Civil War Trivia

Discussion in 'History & Geography' started by Ken Anderson, May 3, 2018.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Not to throw this thread off-topic, but I would also like to know your reasoning for saying that the constitution has not been valid since Lincoln was in office, both @Ken Anderson and @Peter Renfro .
    Can you start a new thread and explain this further, so we can discuss it together ?
     
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  2. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Veteran Member
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    I will say right here. Before the Civil War, the States were pretty much on their own. A Pennsylvanian was a Pennsylvanian, A Floridian was a Floridian. No one would ever identify themselves as an American. The only thing the Federal government did was have a standing Army,and facilitate trade. Each state pretty much ruled it self.This is why during the war, states raised their own military and fought as a unit,under the umbrella of the federal.
    Lincoln neutered the state,made them all subservient to Washington. Washington began controlling more and more things ,until for all practical purposes the only difference in the state are geographical boundaries
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Since I probably won't get the chance to say this often, I will say that I agree with @Peter Renfro. Following the same theme, before the Civil War the country was often referred to in the plural, as These United States, as in these states, united. Since the Civil War, it has almost universally been referred to in the singular, as The United States. Although that point had been argued from the beginning, the consensus of the founders was that the States were to be autonomous, united for defense and the common good.
     
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  4. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Uh, it isn’t quite as simple as that.
    The Constitution of the United States wasn’t even ratified until 1789 (with Rhode Island holding out until May of 1790) and Lincoln was elected 70 years later.
    As a matter of interest: The Confederation of States were hard pressed [for nearly 7 years] to ratify a Constitution because all 13 states could not come to an agreement regarding the pro’s and con’s of slavery.

    If one reads the Federalist papers and studies the Articles of the Confederation and even does a small study of the Shays rebellion leading up to the ratification one can see the formation of the Federal Government taking hold even then.
    We were only the / these United States of America for 70 years and prior to that we were a Confederation of States with a Confederation Congress, Articles of the Confederation and no Constitution. Each state was legally sovereign and totally separated even to the point of making their own treaties with other countries and producing their own laws without regarding the laws of the other states. In essence, the union of states was only a union against the authority of another country but that’s about the extent of it.

    Even after the ratification, the federal government did indeed have an army and a navy with the president as commander in chief but there wasn’t enough money to finance such a military or at least, not a very effective one. Also, as indicated by the Federalist Papers and later adopted into the Constitution, each state was encouraged to have its own militia.
    Note: during the Shays rebellion in 1787, Massachusetts had to finance it’s own militia and call for help from other states because the Confederation (Feds) didn’t have the power to defend itself against 4000+ dissidents most of which were veterans of the Revolutionary War.
    I digress.

    Now, the reason I wrote that it’s not that simple is just because the Constitution of the United States was ratified, doesn’t mean that all the articles had been fully developed and implemented. As a matter of fact, many articles were still being argued up until and beyond Lincoln’s tenure as President. Things just didn’t change from night to day by the stroke of a pen or, 38 strokes as it were by the signing of the Constitution.
    Again, I have to stress that the Nation was legally only 70 years old, the Constitution was only 70 years old and the United States Congress and Presidency was only 70 years old.
    If anything else, beyond the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln tried to live up to and enforce the Constitution of the United States which, after all is the job of the Executive Branch of the United States.
    Note: There’s no doubt that when 11 states declared their secession from a union of states (and a declaration of war by the firing on Ft. Sumpter) that Lincoln had to implement every vestige of power he could constitutionally garner at the federal level to combat a possible fall of the United States in general but congress was in shambles. Those 11 states also had their representatives and 22 sitting senators in Congress at the time when war was declared.

    The bottom line here is that if one wishes to blame Lincoln for limiting state’s power and increasing the participation of the Federal Government, let’s start with the actions that led up to his presidency and go from there and more importantly, read the Constitution.
     
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  5. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Veteran Member
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    I am not really blaming Lincoln literally he did kick the goal. Of course once reconstruction started it was an easy matter to extend some of that oversight outside of the newly repatriated states. One regulation at a time!
     
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  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Lest we forget, the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 under Andrew Jackson’s administration, made a territory (owned by the U.S.). in which 17 states were derived. Each state that came out of that purchase had to abide by some Constitutional / Federal guidelines in order to become a state.
     
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  7. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Some of you guys' erudition is impressive. I feel relatively uneducated in comparison, with my spotty self-taught knowledge. I wonder that I have the hutzpah to debate here about complex issues.
    No worries, though. I'll continue to express my opinion.
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Some of the most brilliant people I personally know are “self taught” on a myriad of subjects. Self taught means self motivated and very few can go against one whose motivation is to amass as much knowledge as one can have in a single span of life.
    To paraphrase and taken out of context, Paul told the Ephesians, “you have knowledge but I have full knowledge” which is a statement I’ll never be able to make.....but I assume that’s a level you would like to achieve....the same as myself.
     
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  9. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Bobby, I agree with nearly all you say. However I can't say I aspire to 'full' knowledge. How could a mortal human achieve such a thing? I lack religious beliefs but I assume such a possibility would only be available to a being like God.
     
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  10. Hugh Manely

    Hugh Manely Very Well-Known Member
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    Er, ah, wasn't the Louisiana Purchase made during Thomas Jefferson administration?
     
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  11. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    828,000 square miles of land purchased.....during the administration of (drum roll please)........Thomas Jefferson in 1803.

    Jackson, Jefferson....Dunno how I made the mistake. Maybe spellcheck or my mind wondered. With the exception of his part in the Battle of New Orleans, I really, really dislike Jackson.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    No one can know everything about everything but it’s worth shooting for.
     
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  13. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    I disagree, Bobby. I don't think one should aspire to something that is unachievable. Wanting and pursuing 'more' knowledge is one thing. Wanting and pursuing 'all' knowledge is , to me, a self-deceptive arrogance.
    Others please chime in on this.
     
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  14. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    They probably would if this was the philosophy board. If you wish to throw a thread up over there, please do so. (dern, the man can’t take a compliment without making an issue of it)

    Let’s get back to Lincoln, the Civil War etc.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  15. Richard Joseph

    Richard Joseph Active Member
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    Lincoln's suspension of the Privilege of Habeas Corpus was unprecedented. Chief Justice Roger Taney, who was Circuit riding at that time, ruled the suspension unconstitutional. Lincoln basically claimed nonacquiescence, and in effect said Taney made the ruling, but how can he enforce it? Arrest the President for Contempt! No!
     
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