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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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War Between the States

Posted by shanoah on May 2, 2009

Well, you know, Sean, the civil war was a little more complex then that.

Figure, first of all, slavery had been starting to die out. Then, around 1800, along comes the cotton gin. Suddenly, laborers could produce 50 times as much cotton in a day. And cotton was big business. So they started growing cotton everywhere, in a lot of places that they had been growing food (which led to a food shortage, incidentally).

Suddenly they were all growing one crop. (Sound familiar?). The south’s economy became dependant on cotton, which was dependant on slavery. At the same time, abolitionism was getting strong in the North. And, of course, Britain had abolished slavery in 1833, so that was going on in the background.

And we were doing a whole ton of expansion. We had a bunch of land, and we were carving it out into states. The fact that we had a bunch of land shouldn’t be too surprising; this was about the time that we forced 15000+ American indians to march 1000+ miles, with a massive death toll.

We needed to expand, too. We had a large influx of immigrants coming in from Ireland excaping the potato famine. However, the north didn’t want to allow  slavery in the new states that were being formed. And the south basically felt this would marginalise them, and lead to slavery being abolished entirely.

Not to mention that tensions were high anyways, with the issue of runaway slaves that made it to the North. What pushed things over the edge was that the Republican candidate running, Lincoln, had been compaigning on new states not allowing slavery.

His name didn’t even get on the ballots in most southern states, but the Democratic party was heavily split at the time, and he got in anyways, with 39% of the popular vote. And that is when the secession of a bunch of southern states happened.

This wasn’t the only reason for them to leave, either. There’d been some fairly high taxes at the time that were affecting mainly the south, and at that point, they didn’t feel the federal government was serving their interests.

A war didn’t really have to come out of it. We could have let them go on their merry way. But the federal government wasn’t willing to let any states leave for any reason. And that is how the civil war started. And the victory for the north tightened the grip of the federal government over the states.

But we were supposed to be playing music here, rather then writing essays about history, so why don’t I play some music from the civil war?

Here’s a song celebrating the flag of the Confederacy, The Bonnie Blue Star:

And here we have The Battle Cry of Freedom, on the Union side:

From all this, you can deduce one thing; Americans are crap at writing good civil war songs. The Irish have them beat all over with IRA songs, a number of which I’ve played here before (like Óró ‘s é do bheatha ‘bhaile; that song’s awesome). Just for fun, here’s one more, One Shot Paddy:

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One Response to “War Between the States”

  1. […] War Between the States […]

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