The American Civil War, day by day - Page 12 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14993818
Doug64 wrote:March 14, Thursday

The Federal Cabinet meets once more on the crisis at Fort Sumter and also considers appointments.

Louisiana receives the thanks of the Confederate Congress for turning over $536,000 taken from the former U.S. mint in New Orleans.

I see they're divvying up the spoils already. Lol.
#14993823
Potemkin wrote:I see they're divvying up the spoils already. Lol.

They’ve been divvying up the spoils since the election. In fact, that’s pretty much all Lincoln has been doing since he won. That meeting with General Scott a few days ago might have been the first time he seriously talked over the situation with an actual government official—no pre-inauguration briefings back then!
#14993825
Doug64 wrote:They’ve been divvying up the spoils since the election. In fact, that’s pretty much all Lincoln has been doing since he won. That meeting with General Scott a few days ago might have been the first time he seriously talked over the situation with an actual government official—no pre-inauguration briefings back then!

I was referring more to the Confederates than to Lincoln, but your point is well taken. My own point was that the Confederacy has been looting Federal property for weeks now. Did they expect the US government to just accept this?
#14993829
Potemkin wrote:I was referring more to the Confederates than to Lincoln, but your point is well taken. My own point was that the Confederacy has been looting Federal property for weeks now. Did they expect the US government to just accept this?

Ah, well, in this case it’s more like consolidating the spoils, turning what was federal property into confederate property rather than each state keeping it for themselves. And yes, they certainly hoped and many may well have believed that the US government would just accept it.
#14993831
Doug64 wrote:Ah, well, in this case it’s more like consolidating the spoils, turning what was federal property into confederate property rather than each state keeping it for themselves. And yes, they certainly hoped and many may well have believed that the US government would just accept it.

If so, then that was incredibly naive of them. Any government which allows itself to be looted in this way and does nothing about it is not going to be taken seriously by anybody ever again. They had to do something about it.
#14993835
Potemkin wrote:If so, then that was incredibly naive of them. Any government which allows itself to be looted in this way and does nothing about it is not going to be taken seriously by anybody ever again. They had to do something about it.

To be fair, a good number of people in the North hoped and believed the same, including a number of abolitionists. What it came down to was whether they believed (or at least asserted) the US was a nation, or an alliance.
#14993839
Doug64 wrote:To be fair, a good number of people in the North hoped and believed the same, including a number of abolitionists. What it came down to was whether they believed (or at least asserted) the US was a nation, or an alliance.

Good point. An alliance can be dissolved, whereas a nation... cannot. I've heard one historian say that, before the Civil War, people would say, "The United States are...", whereas after the Civil War they would say, "The United States is...." In other words, fighting the Civil War forged an alliance into a nation. And Lincoln was the midwife of that birth....
#14993879
Potemkin wrote:Good point. An alliance can be dissolved, whereas a nation... cannot. I've heard one historian say that, before the Civil War, people would say, "The United States are...", whereas after the Civil War they would say, "The United States is...." In other words, fighting the Civil War forged an alliance into a nation. And Lincoln was the midwife of that birth....

That is true, but it doesn’t automatically mean they thought any state could unilaterally leave. I prefer to use the plural myself, just to acknowledge the semi-sovereign status of the states.

But while it is true that the Founders intended for the union to be permanent (during the ratification debates one of the warnings from the anti-federalists was that once the states were in they were in, that they couldn’t back out later if they got buyer’s remorse, and the federalists never contradicted them on it), that had been widely forgotten in the generations since and many if not most in the South thought they actually had a constitutional right to secede.
#14994048
March 15, Friday

In an important Cabinet meeting, President Lincoln requests the written opinions of members on whether to provision Fort Sumter. He asks, “Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort-Sumpter [sic], under all the circumstances, is it wise to attempt it?” Seward is opposed unless it can be done peaceably, for “I would not provoke war in any way now.” Chase approves, unless it will bring about war. Cameron thinks it unwise because of the opinion of military men that it is “perhaps, now impossible to succor that fort, substantially, if at all.” Welles is opposed both on military and political grounds. Smith adds his opposition to relief as does Bates, while Blair is opposed to evacuation, and favors Gustavus Vasa Fox’s plan for provisioning. The President postpones his decision.

Meanwhile, in Texas Federals withdraw from still another post, Camp Wood.

In Montgomery the Confederate Congress is busy completing its work of setting up a functioning national government and laying plans for possible conflict.
#14994262
March 16, Saturday

The Confederate Provisional Congress adjourns at Montgomery, its work for the most part well done. President Davis, following the wishes of Congress, names William Lowndes Yancey, Pierre A. Rost, and A. Dudley Mann as commissioners to Britain to attempt to negotiate for recognition.

Georgia ratifies the Confederate Constitution.

Far to the west pro-Confederates declare Arizona out of the Union.

In Washington Lincoln receives the written opinions of his Cabinet members as to Fort Sumter, which he had requested in the Cabinet meeting of March 15.

From Fort Sumter itself Major Anderson is reporting almost daily, giving details of his own defensive plans and those of the Confederates virtually surrounding him.
#14994440
March 17, Sunday

Federal troops at Camp Hudson, Texas, give up their post to state authorities.
#14994649
March 18, Monday

Aging hero Sam Houston, governor of Texas, refuses to take an oath of allegiance to the new Confederacy because he does not believe that secession necessarily means adherence to the new nation. Now deposed, he quietly leaves his office.

President Davis writes Governor Pickens of South Carolina about their mutual concern for the defense of the coasts around Charleston. Beauregard’s command will be enlarged to include the Beaufort area. Davis doubts if “the enemy would retire peaceably from your harbor.” Of course, the Confederate President prefers that Major Anderson and the Federals leave peaceably with Fort Sumter undamaged.

At Washington President Lincoln continues to be intensely perturbed over Fort Sumter. Conferences and discussion are prolonged, and the President drafts a memorandum listing the points in favor of withdrawing the troops and the objections. At the time the President appoints Charles Francis Adams, scion of the famous Massachusetts Adams family, as Minister to Britain on Seward’s suggestion, and names William L. Dayton Minister to France, among other appointments. Adams, not yet an admirer of Lincoln, will prove one of the most capable and skillful diplomats ever to serve the United States.

Down at Pensacola, Florida, General Bragg forbids passage of further supplies to Fort Pickens and the Federal squadron offshore as a result of Fort Pickens’ being reinforced.

The Arkansas State Convention at Little Rock has defeated a move toward secession 39 to 35 and now unanimously adopts a resolution to provide for an election in August when voters will choose between secession or Federal cooperation.
#14994838
March 19, Tuesday

Three more forts in Texas are surrendered by Federal troops: Forts Clark, Inge, and Lancaster.
#14994983
March 20, Wednesday

The list of relinquished Federal property in Texas increases; today it is Fort Brown and Fort Duncan.

A harassed President Lincoln now finds that his sons Willie and Tad have the measles.

At Mobile, USS Isabella, loaded with supplies for the fleet at Pensacola, is seized.

Some of the correspondence between Secretary of State Seward and the Confederate commissioners in Washington is released to the public.
#14995185
March 21, Thursday

Former naval officer Gustavus Vasa Fox visits Charleston and Fort Sumter on behalf of President Lincoln. He talks to Major Anderson and Confederate leaders. Fox remains convinced that the fort can be relieved by sea.

Louisiana ratifies the Confederate Constitution.

Confederate Vice President Stephens makes an extemporaneous oration that will come to be known as the Cornerstone Speech. In that speech he states:

“But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better [in the new Constitution], allow me to allude to one other—though last, not least: the new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split’. He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the Constitution, was the prevailing idea at the time.... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the ‘storm came and the wind blew, it fell’.

“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause.] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

He goes on to describe those that advocate equal rights for Blacks as being fanatics that believe that Blacks are the equals of Whites and therefore reject the sound science that has been “slow in development, as all truths are, and ever have been, in the various branches of science.”
#14995449
March 23, Saturday

Fort Chadbourne, Texas, is abandoned by Federals. The state of Texas ratifies the Confederate Constitution.
#14995503
Doug64 wrote:March 21, Thursday

Former naval officer Gustavus Vasa Fox visits Charleston and Fort Sumter on behalf of President Lincoln. He talks to Major Anderson and Confederate leaders. Fox remains convinced that the fort can be relieved by sea.

Louisiana ratifies the Confederate Constitution.

Confederate Vice President Stephens makes an extemporaneous oration that will come to be known as the Cornerstone Speech. In that speech he states:

“But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better [in the new Constitution], allow me to allude to one other—though last, not least: the new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split’. He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the Constitution, was the prevailing idea at the time.... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the ‘storm came and the wind blew, it fell’.

“Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause.] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

He goes on to describe those that advocate equal rights for Blacks as being fanatics that believe that Blacks are the equals of Whites and therefore reject the sound science that has been “slow in development, as all truths are, and ever have been, in the various branches of science.”

This, and not the issue of "states' rights", was the ideological basis for the South's secession and the reason for the Civil War. The Confederate leaders themselves made no secret of it, and in fact they boasted of it. They were, at least, honest men.
#14995525
Potemkin wrote:This, and not the issue of "states' rights", was the ideological basis for the South's secession and the reason for the Civil War. The Confederate leaders themselves made no secret of it, and in fact they boasted of it. They were, at least, honest men.

Secession, at least, was because of the Republican Party’s anti-slavery stance and Lincoln’s refusal to allow slavery to expand into the territories. For the war, the primary cause was secession with slavery at one remove. And yes, they were honest about it at this point. After the war, of course, their tune changed when they were selling the Lost Cause.

What I find interesting is how racial prejudice is dressed up as “science!”—a view that would last for generations to come (only really killed by the Holocaust), and a lesson people need to remember today.
#14995563
Doug64 wrote:Secession, at least, was because of the Republican Party’s anti-slavery stance and Lincoln’s refusal to allow slavery to expand into the territories. For the war, the primary cause was secession with slavery at one remove. And yes, they were honest about it at this point. After the war, of course, their tune changed when they were selling the Lost Cause.

What I find interesting is how racial prejudice is dressed up as “science!”—a view that would last for generations to come (only really killed by the Holocaust), and a lesson people need to remember today.

Indeed, the Second World War transformed the world - Nazism, and its military defeat, lanced the boil of 'scientific' racism and radical traditionalism which the Confederacy embodied. So much so that it's difficult for us today even to comprehend the mind-set of the South on the eve of the Civil War. It is completely alien to us, even to most of the current-day supporters of the 'Lost Cause', who seem convinced the secession was over states' rights, when it clearly wasn't.
#14995619
Potemkin wrote:Indeed, the Second World War transformed the world - Nazism, and its military defeat, lanced the boil of 'scientific' racism and radical traditionalism which the Confederacy embodied. So much so that it's difficult for us today even to comprehend the mind-set of the South on the eve of the Civil War. It is completely alien to us, even to most of the current-day supporters of the 'Lost Cause', who seem convinced the secession was over states' rights, when it clearly wasn't.

You’re half right. Yes, the Nazis (though not the Fascists) were fully onboard with the Confederacy’s racist foundation (though broader—one of the major players in the Confederate government was a Jew, and so far as I know no one at the time had a problem with that). But the Confederates would have been appalled at the rest of the Nazis’ Socialist agenda. Nazism came to its racism through the Left rather than the Right, by way of the Progressives; the Progressive debate during the Nazis’ rise to power was how eugenics should be advanced, not whether. The Nazis took Progressivism’s negative eugenicists’ position to its logical extreme. (The negative eugenicists argued that governments should prevent the “inferior races” from breeding instead of just encouraging the “superior race” to have lots of kids—Margaret Sanger was a negative eugenicist, though to be fair she seems to have opposed abortion.)
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