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Post Reply America Civil War (Years 1861-65) What the Real Reason to have them?!?
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

geauxtigers1989 wrote:

In the words of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens...


But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other -- though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.


More from Stephens...


Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.


Looks like an open and shut case.


Wow, when did the office of Vice President ever have any real meaning or power, let alone influence upon policy, whether foreign or domestic? Reality check--he was Veep!

As Akage-chan said, this was a long-disputed concern over which power superseded which: state or federal. Funny how we see the same argument now, with states decriminalizing marijuana in spite of Federal law. Same argument all over again: do states have the right to enact legislation contrary to Federal law if they think it is in the interest of their citizens? Indeed, do they have a duty to do so? States' rights or Federal mandate? (Not commenting upon the marijuana thing, mind you, just pointing out the re-emergence of the states' right issue. . .)
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I believe that a number of American social issues stem from the post civil war, reconstruction era. Racism was still rampant and as Janus said the now freedmen didn't know what to do with their freedom. A lot of them got rehired by the same families they were slaves for and couldn't make ends meat. Reconstruction policies were a really good thing and should have continued, because it helped protect and integrate the freedmen into society by giving them oppurtinities, but after about ten years it was losing popularity in politics and the Republicans that supported it were losing ground in the government. With the removal of the last federal troops in the south it allowed the Jim Crowe laws to run rampant and further fuel racism, setting back a lot of what reconstruction tried to accomplish.

I haven't taken a history class in over a year so I'm not sure how much of it is correct but just my take.
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MintChicken wrote:

I believe that a number of American social issues stem from the post civil war, reconstruction era. Racism was still rampant and as Janus said the now freedmen didn't know what to do with their freedom. A lot of them got rehired by the same families they were slaves for and couldn't make ends meat. Reconstruction policies were a really good thing and should have continued, because it helped protect and integrate the freedmen into society by giving them oppurtinities, but after about ten years it was losing popularity in politics and the Republicans that supported it were losing ground in the government. With the removal of the last federal troops in the south it allowed the Jim Crowe laws to run rampant and further fuel racism, setting back a lot of what reconstruction tried to accomplish.

I haven't taken a history class in over a year so I'm not sure how much of it is correct but just my take.

The social issues have nothing to do with the civil war.

All of the social issues are because many white people feel black people are inferior. They believed this long before America was founded and even today, regardless of what wars were fought. The only difference is blacks can't be owned anymore because the federal government has taken away that "State right."
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

JanusCascade wrote:

When I think about the reason for Civil War.. Its all about fighting over the Slaves..


Actually, no, Hans--
It was about the still unresolved question of whether states were States, or United. That's the reason we couldn't agree and formed two Legislative houses, one for all states to be equal, and one for Big states to be more important than Little states.
Up to that point, no state really quite parsed the "United" thing, and, like grumpy Texas conservatives, thought they could "secede" anytime the mood struck them that Congress didn't do anything the state personally liked, because it was a nice bit of big-talk to throw around whenever they were angry.
(You think the current election's divisive? In the Adams v. Jefferson election, Massachusetts/Maine threatened to secede if Jefferson was elected, and Virginia threatened to secede if Adams was elected.)

Which, for a hundred years all the way back to the DoI, was South Carolina, who kept threatening to take their ball and go home, so there, anytime anyone picked on their "sovereign" slavery rights.
And when a property tax by Congress meant that slave states would pay more because they owned more "property" than free states, they finally decided to call their bluff on the idea of thumbing their nose at the Union and going independent (and becoming a new plantation-rich "Southern empire" that might extend to Barbados and South America).

The only thing that stopped GW Bush from being the Worst President in American History was the fact that James Buchanan could have played the "Union must be preserved!" card and stopped SC from walking out, and....didn't.
Most of the last three presidents before Lincoln were compromisers over the idea that slavery was bad, but we can't tell the rich farming states how to do their business, you see.
Every bit of rhetoric--even Lincoln's very formation of "the Republican party"--was based on the idea that the Republic had to stay united, but the slavery/racism issue was more of a moral issue among the citizens and activists that didn't really take hold in the war rhetoric until Frederick Douglass pressured Lincoln on an official antislavery bill as the rallying point of the war. (Which would have been hard to enforce, since the North wasn't gaining much ground at the beginning.)
Even the Gettysburg Address never mentions slaves, but "Will our democracy hold together?"

SO: Now we know a little more American history, and it's a little harder to tie the S-word into the whole Roman Holidays shtick, isn't it, Biggus?
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

JanusCascade wrote:

When I think about the reason for Civil War.. Its all about fighting over the Slaves.. So Confederate (South) thinking that their way of life is in danger.. due to fear of losing business profit by having to let Slaves go, Since Slaves doesn't get pay and only get one meal or two a day.. having to hire someone to work in the field for them?

They just can't imagine having to lift a finger to clean their own house or make their own meals! XD

Union (North) They felt that its morally wrong to have slaves against their will, and believe that Freedom is for all not just one or few race. After the North won the war, the Slaves was finally free but.. they don't know what to do with their lives.. Since only thing they know is what they been doing all their life. Also They still get treated badly..

What your thoughts on US Civil War?

I heard that Slavery still exist in present day! If I'm not mistaken like in south Africa?!


Everything that I state in the following should always be considered in the light that I consider slavery to be an absolute evil, which continues today throughout much of the world, including wide stretches of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

But you're wrong about a great many things. First, slaves usually were well fed and relatively well cared for. Why? They were property, part of a person's wealth. You wanted slaves to be healthy and well fed so that they could work hard for you. The reason slavery is evil, however, is that it totally surrenders one person to the will of another, and we human beings aren't angels. So while most slaves were treated with decency due to the self-interest of their owners, there was indeed abuse of slaves. There was also punishment of slaves for infractions which did involve physical punishment, but what is forgotten is that for much of this period, lashing and flogging were still common forms of punishment in the armies and navies of the world, as well as by criminal courts world wide.

In the 1830s in New Orleans, construction began on a 60 foot wide canal, over 3 miles long, that reached from the city to Lake Pontchartrain. Slaves were ruled out because of the expected death rate, and expense of purchase, from Yellow Fever epidemics. So the canal was mostly constructed by Irish immigrant labor, of whom as many as 30,000 died during the years it took to build the canal. Slaves were too valuable to risk that way.

But as I said, human beings are no angels, and when humans have total control over other humans, bad things will inevitably happen. Not by all, but by enough. Just as there are people who abuse their pets, people who abuse their children, there were definitely those who abused, raped and murdered their slaves.

There were indeed wealthy planters who lived an idle life while their slaves did all the work. The main reason for this was the invention of the cotton gin. This machine, which separated out the cotton seeds, which previously had been a long and time-consuming process, made the mass production of cloth from cotton into a reality, and made slavery extremely profitable. However, most farmers in the South didn't own a slave, and many small farms that did still had owners who worked the land as hard as their slaves.

Now, there are those who believe that the Civil War was about slavery. They're absolutely 100% correct.

There are also those who believe that the Civil War was about states rights versus the supremacy of the Federal government. They're absolutely 100% correct.

The reason for this is that the two issues are irretrievably entwined and melded together. Slavery was the state's right issue that moved the nation into civil war.

The North, however, did not go into the war to free the slaves. They were all about keeping the Union, also there was a general dislike of Southern snobbery. Slavery? For some it was indeed an issue at the start, but they were the minority view, for many in the North were as racist as any Southerner.

The Civil War began as a result of the election of 1860. The Republican party was the anti-slavery party, and it's candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the election. Lincoln had no plan to end slavery while in office, but the Southern States panicked, and with most slave states seceding. It was a massive overreaction which resulted in a colossal miscalculation.

The war was long, bitter and is still the most costly war in terms of human lives in American history. At least 640,000 soldiers died, with modern scholarship bumping that estimate up to at least 750,000 soldiers dead, plus an unknown, but large number of civilians who would also die, with some estimates of the total dead reaching over 900,000. As the war progressed, the Union position would change. The Emancipation proclamation in 1863 would free slaves in Confederate territory, but this was less about liberation, than it was about trying to militarily hurt the South (the idea of getting slaves to flee the South, thus hurting Southern productivity. The end result would be the end of slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment in April of 1865.

What many people fail to realize is that the USA was a much looser nation at that point in time. People tended to look first to their state, and then to the National Government. People would proudly proclaim to be from this or that state, both North and South. This was already starting to change a bit due to the Westward movement, but was still the predominant thought. Only after the war would people consider themselves Americans first, and then a member of their own state.

The result of the Civil War? It drastically hastened the end of slavery in the USA. There would still be many issues involving discrimination against blacks in the USA to come, but slavery had ended as an institution allowed by the Federal government.

But slavery had existed long before the USA had ever existed, indeed it goes back to pre-history. By this point in time, every person on this planet is a descendant of both slaves and slave owners. And the institution continues in many parts of the world today.
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Posted 7/26/16

shugotenshi-atm wrote:


MintChicken wrote:

I believe that a number of American social issues stem from the post civil war, reconstruction era. Racism was still rampant and as Janus said the now freedmen didn't know what to do with their freedom. A lot of them got rehired by the same families they were slaves for and couldn't make ends meat. Reconstruction policies were a really good thing and should have continued, because it helped protect and integrate the freedmen into society by giving them oppurtinities, but after about ten years it was losing popularity in politics and the Republicans that supported it were losing ground in the government. With the removal of the last federal troops in the south it allowed the Jim Crowe laws to run rampant and further fuel racism, setting back a lot of what reconstruction tried to accomplish.

I haven't taken a history class in over a year so I'm not sure how much of it is correct but just my take.

The social issues have nothing to do with the civil war.

All of the social issues are because many white people feel black people are inferior. They believed this long before America was founded and even today, regardless of what wars were fought. The only difference is blacks can't be owned anymore because the federal government has taken away that "State right."


IMO the events before and after a war are just as important as the war itself.
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Posted 7/26/16

MintChicken wrote:


shugotenshi-atm wrote:


MintChicken wrote:

I believe that a number of American social issues stem from the post civil war, reconstruction era. Racism was still rampant and as Janus said the now freedmen didn't know what to do with their freedom. A lot of them got rehired by the same families they were slaves for and couldn't make ends meat. Reconstruction policies were a really good thing and should have continued, because it helped protect and integrate the freedmen into society by giving them oppurtinities, but after about ten years it was losing popularity in politics and the Republicans that supported it were losing ground in the government. With the removal of the last federal troops in the south it allowed the Jim Crowe laws to run rampant and further fuel racism, setting back a lot of what reconstruction tried to accomplish.

I haven't taken a history class in over a year so I'm not sure how much of it is correct but just my take.

The social issues have nothing to do with the civil war.

All of the social issues are because many white people feel black people are inferior. They believed this long before America was founded and even today, regardless of what wars were fought. The only difference is blacks can't be owned anymore because the federal government has taken away that "State right."


IMO the events before and after a war are just as important as the war itself.


I agree they are important. I disagree that the war is the reason for the social issues.
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

moonhawk81 wrote:

Wow, when did the office of Vice President ever have any real meaning or power, let alone influence upon policy, whether foreign or domestic? Reality check--he was Veep!


You realize he was describing the Confederate Constitution, right?

But if that's not enough, let's take a look at some of the Declarations of Causes of Seceding States.

Mississippi

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.


Texas

She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.


Georgia

For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property...


South Carolina

A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of 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 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.


Louisiana

As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of an­nexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.
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The only fact that had an impact on us in the Caribbean at the end of the American civil war was when ex slaves were promised land. Some of those ex slaves who fought were granted land but not in USA. They gave them some land in the Caribbean far away from the main towns and villages at that time so they were isolated. There were conditions to accepting the land though. That land could never be sold. It could be passed down through the generations. So there are people who can trace their families from the USA. When mother was looking to buy her first house in the Caribbean one of these was advertised and she checked up on it. One of these families had attempted to try and sell up. Mother found out that it could never legally happen. She just looked elsewhere and eventually got her house.
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

geauxtigers1989 wrote:


moonhawk81 wrote:

Wow, when did the office of Vice President ever have any real meaning or power, let alone influence upon policy, whether foreign or domestic? Reality check--he was Veep!


You realize he was describing the Confederate Constitution, right?

But if that's not enough, let's take a look at some of the Declarations of Causes of Seceding States.

Mississippi

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.


Texas

She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.


Georgia

For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property...


South Carolina

A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of 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 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.


Louisiana

As a separate republic, Louisiana remembers too well the whisperings of European diplomacy for the abolition of slavery in the times of an­nexation not to be apprehensive of bolder demonstrations from the same quarter and the North in this country. The people of the slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.


He was expressing his interpretation of such. And, again, what is the worth of a Veep's opinion on anything? As for the quoted secession statements, I notice that you failed to quote any in full. . .perhaps because they mention things other than slavery? Inconvenient, isn't it(?), when history gets all historical instead of opinionated. . .Slavery is evil, agreed. And slavery is an enduring evil in certain parts of the world. But the Civil War was not fought over slavery, however many [or few] individuals joined the fight because of their positions on the subject.
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Posted 7/26/16
It was perceived that we couldn't survive separate without foreign powers rearing their ugly heads, and despite a lot of people wanting to do away with slavery, it was really supported by a mix of abolitionist and the desire to castrate the south's economic clout to prevent further uprising.
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Slavery was pretty much bullet point #6 or #7 when talking about the reasons behind the Civil War. It hadn't even bubbled up into the common man's conscience back then until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, where Lincoln took advantage to swing morale and ethics on his side. Only then did Slavery ever become the major focus.

Most of the reason for the Civil War was actual political differentiation. Wars involving the US are never started for trivial reasons, despite what modern social commentary dictates, it's a web of intricacies that reach a boiling point.
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16
Here is a good primer on the secession articles. While they did mention other things than slavery, when you are betraying your nation you need quite a bountiful list in order for others to feel you were justified.

http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/secession/

anyone stating that Slavery was somehow unimportant simply does not know history. The south was afraid of Republicans because they were pushing for free states. That was the catalyst.

I really wonder why so many people are pushing so hard to imply that it wasn't slavery? Could the bitterness of the south seep that deep into teaching history?
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

moonhawk81 wrote:

He was expressing his interpretation of such. And, again, what is the worth of a Veep's opinion on anything? As for the quoted secession statements, I notice that you failed to quote any in full. . .perhaps because they mention things other than slavery? Inconvenient, isn't it(?), when history gets all historical instead of opinionated. . .Slavery is evil, agreed. And slavery is an enduring evil in certain parts of the world. But the Civil War was not fought over slavery, however many [or few] individuals joined the fight because of their positions on the subject.


The Civil War totally was not about slavery...even though the seceding states explicitly reference is an an underlying cause for their secession.

Anyway, from Jefferson Davis's 1861 farewell address to the Senate,


It has been a conviction of pressing necessity, it has been a belief that we are to be deprived in the Union of the rights which our fathers bequeathed to us, which has brought Mississippi into her present decision. She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races...

...When our Constitution was formed, the same idea was rendered more palpable, for there we find provision made for that very class of persons as property; they were not put upon the footing of equality with white men--not even upon that of paupers and convicts; but, so far as representation was concerned, were discriminated against as a lower caste, only to be represented in the numerical proportion of three fifths.


And if Davis wasn't clear enough. Here's part from another 1861 speech after Mississippi's secession.

We recognize the negro as God and God's Book and God's Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him. Our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude.


From the editors of Southern Punch, a newspaper based in Virginia in 1864

Our doctrine is this: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR INDEPENDENCE THAT OUR GREAT AND NECESSARY DOMESTIC INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY SHALL BE PRESERVED, and for the preservation of other institutions of which slavery is the groundwork.


Confederate Captain Ed Baxter

In a word, the South determined to fight for her property right in slaves; and in order to do so, it was necessary for her resist the change which the Abolitionists proposed to make under the Constitution of the United States as construed by them.


Colonel John S. Mosby

I've always understood that we went to war on account of the thing we quarreled with the north about. I've never heard of any other cause than slavery.


General James Longstreet

If it wasn't about slavery, then I don't know what else it was about.
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Posted 7/26/16

shugotenshi-atm wrote:

I really wonder why so many people are pushing so hard to imply that it wasn't slavery? Could the bitterness of the south seep that deep into teaching history?


See the links I posted on page 1 about The Lost Cause. After the War ended, Southerners waged an extensive revisionist history campaign to make the Confederate cause seem more noble. It's been very effective.
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