Sunday, March 23, 2014

If Lincoln Was Motivated to Go to War Over Slavery...

Then why a) was he 100% accommodating to slavery in his inaugural, b) did he wait until well into the second year of the war to issue the Emancipation Proclamation (which totally exempted all of the slaves that Lincoln COULD have freed), and c) did he make it such that the Southern states could in fact resume slavery if they simply returned to the Union by 1/1/1863?............Again, this is absolute checkmate in that the supporters of Lincoln have zero explanations for it. Nada.

20 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

Slavery was the cause of the war, not the reason Lincoln went to war.

Rational Nation USA said...

So what was the reason Jerry?

BB-Idaho said...

We suppose there is a 'mainstream' view of Lincoln.
Whether that be cultist depends on terms, IMO. Curiously, it is the conservatives who argue, even among themselves:
"The Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI) is one of Claremont's most frequent sparring partners among conservative think tanks. Though both hold similar positions on many moral and economic issues in general, the two are substantially different in other aspects of their respective political philosophies.

The two differ radically in their opinions about Abraham Lincoln and have engaged debates about whether Lincoln should be embraced or shunned by conservatives. This controversy over Lincoln's significance to conservatives predates both think tanks, and encompasses Jaffa's debates on the subject with National Review editor Frank Meyer and scholar M.E. Bradford. In 2002, Jaffa debated Thomas DiLorenzo, a Senior Fellow at the LvMI on the merits of Lincoln's statesmanship during the American Civil War". Since I'm no conservative, I'll leave it to
others to analyze the enigma of
philosophers and economists weighing on history. I guess most would agree that what happened, happened; the arguments
are about why. IMO, the events of those times were so strident, came to a head after simmering for years and caught up the politicans of that era, driving
events, rather than the reverse.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It takes 2 to go to war, Jerry. And even on the southern side it makes close to zero sense. a) Lincoln was 100% accommodating to slavery in his 1861 inaugural (DiLorenzo calls it his "slavery forever" speech). b) The Democrats retained a solid control of the Congress. And c) they still had the Supreme Court solidly on their side. Why would they risk a war on the matter if they didn't have to?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The only thing that you really need to know about the Claremont Institute, BB, is that they tend to give medals and prizes to people like Donald Rumsfeld.

Jerry Critter said...

Why would they risk war? Read read the states Declarations of Secession. Let me give you a hint -- slavery!

Rational Nation USA said...

Slavery - Cause

??????? -Reason

Need more time ?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm familiar with the declarations (as I am with Jefferson Davis's inaugural which didn't even include a mention of slavery as well as various other sources which prove positive that the Confederate states considered and debated the tariff issue extensively), Jerry. But I'm also familiar with the facts on the ground (mentioned above) and there was no sane reason to fear that the institution of slavery was in any sort of trouble.

Jerry Critter said...

Then why do they give slavery as the first and foremost reason for secession in their documents explaining why they are seceding?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Jerry, are you familiar with John A. Garraty? He was the President of the Society of American Historians and considered as one of the finest of the 20th Century. This is what he had to say about secession (and, please read it carefully as it's nuanced) - "Lincoln had assured the South that he would respect slavery where it existed. The Democrats had retained control of Congress in the election; the Supreme Court was firmly in their hands as well. If the North did try to destroy slavery, then secession was perhaps a logical tactic, but why not wait until the threat materialized? To leave the Union meant abandoning the very objectives for which the South had been contending for over a decade; a share of the federal territories and an enforceable Fugitive Slave Act (which, you see, Jerry, would not have been enforced at all subsequent to secession).............Two major reasons help to explain why the South rejected this line of thinking. One was the fact that the tremendous economic energy generated in the North seemed to threaten the South's independence.......Secession, southerners argued, would 'liberate' the South and produce the kind of balanced economy that was proving so successful in the North.............The other reason was emotional. The years of sectional conflict, the growing northern criticism of slavery, perhaps even an unconscious awareness that this criticism was well founded, had undermined and in many cases destroyed the patriotic feelings of southerners. Because of the constant clamor set up by the the New England anti-slavery groups, the South tended to identify all northerners as 'Yankee abolitionists' (a paranoiac notion, Jerry, in that Indiana didn't even let black people inside its borders and New Jersey continued slavery until 1865) and to resent them with increasing passion. 'I look upon the whole New England race as a troublesome unquiet set of meddlers,' one Georgian wrote. Although states' rights provided the legal justification for leaving the Union and southerners expounded the strict-constructionist interpretation of the Constitution with great fervor and ingenuity, these ECONOMIC (my emphasis) and emotional factors were far more basic."............So what he's saying here is that, yeah, slavery was obviously on their minds but that it was much more the fact they (the South) were just getting sick of the criticism and not so much the notion that they were fearful of its imminent demise. And even if they did have this paranoiac notion that slavery was threatened, it wasn't slavery that caused the war but secession. I mean, think about it, Jerry. Do you really think that Lincoln would have been any less destructive had the South seceded for, say, religious or ethnic reasons?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

For the same reason that Davis didn't even mention it in his inaugural, I guess. Just read the Garraty quote.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And the source for those quotes (you really have to be careful when using Wikipedia as your source) is the Lincoln-worshiping Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jerry. I'm not entirely sure that I would take it as gospel.

Jerry Critter said...

RN,
I have said it before.

Lincoln went to war because of secession. Slavery is the reason given by the states in their own declarations of secession. Lincoln went to war to prevent the secession.

Is that clear enough for you?

Rational Nation USA said...

Jerry said first " slavery was the cause of the war, not the reason."

Then he asks "Then why do they give slavery the first and foremost reason for succession..."

Preserving the institution of slavery was the interest and cause for the southern states. It was driven largely by economics of the agrarian south as well as culture. So yes it was the reason for the south.

It was not the reason for the north. Had there been no succession activity by the south there would have been no civil war, which is actual a misnomer. The north's cause was to consolidate federal power and the REASON was to prevent the dissolution of what was meant from its beginning to be a VOLUNTARY union of individual sovereign states.

Slavery was the reason for the south, preserving the union was the reason for the north. Lincoln, as Will has repeatedly and acurrately pointed out, did not force the issue for the reason of freeing the slaves, he was driven by his burning desire to preserve the union.

BB-Idaho said...

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lincoln worshipper, Thomas de Lorenzo,
Lincoln hater...comme ce comme ca.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Jerry (I gather that the nuanced view of one of America's greatest historians didn't persuade you), give me one economic and political fact on the ground in 1861 which would have indicated that slavery in the southern states was in any sort of immediate danger. One.......And of course slavery was a part of the equation. But the reason that those declarations (and there are far more pieces of evidence than simply those, Jerry) included it was more the fact that they basically wanted to rub the North's face in it than anything.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

BB, if given the choice between somebody who speaks truth to power and somebody who serves little more than a court historian to it, I will always choose the former, I'm sorry.

BB-Idaho said...

I would be loathe to limit my
thinking to opinion pieces by
either of those sources-there are tons of data from those days we need sort and judge.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Kind of like I did when I examined Lincoln's inaugural and concluded that it a) endorsed the Corwin Amendment, b) pledged to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, and c) pledged to strengthen the Fugitive Slave Act by making all state nullifications of it illegal?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Or when I examined the Emancipation Proclamation and discovered that it didn't free any of the slaves that Lincoln could have freed and that it actually allowed for slavery in the Confederate states if in fact they returned to the Union?