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  • Nothing BUT war would do?

    A few political questions for you...

    Is it fair to say that the war was in effect engineered by 'extremists' in both the Republican and Democratic parties?

    Was the war inevitable given the previous few decades history of the USA?

    Could a political compromise or solution ever have been found given the root causes of the war?

    What in your view were the root causes of the war?


    Some of these areas may have been covered before, but i thought it of interest to have a purely political debate in one thread. All your personal thoughts, comments and reasoning most welcome.

    Gaz

  • #2
    No I don't think the war was engineered by extremists. The Civil War was inevitable because the founding fathers created the government with a critical error in it's fabric...the institution of slavery. This seed grew over time and caused sectionalism...the North became more industrial and progressive, while the South remained agricultural and conservative. As the nation began to rip apart numerous political compromises attempted to solve the "question" of slavery and it's eventual expansion into the western territories. Unfortunately even the great compromisers of the day, men like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun were only able to delay the inevitable. It took a woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe to teach all of us that slavery was not a political issue, but rather a moral issue and that compromising would simply not work. Abolitionists who were sparked by a movement known as the Second Great Awakening, also became motivated into action. It became clear that the South did not want to change, and that the North would not regress...the extremists perhaps helped spark the war, but it took the war to re-create the nation not as it was, but as it should have been..."A new birth of freedom..." I hope that this helps.

    *All of these thoughts are my own humble opinions.
    Just like children sleeping, we can dream this night away... ~NY

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    • #3
      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      A few political questions for you...

      Is it fair to say that the war was in effect engineered by 'extremists' in both the Republican and Democratic parties?
      Yes & no. Extremists, yes. But it was the Fire Eaters of the South who had the most to do with it. It was they who manipulated the Democratic convention of 1860 & engineered a split which guaranteed a Lincoln victory-which they promptly used a propaganda that the North & Lincoln in particular would destroy their way of life & helped bring about secession.

      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      Was the war inevitable given the previous few decades history of the USA?
      That is a tough one. I think so , but I really feel that several people really pushed it.

      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      Could a political compromise or solution ever have been found given the root causes of the war?
      The root cause of secession was slavery. The root cause of the war was secession. The two went hand in hand & there was no way the aristocracy of the South was going to let the institute go away.....especially when they were tricked into believing that Lincoln was an extremist when he was actually a moderate.

      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      What in your view were the root causes of the war?
      As I said above, slavery was the root cause for secession. States Rights was part of it.....but mainly for the sake of slavery. The South certainly didn't scream for states rights when they were in control of things & the Fugitive Slave Act was enacted & the Dred Scott Decision was made. It was only when they saw the power slipping away that the Fire Eaters managed to convince enough folks & the right folks to secede. Once secession occurred, war was inevitable.


      Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
      Some of these areas may have been covered before, but i thought it of interest to have a purely political debate in one thread. All your personal thoughts, comments and reasoning most welcome.

      Gaz
      Always good to ask!
      The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

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      • #4
        Well, sometimes nothing but war will do. Sad testament to our species, but there it is.

        Most of you have voiced the specifics that I would usually say, so I'll keep it simple.

        I consider the Civil War to America's own private World War I. Here's how I justify that:

        Both sides seemed aching for war, and sometimes it seems that neither side even knew why.

        Neither side believed that the other would last long.

        Neither side realized how destructive their new-fangled arsenals had become.

        Neither side could have imagined how many would be buried by this war.

        Neither side could have imagined how devastated the country could become (by which, I mean the South)

        Hatreds continued when the war was over.

        That's all I have to say.
        "Yellowstain!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
          Is it fair to say that the war was in effect engineered by 'extremists' in both the Republican and Democratic parties?
          No. I think secession was caused by extremists on both sides, but not the war.
          Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
          Was the war inevitable given the previous few decades history of the USA?
          Again, you seem to be confusing secession with war. I don't see the two as inseparable.
          Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
          Could a political compromise or solution ever have been found given the root causes of the war?
          Absolutely. Of all the nations that freed slaves, we were the only ones to do it through war. Everyone else found a solution -- one was proposed in Virginia -- we certainly could have found one, too.
          Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
          What in your view were the root causes of the war?
          The North refused to let the South secede.
          Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
          The South certainly didn't scream for states rights when they were in control of things....
          I don't agree with this at all. First of all, there were few significant attempts to obrogate states rights prior to the war, and where there were, the South objected to them, the Nullification Crisis is the most salient example.
          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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          • #6
            Originally posted by allsirgarnet View Post
            A few political questions for you...

            Is it fair to say that the war was in effect engineered by 'extremists' in both the Republican and Democratic parties?
            I'd say extremists certainly played upon the tensions and fears of the masses of people in both regions. But I'm not sure they necessarily wanted to engineer a war, per se. Each side just wanted its pet cause to triumph. If the triumph came without war, fine.


            Was the war inevitable given the previous few decades history of the USA?
            Not literally inevitable, no; things could have happened differently. But those decades of history had created a powder keg of sorts, so war was bound to happen unless the agitators (on one side or both) could be squelched.


            Could a political compromise or solution ever have been found given the root causes of the war?
            Sure. Many compromises were tried, and some worked for a good while. And IMO, slavery would certainly have come to an end with or without war. And most likely, the federal gov't would have grown bigger and more powerful than the founding fathers ever intended, with or without war. And the Industrial Revolution would have continued to shift into higher gears, with or without war. But the war collapsed time and forced all these things to happen pretty quickly.


            What in your view were the root causes of the war?
            Well, slavery was the root issue being contested. But IMO the root causes were differences of opinion on a complex of politico-economic questions. E.g., How strong should the federal gov't be? Should the South's planter aristocracy give way to a more egalitarian form of enterprise? And so forth.

            To simplify, one faction wanted to uphold the planter aristocracy and limit the power of the federal gov't; the opposing faction wanted to defeat the planter aristocracy and expand the federal gov't.

            War was almost certain to bring victory to the latter faction, but evolution probably would too. So, the planter aristocracy took the desperate measure of attempting secession, which was probably its only hope for survival.
            --Patrick Carroll


            "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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