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A Northerner acknowledges the cause of the Civil War

gryghin

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A Brother of mine from the Canoe Club sent me this. He relocated to the Carolinas from the North after retiring.

A very interesting read... this isn't what is taught North of the Mason-Dixon line... though having grown up in Florida and South Carolina, this more accurately resembles what I remember.

 

UnionMillsNW

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The Civil War was about taxes...

...it was also about slavery...and westward expansion...and states rights...and federalism...and endless list of other issues.

It is a common error of our books and media to remember history through a simplified and myopic lens.

Lincoln didn't mention slavery in his early speeches because he knew that any reference would drive a further wedge into an already fractured country.

Lincoln said "If I find a venomous snake lying on the open praire, I seize the first stick and kill him at once. But if that snake is in bed with my children, I must be more cautious. I shall, in striking the snake, also strike the children, or arouse the reptile to bite the children."

Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the Union, even at the abhorrent cost of slavery.

But slavery was a driving issue and the country had already been simmering in war well before any shots were fired at Fort Sumter.... the dead of "Bleeding Kansas" and Harper's Ferry can attribute to the price being paid.

Yet there were many people in the North that were plenty racist and supported slavery; and many people (although a lesser number) in the South that neither owned nor supported slavery.

Mary Todd Lincoln's brothers fought for the Confederacy.

General Pickett, of Gettysburg, did not like slavery and owned none, but felt his loyalty belonged to his home State.

It is my belief that the war was inevitable. From the founding of our nation grew two narratives:

One of a unified body of states governed by federal authority.

The other of independent states with a federal body acting as an intermediary.

This is why much of the Confederate Officer's and politicians speak of their primary loyalty being to their State. Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, ect.

The country was divided for countless economic and ethical reasons. But the primary cause of the civil war is a disagreement over the very nature and foundation of our Union.

The Southern states largely believed themselves sovereign; no other body had jurisdiction to regulate commerce, which at the time very much meant slavery.

The State and the Federal government cannot both have supreme authority. As Lincoln said "A house divided against itself cannot stand"

So yes, the Civil War was partially about taxes, along with numerous other economic and political issues. But slavery was the driving economic force in the South and the war most certainly was fueled by this injustice.

But the one common denominator in the Civil War was both sides had their own narrative on the principles in which this country was founded. Those narratives were in conflict and the divide only grew until brothers fought brothers.

I hope we never see anything like it again.
 

Ura-Ki

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It's actually much more complex then it's possible to even discuss here, but, it goes a lot further then just taxes! The north also unfairly limited the south in it's political representation in both the house and senate, leaving the southern states highly vulnerable to the unfair northern superiority! What ever the north wanted, they were able to sweep it through with out any challenges from the south, and THAT was an even bigger issue then the taxes, the sough was basically treated as a second class to the north!
And lets not even start on how things got even worse for the south AFTER the war ended! Lots of bad blood still in the south over the whole thing!
 
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It was about money, make no mistake.
The North and it's big banks wanted control of the South's wealth. The Southern states had full access to the Gulf of Mexico and all it's trade routes. They were rolling in dough! They had their own currency and banks. The North wanted in on the action. Plain and simple. All the other things like slavery, states rights etc. were just part of the perfect storm that the Northern bankers used to start the civil war.
Look up Mayer Amschel Rothschild and how he made his money. Look up the interest rate offered Lincoln when he went to the banks for war loans. He walked away the first time and then was forced back to take the incredibly high interest rate loans. It was all about the money and control over it. The big banks made money and took control of everything.
 
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Andy54Hawken

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My favorite reason of "Why"...

Was given by a soldier of the 9th Tennessee Infantry ( CSA )
When he was captured , he was asked by the Federal troopers why he was fighting for slavery
( note the assumption / bias here as early as 1863 ) , since he was too poor to own slaves....
The answer from the solder of the 9th Tennessee was :
"I'm fightin' 'casue you are down here..."

Like any war the reasons "Why" are varied.
To say that our "Civil War" was simply about slavery , is well , a simple , yet flawed answer to a complex issue.

It is interesting to me at least , that the victors in this conflict choose to call it :
The War of the Rebellion....at least that is what the official records call it.

Note that there is nothing about a "Civil War" in the title of the official records
A "Civil War"... implies two or more groups fighting for control of the same government...or a War between citizens of the same country.
The South left the Union....it was a different country altogether.

My simplistic answer to "Why"...
Is either to keep the country you just formed...Or to preserve the Union.
Andy
 

bbbass

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The South produced and exported most of the goods in America, and under the tariff, that resulted in the South paying about 75% of all taxes in America. The tariff also prevented them from buying European imports because after taxes were collected they were too costly. This meant that the South’s only option was to buy from the North.

It seemed that either way the South’s money was ending up in the North, and Southerners resented the arrangement. President Andrew Jackson was able to reduce some of the taxes on the South in the Great Compromise of 1833, but the same year the Force Bill was passed that allowed the government to collect federal tariffs from states by any means necessary, including by force. The seeds of the Civil War had been sown.


I had read about this aspect before. My understanding is that there were trade disputes regarding export of cotton to Europe (the North wanted a piece of the action) and imports of other goods. The Northern elitists were dominating the South in many ways. The disrespect for the Southerner exists to this day.

But the one common denominator in the Civil War was both sides had their own narrative on the principles in which this country was founded. Those narratives were in conflict and the divide only grew until brothers fought brothers.

I hope we never see anything like it again.
We're getting there...

Look around. Half the country wants a Godlike Federal Govt, to be taken care of cradle to grave, to benefit from the wealth or efforts of others, to get rid of Capitalism, and replace it with a Marxist system. The other half just wants to be free.
 
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Aero Denezol

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It seems to be a very popular revisionist theory that taxes caused the Civil War. Like others have said, the truth is far more complex.

IMO, Westward Expansion threatened the balance in Congress, and in turn threatened an entire way of life for the South.

South Carolina almost seceded due to tariffs in the 1830's, a couple of decades before Fort Sumter. That might be some source of the confusion.
 
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Andy54Hawken

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The idea of leaving the Union was not a new one for the 1860's...

New England almost seceded during the War of 1812...one of the many reasons was a trade embargo...
Note that like any war or reason....there are many other "Whys' , other than what I posted.

Also worth noting , in regards to slavery:
Virginia ( A Southern state ) was the first state to ban the importation of slaves...
And the 1863 Draft Riots of New York ( a Northern state ) , were by folks who did not want to fight , for Freedom for Slaves...
Andy
 
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General Pickett, of Gettysburg, did not like slavery and owned none, but felt his loyalty belonged to his home State.
this was the case most of the time. This is why black and white people in the south hold the confederate flag with pride. It’s about southern pride, not racism or supporting slavery.

there were a lot of big names who fought for the south that were fighting for their state or their freedoms who didn’t give a dang about slavery or were strongly against it.
But thats not a sexy narrative for the media and schools
 

bbbass

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A year or so ago, I Googled trying to find articles about other causes of the "War for Secession" or the "War of Northern Aggression", but ALL the articles referred only to Slavery as the true cause. I do believe it was more complex than that, but it is PC for our country to be guilt ridden and Google is nothing if not PC.
 
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It's actually much more complex then it's possible to even discuss here, but, it goes a lot further then just taxes! The north also unfairly limited the south in it's political representation in both the house and senate, leaving the southern states highly vulnerable to the unfair northern superiority! What ever the north wanted, they were able to sweep it through with out any challenges from the south, and THAT was an even bigger issue then the taxes, the sough was basically treated as a second class to the north!
And lets not even start on how things got even worse for the south AFTER the war ended! Lots of bad blood still in the south over the whole thing!
This sounds familiar.
 
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Google is very PC but some interesting information can be found. Google the "great potato famine" , Scots rebellion etc. Also note the source of the populations ethnic ancestry of those below the Mason Dixon line it was and is a factor. There is a definite economic component to the "Civil War" but there is a lot of subsurface politics involved as well. Many of those elements are still in existence today and will be for a very long time. I don't proclaim to be a "Civil War" historian but I do like to think beyond the 'written' history. I was quite surprised to see that many who were interred at an old Edinburgh, Scotland graveyard were ex-Confederate soldiers, this is also true for many older Western state graveyards. Has to make you wonder!
 

bbbass

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Google is very PC but some interesting information can be found. Google the "great potato famine" , Scots rebellion etc. Also note the source of the populations ethnic ancestry of those below the Mason Dixon line it was and is a factor. There is a definite economic component to the "Civil War" but there is a lot of subsurface politics involved as well. Many of those elements are still in existence today and will be for a very long time. I don't proclaim to be a "Civil War" historian but I do like to think beyond the 'written' history. I was quite surprised to see that many who were interred at an old Edinburgh, Scotland graveyard were ex-Confederate soldiers, this is also true for many older Western state graveyards. Has to make you wonder!
We know that my wife has a lot of Scot ancestry, and a bit if Native American... more than a certain "candidate". She is part of the McKinnis line, of which we have many right here whose ancestors helped settle the Grande Ronde Valley. It is said that all the McKinnises are related and we have often wondered if there is a relationship to Jerry McKinnis of "The Fishin Hole" TV show, B.A.S.S. (Bassmaster) Co-Founder, who died of an infection after an injury during a fishing trip to Wyoming.
 

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