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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When it comes to history I have a lot to learn. I'm just curious about the state of affairs in our country and I'd really like to know how it was that our country's civil war began.

I know there was a deep conflict between ideology's which for years built up but what were the catalysts that put north vs. south?

What was the time frame? Who were the key players?

Based on the changes over the past 160 years in technology, ideas and everything else - what would be similar and what would be different should the people of America need to take their country back by force?
 

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Doomsayer
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First of all, calling it a "Civil War" is wrong.

A Civil War is a struggle between two or more factions seeking to control the central government.

This was not the case.

The War Between The States was fought over excessive taxation...of the Southern states...by the consolidation power-mongers...in the Northern States, and the right of the states to nullify Congressional laws deemed harmful to the individual states.

Just do a little internet research and you will find all you need.
 

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troll much?
NO sh*t....;)

Basically, half the folks got pissed at the other half because they were sweating the hard labor to enrich the decadence of the North.....secession.....the North no likey, but know that they're fighting an uphill battle, so they make the whole issue into "slaaaavery" so the French will back 'em up.....South gets trounced, and here we are again....political turmoil. Just no slaves to free and no discernible regional template.

That's the short. short version.......
 

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The war of Northern Aggression

When it comes to history I have a lot to learn. I'm just curious about the state of affairs in our country and I'd really like to know how it was that our country's civil war began.

I know there was a deep conflict between ideology's which for years built up but what were the catalysts that put north vs. south?

What was the time frame? Who were the key players?

Based on the changes over the past 160 years in technology, ideas and everything else - what would be similar and what would be different should the people of America need to take their country back by force?
We have been taught in our public schools, (one of the best arguments for home schooling I can think of) that the "Civil War" was about differing ideologies regarding slavery. THAT is B.S. the War Of Northern Aggression was fought over two things; 1) MONEY and, 2) State and personal Sovereignty.

The money part is pretty easy to figure out the sovereignty thing is a bit more tricky.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


During the debates in Congress between the delegates from the 13 colonies regarding the adoption of the Constitution there were many who argued against ratification stating that certain rights guaranteed to British citizens were, in fact missing from the document. Many of the dissenters were from Virginia, which was then the largest and arguably the most influential colony. This posed a substantial problem, as the Constitution was written with the idea of George Washington, a Virginian as President. Should Virginia fail to ratify, it would most certainly make it almost impossible for Washington to hold that post.

The Anti-Federalists persisted in favor of a Bill of Rights during the ratification debates, but also were against ratification, and consequently several of the state ratification conventions gave their assent with accompanying resolutions proposing amendments to be added. In 1788, the Virginia Ratifying Convention attempted to solve the problem that Hamilton and the Federalists had identified by proposing a constitutional amendment specifying:
That those clauses which declare that Congress shall not exercise certain powers be not interpreted in any manner whatsoever to extend the powers of Congress. But that they may be construed either as making exceptions to the specified powers where this shall be the case, or otherwise as inserted merely for greater caution.

This proposal ultimately led to the Ninth Amendment. In 1789, while introducing to the House of Representatives nineteen draft Amendments, James Madison addressed what would become the Ninth Amendment.

The exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be so construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people; or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.

This was an intermediate form of the Ninth Amendment that borrowed language from the Virginia proposal, while foreshadowing the final version. Like Madison's draft, the final text of the Ninth Amendment speaks of other rights than those enumerated in the Constitution. The character of those other rights was indicated by Madison in his speech introducing the Bill of Rights:

It has been said, by way of objection to a bill of rights....that in the Federal Government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows, that all that are not granted by the constitution are retained; that the constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and, therefore, a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the Government. I admit that these arguments are not entirely without foundation, but they are not as conclusive to the extent it has been proposed. It is true the powers of the general government are circumscribed; they are directed to particular objects; but even if government keeps within those limits, it has certain discretionary powers with respect to the means, which may admit of abuse.

The First through Eighth Amendments address the means by which the federal government exercises its enumerated powers, while the Ninth Amendment addresses a "great residuum" of rights that have not been "thrown into the hands of the government."

Amendment X:

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.

The Tenth Amendment is similar to an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation: "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."

Interpretations of the amendment can be divided into two camps. The first interpretation, as held by the Tenth Amendment Center, most of the Founding Fathers, the Libertarian and Constitution Parties, and a few Republicans including Ron Paul and Jeff Flake, is that the Constitution does not grant the United States any power that it does not expressly mention. This has been used as the basis for such court cases as Gonzales v. Raich, and for arguments in favor of repealing a large number of Federal laws, abolishing the Federal Reserve, and drastically slashing the Federal budget by 50% or more. It is also why amendments were necessary for the abolition of slavery and the prohibition of alcohol - without said amendments, Congress did not have the authority to do those things.

The contrary opinion, as held by most of the current U.S. Government, is that the Constitution grants Congress the authority to do more or less anything that is not explicitly prohibited by the first eight amendments.

Congress cannot directly compel states to enforce federal regulations. In 1997, the Court again ruled that a federal act Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, violated the Tenth Amendment (Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)). The act required state and local law enforcement officials to conduct background checks on persons attempting to purchase handguns. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, applied New York v. United States to show that the law violated the Tenth Amendment. Since the act “forced participation of the State’s executive in the actual administration of a federal program,” it was unconstitutional.

From the time of the Declaration of Independence and after the successful revolution each individual colony looked upon itself as a sovereign state.

Since words have meaning, let us consider the meanings of the two words "Sovereign"and "State";

Sovereign:
"Independent of, and unlimited by, any other; possessing, or entitled to, original authority or jurisdiction."

State:
" * Has space or territory which has internationally recognized boundaries (boundary disputes are OK).
* Has people who live there on an ongoing basis.
* Has economic activity and an organized economy. A country regulates foreign and domestic trade and issues money.
* Has the power of social engineering, such as education.
* Has a transportation system for moving goods and people.
* Has a government which provides public services and police power.
* Has sovereignty. No other State should have power over the country's territory.
* Has external recognition."

The Colony of Virginia convened a "Revolutionary Congress" in response to the British Arm firing upon colonists at Lexington Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. On May 15, 1776, Virginias' Revolutionary Convention adopted three resolutions that effectively had Virginia declaring its' independence from Great Britian. The Virginia convention instructed its' representatives to attend the Second Continental Congress to secure a Declaration of Independence from all the Colonies in cooperastion and confederation.

Here's where a couple more definitions are in order;

Congress;
"An assembly of representatives of sovereigns."

(con)federation:
"the act of constituting a political unity out of a number of separate states or colonies or provinces so that each member retains the management of its internal affairs. (from the Latin Foedus)."

foedus:
" (A) treaty or compact contracted by ancient Rome with one or more allied states (foederati). The treaty contained various conditions establishing permanent friendly relations between the contracting parties. A foedus aequum was a bilateral agreement recognizing both parties as equals obliged to assist each other in defensive wars or when otherwise called upon, in perpetuity. A foedus iniquum defined Rome as superior, the second party being bound to assist Rome in offensive wars, thus limiting the ally's sovereignty.

Federal:
Pertaining to a league or treaty; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, especially between nations; constituted by a compact between parties, usually governments or their representatives.

We all know now that the Declaration that was adopted asserted that the colonies were independent STATES. We have been taught, (inaccurately) that the operational portion of the Declaration of Independence was a restatement of Richard Blands' account of the just powers of government, (...We hold there truths to be self-evident...). We are taught that THIS is the bedrock of America... but it isn't!
The members of the Second Continental Congress were not commissioned to concoct a new theory of government. The first three paragraphs are what is called "horatory language" (definition hortatory: Marked by exhortation or strong urging; Formal encouraging [Latin hortari to encourage])... the preamble or predicate for the effective section which comes in the fourth paragraph where the Congress declared the Colonies to be "Free and Independent States" and claimed for them the rights to do what everything that free countries do. They declared themselves sovereign equals to France, Russia, Spain or any other Sovereign Nation.

More information is available at WAMAH
 

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Watch out for the Southern "Lost Cause"rs.


And actually...in my public school we weren't taught it was just about slavery...we were taught about the implications slavery had but weren't taught that the North was fighting just to free the slaves and South was fighting to free them.
 

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Tralfamadorian
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Based on the changes over the past 160 years in technology, ideas and everything else - what would be similar and what would be different should the people of America need to take their country back by force?
Take back from who? Ourselves?

The rest of your questions can be answered with some research and work on your part. The war, like many, started from hubris and ignorance. Both sides figured it would be an easy and quick war. Reality proved them all wrong. Sound familiar?

One major result from the carnage, like it or not, was that the idea that state's rights superseding the Federal government was proven wrong. Those who today look forward to their own state seceding from this Union should bare than in mind.

The war was about much more than ending the morally corrupt institution of slavery though many Southern intellectuals and insightful generals believed that the "Cause" (State's Rights) could have been successful if they, the Southerners themselves, would have ended slavery on their own. The comment earlier from another who said "money" was not an invalid point. The Southern Aristocracy that led the South to seceded were probably more concerned about the economic importance of slavery to their personal way of life than to the needs of a nation. The majority of Southerners who shed their blood on the battlefields were not slave owners. The majority of Northerners who likewise paid the ultimate price were driven more by the idea of "Preserving the Union," than they were with freeing the slaves. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation mid-war did infuse many Northerners with the idea of a greater cause.

Also our American brothers and sisters from the Southern states who prefer to call the Civil War "The War of Northern Aggression" should remember who fired the first shot. I have said it before on this forum and it should be repeated, history is written by the winners.

This war was one of the pivotal points in our Nation's wondrous history, helping define who we are. I encourage all to better educate themselves on American history and please do try to respect and study it from all perspectives.
 

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Certifiable
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I encourage all to better educate themselves on American history and please do try to respect and study it from all perspectives.
Very well put. That last sentence was especially important. Most people outside the U.S.ofA. are amazed at the ignorance Americans have of world history. We study history in the context of what affects us only. I do not have much love for people outside the U.S. anymore as they only want us around when it benefits them but I will agree that we have gotten a lot of the reputation we deserve.
 

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The south was going to get trounced anyway. The North had all the manufacturing and plants...the south farms and plantations. The south did however, do a hell of a job with what they had.
 

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American fearmaker
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Southern people refer to the War Between the States as "The War of Northern Aggression." And they firmly believe that. The northern states pushed and pushed things until there was no other option for the southerners and the fight was on. FDR did the same exact thing to the Axis powers prior to WW2 which is why we ended up fighting the Axis.

Keep in mind that there are always many causes for the beginning of a war. Some are political. Some are financial. Some are religious in their orientation. The thing that causes any war generally falls by the wayside as the war grows and the support for it builds, peaks and then wanes into nothing. And the different sides may see the start of the war in different ways. In the War Between the States the northern forces and people saw it as a war meant to force certain political and moral objectives on the southerners. The southerners saw the war as just being plain old unjustified aggression caused by economic greed. Later on, after the war, the southerners had to contend with carpetbaggers, punitive reparation fees and unreasonable taxation which further confirmed their belief that the war was motivated by northern greed.

So a Civil War, War Between the States or War of Northern Aggression is one that hurts a nation for many generations after the war is finished. There are still sore issues in many states over the last war we had inside of our nation and that was over 150 years ago...
 

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Tralfamadorian
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Southern people refer to the War Between the States as "The War of Northern Aggression." And they firmly believe that. The northern states pushed and pushed things until there was no other option for the southerners and the fight was on. FDR did the same exact thing to the Axis powers prior to WW2 which is why we ended up fighting the Axis.

The southerners saw the war as just being plain old unjustified aggression caused by economic greed. Later on, after the war, the southerners had to contend with carpetbaggers, punitive reparation fees and unreasonable taxation which further confirmed their belief that the war was motivated by northern greed.

So a Civil War, War Between the States or War of Northern Aggression is one that hurts a nation for many generations after the war is finished. There are still sore issues in many states over the last war we had inside of our nation and that was over 150 years ago...
Couple of questions Herd Sniper....

Are you stating that FDR "pushed" the Axis powers into war?

Some Poles and Chinese (and many others) may differ strongly with that concept.

I assume that you are not defending slavery with your "certain political and moral objectives on the southerners." Do I assume correctly?

Since the southern states had very little industry, the south was a great market for the northern industrialists. Though many made fortunes supplying the north during the war, I question if the barons of industry were too keen on disrupting the market, so can you defend your concept of "northern greed" as causing the war?

Not discounting the influx of carpetbaggers and government instituted controls that followed hostilities, do you think that the northern response following this horribly bloody war was really that punitive considering that in most civil wars through history, the leaders and many of the fighters involved ended up with their necks stretched?

Considering Gen. U.S. Grant was condemned by many for his paroling of the Confederate fighters after Appomattox....hell, officers were even allowed to keep their sidearms. Was that punitive?

Lincoln preached "with malice towards none." His replacement, Pres. Andrew Johnson, who tried to implement Lincoln's Reconstruction plans, was almost impeached for being too lenient towards the south. So I guess my last questions are after so many generations, seven score and six years ago, why are you southerners still resentful of the north?

Also are you including in your "southerners" demographic, the large percentage of Blacks (whose ancestors were here long before many "White" Americans ancestors) and are you including the many other people who have moved to those states from elsewhere in these UNITED STATES? If not, please inform us just what makes a Southerner? Or did I just do that?

Do they consider themselves as Southerners first or Americans first?

I am not looking for a fight, I am merely trying to better understand the "Southern" perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I already understand most of what has been mentioned here. What I'm looking for is more of - what were the tell-tale signs that Americans were about to take up arms go at it?

Call it what you want but there was a difference in opinion much like the differences we share today. I'm just trying to get my head around what was going on in the days, weeks, months leading up to that "first shot". Were militias being assembled? Was there a national army at this point and how/why did it split?
 

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In Bat Country
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The issue was balance of power between "slave" states and "non slave" states... the compromise of 1850 was falling apart (the states took their right to decide the nature of their state government), so the southern states were about to be outnumbered in congress.

I love some of the posts about "Northern Aggression"... tell me... who attacked who... o ya the Civil War opened with the Confederate army attacking and capturing Union controlled Fort Sumter.

That is what lead to the opening of military conflict, after the Southern states left the Union, there were still Forts controlled by the North remaining in Southern states… Neither presidents was just going to “give” these military facilities to the Confederacy.

And it was the Liberal South vs. the Conservative North
 

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Tralfamadorian
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I already understand most of what has been mentioned here. What I'm looking for is more of - what were the tell-tale signs that Americans were about to take up arms go at it?

Call it what you want but there was a difference in opinion much like the differences we share today. I'm just trying to get my head around what was going on in the days, weeks, months leading up to that "first shot". Were militias being assembled? Was there a national army at this point and how/why did it split?
First off, secession was led by various southern legislators and the accepted "mainstream" leaders of the day. It was not universally favored by the southerners themselves (and even had its northern supporters). It was not really a civil uprising of the kind I assume you are really asking about. While there are some rumblings on Constitutional issues in various states recently, I would doubt that there are many, if any, southern legislators willing to foment armed or even unarmed rebellion. They know who writes their paychecks.

So if you are looking for parallels with 1861 and 2009 and the start of a new civil war, I think you will be unsuccessful.
 

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Tralfamadorian
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The issue was balance of power between "slave" states and "non slave" states... the compromise of 1850 was falling apart (the states took their right to decide the nature of their state government), so the southern states were about to be outnumbered in congress.

I love some of the posts about "Northern Aggression"... tell me... who attacked who... o ya the Civil War opened with the Confederate army attacking and capturing Union controlled Fort Sumter.

That is what lead to the opening of military conflict, after the Southern states left the Union, there were still Forts controlled by the North remaining in Southern states… Neither presidents was just going to “give” these military facilities to the Confederacy.

And it was the Liberal South vs. the Conservative North
Agree with you except maybe for the last statement. Abolitionism is a liberal concept while traditionalism is usually considered a conservative trait though you could argue that continuing the Union was a conservative desire (status quoism) while breaking off (rebelling) could be stretched to being a liberal action.

Important questions and decisions that were not made by the all eminent Founding Fathers eventually polarized the country so much that the only recourse was bloodshed.

And it is amazing how important the invention of the cotton gin was to the intransigence that led to the Civil War/War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression. Slavery was becoming unprofitable and probably on its way out before its invention.
 

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The Civil War was the beginning of the end for our once great country. The problem with the winners writing history is the facts get lost. Abe is considered one of the best POTUS, but that is a joke. If you truly understand what Abe did to our once great Republic, you realize he was the worse POTUS we have ever had, of course B.O. might change that one.
 
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