Did the South have any legitimate reason for seceding from the Union?

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  1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
    Freeway Flyerposted 12 years ago

    The South is generally described as the bad guy in The Civil War. Do you think that their point of view had any legitimacy?

    1. Diane Inside profile image75
      Diane Insideposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      well of course the whole slavery thing does give it a bad name. But I think they were standing for states rights as well, relief from carpet baggers, and they believed the north couldn't understand that they felt they needed help with crops etc. They went about it the wrong way no doubt, but they had some legitimate points as well.

      The civil war was about a whole lot more than just slavery which is what it really all became known as. 

      I'm from Ky so we were a state that was on both sides pretty much, So I agree with both sides, imagine if the south had won. I think this would be a much more conservative country to tell the truth.

      1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
        Freeway Flyerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        How long do you think that slavery would have lasted?

        1. Chuck RitenouR profile image67
          Chuck RitenouRposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Jefferson Davis had already pushed to free the slaves before the end of the war...It should be noted that over 6,000 free black men served on the side of the Confederacy... Lincoln said if he could savethe Union by not freeing the slaves he would do so and if he could save the Union by freeing the slaves he would do so. Lincoln did not emancipate the slaves until Lee invaded Maryland at Sharpsburg....It is my humble opinion that slavery may have lasted a few more months, should the outcome have been different. I had 33 family members who fought for the South, none ever owned a slave...to them they were protecting their homes and families from a Northern invader.

    2. IntimatEvolution profile image70
      IntimatEvolutionposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      No.  Not from what I understand.  They did not.  Only if they had known the destruction it would've cause.  Makes you wonder, why people make talk of wanting their said states to secede now, with all that we know.

      Our union is not a perfect union, however, the consequences of such actions would be.  Perfect for mayhem, perfect for deadly outrage.  Death, destruction, and disease would be the same today, as it was then- only greater and much more massive. 

      The thought scares me.

    3. dutchman1951 profile image59
      dutchman1951posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It was about a way of life they clung to, to save the family economic soverenty, and without slaves, farmers could not grow enough crops to compete. They held on to Slaves to gain money for production of Cotton and Crops. More Slaves meant more land could be worked, and more land ment more money for big crop yields.

      They were angry that Federal votes  and Goverment interests could be taken from them by Industrial Northern Cities that were growing in mass numbers. Cities that took the lead in population, goverment representation based on population. Much less factory exports and sales.

      The influence of the industrailists class- (Money) comming on in the latter 17th and early 18th Century's depressed the Farm markets because the goverment made laws to fit the Money influence, not the farmer.

      The South was left out. and they rose up for States rights, but underneath it was a way of live they fought to keep. Slavery was power and money, big farm status. Political influence

      and Slavery was the issue, make no mistake about it!

      Lincolin knew this well, and so did The south.

    4. profile image0
      klarawieckposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      People always thought it had to do with freeing slaves, but in reality we were just trying to prove that Key Lime pie was much more tastier than Apple Pie. And guess what? It is!


      1. habee profile image93
        habeeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I thought it had something to do with our grits?

        Most soldiers who fought for the South had never owned a slave, BTW.

    5. profile image48
      brooklynDAVISposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      They didn't do ANYTHING wrong... their rights were broken. they were the minority and north was majority, which means the north got listened to more because of the voting (by most votes, north has more people so it is unfair). The social contract says that if your rights are broken you can change or abolish the gov. and thats what the south was doing.

  2. srwnson profile image61
    srwnsonposted 12 years ago

    Perhaps the question is relevant considering what's going on in the country today, should the federal government have the right to dictate to the states. I think this question is still around.

    1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, it will probably never go away.

  3. Greek One profile image63
    Greek Oneposted 12 years ago

    Don't believe that the Constitution allowed for the succession of States from the Union.

    One could argue that the defense of liberty at times requires a people to rebel against the established order... but with the preservation of the institution of slavery being one of the core factors in the war, i don't think this argument makes much sense in this case.

    So yes, the rebels were wrong.

    1. profile image56
      C.J. Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. Succession is not allowable. Rebellion is. I don't agree that Slavery was a "Core" issue. The 10th Amendment was. At any rate the South definitely fired the first shot. History is written by the victor and the South has been labled as hatefull bigots ever since.

      1. Lisa HW profile image61
        Lisa HWposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Civil War reputation aside, it hasn't helped the South's reputation that  there was all that widespread ugliness and horror that was so going on back in the 60's (and years leading to up to them) in the South.   That kind of thing does tend to stain a region's reputation for a long time.

  4. Reality Bytes profile image78
    Reality Bytesposted 12 years ago

    The States that signed the Original Constitution entered into a contract as did the States that followed.

    The South felt that the trade was not fair since the North was exporting finished goods made from products bought wholesale from the South.

    The South was not allowed to enter into international trade.

    The south thought this violated and thus made the constitutional contract null and void.

    States rights issues have yet to be completely resolved.

    BTW: The South seceded from the Union, it was the North that created the war!

    1. srwnson profile image61
      srwnsonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      And don't forget that whole issue with the Louisiana purchase.

    2. Greek One profile image63
      Greek Oneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The South attacked Fort Sumter.. they drew first blood (as Rambo would say).

      1. Reality Bytes profile image78
        Reality Bytesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        We could have just let them go.

        Then South America would begin at the Mason Dixon Line.

      2. Chuck RitenouR profile image67
        Chuck RitenouRposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        As a matter of fact while the South fired first..the North drew first blood, by accidentally killing on of its own soldiers...this is from the "facts of the Battle for Fort Sumter".. Miraculously, no one on either side had been killed during the engagement, and the Federal soldiers, sheltered in Sumter's brick caverns, suffered only five injuries. Sadly, during the 100-gun salute to the US flag – Anderson’s one condition – a pile of cartridges blew up from a spark, killing a soldier.

  5. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 12 years ago

    There's a lot of reasons ,actually, for the civil war, and they are all pretty much on record, and still alot of justification for both sides. The tragedy of the war is the extreme loss of both sides,  fifty thousand dead at Gettysburg in three days! Hard to justify any such loss , and that today there is still talk of secession! Such idiousy ,that still abounds, is beyond me.

  6. Reality Bytes profile image78
    Reality Bytesposted 12 years ago

    Let us keep asking the States that are fiscally responsible to have their tax dollars taken to bailout irresponsible States.

    Let the Fed's keep trying to impose their beliefs on reluctant States.

    No means No!  What is it called when one entity forces itself on another entity against its will?

    Just a matter of time!

    1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I don't see a Civil War coming any time soon. Complaints about excessive federal authority have been around for decades, as have complaints about weak federal regulation, and they are both generally dealt with through the electoral process. Johnson led to Reagan; Bush led to Obama; and in the upcoming mid-terms, things will swing back the Republicans' way.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image84
        rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        even the Federalists during Jefferson and Madison's presidency contemplated secession for political reasons, then changed their mind after the wars success. the party dissolved.

  7. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 12 years ago

    Thats what they said in 1860,  tha same callings by the same people who didn't believe in fighting then either, let the soldiers fight , right? Let the criers cry......

  8. Idugit profile image60
    Idugitposted 12 years ago

    Lincoln didn't go to war to stop slavery, he went to war to defend the Union.

    At the time, the individual States did have the right to suceed, under certain conditions.  I'm not sure whether the Federal government met those coditions or not, but from reading the history books, it seems like the whole country - North and South - both wanted the War, albeit for different reasons, and Licoln gave them what they wanted.

    He was on record as saying that if stopping slavery would save the Union, he would do it, but if letting slavery continue would help preserve the Union, he'd do that instead 

    Cetainly, his famous "Emancipation Proclamation" only freed the slaves in the South, which at the time, had its own (at least quasi-legitimate) government, where he couldn't enforce it and did not free the slaves in the North, where he could have done so.

    With that attitude, the war was a foregone conclusion.

    1. Greek One profile image63
      Greek Oneposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      While I agree with your take on Lincoln's position (which indicates to me the he did not want the war and was willing to bend over backwards to preserve the union even if it meant preserving slavery), under what conditions did the individual States of the time?  I don't see anything in the constitution that allowed for succession.

  9. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 12 years ago

    I beleive that before we think of secession, we need to reclaim our roles as a legit voting population. Our country today essentially is in this shape because we have allowed it. By not demanding term limits , completely eliminating career polititians,  and reinstituting common sense into our roles as the American voter. P.A.C.'s , organized labor , and corporate America have more control than any voting  entity in America now. And , who are the political people listening  to , them, not you! The supreme court just decided that a corporation has as much power as an individual in our constituional rights ,  and as contributors to political offices near you ,shame on them . Most Americans ,in my oppinion, don't know who their senators and congressmen are, but waste all their time debating who has the better presidential immage.  Presidents have actually very little power to change anything .  Apathy and complacency rule the American public right now. The ultimate responsibility is on the voters of the next very few elections. Until we make massive  changes in  office holders , nothing will change.

    1. Freeway Flyer profile image84
      Freeway Flyerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, congressional officials, supreme court justices, and corporations (especially) can stay around for a long time. If Presidents are lucky, they get eight years, and they are a lame duck for the last four.

  10. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 12 years ago

    Secession , today , would lead to the demise of the ultimate strengths of America in the world today . What baffles me is that talk of secession is actually a serious point for many. There , in my oppinion, is a huge chance of a civil war if even a couple of states seriously and succesfully attempt this . The ultimate outcome of civil war, in America, would be armegedden.
    The people who talk and think losely of this process should study the origins of our first civil war and the very real effects on families and the costs to our country . And then ask themselves , what are they really willing to sacrifice. Their children, their homes ,their country, Their lives?......

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image60
      Evan G Rogersposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think it would be the most glorious thing that could happen to our country.

      Imagine it: a state ACTUALLY standing up to the Federal Government!! It would be glorious!

      "You have to have health care, even though such a law is unconstitutional!" - nope!

      "You have to get porno-scanned at the airport"... NOPE!!

      "You have to send your tax money to a country that's currently in 3 wars (Iraq might have just ended, and we're currently bombing pakistan)." -- nope!

      "Your Government can print money out of thin air, and then give it to businesses that couldn't stay in business"... NOPE!!

      "even though it helps fight the torment of cancer, marijuana is still illegal (luckily numerous states ARE nullifying this law)" -- NOPE!!

      "even though just about everything the Federal government does is against the constitution, you still have to abide by it!" ... nope!

      Secession! Let's have some!

  11. Paradise7 profile image71
    Paradise7posted 12 years ago

    The south was basically a slave economy.  They sort of had to go to war to try to maintain their status quo.  Look how that worked out!

    The north was NOT a slave economy.  It was beginning to be industrialized.  It was also a religious reformation social system; very anti-slavery.

    The reason the North resisted the seccession of the South from the Union was more political and less economic or religious than the face of the matter would make it seem.  It was a bipartisan system; one side was adamantly against secession and making the state automnous; the other side was adamantly for State's Rights.

    Nobody ever wins a civil war.  The ghosts of all those young soldiers still inhabit the battlefields.

  12. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 12 years ago

    Bravo , so true.....the ghosts of soldiers never have a voice.....the rest have to much of one.

  13. Randy Godwin profile image60
    Randy Godwinposted 12 years ago

    Like most wars, it was about money.  Sure, slavery was a small part of it, but the north didn't want the south to sell their cotton to European countries at higher prices than the northern industrialists wanted to give! 

    The northern industrialists, by the way, were using child labor at very dangerous jobs for long hours at a stretch which caused many deaths and injuries to these children.  Does this sound as though they really cared what kind of circumstances the slaves were enduring?

    Slavery was on its way out because their upkeep had gotten to the point that hiring freemen was actually cheaper.  A planter didn't have to furnish food, clothing, or a place to live, for hired labor! 

    It was only a matter of time before the slaves were freed anyway!  This is why many plantation owners moved their slaves to Texas and south of the border to continue with their plantation life!  Where do you think Texans got their accent from?

  14. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 12 years ago

    Good point about the Texan accent, RD!

    Child labor in the North was terrible - comparable to child labor in Britain during the Industrial Revolution.

    Of course, slavery was terrible, too. I'm certainly not defending it. The North had other motives besides compassion, though!

  15. Evan G Rogers profile image60
    Evan G Rogersposted 12 years ago

    If you truly want to learn about why the South seceded from the union, you first must be prepared to realize that Lincoln wasn't a saint.

    Think about this little conundrum that was never addressed in your history textbook in high school (lord knows it was never addressed in mine):

    If the south DID actually secede, and thus was a foreign country at the time, Lincoln went to war (all out war, nonetheless) against a foreign nation without a declaration of war. But if the south DIDN'T secede, as is usually argued, then Lincoln invaded and stole the rights from thousands (millions?) of US citizens without giving them a trial.

    So, Lincoln either murdered US citizens, or he unconstitutionally invaded a foreign nation.

    A few other things to take note is that Lincoln made it illegal to speak out against the war. He actually had a northern Congressmen excommunicated from the Union for merely saying that it was likely an unconstitutional war.

    Yes. Slavery was an issue. But Lincoln himself demanded that he would have loved to keep the union together had nothing to do with slavery.

    Also, his emancipation proclamation didn't free a single slave: it only freed slaves in the south... who were in a foreign country...

    In regards to secession, I would like to point out that the first states to seriously discuss secession were actually northern states during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.

    And, finally, people think secession is a whack-o ridiculous idea and that anyone who suggests it is a loon. But what do we call what the 13 colonies did to Great Britain? Independence! Liberty! Self-Rule! ... all of these are synonymous with secession. the US seceded from Great Britain... over very very very mild tax increases (compare that with today's "Patriot Act")


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