View single post by Texas Defender
 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2008 07:25 am
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Texas Defender

Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920

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  I'm sure that the fire-eaters were happy to see events take place that put the south on the road to secession. But I believe that those who felt as they did were a small minority, even among southern politicians. I think that for most southerners, it was a feeling that they were being mistreated by the government in Washington that they felt no longer safeguarded them from those they felt were their enemies.

  The question of expansion of the slave states was vital to the southern politicians as they saw it. Even if the lands were not very productive and the large plantation system didn't work that well there, it was critical to have representation in the House and Senate of those who at least were not hostile to the interests of the southern states.

  One of the main reasons that they decided on secession was that they feared being surrounded by northern and western states that would work against their interests, and eventually destroy them. By 1860, that scenario was apparently happening, if they agreed that slavery could not expand westward.

  It also plays to the question of who has the ultimate authority, the federal government or the states. This is really the crux of the whole problem from the founding of the Republic onward. The southerners in general believed that the states should have more power, while most northerners believed that the central government should. It always comes back to this disagreement, and in many cases, the question is still argued today.

  If a democrat had been elected in 1860, I doubt that any state would have seceded. So, I agree that secession was caused by a republican being elected. There was war because of the particular individual who was elected.

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