Was the US Civil War justified?

There was slavery but pretty much every country does things that are morally repugnant from the perspective of citizens of other countries. For example there’s gangs and all sorts of corrupt going-ons in Mexico right now but if we were to invade them I’m pretty sure that would not be seen as justified.

There was also the whole preserving the union thing, but countries have declared independence many times including the entire US itself from Britain and whether the original country is justified in taking back the seceded portion seems to be very ambiguous.

So…was it justified?

What are the requirements for saying something is ‘justified’?

Lincoln was willing to allow the South to secede (in principle, at least initially) but wanted all federal property returned to their control. The South fired on the Union contingent attempting that recovery.

After the open hostility, he made “preserving the Union” a key point of the fight.

The slavery issue came up later as a means to spark popular support for continued military actions.

I would have been opposed to the US Civil War if I had lived in a Northern state but Americans have a more belligerent view on secession.

If the Scots or Quebec had an accepted referendum on secession the rest of the UK or Canada would say ok and work out the details with them. I expect even today though the attempted secession of California or Texas would lead to bloodshed?


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Morally or legally?


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Disagree. Slavery was the issue. If there had been no slaves (or alternatively, no abolitionists) then there’d have been no Civil War.

Maybe you mean something else like “it’s possible that the South could have peacefully divorced if X, Y, and Z”… But slavery wasn’t an afterthought, it was the thought.


Without slavery, War of 1812 might have been lost, and no USA as we know it.

And it’s not just some theory. You can go online and actually read the southern state’s Ordinance of Secession and they very explicitly list their reasons. The north didn’t write the south’s reasons, so it’s clearly not revisionist history.



The war of 1812 was lost…

Think we had this conversation elsewhere. :smiley:



(I think.)

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Of course, someone lost the war of 1812.

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And our flag was still there…

Jose could see it.

Imagine if half of goactuary had our own house slaves and the other half were like “lol, slaves should be free”.

What a mega-thread that would be.

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You mean like interns?



Pretty sure there’s some record out there where somebody said, “imagine if there were a war and both sides were able to send Morse code to each other via telegraph yet they’d still be fighting in this day and age what a world lol.”

I mean even the Ukraine War has shown how dumb things can get. You’re having soldiers going in an making Instagram selfies - “hey look at what I looted guys don’t forget to like and subscribe lol”