The Real Cause of the War

danny

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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Hattiesburg
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.

So was it secession that caused the war?
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Location
South Carolina
Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff caused the war but that it was only a source of controversy.

And as I often like to point out, the South Carolina secession convention did in fact note uneven spending, the tariff and taxation as a long-running source of contention between North and South, with the charge that the North was using taxation to ultimately control the South, making it little more than a tributary to Northern financial interests.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org... we must,a Confederacy of Slaveholding States.


The Revolution of 1776, turned upon one great principle, self-government, –and self-taxation, the criterion of self-government. Where the interests of two people united together under one Government, are different, each must have the power to protect its interests by the organization of the Government, or they cannot be free. The interests of Great Britain and of the Colonies, were different and antagonistic. Great Britain was desirous of carrying out the policy of all nations toward their Colonies, of making them tributary to their wealth and power. She had vast and complicated relations with the whole world. Her policy toward her North American Colonies, was to identify them with her in all these complicated relations; and to make them bear, in common with the rest of the Empire, the full burden of her obligations and necessities. She had a vast public debt; she had a European policy and an Asiatic policy, which had occasioned the accumulation of her public debt, and which kept her in continual wars. The North American Colonies saw their interests, political and commercial, sacrificed by such a policy. Their interests required, that they should not be identified with the burdens and wars of the mother country. They had been settled under Charters, which gave them self-government, at least so far as their property was concerned. They had taxed themselves, and had never been taxed by the Government of Great Britain. To make them a part of a consolidated Empire, the Parliament of Great Britain determined to assume the power of legislating for the Colonies in all cases whatsoever. Our ancestors resisted the pretension. They refused to be a part of the consolidated Government of Great Britain.​
The Southern States, now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States, that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British parliament. “The General Welfare,” is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation, this “General Welfare” requires. Thus, the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern State, are compelled to meet the very despotism, their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.​
The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​
There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern toward the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear toward Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them, were expended among them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure. To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution. Yet this British policy, has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade, is almost annihilated. In 1740, there were five shipyards in South Carolina, to build ships to carry on our direct trade with Europe. Between 1740 and 1779, there were built in these yards twenty-five square rigged vessels, besides a great number of sloops and schooners, to carry on our coast and West India trade. In the half century immediately preceding the Revolution, from 1725 to 1775, the population of South Carolina increased seven-fold.​
No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown. The great object of the Constitution of the United States, in its internal operation, was, doubtless, to secure the great end of the Revolution — –a limited free Government– — a Government limited to those matters only, which were general and common to all portions of the United States. All sectional or local interests were to be left to the States. By no other arrangement, would they obtain free Government, by a Constitution common to so vast a Confederacy. Yet by gradual and steady encroachments on the part of the people of the North, and acquiescence on the part of the South, the limitations in the Constitution have been swept away; and the Government of the United States has become consolidated, with a claim of limitless powers in its operations.​
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
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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.
Thanks for your comments but I never said the tariff caused the war but that it was only a source of controversy.

Then you should be more clear when you bring up the Morrill tariff in your posts.

Your first above post creates an impression while your second above is much more clear.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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And as I often like to point out, the South Carolina secession convention did in fact note uneven spending, the tariff and taxation as a long-running source of contention between North and South, with the charge that the North was using taxation to ultimately control the South, making it little more than a tributary to Northern financial interests.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org... we must,a Confederacy of Slaveholding States.


The Revolution of 1776, turned upon one great principle, self-government, –and self-taxation, the criterion of self-government. Where the interests of two people united together under one Government, are different, each must have the power to protect its interests by the organization of the Government, or they cannot be free. The interests of Great Britain and of the Colonies, were different and antagonistic. Great Britain was desirous of carrying out the policy of all nations toward their Colonies, of making them tributary to their wealth and power. She had vast and complicated relations with the whole world. Her policy toward her North American Colonies, was to identify them with her in all these complicated relations; and to make them bear, in common with the rest of the Empire, the full burden of her obligations and necessities. She had a vast public debt; she had a European policy and an Asiatic policy, which had occasioned the accumulation of her public debt, and which kept her in continual wars. The North American Colonies saw their interests, political and commercial, sacrificed by such a policy. Their interests required, that they should not be identified with the burdens and wars of the mother country. They had been settled under Charters, which gave them self-government, at least so far as their property was concerned. They had taxed themselves, and had never been taxed by the Government of Great Britain. To make them a part of a consolidated Empire, the Parliament of Great Britain determined to assume the power of legislating for the Colonies in all cases whatsoever. Our ancestors resisted the pretension. They refused to be a part of the consolidated Government of Great Britain.​
The Southern States, now stand exactly in the same position towards the Northern States, that the Colonies did towards Great Britain. The Northern States, having the majority in Congress, claim the same power of omnipotence in legislation as the British parliament. “The General Welfare,” is the only limit to the legislation of either; and the majority in Congress, as in the British parliament, are the sole judges of the expediency of the legislation, this “General Welfare” requires. Thus, the Government of the United States has become a consolidated Government; and the people of the Southern State, are compelled to meet the very despotism, their fathers threw off in the Revolution of 1776.​
The consolidation of the Government of Great Britain over the Colonies, was attempted to be carried out by the taxes. The British parliament undertook to tax the Colonies, to promote British interests. Our father, resisted this pretension. They claimed the right of self-taxation through their Colonial Legislatures. They were not represented in the British Parliament, and therefore could not rightfully be taxed by its Legislature. The British Government, however, offered them a representation in parliament; but it was not sufficient to enable them to protect themselves from the majority, and they refused the offer. Between taxation without any representation, and taxation without a representation adequate to protection, there was no difference. In neither case would the Colonies tax themselves. Hence, they refused to pay the taxes laid by the British parliament.​
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue–to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.​
There is another evil, in the condition of the Southern toward the Northern States, which our ancestors refused to bear toward Great Britain. Our ancestors not only taxed themselves, but all the taxes collected from them, were expended among them. Had they submitted to the pretensions of the British Government, the taxes collected from them, would have been expended in other parts of the British Empire. They were fully aware of the effect of such a policy in impoverishing the people from whom taxes are collected, and in enriching those who receive the benefit of their expenditure. To prevent the evils of such a policy, was one of the motives which drove them on to Revolution. Yet this British policy, has been fully realized towards the Southern States, by the Northern States. The people of the Southern States are not only taxed for the benefit of the Northern States, but after the taxes are collected, three-fourths of them are expended at the North. This cause, with others, connected with the operation of the General Government, has made the cities of the South provincial. Their growth is paralyzed; they are mere suburbs of Northern cities. The agricultural productions of the South are the basis of the foreign commerce of the United States; yet Southern cities do not carry it on. Our foreign trade, is almost annihilated. In 1740, there were five shipyards in South Carolina, to build ships to carry on our direct trade with Europe. Between 1740 and 1779, there were built in these yards twenty-five square rigged vessels, besides a great number of sloops and schooners, to carry on our coast and West India trade. In the half century immediately preceding the Revolution, from 1725 to 1775, the population of South Carolina increased seven-fold.​
No man can for a moment believe, that our ancestors intended to establish over their posterity, exactly the same sort of Government they had overthrown. The great object of the Constitution of the United States, in its internal operation, was, doubtless, to secure the great end of the Revolution — –a limited free Government– — a Government limited to those matters only, which were general and common to all portions of the United States. All sectional or local interests were to be left to the States. By no other arrangement, would they obtain free Government, by a Constitution common to so vast a Confederacy. Yet by gradual and steady encroachments on the part of the people of the North, and acquiescence on the part of the South, the limitations in the Constitution have been swept away; and the Government of the United States has become consolidated, with a claim of limitless powers in its operations.​

It was slavery according to the debate during their secession convention, not the tariff.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
The cause of the war is that several states declared themselves independent (for the purpose of protecting slavery) then fired on a federal fort. That’s what caused the war and it is no mystery. A group of states declared independence, the rest of the states said “you can’t do that unilaterally” ... before it could be sorted out peacefully the rebelling states fired. It’s quite simple actually.

We can discuss why these rebelling states decided to declare independence or if they were justified in that declaration until we are blue in the face. Luckily, they told us why and though there are those who would dance around the reasons, the fact and their unequivocal statements remain.

However, the war began because a cabal in a group of states said that the constitution was null and void and they were no longer bound to the constitution. (There is an ironic silliness in those who attempt to paint secessionist actions as constitutional when the secessionists themselves clearly were saying that the constitution no longer applied to them. It’s laughable really.) The other states said, “yes you are bound to the constitution and you have no right to destroy it”. The rebelling group proceeded to take federal (belonging to all of the states) property at gun point. They then fired on a federal installation (talk about a riot! LOL)... a law and order president then took action. And the war came. At long last the well organized rioters were put down and peace, law and order, came again to the land.
 
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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
And your answer prompted another question, hence my attempt to understand why it was mentioned at all in a thread entitled "The Real Cause of the War."
The original post in this thread was about the federal tariff system which is why I mentioned the tariff. Although, I stated in this thread several times that while the tariff was a source of controversy, it was not as significant as the issue of slavery.
One of the two documents, correct?

Then why is the tariff not mentioned in one because it was the issue of slavery the people came to secession on?
South Carolina issued two secession documents during their convention. The first document dealt with only the recent grievances against the North most of which were related to the issue of slavery. The second document was an extended essay that presented a history of the various conflicting sectional issues that demonstrated Northern deceitfulness against the South.
 

unionblue

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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The original post in this thread was about the federal tariff system which is why I mentioned the tariff. Although, I stated in this thread several times that while the tariff was a source of controversy, it was not as significant as the issue of slavery.

South Carolina issued two secession documents during their convention. The first document dealt with only the recent grievances against the North most of which were related to the issue of slavery. The second document was an extended essay that presented a history of the various conflicting sectional issues that demonstrated Northern deceitfulness against the South.

Who was the second document directed at?
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
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Location
South Carolina
Both documents are important.

From "The Journal of the Convention of the people of South Carolina, held in 1860, 1861 and 1862"
South Carolina.
Columbia, S.C., R. W. Gibbes, printer to the Convention, 1862.


Mr. Miles, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, made tlie following report, wtiich was considered immediately, and was agreed to:​
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom were referred certain resolutions, directing the Governor to make known to Foreign Powers the separation of South Carolina from the Confederacy of the United States of America, beg leave to report : That they have considered the same, and recommend their adoption, with the following amendment to the first resolution : After the words " United States of America," insert the following: "and of the two Addresses setting forth the causes of the withdrawal of South Carolina from the Confederacy of the United States." - p. 171​
 
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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
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Location
Georgia
Who was the second document directed at?
The document was directed at the North and their attempt to dominate the South through various policies. The right of the South for self-government was also discussed. Please see the post above which contains the document.

Nope, it was slavery.
I think the act of secession might have had something to do with the cause of the war. In 1861, the North launched a military campaign against the South to preserve the Union as a result of the southern secession. They did not take take up arms against the South to interfere with the practice of slavery.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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The document was directed at the North and their attempt to dominate the South through various policies. The right of the South for self-government was also discussed. Please see the post above which contains the document.

I think it was also directed to Southern States on the fence on secession and foreign onlookers.

I think the act of secession might have had something to do with the cause of the war. In 1861, the North launched a military campaign against the South to preserve the Union as a result of the southern secession. They did not take take up arms against the South to interfere with the practice of slavery.

I agree with your second paragraph.
 

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