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There was alot of issues smoldering before the rebellion. I understand the election of 1860 was the spark that ignited it all. Never before or after reconstruction has a President won the Presidency without taking at least one Southern state. The election of 1860 in effect told the South they had no say so in choosing our President. If lincoln had taken one of the Southern states in the election, would the rebellion still have happened?
 

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Yes, the election of Lincoln which did not serve the South's interest was a significant factor but only to the degree that it portented a tipping point in the new states, slave or free balance which would affect congress. The struggle was for the the future of the west and slavery and the economy of the South which had ALL of its capital tied up in Land and slaves and not plant and equipment as did the north. The South produced tremendous wealth but it had no cash to speak of. Slaves were expensive and without them they could not produce the huge crops to export which they needed to pay for all of the manufactrured goods they required. Only a small percentage of Southerners owned slaves but they were the wealth and aristocracy of the South. They would not suffer being wiped out financially without action. Besides the South had now love of the North that dated from BEFORE the Revoloution. Why do you think George became the head of our forces. Without a Southerner in charge the South would have stayed home and let Mass. slug it out and die themselves. IMHO JB
 

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The struggle was for the the future of the west and slavery and the economy of the South which had ALL of its capital tied up in Land and slaves and not plant and equipment as did the north. The South produced tremendous wealth but it had no cash to speak of.
You've been watching too many movies......
 

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No, actually I have given up pop culture knowledge and info I learned from public education and started reading history books specifically for the period before Sumpter. I don't recall much of it covered in school history books as it was not as interesting as the actual War. But those who drove the move to session were not the "body of the South" They were the Landed Gentry with economic and political interest to preserve at all costs. Interesting stuff, to deep for movies. JB
 

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My understanding matches that of JB's. I recently read Steve Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, a biography of Merriweather Lewis of the famous western expediton. Apparently, Lewis was a well-to-do plantation owner before he got into the army, a fact I didn't know. Anyways, Lewis' money was all tied up in land & slaves; cash, stock, etc was virtually zero. So, though Lewis had lots of assests, he had almost nothing liquid. According to Ambrose, this was common. When a landowner died, provided he had enough land & slaves, his widow could sustain herself by gradually selling them off.

I kind of assumed that this pattern applied to southern mid-1800's America too. So it seems to me to have been a struggle for balance of power between two different economic systems carried out in the territories, with slavery as the main political football that kept the two sections of the country at loggerheads.

For Lincoln to have won a southern state, I suppose that would mean that there wasn't that much sectional mutual animosity, and therefore secession would never have occurred.

My "what if" about the 1860 election has always been what if Lincoln had been opposed by just one other candidate, say Breckenridge or Douglas only. Would Lincoln still have won?
 

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JB:

Interesting stuff, to deep for movies
Wauugghahaha – funny comment! I agree!!!

The struggle was for the future of the west and slavery and the economy of the South which had ALL of its capital tied up in Land and slaves and not plant and equipment as did the north. The South produced tremendous wealth but it had no cash to speak of.
“ALL” of the wealth wasn’t tied up in land and slaves. Why would the Federal government be levying exorbitant taxes [which was one of the major reasons for session] if there was no liquid capital? Consider – The north was dependent upon the South to provide an abundance of cotton and other materials to meet the need of their mills and other industries. In fact, the South was so well paid for these products that a financial rift was occurring and the abundance of wealth of the nation was shifting from the north to the South. So in many instances the reverse is actually true – the north had money tied up in a manufacturing industry that was almost completely dependent upon Southern products. The resulting shift in the balance of financial power from north to South was a serious concern to many northerners. It is interesting to note that when war was declared the Southern money held in northern banks was immediately seized. Quite a financial windfall for the north seeking funding for the ensuing war and a very significant loss to the South.


No, actually I have given up pop culture knowledge and info I learned from public education and started reading history books specifically for the period before Sumpter.
No offense but the books you are reading, particularly the ones relating American history prior to Sumpter, must have overlooked the financial perspectives.


Doc:

Anyways, Lewis' money was all tied up in land & slaves; cash, stock, etc was virtually zero. So, though Lewis had lots of assests, he had almost nothing liquid.

I kind of assumed that this pattern applied to southern mid-1800's America too.
I personally do not believe that is a valid assumption.

For Lincoln to have won a southern state, I suppose that would mean that there wasn't that much sectional mutual animosity, and therefore secession would never have occurred.
Hmmm…interesting observation……
 

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Let's look at the cash flow between North and South a bit further. Though the North paid good money from agricultural goods from the South, wouldn't the value added after the goods passed through Northern factories eat up the Southern profits? (E.g. cotton goes north as a raw product, but comes back south as shirts, which cost a bunch more than the profits from selling the cotton.)
 

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The basic facts are that the South was not financially depressed by having to purchase dry goods. I don't recall ever seeing a reference - anywhere-that recognized a financial burden on the South because of this. The financial burdern was caused by the excessive and unfair tariffs imposed by Congress.
 

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This topic seems to be spinning off the table as it were. I never said that the south did not generate cash. The South produced a balance of trade surplus in that cash came to the US from Europe for goods but the South needed the cash to purchase all of its manufactured goods and to buy new land to produce the crop as the cotton wore out the land quickly. Cotton production moved from the SouthEast in a Westerly direction as the years rolled on. Slaves were hugely expensive to acquire and this was of course a drain on cash which was converted into the means of production but it created a economy that operated without a huge amount of cash. If taxes were high this added to the tight cash flow in the Southern economy. No one has said that the South did not generate cash it is just that little of it stayed in the resident economy. I am sorry If I did not say this clearer earlier. Capital invested in plant and machinery in the North generated cash as did land and slaves in the South but the costs of maintaing a large plantation did not reflect that of a manufacturing economy. The fact that the Northern interests pulled cash from the South to build the Northern infrastructure (rail system) just amplifies the plight of the South to preserve their delicate agrarian based economic system. Please do not confues liquid capital with wealth. The plantation owners held huge assets in land and slaves and generated lots of cash which all went elsewhere. As far as my reading goes the plantation as an economic entity was self sufficient for most or all of its existance with very little cash economy within it. Cash was need for all of the "not grown here" products required for existance. JB
 

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The South produced a balance of trade surplus in that cash came to the US from Europe for goods but the South needed the cash to purchase all of its manufactured goods and to buy new land to produce the crop as the cotton wore out the land quickly. ... [snip] ... Cash was need for all of the "not grown here" products required for existance.
This is similar to what McPherson discusses in Battle Cry of Freedom, (Chapter 3, Section 2). That is, because of a relative lack of industrialization in the South, liquid capital was either re-invested in slaves & land, or used to buy goods manufactured elsewhere, either Northern or foreign .

Y'all might take a look at it and see if you agree with it.
 
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