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Old November 21st, 2012, 05:55 PM   #431

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I am not strongly for either side, but clearly this is true. The Confederacy would have preferred to leave to Union peacefully. The Confederacy did take over military and other US installations in the south. The US government invaded the south. There would have been no war if the US accepted secession.
The Confederate leaders had peaceful options available to them. If they believed secession was constitutional, they could have taken their case to the Supreme Court. If they thought it was unconstitutional, they could have tried to pass a constitutional amendment. Of course there's no guarantee things would have gone their way, but they had an obligation to exhaust all peaceful avenues first, before they started siezing federal installations, taking United States soldiers prisoner, and bombarding United States soldiers in a United States fort.

There was a chance the U.S. would have accepted secession if they had tried to do it peacefully. But there's never been a nation in history that would accept "secession" the way the Confederates chose to do it.

Last edited by Rongo; November 21st, 2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 06:21 PM   #432
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There was a chance the U.S. would have accepted secession if they had tried to do it peacefully. But there's never been a nation in history that would accept "secession" the way the Confederates chose to do it.
I don't know about that.

Unionist nationalism had been the dominant political ideology for the few generations preceding the Civil War. Even the State's Rights Party started as Jacksonians. I can't really prove this contention, but I suspect many Southerners (or, at least, many Southern movers and shakers) highly suspected that Lincoln wasn't going to let them leave by any measure. I don't feel too bad about being able to prove this very well because I'm pretty sure you'd have some problems proving that there was much a chance at all the Federal government was going to let the Deep South go.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 06:26 PM   #433

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I don't know about that.

Unionist nationalism had been the dominant political ideology for the few generations preceding the Civil War. Even the State's Rights Party started as Jacksonians. I can't really prove this contention, but I suspect many Southerners (or, at least, many Southern movers and shakers) highly suspected that Lincoln wasn't going to let them leave by any measure. I don't feel too bad about being able to prove this very well because I'm pretty sure you'd have some problems proving that there was much a chance at all the Federal government was going to let the Deep South go.
First off, Lincoln wasn't President when the Deep South states seceded. They had a pro-Southern President and a pro-Southern Supreme Court. And there was definitely sentiment in the Northern states to "let the erring sisters go". The radical abolitionists, like Garrison and Phillips, were all for it. The Copperheads were also all for it.

There was absolutely no reason or excuse not to try. UNLESS, of course, they wanted war to bring the Upper South states in and to rally support in the Deep South states.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 06:47 PM   #434
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First off, Lincoln wasn't President when the Deep South states seceded. They had a pro-Southern President and a pro-Southern Supreme Court. And there was definitely sentiment in the Northern states to "let the erring sisters go". The radical abolitionists, like Garrison and Phillips, were all for it. The Copperheads were also all for it.

There was absolutely no reason or excuse not to try. UNLESS, of course, they wanted war to bring the Upper South states in and to rally support in the Deep South states.
He had been elected President when they started leaving and you know that.

The radical abolitionists were never a big portion of the Northern electorate.

What percentage of Copperheads were all for it? What portion of the Northern electorate were they?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 06:53 PM   #435

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He had been elected President when they started leaving and you know that.

The radical abolitionists were never a big portion of the Northern electorate.

What percentage of Copperheads were all for it? What portion of the Northern electorate were they?
The point is that BOTH of the extremes in the North were 100% in favor of allowing the Southern states to secede. If both the extreme ends were behind it, then it also stands to reason that a sizable proportion of the electorate between the extremes would have been for it.

3/4ths of the states are required to ratify a constitutional amendment. There were 33 states in the Union in 1860, which means 25 states would have been necessary to ratify. Assuming the 15 slaveholding states would have ratified, that means only 10 of the 18 non-slaveholding states would have been needed. Again, no guarantees. But there DEFINITELY was a chance. With 600,000 lives at stake, the Confederate leaders were morally obligated to TRY.

What was there to lose in giving peace a chance? There was plenty of time for war if things didn't go their way.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:45 PM   #436
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The Confederacy was willing to negotiate. It probably would have made significant concessions in exchange for the north accepting secession. There are points the Confederacy could concede, such as western territories belonged to the US, the Confederacy would not ally with European powers, fugitive slaves didn't have to be returned, and favorable trade agreements for the US.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:02 PM   #437

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The Confederacy was willing to negotiate. It probably would have made significant concessions in exchange for the north accepting secession. There are points the Confederacy could concede, such as western territories belonged to the US, the Confederacy would not ally with European powers, fugitive slaves didn't have to be returned, and favorable trade agreements for the US.
I can see that being workable as well in a 'what if' scenario.
The Southern states leaving probably would have been able to survive for a decade, but
I can see the people of the South eventually pushing to return to the fold. This way almost
700,000 people didn't haver to die.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:33 PM   #438
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I can see that being workable as well in a 'what if' scenario.
The Southern states leaving probably would have been able to survive for a decade, but
I can see the people of the South eventually pushing to return to the fold. This way almost
700,000 people didn't haver to die.
I don't agree that the southern states would have returned to the Union or abolished slavery any time soon.

There were attempts at compromise, mostly from politicians from the upper south. The proposals were for the southern states to remain in the Union and slavery be extended to the southwest, but the Confederacy took know part in the discussion, and the proposals were rejected by the Republicans. Seems like the main issues were slavery-related.

Peace_Conference_of_1861 Peace_Conference_of_1861

Don't know if there was any discussion of peace with the US accepting secession, but pretty sure the Confederacy would have agreed to it and would have made concessions. Seems kind of ridiculous to argue that the north would allow the southern states to seceed peacefully, but the Confederacy wanted war.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM   #439

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...but the Confederacy wanted war.
I disagree, but we'll just have to leave it at that.
And I have a feeling no matter if I type 40 postings explaining my personal
thoughts on it, and getting attacked by the usual posters, we will still find ourselves
back where we started. Carry on sir.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:12 PM   #440
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Oh? The Southern states that issued declarations of the causes for their secession cited slavery as the reason they were seceding. This was before hostilities opened. Ending slavery as a official war aim for the North only came about after the start of hostilities, so perhaps you are conflating the two. But slavery was the main cause. In the decade before the war, the Southern states supported federal intrusion on state's rights in support of slavery, such as the Fugitive Slave Act. Indeed, one of their grievances with the North was that the northern states wouldn't comply with the act, as they considered it heinous. So "state's rights" was only a issue when the slaveocracy's interests were at stake.

Declaration of Causes of Secession
I'm writing "Comes The Retribution," a sequel to my novel about a National Guard General who resumes the Civil War in 2016. In "Comes The Southern Revolution" I was able to keep from taking sides.

I'm focusing on fairly expressing both sides of the ACW. I like your comment about the southern declarations of secession. I tried to google "southern declarations of secession" and wound up in a loop that didn't give me anything concrete. Can you either e-mail or post the links so I can properly quote your source?

Thanks
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