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Re: Attn . Edward
In Response To: Re: Attn . Edward ()

'Doesn't this just boil down to a power struggle by the political parties?'

Yes, George there was a power struggle. I am just not sure that it was solely confined to political parties.

The whole thing stated in the 1810's when the northern states started their emancipation movements and wished to extend those movements to the southern state. The only problem was that no single state, or group of states, had the right under the Constitution to impose their will, or morality, on any other state. This debate leads to the 1820 Missouri Compromise by which a balance of political powers was established by admitting one Free state and one Slave state to maintain that balance, and a "Tyranny of the Majority" could not be formed by either side.

This also meant that no amendment could be passed to address the issue because the Congress would not be able to muster the 2/3 majority needed to pass such an amendment, let alone get it ratified by the states until 1865. Which even then was questionable as to the nature of that ratification. The debate over the California territory is why the 1820 Missouri compromised collapsed and the advent of the 1850 Compromise and then Dred Scott.

So the debate over the Territories was about slavery yes. But it was about much more complex issues than just simplistically the right of a person to own another person.

The southern states wanted to remain in the Union, but not at the cost of their Liberty. They made that quite clear that they wanted the United States Government to return to a Constitutional obayance form of Government. They did not see that promise in the New Republican party, which took the mantle of the collapsed Whig party. With the election of Lincoln they saw the last possible hope of reason go out the window. Yet only one Southern State, South Carolina, seceeded with the election of Lincoln.

Others seceeded once they saw the course that events were taking and the method that were going to be employed to maintain that Union against the will of the Southern States. You will notice that no northern state, in the beginning, complained openly against the use of force to maintain the Union. They thought it reasonable. They gladly sent the requested volunteers. And Remember how popular the anti-war democrats, the copperheads in the north, were?

So again, how did a new political party, the Republicans, win an election over a well established Democrat party? It had to be an issue that resonated with the majority of the Northern voters and emancipation wasn't that issue, even in 1863, let alone 1860. But maintaining "national power" by demanding the southern states remain in the union was another matter. You hear it even today in Civil War discussions, "OH, it would have been terrible if the United States had split apart'. Why would they say that?

National Unity would play with the majority of the Northern people where everyone was tired of the wishy washy politics of Buchanan, although a Pennsylvanian himself. The Northern people wanted someone who could put a stop to the endless debates and keep the country together.

That is the only explaination that I find reasonable.

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