Capturing the Real Abraham Lincoln

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by KenH, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. KenH

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    Capturing the Real Abraham Lincoln
    James P. Pinkerton

    June 9, 2005

    One hundred and forty years after his death, Abraham Lincoln still stirs passions.

    It's been estimated that more books have been written about the 16th president than about any historical figure other than Jesus. Now comes yet another Lincoln work, which has caused a ruckus, mostly because it quotes the real Lincoln as he was - what he thought, what he said.

    Michael Lind, author of "What Lincoln Believed: The Values and Convictions of America's Greatest President," has never shrunk from controversy. In 1999 he published "Vietnam: the Necessary War"; in 2003 he published "Made in Texas," an attack on the political culture of George W. Bush. And now Lind, who is a colleague of mine at the New America Foundation, has done something even bolder: He has written a book guided by Lincoln's own words, on economics, foreign policy and, most provocatively, race.

    - rest at SOURCE

    I watched most of a very interesting two hour program on Abraham Lincoln on the History Channel the other day. It was very interesting how his atttitude toward blacks changed from the beginning to the end of his presidency during the war. The program suggested that it was Lincoln's suggestion that blacks be given the right to vote that pushed Booth over the brink in his decision to assassinate Lincoln.
     
  2. LadyEagle

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    Actually, Lincoln was planning to deport them.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo49.html
     
  3. Magnetic Poles

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    As a nation for expat US slaves, Liberia's capital Monrovia, is named for US President James Monroe, and that is why its flag is strikingly similar to the Stars & Stripes.
     
  4. KenH

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    At first, yes. But by the end of the War Between the States he apparently had changed his mind.
     
  5. LadyEagle

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    Then why do blacks hate him?
     
  6. KenH

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    I didn't know that the blacks during the War Between the States hated him. :confused:
     
  7. ktn4eg

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    Lincoln is often portrayed as "The Great Emancipator" yet ---

    1) He was willing to allow slavery to continue where it had already existed.

    2) In his Emancipation Proclamation, he only "freed" the slaves in the "areas still in rebellion" [those not occupied by Union forces]--which was basically an unenforcible edict. As the old saying goes, "What slaves he could free [those in the northern border states] he didn't. What slaves he could not free, he did."

    To me, the Emancipation Proclamtion was no more a viable policy than if today the President would go in the TV and simply proclaim: "All of you Chinese people living in Communist China are hereby free of the control of your Communist masters!"
     
  8. KenH

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    Lincoln was afraid that if he freed the slaves in the border states that they would join the CSA and the Union would lose the war.
     
  9. billwald

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    Lincoln demonsatrated that the Declaration of Independance was only advertising hype. If he accepted it as truth he would have let the Confederacy leave. He proved that God is on the side with the most cannon and cannon fodder.
     
  10. rsr

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    Not in context. The U.S. government had armies in the field in Confederate territory and did indeed have the means to enforce the terms of the proclamation over time.

    More to the point, the proclamation's immediate purpose was as a war measure to disable the Confederacy's economic ability to wage war. It also was a warning to the South that slavery would de facto be abolished should the war continue.

    Because it was a war measure, Lincoln did not believe it could be applied to the border states still within the Union, aside from the political complications such an application would have caused.

    The proclamation, as a war measure, succeeded brilliantly and was partly responsible for Great Britain's decision not to recognize the Confederacy.

    Lincoln, like most other white Americans of the time, had racist tendencies, but a reading of the Lincoln-Douglas debates shows a clear distinction between him and other non-abolitionist politicians.

    "I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races.

    There is a physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong, having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects — certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man."

    — First Lincoln-Douglas debate, 1858

    Lincoln supported colonization, although always voluntary, partly because he believed it would eliminate surplus labor that depressed wages for white Americans, partly because he believed it was the only way to deal with social problems that would be created by emancipation.

    His ideas evolved over time, which I believe was a result of his actually meeting black people in settings other than the plantation and slave market. He was especially moved by the 200,000 black Americans who enlisted in the federal army.

    "It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers," he said shortly before his assassination, and indication that he would support civil rights for blacks.

    A good deal of mythology has grown up around Lincoln that obscures that he was, first of all, a pragmatic politician who hated slavery but considered that his highest duty was preserve the Union.
     
  11. JGrubbs

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    The best book available about Lincoln is, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War by Thomas DiLorenzo.
     
  12. rsr

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    I doubt that's the best book about Lincoln. DiLorenzo almost completely ignores the influence of slavery on the causes of the war. And there's really nothing new in it.
     
  13. Stratiotes

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    I think DiLorenzo's book is pretty far to one side as rsr says but, at the same time, I think traditional history taught predominantly in publik skules is pretty biased in the opposite direction. So, maybe it balances out ;) .
     
  14. Daisy

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    Usually when those words are quoted, the parts you emphasized are left out altogether, which certainly changes the meaning.
     
  15. Stratiotes

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    You are right on Daisy. There is a similar debate on N.B. Forrest and things he said quoted in part to justify one or the other view. Neither seems to take into account the times they lived in. Oddly enough though, people are quite willing to buy into the evil racism of Forrest while making every excuse in the book for Lincoln. It is very one-sided in my opinion.
     
  16. faithgirl46

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    I have often wondered if President Lincoln freeing the blacks from slavery contributed to his assasination.
     
  17. rsr

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    Absolutely. The last straw, though, for Booth, was Lincoln's consideration of voting rights for literate blacks and those who served in the army — which he talked about in a torchlit speech at the White House April 9 after receiving news of Lee's surrender.

    "That's the last speech he'll ever make," said Booth, who was in the crowd.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    Perhaps because slavery was never really the point of the Civil War ?
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    Since this thread is somewhat about Lincoln, allow me to share this with you all, courtesy of a brother from another list:

     
  20. rsr

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    Hogwash. Nice try, Poncho, but I would think your research on the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commsion, the Illuminati and the Bilderbers would have prevented an assay into numerology.

    The fact that it is "one history lesson people don't mind reading" means nothing. As it has been for the decades I've heard it.

    Besides ... what it is supposed to mean? That Kennedy was a martyr or that Kennedy was a despot? Take your pick.

    Don't pass on chain e-mail. It's bad luck.
     

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