So what if the war was about slavery?

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wausaubob

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The actual modifications to slavery the northern states were willing to enforce were limited. The buying and selling of human beings ended. The freedmen gained control of their families, their religion and their culture. But the northern parties were not willing to fight for voting rights and civil rights for the formerly enslaved people. The evidence is that although the Confederates were fighting to defend slavery, the US was fighting to enforce majority rule and the primacy of the constitutional process. They were not going to allow the US to divide up the way South America had divided.
 

WJC

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A second reminder: this thread in the SlaveryTalk Forum asks "so what if the war was about slavery" Let's get back on topic.
Please leave the discussion of Fort Sumter to those many threads on that subject.
 

privateflemming

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And I'll add a few more: if there's a war between two religions (defining religion broadly as the Supreme Court has done with the first amendment to potentially include atheism) and if we can say in the same sense you say that Confederate soldiers "were fighting for slavery" that the soldiers on one side of this hypothetical war (or we could pick actual historical examples) are fighting for religion A, if we agree that religion A is true and religion B is false, does that tell us which side is justified in fighting the other and which side is in the wrong? If not, why does it matter if Confederate soldiers were "fighting for slavery"? What point are you trying to make by saying that?

Sounds like you're asking about moral relativism. I don't really believe in moral relativism. I think a cause that is morally right in some cases has the right and even obligation to force an immoral system to stop acting immorally, especially when that system is directly harming others. Things like slavey and genocide are two good examples of when it is morally right and even necessary to forcibly intervene to stop those things.

As others have said, the Union didn't intervene simply to stop those things and probably wouldn't have if the South hadn't preemptively aggressed against them but even if they had I think it would have been justified from that standpoint.
 

John Fenton

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So what if the war was about slavery? Would the fact (if it were a fact) have any bearing on the question of which side had justice on its side in the war?
you miss the point of it "was all about slavery".
the fact that all arguments devolve into the southern insistence on maintaining their "peculiar institution" , slavery did not start the firing. it is simply the actions taken to maintain that institution that started the fighting and of course the election of a republican president who did not want slavery to expand.
the war was formally started by south carolina and others illegal, unilateral secessions and confiscation of federal property and S.C. committing acts of war by firing on the Star of the West and Ft. Sumter . Slavery was not the issue but the issues concerned slavery , even the issue of tariffs.
the morality of slavery, for most people, had already been decided and while some thought the immorality of slavery was enough, the issue was to be decided by the population of new lands in which slavery was to be considered.
slavery in those states that already had it was protected.
the north had it's share of complicity but it was racism , not slavery, and passed black laws that many would consider immoral.
the facts are that if the south had not relied on slave labor there would not have been a war and the southern economy would have been more diversified and similar than different to the northern states with the possible exception of new england.
while the war aims eventually included emancipation, primarily it was preserving the union for the north and maintaining and expanding slavery, which they concluded required independence, for the south.
 
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byron ed

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So ok, leaving out slavery let's talk about inducement, aggression, and responsibility in the run-up to the ACW.

Here's what happened before Lincoln had even arrived in Washington; before any Federal military force was raised that could even pose an "illegal aggression" to the white South.

December 27, 1860—South Carolina seizes Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, a Federal schooner and other Federal property.
December 30, 1860—South Carolina seizes the Federal Arsenal at Charleston.
December 31—South Carolina seizes the U.S. post office and the Customs house in Charleston.
January 3—Georgia seizes Fort Pulaski to prevent U.S. troops from garrisoning it.
January 4—Alabama seizes the US arsenal at Mount Vernon.
January 5—Alabama seizes Forts Morgan and Gaines.
January 6—Florida seizes the Apalachicola arsenal.
January 7—Florida seizes Fort Marion.
January 9, 1861—In Charleston, southern guns fire on the Star of the West as it attempts to re-supply Fort Sumter.
January 10, 1861—Florida demands the surrender of Fort Pickens (refused).
February 18, 1861—Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as president of the Confederacy.

So only after all that:
February 23, 1861—President-Elect Abraham Lincoln merely arrives in Washington.

And one month later:
March 4, 1861—Lincoln is inaugurated as president of the United States.

And two months later:
April 15, 1861—Lincoln calls for for a 75,000-man militia for a three month enlistment. This is an aggressive invasion force? oops.
 

John Fenton

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So ok, leaving out slavery let's talk about inducement, aggression, and responsibility in the run-up to the ACW.

Here's what happened before Lincoln had even arrived in Washington; before any Federal military force was raised that could even pose an "illegal aggression" to the white South.

December 27, 1860—South Carolina seizes Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, a Federal schooner and other Federal property.
December 30, 1860—South Carolina seizes the Federal Arsenal at Charleston.
December 31—South Carolina seizes the U.S. post office and the Customs house in Charleston.
January 3—Georgia seizes Fort Pulaski to prevent U.S. troops from garrisoning it.
January 4—Alabama seizes the US arsenal at Mount Vernon.
January 5—Alabama seizes Forts Morgan and Gaines.
January 6—Florida seizes the Apalachicola arsenal.
January 7—Florida seizes Fort Marion.
January 9, 1861—In Charleston, southern guns fire on the Star of the West as it attempts to re-supply Fort Sumter.
January 10, 1861—Florida demands the surrender of Fort Pickens (refused).
February 18, 1861—Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as president of the Confederacy.

So only after all that:
February 23, 1861—President-Elect Abraham Lincoln merely arrives in Washington.

And one month later:
March 4, 1861—Lincoln is inaugurated as president of the United States.

And two months later:
April 15, 1861—Lincoln calls for for a 75,000-man militia for a three month enlistment. This is an aggressive invasion force? oops.
April 12 1861 - confederates fire on ft sumter and force it’s surrender the next day, all before Lincoln’s call for troops.
 

unionblue

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The were within the CSA

@VA _Jim ,

No, @GwilymT has it right, all of the attacks were done in the confines of the USA.

As for your contention they were within the CSA, you realize, certainly, some of these attacks were done before some of the States had even seceded from the United States and well before Lincoln had even been sworn in as President.

Unionblue
 

John Fenton

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The were within the CSA
AiV ACT TO CEDE TO THE UNITED STATES VARIOU8 FoRTS AND FoR- No. 1856. TIFICATIO.NS, AND SlTES FOR THE ERECTION OF FoRTS.
I. Be it enacted, by the honoiable the Senate and House of Representa-port9 fort;ijCB. tives, now met and sitting in General Assembly, and by the authority of tions, and sites the same, That there shall be, and hereby is, granted to the United States f''rf'if erection of America, all the right, title and claim of this State to the following t0 the United forts, fortifications, and sites for the erection of forts, in manner following : States.
All the lands reserved for fort Moultrie on Sullivan's island; provided, the same shall not exceed five acres, with all the forts, fortifications and buildings thereon, together with the canal leading from the cove on the back of the fort, nearly up to the same, as delineated on the plan of Charleston harbour by Col. Senf, and is in the secretary of state's office at Columbia.
The high lands and part of the marsh belonging to fort Johnston, as delineated on the said plan of Charleston harbour; provided, the same shall not exceed twenty acres, including the present site of fort Johnston.
The land on which fort Pinckney is built, and three acres around the same.
A portion of the sand bank marked C, on the south easternmost point of Charleston, as delineated on the said plan of Charleston harbour, not exceeding two acres. A quantity of land not exceeding four acres, for a battery or fort, and necessary buildings, on Dr. Blythe's point of land at the mouth of Satnpit river.
The small island in Beaufort river, called Mustard islaud, opposite Paris's island, and a tract of land on St. Helena island, opposite the same, not exceeding seven acres of land, as being a commanding ground suitable for a principal fort.
II. And be it farther enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the following persons, viz: Col. Thomas Grayson, Captain John Jenkins and Wil- Commissioners liam Elliott, Brigadier General Read, the Intendant of Charleston for the appointed to time being, Col. Daniel Stevens, Joseph Alston, Brigadier General Con- J?^8 the 8ald way, and Major Savage Smith, or any two of them, be, and they are hereby appointed, commissioners, and authorized to locate, by proper metes
and bounds, at the expense of this State, so far as the charges of surveyors shall be incurred, all or any the above mentioned sites; and who shall return into the office of the Secretary of this State, on or before the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seven, fair plats of survey, and accurate descriptions of the said lands, forts, fortifications and sites, so ceded, setting forth the limits and bounds of the same.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if the
United States shall not, within three years from the passing of this Act, and United States notification thereof by the Governor of this State to the executive of theto "IJ.1"'" *he United States, repair the fortifications now existing thereon, or build such tions within other forts or fortifications as may be deemed most expedient by the exe- three years, cutive of the United States on the same, and keep a garrison or garrisons therein; in such case this grant or cession shall be void and of no effect.
IV. And be it farther enacted, That all process, civil or criminal, issued
under the authority of this State or any officer thereof, shall and may be profe88 c;vii served and executed on any part of lands and sites, forts and fortifications, or criminal, so ceded by this Act, and on any person or persons there being and impli- may be "erved cated in matters of law: Provided always, that the lands, sites, forts and lands so'ceded. fortifications so ceded, shall forever be exempt from any tax to be paid to
A. D. 1805. this State: And provided also, the United States shall, before possession be taken of the said sites so to be laid out by the above commissioners, some of which are private property, give and pay due compensation to the owners and proprietors of the same.
In the Senate House, the nineteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thou-
sand eight hundred and five, and in the thirtieth year of the United States of
America.
ROBERT BARNWELL, President of the Senate.
JOSEPH ALSTON, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
 
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John Fenton

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And...

In 1861 there were four United States mints: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Orleans, Louisiana; Dahlonega, Georgia; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The latter three were termed “branch mints” and issued their first coins in 1838. Dahlonega and Charlotte were established because of their proximity to a then-important gold mining region. New Orleans, on the other hand, was a busy commercial port. All three branch mints were in states that seceded from the Union during the Civil War.

The only Southern mint that is known to have struck coins under the auspices of the Confederate States of America is the New Orleans Mint. On January 31, 1861 two and a half months before shots were fired at Fort Sumter the New Orleans Mint was seized by the State of Louisiana, which turned it over to the Confederacy the following month.
 

John Fenton

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On January 31, 1861 two and a half months before shots were fired at Fort Sumter the New Orleans Mint was seized by the State of Louisiana, which turned it over to the Confederacy the following month.

Even the people of South Carolina felt the sites belonged to a higher, central government.

“The North considered the fort [sumter] to be the property of the United States government. The people of South Carolina believed it belonged to the new Confederacy. Four months later, the first engagement of the Civil War took place on this disputed soil.“
https://www.ushistory.org/us/33a.asp
 

John Fenton

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And so the evidence suggests that not only did the southern slave powers sanction , as Christian, forced labor, rape, and murder, but also had no compunction against robbery. All before shots were fired or lincoln calling up troops and all in contradiction with the Christian new covenant.
 

John Fenton

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I didn’t have anything to do...
Section 8 of article 1 answers many of the constitutional issues but in this case clause 17 applies :

Section 8
1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

cede
(siːd)
vb
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (when: intr, often foll by to) to transfer, make over, or surrender (something, esp territory or legal rights): the lands were ceded by treaty.
2. (tr) to allow or concede (a point in an argument, etc)
[C17: from Latin cēdere to yield, give way]
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/cede
 

leftyhunter

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Those that would deny the justice of the South's cause frequently seem to say something along the lines of (1) that the war was a war over slavery and (2) slavery was wrong, therefore in the conflict between North and South the North was justified and the South wasn't. Even if we grant those two premises (although I think the first premise actually rests on the shallowest of after-the-fact false pretenses), so what? For the sake of discussion in this thread, I'd like to grant both those premises. And if we do, how is the North's cause justified even then (and the South's not)?

If two parts of the union disagree over a major social/moral issue, and if we grant that one part of the union is right -- of course, in the midst of the controversy everyone is going to believe that he's right and the other side is wrong, so these premises are of no real value in the real world, but even if we grant the premise for the sake of discussion -- does it necessarily follow that the part of the union on the right moral side is justified in going to war to force its right morality on the other part of the union?

What if the states on the right moral side constitutionally obligated themselves (or their grandfathers did) to protect the immorality at issue in various ways, to make what someone might call a "covenant with death"? Should they abide by that covenant? Should they collectively secede from that covenant? Should they abstain from personal involvement with that covenant (to refuse to personally take any oath to uphold that covenant and refuse any office dependent on such an oath)? Should they take such an oath deceitfully and then violate it? Are there other options?

Or even if there were no constitutional obligations to protect the immoral practice in any way, when are wars justified to end immoral practices? Are wars to end immoral practices any more or less justified if they're waged between states of a union versus against any other random place? Would the US, for example, have been justified in proceeding to conquer Cuba after conquering the South on the same grounds as in the two premises at the top of this post?

So what if the war was about slavery? Would the fact (if it were a fact) have any bearing on the question of which side had justice on its side in the war?
If you're family was enslaved and your wife and daughter were play things for their master would you be concerned about the morality of those who fight to free you?
Leftyhunter
 

uaskme

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Apparently southern rebels attacking another, in a 5 month long series of attacking federal installations, was enough to start a war, since it did.

Why five months. If seizing Federal Property, which if the legally seceded South was such an aggressive threat to the Yankee, why did it take 5 months for a illegal invasion into a South which was independent. Collecting taxes, who had no desire to be governed by a foreign tyrant.
The South was viewed by the North as a an obstacle to their economically development, The Republicans didn’t want Southerners to have any influence in National Development, The obnoxious Yankee had assumed the identity of the Federal Government. Many Northers thought Southerners were an embarrassment. Seward‘s view explained the Radicals position, He had no love for the Negro, but hatted the Slave Master. Abolitionist wanted Southerners out of the Union. The Lower South Left.

So why did the Yankee wait 5 months to attack. And since hated the South, why didn’t they, Let Them Go.
 
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