Why did the AVERAGE soldier fight in the ACW

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unionblue

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Many have claimed that the actions and mere presence of the Confederate soldier supported the preservation of slavery. Hogwash. Only by association, not by intent.
Larry,

If I could convince myself that the "mere presence of the Confederate soldier" could NOT be associated with the preservation of slavery, I would not make one further post on this forum.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

cash

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Depending upon your perspective of the reasons for the ACW, slavery was, or was not, the single biggest reason soldiers were willing to fight.
Slavery was the biggest issue in the nation from the 1850s and the biggest issue in the war. It not only brought on secession and then the war, it affected strategic choices. Are we to then believe that the soldiers were somehow insulated from all of that? That they were so stupid they had no clue what was going on around them? Really?


Slaves were counted as part of the population, in determining the number of representatives a state had in Congress.
I'm not sure what your point is with this.


I wasn't the one who stated that women and slaves were to obey their masters. Do you know who did? Hint: it's in the New Testament.
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not make a slave of others."--Lincoln.

Sound familiar? Sound like maybe "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" Do you know who said that? Hint: It's in the New Testament.


Centuries are made-up of decades...so your point is?
Days are made up of hours. Would you say that something that took 5 days took hours?


Are you not aware that the largest slavetrader in North America continued to "ply his wares" up until 1875, ten years after the end of the War for Southern Independence?
Are you not aware of when the slave trade was outlawed?

Is one person an entire region? If so, then I can safely say the entire south is made up of racist inbreds because I can find one racist inbred living in Mississippi. Are you sure you want to hang your hat on one person in 1875 who may or may not have engaged in slavetrading?


Some people believed that slavery was immoral, but not a majority in antebellum America. I'm not even convinced that a majority of Northerners considered slavery immoral during that timeperiod. Of course, you've entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to my opinion.
I'm not giving you an opinion. I'm giving you a fact.

In 1860, according to the US Census, only 26% of the total population of the US lived in slave states. Of those people, 34% were slaves. So 74% of the US population chose to live in states that did not allow slavery, and of the people in the slave states, 34% had no choice of where to live. That leaves a tiny minority who chose to live in states that allowed slavery. Of those free persons born in the south, a number chose to move to free areas, away from slavery.

"A significant number of Southerners migrated from the South to free areas of the West. Peter McClelland and Richard Zeckhauser estimate that at least two hundred thousand people left the South between 1840 and 1860." [Roger R. Ransom, _Conflict and Compromise: The Political Economy of Slavery, Emancipation, and the American Civil War,_ pp. 142-143]

Immigrants to the United States, given a choice of where to live, overwhelmingly chose to live in free areas, not slave areas.

The secessionists themselves certainly believed that the rest of the nation thought they were immoral for having slavery.

"The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. 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." [South Carolina Declaration of Causes]

"The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

"The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

"The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

"It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

"It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

"It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

"It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

"It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

"It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

"It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists." [Mississippi Declaration of Causes]

"For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war." [Georgia Declaration of Causes]

"When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.

"The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions-- a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.

"In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, 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.

"For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

"By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments." [Texas Declaration of Causes]

Add to that the fact that in 1860 a majority of the people of the United States voted against the candidate of the slave states, and a majority of the electoral votes went to the candidate whose identifying feature was he was antislavery.






You are correct when you say there was a difference between antislavey folks and true abolitionists. However, when my Quaker ancestors even hinted that they believed slavery to be immoral, they were not welcomed with open arms. People preferred the "status quo".
Family histories are notoriously unreliable. Immediate abolitionists were seen as troublemakers, but the people in the free states wanted nothing to do with slavery.

You are correct again when you say many runaway slaves went to Canada because of the Fugitive Slave Law. That doesn't change the fact that many runaway slaves were also "encouraged" to continue North, and not remain in Ohio, for instance.
It was the Fugitive Slave Law that was overwhelmingly responsible, since that law mandated that runaway slaves had to be returned to their owners, and mandated that the free state residents cooperate with returning them.

That's why the free state population was up in arms about the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850--because it forced them to be slave catchers when they wanted nothing at all to do with slavery.

Regards,
Cash
 

cash

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Cash

"On the contrary. A large majority of Americans in the 19th Century believed slavery was immoral and wanted nothing to do with it."



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelrose Expired Image Removed
Those who had begun to consider slavery immoral in the 19th century, were in a minority, and considered "fanatics" by many of their neighbors. (Some of my Quaker ancestors who were abolitionists, had to move around alot because of their unpopularity in the various towns they tried to make their "home").

"There's a difference between immediate abolitionists and those who were simply antislavery. Those who were antislavery and wanted nothing to do with it were the majority. But they didn't want to dictate what somebody else was going to do in their state. They were okay with slavery existing in the south as long as it didn't touch them personally."

the above is from your Post #202

since you are always requesting citations for statements made by others, I am sure you would be willing to provide same for the statements quoted.
When in the 19th century did a large majority of Ameericans oppose slavery? How was their opposition measured? Do you include all Americans or just those in the northern states?

Ed
Absolutely. I provided some in my last post. Would you like more? I include all Americans when I speak of a majority of Americans. The large majority of Americans began to oppose slavery right after the Revolution. At that point the states north of the Mason-Dixon Line began to abolish slavery within their borders. They did so on moral grounds. See Arthur Zilversmit, _The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North._ Even then, they made up a majority of the United States. This trend continued with the Northwest Ordinance, which forbade slavery in the Northwest Territory. Immigrants chose to live in free states rather than slave states, increasing the majority. People from free states who moved west overwhelmingly moved to free areas. A large number of people from slave states who moved west moved to free areas. This further increased the majority.

See also Louis Filler, _The Crusade Against Slavery, 1830-1860._ If you'd like to see the history of how the argument over slavery grew and culminated in secession, see William W. Freehling, _The Road to Disunion,_ Vols 1 and 2.

Regards,
Cash
 
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Rebelrose

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Unionblue and fellow members,

First of all, I respect your opinions/comments and your right to state them, but I also reserve my right to disagree with them. You have obviously spent much time and effort to better understand the timeperiod of the ACW/War for Southern Independence, and that is commendable. However, I didn't just "fall off the turnip truck" myself, in this regard. I am a professional educator, majoring in history and government and minoring in English. I am "published", although not in the realm of the War for Southern Independence, and have spent more time researching and studying this timeperiod, than a lot of the members of this forum have been a member of the Earth's population. As a South Carolina-born American, I first became interested in this timeperiod, by listening to oral family history re: the War for Southern Independence. When I entered public schools in the North, the history I was taught re: the ACW didn't "jive" with what I had learned from my family. Thus, I began to research the conflict on my own, and I'm still trying to understand why the "Southern-point-of -view" isn't as well covered as the Northern-point-of-view" in both academic and popular literature. So please, do not try to intimidate, embarrass, or harass me in reaction to my comments on this forum. I hope I have made myself clear on this subject. I believe we can all behave in a professional and courteous manner while discussing the topics presented.

Now, I am going to state once again, it's my studied opinion, that the War for Southern Independence was fought basically for just that premise...Southern Independence. When the Southern States seceded from the Union, they attempted to do so peacefully, with no intent of attacking the Northern States or of destroying the U.S. Constitution. South Carolina, following her secession from the Union, sent delegates to Washington to help plan the course of action to follow, in taking control of Ft. Sumter, and other Federal property, from the Federal government. (This was not an act of "hostility"). Buchanan, however, was unable or unwilling to participate in this endeavor. Following the formation of the Confederate States of America, President Davis also attempted to negotiate with the Federal government for control of the Federal government's property, i.e. post offices, custom houses, Ft. Sumter, etc., by sending a peace delegation to Washington for this purpose. Once again this attempt was ignored, by Lincoln, this time around. From the very beginning of the split between the Northern States and the Southern States, the South attempted to pursue a peaceful co-existence with the North. My question is, and always has been, why couldn't the North follow through via a peaceful solution? If you can answer this query, I'd enjoy seeing your response.

Why did the Southern States decide to secede from the Union? The vast majority of you insist the reason was...slavery. Why slavery, when it was legal in those Southern States, and was not in danger of being outlawed. Why do you entirely overlook the issue of the right to own and protect private property? Why do you not understand that when slaveholders were told they were not permitted to take and keep their private property in the newer territories, that their right to own and protect their private property was infringed? (We are not bringing-up the issue of whether or not slavery was moral or immoral...that is not relevant to this discussion of "private property rights" as recognized by the U.S. Constitution). You are just "champing-at-the-bit" to say that the property the South was concerned with keeping and protecting was...slaves. And you would be correct, of course, but slaves were considered just that...property. (Save your sentiments of the cruelty and inhumanity of slavery for another discussion). We are discussing the issue of "property rights" being denied to a specific segment of the population of the United States. That's considered "discrimination" by any definition. If your property rights were being threatened you would be disgruntled, also, to say the least. According to Larry Tagg, author of The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln, the most explosive issue in American historywas Lincoln's dedication to re-defining property to exclude slaves. Tagg says, "to get something of the fury Lincoln's candidacy produced, it is necessary to imagine a modern-day candidate who would make one-third of the country fear losing the entire value of their homes." This is a devastating statistic to say the least, in contemporary times. How would it have "played-out" in 1860? Of course, the issue of property rights is just one of several reasons for the decision of the Southern States to secede from the Union. More to be discussed in a later posting.


Rebelrose
 

Elennsar

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From the very beginning of the split between the Northern States and the Southern States, the South attempted to pursue a peaceful co-existence with the North. My question is, and always has been, why couldn't the North follow through via a peaceful solution? If you can answer this query, I'd enjoy seeing your response.
Because the South did not attempt a peaceful co-existence. The "North" was not responsible for providing a peaceful solution to a problem the South generated by considering all antislavery sentiments to be attempts to end slavery immediately without compensation and with malicious intent.

It was willing to sell out States Rights and all previous compromises in 1850 to get a law that would require supporting slave catchers by all citizens.

It was willing to applaud an individual who severely injuried a man sitting at his desk and unable to defend himself in response to a speech. A highly critical speech, but still a speech with no power to change the situation.

If there was one mote of preference for peaceful co-existence, the caner should have been loudly denounced, not celebrated.

I am sure one could go further, but the behavior the South exhibited was not "can't we get along?" but "we want to get our way".

Also, if one is to pretend that slaves should be merely considered property and any attempt to end slavery being stealing property, we essentially ignore entirely why anyone would mind slavery and attempt to brand them merely as a thief - with no consideration whatsoever of the nature of the situation.
 

unionblue

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Unionblue and fellow members,

First of all, I respect your opinions/comments and your right to state them, but I also reserve my right to disagree with them. You have obviously spent much time and effort to better understand the timeperiod of the ACW/War for Southern Independence, and that is commendable. However, I didn't just "fall off the turnip truck" myself, in this regard. I am a professional educator, majoring in history and government and minoring in English. I am "published", although not in the realm of the War for Southern Independence, and have spent more time researching and studying this timeperiod, than a lot of the members of this forum have been a member of the Earth's population. As a South Carolina-born American, I first became interested in this timeperiod, by listening to oral family history re: the War for Southern Independence. When I entered public schools in the North, the history I was taught re: the ACW didn't "jive" with what I had learned from my family. Thus, I began to research the conflict on my own, and I'm still trying to understand why the "Southern-point-of -view" isn't as well covered as the Northern-point-of-view" in both academic and popular literature. So please, do not try to intimidate, embarrass, or harass me in reaction to my comments on this forum. I hope I have made myself clear on this subject. I believe we can all behave in a professional and courteous manner while discussing the topics presented.

Now, I am going to state once again, it's my studied opinion, that the War for Southern Independence was fought basically for just that premise...Southern Independence. When the Southern States seceded from the Union, they attempted to do so peacefully, with no intent of attacking the Northern States or of destroying the U.S. Constitution. South Carolina, following her secession from the Union, sent delegates to Washington to help plan the course of action to follow, in taking control of Ft. Sumter, and other Federal property, from the Federal government. (This was not an act of "hostility"). Buchanan, however, was unable or unwilling to participate in this endeavor. Following the formation of the Confederate States of America, President Davis also attempted to negotiate with the Federal government for control of the Federal government's property, i.e. post offices, custom houses, Ft. Sumter, etc., by sending a peace delegation to Washington for this purpose. Once again this attempt was ignored, by Lincoln, this time around. From the very beginning of the split between the Northern States and the Southern States, the South attempted to pursue a peaceful co-existence with the North. My question is, and always has been, why couldn't the North follow through via a peaceful solution? If you can answer this query, I'd enjoy seeing your response.

Why did the Southern States decide to secede from the Union? The vast majority of you insist the reason was...slavery. Why slavery, when it was legal in those Southern States, and was not in danger of being outlawed. Why do you entirely overlook the issue of the right to own and protect private property? Why do you not understand that when slaveholders were told they were not permitted to take and keep their private property in the newer territories, that their right to own and protect their private property was infringed? (We are not bringing-up the issue of whether or not slavery was moral or immoral...that is not relevant to this discussion of "private property rights" as recognized by the U.S. Constitution). You are just "champing-at-the-bit" to say that the property the South was concerned with keeping and protecting was...slaves. And you would be correct, of course, but slaves were considered just that...property. (Save your sentiments of the cruelty and inhumanity of slavery for another discussion). We are discussing the issue of "property rights" being denied to a specific segment of the population of the United States. That's considered "discrimination" by any definition. If your property rights were being threatened you would be disgruntled, also, to say the least. According to Larry Tagg, author of The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln, the most explosive issue in American historywas Lincoln's dedication to re-defining property to exclude slaves. Tagg says, "to get something of the fury Lincoln's candidacy produced, it is necessary to imagine a modern-day candidate who would make one-third of the country fear losing the entire value of their homes." This is a devastating statistic to say the least, in contemporary times. How would it have "played-out" in 1860? Of course, the issue of property rights is just one of several reasons for the decision of the Southern States to secede from the Union. More to be discussed in a later posting.


Rebelrose
Rebelrose,

So it was about slavery? :smile:

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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Rebelrose

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Cash,

Why do you claim that slavery was the biggest issue in the 1850's? Because it's the only issue written about in the newspapers, that the majority of people didn't even read? Because it is a "dramatic" and "emotional" topic? You actually believe that the issue of slavery was the only one that people were concerned with in the 1850's? How about the concern of the average person to simply "survive", let alone support a family, by acquiring a job that paid a decent wage, or by obtaining enough land to produce a successful crop, etc. These were the real issues of interest to the average American, North and South. Slavery was a "hot-button issue" and was effectively used by those in power, to gain whatever political and economic ends they coveted.

Your earlier comment that slaves were not considered in the U.S. Constitution is incorrect...their existence was relevant, when using population numbers to determine the number of representatives from each state sent to Congress.

You failed to make use of my hint, re: the New Testament. Also, Lincoln was not part of the New Testament, and the "Golden Rule" is found as the basic tenent of all the major religions of the world.

You're just attempting to be "condescending", and that isn't very professional behavior of you. You are capable of being better than this.

Now, you're bordering on "insulting", and that is entirely uncalled for...from anyone. You are not aware that the largest slavetraders in North America were located in the North...Rhode Island, to be specific? And that they (plural) were engaged in the slavetrade until 1875? (And I didn't even have to resort to calling anyone "inbred"). Shame on you.

I'll hand it to you...you certainly have a "knack" for interpreting statistics to serve your stance on a subject. You really think it's a little known fact that more people lived in the North than lived in the South? Don't you recall that the South was outnumbered by a more populated North during the War for Southern Independence? And you really believe that nobody wanted to live in the South? Please, this is an absurd assumption on your part. I'll give you just one reason for some people to leave the South for new lands in the West...fertile ground for farming, since the soil was easily depleted by earlier farming methods. Oh, wait, that's the reason a lot of people even from the North left their homes and moved West. Funny thing about that, isn't it?

Thank-you for presenting one of the reasons the Southern States had for deciding to secede from the Union...the failure of several states to adhere to a federal law, as provided by "a-rule-of-law-based-government". This choice to avoid adhering to a federal law is approved by you, yet when the Southern States seceded, you are all "a-twitter" because you believe they weren't adhering to the law. Double standards, anyone?

Now, you are "casting aspersions" on my ancestors, by stating that family histories are notoriously unreliable? I won't "call you" on that, as family histories are told by human beings, and as such are not always the only version of an event or incident, but they should never be underestimated. But don't you also understand that the "official" reports are also told by human beings, and as such are just as "suspect" in their views, depending on the slant a particular participant wants recorded for whatever reason? (This goes for many historians and authors, also, with an "axe to grind", whether admitted or not).

Yes, many Northerners wanted nothing to do with runaways, because they wanted nothing to do with Negroes. Can you, with a good conscience, deny this fact?

It has now been 144 years since the end of the ACW/War for Southern Independence, and we are still hashing and rehashing the reasons for both secession and the conflict. This very fact puts in perspective the intensity of the schism between the North and the South that led to war. This time, in this place, we can agree to disagree, and not take up arms against each other. Right, Cash?

Rebelrose
 

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I've rescued this thread from the mod corner before, I have no intention of watching people force me to do it again. Look at the title of this thread and then look at the first posts on this thread.
 

dvrmte

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I've rescued this thread from the mod corner before, I have no intention of watching people force me to do it again. Look at the title of this thread and then look at the first posts on this thread.
 
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OpnOlympic

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Well then, would there have been a CW in 1860 if slavery had not existed?(or if the south had accepted gradual, compensated emancipation)
 

K Hale

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It was willing to applaud an individual who severely injuried a man sitting at his desk and unable to defend himself in response to a speech. A highly critical speech, but still a speech with no power to change the situation.
Well, to be fair, it was a little more than just highly critical... Still no excuse for whacking on somebody, though. Particularly not in such a sneaky, cowardly way.

I liked Stephen Douglas' take on the situation when he heard Sumner's speech: "That d____d fool is going to get himself killed by some other d____d fool." Which sums it up perfectly and is very nearly what happened.
Also, if one is to pretend that slaves should be merely considered property and any attempt to end slavery being stealing property, we essentially ignore entirely why anyone would mind slavery and attempt to brand them merely as a thief - with no consideration whatsoever of the nature of the situation.
They shouldn't be considered such. But the reality was, sadly, they were.
 

OpnOlympic

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Sen. Sumner's speech that provoked the southern attack on his person, contained an attack on Sen. Douglas every bit as vitriolic and savage, but Douglas (and his relatives) apparently understood the vagaries of American politics much better than many southerners.
 
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cash

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When I entered public schools in the North, the history I was taught re: the ACW didn't "jive" with what I had learned from my family. Thus, I began to research the conflict on my own, and I'm still trying to understand why the "Southern-point-of -view" isn't as well covered as the Northern-point-of-view" in both academic and popular literature.
Academic literature tends to try to cover the truth rather than a sectional point of view.


Now, I am going to state once again, it's my studied opinion, that the War for Southern Independence was fought basically for just that premise...Southern Independence.
And they wanted their independence because ... ?


When the Southern States seceded from the Union, they attempted to do so peacefully,
In all your years of study you haven't come across any violent measures taken between secession and war?



with no intent of attacking the Northern States or of destroying the U.S. Constitution.
Allowing a state to be able to unilaterally secede simply because they don't like the results of a free and fair election would in fact destroy the US Constitution.


South Carolina, following her secession from the Union, sent delegates to Washington to help plan the course of action to follow, in taking control of Ft. Sumter, and other Federal property, from the Federal government. (This was not an act of "hostility"). Buchanan, however, was unable or unwilling to participate in this endeavor.
Probably because since it was his duty to take care that the laws are executed, meeting with a group of criminals would tend to go against that duty.

Following the formation of the Confederate States of America, President Davis also attempted to negotiate with the Federal government for control of the Federal government's property, i.e. post offices, custom houses, Ft. Sumter, etc., by sending a peace delegation to Washington for this purpose. Once again this attempt was ignored, by Lincoln, this time around.
Lincoln also could not meet with a bunch of criminals and remain true to his constitutional oath of office.

From the very beginning of the split between the Northern States and the Southern States, the South attempted to pursue a peaceful co-existence with the North.
So in all your years of study you never read of Fort Sumter being ringed by artillery? You never read of Fort Pickens being surrounded by hostile forces?



My question is, and always has been, why couldn't the North follow through via a peaceful solution? If you can answer this query, I'd enjoy seeing your response.
How often should criminals be allowed to get away with their crimes?

Why did the Southern States decide to secede from the Union? The vast majority of you insist the reason was...slavery. Why slavery, when it was legal in those Southern States, and was not in danger of being outlawed.
The secessionists disagree with your claim that it was not in danger of being outlawed.


Why do you entirely overlook the issue of the right to own and protect private property? Why do you not understand that when slaveholders were told they were not permitted to take and keep their private property in the newer territories, that their right to own and protect their private property was infringed? (We are not bringing-up the issue of whether or not slavery was moral or immoral...that is not relevant to this discussion of "private property rights" as recognized by the U.S. Constitution).
Actually, since 1854 nobody was telling them any such thing. In all your years of study you should have come across that.

You are just "champing-at-the-bit" to say that the property the South was concerned with keeping and protecting was...slaves.
It was.

And you would be correct, of course, but slaves were considered just that...property.
True. So?

(Save your sentiments of the cruelty and inhumanity of slavery for another discussion). We are discussing the issue of "property rights" being denied to a specific segment of the population of the United States. That's considered "discrimination" by any definition.
No such rights were being denied. From 1820 to 1854 the Missouri Compromise allowed slavery south of 36-30 North Latitude and prohibited it north of that latitude. In 1854 the Missouri Compromise was repealed and there was no law at all restricting slavery in any of the territories. Surely you came across that in all your years of study.

If your property rights were being threatened you would be disgruntled, also, to say the least. According to Larry Tagg, author of The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln, the most explosive issue in American historywas Lincoln's dedication to re-defining property to exclude slaves. Tagg says, "to get something of the fury Lincoln's candidacy produced, it is necessary to imagine a modern-day candidate who would make one-third of the country fear losing the entire value of their homes." This is a devastating statistic to say the least, in contemporary times. How would it have "played-out" in 1860? Of course, the issue of property rights is just one of several reasons for the decision of the Southern States to secede from the Union. More to be discussed in a later posting.

Rebelrose
On which page of his book does he say that? The reason I ask is that it's an overly simplistic statement that doesn't encompass Lincoln's position at all and I'd like to see the context in which Tagg said it.

Regards,
Cash
 

Scribe

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Why did the Southern States decide to secede from the Union? The vast majority of you insist the reason was...slavery. Why slavery, when it was legal in those Southern States, and was not in danger of being outlawed. Why do you entirely overlook the issue of the right to own and protect private property? Why do you not understand that when slaveholders were told they were not permitted to take and keep their private property in the newer territories, that their right to own and protect their private property was infringed?
Rebelrose
Thought that The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott Decision had settled the question of human property in the territories in the slaveowners favor.
 

cash

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Cash,

Why do you claim that slavery was the biggest issue in the 1850's?
Because it was.

Because it's the only issue written about in the newspapers, that the majority of people didn't even read?
First of all, the majority of the free people of the time were certainly informed on the issues and did in fact read the newspapers.

I've read the congressional debates from the time. Have you? Let's take a look at what happened in the 1850s:

- 1850 saw a secession movement over slavery that was averted by the Compromise of 1850, which included a tough new Fugitive Slave Law that infuriated and insulted free state citizens. During this time also southern postmasters censor mail, not allowing anything that was antislavery to be sent into southern states.
- 1851 saw the publication of _Uncle Tom's Cabin,_ a book hated in the slave states.
- 1852 the Whig Party crumbles due to slavery.
- 1854 saw the Kansas-Nebraska Act, leading to Bloody Kansas in which a land war erupted between proslavery and antislavery settlers to determine whether Kansas would be a free state or a slave state.
- 1854 also saw the birth of the Republican Party, which was an antislavery party. It also brought Abraham Lincoln back into public life.
- 1855 arguments over personal liberty laws in free states.
- 1856 Antislavery Senator Charles Sumner is brutally attacked and beaten by the cowardly thug Preston Brooks, who attacked Sumner by surprise while Sumner was seated reading through papers.
- 1857 The Dred Scott decision and arguments over the Lecompton Constitution. Several Northern Democrats become anti-Lecompton Democrats.
- 1857 Hinton Helper publishes _The Impending Crisis,_ a book outlawed in the south.
- 1858 The Lincoln-Douglas Debates in Illinois concerning slavery.
- 1859 John Brown's Harpers Ferry Raid. Brown was an abolitionist seeking to free slaves.
- 1860 The House of Representatives goes ballot after ballot without being able to elect a Speaker because of candidates' views on slavery and their views on Helper's book.
- 1860 Abraham Lincoln, an antislavery candidate is elected for President and 7 states illegally try to secede from the United States.


Because it is a "dramatic" and "emotional" topic? You actually believe that the issue of slavery was the only one that people were concerned with in the 1850's? How about the concern of the average person to simply "survive", let alone support a family, by acquiring a job that paid a decent wage, or by obtaining enough land to produce a successful crop, etc. These were the real issues of interest to the average American, North and South. Slavery was a "hot-button issue" and was effectively used by those in power, to gain whatever political and economic ends they coveted.
Your statement is logically inconsistent. If the majority of the people didn't care about it, then it couldn't be used to gain political ends. The fact is that the majority of the people discussed the slavery issue.

Your earlier comment that slaves were not considered in the U.S. Constitution is incorrect...their existence was relevant, when using population numbers to determine the number of representatives from each state sent to Congress.
No, my statement is 100% correct. The words "slavery" and "slave" do not appear in the Constitution. That is all I said about it. Please don't attempt to put words in my mouth I didn't say.

You failed to make use of my hint, re: the New Testament. Also, Lincoln was not part of the New Testament, and the "Golden Rule" is found as the basic tenent of all the major religions of the world.
Please read my post again. I never claimed Lincoln was in the New Testament. Apparently you fail to recognize who said "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The hint is that it's found in the New Testament.

As I said previously, the Bible can be used to support any side of nearly every question. It is hardly persuasive at all.

You're just attempting to be "condescending", and that isn't very professional behavior of you. You are capable of being better than this.
Methinks thou art projecting, Miss Rose. Please look at your statements.


Now, you're bordering on "insulting", and that is entirely uncalled for...from anyone. You are not aware that the largest slavetraders in North America were located in the North...Rhode Island, to be specific? And that they (plural) were engaged in the slavetrade until 1875? (And I didn't even have to resort to calling anyone "inbred"). Shame on you.
Please read my post again. I was using that as an example to show your statement is the result of fallacious reasoning. You're the one who referred to a single person engaging in slave trading until 1875. By the way, since you're dealing in generalities, let's be more specific. Can you please provide names and dates of who you're talking about so that we can all be on the same page?


I'll hand it to you...you certainly have a "knack" for interpreting statistics to serve your stance on a subject. You really think it's a little known fact that more people lived in the North than lived in the South?
Sometimes it is, but sometimes it appears not to be. The fact remains the vast majority of the population chose to live in areas that prohibited slavery. Why would they do that? Is it the wonderful, warm climate?


And you really believe that nobody wanted to live in the South?
Please show me where I said that "nobody" wanted to live in the south. You are trying to put words in my mouth that I didn't say again. That is not an honest way of discussing an issue.


I'll give you just one reason for some people to leave the South for new lands in the West...fertile ground for farming, since the soil was easily depleted by earlier farming methods. Oh, wait, that's the reason a lot of people even from the North left their homes and moved West. Funny thing about that, isn't it?
Please read my post again. The people who migrated from free areas tended to migrate to free areas. People from slave states migrated to both free areas and slave areas, and a significant number of those migrating southerners, given the choice to migrate to a free area or a slave area, chose to migrate to a slave area. Are you deliberately misstating my post for some reason?

Thank-you for presenting one of the reasons the Southern States had for deciding to secede from the Union...the failure of several states to adhere to a federal law, as provided by "a-rule-of-law-based-government". This choice to avoid adhering to a federal law is approved by you, yet when the Southern States seceded, you are all "a-twitter" because you believe they weren't adhering to the law. Double standards, anyone?
The constitutional remedy for failure to adhere to the law is to use the court system. The seceding states failed to do that and instead took an illegal action.


Now, you are "casting aspersions" on my ancestors, by stating that family histories are notoriously unreliable? I won't "call you" on that, as family histories are told by human beings, and as such are not always the only version of an event or incident, but they should never be underestimated.
Nevertheless, family histories are indeed notoriously unreliable.


But don't you also understand that the "official" reports are also told by human beings, and as such are just as "suspect" in their views, depending on the slant a particular participant wants recorded for whatever reason? (This goes for many historians and authors, also, with an "axe to grind", whether admitted or not).
When you get more understanding of how historians work, let me know.

Yes, many Northerners wanted nothing to do with runaways, because they wanted nothing to do with Negroes. Can you, with a good conscience, deny this fact?
Yes. There were many who wanted nothing to do with African-Americans, that's true. But the uproar over the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law was not about having African-Americans but rather having to deal with slavery. Surely in your many years of study you must have come across a discussion of the Northern population's reaction to the FSL of 1850.

It has now been 144 years since the end of the ACW/War for Southern Independence, and we are still hashing and rehashing the reasons for both secession and the conflict.
Some people tend to want to sugarcoat things out of some sort of unwarranted need to feel good about their ancestors. Their ancestors didn't sugarcoat anything.

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery." [Mississippi Declaration of Causes]

"Our people have come to this on the question of slavery." [Lawrence M. Keitt in South Carolina Secession Debates]

"The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact." [Alexander Stephens, 21 March 1861, Savannah, Georgia]


This time, in this place, we can agree to disagree, and not take up arms against each other. Right, Cash?

Rebelrose
Absolutely [hides musket behind the door] :smile:

Regards,
Cash
 
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cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I've rescued this thread from the mod corner before, I have no intention of watching people force me to do it again. Look at the title of this thread and then look at the first posts on this thread.
 

cash

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James Longstreet _From Manassas to Appomattox_
John B. Hood _Advance and Retreat_
Richard Taylor _Destruction and Reconstruction_
Jefferson Davis _The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government_
Alexander Stephens _A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States_
G. Moxley Sorrell _A Confederate Staff Officer_
E. Porter Alexander _Military Memoirs of a Confederate_
E. Porter Alexander _Fighting for the Confederacy_
John B. Gordon _Reminiscenses of the Civil War_
Jubal Early _Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War Between the States_
Sam Watkins _Co. Aytch_
etc., etc.
Southern Historical Society or Confederate Veteran Magazine?

I suppose you think Douglas Southall Freeman, son of a confederate soldier, is one of the winners?

Or James I. Robertson, great grandson of two confederate soldiers, is one of the winners?



Regards,
Cash

I've rescued this thread from the mod corner before, I have no intention of watching people force me to do it again. Look at the title of this thread and then look at the first posts on this thread.
 
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johan_steele

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I've rescued this thread from the mod corner before, I have no intention of watching people force me to do it again. Look at the title of this thread and then look at the first posts on this thread.

Are we clear?
 

OpnOlympic

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Is the fact that there may have been as many differeing reasons as there were soldiers, really germane to the history of the CW?
What is relevant is that the soldiers who did fight, were fighting for the cause of their gov'ts and only incidentally their personal motivations, if they diverged that of their gov't?
 
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