It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


What really caused the civil war?

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on May, 13 2010 @ 12:48 AM
I have just been thinking about Abraham Lincoln. In the beginning of the war and during most of his tenure he never really expressed any belief in freeing the slaves. In fact when the Republicans wanted to have the emancipation proclamation earlier on Lincoln told them they couldn't have one.

If Lincoln was pro slavery before the rebellion just what then caused the southern states to rebel? People probably were very well informed on his views then, and doesn't this put the whole reason about why the southern states rebelled into question?

I have been doing some thinking on this and would like an answer from a more well researched person.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 12:58 AM
The Civil War was about states' rights, concerning commerce, and passing legislation. Abraham Lincoln also raped the constitution by suspending habeas corpus, and by trying to deny states their 10th amendment rights.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 01:02 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

The Civil War had little to do with the issue of slavery, and mainly was caused by the issue of State's Rights. The Confederate States believed the individual states should have more power than the Federal Government, and the Northern States believed the opposite, hence they backed the Fed in the war. It was caused by the differences in thier respective economies. The North was an industrial based economy and benefited from the taxes and tariffs imposed by the fed, and the South was more agriculturally based, and suffered from the interference of the fed.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 02:12 AM
While I think its true that the civil war was mostly a war about state's rights versus the Fed, there's plenty of evidence in his personal and political writing that Lincoln had a strong desire to free the slaves, and did not view the afr4ican americans as inferior. He couldn't act on everything he felt as fast as he might have liked, btu that's not the same as not believing in it.


posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:05 AM
Basically the North were new imperialists,and the south old Loyalists.
The south wanted to remain free, the North demanded loyalty to the colony.....a united colony newly independant from Britain.
The imperialists won , by killing more than the loyalists did.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:34 AM

Originally posted by paulism
While I think its true that the civil war was mostly a war about state's rights versus the Fed, there's plenty of evidence in his personal and political writing that Lincoln had a strong desire to free the slaves, and did not view the afr4ican americans as inferior. He couldn't act on everything he felt as fast as he might have liked, btu that's not the same as not believing in it.


Actually, Abe's views of the slaves was quite opposite from what we have been led to believe. While he may have had a 'strong desire to free the slaves', it may not be what you think. His goal was to send them right back to the countries they came from. He did not see them as having the same civil liberties as Americans, and his idea of 'freedom' was sending them back to whence they came.

So basically, he was using the slaves for his political agenda; which is kind of ironic, isn't it? Dishonest Abe professes to be 'freeing' a group of peoples, that he had no intention of saving nor did he have a wit of concern for.

In fact, the majority of plantation and farm owners were very close to and cared very much for their workers. In most of the communities, the slaves were considered to be part of the family.

Unfortunately, it's the horrible (true) stories and tragic depictions that we remember so well, and in vivid detail. I think that if more (or, any) of the slave owners, who committed such awful acts were actually brought to justice, it would breed some much needed light on an oft taboo subject.

I mean, think about it. Would you let someone you despise and hated, raise your children? Help with the household? Alone with you wife? These were family units, and farming units. Not all slave owners were evil. Those that were, should have been severely dealt with.

This topic (Civil War) is a very good discussion, IMO. It's a great example of a time in history that we, as a nation, were purposefully divided, mislead, and straight-up lied to. All because of some bureaucratic legislature tptb wanted to desperately push down our throats. They divided us then, and forced us into opposing positions. All for an agenda, a political agenda.

Much like today.

[edit: so many typos, misspellings, too early in the morning, can't sleep, can't type!]

[edit on 13-5-2010 by SourGrapes]

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:54 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

Wasn't his public attitude on the spreading of slavery, to the territories and new states, bad enough, from their viewpoint?
And would they not be afraid that geographical restriction would be the first step towards abolition?

They would see his famous "house divided" analogy, from the election arguments, as pointing in the same direction. "I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other." They would say "Obviously he expects abolition- that probably means he's going to do it himself".

They would not be the first people, or the last, to base their fears on what they thought a man intended to do, distrusting his stated intentions.

[edit on 13-5-2010 by DISRAELI]

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 04:00 PM
Like it has been said before, state power vs fed power was the main topic of the civil war. Simple as that. The south was raped of its resources by the fed while the north benefited from the government.

My biggest issue with this is how people personify southern slave owners as downright terrible inhumane people. How does anyone know that? Just because someone is part of a "tyrranical system" does not mean that they themselves are terrible people. Take a step back and look at society today.
The system that the majority of Americans live under is very similar to the slavery system of the past. There are two differences, there is no discrimination, and instead of working for "the man" and given a home and food and the necessities (and the associated physical slave treatment), we now work for "the man" and are given money, with which we use to by a home, food, and the necessities (and associated government taxation of our income). They just added a middle man to the system and say it isnt slavery. The system in place is much the same, its still a labor market where labor is exchanged for what we have a God given right to have. Well I say our system is not all that different, really, think about it.
Some day in the future when people look back at our "tyrranical system" and say "those CEO's and the like were terrible people, enslaving the population by using low wages as the middle man to have THE SAME NET EFFECT as direct slavery..." We know that that isnt the case, as I am sure some did back then. Sure many top men are in fact less then reputable people, there are a good deal of those who arnt. Take the biggest philanthropist there is for example, Bill Gates, is he a terrible person? or is he just a person who is part of a tyrannical system.

If you want to argue that slaves were property... and we are not. Honestly think about it. They were openly traded and treated as property, maybe we are not, but we are directed to jobs and postions that we can fill, replaced by those more efficient, replaced like a broken piece of property, and move on to another position that we are qualified to fill, and the process repeats.

The system has not changed, it has adapted to conceal itself from scrutiny and opposition, but is still there none the less.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:50 PM
Saying that "States rights" caused the civil war is a simplistic as saying that slavery caused it. Both played major rolls in the cause of the civil war but the real reason was the most basic. Money.

The Northern textile industry had been working, via agents in congress, for almost 50 years to set up a system that would allow them to have control of the southern cotton market via the use of tariffs. If the southern plantation owners couldn't import goods from Europe at reasonable prices, then they would have to get them from american suppliers. Those same suppliers were the ones who wanted the southern plantation owners to sell exclusively to them. Thus, the textile giants would have cornered the market.

The American south supplied in the order of 80% of the world's raw cotton, which they shipped to northern textile companies as well as companies in Great Britain and France. The European companies were willing to set up multi-year contracts with southern plantation owners, which offered a stable price for cotton while the US textile companies wished to only do year by year contracts with prices changing according to demand. Of course, the textile companies would set the demand for their products thus the price that they were willing to buy raw cotton at.

There has been much speculation about the beginnings of abolitionism in the United States coming from northern textile giants who wanted to undermine the cotton producers. If the plantation owners were bereft of their cheap labor then they would not be able to work their enormous fields effectively and many would be forced to either go bankrupt hiring laborers to do the work or be forced to sell off portions of their estates. Of course, the northern textile giants were waiting in the wings with "lavish offers" to buy up the excess land, thus making them the controllers of the supply of cotton and thus it's price in the marketplace.

By the election of 1860, the southern states were slowing whittling down the tariffs that had caused them so much trouble. They had successfully reduced the tariffs from a high of 45%, in 1828 to only 17% by 1857. This allowed the southern growers to trade more equally with Britain. Many of the great textile giants saw this as a possible death knell and thus backed Lincoln as candidate for President. He had been a staunch opponent of allowing slavery to spread west and had, on a number of occasions, spoken out for the abolition of the practice.

As a final insult, Lincoln never even campaigned in the South. He felt that his greatest support would be among the northern "free" states and he was correct. The split in the democratic party caused by the abolition movement caused him to win the presidency with less than 40% of the popular vote even though he wasn't even on the ballot in 8 of the nine soon to be confederate states. The southern states felt that, with him as president, the northern textile giants would finally have their abolition and the southern plantations would be a thing of the past.

There is no doubt that slavery was a great evil. Any system that reduced a group of people to the level of animals is, by it's very nature, an abomination. One does need to understand, though, that the freeing of the slaves was not an act of charity but one of greed. The "north" had no regard for the plight of the poor slaves. They only saw a means to an economic end.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 01:56 PM
The Civil War = The Great Compromise of 1787

The civil war was cause by "The Great Compromise"
July 16, 1787, passed July 27th as "The Connecticut Compromise."
Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, both of the Connecticut delegation are to blame.

How can this be true?

There were two plans. America gets just the senate and the house, or America gets the senate, the upper, and the lower houses. In the plan with "just the house" and no upper or lower, the house is filled by state population. Northern smaller states feared control by the populous southern states. The south, showing weakness, compromised and the house was split with the new upper portion having a fixed number of reps per state. This is effectively the same thing as doubling down on the Senate portion of the separation of powers.

So the north started the series of definitions that the south would be blamed for fighting for. Namely states rights. By doubling down the number of representative bodies elected by state and not population it becomes possible that what state a citizen is from represents 2/3rd's of their political influence, as opposed to who they are. The interesting thing to notice here is that "states rights", a mere ten years after the constitution, were pitted against population levels and not against central government. After The Civil War "states rights" are only discussed in comparison to Federal authority.

Bluntly put a Civil war is how one reverses Balkanization.

Slaves counted for the lower house. The north forced a federal law on the south that slaves only counted as 3/5th's of a person for determining representation in the lower house. Apparently doubling down on the senate, by making an upper house wasn't enough of a 2/3rd's. Another 3/5th's was taken from a minority population. The south is still slapped in the face with the 3/5th's person rules to this day. As though secretly they passed the law against themselves because it tickled them to denigrate slaves in this way.

So how does a Civil war reverse balkanization?

Well not just any rabble of a unranked mob can pull this off.

First you need the best military commanders in the World to run both sides. Here is a list of people
who were all in a social club together in occupation of Mexico called

The Aztec Club of 1847.

Joseph E. Johnston
William T. Sherman
P.G.T. Beauregard
Joseph Hooker
Robert E. Lee
Ulysses S. Grant

and a company of other officers who appeared on both sides of the Civil war. They formed The Aztec club during the occupation of Mexico during the Business interest driven Spanish American war. Remember we had to avenge Davy Crocket.

Say, wasn't he a senator?

Slavery. This is just an emotionallycharged word
for Class difference. Prior to Civil war there is class difference.
After the Civil war it's about the same, but slowly gets worse.

Corruption Specifically the buying of politicians. Prior
to the Civil war this is unacceptable. After the Civil war its
standard. The population reacts by spreading the saying a
good politician is one who stays bought.

Commerce Yes, things get much much better for
commerce. America enters a period known for Robber
Barons. Sole Proprietorship, and partnerships never
recovers. Except in the legal profession.

So what lessons do I draw from history.

In this case I find that America seems to
opperate on the principal that a decision is
made, and then history are those subsequent
events where everyone else is notified of those
decisions. Sensationally, depressingly, or bloodily.

Take "Net Neutrality" from 2007-2009. This one was presented as this sudden political move that must be stopped. But the decisions that lead to Net Neutrality were made in 2001 by the Supreme Court when they made
a ruling on the common carrier clause in relation to the cable companies. Tech insiders knew the implications and were all scrambling to reposture. Net Neutrality was a back handed way of informing the population of the real decision and new order of things and getting them to endorse it as though it was their own idea. Sensational.

Take the "Dot Com" bust. The one that wrecked great fear on investment capitol going for internet companies. All these dirt companies cause the really valuable plans to go unfunded. They were bought up for cheep, patents and everything. And then brought back by large business interests. Do you really think You-tube technology wasn't in existence until a big well funded site that could host all the bandwith made it available free.

If you are an American citizen but have no state or federal
politicians working for you then you still have your 1/3rd
influence through the lower house. Oh wait, I forgot to
mention. That's only in the Legislature. Which
is also only 1/3rd of the government vs.
Executive and Judicial. Maybe you
should exercise one of your
old forgotten freedoms
for a change. What
about the freedom
to agree with

David Grouchy

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 02:05 PM
Its always irked me how Lincoln is portrayed as a champion of the slaves, leading them to salvation and fighting a war on the evil South for enslaving blacks... yadda yadda.

Maybe once or twice the issue of the South's right to govern themselves came up, and chances are someone complained about the teacher being racist.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 02:15 PM
The civil war happened for one reason and one reason alone-to keep the union from splitting.

All other reasons were nothing but supporting factors. Had the south not tried to succeed, Lincoln would never have declared martial law and civil war.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 02:39 PM
My avatar was designed by the general that fired the opening shots of the Civil War.
He would have told you that carpet baggers were not the result of the war,
but the cause of it.
Lincoln was assassinated because
by minting the green back,
he too ran a foul of the instigaters.

the war was divide and conqure on a grand scale, leading to centralization of power with the ultimate goal of a dictatorial tyranny and a docile population.

[edit on 27-6-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 02:42 PM
as i recall Lincoln said 'My paramount objective is to preserve the union, and is neither to save nor destroy slavery. If I could preserve the union by freeing all slaves I would do it; if I could preserve by freeing none of the slaves i would do it; if I could preserve the union by freeing some and not other slaves, I would do it.'
the Emancipation Proclomation freed slaves in the Confederacy but not the US...

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 03:24 PM
Lincoln was on record many years before he was in national politics as having a unfavorable opinion of black people.

History as written by the government has removed all references.

Strangely Americans do not even know that he was elected the first time as a Republican,but not for his 2nd term.

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 04:16 PM
I am happy to see the community of ATS in this thread has done more reading and study on the civil war than what the public schools preach . I had to unlearn much of what the public schools taught me and relearn the civil war from real history books and books written the late 1800s .

I still find it ironic that the Republican platform after their creation around 1832 ish ( forgot exactly )was to outlaw slavery and the Democrats of the period were for slavery to the point some were refereed to as Slaveocrats . Now we have the first colored president a Democrat and the Republicans being branded as racists.

How times have changed .

Agree with above posters concerning the start of the civil was states rights tariffs and commerce with slavery added to the pot to sweeten the deal and keep the Northerner interested in the war to make it a just war . Some old books refer to the slavery issue was added after the opening of the war to keep public sentiment on the Unions side.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 03:14 PM
just go back to 50s; 70% of the black vote went Republican. the 1964 Civil Rights Act changed everything, as did the Dem's shift to the left from then til today.

ps; I can see some similarity between today's 'wage slaves' and the slaves of early America, but we all still have the option of walking away, which they had not; plus we can keep our families together, which they could not. slavery was horrible in any case; the bird in the gilded cage is still caged.

[edit on 28-6-2010 by works4dhs]

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 04:23 PM
Funny story... Georgia and Virginia were actually in the middle of legislation that banned the ownership of slaves. Yup, Jefferson Davis had published a very un-popular book after the war, the rise and fall of the confederate government and in it outlined the very wording of the bills introduced... you guys don't hear about that stuff.

But to answer your question. Think about this. Where was the food grown? Where was the cotton grown? It was about taxes and controlling supplies and people. The north produced nothing of their own. The people of the south had enough of the north's meddling and redistribution of wealth, so they opted to leave.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:02 AM
There were many factors, but the cause is simple, and the tipping point not what you would expect. The cause was secession, and the govt's desire to maintain control of the land, for purposes of taxation authority, and defense. The tipping point was those thousands of pamphlets printed by the abolitionists detailing how to murder the masters at night and escape the plantation. The southern legislators panicked when they became aware of the level of infiltration, and that pushed them off the fence and into secession.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:24 AM
The Civil War's causes were indeed complicated, and I won't rehash many of the excellent posts made already. I just want to add a few thoughts:

1. One of the big buzzwords (or buzz-"phrases") of the American Revolution was "popular sovereignty". Basically it was the idea of anti-imperialism: if the people in one area of a country want to split off from that country and make their own country, they can. The Federal position in the war was the opposite of popular sovereignty; thus the Federals went against their own founding principles. They wanted the US to be an empire, and hey, look at us now, they got what they wanted!

2. If the Constitution had included a provision for secession (even one that required things of the seceding State, such as returning Federal property or providing just compensation for it) the war may never have happened. I wonder if this was ever debated at the Convention of 1787.

3. The South kind of brought their defeat upon themselves. One of the first things the Confederate government did upon its formation was declare war on the United States and evict the Federals from Ft. Sumter by force of arms. So yes, the South actually did start the war. Then one of the first things they did was send troops across the border and invade the North. I never really understood why they were so quick to declare war, unless they just wanted it. Sectional rivalry in those days must have been really heated. Enough people on each side just downright hated the other, and thought they could "whoop" the other in a quick, glorious war. That's really the only explanation I can come up with. If the South had maintained the moral high road, simply declaring their independence, constantly attempting to negotiate with the North, not declaring war until actually attacked by a Northern army, not invading the North but still defending themselves against a Northern invasion, they might have pulled through. Their own hubris may very well have been their downfall. Of course, commitment to the idea that it's okay for human beings to own each other probably didn't help their karma any.

4. If ever there was a historical "linchpin", neglectfully leaving that piece of paper at the camp was it.

[edit on 29-6-2010 by NewlyAwakened]

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in