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wheelchairman
06-25-2007, 07:05 PM
Some thoughts I've been pondering this night.

This is not to be a debate of the moral righteousness of the USA over the Confederated States. While attaching modern morals on past events is a rather annoying tendence, it is clear that the industrial western world had moved past this archaic form of economy. And the forces representing this movement both in the north and in the south were able to cement this.

The question really is, what justification is there for forcing the the Confederacy to stay in the Union? My knowledge of the war is scant, but I do believe it was the confederates that attacked first. So yes, that would obviously be one good reason. Another would obviously be the self-interests of the US government, putting that under the neo-realist justification. Albeit it's a civil war, so how far an international relations theory that is exclusively international can be applied is questionable. It obviously can be seen as self-interest.

The question is what is the political and moral justification of forcing states to remain in what should be a voluntary union?

Any thoughts? Surely someone has done some research on the US civil war. I can't say that I have, so please enlighten.

sKratch
06-25-2007, 07:12 PM
The question is what is the political and moral justification of forcing states to remain in what should be a voluntary union?

I think this is an erroneous statement, but I have to run at the moment. I'll check it out later.

wheelchairman
06-25-2007, 07:17 PM
It might be. I know that the definition of a voluntary union has changed pragmatically depending on the situation. Or at least that's what I quickly scanned on Wiki before I posted this.

Mota Boy
06-25-2007, 08:26 PM
I'm reaching back to high school for this one, and watching a movie with friends, so give me a break...

Essentially, when the thirteen colonies first coalesced into a nation, they did so exceptionally reluctantly. The original government, the Articles of the Confederation was designed to preserve each state's independence, to the point that they likely would've drifted into several different countries. The Constitution was drafted only after the limitations of the AotC made themselves apparent when the states couldn't put down an insurrection (Shay's Rebellion). Even then, it was very difficult to convince all the colonies to ratify the Constitution, and most of them went in with the implicit assumption that they could get out.

Anyway, over the course of the next several decades, the national goverment grew stronger, until eventually it could force the states to stay in the Union, even though it was technically voluntary. The end.

RickyCrack
06-26-2007, 02:58 PM
There's a constitutional right for secession, but it's probably hard and long (lol) especially since the northern governments were fighting against it legally. So the Confederation living up to their southern roots decided to just start shooting shit, which inturn caused the north to invade. But I don't think there's any laws against secession because Texas remain it's own independant nation until the mexicans started getting upity.

Not Ozymandias
06-27-2007, 09:05 PM
While I don't hide my contempt for the Southern states, I don't really think we had the "right" to force them into staying. It was just a simple matter of their secession hurting the American economy, so we killed enough of them until they thought better of it.
That's kind of how most of our wars go, actually.

Even though I think objectively that the North was "wrong" to stop their peaceful secession, freeing blacks from slavery was the best thing this country has ever done so I don't really care how it came about.


Anyone who likes mindfuck movies should see Confederate States of America, a fake documentary about the South winning the civil war.

Paint_It_Black
06-27-2007, 11:22 PM
freeing blacks from slavery was the best thing this country has ever done

So does that make enslaving them the second best thing?



The question is what is the political and moral justification of forcing states to remain in what should be a voluntary union?

I've wondered this myself and asked a few Americans. They've all had no answer, or mumbled something about abolishing slavery. Clearly the majority of people are secure in the belief that the North was in the right, they just aren't entirely sure why. It seems to be a case of might = right, along with the victors teaching the history.

Even calling it a civil war shows a clear bias. If the Confederates had won I expect it would be known as the Second Revolutionary War, or some such thing.

It's also interesting that all Americans I've discussed this with firmly believed the US had a right to declare it's independence from Britain. And firmly believe that the South did not have the right to declare independence from the US.

Sin Studly
06-28-2007, 07:37 AM
Oh, I'm a good ole' rebel,
Now that's just what I am,
And for this Yankee nation,
I do not give a damn,
I'm glad we fought against her,
I only wish we'd won,
And I don't ask any pardon,
For anything I've done,

the_GoDdEsS
06-28-2007, 07:38 AM
I hates this Yankee nation,
And everythin' they do,
I hates the declaration,
Of independance too,
I hates this glorious union,
Tis drippin with our blood,
And I hates this striped banner,
And fight it all I could,

Sin Studly
06-28-2007, 07:40 AM
I fought with Robert E. Lee,
For three years, thereabouts,
Got wounded in four places,
And I starved on point lookout,
I catched the rheumatism,
A campin' in the snow,
But I killed my score of Yankees,
And I'd like to kill some mo',

the_GoDdEsS
06-28-2007, 07:42 AM
Three hunned thousand Yankees,
Lays stiff in Southern dust,
We got three hunned thousand,
Afore they conquered us,
They died of Southern fever,
And Southern steel and shot,
I wish it was three million,
Instead o' what we got

Sin Studly
06-28-2007, 07:44 AM
I can't pick up my musket,
And fight em now, no more,
But I ain't gonna love em,
Now that's for certain sure,
And I don't want no pardon,
For what I was and am,
I won't be reconstructed,
And I do not give a damn

Mota Boy
07-01-2007, 03:40 PM
There's a constitutional right for secession, but it's probably hard and long (lol) especially since the northern governments were fighting against it legally. So the Confederation living up to their southern roots decided to just start shooting shit, which inturn caused the north to invade. But I don't think there's any laws against secession because Texas remain it's own independant nation until the mexicans started getting upity.
Lincoln vowed not to make any aggressive moves against the South, but affirmed his right to hold on to Northern territory, which meant not evacuating any military bases in the first state to secede, South Carolina. It was only after ships were sent to resupply Fort Sumter (after weeks of tension) that the Confederates attacked, giving Lincoln the ability to ask the Union states for militia forces and campaign against the South. So it was by this - Lincoln's careful maneuvering that didn't place the role of the aggressor on the North - that really gave the Union the go-ahead to wage war on the Confederacy while not acknowledging them as a separate nation. Interestingly enough, documents prior to the Civil War generally refer to the country as "these United States", a reference to the sense of preeminence of the individual states, while post-war documents refer to "the United States". (I just finished listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals", a biography of Lincoln and his cabinet).

Texas is a different case - it actually was originally part of Mexico, largely settled by whites - it was these whites that got all uppity and fought off the Mexican government themselves, establishing Texas as a sovereign nation. Originally, the United States didn't accept Texas into the Union for fear of angering Mexico, but I believe we did so in the run-up to provoking the Mexican-American War.