Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
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29-09-2013, 11:23 PM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
(29-09-2013 07:31 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-09-2013 08:19 AM)RaisdCath Wrote:  I do not agree with you. R.E. Lee did not use the "industrial vs land capital" argument nor the "rich vs poor" one. He was for Virginia (his state), first-last-and always. You can read that in his letters of the time.
Claiming that "historians added states rights and slavery" at some later point is baseless and noncreditable. Using hind sight and present morals to define history is a real problem and leads most often to mistaken premises.

It wasn't rich vs poor, it was more like the agricultural land capital vs industrial capital. Wars like this happen all the time when an industrial nation attacks nations that are mainly agricultural.

States rights and slavery are the narrative that was added on by historians. There were many decisions by the government that should have made so called states rights people mad but didn't and both the north and the south profited greatly from slavery. States rights and slavery were not huge issues before or during the civil war.


I&I, you are just ignorant of history. Yes, there was more to the war than just slavery due to the entanglement of the issue with state sovereignty, economic differences, and sectionalism.

Seven states seceded and formed the Confederacy before Lincoln was even sworn in. The reason for this was that Lincoln won the presidency entirely with northern state votes, and wasn't even on the ballot in most southern states. As the first Republican president, his election threatened the south because of the Republican party's 'free labor' policies that were fundamental to its platform.

The Republican party was formed out of popular discontent in the north over the Nebraska-Kansas act pushed through congress by none other than Stephen Douglas. This act parted ways with the Missouri compromise that kept free and slave states in parity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas%E2%8...braska_Act .

Many of the new Republican party founders opposed slavery on moral grounds. The presidential nominee right before Lincoln, Fremont, was an outright abolitionist who favored full civil rights for slaves. After Lincoln's assassination, Republicans impeached Johnson largely over his conciliatory approach to the southern states and his vetoes of civil rights legislation for the freed slaves.
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30-09-2013, 12:00 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
That rich elements in both the south and the north pressed for the "civil" war in their own self interest is correct and should be considered. Not in the insulting and self aggrandizing way that you present your oh so important revelations. As if you pulled them out of the air and no one thought of them before.

How about discussing that the south won the civil war. That is not often discussed in american historical circles but is a demonstrable fact.
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30-09-2013, 06:18 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
(30-09-2013 12:00 AM)JAH Wrote:  How about discussing that the south won the civil war. That is not often discussed in american historical circles but is a demonstrable fact.

Ohhh? Please, enlighten us. Laughat
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30-09-2013, 08:46 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
(30-09-2013 12:00 AM)JAH Wrote:  How about discussing that the south won the civil war. That is not often discussed in american historical circles but is a demonstrable fact.

Having lived in the South for some time (Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina), there are elements of Southern society/culture that have not stopped "fighting" the Civil War. "The South Will Rise Again" is their mantra. I've seen many N. VA Confederate battle flags flying atop flag poles beneath which is the US flag.

However, as strident as some of these folks are - and they are strident in their views - I've never heard any of them assert that the South (Confederacy) won the Civil War.

But I'd like to see your viewpoint here!

Thanks

"People don't go to heaven when they die; they're taken to a special room and burned!" Evil_monster
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30-09-2013, 09:06 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
I tend to agree with I and I on this, or I can at least see his point....BTW how is this not an interesting thread? Could be one of the better debates on TTA.

Yeah slavery was a reason for the split but I don't believe that it was the core reason outright. I feel like it served as a moral booster for Northern forces...Emancipations was not ratified until after the war began and Lincoln allowed Maryland to keep their slaves provided they stuck with the North.... I think it had a lot more to do with the shift toward an industrial economy and the Morril Tariff. States rights is what the South used to justify their cessation.

Slavery was to the civil war what a dead enlisted man was to Panama, what the USS Maine was to the Spanish American War, what WMDs where to Iraq, what Bin Laden was to Afghanistan and what chemical weapons are to Syria....A righteous rallying cry, a 'just cause' to sell to the proletariat so that economic war can be waged.

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09-10-2013, 11:06 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
I have been on a road trip and did not have time to answer questions on my assertion that the south won the civil war. My apologies for the bump but I must answer those questions.

Brown vs. Board of Education 1954, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (now essentially gutted by the supremes) all 90+ years after the end of the civil war. The south continued to keep former slaves in peonage for many years through political means, as far as that goes the whole nation did, for at least 100 years after the civil war. Technically the south lost the civil war militarily. As a practical matter they won the right to continue indentured servitude for a long time. They also reinforced the notion of african-american inferiority such that nation wide such people were suppressed.

If it were not for the need of laborers during world war 2 in the rest of the nation african-americans would still be considered second class citizens in the south and not very much a part of the whole nation, women as well. 150 years after the civil war we still struggle in this nation with the idea that all but european-american males should not be considered as competent to rule. Obama being the exception that proves the rule.

The south won because its narrative fit the founding fathers narrative, white upper class males should rule and set the boundaries for all others. Specifically in this case that the nation as a whole has a right to suppress certain classes such that they only be allowed to serve the masters and the masters wealth.

None of the above should be considered as suggesting that the whole of the nation has not supported the suppression of the other at their whim. It remains true that in the south african-americans were suppressed by political measures more so than in the rest of the country. Without the advent of world war 2 and the nation wide need for labor their suppression would have continued to this day in the south.
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09-10-2013, 11:32 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
Quote:Without the advent of world war 2 and the nation wide need for labor their suppression would have continued to this day in the south.

And the north.

http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/raceriots/

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09-10-2013, 05:37 PM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
I agree with ridethespiral: this has the potential to be a very interesting thread. The problem with it is since I&I started it, I have to spend the entire time wondering where the "gotcha" is going to be. Oh well, I love surprises.

Anyway, I disagree completely with I&I's thesis. I also disagree with those who said that "state's rights" and "slavery" were added as reasons by historians after the fact. They certainly were not. The Declaration of Causes put forth by all the states that formed the Confederacy lay out their grievances in some detail. If you take the time to read that link, you wil see the issue of slavery and state's rights mentioned over and over. Ultimately, the real issue was money and economics, but the money and economics took the form of a slavery to support the South's economy. The historical revision is, I believe, by those who now try to argue that slavery as not a paramount issue (as an attempt to rehabilitate the south's image from days gone by).

One interesting point that I&I does raise is about if the North really cared about slavery and suddenly found compassion. It's an interesting question and his point is not without merit. Consider this: Lincoln is known for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation which, per popular folk lore, freed the slaves. But, it didn't. It only freed some of the slaves, and specifically, those slaves that lived in the Confederacy, of which Lincoln had no control. Those were not the only slaves existing in what had been the United States, though. There were slaves territories that did not join the Confederacy and Lincoln could have freed them too. But, he did not. The Emancipation Procomation was expressly limited to only those slaves Lincoln had no jurisdiction over, mostly in an attempt to create a rebellion by the slaves so the Confederate army had to pull forces from battle to go deal with it. Hardly the actions of a government concerned about slavery.

Slavery was absolutely an issue in the Civil War. It had been an issue since the forming of the country. I do think there was a lot of unease about the idea of owning a human being. That doesn't mean people in the north viewed blacks as equals, but it does imply they were willing to draw some lines.

Btw, the slavery issue also impacted how other countries interacted with the US and the Confederacy. For example, England, who had every economic reason to aid the south AND thought they were basically right in their actions not only remained neutral throughout the conflict but also honored the blockade of the south by the Union. There is an excellent book about England's role and the diplomacy around it called A World On Fire and I highly recommend it.

Anyway, that is my two cents on the topic. I look forward to a straightforward response or rebuttal that makes counter points based on actual history and not predetermined political agenda. I don't really expect to get one of those though.

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10-10-2013, 03:32 AM
Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
(09-10-2013 05:37 PM)BnW Wrote:  I agree with ridethespiral: this has the potential to be a very interesting thread. The problem with it is since I&I started it, I have to spend the entire time wondering where the "gotcha" is going to be. Oh well, I love surprises.

Anyway, I disagree completely with I&I's thesis. I also disagree with those who said that "state's rights" and "slavery" were added as reasons by historians after the fact. They certainly were not. The Declaration of Causes put forth by all the states that formed the Confederacy lay out their grievances in some detail. If you take the time to read that link, you wil see the issue of slavery and state's rights mentioned over and over. Ultimately, the real issue was money and economics, but the money and economics took the form of a slavery to support the South's economy. The historical revision is, I believe, by those who now try to argue that slavery as not a paramount issue (as an attempt to rehabilitate the south's image from days gone by).

One interesting point that I&I does raise is about if the North really cared about slavery and suddenly found compassion. It's an interesting question and his point is not without merit. Consider this: Lincoln is known for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation which, per popular folk lore, freed the slaves. But, it didn't. It only freed some of the slaves, and specifically, those slaves that lived in the Confederacy, of which Lincoln had no control. Those were not the only slaves existing in what had been the United States, though. There were slaves territories that did not join the Confederacy and Lincoln could have freed them too. But, he did not. The Emancipation Procomation was expressly limited to only those slaves Lincoln had no jurisdiction over, mostly in an attempt to create a rebellion by the slaves so the Confederate army had to pull forces from battle to go deal with it. Hardly the actions of a government concerned about slavery.

Slavery was absolutely an issue in the Civil War. It had been an issue since the forming of the country. I do think there was a lot of unease about the idea of owning a human being. That doesn't mean people in the north viewed blacks as equals, but it does imply they were willing to draw some lines.

Btw, the slavery issue also impacted how other countries interacted with the US and the Confederacy. For example, England, who had every economic reason to aid the south AND thought they were basically right in their actions not only remained neutral throughout the conflict but also honored the blockade of the south by the Union. There is an excellent book about England's role and the diplomacy around it called A World On Fire and I highly recommend it.

Anyway, that is my two cents on the topic. I look forward to a straightforward response or rebuttal that makes counter points based on actual history and not predetermined political agenda. I don't really expect to get one of those though.

The north industrial revolution was a direct result of huge profits from salve labor flowing to the north and the country as a whole benefitted greatly from slavery. The ending of slavery to the north was a way to break the economic back of the southern upper class. It was an industrial ruling class vs agriculture ruling class.

Did you know that during the war for independence the British freed slaves and offered freedom and money to slaves that fought for the British. This war was a similar class war and the ending of slavery was used as a tool in similar manners. Many slaves were freed by the British btw, a part of history they don't often mention.
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24-10-2013, 07:42 AM
RE: Was the US Civil War over Slavery?
It was my understanding that the war over slavery had nothing to do with freeing slaves for humane reasons. The Industrialists in the northern states were having to pay for labor while those in the south were seen as having free labor, altho it was anything but. The Industrialists had the money and power to influence the election. When slavery was abolished, many landowners couldn't pay their taxes and consequently lost their land to wealthy northerners. It was the Carpetbaggers who came around with notices of foreclosure. The term comes from an early day suitcase that was made from carpeting.
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