|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Wed Sep 5th, 2007 05:08 pm||
The original question was whether some concept of union of the former colonies predated the states, or if the country was simply a confederation of sovereign states.
Thomas Jefferson emphasized states rights and a right to revolution. Southerners in general saw the federal government as having limited powers, and the states and people having the balance, as per the Tenth Amendment. You could call it a : "Strict Constitutionalist" view.
In the early days of the Republic, the southern states held their own in terms of political power, but as the 19th century progressed, this began to change. As southerners saw it, the Congress began to favor northern interests at the expense of the south. To them, the gradual loss of political power meant the loss of economic power.
Then, as now, money made the world go around. Southerners saw federal tariffs and restrictions on their property (cotton and other raw materials) as being unfair. Certainly, slavery was part of this equation- as an economic, rather than as a moral issue. (To southerners, at least).
Southerners saw themselves as the: "Conservatives," trying to preserve traditional rights and values. They saw the federal government as being oppressive, in a way similar to the British government before the Revolutionary War. That is why some referred to the war as the: "Second War for Independence."
Rather than go into greater detail on these complex issues, I'm sending a link to an essay that I mostly agree with.
A Jeffersonian View of the Civil War
Your attention is particularly invited to the statements given by John C. Calhoun citing the southern view , and by the NEW YORK EVENING POST editorial giving the northern view. This is followed up by statements from Charles Dickens and Karl Marx.
My view is that the regions had become two separate worlds. If the Union was to be preserved, as Mr. Lincoln said, we had to become: "All one thing, or all the other." The northern position prevailed at the point of a bayonet, but I would argue that even after all this time, we are not: "all one thing." To some lesser degree, the conflict continues.