Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Logic of Secession by C. D.L.

In this video Ed Ayers discusses the topic of secession in America during the 1800s and the mindset that took part in Americans. There were three different ‘Logics’ as Ayers would mention and they would be noted as Economic, Political, and Personal. The economic logic that was discussed is that the South controlled a virtual monopoly over cotton. The political logic was the South thinking that the North has created and elected President Lincoln who did not want slavery to expand into the West but couldn’t end the slavery that has already existed. Virginia proposed a 13th Amendment that made slavery permanent. The final was personal logic which was when Virginia decided to secede. Cotton made the Confederacy become one of the most powerful economies and ranked it the fourth richest economy in the world. With that being said one of Ed Ayers points was that the South can economically do best. The South was also able to succeed in Economic growth due to their abundance of railways that added up to be more than all of Europe. Although the South was very economically successful one would say Southerners were very nonreligious and didn’t believe in the Bible. Southerners believed in the idea of “slaves should honor and obey their master” and not the idea of “treat others how you want to be treated.” In 1860 the home of our Founding Fathers, Virginia, was the largest slave state. The Northerners very much disagreed with Southern views and how they went about living. Northern Republicans think the danger of this time is the slave holders. After the South proposed the 13th Amendment Northern States sent letters to Southern states on how they should change their lifestyle. Once received the South would start writing letters back but Ayers pointed out that each letter one would send to the other, the letter itself would be disregarded. This would lead to different views and most of all secession. South Carolina would seceded in December of 1860 but would suddenly realize that they were going to be outnumbered in the House and Senate. Virginia would secede but wouldn’t join the South or the North they would be to themselves for the moment. At Fort Sumter Lincoln would call all troops from non-seceded states and Virginia is at a loss. Virginia is at a loss because the state doesn’t know if it should send troops to fight the South at which used they belong to.  After Fort Sumter the Southerners who opposed slavery left the South. Most Southerners wanted to protect slavery through a federal system.
            The purpose of secession discussed by Ed Ayers was to give us students a better understanding of secession and why it occurred. In history classes before we were taught that after a few little discussions the entire South would secede which is definitely not the case. Ayers gave us information on the views of the North and the views in the South and how each disagreed with one another. I would like to hear the voices of some Northern Republicans, Southerners who believed slavery was justifiable, people from Virginia who wanted to stay neutral, and most of all Abraham Lincoln. I think if we got the over view from Ed Ayers and then listened to the side of each one of these we might be able to see where they are coming from and their thought process.
            The work in class that we did enhanced my knowledge on secession a great bunch because the whole time we were discussing I took notes. I enhanced my knowledge a great bunch on Lincoln and his views as a Republican, Virginia and why the state decided to be on their own, and how the South had so much economic power. I also enhanced my knowledge on the fact that the ones arguing against secession are not anti-slavery. Northern Democrats thought that the federal government should be stronger than the state government so each state can have their own laws. Unlike Southern Democrats the Northern Democrats did not own slaves and they did not return slaves that escaped to the north to their masters. The secession was a part of history that caused a great deal of commotion between the North and Southern states.