Slavery as the Primary Cause of the Civil War: the Real Lost Cause Argument.

WJC

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The North, found a population of White, Starving, Cheaper Replacements. Is that fact, not important? The North participated in every aspect of Southern Slavery. NYC became the Center of the Illegal Mid-Atlantic Slave Trade. Approximately 1.6 Million Negroes were trafficked, during this period. Northern Merchants participated in the Chinese Opium Trade. Part of that Trade was Trafficking poor, starving Chinese to Cuba and Peru. They were chained down in ships. At least as brutal as the Mid Atlantic Slave Trade or Worse. Is none of this, Important? Is the Exclusion of Events, Truth. I hear the term Truth a lot, just don’t see the Evidence of it. The North got rid of their Negroes and Slave owning Business. Which yes, they wanted no more Negroes. However the North never, Stop their involvement in Slavery. Does it make someone a Lost Causer, if they want to know these things? Should we not expect to learn, the whole story, instead of someone’s white washed version? Slavery is United States History, not just Southern History.
Thanks for your response and endorsement of my view.
 

Tailor Pete

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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 CivilWarTalk first!
 

ForeverFree

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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
 

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
 

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.
 

ebg12

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Thanks for your comments but I was talking only about the legend of the Lost Cause and not the war itself.

So was I: to romance the war is "a cause without slavery, and a union without freedom" (not my quote, I believe its Frederick Douglass).
 

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...
 

Robin Lesjovitch

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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.
 

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
 

Robin Lesjovitch

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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.
 

19thGeorgia

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let's not forget the confederate vice president's "cornerstone speech"...it specifically states the 'cause' of the south was fighting for slavery!
There can't be anything in his speech about what the South was "fighting for" because at the time there was no war.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 
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