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Old 12-03-2019, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,566 posts, read 38,476,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
I've always heard that less than 10% of southerners owned slaves, and that can be backed up with a few searches. But so can the 20 - 30% number, depends which you want to believe. I believe the lower number and feel it was based on much more complex matters than just slavery. Consider that it was called 'the War Of Northern Aggression' and The Second War For Independence' and that will tell you a little about the mindset of the times.....

I doubt most of the posters I've read here will want to go much beyond the 'it was all about slavery' thing though.....that's a much easier thing to digest.



https://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_s...slaves_in_1860
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/les...-slaves.14868/

That's been my experience in similar discussions. All those nuances are a pain to have to think about, apparently.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Haiku
5,912 posts, read 3,049,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy5 View Post
My ancestors came from Florida and Georgia. Like most Southerners, we owned no slaves, we attacked no one, we fought to repel invading armies.
The Civil War was not all about slavery, it was a cultural war and a battle over states' rights. The South was rural and agricultural; the north was dominated by cities and was industrial. Federal laws were written with the North as the primary beneficiary but some of these, like trade agreements and tariffs, were detrimental to the South. From a soldier's perspective he was not fighting to protect slavery, he was fighting to protect the southern way of life and to get out from under the thumb of the dominating northern states.

The South wanted to secede from the Union and at that time there was no law, nothing in the Constitution, and no SOCTUS precedent to prevent them from doing that. They felt it was their right and Lincoln disagreed. If they had won the war, they would have called it their independence war, so the question of why Confederate soldiers fought is equivalent to asking why Americans fought in the Revolutionary war.
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Old 12-03-2019, 03:52 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 2,435,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
I doubt most of the posters I've read here will want to go much beyond the 'it was all about slavery' thing though.....that's a much easier thing to digest.
If it wasn't about slavery, then why did Southern leaders explicitly state that it was about slavery?
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:53 PM
 
10,820 posts, read 8,673,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
If it wasn't about slavery, then why did Southern leaders explicitly state that it was about slavery?
The leaders (politicians, businessmen, and most officers) were either slave owners or were finacially tied to slave owners. This topic isn’t about them. This is about why those southern men who didn’t own slaves fight for the south in the civil war. We answered that question many times over and it has nothing to do with fighting for the right of wealthy people to own slaves.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:04 PM
 
465 posts, read 159,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
The Civil War was not all about slavery, it was a cultural war and a battle over states' rights. The South was rural and agricultural; the north was dominated by cities and was industrial. Federal laws were written with the North as the primary beneficiary but some of these, like trade agreements and tariffs, were detrimental to the South. From a soldier's perspective he was not fighting to protect slavery, he was fighting to protect the southern way of life and to get out from under the thumb of the dominating northern states.
Cultural battle? Sure, the culture of enslaving their fellow man.

States Rights? Sure, the right to enslave their fellow man.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:05 PM
 
10,820 posts, read 8,673,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosep View Post
Cultural battle? Sure, the culture of enslaving their fellow man.

States Rights? Sure, the right to enslave their fellow man.
This isn’t about the motivation of the wealthy southern politicians and businessmen. This is about the motivation to fight for the Confederacy of those who did not own slaves.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
58,971 posts, read 56,692,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I've come across the above expressed as - Before the war, it was these United States. After it was "The United States."

There isn't a singular motive, 750,000 fought for the South and each one had his own reasons. Some were genuine enthusiasts who saw the war as the greatest adventure opportunity they would ever be handed. Some fought because they were more afraid of what would be said of them if they didn't, than they were of whatever awaited them on the battlefield.

What I suspect was the most common motivation was the same impulse which has us still rooting for our college's sports team three decades after last being a student there. It is the home team uber alles mentality which informs and drives so much of our lives. There is right and wrong, and then there is the group of people, or a specific territory, which we view as within our circle of primary interest. Right or wrong, we defend that perimeter because it is our perimeter.

The phenomena I reference is the same thing we get manipulated into in stories or movies. In The Godfather, why were we rooting for the Corleones as opposed to any of the other groups of thugs? Because the film was made from the Corleone point of view. They became our mobsters and the Tattaglias and Barzinis were the evil outsiders attacking the home team.
Good point. I live in New Jersey, the most densely-populated state in the Union, with too much traffic on bad roads, super-high taxes, corrupt politicians, and heavy pollution. We complain about all this constantly. Plus, to keep on topic, New Jersey was a southern-sympathizing state before the war because of slavery-related industry in the state. But you come here and start saying "Joisey" or making stupid guido jokes, and I'll whack you upside the head so fast the pepperoni will fly off your pizza.

We do stick with our home teams.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:34 PM
 
Location: CA, heading to AZ...
1,331 posts, read 216,895 times
Reputation: 1117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
If it wasn't about slavery, then why did Southern leaders explicitly state that it was about slavery?
As GM said, we are talking about the reasons the common soldiers fought for a cause they had no direct interest in...so you are off topic.

But since you asked, consider this: of the eleven states that seceded, seven gave at least some explanation of why they did. Six of those seven cited slavery but if you read closely, mentioned it as an economic reason.... i.e. that forcing them to abandon slavery would be an economic disaster. They were saying it was more that they were forced by a Federal Govt to abandon it, rather than that they thought slavery was such a grand idea. Each state's declaration mentions the tyranny of the British Govt they had revolted against a little over a half century before and they were comparing it to what they were facing now.

Only the first two to secede gave long explanations prominently featuring slavery as a reason. That's 18%.....
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:25 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
7,517 posts, read 4,106,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
I doubt most of the posters I've read here will want to go much beyond the 'it was all about slavery' thing though.....that's a much easier thing to digest.
Our imaginary Confederate soldier may not own slaves but if the local cotton plantations had 300-500 slaves in the county (sometimes more than county's white population) and the Yankees were coming to turn them loose with no apparent plan, his motivation is going to be centered on retaining the institution of slavery even if he personally doesn't believe in it. He's trapped -- he may not want it but he sees it as a necessary evil given the situation. Add to that the possible reprisals -- the Haitian revolution was a fearful image for southerners.

So he's faced with: (1) an invading army intent on freeing slaves that is tearing up the countryside, eating everything that can be eaten and burning the rest; (2) hundreds of freed slaves with no supervision or means of support roaming the roads and towns; (3) possible reprisals against whites; (4) Plantation owners just packing up and leaving with what they can carry; (5) Preachers haranguing the congregation about God favoring slavery; and lastly, (6) the supposed glory of fighting for "The South" and protecting the "flower of southern womanhood". It wasn't a simple pro-slavery motivation but slavery was part and parcel of their existence. The South was held in bondage by their own economic dependence on slavery.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:43 PM
 
39 posts, read 6,778 times
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Working-class Southerners had no economic incentive to favor slavery. What they would have to do for a wage, slaves would do for "free".
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