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 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 07:57 pm
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naakke
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I would love to see some posts using some solid sources.  I appreciate Indy's research on the percentage of slave ownership and I appreciate excellent questions like the one regarding the quote by Grant regarding offering up his sword.  I have contacted 4 authors who have used the quote to find out what the original source is.  No response yet.  But, wow,  it is all over the internet.

I like good primary sources.  Do not spout off unless you have the bibliography to support it.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 08:53 pm
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javal1
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naakke,

Thanks for opening the thread, and I really like the idea of sticking to primary sources.

Having followed discussions like this for many years however, I find they all come down to this: One side claims the war was about a)states rights, or b) sovereignty. The other side claims that the states right (or sovereignty)  in question is almost exclusively the right to hold slaves. So was the war about states rights or slavery?

So what I'd like to see are primary sources which indicate that there was some "states rights" issue other than slavery which so enraged the South that it would have resulted in seccession.



 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 09:07 pm
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naakke
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I am not quite so convinced about Grant's perspective on freedmen and equality.  I would want to see a solid list of his contributions.  I saw one opinion that stated that he did very little.  Well, it is my opinion that as President, Grant did very little about anything, not just freedmen.  Pretty good general, not all that great as president. 

Regarding states rights vs. slavery, it is so hard to see anything else because of the constant drive to maintain the congressional balance.  The compromising that occurred in the 30's, 40's, and 50's had reduced the regional issues to purely academic status.  It was so vital to maintain that senate balance that admitting a state as slave or free overrode all other concerns.  A few sited quotes by Clay, Webster, and Calhoun would be nice.  If I have time to crack some books tonight, I will do a bit of research.



 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 09:16 pm
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calcav
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The July 4, 2005 issue of Time Magazine had a fantastic graphic concerning slavery in 1860. I cut it out and use it frequently at work. It can be found online at

http://www.time.com/time/covers/20050704/graphics/

There is an error in the online version. On the first graphic, the block on the lower left that shows the totals of 1860. The lower right pie chart states the 7.6% owned slaves. The actual figure from the magazine (and the 1860 census) was 30.8%. Also the online graphic does not list the sources for the figures.

Census Bureau, Population of the United States in 1860; Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Census, 1790-1920 by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide; Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research; University of Virginia; estimates on slave imports from The Slave Trade, by Hugh Thomas, 1997 (Simon & Schuster).

Best Regards,

Tom



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 01:28 am
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James Longstreet
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Here is an interesting quote:



So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.


Robert E. Lee, May, 1870


http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Notable%20Lee%20Quotes.htm


By the way, Indy, I would appreciate it if you would stop constantly insulting me.  That quote can be found on the same website as the other quote can be found on.



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 01:45 am
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javal1
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All running feuds need to end. There's getting to be too much sniping and not enough facts. That's not directed towards any one person, but applies to all. I give a little leeway in the Current Affairs threads, but in Civil War matters, we need to get back to the principle of mutual respect.



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 07:24 pm
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younglobo
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OK my 2 cents.... if as stated above  

There is an error in the online version. On the first graphic, the block on the lower left that shows the totals of 1860. The lower right pie chart states the 7.6% owned slaves. The actual figure from the magazine (and the 1860 census) was 30.8%. Also the online graphic does not list the sources for the figures.


The main reason i have a problem with the therory that the Civil War was fought over slavery is if only 30.8% or 7.6% of the population owned slaves that means if you use the higher percentage that 69.2 % of the population did NOT own slaves , either they did not have the means or just didnt own them , I have heard on PBS and HIS channel ect. that only 1 out of 10 soilders had slaves. If this is true why did the other 69.2 % fight ? Must of been for some other reason then IE the war was not entirley a slavery issue , one factor yes  i will give you that , having said a rich plantation owner is gonna have totally different reasons for fighting then a poor dirt farmer. To quote the blue and grey "IM fitin becas you all is down here"



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 07:57 pm
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James Longstreet
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Yeah, I agree on most of that, younglobo.  A dirt poor farmer from the rural South certainly did go off and die for a rich man's slaves.  But that doesn't mean that slavery was not a huge part of the issue.  The average Confederate was poorer than the average Yankee, probably did not own slaves, had a very limited education, and made a living out of farming in some way.  The complete opposite of the average Northerner.  I contend that many young Southern soldiers(At least from the Mountains)probably had not even seen a black man.  This was also probably the case for a lot of the Midwestern Yankees.  So what motivated them to fight?  The same reasons the Colonists fought against the British:  To protect their homeland, to fight against a power they considered foreign and tyrannical, or simply because they believed it was their duty.


Not for fame or reward,
Not for place or for rank,
Not lured by ambition,
Or goaded by necessity,
But in Simple
Obedience to Duty
As they understood it,
These men suffered all,
Sacrificed all,
Dared all--and died.





Inscription on the monument to the dead of the Confederate States Army,
Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Last edited on Wed Aug 16th, 2006 08:00 pm by James Longstreet



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 08:06 pm
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javal1
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I would agree to a certain extent. The Confederacy was no different from the Union in the fact that the rich and powerful decide the war to be fought, and the poor with no power do the fighting. So the question, IMO, should revolve around the cause of the war, not the motivation of the soldiers.

What would be invaluable is a primary source indicating the percentage of slaveholders according to their wealth, since as we all know wealth = power. Don't think the census did that in 1860 - I'll have to check again. It'simportant though to separate the reasons the war started from the reasons the men fought. Two totally different things. Off to look for primary sources....



 Posted: Wed Aug 16th, 2006 09:27 pm
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younglobo
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Gen Longstreet

Sir you have agreed with me twice now sir we must think alike , being held in high asteam by a confederate General

                                          Priceless

LOL

Seriously thanks

but the wife says it swells my head when someone agrees with me



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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:04 pm
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naakke
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When looking at the causes for the war, my reading leads me to the central point being regionalism.  Trace the concept of regionalism back to the roots of the Revolution and I think you will see a VERY powerful motive force.  The regions of our country, prior to mass media, were roughly homogenous in their culture.

Did you wonder why the fervor of the Revolution began in New England?  Sensitivity to English decisions regarding overseas trade maybe was more accute there.  The line is crossed when one region tries to impose its sense of cultural values on another.  As we progressed through the early nineteenth century, identification of a state as either slave or free became a polarizing idea because of the pressures of regionalism and the balance of representation in Congress.

I challenge you all to think through the idea that slavery was only the very visible symptom of a greater problem of detached regionalism.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:12 pm
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javal1
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naakke -

Just want to be sure we're using the same definition. By regionalism, do you mean the agrarian/industrial rift, or do you think that too is a symptom of a deeper definition of regionalism.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:24 pm
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naakke
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I view the term regionalism from a geographic perspective to help identify the cultural identity of a group of people.  You can factor in things like religious majority, economic infrastructure, education infrastructure, transportation networks, availability and types of foods, the national origins of the immigrants that populate the region....

Agrarian vs. industrial certainly makes up a very significant part of the equation between north and south, but then ask yourself, "Why did the North industrialize while the South focussed on agrarian economies of cash crops?"  Can that be tied to the heritage brough over by the immigrant populations when the metropolitan areas were being settled?  How does the microculture of New York City play into the development of the North from 1789 to 1861?

I know it gets deep, but just tossing out slavery as the cause like you are teaching a 7th grade US History class is grossly irresponsible of any one looking for real answers.

The value of this line of thought is not in coming to any conclusions about the Civil War, the true value is in applying the same detailed perspective on modern day issues.  Might keep us from another Civil War if some decent scholars are looking at bigger pictures.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:26 pm
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James Longstreet
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I completely agree, naakke.  Well worded.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:32 pm
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James Longstreet
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Well, you can't just use slavery as the entire cause of the War, because Kentucky had a greater percentage of slave population than Arkansas.  Arkansas seceded, while Kentucky stayed in the Union.  But maybe the eastern half of Arkansas being part of the Delta could have played a part.

Kentucky--23%

Arkansas--20%



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:35 pm
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naakke
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Excellent points, Indy.  So many questions involved.  To answer why they fought, you have to look at why the war was started, to answer that you have to think about why the South secedded in the first place.  To answer that you have to come back to the broader question of why was their animosity and division to begin with.

As a preface, let me point out that I am no supporter of slavery.  But think about this relationship.

Israel for the most part wants to be left in peace to live in what it feels is its sacred land.  Hizbollah, Hamas, and all the others want to kill all Jews and destroy the existence of a Jewish state.  Their perspective is that the Jews stole the land, regardless of the reason, the status quo is a peaceful (debateable) Israel trying to coexist amongst very hostile peoples.  Who has the problem with status quo?  Who picks the fights?

Look back at 1860, who had the problem with status quo?  The radical abolitionists of New England.  Who was the aggressor in pushing an agenda?  I would say it was the same.  I do not think I can blame the plantation owners for being reactionary.  Their way of life was under threat, they were having to face a very different life than that of their fathers and grandfathers.  I am not saying their way of life was right or acceptable, I am saying they felt threatened and reacted the way they saw fit.

 



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