The Real Cause of the War

FedericoFCavada

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The same choice Buchanan faced when the Star of the West was fired upon.

There were four Federal forts that had not been seized by secessionists. The garrison of Robert Anderson occupied Fort Sumter because it was on an island and hence more defensible. Food and rations were in short supply. POTUS 16 Lincoln told the South Carolina secessionists he would supply the fort with food and supplies. The South Carolina secessionists and fire-eaters, led by P.G.T. Beauregard, bombarded the fort--didn't just "fire on"--and obtained surrender because Anderson's command was out of food.

Pro-secessionist public opinion and war fever increased in slave states. In non-slave labor states, war fever increased because of the "insult to the flag" and the arrogance and treason of the secessionists. The war was on. The context of the public mood had changed since the Star of the West incident. "Time waits for no one ..."
 

Rebforever

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There were four Federal forts that had not been seized by secessionists. The garrison of Robert Anderson occupied Fort Sumter because it was on an island and hence more defensible. Food and rations were in short supply. POTUS 16 Lincoln told the South Carolina secessionists he would supply the fort with food and supplies. The South Carolina secessionists and fire-eaters, led by P.G.T. Beauregard, bombarded the fort--didn't just "fire on"--and obtained surrender because Anderson's command was out of food.

Pro-secessionist public opinion and war fever increased in slave states. In non-slave labor states, war fever increased because of the "insult to the flag" and the arrogance and treason of the secessionists. The war was on. The context of the public mood had changed since the Star of the West incident. "Time waits for no one ..."
WOW. Where to start. My hilite above. You left off reinforcements and delivered in warships. This was supposed to be a surprise but was found out by friends in Washington and alerted South Carolina.
 

FedericoFCavada

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On Christmas Day, 1860 Kentucky-born Maj. Anderson moved his command from Fort Moultrie to Sumter, because the former could have only been defended for something like 48-hours on his own, without orders to do so. He wrote: "It was my solemn duty to move my command from a fort which we could not have held longer than forty-eight or sixty hours, to this one, where my power of resistance is increased to a very great degree."

The bulk of stores and supplies had to be left behind.

On 9 Jan. 1861, 200 reinforcements and supplies aboard the Star of the West arrived after four days sailing from New York harbor. The ship was met by rebel fire from the battery on Morris Island. After the rebuff, much prevarication ensued. No one seemed to know what to do. By Feb. USN Cpt. Ward proposed running in shallow-draft steamers on a one way trip, with the ship occupants joining the defending garrison. POTUS 15, James "Aunt Nancy" Buchanan refused because he thought it might provoke an attack on the fort by the rebels.

POTUS 16 Lincoln wrote South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens that he intended to resupply Fort Sumter peacefully, or if necessary, by force.
https://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln4/1:505?rgn=div1;view=fulltext
"I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only; and that, if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the fort."

Baltic and the Revenue cutter Harriet Lane arrived at Charleston harbor by 3am. While waiting for the resupply ships, an ultimatum from P.G.T. Beauregard had been deliberated on by Maj. Anderson:
he agreed to evacuate Sumter by noon on April 15 "should I not receive prior to that time controlling instructions from my Government, or additional supplies." He said he'd withhold fire upon Beauregard's forces during this period, "unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort or the flag of my Government . . . ."

At about the time that the first two ships were at Charleston harbor, by 3:20pm the aides and messengers from Beauregard informed Maj. Anderson that he "will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time."

And so they did. And the Civil War followed.
 

unionblue

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Perhaps you are referring to the Tariff of 1857 passed by the U.S. Congress that reduced rates on imported items from the previous Walker Tariff. However, in early 1861 Congress passed a new protectionist tariff bill which substantially increased the rates on imported items compared to the Tariff of 1857.

In early 1861? When, precisely and why was it passed? Did it have a name? What was "substantial" about the new tariff?
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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The same choice Buchanan faced when the Star of the West was fired upon.
Considering that Buchanan told the South Carolina delegation that; "It is not believed that any attempt will be made to expel the United States from this property by force; but if in this I should prove to be mistaken, the officer in command of the forts has received orders to act strictly on the defensive. In such a contingency, the responsibility for consequences would rightfully rest upon the heads of the assailants.”

Then Lincoln did exactly the same thing that Buchanan would have done if Sumter had been fired on when he was still President.
 

atlantis

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Did Beauregard mess up or not. I would suggest he did by not waiting until the 15th to see how it played out.
 

FedericoFCavada

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atlantis

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FedericoFCavada

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Beauregard probably did. Anyone would do the same thing he did if there was a war Flotilla approaching.

It was a siege. The first aim was to prevent food and supplies from reaching Ft. Sumter, since the Governor of S. Carolina, Pickens, had overseen the seizure of the arsenal and forts of Charleston harbor, and had written POTUS 15 Buchanan on 31 Jan 1861 that he considered Federal troops in Fort Sumter as hostile: "I regard that possession is not consistent with the dignity or safety of the State of South Carolina."

Various hulks and old ships were sunk in channels precisely to prevent a naval flotilla from entering the harbor, e.g. ships like USS Brooklyn, hence the decision to attempt resupply with the "non-provocative" Star of the West. Anderson had 68 NCOs and privates, 8 musicians, forty-three workers, and a half dozen officers in a fort initially designed to house 600 plus men. The fort was ringed by South Carolina militia, including the cadets of the Citadel. In March, POTCoS 1 Jefferson Davis specifically appointed P. G. T. Beauregard to oversee Charleston harbor and the ongoing efforts to force the surrender of Sumter because he was a trained engineer.

The Gustavus Fox relief expedition set out, with the assurance of POTUS 16 Lincoln to Gov. Pickens, which then led the cabinet of Jefferson Davis and the non-recognized CSA government in Montgomery to deliberate on how to conquer the fort before it could be reinforced or relieved. Eventually the decision was made to bombard the fort before the naval, revenue service, and leased private tugs resupplying Fort Pickens in Pensacola and Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor could do so. Secretary of State for the CSA Toombs urged against the course of action, noting presciently "It puts us in the wrong. It is fatal."
 

Potomac Pride

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In early 1861? When, precisely and why was it passed? Did it have a name? What was "substantial" about the new tariff?
The Morrill Tariff Bill was signed into law by President James Buchanan in March 1861. The average tariff rate was increased from about 15% to 37% with increases to 47% within three years. The new law increased tariff rates dramatically on items such as iron, textiles, and other manufactured goods in order to protect domestic industry from foreign competition. This tariff bill was reminiscent of the Tariff of Abominations which led to the nullification crisis in 1832.
 

GwilymT

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Wasn’t the passage of the Morris Tarifff only possible after Senators from seceding states already left? If it’s passage was after the secession of the rebels, it cannot be pointed to as a cause. Had southerners kept faith with American institutions and democratic elections, they could have easily stopped its passage. Seems like a silly sticking point.
 

unionblue

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The Morrill Tariff Bill was signed into law by President James Buchanan in March 1861. The average tariff rate was increased from about 15% to 37% with increases to 47% within three years. The new law increased tariff rates dramatically on items such as iron, textiles, and other manufactured goods in order to protect domestic industry from foreign competition. This tariff bill was reminiscent of the Tariff of Abominations which led to the nullification crisis in 1832.

Lets be sure of the timing of the first passage of the Morrill Tariff compared to the revisions of it after the firing on Ft. Sumter.

The initial passage of the Morrill Tariff Bill, as it was originally presented to Congress, was far different from the later revisions added to help finance a then ongoing civil war.

It's still not a cause or concern for Southern secession.
 

Potomac Pride

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Lets be sure of the timing of the first passage of the Morrill Tariff compared to the revisions of it after the firing on Ft. Sumter.

The initial passage of the Morrill Tariff Bill, as it was originally presented to Congress, was far different from the later revisions added to help finance a then ongoing civil war.

It's still not a cause or concern for Southern secession.
The federal tariff had been a source of controversy between the North and South for decades before the Civil War. This issue is even contained in some of the secession documents of the southern states. Although, it was not as important as the slavery issue.
 

unionblue

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The federal tariff had been a source of controversy between the North and South for decades before the Civil War. This issue is even contained in some of the secession documents of the southern states. Although, it was not as important as the slavery issue.

The Morrill tariff was signed into law before Lincoln took office by a Democratic president. It was passed AFTER the slaveholding South seceded, therefore was not a cause of the war. The Morrill tariff was bottled up in committee by the South before it's passage and more than likely would not have been passed by the Senate had the Southern representatives had stayed and done their job. The issue contains none of the fervor and depth in ANY secession document that slavery does and it is slavery that dominates in those documents.

Not only is the tariff not as important as slavery as an issue for secession, it is feeble and almost non existent.

Type the word "tariff" in this forum's search feature and see how many times this theory has been debated, discussed, and disposed off in they many threads it is brought forth.

The Morrill tariff should not be used as some form of excuse as a political flavoring of the main dish of slavery which was the issue that brought on the war.
 

Potomac Pride

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The Morrill tariff was signed into law before Lincoln took office by a Democratic president. It was passed AFTER the slaveholding South seceded, therefore was not a cause of the war. The Morrill tariff was bottled up in committee by the South before it's passage and more than likely would not have been passed by the Senate had the Southern representatives had stayed and done their job. The issue contains none of the fervor and depth in ANY secession document that slavery does and it is slavery that dominates in those documents.

Not only is the tariff not as important as slavery as an issue for secession, it is feeble and almost non existent.

Type the word "tariff" in this forum's search feature and see how many times this theory has been debated, discussed, and disposed off in they many threads it is brought forth.

The Morrill tariff should not be used as some form of excuse as a political flavoring of the main dish of slavery which was the issue that brought on the war.
Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff caused the war but that it was only a source of controversy.
 

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