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View Diary: I Saw "Lincoln" And Wept (297 comments)

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  •  Well lots of historians around the world (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, pucklady

    think that slavery wasn't cause enough for the war. I'm not trying to defend the south with this statement, because even without slavery being the main cause for the war, the south comes off as the bad guys.

    "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

    by Mudderway on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:57:57 PM PST

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    •  Sorry, no - Slavery was THE cause of the civil war (18+ / 0-)

      Slavery was THE cause of the civil war.  All other explanations are just redneck recidivist sophistry.

      Northern public opinion towards slavery was generally agnostic until the 1850s.  Nobody really saw it.

      "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was a best seller, and certainly moved attitudes.

      More visible was enforcement of fugitive slave law.  The 'compromise of  1850' greatly enhanced the 'rights' of slave-owners to demand co-operation of marsalls and sheriffs in the free states.  (A violation of the 'states rights' of the northern states?)  The brutality of slavery was really shown across the north through the 'arrest' and transportation of escaped slaves. Many northerners saw for the first time saw just how evil slavery was, and saw how indirectly complicit they were in the crime.

      One earlier recognition of this complicity was in Thoreau's refusal to pay taxes that would go to the "Mexican War" - which was started to annex more slave-holding territory.

      Still the Republican Party (of 1860) only stood for restricting slavery to areas it was already legal, and not for abolition.

      But when Lincoln won the southerners feared abolition would be the majority's stance - maybe in 25 years, maybe in 50.

      So the sore loser plantation owners organized secession.

      None of that would have happened without slavery in the southern states.

      •  The country was changing and the support for (3+ / 0-)

        slavery was waning in the majority of the states.  The South was looking at a country being more anti-slavery than pro.  The south only had 1/3 of the population and a third of those were slaves.  The South's whole economy depended on slavery.  The north's economy was being industrialized so slavery did not figure into the equation.  

        •  Of course it did. (0+ / 0-)

          Read any of the documents and speeches from the leaders of the confederacy.

          Elsewhere in the replies to this diary, I posted just one of many examples.

          "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

          by JBL55 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:03:47 AM PST

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    •  you are using foreign historians (7+ / 0-)

      to delegitimize the meaning of the civil war?

      you know, there's a balance to skepticism.  you want to be skeptical, especially with historic accounts and interpretations.  but you need to also have some skin in the game when it comes to your own history.  being detached doesn't make you objective.  it makes you blind to meaning.  it means something that the civil war was fought for freedom.  it means something that people died to abolish slavery.  

      my state just legalized gay marriage.  the governor signs it into law tomorrow.  this would not have happened if we didn't believe that the civil war was fought over slavery.  not for another century or longer.

      the truth isn't just what happened.  it's what it means.  meaning is something subjective.  even if you could prove that the net motivations behind the civil war were not about slavery then what would you have accomplished?  you might as well find some psychologists who prove that love is not real.    

      so long and thanks for all the fish

      by Anton Bursch on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:30:19 AM PST

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    •  The "right" to own other human beings, and to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, mindara

      expand that ownership into the western territories is the direct cause of the secessionist movement in the South that led to the Civil War.

      I am sure that there are places around the world where historians have no problem with the entire concept of slavery, and therefore wish to find other causes for the War. There was only one. The Southern states tried to destroy the Union for it. It was called slavery.

      "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

      by Susan Grigsby on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:21:12 AM PST

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    •  Perhaps these historians don't know how to read. (0+ / 0-)

      From the Cornerstone Speech delivered by CSA VP Stephens:

      The "cornerstone" of the new government "rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth".
      Plenty more where that came from.

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:59:45 AM PST

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