Should the Founders Be Blamed for the Civil War?

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Should the Founders be blamed for the Civil War?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Partially


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Eleanor Rose

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Montpelier1.jpg

Montpelier, home of James and Dolley Madison.
The American Civil War is at the heart of the mid-19th century and this forum has numerous threads dedicated to how our Victorian friends dealt with it. I recently enjoyed a visit to Montpelier and since have enjoyed contemplating some of James Madison’s writings and their implications (if any) on the Civil War. Should Madison and the other Founders be blamed for the Civil War?

I think the Constitutional Convention likely had enough to do without trying to solve the complicated issue of slavery. Slavery was already 168 years old as a North American institution. The Founders no doubt had their hands full just trying to unite half a continent under a singular government. Nonetheless this question hangs over the head of men such as James Madison. In the Virginia Resolutions written by James Madison he says that the states "have the right of political protest." Did our Confederate ancestors think he was trying to assert more?

I certainly don't place all the blame for the Civil War on James Madison or his contemporaries, the Founding Fathers. However, I think they may have sowed a few seeds. What do you think folks in the late 19th century would have said about that? Share your opinions, but please remember to view it from the perspective of a 19th century citizen and not as yourself today.

Mont3.jpg

(Had to include this pic for @USS ALASKA and our other CWT railroad fans.)
Maybe I should have asked President Madison instead of reading over his shoulder. :giggle:
Mont2.jpg
 
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