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Awesome: 'Cool/badass stuff from history' by Volucrisus Aedrius

Volucrisus AedriusVolucrisus Aedrius Registered User regular
People always go "the south seceded because they wanted to keep their slaves." This is not true.

Nobody does anything because of some wild ideological reason. They're used as justifications almost constantly but they're not actual motives. Sure, it might fly with the brash heir to a thousand-acre plantation, but to the average poor white subsistence farmer who brought his father's musket to the line, he couldn't be paid enough to give a fuck about owning slaves because he'd never get paid enough to own one in his whole life.

The South went to war for the same reasons practically anyone goes to war, ever.

They went to war because they thought they could win.

Try, you know, putting yourselves in the shoes of these people sometimes. Both those on the right and wrong sides of history. Human beings haven't physically evolved since we learned to poke cuneiformic wedges in clay tablets in the days of Mesopotamian god-kings. Anyone you read about in history was a modern homo sapiens sapiens, just like your or me. They weren't stupider, or simpler, or anything less (or more.)

Its just people being people, y'all. That is why history is so fascinating.

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Posts

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Huh?

    The poor white farmer was convinced that he would be even poorer if he had to compete in the market with freed slaves. It absolutely was about slavery, they were concerned about "them takin our jerbs". The rich white land owners successfully convinced them that they would be harmed by the slaves being freed, fooling them so completely into not realizing that their job had already been taken and nobody was benefiting except the land owners.

    This can be found in modern discourse re: Immigration. If illegal immigrants were able to openly compete for work above board, the fear is that people's jobs will be taken by them. The problem with this line of reasoning is that illegals empirically do find employment in this country; they already have these theoretical jobs, but are treated like shit in them and paid shitty wages because it's better for the (often wealthy) employer

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  • kedinikkedinik Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    The punchline in the middle of the post was pretty unsupported by anything else in the post.

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  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Slavery wasn't the dynamite, it was the fuse. The political differences based upon states' rights, financial systems made different by slavery and the lack of slavery, and the cultural differences between a primarily agricultural and rural region and a series of industrial Metropolises precipitated the start of the Civil War.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    The people of the south went to war for the same reason people always go to war.

    The people in charge convinced them that not only was it the right thing to do, and in their best interests, but that they could win.

    The leaders in the south (aka the rich) wanted to preserve their status quo (aka their wealth), so they whipped the lower classes into a frenzy.

    Slave holdings were a part of that wealth, period. It may not have been about the actual act of owning human beings and subjugating them as property, but it absolutely was about maintaining their wealth, no matter what that meant. And in this case, it happened to mean not wanting to lose a lot of invested wealth and capital that happened to be placed in the ownership of other human beings.

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    The people of the south went to war for the same reason people always go to war.

    The people in charge convinced them that not only was it the right thing to do, and in their best interests, but that they could win.

    The leaders in the south (aka the rich) wanted to preserve their status quo (aka their wealth), so they whipped the lower classes into a frenzy.

    Slave holdings were a part of that wealth, period. It may not have been about the actual act of owning human beings and subjugating them as property, but it absolutely was about maintaining their wealth, no matter what that meant. And in this case, it happened to mean not wanting to lose a lot of invested wealth and capital that happened to be placed in the ownership of other human beings.

    This is the same with terrorism today. 'Religious terrorism' as it is often referred to isn't actually religious in its motives. 9/11 was a direct protest against the United States military presence in Saudi Arabia (which, it should be mentioned, was withdrawn from Saudi Arabia two years later.) Religion is only used as a mobilization tool.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    “War. War never changes.
    The Southerners waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Washington built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Lincoln shaped a battered country into an economic superpower.

    But war never changes."

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  • Visual.PollutionVisual.Pollution Registered User regular
    All valid points, nothing in war is perceived as cut and dry (the war on terrorism for example... It's because they attacked the US first... Wait. Nope that's pretty cut and dry.) When the dust settles, it seems like the ones with money and power are the ones who are quick to push the red button for more money and power. While I believe the south losing the civil war was probably the better outcome in many ways, in the end it wasn't for anything different than money or power. So many lives were thrown away for it, even if the ends justified the means, that doesn't leave a lot to be desired for the ones actually fighting the war. I've had friends who have been in the military, the one thing they can definitely agree on is, the second that your life is in danger, it isn't about the nation, or the glory, or the hope that you will make the world a better place when you pull that trigger. It's about being the one who comes out alive. End of the day, it's all about survival for a soldier. I know you can't just let a thing like 9/11 just be what it was and not retaliate, but there comes a point when it isn't even about the innocent lives lost that day and it's more about, surprise surprise more money and power. Hey at least the winners can polish it nice and shiny for the future generations right? Like world war 2? Never mind the fact that Germany was forced into such a bad place they had very little option other than war. (Not saying I agree with their actions, just saying there was cause for it beyond a ruthless dictator) and Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor (which wasn't all that surprising) was kind of egged on by American's cutting off potential supplies and resources for the small nation. But again, these were not decisions made by people who worked hard, loved their families and wanted the best for their children. These are the machinations of tyrants, white collar criminals who, while claiming to secure the positions of their people were more often than not looking out for themselves. Not all leaders of humanity are terribly corrupt, but it's hard to trust any person with the amount of power that a world leader has. And that is why the United States of America has the 2nd amendment. Lets see how long that lasts as slowly rights and freedoms sadly dwindle away...

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Obviously any major war is the result of multiple, coincidental factors. Any organization of manpower that large is never the exclusive result of a singular cause.

    with that said

    the Civil War was about slavery and any attempt to argue otherwise is retarded. The South absolutely seceded because they wanted to keep their slaves; this was exactly the issue the compromise acts were attempting to mollify. But you don't have to believe me, you can just go read the cornerstone speech by confederate VP Alexander Stephens:
    Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.

    or pretty much any other statements on the subject from southern political leaders of the time. The southern states knew that eventually congress would wind up with an anti-slavery majority, so they wanted to leave the union.
    The South went to war for the same reasons practically anyone goes to war, ever.

    They went to war because they thought they could win.

    this is a dumb construction. Jokes aside, there are 230some countries in the world, and the United States isn't at war with the vast majority of them. Not because we wouldn't win, because against the vast majority we probably would. Countries go to war because they want something; almost always, they're after some resource or other. The 'resource' the south wanted was black people.

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular

    Obviously any major war is the result of multiple, coincidental factors. Any organization of manpower that large is never the exclusive result of a singular cause.

    with that said

    the Civil War was about slavery and any attempt to argue otherwise is retarded.

    Bingo.

    All you have to do is look at the changes made to the Confederate Constitution compared to the American one
    Overall, the CSA constitution does not radically alter the federal system that was set up under the United States constitution. It is thus very debatable as to whether the CSA was a significantly more pro-"states' rights" country (as supporters claim) in any meaningful sense. At least three states rights are explicitly taken away- the freedom of states to grant voting rights to non-citizens, the freedom of states to outlaw slavery within their borders, and the freedom of states to trade freely with each other.

    States only gain four minor rights under the Confederate system- the power to enter into treaties with other states to regulate waterways, the power to tax foreign and domestic ships that use their waterways, the power to impeach federally-appointed state officials, and the power to distribute "bills of credit." When people champion the cause of reclaiming state power from the feds, are matters like these at the tops of their lists of priorities?

    As previously noted, the CSA constitution does not modify many of the most controversial (from a states' rights perspective) clauses of the American constitution, including the "Supremacy" clause (6-1-3), the "Commerce" clause (1-8-3) and the "Necessary and Proper" clause (1-8-18). Nor does the CSA take away the federal government's right to suspend habeus corpus or "suppress insurrections."

    As far as slave-owning rights go, however, the document is much more effective. Indeed, CSA constitution seems to barely stop short of making owning slaves mandatory. Four different clauses entrench the legality of slavery in a number of different ways, and together they virtually guarantee that any sort of future anti-slave law or policy will be unconstitutional. People can claim the Civil War was "not about slavery" until the cows come home, but the fact remains that anyone who fought for the Confederacy was fighting for a country in which a universal right to own slaves was one of the most entrenched laws of the land.

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  • KiasKias Registered User regular
    The punch line, "people go to war because they think they can win," is a valid point, but as it has been said in here, its not accurate to say "the Civil War was not about slavery." The south most definitely wanted to keep their slaves, but folks have already explained this so I won't beat the dead horse.

    What is accurate to say is, "the Civil War was not about freeing slaves." That is completely accurate and an interesting point of discussion, particularly in regards to how history classes teach the Civil War in America. Its more about de-glorifying the North as opposed to de-vilifying the South.
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    “War. War never changes.
    The Southerners waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Washington built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Lincoln shaped a battered country into an economic superpower.

    But war never changes."
    :^:

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    I had never seen an analysis of the confederate constitution like that before, thanks for posting it

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    Saying 'people go to war because they think they can win' says nothing about their motives for going to war. Obviously wars are started by people who believe they can succeed, but that's a condition of going to war not a motive.

    The Lost Causers spent a long time trying to foster the narrative that the "war of northern aggression" wasn't really about slavery, it was just about economic freedom and a noble blow for states' rights on the part of refined southern aristocracy or whatever else, but the southern mythic ignores what should be obvious to everyone on first glance: when your society is proudly built on human subjugation and racism, your effort to defend it is based on the same.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    0 stars: lacks insight, accuracy or humor.

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