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WJC

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***Posted as Moderator***
This thread considers the truthfulness of South Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Secession.
Please limit posts to that subject.

Off-topic posts will be edited or deleted.
 
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Can someone tie all of these posts together for me into a connection to the truthfulness or lack thereof in the Secession declarations?

james
I understand that you are hoping that others can help you with your thesis; but ultimately, you are the one who will have to prove your point, and tie the threads together. It just might be that the folks here are not capable of doing what you hope for! These forums are great for discussion and info gathering, but it has its limits.

I am still working on grading the Secesh Declarations which I just might expand into an article entitled: South Carolina's Secession Declarations: No Solution and an A-plus Exercise in Non Sequiturs.
The SC Sec Dec was a solution: SC said that the Republicans wished to wage a war against slavery, and their solution was to secede. It was as much a solution as the one implemented by the British American Revolutionaries, and SC and other secessionists believed they were walking in the footsteps of George Washington and the other colonists. It's just that, the colonists won, and the Confederates lost.

That being said, if their object was to preserve slavery, they sure took the wrong path to accomplish their objective.
Yes, but at the time, they didn't know they would fail. In the same way that the Colonial Revolutionaries they believed that their quest for independence would succeed, secession believed that they would succeed. The Sec Dec gives the reasons for secession. The fact that secession failed does not mean the reasons for secession were invalid.

"I would ask you to ask yourself, "do these people in Charleston in 1860 really and truly fear a slave rebellion?" They might have. Stephen Channing might be right. But they were not acting like people would act as I think they would act, if they were frightened. Blacks were leaving Charleston because they themselves were frightened."
Recollect that the SC Sec Dec says:

On the 4th day of March next, (the 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.​

SC was fearful for the fate of slavery. But they didn't fear slave rebellions, in terms of their secession argument. They feared that Republicans would use the power of the federal government to end slavery, and thus destroy southern society. The solution to that was to dissolve their ties with the US, which they did unilaterally. Sadly for them, their attempt to dissolve the Union failed after 4 years of war.

Not a word about past tariffs and injuries? Not a word about western territories?
Those other issues were not important to the persuasive case they wanted to make for secession.

Why do you feel they needed to say more than they did? If what they said was persuasive enough for their intended audience ~ and they believed it was ~ then anything else would have been overkill... agreed?

Of course, Union men were not persuaded. Just like the British were not persuaded by the DOI. The key audience was the people in their home state. And all indications are that the people of SC supported secession.

Bottom line is, the Sec Dec was as truthful as it needed to be to persuade its audience. It contains what SC perceived to be true.

If anyone has any idea of the actual financial loss to South Carolina alone from runaway slaves, I would like to know what it is. Did SC lose 10 slaves? 100? 1,000? And even if they did, how would those losses be any different from the losses to which any business is exposed? So should Wal-Mart secede because of shoplifters? Most business people project some kind of losses along the way. Maybe the slaves who ran away had good reason to expose themselves to that risk when the real problem was a violent taskmaster and not the Northerner who helped them escape.
To put this in a relation to the OP: The issue that secessionists had was not runaway slaves from SC, per se. They feared that the Republican Party would "wage a war against slavery" which would include eventual abolition. SC was not so much fearful about runaway slaves, they were fearful of the Republicans freeing their slaves. That is what the SC Sec Dec was about. SC citied incidents involving the North and slavery to show that their fears of future abolitionism on the part of the Republicans were justified. This is the "truth" they were concerned about.

- Alan
 
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WJC

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Why do you feel they needed to say more than they did? If what they said was persuasive enough for their intended audience ~ and they believed it was ~ then anything else would have been overkill... agreed?
A basic rule of salesmanship is to make your best argument, then 'shut up'. Once the secessionists argued their primary complaint, introducing any additional, lesser factors into their 'sales pitch' would have been self-defeating.
 
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I understand that you are hoping that others can help you with your thesis; but ultimately, you are the one who will have to prove your point, and tie the threads together. It just might be that the folks here are not capable of doing what you hope for! These forums are great for discussion and info gathering, but it has its limits.


The SC Sec Dec was a solution: SC said that the Republicans wished to wage a war against slavery, and their solution was to secede. It was as much a solution as the one implemented by the British American Revolutionaries, and SC and other secessionists believed they were walking in the footsteps of George Washington and the other colonists. It's just that, the colonists won, and the Confederates lost.



Yes, but at the time, they didn't know they would fail. In the same way that the Colonial Revolutionaries they believed that their war for independence would succeed, secession believed that they would succeed. The Sec Dec gives the reasons for secession. The fact that secession failed does not mean the reasons for secession were invalid.


Recollect that the SC Sec Dec says:

On the 4th day of March next, (the 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.​

SC was fearful for the fate of slavery. But they didn't fear slave rebellions, in terms of their secession argument. They feared that Republicans would use the power of the federal government to end slavery, and thus destroy southern society. The solution to that was to dissolve their ties with the US, which they did unilaterally. Sadly for them, their attempt to dissolve the Union failed after 4 years of war.



Those other issues were not important to the persuasive case they wanted to make for secession.

Why do you feel they needed to say more than they did? If what they said was persuasive enough for their intended audience ~ and they believed it was ~ then anything else would have been overkill... agreed?

Of course, Union men were not persuaded. Just like the British were not persuaded by the DOI. The key audience was the people in their home state. And all indications are that the people of SC supported secession.

Bottom line is, the Sec Dec was as truthful as it needed to be to persuade its audience. It contains what SC perceived to be true.



To put this in a relation to the OP: The issue that secessionists had was not runaway slaves from SC, per se. They feared that the Republican Party would "wage a war against slavery" which would include eventual abolition. SC was not so much fearful about runaway slaves, they were fearful of the Republicans freeing their slaves. That is what the SC Sec Dec was about. SC citied incidents involving the North and slavery to show that their fears of future abolitionism on the part of the Republicans were justified. This is the "truth" they were concerned about.

- Alan
Thank you for your post and especially for addressing explicitly the OP. I will address some of your comments when I get around to grading the SD.
 
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Insofar as South Carolina's DoC described and justified their secession as being consistent with the natural right of separation promulgated by the DoI, I do think they told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But the discussion of slavery was superfluous and unnecessary. In fact, it was just political propaganda designed to twist the Lion's tail, and nothing more. It should have been left out altogether.
 
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Insofar as South Carolina's DoC described and justified their secession as being consistent with the natural right of separation promulgated by the DoI, I do think they told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But the discussion of slavery was superfluous and unnecessary. In fact, it was just political propaganda designed to twist the Lion's tail, and nothing more. It should have been left out altogether.
Thank you for your post and clear reply to the OP.
 
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Insofar as South Carolina's DoC described and justified their secession as being consistent with the natural right of separation promulgated by the DoI, I do think they told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But the discussion of slavery was superfluous and unnecessary. In fact, it was just political propaganda designed to twist the Lion's tail, and nothing more. It should have been left out altogether.
If the SC secessionists wanted their Declaration to mirror the DOI, then merely saying that secession was consistent with natural rights was not enough.

The DOI was not merely a statement of natural rights; it also presented a bill of particulars which justified the revolutionary step of breaking ties with the crown. For example, these are excerpts from the DOI:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.​
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.​
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.​
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.​
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.​
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.​
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.​
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.​
For the Colonial Revolutionaries, it was important to establish they weren't seeking independence for "light and transient causes." They wanted "To prove" with "Facts" that their quest for independence was justified.

Similarly, the Sec Dec which secessionists issued could have been an ordinance of secession that merely stated that, on this date, we dissolve our ties to the Union, etc, etc. But note that the title of the Sec Dec is "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." (Emphasis added) SC wanted to establish that secessions was justified, and not a wanton exercise of natural rights. That was important to them.

- Alan
 
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If the SC secessionists wanted their Declaration to mirror the DOI, then merely saying that secession was consistent with natural rights was not enough.

The DOI was not merely a statement of natural rights; it also presented a bill of particulars which justified the revolutionary step of breaking ties with the crown. For example, these are excerpts from the DOI:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.​
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.​
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.​
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.​
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.​
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.​
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.​
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.​
For the Colonial Revolutionaries, it was important to establish they weren't seeking independence for "light and transient causes." They wanted "To prove" with "Facts" that their quest for independence was justified.

Similarly, the Sec Dec which secessionists issued could have been an ordinance of secession that merely stated that, on this date, we dissolve our ties to the Union, etc, etc. But note that the title of the Sec Dec is "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." (Emphasis added) SC wanted to establish that secessions was justified, and not a wanton exercise of natural rights. That was important to them.

- Alan
Here is my favorite part of the DOI, a part routinely omitted to say nothing of getting the emphasis that it deserves:

He [KG] has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. (emphasis mine). Need I explain what this means? And the colonists were not supposed to pay KG for their protection from Indians, French, whomever? I would call that complaint a red herring, maybe even a whale of a red herring.

War is about land, short and simple. In 1860 it was the same as it was in 1776: western territories --and, of course, trade with China because of excessive taxes on tea (a product of LAND).

Land, land, land, NOT liberty, is always the war cry. Any liberty in 1776 had to to with liberating LAND from KG's ownership to that of the colonists.

Did I already say LAND?
 

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Very good, and relatively short - 39 pages - paper on the economic / population / political impacts of the Transportation Revolution in the antebellum era...

The Transportation Revolution and Antebellum Sectional Disagreement
by John J. Binder

The transportation revolution had several important effects on the antebellum political equilibrium. First, it caused western and southern political views to differ by bringing more easterners and European immigrants into the West. Second, it reduced the costs of rerouting western exports to the non-South, which decreased the expected costs to the West of conflict with the South. Third, it greatly increased western population, which brought more free states into the Union and changed the balance in the Senate. Fourth, it increased northern numerical superiority over the South, giving the North a major advantage if an armed conflict did occur. These changes led the West to ally with the East and caused the South to secede.

https://indigo.uic.edu/bitstream/handle/10027/7736/transportation.pdf?sequence=1
113

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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Here is my favorite part of the DOI, a part routinely omitted to say nothing of getting the emphasis that it deserves:

He [KG] has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. (emphasis mine). Need I explain what this means? And the colonists were not supposed to pay KG for their protection from Indians, French, whomever? I would call that complaint a red herring, maybe even a whale of a red herring.

War is about land, short and simple. In 1860 it was the same as it was in 1776: western territories --and, of course, trade with China because of excessive taxes on tea (a product of LAND).

Land, land, land, NOT liberty, is always the war cry. Any liberty in 1776 had to to with liberating LAND from KG's ownership to that of the colonists.

Did I already say LAND?
During the Civil War, African Americans fought expressly for freedom and citizenship rights.

Peace is not the absence of war, it is the presence of justice. No justice, no peace.Throughout history there have been innumerable cases of landlessness, but they have not always led to war. When people feel they have been treated unjustly, that can cause problems. And of course, the meaning of "justice" is in the eyes of the beholder.

- Alan
 
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Here is my favorite part of the DOI, a part routinely omitted to say nothing of getting the emphasis that it deserves:

He [KG] has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. (emphasis mine). Need I explain what this means? And the colonists were not supposed to pay KG for their protection from Indians, French, whomever? I would call that complaint a red herring, maybe even a whale of a red herring.

War is about land, short and simple. In 1860 it was the same as it was in 1776: western territories --and, of course, trade with China because of excessive taxes on tea (a product of LAND).

Land, land, land, NOT liberty, is always the war cry. Any liberty in 1776 had to to with liberating LAND from KG's ownership to that of the colonists.

Did I already say LAND?
The secessionists did have property interests at stake, but it wasn't land. This is from the Georgia Sec Dec:

...of the Republican party... We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs.​
The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us.​
Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it (ie, $3,000,000,000 of property) under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it (ie, $3,000,000,000 of property) to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides (if the $3,000,000,000 of property is lost). To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.​

That $3,000,000,000 of property was not land.

- Alan
 
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The other effect was that the falling cost of travel dispersed the southern white population. People who wanted to get away from slavery had a better chance to do that, in Missouri, Arkansas and the Pacific west. At the same time dispersing the slave system into Texas put pressure on cotton prices. The international market for cotton maintained demand temporarily, but that could not continue. Moreover, the need to involuntarily move slaves from place to place was easy to attack.
Railroads had a large effect on the economy and people, but the also affected the east coast publications, which made money on inflamed opinion, in my opinion. The politicians and journalists had a national market for inflammatory rhetoric by 1860. They no longer had to be honest about the costs of conflict and the Whig party particularly fell apart under that stress.
 
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The problem stems from Britain. When the British repealed the corn laws it was much easier for British investors to work in the Great Lakes states, which were connected to Canada. Growth in the Great Lakes was good for Br. No. America, which was demonstrated during the Civil War when the stress on the East-West railroad network was maximized.
 
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In the war itself, once the United States eliminated New Orleans as a competitor to Chicago and Cincinnati, and the US controlled the Mississippi as far south as Memphis, the economic part of the war was over.
 
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The other aspect of the railroad and telegraph revolution was that it put enormous pressure on the state banking systems. Sound banks had much better chance to buy up the notes issued by wildcat local banks. Some type of commercial common market was about to supercede the mutual defense arrangements of the Constitutional era, about as Hamilton had expected.
 
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The revolution involved making all steamship travel quicker, more reliable and safer. The effect on wealthy people travelling back and forth across the Atlantic, and on poor people taking the risk of crossing the ocean was fatal to the future of slavery. It became obsolete, except with respect to the harvest season in cotton and sugar production.
 
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The secessionists did have property interests at stake, but it wasn't land. This is from the Georgia Sec Dec:

...of the Republican party... We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs.​
The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us.​
Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it (ie, $3,000,000,000 of property) under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it (ie, $3,000,000,000 of property) to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides (if the $3,000,000,000 of property is lost). To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.​

That $3,000,000,000 of property was not land.

- Alan
Those slaves would not be worth much Edited. without Georgia's land or western territories.

The Seceshers were correct that the South would be devastated without slaves. That was shorthand for, "Oh No! If slavery is gone, we will have to work with out own hands! God forbid!"
 
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