As some in the South attempted to overthrow the US Constitution, I don't think they were concerned about centralized gov't, as they set up one for themselves. If they wanted out, they should have followed cooler heads, and done so using the US Constitution and the law, rather than the musket. By resorting to the sword, they contributed to making the federal government more centralized. Just the opposite of their hopes.
posted on 06/23/2002 8:01:16 PM PDT
Her writing style aside (some have mentioned in this thread), as Ayn Rand used to say: check your premises. First, after 40 years of trying to to gain fair treatment on tariff issues - they managed to get the average rate down to 15% by 1857, but the southern states were STILL paying 80% of the total, & were seeing precious little in return for all the loot being sent north - in the 1859-60 congressional session the house of reps passed the Morrill tarriff, followed by the Senate in the next session of early 1861, just before Lincoln's inauguration. The Morrill tarriff raised the average rate to 47%! So, they triple the rate, Lincoln comes in, gives his first inaugural address, & says its his duty to collect the tarriff, and as long as that happens, there will be no invasion. Second, while the above was unfolding, the CSA constitution was drafted & it outlawed protectionist tarriffs altogether (they were trying to rectify weaknesses that had been designed into the US constitution by the federalists - NOT create their own mercantilist good-old-boy network...). Until the north became aware of this, there was no hue & cry for the euphemistic 'preservation of the union' - many in the north, including opinion-makers (editorialists & such), were indifferent-to-supportive of southern secession - but when they realized that most trade would flow away from high-tarriff northern ports to low tarriff southern ports, thats when the jingoism began. Third, 7 states seceeded initially; the final 4 joined them later only as the result of Lincoln's unconstitutional invasion. Maryland would have seceded too, but federal troops managed to get there quickly, throw the state government into jail, & garrison the state. Oh, and by the way, merely walking away from a voluntary compact is not 'overthrow' (which is why it is incorrect to refer to the hostilities as a 'civil war'...). The only contribution the south made to centralized government was trying, for far too long, to make a system work in which they obviously had no real input. If they had refused to be the north's sharecroppers much sooner, there may have been a chance for federal republicanism.
posted on 06/23/2002 9:51:05 PM PDT
'As some in the South attempted to overthrow the US Constitution, I don't think they were concerned about centralized gov't, as they set up one for themselves. If they wanted out, they should have followed cooler heads, and done so using the US Constitution and the law, rather than the musket. By resorting to the sword, they contributed to making the federal government more centralized. Just the opposite of their hopes.'
This statement shows how little you know about what happened. The South was trying to peacefully secede. They voted on it in each state, it passed referendum, they wrote out the reasons for secession and presented them to Washington. Lincoln had moved troops down to Ft. Sumter in anticipation of just such a move by the South, however when the South had seceeded Ft. Sumter was no longer a friendly fort, it was being occupied by "foreign invaders". Lincoln also made the unprecedented move of basically starting a war by calling up troops to go and fight.
The South didn't want to overthrow anything! They didn't want to be a part of the Union anymore and wanted the right of self determination guaranteed to them under the intent of the Founding Fathers, and Lincoln et al said "Nope you can't go anywhere and we (the Federal Government) will decide what is good for you!".
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