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Talk:American Civil War

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This war related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Editorial notes
  • There are two main things this article is missing before it is ready to go to silver:
    • A discussion of the international aspects of the Civil War, notably how Britain and France sympathized with the Confederacy while Russia supported the union and the significance of the concurrent French invasion of Mexico
    • A discussion on how the American Civil War overlapped with the American Indian Wars, particularly with the Dakota War, the Union's actions in New Mexico, and the Indian Territory

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"The second was the Dred Scott decision which made it impossible for any state to legally abolish slavery. In both these cases the South was complaining that states shouldn't have certain rights."

This is inaccurate. The Dred Scott decision said that the federal government could not ban slavery in a territory. It did not prevent States from banning slavery. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 00:12, 17 July 2013‎

Even a bit more nuanced than that. Essentially is said that black men could not be citizens of America (though, it is questionable if it allowed black individuals to be citizens of states but not country as a whole through the "Damn this shit is complicated" loophole), and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court. Which is again weird, because if the court is going to say "You don't have standing" they would normally just throw out the lawsuit and not at the same time affirm the suit from the lower court. I might work on this a bit when I get home tonight. But, yes, a state could still outlaw slavery, but the federal government wouldn't suddenly recognize black individuals as citizens purely based on them being slaves. --ShadowofLords (talk) 15:42, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Irony in Howard Zinn's view on the American Civil War[edit]

I for one find Zinn's view exceptionally ironic. A historian universally considered to be a marxist if not an outright communist essentially accuses the north of staring the war. You might ask, what other prominent Marxists wrote about the American Civil War? Well, a prominent marxists by the name of Karl Heinrich Marx wrote about the war AS IT WAS HAPPENING (spoiler alert: he was pro-Union). Most far leftists and communists are rightly offended by people assuming that they regard all of Karl Marx's work as dogma but I nevertheless find it supremely ironic that the founder of the very intellectual movement Howard Zinn is identified with wrote stuff that directly contradicts his view of the war. Alsto003 (talk) 19:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC) Alex

Is this part really necessary?[edit]

"it ain't got shit on the Thirty Years War that killed half the population in some places and had 20,000 civilian deaths just in the Sack of MagdeburgWikipedia's W.svg nor on the Taiping RebellionWikipedia's W.svg (1850-1864) where at least twenty million people died in roughly the same era. And the South was still in fighting shape compared to Paraguay after the Triple Alliance WarWikipedia's W.svg (1864-1870), which lost 90% of all fighting-age males."

I don't know what the point is of these two sentences. This part seems to trivialize the 750,000 deaths by saying "sure, a lot of people died, but MORE people died in these other wars, you stupid Americans!" Do people actually think the Civil War actually means less because more people died in the Taiping Rebellion? Is the point that Americans should stop whining? Almost a million people are dead!

And even if this wasn't the case, it still doesn't give us any useful information about the American Civil War. Why do we need to know how many people died in the Sack of Magdeburg when it didn't even happen on the same continent, nor the same century. We already have an article about the Thirty Years War (I made it). If we want an article on the Taiping Rebellion, I or someone else could make that a thing too.

What this wiki doesn't need is a death-toll dick-measuring contest at the top of our American Civil War article. It's useless, it's probably offensive, and I'm taking it out if I don't get a darn good reason not to by late tomorrow. DuceMoosolini (talk) 05:29, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Do it again, Uncle Billy![edit]

VeeMeow? 04:02, 23 February 2023 (UTC)

Howard Zinn[edit]

I never said it wasn't about slavery. What the historical consensus is is that in large part abolitionism was driven by economic concerns first and foremost, and even if that wasn't true Lincoln still only committed to abolishing slavery after the war started. Carthage (talk) 04:26, 25 August 2023 (UTC)

I don't disagree that slavery was about economic concerns. However Lincoln was a fucking abolitionist before, during, and (slightly after) the war. (talk) 04:29, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
also he's wrong about the industralists bit, like even on the surface it's wrong but if you go a bit deeper, the south would have industrialized using it's slaves to do so. (talk) 04:30, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
also he's wrong about the industralists bit, like even on the surface it's wrong but if you go a bit deeper, the south would have industrialized using it's slaves to do so. (talk) 04:30, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
(EC) That's irrelevant. Lincoln was still committed to preserving the Union over slavery:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

Lincoln was also only one person. The President of the United States, sure, but still only one person. Carthage (talk) 04:32, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
Lincoln was a politician, and as a politician you must say things to stay popular, and the idea of union prevevation was pretty damn popular in August 1862, however things changed a month later and he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. (talk) 04:37, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
This was stated in a letter to Horace Greeley, where Lincoln also said that his personal views on slavery were irrelevant to the preservation of the Union. Carthage (talk) 05:55, 25 August 2023 (UTC)
things change very quickly my friend, also again he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation a month later, and one could only preserve the union by abolishing slavery. (talk) 03:23, 26 August 2023 (UTC)
You're moving the goalposts. The fact that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Prclamation is irrelevant. Even the Emancipation Proclamation still only abolished slavery in the rebelling states. Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri got to keep their slaves. Carthage (talk) 03:29, 26 August 2023 (UTC)
The civil war was about slavery. I don't know how to tell you this but it was about fucking slavery. (talk) 03:39, 26 August 2023 (UTC)
That's not in dispute. The dispute is that the sentence you keep insisting on readding is a piss-poor rebuttal. Carthage (talk) 04:13, 26 August 2023 (UTC)
That is what is in dispute and it's a correct and accurate rebuttal to Howard 'Leftists 4 the confederacy' Zinn. (talk) 04:47, 26 August 2023 (UTC)
The argument by assertion is a logical fallacy. Do better. Carthage (talk) 04:49, 26 August 2023 (UTC)