Were Abolitionists Responsible for the Secession Crisis? (poll)

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Were Abolitionists Responsible for the Secession Crisis? (poll)

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 9.3%
  • No

    Votes: 28 51.9%
  • Partly

    Votes: 21 38.9%
  • Don't Know

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    54

gem

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Were Abolitionists Responsible for the Secession Crisis?

From the articles of secession:

South Carolina

"they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government."

Texas

"based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States."

 

brass napoleon

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Abolitionists were responsible for the secession crisis in about the same way that a weather forecaster is responsible for the weather. Had the slaveholders actually listened to the abolitionists, rather than expelling them, ostracizing them, and censoring them, they could have saved themselves and this whole country from a whole lot of grief. But yeah, since the slaveholders refused to do that, I guess that makes the abolitionists responsible.
 

19thGeorgia

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Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Va), March 15, 1865:

In a debate in the New England Anti-Slavery Convention, May 20th, 1856, Mr. Wm. Lloyd Garrison contended that the Abolition party did not always accord to the Republican party all that justice demands. He maintained that, in its attitude towards "the slave power," it gave a sign of progress which Abolitionists had no cause to lament.--"I hope," he said, "to see many of them take their position under the banner of disunion. I have said, again and again, that in proportion to the growth of disunionism will be the growth of Republicanism or Freesoilism."

On the 16th January, 1855, Rev. Mr. Beecher advocated a fight, for the purpose of settling the question between North and South. He believed that the Sharpe rifle was truly moral agency.

Mr. W. O. Duval said: ‘"I sincerely hope a civil war may soon burst upon the country. I want to see American slavery abolished in my time."’ "When the time arrives for the streets of our cities to run with blood to the horses' bridles, if the writer of this be living, there will be one heart to rejoice at the retributive justice of Heaven." We have not heard whether this amiable gentleman is "living." If he is, like most of his class, he keeps out of the war, and contents himself with "rejoicing at the retributive justice"....
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:2006.05.1322:article=4
 
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uaskme

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Abolitionist were influential. They helped fund the Radical Wing of the Free State Party in Kansas. Lane and John Brown in particular. They also controlled much of the Yankee Press who spread Propaganda from Kansas, and elsewhere. The Republican Party had a thin majority, they couldn't afford to lose any support, so it gave Abolitionist more influence than they might had. Stopping any compromise was a root of the conflict.
 
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matthew mckeon

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Abolitionists borne responsibility for the war in the sense that they said slave owners were bad because they owned slaves. And slavery was bad. All true, of course. Even the nicest person doesn't look so nice when he is performing his role of slave owner. But that's kind of like the abusive husband growling, "You're making me mad!" just before he starts swinging.

Maybe if they asked nicely about slavery, and used very temperate language, and keep their voices down, and didn't bother anyone, slavery would have ended. Maybe if they struck just of the right mix of flattery and appeal to the sweet Christian nature of someone like Henry Hammond, slavery would have ended.

Reformers! Always so rude! Always hurting someone's feelings. Always doing the protest march at the wrong time or the wrong place. Always speaking so loudly! They make me so mad!
 
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brass napoleon

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Abolitionists contributed. They were not solely responsible by any means, but they were a factor in the hard feelings that built up between North and South, leading to a willingness to secede.
What we need to remember about that, is that the sectionality of the issue was increased exponentially by the fact that Southern slaveholders wouldn't let Southern abolitionists speak their minds openly in the South. As a consequence, many Southern abolitionists went North to get their message out. Southerners like Charles Osborne, John Rankin, Levi Coffin, David Walker, the Grimke sisters, James Birney, Frederick Douglass, thousands of Quakers, etc., etc., etc., became the seeds of the national abolitionist movement, because they could speak out openly in the North when they couldn't in the South.
 

Cavalry Charger

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"Peace Democrats were convinced that abolitionists had brought on the war by stirring up so much trouble in the antebellum period. Under the Lincoln administration, abolitionists had far too much influence and were, claimed the Copperheads, running the government".

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0032.105/--lincoln-s-critics-the-copperheads?rgn=main;view=fulltext

I think the abolitionists were correct in their thinking and motivation. Having said that, their determination also lent itself to intransigence on both sides. My answer to the poll was 'partly'. Not to say they were wrong, just that in the climate created at the time war became inevitable.
 
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brass napoleon

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"Peace Democrats were convinced that abolitionists had brought on the war by stirring up so much trouble in the antebellum period. Under the Lincoln administration, abolitionists had far too much influence and were, claimed the Copperheads, running the government".

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0032.105/--lincoln-s-critics-the-copperheads?rgn=main;view=fulltext

I think the abolitionists were correct in their thinking and motivation. Having said that, their determination also lent itself to intransigence on both sides. My answer to the poll was 'partly'. Not to say they were wrong, just that in the climate created at the time war became inevitable.
Indeed this is very true. If the abolitionists had just kept quiet about slavery, and cheerfully let the slaveholders go about their business of expanding and perpetuating slavery through all time, there would have been no civil war, so in that way they were partly responsible. And along the same lines, they were also responsible for the avoidance of all the other wars and horrors that would have resulted from the perpetual expansion of slavery.
 

Drew

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If the abolitionists had just kept quiet about slavery, and cheerfully let the slaveholders go about their business of expanding and perpetuating slavery through all time, there would have been no civil war, so in that way they were partly responsible.
If they'd invited five million African Americans to come live in the neighborhoods in the North, the war may have been averted. They weren't having any part of that, and are to this day fighting it. Go figure.
 
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John S. Carter

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No. The only ones responsible for the secession crisis were the Southern fire eaters who freaked over the rise of the Republican Party and their goal to prevent slavery in the Territories.
I think that you understanding of the history of the Abolitionist movement and its affects on politics of the country has been diluted where you have possible been taught just this part of the whole background .The whole abolition goes back to the Declaration of Independence and carries thought the war .
 
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John S. Carter

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Abolitionists were responsible for the secession crisis in about the same way that a weather forecaster is responsible for the weather. Had the slaveholders actually listened to the abolitionists, rather than expelling them, ostracizing them, and censoring them, they could have saved themselves and this whole country from a whole lot of grief. But yeah, since the slaveholders refused to do that, I guess that makes the abolitionists responsible.
These agitators were not responsible for the war ,however, their continuous agitation towards the Southern life was a factor that can and should not be rejected.There was a time in the North that these extremist were not even accepted in the North.Their demands of extreme political agenda only intensified the hostility not just against them but also against the North in general for the South could not separate the two.The South also had their "fire eaters"who brought on a feeling of negative representation of the South.This whole issue was brought on by these two extreme extreme political factions.By 1855 the political system was in the hands of these two,there was no moderates or reasonable leadership in any party.All compromises were off all reasoning was off.The South fulfilled their threat to do what they had for so long said.They just failed to realize that the North would not permit this to occur.
 

NedBaldwin

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If they'd invited five million African Americans to come live in the neighborhoods in the North, the war may have been averted.
How would this avert war? The slaveowners were outraged that abolitionists invited a handful of African Americans from the south to come live in the North. If millions had been invited that would have just enraged the slaveowners more and probably led to invasion to get their property back
 
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Drew

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How would this avert war? The slaveowners were outraged that abolitionists invited a handful of African Americans from the south to come live in the North. If millions had been invited that would have just enraged the slaveowners more and probably led to invasion to get their property back
You've cherry picked my full post and failed to acknowledge my sarcasm. The late Brass Napoleon's response made me laugh, though. Yes, the abolitionists invited "a handful" of African Americans to come live in the North and their neighbors were not happy about it. Enough said.
 
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