Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

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Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Miles1 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:27 am

Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Point 1 was raised there in a little debate with Marc there a while ago, so any opinions on this? My experience of the American South is limited to movies, TV and a 2hr layover in Atlanta airport on the way to visit a friend in Milwaukee, so will leave the commenting to those more in the know than me....

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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Dennis324 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:33 am

Sounds like my experience with Ireland. Wink My complaints about the South are kudzu, miserably hot weather, and bugs. Only the food and SEC football makes it tolerable. Lol!

1. Slavery issue:
by 1804, all states north of the Mason and Dixon Line had either abolished slavery outright or passed laws for the gradual abolition of slavery. The federal government in 1862 made abolition of slavery a war goal. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in the rebellious southern states through the Emancipation Proclamation.

But slaver wasnt the only reason the south seceeded. There was a concept back then called nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. John C Calhoun fought vehemently for this, but the Feds denied this right.

In 1860, the South Carolina secession Convention issued its Declaration of the Causes of Secession. In it, the convention declared that (1st) secession was legal, (2nd) that the government of the United States and of states within that government had failed to uphold their obligations to South Carolina. (The specific issue stated was the refusal of some states to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and clauses in the US Constitution protecting slavery and the federal government's perceived role in attempting to abolish slavery.). (And finally) that while these problems have existed for twenty-five years, the situation had recently become unacceptable due to the election of a President (this was Abraham Lincoln although he is not mentioned by name) who was planning to outlaw slavery.

The declaration does not make a simple declaration of states' rights. It asserts that South Carolina was a sovereign state that had delegated only particular powers to the federal government by means of the US Constitution.

But here's the thing: While the southern States may have seceeded partially because of the slave isse, the union went to war primarily because the Confederacy was not a sovereign nation-- and never had been. With the exception of a few, most Union soldier did not want to fight and die over the issue of a black man. In southern soldiers (most of who did not own slaves and could never afford it), didnt want to fight and die over a black man. They both fought because the Union was dissolving.

In short, the did seceed primarily because the Fed Govt was seen to be infringing on individual states rights. But the war was declared because the south seceeded. This is a topic we could discuss all on its own. Smile


Last edited by Dennis324 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:03 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Dennis324 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:59 am

2. The Southern people almost universally supported the Confederacy

I suspect that most southerners were very angry at the Fed govt and the flames of war were fanned out of ones sense of loyalty and patriotism to one's state. People were far more loyal to their respective state back then. Even Robt E Lee was sympathetic to the idea of Emancipation, yet felt his heart belonged to Virginia and thus chose to stand with her.

However the writer is probably correct in that not eveyone in the South supported the war. West Va and Kentucky are two good examples. I know there were a number of counties in my own state of Alabama that were sympathetic to the Union. This is not a new phenomena however because evben during our American Revolution, many colonists were loyalists.

3. The Confederate Military/Government leaders were brilliant/gentlemen/honorable.

Some were. Some werent. Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. Confederate Brigadier General George Gordon developed the Klan dogma, or beliefs.

However Robert E Lee Lee opposed secession, generally supported civil rights for all, as well as a system of free public schools for blacks. He intended to free his slaves. (Of course, he also recommended the deportation of African Americans from Virginia).

4. The Confederacy could have won the Civil War (or long survived it)

No chance. Not without help from europe. Of course its easy to criticize after the fact.

But heres my feeling about the war. It was such a waste, and heartbreakingly uneccesary. You see, in 1850, the steam powered tractor was invented. And in 1892, John Froelich invented and built the first gasoline/petrol-powered tractor . And in 50 years they began to be mass-produced. Why is this important?

Because the tractor could outwork and outproduce hundreds of slaves. You didnt have to grow produce to feed it. It never got sick. It didnt run away and you didnt have to beat it to get it to work. It never required an attitude adjustment. There was no family involved to worry about. And one didnt have to demean or humiliate it.

Imo, the tractor would have made slavery all but obsolete.

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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Miles1 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:41 am

Dennis324 wrote:
Because the tractor could outwork and outproduce hundreds of slaves....... It never got sick. It didnt run away and you didnt have to beat it to get it to work. It never required an attitude adjustment.

I dunno, ever worked on a farm? Used to help put on a friend's farm and they had an ancient tractor which you often had to whack with a hammer to get it started :-p

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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Marconius on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:12 pm

The slavery issue

Well, to be honest, all seceding states did in fact mention slavery in their letters of secession. Of course if we look at the history of slavery in the western world, the is no other example of its abolition breaking apart a nation and leading to war. The reason it was an issue in tUSA was that industry was concentrated in the north while agriculture was in the south. With the advent of the industrial revolution, it was a given that slavery was on the way out.

Due to the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, many nations over there were more than willing to sell their equipment to the south at a cost that the north could not touch. In comes what is known as the Tariff of Abominations or the Tariff of 1828. This was the starting point of the rift between the states(more tariffs followed). These tariffs basically forced the south to buy northern goods and buy them at an inflated price.

Once the industrial revolution really started taking hold, the north wanted to speed up the abolition of slavery so that they could increase markets for their goods in the south. Most landowners in the south, while wealthy for the area, could not match the wealth of those in the north. They could not afford the prices they were being charged. They felt that to loose their slaves would ruin them and leave the door open for rich northerners to grab their land.

As far as some noble idea of equality for all.......nah, that wasn't even thought of. It was about money plain and simple. Lincoln himself was a major player and made a lot of money. I know many people today look to him like he is a hero. He was not. He trampled on the Constitution more than any other president before or after. He even threw Congressmen and Supreme Court Justices in jail because they did not agree with his agenda. I hate the man.


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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Marconius on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:24 pm

There was only one chance for the CSA to win. If they would have pressed the early successes, they could have taken the fight outta the USA.

RL Lee not a good general??? Well he is considered by many really, really good generals to be among the best that ever lived.

Thanks to the Irish BTW. Thanks to the 1000000+ immigrants that came to the new world just prior, they won the war for the USA cheers

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"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Five Biggest Misconceptions about the Confederacy

Post by Dennis324 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:59 am

Miles1 wrote:
Dennis324 wrote:
Because the tractor could outwork and outproduce hundreds of slaves....... It never got sick. It didnt run away and you didnt have to beat it to get it to work. It never required an attitude adjustment.

I dunno, ever worked on a farm? Used to help put on a friend's farm and they had an ancient tractor which you often had to whack with a hammer to get it started :-p
*Chuckle* Oh yeah...I live on a farm and have lived on one all my life (with the exception of a few years I worked in a small city).

My dad used to have an old International tractor that was made in England. It was an antique (made in '62) and I loved that old tractor, but it was finicky as well. Smile

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