Why did The Uncontrolled Growth Of Sectionalism During the 1850s Happen; Slavery or Something More Subtle?

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Thank you for your continued responses as I have attempted to find those answers. I think I can now live with what it was and deal with what we are left with because of it.

@BigTex ,

In attempting "to find those answers" I think you will become more pleased at "what we are left with" because of the Civil War.

Our nation is rather unique among the nations of the world. In spite of it's many mistakes and missteps, it keeps trying to be better than it is. During my time in the US Army, I traveled overseas a lot and was stationed in many nations for long periods of time. I was first stationed in Turkey, which was under military rule when I first got there. The first thing I saw when I got off the plane in Istanbul, was an old style Tommy Gun, held by a Turkish Army soldier. I saw armored cars and tanks at city intersections and garrisons of Turkish soldiers and armed sailors at important installations. My very first military ruled nation.

I've been to various other countries, Japan, Germany, England, etc., and been to Mexico. The one vivid memory I have, the one that has always stuck with me, is the feeling of intense happiness and joy whenever I returned to the United States.

There is no other nation like it on the face of the earth and I thank God that I was born here and am one of it's citizens

Good luck finding your answers. I found mine when I was 18 years old with the Army.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
That is for those defending their homeland to decide not the aggressors.

Too thin an excuse with no details on why defending the homeland is worth dying for. It's an excuse used by political elites to get their citizens to die for a cause that even dogs shouldn't die for.

Like the man once said, "My country, right or wrong, makes about as much sense as My Mother, drunk or sober."
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Laurinburg NC
Too thin an excuse with no details on why defending the homeland is worth dying for. It's an excuse used by political elites to get their citizens to die for a cause that even dogs shouldn't die for.

Like the man once said, "My country, right or wrong, makes about as much sense as My Mother, drunk or sober."

The Yankee nation has always considered it their prerogative to decide who was right and who was wrong.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Southerners wanted Independence. Old Abe said it would take100 yeas for Slavery to melt away. Republicans had no reason to disturb Slavery, where it was. Vast majority of Northerners had no feeling for the Negro. What did the Yankee Planters around Natchez think?

The Natchez elite probably took little part in the game. They owned better table stakes and preferred to be dealt into the action available at Union headquarters. Lorenzo Thomas, the adjutant general of the U. S. Army, received their best hospitality. He had become acquainted with them while stationed there before the war, and his return to Natchez in 1863 to recruit black troops scarcely lessened his welcome among the old elite. Thomas was happy "to see his old friends and talk of days gone by." he was also very obliging. He released William J. Minor's plantation from government leasing and announced his readiness to do anything he could "to help out his old friends." presumably this meant opening doors at the Quartermaster's Department and cutting red tape, as he had done for his son and his friends, who had first crack at the most eligibly located plantations that the Natchez elite could offer. Thomas W. Knox was not the only northern prospector who was disappointed to find "that the best plantations in the vicinity had been taken by the friends of Adjutant-General Thomas, and were gone past out securing."

Meanwhile Thomas worked assiduously to see that the regulations concerning the management of the freedmen did not assume a shape that would unduly inconvenience the old elite. He had sold himself on the idea that the system of free labor should should approximate as nearly as possible the usages of slavery, since the latter represented "the results of experience"; and he later recommended scrapping the Freedmen's Bureau. The general was as steadfast and loyal a friend as the Natchez elite could have hoped for in these turbulent times. pp47-47 New Masters by Lawrence N. Powell

Seems as though the 21st Century Yankees views are different than the Majority of the 19th Century Yankees. Anyhow, Yankees are going to drop the Negro and go west to Murder Indians. All for the benefit of the White Man. We, The People, I mean White People. Reality vs Hoping how it should of been. Entertaining
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
Too thin an excuse with no details on why defending the homeland is worth dying for. It's an excuse used by political elites to get their citizens to die for a cause that even dogs shouldn't die for.

Like the man once said, "My country, right or wrong, makes about as much sense as My Mother, drunk or sober."

{Off-topic}

RE: Like the man once said, "My country, right or wrong, makes about as much sense as My Mother, drunk or sober."

That is a meme-ready phrase if ever I heard one.

{/Off-topic}
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
ink e from The Impending Crisis, by David Potter
The Summery is that just like nesting Russian dolls, there is often something deeper than hitting Southerners over the head with 'slavery' and retreating into a self satisficing session with Treasury Virtueure. Economic clashes over modes of production and labor is another. Or perhaps a clash of civilizations which is common in historical scholarship.




Uncontrolled Sectionalism? I am not sure what phrase is in reference to

The Sectionalism of ante-bellum American history, is speciifiic and had a single cause, i.e., to control sectionalism, Slavery first had to be controlled(keping the institution of Slavery out of territory, where it did not already exist)

The Sectionalism that led to Secession and War, was speciific to the Compromise of 1820 and, concerned the expansion of Slavery almost exclusively.

Technically(and very narrowly)I suppose, it can be argued that arguing about the expansion of slavery was not precisely, the same as arguing over Slavery itself. As for me I usually find it difficult to argue between te virtues of a nit or a louse.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Southerners wanted Independence.

The growth of Sectionalism during the 1850s can be found in the issue of Slavery. The only independence sought by slaveholders was the independence to put slavery everywhere, in the federal territories, both Slave and Free States. Southerners did not just want independence, they wanted absolute say so over the rest of the nation when it came to slavery.

Old Abe said it would take100 yeas for Slavery to melt away. Republicans had no reason to disturb Slavery, where it was. Vast majority of Northerners had no feeling for the Negro. What did the Yankee Planters around Natchez think?

Now tell the rest of the story. How the slaveholding elite and leadership trumped up a fear of slaves being freed by Northern abolishionists and the Republican Party, when the Republicans said they had no intention of disturbing Southern slavery where it existed. Tell ALL of the story.

The Natchez elite probably took little part in the game. They owned better table stakes and preferred to be dealt into the action available at Union headquarters. Lorenzo Thomas, the adjutant general of the U. S. Army, received their best hospitality. He had become acquainted with them while stationed there before the war, and his return to Natchez in 1863 to recruit black troops scarcely lessened his welcome among the old elite. Thomas was happy "to see his old friends and talk of days gone by." he was also very obliging. He released William J. Minor's plantation from government leasing and announced his readiness to do anything he could "to help out his old friends." presumably this meant opening doors at the Quartermaster's Department and cutting red tape, as he had done for his son and his friends, who had first crack at the most eligibly located plantations that the Natchez elite could offer. Thomas W. Knox was not the only northern prospector who was disappointed to find "that the best plantations in the vicinity had been taken by the friends of Adjutant-General Thomas, and were gone past out securing."

And here too, the one side of the story. How many of these above named men warned the Southern slaveholding States that the minute they rebelled, slavery was doomed in the United States. It had remained undisturbed for all the time previous to secession and then was exposed to destruction by the South's very act of rebellion.

Meanwhile Thomas worked assiduously to see that the regulations concerning the management of the freedmen did not assume a shape that would unduly inconvenience the old elite. He had sold himself on the idea that the system of free labor should should approximate as nearly as possible the usages of slavery, since the latter represented "the results of experience"; and he later recommended scrapping the Freedmen's Bureau. The general was as steadfast and loyal a friend as the Natchez elite could have hoped for in these turbulent times. pp47-47 New Masters by Lawrence N. Powell

So, you are of the opinion this tells the WHOLE story, that all "Yankees" are cut from the same cloth, perform in exactly the same manner when confronting slavery and negroes, that they are robots and are all programed alike in the North. Wow.


Seems as though the 21st Century Yankees views are different than the Majority of the 19th Century Yankees.

And here is where you keep making the same mistake, over and over again. There are no 21st century Yankees just as there are no 21st century Rebels. They are all dead and buried and calling those who oppose your theory on the cause of that 19th century war "Yankees" shows a real desire to defeclt from actual history with emotion vice fact.

Anyhow, Yankees are going to drop the Negro and go west to Murder Indians.

(SIGH!) Proceeded by and then followed by Southerners who have no more regard for Indian rights than they did.

All for the benefit of the White Man. We, The People, I mean White People.

ALL OF US WHITE PEOPLE, North and South, in other words, The United States of America, at the time of the 19th century. No one here has denied it, but few of us point a finger at just one region in order to escape blame for their own ancestors sins.

Reality vs Hoping how it should of been.

The hope should be that "it is history that teaches us to hope" and to learn from our past mistakes so we do not commit them again in the future. We can't do that until we are honest about our history and stop poking ourselves in the eyes with all the needless finger-pointing.

Entertaining

Should be more about being educational.

Unionblue
 

Robin Lesjovitch

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
To address the original question, there was nothing subtle about the advance of sectionalism.
Now, and before 1850, politicians perfectly understood how them and us could be used to advantage.
By the late 1840's the temptation to point to the continuity of the slave states and the continuity of the free states north of them as potential us or them was too great to resist. The last batch of Whig leaders tried and saw their Party flounder. The Republican Party filled the void, and that Party was not shy about sectionalism. If people could start equating Party and Section, then every issue could be boiled down to a single word: slavery. People could then find themselves believing all manner of things they never thought before, so long as they did not resemble them. When the Democratic Party yielded to the reality, there was no more National politics.
Any map of the US in 1850 should bring up visions of politicians drooling over the possibilities. As the last batch of nationalists were gone, there was nothing to stop what was to come.
 

joegotts1

Private
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
I think in one way you've hit the nail on the head: the question is "how did slavery cause the Civil War."
The question isn't "what caused the Civil War?" because we know the answer to that: slavery.

My bolding of "how" from your post.
I have been reading the back and forth on the "slavery issue" for months and years on end, ad nauseam. Irrespective of the EXACT percentage, 26% or 31% or one-third of Southern families who owned slaves, the reality and truth of the matter is simply that as many as two-thirds, or more, of Southern families did not own slaves, and to suggest that any more than a mere handful of them were fighting for something (slavery) that was not even a part of their very own family existence is preposterous, ludicrous, and perhaps the biggest myth ever purported to be true, for reasons and purposes that have no basis in historical fact, but surely sound politically correct for those who otherwise need to feel good about themselves when discussing the CW, that was complicated and certainly tragic for BOTH sides. Yes, the issue of slavery is part of any discussion, but only a small part out of many parts.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
I have been reading the back and forth on the "slavery issue" for months and years on end, ad nauseam. Irrespective of the EXACT percentage, 26% or 31% or one-third of Southern families who owned slaves, the reality and truth of the matter is simply that as many as two-thirds, or more, of Southern families did not own slaves, and to suggest that any more than a mere handful of them were fighting for something (slavery) that was not even a part of their very own family existence is preposterous, ludicrous, and perhaps the biggest myth ever purported to be true, for reasons and purposes that have no basis in historical fact, but surely sound politically correct for those who otherwise need to feel good about themselves when discussing the CW, that was complicated and certainly tragic for BOTH sides. Yes, the issue of slavery is part of any discussion, but only a small part out of many parts.
First, welcome to CivilWarTalk and thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post.

The reason I think that the protection of slavery was the reason for secession is because of historical fact. The historical facts being what the secessionists told us at the time. They very much considered slavery to be threatened by the election of an anti-slavery president. They declared that was the reason in the ordinances of secession, and they made the threat to slavery the argument in trying to get other slave states to secede. As early as 1850, the more extreme, like John C. Calhoun, was making being part of the United States conditional to the well being of slavery.

So I'm coming out of the blue with thinking that the protection of slavery was the driver of secession. Its difficult not to think that with any familiarity with the historical record.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
I have been reading the back and forth on the "slavery issue" for months and years on end, ad nauseam. Irrespective of the EXACT percentage, 26% or 31% or one-third of Southern families who owned slaves, the reality and truth of the matter is simply that as many as two-thirds, or more, of Southern families did not own slaves, and to suggest that any more than a mere handful of them were fighting for something (slavery) that was not even a part of their very own family existence is preposterous, ludicrous, and perhaps the biggest myth ever purported to be true, for reasons and purposes that have no basis in historical fact, but surely sound politically correct for those who otherwise need to feel good about themselves when discussing the CW, that was complicated and certainly tragic for BOTH sides. Yes, the issue of slavery is part of any discussion, but only a small part out of many parts.
I think you bring up a point that needs to be addressed. Slave ownership was a minority in what would become the Confederacy. Not only that, it was increasingly becoming a minority: I think the percentage of families owning slaves went from a third in the 1840s to a quarter by 1860(fewer, richer people were owning more slaves).

Non slave owning whites thought protecting slavery was also worthwhile. Slavery and owning slaves and controlling the population of black people through the institution of slavery were seen as positives, and even essential parts of society. Gov. Joseph Brown of Georgia actually addressed non slave owning whites in 1860 with arguments of why non slave owners should support secession.

Certainly the appeal and justice of the secessionist cause resonated mostly strongly with regions with he most slaves and slave owners.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
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Location
Jupiter, FL
the reality and truth of the matter is simply that as many as two-thirds, or more, of Southern families did not own slaves, and to suggest that any more than a mere handful of them were fighting for something (slavery) that was not even a part of their very own family existence is preposterous, ludicrous, and perhaps the biggest myth ever purported to be true, for reasons and purposes that have no basis in historical fact, but surely sound politically correct for those who otherwise need to feel good about themselves when discussing the CW

The mistake is to assume because someone did not own slavery they did not benefit from or care about slavery.

1. Slaves and plantations were a symbol of wealth. Even if you, your family, and your ancestors never owned a slave there was a good chance you aspired to do so.

2. Slaves were property, thus slavery is a symbol for private property. If you let the federal government take slave property what kind of property will they take next?

3. Slavery had a social benefit as much as a financial one. There were large numbers of slaves in the South and those slaves were all black. Blacks had been portayed as dishonest, lazy, and lustful. Southerners saw slavery as protecting white people from black people and the most effective way to keep blacks in line and productive. They didn't know they would be able to get away with a century of Jim Crow. Miscegenation was a popular boogieman.

4. Slavery ensured the lowliest white man was still socially above two classes: free blacks and enslaved blacks. Abolish slavery and give civil rights and now poor whites are on the bottom rung of the social ladder with African-Americans, a possibility they found repulsive.

5. Abolition was being forced on Southerners by non-Southerners.

It's notable too where Southern Unionism was strongest: areas that had the least amount of slavery. Ozarks (AR), Smokey Mountains (TN/AL), western VA, southern FL, certain parts of AL and MS.

A final thought: think about poor white voting patterns in the 150 years since the Civil War and how often a significant number of them are seeming willing to vote for wealthy interests that wont benefit them. Then remember in 1860 that in the South slaves = wealth.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
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Location
Denver, CO
The success of the cotton growers hid the fact that the far south was falling behind.
1586346695036.png
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
In 1787, many southerners in Virginia and North Carolina were not practicing slavery. The moved to Kentucky and Tennessee, and subsequent generations kept moving, west and northward. There was a tremendous amount of sorting going on as voluntary immigrants chose the paid labor section over the slave labor section, and large numbers of small scale farmers tried get away from slavery, slaves and slave owners.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
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Location
Denver, CO
The north solved its smallpox problem through acquired immunity, innoculation, and dispersal, but the south got hit hard by cholera.
Death rates in LA, MI and eastern AR remained high from 1849-1860.
1586347864631.png
 
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