pvolcko wrote:As for the post-war claims of it being about states rights, not specifically slavery... Much of this is given legs to stand on only by the passage of a number of laws during the war, which were not about slavery and had been being blocked by the southern state delegations for some time prior to their secession. Some laws were passed due to the war which were also against a state's rights perspective, such as the imposition of a federal income tax to pay for the war. To claim the principle reason for the war was these other laws and issues besides slavery, however, is revisionism, plain and simple.
The south was fighting a losing battle, in every sense, when it came to slavery. Perhaps the Civil War could have been avoided, but given the base issues at play with regard to slavery and the rather inciting act of mass secession... it was going to happen, either according to the first or second school of thought.
mikeandgerry wrote:Given the property issue, the war, like most wars, was fought over economics. In this case, it was the economics of slavery. It was a clash of regional ideologies. Because it was a regional clash it lent itself to the possibility of secession. When that possibility became reality, Lincoln's duty to preserve the union, which seems quite clear in the Constitution's Preamble which insures "domestic tranquility and the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity", had to be paramount as no other violation had occured.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security
jpete wrote:How did starting a war that killed 600,000 Americans promote "domestic tranquility and the general welfare"?
pvolcko wrote:The south fired the first shots by taking Ft Sumter by force. Only after that did Lincoln start calling up an army comprised of soldiers volunteered from each state. True, many states saw the writing on the wall and were busy calling up their militias and regimented forces before this point, but it was the south that fired the first shots and Lincoln only went to the military option after that point.
Though I do not understand what rationale they had for seceding given that there was no active attempt to end slavery in the southern states (least of all by Lincoln who was newly elected and had stated repeatedly he wasn't going to end slavery where it already existed), they still had active and largely effective representation in federal government, the interpretation of slave laws was still in their favor (dred scott, for instance)... ignoring the rationale, sure, I can agree they had a philosophical and practical right to do so. Of course, I think the rationale matters quite a bit. I do not agree the southern states had good enough reason to secede and I think they did it in a completely hackneyed way which largely precipitated the war. They didn't have a right to fire on US federal facilities, effectively confiscate federal property, and I think it was crippling not to make a much stronger effort to bring their grievances before the congress and the rest of the country before taking the drastic step of secession.
After seceding the confederates did attempt to negotiate a peace and offered to pay for federal facilities, but Lincoln would not see them and the shadow negotiations held with... I can't remember the name, I think one of Lincoln's dept heads... they fell apart. I'm not sure of the timeline on these negotiations against the ft. sumter attack, regardless, secession is messy business even if one accepts the right of a state to do it and the south rushed headlong into it. It takes time and patience to clean up the ancillary issues and it has to be a measure of last resort. While you seem to blame Lincoln for the war, I see the south having acted to secede without justification, without having made serious efforts to voice and have their grievances heard in congress prior to seceding, and ultimately precipitated the quick military engagement of the North by taking federal forts by force, starting with Ft. Sumter.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
jpete wrote:Obviously, the Confederacy couldn't allow the Union to dig in so they shelled the fort. Seems like a reasonable course of action to me.
coaledsweat wrote:jpete wrote:Obviously, the Confederacy couldn't allow the Union to dig in so they shelled the fort. Seems like a reasonable course of action to me.
Many a reasonable course has started wars, they sealed their fate when they took the first shot.
KLook wrote:You are splitting hairs jpete. I tend to support your kind of politician but you will never get far unless you become a D or an R.
I don't like revisiting such events as they are nothing but excercises in hate and discontent. In reality, no one was the winner. The country has never really recovered and slavery would have been abolished in time as mechanization took over the work. Not to say it should not have been abolished, it should have.
A piece in National Geographic a few years back pointed out that slavery is alive and well in the world today. Why argue over technicalities? It is like who is to blame for the economy. There is plenty to go around. If you dont think it is hate and discontent, alive and well, I was down in Texas in 1979 through 1981 and it was not uncommon for a child just starting school to call me a F***ing yankee. Others would talk about "the war" and I was be confused at first until I learned there was only one war that counted. The United States indeed! Get over it already. And don't tell me about your grandpappy being gunned down by a yankee, he was probably reloading so he could shoot another yankee. See? Hate and discontent. If we keep it up we will be just like the Jews and Arabs.
Sorry to go off, but I have been down south a few times and am always annoyed by some dumb ass starting in on the yankee thing.
jpete wrote:Bottom line, my guide is the Constitution. I don't need the SCOTUS to "interpret" it for me. I can read.