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Tuesday, August 14. 2007
When the Marquis de Lafayette snuck out of France against the King's wishes in 1777 to join the many unemployed French - and some German - officers who wanted to aid the Revolutionary cause, he was 19 years old, with a pregnant, lovely - and enormously wealthy - wife at home. He loved to spend her money, but what he really wanted was the glory of his military ancestors, most of whom, like his father, died in battle.
And, like any French aristocrat, marriage was no obstacle to his skirt-chasing.
A wonderful summer read: Adopted Son: Washington and Lafayette, and the Friendship that Saved the Revolution.
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Just finished "The Glorious Cause" by Jeff Shaara. There's quite a bit about Lafayette in it.
Heresy that it may be, I still think the Revolution and the Civil War were unnecessary. Both very interesting, but I think things would have worked out roughly the same without either.
Still, I applaud the heroism and committment of all of our American heroes who did what they felt was best. And I am aware that I might be very wrong. Patriots, all of them.
A bit of historical determinism there, Barrister. However different things may have been absent the Revolution and Civil War, they occurred. Causes may be questioned but their reality cannot. Deference to the decisions of the founders in light of the injustices they saw foisted upon them for no reason other than imperial overreach (E Burke discusses the alternatives the Crown could have employed) is most likely justified. As far as choice between Lincoln and the idiot politicians of the South at the time, I'll take Lincoln.
idiot politicians of the South at the time.....hmm, that's right. Southerners by definition are slow,dim witted, and marry their cousins. Yankees are industrious, thrifty,smart, and are superior to the more pedestrian man. Stamford is the epicenter for all proper knowledgable and educated people.
Your scholarship is poor, tom.
The Rights of Southern Secession
As the United States of America started growing and expanding in the 19th and 18th centuries it was evident that both the south and the north were moving in different directions. By 1860 these opposite forces finally ripped a tear in America, and the south seceded. Today many historians believe this split was inevitable, but the real question is whether or not the south was justified in leaving the Union. When the first half of the 19th century is studied in detail it becomes relevant that it was legal and the south had the right reasons to secede. The southern states were justified in seceding from the Union in 1860.
The northern states wanted the south to remain in the Union for economic reasons. Before the Civil War there was no income tax and the majority of government revenue was raised by tariffs on imported goods. In 1824 the Whig Party and Northern manufacturing states pushed for high tariffs, these were known as the Tariff of Abominations. To the north this meant more money for more manufacturing and higher wages. To the south this meant paying more money to the government for things they needed to import. Referring to those Tariffs, South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun said, The North has adopted a system of revenue and disbursements, in which an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed on the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North (Williams). In essence the northern states wanted the south to remain in the Union so they could take money from them and use it in the north. To compel the southern states to stay in the Union, the north made the case that secession was illegal. Union supporters used Article One, Section Ten, of the Constitution to support their arguments. It reads, No state shall enter into a treaty, alliance, or confederation. However this section only refers to states within the Federal Union, so it is irrelevant because the southern states dissolved all ties with the Union before they created a confederation (Owens). Clearly the north only wanted the south in the Union to feed off their money and they had no justification in doing so.
The south had many reasons to leave and was justified by the law. The first of these reasons was the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln was elected without one single electoral vote from the south. This made the southern states realize they had no control in the Federal government. John C. Calhoun realized that, even in a democracy, 49 percent of the people could be tyrannized by the other 51 percent if the majority were well organized behind a single issue. Consequently the minority would have to claim their rights (Volo 22). This is what the southern states did by seceding.
The second reason for secession was the damage being done to the southern economy by the north. The south s economy was based mainly on the agriculture of staple crops, importing and exporting to England, and slave labor. The north was trying to detriment all of these things. The north was restricting the addition of slave states to America. This meant that the southern way of agriculture would be restricted to the southeast part of America. The problem was that in order to harvest staple crops on a large scale, new land would need to be acquired regularly. This meant that the southern way of making money would either be strangled to death or it would have to change. As stated before, the north initiated the Tariff of Abominations. Since the south exported crops to England, they would also import their manufactured goods from England. However since there was such a huge tax on imports, by the time southerners paid the taxes they were making almost no profit at all (Williams). Lastly the north was eagerly trying to abolish slavery. Without slaves the south had no work force and therefore, no economy. Lincoln and his Republican party were committed to keeping slavery out of the territories and eventually abolishing it, so once he was elected the south had no choice but to secede(Road) .
The most important justification for secession is the legality of it. There is no doubt that southern secession was legal, and the documents that this country was built on holds the most evidence for this. The south seceding from the Union is just like what America did from Britain a century before. America was trying to get away from Britain s oppression and high taxation. While the south was trying to get away from the north s oppression and high taxation in the same way. The Declaration of Independence states, Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it has the right of the people to abolish it, and to institute a new government as to them most likely affect their safety and happiness (Lerner). The north was destroying the southern economy, and therefore the south had every right to secede. In addition since the states volunteered to join the Union, it was perfectly legal to leave the Union as well.
The southern states had every right in seceding from the Union in 1860. They had no say in the Federal government, their economy was being destroyed by the north, and they had the legal right to leave the union. Just like America had the right to split from Britain, the south had every right to split from the Union
A document I'm sure you've never read. In Stamford they just don't read this kind of thing. Sounds like the Declaration of Independence, written by a Virginian.
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union
C. G. Memminger
The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.
In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."
They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."
In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.
In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.
The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.
If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.
By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that 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. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.
Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.
We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.
In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.
The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."
This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.
The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.
The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.
For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.
Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.
Adopted December 24, 1860
Read and learn something.
Allow me to join you in your acknowledgement that you might be very wrong.
I'd say you are completely wrong. Left field wrong. Nothing to substantiate you are in any way correct wrong.
What are you guys drink'n up there on the Farm?
Both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars unnecessary? Things would have probably turned out the same?
How are you at relating to Capernicus and Heliocentrism?
Knew I'd get clobbered for that. But "left field" wrong? Never. Thank God for free speech, anyway.
just looks odd when you write it out.
Bourgeois in Stamford
You do of course realize that the United Sates would have never been formed with the voluntary consent of the Southern States. And you do realize it was the Northern States under heavy influence of the abolitionists that broke the compact with the Southern States.
And you do realize it took Lincoln setting aside the Constitution to enforce by arms that which he could not hold together politically. So you side with those who break social and political compacts, ignore the Constitution when it serves their ends, and resort to force of arms to have their will? You're known as a fascist in the world. Is that a comfort?
Please don't tell me you're a snowbird or I'll puke.
BTW..it thrills me to tell you that Connecticutt had the highest desertion rate in the Revolutionary War ..good solid cowards.
Letter to Yankee Blog Hosts:
Suhs, allows me tuh apologize f'r muh countryman n' feller Southeren Sympathizer, for his High Feelin's n' harsh Contumely. He's behind in his readin', and hasn't read the April 1865 papers yit.
Nothing to apol. for. I think of myself as a Southern sympathizer, and am appalled by the useless blood spilled. The north-south divide would have broken down over time without war, and the slave state issue would have resolved itself quickly as mechanization of farming took over. I know the war was not mainly about slavery itself: it was about power. South Carolina had the same right to secede as the Ukraine did from the Soviet Union.
the preservation of slavery in a dynamic, expanding country was an idiotic reason to go to war. The belief in the economic dominance of cotton in order to sustain it against the industrial north was, uh, misplaced? Some might say delusional. I sympathize with the south, but the politicians were idiots. States Rights is a great cause. The right to hold slaves was not. Many men died. For what? The doctrine of incorporation? Doubt it.
Sure, slavery would have died out eventually. The southern mercantilist system may have kept it around longer than one might think.
I'm from New York and could probably care less, but I doubt it, regarding the number of deserters from Connecticut. Casualties from the state were realatively high. The northern theater, however, never expeienced the spectacle of Americans Killing Americans that the southern war saw. So what's your point, Beauregard?
Allow me to refresh where the nation was with regard to you skepiticism of King Cotton.
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793 thus making production of short staple cotton easier.
By 1800 the total export of cotton was 5 million USD or 5% of all US exports.
By 1810 the figure was 15 million USD
By 1840, 63 million
and by 1960 ...191 million USD or 57% of all US exports..the figures were continuing to rise and the North could not compete, although they had agreed to the 3/5th compromise and accepted the Southern way of life in order to form the Union.
The Yankee abolitionist by the election of 1860 had successfully managed to coordinate an abrogation of the original compact and were pressing the South just as my previous posts have pointed out. The similarities the Colonies had with England are well documented.
You ask, "Many men died. For what?"...I answer for their way of life, the life they had agreed to in law they could pursue..you recall .Life ,Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.
The North was making all three of those impossible for the South so they basically said, " You guys reneged on the deal, we're outta hear".
Had Lincoln not suspended the Constitution and commerce remainded on it's trajectory the insatible hunger the world had for Southern cotton would have valuted it further ahead of the North and no doubt industry would have developed in the South...The Yankees would have none of it. They knew they were being supplanted by the King Cotton South so they made war on the South.
Keep in mind the figures of 1860: $191 million USD amounting to 57% of all US exports ..that's 57% of ALL US exports,and rising like a rocket. England would easily have become an ally of an independent South.
You also said, "States Rights is a great cause. The right to hold slaves was not" I would remind you that the North as a entity did NOT want to go to war to free the slaves, neither did Lincoln. The North did it to save their way of life: economic reasons, with the mantle of slavery as a cover used to rationalize the suspention of the Constitution.
All in all the "idiot Southerners" were doing just fine until the dublicitious Yankees abrogated the compact forming this nation.
BTW ..NY is a good place to be from...far from.
Many northerners fought to end slavery. The south went to war to save a way of life, no doubt. Transferring that way of life to the new territories as well. Cotton prices fell off a cliff during the war. British manufacturers had more than they could handle. Economies are dynamic things and mercantilistic trade practices are not. The southern 'way of life' was coming to an end. The politicians in the south and their constituents couldn't accept that simple fact. I agree that the causes of the conflict in the eyes of the northern interests were more nuanced than the ending of slavery in the south but slavery WAS the cause of the south by default. I didn't say 'idiot soutehrners', I said idiot polticians. I love the south and hold the stars and bars in deep respect as a symbol of heroism and loyalty no matter how misplaced those virtues were in the circumstances.
You obviously did not read the posts I previously supplied to you regarding the facts around the succession of the Southern States.
And we're not talking about "during the war cotton prices fell off the cliff", we're talking about how it came about, so do your best to stay on track.
SLAVERY was definitely not the cause by default. You're once again showing your lack of knowlege in this entire area...please go back and read tha damn documents before you continue making a bigger fool of yourself.
The South Carloinians did a magnificent job in point for point laying out the why's and wherefores of their leaving the Union.
Let me repeat. It was the North prior to the war that could not compete economically with the South and thus unilaterally abrogated what they had previously agreed to.
Basic contract law 101.
The Southern way of life was coming to an end because a radical Congress was already at that time in full Marxist redistribution of income gleaned from the South.
The second reason for secession was the damage being done to the southern economy by the north. The south s economy was based mainly on the agriculture of staple crops, importing and exporting to England, and slave labor. The north was trying to detriment all of these things. The north was restricting the addition of slave states to America. This meant that the southern way of agriculture would be restricted to the southeast part of America. The problem was that in order to harvest staple crops on a large scale, new land would need to be acquired regularly. This meant that the southern way of making money would either be strangled to death or it would have to change. As stated before, the north initiated the Tariff of Abominations. Since the south exported crops to England, they would also import their manufactured goods from England. However since there was such a huge tax on imports, by the time southerners paid the taxes they were making almost no profit at all (Williams). Lastly the north was eagerly trying to abolish slavery. Without slaves the south had no work force and therefore, no economy. Lincoln and his Republican party were committed to keeping slavery out of the territories and eventually abolishing it, so once he was elected the south had no choice but to secede
The tariff of 1828 (Abomination) read and learn once again.
*Tariff of 1828
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Tariff of 1828 (also known as the Tariff of Abominations, ch. 55, 4 Stat. 270, enacted 1828-05-19), was a protective tariff passed by the U.S. Congress in 1828. It came to be known as the "Tariff of Abominations" to its Southern detractors because of the effects it had on the Antebellum Southern economy. Furthermore, it was the highest tariff up until the time, enacting a 62% tax on 92% of all imported goods.
The goal of the tariff was to protect industry in the northern United States from competing European goods by causing the prices of European products to increase. The system of tariffs had begun after end of the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars, when a recession in Europe led British manufacturers to offer goods in America at prices American manufacturers often could not match.
The first protective tariff was passed by Congress in 1816, and was increased in 1824, followed in 1828 by the Tariff of Abominations, a name given by the state of South Carolina. President John Quincy Adams signed the tariff, although he realized it would be used to discredit him politically. In the Election of 1828, Andrew Jackson did indeed defeat Adams.
South Carolinian John C. Calhoun strongly opposed the tariff. Faced with a reduced market for goods, the British reduced their imports of cotton, which hurt the South. The tariff forced the South to buy manufactured goods at a higher price and Southern states also faced a reduced income from sales of raw materials. This inspired Calhoun to attempt nullification of the tariff within South Carolina. He authored the South Carolina Exposition and Protest in response and would later participate in the Nullification Crisis in 1832*......Wiki
Your arguments against the South leaving the Union do not square with the facts, and facts are stubborn things.
Stamford Man tom
You have played a great Sen. Charles Sumner to my Rep. Preston Brooks. It took him years to recover.
Breaking down my view-
the central gov't raised revenue through tariffs and internal excise taxes- Tariffs and excises are uniform throughout the country
protecting nascent American manufacturing was traditional and continued past the point of US non-competiveness (idiot politicians)
industry developed very slowly in the south
cotton was available from Egypt
the cotton gin increased production geometrically and the demand for cheap labor arithmetically
when cotton prices were strong and demand high southern slave owners made a lot of money
most of the south needed to import most of their manufactured goods from abroad
as the country expanded west, the southern interests wished to see the peculiar institution expand west as well (idiot politicians)
as the war dragged on, cotton prices fell as other sources of supply were utilized
soldiers can't eat cotton (idiot politicians)
Ely Whitney was a northerner
the northern manufacturing base grew during the conflict and the south's did not
the 'southern 'way of life' was based on agriculture and a rather non-diversified economy- cotton was king-
maintainig the union was a worthy goal and, sad to say, putting down the rebellion, had it occurred during his time, would have been prosecuted by the first commander in chief if it could not have been settled peacefully. It should have been settled peacefully and could have been had the north made the effort and had the south been able to look past their economic 'traditions'.
Suggest you read E Pluribus Unum and Novus Ordo Seclorum by Forrest MacDonald
Follow that with Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote and you'll have a firmer understanding of "The War of Northern Aggression"
The North was simply wrong in their politics of the time and in their total abrogation of the Constitution. They did it for money, not the nobility of mankind.
The South had every right and reason to leave. The North had the bigger gun, and as Mao would say years later, "Power grows out of the barrel of a gun"
I've read most of them and disagree with the premise you and they hold. In most cases, rebellion should be put down. There were economic interests on both sides. The south wasn't prepared for war but went to war regardless. The great men of the south gave it their all but a defeat was almost inevitable. The economic short comings, smaller population, more primitive industrial base should have been obvious to all but the most romantic. Antietam and Gettysburg would not need to have been fought had the confederacy been able to support it's army on it's own territory. the insistence on slavery was the final blow to establishing European support and alliances.
Pretending that only the north had an economic interest is silly.
"What he really wanted was the glory of his military ancestors..."
He got it beyond his wildest dreams - Is there an American state without a town named "Lafayette"? Is there an educated American child who does not know his name?
God bless him and his quest for glory.
While we're thanking France for her help in our war of liberation, never forget Admiral Degrasse, who sailed his 28 warships into position to block British aid to Cornwallis, in the war-winning Battle of Yorktown.
I don't thank France for her help any more than they thank us for our help in their war against the British Empire.
Having us on their side, they managed not to lose as they usually did during the Second Hundred Years' War.
True, it was also in France's interest to help us defeat England --but "thanks" doesn't cost anything. Besides, this is the new Sarko era, so we ought to be nice. Also, de Villipen may be headed to the hoosegow --all the MORE reason to think fondly of France!
Franklin's role in bringin France into the conflict should never be underestimated. He played on their vain 'intellectualism' and romanticism to a tee. The revolution in France can be directly tied to their economic involvement in the American war of independence. In retrospect it really wasn't in the interest of France to support the Americans. Franklin convinced them that it was.
LaFayette was a great man.
You have read Novus Ordu Seclorum and E Pluribus Unum by MacDonald?
Your disagreements with the history sound more like bias' supported by Yankee propaganda.
MacDonald is history? Forgive me for disagreeing. We all have selective takes and biases. I admit to my own. Do you? The issue is the wisdom of the southern rebellion in light of economic reality and demographics while carrying the baggage of slavery. As far as the war itself is concerned the case is closed. The confederacy lost. Next case.
I'll take that as a NO I've never read a word of the man's works. You might want to look at some of his reviews.
I initially stated that your scholarship was poor. Let me revise that to neanderthal.
You quired, "McDonald is history" ..I think the following should be embarassing to you.
Novus Ordo Seclorum
The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution
376 pages, 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
Paper ISBN 978-0-7006-0311-4, $14.95
986 PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
This is the first major interpretation of the framing of the Constitution to appear in more than two decades.*Forrest McDonald, widely considered one of the foremost historians of the Constitution and of the early national period, reconstructs the intellectual world of the Founding Fathers--including their understanding of law, history political philosophy, and political economy, and their firsthand experience in public affairs--and then analyzes their behavior in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in light of that world. No one has attempted to do so on such a scale before. McDonald's principal conclusion is that, though the Framers brought a variety of ideological and philosophical positions to bear upon their task of building a "new order of the ages," they were guided primarily by theiy own experience, their wisdom, and their common sense*
"A witty and energetic study of the ideas and passions of the Framers."--New York Times Book Review
"Bristles with wit and intellectual energy."--Christian Science Monitor
"A masterpiece. McDonald's status as an interpreter of the Constitution is unequalled--magisterial."--National Review
"An important, comprehensive statement about the most fundamental period in American history. It deals authoritatively with topics no student of America can afford to ignore."--Harvey Mansfield, author of The Spirit of Liberalism
"Thoroughly impressive. A book that is consistently enlightening and one that, more than any of McDonald's previous works, stands as a monument to his remarkable talents."--William and Mary Quarterly
"As provocative as it is difficult to put down."--Georgia Historical Quarterly
"The best single volume on the origins of the Constitution."--Choice
FORREST McDONALD is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Alabama and author of sixteen books, including States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776-1876; The American Presidency; The Presidency of George Washington; and The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He was named by the NEH as the sixteenth Jefferson Lecturer, the nation's highest honor in the humanities
I could continue to embarrass you but there's an old saying that when a man is making a fool out of himself just get out of the way....
Forrest McDonald's appointment as the 1987 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities, the highest scholarly recognition offered annually by the U.S. government through its National Endowment for the Humanities
not much of a scholar huh...hmmm
Look ace, I've read Novus Ordo Seclorum. Sitting right next me on the bookshelf. I'll have to re-read it since it's been a while. If your looking for a justification for the southern secession bases on the social contract nature of the constitution go for it. Again, the country was expanding west. The peculiar insitution of southern agrarianism was looked at as a right that could be expanded with the country. Free states along the divide were largely opposed for economic reasons while the morality of slave labor is problematic at best under the Declaration. The economics of tariffs has been covered. The 3/5 rule was in place. The first shots occurred where they did. The confederacy lost. If you base your opinions solely on the basis of the opinions of others that's your problem.
With all of McDonald accolades and your statement that "McDonald is history" makes you look like an eccentric know it all. You've been bested at every point.
You've fallen back on "The Confederacy Lost" as an argument. Pitiful for one who claims so much. Sciolism, thy name is Stamford Tom C.
Your not big on adressing points of contention although you seem to be an expert in the ad hominem approach to debate. I understand your points and agree with some while disagreeing with others. The south lost because of economics and the millstone of slavery. How do you disagree with that?
You're sounding more and more like a pompous loudmouth at the corner bar. Learned long ago that conversing with self-righteous guys like you is a waste of time.
As stated previously, if a man is making a fool of himself get out of the way and let him continue.
You sir ocupy that stage in a one man show of frustration and cawling one line..The South lost because of economics and slavery, which in no way approaches the genesis of this discussion.
You sir are the one who claimed a preeminent scholar in the precusors to the Civil War and the war itself was somehow a dolt and a person you would not deign to recognise as such. Your error not mine.
As for ad hominem. What point of disagreement other than a trifle insult to your repudiation of Forrest McDonald had ad hominem played?
You are correct however. This conversation serves no purpose. However thank you for hanging in there with your beliefs, it is the sign of a good man. I wish you well. In the future we will ,I am sure, agree on many more things than we disagree. May good fortune and health follow you and yours.
I'll take a MacDonald over say, a Schlessinger although the 'accolades' of others rarely have an influence over my opinions nor should they. I laid out my points and you've selectively ignored them although you feel the need to support your arguments by quoting the arguments of others. A war of quotations could be escalated if you'd like but it will cause millions in damage and cost thousand of lives.
You've lost me with the comment regarding my 'claiming a preeminent scholar' was a dolt. Never said it. If disagreeing with a premise is an insult,you are more sensitive than any serious historian would feel to be appropriate.
As far as my frustration, I have none.
All the best to you as well.
Not trying to be anything but understanding here but are you saying your scholarship exceeds those I cited?
And that your thoughts are not built on the knowledge of others? That all of your thoughts are original?
Do not citations exist in all scholarship?
A review of our coloquy shows you cited not a single person but rather simply had your opinions Do those opinions not have predicates you could cite to refute what I have cited?
"over my opinions Hell, it took Bertrand Russell 247 pages in Principia Mathematica to prove that 1+1 = 2. He didn't just say here's my opinion accept it as fact.
Who would you cite to buttress your opinions?
I'm not a medical doctor so I'm quite confident I'm not speaking directly to the Lord in this matter.
Lord you're a schmuck! (and I mean that in the best way)
But I do enjoy the discussion. So, let me get this straight: The wish to preserve slave labor in the agrarian south had nothing to do with secession?
-The south didn't vote for Lincoln and Lincoln won! What was the 'Black" Republican platform? What was so upsetting to the south?What an injustice! I can't think of the last time a candidate I voted for won here in Connecticut. Maybe I'll seceed.
-How many European powers would come to the aid of the south had they been forthright regarding the primacy of slave labor as an issue? None!
-Sure there was 'Yankee Propaganda'. What did souther propoganda consist of? Read the speeches of the Southern Secession Commissioners as they traveled around the south trying to expand their support and get back to me.
-One school of thought believes that the Declaration of Independence pre-supposed the eventaul death of slave labor in America. The contradictions were just too much. How do you feel about it? Is a 'way of life' so important that you'd be willing to be a slave in it's service?
-Why did Geo. Washington handle his personal slave issue as he did?Maybe, like everything else he did, he was attempting to set the right precedent for the future. Another possibility is the fact that the cause of the revolution and the experiences he had in the north convinced him that the legacy of slavery was a curse rather than the blessing desrcibed by the politicians of the south.
-An agrarian nation of 7(?) million free, 5 million slave, taking on a relatively industrialized nation of 22 million is close to insane.
-Maybe I'm indoctrinated by 'Yankee Propaganda', as you so absurdly remark, but to pretend that slavery had nothing to do with secession is, frankly, pure 150 year old propaganda from the other side.
-Sure states have the right to leave the union as do the other states have the right to prevent it. May the best man win.
A citation would be nice. That was the thrust of my entire last post.
You can posit questions all day. I want citations.
You have consistently failed at every turn to address the documentation I have provided on Secession, let alone answer those charges as being as legitimate as the ones cited in the Declaration of Independence.
You have simply and consistently cmade the claim that you are correct and that acknowledged scholars...well Tom don't need no stinking scholars..
You answered that the states had the right to leave the Union just as the other states had the right to prevent it.
I might remind you that it took the suspension of the Constitution for those who prevented it from happening to achieve their goal, which means prima facia they were performing illegal acts whereas the South was not. The North did not free their slaves in the emancipation either.
So might makes right. You need no citation to point out the fact that the South lost, but only because the North did not honor any portion of the Constitution prior to nor during the war. Had they followied the Constitution prior to the war there would have been no war when the South seceeded.
And if you really mean it in the best way then it should be, by custom and manners, Mr. Schmuck. You can be Mr. Dolt.
By the way do you recall where the Union Army had to go immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg, and why? I believe it had something to do with large riots in NYC and the burning of Negro orphanages by good Yankee fellows. Refresh me on that part of might makes right kind sir.
I don't need any citations. I'm not surpised that the questions I've asked can only be dismissed rather than adressed. They're pretty simple and straight forward. I know you can handle them. The points are histotically accurate. The 1860 platform of the republican party is easy enough to find. The election results are the results. The remote possibility of European powers backing the south after Antietam and the proclamtion was no more. That is a fact. The speeches of the secession commisioners are part of the public record. Did you or did you not say that the preservation and spread of slave labor was not an issue in the secession? If you think my position is dependent on the pristine character of anyone, north or south, you are mistaken, so your point about the draft riots is irrelevent. I have no idea what point you're trying to make in support of a position that could only be held by someone who is all you're accusing me of being, i.e. an uninformed, historically biased 'true believer'. Read the Republican party platform of 1860 and explain to me how the preservation of slave labor and it's portability into the new territories was not the overriding position of the southern economic interests. I sympathize with the brave men who fought for the south and like to think I would have done the same but the economic interests of the large landowners and their political cronies demanded that they preserve slavery above all. Country, blood and honor was for the men in the field not the guys with the slaves.
You've answered none of my questions. Dismissed without cause the use of citations, as if you're the vessal from which all Civil war knowledge flows.
Listen, The North won. Slavery was, since the Constitutional Convention the acknowleged "snake under the table".
The war was inevitable once the 20 year exemption on slave importation came to an end. Slavery was bad, is bad.
But that doesn't address the abrogation of the Constitution by the North , to by force of arms keep the South in the Union. The North also violated the total spirit of the Declaration of Independence.
Anyway in the next day or so this thread will fall away.
So lets sum it up.
Neither one of us was going to allow the other to define the colloquy ..good for both of us.
The thrust and parry was worthy of Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone in "Zorro" .... but Linda Darnell went to the prom with me and likes me best.
The North won, the South had the best Generals and more magnolia trees, but no serious chance to win that war.
Big Jim was the one that got to say it was "quitt'n time" at Tara.
Enjoyed the exchange...meet you again on another thread where we can no doubt agree that Gen. Zukov was the Soviets best General during WWII, and that Winston Churchill lisped.
Mr. Schmuck aka Habu
I don't believe that the 'constitution was abrogated by the north' in any sense beyond southern propaganda. My reasoning:
The southern agrarian interests wished to spread slave labor to the new territories
Northern interests wished to keep slavery contained believing it would die a natural death
40% of the southern population was slave labor and 3/5 of that total was represented in the electoral college so the belief that the south was tyrannized by the north and the 1860 election disenfranchised the south was pure demagoguery. Slave interests had more representatioon than they deserved.
If a large state or group of states wished to seceed from the union as a 'peoples republic' and align themselves with un-American interests such a rebellion should be put down and put down hard.
The constitution does not deal with secession but it does deal with rebellion. Citing the Declaration as a justification for slave state rebellion is an absurd stretch but necessary if the preservation and spread of slave labor in the name of misunderstood economic interests is the real force behind the rebellion.
The 'spirit of the declaration' was a problem for the southern slave interests, not the north. The declaration was written with the idea and the hope that slavery would fade away peacefully over time. Paradoxically, Eli Whitney, economic interests and continental expansion put that hope of a peaceful resolution out of reach.
Lee was a great man and an incredible general considering the odds he faced.Losing Jackson was a great blow. The war should have ended before it did. Northern copperheads kept the war going longer than it should have leaving little alternative other than Sherman bringing the war home to the south. Tragic stuff. The vengeance displayed by the radical republicans toward their heroic fellow country men leading to the consolidation of unimagined power in Washington was the real legacy of the war. Sadly, we're still working through it.
Well, I think we've had a dandy discussion.
I remember hearing Shelby Foote in an interview saying that it was his feeling the North fought that entire war with one hand tied behind it's back. I think there's no doubt that was true.....I'm glad we only have to worry about anthrax, car bombs, an aggressive Islam..
I've enjoyed it ..lets go forward.
I also firmly believe that the worst blow to the South occured at Ford's theater and the loss of Lincoln. As you've pointed out the radical republicans wanted their pound of flesh which wasn't what Lincoln had in mind as part of the healing process. Johnson took the fall....all very tragic.
I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the enlightening back and forth. Really enjoyed it.