5 Comments

  1. As the article points out, the vote has no real effect. They just don’t like to be pushed around down there. And, given that ‘equality’ is one of the biggest of sacred cows these days, I can’t help but have some admiration for their courage in flipping it off like that.

    Question for the day: what essential differences are there in Mr. Lincoln’s war ‘to free the slaves’ and Mr. Bush’s war ‘to free Iraq from tyranny?’

  2. Lincoln’s war wasn’t about abolition until two years into the war when it made sense to make it into a crusade hence keeping Europe from getting involved. I am on the side that he was absolutely against secession.

    By the way, if people think that the US is divided now, they should head back to c1850.

  3. Oh one other thing. I have read how Secession may have been avoided if James Buchanan wasn’t so wishy washy and if Lincoln had been able to assume office quicker. The theory being that since he wasn’t running as an abolitionist he wouldn’t have emancipated the slaves which would have made the Southern States so quick to secede. This seems a bit to optimistic for my point of view but it is something to be noted.

    Another avenue we could look at is the way the states seceded was a bit shady. There was no referendum and it was decided by about 700 elected legistlature out of 8 million people. That doesn’t sound like a very democratic way for an important issue like secession.

  4. So, let’s see here.

    *If* the war between the states was a war about slavery, then it was a war to impose notions of social morality on an unwilling people by force of arms.

    *If* the war was about preserving the union for its own sake, then it was a war to impose a political structure on an unwilling people by force of arms.

    *If* the war was about the trade relations between the north, south and Europe at the time, then it was a war for loot.

    In the first two cases, am I begging the question that southerners generally supported secession? Well, secession decisions were made on a state by state basis – some states, the legislature voted on it, some had special state conventions to decide the question (the south had recently gone through a wave of Jacksonian democratization.) I don’t have the info in front of me, but as the question of secession didn’t come out of the blue in late 1860, it is not unreasonable to think that candidates for southern state legislatures were questioned as to their opinions on the matter. If so, then legislatures did not act completely divorced from popular sentiment. Some indirect evidence for this is that the confederacy, unlike the north, never needed a national draft – there were always enough volunteers for its army (correction, the south *may* have had a draft in 1865, I’m not clear on that fact. But not, I believe, before.)

    Secession occured in two waves – the lower south seceeding before Ft. Sumner, the upper after. (Several upper states *rejected* secession before the attack on South Carolina, then reconsidered after.) The lower south then was reacting to Mr. Lincoln’s election as a minority president (40% of the popular vote – clear victory in the electoral college.) The upper south, as I recall, was reacting to what they saw as armed aggression against South Carolina.

    If Mr. Lincoln did not run as an abolitionist, and the original official reasons given for the war were not about slavery (in that resolution authorizing troops and money passed by a Congress lacking a quorum, the reasons were to protect government property and the mails,) slavery was definitely a popular motivating factor on both sides. Southern leaders recgonized that Lincoln was a moderate on the issue, but feared the population trend favoring the north would eventually end their blocking majorities in congress and present them at some time in the future with a radical northern controlled congress. ‘Git out while the gittin’s good.’

    c-c, do you think people here will *ever* stop hashing over that war? I personally doubt it.

  5. I am going to hold off on any further commenting until I get the forum up. I can talk about history all day. but I will say that I agree that the Civil War and the causes leading up to it won’t be forgotten. It was too important in this nation’s history.

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