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Old 09-19-2017, 12:50 PM
 
9,613 posts, read 6,944,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
This is very true.

Those of you who overlook this fact are very odd to me.

On not "everyone agreeing with ______" that has nothing to do with the fact that secession was done by southern state over slavery and the war was started due to the secessionists attacking the northern union.

Those are simple things that I actually did learn in middle school. It was reinforced by AP history in high school and again in college and AGAIN through my self study and reading the actual "articles of secession" from various southern states.

It is very strange to me that people alive today want to defend or ignore the fact that the southern economy was heavily dependent on slavery and that its continuance was of vital importance to the ruling class in the south - who were the ones in charge politically.
What I don't get is why anybody actually cares so much about semantics. In no other American war do people get this worked up over what started it. What would honestly change if it were otherwise?

I think the arguments over slavery really boil down to which side was morally superior, but in order to go that route, you'll have to reconcile the whole Native American annilation thing and international slave trade to begin with. You don't get to use the South as a scapegoat for all the previous moral ills of Americans. The war wasn't a humanitarian mission from the North to rectify past infractions.

Americans in general weren't always the morally superior combatant. It's ok. Out ancestors did some nasty stuff to innocent people. Sometimes they had nasty stuff done to them. You can't go back and change it either way. Saying the war was over state's rights or the rights to own slaves is saying the same thing. That's like saying the Revolutionary War was over tea taxes. You wouldn't be wrong, but it's not the entire story either.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:52 PM
 
16,212 posts, read 10,819,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
and Tennessee had an agreement with NC that when/if one seceded then the other would.

so was entirely more complicated than some make it out to be. and could make an interesting 'what if' alternative history.

as to slavery being the over riding issue, Hot button dog whistle issues are not a new thing. appeal to the base as we do today, so how sincere were all these official documents?

Shelby Foote mentioned something that I had forgotten. In those days the soldiers of both sides enlisted with their town (not as we enlist today for national divisions e.g. 25th Inf, etc) and with their relatives, best friends, and neighbors. There really was no question at that time that they would serve, fight, and die with people close to them. They would fight and die together and would not let each other down until the end. Ideology was less a factor than location (north and south same same)
I honestly think that people make it more complicated than it actually was. It really was about slavery. Other states didn't depend on slavery as much as others but they still supported the system and didn't want to lose clout politically so they joined the CSA.

It was the "hot button" issue of the day and there were many ideologues in the 19th century. That is not a new thing. You should read some old newspapers. They provide a lot of insight into the ideologies and propaganda of the societies of particular time periods.

On towns joining up together, that's true. However, you have to remember in northern towns especially (not sure about the south) every able bodied man of a certain age was registered for a draft. Recruiters also went to certain towns and talked people into joining. I was recently doing some research on a black man who was a recruiter here in the Midwest. He lived in Ohio but they wouldn't allow him to recruit in Ohio (they got like $1 for every man they recruited) and so we went to Indiana and recruited for the 28th USCT. He got recruits from all over the midwest to join the 28th. My own ancestors who fought in the war had been free people of color prior to the war. Many of them lived in MI, OH and SE ON Canada. All my Canadian male ancestors between 20 and 45 years old joined the 102nd USCT in MI. A recruiter came up there and recruited them. Similar situation happened in OH. I do research on my local community and have been focusing on USCT Ohio troops in the area and nearly every black man who was able joined. Many black Ohioans joined the first USCT regiment the 54th and 55th Mass - of which the movie "Glory" was about. A family I'm researching, 3 brothers and a host of cousins joined the 55th in particular.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Colorado
389 posts, read 330,232 times
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It has been more than proven the South (southern states) succeeded because of slavery. In fact that is exactly what it says in their own succession declaration documents (you can find the archived text on the web and read for yourself). While there might have been other gripes the 800 lb gorilla was slavery. The North on the other hand went to war to preserve the union. This of course was accelerated when Ft Sumter was attacked by South Carolina.

The slavery issue was brewing for decades. Read about the 1850 compromise and Henry Clay.

The Compromise of 1850 consists of five laws passed in September of 1850 that dealt with the issue of slavery. In 1849 California requested permission to enter the Union as a free state, potentially upsetting the balance between the free and slave states in the U.S. Senate. Senator Henry Clay introduced a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and South. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished. Furthermore, California entered the Union as a free state and a territorial government was created in Utah. In addition, an act was passed settling a boundary dispute between Texas and New Mexico that also established a territorial government in New Mexico.

Last edited by ms12345; 09-19-2017 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:20 PM
 
13,648 posts, read 20,773,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy100 View Post
What I don't get is why anybody actually cares so much about semantics. In no other American war do people get this worked up over what started it. What would honestly change if it were otherwise?

I think the arguments over slavery really boil down to which side was morally superior, but in order to go that route, you'll have to reconcile the whole Native American annilation thing and international slave trade to begin with. You don't get to use the South as a scapegoat for all the previous moral ills of Americans. The war wasn't a humanitarian mission from the North to rectify past infractions.

Americans in general weren't always the morally superior combatant. It's ok. Out ancestors did some nasty stuff to innocent people. Sometimes they had nasty stuff done to them. You can't go back and change it either way. Saying the war was over state's rights or the rights to own slaves is saying the same thing. That's like saying the Revolutionary War was over tea taxes. You wouldn't be wrong, but it's not the entire story either.
I would guess- and that's all I am doing- its because there was no post-war reckoning. No truth & reconciliation commissions, no war crimes tribunals, no Marshall Plan for freed blacks.

I understand people just wanted to move forward. But then you end up with a situation akin to Post WWII France, where shame is treated with a health dose of mythology.

Which is maybe what we still have.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:21 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
16,077 posts, read 10,738,506 times
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This topic is too complex to get a good handle on it in a high school survey class or maybe even a typical college survey course. The seeds were sown decades before and in the constitution...and yes, it is all about slavery -- but in ways that go beyond the knee jerk northern morality and southern rights and customs drivel. The causes also reflect population growth and immigration, religion, tribalism, expansion & manifest destiny, industrialization, militarism, and public perception and manipulation -- and BTW, preservation of the Union. The military side is just one facet. Visiting battlefields won't tell you a great deal other than how well Generals and soldiers did their job. They won't tell you why Johnny was there in the first place.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Vermont
11,759 posts, read 14,650,345 times
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Slavery.


Slavery. Slavery. Slavery.


Listen to what the southern states said they were fighting for. It was slavery.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:14 PM
 
9,613 posts, read 6,944,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Slavery.


Slavery. Slavery. Slavery.


Listen to what the southern states said they were fighting for. It was slavery.
This is the high school cliff notes version the OP was talking about.
If you can summarize what started any war in one word you're always wrong.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,793,239 times
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Moderator's Note: This is what the quoted post looked like before it was altered:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Slavery.


Slavery. Slavery. Slavery.


Listen to what the southern states said they were fighting for. It was slavery.
This version is severely altered from the original:


Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post


Listen to what some of the southern states said they were fighting for. For some or many people, or at least for those who wrote some of the secession documents, it was slavery, or at least that is a reason they wrote in those documents and some of the people in their states agreed with them.
Fixed it. You can change "some" to "many" if you wish.

Certainly slavery was the trigger for some individuals and was the trigger identified by many leaders of many of the southern states. Not everyone agreed with them, but they joined in. Even the decision to succeed was unanimous only in South Carolina. Yet, many of the people who opposed it went on to fight for their state, despite disagreeing with the decision. Were those people fighting for slavery? They were not willing to succeed for slavery, but suddenly they changed their minds are were willing to die for it? Or perhaps could there be something else at play here?

ere the Germans in Texas who were given the choice of fighting for the CSA or being executed fighting for slavery? Were the people from the hill country who had never owned, or even seen a slave and knew nothing about slavery, fighting for slavery? Were the Native Americans who fought for the SCA fighting to preserve slavery? (Hint, some N.A.tribes felt a less centralized federal government would be more respectful of the rights of the Indian nations as separate nations - they were not promoting slavery; while other tribes were slave owners and wanted to remain so; some Indians were enslaved, yet their tribes fought for the confederacy.).

Simply put different people were fighting for different reasons. Some were fighting to preserve slavery some were not. Some were fighting for succession, while others were fighting even though they were opposed to the idea of succession. (Brigadier Gen. Throckmorton from Texas if you need examples).

No, they were not all fighting for slavery and many Northerners were not fighting against slavery. Southerners were not all fighting for succession and some were opposed to it. It is far more complicated than that. While it is wrong to say the war was not about slavery at all, it is also wrong to say it was entirely or only about slavery. Since we cannot understand the complexities, or because it fits into someone's current political or social agenda, many attempt to dumb it down and claim it was only about slavery. They are just as wrong as the people claiming it was not at all about slavery.

Interesting how when some captured solders were recorded as saying they absolutely were not fighting for slavery, people just shove that aside. Today's pundits know better than the people who were fighting why they were fighting. It was only and entirely about slavery slavery slavery.

Last edited by mensaguy; 09-24-2017 at 12:57 PM.. Reason: Posted Moderator's Note.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:41 PM
 
2,022 posts, read 1,313,188 times
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If you are truly interested in the Civil War, don't read about anything that happened after Fort Sumter.
Once shots are fired, war becomes about survival. And as they say, "The first casualty of war is the truth."
While it is not entirely irrelevant what the soldiers say they were fighting for, they are not the ones that caused the war to happen, and most of them were probably not fully informed due to not having access to city-data forum in 1860, lol.


Read each Confederate state's secession statement, and you may find even more interesting studying each state's secession committees, how they were formed, voted, and their internal opposition.


Try to find original sources. The Library of Congress has digital copies of newspapers going way back.
Read newspapers from before 1860 at the Library of Congress's web site.
For example, see Memphis daily appeal. (Memphis, Tenn.) 1847-1886, April 22, 1858, Image 1 « Chronicling America « Library of Congress
Read "Are the Constitutional Guaranties of the South of the Question of Slavery at the Mercy of Fanaticism?" and consider the tone of the article as well as the content.
background: the article is about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lecompton_Constitution




For example, (I can't re-find the article, apologies) I had found an article written around 1855 in a Southern newspaper (Tennessee, I think) that points out that the South is in a vulnerable position regarding secession due to the fact that the South has to import a great deal of its food because everyone seems to be growing only cotton.
It was an opinion piece, but what was more interesting than the supposed food problem was that the article was basically assuming that secession was coming. That bell was being rung many many years before any shots were fired, and it was always about the same thing.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,115,388 times
Reputation: 21239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
If you are truly interested in the Civil War, don't read about anything that happened after Fort Sumter.
.
I believe that you meant to write "If you are truly interested in the origins of the war...etc" Without "origins" your statement is an absurdity.
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