Why don't people believe the Civil War was over Slavery?

Shooting StarShooting Star Posts: 167Registered Users
I just don't get it. As a black person I find this very offensive. It is almost as if people are trying to down play slavery as something that was not severe.

First of all, I believe the war was fought over slavery. People say states rights, but states rights to have what? Slaves.

Why don't people want to believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery?
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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think it can be looked at both ways. Technically, the states' rights argument is true, in that pressure had been building for years about whether states newly admitted to the union were to be slave or free. When the south failed to prevail in creating more slave states, the decision was made to secede from the union. Lincoln refused to allow this, and the North and South went to war.

    Therefore, the official reason for the war was states' rights, but the true, underlying cause was slavery. There would have been no war unless the issue of slavery had not inflamed the growing country.
  • battinlashbattinlash Posts: 1,850Registered Users
    Shooting Star, I'm curious to know who doesn't believe that. It cumulated into other issues but ultimately, slavery was the catalyst for the Civil War.

    I'm thinking that whoever you were talking to might not remember their history very well. Or maybe they don't care; I mean, there are lots of people who don't think the Holocaust occurred. Sometimes people will believe what they want even if it's very, very wrong.
  • ScarletScarlet Posts: 3,125Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    ninja dog wrote: »
    I think it can be looked at both ways. Technically, the states' rights argument is true, in that pressure had been building for years about whether states newly admitted to the union were to be slave or free. When the south failed to prevail in creating more slave states, the decision was made to secede from the union. Lincoln refused to allow this, and the North and South went to war.

    Therefore, the official reason for the war was states' rights, but the true, underlying cause was slavery. There would have been no war unless the issue of slavery had not inflamed the growing country.

    Agreed.

    While there were some steadfast abolistionists at the time who believed that slavery was wrong, it wasn't really looked at as a morally reprehensible issue. Slavery was more of an economical and political issue.
    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
  • Yes, Still PaulaYes, Still Paula Posts: 485Registered Users
    No, you are right, I think they want to ignore that the issue of slavery was as severe as it was (maybe because some folks are ashamed deep down since they know they had ancestors who were part of it, and/or because it reflects badly on the U.S.?), or like Tantrum said other folks simply don't care that it existed and they don't think or care if it ever came to an end.
  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    There are people who deny the Holocost. There are those who deny that the US knew it was going on. I even read an article that said that the Japanese were interred in WWII for their safety thus reparations weren't needed. And today is the anniversary of the first moon landing - or is it?
  • Shooting StarShooting Star Posts: 167Registered Users
    Shooting Star, I'm curious to know who doesn't believe that. It cumulated into other issues but ultimately, slavery was the catalyst for the Civil War.

    I'm thinking that whoever you were talking to might not remember their history very well. Or maybe they don't care; I mean, there are lots of people who don't think the Holocaust occurred. Sometimes people will believe what they want even if it's very, very wrong.

    Well, a few members of this board believe it. This is somewhat of a response/spin off thread to the "F*** the South" thread. In high school our teachers told us that the Civil War was fought over states' rights and not slavery.

    I really want this person to come in and participate in this discussion. I'm not trying to start an argument or cause division, but when I hear stuff like this it bothers me. It's not that I can't stand a difference of opinion, but some things have no gray area. Some things are black and white (no pun intended).

    As far as the moral and economic issue I feel like this: People have always believed slavery was wrong. I believe they chose to love money and not their brother and they refused to admit the error of their ways. Those slave masters who called their slaves a n***** would go to church on Sunday and hear the preacher preach, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself" and "God created all man equal". The problem was not only greed, it was pride. It was the fact that the slave master and everyone who supports/ed the institution of slavery believed that they were the supreme race and that everyone beneath them must be "trained" to live the "civilized" way. Either live their way, or die their way. Death was not only physical, but mental and emotional. The culture of a person who was not white was stripped of them along with their land and everything they owned.

    Slavery has deep issues that need to be pointed out and discussed. I'm tired of people taking little pokes at the issue and expecting for everything to be roses the next day. We're not going to get over this unless we talk about it.
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  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I don't blame you. I don't know what it is in human nature that causes some of us to downplay or outright deny the atrocities committed against other races and religions.
  • susancnwsusancnw Posts: 1,374Registered Users Curl Novice
    I'm not sure who you were talking about in the thread, and I'm not particularly moved on this hot summer day to look. :D

    Because saying it was fought exclusively to end slavery is simplistic. There were myriad of reasons. I'm including a pretty decent link to it, and can find more.

    Have you not heard the old saying that history is written by the victors? Industry was in the north, agribusiness was in the south. It was a good economic balance, but it was less expensive for the south to get many trade goods from Europe. Capitalism. There was also a great demand for cotton in Europe. I'd have to read up again, but I think that India could not supply enough to meet the demand.

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/confederatecauses.htm

    http://ngeorgia.com/history/why.html

    And as a question, do you believe everything that your teachers taught you in HS? I went to school in the north and south and Texas, so I had it from many perspectives.

    What I find abhorrent about the whole issue is that the other nations of the world that participated in slavery haven't spent decades and eons agonizing over it. Recognized it and dealt with it. There has been no talk of reparations in Europe, or in Africa itself. Slavery had dated back pretty much to the dawn of time. The vanquished were often (usually) taken back to the conquering nation as slaves. I am in no way condoning it, I'm just mentioning the historical perspective. Rumors coming out of rural China suggest that it still exists there. Japan and China very often engaged in slavery. It seems to still go on in Indonesia.

    So, no it was not just over slavery...although that was a component of it. And I am getting very tired of southerners being portrayed as bigoted, racist, sexist, ignorant people. I also find it interesting that a lot of people (including many blacks) are moving to the south. It is a very rapidly growing community, very cosmopolitan in the bigger cities. At the time of the Civil War, with the exception of some cities in the north, the cultural center was in the south. Young men still did the 'Great Tour' of the European continent, as did young men in England. There was a lot of commerce between the south and Europe, particularly England.

    Of course, I do realize that I am probably wasting my time and breath here. I won't return as the tone of the first few comments were argumentative and divisive.

    And for the record, my family never had enough money to be slave owners. We were farmers or businessmen and explorers.
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    I heard once that a good portion of the country doesn't believe the Civil War is over. So maybe once they accept the fact that it's over, they'll accept that the major factor in the war was slavery. Yes the economy played a role but it was because slavery was a major part of the economy. My fifth grade teacher - an African American BTW - said that it was all Eli Whitney's fault. I'll let yall ponder on that one.

    Re: states' rights - that pesky 10th amendment interferring with the others...

    I wonder if those who say it was states rights and who fly the rebel flag are proud of the United States. Or do they resent the United States for denying their ancestors their states rights?
  • ScarletScarlet Posts: 3,125Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    The morality of slavery (or rather, the lack thereof) was not the driving factor. Events have to be looked at in the context of their time. The economic and political ramifications of slavery (such as whether or not new states would be "free states") were the catalyst. It wasn't a widespread moral issue in the 1860s. To try to look at it from today's perspective is revisionist history and really isn't honest.
    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
  • Shooting StarShooting Star Posts: 167Registered Users
    susancnw wrote: »
    I'm not sure who you were talking about in the thread, and I'm not particularly moved on this hot summer day to look. :D

    Because saying it was fought exclusively to end slavery is simplistic. There were myriad of reasons. I'm including a pretty decent link to it, and can find more.

    Have you not heard the old saying that history is written by the victors? Industry was in the north, agribusiness was in the south. It was a good economic balance, but it was less expensive for the south to get many trade goods from Europe. Capitalism. There was also a great demand for cotton in Europe. I'd have to read up again, but I think that India could not supply enough to meet the demand.

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/confederatecauses.htm

    http://ngeorgia.com/history/why.html

    And as a question, do you believe everything that your teachers taught you in HS? I went to school in the north and south and Texas, so I had it from many perspectives.

    What I find abhorrent about the whole issue is that the other nations of the world that participated in slavery haven't spent decades and eons agonizing over it. Recognized it and dealt with it. There has been no talk of reparations in Europe, or in Africa itself. Slavery had dated back pretty much to the dawn of time. The vanquished were often (usually) taken back to the conquering nation as slaves. I am in no way condoning it, I'm just mentioning the historical perspective. Rumors coming out of rural China suggest that it still exists there. Japan and China very often engaged in slavery. It seems to still go on in Indonesia.

    So, no it was not just over slavery...although that was a component of it. And I am getting very tired of southerners being portrayed as bigoted, racist, sexist, ignorant people. I also find it interesting that a lot of people (including many blacks) are moving to the south. It is a very rapidly growing community, very cosmopolitan in the bigger cities. At the time of the Civil War, with the exception of some cities in the north, the cultural center was in the south. Young men still did the 'Great Tour' of the European continent, as did young men in England. There was a lot of commerce between the south and Europe, particularly England.

    Of course, I do realize that I am probably wasting my time and breath here. I won't return as the tone of the first few comments were argumentative and divisive.

    And for the record, my family never had enough money to be slave owners. We were farmers or businessmen and explorers.

    So, why should I believe everything YOU tell me? I never said I believed everything my teachers told me. As a matter of fact, I disagree with my teachers 100% when it comes to this issue.

    No one is saying that the South is racist and bigoted, it is just more prevalent down here than it is in the North. In the North, it is deeply frowned upon so people up there might be racist, but hold it in because of how socially unacceptable it is. In the South, however, racism is not as frowned upon. It is still out in the open and almost a way of life for some. People may not be starting lynch mobs, but watch how people treat an interracial couple and there are still places in the South where I can't go because I'm black. I'm just being honest. Straight up.
    The morality of slavery (or rather, the lack thereof) was not the driving factor. Events have to be looked at in the context of their time. The economic and political ramifications of slavery (such as whether or not new states would be "free states") were the catalyst. It wasn't a widespread moral issue in the 1860s. To try to look at it from today's perspective is revisionist history and really isn't honest.

    I never said the morality of slavery was the driving factor for the war. I am saying that people back then did know that slavery was wrong, but some people were unwilling to admit the error of their ways.

    As far as not being honest, I dunno what you're trying to say when you mention that.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I just don't get it. As a black person I find this very offensive. It is almost as if people are trying to down play slavery as something that was not severe.

    First of all, I believe the war was fought over slavery. People say states rights, but states rights to have what? Slaves.

    Why don't people want to believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery?

    Because it wasn't. The only reason that Lincoln declared war on the South was because they left the union and took with then a large source of money that the north needed to survive.

    Think about it...if the war was over slavery, why not free the slaves in the beginning? Lincoln waited until darn near the end because that was the only way to cripple the south and ensure that the north won.

    I don't think that when people say that they are trying to down play slavery, but let's keep it real. We where chattle. Our freedom was a by product of the civil war and if the North had been able to defeat the South without freeing the slaves, we would still be slaves.
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    Why did the South leave the Union?
  • susancnwsusancnw Posts: 1,374Registered Users Curl Novice
    Nappy curly crown - well said.

    I was thinking about this today and also thought that if it was ONLY about slavery, then why were blacks fighting on the side of the South? It certainly wasn't because they wanted to be slaves. My wild guess would be that they didn't want the north coming in and imposing rules and regulations on how they wanted things done.

    I've seen it written where the South could survive without the North due to their trade with the UK and Europe. The north couldn't necessarily survive without the south since they had little agriculture...it was mostly developed on manufacturing. The South was beginning to develop its own manufacturing, due to innovation and inventions developed in response to the agricultural needs.

    As to why the South seceded...supposed someone walked into your home and told you that is how things were going to be done and they didn't care how you had done it in the past. You'd kick their tail out the door. Or you would leave. Effectively, that is what the South did.

    Post civil ware, the North enacted such vindictive, vengeful restrictions on the South that it took them decades to overcome. It was really not until the last half of the 20th century that the South has begun coming into its own again and is beginning to eclipse the North economically again.

    Shooting Star, I didn't tell you to believe everything I say. Your post mentioned what you were taught in HS and I was responding to that part of your comment. I don't expect you to believe me. I do expect you to be an adult and research both sides of the issue for yourself.

    What part of the south do you live in? I've lived in rural and small (and large) cities and towns across the south and there was usually more animosity between kikkers and dopers or the like than anything else. And as I was usually the outsider since we moved with alarming frequency, I could see it more objectively. I'm not saying it doesn't exist and there are some pockets where it is bad...I'm not sure you are correct about being worse down there. My adopted son has run into more racism in the north and west than he ever did in the south. Being an Army brat, he lived all over the US and he prefers the south...mostly because his experience was live and let live. His treatment by the principal of his former school was directly race related and she should have been reported to the board. As I am not his biological or legally adoptive parent (he is an adult), my concerns and anger were of no consequence. I'm really sorry for the principal and her narrow-minded, hateful attitude. And she's never even stepped foot in the south.
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    So the South was right and their way of life should rightfully continue today?
  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    susancnw wrote: »
    Nappy curly crown - well said.

    I was thinking about this today and also thought that if it was ONLY about slavery, then why were blacks fighting on the side of the South? It certainly wasn't because they wanted to be slaves. My wild guess would be that they didn't want the north coming in and imposing rules and regulations on how they wanted things done.

    I've seen it written where the South could survive without the North due to their trade with the UK and Europe. The north couldn't necessarily survive without the south since they had little agriculture...it was mostly developed on manufacturing. The South was beginning to develop its own manufacturing, due to innovation and inventions developed in response to the agricultural needs.

    As to why the South seceded...supposed someone walked into your home and told you that is how things were going to be done and they didn't care how you had done it in the past. You'd kick their tail out the door. Or you would leave. Effectively, that is what the South did.

    Post civil ware, the North enacted such vindictive, vengeful restrictions on the South that it took them decades to overcome. It was really not until the last half of the 20th century that the South has begun coming into its own again and is beginning to eclipse the North economically again.

    Shooting Star, I didn't tell you to believe everything I say. Your post mentioned what you were taught in HS and I was responding to that part of your comment. I don't expect you to believe me. I do expect you to be an adult and research both sides of the issue for yourself.

    What part of the south do you live in? I've lived in rural and small (and large) cities and towns across the south and there was usually more animosity between kikkers and dopers or the like than anything else. And as I was usually the outsider since we moved with alarming frequency, I could see it more objectively. I'm not saying it doesn't exist and there are some pockets where it is bad...I'm not sure you are correct about being worse down there. My adopted son has run into more racism in the north and west than he ever did in the south. Being an Army brat, he lived all over the US and he prefers the south...mostly because his experience was live and let live. His treatment by the principal of his former school was directly race related and she should have been reported to the board. As I am not his biological or legally adoptive parent (he is an adult), my concerns and anger were of no consequence. I'm really sorry for the principal and her narrow-minded, hateful attitude. And she's never even stepped foot in the south.

    You have GOT to be kidding me @ the bolded statement. Do you honestly think that SLAVES made a CHOICE to fight on the side of those enslaving them? Again...we were chattel...Property. Slaves had no rights. The only choices they had was to do what the master said or face the repercussions.

    I grew up in rural GA, and the simplistic almost "Gone with the Wind" "daughters of the confederate" BS image that you are trying to paint of the south just boggles my mind. I'm only 28 years old but I've seen crosses burned on folk’s lawns, I've seen actual KKK rallies. Yes the South has changed a LOT, but don't be fooled, there are still a LOT of folks that think that blacks are sub human and are only good for plowing a field or cooking and cleaning in their house.

    And the reason that you gave for succession is not correct either.

    The years leading up to the Civil war were very turbulent political times. Crisis struck in 1820, when the North/South balance in the Senate was threatened by the application of Missouri to join the Union as a slave state. Southerners, aware of their numerical inferiority in the House of Representatives, were keen to maintain their political sway, in the Senate. The North feared that if Southerners were to take control of the Senate, political deadlock would ensue. Compromise was found in 1820 when Maine applied to join as a free state, maintaining the balance. It was agreed that slavery would not be allowed north of 36'30, except in Missouri, and set the precedent of free and slave state admission in pairs.

    Sectional conflict flared again during the era of Andrew Jackson, when South Carolina threatened to secede over the Nullification Controversy, and tensions heightened following the heated Webster-Hayne debates in 1830 over states' rights. This proved to he an ongoing theme of the sectional crisis, and some historians have claimed that this was a fundamental reason for the breakdown of North/South relations and ultimately the Civil War itself. By 1833 the Nullification Controversy had petered out, with neither side yet prepared to use force. However, sectional differences were again been brought to the fore, and secession itself had been threatened for the first time.

    America experienced new turmoil during the 1850s and 60s. To begin with, the crisis revolved around land conquered from Mexico during the war. A resolution was proposed to outlaw slavery in the new territories. It was defeated in the Senate, it outraged Southern Congressman. A solution, however, was found with Henry Clay's 1850 Compromise, which organized New Mexico and Utah as territories, without outlawing slavery, and strengthening the Fugitive Slave Law to satisfy Southerners, while admitting California as a free state and banning the slave trade in the District of Columbia to please Northerners. Southern opinion at this stage was still largely in favor of preserving the Union if possible, but some states made it clear that if the terms of the Compromise were broken, secession would not be ruled out.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Things took a turn for the worse in 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise. At Pottawatomie in 1856, Missouri pro-slavery campaigners raided a free soil camp, burning property and attacking its inhabitants. Disagreement over slavery now turned into violent conflict, with atrocities committed by both sides. Through a Southern rigging of the ballot, a state constitution passed permitting slavery, despite free-soilers outnumbering proslavery citizens by three to one. The events of the late 1850s gave the territory the unsavory title of 'Bleeding Kansas'.

    The volatile political situation of this period was not helped by the Southern, and vehemently pro-slavery, Chief Justice Taney. In the 1857 Dred Scott case he ruled not only that Negroes were not citizens and therefore had no right to bring a case to court, but that the Missouri Compromise had denied slaveholders their property, thus compromising the Fifth Amendment. This implicit declaration that an act of Congress was unconstitutional was rare and provoked bitter dissent in Northern quarters. However, if northerners were angry over the Dred Scott case, southerners were livid following John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry. Not only had Brown attempted to incite a slave revolt, and capture the federal arsenal, but he was treated as a martyr by many northerners following his execution. Despite his crackpot scheme being a total failure, the sympathy Brown received from some northerners was too much for many southerners, whose anti-northern feeling was now beyond control.

    The final straw for the South was the election of Abraham Lincoln who, despite his protestations to the contrary, could not convince the South that he was not a firebrand abolitionist. The prospect of a federal government controlled by the 'Black' Republican Party was too much for some, and South Carolina was the first state to secede, followed quickly by six others. This did not necessarily have to mean Civil War, but few in the north were prepared to readily see the Union dismembered. Perhaps they remembered Madison's words at the drafting of the constitution; "great as the evil (slavery) is, a dismemberment of the union would be worse"

    It should also be noted, that after the south left the union, Lincoln proposed to Jefferson Davis that if the South returned to the Union, that he would leave slavery in tact, to which Davis replied "Slavery is not the struggle we fight in this war". Several copies of union solders war diaries have been published and it is very clear that slavery was NOT the reason they were fighting the war; it was to preserve the union.

    Additionally, several Border States (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware) which never left the union were still slave holding states. After the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was illegal there but still practiced in some places. It wasn't until three years AFTER the end of the civil war in 1868 that slavery was officially abolished in the U.S.

    So...while slavery wasn't the main cause of the civil war, the economic and political power of slavery is very much wrapped up in the events that lead to the civil war. But no, the civil war was not fought to free the slaves, and freeing the slaves was more of a war strategy rather than Lincoln and the Union having some moral objection to it.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Here is the "Statement of Causes Of Secession" that South Carolina used to justify its withdrawal from the Union.


    "South Carolina Declaration of Causes of Secession December 24,1860

    The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 2d day of April, A.D. 1852, declared that frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Federal Government, and it's encroachment upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in their withdrawal from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other Slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time these encroachments have continued to increase, and the forbearance ceases to be a virtue. And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes that lead to this act�. We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been destructive of them by the action of the nonslaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of Slavery; they have permitted the open establishment among them of societies whose avowed object is to disturb the peace of eloin the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain have been incited by emissaries, books, and pictures to servile insurrection. For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of all the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to Slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that �Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,� and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the subversion of the Constitution has been aided, in some of the States, by elevating to citizenship persons who, by the supreme law if the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its peace and safety. On the 4th of March next this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the Judicial Tribunal shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against Slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States. The guarantees of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The Slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy. Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation; and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that the public opinion of the North has invested a great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief. We, therefore, the people of South Carolina, by our delegates in convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent state, with the full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. "

    Now...its important to remember that The Declaration of Independence did not proclaim the existence of one new nation but rather of thirteen independent and sovereign states. If you look it up in the dictionary you will find that the word state is actually synonymous with country. When the Constitution was written each of these states acted in its own sovereign capacity to decide whether or not to join the union. None of them had to. Indeed, George Washington had already been sworn in as president and the first congress was already in session before Rhode Island decided to join. The Constitution specifically gives some powers to the federal government and explicitly reserves all other powers to the states. Based on all this it could reasonably be argued that the states still possessed the sovereign power to withdraw from a union they had entered voluntarily. The Southern states put this theory to the test by attempting to secede.
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  • KookyCurlKookyCurl Posts: 1,980Registered Users
    Nappy_Curly_Crown...I just want to say thank you. Your facts are well laid out and clear. (I'm an aspiring historian so I really appreciate it.)

    I also just wanted to point out that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the states in rebellion. It didn't touch slavery in the border states that remained in the Union.

    "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;"

    It clearly laid out the areas to which it applied. Note the areas in the south to which it did not.
    "Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued."

    Lincoln was no fool. The war was costing the country time and money. He wanted the war to end. The border states were important. Especially Maryland with it's encasing of D.C. He wasn't doing anything to provoke them. He also wanted to issue the proclamation earlier but felt that for it to hold force the North needed a decisive victory which he got at Gettysburg. Until then the Confederates were holding their own quite well. By freeing the slaves in the seceded states it was also a clever war tactic. By freeing the forced labor that that south built itself upon it undermined the ability for the south to keep feeding itself. This coupled with the bottleneck of it's ports along the coast and the river is what brought the war to an end. It also became clear to the south that the North had more resources to keep fighting.

    The argument over whether the Confederacy could have traded with England is an iffy one at best. Yes England 's mills were crying out for cotton but it's sovereign Queen Victoria abhorred slavery. That would have hampered things. Notice they weren't crying out enough for the South's cotton to openly support them.

    Also as far as slavery around the world and in other cultures go, yes it has been practiced for centuries, but in the American Slave Trade it was not simply prizes of war it was a profitable business which many people prospered from. Nowhere else did slavery exist as it did here. Yes the Romans practiced slavery but even under the Empire slaves had rights, could buy or work themselves free and were generally well looked after. They weren't denigrated and dehumanized. The Romans didn't go out and buy their slaves and encourage a continent to sell others into slavery. They were part of the spoils of war and often taken as curiosities to show Rome what the conquered looked like. Eventually they were assimilated into Roman culture. It doesn't mean the Romans were right or even should be excused for this practice. It's just that in America slavery mutated into something darker.
  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    I'm confused - the statement from S. Carolina confirms that slavery was not the cause of the South leaving the U.S.?
  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    if you look closely, they talk mostly about states rights...one of those rights in question is the right to own slaves. There was never a push by the Federal Government (ie Lincoln and the republican party) to end slavery in the South, but there was a push to contain it and not let it spread to new states entering the union. The south (S.C. in this instance) saw that as the Federal government involving itself in the affairs of the states. They felt that new stated entering the union should be free to decide for themselves if they will be slave holding states or free states.

    In addition, if a slave owner from S.C. moved to a free state, and took thier slaves with them, those slaves were free as soon as they crossed into the free state. To the south, this was a violation of constitution. Slaves were property, and if they moved to a free state that property was relenquished...not by a law enacted by the state it's self, but because of a mandate by the federal government.

    Addidionally, by limiting the ability of new states in the territory that was won from mexico to be slave holding states, this weakened the politcal power of the southern states in congress. remember that the amount of seats in the house of representatives is based on population..and slaves did not count as a whole person (each slave was 3/5 of a person I think) so the south had less representatives than the northen states did because free negros were counted as a full person. In the senate, each state gets two representatives. Not admiting slave holding states ment that soon, the south would hold no political position in congress and its issues and greivances would not be addressed. Its quite possible that eventually, congress would have abolished slavery in the south once the free states out numbered the slave states...although I personally think that it would have been at LEAST 100 years later if ever it happened.

    The south saw this as a ploy by the Federal government to end slavery, which to them was an attack on thier "way of life"..a way of life that in thier eyes most northerns knew nothing of and should not be meddling in.

    hope this helps to clarify.
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  • KookyCurlKookyCurl Posts: 1,980Registered Users
    Yes. It was not slavery as a moral issue but as an economic one. It enumerates it's problems with the federal government interfering in what they believed to be a state matter and their belief is that slavery was backed up by the constitution (which it inherently was by way of the 3/5 clause) and the federal government acted in violation of that constitution, which set forth the Union, and thereby their view that it was their duty and right to withdraw from that Union. The election of Abraham Lincoln was the deciding factor, the final insult in what they viewed as a long list of insults permitted to be hurled upon them by Northern abolitionists by the government. By the time of Lincoln's election his name became synonymous with abolitionism in the south.
    While Northern abolitionists held slavery to be a moral wrong the southern states regarded it as a matter of the government sticking their noses into issues of their personal property bringing us back to the issue of states rights. Basically, they felt that if the government was going to interfere in this issue, one that their economics hinged on, where would they stop.

    I hope this makes sense. I know what I'm trying to say but I'm not sure it's coming out correctly.
  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    So it was over the right to own, sell, control, and determine the lives of slaves and the benefits from them, but it wasn't over slavery. Got it.
  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    So it was over the right to own, sell, control, and determine the lives of slaves and the benefits from them, but it wasn't over slavery. Got it.

    Many people belive that the north wanted slaves free....which isn't true. They just didn't want slavery to expand to new states entering the union. The south didn't leave the union because they thought the north was going to end slavery (which they knew it wasn't) they left because they were about to lose thier political standing in congress. The north went to war with the south not over the issue of slavery, but because they felt that the states didn't have to right to succede and wanted to preserve the union.

    Again, if the war had been over slavery, then the course of history would be much different. The Emancipation Proclaimation would have been delivered earlier. Slavery in the border states would have been banned as well.

    To say that it was just over slavery is too simplistic and if you havn't been able to get that from the information that was posted, then i'm not really sure how else to explain it so that it is clear.
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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    To say that it was just over slavery is too simplistic and if you havn't been able to get that from the information that was posted, then i'm not really sure how else to explain it so that it is clear.


    If it were that clear, it wouldn't have been debated and studied for a century and will be for years to come. I'm literate so I see and understand the words. I simply disagree about the interpretation and context.
  • Shooting StarShooting Star Posts: 167Registered Users
    Myradella3 wrote: »
    So it was over the right to own, sell, control, and determine the lives of slaves and the benefits from them, but it wasn't over slavery. Got it.

    Many people belive that the north wanted slaves free....which isn't true. They just didn't want slavery to expand to new states entering the union. The south didn't leave the union because they thought the north was going to end slavery (which they knew it wasn't) they left because they were about to lose thier political standing in congress. The north went to war with the south not over the issue of slavery, but because they felt that the states didn't have to right to succede and wanted to preserve the union.

    Again, if the war had been over slavery, then the course of history would be much different. The Emancipation Proclaimation would have been delivered earlier. Slavery in the border states would have been banned as well.

    To say that it was just over slavery is too simplistic and if you havn't been able to get that from the information that was posted, then i'm not really sure how else to explain it so that it is clear.

    It's not that I don't understand what you're saying, I just disagree. Oh well, I will still have my beliefs and others will have theirs. I truly believe that the war was over slavery.

    Yes, there were economic issues involved, but the economic issues wouldn't have been debated if it weren't for slaves.

    We will have to agree to disagree on this issue.
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  • Nappy_curly_crownNappy_curly_crown Posts: 4,162Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    So let me pose this question to those of you that believe that the civil war was over slavery (be it economic or moral). How then do you reconcile the fact that a civil war was fought over slavery, thousands of people lost thier lives on both sides of the battle, yet racism and general hate towards blacks (ie Jim Crow, voter intimidation, ect.) was openly practiced in the south and many areas of the north with out the Federal government stepping in? Wouldn't it seem logical that if they were willing to fight to free the slaves, they would push to ensure equality for those slaves once free, espically since the south was defeated in the war?
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  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    I agree with Myradella3, that if the issue were that clear, we would not be asking the question still today. Many Civil War historians disagree on the true cause.

    States rights and slavery were most certainly factors, but in my opinion, preserving the Union was the principal reason for going to war. As the President of the United States, Lincoln took the Oath of Office at his inauguration. From Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    I'm not totally agreeing or disagreeing with anyone here. But I do think there are many schools of thought. From everything I have read about Lincoln, his overriding concern came down to preserving, protecting and defending the United States of America.
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  • StephSStephS Posts: 352Registered Users
    Wouldn't it seem logical that if they were willing to fight to free the slaves, they would push to ensure equality for those slaves once free

    When I read this, my immediate thought was to apply it to the abortion debate! If people are willing to fight for the unborn, you would think they would push to ensure complete accommodations once the unborn become born.

    Sorry for the off-topic, but it just jumped out at me.
  • cysycacysyca Posts: 362Registered Users
    Because most Americans will continue to live in denial and movies involving slavery will never win any top awards because it they did then most Americans will at least have to acknowledge slavery and the consequences of how slavery affect black Americans today.
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