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Old 01-10-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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Lincoln stated in his campaign for President that if he could prevent a civil war by freeing all the slaves he would do so. He than went on to say if he could do it by freeing some of the slaves he would. Finally, he added that if he could prevent it by freeing none of the slaves he would also do that.

I can see I have the minority position here. Slavery certainly played into it, but I think the dominant cause of the civil war had more to do with a state's right to secede from the union, the notion of state's rights, and economic differences that had changed both the North and South since the formation of America in 1776.

Let us not forget that in 1833, South Carolina passed an ordinance attempting to "nullify" a federal law known as the "Tariff of Abominations". President Andrew Jackson made it clear he would not stand for this and threatened to send federal troops to South Carolina to end these actions. At this point, South Carolina backed down. Interestingly enough, in 1860, after hearing that Abraham Lincoln had been elected President, the South Carolina legislature was the first to pass a law "seceding" from the United States of America.

The state of Virginia was initially reluctant to secede from the USA. A convention established for the purpose of considering secession initially voted heavily against doing so. What caused the delegates to change their minds was when they realized that not doing so would require their cooperation in putting down the rebellion in other southern states. Virginians despite a willingness to remain in the union were not willing to take arms against other Southerners.

Had slavery been the primary reason for the Civil War which began in April of 1861, it is strange that Abraham Lincoln waited until 1863 to announce the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation was not what many believe it was. It did not free all slaves. It purported to free those who remained in confederate states under confederate military control at the time of its issuance. Those in areas that had not seceded or had been liberated at this time from confederate control remained slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment which freed slaves from captivity once and for all did not even come in Congress until the end of the Civil War.

In retrospect, the northern and southern states prior to 1860, seemed to be on a collision course that was going to end badly. The economies of states in the different regions were fundamentally different. Industrialization was occurring in the north with an economy based on factory production, railroads, and canals taking root. The South was stuck in agrarian system that required slave labor to grow cotton, tobacco, and other crops. The tariff was a huge issue because the North wanted it to protect the infant industries that were forming. The South opposed it because it meant higher tariffs abroad on their cotton and tobacco when these products were exported.

Slavery was certainly significant in causing the Civil War. However, these other reasons were more so.

 
Old 01-10-2010, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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markg

Quote:
Had slavery been the primary reason for the Civil War which began in April of 1861, it is strange that Abraham Lincoln waited until 1863 to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.
If you read a bit more deeply on the subject you would understand that Lincoln had no power to free the slaves except as a war measure. Lincoln had made it clear that he did not believe that the Constitution empowered the executive to interfere with slavery. When he spoke of emancipation, he spoke of a gradual, compensated program which would eliminate the institution over an extended period of time. This he hoped to persuade Congress to adopt.

It was the rebellion which altered that status. Citing the use of slaves to aid in their warmaking ability, and citing their legal staus as property, Lincoln used his war powers to declare that slaves were acceptable targets as property confiscation. That is why the proclamation did not cover any slaves who resided in States which remained loyal to the union...there was no legal justification for the government siezing them as contraband of war.

Your thesis is founded in your misunderstanding of what emancipation was in 1862.


As for your larger thesis, it is clearly incorrect. Remove slavery from the equation and there is no threat to the South's political power or their culture. Remove slavery from the equation and there is no secession, there is no war. Remove slavery from the equation and it is very unlikely that Lincoln would have come to national prominence as an anti slavery expansion spokesman.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,274,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
As for your larger thesis, it is clearly incorrect. Remove slavery from the equation and there is no threat to the South's political power or their culture. Remove slavery from the equation and there is no secession, there is no war. Remove slavery from the equation and it is very unlikely that Lincoln would have come to national prominence as an anti slavery expansion spokesman.
Yeah, hard to imagine folks would have gotten that spun up over tariff policy.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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It is, however, a more morally defensible reason for going to war that the truth, which is 'well, we seceded and fought a bloodly civil war because we were afraid there were forces in motion which would lead to the end of slavery'.

Even now, the defenders of that vile institution and its perpetrators still cling to that fantasy.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 11:42 AM
 
6,550 posts, read 12,616,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Which is why northern agricultural states like Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin didn't secede. One would think that if, as some revisionists claim, it was agriculture vs. industry the states of the Old Northwest would've been ripe for rebellion.
I know you understand what a "cash crop" is and why they made southern agriculture a bit different than the farming that occured in Wisconsin, Iowa, etc...
 
Old 01-10-2010, 11:43 AM
 
6,550 posts, read 12,616,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus Podgorny View Post
It is, however, a more morally defensible reason for going to war that the truth, which is 'well, we seceded and fought a bloodly civil war because we were afraid there were forces in motion which would lead to the end of slavery'.

Even now, the defenders of that vile institution and its perpetrators still cling to that fantasy.
(Mod Cut) Who is "defending" slavery these days?

All you've EVER been asked is to not take the morals of 2010 and attempt to apply them to 1860 society. (Mod Cut)

Last edited by Thyra; 01-10-2010 at 04:33 PM.. Reason: Rhett..you know better!!!
 
Old 01-10-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,168 posts, read 18,148,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Had slavery been the primary reason for the Civil War which began in April of 1861, it is strange that Abraham Lincoln waited until 1863 to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Some people have a problem understanding the disconnect between the motives of the two sides: while the rebels were fighting to protect slavery the Federals were not fighting to destroy slavery; they were fighting to suppress rebellion regardless of it's cause. Once you understand that some things that seem contradictory fall into place.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 12:21 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,168 posts, read 18,148,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett_Butler View Post
I know you understand what a "cash crop" is and why they made southern agriculture a bit different than the farming that occured in Wisconsin, Iowa, etc...

Farmers in the Old Northwest weren't subsistence farmers, they were shipping grain to markets and doing quite well, in 1857 18 million bushels of grain were shipped east from Chicago and because of European crop failures and the repeal of the Corn Acts much of that grain was going overseas. A farmer on the Illinois Grand Prairie would generally go in the black the second year after breaking the prairie.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 12:55 PM
 
900 posts, read 515,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhett_Butler View Post
Who is "defending" slavery these days?

All you've EVER been asked is to not take the morals of 2010 and attempt to apply them to 1860 society. .....
(Mod Cut) Issue addressed

And no, I'm comparing the morals of the 1860 slave owners with the morals of the rest of the civilized world. Even by 1860 standards, they sucked. Nice try, though.

Last edited by Thyra; 01-10-2010 at 04:35 PM.. Reason: Issue addressed
 
Old 01-10-2010, 07:44 PM
 
6,550 posts, read 12,616,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus Podgorny View Post
(Mod Cut) Issue addressed

And no, I'm comparing the morals of the 1860 slave owners with the morals of the rest of the civilized world. Even by 1860 standards, they sucked. Nice try, though.
Actually by 1860 standards they weren't. If the war was presented to the North as a war against slavery, there wouldn't have BEEN a war. That isn't to say that slavery wasn't the cause of the war, but it addresses your misguided sense that somehow the majority of people in the North gave a rats' arse about it.....

Your thinking that anybody here has EVER advocated slavery is what incites me to name-calling. I apologize for that, though not for the sentiment behind it.
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