Skip to comments.Was the Civil War Actually About Slavery?
Posted on 08/30/2012 2:40:56 PM PDT by PeaRidge
On 6 November 1860, the six-year-old Republican Party elected its first president. During the tense crisis months that followed the secession winter of 186061 practically all observers believed that Lincoln and the Republicans would begin attacking slavery as soon as they took power.
Democrats in the North blamed the Republican Party for the entire sectional crisis. They accused Republicans of plotting to circumvent the Constitutional prohibition against direct federal attacks on slavery. Republicans would instead allegedly try to squeeze slavery to death indirectly, by abolishing it in the territories and in Washington DC, suppressing it in the high seas, and refusing federal enforcement of the Slave Laws. The first to succumb to the Republican program of ultimate extinction, Democrats charged, would be the border states where slavery was most vulnerable. For Northern Democrats, this is what caused the crisis; the Republicans were to blame for trying to get around the Constitution.
Southern secessionists said almost exactly the same thing. The Republicans supposedly intended to bypass the Constitutions protections for slavery by surrounding the South with free states, free territories, and free waters. What Republicans called a cordon of freedom, secessionists denounced as an inflammatory circle of fire.
It just wouldn’t be Wednesday of we didn’t again re-fight the War Between the States aka The Civil War aka The War of Northern Aggression.
Actually, it has been a little while since we saw some Southern Dander up.
Got my popcorn...
All hands to Quarters. The Threadnaught is leaving the harbor.
“In this corner, the War Of Northern Aggression team! In the opposite corner, the Treason Of The Slaveholders team! Touch gloves, boys, keep it clean, and go to a neutral corner in the event of a knockdown... No LET’S GET READY to RRRRUUUMMMMMBBBBLLLLLEEEE!!!”
Foremost among these questions was the question of states rights. Did the Southern states have the right to take their ball and go home like a bunch of whiny spoilsport crybabies the first time the country elected a president who publicly opposed slavery? On this question the North and South could not agree. The Southerners insisted that the individual states had the absolute right to withdraw from the Union whenever they desired to do so, and in general took an uncompromisingly strong stance on states rights.
There was also the question of enforcement of federal laws. Did the Northern states have the right to pass laws that hindered the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act? Here again there could be no agreement: the Southerners insisted that the federal law must be supreme, and in general took an uncompromisingly strong stance against states rights.
Then there was the question of the territories. Should slavery be allowed in them or not? Should they be admitted to the Union as slave states or free states? Many Southerners vehemently opposed the Missouri Compromise, which roughly divided the territories between free in the North and slave in the South, on the grounds that each newly admitted state should be allowed to decide the question of slavery for itself. Likewise, Southerners were appalled when California, at its own request, was admitted to the Union as a free state, on the grounds that the admission violated the Missouri Compromise.
So you can see that slavery was in fact the least of the difficulties dividing North and South.
- Dr. H. Albertus Boli
I'd like to see the UN place a bounty on slavers ears.
As far as the war of Northern Aggression, the south should have freed the slaves and THEN fired on Ft. Sumter.
It would be a completely different war today, what with the south having means of production, and raw materials. And many more than 600K dead.
My Parents came to this country in the 1970's, so needless to say, I don't have the "Civil War experience" like the rest of you do and I am still uncertain who was in the right.
Maybe NEITHER was in the right.
I would suggest one read the articles of secession by the Confederate States before answering. (if it wasn’t the primary reason, it was a close second or a catalyst reason).
Get ready to duck. For Yankee and Rebel partisans, the smoke never clears.
1862 slavery became a big issue for the north and Lincoln and to be honest Lincoln played it smart by doing what he did he knew Britain, France and Spain would not join the south.
Had those contries come to the south then we would have a different outcome but then again so many instances would have.
I firmly think that if Jackson my favourite had not died then Leee would not have lost at Gettysburg
Should have freed them and sent them north and let the north do what they wanted with them, send them back or give them freedom
I’ll second that no
There was nothing truly radical about it, though. Even the Founding Fathers looked forward to the eventual end of slavery.
In the short term, however, Lincoln and the Republicans weren't going to rock the boat with sudden moves or lunges.
It was the cause of their deep emotion. States Rights actually meant less, or they would not have imposed the fugitive slave law on the northern states. That was a clear violation of state sovereignty.
I hate to be pedantic... but isn't today technically Thursday? ;)
Here we go again...
Well considering that Salon.com brought it up again ad nausea, nope. But every so often here, the war has to be fought again and again.
I'll let these men attest to who was more correct....
The fireeaters were in charge at the start of the war, but then the moderates like Davis took over. Lee was in favor of enlisting blacks for military purposes, because he could never get enough troops. But the only important figure to argument for emancipation was Pat Cleburne, an outstanding general from Ireland. If he had been in charge instead of Bragg or Hood, Sherman would have had more of a fight on his hands.
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