Skip to comments.Lincoln on the Defensive
Posted on 06/23/2013 5:55:07 PM PDT by Para-Ord.45
From the time Abraham Lincoln entered the White House nearly a century and a half ago, there has been an anti-Lincoln tradition in American life. President John Tylers son, writing in 1932, seemed to speak for a silent minority: I think he was a bad man, wrote Lyon Gardiner Tyler, a man who forced the country into an unnecessary war and conducted it with great inhumanity.
Throughout his presidency Lincoln was surrounded by rivals, even among his own cabinet. Outside the White House, his many enemies included conservative Whigs, Democrats, northern copperheads and New England abolitionists. Wisconsin editor, Marcus M. Pomeroy, sniped that Lincoln was a
worse tyrant and more inhuman butcher than has existed since the days of Nero.
Shortly before his reelection Pomeroy added: The man who votes for Lincoln now is a traitor and murderer.
And if he is elected to misgovern for another four years, we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
NOT TO WORRY. THE GREAT EMPANCIPATOR will never be short of defenders, like Lincoln apologist Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, whose recent cover story, Lincoln Defended, calls Lincolns critics a fringe of left-over agrarians, southern romantics, and people-owning libertarians who apparently hate federal power more than they abhor slavery. A cheap shot, certainly, but judging from the growth of the anti-Lincoln press, those left-over agrarians and libertarians are as fanatical in their abhorrence of Abe as Lowry is in his admiration.
What is it about Mr. Lincoln that offends so many libertarians and traditionalists? And what is it that has put so many Lincolnophiles on the defensive? You might say they are the same things that bother libertarians and traditional conservatives about todays leaders.
Then as now critics objected to Lincolns unnecessary war of coercion in which 650,000 soldiers and countless civilians died. In this time of preventable conflicts, Lincolns war against the CSA was the bloodiest and arguably most needless military adventure in American history, one fought not to free slaves, but to crush an independence movement.
Second, disgruntled Americans are reconsidering the idea of secession. Secessionist movements are finding fertile soil from Vermont to Alaska. Because the nation was founded upon a revolution, no one disputes a natural right to revolt; why then is the right to peacefully secede considered unconstitutional? Only because Lincoln established the precedent that if any state secedes it will be invaded, pillaged, and burned to the ground. The nations perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments, Lincoln insisted.
Third, there was the illegal way Lincoln conducted his war: refusing to trade prisoners, seizing civilians guns, shutting down newspapers, waging total war against civilians, arresting rival politicians, expanding the military and appropriating funds without Congressional approval, and illegally suspending habeas corpus. All of this bears an eerie resemblance to the abuses that have occurred in Americas recent wars, i.e., torture, trial without jury, drone attacks on civilians, and wiretapping phones.
Fourth, it was during Lincolns presidency that power shifted radically from the states to Washington, D.C. and Wall Street. The federal government always grows like a weed during wartime, but it has seldom expanded like it did during Lincolns tenure.
Fifth, Lincoln began the campaign to Northernize the South. Everything unique about the traditional Southern way of life was stamped out by the anti-Jeffersonian Lincoln: its simpler, agrarian tradition, its anti-industrialism, and its disdain of the Norths Philistine materialism.
Lincoln was a response to a determined effort by the proponents of slavery to extend slavery into the new territories of the west, into the free states of the north, and into to-be-acquired territories to the south.
He had his shortcomings, and there are aspects of the country changed under his watch that I certainly don’t approve of. But when I consider what the world would be like, had his opponents carried the day, I have to credit him for making the world a better place.
The confeds went to war against the north and Lincoln had the temerity to fight back. The focus of blame is misapplied here.
The best recommendation for Lincoln and his policies is an examination of his Confederate opponents and the intrusive government that they imposed on the South. Lincoln was fighting a despotic political power grab, not a popular uprising undertaken in behalf of liberty.
How can you consider what the world would be like if the Civil War had not existed?
You can have a theory, but only that.
Slavery would have died out on it’s own as new farm equipment did away with the need for it. Thousands of men would have lived.
STARTED an unneccessary war???
Seems I recall the SOUTH firing upon Fort Sumter. Unless history has it all wrong...
Sociology from the pages of Gone with the Wind. In truth the Southern philistines who called the shots were so into making money that they wouldn't stop the lucrative cotton planting long enough to direct their slave labor to grow food to feed the despised "white trash" and their families who were doing the slave owners' fighting for them.
Hard to argue with that one.
The planters suffered from the delusion they were aristocrats, and they were the closest we ever got in this country.
As with all aristocrats down through history, they professed a noble disdain for filthy lucre, while being at least as greedy for it as the northern merchants and mechanics they despised.
Anybody who bases their “way of life” on permanent kidnapping, torture and rape of other people thoroughly deserves to have their way of life destroyed. IMO.
You Coven boys are starting to get slammed pretty hard lately. Looks like the effort to unreconstruct history of the late “unpleasantness” is catching on.
Ok how is it that almost all slave holders took out life insurance policies on there slaves? How is it that Yankee insurers would pay if a slave owner abused their slave? How is it that the cost of a slave in 1860 would be about 100,000 dollars today? How is that some one would abuse something so valuable? How is that?
No one claimed that the slavers were all that bright - just determined.
Do yo really think insurance companies didn’t investigate when they had to pay a life insurance claim on a dead slave? Do you think you could buy a slave and just work em to death then get a payout from New York Life? Do you really buy that?
I think a true understanding of the conflict is especially profitable today because so many of President Obama’s dangerous inclinations like gun control and domestic spying had their parallels in Confederate practice.
If you were enslaved and treated the same as these people were, would you consider yourself to have been kidnapped? I suspect you would.
If you didn’t work fast enough and were flogged to “encourage” you, would you consider that torture?
If your wife, also enslaved, was forced to endure the sexual advances of the master, would you consider it rape?
You know, lots of white men and women in the 18th and 19th centuries were subjected to exactly such treatment when enslaved by Muslim.? Do you consider their treatment to have been justified because they were worth a lot of money?
BTW, thanks for recognizing the great financial value of a slave, as it shows why the South was (logically enough) willing to go to war over a threat to their capital investment.
Let’s use your numbers. 4,000,000 human beings x $100,000 - $400,000,000,000. That’s getting up into territory where it would actually show up in the federal budget.
Actually, I suspect it’s high, but half that number is probably reasonably close.
Because there are a seemingly infinite number of boobs like Mr. Orlet out there? He is wrong in oh so many ways, but none more egregious than his claim that the attacks on Lincoln are recent. They aren't. Books trying to tear down Lincoln go back well over a century and began as an attempt to justify the South's abject defeat by trying to destroy the man who beat them. As if diminishing Lincoln somehow made their whupping easier to take. Which makes sense, I suppose. If you get mugged that doesn't make the mugger a better person than you. Exactly the opposite. Ripping Lincoln is supposed to make the South nobler by comparison. Like they were somehow victimized by a rabid monster. It is all part of the Lost Cause mythology. The fact is that the South was the instigator of their own defeat, and are responsible for their own suffering.
In 1860 dollars the value of all the slaves was somewhere in the vicinity of $2B to $3B.
To put that into some perspective, the federal budget for 1860 totaled $60,000,000.
So the slaves were worth around 50x the federal budget. Which gives a good notion why the idea of compensated emancipation wouldn’t work. Except possibly very gradually.
So 4 million slave insurance policies? Really?
That is your theory. And you base it on...?