What Was the Main Cause of the Civil War? (poll)

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What Was the Main Cause of the Civil War?

  • Mainly About States' Rights

    Votes: 31 19.5%
  • Mainly About Slavery

    Votes: 95 59.7%
  • Both Equally

    Votes: 31 19.5%
  • Don't Know

    Votes: 2 1.3%

  • Total voters
    159

wausaubob

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The cotton producers were the most threatened. And they were also the least dependent on US demand and the growth of the US economy. The sugar industry and the tobacco industry were both selling to US, and were conservative about secession.
 

wausaubob

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The true balance of power has to be obscured. If there is a very weak section and a very strong section, the very strong section just imposes a cold war strategy.
The secessionists were the ones that felt threatened, and they thought distance and dedication to the cause would protect them. They failed to appreciate what the US had already demonstrated in the Mexican/American war, and how dominant the US loyalist settlements were in the Great West. The war would have been incredibly unlikely even 8 years later.
 
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Southern Unionist

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A case could be made for seeing the poll question at issue here as a trick question, because to some extent both answers are the same.

States' rights... what is it exactly that the Southern states wanted the right to do? They wanted the legal right to decide for themselves about the issue of slavery. And if they hadn't wanted to do something different with slavery than what most of the Northern states wanted, they wouldn't have needed to be so worried about their rights, or that Western states being added were not likely to have an interest in slavery, eventually shifting the balance of power in Congress on the issue.

So, I increasingly see these two answers to the question as being two ways to say the same thing, with a slightly different spin. State's rights sounds a lot nicer than the word slavery.
 
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GwilymT

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A case could be made for seeing the poll question at issue here as a trick question, because to some extent both answers are the same.

States' rights... what is it exactly that the Southern states wanted the right to do? They wanted the legal right to decide for themselves about the issue of slavery. And if they hadn't wanted to do something different with slavery than what most of the Northern states wanted, they wouldn't have needed to be so worried about their rights, or that Western states being added were not likely to have an interest in slavery, eventually shifting the balance of power in Congress on the issue.

So, I increasingly see these two answers to the question as being two ways to say the same thing, with a slightly different spin. State's rights sounds a lot nicer than the word slavery.
Well put.
 
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GwilymT

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How come the overburdening and unfair tariffs aren't one of the reasons posted?
I’m not sure, but I would venture to guess that it’s because the secessionists themselves didn’t put tariffs front and center in their various speeches, sermons, letters, editorials, or official declarations of causes.
 
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unionblue

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A most interesting comparison but it doesn't answer the question.
Yes, it did.

Tariffs cannot be used as a pass or excuse for the cause of the Civil War, simply because when the tariff of 1860 is spread out amongst the entire population of the United States, you are looking at less than $2 a person collected on a yearly basis. Then subtract all of the MILLIONS of people in the US (North and South) who did NOT import any goods from overseas and paid not tariff whatsoever (to include 4 million slaves).

So where is the "overburdening and unfair" aspects of the tariff of 1860?

That is odd that tariffs weren't a choice in the polling. Usually "matters of the pocketbook" are front and center, or at least mentioned.
Not so odd when considering the possible limitations on a $4 BILLION dollar species of property that ensures your personal wealth.
 

Polloco

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Maybe I should have worded my posts in a better way. I was referring to the limited choices that we get to choose from. The author of this thread only gave us 4 choices and those were vague. I'm not going to argue with any members what they think is the cause. Most everyone here has their mind made up.But I'm still of the opinion that there were causes (plural) and some of those weren't listed either. Kind of like getting to vote but your candidate isn't on the ballot.
 

archieclement

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A case could be made for seeing the poll question at issue here as a trick question, because to some extent both answers are the same.

States' rights... what is it exactly that the Southern states wanted the right to do? They wanted the legal right to decide for themselves about the issue of slavery. And if they hadn't wanted to do something different with slavery than what most of the Northern states wanted, they wouldn't have needed to be so worried about their rights, or that Western states being added were not likely to have an interest in slavery, eventually shifting the balance of power in Congress on the issue.

So, I increasingly see these two answers to the question as being two ways to say the same thing, with a slightly different spin. State's rights sounds a lot nicer than the word slavery.
I agree, if one argues slavery was the specific state right, it was indeed states rights by that argument. They in effect just conceded it was with their own argument........

Perhaps saying slavery is to avoid saying it was a US Constitutional issue and a national issue.....rather then just a regional one. I have noticed some seem to favor saying the south or CSA, rather then USA...……… As the majority of slavery in our history occurred under the US Flag, under a Constitution adapted by all, I have no such illusion.
 
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19thGeorgia

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Because an 1860 collection of nearly $53 million dollars via the tariff comes nowhere close to the nearly $4 BILLION dollars in slave property.
There's a lot more involved than $53 million. The capital invested in cotton mills and ships for the coasting trade. With free trade a lot of it becomes dead capital.
 
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Potomac Pride

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The immediate cause of the war was over the Constitutional principle of secession. The U.S. Government refused to recognize the right of the southern states to secede from the Union and the CSA asserted that right by seizing federal property. However, the issue of slavery was an important contributing factor that eventually led to the war.
 
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