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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:46 pm 
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I think it is one of those discussion issues that has not right or wrong answer. There are so many iterations available, so many different aspects, including, in our modern day morals, huge differences in thinking.

We cannot put ourselves in the mind set of the 1860's, we can only speculate from reading about the people and the times. Many that governed the thinking of the day were born only a generation or so from the British rule: Lincoln-1809; Grant -1822; Halleck-1815; Lee- 1807; Greely-1811; Davis-1808; Douglas-1813, for example. Their upbringing would be by parents/grandparents that were born during the American Revolution.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:32 pm 
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CSA wins, I don't see Hitler's rise. 1918 doesn't see millions of Doughboys tipping the scale of WWI in the allies favor.

Germany woes the CSA to side with them and Mexico or at least stay neutral. If US has belligerent or neutral neighbor to it's south (other than Mexico ... sorry Mexico), then it can't send so many men, supplies, etc, etc. Although the CSA could stand to make lots of money with cotton sales to allies. ... but I think devided America US/CSA can't deliver the same punch as a USA only America did deliver. So European WWI fizzles out, and if Germany isn't humilated then maybe the old order of Europe staggers on for a few more decades.

Nazis, Socialists and Communists miss out on having the right people in the right place at the right time to take over (temporarialy that is.)

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Ambushed,

If you haven't already done so try reading Turtledove's alternate history on this idea, he has a compeltely different take on the matter. He basically takes a reasonable premise that Litte Mac doesn't find Lee's lost order, Antietam does not happen, Lee beats Little Mac somewhere in Pennsylvania in the fall of 1862 and the south is recognized by the French and English forcing the north to make peace. He then builds a possible history for the next 100 years over the course of 11 books using both fictional and historical based characters. I found it an interesting series and his initial premise is to me one of the few believable scenarios for a southern victory in the civil war.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:30 pm 
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I would sided with the CSA, it was more about states right then slavery. Since the north was more industrial and the south was agricultural.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:58 am 
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I never got around to reading Turtledove but I am curious about how he had Lee's little army beat McClellans big army so I am going to get the first book.

I would comment on States Rights but we don't want this thread to get shoved over to the smoking room where that type discussion would be more appropriate.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:20 am 
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Turdledove sounds interesting. I might start that first book too,

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:29 am 
I dont mind the states rights arguments here. The description for this room says its for all things Civil War related. Were all gentlemen here.

My thought has always been that the war started because of slavery but the average soldier never raised a musket one way or the other about that. For politicians it was over slavery but for the common man it was about states rights, home, and honor.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:32 pm 
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I'll put up a post at the Book Review forum on the first book in Turtledove's series this weekend to give you a better idea on it, don't want give anyone a wrong idea on the book or the series. Just mentioned it because of Al's comment on the historical ramifications of a southern victory on the rest of the world, possible alternate history, which is basically what many of his books cover.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Target1221 wrote:
I dont mind the states rights arguments here. The description for this room says its for all things Civil War related. Were all gentlemen here.

My thought has always been that the war started because of slavery but the average soldier never raised a musket one way or the other about that. For politicians it was over slavery but for the common man it was about states rights, home, and honor.


Well here goes. People drag out State's Rights only when the Federal Government doesn't do things the way they think it should. If the Federal Government had come down on the South's side they wouldn't have had a bit of problem with the Federal Government having the right to force northern states to send their slaves back (State Rights be damned). It's all relative to which one agrees with you point of view. In 1860 and in 2012, no difference.

As to why the common soldier fought, I don't have the book name since it was probably a kindle addition, but it made a study of the make up of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lot of boring statistics but it came up with a lot of interesting facts. One was that about 40% of the soldiers had or lived with people who owned slaves. When the number was expanded to include those who made their living through things related to slavery and those whose lively hood would be threatened (usually throug labor competition) by slavery, the percentage jumped up considerably but I don't remember that number.

It explained a lot since I always wondered why 90% of the population got convinced to die to keep 10% of the population wealthy. The traditional measure that came up with 10% of the South being slave holders measured only those that actually owned slaves. It didn't measure the extended households that benefit from this by being sons, daughters, or near relatives of the slave holder or worked for the slaveholder or benefited from the sale of slaves. Most of the South had skin in the game and an economic link to slavery. Those who where true independent farmers with no need of slavery nor considered free slaves a threat to their economic well being rejected the State's Right argument and sided with the Union. These were mostly the mountain areas where the type of farming had no economic need for cheap labor of slavery.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:12 pm 
Another interesting point on states rights is how it can be used by different parties. When you look at the War of 1812 as an example you see northeastern states threatening secession (and getting close to it) as a response to a federal government controlled by the south and west. Later you see abolitionist-extremists favoring secession over allowing the Union to be associated with slavery.

I believe Ken made the point earlier that the War finally settled the issue of States Rights and Secession and he is right. At some point in US History the point of secession was bound to be tested.

Secession always seemed to be a threat everyone used over everything for the first century of American history. Everyone was bluffing and backed down until South Carolina went ahead and cast there die. By that point the Deep South was already in bed with them so they had to follow.

As far as slavery's role in causing southerners to fight I am just not buying it. They believed in White Supremacy but then so did Northern soldiers... heck so did the whole world. From what I have read I have seen very few soldiers on either side quoting slavery as a reason to fight. Post-1863 you see it more in Northern letters as soldiers see the effects of slavery in states like Tennessee and Mississippi. But you also get an equal number of soldiers complaining to northern relatives about the burden of the slaves who come into their lines for freedom and you have Sherman burning bridges behind his army to keep the slaves from following him (and leaving them to slave-catchers).

Also by 1864 the average Confederate likely knows that the Cause is doomed and yet continues to fight. With their whole way of life crumbling before them they kept up the war. I just think there had to be more to it than believing they could somehow win in the end and reinstate slavery.

For politicians and rich southerners the war was much more over slavery. But for the vast majority of people it was over other ideological issues such as Union, States Rights, Honor, and Home.

Or so I think anyways.... of course I also think the Cubs will win the World Series in my lifetime so what do I know :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Shelby Foote ,in an interview, quoted a southern prisoner as saying he was fighting because the Yanks were invading his homeland. This sounds like regionalism as opposed to nationalism, which didn;t exist then.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:50 am 
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Drex wrote:
Shelby Foote ,in an interview, quoted a southern prisoner as saying he was fighting because the Yanks were invading his homeland. This sounds like regionalism as opposed to nationalism, which didn;t exist then.


To quote the first three paragraphs of the Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession:

Quote:
The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former as one of the co-equal States thereof,

The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility [sic] and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?


And, they go on to mention "slave" or "race" seventeen more times in a rather short document.

I think they said what the meant to say. Officially the Confederacy claimed states rights because saying Slavery would close the door on any European recognition. The common soldier wasn't stupid either. They knew saying States Rights sounded a lot better than "I want to be able to own someone".

But the real underlying cause was economics. Freed slaves were a threat to people's jobs. Negros weren't in large numbers in the North so they didn't view them as a treat. But they did view the Irish as a threat and violently resisted them at times. The Federal government freeing and dumping millions of negros into the job market was about the scariest thing around to the comman Southern. Those who directly benefited from slavery and held political power knew this and used it.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:06 am 
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The Negros, if freed, would have done the same jobs as they had previously because no white man would do them. Racism would have prevented the Negro from taking the jobs a white man did so your argument,while a good political explanation, doesn't trickle down to the man holding the rifle.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:38 pm 
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Gentlemen <salute>

Slavery or not being the cause of the war, it might be amusing to consider what the Supreme Court might rule if one of the seceeding states now (or then) filed a lawsuit claiming their civil rights were violated. Did voluntarily joining a union of colonies into a nation imply that they could not leave the same union at some point if they didn't believe it to be in their best interest?

I believe we are stronger that the nation remained united, and who knows what the history of the world would look like had the Confederate States of America achieved status as an independent nation. I'm just curious what a legal judgment might be.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Side Would You Be On?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Grew up in New York state-I like Lincoln and I would have been a staff officer for Buell

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