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Old 12-02-2019, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
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Some fought over state sovereignty versus federal supremacy. Some fought to preserve their social status as superior to blacks. Some fought because they were aimless and had nothing better to do. Some fought because they were drafted.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
Some fought over state sovereignty versus federal supremacy. Some fought to preserve their social status as superior to blacks. Some fought because they were aimless and had nothing better to do. Some fought because they were drafted.
Yes. All those.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:52 AM
Status: "Netflix is for losers.." (set 15 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Most of the Civil War was fought in southern states on southern territory.

I suspect most southerners felt the yankees were simply foreign invaders that needed to be repelled..
Mark: based on primary source letters I've read, I'd say your assessment is pretty fair.
Southerners believed individual states were sovereign, & each reserved the right to leave a (voluntary) Union. They believed Lincoln's forceful retention of the Union was an encroachment on their liberties.. And the War was ultimately an invasion of their sovereign, seceded states.
First verse of 'The Bonnie Blue Flag' states their basic feelings..

I think a lot of modern students confuse (or deliberately conflate) the causes of secession w/the cause of war. Secession had a lot to do with preserving state control over slavery. But there hypothetically could have been peaceful secession, the South fought when they realized Lincoln would use lethal force & (from the Confederacy's perspective: an invasion) to hold the Union together. Average Confederate soldier viewed himself as a defender of his state's rights/border.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
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Well, I don't have a contemporaneous source for this, but prior to the actual invasion and looting aspects of the war, I believe many non-slave owning Southerners would have fought simply because they didn't want outsiders telling them what to do or how to live.

In fact, having Northern Abolitionists berate them about slavery, probably made many Southerners more adamant to keep it just on the principle of being contrary.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
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Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
Well, I don't have a contemporaneous source for this, but prior to the actual invasion and looting aspects of the war, I believe many non-slave owning Southerners would have fought simply because they didn't want outsiders telling them what to do or how to live.

In fact, having Northern Abolitionists berate them about slavery, probably made many Southerners more adamant to keep it just on the principle of being contrary.
Eh, no. There was a concerted and often bloody effort not just to preserve the institution of slavery but to expand it into territories that had not yet adopted it. Southerners weren't interested in maintaining it merely on a rebellious whim.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:47 AM
Status: "I got you, babe (and sometimes that's the ****** trouble)!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
Well, I don't have a contemporaneous source for this, but prior to the actual invasion and looting aspects of the war, I believe many non-slave owning Southerners would have fought simply because they didn't want outsiders telling them what to do or how to live.

In fact, having Northern Abolitionists berate them about slavery, probably made many Southerners more adamant to keep it just on the principle of being contrary.
It's also been forgotten that before the Civil War, the United States viewed itself as a much looser confederation of individual states which, in the absence of large-scale enterprises, standards, and "internal improvements" were presumed to have greater autonomy. Robert E. Lee was a competent and conscientious officer, but when queried, he explained upon a number of occasions that his first loyalty was to Virginia.

And as Ken Burns pointed pot in his well-received, albeit over-sentimentalized documentary of nearly thirty years ago, prior to 1860, the statecraft of the times was always couched in the language "the United Sates are'; after 1865, the phrase became "the United States is".

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 12-02-2019 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:57 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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History’s full of wars where the common folk fought and died even though they had no vested interest in the conflict.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:04 AM
Status: "kind of sick of this whole ideological hate thing" (set 22 hours ago)
 
5,470 posts, read 6,740,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
It's also been forgotten that before the Civil War, the United States viewed itself as a much looser confederation of individual states which, in the absence of large-scale enterprises, standards, and "internal improvements" were presumed to have greater autonomy. Robert E. Lee was a competent and conscientious officer, but when queried, he explained upon a number of occasions that his first loyalty was to Virginia.
agree

someone posted on this forum "Q: Why did Lee fight for the Confederacy? A: Because that is where he lived." simple answer but profound and fits with the many responses as to geography and location not ideology.

My ancestors seem to have fought for the confederacy because the were called up for the local militia/regiment. So they showed up with their neighbors and relatives on the day required. Everyone on both sides thought it would be a short war. HA. HA. and the Reconstruction was even longer.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,566 posts, read 38,476,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babe_Ruth View Post
Mark: based on primary source letters I've read, I'd say your assessment is pretty fair.
Southerners believed individual states were sovereign, & each reserved the right to leave a (voluntary) Union. They believed Lincoln's forceful retention of the Union was an encroachment on their liberties.. And the War was ultimately an invasion of their sovereign, seceded states.
First verse of 'The Bonnie Blue Flag' states their basic feelings..

I think a lot of modern students confuse (or deliberately conflate) the causes of secession w/the cause of war. Secession had a lot to do with preserving state control over slavery. But there hypothetically could have been peaceful secession, the South fought when they realized Lincoln would use lethal force & (from the Confederacy's perspective: an invasion) to hold the Union together. Average Confederate soldier viewed himself as a defender of his state's rights/border.

This pretty much. If you read letters from and to the people actually doing the fighting (not the generals, the "ordinary people", and you read diaries, it's pretty clear that this was the cause. Modern preferences that what those people were thinking then in the thick of it fit in with what's it's popular to think now notwithstanding.



Reading those on the Northern side is equally illuminating. Neither fit in with what the war was "supposed" to be about.



Heck, Lincoln himself, just before the Emancipation Proclamation, stated in writing that what he was fighting for was not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union.



Anyone who really wants to understand the causes of that war needs to read not only what the soldiers thought they were fighting for, but to go back to the founding of this country and the disagreements then over what kind of country it really was (the name is a big hint, as, for that matter, are the two separate names of the war itself - in the North, the Civil War, in the South, the War Between the States - two VERY different meanings that spell out the reason for that war as clearly as anything possibly could. Another name for it in the South was the War of Northern Aggression. Words matter, especially names. You ignore them when figuring something like this out at your peril.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:26 AM
 
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Many of them fought for the money. There were more bad years than good between 1853-1860. and $14.00 a month was just what the Dr. ordered. I don't think ideology played much of a role because most officers fought on the side of their home state. The best way to know for sure is to read letters from soldiers.
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