T Nation

Celebrating Secession?


#1

This should be good for a real knockdown, dragout debate about the origins of the Civil War, states' rights, the right (or lack thereof) to secede and so on.

Thoughts?


#2

I don't know, but for me. It seems as if it wasn't about slavery at first.


#3

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. "


#4

Secession was not illegal.

Why did the poor southern farmer who couldnt even afford slaves fight? Because his home was invaded.

Slavery was a part of a larger problems looming between north and south. Not about to deny its importance, but I deny it was the sole cause.


#5

I liked the bit where Denzel Washington took the flag and charged that fort.


#6

The Constitution also says that the Union is perpetual.


#7

The poor farmer who couldn't afford slaves fought because he was conscripted into doing so. States where there were few slaveowners invariably had high desertion rates after the first year or so of fighting. Most poor Southerners, while they certainly had no love for the North, did not want to fight the war at all because it was not a cause that really affected them.

The states' rights thing is kind of a fallacy. The issue wasn't states' rights in and of itself; it was whether or not states had the right to preserve slavery. To frame the war now as a states' rights issue first and slavery issue second is a bit revisionist. The war was actually very unpopular for most Southerners because most did not own slaves and therefore saw no point in seeing their states turn into a battleground to preserve the work force for the elite.


#8

The real reason Lincoln stopped the south from seceding was purely financial. The Union stood to lose a lot of tax revenue if the south seceded. It was never about ending slavery but rather about retaining power in Washington.

Every person or group of persons should have the right to secede from any level of government that they wish.


#9

True, most poor southerners didnt want war at the outset, but upon an invasion of their homes, they took up arms and fought.

And I know states rights alone is a fallacy, and claiming slavery had nothing to do with it is a fallacy. Both were parts of a greater divide forming between North and South. The Tariff of Abominations and the resulting nullification crisis threatened to split the country 30 years before the war.


#10

Hahahaha! Apparently he did not believe his own rhetoric. Politicians, huh?


#11

Where?


#12

Doesn't matter. Ultimately it was justified with emancipation.


#13

Well, I would believe you except for one thing: not once in any speech Lincoln ever made or in any letter he ever wrote did he ever say that he went to war for financial reasons. You're simply projecting your own suspicions onto him with this assumption.


#14

Well, sure they took up arms when their homes were invaded and so forth, but that says nothing about whether or not the war was about slavery or states' rights. Those poor S'erners fought for neither of those reasons.


#15

Are we agreeing? I am not sure what we are disagreeing over anymore.


#16

I think we are! Shit, I see agreement happen so little on this forum I can't even spot it when it happens to me anymore.


#17

So because a sociopathic politician is not honest about his motives I am wrong...? Illogical.


#18

That is really the best one can say about Lincoln.

He kind of stumbled into freeing American slaves and all it took him was the suspension of habeas corpus, cangooroo courts, the execution of people disagreeing with him and killing 600000 of his own citizens even though everywhere else it was acieved without too much bloodshed.

Wicked job!


#19

He did however repeatedly and specifically state that he did not care about slavery, one way or the other.


#20

I would have been willing to discuss this issue in an intelligent manner with you, but after you referred to Lincoln as a sociopath I see no reason to lend you any creedence anymore. There is nothing in the historical record to suggest that Lincoln was a sociopath, just like there is nothing in the historical record to even suggest that Lincoln was primarily motivated by economic means.