Talk:American Civil War

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon war.svg

This war related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Archives for this talk page: <1>, (new)

A problem with Zinn's theory[edit]

If the 'real' cause of the Civil War was to undermine the southern elite, why were they treated so even-handedly after the Civil War? They were stripped of slaves, sure, but certainly not of power. It'd be a much more believable conspiracy theory if the southern elite were killed Jacobian France style or if the North got to permanently seize their assets. Considering that they were fighting a regime that ranked in evilness between Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition, it's not like anyone would've really objected to them completely upending the southern aristocratic order. More than they ended up doing, I mean. --Dr. Swordopolis (talk) 14:49, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Because first of all, Lincoln was a moderate, and when he was assassinated, Johnson (basically a Southern sympathizer) came to power and issued tons of pardons. Blue Talk 19:26, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, the idea Zinn had is actually more correct by the views of most Lincoln biographers, including Lerone Bennett Jr, who wrote a book about Lincoln's racism. The fact is that Lincoln said he would keep slavery in all the states to keep the Union, he only was about the Union. What Zinn doesn't make as clear is that Northern bankers replaced the Southern business infrastructure (carpet baggers) but the Johnston administration ruined Reconstruction. The thing you are forgetting is that the Abolitionist movement was Church based, and they took over the PR machine for the war like the American Evangelicals did for Bush's Wars, to the point it was an international cause that prevented the UK and France from recognizing the Confederacy. However, it was a Church-based war promotion campaign, so it was apocalyptic in some minds, which is when Lincoln and the rest of the GOP (except the Radicals led by Thaddeus Stevens) threw up their hands and said "Oh shit well we've turned the asylum over to the patients, we're basically being cornered into this". Ergo, the reason Frederick Douglas (who fucking loathed Lincoln) said "He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country. In all his education and feeling he was an American of the Americans. He came into the Presidential chair upon one principle alone, namely, opposition to the extension of slavery.”Andrewstewart1 (talk) 04:35, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

One exceptionally annoying thing about American Civil War historical perspectives.[edit]

I'm not even talking about Lost Cause of the South Crap. I mean mainstream historians. There's always this hemming and hawing about how the American Civil War could have been prevented with better political skills or whatever, but it completely misses the point that there was a system in place that allowed and facilitated the torture and rape of millions of human beings known as slavery. When people say shit like 'slavery would've died out in 20 years, war or no' it engenders this weird sort of (chiefly American) denialism about just how evil slavery really was, as if the American Civil War was sooooo horrible that rescuing an entire generation of people from those hellish conditions was not worth it. And while I'm on my soapbox, the wage slavery/chattel slavery comparison is extremely annoying and reeks of privilege. Even non-morons like Upton Sinclair and H. L. Mencken have said stupid shit like that. Dr. Swordopolis (talk) 12:32, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


"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)