Abraham Lincoln

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Stephen Mills, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Stephen Mills

    Stephen Mills
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    What are your opinions of Honest Abe? Was he a great patriot with a deep sense of morality, or an incorrigible tyrant?
     
  2. Monergist

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    Tyrant.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

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    I haven't decided yet.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. JGrubbs

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    Tyrant!
     
  5. padredurand

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    Dr. Thomas P. Lowry wrote a book entitled "Don't Shoot That Boy!" Dr. Lowry presents nearly 500 cases of Union soldiers whose punishments were appealed to the White House. After reading about how Lincoln dealt with those soldiers; I feel he falls somewhere between the two extremes.
     
  6. CoachC

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    I don't know. I think if he had lived his second term reconstruction could have been very different then it was. Holding the Union together wasn't a job I would wish for anyone.
     
  7. PastorGreg

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    I think he meant to do what he thought was right, but he was largely wrong. For a President to blatantly and deliberately violate the Constitution regardless of the circumstances, is inexcusable. Lincoln was the first. OF course, now it is regularly done by both parties. Perhpas the difference is that Lincoln at least admitted it, but thought his cause was worthy of the action. Overall - a terribe President.
     
  8. Johnv

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    My opinion is that if you say anything nice about him, there are plenty of people on this board who will berate your opinion to the ends of the earth.
     
  9. PastorGreg

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    Would you like some cheese with that whine? [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnv

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    That line should reserved for those who still whine about having lost the Civil War.
     
  11. PastorGreg

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    I haven't heard anyone whining about losing the War of Northern Aggression. Whining is different from historical analysis. Lincoln was wrong. The war was not about slavery. The states were supposed to be sovereign and therefore had the right to secede. That's not whining, just facts. (BTW, I've never lived in the south)
     
  12. ChurchBoy

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    That line should reserved for those who still whine about having lost the Civil War. </font>[/QUOTE]The Civil War a.k.a.

    The War of Southern Folishness
    The War of Southern Arrogance
    The War of Southern ...

    Take your pick... ;)
     
  13. ChurchBoy

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    Many people on BB claim it is sinful for a slave to run away from his master but it's ok to for states to secede for the Union? Such inconsistency...
     
  14. JGrubbs

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    Some people think it is unpatriotic or divisive to defend the Southern side of the Civil War. As a retired U.S. Army veteran and a flag-waving patriot, I reject that view. Confederate citizens were Americans too. They were citizens of the “Confederate States of America.” Their heroes included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, Davy Crockett, and Andrew Jackson. The official Confederate seal featured the image of George Washington on his horse. The Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, was a former U.S. Army officer, a genuine hero in the Mexican War, an outstanding U.S. secretary of war, and a highly respected member of the U.S. Senate. Dozens of other Confederate officials had likewise served faithfully in the U.S. government. One of the members of the Confederate Congress was former U.S. president John Tyler.

    It is time for the demonization and smearing of the Confederacy to stop. Compared with other nations of its day, the Confederacy was one of the most democratic countries in the world. Even during the war, the Confederacy held elections and had a vibrant free press. In fact, on balance, the Confederacy was more democratic than some nations in our day. Confederate citizens enjoyed every right that we now enjoy, if not more. The Confederacy sought peace with the federal government and only fought because it was invaded.

    Source: Michael T. Griffith
     
  15. ChurchBoy

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    Good points made. I don't doubt the Confederacy was democratic. However the South started the war. The first state to secede was South Carolina, December 8, 1860. The CSA was formed on Fefruary 9, 1861. The Conderate Army attacked Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861, 4:30 AM. The Battle of Bull Run was on July 21, 1861. It was the South that started the agression.
     
  16. JGrubbs

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    If the South wanted peace, why did it fire on Fort Sumter?

    Prior to the war, Southerners considered secession a peaceful solution to the tensions between them and the North. In general, therefore, an armed invasion of the South was not expected. It was also uncalled for. Gentlemen should have been able to part company without firing a shot. To the credit of the leadership in the South, this course of action was pursued vigorously, and to the credit of many in the North, it was equally acceptable. Even the influential publisher of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, proclaimed “Wayward Sisters, Depart in Peace!” However, the constant drumbeat of Abraham Lincoln and the fanatical abolitionists soon drowned out the voices of reason. Lincoln’s only base of support for the presidency was the abolitionist Republican Party and its extremely sectional appeal to Northerners. Promising the North a high tariff on imported goods that would force the South to buy manufactured items from the North at inflated prices, Lincoln had served notice as to what his election would mean for Southerners. The Democrats were split into factions, and four men ran for the presidency, virtually assuring a Republican president.

    In December, when the results of the election were known, South Carolina called for a state convention, and on December 20 voted unanimously to exercise its constitutional right to sever its ties with the United States. Other state conventions met throughout the Lower South and systematically voted to secede from the Union. Fortythree days after South Carolina’s lead, all seven states of the Deep South had severed ties with the new administration. In February of 1861, the seven seceded states formed the Confederate States of America and selected Jefferson Davis as the provisional president.

    Limited military preparations were made, though there were many voices that continued to advocate compromise and peaceful coexistence. The Confederacy sent a commission to Washington for the purpose of securing peace with the United States, negotiating removal of Federal troops from Fort Sumter, and settling all claims of public property. President Lincoln never officially recognized them, and Secretary of State Seward would communicate with them only through a proxy. President Davis was baffled over the stalling efforts of Mr. Lincoln, who doggedly held on to two military bases in the Confederacy while abandoning scores of others without much reluctance. Lincoln’s own cabinet advised him to evacuate Fort Sumter, as did the General of the Army, Winfield Scott. Still, Lincoln refused to convene Congress in this crisis until as late as July, 1861, long after gunfire had decided the issue.

    Meanwhile, the governor of South Carolina had been supplying food to the garrison at Fort Sumter, which consisted of about 130 military personnel. During March, Lincoln sent an emissary to Charleston to determine the attitude of the people of that city toward the Union and the secession movement. At the same time, he sent an agent named Ward Lamon to visit Governor Pickens, declaring that he was there for the purpose of arranging the removal of the Federal soldiers from the fort. The fort’s commander himself assumed that he and his troops would soon be sent home. Thus it came as a tremendous shock when, on April 8, the Lincoln government suddenly rebuffed the Confederate peace emissaries and announced to Governor Pickens that twelve vessels with a force of 285 guns and 2,444 men had already sailed for Fort Sumter. Inside the fort, Major Anderson wrote to Washington: “I ought to have been informed that this expedition was to come. Colonel Lamon’s remarks convinced me that the idea…would not be carried out. We shall strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see is thus to be commenced. That God will still avert it, and cause us to resort to pacific measures to maintain our rights, is my ardent prayer.”

    In Montgomery, President Davis and his cabinet faced a dilemma. If the Confederacy demanded surrender and had to take the fort by force, then history would record that the South had fired the first shot in a terrible war. But if no action were taken until Union forces strengthened the fort, countless lives would be lost in an extensive battle. Davis opted for a plan that would avoid bloodshed and correspondingly ordered General Beauregard to take the fort as soon as possible. Beauregard, on April 11, sent a letter to the commander of the fort:

    When Major Anderson replied that he could not surrender, General Beauregard began to shell the fortress, and on April 13, Major Anderson surrendered. The first major battle of the war was now history—a war that would end four years later as a holocaust. The general public in the North, ignorant as to who had really initiated the hostilities, was led by Lincoln to view the capture of Fort Sumter as an unprovoked attack upon the United States Government. In his address to Congress on July 4, 1861, Lincoln complained:

    Of course, Lincoln failed to inform his audience not only that he had steadfastly refused to entertain any discussion of peace or “final adjustment” with the Confederate peace commissioners, but also that he had spurned the petitions of many people in the Northern States who begged to be heard before matters were brought to a bloody extreme. Addressing an assembly of Lutherans on May 13, 1862, Lincoln spoke hypocritically of “the sword forced into our hands,” and as late as his Second Inaugural Address in March of 1865 he was still publicly laying the blame for the conflict at the feet of the Confederacy, while claiming for himself the role of a reluctant defender of an endangered Union.

    The conclusion seems inescapable that Lincoln was determined to have a war even before he was inaugurated, and that he used lies, deceit, and chicanery to lure the South into actually firing the first gun. Who is at fault in starting a war—the side that actually fires the first shot, or the side that puts the other in a position of having to fire the first shot for defense? If you detect an armed burglar in your house, are you at fault for firing first, or should you wait for him to fire first? Lincoln is responsible for all the loss of life incurred during the war. President Davis, on April 7, 1861, said, “With the Lincoln administration rests the responsibility of precipitating a collision and the fearful evils of a cruel war.” Many Northerners agreed. Benjamin J. Williams, a Massachusetts writer, said, “The South was invaded and a war of subjugation, destined to be the most gigantic which the world has ever seen, was begun by the Federal government against the seceding States, in complete and amazing disregard of the foundation principle of its own existence, as affirmed in the Declaration of Independence, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Source: What They Didn’t Teach You About the Civil War - PDF format
     
  17. Johnv

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    I don't think the OP was intended to start (yet another of many) debates about the civil war events per se. Let's not hijack the thread.
     
  18. JGrubbs

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    I'm not hijacking the thread, the conclusion is that Lincoln was a tyrant and that he was determined to have a war even before he was inaugurated! That is right in line with the question asked in the OP.
     
  19. Johnv

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    OTOH, was the south any different? Jefferson Davis himself said that if an abolotionist (he was referring to Lincoln, even though Lincoln was not strictly abolotionist) was elected, then the South will secede. A point which also pokes holes in the arguement that slavery had nothing whatsoever to do with secession.

    Regardless, though, it's clear that the topic no longer resembles the question posed in the OP. Let us return to that topic.
     
  20. JGrubbs

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    Getting back to the question posed in the OP:

    Even the most pro-Lincoln historians have called him a dictator. The reason was that as soon as he got into office, he launched a military invasion without the consent of Congress, which is unconstitutional; declared martial law; blockaded Southern ports, which is unconstitutional without declaring war; and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Most historians have set the number at 13,000 citizens put in political prison without a warrant and without being charged for anything. Those prisoners included dozens of newspaper editors. When the Journal of Commerce in New York City published an article early in the Lincoln administration listing the 100 newspapers in the North that were opposed to him, Lincoln ordered the Postmaster General to cease mail delivery of those papers. Only a relatively few of those papers resumed publication, and only after they promised not to criticize Lincoln. All of those jailed were Northern citizens, including Frances Key Howard, the grandson of Frances Scott Key. Howard was a newspaper editor who criticized Lincoln. Ironically, he was thrown into military prison at Fort Henry in Baltimore—the very place where his grandfather wrote "The Star Spangled Banner." He was kept there without being charged, without a warrant, just left there to languish for a while.

    Source: What They Didn’t Teach You About the Civil War - PDF format
     

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