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Was the Civil War Actually About Slavery? ^ | 8/29/12 | James Oakes

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 1860–61 – 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 Constitution’s 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.


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: americancivilwar; civilwar; confiscation; demokkkrats; dixie; fff; inthesouthfirst; lincoln; mediawingofthednc; partisanmediashills; slavery; thenthenorth; warbetweenthestates; yesofcourseitwas
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To: PeaRidge

41 posted on 08/30/2012 3:27:36 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tyrannies demand immense sacrifices of their people to produce trifles.-Marquis de Custine)
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To: PeaRidge

These threads are better than the Hatfields and McCoys mini-series.

42 posted on 08/30/2012 3:29:42 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: manc

They couldn’t send them north. Thy northern states didn’t want them. Many northern states had laws against “Negros” moving into the state.

Here is a good article about the northern states’ “Black Codes”.

43 posted on 08/30/2012 3:30:40 PM PDT by SUSSA
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To: freedumb2003
Thanks for shortening it a day

No problem. Cooks can do things like that. Without slaves. ;)


44 posted on 08/30/2012 3:31:05 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: PeaRidge

Slavery was an issue of State’s rights, but many things other than State’s rights also contributed to the war, including the economic tyranny the southern States were receiving in the Congress from the northern States. Lots of hatred went into that war, same as today.

45 posted on 08/30/2012 3:31:18 PM PDT by CodeToad (Be Prepared...They Are.)
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To: silentreignofheroes; crz
The South was Right. There, now you know.

But others say the North was right, or maybe neither was right.

Want to know who really starated this whole thing way back before that? The monarchy in Europe.

But the U.K. Abolished it's slaves before the U.S. and did not fight a Civil War over it.

(I am just presenting counter-arguments I hear alot to those positions, again this discussion is passionate for many people and I wish to know, because I fear we face the very real danger of second one not so far down along the road)

46 posted on 08/30/2012 3:32:43 PM PDT by KC_Lion (Normalcy results in the creation of life, Sodomy results in AIDS)
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To: mnehring

“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).”

If you believe that then you should read Lincoln’s inaugural address where he wasn’t going to interfere with slavery so the South had no reason to believe he would.

47 posted on 08/30/2012 3:33:26 PM PDT by CodeToad (Be Prepared...They Are.)
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To: freedumb2003

Hey, I’m a born, bred and still living in the South.

It’s the “Act” of Northern Agression! lol

Or as our southern belles would say, “that unpleasantness”.

48 posted on 08/30/2012 3:33:26 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are useless and useful idiots.)
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To: laweeks
The slavery issue was a bit hypocritical, since the North didn’t really have any cash crop that needed slaves. So their looking down their noses at the South was a but much.

You raise a good point here. The North didn't need slaves because some of its labor-intensive industries -- like coal mining in Pennsylvania, for example -- had access to plenty of cheap labor who didn't cost anything to "buy" ... in the form of immigrants from Ireland and Wales.

49 posted on 08/30/2012 3:34:32 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
There were PLENTY of slaves up north - and I don’t mean freed slaves.

Yes, it 'twas a problem . . . but turning so many of them to freedom caused all kinds of logistical problems, especially since most of them were illiterate and had few skills.

Even for those Negroes who fought for the North, equal pay didn't come for many years after the war was over.

Lincoln was on to something with the Liberia idea, but it wasn't handled too well. Anyway, sending them back to a continent that sold them wholesale into slavery wasn't too appealing to the Negroes.

50 posted on 08/30/2012 3:34:38 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: JRandomFreeper
It's always been done by the Moslems along their trade routes from Zanzibar to Aoudaghost to Marrakech; that was the Black trade. The Tukrs or Ottomans, also Moslems, practiced slavery as well but that was the White slave trade, raiding the Balkans for women and children. The blacks were traded away by blacks to the Arabs, bought in lots by the Portuguese and Spanish and sent to the Caribbean and South America, some were sent to some of southern states for plantation workers but even knowing that bit of history guess who bears the burden of blame.
51 posted on 08/30/2012 3:35:29 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (69 days)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Wow, have times changed. Or the perceptions!

52 posted on 08/30/2012 3:35:49 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are useless and useful idiots.)
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correct, Lincoln himself voted to keep blacks out of IL.

Either way we all look at it , I think we all have to admit that over 600,000 people lost their lives, the south lost at least two generations and millions of blacks were going around the country wiht no idea what to do and yes many women were raped, killed etc,

A tragedy , a true tragedy.

53 posted on 08/30/2012 3:36:05 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: PeaRidge

My take on the history books is the north had manufacturing w/slaves and the south had raw materials w/slaved. The south started manufacturing so the rich northerners put the pressure on to eliminate slavery in the south only to keep the south from manufacturing. Hence the argument over states rights which only incidentally involved slavery.

Whats worrisome to me is history seems to be repeating itself, north imposing itself on the “non-north”.

54 posted on 08/30/2012 3:37:05 PM PDT by vet7279
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To: PeaRidge
Confederate States of America A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School


The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states thereof, The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union . . . Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare . . . 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. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy . . . When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude. The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution . . . designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions . . . In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States . . . By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights . . . They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture . . . They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides. They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose . . . They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State . . . 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; 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. By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South . . . Source: ASCII Text Prepared by Justin Sanders from E.W. Winkler, ed., *Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas*, pp61-66.

55 posted on 08/30/2012 3:38:59 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: PeaRidge
Forgotten Moments In Confederate History

Late 1864: In an attempt to fill the dwindling ranks of their army without resorting to recruiting free blacks and slaves, the Confederacy resorted to a brief, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt at recruiting Oompa Loompas.


56 posted on 08/30/2012 3:40:06 PM PDT by Delhi Rebels (There was a row in Silver Street - the regiments was out.)
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To: Leaning Right
In 1861, if you asked the average Northerner what he was fighting for he'd have said the Union, the flag.

Slavery didn't become the war's focus for Northerners until later, after much blood had already been shed.

If you'd asked a secessionist politician in 1861 why he wanted secession, you might get an answer about "our Southern way of life" or "Southern rights," but scratch the veneer and you'd know what was underneath.

If you asked an average Southern soldier, he might say "state's rights" or "our way of life" or "the Yankees attacked us," or even "slavery."

I'll give the fighting man the benefit of the doubt, but those who started the secessionist movement and the war were pretty clear about what they feared and what they wanted.

Check out the secession declarations of the various states.

57 posted on 08/30/2012 3:40:50 PM PDT by x
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To: KC_Lion

This could turn into somewhat of a history lesson.Just remember,the victors write the books.To me slavery was on it’s way out.It was about taxes,and expansion of slavery.The government stepping in and telling states what they can and can not do . Sounds almost like modern times.

58 posted on 08/30/2012 3:41:57 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes
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To: PeaRidge
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

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


"fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right . . . The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation . . . the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations . . . but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation . . . The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor. 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 . . . 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. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens . . . On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States. Source: ASCII Text Prepared by Justin Sanders from J.A. May & J.R. Faunt, *South Carolina Secedes* (U. of S. Car. Pr, 1960), pp76-81.

59 posted on 08/30/2012 3:42:12 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: Alberta's Child
You raise a good point here. The North didn't need slaves because some of its labor-intensive industries -- like coal mining in Pennsylvania, for example -- had access to plenty of cheap labor who didn't cost anything to "buy" ... in the form of immigrants from Ireland and Wales.

And yet, poor as they were, they weren't too keen on picking cotton for no wages and getting whipped ...

60 posted on 08/30/2012 3:46:36 PM PDT by x
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