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Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by g8orbill, Dec 27, 2013.
You're conveniently forgetting about the central issue which was slavery.
Very true. Lincoln nevertheless unequivocally considered slavery a moral wrong and it was slavery that was the central and dominant issue which infected all else and that which gave rise to the secession was predominantly a result of northern political pressures to abolish it.
No I'm not. I said Lincoln did not invade the South to free the slaves. He did so to preserve the Union. You are welcome to give that a stab if you want to.
He may have considered it wrong but he would have let it stand had the South remained with the Union and did not issue the EP until almost two years after the war started. Even then it only applied to the states he considered in rebellion.
Ain't that the rub... It's been my impression he let it stand because he was very cognizant of overstepping his power--odd as that might seem to some. But he was faced with two monumental challenges which were inextricably connected yet at odds with one another, and he chose a path that was bent on keeping the union together but ultimately succeeded in ending slavery at the same time.
Let me ask you this, do you think if the political climate had been been different during this period where secession would not have been an issue and democratically passed legislation had come to his desk abolishing slavery, he wouldn't have signed it?
Lincoln invades south jus
It's history with so much written regarding Lincoln's thoughts on slavery. It's clear and present in his writings, but somehow you want to judge him on something other than were slavery was not involved. This is not really possible being that it's not in the realm of realty. You're correct only in the respect of the South's economy, but that again was on the backs of the slaves.
I disagree with how you ascribe his decision and the motive behind it. He waited almost two full years to free the slaves and that we know for a fact. Whether he had that authority is highly debatable since the South was no longer part of the Union. The idea of secession is still debated today and was only decided then by might. He also didn't extend that freedom to border states that had remained with the Union so even then he sent a bunch of mixed signals to those he was purportedly freeing. I could go look it up but basically he stated he would not have stood in the way of slavery if it would have kept the states as one group.
Slavery was not involved in his initial decision to invade the South. I'm still waiting for you to show that as his motive.
LOL, I'm waiting for you to show me that it wasn't. I beginning to think you never went to history class.
And I am beginning to think you don't know how to show any contrary evidence to what I presented. Not surprising since there is not any to show.
Slavery was a very big reason the South seceded. It was not a reason Lincoln stopped the secession.
I'm sorry to say you've provided no evidence. Lincoln did not believe states had the right to secede and of course he was right. The whole narrative was based on slavery.
Let's go back to the beginning. Lincoln did not invade the South to free the slaves. Once again, he issued the EP almost two years after the war began. And that same EP did not free the slaves in the border states which remained with the Union.
Now if you have contrary evidence to that feel free to present it.
You didn't see Spielberg's movie about him, did you?
Okay. I can't claim to be a Civil War historian, even an amateur one. But some of the discrepancy, imo, comes from the fact that the the two major issues of the day were actually so intertwined that I don't see how they can separated. In any case, I posted the letter to Horace Greeley in which Lincoln said basically what you were stating, that his goal was to save the Union. That was what he wanted and if it meant keeping slavery so be it. However, the southern states did secede in large part because of the political pressures that abolitionist politicians from the northern states were exerting on them and from the economic pressures brought about by industrialization and population growth. But I can't see any way in which all of these factors are not tied to maintaining the institution of slavery even if under the claim of states rights.
As for Lincoln not extending freedom to the border state slaves, you are right. That is clear. But the EP didn't actually free any slaves right away anyway, since it only a war measure and only applied to southern states, and even in then, only in places in which the Union had no control in the south. However, the EP and winning of the war definitely led to the eventual freeing of all slaves in 1865 under the 13th amend. I think in large part, Lincoln like many others of the time, both from the north and south, even if they thought slavery to be morally wrong, didn't necessarily think blacks deserved equal political agency--such as suffrage--and to that I think the problems that had befallen the south and indeed the entire nation started and continues with our country's "original sin" which entrenched inequality and social stratification for centuries for which we will continue dealing with its effects long into the future.
I saw the movie. Liked it as far as movies go.
It's not so much the necessity to separate the issues as to understand how the war come about and what Lincoln hoped to accomplish. There is no doubt slavery was paramount to the secessionists. State's Rights was also closely entwined with what transpired as the Southern states did not believe the federal government had any right to tell the what they could do with their slaves. Slaves who were then, and had long been, considered personal property.
But be that as it may once the Southern states decided to secede Lincoln was hellbent on stopping them from doing so. And his intent was to use force in order to accomplish something that was not settled in the courts and likely may never be. The South felt they had the perfect right to secede from a Union they had voluntarily joined. The firing on Sumter was all Lincoln needed. An often overlooked part of this was the moving of troops from Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor to Fort Sumter. Something many saw as an act of aggression on the part of the North. Funny thing is I never read any of the details of that or the prior discussions South Carolina delegates had with President Buchanan which addressed this. In fact there is a whole lot of the history of that period which I did not learn until I studied it after leaving school.
South seceded to preserve slavery.
And an excellent response. One of the things your points make clear as actually that we can't necessarily accept popular history as being fully factual. That is, with Lincoln, when you kind of hear about him in bits and pieces it's always that he 'freed the slaves' when the factual history is much more complicated and quite frankly, much more interesting. A great leader who nonetheless also really didn't feel any compunction toward righting a terrible wrong as the driving force, but simply keeping the Union together--that he did ultimately achieve both (in a sense) doesn't necessarily absolve him of this shortcoming. Then again, I prefer to try to view history and the leading 'actors' who create it with less of a value judgment of who they were and more about what they contended with at the time. It was a different time and different circumstances, yet even so, we are still really tied to such history in ways recognized and unrecognized.
Hey, if before July 2014 you decide to go on a visit to the Richmond VA area, let me know. It's a great town chock full of Civil War history etc... Same goes to any too hotters reading this.
While the war may have preserved the Union and eliminated slavery it also devastated the country and especially the South. I often wonder what it would have been like had the South not seceded and then proceeded to free the slaves without bloodshed over a period of time.
Thanks for the invite. I haven't been to Richmond in over 30 years and love the history which surrounds it. It is my goal to visit all the major, and possibly the minor, battle sites of the war. Also would like to see most of those of the Revolutionary war and the War of 1812 too.
Uh, you do realize the Emancipation Proclamation only freed southern slaves. Slavery in the north remained legal.
Good stuff. A history buff! May I suggest you re-apply it to the greatest history Book ever written. You know where I going.......