Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by 19thGeorgia, Apr 13, 2017.
Fleet? Lincoln sent a fleet?
"The North" did not choose war. Jefferson Davis chose war.
Lincoln, the Republicans, and the Northern Democrats, all made it clear, if the South separates they were going to fight to preserve the US. There was no illusion that pressing the issue of containment of slavery was going to lead to secession.
The administration was going to force a show down, in Charleston harbor or somewhere else.
They could have just let it happen, without fighting.
The South deliberately chose separation as early as the summer of 1860 and Lincoln and the northern Democrats did what they had promised, they fought rather than let the Union dissolve into pieces.
I find it strange you liked a rude poster. If I allow him, then I have to allow others.
I considered Virginia's secession on the blog.
Here are some excerpts of my thoughts and research:
What did they mean by "coercion?"
” ‘Coercion,’ to the moderates, meant the use of force for collecting the revenue, enforcing Federal laws, and retaining or repossessing the forts wherever the state as a political organization offered resistance. Whether these representatives believed in the right of secession or not, they believed that ‘coercion’ would bring about the subjugation of a state, and not only change the nature of the Union but destroy the South’s social and economic system. Furthermore, it would provoke a conflict in which Virginia would be forced to stand with the North or the South. Realizing this fact, some rabid secessionists asked the Southern Confederacy to precipitate matters in order to force the issue.” [Henry T. Shanks, The Secession Movement in Virginia, 1847-1861, p. 191] “Coercion,” then, was anything the government did outside standing aside and letting states do what they wanted to do, whether it was legal or not. Any attempt of the government to stand up for itself or to enforce the laws of the United States would be labeled as “coercion.”
In the second vote on secession, 33 delegates changed their vote from against secession to for secession.
As Professor Robertson describes it, “February 4 was a cold, overcast Monday. Snow was falling over most of the state. Some 145,700 voters trudged to the polls. How they voted made it clear that party organizations and political platforms meant nothing. Voters gave more attention to individuals and personalities–in part because many people were themselves undecided on the issues and preferred entrusting settlement to their representatives. Further, Virginia citizens felt all along that the final say would be theirs to make in a popular referendum. The election of delegates showed no mandate for secession. Less than 20 percent of those elected were avowed secessionists. Unionists were delighted and momentarily optimistic. However, the term ‘unionist’ had an altogether different meaning in Virginia at the time. Richmond delegates Marmaduke Johnson and William McFarland were both outspoken conservatives. Yet in their respective campaigns, each declared that he was in favor of separation from the Union if the federal government did not guarantee protection of slavery everywhere. Moreover, the threat of the federal government’s using coercion [see the meaning of coercion above] became an overriding factor in the debates that followed.” [James I. Robertson Jr., “The Virginia State Convention of 1861,” in William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr., eds., Virginia at War 1861, pp. 3-4]
As Professor Robertson showed in the quotation above, Marmaduke Johnson and William McFarland, both moderates who changed their vote from “No” to “Yes” on secession, made it clear that if the Federal government didn’t guarantee protection of slavery everywhere, they would vote for secession.
Thomas Flournoy of Halifax County, a county with 56.17% of its population enslaved, was another moderate who changed his vote to “Yes.” On March 30 he gave a speech in which he opposed secession, saying, “If the North … shall accept … [our] amendments to the Constitution … that vote … will … be the final and everlasting overthrow of this fanatical Black Republican party. … The very arguments we have been using in the South, … that slavery is right, morally, socially, and politically, will have to be used by the men of the North, … [when] urging upon their people the .. amendments … demanded by the people of Virginia. [Then] … the Northern people … will also … [conclude] that slavery is right.” [Ibid., pp. 94-95] In the same speech he said, “But, as I remarked, if it awakes them not and they refuse to listen to the voice of reason and the demands of justice, we … will then shake hands with and part from them, if possible, in peace. … Virginia would thus be placed in an impregnable position, where no finger of scorn, reproach or contempt could be pointed at her. … And when she shall go out, if go she must, having made this last noble struggle to save the country, the free States of the border will unite with the South. … The interest of all the American people will be concentrated in this great republic, while the fanatical States of New England will be left to themselves, to suffer the … dreadful recoil of fanaticism.” [Ibid., p. 100] Flournoy, then, also appears to be motivated by protection of slavery.
Intimidation also played a role. “In mid-March, delegate Marshall M. Dent (Morgantown) wrote his local newspaper: ‘Your readers cannot imagine the state of things here from the reports of the Convention in the newspapers. Every means is used to intimidate the [unionist] members of this Convention. Meetings are held nightly. Bands are hired who parade the streets followed by a motley crew of free negroes, boys and mad cops, who go around to the different hotels calling upon the well known Secessionists for speeches … and every Union man is denounced as an abolitionist! The members from the Northwest are compelled to daily hear citizens of Richmond … point them out with the remark that ‘there is where the abolitionists sit.’ ‘ [James I. Robertson Jr., “The Virginia State Convention of 1861,” in William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr., eds., Virginia at War 1861, p. 13] As Freehling and Simpson write, “A so-called Spontaneous People’s Convention furthered secessionist convention delegates’ determination to act without delay. This hardly spontaneous assemblage met in another Richmond hall, except when its members spilled onto the streets to stage fiery demonstrations. The conclave of mainly younger Virginia hotheads had gathered to force older Virginia Unionists’ reluctant hands. In and out of the alternate assembly hall, revolutionaries boiled with threats to kidnap the (Unionist) governor, expel Unionist convention delegates from Richmond, seize federal military installations in Virginia, and provoke an extralegal revolution. This illegal movement threatened secessionists’ legitimacy. a nonofficeholders’ rebellion also threatened Virginia’s political class, the seasoned pros who had long governed from above with the voters’ approval. One of the most seasoned professionals at the convention–and among the most exasperated secessionists–now deployed rebellious extremists to bypass constitutional stop signs. On April 16 former governor Henry Wise organized a preemptive strike of extralegal militia units, seeking to seize the federal government’s Harpers Ferry Arsenal on the Potomac River and its Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk. Wise worried that, otherwise, the federal government would remove the choice armaments in these installations, so useful to sustain a revolution. He also feared that without decisive action the indecisive Virginia convention would never, ‘for God’s sake, quit talking.’ On April 17, in a dramatic convention scene shortly after the narrow defeat of Robert Scott’s alternative to secession, Wise intimated that his recruits at this moment marched toward civil war against federal troops. … Immediately after Wise’s April 17 announcement, the convention’s approval of Preston’s secession ordinance drew some sting out of the question.” [William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, eds., Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, pp. xv-xvi]
And then, there were those who, like the moderate delegate Timothy Rives, representing Prince George County and Surry County, together having 51.65% of their population enslaved, who, when he changed his vote and voted for secession on April 17, didn’t identify slavery or coercion as the reason for voting, but instead identified the fact that revolution had broken the Union already.
While "coercion" can't be ignored, we have to understand what the word meant to the delegates. Enforcing the law was "coercion." It reminds me of the criminal being hauled off to jail yelling, "Police brutality!"
Anything the Federal government did to enforce the law in the seceded states was to be labeled “coercion.” We can’t be sure how many moderates changed their vote solely because they opposed “coercion,” but we have to recognize it as a factor, though it’s clear that it was a minority factor in Virginia’s secession. But why was it a factor? Was it solely a states rights issue? Historians William Freehling and Craig Simpson analyzed the convention and found, “Except for northwestern Virginians, the state’s Unionists usually assumed that if war erupted between the Union and the Confederacy, Virginia’s would-be peacemakers must become rebel riflemen. War, as usual, would force those on the fence to decide only one question: whom they most wished to kill. Most Virginians preferred to slay insulting Yankee coercers rather than erring Southern brothers. And even if Lincoln could not threaten slavery in a peaceful Union, slaveholders’ defeat in a civil war might savage the institution. The issue of black slaves aside, most white Virginians cherished a crucial supposed state’s right: the right of the people of a state to withdraw their consent to be governed. If the federal government coercively sought to force citizens of a seceded state to be governed without their consent, the first principle of republicanism would be annihilated. Seceding citizens would confront the first principle of enslavement: coercion without consent.” [William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, eds., Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, pp. xiv-xv] So for most moderates there was a dual purpose–the protection of slavery and the states right principle of secession.
Yes President Davis attacked the United States without cause and started the war.
I agree completely that the causes of secession have no bearing on the causes of the war because secession and the war were two separate, different events. Secession did not have to lead to war. The seven-state Confederacy sent a peace delegation to Washington in the hope of establishing diplomatic relations and close trade relations with the U.S., and they were prepared to offer compensation for the federal installations in the CSA and payment of the Confederate states' share of the national debt.
If you want to know what each side fought for, look at what they demanded as a requirement for peace. Lincoln demanded a renunciation of Southern independence/reunification of the Union. The Confederacy demanded . . . to be left alone. The Confederacy said, "If you don't send military forces into our country without our permission, there will be no war." And after the federal invasion triggered battles with casualties, Lincoln's condition remained the same, and the Confederacy's condition became the withdrawal of federal armies from the South.
and a battle without casualties is what 'come on abe, you know beauregard, he just wanted to play'?
What a sad, sorry, and immoral excuse for an invasion: a bloodless attack that Lincoln provoked while at the same he knew the CSA had sent a peace delegation to establish peaceful relations and close trade relations. Even the British did not stoop so low as to use such a flimsy excuse for invasion. And if George Washington has been equally trigger happy for war, he would have sent forces to the border forts that the British were still occupying, in violation of the Treaty of Paris, and started another war if the British resisted.
Mike, are you referring to the Peace Convention, or a separate delegation?
Oops, please disregard. Late in the day and I was mixing up the Peace Convention folks with Davis' commissioners. Sorry!
Ya know, Mike, your biggest problem is that reading thingy. If people continue to read actual historical fact, no one is going to buy what your selling, because it ain't history.
Sad, sorry and immoral are excellent descriptors for the excuses laid out on behalf of the Confederacy since Appomattox.
And we call this an armed attack on a Federal installation, something that is not now nor has ever been condoned. Regardless of the efforts of any supposed "peace delegation", they were attempting to portray themselves as representatives of a separate nation, which they were not. Their compatriots were planning on interfering with the legal transfer of supplies to a Federal fort.
As this has become a thread about secession and politics, it is moved to Secession and Politics.
IF, maybe, perhaps, etc.
That reading thingy is real tough to get around, ain't it, Mike?
He shot first is justifiable homicide defense in every jurisdiction in the US except perhaps in your posts.
Should be moved to the Alternate Universe/Science Fiction/Fantasy forum.
That be campfire chat.
But I kinda like the AUSFF option.
I like the acronym.
We have the what if forum, but posts there need some semblance of factual dialog.
Separate names with a comma.