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Forum Lockedpreventing civil war

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young historian View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06-Jan-2009 at 00:57

what events in american history could be changed to prevent the american civil war? events such as the missouri compromise, the war with mexico the constitutional convention etc, any events prior to the civil war but somehow had an effect on the wars coming, any event that could be changed which would effect another historical event which would preserve the union and prevent the civil war from ever happening in history.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2009 at 01:02
Moved to Alternative History

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2009 at 16:16
The right of a state to secede could have been written into the Constitution, with a clause establishing that in that event, Federal property located in that State would revert to the State government.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cuddles McKitten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2009 at 19:12
One interesting idea I'd heard is the federal government "purchasing" all slaves in the country at prevailing market prices and then subsequently freeing them.  Since importation of slaves was made illegal pretty early on, this would've effectively ended slavery even without something along the lines of the emancipation proclamation.  There still would've been smaller issues over the limits of states rights, but it's probably unlikely that the average southerner would've been bothered enough to take up arms.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2009 at 20:25
As current events have recently been proving, you can't have 'prevailing market prices' in a forced sale situation because there is no 'prevailing market'. If the State lays down a price, that's not a market price: if the prices are set by bargaining than the last to sell is in a hugely profitably position.
 
I doubt though that the southern states would have let the legislation pass - they'd have seceded first, because how would they run the plantations without slaves? (In the end they had to find an answer to that, but it was a tough time finding it, and it wasn't a very nice answer when it was found.)
 
The simple answer to the original question is that the civil war would have been avoided if the South had been allowed to secede, for whatever reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 15:39
Graham,
 
As we all understand, theory and reality often clash.  This point has been argued ad nauseum in seminars, papers and Web forums, and will likely never be resolved.
 
If The Federalist can be consulted, both Hamilton (Federalist) and Madison (later "Democratic Republican") saw serious problems with ideas such as secession.  Jefferson, in other writings, had a different view.  Other than views on states' rights, Jackson was an almost direct political descendant of Jefferson, and he would tolerate no secession by South Carolina.  Such an act would be contrary to the good of the "nation."  There you have a precedent.  The New England rumblings about secession during and after the War of 1812 (when Madison was president) didn't have to be dealt with.
 
The omission of the subject of secession in the Constitution was in my view intentional.  As with other possible but as yet unforseen issues, it would have to be addressed by generations that did not wear wigs and cocked hats.  It certainly did not seem to have broad appeal, nor was it advisable to make an issue of it.
 
Incidentally, I recall you like the Constitution in it's original form.  Wink
 
 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 07-Jan-2009 at 16:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 18:47
Pike,
I didn't say that the Constitution should have contained a clause permitting secesssion. I realise too it deliberately didn't.
 
All I said was that if the Constitution had such a clause, then the civil war wouldn't have taken place. That seems to me to be dead obvious. 
 
And I can't think of any other single event that, had it happened differently, would have avoided the war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 20:19
Since this is alternative history, let me pose some alternative possibilities had the Confederate States been able to secede:
 
1)  The creation of another sovereignty on the Continent with the concern that disputes and conflicts between the CSA and the USA would be addressed by military means.
 
2)  Both the USA and the CSA maintaining armies and navies to the disadvantage of both economically and in terms of development.
 
3)  European influence (France) in Mexico resulting in conflict with the CSA.  (I know - Italy/Prussia and so on, but this IS alternative history.)
 
4)  As a counterweight to larger US and CSA military and naval forces because of the above, and due to French influence in Mexico, Britain maintains stronger military forces in Canada and the Caribbean.  Possibility of conflict with France; possibility of involvement in conflict between CSA and Mexico or CSA and USA.
  
The results of secession to avoid the Civil War may have had other consequences, and may have resulted anyway in war between two American sovereign states, and with foreign intervention. 
 
  
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 07-Jan-2009 at 20:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jan-2009 at 21:00
I think the biggest issues were over state rights and free trade. The south's economy was hurt by the North's tariffs on trade. It seems the north was not willing to compromise on this but let me get back after I reread some material from the Politically Incorrect Guide to American history. I wrote a paper about the cause of the American Civil War for a grad class and posted here at one time, gone now I suppose. The whole issue is very complex and people still debate it. Could it have been prevented - one could only speculate!! but I do not see how this is considered alternative history if you are arguing the historic facts about the war?

The right of a state to secede could have been written into the Constitution,

Yes and as far as I can remember New York and Virgina requested this option before joining the Union. Yes the state right to secede if the goverment should turn tyrranical.
Well then, brothers and fellow citizens and soldiers, remember this in order that your memorial, your fame and freedom will be eternal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donasin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 00:08
Thomas Jefferson's grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph almost passed a bill to abolish slavery in Virgina. Had the district lines been drawn more fairly it very well could have passed. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 11:00
Pike, what you're arguing is that avoiding the civil war might not have been a good thing. That is of course true, it may not have been. Certainly history would have been very different.
 
But the question was how could it have been avoided, not whether it would have been good to avoid it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 13:29
Then I agree with you that, altenative history or not, the war was unavoidable - in the circumstances that existed.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jan-2009 at 20:46
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Then I agree with you that, altenative history or not, the war was unavoidable - in the circumstances that existed.
 

 


I agree with you Pike and when I get a chance I will add some info to this.
Well then, brothers and fellow citizens and soldiers, remember this in order that your memorial, your fame and freedom will be eternal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NED KELLY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jan-2009 at 01:38

The war with mexico should of prevented the civil war starting in 1861 but after it was over if states rights were not addressed it soon would of started anyway.

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