ForumsThe TavernWas slavery symbolic of the South?

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handlerfan
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handlerfan
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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.

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GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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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.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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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.

Bronze
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Bronze
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Farmer

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.

TheMostManlyMan
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TheMostManlyMan
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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.

Maverick4
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Maverick4
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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...

Jacen96
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Jacen96
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Herald

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

~~~Darth Caedus

ironblade41
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ironblade41
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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'.

handlerfan
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handlerfan
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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,......

spikeabc
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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.
Maverick4
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Maverick4
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Shepherd

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


1) The Northern troops were asked repeatedly to abandon the post, and were warned of the attack by the South Carolina governor and P.T. Beauregard.

2) The Northern troops were occuppying Southern Territory. Yes they attacked first, but the North could be seen as the aggressor.
handlerfan
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handlerfan
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I am friends withe an American over here. She agrees with some of what Maverick says. I observe that the slave based economy in the South did make inroads into the diversifying North. I see people in the south, facing a crisis; they were losing their role as the major source of wealth, and going north to muscle in on the north's increasing wealth production capacity.
I imagine that whoever fired the first shot the people of Civil War times manouvered into a position where the impetus towards their conflict turning violent was too strong to resists.

Maverick4
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Maverick4
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Shepherd

I imagine that whoever fired the first shot the people of Civil War times manouvered into a position where the impetus towards their conflict turning violent was too strong to resists.


^This. And to add to what was said by handlerfan, secession in the US was a very common threat/issue. In the prior century, one part of the nation or the other had threatened to secede. Most notable is van Buren, who tried to become President of what is now called the North East, and was captured on the Mississippi River before he could be installed by the Spanish as the Emperor of Louissiana (which was, at this time, a vast territory).
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