So what if the war was about slavery?

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WJC

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The same White Racist who wanted to Deport Blacks, exterminate Native Americans and exclude the Chinese.
Thanks for your response.
The American Colonization Society included members who were Abolitionists and slaveholders, prominent Southerners as well as Northerners. It was seen as a benevolent movement, a way to settle slaves in a more friendly environment where they could prosper as free human beings.
The argument that Southerners somehow did not actively participate in the efforts to "exterminate Native Americans and exclude the Chinese" ignores the facts.
 

wausaubob

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Slavery and the traditions around it that had built up between 1680 and 1860 were in serious trouble. Virginia was fading as the controlling center of US politics. The center was by 1860, Ohio, a paid labor state.
Slavery had deterred railroad investment in Texas. When slavery was abolished in Texas, after 1870 outside RR money flowed in and the population and production of Texas grew.
 

wausaubob

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An ancient arrangement, which had been borrowed from command societies, slavery was fit for war like societies with constantly expanding boundaries, captive populations with short life expectancy, and no alternative source of power. Preserving slavery in an era of increasing prosperity, settled boundaries, steam engines, coal replacing wood as a source of power, the emergence of steel as a general commodity, was foolish. There were cogent reasons why Virginia had so many counties were less than 10% of the population was enslaved, and why Charleston, S.C. lost population between 1850 and 1860. https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1860/preliminary-report/1860e-09.pdf?# See page 242.
 

wausaubob

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Thus fighting a war for slavery was like fighting a war to defend whaling or the slaughter of seals. The United States was rapidly converting to steam and telegraph communication. it was eliminating as much handwork in grain cultivation and clothing manufacturing as possible. So the Confederacy, had it protected slavery and survived for a time, would have found itself an agricultural backwater, with an opaque legal system that outsiders did not trust.
 

Greywolf

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Slavery and the traditions around it that had built up between 1680 and 1860 were in serious trouble. Virginia was fading as the controlling center of US politics. The center was by 1860, Ohio, a paid labor state.
Slavery had deterred railroad investment in Texas. When slavery was abolished in Texas, after 1870 outside RR money flowed in and the population and production of Texas grew.
Thanks for your response.
The American Colonization Society included members who were Abolitionists and slaveholders, prominent Southerners as well as Northerners. It was seen as a benevolent movement, a way to settle slaves in a more friendly environment where they could prosper as free human beings.
The argument that Southerners somehow did not actively participate in the efforts to "exterminate Native Americans and exclude the Chinese" ignores the facts.
However, you cannot overlook the fact that former Union army leadership had a direct hand in opening the west by subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes.
Grant
Sherman
Sheridan
Crook
Custer
Custer's cronies: Reno and Benteen
As well as many others. Leadership is responsible for their actions
 

Greywolf

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The entire justification for Southern independence hinges on the principle that because they wanted to leave they should be allowed to leave, and having declared their intention to leave they were justified in doing whatever they wanted to achieve and preserve that independence, without regard for the US government they were leaving.

In other words: they made a selfish, unilateral political decision that included theft and an act of war - all to protect slavery against perceived threats.
If we can agree that Lincolns War aim was to preserve the Union and that he went to war to preserve the Union. Then in reality Ft. Sumter really didnt matter. It would have happened somewhere else. Abe would have penned another letter to G. Fox, or someone else, gushing over his clever ruse. Could have been any old where, any old fort, any old town. After all, cant have those Southerns have a right to self determination.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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If we can agree that Lincolns War aim was to preserve the Union and that he went to war to preserve the Union. Then in reality Ft. Sumter really didnt matter. It would have happened somewhere else. Abe would have penned another letter to G. Fox, or someone else, gushing over his clever ruse. Could have been any old where, any old fort, any old town. After all, cant have those Southerns have a right to self determination.
No. You can’t have a working constitutional republic if a group of people can just pick up an leave if someone they don’t like wins an election.
 

unionblue

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If we can agree that Lincolns War aim was to preserve the Union and that he went to war to preserve the Union. Then in reality Ft. Sumter really didnt matter. It would have happened somewhere else. Abe would have penned another letter to G. Fox, or someone else, gushing over his clever ruse. Could have been any old where, any old fort, any old town. After all, cant have those Southerns have a right to self determination.

Not at the expense of a majority of those who resided "near or about them."
 

Joshism

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After all, cant have those Southerns have a right to self determination.

If white Southerners are entitled to self-determination in the 1860s why not black Southerners?

Besides white Southerners are not a separate people from the rest of white Americans. They spoke the same language, followed the same religion, and had the same ethnic backgrounds as their Northern counterparts.

Furthermore, Southerners had full and fair representation in Congress in 1860 and the courts.
 

WJC

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However, you cannot overloo the fact that former Union army leadership had a direct hand in opening the west by subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes.
Grant
Sherman
Sheridan
Crook
Custer
Custer's cronies: Reno and Benteen
As well as many others. Leadership is responsible for their actions
I don't believe anyone has claimed that the post-Civil War leadership of the U. S. government and U. S. Army was not dominated by veterans of the Civil War U. S. Army. That is a historical fact.
That said, it does not follow that only 'Northerners' were involved in "opening the west by subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes."
That statement ignores the prewar actions against the Indians of the Southeast, conducted by forces overwhelmingly 'Southern' and the actions by Texas and Arkansas against the Indians both before and after the war. It also ignores the makeup of the post- Civil war U. S. Army. One Cavalry regiment in five was a Black unit, comprised primarily of Black former Slaves from the South: some of the most honored soldiers of that period.
You've given the names of seven supposed 'Northern' leaders in the "subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes". One, Benteen, was from Georgia. Another, Sherman, was living in Louisiana at the start of the war. Grant had lived in Missouri, a slave state, and at one time owned a slave. So you see, although they all were or had been soldiers in the U. S. Army, they were otherwise regionally diverse.
Beyond these leaders, it appears that you have ignored the members of Congress from Southern states who approved of and authorized funds for the actions against the Indians.
With very few exceptions, all Americans of the period supported the policy of relocating the Indians and opening Indian lands to settlement and development. It is ahistorical to try to single out any one region as responsible. Those who do so seem to use it only to deflect any criticism of their own region for practicing slavery. It is a classic red herring.
 

Greywolf

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If white Southerners are entitled to self-determination in the 1860s why not black Southerners?

Besides white Southerners are not a separate people from the rest of white Americans. They spoke the same language, followed the same religion, and had the same ethnic backgrounds as their Northern counterparts.

Furthermore, Southerners had full and fair representation in Congress in 1860 and the courts.
They would have at some point 10, 20, 30 years later. We can all be thankful the outcome of the war mercifully made it sooner.
 

Greywolf

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I don't believe anyone has claimed that the post-Civil War leadership of the U. S. government and U. S. Army was not dominated by veterans of the Civil War U. S. Army. That is a historical fact.
That said, it does not follow that only 'Northerners' were involved in "opening the west by subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes."
That statement ignores the prewar actions against the Indians of the Southeast, conducted by forces overwhelmingly 'Southern' and the actions by Texas and Arkansas against the Indians both before and after the war. It also ignores the makeup of the post- Civil war U. S. Army. One Cavalry regiment in five was a Black unit, comprised primarily of Black former Slaves from the South: some of the most honored soldiers of that period.
You've given the names of seven supposed 'Northern' leaders in the "subjugation and destruction of the Indian tribes". One, Benteen, was from Georgia. Another, Sherman, was living in Louisiana at the start of the war. Grant had lived in Missouri, a slave state, and at one time owned a slave. So you see, although they all were or had been soldiers in the U. S. Army, they were otherwise regionally diverse.
Beyond these leaders, it appears that you have ignored the members of Congress from Southern states who approved of and authorized funds for the actions against the Indians.
With very few exceptions, all Americans of the period supported the policy of relocating the Indians and opening Indian lands to settlement and development. It is ahistorical to try to single out any one region as responsible. Those who do so seem to use it only to deflect any criticism of their own region for practicing slavery. It is a classic red herring.

Just pointing out the military leadership and heinous crimes committed via their leadership.

I agree majority of white Americans had no problem with relocating the native tribes.
 

WJC

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Then in reality Ft. Sumter really didnt matter. It would have happened somewhere else.
That ignores the fact that rebel actions against Federal installations, including Fort Sumter, had already been taken before Lincoln became President. By Lincoln's inauguration, only two facilities were in U. S. hands: those in Charleston and those in Pensacola.
It is revisionist propaganda to blame Lincoln for what the rebels did both before and after he was President,. The clear fact is that the rebels- not the United States- chose to initiate hostilities
 

WJC

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Just pointing out the military leadership and heinous crimes committed via their leadership.
Thanks for your response.
I don't believe very many here need to be reminded of those events.
 

Horrido67

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They would have at some point 10, 20, 30 years later. We can all be thankful the outcome of the war mercifully made it sooner.

Sorry, but it is not very persuasive. Even non slave states were very reluctant to give blacks any right. Why would soon-to-be-Confederate states have gave blacks any right to self-determination at some point 10, 20 or 30 years later? White Southerners genuinely feared Haitian Revolution-style slave rebellions and they felt that their lives were threatened by a large black population. Even then White Southerners weren't dumb and they knew that either killing all blacks or deporting them back to Africa was not a viable option. From their prospective, the only way that White Southerners could control a large population of blacks for their own survival was keeping African American in chattel slavery, permanently. However, agitation over the question of slavery grew stronger because of its morally repugnant nature. Jefferson said "But as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other."

I think that all reconstruction amendments and civil right acts were only possible because the Civil War happened and blacks helped the US to keep the Union together.

So, I have to conclude that the vast majority of Black Southerners would not have received rights from White Southerners without the War of the Rebellion. It would have been "never" unless blacks fought for the US and earned their rights as citizens through the War between the States.
 

Horrido67

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Just pointing out the military leadership and heinous crimes committed via their leadership.

I agree majority of white Americans had no problem with relocating the native tribes.

I just don't understand the point. What does eradication of native American tribes have anything to do with slavery of being the primary cause of the Civil War. This is nothing more than red herring. Besides, almost all ex-confederate states used to be populated by native tribes and they were either forced to move to the West, relocated to small Indian reservations or were simply exterminated by people who occupied the said lands.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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I just don't understand the point. What does eradication of native American tribes have anything to do with slavery of being the primary cause of the Civil War. This is nothing more than red herring. Besides, almost all ex-confederate states used to be populated by native tribes and they were either forced to move to the West, relocated to small Indian reservations or were simply exterminated by people who occupied the said lands.
It's called the red herring fallacy. Something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. A favorite tactic of lost cause acolytes.

Now to actually address the OP. What does it matter if the war was about slavery. When a group of people decide to appeal to their natural right of revolution they are appealing to force of arms or war. Why is this. Because governments, like people, also have a natural right to self-defense. Doesn't matter if the government is a good one, bad one, or somewhere in between. At this point in history no government had sat by and done nothing while a part of that government tried to rebel.

Once a group of people, or a nation, appeal to war to accomplish their goals we, in the western world, then look at the Just War theory on whether that group or government is justified in going to war. Their are two parts to the just war theory; Jus Ad Bellum(the right to go to war) and Jus in Bello (right conduct within the war). I'm going to focus on Jus Ad Bellum in for now.

Let's look at Jus Ad Bellum in regards to whether the southern rebels were right to appeal to force of arms. Jus Ad Bellum is comprised of several factors. I will use these to determine if the southern rebels had a just cause.

1)Proper authority and public declaration-were the southern rebels the proper authority and did they make public declarations. It could be argued they weren't the proper authority, especially in states like Georgia and Tennessese where there was suppression of pro-union factions, but I'm going to give this one to the rebels. They did make public declarations. So point to the rebels.

2)Just cause / right intention- the southern rebels lost a free and fair election(even though republicans were kept off the ballot in the southern states) in a constitutional republic with a robust system of checks and balances. A party they believed would threaten their institution of chattel slavery won the presidency, though they still had enough representatives in congress to block most actions by this party, they decided to rebel. No way to sugar coat this, it is a horrible cause and horrible intention. Point to the United States.

3)Probability of success-or are the war aims achievable. Your not just wasting lives. The rebels chances of winning this war were slim to none. Point to the United States.

4)Proportionality-Did losing an election in a constitutional republic justify grabbing every governmental property in sight, actually imprisoning US soldiers and civilians, and firing on a US Fort. Answer is no. Point to the United States.

5)Last resort-was this the only means that the rebels had to protect their "peculiar institution"? No. They could have stayed in the United States and blocked most actions by the republicans. They could have worked through congress to pass legislation to allow states to secede or they could have seceded then appealed to the supreme court. They had many other options besides resorting to force. Point to the United States.

So under the Jus Ad Bellum theory of war its 4-1 in favor of the US. So the southern rebels fail under this test. Morally they were wrong to appeal to force of arms.
 

Greywolf

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That ignores the fact that rebel actions against Federal installations, including Fort Sumter, had already been taken before Lincoln became President. By Lincoln's inauguration, only two facilities were in U. S. hands: those in Charleston and those in Pensacola.
It is revisionist propaganda to blame Lincoln for what the rebels did both before and after he was President,. The clear fact is that the rebels- not the United States- chose to initiate hostilities
While it is true that the southern states did take action against federal installations, the fact remains that Lincoln needed that match lit to galvanize the northern public. Lincoln provided that match in which the rebels lit. He had been in office since early March, finally deciding to take action against the so called rebellion on April 15th, after Sumter. IMO, it is quite clear two parties are to blame, not just Lincoln, not just the rebels. Again, if not Sumter it would have been somewhere else. The overriding factor that Lincolns goal was preservation of the Union gives us proff it would happen somewhere
 

Greywolf

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Sorry, but it is not very persuasive. Even non slave states were very reluctant to give blacks any right. Why would soon-to-be-Confederate states have gave blacks any right to self-determination at some point 10, 20 or 30 years later? White Southerners genuinely feared Haitian Revolution-style slave rebellions and they felt that their lives were threatened by a large black population. Even then White Southerners weren't dumb and they knew that either killing all blacks or deporting them back to Africa was not a viable option. From their prospective, the only way that White Southerners could control a large population of blacks for their own survival was keeping African American in chattel slavery, permanently. However, agitation over the question of slavery grew stronger because of its morally repugnant nature. Jefferson said "But as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other."

I think that all reconstruction amendments and civil right acts were only possible because the Civil War happened and blacks helped the US to keep the Union together.

So, I have to conclude that the vast majority of Black Southerners would not have received rights from White Southerners without the War of the Rebellion. It would have been "never" unless blacks fought for the US and earned their rights as citizens through the War between the States.
I disagree with the "never". Looking around the western hemisphere, slavery last ended in Cuba and brazil, mid to late 1880s. I see no evidence to support "never". The US was changing, international pressure, domestic pressure, even some internal pressure- as you are aware there were abolitionists in the South. Add to that what an esteemed poster above said-" white Southerners are not a separate people from the rest of white Americans. They spoke the same language, followed the same religion, and had the same ethnic backgrounds as their Northern counterparts". It is illogical to believe that out better Angel's would not have prevailed and it ended similar to the aforementioned.
 

Greywolf

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I just don't understand the point. What does eradication of native American tribes have anything to do with slavery of being the primary cause of the Civil War. This is nothing more than red herring. Besides, almost all ex-confederate states used to be populated by native tribes and they were either forced to move to the West, relocated to small Indian reservations or were simply exterminated by people who occupied the said lands.
I did not bring up the native american subject, other posters above did and I put in my 2 cents.
 
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