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It was all about slavery, and always had been

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Rise of Abolitionism:
    The concept of abolition was introduced by the Quakers around 1760. Vermont is the first state to abolish slavery in its 1777 Constitution, then follow Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in 1780, New Hampshire in 1783, Rhode Island and Connecticut in 1784, the Northwest Territories in 1787, New York in 1799 and New Jersey in 1804.
    Gradual emancipation and colonization are the most popular plans to end slavery. In 1830, immediate emancipation began to gain popularity. It is fueled by abolitionist journals such as William L. Garrison's "The Liberator" or Frederick Douglass’ “North Star and is also adopted by gradual "emancipators" and "colonizationists". Societies, first in New England, then swarming across the country, support the ideas of the abolitionists.
    The vote of the "Wilmot Proviso" in the House of Representatives is the first sign of the ruin of the Union. In 1849, calls were made from Mississippi for a secessionist convention in Nashville. During the winter of 1849-50, the "Deep South" agreed to send delegates to the Convention to discuss options for California to reverse the balance between slave states and free states. It is this threat that brings the Compromise of 1850, but it appears as a kind of bumpy road. The Southerners seem calmed, at least until the fighting in Kansas. This "sectionalist" war strengthens the abolitionists who will form the Republican Party. In the 1856 Presidential elections, their candidate, John C Fremont, is close to winning the election. If this is not yet clear to the Southerners, the mid-term elections are in favor of the Republicans and prove that they are strong enough to end slavery.
    During the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln led Douglas to admit that part of the idea of "Popular Sovereignty" is illegal. This will cause most of the South to leave the Democratic Convention, while Douglas appeared to be the Party candidate. While the Whig Party is out of the running, the Southern Democrats are trying to rally behind John Breckinridge, while the Constitutional Unionists support John Bell of Tennessee. Lincoln, an abolitionist candidate under a moderate program, won the Presidential elections of 1860, with about 40% of the popular vote. South Carolina, not wishing to wait for another meeting of the other southern states, secedes in December.
    Last edited by daddut roger; 21 Sep 19, 06:39.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Regional conflicts:
    ……….The Mexican American War. The Polk War against Mexico is a seizure of land, cleverly disguised. The Democrats were interested in an expansion of the Nation, under the concept of "Manifest Destiny". Two things come from this war and are causes of the Civil War. The United States won California, which enters the Union as a free state, according to the Compromise of 1850. The first of many attempts to restrict slavery in the Territories, come from the Mexican War. The "Wilmot Proviso" will be presented to the House of Representatives (who votes for) but it will be rejected by the Senate.
    ……….Border quarrel between New Mexico and Texas. Texas in 1850 claimed a large part of the New Mexico Territory. When the Constitutional Convention of New Mexico drafted a document excluding slavery in that Territory, this posed serious problems for Texans. The latter begin to support their claims on the eastern third of the Territory. President Taylor receives a delegation of Southern Whigs. When Alexander Stephens brandishes the threat of "impeachment", Taylor responds that he will hang the rebels as he did hang "spies and deserters in Mexico." Tensions will subside with the Compromise of 1850. At the very beginning of the Civil War, the Texan rebels will try to recover land in New Mexico.
    ……….Bloody Kansas. Some historians perceive the Civil War as a conflict created by the "boiling" caused by the fighting in Kansas. Established as Territory by the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Law, this is a life-size test of the Democrats' "People's Sovereignty" program, and it is a dismal failure. Proposed by Stephen Douglas, it gives the Territory the power to choose to enter the Union either as a slave state or as a free state. Pro-slavery voters, mostly from Missouri, flock to Kansas. Their number is compensated by "Free-Soilers" of New England. The result is a total confusion, with four different Constitutions, one of which will fracture the relations between Buchanan and Douglas. This will be the omen of the 1860 Democratic Convention Division. In 1859, the "Bloody Kansas" is transported to the East, by the abolitionist John Brown, who seizes the Arsenal of Harper's Ferry, Virginia . The news spreads quickly, not only from the raid, but also from Brown's hope of fomenting a slave revolt.
    ……….Utah War. Mormons who have tried to settle in various states in the West, finally reach lands that nobody wants, Utah. Brigham Young uses an intriguing argument, combining religious freedom and his own opinion of the federal government, to justify the formation of an independent nation and to raise his own army. Fearing that the southern states might not interpret this as a warning for secession, Buchanan sends Johnston with troops to quell the rebellion in the Utah Territory.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Political Confusion:
    James Monroe's "Era of Good Feelings" ends with the 1824 election and the accession of John Quincy Adams to the presidency. In response to anti-Jacksonian sentiments of 1828, the Whig Party was formed to oppose both Jackson and the modern Democratic Party. While the power of the Whig Party will weaken in the early 1850s, the Whigs will be divided into several factions, with most parties having only one subject in their political platform.
    The Free-Soil Party is based on a strong belief in abolition.
    The "Know-nothing Party" thinks that America's problems come from its acceptance of foreigners.
    By combining northern Whigs with Free-Soilers, the Republican Party flourishes, and its main subject is abolition.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Presidential confusion:
    Under Monroe's presidency, the country functions as a simple political unit, called the Democratic-Republican Party. At the end of Monroe's second term, four candidates will compete in 1824 (John Q. Adams / North, Crawford / Deep South, Clay / Midwest and Jackson / West). The result of the vote is presented to the House of Representatives, where Adams concludes "a corruption case" with Clay to be elected.
    In 1836, Van Buren became president, but because of the Panic of 1837; he loses the support of his electorate and will not be re-elected in 1840. Harrison, who succeeded him, dies of a pneumonia after a month of office. As the Constitution does not say what should be done in the event of death, Tyler, then Vice President, proclaims himself President.
    The same thing happens to Fillmore, who replaces in 1850 Taylor (elected in 1848). Fillmore, having signed the Compromise of 1850, will be disavowed during his candidacy to the Presidential elections of 1852. That year, Pierce easily defeated Whig Scott whose party will weaken.
    In 1856 Pierce, in turn, was considered ineligible because of his support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the ensuing war in Kansas, and for his support of the Lecompton pro-slavery Constitution. This is how the Democrats elect Buchanan, the minority president. Prior to Lincoln's election in 1860, the South saw 9 presidents in 24 years. At the end of each administration, voters are less happy than four years ago, and the candidates have been forced to bypass the essential issues that divide the country.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    "Sectionalist differences":
    As the United States grows, a third region is developing, the West, with its own needs in relation to the Federal Government. It will take ten years of fear and hatred (1850-1860) for southern sectionalism to become Southern nationalism.
    ………. The West wants to grow, and for its economic growth, a central bank would be important in controlling inflation, curbing speculation and raising funds for lending. President Jackson is firmly against. His refusal and his subsequent actions will create the Panic of 1837 and the depression that followed. At the end of the depression, the sale of cotton begins an incredible growth, that the Panic of 1857 does not even slow down. The disparity of wealth North + West / South brings other criticisms and causes the rise of abolitionists.
    ………. The concept of US expansion, "from sea to sea", divides the South during the 1840s. Henry Foote of Mississippi and Solomon Downs of Louisiana are strong supporters of this idea while the Whigs led by Alexander Stephens oppose any addition of territory. With the admission of California into the "Compromise of 1850", the question of territorial expansion becomes controversial. It is replaced by the violent quarrel over whether the added states will be either slavery or free.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    "States Rights":
    They concern the diminution of the powers of the States and the rights not guaranteed to the Federal Government and usurped by the latter. But this is by no means a southern concept. In the 1830s, States in the West called for the establishment of a central bank to control speculation and used the "States Rights" to support their claim. In 1832, Georgia simply ignored the federal government when it spoiled the Cherokee Nation (see Worcestor vs. Georgia). In the early 1830s, South Carolina used this concept to justify "Nullification". When, in the late 1840s, this argument was further advanced to support disunion, Congress responded with the "Compromise of 1850". Then the concept of "States Rights" loses its strength, but at the end of the decade, the Southerners who speak of "disunion" take up this argument. Even Wisconsin defended state sovereignty in 1859.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Increase of the powers of the Government:
    The South thinks that the President and the Congress have only the powers which are specifically guaranteed to them by the Constitution. For their interests, the North and the West want a government that does more for them, and they support an increase in these powers. Moreover, the Federal Justice will participate by extending its authority on the provincial courts, further reducing the power of the States (See Martin vs Hunter Lessee in 1816 and Cohens vs Virginia in 1821).

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    It is certainly too simplistic to say that it was slavery that caused the Civil War. The Constitution of the United States is a document forged by the compromise __ sometimes on slavery, sometimes on the right to carry a weapon, sometimes on the establishment of a religion ... However, the compromise does not seem to be totally effective, each interest group gaining something but losing something else. For more than 40 years, Southerners have threatened of "disunion" on various issues.

    “Tariff Acts”:
    The first law of 1789 allows the United States to generate income. But the 1816 Act changed the system into protectionism, to promote the industrialization of the North. The northern industry manufactures products that it wants to sell abroad, but especially in the interior of the country, and the South is a good market, overflowing with the money that comes from the sale of cotton. The northern manufacturers want to impose customs taxes on imported goods, so that the South buys their products. In 1820 and 1824, the Government is still trying to increase these taxes. The "Tariff" of 1828 brought the first secession crisis in South Carolina in 1832. The battle between Vice President Calhoun and President Jackson ended with the "Nullification Crisis". Fortunately, a Compromise is found thanks to Henry Clay and the crisis is avoided.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    New Orleans had two Militia Regiments called the Slavonian Rifles. That suggests some Austrian-Hungarian influence. If you break down the Spanish there were Islenos from the Canary Islands and the converts that were trying to stay ahead of the Inquisition. My daughter had her dna checked and she has Islenos, Sephardic and Ashkenazi gene markers. The Germans were a large factor as well. The most misspelled Cajun name is Schexnider! A number of Mexicans came in from Texas. I went to school with a bunch of Corbellos and I thought they were Italian. In South Texas they spell it Corbuello. In the 19th Century, Louisiana imported a number of Filipinos to work the Dried Shrimp industry. They settled in Barataria Bay. A number of Spanish names are now considered Cajun.

    Being a Spanish Territory could mean differences depending on when America acquired the area. Mexico freed all its Slaves, but Louisiana divided racial profiles depending on your parents using a Spanish system. In the Spanish areas, Slaves could buy their freedom.

    Pruitt

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  • Urban hermit
    replied
    Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas were previously Spanish territories, with many Spanish citizens many and many Cubans still living there, Louisiana was much a mix of international influences than New York City or Philadelphia with French, Spanish, Italian, free blacks and Acadians ,. Texas was a mix of Spanish, Mexican, Indian, German immigrants. Very few remember that the entire continent had been settled by so many nations, Even when Lewis and Clark made their expedition the Spanish still claimed Saint Louis and most of the west and actually sent Spanish troops to hunt for them.

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  • walle
    replied
    Originally posted by Slick_mieaster
    Can you divorce your wife simply by saying "I divorce you"? Of course not. Divorce requires a legal process, and through that legal process the joint couple's assets are equitably divided.
    A woman doesn’t bring any resources to the table and in a divorce she can help herself to half of the wealth you have created.

    So the analogy doesn't work very well, unless the analogy made is that the Union was an abusive wife.

    Originally posted by Slick_mieaster
    but since they chose to pursue secession through force of arms instead, they invalidated any legal claims they may have had.
    In terms of this being a “choice” or not could be argued, just as who created the conditions that lead up to the incident in the first place.

    If you wanna use it(as not only an invalidation of the Souths secession) but as a just cause for Lincolns treason and consequent total war on the Southern states, you are entitled to do so. He used the incident as a pretext, nothing more.

    Admittedly, it was a huge blunder to give Lincoln the pretext he needed in the first place, but he needed a war, the only way he could hope to ever preserve the Union, was by force.


    The United States attacked first at the Battle of Fort Sumter.

    Originally posted by Slick_mieaster
    We might debate the constitutionality of secession 'til the cows come home (I'm of the belief that secession is constitutional -- but I digress)
    You have not done, what so many others mistakenly do, namely apply the constitution of today. Therefore you recognize the Souths constitutional right to secede, not something many people would ever do.

    Originally posted by daddut roger View Post
    In the North as in the South, they are the same people, coming from immigration (British, Irish, Germans, French, etc.)
    They were not the same people and a far cry from being the same culture.

    The Southerners maintained most of their English ethnic and cultural heritage throughout their history, whereas the Northerners, with the mass immigration of Europeans, did not.

    Being far fewer in numbers helped with maintaining this cultural homogeneity of course.

    These differences can still be seen and felt today, the language being one of them.

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  • daddut roger
    replied
    Originally posted by walle View Post

    First off, Lincoln committed treason when he waged war on the Southern states, the states had the constitutional right to secede.

    Secondly, it wasn't a rebellion, the South seceded.

    Thirdly, the pedestrian opinion here is to deny it was ever a country, it becomes even more pedestrian when the argument put forward is the reason for it not being one, was because it wasn't recognized as such.

    It was not for England, France etc to deny the Southerners that recognition in the first place, in fact, it wasn't for the Union to deny the recognition either.

    It had all the things in place making it a country.
    It's own people, it's own culture (even it's own language) it's on laws, it's own military, it's own navy, it's own national anthem, it's own currency, etc.

    They should have been allowed to go their separate way.
    Lincoln was elected on November 6, 1860, but his term began only on March 4, 1861, with the investiture ceremony. Until that date, Lincoln cannot do anything, and 7 states are taking the opportunity to secede and form the Confederate States of America. Who committed the treason?

    A little reminder about Fort Sumter ...

    Extracts from the communication between Beauregard and Anderson:
    ... Charleston, April 11, 2:00 pm
    Sir: I am ordered by the Government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My aides, Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you...

    ... Fort Sumter, April 11
    General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say in reply thereto that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor and of my obligation to my Government prevent my compliance ...

    ... Charleston, April 11, 11:00 pm
    ... In consequence of the verbal observations made by you to my aides, in relation to the condition of your supplies, and that you would in a few days be starved out if our guns did not batter you to pieces, __ and desiring no useless effusion of blood, I communicated both the verbal observations and your written answer to my government. If you will state the time at which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and agree that in the mean time you will not use your guns against us, unless ours shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain from opening fire upon you …

    … Fort Sumter, April 12, 2:30 am
    … to state in reply, that cordially uniting with you in the desire to avoid the useless effusion of blood, I will, if provided with the proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter, by noon on the 15th instant, should I not receive, prior to that time, controlling instruction from my government, or additional supplies, and that I will not open my fire upon you forces, unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort …

    … Charleston, April 12, 3:20 am (Colonel Chesnut)
    By authority of Brigadier General Beauregard, commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter, in one hour from this time …

    Who are the aggressors? Who are the "go-to-war"?

    It was the South that rebelled against the national government, and instead of following a legal (political and legal) path, chose the weapons to secede.

    When Lincoln finally takes office, he still must get congressional approval to act legally. He must therefore convene the Congress in extraordinary session.
    Excerpt from Lincoln's Proclamation (April 15, 1861):
    Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, I do hereby convene both Houses of Congress,-- Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers, at 12. o’clock, noon, on Thursday the fourth day of July, next, then and there to consider, and determine, such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety, and interest, may seem to demand ...


    The first thing he can do, is appeal to the Militia of the different States
    Extract from the call to the Governors (April 15, 1861):
    … Sir: Under the act of Congress for calling for the “Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invasions”, etc., approved February 28, 1795, I have the honor to request your Excellency to cause to be immediately detached from the militia of your State the quota designated in the table below, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged …

    The second thing he can do, is the establishment of the blockade of the southern ports
    Excerpt from Lincoln's Proclamation (April 15, 1861):
    … Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein comformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States …
    … Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and of the law of Nations, in such case provided ...

    And to finish:

    It's own people, it's own culture (even it's own language)
    In the North as in the South, they are the same people, coming from immigration (British, Irish, Germans, French, etc.)

    it's own laws,
    The Confederate Constitution is largely a copy word for word of the United States (only differences: legalization of slavery, limitation of central government powers)
    Otherwise it is the same bi-cameral political system, and in Justice, with also a Supreme Court

    it's own military, it's own navy,
    they are the same officers, out of the mold of West Point, using the same instruction manuals, the same tactics, the same weapons

    it's own national anthem,
    "Dixie" or "Bonnie Blue Flag" have never been officially recognized as a national anthem or any other song by the way.

    it's own currency, etc.
    it is the same: the dollar as in the North, it is normal because long ago there was no central bank, each State emitted its own Bank notes. But the Southern dollar quickly lost all value ...

    The Confederation was born of a concept "the States Rights" and it died because of the same concept. To succeed, the Confederation would have needed at the beginning, a strong central government. Impossible, because one of the causes of secession.

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  • slick_miester
    replied
    Originally posted by D1J1 View Post
    Perhaps those arguing secession was constitutional . . . .
    We might debate the constitutionality of secession 'til the cows come home (I'm of the belief that secession is constitutional -- but I digress) but one thing that is beyond debate is that once armed force enters the equation, all bets are off. A man might be morally justified and legally within his rights to seek divorce from his wife -- but the moment he lays hands upon her, he's a violent criminal. By the same kind of logic, whatever secession's constitutional merits, the moment that the Southern states took up arms against the United States, any moral or legal validity of secession evaporated instantly. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution makes clear the Federal Government's prerogative:

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions

    The President's authority to call out the militia was reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court in Martin v Mott in 1827. Justice Story, on behalf of the unanimous court, wrote:

    We are all of opinion, that the authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the president, and that his decision is conclusive upon all other persons. We think that this construction necessarily results from the nature of the power itself, and from the manifest object contemplated by the act of congress. The power itself is to be exercised upon sudden emergencies, upon great occasions of state, and under circumstances which may be vital to the existence of the Union. . . . .

    He [the President of the United States] is necessarily constituted the judge of the existence of the exigency, in the first instance, and is bound to act according to his belief of the facts. If he does so act, and decides to call forth the militia, his orders for this purpose are in strict conformity with the provisions of the law; and it would seem to follow as a necessary consequence, that every act done by a subordinate officer, in obedience to such orders, is equally justifiable. The law contemplates that, under such circumstances, orders shall be given to carry the power into effect; and it cannot, therefore, be a correct inference, that any other person has a just right to disobey them. The law does not provide for any appeal from the judgment of the president, or for any right in subordinate officers to review his decision, and in effect defeat it.
    Armed insurrection against the United States is never constitutional, and the President of the United States has fully the power to determine when an armed insurrection is taking place, and to order the Armed Forces of the United States -- including the states' militias -- to put down said insurrection.

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  • D1J1
    replied
    Perhaps those arguing secession was constitutional or a reality, might accept the words of Robert E. Lee on the matter? Thanks to Urban Hermit for posting this in another thread:


    Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
    Robert E Lee was a man of letters, letís see what he had to say about The Rebellion.
    • Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South, I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native State?
    Robert E. Lee
    • There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil.
    Robert E. Lee
    • Remember, we are all one country now. Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring them up to be Americans.
    Robert E. Lee
    But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than the dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution.
    The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it were intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for perpetual union, so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government (not a compact) which can only be dissolved by revolution, or by the consent of all the people in convention assembled.

    Regards,
    Dennis

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  • slick_miester
    replied
    Originally posted by walle View Post

    No it does not, and for reasons clearly explained.

    They ceased to be federal facilities the moment the state had seceded, at that point the state was no longer part of the United States of America.

    Hence secession.
    Can you divorce your wife simply by saying "I divorce you"? Of course not. Divorce requires a legal process, and through that legal process the joint couple's assets are equitably divided. By the same token, a state simply declaring "we secede" does not a legal process make. That's what the Southern states did in 1861, though: they declared secession, without given thought to applying for secession to the same body to which they applied for statehood when they first sought to join the Union. Had they gone that route, then their legal claim for secession might have some merit, but since they chose to pursue secession through force of arms instead, they invalidated any legal claims they may have had.

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