Six Degrees Of Southern Separation

Six Degrees Of Southern Separation

Chapter 1: Tariffs

Have you ever played Six Degrees of Separation or in some cases Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It's when someone gives you the name of two actors or actresses, or Kevin Bacon and an actor/actress, and you try to connect them with their movies in six or fewer moves. For example, Kevin Bacon and Gary Oldman.

Gary Oldman was recently in The Darkest Hour with Ben Mendelsohn, who was in A Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling, who was in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.The same game can be played using slavery and the alternative causes that led to Southern secession and ultimately the Civil War.

One may think that discussing the causes of the Civil War is overdone and surely people know by now or more likely, they don’t care anymore. I would agree, but I follow the Civil War Trust on Facebook. The Civil War Trust posts various articles and quotes pertaining to the Civil War, and one of my favorite things to do is to read the comment section. Even in 2018, people fervently argue that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War, and if they admit that it was, they claim it was not the main cause.

They often post articles found in the dark depths of the internet, which list the various other reasons the Southern states seceded, hoping to end the slavery argument. In a series of articles, I intend on listing the alternate reasons that these Southern sympathizers argue and tie them back to slavery in six or less moves. To keep you interested, I will begin with the most boring cause, tariffs.

In an article titled The Ten Causes of the War Between the States, James W. King lists tariffs as the number one reason for secession. Keep in mind, King’s article is on the website Confederate American Pride, so his opinions may be slightly opinionated towards the South. King argues that the Civil War was inevitable. In fact, he states that a Civil War almost occurred between 1828 and 1832 over a tariff. This statement is correct.

On May 19, 1828, during John Quincy Adams’ presidency, Congress passed a protective tariff designed to help American industry, which was primarily based out of the North. Previously, cheap imported goods were putting northern industries out of business, so the tariff taxed 92% of imports by 32%. Opponents of the tariff, mostly Southerners, called the tariff, the Tariff of Abomination. Southerners detested the tariff because they relied on the imports to supply goods they didn’t produce themselves. Also, the tax on British imports made it harder for the British to buy Southern cotton, which was the South’s primary export. Opposition against the tariff culminated during Andrew Jackson’s presidency with the Nullification Crisis.

In 1832, Jackson signed into law the tariff of 1832, which lowered the tariff of 1828. Although this tariff received more support from the South than the 1828 tariff, the concessions were not enough for South Carolina. On November 4, 1832, South Carolina, led by Jackson’s own vice president, John C. Calhoun, passed an Ordinance of Nullification, which claimed that the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. If the federal government sought to enforce the tariffs by force, South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union. Other southern states also considered to secede if force was used. Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay quelled the situation with a Force Bill, with authorized Jackson to use force against South Carolina, and the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which lowered the tariff to South Carolina’s satisfaction. Civil war over a tariff was avoided.

King incorrectly claims that the tariffs and the Nullification Crisis had nothing to do with slavery. Southern states relied on imports because they were only producing cash crops, specifically cotton. What allowed for the southern states to focus on exports for wealth? Slave labor. When the tariff was voted on in the House in 1828, Free States voted 88 to 29 in favor and Slave States voted 17 to 65 against. The lack of votes from slave states is not a coincidence. Tariffs were believed to hurt the cotton industry, and slavery was the backbone of that industry.

Although tariffs almost led to a Civil War in 1832, it was not one of the major causes for secession or the Civil War in 1860 and 1861. All eleven of the southern states that seceded from the Union wrote secession ordinances which listed their reasons for secession. Not one of the eleven states mentioned the tariff as a reason for secession, yet people still try and claim that it was the main reason.

However, one of the documents Abraham Lincoln referenced for his First Inaugural Address was Andrew Jacksons' Proclamation to the People of South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis (John Meacham, American Lion). Even if it was a cause, the tariff affected the Southern economy, which was based on slave labor. The tariff is separated from slavery by only two moves.

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9 Things Every Procrastinator Can Relate To

You promise yourself you'll never do it again, and yet...

I would consider myself a fairly good student. I've gotten pretty good grades my whole life and I was fortunate enough to get into an amazing school like UF. However, I wasn't able to get to where I am today by planning out assignments ahead of time. I instead, unfortunately, put myself through unnecessary stress by procrastinating and often waiting to start assignments until I absolutely had to. I've gotten pretty good at it over the years, despite it being a habit I hate. If you're prone to procrastinating like I am, you've probably experienced some of these all too familiar scenarios.

1. When everyone else has already finished and you haven't even started.

Everyone else in the class cares about their mental health and their sanity but you like to live on the edge at all times.

2. But you tell yourself you've got plenty of time.

Denial is a great coping mechanism.

3. After writing the header you feel like you deserve a break from all your hard work.

What can I say, choosing a title can be exhausting!

4. There's that feeling of panic you get when hurrying to get something done.

The anxiety usually lasts longer than how long it would take to finish your work in the first place.

5. That eventually turns into a strange sense of calm and numbness.

This special wave of calm can be just what you need to avoid that previously mentioned anxiety attack.

6. Sometimes it can even be your way of getting an adrenaline rush.

Do you like to go skydiving for your rush? I like to finish an assignment minutes before collection. Exhilarating.

7. That feeling of shock when you don't get an amazing grade, even though you procrastinated.

How dare the teacher award a better grade to someone who actually spent time and effort on their work!

8. You promise yourself every time that you'll change your procrastinating ways.

Somehow, you got everything done even though you procrastinated. But, you promise you won't put yourself through all of that stress again.

9. ...but then ending up in the same mess once again.

What else is new? Back to the grind.

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