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Old August 23rd, 2017, 08:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jax Historian View Post
I'm not sure why you are telling me this. I never claimed tariffs had anything to do with the Civil War. I spoke about the 1833 tariff crisis as a key to understanding growing Unionism (nationalism).
Misunderstood my bad.
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Misunderstood my bad.
No problem.
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Old August 23rd, 2017, 08:49 AM   #13

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It's actually two questions. If slavery had not been an issue in 1861, if the Southern states had abolished it yet still insisted on leaving the Union - would there still have been a Civil War?
And how about today? If some state or a group of states wanted to leave the USA, peacefully, would there be something like a "Brexit" option for them? (I do understand that the EU concept is way different from the United States but it was the best I could come up with.)
With regard to your first question, it would not have happened. The South would not have abolished slavery and then tried to leave the Union, at least in 1861. Slavery was the issue that led the South to secede and then to attack a Union military fort. The History Place - U.S. Civil War 1861-1865

Although there are a lot of books on this topic, two of the best are

David Potter The Impending Crisis and, once again, McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom.

With regard to your second question--no. The Civil War settled the issue; regardless of whether or not states had a right to secede from the Union prior to the Civil War, after it, there is no such right. One other fact that militates against any secession from the US today is that there is no real geographic divide: even in states like California or Texas, where one view predominates, there are substantial minorities holding the other view. So today, it's not a state by state thing, but rather down to individual opinion which is quite varied.

Last edited by David Vagamundo; August 23rd, 2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old August 31st, 2017, 03:07 PM   #14
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I merely wanted to say thanks for that long and informative post to EmpereroftheBavarians - I learned a lot.

And regarding your post, Chlodio - can I ask a question that has been bothering me for some time now but that I did not quite dare to post, seeing as this seems to be a very emotional topic in the US with all the current discussions about white supremacy and slavery and statues being removed?

It's actually two questions. If slavery had not been an issue in 1861, if the Southern states had abolished it yet still insisted on leaving the Union - would there still have been a Civil War?
And how about today? If some state or a group of states wanted to leave the USA, peacefully, would there be something like a "Brexit" option for them? (I do understand that the EU concept is way different from the United States but it was the best I could come up with.)
No sovereign nation worth its weight in salt has a suicide clause in its constitution that provides for its dissolution. This is as true today as it was 156 years ago. Individual states cannot just pick up and leave, period. Once "in", never "out".

States can, of course, "try" to leave, but this would mean war and that would probably not end very well for the South.

As to the second question, if there had been no slavery in the South, its unlikely in the extreme that any of the states in the confederacy would have had any reason to leave the Union at all. The fundamental issue surrounding secession for the South was, after all, the future of slavery in its territories and in the new territories that would eventually become states. The issue for the North was preservation of the Union, not slavery. If the South hadn't foolishly started this war in the first place, it is quite likely that slavery would have continued for a considerable time because Lincoln did not call for the end of slavery until 1863.

States cannot simply leave the Union whenever they feel like it. There is plenty of evidence that many southerners who disagreed with the Abolitionists' goal of the elimination of slavery, did not, at the same time, want to leave the Union. This partly explains why so many Southerners fought for the North during the Civil War and why so many of the Union Army's and Navy's general officers were in fact Southerners.

Last edited by royal744; August 31st, 2017 at 03:12 PM.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 07:58 PM   #15

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Being an émigré to the US I did not hear American school teachers on the Civil War and in the course of recent events was/am trying to comprehend how this war was/is justified.

Specifically: Americans clearly defend the freedom of SEPARATION be it for escaping from an intolerable spouse or from an oppressive neighbor state (Kosovo, a colonial power, Baltic states).

But, as much as I have read, the Northern States went to war to deny Southern ones just this freedom ("the Union must be saved at all cost"; pls. excuse for an incorrect quotation) and the "Freedom from Slavery" noble slogan took an equal stature only after the war had began (Lincoln's prewar attitude to slavery).

It seems that besides the very noble aspirations the root of this war was in the North's self-interest to keep the South firmly in its (North') orbit.

Thus - Is there a contradiction in the said great American moral value of Freedom between then and now?
The Union went to war because the Confederacy attacked Union troops on Union soil, then threatened to seize the Union capitol. The root of the war was in the Confederacy's decision to start that war.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 09:27 AM   #16
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Duplicate post
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 09:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mansi11 View Post
Being an émigré to the US I did not hear American school teachers on the Civil War and in the course of recent events was/am trying to comprehend how this war was/is justified.

Specifically: Americans clearly defend the freedom of SEPARATION be it for escaping from an intolerable spouse or from an oppressive neighbor state (Kosovo, a colonial power, Baltic states).

But, as much as I have read, the Northern States went to war to deny Southern ones just this freedom ("the Union must be saved at all cost"; pls. excuse for an incorrect quotation) and the "Freedom from Slavery" noble slogan took an equal stature only after the war had began (Lincoln's prewar attitude to slavery).

It seems that besides the very noble aspirations the root of this war was in the North's self-interest to keep the South firmly in its (North') orbit.

Thus - Is there a contradiction in the said great American moral value of Freedom between then and now?

Please forgive me if I am on a wrong path in my these reflections and guide me towards the right one.

Many thanks for attention.

That is a common error made by many Americans who have a poor comprehension of their own founder's arguments and political opinions.


In fact- NOTHING in what the Founding Father's wrote and said supported any such notion that ANYONE can opt out of ANYTHING ANYTIME they disagree with it.

Such an Idea is anthem to the rule of LAW. And they were crafting a society governed NOT by individual men, nor by a CLASS of landowners... but by LAWS.
They set up a nest hierarchy of local governance and elections that built up from the council level to the federal government level- ALL of which was predicated upon laws enacted by the VOTE of the MAJORITY.

The entire concept was that everyone agreed to abide by the vote of the majority, EVEN IF THE MAJORITY VOTED FOR SOMETHING WITH WHICH YOU PERSONALLY DISAGREED.


They DID NOT state that any people can break away from their traditional government.... they stated that they had the right to do so IF AND ONLY IF that government did not treat all those it governed equally.


The Colonies were told they were subjects of the Crown, and yet they were steadfastly REFUSE the same rights and representation in parliament as we're all other british subjects.

They determined that without representation of British subjects, they could not be construed to BE British subjects.


The OP's argument is cut of the same poor reasoning as the folks who, today, think that the founders were against taxation... or protesting taxation.

They were not.

They were protesting the fact that they had NO SAY in the governing body that levied taxes on them... unlike Real British subjects who had a vote on how they were taxed.

Washington proved that the founders had NO problem with taxation, itself, by forcibly putting down the Whiskey Rebellion over taxes on alcohol.



So- as to the Civil War- all the rights the southern states held were GIVEN to them BY the Constitution, and their qualifying for Statehood, as defined by federal law.

They HAD equal representation and so no valid compliant as to the operation of the rule of law.

They HAD means to legal redress by both convincing new states to institute slavery... but more importantly, by making the nationwide argument about states rights and trying to get a constitutional amendment passed to ALLOW secession, or some other accommodation of their interests.
Ergo- they IN NO WAY had even remotely the same valid grievance that the Colonies had against Britain.


But when push comes to shove- you don't have the freedom to choose NOT to obey the laws passed by the majority simply because you don't agree with them.

you DO have the freedom to pack your bags and LEAVE the nation with which you disagree.

But you DO NOT have the right to TAKE a portion of that Nation's LAND WITH you when you leave.


The Constitution is quite clear that it take a 3/4 vote of ALL states to materially CHANGE the Constitution of the United States in any way.

That means No smaller group of States has any right to alter the Federal charter of lands in any manner.


AND the Constitution is quite clear that the Federal government is REQUIRED to defend the Union of the States from ALL enemies both foreign AND Domestic.




And, BTW-
the South was the one arguing at cross purposes. THEY demanded that the North COULD NOT DENY THEM the inalienable right to DENY Inalienable rights to Black people.


If they had the right to deny blacks rights- then they had no rational basis on which claim that the Union had no right to deny them rights to leave.

If they could have inalienable rights to self determination, then they CAN NOT argue that Blacks do not have the same rights.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 12:16 PM   #18
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I'd like to thank you all for your enlightening explanation of the causes of the Civil War.
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 02:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Josefa View Post
I merely wanted to say thanks for that long and informative post to EmpereroftheBavarians - I learned a lot.

And regarding your post, Chlodio - can I ask a question that has been bothering me for some time now but that I did not quite dare to post, seeing as this seems to be a very emotional topic in the US with all the current discussions about white supremacy and slavery and statues being removed?

It's actually two questions. If slavery had not been an issue in 1861, if the Southern states had abolished it yet still insisted on leaving the Union - would there still have been a Civil War?
And how about today? If some state or a group of states wanted to leave the USA, peacefully, would there be something like a "Brexit" option for them? (I do understand that the EU concept is way different from the United States but it was the best I could come up with.)
The South would not have both abolished slavery and seceded in 1861 - the slave owners who controlled the South had little motive for secession except to preserve their wealth in slaves. But if they did do so the reaction of the North (which really means the rest of the country) would have depended on various political factors. Just as in real life the firing on Fort Sumter caused the Northerners to desire to supress the Southern Rebellion by force when previously they might have been willing to let the South secede.

It is a fact that secession from political units, or the partition of them, has happened a lot in American history. For example, the citizens of an area might desire to secede from their municipal government and form a municipality of their own or to partition a new municipality off from the old one. To do so they need to get the permission of the larger municipality and/or of their state or territorial legislature.

When new areas were settled new counties were formed by the states or territories they were in. Usually the county had a lot of people living near the county seat and large almost uninhabited areas far from the county seat. As uninhabited areas far from the county seat became settled, the citizens would petition their state or territorial legislature to form a new county with a more conveniently located county seat.

For example, a great great great great grandfather of mine, Henry Hurst was born in Gwynedd Township, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, in 1771. In 1784 most of Philadelphia County, included Gwynedd, became Montgomery County. But when he died in 1834 his tombstone said he was born in Philadelphia, meaning the old and larger Philadelphia County.

There have also been mergers. In 1854 what was left of Philadelphia County contained many municipalities that the Pennsylvania Legislature merged into the City of Philadelphia (founded 1682), and the city and county governments were merged in 1951.

The United states constitution does not mention the secession of states or other areas from the United States. Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the constitution says:

Quote:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
In the case Texas v. White in 1869 the Supreme Court ruled that the unilateral secession of Texas was unconstitutional and legally null and void. It left open the possibility that states could leave the union with the consent of congress and the other states.

So if South Caroline, for example, had petitioned the US congress for permission to leave the United States that petition might have been legal and might have been granted. But the unilateral declaration of secession was illegal and fought by the Federal government.

Last edited by MAGolding; November 23rd, 2017 at 02:33 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 03:48 AM   #20
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I look at the separation issue another way. Other than the 13 original colonies the federal government paid for or negotiated (or took) the most of the land that made up the USA in 1860: The treaty of Paris, LA. purchase, The Gadsden Purchase and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and Oregon Treaty. Any states, other than the original 13, trying to leave the union was theft land the US owned.

Last edited by yakmatt; November 24th, 2017 at 03:51 AM.
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