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View Diary: Tea Party Confederate Secessionists are Finally Crawling out of Closet (288 comments)

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  •  I've wondered that too. If the South hadn't made (14+ / 0-)

    the first move...
    The PBS series on the Civil War says that Lincoln, "...wisely waited for the South to make the first move..."  What if they hadn't done that?
    What if those hotheads in South Carolina hadn't shelled Fort Sumter?  What if Jefferson Davis had politely sent a delegation to Lincoln asking to establish foreign relations with the Union, and exchange ambassadors?  

    For all those "What if?" questions, there's a saying, "If the Queen had balls, she'd be the King."

    I really think the first 'what if' above is the least likely.  Those hotheads in South Carolina had been leading up to secession and shelling Fort Sumter their whole lives.  Lincoln could count on them making the first move.

    And the Tea Party types are just as predictably unreasonable.  We can count on them to do crazy stuff.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:25:32 AM PDT

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    •  It's the "crazier" stuff that worries me n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209, mconvente, elwior, DavidMS
    •  hotheadedness is Southern tradition (5+ / 0-)

      Those "gentlemen" would have been ashamed to deal with Lincoln and the Union as equals; victory in war was the only course of action that would have satisfied their honor.

      In a weird way, they too believed that slavery was doomed in the long run by the North's immigration-fueled population boom, industrialization displacing agriculture as the big moneymaker (with the broader social transformation from the South's clannish and quasi-feudal agrarian society to wage labor and urban "liberty"), and the admission of new free states.  In their minds, they had to strike first and not just to protect their independence, but to assert themselves over the North.

      The smart ones knew that even if they became independent, they'd remain tied to the North as a buyer for their cash crops, since the South was only weakly industrialized at the time.  And if they tried to change that, it's entirely possible that the Union would have started a genuine war of aggression if the Confederacy started sending all their cotton to England instead.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:29:39 PM PDT

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      •  "Gentlemen"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        journeyman

        Reminds me of the writings of Jane Grey Swisshelm, an abolitionist writer from PA who spent some time in the South. It amazes me, what people refuse to remember about our ugly shared history, that is all there in the written accounts of those living at the time. Her autobiography, Half a Century is well worth the read. Among the striking passages, there are these:

        Our boarding-house was on Walnut street, one block west of the theatre, and looked toward the river. On the opposite side of the street stood a two-story brick house, always closed except when a negress opened and dusted the rooms. I never saw sadness or sorrow until I saw that face; and it did not appear except about her work, or when she emerged from a side gate to call in two mulatto children, who sometimes came out on the pavement.

        This house belonged to a Northern "mudsill," who kept a grocery, and owned the woman, who was the mother of five children, of whom he was the father. The older two he had sold, one at a time, as they became saleable or got in his way. On the sale of the first, the mother "took on so that he was obliged to flog her almost to death before she gave up." But he had made her understand that their children were to be sold, at his convenience, and that he "would not have more than three little niggers about the house at one time."

        After that first lesson she had been "reasonable."

        We needed a servant. A Kentucky "gentleman," full six feet three, with broad shoulders and heavy black whiskers, came to say: "I have a woman I can let you have! A good cook, good washah and ionah, fust rate housekeepah! I'll let you have ah for two hundred dollahs a yeah; but I'll tell you honest, you'll have to hosswhipah youahself about twice a week, for that wife of youahs could nevah do anything with ah."

        While he talked I looked. His suit was of the finest black broadcloth, satin vest, a pompous display of chain, seals, studs and rings, his beaver on the back of his head, his thumbs in the arms of his vest, and feet spread like the Collossus of Rhodes.

        This new use for Pennsylvania muscle seemed to strike my husband as infinitely amusing, for he burst out laughing, and informed the "gentleman" that he did not follow the profession of whipping women, and must decline his offer. But I wanted to be back on free soil, out of an atmosphere which killed all manhood, and furnished women-whippers as a substitute for men."

        We'd be doing better, I think, if more people remembered what the Confederate flag really represented.

        War is NOT a preventative measure.

        by demandcaring on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:26:54 PM PDT

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    •  I've been reading Jefferson Davis's memoirs. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, david78209, journeyman

      Apparently, the chief grievance that the South had was that new states being admitted into the Union were banning slavery. The Southerners wanted to be able to move into these new states and bring their property (slaves) with them.
         Recall the Lincoln-Douglas debate, which focused on Douglas's support for "popular sovereignty," allowing the incumbent population of a new state to decide whether a new state would be slave or free, vs Lincoln's desire that the question of slavery be decided as a condition of admission to the Union.
         The South didn't really fear that Lincoln would end slavery per se, but that Southern slaveholders wouldn't be allowed to set up shop in the new states.
         That being the case, a Confederate victory in the Civil War would be just a first step. In order for a win to be meaningful, the Confederacy would have to be extended into the west.

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