The Southern Mindset Analysis

The Southern Mindset: An Analysis of the Threat of a Race War, Racial Equality, and Abolitionist Sabotage in the Causation of the Civil War

The primary causes for the Civil War will be defined through the perceived threat of a race war, the dissolution of the Southern plantation aristocracy, and abolitionist sabotage in the South. In the South, many commissioners that discussed the possibility of secession were concerned about the liberation of African slaves, which might result in the extermination of the slave owning aristocracy. This deeply rooted fear was actually fomented by Thomas Jefferson, and other members of the southern aristocracy, that felt that liberating the slaves would result in a race war in the south: “A sudden emancipation,
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In many cases. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854, and the Wilmot Proviso would represent a longstanding struggle between Southern and Northern political opposition to equal rights for slaves. However, a majority of these legislative compromises would be contained within the jurisdiction of the federalist oversight, which was increasingly being viewed as a threat to Southern sovereignty. In the South, the values of racial purity were a major threat to the plantation aristocracy, which defined on the inequality of blacks and whites as part of the southern economy. After all, who would work the plantations if African slaves could become wage earners like many white laborers? Certainly, an egalitarian society was not in the most profitable interests of white slave owners, especially in the eyes of southern commissioners that argued in favor of secession to combat the federalist ploys to end slavery: “The impending imposition of racial equality informed speeches of other commissioners as well, [especially in the case of] Thomas J. Wharton, Mississippi’s attorney general and the state’s commissioner to Tennessee (Dew 56). In this manner, commissioners in the Deep South viewed the northern federalist government as a threat to the southern way of life, which always revolved around the …show more content…
In effect, there were small-scale wars through these territories between pro-slave and abolitionist factions, which incited an increasingly militaristic view of a coming war. Southerners were concerned that abolitionists would sabotage new slave settlements in the west, which increased hostilities between the north and the South. In this manner, the rationale for a southern Confederacy became a more realistic goal, since the federal government was essentially making it a “first-come/first-serve” style of territorial expansion. This only encouraged a feeling of distrust of southerners for abolitionists, which galvanized a more aggressive militaristic position, especially in the context of secessionist ideology. Therefore, abolitionist sabotage and militarism was a primary catalyst for the southern secessionist movement, since it appeared that the northern federalist government was not willing to provide a means of balancing the issue of slave and free state sovereignty. This is a major reason why white southerners eventually shifted toward the secessionist movement, which was a major social and political catalyst for the Civil

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