LINCOLN

39 comments

Posted on 26th January 2013 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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We went to see Lincoln this past weekend. I know this is sacrilege to all of the Lincoln haters out there. My view of Abraham Lincoln has changed dramatically since I started this site. I had been brainwashed to believe the myth that Lincoln was a saintly figure who freed the slaves. After reading the arguments of flash and many others on the site, I realized the history taught in our schools is a whitewashed version of the truth. I do not believe Lincoln was evil, as some try to argue. I believe he was a flawed human being, put into an extremely difficult situation, who made decisions which set in motion an ever more powerful Federal government.

I personally thought the movie was outstanding. Spielberg did not glorify Lincoln. He humanized him. It was not a tribute to Lincoln. It was a balanced examination of the year 1865. I consider myself a student of history and a Civil War buff, so I found the movie to be fascinating and informative. Spielberg brought the same brutal gritty realism to Lincoln that he brought to Schindler’s List. From a film-making standpoint, it deserves to be in the running for Best Movie. Daniel Day Lewis should be a lock for Best Actor. He is brilliant and believable as Lincoln. Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens deserve strong consideration for Best Supporting Actors.

Spielberg does not candy coat Lincoln’s actions. The Democrat and Southern view of Lincoln as a killer, law breaker, and tyrant is voiced loudly in the scenes during Congressional debates. The movie is entirely set during the historic year of 1865 and focuses on the passage of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. I particularly liked seeing the attitudes, decisions and dynamics of the last year of the Civil War Fourth Turning. It gives me an inkling of what will happen during this current Fourth Turning.

The scene where Lincoln pleads with his cabinet to support his effort to pass the 13th Amendment captures the complexity of Lincoln with all his faults, frailties, and fortitude. The reason he wanted the 13th Amendment passed during the lame duck session of Congress before his 2nd inauguration is because he knew that he had broken the law by freeing slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation. He originated the concept of Executive Orders. He was fairly certain the courts would overturn it. Therefore, he needed the amendment to pass before this could occur. Spielberg doesn’t try to gloss over the fact that Lincoln committed criminal acts by suspending habeus corpus and interpreting the Constitution in any way that helped his cause. Lincoln needed 20 Democrat votes in the House to get his amendment passed. He hired men to bribe the required number of Congressmen. He bribed them with patronage jobs, cash, and threats of retribution.

If you think Congress is corrupt and dysfunctional today, it was just as bad in 1865. Again, this was a Fourth Turning. There are no compromises in a Fourth Turning. The wars are fought to a final decisive conclusion. The leaders during a Fourth Turning will do whatever is required to win. They don’t worry about the means to their ends. This is the slippery slope that Lincoln needed to walk. The actions he took during these years have had far reaching consequences that he didn’t consider at the time. The power of the Federal government and the industrial corporate interests became conjoined and have grown ever larger over time. Future Presidents have used Lincoln’s decisions as the basis for expanding the power of the Executive branch. Many Libertarian minded people despise Lincoln for the actions he took during the Civil War.

I do not believe he was an evil man. I believe he was a decent man put into a terrible situation who made many mistakes, but ultimately kept the country together. Some would argue that he should have let the South form their own country. Would we have been better off? Slavery as an institution was immoral and evil. How long would it have lasted in a seperate Southern nation? Maybe 10 years. How many border wars or national wars would have occurred if there were two Americas? The industrial North would have grown ever more powerful and the South would have been left behind. Attempting to reunite the country was not an evil act.

Lincoln bore a terrible burden during his Presidency. He lost his young son Willie to typohoid fever and this loss practically drove his wife insane. He was elected to office with only 30% of the popular vote. His cabinet thought they were smarter than him and were often uncontrollable. He had radical Republicans on one side and secessionist Democrats on the other. He was the only moderate in Washington DC. The battlefield deaths took a terrible toll on him. He was haunted by the 600,000 dead souls. He was plagued by terrible generals during the 1st few years of the war. He aged terribly over four years. His sorrow bore heavily on his soul.

Abraham Lincoln: Before (1858) and After (1865)

The information which I found most eye opening in the movie was the impact of Thaddeus Stevens on passage of the 13th Amendment. He was a Congressman from my neck of the woods in Montgomery County PA. He was a nasty SOB. His tirades in Congress against his opponents would make him a perfect fit on TBP. He was the leader of the Radical Republicans and the chief proponent of freeing the slaves. He believed they should have the right to vote and were the equals of white people. This was radical thought in 1865. He never married, but his common-law wife was black. He hated Lincoln. He hated the South. He hated Democrats. His hate knew no bounds. But Lincoln needed him to pretend to be moderate in order to get the amendment passed. He sacrificed his ego and rose to the occasion. Without his efforts, the amendment would have never passed.

Most Southerners have always hated Lincoln and still hate him to this day, but his assassination was the worst thing that could have happened to the South. He had no malice towards the South, its leaders, or its people. He wanted a reunion of the states. He did not want retribution, hangings, or reparations. He would have treated the South with respect. Instead he was replaced by Andrew Johnson. Thaddeus Stevens led the effort to make the South pay for their sins. When Johnson did not go along, Stevens led the effort to impeach him. Reconstruction was brutal on the people of the South and the blowback was worse for the poor blacks that made no progress over most of the next century.

I find it fascinating that it was the Republican Party that freed the slaves and fought for their equality, but now 148 years later black people vote 90% for the Democratic Party. The blacks were treated so badly in the South for the 100 years after the Civil War that it was Democrat guilt that brought about the entitlement state with LBJ’s Great Society. Democrats tried to buy the votes of black people with entitlements. What has happened over the last 50 years has been a re-enslavement of black people in the chains of welfare. They are now trapped in urban plantations with no hope of escape. I wonder if they grasp the irony.

I know flash and others will not be changing their opinions about Abraham Lincoln, but I believe that every human being has good and evil within them. We are all terribly flawed and subject to the circumstances we are placed in. We often judge historical figures without putting ourselves in the context of their situation. Having the responsibility thrust upon him, Lincoln did whatever it took to try and preserve the Union. He broke laws, overstepped his Constitutional authority, imprisoned his opponents, ordered hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths, and ultimately preserved the Union. He was a strong decisive leader. Fourth Turnings always require such a person or persons. We may get the chance to test our own mettle, as this Fourth Turning progresses. I wonder if we will be up to the task.

1865 was one of the most important years in the history of our country. Decades of history occurred in the space of one year. The Battle of Wilmngton NC, the 3rd Battle of Petersburg, passage of 13th Amendment, Lincoln’s 2nd Inauguration, Surrender at Appomattox, and assassination of Lincoln all occurred in the first five months of 1865. Fourth Turnings always build to a crescendo of intensity, disarray, and a decisive dramatic conclusion. Spielberg captures this dynamic in his excellent movie.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants a better understanding of this important time in history. It does a fine job of distinguishing between the myth of Lincoln and the reality of Lincoln. Even the Lincoln haters might like it.

39 Comments
  1. Gayle says:

    Thanks for the movie review and the attempt to reconcile profoundly different views of Lincoln. I haven’t seen it yet, but I wil put it on my priority list.

    I was struck, as I was reading your descriptions of how “his sorrows wore heavily on his soul,” that perhaps the assassin’s bullet was ultimately an act of mercy provided by Providence for Mr. Lincoln.

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    26th January 2013 at 10:09 pm

  2. GreasedUpWillie says:

    Good input Admin. It is easy to monday morning quarterback Lincolns various contreversial decisions, and I think a lot of the Lincoln-hate is a result of that. But those years were probably the most trying in the history of the nation. Lincoln fought to keep the nation together, while the north got it’s ass kicked until Gettysburg. He did it while dealing with the death of his son. Facing unrest over the draft. And dealing with a hard fought election in 64, where with things finally going in the Union’s favor, his former general McClellan tried hard to win the election and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And when all was said and done, he got an assasin’s bullet for his troubles. Yes he made some mistakes, but I have always considered him one of the greats.

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    26th January 2013 at 1:20 am

  3. Administrator says:

    Countdown to flash posting 46 articles by Tom DiLorenzo

    5,4,3,2,1 ……

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    26th January 2013 at 7:38 am

  4. Welshman says:

    The cotton gin was the end of slavery, as slaves were a pain in the ass. The perfect slave would have been one with a ignition switch like a gas engine. Look at the prices of horses and farm land for oats once the gasoline engine was perfected.

    While your take on Lincoln was a nice read, he was a evil prick period. But I agree his assination really hurt the South recovery.

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    26th January 2013 at 8:10 am

  5. flash says:

    admin– very nice…I almost shed a tear and I’m not being sarcastic.You have the gift.

    That said, it was a movie.

    Lincoln could have cared less about the 13th amendment and yes it does need to be said ,everything that flows out of Hollywood is permeated with the taint of bullshit.

    For the record , there is very little animosity left in the south towards Lincoln and only amongst those that have studied history and rightly despise all tyrants whether of the nazi, communist or republican persuasion.The old genteel south is dead…never to be resurrected.The majority of modern southerners are transients and have no basic knowledge of Southern culture or heritage and whats more , have no interest in learning….Nowadays Honey Boo Boo and Buckwild capture their imagination… Antietam not so much…never even hear of it.

    After reading your review and synopsis of Lincoln the man and the movie,I look forward to seeing the movie , but I’ll have to wait for the DVD for various reasons.

    BTW, I’m honored to have been influential in kindling your interest in learning more about the Real Lincoln.I’d like to think it some small payment towards the vast wealth of socioeconomic and political education you’ve spilled your guts providing for any who care to partake on TBP for the last 4 years.

    A tip of the hat to you sir.

    tip-of-the-hat1.gif

    http://lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo245.html
    It never happened according to the foremost authority on Lincoln among mainstream Lincoln scholars, Harvard University Professor David H. Donald, the recipient of several Pulitzer prizes for his historical writings, including a biography of Lincoln. David Donald is the preeminent Lincoln scholar of our time who began writing award-winning books on the subject in the early 1960s. On page 545 of his magnus opus, Lincoln, Donald notes that Lincoln did discuss the Thirteenth Amendment with two members of Congress – James M. Ashley of Ohio and James S. Rollins of Missouri. But if he used “means of persuading congressmen to vote for the Thirteeth Amendment,” the theme of the Spielberg movie, “his actions are not recorded. Conclusions about the President’s role rested on gossip . . .”

    Moreover, there is not a shred of evidence that even one Democratic member of Congress changed his vote on the Thirteenth Amendment (which had previously been defeated) because of Lincoln’s actions. Donald documents that Lincoln was told that some New Jersey Democrats could possibly be persuaded to vote for the amendment “if he could persuade [Senator] Charles Sumner to drop a bill to regulate the Camden & Amboy [New Jersey] Railroad, but he declined to intervene” (emphasis added). “One New Jersey Democrat,” writes David Donald, “well known as a lobbyist for the Camden & Amboy, who had voted against the amendment in July, did abstain in the final vote, but it cannot be proved that Lincoln influenced his change” (emphasis added). Thus, according to the foremost authority on Lincoln, there is no evidence at all that Lincoln influenced even a single vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, in complete contradiction of the writings of the confessed plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin and Steven Spielberg’s movie (See my review of Goodwin’s book, entitled “A Plagiarist’s Contribution to Lincoln Idolatry”).

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    26th January 2013 at 8:18 am

  6. flash says:

    Welshman, Slavery was becoming non-profitable due to cost of keeping slaves and mechanization that rendered large labor pools obsolete . It was only a matter of time before it would have been ended itself . Entire plantations and the slaves working were being abandoned because clothing, feeding and housing slaves ate up any ROI they could produce.

    And, this fact is meticulously documented in the Harnett T Kane book linked below.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gone-days-Harnett-Thomas-Kane/dp/B0006AWLCE

    800,000 Americans did not have to die.

    The rabid instigators of War agasint the South was the abolitionists like Andrew Johnson. Thaddeus, who not only wanted to end slavery, but they wanted the slaves to rise up in rebellion and slaughter Southerners enmass.And the abolitionists proponents of Secession from the slave states long before Southrons ever took to the idea.

    The means justify the end, abolitionists are not unlike the passive -aggressive pro-tards of the day, who not only want Constitutionalists silenced, but have no qualms about how it’s done..dead or alive, if you will.

    Bill Hoyt has an excellent book document the rabid ideology of death to Southerners adopted by a war mongering industrialized north.Give it a read…there’s more to this story than Spielberg cares to reveal.

    Good Hater: George Henry Hoyt’s War on Slavery [Kindle Edition]
    Bill Hoyt (Author)
    http://www.amazon.com/Good-Hater-George-Slavery-ebook/dp/B008ET8BZA/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359208075&sr=1-3&keywords=bill+hoyt

    I think it worth noting that after the industrialized North ran roughshod over a mostly agrarian society, no white man who served the Confederacy( and that would have been all) was allowed to hold state office , which saw the statehouses packed with blacks who stole the people, blind.

    After it became apparent that the newly appointed black legislatures were incompetent legislatures and only interested in thievery, the Federal Thugacracy had to step in an allow whites to retake the reigns of Southern government if there was to be one.

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    26th January 2013 at 9:00 am

  7. TC says:

    The South would have been left behind? LOL… Other than that line, an otherwise convincing writeup. Had sworn I wouldn’t see the movie, but guess we’ll spring the $1 when it comes out on Redbox.

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    26th January 2013 at 9:03 am

  8. Bostonbob says:

    Admin, I always had an interest inn history and how it was told. I had a fascinating professor at UMass named Stephen B. Oates. Great Civil war and Lincoln professor. He would bring the period alive with music, dramatic readings and some of the earliest pictures in American history. He had us read his biography of Lincoln “With Malice Towards None”. Tremendously well written tome on Lincoln, fast and easy read. Well worth the time if the subject interests you. We also had to read “Killer Angels” a must read for the Civil War Period. He was later accused of plagerism which he fought vociferously, and was cleared. After watching Professor Dilorenzo tear Doris Kearns Goodwin a new asshole I was tempted to skip this movie, but you have changed my mind. I think it is time to reread “With Malice Toward None” again to gain a more balanced view.
    Thank you,
    Bob.

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    26th January 2013 at 9:14 am

  9. daddysteve says:

    “the fact that Lincoln committed criminal acts by suspending habeus corpus and interpreting the Constitution in any way that helped his cause”

    A tradition carried through to modern times. Truly great Americans.

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    26th January 2013 at 10:15 am

  10. TeresaE says:

    The “anger” I feel, which occasionally manifests itself in my bashing of various Presidents – Lincoln being a favorite target – has nearly nothing to do with the MAN/MEN, themselves.

    It truly bothers me that I, we, have been intentionally lied to while told how “moral” and “righteous” our nation is.

    But what truly pisses me off is that the majority of humans are so intellectually compromised that even when presented with evidence to the contrary (Obama’s drones, for instance), they will fall back on their grade-school programming and shout down the truth if it doesn’t match.

    Because I live with such a human – and see them everywhere, on every website, in every CSPAN lecture – it truly sets me over the edge.

    Then I wonder what great things our future descendents will be taught about Obama, Hillary, Pelosi. Will Obama be made a national hero for using drones to kill Pakistani children? Will he be glorified for re-education camps? Stealing what others have earned? Stripping our guns? Shredding our Constitution (or what was left of it)?

    Or will he be the guy that sets us upon the true end, and the history will be spoken in another tongue with us, the American “deciding” voter, being portrayed as evilly as the former German citizens turned hating, killing, Nazis have been portrayed to us?

    We were spoon-fed hatred of the Nazis and Russians, and not just the guys whom made the actual decisions, but the PEOPLE.

    Don’t we understand that WE are going to be judged the same way? I do. And yes, it angers the hell out of me.

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    26th January 2013 at 10:25 am

  11. AWD says:

    “If you think Congress is corrupt and dysfunctional today, it was just as bad in 1865″

    Maybe, but they were wrestling with getting people out of slavery. Obama and Congress today are trying to put people INTO slavery. Welfare, disability, SNAP, unemployment vacations make people slaves to the government. The massive increase in taxes makes workers slaves as they render 50% or more of benefits of their labor unto the government.

    The total U.S. population in 1865 was 35.2 million. Today, there are 128 million people getting money from the government, and 30 million government workers.

    obama_slavery_answer_1_xlarge.jpeg

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    26th January 2013 at 10:43 am

  12. Bostonbob says:

    Admin,
    I had another teacher who was a strong advocate of comparative history and he would often cite Arnold J. Toynbee. I had not read Toynbee extensively, but I recall he had done voluminous work on studying the rise and fall of civiliztions. He had an interesting backround dating back to WWI where he worked in the Political Intelligence Department for the British. He was at the Paris Peace Conference for the English as was Edward Bernays was there with Wilson. He has interesting views on turnings and how civilisations ultimately decline or survive.

    Study of History

    In 1934-1954, Toynbee’s ten-volume A Study of History came out in three separate installments. He followed Oswald Spengler in taking a comparative topical approach to independent civilizations. Toynbee’s said they displayed striking parallels in their origin, growth, and decay. Toynbee rejected Spengler’s biological model of civilizations as organisms with a typical life span of 1,000 years.

    Of the 21 civilizations Toynbee identified, sixteen were dead by 1940 and four of the remaining five were under severe pressure from the one named Western Christendom – or simply The West. He explained breakdowns of civilizations as a failure of creative power in the creative minority, which henceforth becomes a merely ‘dominant’ minority; that is followed by an answering withdrawal of allegiance and mimesis on the part of the majority; finally there is a consequent loss of social unity in the society as a whole.[7]

    Toynbee explained decline as due to their moral failure. Many readers, especially in the US, rejoiced in his implication (in vols. 1-6) that only a return to some form of Christianity could halt the breakdown of western civilization which began with the Reformation. Volumes 7-10, published in 1954 abandoned the religious message and his popular audience slipped away, while scholars gleefully picked apart his mistakes.[8]

    This is a surprisingly accurate depiction of our current situation. My reading of it is that it does not end well for many of us.
    Thank you,
    Bob.

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    26th January 2013 at 10:48 am

  13. flash says:

    TE, you’ll be happy to know…

    ObamaOnMountRushmore-1.jpg

    The Northern corporatist elite defeated nontaxable chattel slavery so they could replace it with wage slavery coupled with taxation for life…. LOL…break what chains?

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    26th January 2013 at 10:52 am

  14. gubmint cheese says:

    Lincoln was a truly amazing man

    Quite the multi-tasker. Suspend habeas corpus, put down riots, institute the draft, crush the southern sucession and still have spare time to slay vampires.

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    26th January 2013 at 11:06 am

  15. Administrator says:

    Flash

    Let’s do a what if scenario.

    What if Lincoln had let the Southern States form their own country.

    How would history have changed?

    How long would slavery have lasted in the South?

    Would the North & South have gone to war eventually over something else?

    Could each piece have thrived without the other?

    Would it have prevented our country from becoming an Empire?

    Would life be better or worse today?

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    26th January 2013 at 11:18 am

  16. Administrator says:

    BostonBob

    I’ve probably read 100 books about the Civil War over the course of my life. The author that got me inspired to learn more was Bruce Catton. He brought the times and the battles to life with his prose.

    I’m sure someone thinks he is a propagandist Northerner.

    The truth is a complex concept.

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    26th January 2013 at 11:22 am

  17. flash says:

    Admin- Have no crystal ball ,I have no answer to “what if’s” , but I do know that Lincoln loosing a several hundred thousand killers and plunderers onto a mostly docile Southern population was wrong and unnecessary in any context.More mass murderer has been committed under the banner of peace than under any other.
    The flowery rhetoric spewed by Lincoln and the brutal action he undertook to quell rebellion were polar opposites and are only reconciled in twisted logic and outright lies.

    Would not diplomacy and wait and see policy been more of a hallmark of greatness than a mad rush to slaughter and subjection? And, for genocide and destruction of the those seeking self-determination (see the farce of Wilsonian doctrine) a psychopathic killer get his mug on a host of national monuments…only in bizarroo land.

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    26th January 2013 at 11:45 am

  18. AWD says:

    An accountant AND a history buff?

    Nerdly says what…

    geek.jpg

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    26th January 2013 at 12:33 pm

  19. Kill Bill says:

    Then…

    Republicans, IE Lincoln, were big powerful central government federalistas and the Democrats, IE Jefferson, were the small limited governmenters not beholden to the money trust.

    Today…

    The roles would seem to be reversed if you listened to the words they spew publcly but are not when you look at the actions they have taken behind closed doors.

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    26th January 2013 at 12:35 pm

  20. Bostonbob says:

    What…
    Thank you,
    Bob.

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    26th January 2013 at 1:01 pm

  21. Bostonbob says:

    Admin,
    I am not familiar with Catton I will give him a try.I do not belive I have approached 100, although I may be close to that on WWII. The most recent havin been Laura Hiienbrand’s book “Unbroken”, a truly extrordinary story about a guy who I believe is still alive today.
    Thank you,
    Bob.

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    26th January 2013 at 1:12 pm

  22. Administrator says:

    Bob

    He won the Pulitzer Prize for Stillness at Appomattox.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Catton

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    26th January 2013 at 1:35 pm

  23. Administrator says:

    Flash

    I don’t know if Lincoln had the option to try diplomacy. Would his own party have allowed it? I don’t know. That period was so wild and chaotic, it is tough to guage what was actually possible. Fourth Turnings seem to have a life of their own, driven by the mood of the generations. I think war was probably inevitable and probably unavoidable. But, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know for sure.

    The deaths of 700,000 was certainly a large price to pay for preserving the Union. Was it worth it? Not if we can’t win during this Fourth Turning.

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    26th January 2013 at 1:42 pm

  24. Eddie says:

    We read the Catton books in American History where I went to school. After reading Thomas Dilorenzo, I have to admit that Catton left a few things out.

    Catton was a great story teller, and his works were prized for their great prose as much or more than their scholarly content…..and his books were probably selected for us by my professor because they were a lot more readable than some of the others.

    We were Freshmen then, and young.

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    26th January 2013 at 3:29 pm

  25. BUCKHED says:

    “Most Southerners have always hated Lincoln and still hate him to this day, but his assassination was the worst thing that could have happened to the South. He had no malice towards the South,”

    So Jim….was this lack of malice on Lincoln’s part before or after Sherman’s march to the sea. The same march in which his soldiers killed one of my relatives who tried to flee the area to get medical help for a sick family member.

    Sherman stated in his memoirs that Lincoln was delighted at the tales of the carnage that he brought to the Southern states .

    I listened to my Grandmother tell stories of the Civil War and the occupation of the Federals which were first hand accounts from her Grandmother…none of it was pretty.

    I’ve read hundreds of original letters, still in local families hands,about life before,during and after the War Of Northern Aggression….none is pretty.

    I read the first hand account ( the original letter) of the burning of Columbia by the Mayor of Columbia, who told how the city was burned by drunken soldiers.

    Flash the Old South isn’t gone….my family has been here since 1710 perhaps even earlier. We make sure Yankee’s don’t infect the place..LOL

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    26th January 2013 at 5:58 pm

  26. flash says:

    Administrator- It’s likely Lincoln was a tool of North Eastern/Anglican money interests of his day and trod the path chosen for him, but regardless the hero worship of any man so deeply involved in the destruction of life, capital and infrastructure as was Lincoln is very telling of one characteristic of human nature.
    The evil wrought by Lincoln and his Thugacracy and sanctioned by New England establishment churches was so repulsive and against all nature of humanity , that the only recourse left for good folk was to revise history, rationalize away the means to justify the end and use a propagandized press to turn Lincoln from Satan to Saint for the sanctity of their own souls.

    The soul scorching burden of having participated in the , humiliation,murder, rape and robbery of an entire Nation of people by action or silence was more then a mere mortal could bear, so the myth of great, but humble philosopher king Lincoln came to save a nation in times of turmoil spewed forth , not for the cleansing of the image of Lincoln the tyrant , but for the cleansing of the souls of the guilty
    The Lincoln myth serves as window dressing for an Empire built on lies.

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    26th January 2013 at 7:57 pm

  27. taxSlave says:

    Lincoln was a monster.

    Chattel slaver is an abomination.

    Tax slavery is an Obamination.

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    26th January 2013 at 8:25 pm

  28. AWD says:

    600,000 dead souls in the civil war. The total U.S. population in 1865 was 35.2 million.

    Extrapolating for today’s population (335 million souls), that would be the equivalent of almost 6 million dead in today’s numbers. Wow.

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    26th January 2013 at 9:40 pm

  29. Novista says:

    Latest Civil War death toll revised – 750,000, demographic analysis based on census comparisons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    As for what if’s … the first I remember reading was Ward Moore’s “Bring the Jubilee” , an alternate history by a damnyankee.

    Extrapolating from a peaceful separation, it is likely the institution of slavery would have terminated within a decade. Mechanization in the South would have happened earlier had northern machinery been more affordable. In the interim, the 450,000 abolitionists in the north would have been active and the underground railroad bringing more black souls to freedom. PIty about the black codes in some of the northern states …

    Lincoln probably would have gotten his ‘colonization’ scheme going as a result.

    With the South as a independent country, there would have been diplomacy and trade with Europe and England. Improved agricultural methods would have led to other progress and growth. The 5% of slaveowners may well have taken a leaf from England, compensated emancipation — when the early machines could each do the work of 19 men, the alternative to slavery became attractive.

    Lincoln would probably have been a one-term president and gone back to being a railroad lawyer.

    Going beyond, hard to say what major events would have been derailed. Spanish-American War? World War One? etc. A lot of Civil War profiteers would never have had that opportunity and the ‘Money Power’ in New York might have looked considerably different as a result.

    Anyway, here’s another speculation: how would things have unfolded if Lincoln had not been assassinated?

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    26th January 2013 at 12:38 am

  30. flash says:

    Novista , this new dead number (and I’ve seen it revised as high as 800,000) only accounts .The for the military dead.The ravaged land and decimated infrastructure coupled with the theft or destruction of anything edible left a Southern populace homeless, starving and highly susceptible to all sort of disease associated with malnutrition and exposure to the elements.

    Cemeteries full of mother and children’s graves fully attest to the defeat and subsequent plunder of the Southland by a ravenous gangs of Northern vagabonds.

    And ,the poverty and deprivation left in the wake of a huge swarms of Yankee sweeping the countryside lingered well on into the 20th century.It wasn’t until the three decades ago that the South began to regain some semblance of regional prosperity and growth, but now that turns out to have been more of a illusion brought about by cheep credit and low interest rates than anything else.

    The service jobs are the only thing keeping the new Southron rap crap culture blasting, but for how much longer without the foundation of creating products of absolute necessity.

    I see a generation of effeminate wanna-be boys and me-so special rosebud chatterboxes that have never had to do so much as wash a dish or hang out laundry about to be thrust in a “root hog or die” situation of which their parent bear the brunt of responsibility.

    But, then we reap what we sow…..

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    26th January 2013 at 7:29 am

  31. flash says:

    BUCKHED ,Flash the Old South isn’t gone.

    I’d like to thin so too, but the Southron culture died with the integration of a barbaric culture into the public mainstream .Supposedly, the idea was to lift the barbarians up by exposure to civilized culture , but the opposite happened .Hedonism, vulgarity and entitlement won the day.

    I think of my grandparents sometimes and wonder at the culture shock they would experience being thrust in to the present culture of baby daddy and joey has two dads.
    Filth in filth out.

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    26th January 2013 at 7:45 am

  32. flash says:

    Admin-Thanks for this post. Another way of viewing the War of Northern Aggression (and all wars hence) is in the realm of population control.

    335 million today, but what if no one died prematurely? What quantities would resources required to sustain life be available to the common man?

    Is war a necessary evil , regardless the victor, if for nothing else but population control?
    Just as we have a deer season to control the grazing herd ,must there be a season of war to control the human herds?

    e.g. I used to live in what was considered a wilderness area , where my dogs ran free unmolested by humans, boundaries against hunting were almost non-existent and permits and zoning to build whatever was necessary was something city folk suffered, but now the city-bred assholes have surrounded me and brought their effeminate rabbit people rules and regulations with them… I constantly hear from the femi-nazis and their dickless men-folk ” there ought to be law” as if the 30 thousand we have now is not enough.

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    26th January 2013 at 8:12 am

  33. Administrator says:

    Buckhed

    War is hell. Ask the Germans who lived in Dresden. Soldiers are trained to kill. Deal with it.

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    26th January 2013 at 8:25 am

  34. Administrator says:

    flash

    War is certainly horrible. The South did bear the brunt of the misery. I wonder whether these Fourth Turning wars are unavoidable. It seems like the situations build to a point where resolution can only happen with bloodshed.

    I like to choose disagreeable subjects, because that gets the best comments. I particularly liked Novista’s comment.

    Would it have been better or worse for the South if Lincoln had not been assassinated?

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    26th January 2013 at 8:49 am

  35. flash says:

    admin- IMO it would not only have been better for the South if Lincoln had not been assassinated due to his willingness to re-assimilate the South into the Union sans penalties and perfection, but maybe for the nation as well per his plan to repatriate the the free blacks back to their homeland.
    Mixing a barbarian culture that lags behind western culture by 800 years or so has only drawn western culture to the level of a base tribal society .

    From the WTF department :I just re-read the post and WP had changed re-assimilate to infinitesimal…go figure?

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    26th January 2013 at 9:23 am

  36. Administrator says:

    flash

    I know Lincoln had spoken about sending blacks back to their own country or a new colony, but I thought that was earlier in his life. Was he still considering that as a serious option in 1865?

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    26th January 2013 at 9:32 am

  37. flash says:

    It has been said that the North defeated the South with one arm tied behinds it’s back and this is surely the case since the North had the funding via fiat , the industrial might and an unlimited supply of European immigrants…mostly Irish that they took directly from ship to shitstorm i.e cannon fodder if you will.
    The South had no gold to speak of, untrustworthy currency and a dwindling population of native sons- due to the killing fielda-able to take up arms against a well supplied and mighty foe.

    But even though out-gunned , out-manned , out-supplied and out-financed the brave rebels fought the good fight and took a terrible tool on a superior force.Man for man the rebels were the superior soldier, but in the end ,overwhelming force and the Sharps carbine won out .

    For 110 years, the numbers stood as gospel: 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South

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    26th January 2013 at 9:34 am

  38. Administrator says:

    The South had superior Generals. If Lee had accepted Winfield Scott’s offer to command the Union Armies, we may have had a swift resolution to the war.

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    26th January 2013 at 10:14 am

  39. BUCKHED says:

    Most countries had gotten rid of slavery via compensation emancipation . The slaves in the South were very valuable,to have to free them without monetary compensation would have like a business giving away its stock and starting over without any seed money .

    Jim…if the British and French had have gone in full force with aid the War would have ended swiftly…for the South .

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    26th January 2013 at 11:06 am

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