Skip to comments.Spielberg's Lincoln Movie
Posted on 11/16/2012 7:27:33 AM PST by BobNative
New Movie Propagates Lincoln Historical Myths
If you are planning to see the new, Steven Spielberg directed, Lincoln movie you might want to invest in an accurate history book instead. While it is successfully dramatic, the movie rehashes several 150 year old myths about the Lincoln presidency and Americas most horrible war. First, to the movies credit, the script avoids a key, blatant lie that is currently being taught throughout American public schools today. The script focuses correctly on explaining how slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, not the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincolns proclamation did not apply to any northern states. It only applied to southern territory that was not under control of the Union. Therefore, it was ignored by the Confederacy too. The original proclamation of September 22, 1862, even stated that all southern states could keep their slaves if they returned to the Union by January 1, 1863.
LINCOLN AND SLAVERY: Although properly focused, the movie misleads its audience into believing that Abraham Lincoln was consumed with the thought of freeing slaves. In reality, Lincoln was a white segregationist from Illinois, whose state Constitution had banned permanent black residents since 1848. Lincoln stated repeatedly in his 1861 inaugural address, his 1862 Horace Greely letter and other times during and before the war that his only intent was to preserve the union not free slaves. As a lawyer, Lincoln actually represented Robert Matson, a slave owner who wanted his part-time seasonal slaves returned to him. In 1847, Mr. Lincoln took his case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court where he lost. Throughout his presidency, Lincoln made repeated attempts to colonize all African Americans beginning in 1862 with his Commissioner of Emigration, James Mitchell, the former leader of the American Colonization Society. In April of 1865, well after Congress passed the 13th Amendment and just before his death, Mr. Lincoln was still discussing his colonization plans with Union Army General, Benjamin Butler.
LINCOLN AND THE WAR: The movie aptly shows graphic scenes depicting some of the many horrendous battles in the appalling war against Southern independence where 620,000 Americans died, almost as many Americans killed as in all other wars combined. But the script serves to conceal Lincolns role in instigating the war. Lincoln refused to meet with Confederate commissioners who came to Washington to negotiate a peaceful separation in February of 1861. He did not seek a constitutionally required declaration of war from Congress before initiating the war or petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a ruling as to the legality of secession according to the rights of the states under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He ignored the vast majority opinion of his own cabinet and decided to invade Virginia on July 21, 1861 over objections of his military commanders, Generals Winfield Scott and Irwin McDowell. At that time, the Union had never suffered a single casualty from the Confederate military, which had committed no hostilities against the Union for over three months prior to the invasion. The script tends to ignore these well established, largely suppressed facts and imply that Mr. Lincoln had no choice but war.
CAUSES OF LINCOLNS WAR: The script also tends to deceive the audience into believing that slavery was the major cause of the war. It avoids the issues of Constitutional rights that Jefferson Davis so frequently wrote about and the excessive tariffs that caused South Carolina to initially threaten to secede 30 years earlier. Given that just over 15% of southerners owned slaves, it should be obvious that 85% of southerners were not fighting for the right of the minority 15% to own slaves. Although northern soldiers fought to preserve the union as Lincoln demanded, southern concerns about Constitutional rights and excessive taxation were proven to be justified. After southerners elected state representatives, who voted democratically to secede and unanimously elected Jefferson Davis as their President, they were then forced to fight to protect their homes, families and property from continual invasions. Today, almost all of us are victims of the uncontrollable federal government and taxing excesses that were spawned by President Lincolns war.
LINCOLN AND THE PEOPLE: The script further misleads the audience into believing that Lincoln was a beloved populist although with 39.8% of the vote, he was the most unpopular president ever elected. In one scene, Sally Fields, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln, remarks that: No one has ever been loved so much by the people She obviously was not referring to southerners since they were victimized by death and destruction from dozens of invasions. She also could not have been referring to the 30,000 or so northerners who were imprisoned without trial for opposing the invasion of the south. Among them, 30 Maryland legislators were imprisoned to keep the state from voting to secede and thus preventing the war by encircling Washington D.C. with Confederate states. Hundreds of newspaper editors, publishers and citizens were also imprisoned for publicly opposing the invasion. Imprisoned notables include Frances Key Howard, grandson of star spangled banner author, Francis Scott Key and George Armistead Appleton, grandson of Major George Armistead, who commanded Fort McHenry during the key victory in the war of 1812.
LINCOLN AND HUMANITY: The movie theme seems to purposely exaggerate Abraham Lincolns concern for slaves to falsely portray him as a great humanitarian. In another dramatic scene, Daniel Day Lewis, who plays Lincoln, asks: Shall we stop this bleeding? This line is acutely ironic since it was Lincoln who initiated the bleeding for millions of Americans. Mr. Lincoln personally directed key activities of the Union Army that repeatedly attacked civilian populations. The army burned hundreds of homes in South Carolina, destroyed dozens of farms and killed thousands of head of cattle in the Shenandoah Valley, burned dozens of cities and towns across Georgia, pillaged civilian homes in Fredricksburg, Virginia, and fired cannon shells into the towns of Vicksburg, Mississippi and Petersburg, Virginia for months. These unprecedented atrocities against American citizens are documented in War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco.
CONCLUSION: The movie leaves a burning question as to why Steven Spielberg chose to continue the historical glorification of Abraham Lincoln while covering up the horrible truths about his administration and concealing the source of the greatest atrocities ever committed against American citizens. The real facts must have been uncovered given the historical research that was performed. Did Mr. Spielbergs lust for money and a feel good plot far outweigh his desire to present the full truth? We may never know the answer to such questions. In the meantime, if you are simply looking for dramatic entertainment that will make you comfortable by filling your Kool-Aid cup with propaganda, this movie might be for you. If, on the other hand, you expect any historical documentary to inform you accurately about past events, then your admission fee would be better spent on obtaining an accurate historical education of the Lincoln administration by reading a book such as Professor Thomas DiLorenzos The Real Lincoln.
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“Lincoln refused to meet with Confederate commissioners who came to Washington to negotiate a peaceful separation in February of 1861.”
But then he had no more authority to negotiate a peaceful separation than the Obama administration has to “Peacefully grant the State of...to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government in accord with the various petitions we read about.
“He did not seek a constitutionally required declaration of war...”
Why would a declaration of war be constitutionally required? If they were not acknowledging the right to secede, it would be a matter of an internal insurrection, not an external threat. “The Conch Republic is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West, Florida from the United States on April 23, 1982.” If somebody really wanted to make an issue of it, would Congress have to declare war against the Conch Republic just because they say they are a nation, or could Florida just send in the cops/national guard?
Yes indeed, the sole argument stated as a cause for complaint in South Carolinas declaration was the conflict about Article IV of the Constitution, and it was cited by several other states too; and slavery was the stated issue across all the seceding states even where the constitutional point of Article IV was not cited.
The 2nd time they did. During the Nullification Crisis of 1830 it wasn’t the issue. The Nullification crisis was an attempt by South Carolina to refuse the laws of the National Government due to excessive tariffs by threatening secession. Tariffs were the continuing, burning, simmering, underlying issue. The slavery issue, to the South, was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ by 1860.
Yes, I either support the freedom to choose you own political offiliations or I support slavery......*roll eyes*
You’re running on emotion, not logic and reason.
The arguments in this review are mostly silly.
The best reason not to see it is because it was made by Spielberg.
John Adams represented the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre. He was a stealth Royalist!
Have you ever considered the words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic?
As He died to make men holy, let US die to make men free
Union soldiers were fully aware they were fighting to end slavery. Historical revisionism is irrelevant.
And yet you are apparently totally at a loss to point out any of the imagined fallacies.
Glad you preceded your comment with an accurate disclaimer about it.
You can find documentation to support “slavery was the cause” and you can find it to support the opposite. As the piece says, for 85 percent of Southerners it makes no sense that they were fight for slavery.
This comment, however, is spot on, and a point I have made for years.
“Today, almost all of us are victims of the uncontrollable federal government and taxing excesses that were spawned by President Lincolns war.”
Lincoln decided the question about states rights vs powerful central government. We are now reaping the rewards via Obama and the destruction of the U.S.
That's almost as misleading as calling Nazis "Right wingers"
Democrats were and are liberals. Self determination and independence are and have always been Conservative principles. The will to keep people in plantations clearly militate against that.
you are right. This author and freeper has believed the lefts lies about Lincoln not being so noble.
LOL! That was the exact thought I had.
Have you noticed how otherwise good FReepers who are also Lincoln lovers default to libtard-type “reasoning” when it comes to these discussions?
NO, the arguments in this review are TRUTH....., reason not to see it. Prior to the movie coming out, I knew it would be filled with some NONinformation.......failure to disclose.
Spielberg has a tin ear for history. “Amistad” was a colossal artistic and commercial failure. And though it’s unpopular to say, absent the magnificent first twenty minutes of “Saving Private Ryan,” that film stinks up France.
“Lincoln” is a hit with the critics, but once the castor oil fans dutifully see it opening weekend, along with a bunch of school kids forced to watch it so they can write their “themes,” no one will pay to see it.
BTW, it did officially “open” — in eleven hand-picked theaters — and sold out. Big deal.
Watch it drop like the stock market when it plays in the multiplex in the mall.
You are absolutely correct. ALL Conservatives should not see this or any film made by Obama sycophants.