I pit Fox News' Andrew Napolitano for his really stupid statement on the Civil War and slavery

The Daily Show did a nice job of destroying the argument, but this load of bullshit revisionism gets repeated so often I think it deserves a pitting.

Napolitano says this:

As noted by the Daily Show, this is all extremely false. The South was not going to accept any compensatory emancipation – Lincoln even tried that in 1862. Plus, the South started the war, not the North. Armed men from the South organized, marched, and attacked US soldiers!

As for the reasons for the Civil War, Napolitano is way off there, too. One has only to listen to statements from Confederate leaders, like the VP, or even read the frickin’ declarations of secession of various states to see that slavery (and white supremacy) was by far the primary reason for the Civil War.

God, this pro-Confederate revisionism is just pathetic.

Just to be clear, we’re talking about The War of Northern Aggression, right?

I thought it was supposed to be about states’ rights.

Well. A States right to legalize chattel slavery, anyways.

Andrew Napolitano really needs a crash course in American history. :slight_smile:

I really love Crash Course. In one of their American History segments on the civil war Mr. Green said thus:

[QUOTE] Hi, I'm John Green, this is Crash Course US History, and today we discuss one of the most confusing questions in American history: What caused the Civil War?

Just kidding, it’s not a confusing question at all; slavery caused the civil war.


Actually, much as I love the Daily Show and much as I despise Fox News, there was one bit of Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore’s analysis that I thought was off base:

Jon: What about this idea that Lincoln could have stopped slavery by buying all the slaves, buying them
Larry: Yeah, that’s how the free market works. When a product is bought up completely it just goes away. That’s why McDonald’s model is “1000 served and we’re out”

That’s a pretty spurious objection. The idea was not “ok, we just get a huge chest of money, drive around the south, and start buying slaves as fast as we can, and eventually we’ve bought them all, and presto, slavery is still LEGAL but there just aren’t any more slaves, problem solved”, the idea was “we outlaw slavery, but as part of outlawing slavery, we offer monetary compensation to slaveholders for the ‘property’ they are suddenly going to lose”.

Whatever the pros and cons of compensated emancipation, the comparison to McDonald’s is pretty idiotic.

Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter…

Umm…MaxTheVool…You do remember that it is a Comedy show, not actual reasoned political debate, right?

Oh, my goodness! :eek:

No, the Late Unpleasantness.

IIRC, every antebellum discussion of compensated emancipation ran up against the fact that the aggregate market value of all American slaves was many times the size of the federal budget.

Did you miss the part where Jon said that Lincoln tried to float that idea with several states (he said Delaware was one, I don’t remember the others) and their response was a polite ‘Go fuck yourself’?

The debate over the cause of the civil war is old hat, so I’ll leave it to others.

But I’ve been struck by this claim as if it advances the issue at all. The situation at Fort Sumter was fairly complicated. (From Buchanan’s promise to Pickens not to occupy Sumter to the attempt to militarily reinforce Anderson to the Citadel cadets firing on said reinforcements to Lincoln’s refusal to negotiate with the confederate representative over the status of federal lands to Seward’s secret negotiations over Sumter and so on all leading up to the attack.) The notion that the attack of Fort Sumter was some sort of Pearl Harbor moment that forced the peaceable federal government into action was always rung somewhat hollow. It could very easily have been a USS Panay moment (especially since there are almost no casualties at Fort Sumter).

Just say slavery.

Delaware? Did he mention their Indian slaves?

But they all went back to slavery one way or another, including the conflict over tariffs.

Well, where the Russians would shoot at Titan II missile sites, too. :slight_smile:

And the Alien and Sedition Acts, I suppose.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Also, folks around here like to point out that, by some definitions, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at the Battle of Black Jack, Kansas, in 1856.