Misc posts on topical issues

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:00 pm

Topical issue (historical, really):
Why did we fight the civil war?

Head of Dept. of History at West Point destroys argument that Civil War wasn't fought over slavery

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/11/1411087/-Head-of-De ... ?detail=hide

The short video posted is so on point! Though no one was around, I was clapping like crazy when he finished! Very clear. A grade school student would get most of it and a high school student definitely.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:51 pm

Thanks Lynx! That is a great video. When I was a student, we learned that the Civil War was fought to end slavery, and that slavery was a significant component of the economic and social structure of the South, so any "state's rights" argument was in and of itself about the states' rights to continue with slavery. It is frightening how that history has been revised in the past 40 years or so.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:28 pm

I'm sure I learned the Civil War was fought to end slavery too! I don't get revisionist history. It makes no sense.

And for anyone who wants a direct link to this video (short), here you go!



Post   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:24 pm

Wow my studies this past year have relevance!

The civil was fought to preserve the Union. The issues were many, with slavery one of them but not the only one, bye any stretch. To say the Civil War was fought entirely to end slavery in my opinion isn't really accurate

Lincoln was perfectly clear on this. Here is one of many many writings by Lincoln where he says so, in a letter to Horace Greely:

As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

A. Lincoln.

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:01 am


Technically, the issue threatening the Union was not slavery, per se, or immediately -- it was the expansion of slavery that precipitated the rupture.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:55 am

Read the declarations of secession. Why the war was begun in the first place. You can't "preserve a union" that is not dissolving.

Mississippi declaration of 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. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.
Texas declaration of secession
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility [sic] 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. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
South Carolina declaration of secession
The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
Georgia declaration of secession
The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.
Florida declaration of causes
A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle. That no more slave States shall be admitted into the confederacy and that the slaves from their rapid increase (the highest evidence of the humanity of their owners will become value less. Nothing is more certain than this and at no distant day. What must be the condition of the slaves themselves when their number becomes so large that their labor will be of no value to their owners. Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by an inability to procure subsistence. Can any thing be more impudently false than the pretense that this state of things is to be brought about from considerations of humanity to the slaves.
Alabama ordinance of secession
And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as a permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States...
So, yeah, Lincoln and the United States of America went to war to "preserve the Union" but the Union was threatened because slavery was threatened. When the Union was preserved, slavery was NOT preserved.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am

Ditto SF.

Picking and choosing/reinterpreting, Erinspigs. This is revisionist history.

The facts say otherwise.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:43 am

Okay. So this isn't going to be serious (or so some may think!;) But...

Andy Borowitz, my new fave commentator!

His recent articlets on the New Yorker site:

Sanders Shamelessly Pandering to Voters Who Want to Hear Truth
According to critics, Sanders has cynically targeted so-called “truth-based voters” to build support for his Presidential bid.

Trump: I Would Attack ISIS on Twitter
“When I’m in the White House, the leaders of ISIS are going to bear the brunt of the most vicious tweets,” the G.O.P. front-runner said.

Trump Fails to Back Up Misogynist Slurs with Anti-Woman Proposals, Rivals Say
Both Bush and Walker asserted that Trump’s sexist rhetoric paled in comparison with their own strong records of opposition to women’s rights.

Walker Emerges as Leading Candidate to Run Enterprise Rent-a-Car Branch
A new poll shows that thirty-one per cent of voters believe he is qualified to assistant-manage a rental-car branch.

Trump More Heinous Than Previously Thought
Viewers who went into the debate thinking that Trump was one of the most horrible people that they had ever seen were still unprepared.

Psychologists Urge People With Low Self-Esteem to Watch G.O.P. Debate
People who view G.O.P. candidates for approximately three minutes report feeling better “right away” about their intelligence.

Nation Worried That Rest of World Might See Debate
Those surveyed strongly agreed that the U.S. government should block the foreign transmission of Thursday’s Republican Presidential debate.

In Bid to Take Attention from Trump, Other Fifteen Hopefuls Release Joint Sex Tape
Possibly as a result of his exclusion from the tape, in the aftermath of its release Trump has surged another eleven points in the latest poll.

There is more, much more on the New Yorker site.


Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:08 pm

Some northern states were allowed to legally keep slaves after Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, and some even for a short period after the end of the civil war and until congress passed 13th amendment. I don't believe northerners were so caring of black people that they were keen on going to war to free slaves, and that's from what I see 150 years later.

Only 6% of southerners owned slaves which makes me think the majority wouldn't choose to go to war for just that one issue either.

You can't say for certain if it would have been fought or not, but eventually, with or without slavery I think from what I've read it would have happened. Only my opinion, didn't get it from anyone, that's what I read in Lincoln's writings when doing my term paper. We were two different societies moving in two different directions and had gotten away from the ties that bound us.

I don't think it's revisionist history if there are seemingly equal amounts of respectable history scholars who agree slavery was an explosive issue but disagree on slavery being the sole reason the civil war was fought. I haven't heard a lot of people call that revisionist history.

User avatar
E's Moriarity

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:24 pm

If there had been no slavery at the founding of this nation, it is really unlikely that the southern states (ie: the "slave states") would have felt the need to secede.

White supremecy is all over the CSA. There was plenty of space for all the white folks who didn't have slaves to find alliance with the CSA.

Jefferson Davis' memoirs
Let the reader pause for a moment and look calmly at the facts presented in this statement. The forefathers of these negro soldiers were gathered from the torrid plains and malarial swamps of inhospitable Africa. Generally they were born the slaves of barbarian masters, untaught in all the useful arts and occupations, reared in heathen darkness, they were transferred to shores enlightened by the rays of Christianity. There, put to servitude, they were trained in the gentle arts of peace and order and civilization; they increased from a few unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers. Their servile instincts rendered them contented with their lot, and their patient toil blessed the land of their abode with unmeasured riches. Their strong local and personal attachment secured faithful service to those to whom their service or labor was due. A strong mutual affection was the natural result of this lifelong relation, a feeling best if not only understood by those who have grown from childhood under its influence. Never was there happier dependence of labor and capitol on each other. The tempter came, like the serpent in Eden, and decoyed them with the magic word “freedom.” Too many were allured by the uncomprehended and unfilled promises, until the highways of the these wanderers were marked by corpses of infants and the aged. He put arms in their hands, and trained their humble but emotional natures to deeds of violence and bloodshed, and sent them out to devastate their benefactors. …
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens' "Cornerstone speech"
The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the "storm came and the wind blew, it fell.

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone 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 is the speech that lays out the secession of the Confederate (ie slave holding) states. You'll notice that African slavery is the "cornerstone" of the republic they are setting up.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:25 pm

Did you view the video link posted? It addresses some of your claims. The history professor debunks them.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:03 pm

Not all of the southerners went willingly to war. The area my mothers' people lived in (Perry County, Mississippi) had a strong anti-war sentiment. Most of them were small farmers, with at most 2-3 slaves, and thought the war was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight. The enlistment dates for some of my great-great uncles were well after the war started, and coincide with a push by the Confederacy to round up all the deserters and non-enlistees and get them into units. Ironically, many of them may have been rounded up and "enlisted" by one my relatives on my father's side who commanded a unit based in Pensacola.

When I was a kid, we played all over the rivers and swamps in our area, and there were several caves that were reputed to be the hiding places of the men who didn't want to go to war.

The county just north of Perry, Jones, seceded from the Confederacy and founded the Free State of Jones. It was a hotbed of anti-war activity, and its influence extended all over southeast Mississippi.

Although there's no doubt in my mind that the war was fought over slavery, one thing that I think is often overlooked when discussing causes of the war is the disparity of available manpower for work in the south and the north. The north had immigrants from Europe pouring in daily. The south had some, but not nearly as many. Farming, particularly of cotton, was by far the largest "industry," and required a lot of workers. If the slaves were freed, the labor pool dried up, and the cost of raising and processing cotton would skyrocket.


Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:39 pm

I did view it, that was one of my points, there are many history professors that debunk what he is saying, claiming his speech oversimplifies the issue and that succession also had other components, that tariffs precipitated even the slavery issue.

The professor has very good credentials, the site however, is run by a man who also called a 2007 study by the Justice Department concerning sexual assault on college campuses “nonsense.”

I like his speech and think he makes good points, I've read speeches by Robert E Lee who also went to West Point and wrote more about state rights. I'm just not ready to believe it was caused the way one man said it was, or wasn't - the opposite side calls his argument revisionist history too and some from that side can make just as good arguments - I don't believe a lot of them either, totally.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:13 pm

"The professor has very good credentials, the site however, is run by a man who also called a 2007 study by the Justice Department concerning sexual assault on college campuses “nonsense.” "

I looked at one other video on another subject and thought it was very misleading. What it left out were the multiple sources of income, shielding money from taxation etc. that given the big picture, people consider when they are looking at fairness in taxation.

It also emphasized lower income people not paying income tax (making it seem this is all the tax people pay) when we all pay taxes for just about everything.

Bpatters, very interesting. I don't doubt there were people who disagreed with the war and had no desire to participate in it.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:17 am

In the movie Gods and Generals one of the Northern officers says “A few wonder out loud why they should be risking their lives for the darkies.”

Several years ago a Jewish man in Maryland objected to his son as well as other Jewish, Black and Hispanic children having to learn the words to the state song Maryland My Maryland. There is nothing anti-Jewish, anti-Black or anti-Hispanic about the song—“northern scum” refers to Northern occupation in general and “the despot” refers to Abraham Lincoln.


Post   » Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:24 pm

It is possible too Lynx, that seeing he was from West Point, years of family bias towards cadets had influence on me!

Q: What do you get when you breed a groundhog and a West Point Cadet?
A: Six more weeks of bad football.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:11 am

I should just turn this into a "misc. topics" title.

Article in the New Yorker on Amazon's corporate world:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-w ... nyt_now&_r=1

NOT a company you would like to work for!

Part of what stands out is ratting/rating your coworkers. Not a person friendly company at all.

Ran across a supposed union bookstore in Washington State that was recommended as an Amazon alternative. They have a fun list of women's authors that should be read before you die. Lead to a short piece I found by one of them - a great writer, yes!




User avatar
Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:18 pm

I think saying Walker should be an asst mgr of an Enterprise car rental is spot on!
And on that note, I learned that I need to boycott Johnsonville bratwurst. They're owned by the Koch Bros! Now I need to do some research and find out what else I need to avoid buying!

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:29 pm

Man! I used to love their brats! Haven't bought brats in years though.

I would like to find an ethical insurance company with reasonable rates that treats their customers okay.

User avatar
Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:36 pm

There used to be one out of Iowa, but I don't know if they're still around. I am not coming up with their name.
BCBS was a great company before they went from coop to corporate. :-(

ETA: it was Principal, but they quit health bs in 2010. They do life, vision and dental only now..

Post Reply
323 posts