View single post by Wrap10
 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2011 12:28 am
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Wrap10
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uswgo,

With all due respect, your comments strike me as someone who has developed a theory, and then selectively found evidence to support that theory. Not trying to be inflammatory, but that's what it looks like to me.

I would say that "states rights" has never been, and never was, valued or supported only in the South. Northern states were, and are, just as much states as their southern counterparts, and would oppose a stronger federal government if they felt it was in their own interest to do so.

I'd say it's also true that the South was not always in favor of states rights above all else, despite claims to the contrary. They could fully support or oppose a stronger federal government, just like northern states, depending on the situation.

The classic example to me is the 1850's controversy over fugitive slaves. It's a crystal clear example of the South favoring a stronger federal government at the expense of states rights. Because it was in their own interest to do so. In this case, on the issue of runaway slaves, which of course ties in to the larger issue of slavery itself.

It was also an example of northern states opposing a stronger federal government for exactly the same reason - it was not in their own interest to do otherwise, from their perspective. Some northern states even passed laws intended to defy federal law when it came to recovering and returning fugitive slaves. A federal law that was fully supported by the collective South, despite the obvious damage it did to states rights.

Why would they do this? I think the answer is obvious. In this case, where slavery and states rights clashed, slavery won out in the collective mind of the South. States rights finished second in this two-issue race.

Look into this subject a little, and see what you think. The evidence is incredibly hard to refute.

Also, the North did not start out fighting against slavery, even though slavery was the primary reason why secession took place. And secession is what brought about the war. Slavery was at the heart of the Old South's social and economic existence, or 'way of life' as it's often called. To defend that way of life required defending slavery itself.

This doesn't make the North the bastion of freedom and equality for black people. It wasn't, by and large. The collective North didn't start out to eradicate slavery. That evolved as a war measure, and did so incredibly fast. But even though the North wasn't originally fighting to end slavery, the South was fighting to preserve it. Those might seem like contradictory statements, but they really aren't.

But a war against states rights? Hardly. The federal government of 1860 was nothing compared to what it is today, and could have screamed and hollered for war all it wanted to. It wouldn't have made one lick of difference without the cooperation of the northern states, and northerners in general. It did not possess the power or ability to wage that war on its own. That's a big reason why it's a mistake to characterize the war as being between the South and the federal government. It wasn't. It was between the northern and southern states. And I'm afraid I have to say that it wasn't fought over states rights.

Perry

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