That's part of why I didn't address you in that bit, rather I addressed UPC. I don't think this was a part of a defense against Atlanta in any case. Though, if your goal is to make racial prejudice irrelevant, then you want poor whites to analogize their situation with poor blacks.Simon_Jester wrote: ↑2018-04-11 08:16amI can empathize with people not wanting their towns to get englobulated, but I can't empathize with them being super racist assholes about it.Titan Uranus wrote: ↑2018-04-10 08:49pmIn any case, the homogenizing swarm called Atlanta (which doesn't have much to do with the actual city boundaries) is also constantly devouring the smaller towns and cities around it, tearing down their individual cultures in favor of suburbs whose sole function is to warehouse more Atlantans. Who don't work in, eat in, or take their recreation in the small towns, but rather in Atlanta or one of her satellite cities. It's why all of the old downtown areas outside of those cities are half shuttered. Yeah, no reason that anyone would want to prevent that, must just be a bunch of Foolish Peasants bigots standing in the way of Progress out of nothing more that petulance.
Yeah. Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee weren't going to be making any more trouble, realistically. But guys like Forrest and Hampton went on to create the terrorist movements that prevented blacks from getting meaningful political representation in the post-Reconstruction South, and the country would have been a far better place had they never lived.
If they never lived in the first place, it's likely that someone else would have taken their place (leaving aside the question of what happens if the one competent western Confederate general failed to exist) it's important that they, or similar men be hanged as examples. Especially Forrest, on account of atrocities committed.
Yeah, there was an alleged conversation that demonstrates that point rather well hang on a sec.Ugh, I for one have, and it's heartbreaking. Huge swathes of the South were several days' travel from the nearest major port, river, or rail line. It would have been a guerilla's dream. And frankly, Union leaders were aware of this in 1865, as were some Confederates.
As I understand it, the way the war ended had a lot to do with the senior Confederate leadership (especially Lee) just being so goddamn tired of war that they wouldn't even consider carrying on the struggle into "bushwhacking." By contrast, men like Forrest would have been perfectly happy to do so.
Though, if the union had had the leadership ability to use the (IOTL) short-lived coalition of poor whites and blacks as a cudgel to beat the confederate guerillas with, it could have turned out better in the long run. But honestly, that requires a view of power politics that probably isn't compatible with a long-term democracy.Alexander answered that the men of the First Corps were still in condition to fight and were ready to do their part if Lee saw fit to try and cut his way through the Federals.
"I have left only two divisions, Field's and Mahone's, sufficiently organized to be relied upon," Lee answered. "all the rest have been broken and routed and can do little good. Those divisions are now scarcely 4000 apiece, and that is far too little to meet the force now in our front."
Thereupon Alexander proposed, as an alternative to surrender, that the men take to the woods with their arms, under orders to report to governors of their respective states.
"What would you hope to accomplish by that?" Lee queried.
It might prevent the surrender of the other armies, Alexander argued, because if the Army of Northern Virginia laid down its arms, all the others would follow suit, whereas, if the men reported to the governors, each state would have a chance of making an honorable peace. Besides, Alexander went on, the men had a right to ask that they be spared the humiliation of asking terms of Grant, only to be told that U. S. "Unconditional Surrender" Grant would live up to the name he had earned at Fort Donelson and at Vicksburg.
Lee saw such manifest danger in this proposal to become guerillas that he began to question Alexander: "If I should take your advice, how many men do you suppose would get away?"
"Two-thirds of us. We would be like rabbits and partridges in the bushes and they could not scatter to follow us."
"I have not over 15,000 muskets left," Lee explained. "Two-thirds of them divided among the states, even if all could be collected, would be too small a force to accomplish anything. All could not be collected. Their homes have been overrun, and many would go to look after their families.
"Then, General," he reasoned further, "you and I as Christian men have no right to consider only how this would affect us. We must consider its effect on the country as a whole. Already it is demoralized by the four years of war. If I took your advice, the men would be without rations and under no control of officers. They would be compelled to rob and steal in order to live. They would become mere bands of marauders, and the enemy's cavalry would pursue them and overrun many sections they may never have occasion to visit. We would bring on a state of affairs it would take the country years to recover from. And, as for myself, you young fellows might go bushwhacking, but the only dignified course for me would be to go to General Grant and surrender myself and take the consequences of my acts."
Lee paused, and then he added, outwardly hopeful, on the strength of Grant's letter of the previous night, whatever his inward misgivings, "But I can tell you one thing for your comfort. Grant will not demand an unconditional surrender. He will give us as good terms as this army has the right to demand, and I am going to meet him in the rear at 10 A.M. and surrender the army on the condition of not fighting again until exchanged."
Alexander went away a humbler man. "I had not a single word to say in reply," he wrote years afterwards. "He had answered my suggestion from a plane so far above it, that I was ashamed of having made it."
I think "destruction of our way of life" is a pretty good example of harm.See, I'm not even disputing the question of whether the Southern plantation aristocrat class had an incentive to secede from the Union. I'm disputing the question of whether their rebellion was in some sense "just."Take your own morality out of it for a moment, why should they have cared that their technical rights were not being infringed? Their whole economic system was based upon slavery. (The poor white families who didn't rely on slaves did not matter, politically speaking, and so can be ignored in this discussion.)...Simon_Jester wrote: ↑2018-04-10 03:50pmBy contrast, the pro-slavery states in the US had ample political representation and had taken considerable pains to preserve that representation. Their 'problem' wasn't that they weren't getting to vote or that their rights had, in any meaningful sense, been ignored. It was that they'd finally lost an election and an anti-slavery candidate was in the White House.
Their problem, to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, is that they were unable to tell the difference between 'being victims of a tyranny' and 'losing.'
I have a pretty consistent standard of when a secession/revolt is justified, versus being unjustified. Conversely, of when the state is justified in punishing rebels rather than letting them secede.
The big ones are...
1) There have to be real abuses- the kind where the central government is specifically harming someone, not just indirectly harming someone by helping someone else.
2) There has to be a lack of representation- the existing central government has to be of a kind that, for whatever reason, structurally locks the rebels out of proportionate access to the halls of power.
The Confederates had at best a very dubious claim to (1) and no claim whatsoever to (2). Their argument was basically "well, if we can't dominate the government forever by winning all the elections, we don't want to be part of this legal system," when they were quite happy to insist that other people had to obey their rules back when they dominated the government.
Even their claim to (1) involved begging the question very hard.
The Irish had representation in the 1800's UK parliament, as did the Igbo in Nigeria, both are fantastic examples of why representation isn't actually sufficient unless their grievances are taken seriously.
Amusingly, I don't even think that their rebellion was legitimate. I just don't think your standard for legitimacy is reasonable.
Also, they didn't win all of the elections, not exactly. They just mattered in all of the previous elections. The period of maximum southern dominance was relatively short, after all. Also, rather importantly, the abolitionist movement only had to succeed once, while the slavers had to constantly retain the power to stop them.
I think that we have very different conceptions of what constitutes a legitimate and an illegitimate rebellion. If by illegitimate you mean "immoral" then I agree with you. I'm not sure why you would use legitimate in place of moral, though.Again, I'm not debating whether the decision made sense in some "utilitarian from Southern plantation aristocrat's viewpoint" calculus. I'm debating whether the decision was justified by some kind of ethical standard that exists outside the head of said plantation aristocrat.
If I were a plantation aristocrat, killing hundreds of thousands of people to ensure the continued existence of plantation aristocracy might somehow seem like a self-evident good choice to me. That doesn't mean anyone else should be expected to humor me, respect my opinion, or do anything to validate or apologize for my decision after the fact. Saying "this person's decision made sense in context" isn't really an excuse for their actions unless you can prove they were acting out of genuinely benevolent motives, and arguing that for slavery doesn't pass the laugh test.
That's irrelevant to all of the people who matter, who quite reasonably thought that they would be destroyed as a class if slavery were ended, no matter how gradually.houser2112 wrote: ↑2018-04-11 08:31amBecause the country would have an incentive to not have half the country be an economic backwater, perhaps? I'm sure slavery wouldn't have ended suddenly. I would imagine a graduated phasing out would be necessary to avoid a collapse, to give the South enough time to shift to a less vulnerable labor source.
I think by 1860 that ship had sailed, hit a storm called "Bleeding Kansas" and sunk to the bottom of a great ocean trench. How the US would ever have stopped that nasty little brush war without the proper war providing absurd numbers of volunteers, I'm not sure. Also, not all northern abolitions were exactly gradual or compensated. Vermont's constitution abolished slavery without any stipulations for men over 21 and women over 18. A series of legal decisions in Massachusetts abolished slavery without any provision for compensation, and abolition was effectively gradual only because suits had to actually be brought on the behalf of slaves.
Actually, I'll try to find the source, but many years ago I read an economic history of American slavery which argued, among other things, that while southern slaves used as factory workers were less productive than northern free labor, they were more productive than southern free labor. I would bet as a result of the south being extremely capital-poor relative to the north. So in a generation factories might breathe new life into slavery, just as the cotton gin had a couple of generations prior.Now, that being said, the reality would almost certainly still be "South gets manumission and an end to slavery crammed down its throat some time in the 1860s, '70s, or at the latest '80s, and the plantation aristocracy loses considerable status." That's what the politically dominant aristocrats were looking at: the loss of their status as assholes running latifundia. Given that their best hope for keeping the racket running another generation or two was to form a country whose deck was even more blatantly stacked in favor of plantation-owning assholes than the US's had been...
Which is part of where I differ with you. I think that the right to rebel is a fundamental human right, if not necessary for, at least helpful in the pursuit of all others. The legitimacy or lack thereof comes from is whether or not they can sway enough of their fellow citizens their cause to succeed. Of course it is also the right of citizens who think that the nation is better of under the status quo to attempt to put down such a rebellion.Again, I get why they wanted to do it, but I get it in the same sense that I understand the clearly defined motives of the guy who mugs me in an alley. I know why he's doing it, and if had exactly the same life circumstances as him and no morals I might do the same thing... but that doesn't mean I or anyone else should concede his right to do it.