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Five myths about why the South seceded

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by dbigfeet, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. dbigfeet

    dbigfeet Member

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    i am sure some will continue to disagree
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010703178.html


     
  2. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

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    I found that fascinating, thanks. I had #1 and #5 drilled into my head by most of my history teachers.
     
  3. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    would have been interesting if the author could have refrained from the jab at W's "tax cuts for the wealthy."

    i stopped reading there.
     
  4. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    How was it a jab? And even if it was, why would you get two thirds of the way through an article and then stop because of it? Are you really that sensitive?
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    i think you know the answer to the question.
     
  6. ChievousFTFace

    ChievousFTFace Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. dbigfeet

    dbigfeet Member

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    seriously? How is that a "jab"? Even the most conservative of conservatives call it that.
     
  8. dbigfeet

    dbigfeet Member

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    just like many supporters of the new healthcare reform call it "Obamacare".
     
  9. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I have some quibble with those 2.

    On #1, states' rights is used as a feint to avoid the fact that secession was primarily done to preserve slavery. I accept that. But, I think counter-arguments tend to go too far in trying to marginalize concerns about states' rights.

    On #5, I think the future of the South had they won is just too hypothetical to call a position either way a 'myth.' No amount of historical evidence could prove or disprove something that didn't get a chance to happen.

    #2 I never heard of, and #3 and #4 seem obvious.
     
  10. dbigfeet

    dbigfeet Member

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    I never heard any off these until college. But then again, i went to inner city schools. You would have to be very brave or very stupid to say any of this to a room of nothing but black and hispanic kids.

    Simple answer. States rights may have been an issue, but it was not the primary issue. So it natual that when someone calls it the primary reason for the war, detractors dismiss it as avoiding truth.

    you are right but, people use that myth to defend the South's actions. Why not chop it down. Plus "5 myths" sounds better than "4 myths"
     
  11. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Sure, I recognize that. But, this article goes on to say the South actually embraced Federal power, and I don't think that's quite right either. That's reacting too far.


    Again, it oversteps. It doesn't have enough basis in fact to be a myth either way. In a propaganda campaign, I can appreciate the sentiment of chopping it down as a justification for secession. As a matter of the study of History, you just can't be that conclusive.
     
  12. wouldabeen23

    wouldabeen23 Contributing Member

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    my BA is in History and #2 has gained more traction recently, we touched on it in College but isn't supported by any credible Historians--it's been relegated to those with a political axe to grind.

    #1 is wrapped in shades of gray(no pun intended), but nothing makes me more wary of someone's ideological bent then when they pop-off with States Rights as the number one cause of the Civil War or use the phrase "War Between The States".

    I had a professor that was a special forces captain that taught at West Point--in fact his syllabus still listed students as "cadets"....He had an interesting take on the FALL of the South.
    The typical factors agreed to as leading to the defeat of the South center around a lack of industrial manufacturing capacity and infrastructure coupled with a population deficit compared to the northern states. He stated that South lost due to a miscalculation in tactics--namely, the South over extended it's resources, manpower and supply lines by invading the North. Had Lee strengthened their positions and "dug in" for defense, they very well could have broken the North's military machine.
     
  13. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    your professor fails to take into account the naval blockade of the south (typical army ;)).

    the rebellion was doomed from the start, assuming a resolute leader like Lincoln. we should all be thankful Mcclellan was even worse as a politician, than he was as a general.
     
  14. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    When people mention "State's rights", you have to ask the question, "What rights were being infringed upon?" And that was slavery. After all, if state's rights really was the issue, then the Confederacy, when they drafted their Constitution, could have made it so that the states had more power, such as saying state laws trumped federal laws or something. They didn't. The only major alteration really was concerning slavery, and that shows what was important to the rich plantation owners.
     
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I agree with all of it with respect to policymakers...but I still have a difficult time believing it was "the cause" of the average Confederate soldier; that they risked all for a system they really didn't benefit from because they were dirt-poor and didn't own slaves. (and, yes, I read the part about, "yeah, but they had the hope of one day owning slaves!!" -- i just find that far-fetched when you start talking about why people left home to stare down death on a battlefield)
     
  16. BetterThanI

    BetterThanI Contributing Member

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    I can believe it. Because it wasn't packaged as "they're trying to end slavery", it was packaged as "they're trying to end our Southern way of life", making it a pride issue. And one thing Southerners have a LOT if is pride. For the average soldier, it wasn't slavery vs. abolition: it was a simple case of us vs. them. And people have fought and died over a lot less.
     
  17. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    I would imagine that a great many of the Rebel grunts were fighting because they saw their lands as being invaded. Same reason a lot of the Afghanis are fighting Americans. The high level policy stuff is way over their heads, if they are even aware of it. The guy in the blue/digital camo uniform that is setting up came on the Swanson/Khan farm is something that he knows doesn't belong there.
     
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    ??? You're saying what I'm saying...I'm also saying, it wasn't about "slavery vs. abolition" for the average Confederate soldier.

    agree entirely that it was regionalism and pride for those folks.
     
  19. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    The author should have just said the war was all about darkies and saved us all the trouble.
     
  20. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    This.

    Also, I find it always unsettling that Lincoln gets this "anti-slavery" reputation from simplified textbooks when he was rather ambivalent about it from a political or policy perspective, and profoundly racist in any case. Like other white men, he was so terrified by the Haitian revolution and convinced that coexistence was, at best, difficult and dangerous, that he gave official recognition to Liberia so that in case the "darkies" got out of hand the US could just ship them all back to Africa a la Jefferson.

    "History is written by the victors"...
     

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