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What is the difference between a revolution and a civil war? - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Jan 10th, 2011 02:47 am
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9Bama
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HankC wrote: Texas Defender wrote:  In addition, your statement that they weren't interested in: "Bowing" to the ballot box (Seen in your statement on 06 January above) is a position that I do not share. While many southerners, prominent and not, opposed the idea of secession, I think it safe to maintain that most southerners of that day were in favor of cutting their political ties to the United States Government.

The 2nd phase is closer to the definition of a true civil war: no battle lines, no armies, no rules...

And no war either!



 Posted: Mon Jan 10th, 2011 06:08 pm
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HankC
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Texas Defender wrote: Hank C-

  Of course the election of Abraham Lincoln led to the secession of the first seven states that then decided to form the CSA. What caused the election of Mr. Lincoln was the splitting of the Democrat party. This led to his election with less than 40% of the vote. That was the final proof in the minds of many southerners that it was no longer to their advantage to remain connected to the northern states.



And the Democratic party split occurs in Charleston when the southern delegates walk out as their platform is voted down.

 

Another case of not respecting the ballot - and this time within their own party!

 

So the Southern Democrats leave the party, which loses the election and then they secede. Why not just secede in May 1860 after the convention?

 

Lincoln is 1 of 4 candidates. With an equal field, he should receive about 25% of the vote. In reality 40% of the population vote for him and his popular vote victory over the 2nd place vote-getter (Douglas) is the largest in history.

 

If anyone should complain it is Douglas, he tallies some 30% of the popular vote and barely made the electoral vote board...

 

HankC



 Posted: Mon Jan 10th, 2011 07:53 pm
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Texas Defender
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Hank C-

  You insist on condemning southerners for seceding and, in your view: "Not respecting the ballot box." What they were doing was, in their view, exercising their right to cut their ties to the northern states and form a government more congenial to their interests.

  Here in Texas, the decision on secession was put to a popular vote. On Feb 23, 1861, over 75% voted to secede. It could be said that that action was respecting the ballot box.

SECESSION | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

  Of course the southerners hoped in vain that Mr. Lincoln would not win the 1860 Election. The only previous Republican presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, got only 33% of the vote in 1856. But the Democrat vote was so fractured in 1860 (It could be said that there were, in effect, three Democrat candidates out of the four major candidates in 1860) that it should have been clear to them that they would lose.

  A more pragmatic approach for the Democrats would have been to unite to win the election and then try to deal with their differences later. But the southerners of that day were often not pragmatic.

  Finally, I would point out to you the faultiness of your math. You stated that the popular vote victory of Mr. Lincoln over Mr. Douglas in 1860 was the largest popular vote victory over the second place finisher in history. This is not correct.

  One only has to look to the 1856 Presidential Election to find a bigger margin of victory in the popular vote. In 1856, James Buchanan received 1,836,072 votes to John C. Fremont's 1,342,345. That is a difference of 493,727 votes. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln received 1,865,908 votes to Stephen A. Douglas' 1,380,202. That is a difference of only 485,706 votes.

1856 Presidential Election

1860 Presidential Election

Last edited on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 07:56 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Mon Jan 10th, 2011 08:31 pm
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9Bama
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To my way of thinking, americans are and were at that time free to vote or not. If they chose not, that is thier business and no one else's. Actions have consequences and they paid the consequences



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 12:53 am
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I was reading some contemporary northern newspapers today and I found another word for the war: insurrection. I like that one.

Mark



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 02:36 am
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CameronsHighlander
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The American Revolution was a Civil War as much as the American Civil War was a Revolution the differences are basically that in the Revolution the American people had no true voice the House of Commons or the House of Lords though Benjermin Franklin was the American Represenative he was usually out voted on eveything reguarding america. With the Civil War the South had a voice in congress but due to the larger number of Northern and free states the south really had no major say. It is hard to say these two wars and events are different but the events of the Revolution set up the events of the wars to come after (Excluding the Mexican War). In the end it was Taxation that caused the revolution and the revolution could even be considered the first true World War.



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 05:45 pm
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Texas Defender wrote:   Here in Texas, the decision on secession was put to a popular vote. On Feb 23, 1861, over 75% voted to secede. It could be said that that action was respecting the ballot box.



Sounds like they are picking and choosing which ballot box to respect - the one on February 1 is 'good'; that one on November 6, is 'bad'...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 05:52 pm
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Texas Defender
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Hank C-

  Yes, thats the one they chose. It was their choice as they felt they had the right to make it. Because of the choices made by both sides, there was a war, with the consequences for both sides as a result. I doubt that it would have mattered to them that you criticized their choice 150 years later.



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 08:49 pm
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I must confess that I have never really found a suitable conclusion to such a question in regards to this period of history.

Revolution does seem to indicate an overthrow of the current government, which the Southerners did not do...although that is what the Union eventually did to the Confederacy.

A Civil War more implies overt actions against citizens, by citizens of the same population. With the technicality that the Confederacy seceded, by all pretense, they were no longer of the same population (in their eyes).

I tend to look at it as some call it...the War of Southern Rebellion. That is to some degree what took place, although the War of Northern Aggression seem apropos.

The general consensus seems satisfied to call it the US Civil War, and while most of may disagree, that is what we must refer to it as in the larger context of the discussion.



 Posted: Tue Jan 11th, 2011 11:32 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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pgwhalen, I think you summed it up quite well!!

In essence, it depended on back then, as much as it does for the current discussion, a matter of perspective.....War of Southern Rebellion or War of Nothern Aggression.

I believe I read once that it was AFTER the war that the name "Civil" actually took root and became the common accepted name (although Lincoln, in the Gettysburg address refered to it as "civil").



 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 01:37 am
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9Bama
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My understanding is that bef ore the centenial, the feds urged the term "civil war" for uniformity. The feds are real big on uniformity... and they urge folks too... usually at the point of a gun!



 Posted: Mon Jan 31st, 2011 06:26 pm
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Mark
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I happened to be doing some research just now and came across Lincoln's General Order 100 (issued on April 24, 1863) and came across the following:

"SECTION X
Insurrection - Civil War - Rebellion
Art. 149.
Insurrection is the rising of people in arms against their government, or a portion of it, or against one or more of its laws, or against an officer or officers of the government. It may be confined to mere armed resistance, or it may have greater ends in view.

Art. 150.
Civil war is war between two or more portions of a country or state, each contending for the mastery of the whole, and each claiming to be the legitimate government. The term is also sometimes applied to war of rebellion, when the rebellious provinces or portions of the state are contiguous to those containing the seat of government.

Art. 151.
The term rebellion is applied to an insurrection of large extent, and is usually a war between the legitimate government of a country and portions of provinces of the same who seek to throw off their allegiance to it and set up a government of their own."

While we can debate how we should interpret what to call the ACW today, to me this document suggests that the Federal Government clearly saw the war as a Rebellion in legal terms during the war itself. Hope that helps.

-Mark



 Posted: Mon Jan 31st, 2011 09:49 pm
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Old Blu
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http://www.civilwarhome.com/liebercode.htm



 Posted: Tue Feb 1st, 2011 06:12 am
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"In the inaugural address I briefly pointed out the total inadequacy of disunion as a remedy for the differences between the people of the two sections. I did so in language which I can not improve, and which, therefore, I beg to repeat: One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.

The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This I think, can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends?

Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you. There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a national boundary upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west, upon the line between the free and slave country, and we shall find a little more than one-third of its length are rivers, easy to be crossed, and populated, or soon to be populated, thickly upon both sides; while nearly all its remaining length are merely surveyors' lines, over which people may walk back and forth without any consciousness of their presence. No part of this line can be made any more difficult to pass by writing it down on paper or parchment as a national boundary.

The fact of separation, if it comes, gives up on the part of the seceding section the fugitive-slave clause, along with all other constitutional obligations upon the section seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation would ever be made to take its place." 1862 Annual Message to Congress ("State of the Union")
This seems applicable.

Last edited on Tue Feb 1st, 2011 06:46 am by ole



 Posted: Tue Feb 1st, 2011 12:26 pm
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ole-

  That would have been applicable if the thread had been titled: "What was Mr. Lincoln's attitude about secession?" Obviously, millions of others had a different opinion. Mr. Lincoln's speeches did not persuade them to change the course they had chosen, so there was a war. (However you wish to classify it).

  Addressing what was said in the speech, I would have disagreed with with the statement that slavery was the: "Only substantial dispute" between the sections. They were fundamentally different societies, which became more and more different from each other as time passed.

  I would have disagreed with the statement that the Fugitive Slave Act (which I certainly won't defend here) was: "Well enforced." It was pretty much completely disregarded in large areas of the north. Certainly, secession was not a means to recover any fugitive slaves. Secession wrote them off, as was said in the speech. As the southerners saw it, they were lost anyway.

  I would have had the opposite view of Mr. Lincoln's statement that a husband and wife can separate, but the sections cannot. I would have invited him to show me where in the US Constitution that secession is forbidden. Of course, he could not do so. But adhering to the Constitution was not his priority, as he proved on more than one occasion.

  Mr. Lincoln's main priority was the preservation of the Union- by any means possible. He was willing to make any sacrifices necessary to do so. If he had not been willing to pay any price and use any means that he needed to, then he would not have succeeded.



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