War of Northern Agression

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by olbrat, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    I'm curious why the American Civil War is often refered to by some people in southern states as the "War of Northern Aggression", when it was the south that mobilized their military first and then fired on the ship "Star of the West" and Fort Sumter.
     
  2. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    The southern states believed that it was their right to be able to leave the union if they chose to do so. President Lincoln refused this notion, and did not recognize their right to secede. He was willing to use armed force in order to maintain the Union. It was a major issue of sovereignty.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It couldnt be considered aggression because Lincoln was just redeploying troops within the borders of the USA.
     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    meaningless semantics

    It's what the deployment signified... the inevitable schism and mobilization of opposing forces. To a southern economy that survived on the slave trade... it certainly was aggression.

    To the citizens of the South that felt that their States Rights were compromised, it was aggression.

    Perception and reality are relative.

    .
     
  5. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    Thanks MKLOBY,

    My thought is that the southern states were just as willing to use armed force, and they used it first. That would make them the aggressors.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-south or anything, just curious.
     
  6. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    That's a good one. "Sherman's March to the Sea", the ultimate redepolyment of the civil war.

    Good one:lol:
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I think Sys was just having some fun with us on that one.

    Don't agree it was a war of aggression for the North. More reactive from their perspective. Lincoln continually tried to work some solution that would be agreeable to the South but that wasn't going to happen. The actions of aggression were started by the South. In truth, if they'd succeeded and just let it kind of slide, there is a good chance the Civil War would've taken a different course. The North had no enthusasim for the war in 1861 (well most people in the North, Abolitionist not included).

    I think it was more along the lines of an attempted divorce and one of the parties says "no" to the divorce.
     
  8. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    If I recall correctly by the 1820s there was ample legislation in place in the US prohibiting the slave trade itself, with slavery obviously still legal.


    Exactly - many southerners felt that it was a matter of sovereignty and their right to choose whether to remain part of the Union or to secede. Essentially what occured was the federal government using military force to keep the southern states in the union against their will. It is this that they viewed(and still do) as northern aggression.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Those were field maneuvers.

    Hey, the southern states had every right to try to leave the union. And the Federal govt had every right to stop them.
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I other words, "Have at it fellas".
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Georgia and South carolina were all to happy to start the insurrection, so it was only natural they get a taste of the bad things that happens afterwards.

    Once Gen Sherman got to North Carolina, he told his troops to stop it and respect the civilians and property.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    When you stop and think about it each state joined the Union of their own free will. Why could not they unjoin the Union of their own free will? If Lincoln had not tried to resupply Fort Sumter, a fort within the geographical area of the Confederacy, the South would not have fired on the fort and committed the first act of war. Other Federal forts within the Confederacy complied with Southern demands to give up and their garrisons were allowed to leave. The facts are that the North forced the South back into the Union at gunpoint. That is why it is called the War of Northern Aggression by some of us, not wholly with tongue in cheek.
     
  13. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    So if you enlist in the military by your own free will you should be able to get out of the military any time you want to?
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Lets call the Civil war the "War of Southern Insurrection" or the "War to Stop Slavery In The Territories".
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    As a matter of fact, in the early days of our country, there were many times that militia units joined the army and when they got tired of serving, they went home. Not the best way to fight a war. That was the attitude in those days. They were more independent and unregimented than we are today.
     
  16. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Your logic doesn't follow - you sign a contract when you join with a definite EAS until which you agree to serve. That was different from the formation of the Union.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a northerner and my heart lies with the Union on moral grounds... but the issue of sovereignty is an important one that cannot be ignored.
     
  17. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Don't get me wrong either as I think it would have been a tragedy if the Union had remained sundered. However, being a native Texan, it sticks in my craw that, having been a soveriegn republic and joining the Union of our own free will, when we decided to secede, the North by force of arms denied us that right. I don't recall hearing of any language in the annexation agreement that specified that once you are in, you are in for good and the Union has the right to use any measures to keep you in. My theory is that if Lincoln had kept his cool, not provoked military action and allowed time for the hotheads to cool off, a war could have been avoided and compromises could have reunited the Union.
     
  18. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    It was in there, in the very, very, very, very fine print.

    As they say in the world of finance, the large print giveith and the small print takeith away.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Dont you mean if the hotheads in the deep south had kept their cool and not fired on Fort Sumpter, things would have cooled off?

    The facts are very clear that Lincoln did everything possible to avert the war.

    When you look at the status of events in the country, there was no chance of reconcilliation. Slavery in the territories was the underlying issue. And as long as the territories were allowed into the union without slavery, then the south was on a collision course with it being outlawed.
     
  20. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Sys, there were hotheads on both sides. Remember the abolitionists in mainly Massachusetts. In fact some of those abolitionists believed that if emancipation did not take place immediately then the union shoud be dissolved. Also the secessionists were merely using the same logic our ancestors used in dissolving the political ties from Great Britain. Just my opinion, but if Anderson at Sumter had surrendered like, for instance, the fellow at San Antonio(can'r remember his name) the fort would not have been fired upon. Actually the first shots were fired by Union soldiers on January 8, 1861 near what is now Pensacola. But when Sumter was fired on, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas were still in the Union. It was only when Lincoln called up 75000 militia that those states seceded.How tragic that we lost our spirit of compromise.
     
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