Let's Get Out of This Country

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Occasional reasonoid John Sugg hobnobs with secessionists and puts the results in Atlanta's Creative Loafing.

In the vision projected at Chattanooga, America would become a collection of self-governing states, some connected by confederations. The South would embrace social conservatism – there would be no debate about the evils of gay marriage or abortion, for example. The Northeast would harbor the blue-state ideals of community and multiculturalism. Rugged individualists would flock to the West and Alaska.

Fun to argue, but nothing the secessionists are riled about are as intractable as the debate over whether we should own slaves. As Sugg points out it's mostly culture war stuff, urbanites versus Jed Clampett types, and the rest of Creative Loafing is given over to arguments for and against Atlanta's secession from the rest of Georgia. Here's Vermont secessionist Thomas Naylor sparring with Bill O'Reilly, who honestly wants "anti-military" states boycotted or boosted out of the Union.

NEXT: He's Bad, He's Nationwide

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  1. are you really saying that slavery had anything to do with the civil war?

    inaugural address and emancipation proclamation:
    http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html
    http://www.sojust.net/documents/emancipation_proclomation.html

    i mean lincon never freed a single slave, can the pres of the US say that women in iran no longer have to wear burka’s and have it mean anything? Lincoln even says slaves in the county’s that the north controls are not free.

    secession has always had to do with states rights, prior to the civil war many northern states talked about secession and no one at the time said they could not do it.

    I know im getting hung up on that one comment but whenever the civil war comes up i have to argue about it and i just did not expect to have to argue the point here

  2. Prevent, as far as possible, any of our friends from demoralizing themselves, and our cause, by entertaining propositions for compromise of any sort, on slavery extension. There is no possible compromise upon it, but which puts us under again, and leaves all our work to do over again. Whether it be a Mo. Line, or Eli Thayer’s Pop. Sov. It is all the same. Let either be done, & immediately filibustering and extending slavery recommences. On that point hold firm, as with a chain of steel. – Abraham Lincoln to Elihu B. Washburne, December 13, 1860

    Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery. If there be, all our labor is lost, and, ere long, must be done again. The dangerous ground-that into which some of our friends have a hankering to run-is Pop. Sov. Have none of it. Stand firm. The tug has to come, & better now, than any time hereafter. – Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, December 10, 1860

  3. i mean lincon never freed a single slave, can the pres of the US say that women in iran no longer have to wear burka’s and have it mean anything?

    Well, if the Prez sends General Sherman to burn Tehran to the ground, I guess he could also enforce the burka dress code.

  4. We could compromise. Put together a contract that limits Federal government to what must be done on a federal level and leaves the states free to…

    Oh, wait.

    Nevermind.

  5. bill

    The simple fact is that there would have been no secession and no civil war if the Southern States had not been obsessed with maintaining slavery and extending it to the western territories.

  6. I don’t think O’Reilly knows the difference between secession and migration. Poor sap.

    Social conservatives were all gung-ho on state’s rights when it protected their right to be bigots, but when it comes down to a state’s right to decide on drug control, well that’s a whole other story. Even McCain was OK with a state’s right to make that call until he decided to try and get himself called a president.

    I liked Maher’s take after the ’04 election:

    “If at first you don’t secede, try, try again. We’re willing to reconsider.” Kinda makes the point, doesn’t it?

  7. bill – women in Iran don’t have to wear burqas. They have to wear hajibs.

  8. This topic always prompts people to talk past each other.

    The south, or at least the deep south, seceded to protect slavery. But it was preservation of the union, not abolition of slavery, that prompted the north to reconquer the southern states. So whether the Civil War was “about” slavery depends on which side’s aims you’re looking at.

    Neither the Union nor the Confederacy was particularly libertarian in either its goals or its behavior. My sympathies are with the Free State of Jones.

  9. I’d support secession if the South were aiming for Libertopia. But I don’t think that would be the result.

  10. Conservative Southerners need to pick a side (“America is the Greatest Country in the World” or “America is Going to Hell and We’d Better Leave”) and stick with it.

  11. Isaac,

    i would have to disagree that it is a ‘fact’ that the war would not have happened. the war was because of oppressive taxes on the south and all the money from the taxes went to the north. the north had slaves as well and the fugitive slave laws are what allowed slavery to continue. i find it ironic that if the north allowed the south to secede slavery would have ended very quickly since as soon as a slave entered thenorth he would have been free and there would be no law requiring him to be returned to the south.

    Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley on Aug. 22, 1862: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it”

    Congress announced to the world on July 22, 1861, that the purpose of the war was not “interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states” (i.e., slavery), but to preserve the Union “with the rights of the several states unimpaired.” At the time of Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) only the seven states of the deep South had seceded. There were more slaves in the Union than out of it

    In his First Inaugural Lincoln promised to invade any state that failed to collect “the duties and imposts,” and he kept his promise. On April 19, 1861, the reason Lincoln gave for his naval blockade of the Southern ports was that “the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed” in the states that had seceded.

    In his First Inaugural he pledged his support of a proposed constitutional amendment that had just passed the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that would have prohibited the federal government from ever having the power “to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

    i can keep going but i will make just one more point – the US and Haiti were the only two countries to end slavery with a war other countrys ended it peacefully through compensated emancipation

  12. “The simple fact is that there would have been no secession and no civil war if the Southern States had not been obsessed with maintaining slavery and extending it to the western territories.”

    There probably would not have been a civil war if Lincoln had appeared on a single election ballot anywhere in the south. Could you imagine how disconnected to the country you would feel, if after a presidental election you found out that the president was someone half the country didn’t have a chance to vote for and had not heard of?

  13. DanT:

    don’t forget about the

    SOUTHERN PRIDE!!! PATRICK SWAYZE PLAYED THE SOUTHERNER IN THE MINISERIES!

    and

    WHINE WHINE. MAKING FUN OF THE SOUTH IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE PREJUDICE LEFT THESE DAYS. WHINE WHINE.

    my guess is that the contradiction you see is from tainted FUMUNDA CHEESE they enjoy with their whine…

    [ducks]

  14. I do currently support the forced secession of Texas.

  15. I hate to say it, but Bill O’Reilly does sort of have a point that there are simpler ways for Thomas Naylor to leave the country than getting Vermont to secede.

  16. heh heh… you said taint cheese… heh heh

  17. Taxes?

    Seriously–just pick up any political document from 1848 to 1860. Any one–a newspaper editorial page, the debates in Congress or the legislature, the proceedings of any national convention on any subject (even church conventions), a diary from any remotely politically aware person. Anything at all. They aren’t obsessed about taxes.

    Here, for example, is where you can find Debates in the US Congress:
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html

    Take a look at the Congressional Globe from the first session of the 36th Congress (1859-1860) to find out the big political issue of the day on the eve of secession. Note I use the singular “issue” rather than the plural for a reason–there is one thing on every Congressman’s mind, and, for once, it isn’t taxes. The House literally spends the first two months arguing whether endorsing an anti-slavery book should exclude a congressman from the speakership.

    Isaac is correct in his statements:
    (1) The southern states seceded to protect slavery.
    (2) The Union fought them to protect their financial interests.

    Fact #2 doesn’t change fact #1.

    Also, to fight a popular meme that you have repeated: Abraham Lincoln absolutely did free slaves–the ones in the District of Columbia. The only slaves he had the power to free. On April 16, 1862, he signed S 108 into law, which abolished slavery in the District of Columbia and freed all slaves currently held there.

    I know this has nothing to do with the topic at hand; I apologize for wasting everybody’s time with something that everybody but this one poster probably already knew.

  18. I’m playing an XBOX 360 game right now (Two Worlds) where one of the quests is to collect an herb called taint for a necromancer. When I received this quest I literally fell off my chair.

  19. Atlanta could secede from Georgia. No one would miss it. It could take the metro area with it, too, and I could watch north Georgia turn into a beautiful, inhabitable place again, as residents of Metlanta fester inside the shithole they’ve created with twenty years of unchecked development.

    de stijl,

    Portal is also a fun game.

  20. The Northeast would harbor the blue-state ideals of community and multiculturalism.

    I’m not sure what “multiculturalism” is supposed to mean here; it’s usually a catch-all term for “stuff I dislike”. As far as “community”, I don’t think forcing someone’s idea of community on everyone else is a uniquely Northeast liberal problem. Look who took the longest to abandon sodomy laws.

    Rugged individualists would flock to the West and Alaska.

    Where they could continue sucking from the federal teat while bragging about how rugged and individualistic they are.

    other countrys ended it peacefully through compensated emancipation

    The federal government shouldn’t have had to “compensate” slaveholders for anything. Slavery should have been abolished nationwide, without compensation, by legislation or amendment, or at gunpoint if necessary.

    And the fugitive slave laws were passed because of intense pressure from the Southern states. Do you really think that if the South had been allowed to secede and slaves fled by the thousands to the North (and not “repatriated”) that there would have been no war whatsoever?

  21. I really need to know if O’Reilly is a cunt because it makes him money, or if he’s just really like that.

  22. That looks like Thomas Naylor who used to be an econ prof at Duke. He wrote a number of essays in the late ’80s about breaking up the US into more-manageable chunks.

    Met him on several occasions, seemed like a nice guy. I told him over a drink that the secession thing hadn’t worked out so well the last time it was tried, but wished him luck.

  23. Isaac is correct in his statements:
    (1) The southern states seceded to protect slavery.
    (2) The Union fought them to protect their financial interests.

    Actually I only made statement one.

    Jesse Walker said:

    But it was preservation of the union, not abolition of slavery, that prompted the north to reconquer the southern states.

    and I stand properly chastened for making overly simplistic statements.

    Nevertheless, I believe that even if the North had not fought the South 1861-5 and allowed them to secede there would have eventually been a war over the Confederacies western expansionist aims.

    If not that, there would have likely been a bloody slave revolt eventually. Whether the North would have been drawn into war over it is another question.

    I also do stand by my belief that rendering the causes of the Civil War down to simplicity the statement “No Slavery, No War” is correct.

  24. “Confederacies” should be “Confederacy’s”.

  25. hate to say it, but Bill O’Reilly does sort of have a point that there are simpler ways for Thomas Naylor to leave the country than getting Vermont to secede.

    However, he does need to learn some geography. Canada is not across Lake Champlain from Vermont. That’s upstate New York.

  26. Isaac’s simplistic answer is simply correct.
    Do you really think the South would rise up and suffer hundreds of thousands of deaths just to protest a 10 cent tariff on Granny’s
    imported skillet? Fact is, southern and western senators had the votes to lower tariffs that favored New England manufacturers, and had been so lowering the tariffs for years. Also, while more federal revenue was spent in the North, it was actually disproportionally spent in the South on a per capita basis. Most military expenditures were made in the South or West.
    I’ll take Confederate V.P. Stephens at his word when he stated slavery was the foundation of the Confederacy.

  27. Ooohh, I want to jump into an off topic argument, too!

    bill,
    bill, bill, bill. Go study your history. Go back to the Constitutional Convention, at least, and go all the way up to the start of the Civil War. Scan for everything related to slavery and/or secession. No need to report back. Just take some time to discover how complicated the issues that led to the Civil War were.

  28. Conservative Southerners need to pick a side (“America is the Greatest Country in the World” or “America is Going to Hell and We’d Better Leave”) and stick with it.

    Pray they pick “America is the Greatest Country in the World.”

    If you think American secessionists are annoying, you can have our Quebec secessionists. With very few exceptions, they don’t want a libertopia either.

  29. We should have let the south go the first time. Then we would have somewhere to export all the religious wackos to.

  30. then, bill, could you please then make a very-important, time-consuming phone call for me?

  31. “Rugged individualists would flock to the West and Alaska.

    Where they could continue sucking from the federal teat while bragging about how rugged and individualistic they are.”

    No kidding. Live between Alaska and Oregon (commercial fishing) and Alaska would keel over if the fed money disappeared. My god, they might have actually pay for things themselves. And use the Permanant Fund dividend to actually keep the state afloat instead as mad money annually.

    Note: love Alaska and would retire there if I could pull my Oregon born and plans to die here husband. But half of the “rugged individualists” live in the Anchorage metro area. It’s a load of codswallop. I’d be happy to live in a village out west…most “Alaskans” wouldn’t dream of such a thing. Anchorage is just another large urban city.

  32. I was born in Florida so I do sympathise with the Southerners as far as secession is concerned. I would only support it if it adopted libertarian principles. I know the Southern States probably would adopt only a few if any of them. I also doubt very much that the Confederate States would reinstate slavery. Only white supremicists would want that and a vast majority of southerners, including myself, would stand against that.

  33. It’s a load of codswallop.

    Codswallop, my word for the day!

  34. The south seceded because their particular sectional party lost an election. You can make a case that Lincoln committed some pretty bad civil liberties violations during the war, but he had done nothing except win an election when then deep south decided to secede.

    The only states that really wanted a civil war in 1860 were South Carolina and Massachusetts.

  35. ill start off this time by saying that pretty much everyone who is commenting on my posts is being very condescending, i would have really hoped for more from ‘libertarians’ and do you really expect to change my mind by being an ass?

    if you can answer these two questions i will seriously reconsider my position but stop being an ass it just puts everyones back up and that will never change anyones mind, i know slavery is a very emotional issue but to say ‘go study history’ is just dumb you can tell that i do i just dont believe everything i learned in school is correct (just like you on many issues otherwise you would not be on reasons site).

    if this is how you respond on other blogs/boards it really just puts people off and will never change anyones mind which is what we have to do.

    OK so so to the questions

    1. if they would not fight over .10 skillet tax why would they fight for slavery when lincoln had no problem with it(see previous post) and there was an AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION being proposed to make it NEVER GO AWAY that had linconls blessing?
    2.the north had slaves as well, no they were not as dependent on them but they were almost all raciest. so why would the northerns die over slavery?

  36. I dont see where Bill is wrong.

    It is true that the north had little intention of getting rid of slavery (as evidenced by Bill) and if they did want to get rid of slavery a war was not necessary as was shown in the many other cases in history (that is, unless you just like the idea of hundreds of thousands dead and millions having much of their property stolen).

    As for this issue:

    It is worth noting that the South fired upon FORT SUMTER which was no coincidence – it was a customs fort where the north collected their tariffs which most southerners were very angry about.
    THE BIGGER ISSUE:

    I am also disappointed by the level of debate and its lack of “Reason.”

    if you are actually interested in finding the truth about anything,

    1 dont act like a jackass (you just look like a jackass and noone listens to you.)

    2 dont make arguments like “everybody knows ____” or “youre wrong about x because youre wrong about Y” or “you just hate america”.
    we have sean hannity, rush limbaugh and Oreilly for this.

    for more info on logical fallacies and arguments that dont make any sense which others use (and you dont want to use yourself) i suggest http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm

    but thats only if youre interested in being honest, and getting as close to the truth as possible, which with most people is not the case.

  37. Taxes was an issue, but it related to slavery also. Congress was trying to place a tax on cotton going overseas. The south was profiting handsomely from being able to get cotton to market so cheaply, of course because of the free labor. Attempting to impose a tax on exported cotton was a way to use “interstate commerce” to impose a taxes on the use of slavery. The south claimed the taxes would have crippled their economy, which meant they couldn’t have as strong an economy without the slave labor. So, even when it was about taxes, it was about slavery.

    But, before becoming president, Lincoln did try to make slavery a permanent institution. And he suspended habeas corpus, arrested a federal judge, arrested members of the media who printed dissent, made a bundle routing the railroad over land he owned, etc…

    So screw that guy, too.

  38. Bill,

    What “Northern” state allowed slavery? Seriously, which one? Are you refering to Missouri? You know, it secceded.

  39. GinSlinger

    Actually, no, Missouri did not secede. A lot of its citizens did fight for the Confederacy, however.

    Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware were slave states also. They too did not secede.

    Me, I’m just puzzled about how hurt bill feels.

  40. In fact in Missouri Confederate sympathy ran so strong that some communities raised whole companies of volunteers to fight for the Southern cause.

  41. I was taught in school that slavery existed in the north but it generally wasnt has harsh (if that even makes sense) because there were not plantations but i dont know until what date it was illegal and/or not being practiced. That being said, I frankly dont trust much of what i was taught in University or before as i have found much of it to be wrong.

    What i did find real quick that was intersting is this:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/jarvis/jarvis97.html

    highlights:

    In fact, the authors make it clear that, in the mid 1800s, there was far more support in the North for the Southern states than for abolitionists, a relatively small movement. The financial stability of New York City was so dependent on cotton imported from the South that in January 1861, its Mayor suggested that if the South seceded, New York City should also secede. Evidence of the camaraderie between North and South is found throughout the book and it calls into question the North’s moral opposition to slavery suggested in public school textbooks.

  42. Actually I see I am wrong about Missouri not seceding.

    They tried but were occupied by Union forces so quickly that their secession ordinance had little effect, except to unify the pro-Southern populace against the pro-Northern poulace.

    Suffice it to say Missouri was deeply divided over the issue.

  43. scaremongerer

    As noteed above by 1860 the only slave states other than the ones that seceded were Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.

    Technically these were Southern States since they lay south of the Mason-Dixon Line (the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland which had become the recognised border between North and south).

    Many people do not consider Lew Rockwell to be a particularly good source of information on this subject.

  44. Isaac,
    Yeah, that’s what I was talking about. It’s actually even more complicated than that in MO. The German population in St Louis successfully had the location of the vote moved in an attempt to stem the seccessionist vote.

  45. Ginslinger

    I think the issue was that Missouri was sharply divided internally. In addition to a strong pro-slavery faction there was an almost equally strong anti-slavery faction. This kind of division was nowhere near as pronounced in any other state AFAIK.

    The Civil War as fought in Missouri was almost an inter-county war.

    Slavery had been on the decline in Delaware since Independence largely due to the Quaker influence so secession was hardly an issue.

    There were volunteers from Delaware in the Confederate forces but not on the scale of the other Border States.

    Just as an aside; my father always opined that the War would have been over in months if it had not been for graft and corruption on the part of Northern business interests who were profiting in many ways including selling goods to the South through the blockades. While corruption was rife, I’m not to sure about the “War would have been over in months” bit myself.

  46. :::Many people do not consider Lew Rockwell to be a particularly good source of information on this subject.:::

    This refers to what i was talking about before with having a fair debate. If i make a claim, a valid reply is not “most people know thats not true,” or “blank and blank person said that, therefore its not true.” These are not addressing the issue that was brought up, just dismissing an argument wholsale.
    http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/subject.htm

    I understand we have to be discerning in what we believe when it comes to history, but to disregard facts because they do not conform to what we previously believed is a good way to end up wrong. An honest response would be inquiry into the facts stated, not disregarding them.

    Anything else may be good enough for Bill Oreilly and Sean Hannity, not good enough for anyone trying to be intellectually honest.

    TO THE TOPIC AT HAND: when was slavery made illegal/not used in the north? because from that article i just cited, (which is a review of a book) there seemed to be facts stating there was a lot of support in the north even right before the civil war.

  47. scaremonger (how fitting),

    New York was the last of the Northern states to go totally free. They adopted gradual manumission in 1804, so no slaves north of the Mason-Dixon line post 1824.

    The Confederated Congress outlawed slavery in the old Northwest with the Northwest Land Ordinance of 1787.

    The Missouri Comprimise (1819) banned slavery north of the 36-30 in the Louisiana Territory with the lone exception of Missouri.

    That takes care of pretty much everything north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    Slaves (but not slavery) exsisted in extremely small numbers in some states. See the Dred Scott trial for an example, but those slaves were essentially “passing through.”

    The Comprimise of 1850 allowed for slavery in the New Mexico and Utah territories based on popular soveriegnty. The comprimise banned the slave trade in DC, let California enter free, and passed the Fugitive Slave Act in exchange for CA and DC.

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act overode the Missouri Comprimise allowing for slavery in the Kansas and Nebraska territories based on pop. sov. There was one slave based constitution for KS, but it was the product of MO iterlopers. You know, bleeding KS.

    As for Lincoln and slavery, read the Freeport Doctrine.

    Of course, you are free to disregard this as I am just an university history professor.

  48. As a son of the Jayhawk state, all I can say is “damned butternut ruffians!” The burning of Lawrence will be avenged one day!!

    (Oh, and John Brown can go to hell!)

  49. Well, Ginslinger, I did my homework assignment and went through the Freeport Doctrine and he states there that he is against slavery.

    But, i dont believe it is as simple as you imply. The context of the debate in which he comes out against slavery is that he is trying to corner Douglas into a position that would harm his chances of getting elected.

    It seems that I can find quotes of Lincoln stating that blacks are inferior by nature, they should send them back to Africa, and that he isnt politically opposed to slavery as long as the federal government keeps getting its revenue stream from those states that allow it.

    He seems to be a politician just like we have today, saying whatever is convenient at the time that will benefit him.

    Does he believe it? I dont know, and i dont think it even matters that much aside from idle curiosity.

    What do you think?

  50. the Illinois constitution of 1818 (to my understanding) says that no new slaves could be brought in or created but if you were a slave you were a slave.

    but i will coincide that i am likely wrong on my second point however i believe that my first question is the much more important of the two –
    why would they fight for slavery when lincoln had no problem with it and there was an AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION being proposed to make it NEVER GO AWAY that had linconls blessing?

    I do have to thank everyone for making this debate more then just name calling, especially

    Ginslinger, you have added quite a bit of info.
    however just because you are a professor does not mean you are correct, you have to make prove your point just like the rest of us, we are not your students and like it or not we are equals here even if you have more knowledge of the subject. actually reading your last comment back makes you sound like an ass(which i hope is not intended) first making fun of someones ‘name’ and then a sarcastic remark about being a professor. I am glad i am not your student as i am sure you are glad as well since im sure you are not used to people in there 20’s who just want to go to there dorm and get drunk challenging anything you say, particularly when you hold part of there future in your hand.

    sorry about the last part Ginslinger but to be childish you started it
    🙂

  51. bill,

    My last comment was directed to scaremonger’s “I frankly dont trust much of what i was taught in University. . . .” So, no, it was not intended as an appeal to authority. As to his nickname and how apt it is, well, let me try to explain:

    scaremonger, bill,

    The North fought the war to preserve the Union.

    The elite South fought the war to preserve the institution of slavery, an institution that they were finding increasingly difficult to defend at the national level; a “peculiar institution” in the parlance of the day. Look at the Brooks Sumner affair on the floor of the Senate where a senator was nearly beaten to death over the issue. Bleeding Kansas saw the rise of a “free soil” movement that was extrememly popular amongst the common sort–those who did not want to have to compete with slave labor.

    Notice I said the elites fought for slavery. The free soil movement was not just a Northern movement. Many poor Southern farmers had been pressed onto marginal land by the great planters, and faced competing with plantations that were branching out in production. These poor Southerners–the majority of the South’s population–were never going to fight for the protection of slavery. So, the elites (political and economic elites) framed the slavery question as a state’s rights question. In every Southern state, as the vote on seccession loomed, the rhetoric shifted to identify the things that you have refered to. (Just as the Nullification Crisis appears on its surface to be about the tarriff, yet is really about slavery.) Following the war, Southern historians played up the state’s rights angle to justify all the bloodshed that the decision to defend slavery caused–the birth of the “Lost Cause” myth.

    Now you have both pointed out that Lincoln had no intention to abolish slavery–and you are right. But, if you read the Freeport Doctrine and other “radical” Republican literature that was circulated in the South, you can easily see how Southern planters would _think_ that the Republicans were going to abolish slavery. These Southerners, jealous of their slaves, declared that the Republicans meant to undo all of Southern society by abolishing slavery–that’s why the screen name “scaremonger” is so appropriate. (It would be nice if we could apply our knowledge of what the inner Lincoln felt to our interpretations of his writings, but in history this is called historicism and to be avoided.)

  52. scaremonger,

    Based on my readings I believe that Lincoln had no intent to abolish slavery, just to prevent its further expansion (which may have been enough for the South to have secceded anyway).

    As I pointed out above, regardless of what Lincoln (and the radical Republicans) intended to do about slavery, the South believed that Lincoln was going to take steps to abolish the institution.

    Anyway you slice it, the status quo couldn’t be maintained. Gold and silver were about to be discovered in territories allowing the possibility of slavery. Cotton was already on the decline, so why wouldn’t slaveowners switch to mining? If they had, and given the harsh conditions of even free-labor mines, the issue of the Constitutional ban on the international slave trade would have surfaced. I feel comfortable saying that, even without Lincoln and the Republican Party, the South would have eventually tried seccession to re-open the international slave trade.

  53. Sorry for the triple post, but I forgot this little tidbit:

    Whenever a student says that the Civil War was about state’s rights, I reply, “Yes, you are right, the Civil War was, to the South, about the right for a state to enslave human beings, and to abandon the Constitution in order to do so.”

  54. my question then would be that if the southern elitists knew that lincoln had no problem with slavery and would have allowed it to continue so why risk everything, its not like a plantation owner would leave his home to go to the ‘rugged’ territorys to mine. also i find it unlkely that the south would have reinstituted the trade when they outlawed it on there own well before the war .

    and the confederate constitution was nearly identical to the norths but gave more power to the states and laws/bills had to be on a single subject(which i believe we would all agree would be a great thing to have today)

    it would not suprise me that the average southerner thought that lincoln was going to get rid of slavery(however from what you said they would have thought this a good idea since slavery gave the upper classes an unfair advantage) but those with the most to loose knew better and they would have been the ones who actually had the power to secede in the first place. seeing that slavery was failing i am sure they would want to do everything they could to keep it. and with that being the case lincoln would have been perfect since it would have been an amendment that allowed it and forcing 2 amendments to remove it

    using achems razor i can only believe that it was in the wealthy slave owners interest to not have a war if they could have assured slaverys survival and without a doubt not loose there lands(war is very risky) which lincoln would have done.

    unless there was another reason for the south to secede

    i am assuming by your posts that you would agree that lincoln was attempting to be a dictator (i love the fasces on the lincoln monument) and inform you students of this. removing habeas corpus, throwing i believe 30,000 dissenters into jail, including state senators(or did he just deport them i dont remember) even writing a warrant for the chief justice of teh supreme court.

    also is my comment on illinois(and i am assuming other states)incorrect?

    i want to thank you for continuing this discussion as i have learned a great deal. and hope it continues

  55. This is a very bad situation?what can we do.

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