What basis did the North have for attacking the South?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Doug Stevens, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Doug Stevens

    Doug Stevens
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    There was nothing in the US Constitution which precluded a state from leaving the Union. So I'm wondering what right did the North have for attacking the South in order to force it back into the Union? Surely no state would have joined the Union if they thought they could have been invaded and forced into Federal submission! How in the world can the North justify what it did to the South? The North may have wanted to push its values on the South, but what Biblical or legal basis did the North have for the innocent murder of Southern people?
     
  2. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b> <img src =/israel.gif>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    22,028
    Likes Received:
    1
  3. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    The north justified attacking the south because the south fired on the north at Fort Sumpter. The south believed they had the right to secede from the union and the north, more particularly Lincoln, believed that they did not. Since they disagreed, they fought over the issue in a bloody civil war. Whether the north won the argument over succession in the intellectual sense can be debated. However, they won the argument through means of physical force when they won the war. Unless you want to fight it again, that's the way it is. As for Lincoln, if you want to understand Lincoln's frame of mind and why he chose to fight, read the Gettysburg Address. It is Lincoln's argument for the justness of the war. A good book--actually a great book on the subject of the meaning of the Gettysburg Address is Gary Wills' Lincoln at Gettysburg
     
  4. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    An second cause of the war was the problem of slavery. Because of the war, millions of people who were treated and bred like livestock were freed. It took another century and a half to make racism sufficiently disreputatble that even racists now deny being racists.

    But one has to conclude that the destruction of the institution of slavery was certainly a good thing.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    189
    As a result of the war and the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation (not the document itself), Congress officially freed all slaves in the United States in the 13th Amendment. Congress made them (and everyone else) citizens of the United States (in a federal sense) in the 14th Amendment, giving all of us the protection of the Bill of Rights.

    But to say slavery was a major cause of the war is a little bit to simple. Certainly slavery was very controversial and the abolitionists agitated hard to free slaves, but the Union tolerated slavery within its borders (Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland and Missouri were slave states) and the Union army used slaves to mine saltpeter for gunpowder during the war between the states. Only later in the war did slavery become the "noble cause" when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that only freed slaves in the states that were in rebellion that were not controlled by Union forces. The Proclamation took great pains to ensure that the Union would not actually free any slaves under their control.

    Absolutely. The fact that our nation still practiced slavery less than 150 years ago is a great stain upon this nation's history.
     
  6. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,079
    Likes Received:
    103
    For Lincoln's reasoning on the illegality of secession, I recommend his First Inaugural, especially paragraphs 11-19, in which he argues that the Union is constituted in perpetuity:

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

    And his thinking after the attack on Fort Sumter can be summed up in his address to Congress on July 4, 1861:

    http://speaker.house.gov/library/texts/lincoln/spmsg.asp

    While many of the Founding Fathers might have thought secession an option at the beginning, it is curious that the Constitution outlined the process for admitting new states, but nowhere speaks of the right of secession.
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,079
    Likes Received:
    103
    Slavery wasn't the only cause of the war, perhaps, but it was by far the most important. When the Fire-Eaters pushed through secession, it wasn't because they feared anything except a full-blown attack on slavery by the new administration. If slavery hadn't existed, primarily in the South, would there have been a Civil War?

    While the immediate effect of the Emancipation Proclamation was nil, it cast the course of the war. It was the South's last warning; re-enter the Union or your Peculiar Institution will be destroyed.

    And if the Union forces liberated slaves in the South, it was inconceivable that slavery would continue to thrive in the North and the border states. It marked the point at which there could be no turning back.
     
  8. ChristianCynic

    ChristianCynic
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/cc2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Should we declare war on every nation today which still practices any form of slavery?

    For the constitutionality of secession, refer to U.S. Constitution Amendment 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    That says states do have the right to secede because that power has not been prohibited to them. I am aware of the White v. Texas SC ruling of 1869 which said states cannot secede, but this seems to be based on a legal fiction regarded as necessary at the time-- otherwise, the Union had no just cause for the recent war and the continuing occupation {'Reconstruction'}.
     
  9. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b> <img src =/israel.gif>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    22,028
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ironic, isn't it, that the South gets all the blame for Slavery and a Civil War was fought over it? Yet, it never gets mentioned that blacks in Africa were selling blacks into slavery which is how they ended up in the US. It was African blacks selling African blacks.

    And the institution of slavery was destroyed only in the US, but has continued on through the decades and continues today.

    http://www.afrol.com/News/child003_child_labour.htm

    :(

    Just thought I'd remind everyone of the REAL FACTS regarding slavery, not just the usual rhetoric.
     
  10. Doug Stevens

    Doug Stevens
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I forgot to mention that the North could justify declaring war on the South because of the attack in South Carolina at Fort Sumter. As I recall, South Carolina asked the Northern army to abandon Fort Sumter and they refused. So South Carolina started shelling Ft Sumter and attacked it.

    That is a very good point about anything not granted specifically under the US Constitution to the Federal Government is left up to the States. That is a very profound statement that in my view clearly shows that Lincoln and the North over stepped their rights by attacking the South because if the US Constitution was silent about the secession of states, then the Southern states had the right to seceed because the US Constitution did not give the Federal government the right to stop the states from seceeding. OK, that convinces me that Lincoln and the North committed a heinous crime against the South in that they overstepped the US Constitution and murdered Southern people in an illegal war totally unsupported by the US Constitution! Any criticism on this conclusion? If you say the North entered the war because of Ft Sumter, the South would claim they were telling the North to leave Southern soil. Personally I wish the hot heads in South Carolina had not attacked Ft Sumter because it gave the North an excuse to justify the war in the North's mind.
     
  11. Doug Stevens

    Doug Stevens
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to thank "Christian Cynic" for his below brilliant statements:

    "For the constitutionality of secession, refer to U.S. Constitution Amendment 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    That says states do have the right to secede because that power has not been prohibited to them."

    How can anyone argue with such true statements as those!

    That being said, if South Carolina had not attacked Ft Sumter, the South could clearly be found totally innocent of secession and the North would be found clearly in the wrong in attacking the South. So the next issue is if the Ft Sumter incident can legally justify an attack on the South, right?
     
  12. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excelent post ChristianCynic
     
  13. Farmer's Wife

    Farmer's Wife
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guess which flag flew on those slave ships to America?! :eek: And yet, historically ignorant people want to do away with the Confederate Flag! :rolleyes:

    Slavery was NOT an issue in the War for Southern Independence!
     
  14. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nevertheless, the war put an end to slavery for millions of people. If you could today put an end to the practice of slavery in Sudan, would you not do it?

    So why was it a bad thing that slavery ended for millions of Americans?

    Or was something more important than freedom for them? What would that have been?
     
  15. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    And once one get's into historical legalities, you might want to know what the Indians thought about that.

    As you may know, the Cherokees had a Supreme Court ruling in their favor against dispossesing them of their lands in the east. It was simply ignored by President Jackson.

    It was a nasty war. But we won. And it's a good thing.
     
  16. Farmer's Wife

    Farmer's Wife
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Galatian, I take it that you are definitely a misplaced YANKEE?! :eek: And just how do you figure that the North AGGRESSIVELY taking OVER the South was a GOOD THING?!?! :confused:

    The South was NOT trying to take over the North! We just wanted to be left alone and be seperate. Oh, but those greedy Yankees would have none of that, would they?!

    The South went from self-sufficiency to dependency. Yet, you say it was a good thing that the North won. HOGWASH!! :mad:
     
  17. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Slavery would have ended regardless. The Industrial revolution guaranteed that. No one can say for sure it was good the USA won. Lincoln abused the Constitution, increased Federalism and maked the turning way from Jefferson view for Hamilton's centralized view that has plagued this country since 1865. Northern Reconstruction 1865-77 which raped the south laid the seeds of Racial hatred and resentment that exists to this day.

    There is a new book out on Lincoln by Dr. Thomas J. Dilorenzo entitled, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. CSPAN has had Dilorenzo on recently. Here is a review at Amazon.com, and the link,

    [ August 26, 2002, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  18. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b> <img src =/israel.gif>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    22,028
    Likes Received:
    1
    Galatian, I take it that you are definitely a misplaced YANKEE?! :eek: And just how do you figure that the North AGGRESSIVELY taking OVER the South was a GOOD THING?!?! :confused:

    The South was NOT trying to take over the North! We just wanted to be left alone and be seperate. Oh, but those greedy Yankees would have none of that, would they?!

    The South went from self-sufficiency to dependency. Yet, you say it was a good thing that the North won. HOGWASH!! :mad:
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yeah, like I said....GREED! :(

    (Probably political motives involved, too.) :rolleyes:

    God Bless Dixie! [​IMG]
     
  19. The Galatian

    The Galatian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fundamentally, the secession movement was financed and promoted by the few who actually had something to gain from continuing slavery.

    In fact, the North was doing very well with the South mired in slavery. It kept the mass of southern whites poor and kept industry from being established. So the north had a lack of competition, and cheap raw materials in the South.

    Slavery made the South poor and vulnerable. When the southern states rebelled, they had one steel mill of consequence. They could concentrate on making cannon or rail and rolling stock, but not both. They chose cannon.

    And that meant that supply lines would be always constricted.

    The wealthy in the North were not very interested in a war with the South. Bad business. Like going to war with a colony.
     
  20. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    The only reason slavery figured into the Civil war at all was economics. The Underground Railroad had already been operating for quite some time and the work to free the slaves was ongoing. The South wanted to keep them because that is the only way the plantations were economically possible. The North, being primarily industrial, did not need the slaves and so were able to take the 'moral high ground' due to LACK of economic necessity. There were a good many northerners, however, more than willing to return the runaway slaves for the rewards offered! It was not until the slaves reached Canada that they knew for sure they were safe.

    The root of the American Civil War was the same as the root of most wars -- money. A split between the north and the south would have eventually bankrupted them both, actually. Slavery presented an emotional call to war and secession presented a patriotic one, but the root of them both was money.

    Galatian asked what would have been better than freeing the slaves. Freeing them gradually, actually, after they had been GIVEN the education, training, and land to make it on their own. Instead we created in one year a poverty-striken lower class that was about 85% black and it is THAT, not slavery, which they have had to fight off to this day. Slavery sounds better because it is one word, but it was not freedom that helped them nearly as much as the courtesy of education and training and a head start economically would have. But there is no simple word for that...
     

Share This Page

Loading...