I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: Devil505 On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:06 pm

:cheers:

I congratulate this forum which is first & foremost THE FINAL WORD in coal heating information, but has really transformed itself to be much more than that. The breadth of important & interesting Off Topic topics seems now to be a major contributor to the interest of many of us & the caliber of the thought, argument & just sheer quality of information available here is pretty impressive!

I salute Richard for keeping a great website going! :up:
Devil505
 
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: mikeandgerry On: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:58 pm

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.


If there had been no secession by any state, would the issue of state's rights have come into play in the slavery debate?

Eventually I think it would have since there was no Constitutional prohibition of slavery. It was a legal and recognized institution in the south. Slaves were chattel. While non-slave states could choose to ignore that, slaves states could continue to practice and indeed did have rights. Without an amendment abolishing slavery, the Fourth and Tenth Amendments defended it along with Article IV, section 2 of the US Con at that time. No doubt however, the issue was on a collision course with public opinion.

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.

While it is romantic to think the war was fought over the immorality of slavery, the nitty gritty reveals otherwise. It's a pity because Lincoln's moral code was soundly against slavery, the story was an epic struggle and the outcome was a victory over injustice.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: jpete On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:17 am

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.


How did starting a war that killed 600,000 Americans promote "domestic tranquility and the general welfare"?

And how does it square with

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


Did the south not have the RIGHT to change their government if they felt they were living under "despotism"?

Lincoln said no. And he was willing to commit blood and treasure to make sure they didn't. And if, as has been suggested, that the moment the south seceded, they became a "foreign" country and as such, were fair game to be attacked. What does that say about our long history of imperialism and forcing other people to do things our way or we'll kill them?

From Fort Sumter to Iraq, it looks like we haven't learned much.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:06 am

jpete wrote:How did starting a war that killed 600,000 Americans promote "domestic tranquility and the general welfare"?


You better check to see who started the shooting first.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:03 pm

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.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: KLook On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:14 pm

I have not met anyone in the south that agrees with that assesment, but I do. Revisionism at its best. Every loser in history has claimed something similar. And before someone howls about an arrogant yankee, I have relatives on both sides.

Kevin
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: tvb On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:22 pm

If you've spent any time down south, you would know that a good number of inhabitants there are in denial that the war is actually over and that they lost.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: KLook On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:27 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: I have. :roll:

Kevin
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: jpete On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:00 pm

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.


Does it matter if they had "justification"?

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.


Where does that say they need a good reason? If the government wasn't serving their purposes, they had a DUTY to do something about it.

South Carolina seceded from the union on December 20, 1860. They asked the north to remove their troops from what was now a foreign country. The north refused. So the south cut the fort off. The Union soldiers were nearly out of food but tried to stall until reinforcements and supplies could arrive. 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.

No one has yet to tell me why Lincoln felt he had a right to preserve the union. Buchanan didn't seem to feel he had the right. One of them was wrong.

And while we are on that subject, when was the declaration of war voted on by Congress.

EVERY president takes an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend, the Constitution" of the US. Not "The Union" as some argue. How did Lincoln uphold his oath based upon his actions?
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:24 pm

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.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: jpete On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:02 pm

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.


You seem to be acting on the assumption that Lincoln had the right and responsibility to "preserve the union". The North was given over a year to vacate a fort in foreign territory. They didn't and in fact attempted to reinforce and resupply it. That was the act of war, not the shots fired by the south.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: KLook On: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:26 pm

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.

Kevin
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: jpete On: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:10 am

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.

Kevin


I'm not "clinging" to this, so to speak. But if we want to talk about "reality" we need to strip away all our prejudices. I became "aware" of the difference between what I learned and what was true when I read a book called "Lies My Teacher Told Me". I forget the author but he is a history professor from UNH. Anyway, I learned that if you wrote a history book and used the term "Civil War", no school district south of the Mason-Dixon would buy it. It was the "War Between the States"

I TRY to leave what ever it was I learned in school out of a subject and research both sides before I take a side.

And I know what you mean about southerners. My aunt move to Pensacola, FL(the redneck Riviera) and the most popular "joke" she heard was. "What's the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee?.......A Yankee goes home." :D

And to top it off, she was a foster parent(even raised me for 3 years when my parents were divorcing) who adopted her last two kids, who happen to be black. She knows there are parts of Florida where she will get shot at if she has the kids in the car. It's a whole different world down there. There are still "white" areas that the blacks know they "can't" go in.

Bottom line, my guide is the Constitution. I don't need the SCOTUS to "interpret" it for me. I can read. And I still don't know where Lincoln got the right or responsibility to "preserve the union".
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:44 am

jpete wrote:Bottom line, my guide is the Constitution. I don't need the SCOTUS to "interpret" it for me. I can read.


Always make me nervous when someone is so positive in seeing the complex as simple.
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Re: I know, It's the LAW...so I shouldn't question it

PostBy: KLook On: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:52 am

I agree jpete. Keep up the good work and good luck. I have heard the joke many times and it is told with different words in place of damn. Funny thing about books however, what gives the author any more insight then anyone else years after the fact? I have made this same line of arguement in many of the threads about gov actions even today. The REAl truth may never come out so everyone speculates forever. I guess the Kennedy assasination is a prime example. People seize upon whatever fits their agenda.

Kevin
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