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 Posted: Sat Mar 31st, 2007 07:18 pm
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Texas Defender
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   It is true that no major nation recognized the Confederacy as a separate nation, but that does not mean that there was no sympathy for the southern cause. Nations like England and France gave some consideration to recognition, but the United States Government declared that such a recognition would result in war. The European countries found it more expedient to give the southerners belligerent status, giving them the right to obtain loans and buy arms from neutral powers.

   It can be maintained that Lincoln's declaration of a blockade was actually recognition of the Confederacy as a separate nation. A blockade was something that one country imposed on another. Countries do not blockade their own ports, they close them. Thus, imposition of a blockade while at the same time denying that a separate nation existed was inconsistent.

   The lead-up to war was hardly: "Pure and simple." The process evolved over half a century, as the intensity of sectional conflicts grew. The culture of a rapidly growing industrializing north and that of a southern system resembling feudalism could not be reconciled. Conflict eventually became inevitable after decades of trying one compromise or another.

   It is true that the institution of slavery was the catalytic element that led to the war. But it was only part of a larger disagreement, that of how much power the federal government should have over the states. As the southerners saw it, the system was no longer fair. Thus, they made the decision to withdraw from the connection to the federal government that they had voluntarily entered into. In fact, the conflict cannot even be classified as a true civil war, since the southerners were not trying to destroy or take over the US Government, only to leave it.

   In the end, the question of how much authority the federal government had was decided, but only at the end of a bayonet. As Napoleon said: "Morality is on the side of the heavier artillery."

 

 

 

 

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