View Poll Results: What was the cause of the American Civil War?

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  • Abe wanted to free the slaves.

    1 4.55%
  • Slavery was an important cause among many other causes.

    9 40.91%
  • There were many causes but slavery is pushed to the fore by those of certain political persuasion.

    9 40.91%
  • What Civil War?

    3 13.64%
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Thread: Cause of the American Civil War

  1. #1
    Member nonperson's Avatar
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    Cause of the American Civil War

    Just listened to a podcast where yet another American appears to believe in a rather simplistic history of the USA.

    Just wondering what the Americans here believe..........

  2. #2
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    South was just living, doing there thing when the North showed up and started killing people. At least that's how it went in my home county. Very few people there even had slaves.

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    Irreconcilable sectarian hostilities over the sweetening of tea.

    EDIT: "Slavery" was definitely a primary cause. Perhaps not due to its ethical aspects, but it sustained the economic asymmetry necessary for the fatal rift between North and South. And people underestimate the extent to which slavery freaked out Northerners, despite their ultimate racism.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    South was just living, doing there thing when the North showed up and started killing people. At least that's how it went in my home county. Very few people there even had slaves.
    Dude let a man get his poll up before posting!

    Um. That sounds rude.

    I thank you for your response.

    The chap I was referring to in the OP also thought it was dangerous if a group of guys with a different political agenda to that of the government decided to fight the government. I think the American Revolution/War of Independence may have passed him by.......

  5. #5
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    If you're trying to make this about "states' rights", then I think you're confusing cause and effect here.

    EDIT: And as far as political motives go, there's a pretty massive push in the US right now to dehumanize labor and trivialize racism. So that kind of armchair dismissal cuts both ways.
    Last edited by False Azure; 02-15-2014 at 11:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    Very few people there even had slaves.
    LOL

    Gee, if it was so insignificant to "Southern culture", then why not just let them go?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Let what slaves go? I'm refering to individuals, not culture. If those people didn't have slaves, then their was noone for them to let go, which indicates that they were fighting for other reasons—Reasons that are wide and varied. Gee.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    Let what slaves go? I'm refering to individuals, not culture. If those people didn't have slaves, then their was nothing for them to let go, which indicates that they were fighting for other reasons—Reasons that are wide and varied. Gee.
    Your premise is that wars generally have been based on popular referendum or the protection of popular interests?

    It was worth it to plenty of Southern aristocrats to wittingly take political actions risking mortal conflict to protect the profitable institution of slavery.

    The moral acrobatics it takes to assert the virtues of regional sovereignty based on human trafficking look ridiculous from most angles, sorry.

    EDIT: Not to suggest the North as the ultimate vessel of moral authority in a Kantian sense, but secession is typically met with repression and it's just hard to feel bad for the South in retrospect.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Don't tell me what my premise is. I know my premise—it's that, I think it's stupid that all these windbags want to paint the conflict as good vs evil with no gradient in between. Especially when actually freeing the slaves was an afterthought, and the same herioc union generals that scorched the south and lead the union to victory, would go on to massacre native Americans in the west.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    Don't tell me what my premise is. I know my premise
    Nah, what you had said specifically hinged on the notion that it's historically unthinkable to go to war without taking a household survey first. Of course there were white Southern victims of the war. But their victimhood was due to trade war between Southern and Northern aristocrats and their political representatives. The South seemed to be losing the political battle, so they invited actual war on their land and populace to protect their relatively more perverse economic interests from any legal prohibition.

    I think it's stupid that all these windbags want to paint the conflict as good vs evil with no gradient in between. Especially when actually freeing the slaves was an afterthought, and the same herioc union generals that scorched the south and lead the union to victory, would go on to massacre native Americans in the west.
    Actually, it's completely textbook to emphasize the moral ambiguity between abolitionism, secession, and the trade interests of the North. In fact, the moral aspect of slavery almost gets downplayed too much. It played a significant (if secondary) part in motivating the anti-slavery agenda, regardless of the requisite hypocrisy.

    It's Hollywood where you get the feelgood strokejobs about white/Northern heroism.

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