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Old 09-28-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Bay Area - Portland
286 posts, read 453,831 times
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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard conservatives claim with a straight face that the civil war had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, which has always struck me as rather laughable. While I can understand why someone from the south might be sensitive about admitting that their forefathers fought to keep slaves in bondage, how many decades have to pass before they come to grips with reality?

I recently read a great article that shed some light about the reasons why so many have been in denial for so long…

“…Generations of historians have argued over the cause of the war. “Everyone knew at the time that the war was ultimately about slavery (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Fort-Sumter-The-Civil-War-Begins.htm - broken link),” says Orville Vernon Burton, a native South Carolinian and author of The Age of Lincoln. “After the war, some began saying that it was really about states’ rights, or a clash of two different cultures, or about the tariff, or about the industrializing North versus the agrarian South. All these interpretations came together to portray the Civil War as a collision of two noble civilizations from which black slaves had been airbrushed out.” African-American historians from W.E.B. Du Bois to John Hope Franklin begged to differ with the revisionist view, but they were overwhelmed by white historians, both Southern and Northern, who, during the long era of Jim Crow, largely ignored the importance of slavery in shaping the politics of secession.

Fifty years ago, the question of slavery was so loaded, says Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln President-Elect and other works on the 16th president, that the issue virtually paralyzed the federal commission charged with organizing events commemorating the war’s centennial in 1961, from which African-Americans were virtually excluded. (Arrangements for the sesquicentennial have been left to individual states.) At the time, some Southern members reacted with hostility to any emphasis on slavery, for fear that it would embolden the then-burgeoning civil rights movement. Only later were African-American views of the war and its origins finally heard, and scholarly opinion began to shift. Says Holzer, “Only in recent years have we returned to the obvious—that it was about slavery.”

As Emory Thomas, author of The Confederate Nation 1861-1865 and a retired professor of history at the University of Georgia, puts it, “The heart and soul of the secession argument was slavery and race. Most white Southerners favored racial subordination, and they wanted to protect the status quo. They were concerned that the Lincoln administration would restrict slavery, and they were right.”…”
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,871 posts, read 57,924,091 times
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"I recently read a great article..."
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The obvious cause of our Civil War-awjeezrk7.jpg  
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:06 PM
 
2,893 posts, read 3,401,517 times
Reputation: 4070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dual Citizen CA-OR View Post
[font=Verdana]I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard conservatives claim with a straight face that the civil war had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, which has always struck me as rather laughable.
You may be overestimating the public outcry for your opinion about what is laughable and what is not. For example, I don't find race baiting -- one way or the other -- to be laughable at all. But then that's just my opinion . . .
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,990 posts, read 17,449,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Forbes View Post
You may be overestimating the public outcry for your opinion about what is laughable and what is not. For example, I don't find race baiting -- one way or the other -- to be laughable at all. But then that's just my opinion . . .
Quote:
laugh·a·ble   
adjective
such as to cause laughter; funny; amusing; ludicrous.
Laughable | Define Laughable at Dictionary.com

Race baiting may reasonably be considered "ludicrous", which means deserving of contempt or ridicule.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Southeast Arizona
3,165 posts, read 3,960,631 times
Reputation: 2042
These discussions (read: self righteous diatrabes) are REALLY starting to wear on me. So I will just post this in response.

He has some very good points regarding your opinions, and whatever non-cited article you posted.

ROBERT'S RANTS: Random Thoughts on History and Alternate History
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:54 PM
 
919 posts, read 1,865,691 times
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slavery was an issue in the starting of the civil war because of its economic impact on the south. Its the economic thing again. When Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address thousands of northern soldiers quit outright and went awol because they didn't want to hear that they fought over a black issue. Lincoln hijacked the reasons for the civil war by giving that speech about freedom for blacks. The war wasn't about slavery.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:48 AM
 
5,489 posts, read 8,170,644 times
Reputation: 7320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dual Citizen CA-OR View Post
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard conservatives claim with a straight face that the civil war had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, which has always struck me as rather laughable. While I can understand why someone from the south might be sensitive about admitting that their forefathers fought to keep slaves in bondage, how many decades have to pass before they come to grips with reality?

I recently read a great article that shed some light about the reasons why so many have been in denial for so long…

“…Generations of historians have argued over the cause of the war. “Everyone knew at the time that the war was ultimately about slavery (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Fort-Sumter-The-Civil-War-Begins.htm - broken link),” says Orville Vernon Burton, a native South Carolinian and author of The Age of Lincoln. “After the war, some began saying that it was really about states’ rights, or a clash of two different cultures, or about the tariff, or about the industrializing North versus the agrarian South. All these interpretations came together to portray the Civil War as a collision of two noble civilizations from which black slaves had been airbrushed out.” African-American historians from W.E.B. Du Bois to John Hope Franklin begged to differ with the revisionist view, but they were overwhelmed by white historians, both Southern and Northern, who, during the long era of Jim Crow, largely ignored the importance of slavery in shaping the politics of secession.

Fifty years ago, the question of slavery was so loaded, says Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln President-Elect and other works on the 16th president, that the issue virtually paralyzed the federal commission charged with organizing events commemorating the war’s centennial in 1961, from which African-Americans were virtually excluded. (Arrangements for the sesquicentennial have been left to individual states.) At the time, some Southern members reacted with hostility to any emphasis on slavery, for fear that it would embolden the then-burgeoning civil rights movement. Only later were African-American views of the war and its origins finally heard, and scholarly opinion began to shift. Says Holzer, “Only in recent years have we returned to the obvious—that it was about slavery.”

As Emory Thomas, author of The Confederate Nation 1861-1865 and a retired professor of history at the University of Georgia, puts it, “The heart and soul of the secession argument was slavery and race. Most white Southerners favored racial subordination, and they wanted to protect the status quo. They were concerned that the Lincoln administration would restrict slavery, and they were right.”…”
I'm sorry to let FACTS rain on your little parade, but:

The Emancipation Proclamation DID NOT FREE THE SLAVES IN THE NORTH.

Didn't happen till partway THROUGH the war...

As to you 'trying to blame conservatives':

You DO understand that the south was predominantly Democrat's back then... right?

Lincoln was a republican.

Underlined portion: Check out how Black people were treated in ALL the states.


History... an amazing thing!

Oh, and I'm pretty sure what your selective hearing ignored was that while slavery was ONE of the reasons... it was not THE predominant reason.
Why else would all those poor southerners who DIDN'T OWN SLAVES be willing to DIE in the fight...
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:23 AM
 
24,738 posts, read 26,810,935 times
Reputation: 22723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angorlee View Post
slavery was an issue in the starting of the civil war because of its economic impact on the south. Its the economic thing again. When Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address thousands of northern soldiers quit outright and went awol because they didn't want to hear that they fought over a black issue. Lincoln hijacked the reasons for the civil war by giving that speech about freedom for blacks. The war wasn't about slavery.
The Civil War, just like all wars, was a war of power and control (economic and political).

Indirectly, it was about slavery, since the South had built its economy on a slave labor model. However reprehensible slavery was, it was easy for the North to tell the South what to do since the North really didn't have to make any painful changes to its economy.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 11,887,268 times
Reputation: 9953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
Why else would all those poor southerners who DIDN'T OWN SLAVES be willing to DIE in the fight...
For the same reason poor people have often, throughout history, acted against their own interests by vigorously defending the right of the wealthy to milk them dry. Whether it was the church, smugglers, a coal mine or a corporation, answer's the same: because historically, the people don't act in their own best interests. They hose themselves.

We may debate whether this is idiocy, a desire to be associated with the gleam of the social winners, or whatever other reason; but whether it's peasants signing up to go Crusading, Colonials manipulated into throwing lower cost tea into a harbor while buying expensive smuggled tea from future 'founding fathers', poor Southern whites going to war so that wealthy Southern whites could continue to live opulent lifestyles, or poor and elderly people voting for leaders whose stated goal is to make poor and elderly people poorer, it's been with us a very long time.

There's a pervasive myth, necessary to the concept of one-person-one-vote and also necessary to the concept of the labor union, that 'the people' are actually wise. It's incorrect. Historically, 'the people' are dumber than a sack of wet nickels, and when their overlords want to screw them big time, their usual hooks are religion and nationalism. In the South, it was nationalism. So poor whites marched off to war, often barefoot and starving, while rich whites continued cultivating cash crops rather than switch to food crops that would have fed their soldiers, confident that the poor were too stupid to assemble the pieces, stick their bayonets in the ground and go home.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:59 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 2,992,472 times
Reputation: 1527
What puzzles me about this discussion is the use of language.

The question is typically: "What was the civil war about?" I don't think all sides are in agreement about what is truly being asked. Are they asking, "What are the causes of the Civil War?"

If so, there is a chain of events that took place. Slavery was one of them, nobody can dispute that. Taxes and states' rights were another. However, to say that "The Civil War was about slavery" implies (to me, at least), that the north was fighting to end slavery, and that is an assertion I disagree with.
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