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150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Old 04-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Today is the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the Civil War. First and foremost, I would invite all here to remember and consider the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died during the War. Whether Union or Confederate, these people were our forebears and paid the ultimate price for the future we now enjoy. Today, we live in a nation shaped by and purchased with the blood of those Americans who died in our great national struggle.

Removed from us by many generations, it is often easy to forget the incredible carnage we, as a nation, suffered as a result of the War or the transformational effect the War had on the US. Specifically, and in addition to the abolition of slavery (though not its effects), the North's victory ended the federalistic system as envisioned by the founders. After the War, the autonomy of States was significantly eroded and the Federal Govt. has consistently increased in power. [Culminating (I believe) in the Depression era application of the Commerce Clause that allowed the Federal Govt. to regulate actions taking place entirely in one state if that action may have ramifications on how business is in other States.]

In many ways, the outcome of the War defined the nation we are today. In many ways we still fight some of the ideaological battles presented by the opposing forces which brought on the War.

My questions to all is this: Do you ever think of the Civil War and its effects? or is it simply to distant historically for you ever to contemplate except as an occasional trivia point?

Also, a recent CNN poll indicated that 42% of those polled believed slavery was not the main cause of the War ( http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/im...4/11/rel6b.pdf ). Does any here would agree with that statement?

[FYI - To me, denying that slavery was the proximate cause of the War is simply wrong - but for slavery, the State's rights proponents would have reached some compromise on all other State rights' issues and probably preserved more of the federalism originally envisioned by the founders. The preservation of slavery is what drove the South to secede which in turn (along with firing on Sumter) forced the North (specifically Lincoln's) hand to resort to arms to preserve the union.]
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

It is always good to relive the War of Northern Aggression.

I kid, of course. But I think of the war all the time. Being in the deep south, there are constant reminders, such as ubiquitous Confederate flags and people who are still bitter. For example, in a letter to the newspaper editor a man not long ago complained that Yankees had better burial spots than Confederates at the Vicksburg battlefield site.

I also think that some people in the deep south, to this day, stubbornly hold on to social and religious views which are seriously outdated. Without the war, many in the south would never have caught up with the tide of history which saw the abolition of slavery. Without another war, some people in the south will never change other social and religious views which are really out-of-step. I'm not calling for another war, just lamenting the fact that some problematic things in the deep south will not change soon, if ever.

Joe, you are correct. That terrible war changed the face of the country forever.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

I grew up in New England rarely did anyone talk about or discuss the Civil War but in my mid-20's I moved to South Carolina for a few years, I was shocked at how rooted/part of folks lives down there the Civil war was. A good hand full of folks hated me just becasue of my accent and that I was from up north.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Why do they call it a civil war when it was anything but civil. Shouldn't it be called the UnCivil War?

I beleive Civil in this case has the meaning of commonwealth or state. So essential it could have beeen called the State War or the Commonwealth War.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

I think the Civil War and the aftermath are the most fascinating period of US History. I love reading about/watching documentaries of US History, and this period in history is simply remarkable. I mean we've all lived through civil wars of other countries. The thought that that could happen and did happen here once is simply remarkable.

It's somewhat fitting I suppose that on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, our country is being led by its first African-American President ever. In fact I heard, and not sure how true this is, that there has been some pushback/concern in some town about Obama being part of their 150th anniversary celebrations of the war.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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I know I was being a smart a$$.

no, I think dumb a$$ is more appropriate.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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no, I think dumb a$$ is more appropriate.
Great, now we're all going to have to choose sides in the impending battle between mredskins and firstdown.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Great, now we're all going to have to choose sides in the impending battle between mredskins and firstdown.

LOL ! No I just like busting his chops much like he likes busting mine, no Uncivil Wars here.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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I think the Civil War and the aftermath are the most fascinating period of US History. I love reading about/watching documentaries of US History, and this period in history is simply remarkable. I mean we've all lived through civil wars of other countries. The thought that that could happen and did happen here once is simply remarkable.

It's somewhat fitting I suppose that on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, our country is being led by its first African-American President ever. In fact I heard, and not sure how true this is, that there has been some pushback/concern in some town about Obama being part of their 150th anniversary celebrations of the war.
So there were donuts and honey buns this morning at work and i asked why, someone said jokingly that its because todays the anniversy to the START of the Civil War. The thing is people do celebrate the start….. I had no idea this went on. I get celebrating the civil war over all and absolutely get celebrating the end of the war, but had no idea people actually celebrated the start to it. Crazy
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Originally Posted by mlmpetert View Post
So there were donuts and honey buns this morning at work and i asked why, someone said jokingly that its because todays the anniversy to the START of the Civil War. The thing is people do celebrate the start….. I had no idea this went on. I get celebrating the civil war over all and absolutely get celebrating the end of the war, but had no idea people actually celebrated the start to it. Crazy
Crazy. Though it might have been more accurate for me to say "Commemorate" not "Celebrate"
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

My great great grandfather's 2 older brothers died in the war, one in Sulfolk Va another taken prisoner at Gettysburg and died in a POW camp at Point Lookout Md. after spending time at Fort Delaware prison camp.

Most interesting time our history, and im a little of an amature buff myself. The evil of Slavery no doubt was the cause of the war, but I think if you asked the average southern soldier back then, when the yanks sent an armed invasion force cross the Mason-Dixon line, that was the reason men took up arms, and enlistment then sky-rocketed. Why did they fight, well cause there were armed men in his backyard.

You gotta tip your hat to Lincoln, most important President of all time because he did end up preserving the union.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #12
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Slavery was certainly a main issue, but there was so much more to it-expansion, economics, states vs. federal rights. It was such a turning point in our history. But if it happened today, I wonder what kind of response Lincoln's actions would take today. One of the knocks against his predecessors-Buchanan and Pierce-was that they didn't take any action. But their argument was basically that their hands were tied constitutionally, if I recall correctly.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #13
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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My great great grandfather's 2 older brothers died in the war, one in Sulfolk Va another taken prisoner at Gettysburg and died in a POW camp at Point Lookout Md. after spending time at Fort Delaware prison camp.
That's remarkable
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:43 PM   #14
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Slavery was certainly a main issue, but there was so much more to it-expansion, economics, states vs. federal rights.
Agreed. I doubt, however, anyone was going to war over tarriffs - all the economic aspects of St. v. Fed rights could have eventually been worked out through the political system in existence at the time. As to slavery, on the other hand, and as one writer recently put it, each side was convinced with religious fervor of the moral correctness of their side on the issue [Slave owners placed heavy reliance on the "Natural Order" and quoted the Bible liberally in support of the institution of slavery.]

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It was such a turning point in our history. But if it happened today, I wonder what kind of response Lincoln's actions would take today. One of the knocks against his predecessors-Buchanan and Pierce-was that they didn't take any action. But their argument was basically that their hands were tied constitutionally, if I recall correctly.
For all his brilliance (and he was stunningly brilliant with insane political instincts - think Clinton/Reagan but exponentially better then both combined), Lincoln was all about the Union and broadly interpreted the Constitution to achieve his ends.

As an example, there was never a "declared war" between North and South b/c, if the Congress had ever issued a formal declaration of war, the CSA would have been entitled to all sorts of benefits due a belligerent under international law and would have probablly received recognition from both France & Britain. Despite the lack of a declaration of war, Lincoln interpreted the Constitution in a way that allowed him broad powers that had previously been reserved for use only during formally declared wars. Including, most famously, the suspending of the Writ Habeus Corpus to imprison prominent American citizens who were southern sympathizers (Think of the Gitmo prisoners but applied to Martin O'Malley). Not until the Korean/Vietnamese Wars did Presidents again so blatantly assume the Commander-In-Chief role without actual declared wars. Now, it is almost a given that the President can order troops into danger prior to receiving Congressional approval.

Despite vastly expanding the powers of the Presidency and Federal Govt. & changing their role forever in the US, Lincoln always sought and provided a Constitutional basis for his actions. Sometimes those basis were more tenuous than others.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:27 PM   #15
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Well that's basically my point. Lincoln was basically a loose constructionist who took certain liberties, I guess you could say, with his power. I just wonder what kind of reaction some of his actions would take today
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