The Legend of Lincoln Unchained

Discussion in 'History' started by TruthOut10, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. TruthOut10
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    TruthOut10 Active Member

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    [If The Truth Be Told]

    Still Waiting For the movie "The Real Lincoln"


    While Django Unchained is stirring controversy, Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln, has unchained the Legend of Lincoln to new mythic heights, without due challenge.

    Just as organizations like the NAACP denounced conservative-revisionist textbooks in Texas in 2010, they should denounce liberal-bent historical accounts that either ignorantly or deliberately fail to concede that "Abraham Lincoln did the right thing for the wrong reasons." Or as Lerone Bennett aptly conveyed in the title of his book, Lincoln was in effect – Forced Into Glory .

    Nevertheless, the fictions of Lincoln enrich the commercial and moral value of Americana more than the facts of Lincoln. As Bennett writes, Lincoln "is a national industry involving hundreds of millions of dollars a year" and "the thousands of people who profit materially and the millions who profit psychologically and culturally are not going to stop."

    So what really happened with Lincoln and the Civil War?

    Considering the racism that abounds today, it's inconceivable that three million Whites would fight gung-ho and 600,000 would unselfishly die for a "Black cause" way-back 150 years ago. And if Lincoln factually wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to genuinely "free Africans" after 2½ centuries, its contents would seemingly be more etched into African-American minds.

    But if you ask around, it would be a near-miracle to find anyone, Black academics and leaders included, who can even paraphrase any portion of it, much less clarify its contents. Isn't that strange?

    An unlikely but well-accredited vetting source of the Legend of Lincoln is President Obama himself, who as a senator in a 2005 Time piece remarked: "I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as 'The Great Emancipator' . . . I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a 'Military Document' than a clarion call for justice. Scholars tell us too that Lincoln wasn't immune from political considerations and that his temperament could be indecisive and morose."

    Neither due justice nor the ambiguousness of the real Lincoln can be condensed here, but his "racism" or "limited views on race" as Obama diplomatically cites, is evidenced in a 1858 speech when he candidly said he was not "in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races . . . and I just as much as any other man am in favor of the superior position assigned to the white race."

    Examples of his "crudity" or not being "immune from political considerations" as Obama intimates, is found in his letter to New York Tribune editor, Horace Greely in August 1862 stating: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."

    The following month, the real Lincoln proposed a shrewd Preliminary Proclamation to emancipate Africans in Confederate areas. The caveat though was that Confederate states could retain slavery, providing they complied to return to the Union by January 1, 1863. However, should the war have ended beforehand, the deal would be rescinded and Confederates would lose both the war and slavery.

    In terms of the Emancipation Proclamation being a "military document," Obama is corroborating Lincoln's strategy to employ the document as a war measure to disrupt the South's stability and slave-economy --$4 billion in human capital alone in 1860's dollars-- and offset the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which federally mandated that fugitive Africans be returned or abettors faced treason. It only "theoretically" freed Africans in Confederate states where he lacked enforcement.

    Lastly, the moral notion that Lincoln waged the Civil War "to end slavery" is negated by his swift removal of General John Fremont for "freeing Africans" in Missouri in 1861, expressing: "We didn't go into the war to put down slavery, but to put the flag back . . . for I never should have had votes enough to send me here if the people had supposed I should try to use my power to upset slavery."


    The Legend of Lincoln Unchained
     
  2. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting...

    Then why would Lincoln support the 13th Amendment?

    The war was over, the south was knocking at his door looking for terms. Why would someone who did not care about slavery want to push through a controversial amendment when he could have used the issue to get a quicker southern surrender?
     
  3. paperview
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    As you know, the war wasn't over in January of 1965, but by then the CSA was essentially a shell, it was a patient in the emergency room that had been run over by a freight train, it was bloodied, mangled and close to receiving the Last Rites.

    January of 1865 was when the 13th Amendment was passed in Congress.[​IMG]

    See that signature to the right? That's Lincoln's signature.


    His signature was not required, he nonetheless quite purposefully, and boldly, signed it.
     
  4. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The key to the 13th Amendment was it was passed in a lame duck session of Congress. Lincoln knew he had a short window of opportunity and used his available political capital to pass the amendment.

    Someone who "did not care about slavery" would have let the window expire
     
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  5. paperview
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    The article works from a false premise in that the author says Lincoln "waged war" (first off, war was waged on the Union) - "to end slavery." His primary focus in the first two years was keeping the Union together and preventing its expansion. (I know you know this, this is more for the other readers than you, as you are quite adept in CW history).

    Though he was elected as an anti-slavery President, and the South knew he was a foe of the slaveholders, he was pragmatic and understood in order to abolish slavery legally would require a Constitutional Amendment, something that seemed unlikely for a time to come at the beginning of the war. The war though, became its own fireball, bringing on something he was then, halfway through, able to take the reigns of with more confidence.

    As far as the "short window" you speak of, the National Union, that is, the Republican Party, had won an overwhelming victory in the 1864 elections.

    The platform explicitly called for a Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery. Lincoln took an active roll in making sure that Amendment was part of that platform, hence another joust in the flawed "he didn't care about slavery" argument.
    He had the full momentum, finally, at that point.

    The next Congress going in had an anti-slavery super-majority in both houses. It most surely would have passed immediately. (as it was the vote was 119 to 56 in the House).

    Lincoln had a mandate now, and he used it to his utmost advantage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  6. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    The South waged the war to keep slavery. The Union fought the war to keep the South as part of the USA. Freeing the slaves was a bonus.
     
  7. paperview
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    As far as the Fremont matter, it was more one of Fremont's insubordination and mismanagement. Gen. Fremont could not just up and call for the emancipation of slaves in Missouri like that. It was not legitimate. That's not how it would be done.

    Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Emancipation Proclamation. - Abraham Lincoln

    Indeed, upon recall of Fremont and his reversal of the order, Lincoln finished that last sentence with this:

    “...the powder in this bombshell will keep dry and when the fuse is lit, I intend to have them touch it off themselves.”
     
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    One other point on the OP premise. The author brings up Lerone Bennett's Forced Into Glory, and describes his analysis as apt. Forced is a poorly researched book and many history scholars have panned it because it is fraught with errors and is no where near a comprehensive expose of Lincoln's evolution on the matter of slavery.

    One review of the book adds some dimension, as well as including an incident that rebuffs the Colonization barkers (which we see a lot of here) who think Lincolns plan was to pack em all off and ship them off, as well as providing more proof, he did indeed care -- and that support systems regarding the newly freed was essential.
    "Forced into Glory" Book Review by Edward Steers, Jr.
     
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    And a little more on the EP, from the above review:

     
  10. Votto
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    The Lincoln Cult's Latest Cover-Up by Thomas DiLorenzo

    Lincoln offered to make slavery a Constitutional right right after the Southern States seceded. All the Southern states had to do was to come back to the union. They declined and so Lincoln picked a war with them sending union troops into harms way as some idiot Southerner fired at them. It was all the power hungry Lincoln needed to justify a war and take back the South for the Union.

    Over half a million dead Americans later all is well with the world!! :)
     

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