 3 and a half years of fighting to get to the southern end of that and take Savannah.)
 

Robtweb1

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I've always thought the move a major mistake as the major military effort by Lincoln became to capture Richmond, forcing too many of the South's resources to that point. If Lincoln wanted to capture Montgomery, it would have been a whole different ball game.
 

Carronade

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Has anyone suggested that only literature from 1860-61 should be considered?

Of course the words of the secessionists at the time of secession are the most important, but that doesn't preclude studying the entire history. The possibility of the Union breaking apart was a concern from the moment of its inception, with one issue the most likely cause.
 
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Myself, I think study should go back at least to the Constitutional debates To 1866. With particular attention to the Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850 and the splitting up of the Democratic Party in 1860.
I agree with this, though I think you have to go all the way back prior to the Declaration of Independence to understand where the idea of state sovereignty originated and how it developed alongside federalism and nationalism. The Civil War was the culmination of everything that came before it, in my view.
 

Old_Glory

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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?
I am suggesting that your evidence is faulty. Davis stated the reason the Confederacy was formed clearly in his speech. The statement I posted was echoed by nearly all of the senators in their farewell speeches to Congress. Not only does his speech not match your evidence, he even stated the Confederacy's chief interest was cotton and not slavery.

The Civil War was the North and South's fault. Slavery in America was the North and South's fault.

Any other conclusion is merely an extreme position to the North or South.
 
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WJC

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Hmm. If that date is correct, this was written before the attack on Ft. Sumter started the war. Possibly a typo? The decision to make Richmond the capital was made officially by the Confederate Congress on May 8, 1861.
Thanks for your response and catching my error, which I will correct.
The article was published on May 31, 1861.
 

WJC

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I've always thought the move a major mistake as the major military effort by Lincoln became to capture Richmond, forcing too many of the South's resources to that point. If Lincoln wanted to capture Montgomery, it would have been a whole different ball game.
Agreed. Even with the mosquitoes....
 

uaskme

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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
No, but I think your analogy, giving credit to Whites for Freeing the Negro is irrelevant Edited. Blacks fought for their Freedom. Blacks were recruited, to save White Lives. Two different Concepts.
 

Bruce Vail

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Because there was much more to the conflict than just slavery.
Yes, also worth noting that elections in that era were not very representative of the general population.

Yes, Baltimore's mayor and other top elected officials were sympathetic to slavery and secession. But the 1854 election saw only about 25,000 votes cast (1860 census placed the city population at 212,000). Women, black people (slave or free), and recent immigrants were not allowed to vote. And elections were often influenced by vote fraud. So it's pretty hard to conclude that the elected officials of the day were representative of the popular will in any significant way.
 
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WJC

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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.
That is not necessarily correct. We know that only at most an estimated 15% supported the Abolition Movement. I have seen nothing that accurately breaks down the other 85%. Most likely the majority considered it someone else's problem while the remaining small number supported slavery.
As to "Doughface Lincoln", I have never heard him referred to as a Southern sympathizer before: I expect that this will come as a great surprise to some of our membership.
As for slavery, there can be no doubt of Lincoln's well-documented abhorrence of the practice.
 
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