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 Posted: Wed May 20th, 2009 02:10 am
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The Iron Duke
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Just like the First World War, this war had been brewing for decades before the storm finally broke. I don't really buy into the single cause theory any more than I do the idea that 3 days in July irrecovably determined the outcome of a 4 year war.



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 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 01:18 pm
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CoryB
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The main cause was Sectional Tension. Both sides thought they were right on a number of issues and it just spilled over into the war. It already had been before, with an excellent example being Kanas==Jayhawkers vs. Bushwackers. Slavery of course was one of the issues argued about, but it wasn't the issue that sent the armies to war.

The South felt like it was being ruled by a King and felt that it could do better as a Confederation--States Rights, much like America's original Constitution: The Articles of Confederation. Since this was the popular belief, they bravely acted upon it and fired on Sumter to start the long struggle for freedom.

When the North responded, it wasn't to set slaves free, it was to preserve the Union. It's officially called the "War of the Rebellion," not the "War to Free the Slaves." If Lincoln wanted the slaves freed he could have issued the Emancipation Proclamation whenever he wanted, but he chose to wait because if he had set the slaves free earlier, the Civil War would have happened almost immediately, which was something he wanted to avoid. He also waited until it was clear that the Union had a clear cut victory so that it didn't cause a resurgance of forces within the Southern armies.

I'm not trying to downplay the role of slavery in the course of events and it certainly helped pave the road to war, but it was not the actual issues that got the armies to actually fight.

Last edited on Tue May 26th, 2009 01:23 pm by CoryB



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 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 01:57 pm
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susansweet3
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The sectional tension was over slave state vs free state. The Constitution of the Confederacy differs from the US Constitution maninly on one issue. Slavery
The main States Rights was the right to own chattal Property --- slaves.



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 02:59 pm
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ole
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Quite right, Miss Susan. Dig into all those "other" causes and you'll find slavery as the source. No slavery; no war.



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 03:16 pm
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borderuffian
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susansweet3 wrote: The sectional tension was over slave state vs free state. The Constitution of the Confederacy differs from the US Constitution maninly on one issue. Slavery
The main States Rights was the right to own chattal Property --- slaves.

"The sectional tension was over slave state vs free state"

This had been the situation for several decades.

But what was the war about in 1860?



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 04:09 pm
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HankC
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In 1860, the slave states population (including the 4,000,000 disfranchised slaves who counted as 2,400,000 for voting purposes) was no longer large enough to maintain their hegemony in the US government.


HankC



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 04:23 pm
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CoryB
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borderuffian has it right. Slavery was an issue for a long time, but it wasn't the straw the broke the camel's back. Even though the North was more lenient on the issue there were still Northern slave owners and those who felt indifferent on the issue.

As borderuffian said, in 1860/61 the South was fed up with being told what they could and couldn't do. They didn't fire the opening shots of the war to maintain their slaves; they fired to maintain their right to have slaves/property.

Now don't get me wrong, I know slavery is a huge issue here and I'm not trying to down play it at all. It was a big part in paving the way for war. But in 1861, especially with this "Lincoln fellow," and talk of freeing the slaves, the South become severely aggitated about being told what they could and couldn't do especially with property. It'd be like if Tobacco was outlawed. Perhaps not a war, but the South would have been equally as outraged if the United States President had told them that their prize cash crop was now illegal.

I mean I was in Gettysburg a month ago and I saw a LBG giving a talk at the Virginia Monument and a guy with a Confederate Kepi looked across to Cemetery Ridge and shouted, "You sons of b's, you ruined our way of life," and then he walked off leaving the LBG there by himself. I'm sure that gentleman wasn't standing there wishing that there were still slaves, but rather that his ancestors weren't able to live as they wanted in a land that toted freedom as a premium. Nobody will tell you that the Revolutionary War was about slavery.

This is just my point of view at this stage of my life based upon all that I have studied. I respect all of your opinions and I think this is a wonderful debate. I'm just throwing some weight behind what I've come to find over the years. Thank you for giving me a wonderful forum to actually talk about things like this, it's been something that's missing in my life.


 



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 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 04:37 pm
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javal1
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Just MHO - but whoever thought there was A cause of the war? I've never understood that.

 There were two sides fighting - why would anyone assume they were fighting for the same reason? There was a Southern reason and a Northern reason. Whether it's Preserving the Union vs. slavery, Freeing the slaves vs. State's Rights, etc., etc. I'd love to find the first person who asked "What was the Cause of the war?" It creates a false premise, which by definition precludes a valid conclusion. When in history have two opposing sides been fighting for the same reason?



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 04:43 pm
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CoryB
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Haha,

That's your the boss of these here forums.

Whats the line from the movie, "I gotta hand it to you, javal1, You certainly do have a talent for trivializin' the momentous and complicatin' the obvious. You ever considered runnin' for Congress?"

Here Here to the Grumpy Geezer!



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 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 07:12 pm
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TimK
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Semantics. I respect your humble opinion, javal, and I agree the reasons why an individual would fight are as numerous as the individuals themselves. But the topic is, "What Caused the Civil War?". If (and I know ifs don't count) way back in the beginning, cheap labor was thought to be a better system than owning slaves, there would not have been a war. Every reason given for a cause of the war can be traced back to one common denominator, and that is slavery.



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 08:01 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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I do not believe there was one single cause that made everyone all of a sudden arm themselves and go to shootin'......

Would you go to shootin' at somebody over one little thing, or over a bunch of things that accumulated, festered and boiled over in time?

Previously, another poster compared the Civil War to WWI.....I agree with that assessment whoeheartedly. Like that poster, I do not agree that the three days of Gettysburg lost the war for the South as much as 4 years of total fighting did.....



 Posted: Tue May 26th, 2009 10:13 pm
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borderuffian
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Why did the North (supposedly anti-slavery) want to be reunited with 11 'slave' states?

Why was 'Union' valuable to the North, but not to the South?

Let's look at some reasons:

* With secession the South controlled roughly 75% of the coastline.

* The South controlled the outlet of the Mississippi River.

* The profits the North derived from trade with the South was cut off-

...several hundred millions per year to zero.


Last edited on Tue May 26th, 2009 10:26 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2009 12:00 am
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ole
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Why did the North (supposedly anti-slavery) want to be reunited with 11 'slave' states?

As you seem to be hinting at a cause, I guess it's not hijacking to respond to this statement. "Supposedly" is exactly right. The various sections had, within their supposed borders, many different attitudes toward slavery. There were even anti-slavery groups in the south; some historians say there were more than in the north.

Why would they want to be reunited? The U.S. was 80 years into a noble experiment that had not been tried before. The experiment worked so well that the U.S. was taking its place among world leaders to the extent that its compliance was sought in international trade and law.

There were more than a few in the north who advised letting them go, but cooler heads prevailed in that the U.S. would no longer be the U.S. without all the parties to ratification of the Constitution. (Here I'm assuming that territories asking admission were actually ratifying it.)
Why was 'Union' valuable to the North, but not to the South?

Your're saying that the Union was not valuable to much of the South? That's pushing supposition a bit far, isn't it?

Let's look at some reasons:

* With secession the South controlled roughly 75% of the coastline.


And it was going to what with that coastline? There was no southern merchant fleet and, with the exception of New Orleans, the ports were substandard. Along that majority of coastline, recount for me the yards capable of building a sea-going vessel.
* The South controlled the outlet of the Mississippi River.

And when the river was closed, the northwestern farmers switched to railroads. The closing was damaging, but not a coup de gras.
* The profits the North derived from trade with the South was cut off-
...several hundred millions per year to zero.

What the North got from the south was cotton, tobacco, rice, and a dab of sugar ... and the shipping and financing thereof. (See above; no southern merchant fleet.) What the South got from the North was everything else, including hay and grain, and including imports, as the foreign trade didn't put into southern ports except to pick up cotton, rice and tobacco. (They had no need of southern sugar.)

I'd agree that Northern income might suffer a dip, which was why the industrialists pleaded with Buchanan and Lincoln to not start a war, (they figured the business would come back), but the north did not live by southern purchases. It would have been inconvenienced, to be sure, but it's a weak argument to conclude that the north went to war because the north wanted to retain the south's business.

Will you be bringing up tariffs next?

Ole



 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2009 07:34 pm
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bschulte
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ole wrote: Quite right, Miss Susan. Dig into all those "other" causes and you'll find slavery as the source. No slavery; no war.
This pretty much puts into a nutshell my own feelings on the issue.



 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2009 11:45 pm
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borderuffian
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ole wrote: Why was 'Union' valuable to the North, but not to the South?

Your're saying that the Union was not valuable to much of the South? That's pushing supposition a bit far, isn't it?
They did secede.

Let's look at some reasons:

* With secession the South controlled roughly 75% of the coastline.


And it was going to what with that coastline? There was no southern merchant fleet and,
There was a merchant fleet in Europe.  You know, the ones that imported cotton. with the exception of New Orleans, the ports were substandard.A mattter that could change. Along that majority of coastline, recount for me the yards capable of building a sea-going vessel.New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and a few places in Virginia.
* The South controlled the outlet of the Mississippi River.

And when the river was closed, the northwestern farmers switched to railroads. The closing was damaging, but not a coup de gras.
Cost more.
* The profits the North derived from trade with the South was cut off-
...several hundred millions per year to zero.

What the North got from the south was cotton, tobacco, rice, and a dab of sugar ... and the shipping and financing thereof. (See above; no southern merchant fleet.)
Yes, that is part of what they lose.  The shipping will be replaced by England, France, and others.  An English or French ship brings in the imports, returns to Europe with cotton.  No Yankee middleman.  No shipping, no commissions.  No imports to sell South.I'd agree that Northern income might suffer a dip, which was why the industrialists pleaded with Buchanan and Lincoln to not start a war, (they figured the business would come back)That was their stance for a while until they finally realized how much they were going to lose.  They were the ones who paid for the war.



 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2009 03:35 am
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19bama46
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so,
We are all agreed, the sole cause of the war was slavery,
The south was bad because they paracticed it, the north was good because they opposed it, Lincoln was great cause he came to oppose it..
We now have just covered about 60 years of history in 2 sentences...
class adjourned...lets go get a beer....
Uh Javal, you can close the board now...everything is decided...



 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2009 12:43 pm
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ole
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borderuffian wrote: ole wrote: Why was 'Union' valuable to the North, but not to the South? Your're saying that the Union was not valuable to much of the South? That's pushing supposition a bit far, isn't it?They did secede. With what amounts to criminal impetuosity. Do we need to go through the procedures state by state? More than a few states rammed secession through without consulting their people Let's look at some reasons: * With secession the South controlled roughly 75% of the coastline. And it was going to what with that coastline? There was no southern merchant fleet and,There was a merchant fleet in Europe.  You know, the ones that imported cotton You missed the part where that merchant fleet put into northern ports with its cargo, and went to southern ports to pick up cotton. How was that going to change? with the exception of New Orleans, the ports were substandard.A mattter that could changeI was a matter that "could" have changed at any time, but it wasn't. What makes you think it was a situation that could be turned around in a year?[/shadow] Along that majority of coastline, recount for me the yards capable of building a sea-going vessel.New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and a few places in Virginia. Agreed. They COULD have established a shipyard. But they didn't. Any idea how long it takes to build a shipyard and staff it?[/shadow] * The South controlled the outlet of the Mississippi River. And when the river was closed, the northwestern farmers switched to railroads. The closing was damaging, but not a coup de gras.Cost more.Yes, it did. And it irritated the farmers no end. How to win friends and influence people .... not. * The profits the North derived from trade with the South was cut off- ...several hundred millions per year to zero. What the North got from the south was cotton, tobacco, rice, and a dab of sugar ... and the shipping and financing thereof. (See above; no southern merchant fleet.)Yes, that is part of what they lose.  The shipping will be replaced by England, France, and others.  An English or French ship brings in the imports, returns to Europe with cotton.  No Yankee middleman.  No shipping, no commissions.  No imports to sell South Those ports had decades of opportunity to work on that problem. The basic thing to overcome was that the goods were bought in the north and then transhipped to the few in the south that bought them. Imported goods go to merchants that buy; the south had little structure in the mercantile field. This was going to change overnight?I'd agree that Northern income might suffer a dip, which was why the industrialists pleaded with Buchanan and Lincoln to not start a war, (they figured the business would come back)That was their stance for a while until they finally realized how much they were going to lose.  They were the ones who paid for the war. Correction: They were not the only ones who paid for the war. 620,000 paid for the war. The funds came from those who bought bonds. Upon the loss, Confederate bondholders got stiffed; Union bondholders got their money back. With whatever interest was promised.[/shadow] Secession was ill-advised from the get go. I think the pushers knew that and went ahead anyway. The more I look into it, the more confused I get. There was a system that worked just fine. It was a system that could have been evolved more toward benefitting the south than the north, But it wasn't done. South Carolina had a good port in Charleston that needed only some improvement and maintenance. That wasn't done. Savannah? Ditto. There were no merchants to purchase, warehouse, and wholesale the imports. Why not? If you had the wherewithall, you invested in more land and more slaves. Something got derailed somewhere in there. Why wasn't there a merchant class in the south? Why didn't the imports flow into southern ports? The solution to the south's problems ought to have been obvious. Nothing was done to correct it. Why? Looks like I've screwd up the response.



 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2009 03:49 pm
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javal1
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Ole, I went into your message and removed the red shadow since I couldn't read a word of it. Hope you don't mind.



 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2009 06:32 pm
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ole
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Glad you did. I just wanted color to separate my response.  Thanks and my apologies.



 Posted: Fri May 29th, 2009 03:39 pm
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borderuffian
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They did secede.

Ole- Do we need to go through the procedures state by state? More than a few states rammed secession through without consulting their people.

The delegates to secession conventions were elected by the people, and their views on union or disunion were know at the time they were elected.

*******

There was a merchant fleet in Europe. You know, the ones that imported cotton

Ole- You missed the part where that merchant fleet put into northern ports with its cargo, and went to southern ports to pick up cotton. How was that going to change?

They deliver their goods to Southern ports. 'Direct trade' as they called it. No middleman.

*******

New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and a few places in Virginia.

Ole- Agreed. They COULD have established a shipyard. But they didn't. Any idea how long it takes to build a shipyard and staff it?

No, not going to establish a shipyard.  They DID have shipyards.

******* 

An English or French ship brings in the imports, returns to Europe with cotton. No Yankee middleman. No shipping, no commissions. No imports to sell South.

Ole- Those ports had decades of opportunity to work on that problem. The basic thing to overcome was that the goods were bought in the north and then transhipped to the few in the south that bought them. Imported goods go to merchants that buy; the south had little structure in the mercantile field.

True, but in 1861 european interests were already starting to change that situation.

*******

That was their stance for a while until they finally realized how much they were going to lose. They were the ones who paid for the war.

Ole- Union bondholders got their money back. With whatever interest was promised.

Yes, follow the money.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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