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Re: [allthingshistory] Old South, Honest Abe, etc.

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  • Andrew Jackson
    Hello, Father Abraham is not the easiest person to understand. Yes, his election did precipitate secession, and the firing on Fort Sumter initiated the war.
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 16, 2007
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      Hello,
       
      Father Abraham is not the easiest person to understand.  Yes, his election did precipitate secession, and the firing on Fort Sumter initiated the war.  Rather than being a direct cause of the war, slavery was perhaps the largest factor behind sectionalism.  Not that all Southerners favored or liked slavery, they didn't.  "Rich man's war, poor man's fight."The problem was their social system wasn't set up to deal with freed slaves.  The end of Reconstruction and the coming of Jim Crow attests to that.  Nearly a century and a half later, not all the issues have been totally resolved, and that's a pretty sad record. Some abolitionists were not in favor of the war.  They felt that with secession, the sin of slavey would remain in the South and the North would be absolved. There was later no sin for working "free labor" 16 hours a day. And once anti-slavery became part of the rationale for the war, most abolitionists thought the slaves should be freed and remain in the south and have the Southrners deal with them.  With the end of slavery, William Lloyd Garrison closed down his press.  
       
       As noted, for more than the first half, the war either bogged down or went badly for the Union.  Part of Lincoln's greatness is that he was often depressed but did not lose hope and up and quit.  I would guess neurosis and not manic-depressive psychosis. Part of his greatness is that he had the guts to stick it out and go through commanders like a poker dealer going through a deck until he got the right ones.  Father Abraham didn't quit and despite disasters like Cold Harbor and the Wilderness, he kept Grant who also didn't quit. Most of the Southern Command at the beginning of the war stayed on at the end.  Almost none of the initial Northern Command was still there at the end. 
       
      With sagging morale and otherwise, emancipation helped gather abolitionist support.  It also allowed for the recruitment of Negro soldiers.  A few regiments were recruited on the state level, most on the federal level where they were known as the United States Colored Troops. They helped hold the line until recruitment went up, sometimes with threat of the draft.  It was something like the Four Pipers in the North Atlantic that helped hold the line in an undeclared naval war until Pearl Harbor. The U S Colored Troops would win the Blue Max in the same proportion as their white counterparts- and in half the time.
       
      Andrew

      Richard Kelly <richwkelly@...> wrote:
      Tristan:

      I know we arent suposed to disagree, so maybe we can very
      respectfully have differing viewpoints (hey, I like the
      sound of that) on Lincoln. I think when he ran from President
      in 1860, people knew he was against slavery. He had said,
      for example that he wouldnt want to own a slave or be a
      slave. He was certainly on record as opposed to slavery being
      allowed in any of the newly admitted states. So, when he
      won the Presidency in 1860, that is the reason the southern
      states immediately started to leave the Union.

      As for Lincoln being "schizo" I think that might be true,
      but his first priority was "the union must be preserved." So
      when the Civil War started, he was very concerned to prevent
      Maryland and some other of those border states from joining the
      Confederacy, so of course he didnt come across as an abolitionist.
      But then in 1863 he comes out with the Emancipation Proclamation
      and the Civil War becomes clearly about slavery. My impression is
      he didnt sit around worrying about how historians would judge his
      presidency, his presidency was the crisis of Civil War, life or
      death for this country. And as you know, the North made lots of
      blunders, lost some of those early battles, and Lincoln was very
      widely criticized, ridiculed, hated. But he did what he thought was
      right, and we still have a United States of America today. Of course
      we have lots of divisions, differences, and all, but it still stands
      as one nation. I think honest Abe was our greatest President.

      Richard Kelly



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