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End the lies: The Confederacy was about slavery

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Tekania
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tekania » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:29 am

Kalibarr wrote:
Bottle wrote: Yes, every single "state's rights" movement has revolved around denying rights to blacks, immigrants, women, gays, atheists, or whoever the hell else the rich white Christian heterosexual males of the South don't like this week...

In the south maybe...


And the north... The north doesn't exactly have any more stellar record on human rights surrounding that era than the south... it was merely directed in different directions... Or should I list the number of Union politicians and Generals who engaged in genocidal acts towards Native Americans in the pre and post Civil War era?

Simple fact is, even in the mid to late 1800's the US was still a work in progress.
Last edited by Tekania on Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Augarundus
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Anarchy

Postby Augarundus » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:03 am

Palledonia wrote:Who on here is defending the Confederacy?


Redneck southerners. Usually low education. Democrats.
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Augarundus
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Postby Augarundus » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:06 am

Bottle wrote: Yes, every single "state's rights" movement has revolved around denying rights to blacks, immigrants, women, gays, atheists, or whoever the hell else the rich white Christian heterosexual males of the South don't like this week...


It's probably best to identify them as 'rich white Protestant heterosexual males'; for a significant period Catholics in the US, especially Irish, were persecuted by state-sanctioned attacks.
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Farnhamia
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:09 am

Augarundus wrote:
Bottle wrote: Yes, every single "state's rights" movement has revolved around denying rights to blacks, immigrants, women, gays, atheists, or whoever the hell else the rich white Christian heterosexual males of the South don't like this week...


It's probably best to identify them as 'rich white Protestant heterosexual males'; for a significant period Catholics in the US, especially Irish, were persecuted by state-sanctioned attacks.

I know there was anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentment in the US during the 19th century, but "state-sanctioned"? Source, please?
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Augarundus
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Postby Augarundus » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:18 am

Farnhamia wrote:
Augarundus wrote:
Bottle wrote: Yes, every single "state's rights" movement has revolved around denying rights to blacks, immigrants, women, gays, atheists, or whoever the hell else the rich white Christian heterosexual males of the South don't like this week...


It's probably best to identify them as 'rich white Protestant heterosexual males'; for a significant period Catholics in the US, especially Irish, were persecuted by state-sanctioned attacks.

I know there was anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentment in the US during the 19th century, but "state-sanctioned"? Source, please?


Though the crimes were not committed by the state, it is widely known that anti-Catholic attacks were oftentimes ignored, as they were with blacks and other ethnic groups and religious organizations. Still, anti-Catholic sentiment was not as prominent as other such groups.
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Farnhamia
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:24 am

Augarundus wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:
Augarundus wrote:
Bottle wrote: Yes, every single "state's rights" movement has revolved around denying rights to blacks, immigrants, women, gays, atheists, or whoever the hell else the rich white Christian heterosexual males of the South don't like this week...


It's probably best to identify them as 'rich white Protestant heterosexual males'; for a significant period Catholics in the US, especially Irish, were persecuted by state-sanctioned attacks.

I know there was anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentment in the US during the 19th century, but "state-sanctioned"? Source, please?


Though the crimes were not committed by the state, it is widely known that anti-Catholic attacks were oftentimes ignored, as they were with blacks and other ethnic groups and religious organizations. Still, anti-Catholic sentiment was not as prominent as other such groups.

Thank you. Yes, I imagine attacks like that sometimes were ignored by the authorities. Please do try to be precise when making statements like that.
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Jocabia
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Ex-Nation

Postby Jocabia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am

Tekania wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Tekania wrote:
Jocabia wrote:Oh, but it does. You're trying to suggest that just because it failed before that it wasn't there reasoning.


What changed between then and April 17th, 1861? (I'll give you a hint.... It wasn't slavery).

Irrelevant. The point is that it was the major point of contention even if something happened to increase tensions. People weren't rioting in LA because Rodney King was the most important thing to them. Racial tensions were bad before and after. It was Rodney King's trial that set off the racial tensions.

Slavery tensions were bad between VA and the Federal government the whole time. What changed is that things came to a head. But Slavery is what the tension was about.

So that's why they didn't go to a new government that changed any major point of contention they had with the US OTHER than Slavery.

Or you can answer the question. If not slavery, what was the significant change in the CSA that attracted VA? Ready... Go!


There wasn't a significant "change" in the CSA.

Up until that time VA had been working in and with the US Federal government attempting to reach a peaceful settlement of the cotton-state rebellion, the change that occurred was Lincoln's order to raise troops subsequent to his actions reaching for a military escalation of the situation; and VA refused to send aid and military power to invade another state, and refused to allow the marching of Federal troops through its state and such would raise its own troops to repel the invasion.

IOW, while Slavery was THE factor in some state secessions, and slavery was a factor in others; it was not THE factor in all cases. There is little difference between this absolutist belief that the civil-war state secessions were only based upon slavery in all cases than there is with the rightwing-nuts quoting founding fathers attempting to prove the US was founded as a "Christian Nation", both rely on a disingenous mis-representation of the political dynamics of the time.


Show me the word "ONLY". Go for it. Where did I say "ONLY".

I said "PRIMARILY". The fact that they EVER had a secession vote is evidence that the issue you're citing wasn't their primary beef. Because if it was, they would have only had a vote after it happened. They didn't. They had a huge beef about slavery, whether or not they agreed with secession. It wasn't that slavery wasn't an issue. It's they didn't want to secede (which is also why they worked to calm things with the cotton states). They didn't want war.

However, when tensions reached the boiling point, they chose sides. And they chose the side they were really always on, the side of slavery. It was their primary reason. And as of yet, you've not shown any reason they'd choose the CSA and defend their cause of slavery, or why they'd have a vote for secession the first time, if that was not the case.

However, if there was some larger issue that caused the first vote or made them side with the CSA, please, show me. So far, all you've pointed out is what set them off. And it very much is like saying black people were primarily upset about Rodney King in LA. Or the riots after the championship were about basketball. Black people didn't want to riot. They were upset with the ruling class in those areas. There were huge racial tensions. When they finally got set off (in one case due to police brutality and in another a basketball championship), once it started it, they got huge support and that's why we saw it spin out control.

Virginians didn't want to commit treason. The first vote reflected that. However, it's clear that they hearts were with the Cotton states. And you've not given one reason why they chose that side, and, fortunately for us, the CSA did give us a reason, slavery. Nothing you've presented remotely disputes that. Now, we do know that they did have other issues (comparable to black people also having an issue with police brutality, and police are a tool of the ruling class, not the ruling class themselves), but the primary issue for Virginia and across the Southern states, and even the states that ALMOST seceded but never did, was that of slavery. It may not have been the fundamental reason for the North going to war with the South (the secession was), but it was the primary reason for the South's secession and the ensuing war. For the South, they were fighting to protect slavery. And even for those that say it was about lifestyle, the only significant lifestyle change in the CSA was slavery. No one rebelled because there wasn't a one term limit on the Presidency.
Last edited by Jocabia on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Caninope
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Postby Caninope » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:09 pm

Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.
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Jocabia
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Postby Jocabia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:53 pm

Caninope wrote:
Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.

Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.
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Caninope
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Postby Caninope » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:16 pm

Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.

Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It doesn't have to change! Putting the Republicans in charge of everything would be a good bit different than putting the Democrats or Green party in charge of everything. It's not the government itself; it's the people who shape it.
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Frisivisia wrote:
Me wrote:Just don't. It'll get you a whole lot further in life if you come to realize you're not the smartest guy in the room, even if you probably are.

Because Caninope may be in that room with you.
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Jocabia
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Postby Jocabia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:24 pm

Caninope wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.

Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It doesn't have to change! Putting the Republicans in charge of everything would be a good bit different than putting the Democrats or Green party in charge of everything. It's not the government itself; it's the people who shape it.

Heh. That's hilarious. They seceded and fought a war because they wanted to stack the deck so they'd get their President in there rather than the President that other people prefer?

Wow, I give. You're right. Fine, most of the South seceded because they were protecting black people. Virginia seceded because they're willing to kill people to get the right outcome in elections. Democracy is only a good idea if their guy wins. Vote our way, or we're pulling out the guns.

I didn't think you were trying to prove they were even more against basic rights and the very principles of the US than most Southern states, but I was wrong. I agree. They weren't just pro-slavery but violently against democracy.
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Caninope
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Postby Caninope » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:33 pm

Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.

Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It doesn't have to change! Putting the Republicans in charge of everything would be a good bit different than putting the Democrats or Green party in charge of everything. It's not the government itself; it's the people who shape it.

Heh. That's hilarious. They seceded and fought a war because they wanted to stack the deck so they'd get their President in there rather than the President that other people prefer?

Wow, I give. You're right. Fine, most of the South seceded because they were protecting black people. Virginia seceded because they're willing to kill people to get the right outcome in elections. Democracy is only a good idea if their guy wins. Vote our way, or we're pulling out the guns.

I didn't think you were trying to prove they were even more against basic rights and the very principles of the US than most Southern states, but I was wrong. I agree. They weren't just pro-slavery but violently against democracy.


To be quite honest, I'd have to agree with you that they threw a huge temper tantrum. They thought they could do it better. If they had kept the Union, they would have most likely been hurt severely by the Republican plan. Thus, they got mad and left, thinking it would benefit them more to do that.

Of course, it backfired.

NOTE: This applies to the whole South, not just Virginia.
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Agritum wrote:Arg, Caninope is Captain America under disguise. Everyone knows it.
Frisivisia wrote:
Me wrote:Just don't. It'll get you a whole lot further in life if you come to realize you're not the smartest guy in the room, even if you probably are.

Because Caninope may be in that room with you.
Nightkill the Emperor wrote:Thankfully, we have you and EM to guide us to wisdom and truth, holy one. :p
Norstal wrote:What I am saying of course is that we should clone Caninope.

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Jocabia
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Postby Jocabia » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:42 pm

Caninope wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Caninope wrote:
Can you come up with any difference that actually WERE points of contention between the US and Virginia that wouldn't also be points of contention between VA and CSA? Slavery is one of course. Anything else?


Tariffs.

Their general view on the economy.

Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It doesn't have to change! Putting the Republicans in charge of everything would be a good bit different than putting the Democrats or Green party in charge of everything. It's not the government itself; it's the people who shape it.

Heh. That's hilarious. They seceded and fought a war because they wanted to stack the deck so they'd get their President in there rather than the President that other people prefer?

Wow, I give. You're right. Fine, most of the South seceded because they were protecting black people. Virginia seceded because they're willing to kill people to get the right outcome in elections. Democracy is only a good idea if their guy wins. Vote our way, or we're pulling out the guns.

I didn't think you were trying to prove they were even more against basic rights and the very principles of the US than most Southern states, but I was wrong. I agree. They weren't just pro-slavery but violently against democracy.


To be quite honest, I'd have to agree with you that they threw a huge temper tantrum. They thought they could do it better. If they had kept the Union, they would have most likely been hurt severely by the Republican plan. Thus, they got mad and left, thinking it would benefit them more to do that.

Of course, it backfired.

NOTE: This applies to the whole South, not just Virginia.


But the point is that unlike other Southern states who simply desired to enshrine slavery into law, a major governmental change, for VA, according to you, that also were making the point that they actually do not like democracy and they will commit treason and murder if votes don't go their way. Man, why would the South want them. They've proven that if VA ends up at odds with the outcome of future elections they have precedent to do whatever it takes to change the outcome.
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Sapiency
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Postby Sapiency » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:52 pm

Augarundus wrote:Democrats.


:eyebrow:
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Lacadaemon
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Postby Lacadaemon » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:13 am

It's not that I disagree with the characterization of the Confederacy as a slave owning state. It was. And clearly, one of it's prime goals (if not the only goal, though you can argue around the side of that) was to preserve and defend the institution of negro slavery. That much is historical fact.

What I don't like though, is the implication that the civil war was purely a war about slavery. It wasn't. While there is no doubt that for many New England Yankee abolitionists, going to war and punishing the south for its wretched "peculiar institution" was the entire point, the fact is that slavery alone would never have mobilized the north to war.

Inasmuch there were mostly black hats in the south, fighting for their right to own people, much of the necessary support of the war in the north came from people who were unmoved by the issue of slavery, and who were more concerned by the need to prevent free ports, or to sell railroad bonds &c.. Without that backbone, based upon a fundamental difference about how geography should be used, and how the United States should function economically, there would never have been a war. At best, the slave states would have been allowed to separate - and those who (rightly) violently opposed them would have been classed as John Browns - and at worst, slavery would have limped on in attenuated forms ultimately - much as happened after reconstruction was declared over, even though nothing was reconstructed.

And apparently, since I missed the point of the entire thread, yah, I'd like to make my own position clear. People who go around worshiping the Confederacy are wankers. My quibble is simply that huge wars that last for years are never really fought over a single issue.
Last edited by Lacadaemon on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Muravyets
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Postby Muravyets » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:02 pm

Lacadaemon wrote:It's not that I disagree with the characterization of the Confederacy as a slave owning state. It was. And clearly, one of it's prime goals (if not the only goal, though you can argue around the side of that) was to preserve and defend the institution of negro slavery. That much is historical fact.

What I don't like though, is the implication that the civil war was purely a war about slavery. It wasn't. While there is no doubt that for many New England Yankee abolitionists, going to war and punishing the south for its wretched "peculiar institution" was the entire point, the fact is that slavery alone would never have mobilized the north to war.

Inasmuch there were mostly black hats in the south, fighting for their right to own people, much of the necessary support of the war in the north came from people who were unmoved by the issue of slavery, and who were more concerned by the need to prevent free ports, or to sell railroad bonds &c.. Without that backbone, based upon a fundamental difference about how geography should be used, and how the United States should function economically, there would never have been a war. At best, the slave states would have been allowed to separate - and those who (rightly) violently opposed them would have been classed as John Browns - and at worst, slavery would have limped on in attenuated forms ultimately - much as happened after reconstruction was declared over, even though nothing was reconstructed.

And apparently, since I missed the point of the entire thread, yah, I'd like to make my own position clear. People who go around worshiping the Confederacy are wankers. My quibble is simply that huge wars that last for years are never really fought over a single issue.

As you agree, the point of the OP was actually not that the war was solely about slavery but that slavery was the main motivating point of the Confederacy -- why it was created, why it did what it did, what kind of a government it was going to be. All this nattering over what the war was about is merely the usual nonsense from the latter day "Sweet Home Alabama" crowd trying to pretend that history was something other than what people like Jefferson Davis said it was.

In reality, the majority of people who actually do the fighting in wars have only the most superficial, sound-bite type of idea what their political leaders are saying the war is about, and a lot of them don't care anyway. People generally will have their own reasons for agreeing to risk their lives in someone else's project -- whether it is their own either informed or uninformed patriotic zeal, or the need for money, or a lack of choice in the matter, or some personal hatred for the enemy, etc. So sure, if we break out the ouija boards and poll all the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy, we'll get a lot of different answers as to why they joined up. LIkewise for Union soldiers. And likewise for the leaders of some of the states, as well.

But that does not change the documented fact that the people who created the Confederacy as a political entity did so for the express purpose of securing the continuing existence of slavery as a social and economic institution. Further, they expressly set up the laws of the Confederacy to restrict "states' rights" and make it impossible for any state in the Confederacy to ban slavery. Thus, any state that joined the Confederacy, regardless of its own stated views, was de facto agreeing to support slavery. And any individual who willingly joined the Confederate armed forces and fought for the CSA against the Union was fighting to establish a slave state.

So there may have been a lot of reasons individuals fought in the war, but there was only one reason we had a war at all, because there was only one reason there was a Confederacy -- slavery. And the leaders of the CSA themselves set things up so that anyone who joined their cause had to align themselves in favor of slavery, whether they initially wanted to or not.

So frankly, as far as I'm concerned, it is too fine a hair to split to quibble over the many reasons people have for fighting wars. Every war has one main point -- one spark that caused it, or one point of contention, or one overarching goal -- and in the Civil War, it was slavery. Even if Lincoln himself would have wished it otherwise, that is what it boiled down to, ultimately.
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Jocabia
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Postby Jocabia » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:16 pm

Muravyets wrote:*snip*

Why is it that you always dictate what points we can natter about? First you're in one thread. Then you're in another. And you're angry too. And you argue sometimes. I also heard you're female. What's up with that?

(Just kidding because of your signature)
Last edited by Jocabia on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Maurepas
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Postby Maurepas » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:17 pm

Jocabia wrote:
Muravyets wrote:*snip*

Why is it that you always dictate what points we can natter about? First you're in one thread. Then you're in another. And you're angry too. And you argue sometimes. I also heard you're female. What's up with that?

[size=85](Just kidding because of your signature)[/size]

I disagree, I think she natters about points we dictate, causing her to go from one thread to another, and argue sometimes, her being female likely exacerbates this....


:p

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Muravyets
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Postby Muravyets » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:27 pm

Maurepas wrote:
Jocabia wrote:
Muravyets wrote:*snip*

Why is it that you always dictate what points we can natter about? First you're in one thread. Then you're in another. And you're angry too. And you argue sometimes. I also heard you're female. What's up with that?

[size=85](Just kidding because of your signature)[/size]

I disagree, I think she natters about points we dictate, causing her to go from one thread to another, and argue sometimes, her being female likely exacerbates this....


:p

I think you're both missing the point, unable to take a simple and obvious hint, and otherwise full of crap, probably because you're male. Typical, really. :p

:kiss: :kiss:

There, that's one for each of you. Now quit your nattering, and that's a dictate. ;)
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However, I am still not the topic of this thread.

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Lacadaemon
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Ex-Nation

Postby Lacadaemon » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:14 pm

Muravyets wrote:So frankly, as far as I'm concerned, it is too fine a hair to split to quibble over the many reasons people have for fighting wars. Every war has one main point -- one spark that caused it, or one point of contention, or one overarching goal -- and in the Civil War, it was slavery. Even if Lincoln himself would have wished it otherwise, that is what it boiled down to, ultimately.


Muravyets: it's not that I am defending the south. I think that the confederacy was a despicable institution, and ultimately deserved what it got. I just don't think that the motivation of the North for the war should be beyond examination either.

That said, reasonable people can differ. As long as everyone grasps the main point that slavery is wrong, and that the confederacy was not cool, it's really all academic, I think. Much in the same way that parts of WWII are up for debate, but no one - at least not normal people - ever defends Nazism.
The kind of middle-class mentality which actuates both those responsible for strategy and government has little knowledge of the new psychology and organizing ability of the totalitarian States. The forces we are fighting are governed neither by the old strategy nor follow the old tactics.

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Beeth
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Ex-Nation

Postby Beeth » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:30 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:(Before launching into my main tirade I will note that I am not planning on returning to regular posting, although frequent lurking has led me to believe these forums have improved since I last posted here.)

That said, my purpose is to try to put to rest the continual reappearance of revisionist lies about the Confederacy and the Civil War -- i.e., "the war wasn't about slavery," "the issue was state's rights," "the Confederates were fighting for freedom/limited government," etc.

This bullshit is clearly and unequivocally contradicted by the historical record.

1. Declarations of Secession

Just as the Declaration of Independence gave the reasons for the American Revolution, the Southern Declarations of Secession gave the reasons behind the forming of the Confederacy. You will find little in this documents about "state's rights" -- other than those related to slavery -- or individual freedom -- except the right to own slaves. To the contrary, you will find consistent complaints about failures of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to FORCE new states to accept slavery or to REQUIRE free states to return slaves.

But let's let these fine documents speak for themselves:

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...


Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

...We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. 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.

...

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.


Georgia

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. 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. ...


A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government *all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights* [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.


2. Constitution of the Confederate States of America

The CSA Constitution is nearly identitical to that of the the U.S. Constitution at the time of secession. Curiously, however, you will search in vain for any significant increase in the rights of states or individuals under the CSA Constitution. Four very, very minor differences are made regarding the powers of states -- the power to enter into treaties with other states to regulate waterways, the power to tax foreign and domestic ships that use their waterways, the power to impeach federally-appointed state officials, and the power to distribute "bills of credit." These are hardly major victories for state's rights. Furthermore, nothing in the CSA makes any provision for secession.

On the other hand, sweeping new powers are granted to the CSA federal government. Foremost, is that states are REQUIRED to allow slavery. And any new state joining the Confederacy is to be a SLAVE state. So much for state's rights on that issue. Four different clauses stop just short of making owning slaves mandatory.

3. Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephen's Cornerstone Speech

...

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. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone 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. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind—from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just—but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.

....
(emphasis added)

I'll note that Stephens is specific that "the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution" was the issue of slavery.

4. Statements by Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis praised slavery as a worthy institution by which "a superior race" had transformed "brutal savages into docile, intelligent and civilized agricultural laborers." See, e.g., Message of Jefferson Davis to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America, Montgomery, April 29, 1861.;

Jefferson Davis' reply in the Senate to William H. Seward, February 29, 1860

The condition of slavery with us is, in a word, Mr. President, nothing but the form of civil government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves. It is exactly what in every State exists in some form or other. It is just that kind of control which is extended in every northern State over its convicts, its lunatics, its minors, its apprentices. It is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority.



5. Apostles of Disunion

I highly recommend reading "Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War" by Charles B. Dew. Although the language below is taken from this source and this source, I have read Dr. Dew's remarkable book.

Dew teaches history at Williams College in Massachusetts. But he is a son of the South with a family tree full of Rebel ancestors. Dew uses the words of real Confederates to rebut the neo-Confederates. The historian explained that after the Rebels lost the Civil War, many of their civilian and military leaders wrote their memoirs, in which they maintained "that slavery had absolutely nothing to do with the South's drive for independence." He added that their whitewash is being applied by white guy "neo-Confederate writers and partisans of the present day.

Dew focused his book on a group of state-appointed commissioners who made the rounds of the slave states in 1860 and early 1861. They preached the same racist line: the only way to keep Lincoln and the Yankee "Black Republicans" from destroying slavery and white supremacy was to start a new Southern nation.

"Our fathers made this a government for the white man, rejecting the negro, as an ignorant, inferior, barbarian race, incapable of self-government, and not, therefore, entitled to be associated with the white man upon terms of civil, political or social equality," a Mississippi commissioner said.

Likewise, a Kentucky-born Alabama commissioner to Kentucky pleaded that secession was the only way the South could sustain "the heaven-ordained superiority of the white over the black race." Another Alabama ambassador said ideas that slavery was immoral and that God created all people the same were rooted in "an infidel theory [that] has corrupted the Northern heart."

Dew concluded, "By illuminating so clearly the racial content of the secession persuasion, the commissioners would seem to have laid to rest, once and for all, any notion that slavery had nothing to do with the coming of the Civil War."

6. Views of "ordinary soldiers"

John S. Mosby, A Confederate Soldier’s Thoughts on the Civil War, 1907:

"The South went to war on account of slavery. South Carolina went to war – as she said in her [2] Secession proclamation – because slavery wd. not be secure under Lincoln. South Carolina ought to know what was the cause for her seceding."


Chandra Manning in her book What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War:

has looked at a remarkable wealth of letters, diaries, and regimental newspapers, assembling data on what 657 Union soldiers and 477 Confederate soldiers thought they were doing over the four years of combat, rather than what some of them wrote in hazy, embittered, or sentimental retrospect. ....

Her conclusion is that the Americans who fought the Civil War overwhelmingly thought they were fighting about slavery, and that we should take their word for it.

It is perhaps not surprising that in 1864 the black men of the Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery reminded one another that “upon your prowess, discipline, and character; depend the destinies of four millions of people.” It may be more surprising to find a white Union soldier writing in 1862 that “the fact that slavery is the sole undeniable cause of this infamous rebellion, that it is a war of, by, and for Slavery, is as plain as the noon-day sun.” That same year a soldier on the other side, in Morgan’s Confederate Brigade, wrote that “any man who pretends to believe that this is not a war for the emancipation of the blacks . . . is either a fool or a liar.” Manning can and does multiply these examples, and she finds that they vastly outweigh the evidence for any other dominant motive among the combatants.
[cite]

I could go on and on and on and on, but have already written more than is necessary to prove my point. Can we now here no more disingenious defenses of the Confederacy?

You are right. The confederacy was made because they felt that the federal government was not excepting their states, or their own "right" to allow them to own slaves. Which is really ridiculous considering the the Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal. Slavery is wrong, unconstitutional, and disgusting, and that is why the union won!

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Muravyets
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Ex-Nation

Postby Muravyets » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:37 am

Lacadaemon wrote:
Muravyets wrote:So frankly, as far as I'm concerned, it is too fine a hair to split to quibble over the many reasons people have for fighting wars. Every war has one main point -- one spark that caused it, or one point of contention, or one overarching goal -- and in the Civil War, it was slavery. Even if Lincoln himself would have wished it otherwise, that is what it boiled down to, ultimately.


Muravyets: it's not that I am defending the south. I think that the confederacy was a despicable institution, and ultimately deserved what it got. I just don't think that the motivation of the North for the war should be beyond examination either.

That said, reasonable people can differ. As long as everyone grasps the main point that slavery is wrong, and that the confederacy was not cool, it's really all academic, I think. Much in the same way that parts of WWII are up for debate, but no one - at least not normal people - ever defends Nazism.

I know you're not defending the South. I'm just of the opinion that all the other issues in the war are mere side dishes to the main course. I'm also of the opinion that it is more than just academic because we have in reality, right now, people who want to rewrite history to pretend the Confederacy was not a despicable institution but rather a noble and heroic exemplar of individualist ideals that was crushed by an oppressive regime. Which is, obviously, insane, yet people still do it, just as there are people who defend Nazism and try to pretend that all the nasty stories about them are just lies and gossip made up by their enemies. We may want to dismiss such people as kooks, but they are kooks who sometimes get elected to public office or take jobs as teachers, etc. Lies should never be ignored and let go, just because we know they are false.

If you think it is less important than I do, okay, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that. It's not fundamental.
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However, I am still not the topic of this thread.

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Vetalia
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Postby Vetalia » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:44 am

Jocabia wrote:Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It specifically forbid the use of protectionist tariffs in their entirety. One of the first acts of the Confederate Congress was to slash the import duty from 20% to 10%.
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Jocabia
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Ex-Nation

Postby Jocabia » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:40 pm

Vetalia wrote:
Jocabia wrote:Certainly you can more specific, yeah?

Please cite exactly how the CSA Consitution was different from our on the subject of Tariffs. Thanks.


It specifically forbid the use of protectionist tariffs in their entirety. One of the first acts of the Confederate Congress was to slash the import duty from 20% to 10%.

So tariffs were a primary motivator for the Southern secession? And particularly that those import duties were 10% too high?

EDIT: In case you're wondering, I'm well aware of a number of differences. The poster I was responding to is claiming that Slavery was not the primary point of contention between Virginia and the US. I asked what the primary point of contention was. I've still not gotten an answer.
Last edited by Jocabia on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Caninope
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Postby Caninope » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:43 pm

Which is really ridiculous considering the the Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal. Slavery is wrong, unconstitutional, and disgusting, and that is why the union won!


Gets Academic: Slavery is in the clear, or rather was, Constitutionally. A lot of the writers of the Declaration limited the definition of man to "white male." Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence has no bearing on Constitutional law. In fact, two references where made to slavery in the Constitution, one that allowed the slave trade until 1808 (and thus slavery) and the other was in reference to the Census, and thus a case could be made for it's protection.

Next, the Union didn't win because of slavery. It gained a boost, diplomatically, and in recruiting, through the Emancipation Proclamation, both ultimately it was the material and quantity superiority that allowed the North to beat the South's military and tactical superiority (that along with Grant and Sherman being with the Union).
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