Two Reasons for Secession from the Union

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
@Potomac Pride ,

Slavery brought on secession, secession brought on the Civil War.

I have read Foner and Stampp. In my view they confirm my view.

Unionblue
That is a nice and simple explanation. However, there were other issues involved in the war.
It is simple because history has made it so.

It should not be denied that slavery was THE issue, right up until the time of the election of Lincoln.

It should not be denied that the issue of slavery caused secession due to Southern fears over slavery with the election of a Republican administration.

The 'other issues' pale in comparison over the frantic attempts to preserve and protect slavery.

With out slavery, those 'other issues' would have never brought the nation to civil war.

Unionblue
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
It is simple because history has made it so.

It should not be denied that slavery was THE issue, right up until the time of the election of Lincoln.

It should not be denied that the issue of slavery caused secession due to Southern fears over slavery with the election of a Republican administration.

The 'other issues' pale in comparison over the frantic attempts to preserve and protect slavery.

With out slavery, those 'other issues' would have never brought the nation to civil war.

Unionblue
Another reason it is simple because people like simple explanations for complex historical events such as wars.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Look no further than the Presidential election campaign of 1860. The overwhelming issue that dominated the 4 candidates for office from both major political parties and the new Constitutional Union Party was slavery and its extension to the territories. Nothing else can remotely close.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
And the reason for the Civil War is so simple is that the historical participants repeated over and over it was about slavery.
Well, the North did not launch a military campaign against the southern states in 1861 to put an end to slavery but to preserve the Union. In addition, not all of the southern states seceded from the Union just because of slavery. The states of the Upper South initially wanted to remain in the Union and even rejected secession. They eventually seceded as a result of Lincoln’s call for troops to invade the deep south which they considered to be a violation of the sovereignty of the states.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
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Location
New York City
The South Carolina "Declaration of Causes of Secession," December 20, 1860, clearly notes slavery as the singular cause of secession.

"But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the general government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these states the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the state government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation."
 

CW Buff

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Location
Connecticut
I don't know how to explain why I distrust modern analysis of Calhoun in a way that you don't see as a personal criticism. Personal criticism is not my intention here. "Slavery as a positive good" is a terrible moral position to take, but it does not define Calhoun's entire life and his body of political thought.
Uhhhh. Maybe by not continuously assuming and suggesting that's where I get my opinion of Calhoun from. How many times do I have to say I get my opinion of Calhoun from Calhoun, and not any historian? Again, I originally rejected the idea, and adopted it based on reading Calhoun, not any modern historian.

And yes, slavery as a positive good is a terrible moral position to take. You just pegged Calhoun. And again, and again, and again I will state, because you ignore it again, and again, and again, I did not say that defines his ENTIRE life. But being such a terrible moral position, and a factor in ACW causation, it dominates his entire life's achievements.

That is NOT what he was saying.
Your opinion is noted. But I showed how you are mistaken when it comes to the one piece of actual evidence you've offered in support of it.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
Yes, and why did he do that? Lacking the number of votes to defeat it outright as it existed, he attempted to make it unacceptable to the midwest in the hopes of attracting more votes against it. He wanted it worse in the hopes that it would go down to defeat. The attempt did not work.
So we agree, he intentionally made it abominable. The tariff bill that otherwise would have made its way through Congress was not likely to be that bad. He had to make it that bad. And we all know the attempt did not work. That’s why he had to then claim protectionism, which he had previously supported, was outright unconstitutional. And then devise some fallacious theory about an individual state being able nullify US law within its jurisdiction. Which, as it so happened, would come in useful if any US law threatened that positive, morally good peculiar Southern institution. Now people claim that secession and the like were not settled matters before the ACW. Because there were people like Calhoun using their great intellect to convince people 1) slavery is good and 2) the Constitution is a treaty, the two going hand-in-hand, and going miles to bring on the ACW.

Have you read his explanation for this? He does address the change in position, in his speech on the Force Bill I think.
Then post it.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
Slavery was of course an important contributing factor that led to the Civil War. However, your statement that “Slavery and slavery alone brought on the Civil War” is an oversimplification of history. Slavery alone can’t fully explain or totally justify the Civil War. If you examine the work of various historians over the decades, other issues existed that resulted in the conflict. For example, some of the early revisionist historians in the 1930’s, such as Avery O. Craven and James G. Randall, attributed the war to a “blundering generation” of politicians and believed that slavery was diminishing on a national level. In addition, the Progressive perspective of historians such as Charles Beard emphasized economic considerations that resulted in the war. However, the civil rights era of the 1960’s reaffirmed the role of slavery in the war and is still the dominant school of thought today.
So the only specifics you can provide are assertions that were swept away after racism was largely purged from the process of historical interpretation (that and tariffs, proven to be false, and constitutional issues, which were of course issues surrounding the causal factors, not issues that displace those factors).

There is no oversimplification here. Slavery, a complex, multifaceted issue, provided all the complication that was needed to spark a civil war.

In studying the Civil War, one has to realize that secession and war are distinct issues. For secession to lead to war, northerners had to be determined to hold the Union together through force. However, research has demonstrated that slavery had very little, if anything, to do with that determination, either on the part of Lincoln or of the north in general. Confusion can come from mixing the causes of secession with the causes of the war—which are separate but related issues.

Maybe you should read the works by some of the prominent neo-abolitionist historians, such as Eric Foner and Kenneth Stampp. They have recognized that the causes of the Civil War can be broken down into at least two questions. Why did the southern states want to leave the Union? And why did the northern states refuse to let them go? Slavery may be the answer to the first question but it does not necessarily mean that it is the answer to the second. These two questions are often intermingled because so many Americans approach the Civil War with an unchallenged prejudice in favor of slavery.
So your point is not that slavery was not THE cause of the Confederacy, only that emancipation and abolition were not THE cause of the Union. How does “Slavery and slavery alone brought on the Civil War” conflict with that?

Perhaps it would help to flesh out the statement that the ACW 'was all about slavery.' The Confederates seceded and inaugurated a civil war to preserve slavery, and the rest of the Union responded by fighting to preserve the Union. IOW, “Slavery and slavery alone brought on the Civil War.”
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
So we agree, he intentionally made it abominable. The tariff bill that otherwise would have made its way through Congress was not likely to be that bad. He had to make it that bad. And we all know the attempt did not work. That’s why he had to then claim protectionism, which he had previously supported, was outright unconstitutional. And then devise some fallacious theory about an individual state being able nullify US law within its jurisdiction. Which, as it so happened, would come in useful if any US law threatened that positive, morally good peculiar Southern institution. Now people claim that secession and the like were not settled matters before the ACW. Because there were people like Calhoun using their great intellect to convince people 1) slavery is good and 2) the Constitution is a treaty, the two going hand-in-hand, and going miles to bring on the ACW.


Then post it.

http://www.umsl.edu/~virtualstl/phase2/1850/events/perspectives/documents/calhoun01.html
A deep constitutional question lies at the bottom of the controversy. The real question at issue is: Has this Government a right to impose burdens on the capital and industry of one portion of the country, try, not with a view to revenue, but to benefit another? And I must be permitted to say that, after the long and deep agitation of this controversy, it is with surprise that I perceive so strong a disposition to misrepresent its real character. To correct the impression which those misrepresentations are calculated to make, I will dwell on the point under consideration for a few moments longer.​
The Federal Government has, by an express provision of the Constitution, the right to lay on imposts. The State has never denied or resisted this right, nor even thought of so doing. The Government has, however, not been contented with exercising this power as she had a right to do, but has gone a step beyond it, by laying imposts, not for revenue, but protection. This the State considers as an unconstitutional exercise of power - highly injurious and oppressive to her and the other staple States, and has, accordingly, met it with the most determined resistance.​
Calhoun supports tariffs for revenue as a Constitutional exercise of power, but he says tariffs for protection of one part of the Union at the expense of another are not Constitutional.
There still remains another misrepresentation of the conduct of the State, which has been made with the view of exciting odium. I allude to the charge that South Carolina supported the tariff of 1816, and is, therefore, responsible for the protective system. To determine the truth of this charge, it becomes necessary to ascertain the real character of that law - whether it was a tariff for revenue or for protection - and, as involved in this, to inquire, What was the condition of the country at the period? The late war with Great Britain had just terminated, which, with the restrictive system that preceded it, had diverted a large amount of capital and industry from commerce to manufactures, particularly to the cotton and woolen branches. There was a debt at the same time of one hundred and thirty millions of dollars hanging over the country, and the heavy war duties were still in existence. Under these circumstances, the question was presented, as to what point the duties ought to be reduced. This question involved another - at what time the debt ought to be paid? which was a question of policy, involving in its consideration all the circumstances connected with the then condition of the country. Among the most prominent arguments in favor of an early discharge of the debt was, that the high duties which it would require to effect it would have, at the same time, the effect of sustaining the infant manufactures, which had been forced up under the circumstances to which I have adverted. This view of the subject had a decided influence in determining in favor of an early payment of the debt. The sinking fund was, accordingly, raised from seven to ten millions of dollars, with the provision to apply the surplus which might remain in the treasury as a contingent appropriation to that fund; and the duties were graduated to meet this increased expenditure. It was thus that the policy and justice of protecting the large amount of capital and industry which had been diverted by the measures of the Government into new channels, as I have stated, were combined with the fiscal action of the Government, and which, while it secured a prompt payment of the debt, prevented the immense losses to the manufacturers which would have followed lowed a sudden and great reduction. Still, revenue was the main object, and protection but the incidental. The bill to reduce the duties was reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, and not of Manufactures, and it proposed a heavy reduction on the then existing rate of duties. But what of itself, without other evidence, is decisive as to the character of the bill is the fact that it fixed a much higher rate of duties on the unprotected protected than on the protected articles. I will enumerate a few leading articles only. Woolen and cotton above the value of twenty-five cents on the square yard, though they were the leading objects of protection, were subject to a permanent duty of only twenty per cent. Iron, another leading article among the protected, had a protection of not more than nine per cent. as fixed by the act, and of but fifteen as reported in the bill. These rates were all below the average duties as fixed in the act, including the protected, the unprotected, and even the free articles. I have entered into some calculation, in order to ascertain the average rate of duties under the act. There is some uncertainty in the data, but I feel assured that it is not less than thirty per cent. ad valorem: showing an excess of the average duties above that imposed on the protected articles enumerated of more than ten per cent., and thus clearly establishing the character of the measure - that it was for revenue and not protection.
He then turns the subject to his own position.
With a view of inflicting a wound on the State through me, I have been held up as the author of the protective system, and one of its most strenuous advocates. It is with pain that I allude to myself on so deep and grave a subject as that now under discussion, and which, I sincerely believe, involves the liberty of the country. I now regret that, under the sense of injustice which the remarks of a Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Wilkins] excited for the moment, I hastily gave my pledge to defend myself against the charge which has been made in reference to my course in 1816: not that there will be any difficulty in repelling the charge, but because I feel a deep reluctance in turning the discussion, in any degree, from a subject of so much magnitude to one of so little importance as the consistency or inconsistency of myself, or any other individual, particularly in connection with an event so long since passed. But for this hasty pledge, I would have remained silent as to my own course on this occasion, and would have borne with patience and calmness this, with the many other misrepresentations with which I have been so incessantly assailed for so many years. The charge that I was the author of the protective system, has no other foundation but that I, in common with the almost entire South, gave my support to the tariff of 1816. It is true that I advocated that measure, for which I may rest my defense, without taking any other, on the ground that it was a tariff for revenue, and not for protection, which I have established beyond the power of controversy. But my speech on the occasion, has been brought in judgment against me by the Senator from Pennsylvania. I have since cast my eyes over the speech; and I will surprise, I have no doubt, the Senator, by telling him that, with the exception of some hasty and unguarded expressions, I retract nothing I uttered on that occasion. I only ask that I may be judged, in reference to it, in that spirit of fairness and justice which is due to the occasion; taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was delivered, and bearing in mind that the subject was a tariff for revenue, and not for protection; for reducing, and not raising the duties.​
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
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Location
South Carolina
And yes, slavery as a positive good is a terrible moral position to take. You just pegged Calhoun. And again, and again, and again I will state, because you ignore it again, and again, and again, I did not say that defines his ENTIRE life. But being such a terrible moral position, and a factor in ACW causation, it dominates his entire life's achievements.

What's the difference? If it "dominates his life's achievements", it might as well be the entirety of his life. Apart from his views on slavery, what did he contribute to his State and to the United States by his public service that you consider significant?
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
John Calhoun: Against the Force Bill
A deep constitutional question lies at the bottom of the controversy. The real question at issue is: Has this Government a right to impose burdens on the capital and industry of one portion of the country, try, not with a view to revenue, but to benefit another? And I must be permitted to say that, after the long and deep agitation of this controversy, it is with surprise that I perceive so strong a disposition to misrepresent its real character. To correct the impression which those misrepresentations are calculated to make, I will dwell on the point under consideration for a few moments longer.The Federal Government has, by an express provision of the Constitution, the right to lay on imposts. The State has never denied or resisted this right, nor even thought of so doing. The Government has, however, not been contented with exercising this power as she had a right to do, but has gone a step beyond it, by laying imposts, not for revenue, but protection. This the State considers as an unconstitutional exercise of power - highly injurious and oppressive to her and the other staple States, and has, accordingly, met it with the most determined resistance.Calhoun supports tariffs for revenue as a Constitutional exercise of power, but he says tariffs for protection of one part of the Union at the expense of another are not Constitutional.
There still remains another misrepresentation of the conduct of the State, which has been made with the view of exciting odium. I allude to the charge that South Carolina supported the tariff of 1816, and is, therefore, responsible for the protective system. To determine the truth of this charge, it becomes necessary to ascertain the real character of that law - whether it was a tariff for revenue or for protection - and, as involved in this, to inquire, What was the condition of the country at the period? The late war with Great Britain had just terminated, which, with the restrictive system that preceded it, had diverted a large amount of capital and industry from commerce to manufactures, particularly to the cotton and woolen branches. There was a debt at the same time of one hundred and thirty millions of dollars hanging over the country, and the heavy war duties were still in existence. Under these circumstances, the question was presented, as to what point the duties ought to be reduced. This question involved another - at what time the debt ought to be paid? which was a question of policy, involving in its consideration all the circumstances connected with the then condition of the country. Among the most prominent arguments in favor of an early discharge of the debt was, that the high duties which it would require to effect it would have, at the same time, the effect of sustaining the infant manufactures, which had been forced up under the circumstances to which I have adverted. This view of the subject had a decided influence in determining in favor of an early payment of the debt. The sinking fund was, accordingly, raised from seven to ten millions of dollars, with the provision to apply the surplus which might remain in the treasury as a contingent appropriation to that fund; and the duties were graduated to meet this increased expenditure. It was thus that the policy and justice of protecting the large amount of capital and industry which had been diverted by the measures of the Government into new channels, as I have stated, were combined with the fiscal action of the Government, and which, while it secured a prompt payment of the debt, prevented the immense losses to the manufacturers which would have followed lowed a sudden and great reduction. Still, revenue was the main object, and protection but the incidental. The bill to reduce the duties was reported by the Committee of Ways and Means, and not of Manufactures, and it proposed a heavy reduction on the then existing rate of duties. But what of itself, without other evidence, is decisive as to the character of the bill is the fact that it fixed a much higher rate of duties on the unprotected protected than on the protected articles. I will enumerate a few leading articles only. Woolen and cotton above the value of twenty-five cents on the square yard, though they were the leading objects of protection, were subject to a permanent duty of only twenty per cent. Iron, another leading article among the protected, had a protection of not more than nine per cent. as fixed by the act, and of but fifteen as reported in the bill. These rates were all below the average duties as fixed in the act, including the protected, the unprotected, and even the free articles. I have entered into some calculation, in order to ascertain the average rate of duties under the act. There is some uncertainty in the data, but I feel assured that it is not less than thirty per cent. ad valorem: showing an excess of the average duties above that imposed on the protected articles enumerated of more than ten per cent., and thus clearly establishing the character of the measure - that it was for revenue and not protection.He then turns the subject to his own position.
With a view of inflicting a wound on the State through me, I have been held up as the author of the protective system, and one of its most strenuous advocates. It is with pain that I allude to myself on so deep and grave a subject as that now under discussion, and which, I sincerely believe, involves the liberty of the country. I now regret that, under the sense of injustice which the remarks of a Senator from Pennsylvania [Mr. Wilkins] excited for the moment, I hastily gave my pledge to defend myself against the charge which has been made in reference to my course in 1816: not that there will be any difficulty in repelling the charge, but because I feel a deep reluctance in turning the discussion, in any degree, from a subject of so much magnitude to one of so little importance as the consistency or inconsistency of myself, or any other individual, particularly in connection with an event so long since passed. But for this hasty pledge, I would have remained silent as to my own course on this occasion, and would have borne with patience and calmness this, with the many other misrepresentations with which I have been so incessantly assailed for so many years. The charge that I was the author of the protective system, has no other foundation but that I, in common with the almost entire South, gave my support to the tariff of 1816. It is true that I advocated that measure, for which I may rest my defense, without taking any other, on the ground that it was a tariff for revenue, and not for protection, which I have established beyond the power of controversy. But my speech on the occasion, has been brought in judgment against me by the Senator from Pennsylvania. I have since cast my eyes over the speech; and I will surprise, I have no doubt, the Senator, by telling him that, with the exception of some hasty and unguarded expressions, I retract nothing I uttered on that occasion. I only ask that I may be judged, in reference to it, in that spirit of fairness and justice which is due to the occasion; taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was delivered, and bearing in mind that the subject was a tariff for revenue, and not for protection; for reducing, and not raising the duties.
This is Calhoun being as honest as any of his actions in the Nullification Crisis. First, he described protectionism as "impose burdens on the capital and industry of one portion of the country . . . not with a view to revenue, but to benefit another." As if that does not technically apply to ALL protectionism, including that which he supported in 1816. He calls the 1816 protectionism "incidental," but that is only a matter of degree, and as a constitutional matter, protection is protection. There is no little vs. a lot of unconstitutionalism. While trying to sweep the protectionist elements of 1816 under the carpet, he lays out what he feels are some very good reasons for a little, incidental unconstitutionalism in 1816. Sure, it wasn't protectionist, but there were good reasns in that particular case why it was protectionist? Is this really fooling anyone? And we must keep in mind, the degree to which the Tariff of 1828 was too much unconstitutional protectionism vs. a little acceptable unconstitutonalism was because Calhoun made it so. He is as responsible as anyone for the DEGREE of protectionism in 1828. This you continue to ignore while presenting evidence such as the above. The Tariff of 1816 need not have been at all protectionist in order to be high enough to address war debt. If it was protectionist, and it was constitutional to do so then, than the degree of protectionism is NOT a constitutional issue, but a policy decision. And IF that is not so, there are the courts. THERE was Calhoun's remedy, if of course, he really believed his claims regarding constitutionalism. And of course, the Tariff of 1828 was so abominably unconstitutional (again, with considerable help of Calhoun), that he not only abstained from presenting his assertions in court, but no other single state supported his, ahem, constitutional solution.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
What's the difference? If it "dominates his life's achievements", it might as well be the entirety of his life. Apart from his views on slavery, what did he contribute to his State and to the United States by his public service that you consider significant?
The differed is that slavery was NOT the entirety of his life, but it dominate his efforts post-1828. That's just a sad fact.

I like his support of of the American System, and other economic development measures befitting a young, growing nation. I like his support of a permanent army and navy after the War of 1812 demonstrated the need of such. For that matter I appreciate his support of the War of 1812, when New Englanders were the ones selfishly putting their own iterests above those of the country. I also like his general approach to foreign policy as SoS, and his support for the variuous settlements of border.territory disputes.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Well, the North did not launch a military campaign against the southern states in 1861 to put an end to slavery but to preserve the Union.

True.

In addition, not all of the southern states seceded from the Union just because of slavery. The states of the Upper South initially wanted to remain in the Union and even rejected secession. They eventually seceded as a result of Lincoln’s call for troops to invade the deep south which they considered to be a violation of the sovereignty of the states.
They all wanted slavery to be secure, hence the reason they all seceded.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
True.


They all wanted slavery to be secure, hence the reason they all seced
The situation was a bit more complex than that from a historical perspective. After the upper southern states rejected secession, the issue that forced them to change their mind was Lincoln’s call for troops which they considered to be a violation of state sovereignty. These states believed in the right of secession and that federal coercion was unconstitutional and an illegal attempt to conquer the south. The noted historian William J. Cooper discussed the secession of the Upper South in his book that was published in 2012 to excellent reviews from the critics. William J. Cooper is a retired Professor Emeritus of History at LSU who has also written other books on the Civil War era. In his book, Professor Cooper wrote the Upper Southern states had all originally hoped to stay in the Union. However, things changed dramatically in April 1861 when Lincoln issued his Proclamation Calling for Troops to take military action against the deep south. Cooper states in his book: "Lincoln's proclamation exploded all hope. It made plain that he intended to invade the Confederate States. Such military action meant coercion in its baldest form. The Upper South began racing toward secession. Almost overnight in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas top-heavy Conservative-Unionist majorities turned into lopsided secessionist majorities. In these four states, conventions, legislatures, and popular referenda all testified to the powerful shift in public opinion. By early June, all had joined the Confederate States." We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, Nov. 1860 - April 1861, page 271, by William J. Cooper.
 

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