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Confederations 
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Post Confederations
The conversation in the Pale Horse thread about confederations has the potential to be quite interesting, and I earnestly would enjoy learning more about it. Rather than continuing it in an only slightly related thread, I thought perhaps we could start a little fresh here.

From some cursory research it appears the defining characteristics of a confederation are the constituent states retaining sovereignty, being able to consent to or reject any action by the central government rather than being forced to abide by it, and also being able to withdraw from the confederation at will. If that's an accurate description(and please let me know if it isn't) but's pretty understandable that they don't have a big footprint on history, as it seems like they'd tend to be short lived enough to be footnotes in history. I don't think that automatically would stop them from being successful, as lifetime of a state might not be the only valid measure of a state's success, but it would make them a lot less visible to the layperson's view of history.

Regarding the confederate states of america, I would be very interested to know if their form of government actually contributed to their failure. In fact that line of thought has made me realize that I really know quite little about why the south lost the civil war, in contrast to a lot of other wars I can think of. Most histories of it I've been exposed to tend to focus on other aspects of the conflict.

If the above definition is correct, would not the EU somewhat qualify? It seems to have some of the hallmarks, but I'm no expert on how it operates. It also remains to be seen if the EU will last very long, of course.

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Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
The main difference between the Confederation and the Federation, in simple terms, is that the Federation has the central institution of power, and the Confederation - no. The difference lies in the degree of autonomy and self-government administrative units. In the Federation, they have broad autonomy, but still obey the central institutions of power, the Constitution of the country and agreements (diplomatic, commercial, cultural, etc.), concluded on behalf of the country.

On the other hand, the administrative units of the Confederation - is essentially independent countries, which are interconnected by certain treaties, agreements, or simply common goals. Some central government may be or not, but in any case he has no power greater than a banal arbitration in interior disputes. Each unit can easily be (and usually have) their laws, the constitution, the army, the state apparatus, they have the right not to ratify the treaties signed on behalf of the Confederation. But they are still sufficiently tied close with its neighbors, which does not allow them to be classified as just a bunch of independent states. Actually, because of the unclear wording of the Confederacy as so difficult to allocate.

An example the Federation in the modern world can be called of the United States, and serves as a good example of the Confederation of European Union. Formally, the Federation was the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation also formally remains in this status, but there is a lot of actual subtleties.


Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Lack of industrial infrastructure and blockades and slavery motivated boycotts really gutted the south in the American civil war. I doubt the confederacy organisation had that much to do with it thou it sure must have some effect. Actually if the European Union are going to survive in some manner they better reorganise as a confederacy because we European citizens are getting increasingly annoyed at the EU's tendency to hog powers we never intended them to have.


Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:17 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
The south was mostly agricultural while the north was shifting to Industrial. I would estimate the north would have likely had greater population as well since people in history tend to move toward centers of industry since that's where the jobs are plentiful. Could be wrong on that point.

I have heard people say that the American Civil war was a very good indication of the direction war was heading as far as tactics and weapons are concerned, so I would imagine that to mean having industrial power played a large part in the Northern Victory. Which would then mean they were able to field the more advanced weapons with sufficient numbers to matter, Like the Gatling gun and early repeating rifles. Southerners for instance seemed to find it quite hard to acquire the early repeaters of the day, where as northern troops often purchased them for their own personal use whenever they could afford them.

You can imagine the effects of having all your guys being at best armed with single shot breach loaders, while a good enough number of your enemies are armed with at best, a sixteen-shot rifle. Probably hard to win when you simply do not have access to the best weapons of the day and your enemy does. The powers of industry strike once more!


Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Sweforce wrote:
Actually if the European Union are going to survive in some manner they better reorganise as a confederacy because we European citizens are getting increasingly annoyed at the EU's tendency to hog powers we never intended them to have.


For the latter alone I'd say the EU can't be considered a confederacy. Once something is legislated on the Commission level, the member states are at some point bound to implement it, or pay the penalties.
Power tends to concentrate and hog. The Commission is no different in that aspect.
I feel the next step in this proces could be to make the Brussels area literally Union territory, no longer part of the national entity it currently sits in.

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Sun May 01, 2016 2:40 am
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Post Re: Confederations
The Union had about 22 million people, 21.5 million of whom were free.
The CSA had about 9 million people, 5.5 million of whom were free.

So yeah, the North had a 5 to 2 advantage in population overall, and about a 4 to 1 advantage in free people.


As to the industrial advantage, the North had about 90% of the industry. What it was really important for weapons-wise wasn't repeating rifles and Gatling guns*, but the casting of artillery. While the CSA did produce some artillery, something like 2/3rds of what they used during the war was stripped from federal forts and armories at secession, or captured on the battlefield.



*Repeating rifles (the Spencer and the Henry) were issued in relatively small numbers to Union cavalry and mounted infantry later in the war, and Gatling guns were not adopted by the army at all until after the war. Maybe a dozen were used in the war, but they were private purchases by individual officers.


Sun May 01, 2016 2:47 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Hm... American history is not one of my strongpoints, but those numbers show clearly how hopeless the confederate position was, right from the start. I was not aware of that. :shock:
Their only hope of winning would have been either a quick victory over the union or support from the european powers like Great Britain, France or Spain. However, those powers had plans and problems of their own. Like the french intervention in Mexico for example.

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Sun May 01, 2016 3:21 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Certainly it had some effect on the Confederate war effort, Confederate commanders tended to be very concentrated on local issues. Confederate armies in different theaters essentially fought their own independent wars whilst especially later on after Grant assumed overall command the Union fought the war to a single overarching strategy. Although the Confederacy did belatedly attempt to create a single command late on Lee wasn't really suited to the role and it was most probably too late anyway.

I have seen it suggested that state loyalties meant that ultimately most confederates were not deeply invested in the survival of the Confederacy as a whole which also contributed to its failure but how true that is I really know.


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Sun May 01, 2016 4:58 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Imagine you're "North Carolinian" before stating yur are US-American.
You'd be more willing to pay local taxes, but not much for central government tasks (armies, figth vs. terrorism, ...). Every state would build it's own army (like we Europeans do), not much coordination between them, nor in the fight vs. terroroism and crime, no security coordination,...
All tjose disadvantages build up,... and still you're sceptical of the central government and give them only the bar minimum ressources they need, and rdo everything yourself as you do not trust them to give you back what you paid for without sending a part of your money to South Carolina.
No, Confederations do nit work on the long term, and are usually born out of necessity. Because their inhabitants lack patriotism towards the central government and have more of it for the regional government.

Personally, as European, I do see the BiG disadvantages of having a weak central government (Bruxelles).
Our tax governments deny the other countries billions in taxes just to gain a few millions themselves.
When companies ar global, organising tax on a local level leaves loopholes, deliberately or not.
We do nt need less globalisation, but more! (especially on the state side) But I am digrssing outside this particular discussion.

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Sun May 01, 2016 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
NuclearIceCream wrote:
The south was mostly agricultural while the north was shifting to Industrial. I would estimate the north would have likely had greater population as well since people in history tend to move toward centers of industry since that's where the jobs are plentiful. Could be wrong on that point.
Very true, but my understanding is that internal movement was not necessarily the most important factor (though maybe it was).

NuclearIceCream wrote:
I have heard people say that the American Civil war was a very good indication of the direction war was heading as far as tactics and weapons are concerned, so I would imagine that to mean having industrial power played a large part in the Northern Victory.
I heard that at a military base once. Supposedly there were even official Russian observers (perhaps to consider future weapons purchases? I never heard the details).


JQBogus wrote:
The Union had about 22 million people, 21.5 million of whom were free.
The CSA had about 9 million people, 5.5 million of whom were free.

So yeah, the North had a 5 to 2 advantage in population overall, and about a 4 to 1 advantage in free people.
Suederwind wrote:
Hm... American history is not one of my strongpoints, but those numbers show clearly how hopeless the confederate position was, right from the start. I was not aware of that. :shock:
I suspect that the Southerners largely didn't know, either; and it actually goes a bit further back, as well. The South had at least two things before the war that held them back:
1) The "Southern system" (I'm sure there's an actual term, but I don't recall it) was in many ways a neo-aristocracy: you had a bunch of rich plantation owners dominating politics and economics, who slowly pushed everyone else to lower socio-economic positions by obtaining control over the best land. This rightfully reminded foreigners of their own nobilities (the Irish, for example, could be rforced laborers within Britain), so the disaffected individuals that were most likely to come over would have rationally prefered the North even if it didn't have far more jobs, while any foreign aristocrats that might have wanted to move would have found little to no room to move into the south. Emigration naturally concentrated on the north, which is a large part of why the northern ports are still predominately more populated than the southern ones.
2) The general economic policy of the South was "no debt, no government backing of business". This certainly makes sense if you're perspective is dominated by the manor system, with a few massive competitors trying to get a inertial advantage over each other, since anyone who was able to get a government contract could use that to improve their own position, but if your focus is on growth then it just hinders the development that you seek: the North was apparently quite happy to build projects like the Erie canal, and it's railroads apparently often wound up connecting together, but the South was reluctant to fund such projects (before the war, an early entry to the general movement towards a transcontinental railroad was proposed in the South, and was an influence in the Gadsden Purchase, but there wsn't enough support to get it done), and Southern railroads were almost exclusively interested in transporting cotton, resulting in few linkages.

It's actually been suggested that if not for the second of those, the South might not have rebeled: I personally think that the first is more important, because it resulted in the South gradually weakening within Congress: slaves had initially been intentionally counted in the census when the Constitution was instituted to give the Southern states more sway, but even with that their population didn't increase fast enough to keep up. Southern plantation owners were in many ways the Enrons and coal barons of their days, and they shaped the South according to their preferences, so in some sense the civil war was inevitable.

Suederwind wrote:
Their only hope of winning would have been either a quick victory over the union or support from the european powers like Great Britain, France or Spain.
And that is precisely one of the things they intended to win by: they cut off the cotton trade to produce leverage. Much like France and sugar beets during the Nepoleonic Wars, the Europeans at least reacted by buying cotton from Egypt and India.


Krulle wrote:
When companies ar global, organising tax on a local level leaves loopholes, deliberately or not.
We do nt need less globalisation, but more! (especially on the state side) But I am digrssing outside this particular discussion.
I'd say that instead of more globalization, we need smarter globalization: the biggest problem that Greece has is that it no longer has a way to genuinely be a better place to produce than the rest of Europe: it's inability to induce inflation of the Drachma due to the non-existence of the Drachma has eliminated it's one real tool. Combine that with the fact that it had to keep it's debts when entering the Euro-zone (the US government took on state debts at the same time that it regulated state-minted money as a package deal), and Greece has all of the disadvantages of North Dakota, with none of the advantages (don't worry if you've never heared of that state, it's minor enough that an American comedian used to joke that it was actually part of Canada that they didn't want to admit owning).

Similarly, while NAFTA has been of intense advantage to all three of it's signatories, the US-China trade pact has benefited China, multi-nationals, and very few others (due to the combination of massive population, AND massively lower wages: globalization counteracts low wages, but the combination in China has drastically slowed the process): even Mexico got the short end of that stick, since a lot of stuff that was expected to move there went to China instead. And what did that cause? Donald Trump. More globalization isn't quite right, smarter is.


Sun May 01, 2016 10:10 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Suederwind wrote:
Hm... American history is not one of my strongpoints, but those numbers show clearly how hopeless the confederate position was, right from the start. I was not aware of that. :shock:
Their only hope of winning would have been either a quick victory over the union or support from the european powers like Great Britain, France or Spain. However, those powers had plans and problems of their own. Like the french intervention in Mexico for example.



I think their real hope was that the north wouldn't muster the political will to fight. While the North was pretty lethargic about the whole thing, it did muster the will.

As for European intervention, it isn't clear how well France or England would have done projecting power across the Atlantic. The Crimea was about as far, and France/UK had some serious problems projecting sufficient power there just 5 years earlier. That they won in the end had a lot to do with the Russian being largely unable to easily reinforce or supply troops in the Crimea either. The Union in 1860, while less populous that Russia in 1855, had technological parity with 1st rank European powers, and much better infrastructure* than the Russians. A big thing that France or the UK would be able to do would without landing a large army would be to lift or reduce the effectiveness of the Union blockade, thus allowing the south to import war materials in quantity. But then, that might have spurred the North to undertak a much more serious shipbuilding campaign, and foreign intervention might also have made the war a lot more popular in the North. European intervention is the big "what if" in the US civil war.

*For example: Russia in 1855 had about 500 miles of railroads in the whole country, and none of them were south of Moscow. The Union (northern US) on the other hand, had ~20,000 miles of railroads in 1860.


Sun May 01, 2016 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Not to take away from the US Civil War discussion, but wasn't Switzerland technically a Confederation for a few hundred years? Obviously before it's current incarnation as a Federal Republic of course...


Mon May 02, 2016 10:15 am
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Post Re: Confederations
JQBogus wrote:
The Union had about 22 million people, 21.5 million of whom were free.
The CSA had about 9 million people, 5.5 million of whom were free.

So yeah, the North had a 5 to 2 advantage in population overall, and about a 4 to 1 advantage in free people.

As to the industrial advantage, the North had about 90% of the industry.


Wow. After my initial posting I'd remembered that the industrial power was weighted in the north's favor, but I didn't realize it was quite to that degree. Also from what I've read since of the constitution/structure of the CSA, I'm not sure it really was that much of a confederation by any of the definitions people have offered. Admittedly that's just from Wikipedia browsing, so that could easily be wrong.

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Mon May 02, 2016 4:43 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Siber wrote:
JQBogus wrote:
The Union had about 22 million people, 21.5 million of whom were free.
The CSA had about 9 million people, 5.5 million of whom were free.

So yeah, the North had a 5 to 2 advantage in population overall, and about a 4 to 1 advantage in free people.

As to the industrial advantage, the North had about 90% of the industry.


Wow. After my initial posting I'd remembered that the industrial power was weighted in the north's favor, but I didn't realize it was quite to that degree.
WW2 was apparently like this too.

It's less extreme now, but I recently heard a claim (I don't know how accurate it is) that the US still accounts for half of the world economy (for reference, the amount of money lost in the US economy during the most recent recession was about equal to the entirety of the German economy).

Siber wrote:
Also from what I've read since of the constitution/structure of the CSA, I'm not sure it really was that much of a confederation by any of the definitions people have offered. Admittedly that's just from Wikipedia browsing, so that could easily be wrong.
Yeah, I understand that one of the founding principles of the CSA was that the central government should enforce slave-owning rights even when a slave was brought into a state where slavery was illegal: this was what Southerners of the time meant by "state's rights". The Republican take-over of the south appears to have clouded this issue.


Mon May 02, 2016 8:55 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
The American Civil War and WWII have strong parallels in the sense that in both cases the CSA and the Axis had only one hope for victory: the quick surrender of the other side under a strong early onslaught. Neither the CSA nor the Axis had the resources or manpower to sustain a long war, and in both cases, the failure to win the war in the first two years meant assured defeat. In both cases, the CSA and Axis grossly misjudged their opponents. Lincoln would not have surrendered even if Lee had taken Washington, as Churchill would not have surrendered even if the Germans had crossed the channel.

In my opinion, almost everything went right for the Confederacy in the first two years of the war; they won almost every battle, and everything went as well as they could possibly have expected it to go, but it wasn't enough. They had the better army and the better commanders, but inferior manpower and industry and no way to really take the war to the enemy. Lee was so successful that he began to believe in the myth of his own invincibility, the same way Hitler did. No army can win every battle, and the first time Lee lost, the war was lost. I don't think that their confederate form of government was to blame; the war was lost before it ever became a war of attrition.

That said, confederacies are a difficult form of government. The CSA was at war during the entirety of its short existence, during which it was more or less under martial law. Perhaps a better study of a confederacy's shortcomings is that of the the Articles of Confederation under which the United States suffered from 1777-1789.

Absalom wrote:
I recently heard a claim (I don't know how accurate it is) that the US still accounts for half of the world economy (for reference, the amount of money lost in the US economy during the most recent recession was about equal to the entirety of the German economy).

The 2015 figures for gross domestic product that I can find seem to agree that the GDP of the US was 25% of the global total, followed by China at 15.5%, Japan at 5.6%, and Germany at 4.6%. I don't think that tells the whole story, since trade with the US and the contribution of American technology (especially as regards computers and the internet) accounts for a non-trivial percentage of the rest of the world's GDP. However, the US GDP dipped less than 4% (of the US GDP, not the global GDP) over the 19 months of the recession from 2007-2009; there's no way that accounts for even a small fraction of the German GDP over that period.

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Post Re: Confederations
halftea wrote:
Not to take away from the US Civil War discussion, but wasn't Switzerland technically a Confederation for a few hundred years? Obviously before it's current incarnation as a Federal Republic of course...


If I remember correctly, the full name of Switzerland in french is "Confédération suisse" which translates to Swiss Confederation. The German name is "Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft". Eidgenossen is a rather old term, which can be translated as "people bound by oath(s)". This leads to the origins of Switzerland: various independent Kantone (states) working togehter in defensive and other areas.
This changed over time and today they are a federal state. What remains is the name and some rather odd things, for example does Switzerland not have a capital city.

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Tue May 03, 2016 3:56 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Oh, something learned then.
I knew that Bern is the de facto capital, but never knew they were not the de jure capital, nor that they decided against having a de jure capital. Not that it really matters, though.
Similar things in the Netherlands: de jure, Amsterdam is the capital. There are also many government institutions in A'dam, but the government itself resides in The Hague, which some people see as a de facto capital (where also most embassies are).

There are more countries having weird constructions regarding their capital...

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Tue May 03, 2016 6:49 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Arioch wrote:
Absalom wrote:
I recently heard a claim (I don't know how accurate it is) that the US still accounts for half of the world economy (for reference, the amount of money lost in the US economy during the most recent recession was about equal to the entirety of the German economy).

The 2015 figures for gross domestic product that I can find seem to agree that the GDP of the US was 25% of the global total, followed by China at 15.5%, Japan at 5.6%, and Germany at 4.6%. I don't think that tells the whole story, since trade with the US and the contribution of American technology (especially as regards computers and the internet) accounts for a non-trivial percentage of the rest of the world's GDP. However, the US GDP dipped less than 4% (of the US GDP, not the global GDP) over the 19 months of the recession from 2007-2009; there's no way that accounts for even a small fraction of the German GDP over that period.
Huh, I wonder if it was my memory or my sources that were off.


Tue May 03, 2016 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Could be just your timing.

IIRC, in WWII the US put out something like half the world's industrial production. This was probably true for some time after the war too, what, with most other people's industry being blown up and all.


Tue May 03, 2016 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
US GDP compared to rest of the world in 20th century googled me a very interesting paper: http://afse2015.sciencesconf.org/60945/document

On page 9 is a graph showing the GDP per capita of the UK, Euro Area, and Japan compared to the US.
you can see the decline in all countries during WWII in productivity compared to the US.
But that is per capita, and not a total, so you need the population numbers too.

But https://infogr.am/Share-of-world-GDP-throughout-history gives yout he US share of the world GDP for 1950 (seemingly no number for 1945): about 27%. In the graph a bit lower, the US share never reaches the thirty percent...

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That graph also shows clearly why the Chinese diplomats have difficulty taking the US-view: the US diplomats see China as a newcomer on the platform of political strong nations. The Chinese see the low influence they had after their lost wars versus the British Empire as an exception in their history, and they are now returning to their rightful place the barbaric British took from them by military power. In their view, "we westerners" are the newcomers.

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Wed May 04, 2016 12:44 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Absalom wrote:
Siber wrote:
Also from what I've read since of the constitution/structure of the CSA, I'm not sure it really was that much of a confederation by any of the definitions people have offered. Admittedly that's just from Wikipedia browsing, so that could easily be wrong.
Yeah, I understand that one of the founding principles of the CSA was that the central government should enforce slave-owning rights even when a slave was brought into a state where slavery was illegal: this was what Southerners of the time meant by "state's rights". The Republican take-over of the south appears to have clouded this issue.


Ehh, don't confuse the catalyst for the reactant.


So much of what happened is viewed with a modern lens that slavery and racism seem to trump all other concerns. One must remember that the Democrat party is the offspring of the Anti-Federalist movement. These people opposed the centralized power of the Federal government since its inception and ratification. This opposition is why we even have a Bill of Rights, the constituent nation-states only approved the Constitution on the condition of its creation. This political body foresaw a creeping accumulation of power into the hands of the central authorities, especially the courts and the Presidency.

The general attitude amongst the South was divided between one of gradual emancipation and continued slavery. The gradual emancipation view, shared by men like Washington, Lee, Jackson etc., took some hard hits following Nat Turner's rebellion and the Harper's Ferry raid. Abolitionists viewed these as natural events, just deserts, or even treated the offenders as heros with flags at half staff and church bells rung in memoriam in the case of Brown. Nat Turner particularly stung because this was an intelligent, educated slave who, by his own admission, said his slave owners treated him kindly - before he led a rampage butchering men women and children. This resulted in a series of draconian laws designed to prevent slave education. The abolitionists, seeing the lack of internal will, then sought to use the central authority to force emancipation on the slave holding states. This played into the Anti-Federalist/Democrat view as an abuse of power from the Federal government since there is no such enumerated power in the Constitution, and stoked fears of further revolts and massacres from the slaves, whom, in many areas, had a greater population than whites.


TLDR: The abolitionist effort through the Federal government proved the point the Anti-Federal Democrats were making since 1787. Thats where the "states rights" issue comes in. Do the ends justify the means? Answer almost always depends on which side of the gun you stand.


Wed May 04, 2016 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
nemo: as i understood it the south was well on it's way to get rid of slavery, and it was a passing trend, not good business practice in terms of profit, when the north guys said 'comply!' the south just opposed them because they did not like the north guys telling them what to do.

the american civil war had very little to do with slavery and all about centralizing power.
that is how i see it anyway.


Thu May 05, 2016 1:52 am
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Post Re: Confederations
Crash course does a decent job of breaking down the history of the Civil War in their US History playlist, link below (episodes 18-22).

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s


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Post Re: Confederations
discord wrote:
nemo: as i understood it the south was well on it's way to get rid of slavery



I'd definitely have to disagree with that. The powers that be were trying to expand slavery into the new states in the west to protect it as an institution. Virtually any effort in the South to push for emancipation died with the Nat Turner rebellion. The educated men of the time knew of John Locke's writings and the Revolutionary spirit that gained independence. Their own ideology says man must be free, and is not only right to but has the Duty to use force of arms to ensure such. Teaching an enslaved populace that outnumbers us two or three to one they should use force of arms to ensure freedom? Lets not do that, shall we! Thus those the draconian laws barring the education of slaves I mentioned before. Things had really ground out to a stalemate, at best, thus the abolitionist attempt to promote or enforce change through the power of the Federal government. The 'nice' ones at least.



Quote:
Crash course does a decent job of breaking down the history of the Civil War in their US History playlist



Crash course indeed. They spend the first several minutes casually dismissing any and every facet other than slavery and racism. Presenting only a single aspect of motivation may make for a tidier narrative that is simpler to teach, but it turns human history into a Saturday morning cartoon caricature of mustachio twirling villains. Dehumanizing and delegitimizing people you disagree with is a natural response, be they Confederates or Nazis, but it does little to instruct us in how to avoid falling into the same pattern of mistakes. So let me answer the question: "A state's right to what?!"

Sovereignty. National sovereignty. A modern parallel would be the United States of Europe the European Union. Its a balancing act between the ability of the parliament in Brussels to govern Europe as a unified whole and the will of the individual national entities to remain distinct. This is simpler to perceive with Europe because of the differing languages and varying customs of the people, but the principle at work is the same. In the US system this balance was created by assigning areas of responsibility and restricting the Federal government from acting outside that area. What is a governing entity that ignores the restrictions placed upon it at its own will and discretion? If its a king you call him a tyrant, if its a democracy you call it a ______?




I do appreciate they included the "mystery document" from Giddings. Exposes some of sentiment of period abolitionists. Its natural to defensively reject and recoil from that kind of language. For some reason, "Youre bad. Youre all bad and should die. And you will die. And Ill be watching, and Ill hail it!" just never seems to sway people. Especially when theres a real fear it will come to pass. And people say politics these days is too partisan, hah!

So theres an anti-slavery political force that is willing to be complicit in wholesale murder and genocide in the name of doing the right thing. Now you have a President who was elected without even appearing on the ballot in your state. Or several of the states, 10 was it? If your voice matters so little what lies in store for you in the future?



Now, for Lincoln, the war was not about ending slavery. It was all to maintain the union.

Quote:
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.



And despite Crash Course or even most every history book saying so, the war wasn't technically sparked solely by the attack on the incomplete Fort Sumpter. See, the CSA declared independence and seceded months advance of that. The commanding officer consolidated his forces and turned his guns on the city. From December until April the CSA went to the Buchannan and Lincoln administrations to get them to withdraw the forces, and instead they were sent resupply. It was Lincolns intent to provoke a war so as to muster support for it in the North. No baseless claim, there are letters stating as much.


Thu May 05, 2016 11:37 pm
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Post Re: Confederations
Yale has another very good (if slightly dry) playlist covering the American Civil War, I greatly enjoyed it.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL24F7549F2D39E590


Fri May 06, 2016 4:39 am
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