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Was slavery symbolic of the South?

Posted Dec 21, '12 at 3:00pm

handlerfan

handlerfan

192 posts

I have recently seen a documentary by Ken Burns on the US Civil War. I wonder why John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln when the war was over. I imagine that General Robert E Lee thought this assassination futile and cruel. What had Lincoln done to deserve this fate? What had he done for Booth to proclaim 'sic semper tyrannis' [thus ever tyrants] as he did the deed? What had that nice Mr Lincoln done that was beyond the usual horrors of war? Was the South always going to react like this when it lost?
I've heard tales of people wrapping their bodies in the Confederate flag and taking their own lifes when the war was lost? Were the Confederate states full of such fanatics?
It got me to thinking that maybe slavery was one of many sins of the South. I am British. I am a neutral. I have little knowledge other than the slaves were freed which was a good thing. I imagine that slavery was a symptom of other evils. From Gone With The Wind I imagine that there were a number of rich white plantation owners, with many acres of land, in the South who expected the poor white farmers, who had scraps of land, to kowtow to them. So I ask was slavery symbolic of the South.

 

Posted Dec 21, '12 at 3:08pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,687 posts

Knight

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_John_ … am_Lincoln

Slavery was the backbone of their economy. They needed people to pick cotton, and with slaves it was easy. Once slavery was abolished, they had to find other ways to get money. More people to work = more money.

 

Posted Dec 21, '12 at 10:01pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

11,854 posts

Knight

Lee doesn't have control over everything.....Lee was quite the honorable and respected gentleman, which was why he was easily rehabilitated after the War. Can't say the same for the riff raff.

 

Posted Dec 21, '12 at 11:01pm

Bronze

Bronze

2,337 posts

Both sides had their radicals, but they were few in number. What you shouldn't forget is that both sides had very brave men who gave everything they had for the men standing next to them. And in the case for the South, a bunch of dirt poor farmers fought to defend their homes, not for the elites who wanted to keep slavery around. That drive to fight for your home is what symbolizes the South, for me anyway.

 

Posted Dec 22, '12 at 1:22am

ImTheMostManlyMan

ImTheMostManlyMan

2,813 posts

He killed Lincoln to get back at them for winning he war. But really though what he did was only a third of what was supposed to happen. He and two other conspirators had planned to take out the head of the US (president vise president and whoever succeeded him), but the other two ended up not attempting their assassination. Booth had also planned to be treated as a hero for what he did, after the war most everyone was bad-mouthing him so be expected them to be happy about his death. They weren't and that is why he got caught so quickly, it didn't go as well as he had planned with the VP and other dude living and not being honored as expected.

 

Posted Dec 22, '12 at 4:18pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

3,707 posts

Slavery as an institution was symbolic of the entire US at the time. The South had the African. the North had the wage slave. State's Rights was the core issue during the Civil War: the debate was over whether or not a state had the right to break away from the Union.

Slavery in the South was important to the entire US, and Europe as well. Much of the cotton produced in the south was shipped to Britain and France on Northern ships. It was only during the Economic recession in the early 50s that shifted the North into being less dependent upon the South. While cotton prices remained high at this time, the overall economic health in the North was hurt by over speculation on the sale of federal lands. This bolstered the idea in the South that secession would work, and more importantly, ensured that the South would continue to rely on cotton as the primary staple for trade. Meanwhile, diversification in the North during and after the recovery in the mid 50s prepared the North for gearing up towards wartime production of weapons and such.

As for Lincoln, he was a very poor president legally. Everyone seems to overlook the fact that he invaded a sovereign nation and suspended habeas corpus. Mexico's position on Texas as a province in rebellion was ridiculed by the Federal Government, but then applied to the CSA. I'm not saying that the Emancipation Proclimation was bad, but aside from having no legal standing it ruined the South; in fact, it was only until the aftermath of WWII that the South could even claim to be on an equal footing with the rest of the nation. And today, large numbers of Blacks live below the poverty line because their forefathers were thrown into the world, rather than guided.

Hopefully I haven't just done someone's homework...

 

Posted Dec 22, '12 at 10:31pm

Jacen96

Jacen96

2,155 posts

The confederates attacked first, so it really wasn't that Lincoln started the war.

~~~Darth Caedus

 

Posted Dec 22, '12 at 11:31pm

ironblade41

ironblade41

523 posts

I don't know. My best guess is something to do with states's rights. We're supposed to do American History this year, but we're still studying the Revolutionary War. I want to make some smartass remark about how you're a Loyalist, but I got nothin'.

 

Posted Dec 23, '12 at 3:34am

handlerfan

handlerfan

192 posts

Maverick has not done my homework. I wonder about these sorts of things for fun. There's a lot in your amswer to digest. Thank you, everyone. Now, the history of Texas,......

 

Posted Dec 23, '12 at 3:00pm

spikeabc

spikeabc

1,004 posts

i guess at the time slavery was pretty important to them because they used it for everything.

I want to make some smartass remark about how you're a Loyalist, but I got nothin'.

lol.

 
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