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Who really started the War Between the States

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Salty, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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  2. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews New Member

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    In high school, our American History survey course was decidedly "Northern" in its presentation. In college, a course was offered containing readings from Southern historical accounts of the Civil War, but I didn't take that one.

    Confederations of states with rights, as opposed to a national body, have generally worked only as long as the regional interests, and self interests of the people of one or two states do not interfere with the whole. The Holy Roman Empire is a very early example of why states rights confederations fail. It is an extreme example, given that each individual state had the power to veto anything that came from the emperor. The big states felt they were carrying more than their fair share of the burden, the little ones felt dominated by the interests of the big ones. Squabbling eventually let to conquest.

    The American Articles of Confederation was another example of the futility of a confederation of states in which each one has vested national sovereignty. Some might argue that the eventual reaction to that, a constitutional government with limited states rights and national sovereignty vested in a federal government, also didn't work too well, when the states lined up and went to war, but under the Articles, each individual state would have eventually found reason to war against neighbors on each side, and many of them did.

    The Confederacy itself failed, not because of "Northern aggression," but because its central government could not organize and manage the resources it needed to fight the war. It held advantages in the quality of its military leadership, and its alliance with England, which would have loaned it all the money and help it needed. But the states rights superceded too many necessities. States held back large proportions of their militia and military supplies for their own use. The military strategy developed by Lee and the Richmond government never worked, because the western states worked up a different one. The Union strategists saw this happening, and aimed their armies like bowling balls, marching down the Mississippi and across Georgia to the coast. It was practically a war against each individual state, and that's how they went down.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    So who really started the War- was it a "War" - did Congress declare Ware on the CSA?
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member

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    Ronald Reagan?!?:laugh:
     
  5. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    Maybe my great grandfather was right, it should have been called "The War of Northern Aggression." I grew up in Mississippi, and he and my grandfather were very adamant about that. I honestly never took it very seriously.
     
  6. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg New Member

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    It was all Bush's fault!! :smilewinkgrin:

    When I was in grad school for my MA in history, I came across this little tidbit that might have at least prevented the incident at Ft. Sumter.

    When Jefferson Davis was Franklin Pierce's Secretary of War, he proposed that the Southern coastal forts be manned by each states' militias instead of the US Army. The proposal was never adapted, hence you had the US Army at Sumter instead of the SC militia.

    Whether that would have actually PREVENTED a War Between the States (a/k/a "Northern Aggression") is doubtful since it'd probably be started as a result of some other incident somewhere, but at least it probably wouldn't have been started at Ft. Sumter.
     
  7. saturneptune

    saturneptune New Member

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    Might have delayed it, but not long IMO. Slavery was on its way out, and the economic systems it supported. However, the extra time might have allowed for a peaceful solution, but doubtful. Also, it could have been with extra time the division of states might have been different.
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    My opinion is in 1860 the war was inevitable. Both sides run out of possible compromises. The North's position was the organized territories could decide the slavery issue before they becames states. The South's knew that population growth was in the non-slave States and potential states. So, the South's political power in Washington was coming to a close. The North was unwilling to give the South any stautory assurances that lsavery would continue.

    Economically, the North saw a growing economic pie with plenty to share. So, it was possible to move up the economic ladder without taking wealth away from someone else. The South saw the economy as a zero sum game. This meant you only got wealthy through beggering your neighbor.
     
  9. Dennis324

    Dennis324 Member

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    Who started the war?

    Abner Doubleday. (Yep, THAT Abner Doubleday).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Doubleday fired the very first shot in defense of Ft Sumter. And of course we know that the Battle of Ft Sumter started the Civil War. Might not have been the cause of it, but it definitely started it. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Doubleday link
     
  11. Dennis324

    Dennis324 Member

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    Salty, I've been trying to send you a msg, but cant. :tear:
     
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