“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to stop the Ocean and crush us with one blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer . . .
” . . . if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” – President Abraham Lincoln in A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln
On rare occasions, a great American speaks an astounding, timeless truth to those who would be free. It is up to us to act on it.
“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.
OK I’m ready, if Hillary becomes president let’s do it. I’d rather die a freeman than live a slave.
Damn, I want to buy that book but I’m not giving Sydney Blumenthal my money.
On one hand, he wantonly disregarded the rule of law in order to accomplish his goals. On the other, his goal was to keep the United States from imploding.
Either way, great quote, better without the parenthetical.
All we need to know is that a group of states had initially willingly joined a union of states that benefitted them at the time. Then, those same states peacefully withdrew from said union when they saw that it no longer served them. Lincoln, with mass slaughter, starvation and death; violently kept them from doing so.
What Lincoln proved is that might makes right ,and that the winner gets to right the history books.
Much like the Defiance league during the time of the Greek city states, with Athens using their superior navy to violently keep those Greek city States from leaving the league when they no longer wanted to be part of said keague.
Autocorrect!! Delian League; although “Defiance League” is not far from the mark.
You should brush up on your history. The South fired the first shots at Fort Sumter. Lincoln was reluctant to start the war but the Confederacy made that decision for him.
I think you are missing the point: WHY did Lincoln even CONSIDER going to war over secession?
The CSA wanted out. There’s nothing in the Constitution about LEAVING the Union…so, by invoking the 10th Amendment, one is forced to include the Federal Government has no constitutional basis to block ANY state from seceding at any time.
The South fired at Ft. Sumter only when “peaceful means” were denied. Lincoln had made it clear he WOULD go to war to keep the Union together, and secession, even talking about it, was tantamount to an act of war.
Sumter was South Carolina’s property, if the US assumed control of an area and a foreign power had a military base on it, would the US allow them to stay and be fortified? Lincoln was told by half of his cabinet not to provoke South Carolina. He wanted the south to stay in the union, no matter the cost.
Like he said, the winner writes the history books. There are different accounts.
Sure on its face your statement is marginally true.
Lincoln failed to turn over the fort as requested by the Confederacy. He then decided to try and land troops and supplies at the fort, tantamount to an invasion of a sovereign state.
Lincolns actions, not the Confederacy response, started the war.
Like I said. The winner gets to write the history books. When the southern states seceded, they wanted the northern controlled Fort Sumpter (that was in command of an important southern port) to be turned over to southern control, which Lincoln refused to do.
So Lincoln, in refusing to acknowledge, at that time which was not unconstitutional, for the southern states right to secede, could be said to have instigated the Civil War, and the greatest amount of blood shed by fellow Americans, by refusing to relinquish control of the Fort.
Not that Lincoln didn’t bear some responsibility for the war, but the secession was hardly a ‘peaceful withdrawal’. In any secession issues like the Ft. Sumter one have to be negotiated. The South demanded the immediate, unconstitutional surrender of the fort and Lincoln refused. The South laid siege to the fort and eventually bombarded it, forcing Lincoln to withdraw.
Bear in mind that the South had no patience for negotiation. South Carolina seceded the minute Lincoln was elected and the other states soon followed. Why? Not because Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery but because he wanted to stop it’s expansion. The South fought, killed and died to preserve their ability to enslave their fellow man. It’s kind of a stretch to assign them the moral high ground in the conflict.
Fort Sumter was attacked because the Federal government sent a reinforcement flotilla to the Fort. It was within a few days of arriving. Perhaps it was a strategic mistake to fire the first shot, but tactically there was little choice.
everything you wrote is wrong.
You say that “secession was hardly a peaceful withdrawal” and that “South had no patience for negotiation”. Neither of these statements are true. South Carolina seceded on June 20, 1860 it wasn’t until April 12th, 1861 that fighting commenced. That is a period of 113 days that South Carolina attempted to peacefully negotiate for federal troops to surrender the Fort Sumter.
You say that “In any secession issues like the Ft. Sumter one have to be negotiated. The South demanded the immediate, unconstitutional surrender of the fort”. You seem to be under the false impression that federal troops had occupied Fort Sumter before South Carolina seceded. In fact it was 6 days after S.C. seceded that Major Robert Anderson ordered his troops to abandon Fort Moultrie and to occupy Fort Sumter, he did this without orders from his superiors. So you could honestly say that a rogue federal officer occupied a fort controlling a major harbor in another country. Then despite four months of negotiations where S.C. requested that they leave the Fort the Union still refused. And then Lincoln sent an invasion force to reinforce the fort. Why? Because Lincoln wanted a war.
It was December 20, 1860 that South Carolina seceded, not June. Anderson abandoned Ft. Moultrie because it was indefensible and fled to Ft. Sumter out of fear of an eminent attack by S. Carolina militia. The fort was still incomplete but was already occupied by federal troops. You can call it ‘negotiation’ but the demands to surrender the fort were not even made to Lincoln since he didn’t take office until March 4, 1861. Prior to that James Buchanan was president. The first shots of the war happened on January 9, 1861 when an attempt to reinforce the fort was repelled when cadets from the Citadel opened fire on the supply ship. Again, this is nearly two months before Lincoln even took the oath of office. By that time war was inevitable whether Lincoln wanted it or not.
A typo on my part I meant December not June, which is obvious from the number of days I cited.
The battle of Fort Sumter took place from April 12-13, 1861, over a month after Lincoln was in office. It was instigated by the arrival of an invasion fleet sent by Lincoln.
The real controversy here is whether secession is legal as the south maintained or whether secession is not legal as Lincoln claimed. For an answer to this question I would refer to the U.S. Constitution.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Obviously states had the right to secede and Lincoln ordered an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation instigating a war of conquest.
To clarify, the Battle of Fort Sumter occurred when Lincoln tried to resupply the fort. However the first shots of the war were perpetrated by the South three months earlier when President Buchanan tried to resupply the fort – two months before Lincoln became president.
As to the constitutionality of secession, the Constitution doesn’t directly address it. However, it takes an act of Congress for a new state to be accepted into the union, it should therefore be required for the secession of a state. The tenth amendment doesn’t apply since admitting states is constitutionally a federal issue.
The existence of a pre existing fort held by a foreign state is not a cause for war. We still have a fort at Guantanamo in Cuba, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that old Fidel has never liked that one bit. He has however refrained from bombarding the fort. Had the South shown such rationality things would have turned out much differently.
As you say the Constitution does not directly address the subject of secession. It neither proscribes a method for secession or bars the act of secession. However, as I have already pointed out the 10th amendment states that the powers not delegated to the federal government, nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states or to the people. The power to allow or bar secession are not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Therefore the power to secede resides with the states or the people
The existence of a fort in your country occupied by foreign troops is known as an invasion and occupation of a sovereign states territory. Invasion and occupation of your territory is an obvious cause to go to war.
The naval station at Guantanamo bay is land that is leased from Cuba according to a 1903 lease agreement. The U.S. pays a $4,085 lease payment annually for the right to use that land. In no way is occupying a fort in a foreign country without there permission comparable to maintaining a naval base in a foreign country per terms of a mutually agreed upon lease agreement.
BTW, Castro hasn’t cashed a single one of those checks yet. The Guantanamo situation is exactly the same as the Fort Sumter situation. In both cases the the forts existed in the hands of US troops before the respective countries came into existence. In the Ft. Sumter case the Confederacy used it as a pretext for war in the Guantanamo case Castro had enough sense to let it go. The only difference is that the US had a lease for Guantanamo since it was already a foreign base whereas Ft. Sumter was US territory from day one.
Clearly secession was not something the founding fathers conceived and therefore no provision for secession was provided for in the Constitution. However, there were two ways to go about seceding. Look at it this way, what if Texas was bound and determined to leave the union? Don’t they have to take responsibility for their share of the national debt? Don’t you think the rest of the US is going to want their military assets back? I’m guessing there’s a few nuclear weapons in Texas, don’t you think that stealing our nuclear weaponry is a cause for war? The proper way is to petition the congress to negotiate terms for the withdrawal from the union. Declaring Texas independent and laying siege to Ft. Hood would be tantamount to a declaration of war with the US. In the case of the Confederacy they went the latter route with predictable results.
Actually the Cuban government under Castro did cash one check in 1959 claiming “confusion”. However, since the U.S. is living up to the terms of the lease it is not really relevant whether Cuba chooses to cash the checks.
Of course secession was something the founders conceived of, they had just fought a war for their right to secede from England. Here are some of their statements.
“If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation…
to a continuance in union… I have no hesitation in saying,
‘let us separate.’ ” – Thomas Jefferson
“Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution.” -James Madison, Federalist No. 3
At the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made to allow the Federal Government to suppress a seceding state, but that proposal was rejected after James Madison said…
“A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State, would look more like a declaration of war, than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”
Even Abraham Lincoln acknowledged the state’s right to secede:
“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.”
Abraham Lincoln, January 12, 1848
The idea that states would ratify the new Constitution and join it without the power to leave is absurd. They had just experienced the articles of confederation and the weak government it created. They were not about to perpetually bind themselves to this new government and it’s new experimental Constitution.
If Texas was to secede it would have no part in the U.S. federal debt as that would belong to another nation. If Texas seceded and federal troops refused to leave Fort Hood then that would constitute and act of war by the U.S. on texas.
You only need to consult the U.S. Constitution to confirm this.
Article 1, section 8, clause 17
“To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And”
The operative words here are “by the consent of the legislature of the state”. The authority that the U.S. government exercises over needful building is contingent upon the consent of the state where they reside. If the consent is removed then the federal government no longer can exercise authority upon it. South Carolina had clearly removed any and all consent for the federal government to occupy Fort Sumter. And they had given them plenty of time to leave in peace. The Union chose instead to ignore the Constitution and occupy and invade South Carolina starting with Fort Sumter.
Further more if that was not the case then the federal government still wouldn’t have had authority over Fort Sumter based on the 1805 agreement between South Carolina and the federal government for its use. Here is that agreement.
“That, if the United States shall not, within three years from the passing of this act, and notification thereof by the governor of this State to the Executive of the United States, repair the fortifications now existing thereon, or build such other forts or fortifications as may be deemed most expedient by the Executive of the United States on the same, and keep a garrison or garrisons therein, in such case this grant or cession shall be void and of no effect.”- Statutes at Large, Volume V, p. 501
The federal government was legally bound by this agreement. It is indisputable that by 1861 Fort Sumter had never been completed. Its construction had been abandoned in the 1820s, nor had there ever been any federal garrison assigned to it. By the end of 1808 the federal government had’t fulfilled any of the conditions agreed upon. This means that the federal government could not have any claim of authority over the fort.
Why should anyone take serious enough to listen to or even respond to the ramblings of disinformation and revisionist history from a person who decides to take the name of a dufus character of the comedy movie “Blazing Saddles”?
I often wonder how history might have been rewritten if the Confederate States of America had prevailed and established their own nation. Would they have written a constitution that could stand the test of time, as ours has (so far)? Would they still be enslaving black people and trading them as property?
Would we have prevailed in a couple of world wars? Let’s not forget that the military juggernaut of the United States was made possible by combining the natural resources of the south with the industrial power of the north.
In trying to understand the perpetual bitterness toward Abe Lincoln, I realize that the freedom-hating, statist agenda that is leading our nation toward hell is mostly coming from states north of the Mason-Dixon line. I also realize that many of the southern states in 1860 had robust economies based on slave-supported cotton production, and not much else. For them to build an entire nation on that foundation seems precarious, especially when we remember what the boll weevil did to cotton production in the 1920s.
No only precarious, but they Southern plantation owners knew slavery was on the way out anyway. The Civil War may have accelerated the decline by 10-20 years, but that’s about it.
The slave trade had already been made illegal, and no nation that has ever abolished the slave trade has had slavery last longer than about 50 years. Sure, the CSA could have written legal slave trading into their country, but, the morality of slavery had become questionable and someone had to buy the textiles produced in the South for them to have an economy.
That’s one of the dirty little secrets about the Civil War people don’t like to talk about. It was an economic war far more than it was about ‘slavery’ per se. The North (and Europe) liked the cheap raw materials produced in the South…not unlike how contemporary Americans like cheap produce all the while whinging about “migrant pickers” and the like.
Here’s the dilemma the Southern plantation owners faced: slavery was on the way out so production was going to get more expensive, the buyers of their product liked the low costs, how to survive economically if production costs skyrocket?
There were other countries around the world at that time that allowed slavery, virtually all of them disbanded slavery prior to 1900 without a bloody and costly war. I have little doubt that given the technological advances and economic necessities the same would have been said of the CSA.
As far as WWI, perhaps if the US government wasn’t a powerhouse, perhaps England would have come to a earlier peace with Germany instead of insisting on Germany pay the entirety for the war. This may have ended the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, as well as the revolutions in Russia (Germany had released Lennon from prison to reek havoc in Russia) that unleashed large scale communism into the world.
This is how I see it, but events are difficult to forecast, but I err on the side of liberty and peace instead of coercion and force.
Sorry, this one bugs me.. its (Vladmir) Lenin, not (John) Lennon
The Southern states very much saw their own secession as being over the issue of slavery specifically – their declarations of secession openly state that as the primary reason.
The fact that CSA Constitution included some very specific pro-slavery provisions, such as the one with respect to newly admitted states, also indicates that they intended to keep things running that way for as long as they could.
And they had no shortage of intellectual elites that believed slavery to be God-ordained and natural, and thus perfectly morally justified. They had to rehash a lot of the original Enlightenment philosophy that underlined the creation of US to get there, as well. For example, William Porcher Miles – otherwise known as the author of the Confederate battle flag – denied that natural rights are a thing, and believed that liberty was an “acquired privilege” that was determined largely at birth – i.e. that some were born to be slaves. So, next time you drape that flag somewhere, keep in mind what its very creator believed it stands for.
Slavery was the prime reason to secede for the CSA. For the Union, however, slavery, or abolition, were a minor issue for at least the first two years of the war. It became a banner issue only when the Union was desperately looking for propaganda to bolster its cause, which was entirely economic. Yes, there were abolitionists in the Union camp, for whom this was the prime issue, but not for Lincoln, or the Congress. Lincoln’s well known speech on the subject proves it, as well as the fact that DC, MD and MO were Union states or territories and kept slavery until after the war. Today’s school curricula that the Civil War was all about slavery is just another form of Soviet revisionism.
Lincoln’s actions, in ignoring the Constitution and violating almost all of the Bill of Rights, have sawn the seeds of the tyrannical and illligitimate central government, disallusion of personal freedoms and erosion of the foundation of the United States. By his expedient act of preserving the Union at the time, he had set the foundation for its destruction.
Yep. Lincoln set the precedent of the abuse of Federal power during a “crisis” that I believe allowed Roosevelt the incredible abuse of the constituon during the great depression and accelerated the growth of the federal government.
whimper, whine, bawl, make up excuses, say silly things about the south rising again….
you still lost. got your butt whupped. bit the dust. down for the count. and it ain’t gonna change
You prove my point explainist. It matters not if a person, state or a collection of states were within their constitutional rights to secede. They didn’t the have the industrial base to defend that right from a brutal authoritarian tyrant that violated the constitution he was supposedly “defending”.
In the end, the only G-d given right to freedom that a person has is what they can depend with their life, and arms, (hopefully with enough comrades in arms) from those that desire to enslave them.
You whipped you own butt. You think we are in different boats? We are in the same boat buddy.
Imagine you are ship wrecked on an island with 6 other people. A leader emerges and sets down some rules. You say, “it’s been fun hanging out with you guys, but I’m just going to go my own way. I really no longer want to take part in your little group, I don’t want to force anything on you and I don’t want you to force anything on me – so I’m just going to go. I’ll go live in the corner of the island over there.” Leader of the group says, “let’s make a vote, who says this guy can leave?” Nobody votes in your favor.
Congratulations, get back in line, and do what you are told. And you do – and then another guy of your party on the island ridicules you and says you got your “butt whupped.”
Hopefully you can understand this analogy.
Well, one thing that’s beyond dispute when discussing the War of Northern Aggression is the Rebels were better fighters, with better leaders, despite being out manned, out-gunned, and out-equipped. Better shots, and just plain ol’ tougher. Read Sam Gwynne’s “Rebel Yell,” Stonewall Jackson kicked serious Yankee ass.
Anonymous, your shipwreck analogy doesn’t hold up. The man wanting to seperate himself wasn’t forcing at gun point any of his fellow castaways to go with him and serve as his slave.
The analogy wasn’t for then, it was for today.
You conveniently omit the fact that said states violently kept a significant proportion of their own population (in some cases, an outright majority even) from exercising their political rights – such as, say, electing legislatures that would strive to remain in the Union.
You seem to be basing the concept of a republic on allowing every person within it to vote. There is no requirement for that and, I would argue, no go reason for that as well. Politics is as serious of a business as medicine or engineering – would you want every and any person in the society to perform an operation on you or to design a bridge? Why would you want unqualified people to determine the direction of the country and enforce their unqualified views onto others? Today’s result should be a clear demonstration of unqualified, low information voters imposing their will upon others.
There is a requirement for that, unless you want oligarchy or tyranny.
There are valid reasons to deny people the right to vote – I’m not opposed to, say, a certain bar with respect to education or general knowledge (although if the state imposes such requirements, it should also be obligated to provide said education for free to anyone who is willing and physically capable of receiving it). But a blanket restriction on the basis of race or any other clearly irrelevant trait, or even worse, on one’s status as free or non-free (and the fact that the distinction even exists), are an instant disqualification.
Thus, a society that permits such cannot be considered free, and therefore does not possess any legal rights or moral entitlements of a free society – including the right to secession and to political self-determination (because it does not meaningfully speak on behalf of all those it governs, and so it cannot “self-determine” on their behalf).
As in my previous reply, you are judging past events by today’s standards.
I replied to that at length in another comment. But actually, why does it even matter? Yes, when I am judging something, I’m going to judge it by my standards – that’s the whole point of moral judgment! Legalities are another matter altogether (and to anyone who is a stickler for legalism, I ask: do you also believe Founders were traitors who should have been hanged?). Insofar as we’re judging who was right and who was wrong today, we should be using the moral standards that we have today. Yes, it’s “unfair”, benefit of hindsight and so on and so forth. It’s also the only way for the judgment to actually be applicable to matters at hand, and not just be an exercise in mental masturbation.
If you judge the past by today’s standards, you will totally distort history. For example, was slavery wrong? Doesn’t the answer depend on “when”? At the dawn of human history, when mankind (oh, sorry, the PC version – peoplekind) replaced cannibalism with slavery for the simple reason that humans have progressed enough to make it economically effective to keep a captive alive as opposed to eating him, wasn’t that a humane revolution? Or should mankind have been progressive enough 100,000 years ago to instantly place that captive on welfare? And who is to say that sometime from now, we ourselves will be judged not just for butchering and eating that deer, or the cow, but that head of lettuce that I mercilessly chopped by today?
You don’t distort history if you treat “right” and “wrong” as a scale rather than binary. Was slavery wrong? Yes. Is slavery better than genocide? Sure. Were abolitionists right? Of course, since they wanted to move on the scale from “more wrong” to “less wrong”. This is also the answer to the usual “Lincoln was a racist” charge – he was, yes, and that was wrong, yes, but his position was less wrong than that which he was fighting against, so his net contribution was to the benefit of humanity.
And the purpose of rendering such judgment is not to say how things should have been, and castigate those past for not doing the right thing. It’s to chart the course ahead. You know, that whole adage about knowing your history – well, it’s incomplete. Merely knowing your history doesn’t help you, if you’re unwilling to judge its mistakes. Look at this very thread – all the people who suck up to CSA don’t do it out of some sense of historical justice. They do it because it is a roundabout justification for their actions here and now.
And yes, we will, of course, be similarly judged by the next generations (and I would be extremely disappointed if they were to refuse to do so). I’m fine with that. If my great-grandkids will consider me a bigot, that’s a good thing – it means that society has advanced further.
Poor habeas, we knew him not. I believe he’s speaking of you all, gun toters. He’ll give you guns, just join his militia and fight and die for his cause. Otherwise hand them over and be falsely imprisoned.
There will be no rules of engagement.
There will be ROE, just more for us than .gov.
Thank you for that link. That is a fascinating piece that articulates many of my feelings and beliefs!
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.
So said the author of destruction and finisher of this once great republic of based in freedom.
“based in freedom”*
*except for slaves
I would greatly recommend this read:
The end result of the civil war was excellent – for the abolishment of slavery. But certainly was not, for those proponents of federalism, and the freedom to govern themselves.
You can’t decouple the issue of slavery from “the freedom to govern themselves”. It’s meaningless to say that US was a “better” republic before the Civil War, except for that whole slavery thing – slavery is fundamentally antithetical to republicanism (and slavers knew it, which is why, once things got really heated, they have started to reject a lot of basic premises on which American republicanism was built, such as that whole “all men are created equal” thing).
Hell, given that two Confederate states had the majority of their population being slaves, how could they be anything other than tyrannies? And if they were tyrannies, why do you care about the tyrants’ “freedom to govern themselves”?
The concept of a Republic, indeed the word itself, comes from Greek city-states that created it. They are considered to be the definition of individual rights (in an organized society); yet they all had slaves. I would postulate that equality for all is not a requirement for either individual freedom or a republic.
The concept of the republic changed over time. Given the emphasis on individual freedoms and liberties in the Declaration of Independence and other documents from that time, it’s clear what the true republicans among the Founders had in mind – and that it wasn’t really compatible with slavery. Indeed, many of the Founders themselves noted that there is an obvious contradiction between “created equal” and the concept of natural rights, and slavery, and the only way to resolve that contradiction is to either get rid of slavery, or surrender the equal natural rights theory (as Southern intelligentsia eventually did during the war).
Yes, I agree that the Declaration of Independence and slavery do not appear to be compatible – to us. At the time, it seems that they were. Both, the individual rights and slavery were prominent issues in 1776 and could not have been either overlooked or in any way kept in separate corners. Thus, they seemed to have accepted the co-existence of the two concepts. Some 50 years later, Texas rose against the Mexican government, citing individual rights, liberties and slavery as basic to human existence. My point being is that we should not judge history from today’s perch, but try to understand the rationale and the thinking of the time.
>> At the time, it seems that they were.
But that’s plainly not the case. If you look at all the things that were written back then, there are numerous mentions of that incompatibility (some founders even went so far as to correctly deduce that the slavery issue will be the next big stumbling block for the Union, because it contradicts the fundamental precepts on which the country was ostensibly created).
Also, to remind, the original draft of the Declaration (by Jefferson) that specifically addressed slavery, as follows:
“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”
Note how it specifically ties this into “life and liberty” from the beginning of the Declaration, too. The paragraph was removed at the insistence of the slave states, of course.
Later, when abolitionism was in full swing – but still before the war – the Declaration was considered by its proponents to be one of the two most important documents supporting their cause (the other being the Bible). Here’s Lincoln in 1854:
“Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a “sacred right of self-government. …Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. …Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. …If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union: but we shall have saved it, as to make, and keep it, forever worthy of the saving”
On the other hand, by the time of the Civil War, many slavery proponents were rejecting the Declaration outright, precisely because (even) they saw it as incompatible with slavery. For example, John Pettit (senator of Indiana), when arguing in favor of allowing slavery in Kansas in 1854, said that “all men are created equal” is “not a self-evident truth, but is nothing more to me than a self-evident lie”. Calhoun dispensed with natural / God-given rights as expressed in the Declaration altogether, and claimed that all rights are granted, and that an orderly arrangement of society requires for there to be a class of citizens with political rights, and a subservient class without.
There was even judicial action that interpreted “all men are created equal” as directly opposing slavery long before Lincoln. In particular, in Massachusetts, a very similar provision was written directly into the state Constitution (and thus, unlike the phrasing of the Declaration, had force of law):
“Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”
And in 1783, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that this wording has effectively prohibited slavery in the state: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_v._Jennison
So, no. I don’t think it is accurate to say that this is just our modern reinterpretation of things, and there was other sort of consensus back then. It was very much a debate already by the time US became independent.
Not disagreeing with this – or really anything else you said. Did you read the link I provided? I thought it very insightful.
When individual states are taking the rights of the people within them – sure, people seek to remedy the situation with federal laws. But when federal laws are taking rights from people within the states, then people tend to wish for more state’s rights, and the freedom for states to govern themselves.
If suspending the rule of law, turning brother against brother and sacking half of your own nation is what it takes to keep it together maybe it shouldn’t be together?
This notion of keeping America united at all costs because ‘merica! is absurd.
Consolidation of power and homogeneity is not what’s good for personal liberty. Certainly not while everybody in the power structure is an authoritarian.
The notion we’d be instantly invaded if the South left was proven to be bunk after the war broke out, and there was nothing stopping the future re-integration of the South after the dying practice of slavery was gone, so long as the North would grant them productive representation in the federal government. But no, the North got what they wanted by destroying the ‘critical’ Southern economy, siezing huge values of property, and imposing direct federal control of local cities/states for a century.
“there was nothing stopping the future re-integration of the South after the dying practice of slavery was gone, so long as the North would grant them productive representation in the federal government. “
I got into a bit of a debate on this with someone a few years ago. That person claimed if Lincoln had allowed secession, it would have destroyed BOTH nations…(USA and CSA); neither could have survived separately.
I tried to make this exact point to him…nothing would have stopped re-integration of the CSA back into the Union after a softer economic landing than just destruction of their entire economic base. The southern states would have adapted to the ‘new order’ without slavery; it just would have taken some time.
Seems messy, but freedom is that way…it gets messy sometimes. Lincoln’s commitment to “The Union” over “Freedom” has sewn long term badness for the US far too many are only now realizing.
Lincoln and the Founders who shared this opinion understood the dark side of human nature; the desire for power and control, greed, and the ease with which man will trade their freedom for a promise of security. Today, we see these truths on display as demagogues such as Obama and Clinton promise the moon to millions of voters as they seize more and more power from these same people. We see career politicians accepting bribes in the form of campaign contributions in exchange for favorable legislation that enriches their crony contributors and contributes to a 19 trillion dollar debt.. And, unfortunately, we see millions of Americans who take their liberty for granted as though it was not bought and paid for by patriots’ blood. This republic will not survive unless we immediately change the course we’re on and return to the founding principles. It’s just that simple.
You are giving them too much credit. They hate their liberties and can’t get rid of them fast enough because particular people have convinced them that their liberties are causing too much blood.
The Tree of Freedom has died at the roots, the limbs are falling, the trunk will follow. We all will soon be equal, equally poor, equally hungry, equally uneducated, equally defenseless, equal prey for predators that know no law. We will have done it to ourselves.
All true except we have not done it to ourselves.
The majority did it to us – because they know best. They voted for it – between an episode of the kardashians and surfing huffpo and the dailykos.
Outside a 2 party system, a true democracy is a purer form of government, and far less susceptible to corruption than our elected representative government.
The majority has never been the problem. Its really who gets to vote that is the problem.
…more timeless truth that is almost forgotten. Antipathy to freedom, apathy to lost freedom…
Citizens can solve our countries problems, but first they have to solve their own problem of self doubt. Shrug off the temptation of low expectations from the .gov soft-bigotry. If the welfare state actually worked for a paycheck, liberalism/globalism would die on the vine
Sic semper tyrannis
A shame Lincoln wasn’t smothered in his crib. He takes the top spot for worst US president.
Sorry, that would be FDR hands down. The country wouldn’t be headed for welfare-state implosion without that turd.
I think you may be slighting the contributions of Woodrow Wilson somewhat, but I’m with you. FDR clearly earned his place in the leftist pantheon.
FDR’s little acolyte LBJ may have wrought more destruction than FDR, or at least come a very close second, but you’re right. FDR started us on this path in a major way, enough to make him our worst president.
Yes, but without Lincoln abolishing the 10th amendment without a vote, FDR most likely wouldn’t have been able to cram his Raw Deal up our ass. Roughly 70 years of state’s rights being nonexistent had already passed before FDR came to power. It’s hard call to for me to pick which one is worse (Lincoln or FDR).
Don’t forget his aggressive action toward the Supreme Court at the time. The 9 saw his “deals” as unconstitutional, so with a congress behind him he proposed legislation to increase the number of Supreme Court members with additional members of course, appointed by him, so the verdict would be changed – just another tyrant ramroding his opinions down everyone’s throat.
“take a drink form the Ohio”
Wow, even Lincoln misspelled words!
I like how you can tell which commenters here are from the South.
Don’t forsake the message because you don’t like the messenger, boys.
I am not from the South; I don’t like Lincoln because of his un-Constitutional actions, not geography.
Yep, Peter, the lefty appears with no intelligent rebuttal. You’re acting just like a monkey in the zoo throwing your own feces at the spectators.
Oh, a side note. No one told me the Bay Area in California where I was born and raised is considered part of the southern states.
So sayeth the greatest constitutional usurper of American history. He died as all despots should, with a bullet in his brain.
Most southerners at the time were mortified when they heard of Lincoln’s death. They knew Lincoln was advocating for peaceful reunification and reconstruction while others in the U.S. government wanted to hunt down and hang every Confederate officer they could find.
John Wilkes Booth believed he would be hailed as a hero in the south. He was wrong.
Booth was a hero though. He killed a tyrant who murder half a million Americans.
He did not start the war, that is on the South. And frankly I’ve never seen the downside of fighting treason simply because it was treason by a group of Southerner political leaders rather than say a group of rebellious Revolutionary War veterans like George Washington did.
Nope, your history is wrong. He sent troops into a sovereign nation (the South had already seceded) and they defended themselves against an invading force. It’s equivalent to if the EU sent troops into the UK after the Brexit vote – if the UK defended themselves, they wouldn’t be the ones starting the war, it would be the EU.
In Brexit vote, the entire population of UK voted.
In southern state secessions, legislatures voted. And those legislatures were elected by white male citizens only. If slaves in those states were actually allowed to vote, do you think they would have seceded?
And the south attempted to annex Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri. All pro-northern states.
He was not a hero because “assassination” was of poor taste.
When my proud Connecticut Yankee grandparents studied the Civil War in high school, all angles were covered. Suspension of Habeus Corpus and silencing anti-war news outlets were taught as gross missteps. Conscription on both sides was just as tragic as the terrible casualties. There was, of course, a bit of northern bias, but the whole war was taught as a national tragedy and somber lesson to be learned from.
All that went out the window once the SJW’s took control of the education system. Now, any action by the north, no matter how unconstitutional, is acceptable because the war was “about slavery.” It’a the typical progressive “ends justifies the means” mentality in action. And all those poor as dirt southern boys who couldn’t possibly afford to buy a slave, let alone purchase their way out of the draft? They’re apparently guilty too.
Sorry Lincoln is #1 in my book. WE as a nation would not exist if the chattel slave owning south had prevailed. And the south fired on federal troops-how should Lincoln have responded to treason? Yeah all about owning people-read every CSA state constitution. Too bad the vast #’s of rural southerners supported the landowners…oh yeah MY ancestors fought and died for the north.
Your history is off. Lincoln order troops into a foreign country without cause, then played the victim when the Confederates defended themselves. People like you love to spout off about “saving the union”, but when he obliterated the Constitution to do it, what did he actually save? The Federal government ignoring the 10th amendment and wanting to make all laws at the federal level is a direct result of Lincoln’s actions.
Except the Union troops were already there and had taken fire before Lincoln was sworn in as president. For that matter the troops were there before South Carolina seceded.
Check this out:
The war wasn’t about slavery. And the people of the south wished to peacefully exit the union. It was the north that wanted to fight about that.
Anybody can find “racist” quotes from anyone who ever said anything in the mid-1800s. You can’t expect people who lived 150 years ago to conform to our expectations of language and behavior.
Anonymous, the war may not have just been about slavery, but the right to own slaves was very much at the top of the list. That’s not according to “history”, that’s according to confederate states themselves. Several states, such Alabama, Virginia, and Texas, even wrote that they would be joining the other “slave owning states”, in their brief articles of secession.
I think that is fair, but keep in mind, at the peak of slave ownership in the south, only 6% owned slaves. Even 28% of free blacks owned slaves. Slavery was an issue – for sure, but I would think for 94% of the population that didn’t own any slaves in the south, principle played a role.
I agree with your point about a low percentage of the population being slave owners. By the time of the Civil War, only the rich owned slaves. But then, as now, they controlled the agenda. It didn’t take a large percentage of the population to own slaves for it to be about slavery. It just took a large percentage of the rich and powerful to own slaves for it to be about slavery.
The best example of your point is Texas itself, where almost no one owned slaves. There were only a very few plantations, and the majority of the manual labor throughout the state was done by whites (and Mexicans were considered whites). And yet, Texas voted to join the Confederacy, against the popular opinion of the vast, vast majority of Texans. If you visit the Capitol in Austin, you’ll see that most of the legislators that supported succession were not from Texas, but were from, and still had land in, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, states with a much higher percentage of slaves. Their votes were in line with their pocket books, not any kind of ideal of liberty or state’s rights. Again, much as it is now.
The Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836 was very specific and firm on slave ownership. It was considered to be part of Texan natural and God-given lands and rights.
Just so wrong, the South did not fight for slavery, they fought for a limited federal government and States rights. How anyone can claim the war was over slavery when less than 2% of southerners owned slaves, while at least that many owned them in the North proves they are a victim of the publik skool system and the victors writing the history books.
Sure Bill, the southern states all seceded and formed another union as soon as a politician from the new abolitionist Republican party was elected president, but it didn’t have anything to do with his abolitionist views. Got it.
“Just so wrong, the South did not fight for slavery, they fought for a limited federal government and States rights. How anyone can claim the war was over slavery”
Why don’t you ask that question of Mississippi legislators who have signed the document titled “A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union”, which contained the following words:
“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.”
(Or Georgia. Or South Carolina. Or Texas.)
I am sorry that you have been misinformed about the Civil War and its causes. However, if you still happen to believe that Lincoln’s mission, as well as that of the North, was to liberate the slaves, ask yourself – why were DC, MD, MO and some other places under Union control continued to have slavery until after the end of the war? Even when soldiers from those states fought, died and killed, under the banner of anti-slavery!
Our downfall will be that so few Americans today have any understanding of FREEDOM or LIBERTY. Who will fight to preserve what the do not even recognize ?
Exactly. The powers that be are playing chess with a mentally challenged chimpanzee, and are always a dozen moves ahead.
Wow, the irony is astounding seeing how Lincoln used the Constitution as toilet paper and killed half a million Americans in his quest to increase the power of the Federal government.
Wait. Are you counting Confederate soldiers as “Americans?”
Union Army fatalities ran around 390,000.
Confederate fatalities were around 290,000.
So, either way, your math is off.
“Wait. Are you counting Confederate soldiers as “Americans?””
They were Americans on both sides. Besides, according to people like you, the South had no right to peacefully leave and thus were still US citizens.
Unless you’re idea of being free is going your own way without doing what we say, then you can STFU and do what we tell you to do. (I.E. How dare you think for one second that your state can exit from this Union!).
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.” – Lincoln
And this is another from Lincoln:
“Our republican system was meant for a homogeneous people. As long as blacks continue to live with the whites they constitute a threat to the national life. Family life may also collapse and the increase of mixed breed bastards may some day challenge the supremacy of the white man.” – Lincoln
But yea – he wanted to free all the slaves and that was what the war was about – roll eyes.
Not saying a republican system is bad – in 1860 no republican in congress had any slaves. Democrats at the time did – republicans did not. But I am saying that Lincoln, as a man, was a racist and a tyrant.
On this point he was correct and almost prophetic, what with the average IQ of Americans dropping over 5 points since the Immigration act of 1965.
America was always meant to be a homogeneous nation, as the founders intended. The first paragraph of the constitution is all a 1st grader would need to understand that.
” what with the average IQ of Americans dropping ”
This is grossly false, and in a couple of ways. First off, you clearly don’t understand how IQ works by stating “average” IQ is dropping. But I’ll give you more credit than you deserve, by assuming you meant the raw score is dropping. Which is also false. In fact it has been rising by an average of 3 percentage points per decade for first time test takers.
There has also been zero evidence that race plays a factor in intelligence. The only even slightly credible evidence of any particular set of genetic markers being linked to intelligence would probably not fit with your world view, as those genetic markers peaked about 6,000 years ago, in Africa. They’ve been declining everywhere ever since.
Oh, and the concept of homogeneity as a foundation of our republic is truly asinine. The value of the minority voice is at the very core of our republic. Why do you think they made it a republic and not a democracy? Any first grader with the simplest grasp of history or reading comprehension would understand this.
Mac, if you don’t like America, we’ve got doors on all sides, use one of them. It’s really simple, if you don’t buy into “all men are created equal”, you don’t belong here.
The founders believed, and rightfully so, that the “Rights of Englishmen” were theirs, even though they were not born in merry old England This is in fact where the line “All men are created equal” comes from. It never applied to anyone who was not Western, White or Christian.
Additionally the founders did not believe that all races were equal, and that “Ourselves and our Posterity”: applied to every immigrant, or religion that manged to wash up on our shore. America was meant to be White, and Christian, always.
Your ilk is the reason “shall not be infringed” somehow gets misinterpreted.
Thank god you cant resist virtue signaling/ It makes the rats in our own ranks easier to identify.
Mack, you are not in my ranks. I’m an American.
The ranks of the marginally American, and historically ignorant. Got it.
For your reference from the 1st congress:
>> Unless you’re idea of being free is going your own way without doing what we say, then you can STFU and do what we tell you to do.
Ironic, given that the slavers were “going their own way” while forcing millions of peoples who were their slaves to go with them. At best, then, both sides were equally anti-freedom in principle – but when you look at the numbers of those affected, clearly, the slavers were worse.
Agreed. It is ironic. Not sure if it was worse or not – with a million dying over it. Of all possible solutions, looks like that one was the worst.
Also, possibly later in our future, when the majority of the states and representatives in the US seek to ban guns/repeal the second, and the majority votes back them – it would have been nice to secede – right? If our cultures are so polarized, would it not be better to go our separate ways and remain allies, rather than force each other to live the way the other doesn’t want?
A few years ago on this blog the view that Lincoln was a tyrant wasn’t well received. It seems that more people have educated themselves since then. I would encourage all to read “The Real Lincoln” by Thomas Di Lorenzo. It is eye opening and completely based on the facts. You can also hear his talks on youtube. And if it matters to anyone I was born in IL in the same month as Lincoln and believed the propaganda about him for most of my life. I’m so glad God saw fit to guide me to TX. And if you want to continue your reading in this vein try “The South Was Right ” by the Kennedy brothers. (Not those Kennedys!)
Thomas Di Lorenzo is no historian, he’s an economist and his books have been torn apart by actual historians because they amount to historical revisionism. Try historians like Shelby Foote, he was fairly direct that slavery was the cause and that states rights was an afterthought to the confederate leadership.
The South paid lip service to States Rights — but what was the Fugitive Slave Act except the usurpation of States Rights in favor of Federal authority? And the South just loved the Fugitive Slave Act.
The Republicans were the abolitionist party. Abolition was the heart and soul of the party platform. And slaves constituted the wealth of the South. Once a Republican was elected, revolution was assured.
A good point that not enough people acknowledge. The South was perfectly happy with the federal government abusing states rights through the Fugitive Slave Act and numerous SCOTUS decisions. It was only when Lincoln won in spite of complete southern opposition to his candidacy that the South knew it could no longer swing the government in its favor. Before he could even take office states started seceding.
Read Lincoln’s own words on the eve of war. What he promised to do will be a shock to many.
Thanks for that. Liked this one^
And such was the concept of federalism which Lincoln destroyed. Obviously, if at a national level, states want to secede, then those laws are best left to states individually.
I encourage everyone to read the balance of the three:
He would know, wouldn’t he?
Didn’t Lincoln also say “If you try to leave our gang, we’ll kill you?” Or was that Vito Genovese?
He, along with Sam Houston, tried to warn the South.
So all the people decrying Lincoln for using force to keep the country together appear appear okay with the south leaving because they wanted to keep using force to make slaves work for them. Sure, totally makes sense.
And all this whining about habeus corpus? Only delicate snowflakes think victory is inevitable, because somebody in the past did whatever it took to win. Locking people up may sound bad, but it sure as hell isn’t dying, which is as bad as it gets.
Negative. I didn’t see anyone here condoning slavery. I think we can all agree that forcing someone to do something against their will is not conducive to a civilized nation. And ironically, the north was forcing the south to do things they didn’t want to do by means of not letting them peacefully leave the union. Sure, slaves in the states were free, but the states themselves became slaves to the union.
Furthermore, maybe a better alternative could have been tried rather than a million people dying? Slavery at that time was increasingly found as distasteful and immoral – and not just in the United States. It was only a matter of time before it was abolished – even in the south. It is easy to reach a moral conclusion that slavery of people is bad, it is more difficult, if impossible, to reach a moral conclusion that people must be forced to accept tyranny of the majority, and at the same time, are not allowed to leave.
>> Sure, slaves in the states were free, but the states themselves became slaves to the union.
So, you personally would prefer to live as a slave in Texas before the war, than as a free man in Texas after the war? Or is it all the same to you?
If you would prefer to live as a free man after, then it appears that there are some important distinctions between your two comparison points that you didn’t mention.
>> It was only a matter of time before it was abolished – even in the south.
This was exactly why the South had seceded when they did. They knew that soon enough, they would likely lose the political game, and that a federal-level ban on slavery was forthcoming. So they decided to bolt before it could be imposed on them.
I would prefer to live free in 2016 with a small limited federal government with more power to the states and less power to the federal government.
My statement was meant to imply that slavery was becoming distasteful even within the southern states. It was the spread of ideas and it started north to south. Regardless of the law.
Like I said above:
It is easy to reach a moral conclusion that slavery of people is bad (slavery of people is bad)…
…it is more difficult, if impossible, to reach a moral conclusion that people must be forced to accept tyranny of the majority, and at the same time, are not allowed to leave (states rights, and a similar situation of our present moment, with the federal gov gaining more power daily and enforcing more rules on the entirety of the states, like clinton’s upcoming proposed assault weapons ban after she is elected, or bernies socialist healthcare plan that we are supposed to magically pay for, or Hillary looking to make all firearms manufacturers liable in all states for the actions of criminals, etc).
Of course you could praise Hitler without explicitly condoning the Holocaust but I don’t think most people would get that. So we can forget this nonsense and go on with our day now that I’ve invoked Godwin’s law.
Putin, China and Mexico get hard ons thinking of the US becoming a bunch of independent city states.
So why is this even being considered, a dissolved union and bunch of independent states as being desireable? This isn’t happening in a vacuum.
Maybe because of the ever growing power of the federal government, with it’s never ending assaults on our traditional individual rights and freedoms, with a majority Republican party that has been nothing but a butt boy for the progressives agenda?
And you think replacing our current .gov with a chinese or russian puppet .gov is better, how? And a cartel backed mexican .gov wanting to return the land we forced them to cede at gunpoint to the fold improves our situation, how?
Lincoln was a lot of things. Mostly he was right.
So our choices are to give up our freedoms and liberties to keep us safe and secure from some foreign enemy?
Some old white guy back in the day said that wouldn’t work out well for us. I happen to believe him.
In a debate, we call this intellectual dishonesty.
No one is suggesting our government be replaced with chinese or russian governments.
No, those are not our only choices. But suppose you get your wish and you split us into different city states. How do you know you’d have more freedom? It’s a crap shoot, ain’t it?
Anonymous. I’m suggesting that these .govs aren’t going to stand by and watch a fractured and divided US, with all it’s wealth and resources, go to waste.
Intellectual dishonesty is believing that the strong will ignore the weak just cause.
Well, we need not be fractured to accept russian/chinese philosophy. The United States is already actively doing so from the inside out.
“And you think replacing our current .gov with a chinese or russian puppet .gov is better, how? ”
Holy Strawman, Batman!
I love when statists go all out – “But if you don’t support fascism, YOU WANT THOSE GODDAMN COMMIES TO WIN! GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS TO FIGHT COMMUNISM!”. Priceless.
Pubes, how is pointing out that the Chinese, russians or even the mexicans would be more than happy to pick the bones of the former US a strawman. And since you brought up fascism, which I didn’t nor did I say we had to support it, how do you know what your new city state will pick for it’s own .gov?
We have a country here. I’m not a Scot-American or a Euro-American or a West Virginian-American. I’m an American. And I see no difference in those that would destroy my country whether they’re inside the national borders or outside them.
I actually agree jwm, that secession would not be the best choice for us as a country; but with both the Republicans marching arm in arm with the Democrats and the USSC supporting tbe efforts to keep increasing federal power at the expense of our personal freedoms and individual rights, all free constitutional believing Americans are facing the end of our country as we know it.
For all this back and forth about the U.S. Civil War and slavery it is interesting to point out that America, and the west in general, has the ability to look inwardly and question itself. Dar Al Islam does not have that ability.
Some of our founding fathers owned slaves. Muhammad enslaved men who were once free. To make matters far worse, his example (Sunnah) is for all of mankind to follow and is the basis for Sharia Law (Surah 33 Iyat 21).
Muhammad was a slaver – the lowest of the low yet in Islam he is considered sinless (as are all the prophets).
It is Muhammad’s pattern of conduct that kept much of the world in open slavery well into the 20th century and in a few cases even until the 21st. Where do you ever hear people mention that? I did not know about that until I was in my 20’s. How many people (erroneously) believe that all or even most of the founding fathers owned slaves? Muhammad did more to propagate than our North and South combined.
Yehaw-the South will rise agin! It’s no wonder the left hates “us”. Love me some revisionist “history”…
The war was fought because the North & Lincoln considered the Southern secession to be illegitimate because they we leaving solely to preserve slavery. Don’t believe me, then ask why did they leave before Lincoln even took office? Because with his election, the federal government could begin to restrict the interstate trade in slaves.
My my, everyone keen to get in on the Civil (hah!) War reenactment scene. States schmates, nobody gives a rat’s behind, it’s all in the past. Lincoln knew how fragile the United States was, and that debility only increased with the departure of the Southern States. He did what he did. There is still a United States, which may not have happened without the unpleasantness. Freeing slaves was a moral necessity, seeing that political power in the CSA derived from slave ownership. It is the subsequent failure to fully correct and recompense the defect of slavery that has created major problems. But a far bigger problem is current financial slavery. You are owned by whom you owe. And the USA owes trillions of dollars in debt. Who are those creditors, and when will they demand their money back? These questions should vex every American, and the Presidential candidates should provide a coherent answer to them.
I am no historian. It is interesting that even on this blog no-one has commented on the role of abolitionists, the SJW’s of their day, in beating the drum so loudly that secession became inevitable. I have to believe that slavery would have died out within 10 to 20 years as industrialization and yes, changing political realities, would have prevailed. Could a civil war have been avoided if cooler heads had prevailed on both sides? I think so. Slavery would have been done in by industrialization, and the subsequent apartheid would have been little different from the Jim Crow laws in the South and the de facto segregation in the North. There would have been later civil rights issues, but there would have been no war, and the unsaid but longstanding regional distrust that came from the war. The utter hatred (as I see it) by the SJW’s in the northeast and California of gun owners (heavily but by no means exclusively Southern and Southwestern) appears to be a direct descendant of the abolitionist hatred of the South and Southern whites as part of what the SJW’s now and then considered a Crusade (the Battle Hymn of the Republic leaves no doubt on this subject.) The SJW’s keep pressing and gun owners keep resisting. This is not a pretty picture. And neither Obama nor the Hildabeast come close to Lincoln in being able to understand or articulate Constitutional concepts.
So you would prefer that abolitionists would shut up about a clear injustice – so clear, in fact, that it explicitly contradicted the verbiage in the Declaration of Independence of that very nation (“all men are created equal” etc) – because to do otherwise is to “rock the boat” and incite slavers into rebelling?
Do you also apply the same criteria to, say, right-wingers criticizing Obama? I mean, why rock the boat? All they’re doing is increasing the likelihood that he’ll go on in with FEMA detention camps and such, no?
That’s not what I got out of it. I got out of it that 20 additional years of slavery may have been better than a million people killed.
That said, the abolitionists were not seers of the future. They had no way of knowing what was to happen, they just followed their moral compasses – and that is really all that any of us can do.
Of course, we don’t know whether it would have been just 20 years, either. And we don’t know what Jim Crow would look like, and how long it would stay around, if it were just a natural smooth evolution from full-fledged slavery. But I suspect that without federal involvement in these matters, significant chunks of the South would still have state-sanctioned and state-mandated discrimination on a large scale.
FWIW, tens of thousands died in the American Revolutionary War, all in all, and the matters at stake there were much more abstract (in a sense of bodily harm and such) than slavery. Was it worth it?
The war was about slavery. Suspension of habeas corpus is authorized by the Constitution in time of rebellion. If you have other complaints about Lincoln as a tyrant, make them specifically.
It’s rich though, to call the President of the United States a tyrant when the Confederate States held millions in bondage. Pot, meet kettle.
Secession was about slavery. The war was about preserving the union – as that was far more important to Lincoln than freeing slaves.
The slavers in the south were tyrants to the slaves – yes. But since preservation of the union was the purpose of the war (not abolishing slavery), Lincoln was a tyrant.
I agree that at the beginning of the war, the Federal objective was to preserve the Union. But that doesn’t, ipso facto, make Lincoln a tyrant. Lincoln’s objective from the beginning could have been out and out emancipation, and he still could have been a tyrant.
There is evidence in these copious comments of sympathy for the South’s right to secede. Lincoln’s thwarting of that being, the best I can figure, the prima facie case of his tyranny. There being no mention in the Constitution of secession, it appeals to reason that States can leave as they go in, through consent of the States. Just as one enters a marriage through legal process, so does one leave it. If Duval County votes to secede from Florida, does that make it a lawful secession? No.
I don’t understand, on a gun forum of all places, such sympathy for the Confederacy, a place where 1/3 of the inhabitants were denied their God given right to bear arms. A place that ante-bellum, pioneered all manner of gun control schemes. I fail to see how the Confederacy prevailing would have maximized human freedom in the years that have passed. The assertion that slavery would have died a natural death is appealing, but conjectural. The idea that the states would reunite later, fantasy.
It has been asserted, more or less, that the Constitution started it’s long march to the graveyard because of the Civil War. The evidence shows that the Constitution was more or less intact, despite craven failures by the Supreme Court to enforce the Civil Rights Amendments (14th in particular), until the Progressive onslaught of the early 1900s. And Progressives also came from the South. (See Huey Long, Lyndon B. Johnson, William J. Clinton).
Before you go thinking I have something against the South, I don’t. I chose to make it my home, and I love it, as I revere the entire Union of States.
I understand. A bunch of racist rednecks comment. Slaveholders have NO moral authority. The north was right-the south was very wrong. You are one of the good southerners…
There is no singular “purpose of the war”. There are different purposes, one for each side.
The purpose of the war for the South was to preserve slavery.
The purpose of the war for the North was to preserve the Union.
Water Walker, I’m a midlander, not a southerner, I’m just privileged to live here now. And yes, the South was wrong, but I understand this is a complicated issue. However, conclusory statements like “Lincoln was a tyrant” are not arguments.
I really can’t fathom why you would quote Abe Lincoln as to any matter whatsoever, as had the man had been placed under oath in his day the Good Book would have leapt from his hand in horror.
The Lincoln which you and many Americans hold in high esteem is a myth, created out of whole cloth at his deathbed by Republican operatives who despised him but decided to hold onto power by turning him into a saint.
Just the mere fact that 750,000 soldiers from North and South died in his War, as well as an unknown number of civilians, a tribute to his mistaken Constitutional theories, should earn him a place among the damned.
Before anyone mentions “slavery” make sure you are completely aware of Lincoln’s role in the passage of and his pressure on state governors of the Corwin Amendment which would have made the right to own slaves in the slave holding state guaranteed forever by the Constitution, and by the amendment’s terms, it was not subject to repeal or amendment.
Anyone who complains about the heavy hand of the Federal Government can thank Mr. Lincoln for that, because that is when federalism died. All because he knew nothing of the delicate balance of power between the state and federal governments. If you complain about the “Imperial Presidency” thank Mr. Lincoln, because arresting thousands of political dissenters in the North, shutting down many dozens of critical newspapers, and not consulting Congress are prime examples of a President that thinks he is above the law.
Maybe Robert E. Lee described the results of Mr. Lincoln’s War in a response he wrote John Dalberg Acton, later Lord Action, in 1866:
“While I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it. I need not refer one so well acquainted as you are with American history, to the State papers of Washington and Jefferson, the representatives of the federal and democratic parties, denouncing consolidation and centralisation of power, as tending to the subversion of State Governments, and to despotism.”
Lord Acton, Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, Vol. I. page 303; Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone (1917)