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Slavery; THE Cause?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by unionblue, Oct 3, 2004.

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  1. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Was it about slavery?

    "This terrible war and extreme peril of our country...[were] occasioned ...more by the institution of negro slavery [than] by any other subject of quarrel." Macon Telegraph and Confederate, Mar. 30, 1865.

    "For it and its perpetuation...we commenced and have kept at war." Macon Telegraph and Confederate, Oct. 31, 1864.

    "...the mere agitation in the Northern States to effect the emancipation of our slave largely contributed to our separation from them." Charleston Mercury, Nov. 3, 1864.

    "...[this] proposition surrenders the great point upon which the two sections went to war." Raleigh North Carolina Standard, Feb. 3, 1865.

    "What did we secede for if it was not to save our slaves?" Senator Hunter, Mar. 7, 1865.

    "To say that we are ready to emancipate our slaves would be to say, that we are ready to relinquish what we commenced fighting for." Galveston Tri-Weekly News, Mar. 3, 1865.

    "How can we yield up the institution for which we have been battling so long and so obstinately..." Macon Telegraph and Confederate, Jan. 6, 1865.

    "Slavery [and] aggressions upon it by the North, apprehensions for its safety in the South, was alike teh mediate and immediate cause of Secession...all other questions were subordinate it. ...the principle of State Sovereignty, and its consequence, the right of secession, were important to the South principally, or solely, as the armor that encased her peculia institution." Macon Telegraph and Confederate, Jan. 6, 1865.

    "Slavery, God's institution of labor, and the primary political element of our Confederation of Government, state sovereignty...must stand or fall together. To talk of maintaining our independence while we abolish slavery is simply to talk folly." Charleston Courier, Jan. 24, 1865.

    "We want no Confederate Government without our institutions..." Charleston Mercury, Jan. 13, 1865.

    "...our independence...is chiefly desirable for the preservation of our political institutions, the principal of which is slavery." Gov. Zebulon Vance, Feb. 15, 1865.

    "Independence without slavery, would be valueless [because] the South without slavery would not be worth a mess of pottage." Texan Caleb Cutwell, in a letter to the Galvaston Tri-Weekly, Feb. 22, 1865.

    "...if slavery is to be abolished then I take no more interest in our fight." Brig. Gen. Clement H. Stevens, Army of Tennesse, to a subordinate.

    "First, peaceable secession was to give us independence; then King Cotton was to do it; then foreign intervention was to do it; next, we should certainly whip the enemy when we got him away from his gunboats; and now, all these expectations having failed, we are to get our independence through the negro."

    [In 1861] the people were told that the only course to prevent emancipation, and the placing [of] slaves on an equality with the whites, was to secede from the old government. [And now] we are...called upon to do the very thing which it was said the enemy intended to force upon us." William W. Holden, editor and publisher North Carolina Standard, Jan. 18, 1865 & Nov. 4, 1864.

    That darn paper trail, just keeps growing.

    Unionblue
     

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  3. Battalion

    Battalion Banned

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    Notice the statement by the Virginia delegate- "Twenty years will produce all the mischief that can be apprehended from the liberty to import slaves."

    ...which indicates Virginia was ready to abolish the trade at the time of the Constitutional Convention...neither 1808 nor 1800. This was most likely the position of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well...which had little interest in the trade. So that's three votes. New England could have supplied the vote to abolish the slave trade in the 1780s. They didn't.
    There was too much money to lose.

    20 years. How many slaves could be imported in 20 years?

    How many slave ships operated out of New England ports?


    Absolute Bunk.

    Boston (New England in general) and New York City were the capitals of the North American slave trade.

    The New England Slavers had 20 more years to import slaves...legally...

    ...and did it for 60 more years, with near impunity, thereafter.

    "Long after the U.S. slave trade officially ended, the more extensive movement of Africans to Brazil and Cuba continued. The U.S. Navy never was assiduous in hunting down slave traders. The much larger British Navy was more aggressive, and it attempted a blockade of the slave coast of Africa, but the U.S. was one of the few nations that did not permit British patrols to search its vessels, so slave traders continuing to bring human cargo to Brazil and Cuba generally did so under the U.S. flag. They also did so in ships built for the purpose by Northern shipyards, in ventures financed by Northern manufacturers."
    http://www.slavenorth.com/profits.htm

    .......shipped to Brazil and Cuba..........NOT the United States.
     
  4. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Not very pretty, is it. But a red herring, nonetheless.
    Ole
     
  5. Admiral_Porter

    Admiral_Porter Cadet

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    That is absolute nonsense. Ask Andrew Foote if he ignored slave traders.

    It was seeing the abominable living conditions aboard ship and how slaves were treated like dirt that made many navy men serving with the West African Squadron, including Foote, anti-slavery.

    Most slave traders used ships owned by British companies.
     
  6. olerebel

    olerebel Cadet

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    The slave trade in the 1800s was more sickening than we can imagine. In many instances, the blacks who boarded the ships did not realize that they were going into slavery. They were NOT rounded up like cattle. They saved money to send themselves and/or their families to the new world. (Hence the large number of skilled artisans among the slaves.) They didn't realize what the journey by ship entailed. They boarded the ships to a rude awakening.
    Modern day slavery.
    Since we have opened relations with China, and China has allowed citizens of China to come to the US, THIS has been happening.
    (Communist China is still operating, for the most part, with manual labor. The local overseer and his family live off the labor of the farmers in the community, not much different from the South in the 1800s. The US literature has filtered into China, showing the freedom and possibilities of a person in the US.)
    Quite a few families save money for passage of one of their family to the US. Usually the person is a girl, one who would have very little chance at schooling in her homeland. The price of her travel is paid the broker, then she is put on board a ship, bound for a new better life. She may start her new life on the ship, but likely when she hits the west coast of the US, unable to speak English, she will be sent to a 'boarding house' where she will work as a prostitute for several years to pay her boarding fees.
    Am I spinning a tale? No. As of 2003, 40% of teenage Chineese girls, unable to speak English, migrating to the US could expect this fate, according to an aid organization that I was introduced to at El Paso, TX.
     
  7. samgrant

    samgrant Captain Retired Moderator

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    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Horace Greeley" (August 22, 1862), p. 388.
     
  8. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    To All,

    I have mentioned this other board concerning the US Constitution before, but thought I would provide this link for this thread, as it concerns its major topic.

    Constitutional Topic: Slavery.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_slav.html

    Check out the message part of the site, some really good topics on the Constitution and the law.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  9. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    May your tribe increase, union blue!

    I opened that link and immediately destroyed a half-hour trying to read all the posts. This will take hours and hours of thoughtful enjoyment just to scratch the surface.

    Ole
     
  10. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Brother Ole,

    Yes, it is a great web site, with lots of interesting threads on the law and the US Constitution. I try to visit every night and try to keep up.

    Glad you enjoy and hope others will too.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  11. Buffalo-Guard

    Buffalo-Guard Cadet

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    Slavery

    The subject of slavery and whether it was the primary factor for the war of a contributing common denominator. It’s interesting that in Mr. Gallagher’s book “The Confederate War” the vast majority of southerners were not slave holders while the southern elite planters were the primary backbone of the force to support slavery.

    The question must be posed as to why did those of the majority fight for a nation built on slavery? This is a question which he points out that until resolved by historians, will continue to be an issue of the reason for the war and an unknown reason for the common non-slave owner to fight for a nation with slavery.

    Personally this leads me to ponder the other points in his book as to the reasoning. Nationalism and the idea that the fight was for independence as the war progressed. Even the slave holding elite felt that national pride and ever though they wanted slavery, the nation and its right to exist was more important, with or without slavery.
     
  12. Buffalo-Guard

    Buffalo-Guard Cadet

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    Slavery

    No. slavery cannot be rulled out. Historians very well versed and who have a better understanding of those issues, have spent thier lives on this study of slavely vs. other factors combined with slavery. They also cannot decide as the factor or factors of the war and the dabate rages on.

    To me slavery was the primary factor but there were other factors which included lead to the conflict.

    Gallager states " It defies understanding that any people includeing those nonslaveholding which formed the solid majority of southerners would pour thier engery and resourses into a fight profoundly tainted by the insitiution of slavery. He does mention eoconomics as a factor but goes into much more detail than jsut that because it was not that simple as he explains in his book.

    Yet they did fight. Gallager futher stated that until historians can explain more fully why they did, the story of the war will remain incomplete and not understood.

    No matter, you can't get away fro slavery as an issue. The problem is that some agendas take it and make it as if slavery was "not so bad".

    I don't think the agrument if slavery was the main cause or if there were other issues in addition to slavery which caused the war is as inportant as the final outcome. Slavery had to stop. Whether the war started over it is not my argument. In any event, slavery became the main issue of the war before the end. That war ended it.
     
  13. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Sounds like Professor Gallagher is reluctant to provide his own opinions on those who had no slavery would fight on the side dedicated to preserving it.

    I prefer my overly simplistic reasoning: Get a war going and everybody has to pick a side. No one can sit it out. That and a little thing like conscription can keep the shooting going for a while.

    Ole
     
  14. samgrant

    samgrant Captain Retired Moderator

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    I'd suggest that, from the Secessionist's point of view, that the issue of Slavery was clearly the most significant of those issues which precipitated that war.

    I cannot conceive of any other issues, absent that of the slavery issue, which could not have been somewhat reasonably resolved without resort to arms.

    Tho the Abolitionists in the North may have 'egged it on', the official policy of Lincoln's administration was to preserve the union, with or without slavery in the existing states. That was the 'main issue' as far as A. L. was concerned.

    The problem was just as you say, that "Slavery had to stop.", but unfortunately, there was that great dispute about allowing slavery in the territories and/or new states of the Union.

    Those cotton state secessionists certainly did not agree with the opinion that "Slavery had to stop". They wanted to extend slavery into the territories.

    When a president who disagreed with their views on the expansion of slavery, but not to to the status quo of slavery, was legitimately elected, they could not accept that and so rebelled.
     
  15. Buffalo-Guard

    Buffalo-Guard Cadet

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    Slavery the issue


    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2967.html

    Thanks to PBS for the following;

    People & Events
    The Civil War and emancipation
    1861 - 1865





    In his inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861, Lincoln proclaimed that it was his duty to maintain the Union. He also declared that he had no intention of ending slavery where it existed, or of repealing the Fugitive Slave Law -- a position that horrified African Americans and their white allies.

    President Lincoln insisted that the war was not about slavery or black rights; it was a war to preserve the Union. His words were not simply aimed at the loyal southern states, however -- most white northerners were not interested in fighting to free slaves or in giving rights to black people. For this reason, the government turned away African American voluteers who rushed to enlist. Lincoln upheld the laws barring blacks from the army, proving to northern whites that their race privilege would not be threatened.

    Still, many African Americans wanted to join the fighting and continued to put pressure on federal authorities. Even if Lincoln was not ready to admit it, blacks knew that this was a war against slavery. Some, however, rejected the idea of fighting to preserve a Union that had rejected them and which did not give them the rights of citizens.

    The federal government had a harder time deciding what to do about escaping slaves. Because there was no consistent federal policy regarding fugitives, individual commanders made their own decisions. Some put them to work for the Union forces; others wanted to return them to their owners. Finally, on August 6, 1861, fugitive slaves were declared to be "contraband of war" if their labor had been used to aid the Confederacy in any way. And if found to be contraband, they were declared free.

    Though "contraband" slaves had been declared free, Lincoln continued to insist that this was a war to save the Union, not to free slaves. But by 1862, Lincoln was considering emancipation as a necessary step toward winning the war. The South was using enslaved people to aid the war effort. Black men and women were forced to build fortifications, work as blacksmiths, nurses, boatmen, and laundresses, and to work in factories, hospitals, and armories. In the meantime, the North was refusing to accept the services of black volunteers and freed slaves, the very people who most wanted to defeat the slaveholders. In addition, several governments in Europe were considering recognizing the Confederacy and intervening against the Union.
    If Lincoln declared this a war to free the slaves, European public opinion would overwhelmingly back the North.

    Some people were critical of the proclamation for only freeing some of the slaves. Others, including Frederick Douglass, were jubilant. Douglass felt that it was the beginning of the end of slavery, and that it would act as a "moral bombshell" to the Confederacy. Yet he and others feared that Lincoln would give in to pressure from northern conservatives, and would fail to keep his promise. But the purpose of the Civil War had now changed. The North was not only fighting to preserve the Union, it was fighting to end slavery.

    Black soldiers faced discrimination as well as segregation. The army was extremely reluctant to commission black officers -- only one hundred gained commissions during the war. African American soldiers were also given substandard supplies and rations. Probably the worst form of discrimination was the pay differential. At the beginning of black enlistment, it was assumed that blacks would be kept out of direct combat, and the men were paid as laborers rather than as soldiers. Black soldiers therefore received $7 per month, plus a $3 clothing allowance, while white soldiers received $13 per month, plus $3.50 for clothes.

    Black troops strongly resisted this treatment. The Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment served a year without pay rather than accept the unfair wages. Many blacks refused to enlist because of the discriminatory pay. Finally, in 1864, the War Department sanctioned equal wages for black soldiers.

    In the South, most slaveholders were convinced that their slaves would remain loyal to them. Some did, but the vast majority crossed Union lines as soon as Northern troops entered their vicinity. Numbers of white southerners also refused to support the Confederacy. From the beginning, there were factions who vehemently disagreed with secession and remained loyal to the Union. Many poor southern whites became disillusioned during the course of the war.


    There were also northerners who resisted the war effort. Some were pacifists. Others were white men who resented the fact that the army was drafting them at the same time it excluded blacks. And there were whites who refused to fight once black soldiers were admitted. The North was also hit by economic depression, and enraged white people rioted against African Americans, who they accused of stealing their jobs.

    Finally, on April 18, 1865, the Civil War ended with the surrender of the Confederate army. 617,000 Americans had died in the war, approximately the same number as in all of America's other wars combined. Thousands had been injured. The southern landscape was devastated.

    A new chapter in American history opened as the Thirteenth Amendment, passed in January of 1865, was implemented. It abolished slavery in the United States, and now, with the end of the war, four million African Americans were free.

    Related Entries:
    Emancipation Proclamation
    Retaliation in camp
    A Visit from the Old Mistress
    William Scarborough on the Civil War and emancipation
    Noel Ignatiev on the Civil War and emancipation






     
  16. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Buffalo-Guard,

    You have underlined some of the articles sections. It is a technique I often use myself to get my own views across to fellow board members. May I do the same?

    "...blacks knew that this was a war against slavery."

    "But the purpose of the Civil War had now changed. The North was not only fighting to preserve the Union, it was fighting to end slavery."

    I would like to add some highlights from other sentiments not included in the article.

    "But, to be plain, your are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely there is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free, while I suppose you do not..."

    "...You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you..."

    "But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be promptedby the strongest motive--even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept."

    Even PBS must be researched and checked to make sure they are on the ball concerning history, don't you think?:smile:

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  17. samgrant

    samgrant Captain Retired Moderator

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    I'm confused about if there is any dispute involved within the last 3 posts.....?
     
  18. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    samgrant,

    No dispute with the facts presented, none at all.

    It's just that I like my historical fast balls without any spin on them.:smile:

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  19. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Was slavery a major concern at the 1860 Democratic Convention?

    Judge for yourself.

    The Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention held in 1860. (I suggest you start on page 31 of the document and proceed from there.)

    http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=moa;idno=AEW7006

    As a personal aside, I typed the word 'tariff' in the search engine on this document and did not come up with one hit. I particularly was interested in reading why the Southern States left the convention, what reasons they gave for splitting the Democratic party.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  20. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    From the book, The Language of Liberty; The Political Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Joseph R. Fornieri:

    "Events continued to portend an impending crisis a year later (after John Brown's raid) in the fall of 1860, when the Democratic Party split along sectional lines over the issue of a federal slave code. Charleston, South Carolina, a volatile hot bed of states rights, secessionism, and nullification, was chosen as the site of the Democratic National Convention for 1860. While the Little Giant was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, his stance on popular sovereignty, his opposition to Lecompton, and his Freeport Doctrine alienated him from the southern wing of the party. The issue of slavery had become so polarized that Douglas's position of ethical neutrality had become unacceptable to proslavery southerners who demanded positive protection for slavery, a demand that followed from the logic of the Dred Scott Decision. At the convention, Douglas reiterated his commitment to popular sovereignty and his policy of congressional noninterference with slavery. Southern Democrats girded for battle by putting forth the "Alabama Platform," which proposed a national slave code backed by positive federal protection for slavery. The South's support for the vigorous exercise of federal power to extend, affirm, and protect the "peculiar institution" of slavery was inconsistent with its usual mantra of states rights. This inconsistency testifies to the centrality of slavery as the cause of the Civil War. Indeed, for southern radicals, the abstract principle of states rights was clearly subordinate to the concrete interest of promoting and protecting slavery. Led by William Yancey of Alabama, southern fire-eaters conspired to walk out of the convention if they did not gain explicit recognition of their "peculiar institution" as a moral and legal right. Yancey excoriated Douglas and northern Democrats for failing to affirm slavery as a positive good: "If you had taken the position directly that slavery was right, and therefore ought to be...you could have triumphed, and antislavery would now be dead in your midst." Yancey argued that through his failure to affirm unequivocally the moral right to slavery and the legal right of the national government to protect and extend it through a slave code, Douglas had lent credence to the anitslavery movement. When the proslavery plank was voted down, irate Southerners stormed out of the convention: The entire delegations from Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, and Florida were soon joined by others from Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, and Delaware. Meanwhile, Douglas and the northern Democrats reconvened in Baltimore where the Little Giant was finally nominated. The Southern wing of the party gathered first in Richmond but subsequently moved to Baltimore, where they adopted a national slave code and nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky as their candidate. Thus, the Democratic Party, the only national party that was held together by a tenuous coalition of both sections, had now been polarized along sectional lines as well. The actions and agenda of Yancey, Rhett, and other fire-eaters who precipitated the split in the Democratic Party further confirm Lincoln's view that the underlying issue dividing North and South was over the inherent right or wrong of slavery and its meaning to the Union."

    Unionblue
     
  21. Battalion

    Battalion Banned

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    The Charleston Convention began 23 April 1860.

    The first person to address the tariff issue (H.R. 338) in the House of Rep's was on 24 April 1860-

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=054/llcg054.db&recNum=750

    The second on April 30th.
    These were speeches only.
    Debate and passage of the bill was on May 10th.

    Members of the Charleston Convention were probably unaware of those proceedings....

    ......but why would there be much debate in Charleston over an issue they (the Democrats) had little disagreement over?
     

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