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

Union League

Private
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Just imagine if all those northern men were conscripted. Male population of the north was roughly 11 million, knock out 4 or 5 million either too young, old, or infirmed and you still have enough to easily roll over the 2 million at most the csa could field. I think old Shelby was right, the north did have one arm behind it's back. Why they could have easily put a 100k army in coastal NC or SC to drive inland, gave grant another 100k, added another 100k army to help Sherman, and get this...still have plenty of men left over. The question is why not? Why did it have to drag on si long?
The northern part of the Union didn't have slaves to free up the Male population needed for labor. I'm sure someone will have made this point...
 

Coyote Creek

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Jul 27, 2018
A book I have been reading is the South was right by James and Walter Kennedy. In the book they provide evidence that it was not about slavery but that the states wanted to govern thier own.
 

Union League

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Apr 4, 2018
A book I have been reading is the South was right by James and Walter Kennedy. In the book they provide evidence that it was not about slavery but that the states wanted to govern thier own.
Yep, they wanted to govern their own so there would be no interference with the institution of slavery from northern interests. Purdy much what they said in their Declaration of Causes...
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
A book I have been reading is the South was right by James and Walter Kennedy. In the book they provide evidence that it was not about slavery but that the states wanted to govern thier own.

It is an excellent book, and for those fortunate enough to read it with an honest and open
mind, it is virtually irrefutable. In fact, it's where I first became aware of what a severe and extreme white-supremacist Abraham Lincoln was.
 
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James Lutzweiler

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
I have mentioned this book previously, and I would recommend it to all again. At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis, by the late historian Shearer Davis Bowman, is a very good exploration of war causation. He focuses on competing notions of the “interests, rights, and honor” that were held by the sections during the war. It is not a fun read, as it strikes me that Bowman is writing for a graduate school class, and not a mass audience. One other complaint is that the book lacks a "narrative coherence," however I don't know that a "narrative" is needed to provide historical interpretation... but let me not get started on that.

One key take away for me from the book for me is that the war was not just about competing issues, but rather, about competing beliefs, emotions, mindsets. As I have come to see it, the war was about different and competing identities.

And that would be my main point on this subject: if we look at the war as simply about issues, and not beliefs, views, emotions, and identities, it's hard to get a grip on how this war came. This is why the idea that the conflict between free labor and slave labor is the root cause of the war is so convincing to me: that conflict stirred up passions on both sides that no other sectional conflict at the time did, or could. These passions, as much as, or more than the “issues,” are pivotal to understanding why the war came.

- Alan


Alan,

I like the way you express yourself here: "This is why the idea that the conflict between free labor and slave labor is the root cause of the war is so convincing to me." While it is not my intent to argue with you, it is my intent to acknowledge an irenic statement of your belief and why you see it that way.

Do you have a short phrase to describe your position or do you echo the single cause phrase?
 

Tin cup

Captain
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Location
Texas
A book I have been reading is the South was right by James and Walter Kennedy. In the book they provide evidence that it was not about slavery but that the states wanted to govern thier own.
I had that book, the only thing I got out of it was a good picture of the Georgia Boy with a 2nd Model Enfield! The rest of the book was just laughable.

Kevin Dally
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
A book I have been reading is the South was right by James and Walter Kennedy. In the book they provide evidence that it was not about slavery but that the states wanted to govern thier own.

@Coyote Creek ,

If you are reading the book, The South Was Right, by the Kennedy brothers, you're reading nothing but pure Lost Cause propaganda. The book is filled with misinformation, half-truths, and out-and out misdirection's. It is NOT in any way a book about actual history.

It has as much to do with the history of the Civil War as the SciFi book, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Do yourself a favor and check out the following books:

Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson.

What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, And The Civil War
, by Chandra Manning.

Why The War Came
, by Gabor S. Boritt.

The Causes of the Civil War, by Kenneth M. Stampp.

In other words, use the book by the Kennedy brothers for something of worth.

Like a door stop, as you will get no accurate history or facts from it whatsoever.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Union League

Private
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
It is an excellent book, and for those fortunate enough to read it with an honest and open
mind, it is virtually irrefutable. In fact, it's where I first became aware of what a severe and extreme white-supremacist Abraham Lincoln was.
Extreme white supremacist, have the complete works of Abraham Lincoln and don't see that...
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It is an excellent book, and for those fortunate enough to read it with an honest and open
mind, it is virtually irrefutable.

It is entirely refutable as in has no basis in historical fact for the main part. Toilet paper is more useful than this book.

In fact, it's where I first became aware of what a severe and extreme white-supremacist Abraham Lincoln was.

You mean the man who issued the Emancipation Proclamation? The man more than anyone who helped get the 13th Amendment passed ending slavery in America? The man whose last public speech was on the topic of giving former slaves the right to vote?

Just what are you aware of when it comes to Lincoln?

Seriously,
Unionblue
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
The primacy of Slavery to secession and the Civil war is a reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the logical progress of the great political crises of American History, during the ante-bellum period, involving the issues of national unity and secession.

From the debates over inclusion of a FSL and overepresentation of Slave States in the gov't of the United States, through sectionalizing of the Union, through forcing the laws of one state upon another, to the splitting of major national political parties, etc., Slavery loomed lage and powerful, i.e., it was no secrret and its progress of faithfully recorded by its contemporaries.
 

R Black

Cadet
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Imagine if you will: A President is elected that wasn’t even on your ballot? His ideals, regardless of morality will bankrupt your states economy. The spectre of him appointing judges throughout the land has a terrorizing effect.

As a consequence, your State secedes. Subsequently this said President raises an Army to invade your State? What kind of justice was this? This was oppression of freedom without due process by the Federal government.

These general sentiments right or wrong, were imprinted upon the children of the south. Because it’s what they perceived the truth to be. Given the events that occurred, how could they have perceived otherwise? Some lost everything and were forced to leave their beloved states. You wonder how the sentiments of the “Lost Cause” can still remain? It’s not a stretch...
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Imagine if you will: A President is elected that wasn’t even on your ballot? His ideals, regardless of morality will bankrupt your states economy. The spectre of him appointing judges throughout the land has a terrorizing effect.

As a consequence, your State secedes. Subsequently this said President raises an Army to invade your State? What kind of justice was this? This was oppression of freedom without due process by the Federal government.

These general sentiments right or wrong, were imprinted upon the children of the south. Because it’s what they perceived the truth to be. Given the events that occurred, how could they have perceived otherwise? Some lost everything and were forced to leave their beloved states. You wonder how the sentiments of the “Lost Cause” can still remain? It’s not a stretch...

Suppose the sentiments "imprinted upon the children of the south" were deliberate falsehoods intended to deceive them into these perceptions. What then?
 

R Black

Cadet
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Suppose the sentiments "imprinted upon the children of the south" were deliberate falsehoods intended to deceive them into these perceptions. What then?

First off, I would need to know what you claim to be a "falsehood"?
 

R Black

Cadet
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
The northern part of the Union didn't have slaves to free up the Male population needed for labor. I'm sure someone will have made this point...

But they did have child labor, sweat shops for the women and a seemingly endless supply of starving Irish to fill the ranks. There were approximately 450,000 black slaves in the 1860 census residing in Northern states that did not succeed. The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to them.

Mill labor in the New England states were 40% child labor in 1820 and continued to increase during the Civil War. Typical work days were 12-14 hours a day. It wasn't until 1938 that child labor was federally regulated.
 
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trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Suppose the sentiments "imprinted upon the children of the south" were deliberate falsehoods intended to deceive them into these perceptions. What then?
First off, I would need to know what you claim to be a "falsehood"?

The ones you described here:

Imagine if you will: A President is elected that wasn’t even on your ballot? His ideals, regardless of morality will bankrupt your states economy. The spectre of him appointing judges throughout the land has a terrorizing effect.

As a consequence, your State secedes. Subsequently this said President raises an Army to invade your State? What kind of justice was this? This was oppression of freedom without due process by the Federal government.

These general sentiments right or wrong, were imprinted upon the children of the south. Because it’s what they perceived the truth to be. Given the events that occurred, how could they have perceived otherwise? Some lost everything and were forced to leave their beloved states. You wonder how the sentiments of the “Lost Cause” can still remain? It’s not a stretch...
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Imagine if you will: A President is elected that wasn’t even on your ballot?

Imagine if you will, the fact that President was not permitted on your ballot, that he was purposefully kept off your state's ballot.

His ideals, regardless of morality will bankrupt your states economy.

And what ideals were those, specifically? Would some of them be the promise not to interfere with slavery where it already existed? That your representation in the federal government will not change? Specifics, if you please.

The spectre of him appointing judges throughout the land has a terrorizing effect.

How terrifying that such had been done after every election by every party that won such elections since the time of Washington! I think it's called, "politics as usual."

As a consequence, your State secedes.

For no good reason other than the fact your state representatives and power brokers don't like who won a fair and free election.

Subsequently this said President raises an Army to invade your State?

He does? WHEN does he decide upon this course of action? When does that "invasion" take place? What events happen that brings that President to take this course of action? One side does not an explanation make.

What kind of justice was this?

Constitutional, perhaps?

This was oppression of freedom without due process by the Federal government.

No, this was an open rebellion in defiance of a lawful and free election, as maintained under the Constitution of the United States.

These general sentiments right or wrong, were imprinted upon the children of the south.

Those general sentiments were wrong before, during, and after the Civil War.

Because it’s what they perceived the truth to be.

Perception alone makes for the worst kind of truth.

Given the events that occurred, how could they have perceived otherwise?

Some of them did perceive otherwise, even when such supposed events did not make sense to them.

Some lost everything and were forced to leave their beloved states.

Yet most remained and did their best to restart their peaceful lives, as Robert E. Lee encouraged them to do, to become good citizens and put the war behind them.

You wonder how the sentiments of the “Lost Cause” can still remain?

Based on an actual reading of factual history, supported by research and historical documentation, yes, I do wonder.

It’s not a stretch...

It's a fantasy.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
But they did have child labor, sweat shops for the women and a seemingly endless supply of starving Irish to fill the ranks.

Child labor was employed in the South during the same period.

There were approximately 450,000 black slaves in the 1860 census residing in Northern states that did not succeed. The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to them.

But the 13th Amendment did.

Mill labor in the New England states were 40% child labor in 1820 and continued to increase during the Civil War. Typical work days were 12-14 hours a day. It wasn't until 1938 that child labor was federally regulated.

Indeed, change is a process and social change does not turn on a dime. Ever check out child labor in the South from 1820 until 1938?

Like I said before, one side does not an explanation make. When one side is told, it's usually an excuse, not an explanation.

Unionblue
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
These general sentiments right or wrong, were imprinted upon the children of the south.

They said it is Heritage, not Hate. Yet, it seems like it is all about passing on excuses, lies and hatred against those who defeated them in the War of the Rebellion to the next generation.

I think Grant speaks for me with this quote

"I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. (emphasis is mine) I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us."

Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant
1885
 
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