Still think the Civil War was about state's rights?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by likemyorbs, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. likemyorbs, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #1
    Well this article removes all doubt about the fact that the civil was mostly about slavery, and not "state's rights". The scary part is the percentage of people who actually believe the "state's rights" myth, and the worst part is most of these people are under 30. This article is a great read.

    Link
     
  2. Jesla macrumors 6502

    Jesla

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  3. Tinmania macrumors 68040

    Tinmania

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    #3
    I think one needs to look at the whole picture.

    Sure, slavery was the primary driving force of the Civil War, but why? The subject of slavery was always a contentious issue even before the US officially existed. But there had always been compromises, albeit often awkward, that held the ship together. Meanwhile, in the rest of the civilized world, slavery was rapidly falling apart. Many decades before the Civil War Britain's Royal Navy was capturing slave ships along the African coast--freeing well over 100,000 (and fining the captains).

    Meanwhile the southern United States was ramping up slavery, in worsening conditions, more than ever before. We can pretty much thank Eli Whitney for that occurring. He invented a way to separate cotton far easier than was possible before. Cotton could be processed en masse. Trouble was, he didn't invent a way to pick the damned stuff. Enter the huge plantations, which "needed" plenty of slaves to operate.

    By the time of the middle of the 19th century the south was pretty much a single-crop agricultural economy. That economy, at least for the elitists and those whites who relied on them for income, could not survive without slavery--or so they thought. The north was much more diverse. The south had painted themselves into a corner. The clash was virtually guaranteed.




    Michael
     
  4. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #4
    I was going to make kinda the same point but would have been much less elegant.
     
  5. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #5
    The south absolutely seceded out of fear slavery would be ended. I can't comprehend how people would think otherwise. The south motive seems extremely clear cut.

    The Union, however, fought primarily to reunite the United States as a whole. As Abraham Lincoln said when on the brink of Civil War
    "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

    That being said, not long after, Union soldiers were marching to the lyrics "As He [Jesus] died to make men holy, let us die to make men free" (written circa 1862), so it's fair to say slavery was heavily on the minds of the American public in the north as well. I don't know well enough what moved Lincoln to emancipate northern slaves, but it effectively made Europe and the United States understand the slavery was the subject of the Civil War.
     
  6. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #6
    It's absolutely appalling that so many young people think that slavery had nothing to do with the civil war. The right wing nut propaganda machine has obviously been very successful.
     
  7. tshrimp macrumors 6502

    tshrimp

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    #7
    Yep.... Lets blame the right. It had to be the right didn't it? Even though it is the left that run our colleges, and our media, but somehow they were able to sneak in some of that "propaganda".
     
  8. G51989, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #8
    Yes, the left runs all the media, like Fox news! And the left controls all the liberal talking heads on the radio like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Alex Jones! Super libbies I tell ya!
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    The left certainly doesn't believe in the states rights fantasy of the civil war so it can only be the right. Prove to me that leftist education and media is fueling this fantasy.
     
  10. Kestrel452 macrumors regular

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    #10
    Yes I still think the Civil War was fought over states' rights. Even if you're correct in asserting that slavery was hot button issue, it's still technically a "states' rights" issue. States believed it was their "right" to implement slavery, and not something the Federal government could blanket ban.
     
  11. Aldaris, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

    Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

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    #11
    and Abraham Lincoln was a ... republican.

    It was democrats of the time in the south that fought so hard for slavery.

    My point only being-lets not label this left or right being responsible for the 'states rights' argument-if anything both are to blame for not correcting the other on the evil of slavery and the impacts it has had on America. With that said it should be talked about and we as a people should know about it so we don't ever repeat anything like it.

    Life liberty and happiness for all. We all enter this world with the potential to make our own course, or wallow in the limits we set ourselves.
     
  12. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #12
    Sure, if we can argue that it's a states rights issue. Luckily for non white people in America, the other decides decided to go blow the **** out of those states that thought slavery was a good idea ;)
     
  13. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #13
    The words slave or slavery appear 82 times in the causes of secession for 4 states...totally not related to the Civil War...it was just about states rights.
     
  14. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #14
    The re-education is going the other way. When I was a wee lad, our history books (mostly written pre-WWII, the chapters on WWII were tacked on) gave us a long list of the "causes" of the "war between the states", only one of which was slavery. The South may have lost the Civil War, but, once Reconstruction ended, the South won the propaganda war that ensued. Prior to the Civil Rights movement, most young Americans were taught a very misleading history of the Civil War. Most of them learned a more accurate history if they went to college, but, most people did not go to college prior to WWII.

    I don't know how many times it has to be pointed out that the Republican and Democratic parties rearranged themselves completely between 1964 and 1980. Google "Southern Strategy" and follow the related articles. Conclude your study by watching

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boogie_Man:_The_Lee_Atwater_Story

    Conveniently, it is on Netflix.

    Not to mention the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed during Reconstruction.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstruction_Amendments

    Unsurprisingly, some Tea Party advocates started calling for repeal of the 14th Amendment right out of the gate. The appalling thing is that much of the Republican leadership was tagging along:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025131.php
     
  15. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #15
    A constant in politics (and life) is that everyone wants to be able to do what they want. The south had an economic model that not only paid the bills (and then some), it reinforced their world views. Originally the second and third sons of European aristocracy, they were taught since birth, the importance of rank, both social and economic. Denied titles they felt entitled to, they immigrated to the south, expecting and expected to uphold the family principals of wealth and status.

    Thinking about why it matters, slavery used to be an end in itself. Then it became no longer possible, then it became something missed, then it became abhorrent. People still identify with the war and their peoples (or regions) role in it. And everyone wants to feel good about that role. But since you can't do what you want for the wrong reasons, the reason for the war needs to change. Yes it was about states rights. And yes it was about slavery. But both were and are about doing what you want.


    There is an amazing info graphic that shows this, I'll see if I can find it.

    Democrats owned the issues of the south and as they gave them up, republicans pounced on them like a fumbled football. They kind of did it again later, with religious issues. I'm starting to wonder what the next cause will be.
     
  16. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #16
    The Republicans back then weren't the conservative party they are today.

    Edit: And the terms "right wing" and "left wing" technically don't have anything to do with party. There can be right wing republicans, and left wing democrats. Left and Right have to do with the political spectrum. Left is liberal, Right is conservative.
     
  17. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #17
  18. distemp macrumors regular

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    #18
    Ditto.

    ----------

    I *love* it when conservatives lament the fact that academia seems (in their minds, at least) to lean left. If the most educated in society seem to disagree with you...maybe try examining your beliefs for a sec?

    ----------

    Even if what you're saying is true, what does it say about the states that preferred to secede and fight a war over their right to keep slavery? Whether the official reason was "states rights" or not, the disgusting impetus of the conflict was still the urge to keep people as property.
     
  19. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #19
    I am not a historian, but not all Norther States were free of slavery. Indeed, slavery was not abolished in Maryland, Washington DC, Kentucky, and Delaware until the ratification of the 13th amendment. The South might have fought the war because they were afraid of emancipation, but it does not follow that emancipation is why the North fought. I seem to recall from my history that fear of intervention in North American affairs by European powers had something to do with it....
     
  20. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #20
    True. And, history always looks messy when you dig a little deeper. However, many Union soldiers actually did assume from the very beginning that they were fighting for emancipation. Lots of people, North and South, "knew" that Lincoln would free the slaves even perhaps before he himself did. Here is the most famous Civil War song. Dated 1861:

    [​IMG]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown's_Body

    Most people actually did know that the situation as it existed in 1861 would have to change one way or the other. From the time the Constitution was written, through the Jackson administration, compromises of various kinds prevailed, but, politically, things came to an impasse. People realized that "United States" and "slavery" had become mutually exclusive.
     
  21. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #21
    Well, that's partially right...

    Slavery continued to be legal in Delaware and Kentucky until the 13th Amendment was ratified in in December 1865. [source]

    However...

    Slavery in Maryland was outlawed on Nov. 1, 1864, by Article 24 of a new state constitution that was passed on that date. [source]

    On April 16, 1862, President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. [source]
     
  22. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #22
    Saying the Civil War was about slavery, is like saying the Revolutionary War was about taxes on tea. They were both reasons, and loudly proclaimed, but far from being the only, or even the most important.

    Lincoln didn't even issue the Emancipation Proclamation until two years into the war.

    Slavery wouldn't be economically worthwhile after a while, anyway, with the Machine Age approaching. Eventually much of the need for manual labor would be replaced by faster, cheaper mechanical methods.
     
  23. localoid, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #23
    Extremely few Civil War historians would agree with you.

    But I have to ask: What do you think the "most important" reasons for the war?

    Two things:

    1. Lincoln's views on slavery changed during the war, e.g., in the 1860 election, Lincoln didn't claim to be an abolitionist -- instead, he presented himself as an opponent of extending slavery into territories where it did not exist.

    2. Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, just five days after the Battle of Antietam, a battle which turned back Lee's invasion of the North. Prior to that victory, the North had not had many victories on the battlefields, thus an emancipation proclamation (if issued years earlier) would have had very little "tooth" to it...

    There little to no evidence to support that notion, but feel free to cite something if you like.

    The South was doing a very good job of expanding slavery from agriculture into industries such as the railroads across the South and in the iron works and other industries of Richmond. Slaves had begun holding "skilled" occupations. The South could have easily "updated" slavery to work effectively during the Industrial Age.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    Political parties change over time. I heard someone say that it was the Republicans who were the ones who pushed for civil rights and it was the Democrats who were for slavery... absolutely correct except it's not reflective of today's politics.

    I don't know the political makeup of the South before the Civil War, but my impression is that because it was the North/Republicans who beat them in the war, the South was or became predominantly Democrat. That is until the 1960s civil rights movement orchestrated by the Democrats which turned the South into predominantly Republican. It's a clear case where perceived interests and prejudice dictates political affiliation. Please correct me if this is incorrect.
     
  25. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #25
    Exactly!
     

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