|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2007 11:48 pm||
Your analogy of secession to a coup d'etat is not a good one. The southern states were not attempting to overthrow the U.S. Government, or to remove its leaders. They were attempting to form their own government while under a good deal of pressure, and facing the prospect of a war for survival.
The U.S. Constitution might have been written to give the minority a voice, but thats not the way it was during the Civil War era. Individuals, politicians, and newspaper editors who voiced the slightest opposition to the war were dealt with very severely by the U.S. Government. There were thousands of arrests. It can even be said that the Confederates were generally more tolerant of criticism from politicians and the press. Abraham Lincoln would never have allowed a newspaper like the CHARLESTON MERCURY to continue to publish.
The U.S. Government meant to destroy the Confederate Government, but the reverse was not the case. The Confederates , knowing that they were outmanned and outgunned, sought to prepare themselves for the onslaught that they knew would come, because the new President of the United States declared that he would never accept secession. For this purpose, they raided places like federal arsenals.
As I have said previously, that was not the tactic that they should have taken. But it really didn't matter. There would be a war because the southerners were not going to be allowed to leave peacefully. Therefore, there was nothing that they could have done to achieve that aim.
You compared the slaves in the south to: "kids who were chained up in the back yard." I can say only that the Emancipation Proclamation was a cynical wartime measure done to try to put the war on a higher moral plane for the northern people. It freed no slaves in the north. The last slaves to be released were in the north, rather than in the south. It took the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 to finally bring the institution of slavery to an end. To me, that fact shines a light on the hypocrisy of the war being fought to free the slaves line.
Mr. Lincoln's object in all of this was to preserve the Union. He would have been quite happy, as he said, to leave the slaves in bondage if he could preserve the Union that way.
Of course, in war, men fight for their comrades. They don't want to see the sacrifices of their fellows go for naught, so the tendency is to keep fighting until the bitter end. This was true of the southerners, and also of the northerners. Union soldiers wanted an end to the war which had taken the lives of so many of their comrades. The object for most in 1865 was the same as it had been in 1861- to preserve the Union.
Soldiers, north and south, were pretty much the same. I'm sure that thousands of them on both sides said: "screw the politicians" on a regular basis. The difference to the southern soldier was that defeat would bring the end of the only culture that he knew, and a long if not permanent military occupation. This is what he was hoping to prevent, though I am sure that the handwriting was on the wall for many after Mr. Lincoln was re-elected.
One area that you and I can agree on is your analogy of the Indian woman. But thats another story.
Last edited on Mon Dec 17th, 2007 11:53 pm by Texas Defender