Ken Burns, The Civil War, Robert E. Lee and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,700
#81
In both cases, the states took issue with financial issues, because it was unconstitutional for the federal government to impose tariffs... it could only ask for a sort of "charitable donation" from states.
Tariffs were not unconstitutional.

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; '"Article 1, Section 8

Still, when you look at the individual Articles of Succession issued by each individual state, they all mostly reference states rights (basically, tariffs) and slavery...
Tariffs were at the lowest point in US history. The Declarations of Causes for Secession mainly referenced slavery and slavery.

"For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery." - Georgia Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization." - Mississippi Declaration of Causes for Secession

"We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive ofthem by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution;
they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection." - South Carolina Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings
. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time."

" In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States,
based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States." - Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, i
ts corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth." - Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy

So you had a sense in the South that leaving the union was not an unconstitutional move for their Sovereign nations being taxed/tariffed by the flim-flams overstepping their initial agreement in Washington.
Tariffs were at the lowest level in US history.

"A rightful secession requires the consent of the others, or an abuse of the compact absolving the seceding party from the obligations imposed by it." - James Madison, 1832

"It is high time that the claim to secede at will should be put down by the public opinion; and I shall be glad to see the task commenced by one who understands the subject." - James Madison, 1832

"The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a government, not a league, and whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which operates directly on the people individually, not upon the States; they retained all the power they did not grant. But each State having expressly parted with so many powers as to constitute jointly with the other States a single nation, cannot from that period possess any right to secede, because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation." - Andrew Jackson, 1832

""In order to justify secession as a constitutional remedy, it must be on the principle that the Federal Government is a mere voluntary association of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any one of the contracting parties. If this be so, the Confederacy is a rope of sand, to be penetrated and dissolved by the first adverse wave of public opinion in any of the States. In this manner our thirty-three States may resolve themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hostile republics, each one retiring from the Union without responsibility whenever any sudden excitement might impel them to such a course. By this process a Union might be entirely broken into fragments in a few weeks which cost our forefathers many years of toil, privation, and blood to establish. Such a principle is wholly inconsistent with the history as well as the character of the Federal Constitution." - James Buchanan, 1860

"Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for “perpetual union,” so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. " - Robert E Lee, 1861
 
Jan 2010
4,374
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#82
Tariffs were not unconstitutional.

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; '"Article 1, Section 8



Tariffs were at the lowest point in US history. The Declarations of Causes for Secession mainly referenced slavery and slavery.

"For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery." - Georgia Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization." - Mississippi Declaration of Causes for Secession

"We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive ofthem by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection." - South Carolina Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time."

" In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States." - Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth." - Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy



Tariffs were at the lowest level in US history.

"A rightful secession requires the consent of the others, or an abuse of the compact absolving the seceding party from the obligations imposed by it." - James Madison, 1832

"It is high time that the claim to secede at will should be put down by the public opinion; and I shall be glad to see the task commenced by one who understands the subject." - James Madison, 1832

"The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a government, not a league, and whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which operates directly on the people individually, not upon the States; they retained all the power they did not grant. But each State having expressly parted with so many powers as to constitute jointly with the other States a single nation, cannot from that period possess any right to secede, because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation." - Andrew Jackson, 1832

""In order to justify secession as a constitutional remedy, it must be on the principle that the Federal Government is a mere voluntary association of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any one of the contracting parties. If this be so, the Confederacy is a rope of sand, to be penetrated and dissolved by the first adverse wave of public opinion in any of the States. In this manner our thirty-three States may resolve themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hostile republics, each one retiring from the Union without responsibility whenever any sudden excitement might impel them to such a course. By this process a Union might be entirely broken into fragments in a few weeks which cost our forefathers many years of toil, privation, and blood to establish. Such a principle is wholly inconsistent with the history as well as the character of the Federal Constitution." - James Buchanan, 1860

"Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for “perpetual union,” so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. " - Robert E Lee, 1861
Protective tariffs (versus revenue rasing tariffs) was an issue that was very important to the agrarian south and had given rise to dismay in the south in the 1830s and 1840s, and to much of the theory later appropriated by the secessionists.
 
Likes: Niobe

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,770
At present SD, USA
#83
Protective tariffs (versus revenue rasing tariffs) was an issue that was very important to the agrarian south and had given rise to dismay in the south in the 1830s and 1840s, and to much of the theory later appropriated by the secessionists.
It was something the South argued over with the North, yes, but having concerns on tariffs is not quite the same as deciding to secede over tariffs. For the agrarian South wanted tariffs kept low, and for the most part had managed to secure enough votes in Congress to address the issue to their satisfaction. Sure there were times where the US government had passed laws that raised tariffs prior to the Civil War, as would be the case with the "tariff of abominations," but the South never seceded on that issue. They may have threatened it, but did not actually do so. And eventually they got enough votes in Congress to either repeal or lower those tariffs. And by 1860, tariffs were at historic lows and an attempt to raise them in 1860 was defeated in Congress before the election, and likely would have been defeated again had the South not seceded after news of Lincoln's election spread. In this with regard to how the US government functioned, the South had been quite content to settle the tariff issue with the ballot rather than bullets.

In this, while tariffs may have been an issue the South had concerns on... their level of partisanship on that issue was not such that they were willing to kill or die on that issue before the Civil War. Which is not something that could be said with regard to the issue of slavery, where abolitionists and anti-abolitionists were more than willing to bring things to blows over the issue. One congressman was beaten for giving an anti-slavery speech... by another Congressman in the halls of Congress. One anti slavery newspaper writer was murdered and his printing press dumped into a nearby river. Slaveowners from Missouri illegally voted a pro-Slavery government into power in Kansas and then returned to Missouri... setting the stage for the mini-civil war in Kansas. And then John Brown raided Harper's Ferry to incite a slave uprising and was more than willing to die for that cause. That shows that the partisanship on slavery was much higher than it was on tariffs, and prior to 1860 that was with Presidents and governments that were rather friendly to the slave states.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,700
#84
Protective tariffs (versus revenue rasing tariffs) was an issue that was very important to the agrarian south and had given rise to dismay in the south in the 1830s and 1840s, and to much of the theory later appropriated by the secessionists.
Yes, but the Confederacy did not secede over tariffs.

"The next evil that my friend complained of, was the Tariff. Well, let us look at that for a moment. About the time I commenced noticing public matters, this question was agitating the country almost as fearfully as the Slave question now is. In 1832, when I was in college, South Carolina was ready to nullify or secede from the Union on this account. And what have we seen? The tariff no longer distracts the public councils. Reason has triumphed. The present tariff was voted for by Massachusetts and South Carolina. The lion and the lamb lay down together-- every man in the Senate and House from Massachusetts and South Carolina, I think, voted for it, as did my honorable friend himself. " - Alexander Stephens,, November 14, 1860
 
Jan 2010
4,374
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#85
It was something the South argued over with the North, yes, but having concerns on tariffs is not quite the same as deciding to secede over tariffs. For the agrarian South wanted tariffs kept low, and for the most part had managed to secure enough votes in Congress to address the issue to their satisfaction. Sure there were times where the US government had passed laws that raised tariffs prior to the Civil War, as would be the case with the "tariff of abominations," but the South never seceded on that issue. They may have threatened it, but did not actually do so. And eventually they got enough votes in Congress to either repeal or lower those tariffs. And by 1860, tariffs were at historic lows and an attempt to raise them in 1860 was defeated in Congress before the election, and likely would have been defeated again had the South not seceded after news of Lincoln's election spread. In this with regard to how the US government functioned, the South had been quite content to settle the tariff issue with the ballot rather than bullets.

In this, while tariffs may have been an issue the South had concerns on... their level of partisanship on that issue was not such that they were willing to kill or die on that issue before the Civil War. Which is not something that could be said with regard to the issue of slavery, where abolitionists and anti-abolitionists were more than willing to bring things to blows over the issue. One congressman was beaten for giving an anti-slavery speech... by another Congressman in the halls of Congress. One anti slavery newspaper writer was murdered and his printing press dumped into a nearby river. Slaveowners from Missouri illegally voted a pro-Slavery government into power in Kansas and then returned to Missouri... setting the stage for the mini-civil war in Kansas. And then John Brown raided Harper's Ferry to incite a slave uprising and was more than willing to die for that cause. That shows that the partisanship on slavery was much higher than it was on tariffs, and prior to 1860 that was with Presidents and governments that were rather friendly to the slave states.
Please see my response to Fiver below
 
Likes: Futurist
Jan 2010
4,374
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#86
Yes, but the Confederacy did not secede over tariffs.

"The next evil that my friend complained of, was the Tariff. Well, let us look at that for a moment. About the time I commenced noticing public matters, this question was agitating the country almost as fearfully as the Slave question now is. In 1832, when I was in college, South Carolina was ready to nullify or secede from the Union on this account. And what have we seen? The tariff no longer distracts the public councils. Reason has triumphed. The present tariff was voted for by Massachusetts and South Carolina. The lion and the lamb lay down together-- every man in the Senate and House from Massachusetts and South Carolina, I think, voted for it, as did my honorable friend himself. " - Alexander Stephens,, November 14, 1860
I didn’t say protective tariffs were the main issue, as I don’t believe they were. But they were a more important issue than your comment to which I was responding suggested, particularly in creating a southern grievance. Oops meant to edit rather than reply.

It’s also important to stress that these were protective tariffs, meant to boost Northern industry rather than just raise revenue,
 
Last edited:

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,700
#88
I didn’t say protective tariffs were the main issue, as I don’t believe they were. But they were a more important issue than your comment to which I was responding suggested, particularly in creating a southern grievance. Oops meant to edit rather than reply.

It’s also important to stress that these were protective tariffs, meant to boost Northern industry rather than just raise revenue,
The Morrill tariff was a revenue tariff. After the Panic of 1857, federal revenues had dropped sharply. A series of emergency loans tried to keep the government afloat, but by December of 1860, public lands had to be pledged as collateral for these loans.

Plus, US Customs data for 1855-59 shows that in 1859, 91.2% of all customs duties were collected in the free states.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,770
At present SD, USA
#89
I didn’t say protective tariffs were the main issue, as I don’t believe they were. But they were a more important issue than your comment to which I was responding suggested, particularly in creating a southern grievance. Oops meant to edit rather than reply.
But tariffs were not an issue the South was actually FIGHTING over. It was indeed an issue they were concerned on politically, but for the most part their answers and actions on the various tariff issues had been with ballots rather than bullets. In that sense they were more than willing to trust the democratic process with regard to that issue. And for the most part that measure worked out well for them. No one was shooting each other over tariffs in the years in the build up to the Civil War, and while there were various northern politicians that favored raising tariffs, they generally didn't succeed in those efforts all that much. People may point to the "tariff of abominations" and then the Morrill Tariff... But the former didn't last for very long, and latter only passed because the South seceded and the Senators from those states all went back to their states, largely leaving the northern Republicans to pass the Morrill Tariff in what was a pretty straight party-line vote. Meaning, had those southern Democrats stayed, the Morrill Tariff would have failed to pass TWICE in the same year.

The use of tariffs as a cause for secession, and thus the war, was brought in after the war, primarily by many of the former Confederate leaders looking through at the war with the advantage of hindsight. They knew they had lost the war. They knew that the North and Lincoln had gained a great deal of personal sympathy for the Emancipation Proclamation combined with Booth shooting him at the end of the war, and knew that if they tried to repeat the Cornerstone speech or frame the history of the war as a revolt purely to protect slavery... they would lose the hearts and minds of people in later generations. For doing so would only make them come off as sore losers.

Thus the distraction. For if we believe that the war had a thousand causes, the issue that was stated as the cause for secession in 1860 would be ignored as one cause among many. And people would speculate that even if slavery weren't an issue that there still would have been a war because these other causes.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,724
Republika Srpska
#90
I would like to point out that not all Confederates believed that secession was constitutional. For example, this is what a Confederate colonel told George Ward Nichols who was serving under Sherman at the time:

"I never believed that the Constitution recognized the right of secession. I took up arms, sir, upon a broader ground - the right of revolution. We were wronged. Our property and liberties were about to be taken from us. It was a sacred duty to rebel."
(G.W. NIchols, The Story of the Great March, pg. 302)
 

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