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Old 06-04-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 11,880,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermister View Post
Union General U. Grant made a few statements about the war, claiming that if the war had been about slavery, he wouldnt have led the Union army.
Reference, please, or retract. And kindly make it a reputable reference. This forum doesn't work like some of the others. Not only should you expect to get called on your references, but you should expect people to have the historiographic skills to evaluate them. Enough of such statements from you without solid references: this is a good one to start with. Where'd you get this?
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,334,551 times
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I can see if the facts do not fit in the little internal boxes of illusion some have created - it can not be real.

All people in war get shot at and defend themselves. The armies did not have the large supply of weapons many imagine. Many bloody fights were with knives and shovels. If you think anyone would not pick up a gun fallen you would be delusional.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 25,334,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinestone View Post
,,,THIS IS WHY SUCH POSTS SHOULD NOT BE ON THE HISTORY FORUM. THE TOPIC ATTRACTS PEOPLE WHO WILL TELL ANY LIE, AND DISTORT ANY TRUTH TO DENY THE HORROR OF AMERICAN SLAVERY.
Slavery was horrible, yes. But is was a different issue that happened to be concurrent with the civil war.

By the way, slavery is still happening today and is very real.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:51 PM
 
1,503 posts, read 879,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
But is was a different issue that happened to be concurrent with the civil war.
Could I get a translation into English for this?
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:43 AM
 
783 posts, read 684,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
Slavery was horrible, yes. But is was a different issue that happened to be concurrent with the civil war.

By the way, slavery is still happening today and is very real.
It was about slavery that became a isue of state rights for the south to maintain slavery.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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Southern and Northern causes for the war, that is why people fought, were signficantly different. In the north most fought to preserve the Union, that is the physical integrity of the state. One can make constitutional and legal arguments about whether secession was "legal" or not, but that is not why people fight. Its a much more basic process, be that Biafra, Ireland under England, or the US. People who identify with a state, fight those who break away -its a very basic human and national reality that can not be analyzed (like most human behavior) through formal rationality.

Southern reasons were more complex. The need to preserve slavery was central to the break. It was an essential part not only of the southern economy (including those who owned no slaves) but of its security and cultural nature as well. Southern men who had low economic status were still able to feel (in a society where status was extremely important) they were superior to blacks, fear of violence was endemic after the Nat Turner revolt. Most southerners believed (likely wrongly) that the North was commited to ending slavery. Economically, in terms of security, and culturally that was not acceptable under any circumstances to white southerners - this was the point upon which the civil war turned.

While other issues divided the south including differences on various economic policy and the meaning of the constitution they were not signficant enough to cause a major war. I understand that those who feel deeply about issues like states rights are unable to accept that people's dont fight signficant conflicts over philisophical points with little practical impact, but in fact that is the case. The federal government had little real authority in the south - its basic functions were postage and the military, both of which were popular. The federal government actual served southern not northern interest for the most part before the civil war as pro-southern democrats were consistantly elected to office. For example seizing slaves and returning them to the south, something that would have ended had the south left the union. So arguing that the war was over state's rights (other than slavery) makes little sense because the federal government was not and could not meaningfully interfere with state's rights. The tarrif was one right, since it dealt with international not internal trade, that clearly was constitutional beyond any means and which could not be construed as a violation of state's rights - although it was clearly hated in the south. Still the south stood to lose economically far more than it would gain by leaving the US. Because it depended on the North and would have been shut out of Northern markets after it departed.

It might also be noted that, due to intemperate politics and the deliberate stiring up of bad feeling by the media of the day anger had grown between north and south in the decades before the civil war. This emotional response, a deep seated anger not tied to any real differences between the sections, was a key reason for the break.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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The US had a well functioning two party system which with all of its flaws, still managed to serve nicely to resolve all political issues to the satisfaction of the majority.

The Civil War was the breakdown of this system, it was unable to cope with the slavery issue, that was going to take a war. The manner in which the Constitution treated slavery was the product of a compromise. The next severe crisis was 1820 and that was papered over with the Missouri Compromise. Then we had the Compromise of 1850, this was followed by the compromise of self determination for Kansas and Nebraska........the pattern was always to postpone resolution in favor of compromise. Thus the problem was always being delayed rather than solved.

Then when the problem was addressed directly in the 1850's, the bill for all those decades of postponement came due. The two party system was able to function as the producer of compromises, but was unable to function in a decisive manner which could terminate the problem. So when the two party system did look slavery in the face, slavery shattered the two party system and transformed it from an ideological base with general divisions along business vs agricultural concerns, into parties based on regions.

The South was outnumbered in population, but had for the past three decades, managed to sustain equal and sometimes greater political clout via exploitation of the system as it related to slavery. Representation in the Senate was by state rather than numbers, so as long as there were as many slave states as free states, the Southern minority had as much power there as the Northern majority. In the House there was the three fifths rule where slaves were counted as 60 % of a human being for purposes of determining population. This prevailed despite the fact that slaves were in no manner represented by these Congressmen.

Secession was immediately triggered by the triumph of a party which threatened this sweetheart of an arrangement for the South. The Republicans won the White House and a congressional majority in 1860 on the basis of a platform which pledged not to end slavery, but to end the expansion of slavery. The end of slavery's expansion was going to be the end of the Southern ability to control national politics on a basis which far outstripped their numbers.

That is why they left. That is why there was a war. The South had enjoyed an unfair advantage and it was going to be taken away from them.

So they took their ball and went home. The rules seemed fair to them only as long as they were winning.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:29 AM
 
1,308 posts, read 2,467,101 times
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GS makes a good point about the break down of normal politics, which actually was occuring for years before the civil war. In one example of this a southern represenative almost beat a northern senator to death for making disparging comments about his state. The hatred built up over time and became too powerful to stop eventually (something I think about a lot as we increasingly engage in low level civil conflict between the right and left now).

I think, as a lifetime southerner, that the traditions of violence and arrogence that was common in the south also contributed to the war. The southerers of the time commonly resorted to violence in addressing problems (a point noted by Lee among others) and were completely contemptuous of the north. They thought a battle or two and the northern rabble would run away. Had they been a tad more humble, or interested in using politics to solve problems rather than combat, things might have gone differently.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:09 AM
 
192 posts, read 482,672 times
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The problem I have with the slavery argument is that, well into the 19th century, the Northern states were active participants in the slave trade (a fact that is nearly always ignored when discussing the North/South divide...) For men to go from slave trading/ownership to risking their lives to free Southern slaves in a matter of decades seems unlikely.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:22 AM
 
6,550 posts, read 12,608,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
That is why they left. That is why there was a war. The South had enjoyed an unfair advantage and it was going to be taken away from them.

So they took their ball and went home. The rules seemed fair to them only as long as they were winning.
As usual... I will agree with the first part of the bolded and disagree with the second.

The South seceded over the slavery issue for sure, but it came to WAR over the North's refusal to allow secession... I think differentiating the two is vital in understanding the supposed "Causes of the Civil War"...

JMO
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