View single post by ole
 Posted: Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 01:33 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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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.




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