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Thread: LTC Bob Batemen's EXCELLENT series on Gettysburg in Esquire

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    that happened because of Andrew Johnson. He was a closeted CSA sympathizer and hence the call for impeachment. He allowed the southern states to get off scot free and the northern states were furious about it.
    No Andrew Johnson HATED the planter class and wanted to see them punished. But he also knew, like Lincoln, a hard war followed by a gentle peace was a better solution than hard retribution. As the governor of the Union government of Tennessee during the ACW he recognized first hand what the hard war did.

    Johnson clashed with the Radical Republicans over Presidential authority. That he was not the strongest of personalities did not help.

    But to claim The Lost Cause, Jim Crow, Massive Resistance and the resulting 100 years of disgraceful conduct within these United States is a gross misreading of American history.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    The Lost Causers did it to protect their own legacies and in reaction to Reconstruction. I think that the reason that it didn't see huge push back was a desire by white America to put the past behind them. The failure and ending of Radical Reconstruction meant that it wasn't a politically profitable enterprise for the majority of northerners, and so I'd choose what you put behind door #1. However, this is an area where I'm less read in.
    Right. People who have struggled together and have suffered together, and lose are apt to find solace in explanations for their loss and even likely to exaggerate explanations. There's truth in King Richard's lament that for the lack of a nail the shoe was lost; for lack of the shoe the horse was lost; and for lack of a horse the battle was lost. But, so what? The war was lost. That's one thing.

    The other is a more disingenuous idea, the loser's claim that the causes which drove it to secede were under attack by the ultimate victor, when, in fact, the victor's sole motive was to preserve the Union.
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    JAD, well said.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post

    The other is a more disingenuous idea, the loser's claim that the causes which drove it to secede were under attack by the ultimate victor, when, in fact, the victor's sole motive was to preserve the Union.
    Uhm not entirely true. Afterall control of the senate via the admission of new states was up for grabs. A republican president would likely push for the admission of free states. This would upset the balance and doom slavery. This political pressure would be brought to bear regardless of what Lincoln personally felt. So the motivation was not solely the preservation of the union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Uhm not entirely true. Afterall control of the senate via the admission of new states was up for grabs. A republican president would likely push for the admission of free states. This would upset the balance and doom slavery. This political pressure would be brought to bear regardless of what Lincoln personally felt. So the motivation was not solely the preservation of the union.
    The long-term future of slavery and how the shifting sectional political balance could impact that decades down the road certainly motivated the South. However, the fact that the South rejected the effort on creating the original 13th Amendment to constitutionalize slavery and that it was the South splitting the Democratic Party along sectional lines that resulted in GOP victory make this a manufactured "crisis" in 1860. Thus, while it was a Southern fear, it wasn't a Northern motivation in 1860-1. It took 18 months for Lincoln to get to proposing emancipation, with only the bloodshed in the interim creating enough support in the North for it to even be feasible as a wartime measure.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    The long-term future of slavery and how the shifting sectional political balance could impact that decades down the road certainly motivated the South. However, the fact that the South rejected the effort on creating the original 13th Amendment to constitutionalize slavery and that it was the South splitting the Democratic Party along sectional lines that resulted in GOP victory make this a manufactured "crisis" in 1860. Thus, while it was a Southern fear, it wasn't a Northern motivation in 1860-1. It took 18 months for Lincoln to get to proposing emancipation, with only the bloodshed in the interim creating enough support in the North for it to even be feasible as a wartime measure.
    I don't think it was decades down the road. As soon as Kansas was admitted the balanced would have been forever shifted. As Lincoln showed with Kansas and later Nevada and West Virginia he was willing to play loose with constitutional rules for state admission. Lincoln could talk about any price to preserve the union, but as soon as some southern senators left (they say seceded, he says they couldn't secede) he pushed through a rigged vote.

    I'm not a fan of the south in the Civil War, I would have been an abolitionist. My natural inclinations aside, the south had some legit fears about the national direction. I think they rightly feared that Lincoln would be using backdoor means attack their "peculiar" institution. The North may not have been willing to end slavery by force, but they were willing to end it by hook and crook. Lincoln only delayed on emancipation for lack of a victory the to keep the support he needed of border states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Uhm not entirely true. Afterall control of the senate via the admission of new states was up for grabs. A republican president would likely push for the admission of free states. This would upset the balance and doom slavery. This political pressure would be brought to bear regardless of what Lincoln personally felt. So the motivation was not solely the preservation of the union.
    The point is moot, and not accurate, besides. The Corwin amendment as it was called was passed in 1861 and would have added the 13th "article" to the Constitution, the amendment Shek referred to. It would have protected slavery.

    No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.


    It was passed by both Houses of Congress with the required plurality while Buchanan was still in office and sent to the states for ratification. By then the Southern states were already seceding, and they largely ignored it, which undermines the claim they were seceding out of fear the Republicans would work to ban slavery. Even Lincoln endorsed the proposed amendment in his inaugural address:

    I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service....holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

    His willingness to endorse this awful amendment shows that his first order of business
    was to keep the Union together, and he never wavered from that goal till the day he died.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    I don't think it was decades down the road. As soon as Kansas was admitted the balanced would have been forever shifted. As Lincoln showed with Kansas and later Nevada and West Virginia he was willing to play loose with constitutional rules for state admission. Lincoln could talk about any price to preserve the union, but as soon as some southern senators left (they say seceded, he says they couldn't secede) he pushed through a rigged vote.

    I'm not a fan of the south in the Civil War, I would have been an abolitionist. My natural inclinations aside, the south had some legit fears about the national direction. I think they rightly feared that Lincoln would be using backdoor means attack their "peculiar" institution. The North may not have been willing to end slavery by force, but they were willing to end it by hook and crook. Lincoln only delayed on emancipation for lack of a victory the to keep the support he needed of border states.
    1. Any amendment or law to abolish slavery would have required invoking cloture, which as it ended up playing out, could not have happened until 1889.
    2. The Corwin amendment that I referenced and JAD cited demonstrates behavior to contrary.
    3. Kansas was admitted under Buchanan, and this passed the Senate only because of deep South secession (and therefore those Senators couldn't vote against admission and stopped it).
    4. West Virginia and Nevada admission (at least the method) were both products of the rebellion and once again, would not have happened had it not been for secession.

    Bottomline, I think it's shaky history to cite Civil War actions as proof of Northern intentions, as it was the Civil War itself that morphed Northern thinking on slavery to the extent that it drove actions as well as created the vacuum of Southern voting power that allowed the evolved positions to win the necessary votes to pass.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    To Shek's and JAD's point...for the North the Civil War was about Union. It was not about slavery. Where some motivated by abolitionism: Absolutely. The majority? No. In fact many regiments across several Federal armies damn near mutinied over the Emmancipation Proclamation. In fact many soldiers who fought in 2 year regiments stated their reasons for not enlisting was the EP changed the war...and that is not what they signed up for.

    And had the Southern delegates not walked out on Democratic Convnetion in 1860 then there was an excellent chance Stephen Douglas, the champion of popular sovereignty, would have been elected the 16th President of the United States.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    The point is moot, and not accurate, besides. The Corwin amendment as it was called was passed in 1861 and would have added the 13th "article" to the Constitution, the amendment Shek referred to. It would have protected slavery.

    No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.
    Do you see the problem with the wording of that from a Southern perspective? It undoes the Fugitive Slave Act, any state that so wishes could outlaw slavery and grant immediate manumission to any slave on its soil and there would be no recourse for the South. With something like 1 in 5 slaves running away at some point and a significant number headed north that is a huge economic hit.

    It was passed by both Houses of Congress with the required plurality while Buchanan was still in office and sent to the states for ratification. By then the Southern states were already seceding, and they largely ignored it, which undermines the claim they were seceding out of fear the Republicans would work to ban slavery. Even Lincoln endorsed the proposed amendment in his inaugural address:

    I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service....holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

    His willingness to endorse this awful amendment shows that his first order of business
    was to keep the Union together, and he never wavered from that goal till the day he died.
    My point was simple, the South had some fears of northern action that was based in reality. To which we can also add the battles over tariffs which the south saw as punitive. Its a complex issue.

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    Z,

    Here are the state secession dates


    South Carolina December 20, 1860

    Mississippi January 9, 1861

    Florida January 10, 1861

    Alabama January 11, 1861

    Georgia January 19, 1861

    Louisiana January 26, 1861

    Texas February 1, 1861


    They didn't stick around long enough to even consider the issue so I am not buying your argument. And I do not see where the Corwin Amendment weakened or did away with the Fugutive Slave Laws.

    And those were getting hard to enforce by 1859.

    The bottomline is at the outbreak of the ACW the cards were stacked in the favor fo the slave states and if the Southern States had stayed engaged there would not have been a tipping point against them for quite some time...decades. Because it is doubtful that the Homestead Act of 1862 could have passed with those states in Congress. That would have blocked a lot of the incentive to move westward and organize territories and states.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    [QUOTE=Albany Rifles;928651] And I do not see where the Corwin Amendment weakened or did away with the Fugutive Slave Laws.[/quote

    If Congress can make no law interfering with the domestic laws of a state, and a state bans slavery and grants immediate manumisison to any state therein... The FSA is dead in that state. Southern states have no legal recourse since the federal government would be barred from interfering.

    And those were getting hard to enforce by 1859.
    If there was no anti-slavery sentiment in the North as you claim, how were they getting hard to enforce? The two assertions seem at loggerheads.

    The bottomline is at the outbreak of the ACW the cards were stacked in the favor fo the slave states and if the Southern States had stayed engaged there would not have been a tipping point against them for quite some time...decades. Because it is doubtful that the Homestead Act of 1862 could have passed with those states in Congress. That would have blocked a lot of the incentive to move westward and organize territories and states.
    The Southern states obviously did not think so. To them the writing was on the wall and it was time to go or give up their, "peculiar institution". Personally I'm glad they jumped ship and lost.

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    If there was no anti-slavery sentiment in the North as you claim, how were they getting hard to enforce? The two assertions seem at loggerheads.

    Z, where did I make this claim? Never did such a thing. There were large swaths of the North who were strongly pro-slavery (southern Ohio, the 5 southern counties of Illinois, most of Indiana, Maryland, Deleware, etc.) But there were also areas in Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania with strong local opposition to slavery (particulalry in areas with significant Mennonite & Amish poulations) where local sherrifs refused to assist slave trackers which was a requirement of the Law.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Do you see the problem with the wording of that from a Southern perspective? It undoes the Fugitive Slave Act, any state that so wishes could outlaw slavery and grant immediate manumission to any slave on its soil and there would be no recourse for the South. With something like 1 in 5 slaves running away at some point and a significant number headed north that is a huge economic hit.
    I see the problem but the courts would have sorted it out and in the end ruled in favor of owners of runaway slaves. With their ownership elevated to the Constitutional level, they would have solid grounds to recover their property--a much higher level than the Fugitive Slave Law, a mere act of Congress. Repealing the law would only have ended the obligation of US Marshals to return slaves to their owners. This would inconvenience slaveowners, but not prevent them from reclaiming their property.

    But, inasmuch as the Corwin amendment was never ratified, we'll never know. In any case, no lawyer for a non-slave state could convince a lower court that the state can override the Constitution.

    What I do see, however--and maybe the southerners saw--is the Federal government regulating interstate commerce in slaves and mandating working conditions for slaves, etc., thus making life hard for slave owners, and in so doing leading to an early birth of the FTC and OSHA.

    By rejecting the Corwin amendment, the slave states passed up a good opportunity to avoid a bloody war and years of reconstruction. In fact, they didn't even need an amendment. They could have gone on the way things were. Slavery probably had no more than 20-30 years left anyway.



    My point was simple, the South had some fears of northern action that was based in reality. To which we can also add the battles over tariffs which the south saw as punitive. Its a complex issue.
    As for tariffs etc, they had leverage in the form of slavery itself. They could have gotten much from Congress by agreeing to a plan to phase out slavery. Hindsight is 20/20. But I take your point. Their fears weren't imaginery; but their foresight was very much so.
    Last edited by JAD_333; 28 Aug 13, at 21:33.
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    Their fears weren't imaginery; but their foresight was very much so.
    The earlier the civil war comes, the better the chances of the south are for a win. Given the technology of 1860, the 1860's were probably the last decade where the South had something akin to a real chance to win. After that demographics doomed any military option. Had the south broke away in 1840 she might very well have won.

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