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What really caused the Civil War?

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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:06 PM

What really caused the Civil War? 


Here's a thread to discuss this very interesting topic. I've heard slavery, economics, control of navigable streams and rivers, and school vouchers all discussed as reasons for it. What do you think?
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Hark, the seat of my commode be arisen!
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:08 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


I think North Carolina school teachers caused it.  Had there been vouchers at the time, the whole thing could have been avoided.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:09 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


A cultural clash many Americans didn't know existed. I've really enjoyed reading A Fool's Errand which goes into great detail on how little either side understood one another after the war (and I assume before).
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:12 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:16 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Liberals?

Democrats?
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:36 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 



The following list is in Reverse-Chronological order, from Effect-to-Cause...

Firing on Ft Sumter
 (& Lincoln's call for troops) caused War & secession of NC, VA, TN, AK.

CSA (Davis') Need to justify 7-state secession as valid to foreign governments caused firing on Ft. Sumter after USA stated an intent to keep it resupplied.

Lincoln's election caused secession of original 7 states (SC, MS, FL, AL, GA, LA, TX).

Fire-Eater Southern over-reach in demanding federal protection of slavery in territories
(not just current ones in West but potential new ones South of USA) split the democrats & caused PA, IN, IL to flip to Lincoln, who could stand as a moderate traditionalist & was elected.

Fear of loss of slightly-enslaved areas to gradual emancipation/colonization (KY, MO, MD)
and fear of loss of Race Control in lightly-enslaved areas of the future 11 CSA states
led many  border-state slaveholders & many Southern non-slaveholders to support the radical Fire-Eater demands. --Douglas was forced to repeal the Missour Compromise which caused Bleeding Kansas.-- (Breckenridge carried MD & NC over the moderate Bell & almost carried KY, TN, VA). Breckenridge swept the rest of the South & even Northern doughfaces
supported him (as did his boss, Pres. Buchanan).

Anti-slavery crusade, led by Abolitionist writers & orators, & then John Brown's raid,
(partly inspired by Bleeding Kansas) freaked out & radicalized too many Southerners.

Slavery contradicted 19th century Christian & secular democratic ideals, which
fostered abolitionism.

So, slavery caused abolitionism caused fire-eating radicalism caused Republican party & its victory caused secession caused firing on Ft Sumter caused the Civil War. 

Slavery caused the Civil War.  

States Rights at most caused the late secession of NC, VA, TN, AK.

States' Rights actually motivated Northerners in the 1850's to oppose federal protection
of slavery in the territories & in the Fugitive Slave Law.
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." - C S Lewis

Last edited 7/24/2013 5:39 PM by jakob3

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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:39 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


LIncoln and his allies for political and economic reasons deciding to invade the South.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:40 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Slavery, yes, but more than anything I think it was a change from status quo. If US frees slaves, then south loses bc they didn't have the machines to do work.

But, yes, slavery.
----randman wrote: The next step in the evolution of statist Obama leftists.....declare tea partiers mentally ill and reeducate them. Lots of nations have been down this road, it ends in ruin for people like you
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:52 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


1.  Tariffs raised the price of manufactured goods which primarily benefited the North and was seen to harm the South.  That's why it was an issue with the South.  Nevertheless, there is simply no evidence - none whatsoever - nada --- that tariffs were the prime factor motivating southern secession.  Or if they were it was certainly a secret unbeknownst to anyone in the North or the South at the time.

Federal government spending at the time was largely financed via tariffs.  But Federal spending was only about 3% of GDP in 1860. 



2.  Kentucky and Indiana were probably more like Tennessee than they were like New England, but they didn't secede.  Parts of the country have always been different.  In the end secession was the culmination of a long series of controversies swirling over the issue of slavery going back to the start of the Republic.  

Part of the silliness of this whole tariffs business is you almost have to throw out most of the political history of the first half of the 19th century in order to promote tariffs and discount slavery in explaining the Civil War.  Starting with the 3/5ths clause in the Constitution and going to the Missouri Compromise and the annexation of Texas and on and on and on, the question of slavery never deviated far from the center of political controversy in early America.  To dismiss slavery from the root of secession and Civil War, you have to unlearn almost everything there is to know about American political history in the first half of the 19th century.  Why this ends up feeling like having to prove water is wet; it's just ridiculous.



3. I addressed the Northern motives for keeping the Union a union in item 3 above - having to do with Lincoln's Inaugural Address and Gettysburg Address.   Not agreeing  with you is not the same as 'ignoring' you.

In the first year of the War Lincoln hoped the North could gain a quick, decisive victory over the South that would bring the South to its senses and lead to some form of negotiated reunion with the U.S.  After the Seven Days and Shiloh it became clear, the South's resistance was going to be much stronger than that and the War was going to be a much costlier affair than either side originally hoped or expected.  Hence, Lincoln went 'all in' with the Emancipation Proclamation and more of a 'total war' approach to defeating the South. 

The North had to invade and defeat the South in order to compel the South to return to the Union.  All the South had to do was to play defense to remain out of the Union.  That is why the North invaded the South.



4.  That utter 'bull crap' is etched in marble on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial.  I guess others have a higher opinion of Lincoln's words than you.

The whole notion that the Civil War was the result of some overall impersonal economic power struggle between the North and South goes back to adoption by American historians  (ie, fad) of Marxist interpretation  of history as simply the interplay of competing economic forces.  You might like to think you thought of all this on you own; but this is a well trod path.  And Charles Beard, et al is where the path started - at least in the U.S.  And he and his contemporaries got it mostly from Marx and Engels.



I've heard all this same crap from my friends in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Order of the Rose.  You haven't said one thing I haven't heard before fifteen or twenty years ago.  You might notice I don't have to go back and think about all this and figure out how to respond.  I've heard it all before.  It's just nonsense.




randman wrote: "It was like your divorcing wife and the dirty socks - it might be something she didn't like, but it didn't have anything to do with why she's actually wanting to divorce you."

Or slavery was the tipping point like the dirty socks? Fact of the matter:

1. Economically, the benefits of the tariff flowed primarily to the North. The South didn't need the North but the North needed the South.

2. Culturally and regionally, the deep South had become a different but more homogenous region from the North. They were in effect a different nation and slavery, as despicable as it was, was part of that; hence the desire to be free of being in union with the rapidly changing North and parts of the West even, although the facts of the West were not as clear at that point. America was undergoing a massive change due to immigration and expansion, and the southern way of life was not for the Deep South and not expanding in the same way. They wanted out.

3. Ignoring the motives of the North, as you've done throughout this discussion, shows the weakness of your case in trying to ignore the economic and also cultural differences precipitating the war. The North invaded the South because they believed they needed the South for their own well-being, and a big part of that had to do with insider politics and Treasury funding. What neither saw was that the future held such rapid innovation and immigration that the whole thing was unnecessary, for both sides. That being said, it was still the North invading and plundering the South and not the other way around.

4. The whole thing about potentially destroying democratic government? Please. That's utter bull-crap. No, the South leaving would not have destroyed the Union and there were plenty of ways to insure no more secession for those that wanted to stay and if not, we'd just have preserved some basic concepts from the founders like the 10th amendment. No, it was likely more than that and like many wars, the economic incentive or perceived economic incentive played a large and massive role. Note that's not the same as Marist economic determinism.

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November 29

Last edited 7/24/2013 6:34 PM by BethelRegiment

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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:52 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?
Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--
Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.
Apu: Slavery it is, sir.
_ _
Regurgitator of daily kneejerk leftist talking points.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 5:57 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Southern conservatives who couldn't get past the fact it was 1820 anymore.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:19 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


Alexander Stephens explained it pretty well.
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60-70% of dems regularly sell information or send small sums of cash to Al Qaeda. This is just another in a long list of ways they express their hatred of America.

NewOldGuy 3/21/04
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:20 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Thanks Obama!
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:21 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 



NYCBlueBlood wrote: Thanks Obama!
Beat me to it
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:22 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


For those who are interest in learning more.

IMHO ... best explanation of the events leading up to the Civil War is an old book ... but one that is apparently at least still available on Amazon:






And actually - this book - though it is primarily about Antietam provides an extremely thoughtful summary and analysis of the political history leading up to the Civil War and then up to Antietam.  This book was published just last year and you might find it in your local bookstore. 


Product Details



And finally - from the Oxford series on the history of the U.S.:


Product Details




Product Details


Product Details

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November 29
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:39 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Good luck, OP. If you fail to survive this thread, it was nice knowing you. This one should be a real doozy.

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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:42 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Old white guys
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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:48 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


The wrath of God punishing the South for tolerating mustard-based BBQ.

The downside of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you're pretentious.

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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:54 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Hey, I've got an idea: let's see what the seceding states publicly DECLARED as their reasons for seceding! (Emphasis mine--PC)

South Carolina:

The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.


We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them 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.


For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.



Mississippi:

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

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
:

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

Well, that's pretty clear. Must have been tariffs.

My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

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Posted: 7/24/2013 6:58 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


^^^^^

That's all just what they said at the time.  In other words - bull$%^#.

If you really to want to know what they were thinking - you have to ask randman.  150 years later he knows what they were thinking better than they did.

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November 29
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:00 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


I know that you have to parse statists like Obama and the Clintons to know what they are thinking. Politicians like to throw out BS.

Follow the money, not the rhetoric.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:05 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


^^^^^

1)  Why would they (the drafters of these southern secession related resolutions) choose to deliberately hide (?) that their real motive had to do with tariffs ?


2) Lincoln was desperate to retain the northern tier of southern states plus the Border States in the Union as he delivered his Inaugural Address in March 1861.  Why do you think he completely ignored tariffs when trying to appeal to these states not to join the secessionist movement  ?

He appealed to them on the basis of:

a) preserving slavery where it already existed in the South.
b) the philosophical basis for the primacy of majority rule in a democracy.
c) the legality of secession under the Constitution.
d) the emotional bonds they all shared as Americans.

He made no mention of tariffs anywhere in his effort to appeal to these States and their citizens.  If tariffs was truly the issue du jour, why did he ignore it completely ?  He didn't even make some phony, lying-a$$, two-faced, devious politician offer.  Read his Inaugural Address, one would never know that tariffs were even an issue.  If ever there was a 'ducks on the pond' time - this was it.   How do you explain the fact that there is no offer or other substantive address towards the issue of tariffs here ?

http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html

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November 29

Last edited 7/24/2013 7:20 PM by BethelRegiment

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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:21 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


We fed the rich while we buried the poor.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:21 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


Why do we need a separate thread for this?  We have a perfectly good public schools thread to discuss this kind of stuff.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:26 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 



randman wrote: I know that you have to parse statists like Obama and the Clintons to know what they are thinking. Politicians like to throw out BS.

Follow the money, not the rhetoric.

Clearly slavery was a non-economic issue...
____________________
Roy Williams is 7-0 against Michigan State and has beaten them everywhere you can, including at home, on the road, in the Final Four, in the national title game and on a boat. - Adam Lucas
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:32 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 



NYCBlueBlood wrote:
randman wrote: I know that you have to parse statists like Obama and the Clintons to know what they are thinking. Politicians like to throw out BS.

Follow the money, not the rhetoric.

Clearly slavery was a non-economic issue...
Right. There was no money tied up in slaves. Nor did slave labor have any effect on the cost of plantation goods.

My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:39 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


Gerald is the real victim here.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:41 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 



PCarolina wrote:
NYCBlueBlood wrote:
randman wrote: I know that you have to parse statists like Obama and the Clintons to know what they are thinking. Politicians like to throw out BS.

Follow the money, not the rhetoric.

Clearly slavery was a non-economic issue...
Right. There was no money tied up in slaves. Nor did slave labor have any effect on the cost of plantation goods.
M.O.B.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 7:52 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


What we've got here is...failure to communicate
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:01 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


I would think that if you looked at the documents each of the states wrote declaring their intent to leave and the reasons for that action you might find a common thread.

End gerrymandering: Voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:09 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


States' rights
Land use (agrarian vs industrial)
Abolitionism
Volatile local politics, especially in the south
Economic disparities between north and south
Racial tensions
Years of simmering political conflict
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:16 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Jersey Shore.
---------------
"He wrote it on amphetamine, high in jazz cafes.  Speeding away..."
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:21 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


State rats
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:22 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


We are used to regularly seeing randman get destroyed on many threads, but the rout is seldom as quick and thorough as we've seen on this thread.

The whole problem with the world is the fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
Bertrand Russell
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:25 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 




---------------------------------------------
--- randman wrote:

I know that you have to parse statists like Obama and the Clintons to know what they are thinking. Politicians like to throw out BS.

Follow the money, not the rhetoric.

---------------------------------------------

Ha. The money was in slaves, dawg. And the crops they labored over.
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:35 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


States' rights ......... more of a post hoc rationalization or justification for secession than a fundamental reason.  After the War - 'State's Rights' was a common theme of the Lost Cause Myth - "we were just defending our rights".  This was little more than transparent CYA by the vanquished leadership of the South to try to put some honorable face on the tragic outcome of the War in the South.

Land use (agrarian vs industrial) ...... not sure what you mean here.

Abolitionism ....... Abolitionism added to the South's antipathy towards the North ... but Abolitionists themselves were a small minority in the North .... more of an influence on opinions or attitudes than a real political force

Volatile local politics, especially in the south ..... extremist politics or politicians added fuel to the fire and basically headed events in a direction that made division more likely and compromise less likely.  The split of the Democratic Party into northern and southern factions opened the door for a northern regional party/candidate - Republican/Lincoln to capture the Presidency and further isolate the South and make southern politicians feel separation was their best course.

Economic disparities between north and south ..... not sure about how this really led to secession and Civil War.

Racial tensions ...... see Abolitionists above.

Years of simmering political conflict ..... Yes .... see comments above on how this got worse and worse until compromise became more difficult and secession ensued.


Rodoheel wrote:

States' rights
Land use (agrarian vs industrial)
Abolitionism
Volatile local politics, especially in the south
Economic disparities between north and south
Racial tensions
Years of simmering political conflict

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November 29

Last edited 7/24/2013 8:38 PM by BethelRegiment

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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:37 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


If Lincoln's first acts were to secure subsidies for southern crops that kept farming, especially large scale farming, profitable with paid labor and coupled that with abolishing slavery, would that have changed the decision to secede for any? all?
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:42 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


I think you missed the point of my post - look closer
BethelRegiment wrote: States' rights ......... more of a post hoc rationalization or justification for secession than a fundamental reason.  After the War - 'State's Rights' was a common theme of the Lost Cause Myth - "we were just defending our rights".  This was little more than transparent CYA by the vanquished leadership of the South to try to put some honorable face on the tragic outcome of the War in the South.

Land use (agrarian vs industrial) ...... not sure what you mean here.

Abolitionism ....... Abolitionism added to the South's antipathy towards the North ... but Abolitionists themselves were a small minority in the North .... more of an influence on opinions or attitudes than a real political force

Volatile local politics, especially in the south ..... extremist politics or politicians added fuel to the fire and basically headed events in a direction that made division more likely and compromise less likely.  The split of the Democratic Party into northern and southern factions opened the door for a northern regional party/candidate - Republican/Lincoln to capture the Presidency and further isolate the South and make southern politicians feel separation was their best course.

Economic disparities between north and south ..... not sure about how this really led to secession and Civil War.

Racial tensions ...... see Abolitionists above.

Years of simmering political conflict ..... Yes .... see comments above on how this got worse and worse until compromise became more difficult and secession ensued.


Rodoheel wrote:

States' rights
Land use (agrarian vs industrial)
Abolitionism
Volatile local politics, especially in the south
Economic disparities between north and south
Racial tensions
Years of simmering political conflict
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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:44 PM

Re: What really caused the Civil War? 


Remember 7 states of the Deep South had already seceded before Lincoln took office.

By the time Lincoln actually became President - the Secession Train had already left the station.

Lincoln was elected in November 1860 and didn't take office until March of 1861.  In the meantime he said nothing as was the custom for a President-Elect at the time.  Meanwhile,  Buchanan dithered while the South came undone.


yourmybluesky wrote: If Lincoln's first acts were to secure subsidies for southern crops that kept farming, especially large scale farming, profitable with paid labor and coupled that with abolishing slavery, would that have changed the decision to secede for any? all?

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November 29

Last edited 7/24/2013 8:45 PM by BethelRegiment

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Posted: 7/24/2013 8:45 PM

RE: What really caused the Civil War? 


Got it.

Clever.


Rodoheel wrote:

I think you missed the point of my post - look closer

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November 29

Last edited 7/24/2013 8:46 PM by BethelRegiment

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