Lincoln...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Dan, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Abe Lincoln...

    While Lincoln is memorialized for freeing the slaves, and for being the first Republican President, the legends of Abe Lincoln certainly leave out all the bad parts of his Presidency.

    Let's talk about freeing the slaves. They probably taught you in middle/high school that the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Not true at all. To be sure, slavery was the issue that had polarized America since its inception, and was used by savvy Southern politicians to convince their states to secede from the Union. However, not all slave states seceded. Delaware remained in the Union, despite being a slave state. Maryland also stayed in, although this was in part because Lincoln declared martial law there, keeping a convention from meeting that would have absolved Maryland's ties to the Union. Kentucky declared its neutrality in the war - in effect, telling both North and South to stay out of its affairs. So there were slaveholding states on both sides of the conflict.

    Furthermore, Lincoln himself did not use the issue of slavery until he found it to be politically expedient. Many of us have heard the quote that 'if I can maintain the Union by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could maintain the Union by freeing none of the slaves, I would do it' (I paraphrased, by the way - can't remember the exact quote). Not until Lincoln saw that he could persuade Europe to stay out of the war by claiming the moral high ground on slavery did he decide to take the abolitionist stance he is now famous for. And even then, his famous Emancipation Proclamation only applied to slaves in the Confederacy; slaves in Union states were not freed until the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Lincoln's motives for starting the war were circumspect as well. As we discussed, he didn't care about slavery at all in 1860/61. So what started the war?
    At the time, most foreign trade came through Southern ports. And the US collected tariffs from those imports. If the Southern ports were lost, so was a very large income for the US Treasury. This is why Fort Sumter was the first battle of the Civll War. The fort was garrisoned by Northern troops, enforcing the US tarrifs on incoming ships. South Carolina saw this fort as an invasion of its land - an attack on its sovreignity. Thus, the bombardment of Fort Sumter - and the outrage that it caused Lincoln.

    Did he deserve assassination? I think not. But he was not the great guy everyone thinks him to be today.
     
  2. janeeng
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    :clap: :clap: :clap: :D
     
  3. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    Good post, Jeff, but I think nobody's getting the fact that I was joking! I was making fun of the other post that said Bush...Is dumb, or whatever. BTW...

    Yeah, here in the south they don't teach that, LOL. Kinda like German schools don't make mention of the Holocaust I guess.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Yeah, I lived in Texas until I was 13, so I learned all about the "War of Northern Agression!"
     
  5. Batamo
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    While I agree in part to the statement that the civil war was not originally fought to free the slaves, I gotta watch my boy Lincoln's back. Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the Union, which was obviously the wisest and most urgent issue. To fault him for that is just folly. And the manner in which he used his office was brilliance, pure and simple. I won't go into the details because gop_jeff covered those adequately.

    But I do take exception to gop_jeff's final paragraph stating, "Lincoln's motives for starting the war were circumspect as well." History tells us, accurately, that Lincoln did not start the war. As even you have admitted, Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the Union. Thus, logic clearly demonstrates the man most concerned with preserving the Union would not be the same man to proke the South to leave. To quote you again in reference to Lincoln's words, "'if I can maintain the Union by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could maintain the Union by freeing none of the slaves, I would do it". You can't argue he didn't care one way or the other about slavery, and then claim that starting a war over it was his doing.

    As for your single cause of the Civil War, I have two observations. First, the Civil War was obviously not started because of one issue. (which I'm sure you would agree with) And second, on the long line of causes, tarrifs comes in pretty low. And again your logic is a bit faulty. You claim Lincoln started the war, and then explain that he did so to preserve tarrifs. But missing in between is the necessary step of the profits from those tarrifs somehow being cut off. And to do that, one has to pressume the South has ceded from the Union. You can't start a war thats already begun. Lincoln started a war, causing the south to secede, and thereby ending the tarrifs, because he wanted to invade to preserve the tarrifs?

    The bottom line is that Lincoln was the best president ever, and recieves all of the adulation and respect rightfully so. His actions during the civil war are so hightly regarded not because he caused a war, but because he responded to its inevitiability with leadership in an hour when true leadership was needed.
     
  6. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    HEY EVERYBODY, GUESS WHAT.

    IT WAS A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!:blowup:
     
  7. Batamo
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    Batamo Guest

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    As Abe's lawyer, I find your posts slanderous and unsubstantiated... i urge you to cease and desist immediately

    you've been warned

    :p:
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Let me correct myself... Lincoln was wise enough to make the South fire the first shot, therefore giving him the ability to keep the Union together by force. I never said Lincoln was not wise or cunning - he was.

    Again, you are right - there was certainly more than one cause to the Civil War. My point is that tariffs were the spark that ignited the war, and while the issues of state's rights and slavery were certainly huge factors, the motivation to continue collecting tariffs was foremost in Lincoln's mind during the crises of 1860-1861.
    As for your last sentence - the South had already seceded and had quit paying tariffs when Ft. Sumter was taken.

    I wouldn't necessarily say the best president ever. He was a motivational leader, and extremely dedicated to a lofty goal - preservation of the Union - but the means by which he attained that goal were not always so lofty. He suspended civil rights and declared martial law whenever he felt it was needed, and saw himself as the preservor of democracy in the world - even though the South was trying to establish a democracy as well.
     
  9. Batamo
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    Lincoln neither started the war technically, nor indirectly. The growing rift between the north and the south started long before Lincoln was in office, and was reaching a head with or without his presence. Lincoln's goal was not to start the war, but to preserve the Union.

    "I wouldn't necessarily say the best president ever. He was a motivational leader, and extremely dedicated to a lofty goal - preservation of the Union - but the means by which he attained that goal were not always so lofty. He suspended civil rights and declared martial law whenever he felt it was needed, and saw himself as the preservor of democracy in the world - even though the South was trying to establish a democracy as well."
    (how do you keep the previous text in your response?)

    I stand by my statements regarding Lincoln's excellence. He did suspend civil rights and declare martial law when it was needed... but it was necessary. It is in times of great difficulty that great men must rise to the occassion. Lincoln did use force, he did suspend rights, and he was crafty. But he also established peace, returned those rights, and maintained honesty throughout his life. As for the preserving democracy, the north and the south were very distinct, and in many respects co-dependent. The south had a poor transportation system, virtually no factories, and was widely dispersed. The north was unable to produce the raw materials and food necessary to support its populous. It is doubtful either could have existed alone, particularly if there was hostility between them.

    Everyone have a great Thanksgiving, and I'll be back to defend old Honest Abe in a week.
     
  10. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I disagree... the reason that the Southern states started bailing out in 1860 was because a northern Republican (which in those days was synonomous with abolitionist) was just elected president, and the South decided it was time to start looking out for themselves.

    Never said he wasn't crafty... I'm just saying that the means through which he preserved the Union were quite extreme, especially when the South was attempting to form another democracy. In the 1770's, Lincoln would have been labeled a Tory and a monarchist for his tactics.

    You are correct, the economies were very co-dependent at the time. Perhaps they would have realized that they needed each other... perhaps not. I do agree, however, that it was for the best that the two sides reunited.

    Happy T-day, glad to discuss things with you! :D

    BTW - to quote, use the "[" sign, then "quote", then "]". To end a quote, use [/quote].
     

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