Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Secession in the Upper South

Today Louisiana voted to secede 113 to 17, becoming the sixth state to secede.

At the time of the Civil War the south at the time of the Civil War could be divided into two portions, Deep South and Upper South. The Deep South contained states such as South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Georgia, etc. The Upper South was closer to the North – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, etc. While both held slaves, the Deep South was the first to secede after the election of Lincoln. However the Upper South was still with the Union when Lincoln was inaugurated. They trusted that the Republicans would not attempt to abolish slavery and that they would try to work out an agreement such as the Crittenden Compromise. This was the situation that many states were in at this point, 150 years ago. However, their representatives in Washington warned the North not to attack the states that had left. One said,
Believe me, the moment you wage war, you array the entire South, as one man, in behalf of the portion that is attacked, It is as when a brother is assailed, all the brethren rush to his rescue, not stopping to inquire whether, in the contest, he be right or wrong.1
The future would prove that in general, this statement was correct.

1. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/no-better-southern-man/?partner=rss&emc=rss


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that once a few states seceded, the rest of the southern states lost hope of recovering a majority in the federal Congress and were obligated to follow their comrades out sooner or later in order to avoid being crushed by the unionists who ruled Washington. This is probably an over-simplification, but it makes logical sense.

Joshua Horn said...

That certainly was an important factor. As I will talk about tomorrow, Kansas was let into the Union was a slave state, which may not have happened if the South still had the seceded states in Congress.

Lincoln was the one that really forced the rest of the south out by calling for them to send troops to attack the states that had left.

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