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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2013 08:13 pm
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MildMan
Just Testing Ideas
 

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Thanks for the insights JG6789. I do not know much about the Federalist period or the political debates that were going on at that time.

I am not saying I agree with the South Carolina argument for secession, just that the arguments are at first, stated clearly and pass a straight face test. However the whole document is defiant and confrontative – as if the act of secession is entirely the fault of the North. Ironically, this anger was provoked by the election of Lincoln, an event that southerners could have been prevented by not splitting the Democratic Party! And in April 1861 they compounded their error and dared the north to fight, by firing on a fort days before it was going to be evacuated.

Consequently I categorize the document of secession, and secession itself as the work of “hot heads” rather than thoughtful leaders or politicians. Had Southerners pursued another course, they might have seceded without war.

The SC secession document calls the constitution “a compact between the states”. My understanding of legal agreements is that they are binding on both parties, but can be terminated though mutual agreement. It is possible that Northerners faced with an unhappy marriage, might given in secession to avoid aggravation. But SC decided to exit a legal agreement, unilaterally without negotiation - then declared war to boot!

Those that have heard my argument say that Lincoln would never have allowed that. To which I counter, he was an unproven and possibly powerless President in 1861. It was war that gave him immense power. Others have said war was inevitable, and I respond that war was inevitable only after Fort Sumter. It was the south that wanted war, to unite the states of the confederacy.

I appreciate our discussion of ideas. Unfortunately, some on this discussion board are more interested in perpetuating the “lost cause” mythology than exploring ideas. My analysis of southern leader’s decisions (and the other alternatives they had) and my mention of what secession documents say about the reasons for secession (perpetuation of slavery) does not fit with the mythology and leads to a stony silence….

Last edited on Sun Feb 24th, 2013 08:16 pm by MildMan

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