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 Posted: Fri May 29th, 2009 08:01 pm
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barrydancer
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"Yes, follow the money."

As in the billions of dollars of human property that would be lost if the irrational and reactionary fears of Southern leaders in regards to Lincoln and the Republican Party had come to fruition?

Or are greed and starting a war to protect your investments only applicable to the North?



 Posted: Sat May 30th, 2009 12:43 am
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ole
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Guess I'm obliged to respond.

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.

*******Try reading that again, not all secession conventions were elected by the people. Have a real close look at Texas and Tennessee.

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. Yup. There was one. And direct trade would have been of enormous benefit to the Confederacy. Unfortunately, the merchant fleets put into northern ports where there was cash money to pay for what they carried. Then they dropped south to pick up cotton on the trip home. I don't know how quickly that might have been adjusted so that the merchant fleet might have made first landfall on southern soil. But they didn't, and no amount of wishing or coulda/shoulda changes that.

*******

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.  Name two, and the ships they built.

******* 

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.
This is what ought to have been. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Check out the duties paid in all the ports.
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. I'm not from Missouri, but you still must show me.

*******

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.

You have yet to say something that actually happened or, at least, might have. The south had no merchant fleet and the European merchant fleets made a bee-line to Philadelphia, New York or Boston. Few to none put in at Charleston, Savannah, Mobile or New Orleans except to pick up cotton. Saying otherwise doesn't make it so.




 Posted: Sat May 30th, 2009 02:09 am
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borderuffian
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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.

*******Try reading that again, not all secession conventions were elected by the people. Have a real close look at Texas and Tennessee.

**********************************

Sure.

Texas-

The delegates to the Texas Secession Convention were elected.  They passed an Ordinance of Secession by a 166-8 margin and the ordinance was also was approved by popular vote.

Tennessee-

Tennessee's separation from the Union was made by the State Legislature (an elected body).

It was submitted to the vote of the people and passed by an overwhelming margin.




 Posted: Sat May 30th, 2009 05:25 am
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Henry
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Regarding the lack of Southern ability to construct a Navy, granted not a condition of cause, but certainly a major contributor to the outcome, there was one major marine construction site in the South. Norfolk possessed the largest naval organization in the U.S. That ships were not built there is due to the need to use the facilities for maintainance without tieing up same. The Scott "Anaconda Plan", honed by John Gross Barnard, took the need to reduce Southern industrial efforts quickly into consideration. The addition of the attack from the Louisiana delta northward was in recognition of increasing industrial capacity in Department Number 1's city of New Orleans.
Shipbuilding in general in the Americas never reached its possible potential until the U.S. Civil War. A controlled dependence on Europe appears to have been maintained.
As the topic of this thread does not appear to have lost any steam I'll fade back into the backgound and read of the causes as they are argued.



 Posted: Sat May 30th, 2009 01:22 pm
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ole
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Tennessee's separation from the Union was made by the State Legislature (an elected body).

For a group supposedly trying to return to the Constitution of the Founding Fathers, Tennessee didn't follow the rule book. State legislature's didn't ratify the Constitution, special conventions, elected for the purpose, did.

But it's rather silly to argue against an equally silly idea.



 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 02:33 pm
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HankC
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Until the war, and compared to New England, the South had little need for shipbuilding - at least for ocean-going vessels.

New England, on the other hand, had long depended on whalers and fisherman to bring home basic life staples. In the South, smaller boats were all that were required for oysters and crabs. Fish made annual runs up the rivers where they were easily netted and salted. There was little incentive for Southern shipyards to produce ocean-going vessels.

Also, Southern forests lacked the tall, straight white oaks required for building large ships. They tended to grow far from the coast (being long cut down nearby) and in great demand locally for buildings, railroad ties and fences.

It wasn't greed or lack of vision that denied the South it's shipyards. Merely, the basic ecnomics of supply and demand...


HankC



 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 04:12 pm
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ole
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It wasn't greed or lack of vision that denied the South it's shipyards. Merely, the basic ecnomics of supply and demand...

Most all available southern capital went into slaves and land. There was no interest in schools or businesses or making things better for anyone but the planter.

Railroads were built to get cotton to the nearest available navigable river; not to connect markets. The nabobs had no inclination to build or buy their merchant ships, nor to establish financing coalitions, insurance companies and all that background activity having to do with selling cotton. They did, however have decades of opportunity to do so and the time to complain bitterly how the nasty north was making money off their cotton. I'd call that a lack of vision and, if greed can be defined as "me, me, me," I can throw that in, as well.

Foreign ships put into southern ports to pick up cotton; precious few put into those ports to deliver European goods. There is your supply and demand. Except for the planters, the tiny, southern middle class simply could not demand enough to sustain a supply.

There were voices warning of this lack of vision. They were ignored. There was a groundswell in the 1850's south to industrialize and approach par with the north. There was little interest in it.



 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 05:26 pm
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borderuffian
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"In the South, smaller boats were all that were required for oysters and crabs."

"The nabobs had no inclination to build or buy their merchant ships"

===============================================

There is no question that the North, having more industry, built more ships, but the idea being advanced here that the South built none is inaccurate.

"In 1860, the South built only 236 vessels, having a total tonnage of 39,478 [average-167 tons]; while the North built 835 vessels, having a total tonnage of 173,414 [average-207 tons]."

Economic History of the South, p.281



 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 06:50 pm
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ole
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There is no question that the North, having more industry, built more ships, but the idea being advanced here that the South built none is inaccurate.

No one is arguing that there were none. The point here is ocean-going vessels.

"In 1860, the South built only 236 vessels, having a total tonnage of 39,478 [average-167 tons]; while the North built 835 vessels, having a total tonnage of 173,414 [average-207 tons]."

Can't play the "average" game here.  Southern shipyards could have turned out 36 riverboats (with engines made in northern foundaries) and 200 fishing boats and reach the average of 167 tons. Northern shipyards could have turned out 135 ocean-going vessels 100 riverboats and 600 fishing- and pleasure-boats and reached the average of 207 tons.

The southern states with ports -- Virginia, North and South Carolina, Alabama and New Orleans -- ought to have been able to put a fleet of merchant ships to sea. All contented themselves with complaining about the cost of relying on the north for the bulk of its shipping. I do see that a lack of vision and the hardening of brain blood-vessels due to the aristocratic dependency on slavery as a labor source and investment.

Ole



 Posted: Mon Jun 1st, 2009 07:58 pm
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ashbel
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It seems to me that slavery was the key issue (although I like the Taco theory).

But it really came down to certain states and the individuals in those states not wanting to be told what to do by a central government.  The problem with all of these 21st century discussions of what caused the 19th century Civil War is that they lack the perspective of the time.

The issue of states versus national government clearly had not been resolved.  Think about this - the time that had elapsed from the creation of the United States to the start of the Civil War was about the same amount of time that has elapsed between the end of WW II and today.  There were many powerful men on both sides that had parents who were there when the Union was created.  Many said - this is not what we had in mind when we agreed to this USA thing.

 



 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 12:33 am
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ole
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It seems to me that slavery was the key issue (although I like the Taco theory).

I like Taco/equator theory myself, it makes much more sense than what actually happened.
But it really came down to certain states and the individuals in those states not wanting to be told what to do by a central government.  The problem with all of these 21st century discussions of what caused the 19th century Civil War is that they lack the perspective of the time.

The problem here is that there was no central government telling them what they ought to do. There were those in the north (and in the south) that figured slavery had to go away. Those in the south soon learned to shut up and go away; those in the north did not. But there was never any governmental power pushing them to do it this way.

The perspective of the time is pretty much what it is right now. Abortion. Gun Contrtol. Corporate welfare. Welfare for those who don't work. Universal health care. All of the groups out there are vocal. None of them has the power to overrun the opposition.
The issue of states versus national government clearly had not been resolved.  Think about this - the time that had elapsed from the creation of the United States to the start of the Civil War was about the same amount of time that has elapsed between the end of WW II and today.  There were many powerful men on both sides that had parents who were there when the Union was created.  Many said - this is not what we had in mind when we agreed to this USA thing.
And many more saw the forward steps available to a united group of states of like mind. Those who felt their preferences were going along swimminingly far outweighed  those who felt that their destiny was dependent on slave labor and King Cotton. If you want to call that a tyranny of the majority, so be it.

This country was founded, for good or ill, on the rule of the majority ... and the protection of the rights of the minority. Every four years, the minority has an opportunity to switch power around. This rule bounced around some over the next few years, but it remains that the southern states (with that 3/5 provision) held the power for many, many of the formative years. (I think it was like 70 of the 80 years.)

That "many said - this is not what we had in mind when we agreed to this USA thing," doesn't really stand up to the fact that the south controlled the congress, presidency, Supreme Court and major cabinet detartments for almost all of 80 years. It becomes a little late to start saying this isn't what we had in mind.

Sorry, ashbel. That dog don't hunt.

Ole

 

 



 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 02:04 am
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HankC
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You describe a South that never really left colonial status: producing great quantities of raw materials depending on the mother country for both shipment and market...


HankC



 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 03:09 am
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19bama46
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That is very well put Hank...

That describes the anti-bellm south perfectly..

But, if that is the life they wanted, and obviously it was, or they would have changed it...

is that wrong?



 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 04:53 am
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The Iron Duke
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The Democrats, Federalists, and Whigs were all national parties.  There was no southern party to bubble in on a ballot.  Zachary Taylor was a southern whig whereas Andrew Jackson was a southern democrat.  Two different parties representing two different ideologies.  Southerners could not have become President or won appointments to cabinet positions and the Supreme Court if they didn't have support from northerners.  In fact there was a term for such northerners: doughfaces.  How could the south by itself have controlled the House much less win the Presidency with a minority population? 

 

 

 

Last edited on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 07:53 am by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 02:18 pm
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ashbel
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Ole

I didn't know I had a dog that was trying to hunt.

I agree with your points.  I especially like your description of a democracy which is majority rule while respecting the rights of the minority.  Most people do not understand this - especially in countries without a history of a democracy.

My point was that we need to consider the pre-Civil War mentality.  One of the main reasons to study the Civil War is that it was the pivotal event in American History.  The War changed the States vs. national government dynamic. 

 



 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 01:48 am
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ole
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How could the south by itself have controlled the House much less win the Presidency with a minority population? 

The Constitution itself gave the south extra voting power in the "3/5th" clause. At the time, the "south" had equivalence in population and industry with the "north." But then the industrial revolution kicked in ... and a flood of immigration.

And why didn't this industrial revolution and immigration awaken in the slave states? I see only one reason ... the Jeffersonian dedication that gentlemen farmed, owned slaves to do the work, and disdained manufacturing. So the immigrants stayed north and fueled the factories with their labor. The money and the votes stayed north. The south began to lose its voting power. And it was losing because of an aristocratic ideal based on slavery.

I've read where the south, in 1860, had 50,000 factory workers. The north had 50,000 factories. Why? Slavery.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 02:06 am
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ole
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The War changed the States vs. national government dynamic. 

Actually, ashbel, I don't think it did.

The Federal government went on pretty much as it had, with the exception of Reconstruction. It rolled along that way until Teddy Roosevelt and took that big dip with his cousin Franklin. But I will agree that the war granted permission.

Ole

 



 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 02:38 am
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The Iron Duke
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The 3/5th clause was not enough to equalize the population disparity.  Please show one Presidential election where the electoral votes of the south outnumbers the north.  It doesn't exist.  Even if you count the Border states as southern the north still outnumbers the south at every turn.  The south didn't have the majority population to control the House; the best they could hope for in the Senate would be an equality. 

The south, by itself, did not have the power to push through an agenda; it could only be done with the aid of sympathetic northerners.  And if the north felt so terrible about slaveowners being in so many positions of power, well then they shouldn't have voted for them and their sympathizers.

Last edited on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 02:45 am by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 01:05 pm
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Henry
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On consideration of basic fundemental political outlooks it appears as if the Jeffersonians formed the South and those Hamiltonians were of the Northern persuasion.

Given the political statistics mentioned above by Iron Duke the South was pressured by the possibility of becoming a vassal state of the North. Newspaper clippings I have of the period (The Buffalo Advertizer) show the interests of a Southern man just before the secession started. Kansas Territory, Industrialization, Federal Senate minutes. What was a Southerner doing reading a Northern paper? Why, they came into Norfolk on the Nashville during the south run to Charleston.



 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 01:30 pm
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Henry
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"Resolved by the Confederate States of America in Congress Assembled, That it is the sense of this Congress that a commission of three persons be appointed by the President elect, as early as may be convenient after his inauguration, and sent to the government of the United States of America, for the purpose of negotiating friendly relations between that government and the Confederate States of America, and for the settlement of all questions of disagreement between the two governments upon principles of right, justice, equity, and good faith."
Adopted February 15, 1861.



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