Was the ACW a War between Political Parties?

WJC

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#1
The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
 

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#2
The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
Not seeing the connection. Many Union soldiers were members if the Democratic Party especially those recruited in such states as New York and other majority Democratic states.
Many Union generals were Democratic most notably Major General Butler who endorsed Jeff Davis for President in 1860 plus Major Generals Rosecrans and McCellen were Democrats. No doubt other's.
More then likely most of the 104k Unionist soldiers voted Democratic although some especially from Tennessee voted for John Bell in 1860.
Leftyhunter
 

archieclement

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#3
I've always thought the border\guerrilla war took on very much a political battle between the parties. Initially the democrats were divided, but occupation troops tended to treat all democrats disloyal, which lead to increased support for guerrillas\recruiters from most democrats as the war went on.

We ended up even having competing militias, MSM pro republican and EMM pro democrat. About every commander here had one or both sides calling for his replacement

Odon Guitar illustrates it well, He was by all accounts a good guerilla fighter, his unpardonable sin was he believed in justice for all, when he had some republican militia men arrested and convicted for committing crimes on democrat neighbors, the radical republicans had him removed.
 
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#4
The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that Andrew Johnson Democratic Senator from Tennessee was appointed military Governor of Tennessee by President Lincoln and in 1864 was President Lincoln's vice presidential candidate.
Leftyhunter
 
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#5
I've always thought the border\guerrilla war took on very much a political battle between the parties. Initially the democrats were divided, but occupation troops tended to treat all democrats disloyal, which lead to increased support for guerrillas\recruiters from most democrats as the war went on.

We ended up even having competing militias, MSM pro republican and EMM pro democrat. About every commander here had one or both sides calling for his replacement
Of course we also have to take into account that the vast majority of Unionist guerrillas were also Democratic party members.
Leftyhunter
 

archieclement

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#6
"Of course we also have to take into account that the vast majority of Unionist guerrillas were also Democratic party members.
Leftyhunter"

Really the jayhawkers were mainly Democrat? Huh hadn't heard that before, love to see that source. Generally they are associated with radical republicans ……..

Typo or simply disingenuous again?...….

Assuming a typo, I'd assume your aware prewar Missouri was overwhelmingly Democrat, and at the start of the war voted overwhelming to remain in the Union.......the same as the republicans…....

Unionist included many from BOTH parties. As I said the war didn't start here political, but increasingly took on that nature as democrats were mistreated.
 
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jackt62

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#8
I would say that it was more of a war between the salient concept of what the Republican party stood for (confining slavery to its existing borders), and what the southern wing of the Democratic party stood for (expansion of slavery to the territories). That after all, was what triggered the secession of the southern states after Lincoln's election.
 

Pat Young

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#9
After the war, there was initially much resentment of Northern Democrats by Southern Democrats because only a minority of them had been Copperheads. There was a lot of mistrust of the Northern Democrats and the party really was only reunited in 1868.

The II Corps was so heavily urban Democratic that a recent history refers to it as the Democratic Corps.
 

CSA Today

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#12
The American Civil War has been characterized in many different ways over the years- a regional war, the "North against the South", a "War Between the States", a "Rebellion", a "Civil War"- to name a few.
There are some who have suggested another perspective, that it was a war between the established political party, the Democrats, and a young anti-establishment party, the Republicans.
Let's explore this perspective, being careful to avoid modern politics.
Perhaps too simplistically put, but certain facets of truth in the statement –Southern Democrats vs. Republicans, anti-war Northern Democrats, out right Copperheads.
 
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#13
There was a good deal of population dispersion before the war. People left Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. They moved north, but also west. They moved to get to the Pacific West, and to get to southern frontier, in Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
They liked that dispersed, low density living. There was better hunting and fishing. The water was cleaner, and less competition from the big operations.
The war accelerated that dispersion. Southern men who joined US forces had more opportunities after the war, and they took advantage of them.
So while the Civil War had a political dimension, in many places the war created the identity the secessionists wanted. People who did not like living with blacks moved away from the south, to places like Oregon, Colorado, Iowa and Illinois.
Before the Civil War started, people like James Buchanan and Senator Douglas knew the trans-Atlantic slave trade was ending, and that the power of British finance would end slavery in some way. The way it would end was not predictable, but Lincoln said "eventual extinction" and even Democrats knew that was probably true.
 



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