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Posts by CougarGA7

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  • June 1856

    06/19/2016 11:52:30 PM PDT · 32 of 46
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Good choice.

  • January 1856

    01/15/2016 10:12:49 PM PST · 99 of 137
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Makes you wonder how much worse does it get if that qualifies as “comparative quiet”.

  • January 1856

    01/04/2016 12:52:18 PM PST · 55 of 137
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Oh that. John Sanford spelt his name with one “d”, but when the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court reporter mistakenly put the other “d” in the middle. So that is there because of a clerical error.

  • January 1856

    01/03/2016 10:11:01 PM PST · 43 of 137
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson
    The next step for the case (formerly Scott v. Emerson, now Scott v. Sandford) was a U.S. circuit court, where on January 25, 1854 the case was continued by consent, awaiting decision of Supreme Court of the United States. After reviewing the chapter I am unable to explain why the case is called Scott v. Sandford when the newly designated defendant is named Sanford.

    As I understand it, by 1854 Irene Emerson had pretty much left all interests in the Scotts with her brother, John F. A. Sanford. She had moved to Massachusetts in 1850 and married a physician named Calvin Chaffee. When the suit was submitted to the higher court in 1854 it named only Sanford as a defendant and had in a way upped the ante.

    The argument in federal court was now claiming that Sanford, as a freeman, was a "citizen" of Missouri. This allowed him to file suit against Sanford of New York in federal court.

    All the time that this case, and the other cases, were pending, the Scott's had been rented out and the fees collected had been placed in escrow. A tidy little sum was building up that would be given to whoever was determined the true owner of Scott.

    This new suit charged that Sanford, the only one named and the only one now seen as holding Scott in servitude, was in fact guilty of battery and wrongful imprisonment and was asking for $9,000 in damages.

    This is really where the argument as to whether Scott was or was not a citizen of the United States. This would determine if he could actually file a suit in the first place.

    There is dispute whether Irene had actually given full custody to Sanford or if he had only become the sole interested executor of the "property" (the Scotts). But the case was filed only against Sanford and neither party ever disputed whether the appropriate party was being sued so it is likely that Mrs. Emerson was completely out of the picture by this point.

  • 1855

    12/22/2015 6:46:55 PM PST · 343 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Pelham

    I don’t see those two as equivalent. It was a different set of circumstances. This was a case of trying establish the limits of a new constitutional republic, not try to petition a parliamentary monarch across an ocean for a return of the status quo.

    The formation of this new Constitution was a series of compromises in and of itself, and incidents like the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, McCulloch v. Maryland and other proceedings were all part of the growing pains of trying to establish the limits of the new Constitution. Testing the limits is a far cry from giving up on it which I don’t see the 1798-9 resolutions suggesting.

  • 1855

    12/22/2015 3:11:04 PM PST · 339 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Pelham

    I see, the letter is based on the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, not the Kentucky Resolution of 1799 which I was referring to. Even still in that set of 9 resolution is an implicit indication of desire to preserve the Union and a stated dedication to that compact.

    This still it centered on an enumerated verses implied interpretation of the Constitution which was a major issue of the time, and not secession.

  • 1855

    12/22/2015 11:03:30 AM PST · 331 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Excellent choice.

  • 1855

    12/22/2015 5:05:02 AM PST · 324 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Pelham
    The Kentucky and Virginia Resolves of 1798, authored by Jefferson and Madison, show the two to be strong defenders of state’s rights versus the national government, granting states the power to nullify federal law. George Washington didn’t like the resolves, clearly seeing that they could lead to disunion. But it can’t be argued that the Founders were set against secession when two of the more prominent ones authored the Resolves.

    There is no mention of secession in either the Kentucky or Virginia Resolves. In fact quite the opposite is true. The Virginia Resolve opens with a statement affirming the assembly's desire to uphold and defend the Constitution. It goes on to say that the assembly "solemly declares a warm attachment to the Union of the States". The argument it goes on to make is that that the Union is one in which the states have the power to over-ride any federal laws they deem detrimental to the state, not leave the Union as a result.

    This would be the only resolution that Washington would have likely made any comment on since the announcement of the passage of the Kentucky Resolution coincided with the announcement of Washington's death being only separated by a couple of weeks. (Patrick Henry had died 5 months earlier)

    But the Kentucky Resolution's language is even more pointed against the idea of secession. In is it states that the commonwealth of Kentucky "does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union....and will be among the last to seek its dissolution."

    Does that mean that some of the founders would never entertain separation from the Union? No, but these examples really do not provide any proof to that supposition. These resolutions are an argument of state's rights over federal authority, not union or disunion, at a time when it was still being felt out what the limits of the new federal union was.

    The Constitution itself is a series of compromises including ones that are designed to satisfy those who had very strong feelings toward individual states rights, like Madison and Jefferson, and those who felt the need for a more powerful central government like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.

    In the case of these resolutions the argument that they do make is correct in that the Alien and Sedition Acts did violate the Constitution of the United States, but no where do they suggest secession as a recourse to this fact.

  • 1855

    12/21/2015 7:23:37 PM PST · 318 of 378
    CougarGA7 to central_va
    The people of the 19th century would never agree with you.

    Not all of them.

    "The Constitution of the United States then forms a government not a league; and whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same....each State having expressly parted with so many power as to constitute, jointly with the other States, a single nation, cannot, from that period, posses any right to secede, because such a secession does not break a league, but destroys the units of a nation; and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offence against the whole Union." - Andrew Jackson

    The opposing views were debated just as vehemently then as it sometimes still is today.

  • 1855

    12/21/2015 4:47:06 PM PST · 293 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Pelham

    Trust me, I only touched the surface of what I even go over in a regular survey class. My lecture on slavery alone takes a full week.

  • 1855

    12/21/2015 9:43:07 AM PST · 267 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Tijeras_Slim

    In the end we will have to send Tony in to talk you guys out.

  • 1855

    12/21/2015 8:51:52 AM PST · 265 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Tijeras_Slim
    And Merry Christmas to you too.

  • 1855

    12/20/2015 3:06:52 PM PST · 260 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Thanks Homer. I’m sure you will find many tidbits. One of the challenges of putting a class together is deciding what to leave out. You can’t cover everything. I tried to wrap that up in such a way where I didn’t get into things I knew we would cover later, like Dred Scott, Congressional fallout from Bleeding Kansas, and other things. Glad I could take a bit of time to write up this simple background for you. Time never seems to be a commodity anymore.

  • 1855

    12/20/2015 10:18:26 AM PST · 257 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson
    The Civil War is a very interesting topic and I'm sure here it will stimulate some interesting debate. When I teach my classes I rotate through questions about the Civil War for my students to discuss and debate and I always find the interactions fascinating as you will always have someone that will bring up a perspective that that most others have not thought of before.

    Just for those who are interested, here is some background leading up to Bleeding Kansas that while not extremely detailed, does help set the stage for this topic at the survey level.

    The issue of slavery in the colonies can be traced back to Jamestown. In 1619 a Dutch ship carrying slaves taking landed at the settlement to barter for supplies. When the ship departed, they left behind 20 African slaves. Some accounts state that this was in payment for the supplies taken, while others cite John Rolfe having confiscated them from the Dutch ship.

    This left the settlers at Jamestown with quite a dilemma. At the time there were no laws or even rules concerning slavery in Virginia and in fact the first slave codes were still 40 years away. What should they do with these 20 African captives?

    What they did have in Virginia was indentured servitude. In fact, the oldest known surviving servitude contract comes from that same year, 1619, when Robert Coopy of Gloucestershire, signed a contract agreeing to serve for 3 years from the day he landed in Virginia in return for save passage and the grant of 30 acres of land from his master at the end of the service.

    So what became of these first 20 slaves? They became indentured servants. They would serve out their own servitude contracts and then go on to own land of their own. Some accounts even report that a few of them were successful enough to own indentured servants of their own.

    As the colonies would progress, African slavery would become part of the make up of the English colonies. Massachusetts would become the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641 followed by Connecticut in 1650. By 1661 Virginia would also legalize the practice of slavery as indentured servitude had died out.

    The practice of slavery would begin to die out though inside the next 100 years. It would begin in the north. The economy of the north, especially the agricultural economy did not lend itself well to slavery. Most farming in the north was either sustenance or market farming. When you are farming just enough to live on, you don't necessarily want another mouth to feed added to the mix and market farming is often small scale designed to be sold locally.

    In the south it was another matter. Beginning with John Rolfe, tobacco began to form the basis of the southern economy. This would flow into other crops as the south grew. Indigo, sugar, rice, and eventually cotton would all become the economic backbone of the southern colonies/states. These are all commercial agriculture crops and they are all labor intensive crops. Both of these condition lent itself toward slavery as a form of labor to work this commercial interest.

    In the north slavery would die out and even begin to be outlawed. Vermont would ban slavery first in 1777. Pennsylvania Quakers got the institution banned in 1780. Other northern states would follow with New Jersey passing a law for an eventual end of slavery in 1804. By the beginning of the Civil War that law still left 18 slaves living in the state.

    It really looked like slavery would die out in the south as well. Globally the trend was working itself away from slavery. Even eventual ardent supporter of the "peculiar institution", John C. Calhoun, would say that slavery "like scaffolding of a building, [would] be dismantled after it had served its purpose." That would change in 1793 when Eli Whitney would invent the Cotton Gin. Whereas before the seeds from cotton had to be hand picked out which limited the production and size of cotton fields, his new invention in its original form could process 50 lbs of cotton a day. And that's just the hand cranked prototype.

    Suddenly cotton became king in the south, and with it the need for labor to work the ever growing cotton plantations. Slavery went from a dying practice everywhere, to a necessary evil in the American South.

    By 1820 this had become a major political issue. Which leads to the introduction of the Missouri Compromise of that year. Missouri had applied for statehood in 1818, but it was being resisted back in Washington by the northern free states. Why? Because in Congress, and especially in the Senate, slavery had become important enough that the balance of power in the Senate was of utmost importance. If Missouri was allowed to join the union as a slave state like they had applied, then it would shift the balance of power in the Senate toward the slave holding states (13 slave states, 12 free states).

    The compromise, championed by Henry Clay (I often refer to him as the Buffalo Bills of presidential candidates), would split Maine off from Massachusetts admitting it as a free state and allow for Missouri to come in as a slave state. The balance would be maintained. Additionally, the remaining territory from the original Louisiana Purchase south of the 36°30’ parallel would be open to slavery and the territory north of that line (except Missouri) would be slave free.

    The first half of the 19th century would see a deepening divide between the northern and southern states. One issue concerned tariffs. In 1828, Congress would pass a new tariff on imported goods that along with items like glass, and slate, included manufactured textiles. This would have a profound effect on the South. The southern economy was completely based on cotton. However, there was not much in the way of a textile industry for that cotton produced. The southern economy depended on the exportation of cotton.

    Tariffs hurt this exportation business overseas and instead more cotton would be sent to the growing numbers of textile mills in the North. Manufactured goods produced in the north would then be sold back to the South, often at a price that was competitive with the rate of the imported (and taxed) goods. This caused a lot of animosity in the South especially around the importation of cheap, shoddy, fabric from Britain that was used to make clothing for slaves. Southern plantation owners felt that they were only exporting wealth, and mostly to the north at that.

    This would lead to the idea of nullification and a test of the Constitution. Can a state nullify a federal law that is deemed destructive of the individual state? Vice President Calhoun decided to put the idea to the test on April 13, 1830 at a celebration of Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Calhoun was trying to judge the position of his President from Tennessee, Andrew Jackson. After multiple toasts that hinted to the rights of the individual states Andrew Jackson rose and gave a toast in which he stared down Calhoun and said, "Our Union, it must be preserved." Calhoun would respond to this with another toast, "The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we always remember that it can only be preserved by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union." The die was cast between these two men, and Jackson's position could not have been clearer.

    In July of 1832, Jackson signed the Tariff Act of 1832 which reduced the tariffs most harmful for the South, but it was not enough for Calhoun and his state of South Carolina. In November the state would pass the Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance would challenge Federal authority by nullifying both of the aforementioned tariff acts.

    This would lead to a showdown between South Carolina, and the Vice President, and President Jackson. Secession was a term on Carolinian's lips and they pondered the possibility of leaving the Union rather than let Federal authority rule the day. On December 10th Jackson would issue Proclamation #26 to South Carolina. In this proclamation he would refute the claim by South Carolina that they can annul Federal law or refuse to enforce it. He also would caution them to retrace their steps before this escalated into something even far greater.

    In addressing secession he warns South Carolina that the Constitution is a compact, not a league and therefore states cannot depart from it at their leisure. He warn them that secession is treason and that it will be treated as such.

    By the end of December, Calhoun would resign as Vice President and Congress would pass the Force Act which would authorize the use of military force against any state the refused the enforce the tariffs acts. Henry Clay would step into the fray again and broker a deal known as the Compromise Tariff of 1833 which would be at least acceptable to all and serve to end the crisis.

    As the north and south became more polarized more issues would serve as points of conflicts between the two factions. During the administration of George Washington, a law was passed to protect slave owners rights to retrieve slaves that had fled into other states. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 allowed members from a state to enter another state to retrieve escaped slaves. The only burden of proof they were required to give was an oral or written affidavit of ownership and the alleged escapee was not permitted to defend themselves. Additionally, any who harbored an escaped slave was subject to fines as high as $500 dollars. Quite a sum for the day.

    Northern states would begin to violate this act in the 1800s and the resistance would only increase as the years passed. In 1836, the Massachusetts Supreme Court would rule in favor of escaped slaves in Commonwealth v. Ames which would declare that any slave brought into the state was automatically free.

    Southerners would claim that this violated not only the Fugitive Slave law, but also Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution which states "No person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws therof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service of Labour may be due."

    In 1842, Prigg v. Pennsylvania would find itself all the way to the Supreme Court where it would be ruled that Pennsylvania was within its rights to prohibit its own magistrates from enforcing fugitive slave laws since the execution of the fugitive slave clause in the Constitution was exclusively a federal power and therefore had to be enforced by federal agents.

    To add more fuel to the issue, in 1848 the Mexican American War came to an end and with it was a wide stretch of new land conquered from Mexico. A new question would immediately be imposed. Would slavery be allowed in the newly acquired territory?

    Enter Henry Clay again. In one of his last acts in his long political life, he would compose a compromise to answer this question and others that were causing division between the north and the south. It had so much stuff in it in fact that if was going to be impossible to get passed through Congress. Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas would take care of that by reworking this compromise into something that all side could agree to and hopefully put some of these issues to bed forever.

    Included in the compromise was:
    ....California would be admitted into the Union as a free state.
    ....the slave trade will be abolished in Washington DC.
    ....a new tougher Fugitive Slave Act would be enacted
    ....and the territory acquired from Mexico with the exception of California would determine the existence of slavery based on Popular Sovereignty.

    Though many felt this would put issues to rest, it would quickly show not to be so. The new fugitive slave law was by far the most divisive.

    The new act allowed federal commissioners to issue warrants for the arrest of fugitive slaves and certificates for their return. The only evidence needed was an affidavit by the slave owner. The accused were denied the right to trail by jury and were not allow to submit any testimony in their defense.

    That tracks close to the former act, but more was added.

    If the commissioner determined that the accused was not an escaped slave he was paid 5 dollars for his work. If he determined that he was an escaped slave he was paid 10 dollars.

    Anyone could be "deputized" to help capture accused escaped slaves (even abolitionists). If you refused to help, you would be fined $1000 and could be forced to pay the slave owner $1000 for each slave you failed to help retrieve, and could serve up to 6 months in prison.

    This would immediately cause an outcry in the north by the growing abolitionist groups.

    As for the other issue of popular sovereignty, after it was introduced in the Mexican secession, it was only a mater of time before the issue was raised again in those northern territories of the Louisiana Purchase. This would lead up to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, again championed by Stephen Douglas, which brings us up to date in our current story.

  • 1855

    12/20/2015 7:09:33 AM PST · 256 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Outstanding. Thank you sir.

  • 1855

    12/19/2015 10:00:16 PM PST · 253 of 378
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Count me in too.


    09/03/2015 7:47:30 PM PDT · 82 of 206
    CougarGA7 to Homer_J_Simpson

    Congratulations on the completion of this herculian project. I know more than one historian who has used this project as a source as they research their own particular venues. You have provided a significant contribution to the scholarship of the Second World War. Thank you for all the hard work you have done.


    08/10/2015 7:50:07 PM PDT · 98 of 106
    CougarGA7 to Bluewater2015; Homer_J_Simpson

    Really Japan’s surrender can’t be pinned on one issue alone. It was the combination of different events that finally pushed the Emperor to issue the go-seidan overruling the ministers and accepting the Potsdam declaration (well, almost anyway but I’ll get to that).

    The Emperor had already made it clear to the Diet previously that he wanted his ministers to work toward ending the war. At that time for Japan, they were limited in what channels to use to negotiate a peace. Russia was the best conduit for that since they were not at war with them at the time and could serve as a mediator in negotiating a peace rather than just accepting “unconditional surrender”.

    The ministry would put out a feeler to Molotov on July 13th, to try to open the door to mediation. The request would be ignored by Russia, much to the consternation of Diet until the night of the 8th of August when the answer would be a declaration of war instead of a channel of negotiation.

    The sticking point for Japan was the “unconditional” aspect of the demands placed by the Allies. There were several things Japan wanted to negotiate for a peace, but a non-starter was leaving the fate of the Imperial house to the Allies. There was fear among the ministers and the Emperor that accepting “unconditional” surrender would leave the the Emperor vulnerable to war crime charges. Had the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration included a provision that could have left the Imperial house intact, there is every possibility that Japan may have surrendered before the first atomic bomb was even dropped (we will never know for sure of course).

    After the destruction of Hiroshima, the conversation in the Diet did change. The Emperor is said to have made the observation that with this kind of weapon in use, it was even more impossible to continue the war. He then suggested that the ministers should not miss any opportunity to end the war at the earliest possible moment provided that it was under a “favorable term”. Though the atomic bomb had not convinced the Japanese to end the war, it had instilled in them, and the Emperor, a sense of urgency to get an acceptable surrender negotiated (”unconditional” still being a sticking point).

    On the evening of August the 9th, over 12 hours after the second bomb struck Nagasaki, the Diet met again. An interesting anomoly of this meeting is that the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was not really discussed though it is certain that they knew of this second attack. The only reference even close was made by the Chief of the Army General Staff Yoshijiro Umezu who was totally against surrender and stated that there was no reason to surrender as a result of air raids (which would include atomic raids).

    What was discussed extensively was the Soviet declaration of war. The talks were not so much on the operational level as they were the political one. That avenue that they had hoped to open to negotiate a peace had suddenly been closed on them. With the exception of the hard liners who would never accept peace, the rest of the Diet had come to the conclusion that the Potsdam Declaration would have to be accepted.

    This still didn’t keep them from trying to negotiate terms. Even on that evening of the 9th, the initial proposal called for four conditions for peace.

    1. The terms will not include andy demands on the Imperial House.
    2. Japanese military units abroad will be allowed to voluntarily withdraw and demobilize.
    3. War criminals and their trials will be handled by the Japanese govenment.
    4. There will be no occupation of the Japanese home territory.

    By the end of the meeting cooler heads had put forward the fact that if they expected to get any concessions to “unconditional” at all, they should be very limited in what they asked for. The final text approved by the Diet read as follows:

    “The Japanese Government is ready to accept the terms ennumerated in the tripartite joint declaration which was issued on the 26th of last month, with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a sovereign ruler.”

    They opted to only ask for that first and most important condition, protecting the living decendent of Amaratsu on earth.

    So the go-seidan (sacred decision) issued by the Emperor was driven just as much by the declaration of war by Russia as it was the atomic bomb, and the fact that they were, at this point, completely cornered and materially exhausted. All of these factors came together to convince the ministers and the Emperor to go ahead and accept the terms for surrender while asking for just the one caveat.

    Would the war had ended with just the atomic bombs? The evidence makes it seem unlikely, but it really is a bit speculative. If that had been the only factor, there would not have been that other pressure with the Soviet declaration of war and maybe the bombing of Nagasaki would have sunk in more completely compelling the same result. There is no way to know. We can say certainly that the atomic bomb did create a sense of urgency in Japan to end the war.

    Do we give credit to the Soviet invasion? Honestly, the invasion itself really didn’t have any bearing on the decision. The Army staff in Tokyo still stated that they believed they could defend Manchuria from the Soviets despite the initial setbacks. It was delusional for certain, but they believed it emphatically. It was the loss of that perceived channel of negoatiation that had the real impact on the Japanese decision. So it wasn’t the act of war, just the declaration of it that really forced Japan’s hand.

    Those two items along with the desparate situation that Japan was already in led to their final decision to “endure the unendurable” and surrender.

  • A former soldier has revealed how a Nazi general spared him from the firing squad in World War Two.

    11/30/2014 11:00:29 PM PST · 37 of 59
    CougarGA7 to Celtic Conservative

    Well he was from Württemberg, but I get what you mean by the old Prussian officer tradition though I would not lump Rommel into that category since he was never a part of the old Prussian aristocracy.

    A lot of the documentation that exists out there shows that Rommel was, at first, very much enamored with Hitler, though never officially becoming a National Socialist and distrusted Hitler’s pseudo-military organizations (ie. SA and SS). He would remain loyal to Hitler for the bulk of the war and would be rewarded with not only promotions, but propaganda orchestrated by Goebbels to add to his heroic status.

    By the end it is clear from most documents that Rommel had become disillusioned with Hitler’s ability to preserve Germany, but his actual role or even level of knowledge of the July 20 event is still debated.

    That debate starts with a sworn statement by Rommel’s son made on 5 April 1945 and published shortly after the war which first debunked the official Nazi story on his father’s cause of death and stated that he had died on Hitler’s orders after Rommel’s chief of general staff Lt. Gen. Speidel had implicated Rommel as a primary conspirator.

    Speidel would refute this claim a few weeks after it was published in the Südkurier stating that he never implicated Rommel in anything since if he had done so it would have implicated himself. Since he was trying to save his own life under Gestapo interrogation he certainly was not going to do anything to compromise his own claim of innocence.

    Finally, Rommel’s wife Lucie chimed in, also in the Südkurier, stating statements by Speidel and others had indirectly implicated Rommel to have some knowledge of the overall plot.

    From there his level of involvement has ebbed and flowed as time, and history has varied the significance of the event.

  • A former soldier has revealed how a Nazi general spared him from the firing squad in World War Two.

    11/30/2014 9:22:38 PM PST · 32 of 59
    CougarGA7 to Tijeras_Slim

    Thanks TS. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving too.