View single post by ole
 Posted: Sun Jun 10th, 2007 03:52 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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No offense taken, JDC. As my reply might have been taken that way, I apologize. You'd have to work a whole bunch harder than that to offend me.

I am still baffled by the politicians and governments motives.  Why oppose secession ?  Why oppose secession to the point of war?

The politicians had the same motives as the enlistees -- the union. Nearly every adult, north and south, was quite happy with the freedoms they had and with their participation in self-government. Even so, I believe the south could have gotten away with peaceable secession -- for a while at least. Few were hot enough to go to war over it. Many believed as Buchanan did: Secession is unconstitutional, but the Constitution doesn't make provision to prevent it or force the seceding states back into the Union. Even the seizure of Federal property in the seceding states was not outrageous enough to turn northern opinion to war.

So. You know where this is going. So long as secession was a matter of law, there was little the north would do. When secession became a shooting rebellion (Ft. Sumter), it became a whole nother matter. No sense separating the polititian from the ordinary citizen, most everyone was outraged.

I can understand the Jeff Davis believed he acted correctly in ordering the opening guns -- it would take that to get Virginia to join the Confederacy. He gambled that his action would bring in Virginia, but he underestimated northern reaction.

I'm a Northern Senator, unsure about what to do about the impending crisis.  As fellow Senators, or whatever, what are the arguements, circa 1860-61, that will convince me to "perserve the Union",  and bring back the Southern States by force, at the expense of my boys back home ?

As a Northern Senator, you can do nothing but make speeches, twist arms, and otherwise work to gain support of your views -- unless your constituency and the constituencies of other Senators and Representatives are really riled. When that happens you're not so much leading as being swept up.

There were a great many lofty reasons for "preserving the Union," one of which was devotion to the idea of the self-government experiment. Rebellion took all of them past the discussion phase.


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