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GraniteStater
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Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:33 am

veji1 wrote:clearly, a clever way of using what one would call realpolitik to back up his principles, but what would have happened though if the fort(s) hadn't been attacked ? Do you think the Union would have eventually attacked or found a way to provoke another southern hothead in hitting first somewhere ?


'Wudda, shudda, cudda'.

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[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]
-Daniel Webster

[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]
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Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:38 am

aariediger wrote:In a way, this can be compared to the "what does the US do if Pearl Harbor doesn't happen" question. In that case, I assume Roosevelt would just wait out Japan. They needed oil, and sooner or later they would have to choose between starting a shooting war, or abandoning China to get the embargos lifted. The South faced a similar problem, and if Lincoln had simply instituted a naval blockade (including closing Charleston because of Sumter), at some point the South is going to have either give into Lincoln's demands (you know, un-secede) or start a war. They chose war.


Sure, they chose war, but my question was, had the confederate leadership said "we are happy with our de facto secession to begin with, with time we find a way to make it de jure, but at this stage we want to avoid a war so let's stick exclusively to a defensive stance and not have any aggressive move towards the union", then what happens ? I know it is a rhetorical question any way, history is history, but I wonder what would have happened. I suppose eventually the pressure in the north would have gotten so strong for action that they would have made demands unacceptable to the CSA (we want to reoccupy the other federal forts and buildings, etc...) and tried to enforce them to force the CSA into aggressively refusing them, leading to war at the latest a few months later, but maybe I am mistaken ?

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:22 am

Before the attack on Fort Sumter, representatives from Northern industrialists met with Lincoln and other government officials to claim that an independent South was unacceptable. One of the first acts of each of the Confederate states was to repeal any tariffs on imported goods. This would allow cheap British manufactured goods into the CSA and potentially into the border and western states of the USA. The Northern industrialists felt that they could not compete against British imports without tariffs. The pressure on the administration to act to save the Northern economy would have been huge.
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Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:27 am

Le Ricain wrote:Before the attack on Fort Sumter, representatives from Northern industrialists met with Lincoln and other government officials to claim that an independent South was unacceptable. One of the first acts of each of the Confederate states was to repeal any tariffs on imported goods. This would allow cheap British manufactured goods into the CSA and potentially into the border and western states of the USA. The Northern industrialists felt that they could not compete against British imports without tariffs. The pressure on the administration to act to save the Northern economy would have been huge.


This is one the elements i had in mind. There was a triple pressure on Lincoln to make war : The unionists, as in the ones for whom out of principle and political reality secession was a mortal danger for the union, the militant abolitionnists, for whom letting those medieval type lords keep carrying their slave (and privilege) based economy and society was unacceptable, and the industrialists, for whom a free trading CSA would have been a mortal danger. My assumption has always sort of been that this triple pressure would have eventually blown up. A bit like a diesel engine : you don't need a spark, eventually if you press hard enough the combustible, it bursts into flames. The secessionists were kind enough to provide a spark with Fort Sumter, but the growing pressure would eventually have led to ignition in/from the north anyway. Would that be mistaken ?

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:18 pm

If I may, without reigniting a debate (and I mean it, I implore all, I beseech all), I hope to describe the fundamental principle involved in the absolute repugnance of the very idea of secession from the Union - this is meant to inform our fellow posters who may not be familiar with the Founding.

In the kingdom of Great Britain, the Crown is the sovereign. Sovereignty and thus, authority, inheres in, and flows from, the Crown. When Charles II was invited back in 1660, he was greeted with a resolution proclaimed by the Parliament - that this realm, as of ancient days, be ruled by King and Commons. If I understand the British constitution rightly, the Crown is sovereign, but the Commons is the body that makes and determines the law. The law - not just Acts of Parliament (the laws) but law. I'm treading lightly here, for I am certainly no expert on these matters, but if one wishes to understand the Founding, one necessarily must attempt to understand the English Civil War and its import and meaning. To illustrate - AFAIK, Queen Elizabeth II may sit if she wishes when 'God Save the Queen' is played. When the air is concluded, she may rise and say, 'Thank you.'

The Crown is sovereign in the ancient realm and has been since Duke William assumed it in 1066, if not before, through the Anglo-Saxon houses.

In the United States, sovereignty and all lawful authority inhere in, and flow from, the People. All of the People. When the US established its independence and the recognition thereof by HM Government, New Hampshire did not achieve 1/13 of that independence or sovereignty. The United States, the nation, achieved it.

In the UK, if you are doing Very Bad Things in your house, the officer compels you to "Open, in the name of the Queen!" In the US, it's "Open, in the name of the law!"

The People of this nation, the People of the United States, ordained and established a Constitution, an instrument whose effect was actualized on 21 June 1788. The ratification by the States was incidental; the States were instrumentalities to conduct that ratification by the People and to make the point clear, those ratifications were not performed by the legislatures of the several States, but by conventions elected solely and specifically for that purpose: We, the People.

We, the People are the sovereigns, all sovereignty and lawful authority inhere in and flow from, the People of the United States. The President rises when the National Anthem is played.

The very notion of secession is a repugnance of the gravest kind to the sovereignty of the People of the United States. It is not a Constitutional issue, really, it is a defiance of the worst sort, an evil, that denies the sovereignty of the United States and the lawful authority it may exercise: it is a spear thrust into the breast of We, the People.

One last fine point: the United States is a nation. The United States of America is a country. When you assume the uniform of its service, the lapels have 'US' displayed, not 'USA'. The United States as a nation, its nationhood, is a set of principles, the most fundamental being that the only lawful basis for a government is the securing of the rights of individuals. States, states of any kind, do not have rights - they only have powers. Individuals have rights, inalienable rights and We, the People may change our form of government any time we wish.

To strike at Federal authority in this nation is to strike not at the instrumentality chosen by We, the People, not really - although that is a real and valid consequence of the assault; it is to strike at the sovereignty of the United States, and We, the People.

The very idea of secession is a repugnance of the gravest kind. It does not exist as a fit subject of contemplation under the authority and jurisdiction of the United States.

No State ever seceded. No State was ever, for one second, outside of, or alienated from, this Union and nation. The unlawful acts performed were a perversion and attempted destruction of South Carolina's lawful place and status as a State of the Union. Several States were out of their proper relationship with the Constitution - but the nation, and the Union, remained one.

God save the United States

E Pluribus Unum
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

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[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:30 pm

There were very few of those who thought there was no right to secede. That was just the clarion call.

Even in the inaugural speech it is evident that the Supreme Court will be excluded. Too many justices were from the south or Democrats and may not have come up with what he wanted. No case regarding secession was heard until 1869 when it was in firm Republican control.

Slavery was not the driving issue in secession. It was more the litmus test of a powerbase.

Slave states voted for issues the way planters wanted and non slave states voted mostly as the industrialists wanted. They had competing goals, as veji1 pointed out.

The competing interests were about money much more than ideals.

Only the abolitionists wanted slavery ended and they were a small, if vocal, minority and detested by both sides. If the Union had started the war to end slavery they would have still been looking for an army when the south got around to emancipation.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:39 pm

GranitStater, no one doubts your convictions. They just are not the real reasons for the war.

It is not important whether they had the right to secede. It is not so very important that they did secede.

What needs examined is what the reasons they thought they had no better course.

Neither side was composed of saints. Both sides were biased and would not see the objections or desires of the other.

It was a money thing!

But you are still eating up the propaganda. It was the birth of nationalism in America. But it was not what started or would have prevented the war.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:51 pm

There were very few of those who thought there was no right to secede.

Nugatory. Moot. Impertinent (that means it doesn't pertain to the exposition, not that one is huffy).

Even in the inaugural speech it is evident that the Supreme Court will be excluded.

Lincoln didn't say what the Court could deliberate in his FIA - he more or less said that it wasn't a fit subject. As a lawyer, he knew more than a bit about the admissibility (whether it's 'actionable', to use the proper legal term, afaik) of suits. He maintained that the Preposterous Notion was not actionable; he did not disparage the Court nor question its competence (another legal term).

If the Union had started the war to end slavery they would have still been looking for an army when the south got around to emancipation.

???

Am I supposed to breath a sigh of relief that grown men who should have known better started a war? Just what are we trying to say here?

I'll check in once in a while, 'cuz there are some interesting historical points raised occasionally. It is should be easy to see though, that, within the US experience, as a mathematician would say, 'secession' does not exist, there is no Existence Theorem for this number.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:00 pm

What needs examined is what the reasons they thought they had no better course.


Oh, I got the answer to that.

They couldn't reason, deliberately ignored the plain provisions of the national instrument under which they were governed (which, BTW, is only the Supreme Law of the Land), felt that their emotional states outweighed public order, peace, and the rule of law, were self indulgent morons, had no compunctions about defying lawful authority, didn't care if they conspired to overthrow the Federal government in their localities, wanted to keep other folks laboring for them without recompense (folks whom they could murder without recourse on the victim's family's part),...

shall I go on?

Oh, I know - they were consarned idiots and children who needed a good spanking.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:17 pm

It was the birth of nationalism in America.

I don't know about you, but I'm proud of my nation. We tend to refer to this as patriotism.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:32 pm

I think we have heard the mindless propaganda for over 150 years. A few people have delved deeper into what went on.

It sounds more like spam after the 10th or 12th time. No one is going to disband the Union. It won’t burn your ears off or your eyes out to read what other might write.

Lincoln made the war about preserving the Union. It resonated. Just like Wilson and every president since has made wars about making the world safe for Democracy.

Plain and simple the Rich in the south were tired of paying money so the Rich of the north could make more money.

They convinced their folks, with a little help from militant abolitionists, some of whom were Republicans, that the north intended to attack them and it would be a good idea to form a new government, since they could control that to make more money.

The Rich of the north didn’t like that too much because a large part of their market would leave and avoid the tariffs and might sell cheap goods to their customers.

Tariffs also happened to be the largest part of Federal Income. Naturally they wanted their money back too.

Now, what would have happened if Maj. Anderson had surrendered a day early with no shots fired?

Do you think Lincoln would have gone to Congress to ask for war or to the Court to order the states back into the Union?

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:49 pm

OK, I'm a gullible Lincolnite.

It is somewhat distressing to see a man who is obviously intelligent characterize a principled exposition and argument as 'propaganda'.

I will not bother trying to persuade you, O'C on this, anymore. If the other fellow wants to sit there and insist that somehow, Pi should equal three, you give up at a certain point. As a wise evangelist pointed out, the messenger is not central - the message is.

I hope you may join me one day in an unreserved cherishment of this Union and nation.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:04 pm

GraniteStater wrote:OK, I'm a gullible Lincolnite.

It is somewhat distressing to see a man who is obviously intelligent characterize a principled exposition and argument as 'propaganda'.

I will not bother trying to persuade you, O'C on this, anymore. If the other fellow wants to sit there and insist that somehow, Pi should equal three, you give up at a certain point. As a wise evangelist pointed out, the messenger is not central - the message is.

I hope you may join me one day in an unreserved cherishment of this Union and nation.


I am not faulting Lincoln. He was a politician. Politicians usually want and exercise power. He beat the politicians on the other side, who also wanted power.

High-minded politicians usually try to deflect their use of power by showing it is a good cause. Some times it even is.

He took us form a weak Federal Government to a strong Federal Government. I don’t know which is better, honestly.

Some times I wish it was a little weaker. So maybe it was not spying on its people and saying people who believe in individual rights and the Constitution might be terrorists. I love its people and the concepts of the founders. I just find that politicians can get in the way, and most of the stuff that goes on ends up being about money and who gets it.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:33 pm

The topics above are not cognizable here.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:54 pm

This is one the elements i had in mind. There was a triple pressure on Lincoln to make war : The unionists, as in the ones for whom out of principle and political reality secession was a mortal danger for the union, the militant abolitionnists, for whom letting those medieval type lords keep carrying their slave (and privilege) based economy and society was unacceptable, and the industrialists, for whom a free trading CSA would have been a mortal danger. My assumption has always sort of been that this triple pressure would have eventually blown up. A bit like a diesel engine : you don't need a spark, eventually if you press hard enough the combustible, it bursts into flames. The secessionists were kind enough to provide a spark with Fort Sumter, but the growing pressure would eventually have led to ignition in/from the north anyway. Would that be mistaken ?


I still have to believe that the agrarian South would be much worse off than the industrial North. Forts Sumter and Munroe cut off Richmond and Charleston from the outside world, and the Navy could add to that as well. Effectively closing down New Orleans and other ports by blockade would cripple the southern economy from an export standpoint.

As far as Northern industry not being able to keep up with European goods once the South lifted all import tariffs, remember that running the blockade is essentially a non-tariff-barrier to trade, in economic parlance. Whether it was having to account for a percentage of goods that were certain to be seized, forced into perhaps using smaller, faster, less-efficient ships to haul it across the ocean, or other costs, these are all costs that Northern industry doesn't have to pay. They would remain competitive, probably more so than European goods.

One of the big things that separated north and south was import tariffs to protect American industry. These tariffs were good for the north, and bad for the south. A blockade would in-effect become an even stronger tariff than anything the government had passed before. If the war was really fought for economic reasons, as many people claim, at some point the South has to give in. They have to either fight the blockade and start a war, or give in to the North's demands.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:20 am

aariediger wrote:I still have to believe that the agrarian South would be much worse off than the industrial North. Forts Sumter and Munroe cut off Richmond and Charleston from the outside world, and the Navy could add to that as well. Effectively closing down New Orleans and other ports by blockade would cripple the southern economy from an export standpoint.

As far as Northern industry not being able to keep up with European goods once the South lifted all import tariffs, remember that running the blockade is essentially a non-tariff-barrier to trade, in economic parlance. Whether it was having to account for a percentage of goods that were certain to be seized, forced into perhaps using smaller, faster, less-efficient ships to haul it across the ocean, or other costs, these are all costs that Northern industry doesn't have to pay. They would remain competitive, probably more so than European goods.

One of the big things that separated north and south was import tariffs to protect American industry. These tariffs were good for the north, and bad for the south. A blockade would in-effect become an even stronger tariff than anything the government had passed before. If the war was really fought for economic reasons, as many people claim, at some point the South has to give in. They have to either fight the blockade and start a war, or give in to the North's demands.




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Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:44 am

At the time of secession there was no war and the politicians were not doing any strategic thinking.

They were not viewing the situation as leading to war. I think they were shocked when it happened, even though they made some preparations for it.

Strategic situations were not what fueled it. It was power, money, and emotion.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:28 am

veji1 wrote:This is one the elements i had in mind. There was a triple pressure on Lincoln to make war : The unionists, as in the ones for whom out of principle and political reality secession was a mortal danger for the union, the militant abolitionnists, for whom letting those medieval type lords keep carrying their slave (and privilege) based economy and society was unacceptable, and the industrialists, for whom a free trading CSA would have been a mortal danger. My assumption has always sort of been that this triple pressure would have eventually blown up. A bit like a diesel engine : you don't need a spark, eventually if you press hard enough the combustible, it bursts into flames. The secessionists were kind enough to provide a spark with Fort Sumter, but the growing pressure would eventually have led to ignition in/from the north anyway. Would that be mistaken ?


I agree with your conclusion. I wanted to stress the role of the Northern Industrialists as the other two groups, the abolitionists and the unionists, are self evident.
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:48 am

Actually, socioeconomically, in the mid-19th century, the North was the anomaly. They and the UK & NW Europe. The rest of the world was still largely agrarian.

And the same is true today - the North (world) and South - you can go to India and without insuperable difficulties, step back 150 years in a village.

One must never, never forget that of all the people in all history, 99.9999% have been tillers of the soil.

One EMP blast & it's 1839 again. Know any good stationary engineers? How are your skills with draft animals?
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:13 am

Ol' Choctaw wrote:
They were not viewing the situation as leading to war. I think they were shocked when it happened, even though they made some preparations for it.

Strategic situations were not what fueled it. It was power, money, and emotion.


If you really want to discuss history seriously , one should realize that it is a discipline. One can't just throw any ole spaghetti out there and just hope it sticks to the fridge.

This, for example, if one is fair minded, is a little bit closer to a candid picture:

At the time of secession there was no war and the politicians were not doing any strategic thinking. ->

When the Southern leaders precipitated an open rebellion against the existing government, they could be described as short-sighted, for they did not foresee that they were ill-equipped to defeat a coalition of Northern states whose material resources dwarfed their own.

They were not viewing the situation as leading to war. I think they were shocked when it happened, even though they made some preparations for it.

Any reader of your history, who had a clue about the times, and encountered this statement, could not be blamed for drawing the conclusion that they were complete and utter imbeciles, then.

Strategic situations were not what fueled it. It was power, money, and emotion.

Really? The socioeconomic situation had little to do with it. Slavery was relatively unimportant, then - in this case, you're supporting some of my more uncharitable descriptions of Southern leaders of the time.

***

O'C - I know you're better than this. I've read your posts. I won't say you're Bruce Catton, but you can do much, much better than this. Frankly, I think you get intellectually lazy. Just an opinion.

With respect and charity,
GS
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



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(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:13 am

Ol' Choctaw wrote:I think we have heard the mindless propaganda for over 150 years. A few people have delved deeper into what went on.

It sounds more like spam after the 10th or 12th time. No one is going to disband the Union. It won’t burn your ears off or your eyes out to read what other might write.

Lincoln made the war about preserving the Union. It resonated. Just like Wilson and every president since has made wars about making the world safe for Democracy.

Plain and simple the Rich in the south were tired of paying money so the Rich of the north could make more money.

They convinced their folks, with a little help from militant abolitionists, some of whom were Republicans, that the north intended to attack them and it would be a good idea to form a new government, since they could control that to make more money.

The Rich of the north didn’t like that too much because a large part of their market would leave and avoid the tariffs and might sell cheap goods to their customers.

Tariffs also happened to be the largest part of Federal Income. Naturally they wanted their money back too.

Now, what would have happened if Maj. Anderson had surrendered a day early with no shots fired?

Do you think Lincoln would have gone to Congress to ask for war or to the Court to order the states back into the Union?


You are right that there has been 150 years of propaganda surrounding the war. But for the first 60 years, most of the history was dominated by the "Lost Cause" narrative that stated the whole thing was about states rights, and whitewashed the issue of slavery. If you are going to say that Lincoln's justifications about the permanent nature of the Union weren't the "real" reasons behind the northern war effort, please elaborate. In my mind, it is pretty clear that fighting for the principle of the supremacy of the Federal government over the states was the primary motivating factor behind the war effort for the North.

The break up of the Union would have meant a of the United States as a single political entity across much of North America The whole reason the Constitution was drafted was in response to the instability of the articles of confederation. States were starting trade wars with each other, having overlapping claims for territory in the west, and calling the militias out from time to time. Given all that potential for conflict, the states scrapped the Articles of Confederation and created the stronger Federal government that monopolized the right to settle disputes between the states and prevented them from going to war with each other. With out it, it's likely the United States would have disintegrated into collections of waring little micro-states all trying to expand across North America.

The system had been in place for less than a hundred years, and then the South decided to unilaterally withdraw from its collective security contract with the rest of the States. This means that states go back to resolving disputes with each other by armed force, and with all of Western North America still up for grabs and still subject to competing claims (of which the legality of slavery was but one issue), the potential for perpetual future conflicts between American micro-countries and European colonial powers (I'm looking at you Napoleon III) was very real. It's a choice between the U.S. as it exists today or a sort of Balkinised version of North America.

Were there other economic, tax, power issues etc, but the core issue for the North was about preserving a peaceful future by preserving the authority of the Federal Government . This was a general view in the North, and even if Anderson had surrendered or Lincoln had died before taking office, the North would have still the Southern bid for independence.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:34 am

Okay! How’s this :P

Most men who fought for the Union did so to preserve that union. A notion that would not have occurred to them before the war.

When it comes down to it, it is a pretty undemocratic notion. Killing your friends, neighbors, and relations because of a difference in political views rather than taking it to a ballot box. The Union was formed to allow men liberty and to determine their political destinies without being dictated to by a remote and powerful lord. Most men were first loyal to their state and didn’t worry much about what took place in Washington.

But fighting to preserve the Union was genius.

The reason most cited for the war was slavery and that to a large extent is true, on the surface. But had there been no slavery most of the economic differences would have still been the same. Agrarian vs. Industrial, free trade vs. protectionism, even conservative vs. progressive. The states rights bit went into detail over not paying government money to develop infrastructure that might be used for business and even whether there should be public schools.

The south isolated its self through the use of slavery as a litmus test. The rich farmers couldn’t see that all those poor farmers had the same troubles as they did. They did a darned poor job of identifying the problem and setting the debate. Those Northern and Midwestern farmers were selling grain to Europe too and had to pay a higher price for finished goods because of tariffs.

Their sectional view of their difficulties blinded them to the big picture, so to speak. Why if they had taken the problem with banks to the whole country it would have been New England that had to secede and get their butts whipped.


At the time the thought of freeing the slaves and sending them north to take factory jobs would have caused its own rebellion. From the North! They didn’t want the blacks freed, they wanted them gone.

The north might have thought it was wrong to keep men in bondage but if they were freed they wanted them kept in the south or sent back to Africa.

The prevailing views of most people, including Lincoln was as Freesoilers. The country was meant for white men to own and no slaves should be allowed in to take jobs from others. Blacks, Indians, and Irish should be kept out. They were subhuman and everybody knew it.

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pgr
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:40 am

Ol' Choctaw wrote:At the time of secession there was no war and the politicians were not doing any strategic thinking.

They were not viewing the situation as leading to war. I think they were shocked when it happened, even though they made some preparations for it.

Strategic situations were not what fueled it. It was power, money, and emotion.


That is absolutely not true. No one was surprised that secession would lead to war. Andrew Jackson made that very clear during the Nullification Crisis, when he stated disunion was treason and would use force to preserve federal authority in 1833. The whole decade before Lincoln was elected was dominated by the slavery debate, and it was clear to all by 1860 that if the Republicans won the presidency on a platform of restricting slavery from federal territories, Deep South states would leave the Union. They spent all of the 1850s threatening to do so.

Secession had meant Civil War for 30 years before it happened in 1861. The only shock was that knowing this, Lincoln was still elected president and the South still seceded. It's the shock of "the fools actually did it."

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:44 am

aariediger wrote:I still have to believe that the agrarian South would be much worse off than the industrial North. Forts Sumter and Munroe cut off Richmond and Charleston from the outside world, and the Navy could add to that as well. Effectively closing down New Orleans and other ports by blockade would cripple the southern economy from an export standpoint.

As far as Northern industry not being able to keep up with European goods once the South lifted all import tariffs, remember that running the blockade is essentially a non-tariff-barrier to trade, in economic parlance. Whether it was having to account for a percentage of goods that were certain to be seized, forced into perhaps using smaller, faster, less-efficient ships to haul it across the ocean, or other costs, these are all costs that Northern industry doesn't have to pay. They would remain competitive, probably more so than European goods.

One of the big things that separated north and south was import tariffs to protect American industry. These tariffs were good for the north, and bad for the south. A blockade would in-effect become an even stronger tariff than anything the government had passed before. If the war was really fought for economic reasons, as many people claim, at some point the South has to give in. They have to either fight the blockade and start a war, or give in to the North's demands.


Hi Aariediger, just to make sure there is no misunderstanding. When I say that the north pressure in the north would have led to ignition, I am talking about war. I am not saying in the long run the north would have been worse of than the south or anything. About your points though correct me if I am wrong but are you implying that the north was implementing a blockade before fort Sumter was attacked and the war started ? I have no recollection or reading that the guys in fort Sumter were preventing traffic from Charleston harbour for example. So as long as war isn't really on, aren't your point sort of moot, ie the north is not blockading the south anyway until war starts (it is planning to do it during a war, but not doing it as far as I understand).

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:59 am

pgr wrote:That is absolutely not true. No one was surprised that secession would lead to war. Andrew Jackson made that very clear during the Nullification Crisis, when he stated disunion was treason and would use force to preserve federal authority in 1833. The whole decade before Lincoln was elected was dominated by the slavery debate, and it was clear to all by 1860 that if the Republicans won the presidency on a platform of restricting slavery from federal territories, Deep South states would leave the Union. They spent all of the 1850s threatening to do so.

Secession had meant Civil War for 30 years before it happened in 1861. The only shock was that knowing this, Lincoln was still elected president and the South still seceded. It's the shock of "the fools actually did it."


Partially right. That is why they formed the CSA. It was a discouragement having to go against several states rather than just one. South Carolina. Strength in numbers and raising a rudimentary army they thought would be enough to be left in peace. It even seemed to work, until Lincoln took office.

It fairly surprised the people on both sides. They were not looking very hard if they really thought they would win in the long-term. They were more hoping public opinion would prevent a war.

Their first thought was to a navy, not realizing they didn’t have time to raise one.

It should not be surprising that Jackson threatened war, or might have even done it. More surprising that someone other than Jackson would even consider it.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:12 pm

Ol' Choctaw wrote:Okay! How’s this :P

Most men who fought for the Union did so to preserve that union. A notion that would not have occurred to them before the war.

When it comes down to it, it is a pretty undemocratic notion. Killing your friends, neighbors, and relations because of a difference in political views rather than taking it to a ballot box. The Union was formed to allow men liberty and to determine their political destinies without being dictated to by a remote and powerful lord. Most men were first loyal to their state and didn’t worry much about what took place in Washington.

But fighting to preserve the Union was genius.

The reason most cited for the war was slavery and that to a large extent is true, on the surface. But had there been no slavery most of the economic differences would have still been the same. Agrarian vs. Industrial, free trade vs. protectionism, even conservative vs. progressive. The states rights bit went into detail over not paying government money to develop infrastructure that might be used for business and even whether there should be public schools.

The south isolated its self through the use of slavery as a litmus test. The rich farmers couldn’t see that all those poor farmers had the same troubles as they did. They did a darned poor job of identifying the problem and setting the debate. Those Northern and Midwestern farmers were selling grain to Europe too and had to pay a higher price for finished goods because of tariffs.

Their sectional view of their difficulties blinded them to the big picture, so to speak. Why if they had taken the problem with banks to the whole country it would have been New England that had to secede and get their butts whipped.


At the time the thought of freeing the slaves and sending them north to take factory jobs would have caused its own rebellion. From the North! They didn’t want the blacks freed, they wanted them gone.

The north might have thought it was wrong to keep men in bondage but if they were freed they wanted them kept in the south or sent back to Africa.

The prevailing views of most people, including Lincoln was as Freesoilers. The country was meant for white men to own and no slaves should be allowed in to take jobs from others. Blacks, Indians, and Irish should be kept out. They were subhuman and everybody knew it.


Ok, I need to say something here.

The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White.

There is an obligation on the part of the writer to be clear and terse. Trying to decipher your meaning sometimes, with all the good will in the world, can be a bit challenging. The above, however, rivals Schliemann at Troy.

What are you trying to tell us? No one had ever thought of fighting for the Union against a rebellion before? Well, you see, this is what historians do and why they try to avoid sweeping generalizations, 'cuz the Other Historian takes a positive glee in trotting out evidence that calls the generalization into question.

Ever hear of Shay's Rebellion? It can be argued that it was the precipitating event that led to the ConCon in 1787. IIRC, the dudes at the Annapolis Convention heard of Mr. Shay's little disagreements with sheriffs in western Mass. (and believe me, western Mass to this day would be only too happy to get rid of those overlords from Boston) and said, "Holy Foreclosures, Batman! Mebbe we oughta think of a better US gig, 'cuz this one is coming apart at the seams!"

See what I mean? You have to slow down and think about what it is you want to say, and then write it clearly. Otherwise, your readers get lost, bored, or think you're full of it. These outcomes are undesirable.

C'mon, do some pushups...
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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Ol' Choctaw
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:16 pm

Shays’ Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, parts of states rebelling over taxes. Not government bodies rebelling. Differences.
:neener:

Was the Civil War the same as Ruby Ridge or Waco to you?
:blink:

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GraniteStater
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:04 pm

The comparison is recent events. But, no. Think about it...scale alone. I've used the word 'conspiracy', but that was to express indignation. At a certain point, hundreds of thousands are not a conspiracy, but rebellion.

Whiskey Rebellion was widespread & militated mustering of miltia under US command. Big enough, for my tastes.

Shay's wasn't trivial. Worrisome enough to have the Founders look for a New Arrangement.
[color="#AFEEEE"]"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!"[/color]

-Daniel Webster



[color="#FFA07A"]"C'mon, boys, we got the damn Yankees on the run!"[/color]

-General Joseph Wheeler, US Army, serving at Santiago in 1898



RULES

(A) When in doubt, agree with Ace.

(B) Pull my reins up sharply when needed, for I am a spirited thoroughbred and forget to turn at the post sometimes.





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aariediger
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:46 pm

Hi Aariediger, just to make sure there is no misunderstanding. When I say that the north pressure in the north would have led to ignition, I am talking about war. I am not saying in the long run the north would have been worse of than the south or anything. About your points though correct me if I am wrong but are you implying that the north was implementing a blockade before fort Sumter was attacked and the war started ? I have no recollection or reading that the guys in fort Sumter were preventing traffic from Charleston harbour for example. So as long as war isn't really on, aren't your point sort of moot, ie the north is not blockading the south anyway until war starts (it is planning to do it during a war, but not doing it as far as I understand).


That's correct, as far as I know, there was no blockade before Sumter. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't do it. Scott's actual Anaconda plan called for a blockade and taking over the river system, and in this alternate reality, he would have still been the one in charge. Considering that they never got into a shooting war with England in real life, I see no reason that they couldn't restrict European shipping imports. Again, by increasing the costs and decreasing the availability of European goods, Northern industry would reign supreme. It might be harder to stop exports, but it would be possible to brand them as pirates or smugglers, something of that nature, and board their ships. They could also mine the various harbors as well, which would probably be cheaper and more efficient than bulking up the navy to what it became historically. A smaller fleet that operates along the coast lines, in-conjunction with Federal forts and mines, could have really hurt the Southern economy. And cutting off free-trade would benefit the Northern economy at the same time, very doubtful anyone would oppose a 'shadow' war with the South, where no-one dies and the North gets rich!

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:41 pm

GraniteStater wrote:The comparison is recent events. But, no. Think about it...scale alone. I've used the word 'conspiracy', but that was to express indignation. At a certain point, hundreds of thousands are not a conspiracy, but rebellion.

Whiskey Rebellion was widespread & militated mustering of miltia under US command. Big enough, for my tastes.

Shay's wasn't trivial. Worrisome enough to have the Founders look for a New Arrangement.


I know your whole problem with the process is secession. I can’t help you out. They did it.

It was not legal because they lost the war. OK!

There were better ways to handle it.

Lincoln himself did not seem opposed to a new constitutional convention. But people started shooting first, so that is moot. Fat chance the south would have gotten what they wanted out of it anyway.

I didn’t secede or vote for it so don’t blame me.

I just find it repugnant to hold people against there will, especially if it is a state or group of states.

You tell us how it should have been handled to avoid a war. If several states today were fed up with the government messing things up and the legislatures and the people of those states had had enough, what should they reasonably do to get a divorce?

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