The main cause of the American Civil War was Slavery. Prove me wrong.

Author: Moozer325

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I Quote from Article 4 section 3 of the confederate constitution,

"No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due"

I Quote from Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens,

"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."

Hit me with your best shot people. 
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Various states railed against the nationalization of power that had been going on since the late 1700s. When President John Adams signed the Sedition Act in 1798, which made it a crime to speak openly against the government, the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures passed resolutions declaring the act null on the grounds that they retained the discretion to follow national laws. In effect, these resolutions articulated the legal reasoning underpinning the doctrine of nullification—that states had the right to reject national laws they deemed unconstitutional.[5] [[LINK]]


ok, yeah, of course the confederates were evil racist idiots

sure

and the threat of losing their primary workforce triggered the revolt


but there are many legitimate complaints regarding the apparently unstoppable overreach of the federal government


the slavery thing was simply the last straw
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@Moozer325
This thread might benefit from a reminder about the nature of causality.

Causation is when a series of events OR simultaneous states as a whole cause an event or state.

A sufficient condition will cause the event regardless of other causes. A necessary condition may be sufficient or it may be part of a set of necessary conditions that must 'work together' to produce the caused event.

In language multiple events or states are often bundled into one concept. When you bundle all necessary conditions into one concept, it becomes a sufficient condition and can be said to be the cause.


This may seem obvious, but people confuse themselves and others with this stuff all the time. Especially when they apply a "but for" thought experiment.

"but for" means "if this condition wasn't true, the event would not have happened, therefore it is the cause". This is not always true, and unfortunately it gets complicated when you start to include implicit agendas and intelligence.

For example rain falls on a rock. "but for the condensation, the rock would not be wet, therefore the condensation caused the wetness"

Yet if it weren't for gravity, the water would not have fallen. The "but for" test applies equally to gravity as it does to condensation. They are both necessary conditions.

It is therefore customary, without further context, to consider the least constant or last added (final) condition to be the cause. There is gravity whether there is condensation or not. Therefore it is not typically identified as "the cause".


In the "but for" test, slavery passes as a necessary condition of the civil war. If there was no conflict over slavery it would not have happened; at least the civil war that might have happened otherwise would have been so unrelated as to say it was something else entirely. There are those who would deny this, but it's a losing argument.

Does that mean it was "the most necessary" of the necessary conditions? Was it the final necessary condition?
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@ADreamOfLiberty
Thanks for explaining.
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@ADreamOfLiberty
Yeah, I'm normally pretty bad at writing stuff like this to represent what I mean. That's why I specified the MAIN cause. You definitely made some good points there, but I would argue that my title is sufficient. Yes many things were involved in the American Civil War, but I believe it can be argued that one of those issues (slavery) was the most important. I think that works, right?
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I would argue that while states right did affect the decision to secede, that can be chalked up to slavery too.

Here's how I see it.

You mentioned the sedition act to use as an example of states defying the federal government, and while you are correct about some states disagreeing with the government on issues other than slavery, these instances are few, and when they did come up, it was never anything even near the political division during the years leading up to the civil war.

A part of secession was just states rights, but seeing as all of the states that seceded practiced slavery, the individual states right in question, was just slavery.

Yes, some states had problems with the federal government before, but nothing that even came close to a civil war. 

The states rights argument for the secession was about the right of states to practice slavery in particular, and any other concerns in the past about who got to make the laws, were not involved in the American civil war, and if they were, they did not have as big an impact as the slavery debate.
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Yes, some states had problems with the federal government before, but nothing that even came close to a civil war. 

A nullification crisis emerged in the 1830s over President Andrew Jackson’s tariff acts of 1828 and 1832. Led by John Calhoun, President Jackson’s vice president, nullifiers argued that high tariffs on imported goods benefited northern manufacturing interests while disadvantaging economies in the South. South Carolina passed an Ordinance of Nullification declaring both tariff acts null and void and threatened to leave the Union. The federal government responded by enacting the Force Bill in 1833, authorizing President Jackson to use military force against states that challenged federal tariff laws. The prospect of military action coupled with the passage of the Compromise Tariff Act of 1833 (which lowered tariffs over time) led South Carolina to back off, ending the nullification crisis.
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@3RU7AL
That is a good point. I kinda forgot about the nullification crisis for a second there. 

However, this was long before the civil war, and I would argue, had nothing to do with it. I may have made a bad point about union threatening issues being few and far between, but we've gone a little off track here.

Yes, tensiones had been simmering for a while, but I still maintain that slavery was more than just the catalyst, and the main issue in that particular instance of national disunity.
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Yes, tensiones had been simmering for a while, but I still maintain that slavery was more than just the catalyst, and the main issue in that particular instance of national disunity.
sure, that much seems clear

but i think it is important to include federal overreach

In 1957, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas enforce the integration of Central High School following resistance from state officials and local mobs.

we hear a lot about this or that being "unconstitutional"

but generally we don't really care unless it supports our personal preconceptions
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@3RU7AL
I suppose a better title would have been, slavery was the biggest cause of the civil war, because I’m now just realizing that “main” is a bit ambiguous.

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@Moozer325




Here end of the lesson.


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@Amber
You are an absolute troll, you know that right?

Anyways, I'll try and keep it civil this time around. (pun intended)

You're first source didn't even say anything about how States rights was the biggest cause of the civil war, it just listed some facts about that issue, so that one is moot.

You're Second source was really a better one for my side of the argument, seeing as most of what it talked about was issues related to slavery. It didn't come out and say that slavery was the biggest cause, but that was basically all it talked about. It listed 4 major causes, which all are just slavery at their core. Slavery was one of them, (no explanation needed there), but the other two that supported my claim were economy, and the election of Abraham Lincoln. Part of the reason the south wanted to keep slavery, was for their economy, and they detested Lincoln because he wanted to take their slaves. You can't really argue with that. The last one was States rights, which you could make a claim that it is different, but the specific states rights in question in the lead up to the civil war were slavery, slavery, and slavery, so as I've already mentioned, I would say that point comes out to just slavery also. I'm not going to repeat myself here, so look at the conversation I had with 3RU7AL back at the top of the page.

You're Third source was basically the same as the first one, because it's purpose was just educating the public about the history of states rights in America. BTW, nice job citing, American battlefield trust, that is a very nice website that I too use a lot. However, the writing on the page doesn't even really support your claim, and was more informational, so on to the next one.

Finally, You're Fourth Source, (wait are you kidding me here?). It's under a pay wall, so it's my opinion that you didn't even read these websites, because they don't support your claim at all, and one of them is behind a paywall, so what do you want me to do here?

Anyways, you can't go around citing things that are irrelevant to your opinion, and hoping I won't read them. Sorry, if I got a little pointed there, but it is all true. I hope we can keep this a bit more socratic and friendly than our other conversations.
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As ever, humans cannot do, getting along nice and friendly with everyone.

One consequence of the clever stupid gene.

The main cause of the American Civil War was the human clever stupid gene.

One might suggest that the clever stupid gene was a deliberately implanted evolutionary tool.

So people lived, fought and died, and now the population of the USA is approximately 340 million.

See what I mean?


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no actually, but it sounds interesting, so can you elaborate?
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Well.

Things happen and time marches on.

Clever things and stupid things.

And yet mankind still thrives.

I'm suggesting that we might be programmed to always out-clever the stupid.

Therefore:

I'm also inferring that in the long run Slavery was  more clever than it was stupid.

And so was the American Civil War.
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@<<<Amber>>>
You are an absolute troll, you know that right?
OMG! Another term you have no conceptual idea of what it means. 

Posting cited sources with the intent to correct your misinformation is informative, not trolling. 

Troll/trolling, for your edification: An internet troll is someone who makes intentionally inflammatory, rude, or upsetting statements online to elicit strong emotional responses in people or to steer the conversation off-topic.

Anyways, I'll try and keep it civil this time around. (pun intended)
There was no pun, you dolt. 

You're first source didn't even say anything about how States rights was the biggest cause of the civil war, it just listed some facts about that issue, so that one is moot.
Genetic fallacy. Lack of reading comprehension skills. Yet again waiving the hand of ignorance without even making a single tangible argument in rebuttal to any of the numerous historical facts referenced therein. 

You're Second source was really a better one for my side of the argument, seeing as most of what it talked about was issues related to slavery. It didn't come out and say that slavery was the biggest cause, but that was basically all it talked about.
Delusions of grandeur. You contradicted yourself with a circular fallacy. 

It listed 4 major causes, which all are just slavery at their core.
Wrong. You clearly do not comprehend let alone appreciate the nuances of the complexities of the political sciences intertwining the core elements resulting in the shift from an agricultural based economy (which was a drain on the US overall) to an industrial based economy and the related innovations therein between the North and the South.  The North was ready to move forward while the South wanted to remain decadent in the old (religious) ways. 

Slavery was one of them, (no explanation needed there), but the other two that supported my claim were economy, and the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Part of the reason the south wanted to keep slavery, was for their economy, and they detested Lincoln because he wanted to take their slaves. You can't really argue with that.

Lincoln really didn't want to take anything away from the South, but eventually saw the political necessity of it.


The last one was States rights, which you could make a claim that it is different, but the specific states rights in question in the lead up to the civil war were slavery, slavery, and slavery, so as I've already mentioned, I would say that point comes out to just slavery also.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. 

You're Third source was basically the same as the first one, because it's (sic) purpose was just educating the public about the history of states (sic) rights in America. However, the writing on the page doesn't even really support your claim, and was more informational, so on to the next one.
Easy to claim it doesn't support state's rights, but I made no claim in my OC to you. I merely cited sources. What you take away from the information therein is what matters. Clearly you didn't take much away from any of it because instead of legitimately refuting anything you feel or believe is contrary to your position, you just waive the hand of ignorance at it/them. 

Finally, You're Fourth Source, (wait are you kidding me here?). It's under a pay wall, so it's my opinion that you didn't even read these websites, because they don't support your claim at all, and one of them is behind a paywall, so what do you want me to do here?
Wrong again. You do not need to pay to read it. Bottom left gives you the option to register for FREE and read it. 
Your excuse here is one of pure ignorance and/or laziness. 

Anyways, you can't go around citing things that are irrelevant to your opinion, and hoping I won't read them. Sorry, if I got a little pointed there, but it is all true. I hope we can keep this a bit more socratic (sic) and friendly than our other conversations.
You haven't proven any of the cited sources are irrelevant to my opinion (an opinion not even given), and you have no basis in fact that I cite sources with the hopes you won't read them. What fucking sort of buffoonery is this nonsense!

If you cannot even formulate a cogent foundation to argue your position off of, and you certainly never address any points within a given cited sources to argue against, just waiving the hand of ignorance at it claiming without proving they're "irrelevant" sources, why are you even here? Seriously! 






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@Amber
Once again, I start a nice civil (the pun was I used the word civil in a conversation about the civil war) debate, and you come along and start trash talking me trying to get a response out of me. Hey, guess what that is, trolling!

Can we please keep this at least a little professional? Because if you can’t I’m just done with you.

Genetic fallacy. Lack of reading comprehension skills. Yet again waiving the hand of ignorance without even making a single tangible argument in rebuttal to any of the numerous historical facts referenced therein.
So about that, no. If you would like to use the information in that source to back up a claim of yours, that would be nice, but you used that source as your claim, when it wasn’t even an argumentative piece, it was just informative. Also, genetic fallacy? Really dude? Please can we just have a professional talk for once?

The last one was States rights, which you could make a claim that it is different, but the specific states rights in question in the lead up to the civil war were slavery, slavery, and slavery, so as I've already mentioned, I would say that point comes out to just slavery also.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. 
Care to elaborate?

Wrong. You clearly do not comprehend let alone appreciate the nuances of the complexities of the political sciences intertwining the core elements resulting in the shift from an agricultural based economy (which was a drain on the US overall) to an industrial based economy and the related innovations therein between the North and the South.  The North was ready to move forward while the South wanted to remain decadent in the old (religious) ways.

Your point makes sense if your just talking about that sentence I said, but I go on to elaborate, so let’s see what you have to say about that.

Lincoln really didn't want to take anything away from the South, but eventually saw the political necessity of it.
You’re actually right here. I phrased my sentence very poorly. What I should have said, was the the south detested the election of Lincoln because they believed he would take their slaves. Fun Fact: Lincoln actually favored a gradual phasing out of slavery, but the south took that to mean that the slaves were going away immediately, so with these added corrections, my point still stands.

Wrong again. You do not need to pay to read it. Bottom left gives you the option to register for FREE and read it.
Yeah, this one is my bad. I saw that you needed a subscription to read it, and (I think justifiably) assumed that meant I needed to pay. Sorry.

Delusions of grandeur. You contradicted yourself with a circular fallacy.
How?

You haven't proven any of the cited sources are irrelevant to my opinion (an opinion not even given), and you have no basis in fact that I cite sources with the hopes you won't read them. What fucking sort of buffoonery is this nonsense!

If you cannot even formulate a cogent foundation to argue your position off of, and you certainly never address any points within a given cited sources to argue against, just waiving the hand of ignorance at it claiming without proving they're "irrelevant" sources, why are you even here? Seriously!

So I am really sorry for implying you cited sources without reading them. I got a little mad, and said some things I shouldn’t have. I do still believe that your sources don’t adequately represent your argument. You said that you hadn’t even said you point of view yet, but you basically did with the websites you linked.

I still believe that I do have a decent point by saying your sources are irrelevant, but whatever. It is important to consider the other factors that lead to secession, but the biggest one was without a doubt, slavery. I look forward to talking about this with another history buff, if we can keep it professional