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View Diary: I Saw "Lincoln" And Wept (297 comments)

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  •  Sorry, no - Slavery was THE cause of the civil war (18+ / 0-)

    Slavery was THE cause of the civil war.  All other explanations are just redneck recidivist sophistry.

    Northern public opinion towards slavery was generally agnostic until the 1850s.  Nobody really saw it.

    "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was a best seller, and certainly moved attitudes.

    More visible was enforcement of fugitive slave law.  The 'compromise of  1850' greatly enhanced the 'rights' of slave-owners to demand co-operation of marsalls and sheriffs in the free states.  (A violation of the 'states rights' of the northern states?)  The brutality of slavery was really shown across the north through the 'arrest' and transportation of escaped slaves. Many northerners saw for the first time saw just how evil slavery was, and saw how indirectly complicit they were in the crime.

    One earlier recognition of this complicity was in Thoreau's refusal to pay taxes that would go to the "Mexican War" - which was started to annex more slave-holding territory.

    Still the Republican Party (of 1860) only stood for restricting slavery to areas it was already legal, and not for abolition.

    But when Lincoln won the southerners feared abolition would be the majority's stance - maybe in 25 years, maybe in 50.

    So the sore loser plantation owners organized secession.

    None of that would have happened without slavery in the southern states.

    •  The country was changing and the support for (3+ / 0-)

      slavery was waning in the majority of the states.  The South was looking at a country being more anti-slavery than pro.  The south only had 1/3 of the population and a third of those were slaves.  The South's whole economy depended on slavery.  The north's economy was being industrialized so slavery did not figure into the equation.  

      •  Of course it did. (0+ / 0-)

        Read any of the documents and speeches from the leaders of the confederacy.

        Elsewhere in the replies to this diary, I posted just one of many examples.

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:03:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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