The Question of Inevitability I: The Coming of the War

Folks disagree over whether the Civil War was inevitable.  I think there are questions that need to be answered when asking about Civil War causation, because I think we need to prove what is often assumed.  So I want to unpack some of those assumptions of us to consider.

Implicit in the discussion of inevitability is the assumption that there must have been a way short of secession and war (which are two distinct events) to resolve the issue of slavery.  Continue reading

Leave Kevin Levin Out of It

You know, there are burdens with being identified as a northerner.  Especially a Yankee.  Especially a New York Yankee.  I understand those burdens, because I’ve lived with them all my life (well, except for the 1975 and 1976 seasons, because I was ticked at the Yankees for trading Bobby Murcer).

I can live with those burdens.  I can even be proud of my identity.  Heck, I am secure enough to remind people that I root for the New York Islanders, who have been about as successful as Braxton Bragg for several decades.  After all, I can trace my ancestry back through two Union veterans to colonial Long Island, where my ancestors settled in the seventeenth century (not too far from where the Islanders play today).

And that’s why I ask you today to stop identifying Kevin Levin as some sort of Yankee.  Continue reading