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 Posted: Thu Jan 6th, 2011 04:39 pm
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Texas Defender
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  The : "American Civil War" was not a civil war in the true sense. In a typical civil war, you have two or more factions either attempting to maintain the existing government or replace it with a new one. The states that formed the Confederacy were not attempting to destroy or replace the US Government, only to leave it.

  With all due respect to the Lee quote from a previous poster, most southerners considered that the various states that created the US Government had done so by means of a compact or covenant which was the US Constitution. While the Articles of Confederation called the previous compact: "Perpetual," the ruling document, the Constitution, did not. The southerners considered the Union to be a good thing as long as it was mutually beneficial.

  The problem for the agrarian south was that the various sections of the country were becoming more and more different as time passed. The north was becoming more and more industrialized. Eighty percent of new immigration went to the north and southern interests, as they saw it, became more and more at risk.

  As southern political power declined, so did southerners' enthusiasm for remaining tied to a US Government that they considered had ceased to treat them fairly. So, eventually, they made the decision to end the connection, as they considered that they had the right to do.

  As for: "Southern leaders," they were in power in the south because of the ballot box, not in spite of it. As for using: "Violent means," the vast majority  preferred to avoid war rather than promote it. The Confederate Government would have preferred to compensate the US Government for federal property on its soil. Commissioners were sent to WDC to negotiate compensation, but they were rebuffed.

  It can be argued that some southerners acted stupidly in the various states by taking over federal property. Those actions were certainly not in the best interests of the new Confederacy. The result was disastrous for it in the end. But I would maintain that most: "Southern leaders" would have preferred to leave the US Government peacefully. They would have preferred, as Jefferson Davis said, to be "left alone."

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