Friday, October 19, 2012
WHY SECEDE OVER SLAVEY?
Jefferson Davis warned Southern planters that secession doomed slavery. It would be impossible to maintain the institution when freedom was attainable just a river away.
Wade Hampton was the largest slave owner in the country, he foresaw the imminent end of slavery and had argued against secession for years.
As the US Constitution protected slavery and Lincoln supported the fugitive slave laws, it would seem to make little sense to secede over the issue. Vice President Alexander Stephens said that slavery was “safer in the Union than out of it” and that “slavery was a drop in the ocean compared to other reasons for secession.”
The notion that Southerners seceded because they were not able to expand slavery into the territories also makes little sense since, once the South seceded, it no longer had any right to the territories. The prospect of slavery effectively moving into the territories when Northern extremists began making an issue of it was no existent.
That said, slavery was an issue not the issue…remember that four states (Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia) had already voted not to secede and reversed themselves only after Lincoln called for troops to subdue their sister states.