|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2007 04:46 am||
Sorry, I don't buy it. Democracy was not at stake, but Union was. The northern states could have let the southern ones go, and still kept their democracy. Early in 1861, there was considerable sentiment to let the: "wayward sisters" go in peace. By firing on Ft. Sumter, the Confederates undercut the efforts of those who hoped for a peaceful resolution.
I could say: "The north was willing to give up the Constitution to have Union."
As pathetic as the Confederate Government was, I don't think that it was less democratic than the U.S. Government in 1861. The U.S. Government was quite willing to give up the Constitutional rights of its citizens (habeus corpus illegally suspended, for example) in order to prosecute a war to preserve the Union. All internal opposition was met with harsh measures. Attempts by the judiciary to intervene in cases such as Ex parte Merryman were brushed aside or simply ignored.
The average Union soldier would have said that he was fighting to preserve the Union, not democracy. He certainly would not have said that he was fighting to end slavery. Indeed, when the Emancipation Proclamation came out in the beginning of 1863, it met with a very negative reaction from many in the military. Most could have cared less about the slaves.
The average southern soldier would not have said that he was fighting to preserve slavery or to maintain the wealth and status of the owners of large plantations. He would have said that he was fighting for independence from the U.S. Government, which he felt no longer represented him. He would have said above all that he was fighting to protect his home and his people.
One Confederate soldier who was captured in Tennessee was asked by his captors what he was fighting for. His response was not that he was fighting to maintain slavery or destroy American democracy. He replied: "Because y'all are down here."