Skip to comments.Lincoln And The Death Of The Constitution
Posted on 09/07/2010 12:43:35 PM PDT by gjmerits
The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history...the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination - that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.
(Excerpt) Read more at wolvesofliberty.com ...
Their slaves weren't men or people so of course they couldn't govern themselves, right? - sarc.
Since Aug 10, 2010
Uh. wow. Talk about not understanding. Lincoln was asserting that should the union not be preserved, the divided country could not survive... the same argument made by the founding fathers when they chose the Gadsden (”teaparty”) flag: United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
For what it’s worth, attempting to leave the Union when a national election doesn’t go the way you want doesn’t sound like a core democratic principle to many.
Thanks for responses, flames, etc. in advance.
(I am breaking my cardinal rule on FR: never debate the Civil War, or evolution.)
The Civil War proved one thing, a group of states can break off form their own National legislature, start an Army from scratch and immediacy fight a huge war. They can do this in less than 4 months.
Nice article; thanks.
Barf time right from the first sentence.
I don’t think we are debating the Civil War, the statement is that Lincoln killed the Constitution and uses the Gettysburg address as the an example. There is no debate, this is just stupidity masquerading as insight.
Welcome Neo Confederate. You will find many such find minds here on FR.
So as you fight the fight that has been fought here so many times before, and lost just as surely as you are doing so now, let me give you a cut and paste from my home page:
“The civil war was about slavery. Sorry. The Confederacy was based on it and so was the Southern economy. You cannot rewrite history no matter how much you want to. This effort started at the end of the war and I was shocked to find it still going on today. So for this pathetic revisionism, that rears its ugly head here occasionally, I will enshrine the following from the message to the Confederate Congress April 29th 1861 from Jefferson Davis:
As soon as the Northern States that prohibited African slavery within their limits had reached a number sufficient to give their representation a controlling voice in the Congress, a persistent and organized system of hostile measures against the rights of the owners of slaves in the Southern States was inaugurated and gradually extended. A continuous series of measures was devised and prosecuted for the purpose of rendering insecure the tenure of property in slaves... Senators and Representatives were sent to the common councils of the nation, whose chief title to this distinction consisted in the display of a spirit of ultra-fanaticism and whose business was... to awaken the bitterest hatred against the citizens of sister states, by violent denunciation of their institutions; the transaction of public affairs was impeded by repeated efforts to usurp pairing the security of property in slaves, and reducing those States which held slaves to a condition of inferiority. Finally a great party was organized for the purpose of obtaining the administration of the Government, which the avowed object of using its power for the total exclusion of the slave States from all participation in the benefits of the public domain acquired by all the States in common, whether by conquest or purchase; of surrounding them entirely by States in which slavery should be prohibited; of thus rendering the property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars. This party, thus organized, succeeded in the month of November last in the election of its candidate for the Presidency of the United States. In the meantime the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000 at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race, their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South;... and the productions in the South of cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced.
This next quote comes from a speech in Savannah on March 21st 1861 by Alexander Stephens, VP of the Confederacy.
The (Confederate) Constitution has put at rest forever the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions- African slavery as it exists among us- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the rock upon which the old Union would split He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away...Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it- when the Storm came and the wind blew, it fell. Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth......It is the first government ever instituted upon principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many Governments have been founded upon the principles of certain classes; but the classes thus enslaved were of the same race, and in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of natures laws. The negro by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect in the construction of buildings lays the foundation with the proper material- the granite- then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is the best, not only for the superior but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed in conformity with the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances or to question them.”
Oddly enough, whenever these two speeches are reproduced and posted the discussion stops dead in its tracks. A separate and equally discredited proposition put forward is that the South fought for States Rights and not slavery. Well, I will not post it here, but anyone can Google it. Just enter: Confederate Constitution text and read the results. The Confederacy reproduced the U.S. Constitution almost exactly except for a minor change in how the president was elected, and the major changes of giving Constitutional protections for slavery. Thats right; they reproduced exactly the hated federal system right down to the suspension of habeas Corpus in times of rebellion. So that argument is completely discredited from the start. Yet it is still made as people try and change history for emotional reasons. But history is history and it doesnt change.”
Don’t worry, you don’t have to change your mind. Even if you could. No self respecting Neo Confederate would dare abandon the dream that was Dixie for the hard truths of reality. So enjoy the fantasy of revisionism and don’t let the naysayers pierce the fog of pretending.
Also: consider that the South were actually the instigators of the war. The South had several recourses they had not explored. They wanted war, precisely because they expected that given self-determination, even among only whites, their system of intolerable repression could not withstand scrutiny. Lincoln had promised non-interference in the slavery question, but the South seceded before he was even inaugurated, because they understood that it was the North which fought for self-governance.
The South fought to prevent the Western Territories from being incorporated as Free States, regardless of the will of the people in the Western Territories, for fear that unless they entered the union under the thumb of a slave-holding aristocracy, they would not tolerate slave-holding within their borders.
The South fought to prevent the Northern states from self-determination, but instead sought to impose their laws on the North through the Dred Scott case, the Fugitive Slave Act, and other abominations to Democracy.
Absurdly, the South had managed to claim that their votes represented the votes of the black slaves within them.
The South turned to the Ku Klux Klan to act as the Terrorist wing of the Democratic Party, precisely because they knew that without terror, they could never remain in power, once blacks were permitted to vote.
Losing that war that they chose to start took a wee bit longer.
Lincoln supercharged the Constitution applying powers where none existed. The USC is totally silent on secession. The Goon usurped states rights to the point that they are now secondary to federal law which is bass awkward to original intent. But arguing original intent to a Lincoln Lover is like arguing the merits of the death penalty with the hangman.
I don’t know why the conversation should stop in its tracks. These are statements by two politicians who were trying to elevate their cause into something noble, which it was not. Same as John C. Calhoun using the Bible to justify slavery. What a politician says as we all know often has little to do with the facts. Such is the case with these two statements.
That's really funny since the Confederate Constitution specified the following:
"No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."
It would seem that the Confederates only fought for the white folks in their country.
I’m with Lincoln. You use your authority which he had to keep the Union together. You don’t allow a few rich gentry to destroy the greatest promise on earth because they wanted to keep a dying economic system based on an immoral trade in human beings.
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