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Old 05-29-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,832 posts, read 8,560,656 times
Reputation: 6232

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinestone View Post
You should be ashamed of yourself and your ancestors if they were involved in this unholy system.
I don't think we can be held responsible for what our ancestors did. Rumor has it that my ancestors owned slaves. While it was a bad thing, I'm not ashamed of myself because of it. It's not something I did.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,246,208 times
Reputation: 10950
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Enjoy your little get-together around your town's second-place trophy this weekend.
Too bad that Memorial Day honors ALL the war dead, isn't it? Except, perhaps, collateral damage.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,832 posts, read 8,560,656 times
Reputation: 6232
The Confederacy is like a prism. Depending upon the angle from which you look at it, you will see different things.

Many people can't get past the slavery aspect, and that's understandable. Slavery was a terrible evil, and one of the major reasons for the formation of the confederacy was the threat that slavery would be abolished within the union.

There were other issues though, one of which was whether the states formed the federal government, or the other way around. It could be argued that the defeat of the confederacy made the federal government too powerful, and we still live with the bad effects of that too.

In the end, the confederacy did great damage to the cause of greater state sovereignty by staking their claim to it on something so indefensible as slavery. Even after the war, they used the principal of 'states' rights' to justify things that were indefensible and constitutional.

So the confederacy dealt the greatest blow against the philosophy that it was created to perpetuate.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:41 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,064,330 times
Reputation: 5733
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Fort Sumter was a U.S. military installation on United States territory. There was no more reason to negotiate a surrender of Sumter to the traitors than there would be to negotiate a surrender of the Pentagon to Osama bin Laden. Or maybe surrendering the Federal Building in Oklahoma City to Timothy McVeigh.
There was no such thing as a "United States" (in the same way we think of it now) at that time. This is a good emotional argument today, but that is all it is. It was a given at that time that the first loyalty people felt was to their state. Even in official records and declarations, the country was referred to as "THESE united states."

The War Between the States was just that. Separate and soveriengn American states. In fact, when the orginal representatives of the Lower South met to form a new nation, some actually wanted to name it "United States"...feeling that their ideals best represented those of the Founding Fathers (most of whom were Southern men).

When thinking on the conflict, again, it was one between Northern and Southern states. The title "United States" was only that which the North kept by default.

Ft. Sumter was not a "United States" (i.e. northern states who kept the name by default) installation. It was a fort occupied by troops of another nation which had hostile intentions against a people who had done them no harm and intended none. The new Confederacy, in fact, had offered to pay the cost of the fort, and allow the Old Union garrison to withdraw with all military honors.

Many of the Confederate command at Charleston had served under the "Old Banner" and felt a great deal of affection for it. The "traitor" thing has been refuted so many times, I would think some would be embarassed to bring it up. To compare the Southerners to Bin Laden or Timothy McVeigh is beneath contempt. How pathetic....

Last edited by TexasReb; 05-29-2010 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,268 posts, read 11,151,078 times
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I guess that would be why the Supremacy Clause wasn't added to the Constitution until after the Civ---

oh, wait.


Never mind.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,447 posts, read 23,851,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
You're half right. The difference is that Guantanamo is not in the United States, and South Carolina is, and always has been.
South Carolina had considered leaving the United States as early as 1788, when the Georgia and South Carolina delegates to the Constitutional Convention walked out when Benjamin Franklin introduced his proposal for gradual emancipation. They were prepared to go out on their own even then.

The Founding Fathers went out of their way to delete gradual emancipation from what would become the Constitution just so SC and Georgia would be included in the US. If they had let them go their own way and kept the gradual emancipation clause there would've been no Civil War.

OTOH, if Georgia and South Carolina had not been part of the United States, they would've probably come begging on their hands and knees to join. British West Florida was full of Loyalists who were thirsting for revenge against the supporters of independence and who would've easily taken it out against Georgia and SC without the protection of the USA. Otherwise they would've been forced to ally with Spain, a power they really didn't like due to its Catholicism despite its support for the Revolution, to protect them from the British and from their own pro-British former countrymen who fled next door.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:09 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,064,330 times
Reputation: 5733
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
I guess that would be why the Supremacy Clause wasn't added to the Constitution until after the Civ---

oh, wait.
Not sure what the point is, but the federal government was granted only limited powers. All others were reserved to the soveriegn states. You seem to say as much.

Secession may have been un-wise, rash action, totally foolish, (and many Southern men...such Robert E. Lee, Sam Houston...even Jefferson Davis, thought so), but it was not treason. Even the powers that be of the day knew they could not convict the high-ranking Confederates of treason/rebellion. And they would have loved to if they had a case to make against them.

As Davis said (paraphrased) "All the South desires is to go in peace..."

Instead, Lincoln chose the path to war...
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,447 posts, read 23,851,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Even the powers that be of the day knew they could not convict the high-ranking Confederates of treason/rebellion. And they would have loved to if they had a case to make against them.
Mainly because it is extremely difficult to convict someone of treason in the US. One can count all the successful prosecutions for treason in American history on their hands.

Most figures thought in the public mind to have been "traitors" were actually convicted of other charges, usually espionage.

IIRC the Constitutional ban on ex post facto laws was the reason why so many high ranking Confederates couldn't be convicted. In any case, Andrew Johnson pardoned them all, and if Lincoln had lived he would have probably done so due to his high moral character and lack of a desire for revenge.
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:01 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,064,330 times
Reputation: 5733
Quote:
Originally Posted by majoun View Post
Mainly because it is extremely difficult to convict someone of treason in the US. One can count all the successful prosecutions for treason in American history on their hands.

Most figures thought in the public mind to have been "traitors" were actually convicted of other charges, usually espionage.

IIRC the Constitutional ban on ex post facto laws was the reason why so many high ranking Confederates couldn't be convicted. In any case, Andrew Johnson pardoned them all, and if Lincoln had lived he would have probably done so due to his high moral character and lack of a desire for revenge.
I will give Lincoln credt for a couple of things. First, he was a man of iron will. His "treatise" on the nature of the Union was spurious, at best, but he was determined to preserve it, as he saw it (or pretended to). The second is that, yes, he did not seem to harbor any hatred toward the South (unlike the Radical Republicans) so if he had lived, things might honestly have been different.

But that doesn't change the fact that he was responsible for starting the War. The South only wanted to go in peace, and he wouldn't let them.

You have a certain point about the traitor issue, on a larger scale. But the real reason the Union government did not want to try the higher-ranking Confederates on such is because they feared making fools of themselves...to put it bluntly. Chief Justice Salmon Chase flatly said as much, as did Judge Leibeman (the man appointed to try the case against Davis).

Davis and his attorneys pressed for a trial. The North didn't want that, as Davis' case would come down to the "constitutionality" of secession, and there was no way they could win. As Leiberman said, "we will stand there completely beaten..."
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:30 AM
 
39,971 posts, read 24,220,970 times
Reputation: 12565
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Fort Sumter was a U.S. military installation on United States territory. There was no more reason to negotiate a surrender of Sumter to the traitors than there would be to negotiate a surrender of the Pentagon to Osama bin Laden. Or maybe surrendering the Federal Building in Oklahoma City to Timothy McVeigh.
Wrong.

Ft Sumter was a US military installation at a time when the United States was a loose collection of political entities, not a cohesive single political entity, and the military installations were cooperatively built and maintained between the state and federal government. The federal government at the time had very little money to build such installations, which was why the states at the time often built the installations themselves, and why several of the various installations along the seaboard were incomplete.

Moreover, the Secretary of War, along with all his advisors, recommended abandoning the fort as it had little strategic importance and was essentially indefensible from the South Carolina military. Lincoln's cabinet, after reading the military assessment, concurred with the Secretary of War. Lincoln, looking beyond the military implications, saw a different sort of strategic value, and capitalized on it.

And I think a region of the country seceding in an effort to defend itself from economic collapse is a bit different than Mr McVeigh's actions. Mr Bin Laden's actions aren't remotely relevant.
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