Restricted Debate The Case of the South against the North


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jgoodguy

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Show me the commissioners use of the word surrender and I will buy it, otherwise just a nice play on words, of your own opinion
Me wordplay? One can threaten war if x does not happen without the word surrender. I posted "demand surrender or war. " The word surrender in that context does not require the particular word to appear, just the threat of war or do what we say.

Lots of examples in Fort Sumter and Confederate Diplomacy
 

WJC

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The only taxes the Federal Government could collect in the Antebellum era was tariffs.
Although the tariffs were often designed to protect domestic industry, northern states, which had more industry, often benefited more than the largely agricultural southern states.
The revenues from the tariff supported the Federal government; the decision of whether to spend Federal money subsidizing projects was made by Congress, a body that included powerful southern representation.
A review of our history shows few if any times when everyone was satisfied that his/her community, state or region got everything it wanted. More often money and services were distributed by compromise. But that's the nature of representative government.
 

WJC

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they both could have opened a dialog, official or unofficial and maybe saved 700k lives!
Unless both parties enter into negotiations in good faith and are willing to compromise there can be no resolution. Lincoln could not accept the destruction of the Union; the rebels could not accept maintaining the Union.
 

jgoodguy

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Although the tariffs were often designed to protect domestic industry, northern states, which had more industry, often benefited more than the largely agricultural southern states.
The revenues from the tariff supported the Federal government; the decision of whether to spend Federal money subsidizing projects was made by Congress, a body that included powerful southern representation.
A review of our history shows few if any times when everyone was satisfied that his/her community, state or region got everything it wanted. More often money and services were distributed by compromise. But that's the nature of representative government.
Virginia iron industry benefited from protective iron tariffs and the Louisana Sugar plantations benefited from a protective sugar tariff. Had the Southern States invested in manufacturing, they would have also benefited.
 

jgoodguy

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Unless both parties enter into negotiations in good faith and willing to compromise there can be no resolution. Lincoln could not accept the destruction of the Union; the rebels could not accept maintaining the Union.
A near as I can tell, recognition and the surrender of Forts Sumter and Pickens were demanded with the threat of war. The only issue seems to be if Lincoln could consult with Congress or not.
 

jgoodguy

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Unless both parties enter into negotiations in good faith and are willing to compromise there can be no resolution. Lincoln could not accept the destruction of the Union; the rebels could not accept maintaining the Union.
Good summary. Although Lincoln gave the decision of peace or war to Davis.
 

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Virginia iron industry benefited from protective iron tariffs and the Louisana Sugar plantations benefited from a protective sugar tariff. Had the Southern States invested in manufacturing, they would have also benefited.
One thing that gets lost in the regional arguments is the successful trade system that developed in the antebellum: Southern cotton sold to Europe brought in badly needed foreign exchange money which financed Northern industry and expansion of Southern cash crop agriculture; Northern industry provided equipment for Western farmers to produce foodstuffs and for the expansion of the agricultural South; Western farmers provided foodstuffs to the South and North.
In summary, it was a complementary system that benefited all three regions. Like a three-legged stool, removal of any of the three was catastrophic.
The secessionists seem to have believed that if they removed their 'leg', they could still thrive, while the North and West would founder. Instead, their attempt to remove their 'leg' through a long war, destroyed their economy while bringing prosperity to the North and West.
 

jgoodguy

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One thing that gets lost in the regional arguments is the successful trade system that developed in the antebellum: Southern cotton sold to Europe brought in badly needed foreign exchange money which financed Northern industry and expansion of Southern cash crop agriculture; Northern industry provided equipment for Western farmers to produce foodstuffs and for the expansion of the agricultural South; Western farmers provided foodstuffs to the South and North.
In summary, it was a complementary system that benefited all three regions. Like a three-legged stool, removal of any of the three was catastrophic.
The secessionists seem to have believed that if they removed their 'leg', they could still thrive, while the North and West would founder. Instead, their attempt to remove their 'leg' through a long war, destroyed their economy while bringing prosperity to the North and West.
I agree; with the observation that this is hindsight. IMHO only with the fall of Vicksburg was this achieved.
 

Stratagemo

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Although the tariffs were often designed to protect domestic industry, northern states, which had more industry, often benefited more than the largely agricultural southern states.
The revenues from the tariff supported the Federal government; the decision of whether to spend Federal money subsidizing projects was made by Congress, a body that included powerful southern representation.
A review of our history shows few if any times when everyone was satisfied that his/her community, state or region got everything it wanted. More often money and services were distributed by compromise. But that's the nature of representative government.
I think the question of Federal revenues is also an interesting one. For FY 1859 the Federal spending was, as I understand it, about $84 million, of this 46% was spent on defense, which arguably benefited all sections of the country.

Which leaves 54% of the spending for things like postal systems, governing territories, courts, civil servant salaries, etc. To my mind, there's not a lot of money left over for spending on Northern-only infrastructure. I'd love to see some figures from those that support this argument that details Federal spending on Northern-only projects. I've not seen any figures that would suggest that there was systematic preference of one area over another.

I'm not saying that Southerners didn't feel as though they were being marginalized, rather than I suspect this feeling was rather more imagined than real. But I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
 

wbull1

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I rather doubt that Southerners had strong feeling about taxes, tariffs at all. If they did, why was it barely mentioned in the reasons for secession documents? Where are the quotes from Davis, Stephens, and others railing against taxes and tariff? I believe it is a "bait and switch" tactics invented at the very earliest at the end of the war to distract from the main issue - slavery. It is well worth the effort to dissect the arguments in order to see how convoluted and marginal the historical evidence truly is. After that, continuing to try to parse and get into the fine details, in my opinion, further the aim of those making the argument by taking attention away from the primary issue so clearly expressed by the people who actually seceded.
 
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MattL

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Dividing $84,000,000 and $16,000,000 (which are to each other as 84 per cent is to 16 per cent), we have the ratio of per capita tax $23.91 in the South and $3.75 in the North; or, in other words, the Southerner paid nearly six and one-third times as much as the Northerner towards the support of the Federal Government.

No wonder they were fed up with this.
There's a whole lot of data and interpretation in the article to digest, but to quote the surrounding context for a bit more info

----
From statistical tables in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury (pp.322 et seq.) for the year 1858, we learn that the value of the average annual exports of domestic produce for the twelve years ending June 30, 1832, was $54,429,000, of which the South furnished cotton worth $26,130,750, tobacco worth $5,650,000, rice worth $2,019,000, turpentine worth by estimation (pp. 362-4) $2,500,000, breadstuffs and provisions worth (at least half of the exports) $13,025,000, and forest products worth (half of the exports) $3,000,000, besides many other articles, as fish, furs, skins, tallow, butter, horses, mules, cattle, beeswax, soap, etc., etc.9 But adopting the figures about which- there can be no reasonable doubt, we have 84 per cent as the South's contribution.

Assuming, then, that 84 per cent represented the South's share (which is unfair to the South, since a similar calculation for 1821 gives 91 per cent as her share) from 1789 to 1832, let us ascertain the comparative burden of Federal taxes borne by her during that period. We can make the calculation in two ways:

1. Let us suppose that foreign goods were received in exchange for all these exports, the South consuming foreign goods and the North consuming largely its own manufactures. The average population of the Southern States, including Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, for the first five censuses was 3,512,473, and that of the Northern States, including Delaware, was 4,267,075.

Dividing $84,000,000 and $16,000,000 (which are to each other as 84 per cent is to 16 per cent), we have the ratio of per capita tax $23.91 in the South and $3.75 in the North; or, in other words, the Southerner paid nearly six and one-third times as much as the Northerner towards the support of the Federal Government.

2. Let us take into the calculation the foreign articles imported up to 1832, and paid for with the profits of the coastwise monopoly, the "protected" foreign commerce, and the slave-trade. From a table on page 305 of the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1857-8, we learn that the exports of domestic articles up to and including 1832 amounted to $1,817,912,615, that the imports of foreign articles amounted to $3,355,482,058,and that the exports of foreign articles amounted to $955,326,630. The net imports, therefore, were $2,400,155, 428, or $582,242.813 more than the domestic exports.

----

Others have challenged the nature of some of the assumptions with this interpretation, though I'll just point out that this specific set of data seems centered "up to 1832." The South did in fact have serious tariff issues long before 1860 and looking at the tariffs at the times there are countless threads and analysis pointing out there was legitimate reasons for them. The South did in fact make great victories politically in this with the final being the Tariff of 1857 which was the active tariff law during secession, this was highly favorable to the South and again there are plenty of threads pointing out the data that proves this out.

Yes these tariffs were a point of conflict with an influential group of Southerners, that issue had been mostly won by then however. Note the Morrill tariff is irrelevant since it passed after the South mostly seceded and if they had remained would have had enough votes to block it. Secession was the cause of the Morrill tariff passing, not the effect of it.

All of this is why there was a nullification crisis in 1832 by the same trailblazing state of South Carolina, over the tariffs of that time, though even then in the heat of the tariffs of issue and referenced in this citation of this work secession and Civil War never actually happened. The tariff situation of 1860 was dramatically different and is very apparent in the words of secessionists themselves that refer back to previous tariff issues as a previous point of contention, as a historical violation, and a potential issue to be feared, though with the threat to slavery as the primary unifying cause (in South Carolina's own words decades of the assault on slavery by the North) for secession.

No absolutely not. Lincoln had the right to suppress just as the csa had a right to revolutionize. Or they both could have opened a dialog, official or unofficial and maybe saved 700k lives!
There was in fact an official path and option for dialog. It is called the US Constitution and the systems it established including Congress in which the Southern States had fair representation, the President and executive in which they had fair representation in the election. The South deliberately opted out of these official paths for dialog.... they burned their bridged behind them and people now look back.
 

WJC

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In essence, a compromise was impossible, it didn't matter who shot first war was inevitable.
Thanks for your response.
Only so long as the two parties refused to negotiate on the single point of union.
 

Eric Calistri

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I rather doubt that Southerners had strong feeling about taxes, tariffs at all. If they did, why was it barely mentioned in the reasons for secession documents? Where are the quotes from Davis, Stephens, and others railing against taxes and tariff? I believe it is a "bait and switch" tactics invented at the very earliest at the end of the war to distract from the main issue - slavery. Frankly, the argument has so little evidence that taxes/tariffs were an issue at the time of secession, that I believe time spent trying to understand and evaluate the claim achieves the goal of not talking about what really mattered at the time.
Tariffs provided roughly 90% of the Federal revenue 1790-1860. So it was of course a much discussed issue in Congress. The high tariff era had ended decades before the secession winter. In fact, tariff collections for FY 1861 were the lowest burden on importers at anytime between the War of 1812 and WWI.
 

Greywolf

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There's a whole lot of data and interpretation in the article to digest, but to quote the surrounding context for a bit more info

----
From statistical tables in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury (pp.322 et seq.) for the year 1858, we learn that the value of the average annual exports of domestic produce for the twelve years ending June 30, 1832, was $54,429,000, of which the South furnished cotton worth $26,130,750, tobacco worth $5,650,000, rice worth $2,019,000, turpentine worth by estimation (pp. 362-4) $2,500,000, breadstuffs and provisions worth (at least half of the exports) $13,025,000, and forest products worth (half of the exports) $3,000,000, besides many other articles, as fish, furs, skins, tallow, butter, horses, mules, cattle, beeswax, soap, etc., etc.9 But adopting the figures about which- there can be no reasonable doubt, we have 84 per cent as the South's contribution.

Assuming, then, that 84 per cent represented the South's share (which is unfair to the South, since a similar calculation for 1821 gives 91 per cent as her share) from 1789 to 1832, let us ascertain the comparative burden of Federal taxes borne by her during that period. We can make the calculation in two ways:

1. Let us suppose that foreign goods were received in exchange for all these exports, the South consuming foreign goods and the North consuming largely its own manufactures. The average population of the Southern States, including Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, for the first five censuses was 3,512,473, and that of the Northern States, including Delaware, was 4,267,075.

Dividing $84,000,000 and $16,000,000 (which are to each other as 84 per cent is to 16 per cent), we have the ratio of per capita tax $23.91 in the South and $3.75 in the North; or, in other words, the Southerner paid nearly six and one-third times as much as the Northerner towards the support of the Federal Government.

2. Let us take into the calculation the foreign articles imported up to 1832, and paid for with the profits of the coastwise monopoly, the "protected" foreign commerce, and the slave-trade. From a table on page 305 of the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1857-8, we learn that the exports of domestic articles up to and including 1832 amounted to $1,817,912,615, that the imports of foreign articles amounted to $3,355,482,058,and that the exports of foreign articles amounted to $955,326,630. The net imports, therefore, were $2,400,155, 428, or $582,242.813 more than the domestic exports.
----

Others have challenged the nature of some of the assumptions with this interpretation, though I'll just point out that this specific set of data seems centered "up to 1832." The South did in fact have serious tariff issues long before 1860 and looking at the tariffs at the times there are countless threads and analysis pointing out there was legitimate reasons for them. The South did in fact make great victories politically in this with the final being the Tariff of 1857 which was the active tariff law during secession, this was highly favorable to the South and again there are plenty of threads pointing out the data that proves this out.

Yes these tariffs were a point of conflict with an influential group of Southerners, that issue had been mostly won by then however. Note the Morrill tariff is irrelevant since it passed after the South mostly seceded and if they had remained would have had enough votes to block it. Secession was the cause of the Morrill tariff passing, not the effect of it.

All of this is why there was a nullification crisis in 1832 by the same trailblazing state of South Carolina, over the tariffs of that time, though even then in the heat of the tariffs of issue and referenced in this citation of this work secession and Civil War never actually happened. The tariff situation of 1860 was dramatically different and is very apparent in the words of secessionists themselves that refer back to previous tariff issues as a previous point of contention, as a historical violation, and a potential issue to be feared, though with the threat to slavery as the primary unifying cause (in South Carolina's own words decades of the assault on slavery by the North) for secession.



There was in fact an official path and option for dialog. It is called the US Constitution and the systems it established including Congress in which the Southern States had fair representation, the President and executive in which they had fair representation in the election. The South deliberately opted out of these official paths for dialog.... they burned their bridged behind them and people now look back.
Understand your point. Although I see it as "official path" could be done if you are seceding, then again you could always be told "NO". If you are revolting, then "official path" really doesn't mean much. Win and you are out. Regardless, without having to dot every I, cross every t, curve every s, in an "official" way, it sure wouldn't have hurt to have some unofficial dialog and not of the Seward type.

If you look at it in a non-biased way, with an open mind, the CSA believed they had seceded. Obviously they also knew that Lincoln could possibly do something about it if he chose. The back and forth with Seward. Hope one day, despair the next. Positive from Seward, then wishy washy the next day. Gossip about ships gathering, a potential plan in place. More hot/cold from Seward. The way I see it the commissioners were there for a reason, and I don't see it as just having the US "Surrender" as some like to say. IMO them being there and showing a willingness to talk also means they may be willing to compromise, at least some. Lincoln would have none of it, which was his right and decision.

So you get down to near the end of the crisis with rumor's, rejection, then the note to Pickens, and a re-supply on the way. They knew the game was up and winning by the sword was nearly the only option left. I do believe the CSA hoped to secede or leave in peace but were preparing for what would happen with rejection. I wouldn't call that war mongering, I'd call that a smart contingency plan, after all it was all about Independence. An Independence that was short lived by a perfect storm of shot and shell.
 

wbull1

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Tariffs provided roughly 90% of the Federal revenue 1790-1860. So it was of course a much discussed issue in Congress. The high tariff era had ended decades before the secession winter. In fact, tariff collections for FY 1861 were the lowest burden on importers at anytime between the War of 1812 and WWI.
I agree. Tariffs were discussed in Congress. As you show, in many ways the southern states even "won" the discussion. No doubt they irritated some in the south but in the list of grievances that led to secession, they were a minor concern. Tariffs alone, in my opinion would not have led to the war.
 

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