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Lincoln and the Civil War.


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Showing 1-25 of 55 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2012 11:23:25 AM PST
JohnnyBoy says:
Since a movie is coming out and praise for Lincoln will be at a high pitch, we can all look at what Lincoln could or could not have done to prevent the Civil War. Brazil had a larger slave trade and a slave trade economy than the US at the time, but they were able to abolish slavery peacefully in 1888. 625,000 lives were lost in the American Civil War. Could we have done the same thing as Brazil?

Here's an interesting essay.

http://www.san.beck.org/LincolnCivilWar.html

Here's a few passages.

Abraham Lincoln was an extraordinary man with many wonderful qualities. He is greatly admired by many and is generally considered one of America's greatest Presidents. Since the era of the founding fathers, he is certainly one of the most influential Americans. Yet he was President during a brutal Civil War in which an estimated 625,000 Americans died. This is nearly as many as all the Americans who have died in all the other wars of the United States. Although Lincoln was obviously not the only cause of the Civil War, he was probably more responsible for the nature of the war than any other individual.

Lincoln took the strong position, which some would call tyrannical, that states have no right to secede from the Union. He believed it was his obligation as President to enforce the laws that would keep the states in the Union even against their will as expressed by democratic conventions and state legislatures. His policy is ironic and even hypocritical because this position conflicts with Lincoln's own doctrine of the right of revolution that he expressed in Congress on January 12, 1848 during the Mexican War when he said,

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 so much of the territory as they inhabit.

Early in his presidency Lincoln rejected the option of letting the southern states withdraw peacefully. He took the position that secession is illegal and that the use of force against the Federal Government was rebellion and treason against the United States. He refused to recognize the Confederate States as legal entities and would not let anyone in his administration negotiate with their representatives. He also rejected an offer of mediation by Napoleon III of France. In March 1861 Jefferson Davis sent peace commissioners to Washington with an offer to pay for all Federal property in the South and to take on the southern portion of the national debt. However, Lincoln refused even to acknowledge them, thus blocking any attempt to resolve the conflicts by peaceful means. He took the hard line that the southern states must return to the Union. Unless they did so, or unless he relinquished the forts and tariffs, it became inevitable that the two sides would fight. His position has been compared to that of the British empire, which demanded that their American colonists pay their taxes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 11:27:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 11:29:01 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
And who, exactly,is Sanderson Beck? What are his credentials as an historian?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 11:36:43 AM PST
The new movie will pitch the Lincoln myth for all to see. Maybe they'll give an accurate depiction of what he did, but I doubt it.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 11:42:33 AM PST
Debunker says:
"His position has been compared to that of the British empire, which demanded that their American colonists pay their taxes".

Who has made that ridiculous comparison?

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 11:43:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 11:43:44 AM PST
JohnnyBoy says:
He's obviously a pacifist.

Sanderson Beck was born March 5, 1947 in Los Angeles. He earned a B.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, an M.A. in Religious Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1971, Ph.D. candidacy in the Philosophy of Education from U.C.L.A. in 1977, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the World University in 1980.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 12:39:26 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 12:40:34 PM PST
Debunker says:
Silly, stupid post.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 12:48:51 PM PST
S. Kessler says:
Doesn't sound much like a bona fide Civil War historian. I'm not surprised his essay read like a polemic.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 8:26:44 PM PST
Did Dr. Beck also consider the possibility that by refraining from their legally boneheaded decision to attempt a unilateral abrogation of the constitutional contract, S.C. & Company could have exercised some smarts and patience and completely transformed the nature of the crisis? Specifically, by acknowledging that the Union was still binding, they could have exercised their indisputably constitutionally protected right to PETITION for release from the Union. Had they followed that approach, they would not have been in a state of rebellion. It completely takes the possibility of a military response off the table without in any way compromising SC & Company's negotiating position.

Of course I offer this observation only for the purpose of of academic discussion. Morally, SC & Company's secession for the expressed purpose of preserving the institution of slavery is absolutely indefensible. By declining to pursue a thoroughly unjust cause, SC & Company would have rendered the whole question of a Federal response moot. This would have been a far more morally sound way of saving all of those lives, though ironically, it probably would have extended slavery's legality, since it would have precluded the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 3:58:11 AM PST
Debunker says:
"Morally, SC & Company's secession for the expressed purpose of preserving the institution of slavery is absolutely indefensible".

And, of course, the preservation of slavery was the only "state's right" the South would be willing to go to war over. And I'll throw that clown "andthehorse" a bone, because Lincoln DID hate that particular "states right".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 7:42:46 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 8:44:03 AM PST
Debunker says:
A follow-up silly, stupid post.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:11:47 AM PST
only to a logically challenged brain dead troll

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:17:45 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
Debunker, horsie is not worth arguing with. He is a troll par excellence.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 9:19:26 AM PST
Debunker says:
Apologists for slavery disgust me.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:03:48 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 28, 2012 11:07:43 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:06:19 AM PST
Debunker says:
He appears to be quite good at avoiding thinking.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 10:10:23 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 28, 2012 11:07:57 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:38:48 PM PST
freedom4all says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 5:29:15 PM PST
Debunker says:
Pointing out idiocy isn't the same as killing, Jethro.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 6:38:15 PM PST
freedom4all says:
Figure of speech, Darrell

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 8:38:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012 8:38:54 PM PST
S. Kessler says:
I read the essay. It is clearly a biased polemic and the author has no credentials as a historian tat would give his slanted point of view credibility. Anyone can write a screed. Doesn't make that screed either good history or good historical analysis.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 9:25:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 9:26:31 PM PST
freedom4all says:
Now that is a good post SK, the author being biased. But it does not mean he or she is wrong. Also the argonance of credentials only means that one has meet the requirements of his or her peer group. Such groups can be biased themselves for many reasons.

Indeed history professors being by in-large employed by institutions that are government in nature or depend heavy on government financing leans itself to not bite the hand that feed it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 7:08:26 PM PST
S. Kessler says:
Bullcrap, f4. All academic professionals depend on establishng and maintaining their professional standing by meeting the standards established by their peers. That is the most effective yardstick we have to determine the relative worth of their research and opinions. Any idiot can write anything they want and post icon the Internet. Unless they have established their credibility as an expert in their field, there is no reason to take their rankings seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 3:45:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 3:46:53 PM PST
freedom4all says:
"It is evident that the State needs the intellectuals; it is not so evident why intellectuals need the State. Put simply, we may state that the intellectual's livelihood in the free market is never too secure; for the intellectual must depend on the values and choices of the masses of his fellow men, and it is precisely characteristic of the masses that they are generally uninterested in intellectual matters. The State, on the other hand, is willing to offer the intellectuals a secure and permanent berth in the State apparatus; and thus a secure income and the panoply of prestige. For the intellectuals will be handsomely rewarded for the important function they perform for the State rulers, of which group they now become a part."
--- Anatomy of the State

Follow the money.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  55
Initial post:  Nov 15, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 26, 2013

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