Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 19 2009, 04:07AM
We can all — Yankee Patriot, and Southern Secessionist — alike, hopefully find some comfort in the fact that as bloody as our Nation's Civil War was, it could and would have been much, much worse had Jefferson Davis not been so impetuous and proud and ordered Beauregard to fire on the lone Federal Fort in the harbors of the first State to secede. After Fort Sumter was shelled with 4,000 rounds of artillery - the newly formed Confederacy was on borrowed time, and as they say: ‘the rest is history.’ Before that decisive moment at 4:30am on the 12th of April, it was simply a staring contest, a simple test of wills and willpower to determine who would blink first and strike at the other—and unite their people, or divide their own. Some say Jefferson Davis let Lincoln get the better of him, but I tend to think it was the same Southern Pride that fueled the secessionist movement - that got the better of Davis. Hubris is the fatal weakness of every honor-bound culture that places ‘pride’ above all other considerations.
But that is just a frivolous observation really, because even if Beauregard had disregarded those orders and delayed the hostilities — North and South still could never have coexisted peacefully as neighboring countries. Both North and South were conceived from the outset by their imperialist necessities. The South seceded because the newly elected Northern ‘powers that be’ rejected the South's demands that their institution extend westward, or north of Missouri Compromise line of the 36° parallel, and indeed the very survival Southern Slave-powers depended on expanding their institution to newly acquired states. If confined to 11 states, a growing population of four million potential Nat Turners would sooner or later have consumed them all — the red soil of the Southlands would have been burgundied with the blood of every white Southerner who was unable to escape North to the land of the free.
So in reality, the events of the 12th of April 1861 were an act of self-preservation of the Southern people and their culture; it marked the beginning of their own salvation, and the fall of Richmond on the 3rd of April 1865 was the final fulfillment of its merciful conclusion.
Edited Fri Aug 07 2009, 11:31AM
While I agree with some of your observations there are many that I do not agree with nor will history agree with.
History shows us that that Lincoln and his cabinet refused to meet with peace commissioners from the South; history shows us that Major Anderson violated a treaty that was in existence and therefore made the first aggressive act toward the South. History shows us that Lincoln's actions of sending an armed armada to Charleston was the act that set off the war. Even if we use the argument "the South fired the first shot" not one man was killed and had Lincoln wanted he could have still worked toward a peaceful solution.
Actually the South did not secede because of slavery could not be extended west. There are many more reasons than that. Taxes, tariffs, protection, constitutional rights and internal improvements all were a cause of the war, more so than slavery. Even congress and Lincoln himself sated the war was not over slavery. New and improved inventions would have caused the institution of slavery to die a natural death without all the bloodshed.
The surrender of the 12 while saving the lives of many men both North and South has not in any way saved our culture. Our culture and our very heritage is under attack everyday by the ignorant, mis-informed, biased prejudiced people of this country. Most of them only have a street corner idea of the period from 1861-1865 or they have been spooned fed the Yankee version of the events and have not engaged in any research of their own.
Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 19 2009, 04:07AM
Well, yes, but Lincoln was not yet the president, correct?
The presidential election was held the first week of November, South Carolina seceded in December, and Lincoln did not take office until March — by which time six other states had already seceded as well. And if one looks at all of the (so-called) "compromise" proposals submitted by the Southern states - they all had one thing in common: none of them mentioned anything about Tariffs, or grievances over ‘protectionism vs. free trade’ or anything of the sort. The only demands they made were concerning the issue of slavery — namely permitting its expansion westward to the Pacific from the 36°30 Missouri Comprise line on-downward, .and the return of escaped "fugitive property" from up North.
And I think it would have been highly irregular and most likely unconstitutional for Lincoln or members from his cabinet to meet with anyone in any official capacity to resolve the dispute while he was still president-elect and Buchanan was president. Lincoln did however make a very generous and lengthy appeal to the South urging them to consider the path of compromise and reconciliation — instead of discord and disunion — during his first inaugural address to the nation immediately after he was sworn in.
Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 19 2009, 04:07AM
By the way, (and just for the record)—I happen to love Southern cookin' — the fried foods & cuisine, there's literally no Southern dish I've heard of that doesn't make drool run down my chin. And I like Southern whiskeys and bourbons (not so much the taste - but more the dark golden color and the pleasant affect), and I have cravings for the Southern sugared tea (no lemon), and those amazing enchanting trees with moss hanging down from them, and I'm partial to warm weather. I'm transfixed by dueling banjos and I plan someday soon (this coming winter maybe) to travel to down to New Orleans, and maybe one day live there (maybe buy up some bargain land beneath a levy and build a house up on stilts). Seriously, everyone I know has been to Baton Rouge except me, I loves me that ragtime music and the Southern spices and the lively traditions of the place. And I like William Faulkner. I'm just not jazzed about much of the History south of the Mason-Dixon (but then again I'm from New England, so what do you expect.)
*edit: There's also one last thing I could mention. About nine years ago I worked in a kitchen with a young man who had traveled up North with his fiance to work for the summer (to make and save money for school). He called himself "Freebird" and insisted that we all call him that too (tho, he didn't much care for Lynard Skynard. Go figure). He was fluent in French, was skilled and hardworking and very well read, everyone seemed to take such a liking to him it was almost cultish - really kind of 'eerie' (but in a charming sort of way). Anyways, he was one of those unique sort of folks, he worked two jobs - and learned to speak Spanish and Haitian creole in just a few months time. He was kind of like a very bright Forrest Gump.
Edited Sat Aug 08 2009, 03:42AM
Lincoln had been elected and barring his death was going to be president.
If you look at the causes of secession for South Carolina you will find each and everyone of these issues discussed.
Well tell me one reason why they (slaveowners) shouldn’t be allowed to have slaves in the new territories and be protected by the law? Do you think it is right for Mississippi to say people moving to our stat from North of the mason Dixon must leave their possessions at the line and buy everything in Mississippi? What if the voters of Mississippi passed such a law would it still be legal? Remember we are all under the same constitution.
Buchannan made the agreement concerning the Charleston forts; Lincoln did not propose a new agreement or honor this agreement.
Well history proves that Lincoln didn’t even follow his first resolution, and the South had cause to be alarmed.
“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes." He actually made plans to invaded South Carolina or Florida. All of this information has been posted to this site and can be found buy using our search feature.
Glad you do like some of our culture. We do have a lot to offer down here. I have some kinfolk who married into the family from Conn., Maine, Ohio and other parts west. Our very own Lady Val is from New York. So yes we are sorta a mixed up bunch.
Would like to take time to clarify one point-- when I speak of those who are ignorant, have a street corner understanding of history, and have been spoon fed the Yankee version, I am not referring to you or those who may not agree with me or my views, but tend to post facts. I am referring to those people who make the ignorant statements and know little about history. I am sure you know the sort. I fully expect you to be biased toward your kin, I cannot expect anything less.
Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 19 2009, 04:07AM
I will admit that what you've said about me is at least partly true, as I am not wholly without ‘bias’ for my ‘kin’. But just for the record, I was raised in Northern Virginia, and as an American — my kin are my fellow Americans, of course. I have lived in New England for this past ten years or so. I first moved up North to get a college degree and receive my “higher education” - which unfortunately was mostly a waste of time and experience and for me (except for the slight increase in my earning potential). But of course New England is rich not only in expensive institutions of “higher learning” and elitist Ivy league Universities — but in History and culture as well — which has certainly enriched and inspired me more than any salary or college degree ever could.
It is here, in Cambridge Massachusetts, surrounded by four hundred years of never ending debates and Patriots and dissenters and social activism - that I first became interested in America and what it was ‘all about’. Only in these past ten years of my life have I come to really appreciate the fact that America is absolutely unique and exceptional in the world — and not just because we were first modern republic, or because our Constitution is the first of its kind and the oldest in use. What has impressed me most is our story and our freedoms. We remain the only western democracy with First Amendment protections and unbridled free-speech, and we are one of the very few pluralistic democracies in the world that 'works' — without requiring some form of state censorship or resorting to self-imposed ethnic and religious segregation. Some say “we're far from perfect” — but we have matured a great deal and in many respects we are far ahead of the rest of the so-called Free world. Where else can you find such a diverse and free nation that is not regularly consumed by interfaith riots or racial pogroms? France, Northern Ireland, even Denmark — all of their attempts at pluralistic societies have not progressed nearly to point we have.
And so quite honestly I am a little concerned and confounded when the question is asked by any other American: “why they (slaveowners) shouldn’t be allowed to have slaves in the new territories and be protected by the law?”
I feel that we shouldn't still be debating why property rights do not extend to human beings — when it is something that even Thomas Jefferson understood and acknowledged (in word, if not deed). Slavery and “human property” is, and always has been, completely against the principles of our republicanism and the ‘natural rights’ doctrine that it's based upon — a fact that the Framers knew well from John Locke and Rousseau. And of course, it is against 'humanity' itself — slavery degrades the slave master just as it denies the humanity of the ones it enslaves. Just think of all the Frederick Douglass's and Benjamin Bannekers that this inhumane and uncivilized institution deprived us of. My God, what a waste.
You are expressing your opinion, I respect that, but it wasn't the law what was written into law. As with any debate both sides must be presented fairly and equally. Therefore if one is to look down upon the slave owners, he must also look down upon the slave traders. To present only "racism" as a southern illness is wrong when in the same breath you must talk about the racism in the North with the black codes and various other laws. To present the Confederate Battle Flag as a racist symbol and give the Stars and Stripes a free pass is complete bias based mostly on location or race. To try and destroy the culture of the South because one does not know the true facts surrounding the causes and of the war For Southern Independence is the height of ignorance, bias and prejudiced. Today one must admit that racial bias plays an important part in the attacks on everything Southern, this can be proven by looking at any attack against our flags, school and street names, statues traditions and holiday celebrations. Isn't it strange that aspect of the attacks is never discussed?
I am not arguing what it was against or who is responsible one way or the other, the fact of the matter the United States went through a period of slavery and it is the fault of both the North and South. Even though several leaders tried to do away with the institution, it still did not end until the passage of the 13thAmandment. The institution was neater the fault of your ancestors or mine. It was neither totally good nor totally bad. I say this because either one of us can cite sources to prop up our arguments or to make a claim to either side is just absurd. For those reasons I try to post facts and refrain from posting opinions.
I don't know that the institution of slavery really deprived us of anything. I have read slaves being taught to read and write, men who were tradesmen, business owners and slave owners they. In fact I believe it was "Stonewall" Jackson who was teaching some slaves. Fredrick Douglas was a slave that didn't seem to hamper him. I believe Booker T. Washington was a son of a slave, that didn't hold him back. I admit I haven't studied a lot on this subject, but these are things that I can just pull from memory, I am sure there are many more people I have never heard of. It is just my opinion that those who hide behind the slave excuse is just looking for a way to justify their own shortcomings. I say this based on first hand knowledge and the fact I am only the 2nd person in my immediate family to graduate high school since 1865. None of us let that fact hold us back.
Registered Member #89
Joined: Thu Feb 19 2009, 04:07AM
There are no people on earth whose cultural heritage or whose nation and history is free from beliefs and acts of indefensible immorality. This applies to the South as well as to the North — and to America as a whole.
Our Constitution was less than a decade old when Ely Whitney's invention made “King Cotton” our nation's chief export — Slavery built this country — North and South, there's no denying that. But while the South's “peculiar institution” and King Cotton turned the North into a capitalist, industrious and highly literate society, the very same institution kept the South underdeveloped; it lingered in feudal state — controlled by Aristocratic plantation owners — who cared little for the public welfare of the poor yeoman dirt farmers and the illiterate planters who considered themselves "lucky" if they were able to afford a slave or two.
No one would dispute that there were many Southerners who did not own Slaves — but who nonetheless fought bravely and gave their lives for the Confederacy. There's no doubt that there were those rebel soldiers who believed they were defending their “state's rights” rather than advancing the cause of slavery. But they could only have done so by never wondering why there were 13 stars on their battle flag — when their were only 11 states that chose to join the ‘Confederate States of America’. And those who thought they were on the side of ‘state's rights’ must not have remembered that the South nearly seceded ten years earlier because the State of California was admitted as a free state — after the newly formed “bear republic” had written slavery out of their State Constitution. Only the addition of Texas as a slave-state and the government's promise to more strenuously enforce the fugitive laws in the North kept the Secession from occurring in 1850, rather than ten years later.
“To present only "racism" as a southern illness is wrong when in the same breath you must talk about the racism in the North with the black codes and various other laws.”
We can certainly talk about ‘racism’ as it existed in both the North and the South in the antebellum era, the elected representatives from the North did, after all, show a disastrous willingness to compromise on the issue on numerous occasions beginning at the Constitutional convention in 1787 that cemented the states—North and South—into one nation. Though, the Framers in Philadelphia seemed loathe to mention the word itself in the finished document — the immoral concessions of the North to the delegates of the Southern States are still more than explicit enough in the provisions like the fugitive clause of Article IV section 2: “No person held to Service or Labour in one State, under Laws thereof, escaping to another, shall... be discharged from Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on the Claim of the the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” Not to mention the notorious ‘3/5ths compromise’ in Article I section 2 as well as the disgraceful capitulation of the Northern delegates to South Carolina's “Dictator John” Rutledge — by their submitting to his demand that the slave-trade be tolerated for at least 20 years subsequent to the Constitution's ratification. Back then, slaves just didn't last long enough in the cholera infested rice growin' swamps of South Carolina, and the Northern delegates who believed slavery was backwards and evil, and the tobacco barons from Virginia who thought they already had more than enough — all nonetheless decided that they couldn't do without South Carolina as part of the Republic. Irony of the tragic variety doesn't get any more rich or profound than that.
And so for as long as our Republic endures, it will do so under a Constitution that mentions the North's capitulations on Slavery — that stood against the very principles of republicanism. All of the most notable Framers whose views were staunchly against slavery — Hamilton, Franklin, Rufus King and Gouverneur Morris et al — all ended up supporting and signing their names to the draft Constitution, in fact Gouverneur Morris was the one who scribed the fancy calligraphy in the finished draft document. But I doubt very much they'd have compromised their own principles for the unification of the country — if they knew that three years later the invention of the cotton gin would result in slavery being spread to nine more states and tear the republic in two.
“To present the Confederate Battle Flag as a racist symbol and give the Stars and Stripes a free pass is complete bias based mostly on location or race. To try and destroy the culture of the South because one does not know the true facts surrounding the causes and of the war For Southern Independence is the height of ignorance, bias and prejudiced.”
Well, clearly symbols can mean different things to different people. But if Historical facts are taken into consideration — then clearly the ‘lost cause’ of the Confederacy that it symbolizes — was none other than those of slavery and imperialism—(hence 13 stars instead of 11). Though that doesn't stop people from claiming or convincing themselves that it the rebel-flag is not explicitly anti-American and even displaying it side-by-side with the Stars & Stripes. I've seen people do it with my own eyes — on countless bumper stickers and front porches down South in Virginia (especially down in Harrisonburg and Manassas).
“I don't know that the institution of slavery really deprived us of anything. I have read slaves being taught to read and write, men who were tradesmen, business owners and slave owners they... Fredrick Douglas was a slave that didn't seem to hamper him”
I have also read about a few slaves who were taught to read and write (despite State laws explicitly forbidding it). One such slave was Nat Turner, what little education he received really had a 'profound' affect — opened his eyes real wide to something or other. Maybe having him read the Bible — about the Jews liberating themselves from Pharoah's ruthless rule and deprivations was a badidea. And letting him read from the ‘Book of Revelations’ — not so bright. Anyways, after that happened, anyone caught teaching slaves to read or write brought harsh recriminations from the authorities.
Frederick Douglass on the other hand was mostly self-taught. From a young age he began saving pieces of biscuit from his supper and trading them to the white school children on their way to or from school in return for them taking the time to show him whatever they happened to learn that day. And of course he escaped as a young adult from his home state of Maryland to Boston, Massachusetts where he labored long and hard for respectable wages, furthered his education, purchased a printing press, and started his own weekly newspaper: “The North Star.”