Who Gets to Decide the PRIMARY Cause of South Carolina's Secession and the War that Followed?

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James Lutzweiler

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#1
Dear Posters,

I seek commentary from any of you on who gets to decide the PRIMARY cause of South Carolina's Secession and the War that followed. I do so in the context of many comments on a couple of posts in which I have read that slavery was the PRIMARY cause, hands down. It is not my objective to argue for my own viewpoint but to understand yours, if "PRIMARILY slavery" is your position. My impression is that the reason many people opt for this position is because of the Secession Declarations in which case I would assume that the answer to my question is, "The Seceshers themselves get the privilege of saying what was PRIMARY." If that is the case, a simple answer to this post would be "SC's Seceshers, period. They get to decide. No peer review necessary. No second guessing. No presentism. No pastism either" --by which I mean to say that posters are also ruling out other contemporaneous antebellum literature that might call into question the truthfulness or accuracy of those Declarations.

In short, I am asking you to put yourselves in the shoes of an 1860 Professor of History, let's say a Professor with a PhD in a German university, who would put a letter grade on SC's Declarations, if they were turned in to him for a term paper.

If not the Seceshers themselves, then who gets to decide? A majority of present day historians? Posters on this thread? Who? Who gets to decide what was the PRIMARY cause of all of this? And if it is so simple as that, i.e., just to say the Seceshers themselves, how is it that so many other books have been written citing other causes? Why is there not universal agreement, if slavery is such a simple no-brainer of an answer?

Ah, but that mires me in multiple questions. I intend only one of which all these others are simply cognate: Who gets to decide?

James
 

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wbull1

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#2
Good question. American Battlefield Trust (in an article written by John Pierce) conducted a documentary study of the "Declaration of Causes" of the four states that produced such documents see below:


Two major themes emerge in these documents: slavery and states' rights. All four states strongly defend slavery while making varying claims related to states' rights. Other grievances, such as economic exploitation and the role of the military, receive limited attention in some of the documents. This article will present, in detail, everything that was said in the Declarations of Causes pertaining to these topics.
pie-charts-700x_0.jpg
 

GwilymT

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#3
Dear Posters,

I seek commentary from any of you on who gets to decide the PRIMARY cause of South Carolina's Secession and the War that followed. I do so in the context of many comments on a couple of posts in which I have read that slavery was the PRIMARY cause, hands down. It is not my objective to argue for my own viewpoint but to understand yours, if "PRIMARILY slavery" is your position. My impression is that the reason many people opt for this position is because of the Secession Declarations in which case I would assume that the answer to my question is, "The Seceshers themselves get the privilege of saying what was PRIMARY." If that is the case, a simple answer to this post would be "SC's Seceshers, period. They get to decide. No peer review necessary. No second guessing. No presentism. No pastism either" --by which I mean to say that posters are also ruling out other contemporaneous antebellum literature that might call into question the truthfulness or accuracy of those Declarations.

In short, I am asking you to put yourselves in the shoes of an 1860 Professor of History, let's say a Professor with a PhD in a German university, who would put a letter grade on SC's Declarations, if they were turned in to him for a term paper.

If not the Seceshers themselves, then who gets to decide? A majority of present day historians? Posters on this thread? Who? Who gets to decide what was the PRIMARY cause of all of this? And if it is so simple as that, i.e., just to say the Seceshers themselves, how is it that so many other books have been written citing other causes? Why is there not universal agreement, if slavery is such a simple no-brainer of an answer?

Ah, but that mires me in multiple questions. I intend only one of which all these others are simply cognate: Who gets to decide?

James

“SC's Seceshers, period. They get to decide. No peer review necessary. No second guessing. No presentism. No pastism either”

This.

The reason there isn’t “universal agreement” (though as close as there can be in academia) that slavery was the PRIMARY cause is because once abolition is fact, it becomes rather uncomfortable to come to terms with. It becomes difficult for people to say that those who they revere were fighting for slavery.
 
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#7
Oddly, Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina would deliver a speech to that state's legislature that would end South Carolina's attempt to extend the Atlantic slave trade in the 1850s.

He would of course become one of the finest cavalry officers in the War Between the States.

Yeah, he owned slaves and it was clearly all about slavery to him. :nah disagree:
 

GwilymT

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#8
Oddly, Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina would deliver a speech to that state's legislature that would end South Carolina's attempt to extend the Atlantic slave trade in the 1850s.

He would of course become one of the finest cavalry officers in the War Between the States.

Yeah, he owned slaves and it was clearly all about slavery to him. :nah disagree:
Wasn’t Hampton against secession? I thought I read that somewhere.
 

GwilymT

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#9
Oddly, Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina would deliver a speech to that state's legislature that would end South Carolina's attempt to extend the Atlantic slave trade in the 1850s.

He would of course become one of the finest cavalry officers in the War Between the States.

Yeah, he owned slaves and it was clearly all about slavery to him. :nah disagree:
And as to the speech, if one had just inherited and now owned the largest group of slaves in the state, it would follow that they wouldn’t want to re-open a trade that would devalue their property.
 
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#10
Wasn’t Hampton against secession? I thought I read that somewhere.
Yes, very much so. He fought the 'fire eaters' as hard as he could and opposed secession.

It may sound crazy to us moderns, but Hampton thought abolitionists and fire-eating secessionists were an equal danger to the country (he was right, but it's not politically correct to say so).

A very interesting man, Hampton.
 
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#11
And as to the speech, if one had just inherited and now owned the largest group of slaves in the state, it would follow that they wouldn’t want to re-open a trade that would devalue their property.
This is an extremely cynical viewpoint. Read about what Hampton had to say about slavery and the inhumanity associated with it.

I try not to be a cynic and I think Hampton knew better.
 
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#12
Dear Posters,

I seek commentary from any of you on who gets to decide the PRIMARY cause of South Carolina's Secession and the War that followed. I do so in the context of many comments on a couple of posts in which I have read that slavery was the PRIMARY cause, hands down. It is not my objective to argue for my own viewpoint but to understand yours, if "PRIMARILY slavery" is your position. My impression is that the reason many people opt for this position is because of the Secession Declarations in which case I would assume that the answer to my question is, "The Seceshers themselves get the privilege of saying what was PRIMARY." If that is the case, a simple answer to this post would be "SC's Seceshers, period. They get to decide. No peer review necessary. No second guessing. No presentism. No pastism either" --by which I mean to say that posters are also ruling out other contemporaneous antebellum literature that might call into question the truthfulness or accuracy of those Declarations.

In short, I am asking you to put yourselves in the shoes of an 1860 Professor of History, let's say a Professor with a PhD in a German university, who would put a letter grade on SC's Declarations, if they were turned in to him for a term paper.

If not the Seceshers themselves, then who gets to decide? A majority of present day historians? Posters on this thread? Who? Who gets to decide what was the PRIMARY cause of all of this? And if it is so simple as that, i.e., just to say the Seceshers themselves, how is it that so many other books have been written citing other causes? Why is there not universal agreement, if slavery is such a simple no-brainer of an answer?

Ah, but that mires me in multiple questions. I intend only one of which all these others are simply cognate: Who gets to decide?

James
It is simply the Secessionists themselves and has @MattL has shown their motivation was slavery and racial domination.
Leftyhunter
 
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#13
Oddly, Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina would deliver a speech to that state's legislature that would end South Carolina's attempt to extend the Atlantic slave trade in the 1850s.

He would of course become one of the finest cavalry officers in the War Between the States.

Yeah, he owned slaves and it was clearly all about slavery to him. :nah disagree:
Hampton fought to protect slavery. The Confederate Constitution is very explicit about the importance of slavery.
Leftyhunter
 

GwilymT

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#14
This is an extremely cynical viewpoint. Read about what Hampton had to say about slavery and the inhumanity associated with it.

I try not to be a cynic and I think Hampton knew better.
Fair enough, I don’t know that much about him. Any reading recommendations?
 
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#15
Fair enough, I don’t know that much about him. Any reading recommendations?
Yes, Rob Andrew's Wade Hampton; Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer.

One really ought to read the whole thing and think about it. Don't pay attention to internet posters until you've done so.
 
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#16
"Racial domination?"

That's really cute spin, coming from California.
The Secessionists words and the words if the Confederate Constitution speak for themselves. The actions of white Southerners during Reconstruction also speak for themselves. I have no idea by what you mean about California and how that ties into the ACW. Perhaps you can elaborate.
Leftyhunter
 
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#17
And as to the speech, if one had just inherited and now owned the largest group of slaves in the state, it would follow that they wouldn’t want to re-open a trade that would devalue their property.
Not an expert about Hampton but read the Wiki article on him. Hampton bought a house of ill fame to use as a headquarters for the racist paramilitary group known as the Redshirts to meet in. Hampton hardly qualifies as an early proponent of equal rights.
Leftyhunter
 
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#18
The Secessionists words and the words if the Confederate Constitution speak for themselves. The actions of white Southerners during Reconstruction also speak for themselves. I have no idea by what you mean about California and how that ties into the ACW. Perhaps you can elaborate.
Leftyhunter
Lefty, California's history of racial domination is not good. Now, you and I go back a long way, at least on the internet. I've learned a lot from you and I don't want us sniping at one another.

This thread is about South Carolina's antebellum politics, which was an absolute mess. They didn't agree on how to move forward and in the end, well, you and I know what happened.

It wasn't even close to unanimous and to say so is really misleading.
 

James Lutzweiler

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#20
Good question. American Battlefield Trust (in an article written by John Pierce) conducted a documentary study of the "Declaration of Causes" of the four states that produced such documents see below:


Two major themes emerge in these documents: slavery and states' rights. All four states strongly defend slavery while making varying claims related to states' rights. Other grievances, such as economic exploitation and the role of the military, receive limited attention in some of the documents. This article will present, in detail, everything that was said in the Declarations of Causes pertaining to these topics.
View attachment 217063
Very useful. Thank you.
 
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