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The Confederacy: did they fight for slavery

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Category: General History
Forum Name: Military History
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Topic: The Confederacy: did they fight for slavery
Posted By: Historyman
Subject: The Confederacy: did they fight for slavery
Date Posted: 24-Sep-2012 at 20:36
we often hear this alot.. the argument..
 
Did the Confederacy States of America fight to maintain slavery or was it for souther independence...
 
we often hear many arguments from many people
 
 
whats the general concensus among historians on this debate?



Replies:
Posted By: Delenda est Roma
Date Posted: 24-Sep-2012 at 23:11
The actual soldiers fought for states' rights and for lotalty to their states. The lesser number of rich planters fought for slavery.

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Posted By: Nick1986
Date Posted: 28-Sep-2012 at 21:26
Other soldiers simply fought because they didn't like being invaded by a government they saw as despotic. Many Southerners didn't own shoes, never mind slaves

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Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!


Posted By: Salah ad-Din
Date Posted: 28-Sep-2012 at 21:38
Well look at it this way - if it had not been for slavery, would the Southern states have seceded?  There you go:)


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 28-Sep-2012 at 22:32
It's been a while since I read it, but I remember a book that compared Southern newspaper editorials before the war with the editorials written after the war, and the ones before the war were all about States right's to keep slavery upon which the Southern economy depended versus States rights in general visa-a-vis the Union which was the tune after the war.

So, in my mind it was all about slavery. Not much different from the Communist position during the Vietnam. They kept telling their troops that they were fighting for Reunification of the country, and to save it from American imperialism, when in actual fact the war had been about whether or not Vietnam would be a unified country governed by the Communist Party, or a divided country like Korea with the Southern half being governed by a weak, multi-party democracy. 

Victors aren't the only ones who write history, often the losers do too, to 'right' their version of what they were fighting for.


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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Centrix Vigilis
Date Posted: 29-Sep-2012 at 08:51
Originally posted by History Man

we often hear this a lot.. the argument..
 
Did the Confederacy States of America fight to maintain slavery or was it for southern independence...
 
we often hear many arguments from many people
 
 
whats the general consensus among historians on this debate?
Slavery.
And I concur.
And if you read the Journal of American History, Vol 99, Issue 2, 2012. You will discern that the vast majority of professional historians agree. And have agreed on this for a very long time.
 
The issues of contention now, and actually for some time, have devolved into identifying the specifics of causation. Not in the general reidentification or revision of an already known prime cause. For example. E. Varon's, comments-theorems reference the rationales on the specific social-economic and morale 'whys'; slavery was such an intensely divisive issue.
 
 
Not merely it's known practice. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And that remains apt...for it's there that one separates the wheat from the chaff...the professional from the amateur. And yet even then, one might argue that in the ongoing study of the specific there is in actuality still no totality in consensus having been achieved at all.
 
 
 


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"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'



Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2012 at 16:26
Originally posted by Salah ad-Din

Well look at it this way - if it had not been for slavery, would the Southern states have seceded?  There you go:)


Depends on the issue of state's rights.  It was never about slavery, but Lincoln couldn't sell a war based solely on state's rights; therefore, the issue of slavery was used to motivate and support the war to "preserve the Union" - i.e., eliminate the issue of state's rights by giving the Union power over the Southern states.


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2012 at 16:28
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

Originally posted by History Man

we often hear this a lot.. the argument..
 
Did the Confederacy States of America fight to maintain slavery or was it for southern independence...
 
we often hear many arguments from many people
 
 
whats the general consensus among historians on this debate?
Slavery.
And I concur.
And if you read the Journal of American History, Vol 99, Issue 2, 2012. You will discern that the vast majority of professional historians agree. And have agreed on this for a very long time.
 
The issues of contention now, and actually for some time, have devolved into identifying the specifics of causation. Not in the general reidentification or revision of an already known prime cause. For example. E. Varon's, comments-theorems reference the rationales on the specific social-economic and morale 'whys'; slavery was such an intensely divisive issue.
 
Not merely it's known practice. 
 
And that remains apt...for it's there that one separates the wheat from the chaff...the professional from the amateur. And yet even then, one might argue that in the ongoing study of the specific there is in actuality still no totality in consensus having been achieved at all.


That's nice, but you haven't identified any specifics.  Wink


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2012 at 17:17
No they fought for better credit line of IMF cause of decadent economy of themselves.When this did not happen Civil war came.North states economy was advanced&already reformed.Cheap labor force gave the South a chance for survival,so they had supported slavery.South was not competitive and lost the war.


Posted By: Bobby
Date Posted: 03-Oct-2012 at 14:44
Originally posted by Mountain Man

Originally posted by Salah ad-Din

Well look at it this way - if it had not been for slavery, would the Southern states have seceded?  There you go:)


Depends on the issue of state's rights.  It was never about slavery, but Lincoln couldn't sell a war based solely on state's rights; therefore, the issue of slavery was used to motivate and support the war to "preserve the Union" - i.e., eliminate the issue of state's rights by giving the Union power over the Southern states.
I must respectfully disagree. Slavery was a key to the differences between North and South. Basically the two regions employed two different economic systems. The plantation economies of the South, based on slave labor, and the free market economies of the North. The free market economies of the North produced far more wealth and thus a burgeoning population that held more and more sway over national policy. The South could clearly see that in a matter of time all national policy would derive from Northern interests and the Southern interests would be subordinated.
 
Slavery was thus the lynchpin if not the casus belli. To compete with the North the South would have to abandon their slave based economy, and in doing so turn their worlds upside down. Such dramatic change is always resisted, if only by inertia. The South saw themselves as being subsumed by the North and fought to maintain their independance. In the end the North remade the South in the image of the North, a process ongoing even today.
 
For me the differences between North and South were economically based, a slave based economy versus a free market economy. The fact is it wasn't a moral decision, and here we agree. Had the slave based economy been more productive than the free market economy the roles would have been reversed, and so would the results. Lincoln stated that if he could have mantained the Union without abolishing slavery he would have done so. He felt slavery would end by its own ineffectiveness. Economic realities dictated moral imperitives, as is often the case in world history.


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I am wiser than he in that I do not think I know that which I do not know. - Socrates


Posted By: Centrix Vigilis
Date Posted: 03-Oct-2012 at 15:03
Originally posted by Mountain Man

Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

Originally posted by History Man

we often hear this a lot.. the argument..
 
Did the Confederacy States of America fight to maintain slavery or was it for southern independence...
 
we often hear many arguments from many people
 
 
whats the general consensus among historians on this debate?
Slavery.
And I concur.
And if you read the Journal of American History, Vol 99, Issue 2, 2012. You will discern that the vast majority of professional historians agree. And have agreed on this for a very long time.
 
The issues of contention now, and actually for some time, have devolved into identifying the specifics of causation. Not in the general reidentification or revision of an already known prime cause. For example. E. Varon's, comments-theorems reference the rationales on the specific social-economic and morale 'whys'; slavery was such an intensely divisive issue.
 
Not merely it's known practice. 
 
And that remains apt...for it's there that one separates the wheat from the chaff...the professional from the amateur. And yet even then, one might argue that in the ongoing study of the specific there is in actuality still no totality in consensus having been achieved at all.


That's nice, but you haven't identified any specifics.  Wink
 
 
Specifically in answer to: 
 
 
''Did the Confederacy States of America fight to maintain slavery or was it for southern independence...
we often hear many arguments from many people
whats the general consensus among historians on this debate?''
 
 
 
Slavery.
And I concur.
Confirmation of this may be found@ ''Journal of American History, Vol 99, Issue 2, 2012. You will discern that the vast majority of professional historians agree. And have agreed on this for a very long time.''


-------------
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'



Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 03-Oct-2012 at 15:32
Amen to CV. And kudos for the reference link.

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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: Amadeus
Date Posted: 27-Mar-2013 at 05:34
There are 2 myths that permiate any study of the War Between the States...
 
1) That it was about slavery.
 
2) That it wasn't about slavery.
 
 


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~Rough life breeds men out of boys...


Posted By: Nick1986
Date Posted: 28-Mar-2013 at 20:14
The war was fought over states rights. Most notably, the right of the inhabitants of a state, not the central government, to decide whether slavery was legal or not

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Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 28-Mar-2013 at 21:56
Agreed, Nick.

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2013 at 14:58
For pleasure, maybe you all should read these words by Parable Man?

http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2010/04/three-fifths.html

Ron

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http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 13:19
Originally posted by Salah ad-Din

Well look at it this way - if it had not been for slavery, would the Southern states have seceded?  There you go:)


Yes, because it never was about slavery - it was about States' rights.

Slavery was Lincoln's way of selling his war, since the public didn't care about States' rights enough to support a war.

Ironically, the war over States' rights continues to this day.


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 15:20
States rights was merely a silken cloak to cover the slavery issue and make it presentable. Without slavery there would have been no issue divisive enough to spark and sustain a civil war. 

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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 15:29
Without slavery,it shouldn't have been created army big&strong enough to win Civil War!Lamp


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 16:45
Slavery is a non-argument, since the burgeoning Industrial Evolution was already under way and sounding the economic death knell of slavery.

Lincoln couldn't tolerate the idea of the States maintaining their sovereignty.  In that regard he was one of our worst presidents.


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 16:54
What do you think about "EU federation" MM?


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2013 at 21:33
Amen Amadeus! The truth shall set us all free!

Regards, Ron (the only person on this site that had five or more close relatives fighting for the South!/ specifically Mississippi) Oh!, as far as I know, my immediate family (back then) only owned one slave Ca., 1840-45! And I do not know what ever happened to her!

The Patriotic group, that they joined, was; "The Sons of Liberty!" A name that should make some heads turn!

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Liberty

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http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2013 at 11:02
Originally posted by Salah ad-Din

Well look at it this way - if it had not been for slavery, would the Southern states have seceded?  There you go:)


Yes, they would have, had the issue of States' rights arisen in another way.

"There you go"...


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: Mountain Man
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2013 at 11:03
Originally posted by medenaywe

What do you think about "EU federation" MM?


Since we are specifically discussing the American Civil War, and since I am not a citizen of the EU nor of any European nation, I have no informed position.


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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Posted By: lirelou
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2013 at 19:07
MM, in re:  "Yes, they would have, had the issue of States' rights arisen in another way."

You mean, like they did over Civil Rights?  Hmmm, I don't suppose that had anything to do with slavery,..

Funny, isn't there a Southern expression about putting lipstick on a pig? And it's still a pig?


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Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì


Posted By: nickherc
Date Posted: 04-Dec-2014 at 05:48
Confederacy made a few mistakes. They underestimated world's need for their cotton. When war was declared, they've expected the whole world will rally to their cause. 
They tried to much, they should just repel attacks on their territory and try to win media war. North folks were't that exited about the war. 


Posted By: AnchoritSybarit
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2016 at 04:24
The problem with asking a simple question about a complex subject is that the arguments on either side do not have a point of congruity.

First, let me say that I am 66 yrs old born in the deep south where total segregation was as common as heat on a summers day.  I was raised such that profanity was simply not tolerated EXCEPT  Damn Yankee or God Damn Sherman.  The beard I sport today was begun in 1968 the day I graduated from high school and was free to do so was not as a hippy, free love, anti war, sex-drugs-and rock and roll but as an homage to Bobby Lee, Jeff Davis, JEB and of course Stonewall.  I am and have been for many years an ordained deacon and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church.  In spite of this I state that it would have better had Jesus never been born, died or risen from the dead than the South to have won the War.

That said first Lincoln did not start a war to end slavery.  Had the South been willing to put down their arms at any time before Antietam or even until Jan 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation was officially announced, they could have reentered the Union slavery intact.  Do you not find it strange that slavery did not become a war aim until 2 years after fighting began.

On to the crux of the matter.  The moving force behind all of the Southern state legislatures enacting secession was the elite slaveowning class.  That is indisputable.  I assume most of you have seen the statistic about the high percentage of Southerners who owned slaves (at least one).  That would seems to support the concept that the war was brought about and fought by Southerners to preserve their slaves.

Numbers lie.  If you eliminate those slave holders who held only 5-10 slaves (that is a maid, butler, gardener, coachman--city dwellers) the number rises astronomically to 90-95%.  This is significant because the former could afford to loose all their slaves and not face economic ruin.  A Wade Hampton or one of his colleagues would go from being Princes of the Realm to paupers overnight.

But ignore the above and just assume that the war was DECLARED because of a perceived threat to slavery.  Can you really try to tell me that the poor grunts (privates, corporals, sgts) who bore the brunt of the suffering.  Men who had no slaves and knew they had no real chance of ever owning a slave, spent 4 years in the most horrific fighting this nation has ever known, facing disease, starvation, privation, wounds and poor medical attention that we cannot even conceive--for nothing.

One earlier poster tried to make the case that there were 2 incompatible economic systems.  He is absolutely right.  Except for one thing.  They were not in COMPETITION.  There was never the possibility of using slaves in factories to compete against free labor.  There was never any question of luring free men to work in the cotton fields.

But here we find the beginning of a satisfactory answer to the original question, why did they fight.  They fought because there was a pre-existing healthy hate between the two sections.  You have to go back to 1810's and 20's and the First and Second Bank of the US.  We have all been raised on the concept of the heartless, cruel, rapacious banker who would take the food out of his own mother's mouth.

We all know that the Depression of the 1930's left a mark on the American Soul.  The Chinese fear foreigners because they have been invaded and their civilization devastated time and again.  The failure of the First BAnk of the US irrevocably seared the soul of the young American culture.  People all over the US lost their land, their homes and businesses in that first economic crash and the failure of the bank to compensate.  The fear was so deeply ingrained that even when the Second Bank was functioning well, Southern and Western interests were determined to destroy it and did so.

Roughly the same time Northern interests moved to impose high tariffs which promoted growth of northern industry.  It ruined Southern landowners and western farmers.  The great irony of the Civil War was that lacking the slavery issue the divide could very easily have been South + Northwest vs Northeast.

My argument is that the war was actually prosecuted on the southern side by men who feared that a north which could legislate away slavery, could also legislate a new Bank and impose new high tariffs--that would have been intolerable.  To prevent that they were willing to see their friends die or be wounded next to them, to have their bowels be wracked with dysentery, and dozens of other diseases.  To eat food which we would vomit just to look at.  To march barefooted in heat and humidity.


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What I have I hold.


Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 27-Dec-2016 at 05:16
southern soul about lost war.Have a nice time here.(i have erased your blank post here by the way)Smile


Posted By: Xenophon
Date Posted: 11-Mar-2017 at 04:07
Has anyone here read George Fitzhugh? He was an apologist for slavery who pointed out, with a certain amount of cogency that Southern slaves were in many aspects better off than immigrants to the industrial North. While this can be debated, the bottom line is that the issue then was not as clear cut at it seems in retrospect.

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Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa catoni


Posted By: AnchoritSybarit
Date Posted: 23-Mar-2017 at 02:01
Originally posted by Xenophon

Has anyone here read George Fitzhugh? He was an apologist for slavery who pointed out, with a certain amount of cogency that Southern slaves were in many aspects better off than immigrants to the industrial North. While this can be debated, the bottom line is that the issue then was not as clear cut at it seems in retrospect.

Just read a book review in an old North & South magazine.  John Emison's LINCOLN UBER ALLES:  Dictatorship Comes To America.  Evidently the books must be two of a kind.  Just reading the review I wanted to lynch the author.


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What I have I hold.



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