Two Reasons for Secession from the Union

Andersonh1

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It hasn't been documented, it's been asserted.

Frankly, I don't believe it. I've seen modern historians assert that the tariff controversy in 1832 was "really about slavery", which is utter nonsense, but as I noted earlier, too many modern historians are fixated on slavery as the sole cause of the war to the point that they try to explain away or dismiss everything else. I suspect the idea that the tariff, or to be more precise, unequal taxation and spending within the Union, was "disinformation" is another of those attempts to explain away a non-slavery factor in the war.
 
Well, if the tariff had not been significant to a certain degree, then it would probably not have been included in any of the secession documents.

Four states (South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas) that seceded issued "Declaration of Causes" with South Carolina supposedly the most aggrieved in regards to the tariff. Please show us how many times the word "tariff", "money" or "monies", or "tax" appears in any of those State's declarations.
Edit: removed Virginia
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It hasn't been documented, it's been asserted.

Frankly, I don't believe it. I've seen modern historians assert that the tariff controversy in 1832 was "really about slavery", which is utter nonsense, but as I noted earlier, too many modern historians are fixated on slavery as the sole cause of the war to the point that they try to explain away or dismiss everything else. I suspect the idea that the tariff, or to be more precise, unequal taxation and spending within the Union, was "disinformation" is another of those attempts to explain away a non-slavery factor in the war.
So, Calhoun lied when he said the true issue was slavery?
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Four states (South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia) that seceded issued "Declaration of Causes" with South Carolina supposedly the most aggrieved in regards to the tariff. Please show us many times the word "tariff", "money" or "monies", or "tax" appears in any of those State's declarations.
Those are actually five states that you mentioned. Virginia did not issue a Declaration of Causes but only an Ordinance of Secession. However, both South Carolina and Georgia mentioned tariffs in their secession documents. South Carolina discussed the tariff issue in their "Address to the Slaveholding States" .
 
Those are actually five states that you mentioned. Virginia did not issue a Declaration of Causes but only an Ordinance of Secession. However, both South Carolina and Georgia mentioned tariffs in their secession documents. South Carolina discussed the tariff issue in their "Address to the Slaveholding States" .
Don't know why I included Virginia bur regardless, the four states that issued their Declarations of causes for secession did so as their official notice to the United States government that they were seceding and the reasons why. If tariffs were an important issue -- important enough when combined with another issue or two to cause the state to leave the Union -- common sense dictates that the mention of it would appear in each of the four state's documents and at the very minimum, in South Carolina's document but there is absolutely no mention of it at all.
Edit: Removed Virginia from post #242
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
It hasn't been documented, it's been asserted.

Frankly, I don't believe it. I've seen modern historians assert that the tariff controversy in 1832 was "really about slavery", which is utter nonsense, but as I noted earlier, too many modern historians are fixated on slavery as the sole cause of the war to the point that they try to explain away or dismiss everything else. I suspect the idea that the tariff, or to be more precise, unequal taxation and spending within the Union, was "disinformation" is another of those attempts to explain away a non-slavery factor in the war.
At this point, frankly, the sound of one hand clapping is the only way to describe this exchange. Nothing I have written is my opinion or in any way diverges from the documented record. You are welcome to all the suspicions, dismissing the historic record as "explaining away" & all the rest you want. All I have to say is that the documented record is what it is & what you have seen or I have seen is of no consequence.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Location
South Carolina
At this point, frankly, the sound of one hand clapping is the only way to describe this exchange. Nothing I have written is my opinion or in any way diverges from the documented record. You are welcome to all the suspicions, dismissing the historic record as "explaining away" & all the rest you want. All I have to say is that the documented record is what it is & what you have seen or I have seen is of no consequence.

How about providing some examples of that documentation? I know you suggested a book, Apostles of Disunion, but I'm in the middle of reading several others and already have a stack of "to read" ten books high, so I won't be getting to that one any time soon. Some examples posted here underlining how this was all disinformation would be helpful.

One thing to always keep in mind is something a former site member once pointed out to me: when you post, it's not just the person you're replying to that sees the answer, it's everyone else who lurks in the thread and may or may not ever contribute to the conversation. Many of those are not looking for a reading assignment, they're interested in seeing the answers right here. And if the case is that cut and dried, it should be simple to support it. Even if you don't convince me, you may convince someone else, so quoting our sources is often a good use of our time.
 

Rhea Cole

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Joined
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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
How about providing some examples of that documentation? I know you suggested a book, Apostles of Disunion, but I'm in the middle of reading several others and already have a stack of "to read" ten books high, so I won't be getting to that one any time soon. Some examples posted here underlining how this was all disinformation would be helpful.

One thing to always keep in mind is something a former site member once pointed out to me: when you post, it's not just the person you're replying to that sees the answer, it's everyone else who lurks in the thread and may or may not ever contribute to the conversation. Many of those are not looking for a reading assignment, they're interested in seeing the answers right here. And if the case is that cut and dried, it should be simple to support it. Even if you don't convince me, you may convince someone else, so quoting our sources is often a good use of our time.
I am not inclined to play the show me the CWT documentation game. Everything I have written can be found in most any history of the run-up to the war. It has been exhaustively researched. Frankly, I haven't had much luck on CWT with showing my sources. The replies indicate that those that demand references never actually read them. They just mock the author ( ad homonym fallacy) or come up with an absurd straw man fallacious argument in reply. However, I have respect for you, so will post some links.

Here is one I have had in my folder for quite some time, 2015. <imperialglobalexeter.com> Debunking the Civil War Tariff Myth. You will recognize some of my references. What I really like about this site is that you can go straight to dozens of links in the footnotes. Any doubts you have about the tariffs being part of a smokescreen will be put to rest.
 
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Andersonh1

Brigadier General
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Location
South Carolina
Thanks, I'm reading through the article now. I have to disagree with some of the assertions the author makes about those who believe that the tariff figured into the equation. The case he makes is not universally applicable.

https://imperialglobalexeter.com/2015/03/02/debunking-the-civil-war-tariff-myth/
In trying to make their case but lacking adequate evidence for the 1860-61 period, “Lost Cause” advocates instead commonly hark back to the previously important role that another protective tariff had played in the 1832 Nullification Crisis. They then (mistakenly) assume the political scenario to have been the same three decades later – that southern secession from 1860-61 was but a replay of the divisive tariff politics of some thirty years before.​
I can't speak for everyone of course, but my assumption is not that the situation in 1861 was the same as 1832. My belief is that the tariff and protectionism and spending were long-standing issues that had been a point of contention for decades, and that it was not just the situation in 1860 that prompted secession. Events and grievances built over the decades until the Southern States had just had enough. The 1832 tariff contention was a link in the chain of events, certainly.

From this faulty leap of logic, the argument then follows that the Republican Party’s legislative efforts on behalf of the Morrill Tariff from 1860 until its March 1861 passage became the primary reason for southern secession​

I don't think the tariff was the primary cause of secession.

I'll check out some of the linked sources, thanks.

 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
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Location
Georgia
The point is that the tariff issue was disinformation form the very start & was put into the documents for that purpose. As has been documented in this thread, the whole point of the tariff uproar was to obscure & distract, that is why the tariff issue was in the succession documents. It is also why it is either ignored or only given a pro-forma sentence or two in most of the secession declarations.
The tariff issue before the Civil War was not "disinformation" as you have stated. The southern states had valid complaints in regard to the federal tariff system. The use of tariffs to protect domestic industries from foreign competition had been an important issue since tariffs were first adopted in the USA. Most of the manufacturing sector of the economy existed in the northern states. Unfortunately, southern states had suffered an undue hardship since tariffs protected northern manufacturing at the expense of the southern states. The South exported agricultural commodities and imported almost all the goods it consumed, either from abroad or from Northern states. In many cases, the southern states could import manufactured goods from abroad more cheaply. Tariffs drastically raised the cost of goods in the Southern states, while most of the tariff revenue was spent in the North.

Before the Civil War began, there were certain publications in the northern states that even admitted that the tariff was a method used to exploit the South to the benefit of the North. Thomas P. Kettell was a political economist and author from Boston who in 1856 wrote Southern Wealth and Northern Profits. This book was about the economies of the Northern and Southern states that presented the economic inequality resulting from the concentration of manufacturing, banking, and shipping in the North. In his book, he discussed the tariff system and stated "From the earliest period of the government, the federal revenues have been derived from duties on goods imported. The duties have not been levied with a single view to revenue, but have been adjusted as to afford the largest protection to Northern manufacturers. In other words, to tax consumers of goods West and South for the support of eastern manufacturers. The amount of customs so collected in the past 70 years reaches 1100 millions of dollars, a large portion of which was disbursed at the North. This sum has been paid mostly by the South and West into the federal treasury, on goods imported.” Source: Southern Wealth & Northern Profits, pages 126-127, published 1856 by Thomas P. Kettell.

Furthermore, the Chicago Daily Times in an article on Dec. 10, 1860 admitted that the tariff was a financial burden to the southern states that was used to the advantage of the North. The article stated "The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year, she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole....... we have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty percent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually."
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
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Location
South Carolina
Before the Civil War began, there were certain publications in the northern states that even admitted that the tariff was a method used to exploit the South to the benefit of the North. Thomas P. Kettell was a political economist and author from Boston who in 1856 wrote Southern Wealth and Northern Profits. This book was about the economies of the Northern and Southern states that presented the economic inequality resulting from the concentration of manufacturing, banking, and shipping in the North. In his book, he discussed the tariff system and stated "From the earliest period of the government, the federal revenues have been derived from duties on goods imported. The duties have not been levied with a single view to revenue, but have been adjusted as to afford the largest protection to Northern manufacturers. In other words, to tax consumers of goods West and South for the support of eastern manufacturers. The amount of customs so collected in the past 70 years reaches 1100 millions of dollars, a large portion of which was disbursed at the North. This sum has been paid mostly by the South and West into the federal treasury, on goods imported.” Source: Southern Wealth & Northern Profits, pages 126-127, published 1856 by Thomas P. Kettell.

Furthermore, the Chicago Daily Times in an article on Dec. 10, 1860 admitted that the tariff was a financial burden to the southern states that was used to the advantage of the North. The article stated "The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year, she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole....... we have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty percent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually."

Yet another reason why I do not believe the tariff was a "southern disinformation campaign". Some northern writers also discussed the inequity in taxation and spending, and these are fine examples.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It hasn't been documented, it's been asserted.

Frankly, I don't believe it. I've seen modern historians assert that the tariff controversy in 1832 was "really about slavery", which is utter nonsense, but as I noted earlier, too many modern historians are fixated on slavery as the sole cause of the war to the point that they try to explain away or dismiss everything else. I suspect the idea that the tariff, or to be more precise, unequal taxation and spending within the Union, was "disinformation" is another of those attempts to explain away a non-slavery factor in the war.
So, Calhoun lied when he said the true issue was slavery?
 

Andersonh1

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South Carolina
You got that right.

The point that Calhoun was making was that if the federal government could use the threat of force to make the Southern States abide by a tax policy they saw as fundamentally against their interests, that all of their interests were therefore under threat if the rest of the Union was against any of them, including slavery. The tariff complaints and problems were very real, with the conflict over the tariff making it clear that there were wider implications if the reserved rights of the States could not protect them from a majority in the Union.

https://books.google.com/books?id=I...n calhoun letter to virgil maxcy 1830&f=false
My friends out of the state, seem to think, at least many of them, that another duty is imposed on me, to step forward in order to arrest the current of events. They appear to take it for granted, that is is in my power. In this they make a great mistake. In my opinion there is but one man in this Union, who can quiet the state; - I mean the President of the United States. If he were to come out decidedly in his message to Congress, recognizing the justice of the complaints of the South, and throwing his weight without equivocation on the side of equalizing the burdens and benefits of the Union, the state would undoubtedly pause, in the hope of redress by the general government; but for me, who have so little control over its movements, to attempt to stay the present current, were I so inclined, would, under my impression, be almost an act of madness...​
If I really believed that civil discord, revolution, or disunion would follow from the measures contemplated, I would not hestitate, devoted to our system of government as I am, to throw myself in the current with the view to arrest it at every hazard; but believing that the state, while she is struggling to preserve her reserved powers, is acting with devoted loyalty to the Union, no earthly consideration would induce me to do an act, or utter a sentiment, which would cast an imputation on her motives...​
I consider the tariff but as the occasion, rather than the real cause of the present unhappy state of things. The truth can no longer be disguised, that the peculiar domestick institution of the Southern states, and the consequent direction, which that and her soil and climate have given to her industry, has placed them in regard to taxation and appropriation in opposite relation to the majority of the Union; against the danger of which, if there be no protective power in the reserved rights of the states, they must in the end be forced to rebel, or submit to have their permanent interests sacrificed, their domestick institutions subverted by colonization and other schemes and themselves and children reduced to wretchedness.​
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The point that Calhoun was making was that if the federal government could use the threat of force to make the Southern States abide by a tax policy they saw as fundamentally against their interests, that all of their interests were therefore under threat if the rest of the Union was against any of them, including slavery. The tariff complaints and problems were very real, with the conflict over the tariff making it clear that there were wider implications if the reserved rights of the States could not protect them from a majority in the Union.

https://books.google.com/books?id=I...n calhoun letter to virgil maxcy 1830&f=false
My friends out of the state, seem to think, at least many of them, that another duty is imposed on me, to step forward in order to arrest the current of events. They appear to take it for granted, that is is in my power. In this they make a great mistake. In my opinion there is but one man in this Union, who can quiet the state; - I mean the President of the United States. If he were to come out decidedly in his message to Congress, recognizing the justice of the complaints of the South, and throwing his weight without equivocation on the side of equalizing the burdens and benefits of the Union, the state would undoubtedly pause, in the hope of redress by the general government; but for me, who have so little control over its movements, to attempt to stay the present current, were I so inclined, would, under my impression, be almost an act of madness...​
If I really believed that civil discord, revolution, or disunion would follow from the measures contemplated, I would not hestitate, devoted to our system of government as I am, to throw myself in the current with the view to arrest it at every hazard; but believing that the state, while she is struggling to preserve her reserved powers, is acting with devoted loyalty to the Union, no earthly consideration would induce me to do an act, or utter a sentiment, which would cast an imputation on her motives...​
I consider the tariff but as the occasion, rather than the real cause of the present unhappy state of things. The truth can no longer be disguised, that the peculiar domestick institution of the Southern states, and the consequent direction, which that and her soil and climate have given to her industry, has placed them in regard to taxation and appropriation in opposite relation to the majority of the Union; against the danger of which, if there be no protective power in the reserved rights of the states, they must in the end be forced to rebel, or submit to have their permanent interests sacrificed, their domestick institutions subverted by colonization and other schemes and themselves and children reduced to wretchedness.​
I assume this means you have become a defender of nullification, or do I not get the purpose of this correctly. Calhoun & all the rest of the hot heads have the blood of 3/4 of a million men on their hands. What they said is exemplified by the statement you have posted. This wasn’t just some debating ploy, it was a call to arms clearly understood by my ancestors for what it was. Not a one of them was witless enough to believe that piddling tariffs were anything but a smokescreen to hide the true intent of Calhoun’s words. Imagine how different things might have been if Calhoun et al had been honest & worked to find an accommodation with the anti-slaver majority.
 

lurid

First Sergeant
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That Calhoun was a real jokester... well known for hiding his true interest in tariffs with all that talk about slavery.

I'm still waiting for these folks to prove economically that tariffs were a concern in 1860. I see tariffs were a concern economically in 1832, but not in 1860. They use tariff grievances from 1828-1832 and apply it to 1860. Our friends here are gifted in chicanery.
How about providing some examples of that documentation? I know you suggested a book, Apostles of Disunion, but I'm in the middle of reading several others and already have a stack of "to read" ten books high, so I won't be getting to that one any time soon. Some examples posted here underlining how this was all disinformation would be helpful.

One thing to always keep in mind is something a former site member once pointed out to me: when you post, it's not just the person you're replying to that sees the answer, it's everyone else who lurks in the thread and may or may not ever contribute to the conversation. Many of those are not looking for a reading assignment, they're interested in seeing the answers right here. And if the case is that cut and dried, it should be simple to support it. Even if you don't convince me, you may convince someone else, so quoting our sources is often a good use of our time.

I mean no disrespect, but you should practice what you preach. In this thread:https://civilwartalk.com/threads/lee-as-a-slaveholder-reputable-primary-sources.179384/post-2340662 you gave nothing but your opinion when the OP needed relevant sources for a bibliography to write a term paper. That same OP reached out to me... Quoting relevant sources that pertain to the topic on hand is a better idea, which eliminates your sources that tariff issues from 1832 can displace tariff issues from 1860. Never mind all the rhetoric, there is zero economic evidence from 1832-1860 that shows tariffs should have been grieved in 1860.

Actually, if you knew anything about how tariffs you would come to the shocking conclusion that the tariff of 1857 actually caused an economic contraction. Furthermore, the tariff of 1857 was authored by a Virginian Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter—which he lowered rates between 20%-25%("COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES.; The Tariff Act of 1857"). Rates were slashed by 20-25% in 1857 that were kept there into 1861 but you folks believe tariffs were an issue in 1860? Wow...
.

.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
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Location
South Carolina
I assume this means you have become a defender of nullification, or do I not get the purpose of this correctly.

You do not. I'm simply reading Calhoun's words and analyzing them with some context. If I can find the entire unabridged letter, that would be even better and I will post that.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It hasn't been documented, it's been asserted.

Frankly, I don't believe it. I've seen modern historians assert that the tariff controversy in 1832 was "really about slavery", which is utter nonsense, but as I noted earlier, too many modern historians are fixated on slavery as the sole cause of the war to the point that they try to explain away or dismiss everything else. I suspect the idea that the tariff, or to be more precise, unequal taxation and spending within the Union, was "disinformation" is another of those attempts to explain away a non-slavery factor in the war.
So, Calhoun lied when he said the true issue was slavery?
That's not what he said.
So he didn't lie when he said slavery was the true issue?
 
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