Road to Disunion: Why the South Left

Here’s William H. Freehling discussing how it was that secession came about even though, in his estimation, 85% of white southerners were against secession.

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7 comments

  1. I’m a huge fan of your blog, and in return, I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! Congratulations! You can read more about the award here: https://thoughtsopinionsandeverything.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/versatile-blogger-award/

    1. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

  2. Thank you for sharing this video. Dr. Freehling has confirmed for me the real reasons for why the South seceded. As one who relishes an entertaining and competitive debate, I wish I could see him give that speech to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Imagine the lost cause crowd trying to deny slavery and diverting attention to the Morrill tariff.

    Al, is it just me or have you noticed that it is almost impossible to find a Civil War discussion group where the issues that led to the war can be openly debated between defenders of the Union and those who favor the Confederate cause ? What I find is that as soon as I post a quote, cite an article from a professor of history, or any other reliable information to verify my beliefs, my Lost Cause opponent simply drops out, or I get banned from the group.

    1. Some neoconfederate groups don’t allow anyone to post accurate information. You’re better off without them. Keep searching and find a group that is moderated and demands documentation for claims.

  3. A few years back I asked about Southern military leaders, wondering if they had been advised or consulted before any state seceded, or before the decision was made to bombard Ft Sumter.
    My own research found newspaper articles impatient with Pres Buchanan for not doing more to quell the threats coming out of the South following Lincoln’s election. So I came to the conclusion that a military response from the North should not have come as a surprise to the South. I thought I had asked a perfectly legitimate question, but as usual neocons simply ignored it. Al, do you have an answer?

    1. It depends on who you consider “Southern military leaders.” Prior to secession, are you talking about men in the US Army? Are you talking about state militia leaders? How about political leaders who had military experience? What about political leaders who eventually became confederate officers? Jefferson Davis was West Point-trained, and he ordered the attack on Fort Sumter.

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