Why did America never suffer any uprisings after independence?

Jun 2017
2,240
Connecticut
#21
Or rather serious uprisings, not including the civil war...

Why is it when South American countries or African countries gain independence, their countries go through a vicious cycle of coups, civil wars, dictatorships, corrupt governments etc. but America has somehow been able to avoid these, again excluding the civil war?
The Civil War was a pretty serious one and it must be noted before the Civil War itself, the South threatened to secede twice, once during the Jackson administration and again during the Taylor administration, both times Henry Clay produced compromise that staved off the conflict, in the latter case President Taylor who didn't want to appease the South(ironically the largest slave holder we ever had as President was the most unwilling to accommodate the South including Lincoln) died and was replaced by someone who did. In 1856 just like in 1860 the South promised to secede if the Republican were to win the election. While the threat didn't work in 1860(in part due to them sabotoging the Democrats chances by splitting), it did in 1856. So the threat of southern rebellion had been a long standing one.

During the war of 1812 there were murmurings in New England of rebelling as well. Finally in the very early days of the US there were minor rebellions like Whiskey and Shay's mentioned. All three of these were over policy.

Another point is the US gives a great deal of autonomy to it's states, for unconstitutional state action to be overturned it is actually required someone sues over it first(hence why so many clearly illegal ridiculous city and state laws remain on the books across the country in various places) and even here deference is given to legitimate state interests. Even the south who did rebel in the name of "states rights" wasn't having their way of life attacked so much as shoving it in everyone's face. It's a pretty good deal, even more so today, you get federal grants, unbeatable military protection and your citizens can come and go within the states as they please.
 
Jan 2009
1,164
#23
One short answer: George Washington.
While I do not think that he was the only cause, I agree that his influence helped a lot. If the first president had been a powerhungry dictator, seeking to prosecute and lock up / kill / exile his political opponents and enrich his cronies, USA might have started spiralling into factional warfare quickly.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,033
VA
#25
the South promised to secede if the Republican were to win the election. While the threat didn't work in 1860(in part due to them sabotoging the Democrats chances by splitting), it did in 1856.
The Know-Nothings and some former Whigs backing the candidacy of Millard Fillmore also played a crucial role in robbing Republicans of needed votes in key states such as Illinois in 1856, a problem that did not reoccur in 1860.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,143
South of the barcodes
#26
Or rather serious uprisings, not including the civil war...

Why is it when South American countries or African countries gain independence, their countries go through a vicious cycle of coups, civil wars, dictatorships, corrupt governments etc. but America has somehow been able to avoid these, again excluding the civil war?
Did anyone tell the mormons that?

Considering several states were redrawn to prevent them having a voice in the country once their independence had been quashed and since they had been quite merrily slaughtering waggon trains i'd say it wasn't entirely peaceful.
 
Jun 2017
2,240
Connecticut
#27
The Know-Nothings and some former Whigs backing the candidacy of Millard Fillmore also played a crucial role in robbing Republicans of needed votes in key states such as Illinois in 1856, a problem that did not reoccur in 1860.
This is true of course, but the Democrats were the one making the threat and they intentionally made it virtually impossible for their demands to be met. .
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,469
#29
Or rather serious uprisings, not including the civil war...

Why is it when South American countries or African countries gain independence, their countries go through a vicious cycle of coups, civil wars, dictatorships, corrupt governments etc. but America has somehow been able to avoid these, again excluding the civil war?
A.couple things:

1. The original states had existed before independence, and the US Constitution left the states with a lot of local control. Further, the US Constitution gave mechanisms that people could use to change the government.

2. The US Constitution incorporated a system of checks and balances to help prevent dictators from seizing control of the government. It also create barriers to make it difficult for one party to completely take control of the government. For example, only a 1/3 of the US Senators are up for election in any given national election year. Both houses of Congress must approve a bill before it can become law. The president can veto laws of Congress, and only Congress can create laws, and major government appointees, like a Supreme Court judge, must be approved by the Senate. Each state has 2 Senators, preventing large states like California from.completely dominating the government, and more populous states have more representatives in the House of Representatives. These features prevent the smaller states from feeling like they are being completely dominated.by the larger states, but still gives the larger states a greater voice.

3. Many people immigrated into the US and they knew ahead of time what they were getting into. They could have chosen to immigrated to a different state, or not to immigrated to the US at all if they did not like the policies. It was difficult and expensive in the past for most people to immigrated to the US, so many of the people had to want to come to the US. While there were involuntary immigrants, the voluntary immigrants were more numerous.

3. If the people didn't like the policies where they were living, they could emigrated to a different state or territory. Many of the Mormons for emigrated West to places like Utah. As a matter of fact, there was the Utah War which was an armed conflict between the Mormons and the US Federal government, that was resolved through negotiation. The Mormons often ignored certain US laws, such as the law against polygamy sometimes with tacit Federal understanding, and it wasn't until more non Mormons settled in Utah that the US Federal complete got control of the area, and effectively enforced the laws against polygamy.
 
Jan 2017
1,984
Republika Srpska
#30
This is true of course, but the Democrats were the one making the threat and they intentionally made it virtually impossible for their demands to be met. .
Plus the Democrats quickly painted Republicans as a "Negro party" that wanted to make blacks and whites equal. Indiana Democrats even organized a parade in which white girls carried signs that said "Fathers, save us from nigger husbands!". The Republicans also brought a lot of attention to the Kansas issue, but in October 1856, new Kansas Governor John W. Geary managed to temporarily end the violence there. This led many northern Democrats to return to their party, with which they were previously at odds.