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The south seceded over slavery

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,016 times Debate No: 52272
Debate Rounds (4)
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The south did secede in order to protect their "peculiar institution".


The South seceded in order to have a nation not controled by Northern tariffs and have a place how our Founding father's wanted it

Debate Round No. 1


"The South seceded in order to have a nation not controled by Northern tariffs "

Here I am assuming you are saying that slavery was the primary cause of southern secession and the civil war. Tariffs (no matter how low) were certainly an irritant to the South, but to say that the primary reason the South seceded was because of tariffs is simply not the case. Tariffs were extremely low in the years leading up to the Civil war. In fact, they were at some of their lowest rates in the our nation's history during the 19th century. The Walker Tariff of 1846 lowered the tariff from 32% to 25%, and the Tariff of 1857 lowered it from 25% to 17% ( So the tariffs were actually quite low in the 15 years before the Civil War, and they got even lower. In fact, a southerner, Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia, wrote the Tariff of 1857 and support for it was highest in the South.

The South was definitely not "how our Founding father's wanted it"

The Founding Fathers and many Americans today regard the 1st amendment as sacred, the South did not.
Anti-slavery literature was banned from being mailed to or within the South. Antislavery books that did find their way to the South were subject to seizure and burning. One example of this is Hinton R. Helper, a Southern author who wrote an anti-slavery book titled "The Impending Crisis of the South" The book immediately became a bestseller, with over 150,000 copies sold between 1857 and 1861. It was banned and burned in the South, and some were jailed for possessing or circulating it. Several men were lynched, and Helper had to flee for his life to the North. (
There was mob violence directed against those who attempted to distribute abolitionist literature. Amos Dresser, for example, a minister in Memphis, Tennessee, was whipped by a mob for this.
After receiving antislavery mailings, fuming anti-abolitionists invaded the Charleston post office and snatched every letter and book in sight. They returned the following day and proceeded to torch any remaining mail in the flames of a large bonfire. (

Slavery was the primary reason that the South seceded.
The future VP of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, stated in his famous "Cornerstone Speech":

"The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions""African slavery as it exists among us""the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it"""when the "storm came and the wind blew, it fell.
Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition." March 1861 (

South Carolina, the state that led the fight against Tariffs in the Nullification Crisis, wrote in its declaration of secession:

"For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery."

"In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

"The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. "

note that the only constitutional obligation that South Carolina cited as being unfulfilled by the North was not returning fugitive slaves

I await your arguments.


can we continue in the next round DDO isn't working that well for me
Debate Round No. 2


theunionforever61 forfeited this round.


I'll just contine.

wrote on the Georgia Delacration of Secession, declaring the states loss of money.

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs. The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.

[Approved, Tuesday, January 29, 1861]

Quoted by Patrick Clemburne about war and slavery:

“Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all that our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.” – Gen. Patrick Cleburne C.S.A. Jan 2 1864

Debate Round No. 3


theunionforever61 forfeited this round.


bettabreeder forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Conservative101 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made no arguments, only quoted from people with no sources whatsoever. Pro did a good job arguing.

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