Author Topic: Only 8% of High Schoolers Can Identify Slavery as Civil War's Root Issue  (Read 3404 times)

Offline Baruch

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Good idea.

The topic ... Americans stupid, Americans evil ... lets destroy the US ... autistic anti-social pathologies unite!
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Offline SGOS

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The topic ... Americans stupid, Americans evil ... lets destroy the US ... autistic anti-social pathologies unite!
It may be true, and by a stretch, it could be a description of the topic, but the last page had little to do with even that.

Offline Baruch

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It may be true, and by a stretch, it could be a description of the topic, but the last page had little to do with even that.

Brownian Movement ... random motion by molecules not at absolute zero.

How will discussing ... "Americans stupid" or "American children miseducated" be a topic worth discussing?  The point of education is to propagandize the children into model proletariat (of whatever party you choose).  Because if you control the present, you control the future, but if you control the past, you control the present.  The whole point is to control the future (ideologically of course).
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 08:12:57 AM by Baruch »
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Well, yes, and my apologies for even replying to Baruch.  But sometimes I glance at his posts to see what he is saying that OTHER people are routinely reading.  I shouldn't, I know...  It is like sometimes I listen to what Trump is saying just so I can understand what his followers are raging about so that I can discuss it with others.

I will try to do better ignoring Baruch's posts.  My occasional curiosity really is never worth it.
You must try to control your morbid fascination...like people who drive slowly by car accidents.
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Offline Baruch

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You must try to control your morbid fascination...like people who drive slowly by car accidents.

Life is a car accident.  Some will stop and apply first aide.  Others drive by morbidly.
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Offline Hydra009

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But to get back to the topic of 8% of high schoolers not understanding the cause of the Civil War as Slavery (as the ultimate cause), I am not surprised.
Back when I was in high school (almost 20 years ago) it was covered extensively.  Has that changed?

Offline Cavebear

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Good idea.

OK.  I grew up in Massachusetts in 1950.  Then Dad got a promotion so we moved to Virginia.  What a shock!  In Petersburg at age 9.  I had a typical Yankee accent.  A girl sitting next to me in class had a deep Georgia accent and neither of us could even understand what the other was saying.  Seriously, there were real regional accents back in the 50s.  I was the only kid in the class from north of the Mason/Dixon Line (look it up if you have to).

I was shocked to discover the Southern kids thought the Civil War was not about slavery (look up the Confederate States Constitutions).  It was 4 horrible years there.  Moving to Maryland (border State that it was) was a relief.  And Maryland is not really a Northern State quite even now.  But it sure was better than Virginia.

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Offline SGOS

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I was shocked to discover the Southern kids thought the Civil War was not about slavery (look up the Confederate States Constitutions).  It was 4 horrible years there.  Moving to Maryland (border State that it was) was a relief.  And Maryland is not really a Northern State quite even now.  But it sure was better than Virginia.
It's one of those issues where political spins can easily be woven into history.  There were other arguments for the Civil War besides slavery, but which were closely related to slavery, if not outright synonymous.  States rights is perhaps the most blatant.  People don't go around demanding states rights until the Federal Government regulates or forbids a thing no matter how heinous, and then "states rights" gets dragged out as a justification.  The bottom line is that no matter how many rights a state is granted, slavery remains a disgusting and unacceptable way to treat other humans, and if the South thought it was a right, they needed to learn that it was unacceptable to claim that right in the United States or any other civilized nation.

There were apparently issues over tariffs and taxes that the South considered unfair.  These were not related to the slave issue.  But everyone thinks taxes are unfair.  No matter your ideology, you can find some tax expenditure that you won't like.  It's un-American not to complain about taxes.  If the tariff issue was more than a red herring, it seemed to get rectified or at least forgotten after the war, until recently when Trump brought the concept back into the lime light.

So I can see that the immediate knee jerk reaction to teaching southern kids about the civil war would be to sweep slavery under a carpet.  There are many convenient spins racist [or just embarrassed] school boards can use to accomplish that.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:53:12 AM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch

Sorry, tariffs/excise taxes before the Civil War were a big deal.  Mostly customs dues.  The Feds were eating into potential state tax revenues, and still are.  The more the Feds take, the less the states can.  Also how the tax is collected ... if on alcohol. sugar and tobacco, it is seen as mostly impacting the South.  Customs and cross-state lines taxes were easier to collect.  Individual income tax didn't happen for the first time, until the need to finance the Union side of the Civil War became an issue.  The South couldn't tax that way, and had to issue depreciating script.

The first tax rebellion was over whiskey being produced in W Pennsylvania.

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You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login ... this tariff led to the Nullification Crisis in 1828

Basically cheap imported manufactured goods were shutting out New England industry (which was still behind the curve compared to England)

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In 1790, the above article says, you could pay your Federal tax with 4 days labor (aka 1%).  The South prior to the Civil War had one of the lowest tax rates in the civilized world and a history of Celtic tax resistance, particularly on alcohol.  Today (2012), Fed, State and local taxes take 107 days of labor. (aka 29%).

I don't think the issue was just fairness (in 1828), but competition for revenue between the different levels of government.  And that is still a problem, no matter how the taxes are collected.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 07:06:42 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

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It's one of those issues where political spins can easily be woven into history.  There were other arguments for the Civil War besides slavery, but which were closely related to slavery, if not outright synonymous.  States rights is perhaps the most blatant.  People don't go around demanding states rights until the Federal Government regulates or forbids a thing no matter how heinous, and then "states rights" gets dragged out as a justification.  The bottom line is that no matter how many rights a state is granted, slavery remains a disgusting and unacceptable way to treat other humans, and if the South thought it was a right, they needed to learn that it was unacceptable to claim that right in the United States or any other civilized nation.

There were apparently issues over tariffs and taxes that the South considered unfair.  These were not related to the slave issue.  But everyone thinks taxes are unfair.  No matter your ideology, you can find some tax expenditure that you won't like.  It's un-American not to complain about taxes.  If the tariff issue was more than a red herring, it seemed to get rectified or at least forgotten after the war, until recently when Trump brought the concept back into the lime light.

So I can see that the immediate knee jerk reaction to teaching southern kids about the civil war would be to sweep slavery under a carpet.  There are many convenient spins racist [or just embarrassed] school boards can use to accomplish that.

It is also worth noting that by the 1850s, the South was starting to lose its hold over the Federal Government by its former advantage of counting the slaves as "people" (who of course couldn't vote) for just that one purpose (counted in the Electoral College, even at 3/5s).  So when even that wasn't enough to keep control, they freaked...

They wanted to count their slaves the way some people today wish they could list their pets as "dependents" on their tax forms.  But without all the bother of letting them vote, decide where to live, earn wages, maintain a family, receive an education, etc...

And I might mention that some people object saying "most Southerners didn't own slaves".  True, but they wanted to, the same way most people support tax laws that favor the rich because they expect they will be rich themselves some day.  Just need the right lottery number, right?

Too many people support unequal rules hoping to gain advantages from them some day "when their ship comes in".  And never will. 

I never know whether to laugh at such people or feel sorry for them...

Oh, OK, I laugh...
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Offline Baruch

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It is also worth noting that by the 1850s, the South was starting to lose its hold over the Federal Government by its former advantage of counting the slaves as "people" (who of course couldn't vote) for just that one purpose (counted in the Electoral College, even at 3/5s).  So when even that wasn't enough to keep control, they freaked...

They wanted to count their slaves the way some people today wish they could list their pets as "dependents" on their tax forms.  But without all the bother of letting them vote, decide where to live, earn wages, maintain a family, receive an education, etc...

And I might mention that some people object saying "most Southerners didn't own slaves".  True, but they wanted to, the same way most people support tax laws that favor the rich because they expect they will be rich themselves some day.  Just need the right lottery number, right?

Too many people support unequal rules hoping to gain advantages from them some day "when their ship comes in".  And never will. 

I never know whether to laugh at such people or feel sorry for them...

Oh, OK, I laugh...

That upset the apple cart regarding admitting new states as slave/free.  But after Reconstruction, the South came to dominate Congressional leadership, and still do.  D-party gets to count illegal immigrants as voters ... do you approve?  D-voters are Uncle Thomas' friends.
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Offline Jason Harvestdancer

The forces of economics are both powerful and subtle.  Don't pay too much attention to what the politician of the moment says, politicians aren't smarter than everyone else.

The war had been inevitable for a long time due to the very different economies of North and South.  This became apparent when the Whig party disintegrated.

Prior to that war there were two parties, the Democrats and the Whigs. The Democrats believed in a far more limited federal government than the Whigs did.  The Whigs did believe in an activist federal government intervening to help the commercial interests.  (In today's terms we'd call it "the economy")  The problem was, with two very different economies, you have two very different ideas on what is the proper intervention, and two very different ideas on how to pay for it.  That split the Whigs into disintegration.

The Democrats had it easier.  When you don't believe in intervention, you don't have to argue about what intervention you don't believe in.

The issue of how to intervene, and how to pay for the intervention, split the Whigs, and was eventually won by the North where the Whigs became the Republicans.  That left the southern Whigs out in the cold.  That also meant that if the Republicans had their way (which they eventually did) it would mean improvements in the North paid for by the South.

The reason Slavery is a root issue (but not "THE" root issue) is that slavery was a very large part of the economic difference between the two.  So was State's Rights, with one region not wanting to be taxed to benefit another region.  Slavery was more of a bellwether than the root, it was the identifiable aspect that the other issues wound up lining up behind.

There were actually three factions at play, which could be seen in Bleeding Kansas.  One faction was of course the faction lined up behind slavery.  The second faction was the Free Soil faction that wanted slavery confined to the South.  They didn't want their labor to compete with slave labor.  They weren't abolitionist, they just didn't want the expansion of slavery, and they wanted it for personal selfish reasons.  The third faction was the Abolitionists, and they opposed slavery in itself and wanted to see it eliminated even from the South.

Now if the Free Soilers had their way, that would have left the South disadvantaged in the federal government, especially since the Whigs were collapsing in favor of a coalition that was almost entirely Northern.  Slavery became the bellwether and when Lincoln won without any Southern support it showed clearly (even if people don't always understand economic indicators consciously) that they were doomed.
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Offline Hydra009

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There were actually three factions at play, which could be seen in Bleeding Kansas.  One faction was of course the faction lined up behind slavery.  The second faction was the Free Soil faction that wanted slavery confined to the South.  They didn't want their labor to compete with slave labor.  They weren't abolitionist, they just didn't want the expansion of slavery, and they wanted it for personal selfish reasons.  The third faction was the Abolitionists, and they opposed slavery in itself and wanted to see it eliminated even from the South.

Now if the Free Soilers had their way, that would have left the South disadvantaged in the federal government, especially since the Whigs were collapsing in favor of a coalition that was almost entirely Northern.
Hmm...Free Soil seems like it'd be desirable if you wanted to limit Slaver States' power in national government, diminishing their power over time, and (hopefully) eventually phasing out slavery without making any overtly threatening moves against the slavers and triggering some sort of violent conflict.  Hopefully, none of the slavers will overreact and do something crazy like I dunno, assault a fort or something.

*edit - the Free Soilers were pretty subtle about their low-key opposition to slavery: "'Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men"
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:19:52 AM by Hydra009 »

Offline Cavebear

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The forces of economics are both powerful and subtle.  Don't pay too much attention to what the politician of the moment says, politicians aren't smarter than everyone else.

The war had been inevitable for a long time due to the very different economies of North and South.  This became apparent when the Whig party disintegrated.

Prior to that war there were two parties, the Democrats and the Whigs. The Democrats believed in a far more limited federal government than the Whigs did.  The Whigs did believe in an activist federal government intervening to help the commercial interests.  (In today's terms we'd call it "the economy")  The problem was, with two very different economies, you have two very different ideas on what is the proper intervention, and two very different ideas on how to pay for it.  That split the Whigs into disintegration.

The Democrats had it easier.  When you don't believe in intervention, you don't have to argue about what intervention you don't believe in.

The issue of how to intervene, and how to pay for the intervention, split the Whigs, and was eventually won by the North where the Whigs became the Republicans.  That left the southern Whigs out in the cold.  That also meant that if the Republicans had their way (which they eventually did) it would mean improvements in the North paid for by the South.

The reason Slavery is a root issue (but not "THE" root issue) is that slavery was a very large part of the economic difference between the two.  So was State's Rights, with one region not wanting to be taxed to benefit another region.  Slavery was more of a bellwether than the root, it was the identifiable aspect that the other issues wound up lining up behind.

There were actually three factions at play, which could be seen in Bleeding Kansas.  One faction was of course the faction lined up behind slavery.  The second faction was the Free Soil faction that wanted slavery confined to the South.  They didn't want their labor to compete with slave labor.  They weren't abolitionist, they just didn't want the expansion of slavery, and they wanted it for personal selfish reasons.  The third faction was the Abolitionists, and they opposed slavery in itself and wanted to see it eliminated even from the South.

Now if the Free Soilers had their way, that would have left the South disadvantaged in the federal government, especially since the Whigs were collapsing in favor of a coalition that was almost entirely Northern.  Slavery became the bellwether and when Lincoln won without any Southern support it showed clearly (even if people don't always understand economic indicators consciously) that they were doomed.

I stand by my claim that the Southerns States only finally rebelled when they lost political control over the Federal Government.  The Northern States were gaining in population (even counting the Southern slaves as 3/5s who could of course not actuallt vote).  They knew they could only support their "peculiar institution" by controlling the Federal Government, and when Lincoln of the new Republican Party was elected, they had lost all control.

So, in a fit of High Pique, they decided to leave.  I'll be glad to discuss the legalities of that with you.

Basically, though, it WAS a question of whether States could leave the US after joining it.  The Civil War decided that.

But there was more to it than just Union vs States Rights.  The question the Federal Government had to face with the Southern States was about SLAVERY.  It was intrenched in all the politics from the 1830s on, and came to a head with the election of Lincoln.  HE didn't demand the Southern States eliminate slavery, BTW...

The Southern States decided that they had lost the Federal Government decision about slavery, so they left.  It was a hard time at first because most of the best generals were from the South (it having a military heritage), but when the North found some good ones (on the job training, as it were), the North crushed the South. 

It was sort of inevitable.  The North proved that industry and basic capitalism of free men beat the slave system of the South.  Well, that's how things go usually.  The better system wins.  The North had 21 million free people, and the South had 5.5 million free people and 3.5 million slaves (to whom they DARED not give guns.  And the industrialization of the North was SO much greater than the South's (exactly because of their slave culture). 

At the end, the North couldn't even figure out what to do with all the soldiers they had.  They sent many out west to subdue Indian tribes (And THERE is a tragedy worth being embarrassed about). 

But the South deserved what it got.  And I will argue, better treatment than they might have deserved.  Traitors were not rounded up and hanged.  They were welcomed back as "Brothers".  That SHOULD have gone a LONG way to patching things up. 

BUT NOOOO.  The South still writhes with anger wishing for the old days of having slaves.  I consider that desire disgusting and reprehensible.  I'll end this at that point.
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Offline Baruch

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Hmm...Free Soil seems like it'd be desirable if you wanted to limit Slaver States' power in national government, diminishing their power over time, and (hopefully) eventually phasing out slavery without making any overtly threatening moves against the slavers and triggering some sort of violent conflict.  Hopefully, none of the slavers will overreact and do something crazy like I dunno, assault a fort or something.

*edit - the Free Soilers were pretty subtle about their low-key opposition to slavery: "'Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men"

That was Lincoln's hope, but events took a turn for the worse.

No, the Civil war never decided anything.  Nothing is ever decided in history.  The D-secessionists are at it again in California for example.  Again, politics and economics are the reasons, but illegal immigrants are the causus belli.  How much of a vote does a Mexican get in American elections?  California needs it ag labor, same as the South.

Are there unreconstructed Southerners?  Yes.  Are there unreconstructed Yankees?  Yes.  Conflict is inevitable, the problem is what to do about it.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 06:35:23 AM by Baruch »
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