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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:45 pm
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naakke
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I learned an interesting bit of information when we were working on the trivia question the other day about Bedford County, Tennessee.  Did anyone else notice how much Union support that was found in Bedford County?  I know eastern TN stayed fairly pro-Union, but I am wondering why this one area in central TN contributed so many men to both sides.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:46 pm
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naakke
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Good question, I have no statistics, Indy.  Wonder if there is any writings on that out there.  I guess my perspective is based more on a body of writing than a specific study or research.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:46 pm
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javal1
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All talk regarding insults, replies to insults, perceptions of insult, speculation about insults, etc. needs to be taken to private mail. I don't want this thread, which has so much potential, mucked up. Thank you.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 05:07 pm
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javal1
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naake,

I'm curious about the reason you specify New England abolitionist movements. I'm aware that they were loud and vocal, not to mention determined. Do you see a fundamental difference between them and groups like Quakers, the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, the Manumission movement, etc. Did New England abolitionists actually accomplish more, or do we point to New England for some reason I'm missing (quite possible) ?



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 05:13 pm
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naakke
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The New Englander gets a certain amount of iconic stigma.  Probably because of Beecher's particularly loud voice.  I read a sermon of his once and he spent more time preaching against the evils of slavery than anything relating to the Bible.  I probably hang the term around the New Englander's neck too broadly, but it is just my opinion that they seemed to be more vocal and ardent.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 05:28 pm
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calcav
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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.

 

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.


In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

When studying the causes of the war I prefer to go directly to the source. In thier own words the commisioners from Mississippi told the world their reasons for leaving the union. This topic can be analyzed at great length, but, as always, I prefer to hear in their own words why they felt the urgency to depart the union.

Also, concerning Union sentiment in Tennessee; I live in Hardin County which is split in not quite half by the Tennessee River. The west bank was very pro south while the east bank was pro north. Hardin County supplied men to the Confederacy early in hte war. When the Union came up the river (southward) a large number of men joined northern regiments and also as crewmen on the gunboats.

Best regards,

Tom



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 05:39 pm
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James Longstreet
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Look Indy, I don't think it really matters where I assumed you insulted me, because that doesn't have anything to do with the discussion at hand.  Concerning the post about Mississippi secession, wouldn't the reason of secession differ between the states which seceded before and after Fort Sumter?



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 05:57 pm
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calcav
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Longstreet,

A good point.

Whereas, in addition to the well-founded causes of complaint set forth by this convention, in resolutions adopted on the 11th of March, A.D. 1861, against the sectional party now in power in Washington City, headed by Abraham Lincoln, he has, in the face of resolutions passed by this convention pledging the State of Arkansas to resist to the last extremity any attempt on the part of such power to coerce any State that had seceded from the old Union, proclaimed to the world that war should be waged against such States until they should be compelled to submit to their rule, and large forces to accomplish this have by this same power been called out, and are now being marshaled to carry out this inhuman design; and to longer submit to such rule, or remain in the old Union of the United States, would be disgraceful and ruinous to the State of Arkansas.

Those states that leave prior to Fort Sumter made it quite clear to the world that they were leaving the Union over issues of slavery. The President's call for troops to supress the rebellion resulted in another wave of seccession. I suppose it could be argued that had Mississippi, South Carolina, etc., not left over issues of slavery there would have been no reason for Arkansas to depart.

Best regards,

Tom



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 06:38 pm
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naakke
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damn good points, Tom, props to you.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 06:51 pm
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James Longstreet
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Nice work, Tom.  I think the modern slavery argument could by applied to South Carolina, Mississippi, ect., and the old "Lost Cause", States' rights, War of Northern Agression argument just may have some validity in the secession of states like North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia.  A complex issue, any way you choose to look at it.

Last edited on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 06:53 pm by James Longstreet



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 06:54 pm
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naakke
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Just finished reading South Carolina's secession document at http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/reasons.html#SouthCarolina

Same place that Tom got the Mississippi article I think.  Takes them quite awhile to get around to talking about slavery.  Those framers had some really good points about the circumstances surrounding the establishment of colonial independence from Britain and the very nature of the Union.

There are also some interesting points in there about how individual states have set aside the what SC perceived to be constitutional law to suit their own moral tastes.  It is a good read.  In contrast, the Mississippi document is just harsh.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 07:15 pm
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calcav
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naake,

Yes, that is the site where I went for the seccession documents. There are several other sites that have them but I like this site for all the other information that is available. The section on the Secession Commisioners is fascinating. A must read book on that topic is Apostles of DisunionSouthern Secession Commisioners and the Causes of the Civil War by Charles B. Dew. In there own words southern statesmen and politicians refute the contention that slavery was neither the reason nor the catalyst for the resulting onset of hostilities.

Best regards,

Tom



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 07:37 pm
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naakke
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I find it fascinating how Abraham Lincoln in his campaign speech in Connecticut and John C. Calhoun in his "Southern Address" both look at the US Constitution and see exact opposite perspectives. 

Calhoun sees therein the right to perpetual preservation of the institution while Lincoln sees the framers intent being that it should be a short run thing and to pass on into history.

I cannot refute anyone who says that slavery was the principal and perhaps singular cause for secession.  But what was behind the antipathy and antagonism?  Why had the North grown to hate it with such passion while the South would defend it and deepen its defense of it?  Does the question predate the Constitution?  It has to be older than 1819 and t he Missouri discussion.

The Republican platform and Lincoln's speeches seek to limit the spread of slavery to the territories.  Lincoln's point was that it does not matter if you like it or hate it, it should not spread to new territory.  Well that was unthinkable to the slaveholding states because of the balance of power in the Senate.

What a tangled web.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 07:51 pm
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younglobo
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Naake

I agree with your above comments, a person needs to put themselves in the place of a southerner in 1860 and think how they would handle the situation, I mean how would we react if our government started to strickly rule how we lived our lives and then started forming armies to invade. Slavery was wrong totally . I see it as you stated an INdus. society trying to make  their rule enforced on a agraian society.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 07:53 pm
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naakke
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In the reading that I have done today (instead of working for my boss), I have started to see much of what Tom and Indy have been talking about.  Lincoln points out that ALL other issues seem to take a back seat to the issue of slavery.  But the point that Calhoun was making is that slavery was indeed a right granted by the constitution and that there were provisions therein that states did not have the right to set aside.  The danger to the Southern perspective was when enough territories had been admitted without slavery, then the free states could dictate to the South their will.  That seems to be very indicative of sectionalism or regionalism.  Some say that the souther 4 colonies maybe 5 would not have ratified the constitution if the slavery provisions had not been made.  Fine, then why force them to stay when ready to throw those provisions aside?  I am a little dizzied at the moment as to why the Northern states would have been so earnest in courting the slave states if they were so opposed to slavery.

Cool alternate history scenario to think through, "What if the 4 or 5 southern states would have formed their own union seperate from the North in 1787-1789?"  hmmm

 



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 08:13 pm
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James Longstreet
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To really put ourselves in the mind of the Seceding states, think about it in this way:  What if a liberal president and a liberal congress were imposing a law on the modern South which made gay marriage legal in all fifty states.  How would the conservative South react?  Now imagine that this somehow affected the South economically.  When you throw money and political beliefs in the mix, that's enough to start a war.  And though I am a stubborn Democrat, if there was an army marching towards my home state, I'd have to pick up a rifle.  I think this goes beyond politics, at least in the four latter states to secede. 

I think Southerners considered Yankees to be foreign; their way of life radically different.  Northerners spoke with strange accents, in a totally different region and culture, and were imposing laws that affected the South's way of life, and the South, being much less populous, could not really fight back in Congress.  Southerners felt fustrated and alienated.  So they decided to break free from what they considered a foreign, tyrannical power.  Still, this does not make slavery necessary, or morally right.  But it was a totally different time and a totally different way of thinking.  There were more racists in the north by sheer numbers.(Slave holders were not the only racists)  The deeper you dig, it seems like the more complicated the issue gets.



 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 08:22 pm
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calcav
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Northerners spoke with strange accents, in a totally different region and culture, and were imposing laws that affected the South's way of life, and the South, being much less populous, could not really fight back in Congress.  Southerners felt fustrated and alienated.  So they decided to break free from what they considered a foreign, tyrannical power. 
 Longstreet, on what do you base these claims? Of the 15 presidents that proceeded Mr. Lincoln 10 of them were southern. Of the 5 northerners, Adams, Adams, Van Buren, Fillmore and Pierce (though Buchanan was born in PA he claimed VA as home), Fillmore and Pierce were definetly pro-southern in the legislation and compromises they pushed. If they controlled the White House (and congress) through 12 of 15 administrations how could southerners possibly see the government, which they controlled for the majority of the country's existence, as a foreign, tyrannical power?

Best regards,

Tom

Last edited on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 09:03 pm by calcav



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