Happy Birthday, Gettysburg Address

posted at 7:32 am on November 20, 2010 by Andrew Malcolm


Few people are aware that quite possibly the greatest speech in American political history was an afterthought.

The biggest attraction for the dedication of the newest federal cemetery in Pennsylvania on Nov. 19, 1863, was Edward Everett, a famous orator of the day. Shortly before the dedication someone thought to invite Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the barely United States, then convulsed in fratricide. He arrived a day early.

Contrary to popular myth, Lincoln did not jot down his remarks on an envelope. He had written a draft on Executive Mansion stationery in Washington, perhaps in the Lincoln Bedroom, where the original now resides. Lincoln fiddled with the last two paragraphs the night before in pencil. His final text is below.

The occasion was a solemn one that somnolent gray day. Just four months previously 82,269 Union troops under Gen. George Meade had confronted 75,000 Confederates under Gen. Robert E. Lee in a smokey, sordid three-day struggle that would claim 51,112 casualties — killed, wounded and missing.

That was to become the bloodiest battle of the Civil War; 53% of the casualties were Southerners and Lee’s forces never regained their strength.

Given the dearth of video games in those days, public speeches were a major entertainment. And with no loudspeakers or giant screens, you better have a big voice and the audience crowded close. With recordings still 35 years away, we can only imagine Lincoln’s practiced political voice.

As the main event, Everett orated for two solid hours.

Lincoln, as the afterthought, spoke for only a few minutes. The president was said to have not thought much of his remarks that are now inscribed in granite on his memorial in Washington and in the hearts and minds of millions. Since the president had written the speech himself, he needed no stage whispers or reminding Teleprompter, just an occasional glance at the handwritten notes in his hand.

American pols these days think nothing of ripping off 4,000-5,000 words on one transitory subject; President Obama did 59 of these townhall babies last year just on healthcare.

Hoping for a few seconds of TV news time, 21st century political speechwriters plot to plant maybe 15 sound-bite words near the beginning, given the short attention span of modernday media types. Today’s awed audiences believe the president is talking to them. But they are mere props, especially the select ones carefully arrayed behind him by representative age, gender, ethnicity and skin color.

The enduring strength of Lincoln’s approximately 200 words is empowered by the grandiloquent simplicity of its notion: that nothing those gathered there that day could say or do could conceivably equal what had already transpired on that earth by those now gone.

Lincoln gave two autographed copies of the speech to his secretaries. And later penned three more for charity auctions.

On that day of the Gettysburg Address seven score and seven years ago Lincoln had less than 17 months to live:

Four-score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(Malcolm is the Top of the Ticket blogger at latimes.com/ticket  )


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nazo311 on November 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Yes.

Historical documents beyond the scrubbing brushes of the revisionist historians.

This one can’t be scrubbed either.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Lincoln: America’s first statist.

Jefferson Davis was the first statist, just so happens he decided be a Confederate.

Funny how we’ve been programmed to lionize tyrants.

You have been programmed to lionize Jefferson Davis and slave owners? Not I.

The first American president to use the U.S. Army to attack his political opposition.

Jefferson Davis was indeed first President to attack his political opposition. He used the CSA Army.

650,000 Americans dead because of one president.

There were 360,222 USA dead because of one President, Jefferson Davis.

There were 258,000 CSA dead because of one President, Jefferson Davis.

Here is the link.

The Federal Gov’t has not stopped growing since. But according to gov’t education, he’s some kind of God. Any guess how the public school system will portray Obama in 100 years?
shawk on November 20, 2010 at 8:00 AM

If Obama tears up the Constitution, writes his own, and starts a civil war, the public school system may indeed portray Obama in 100 years in the same light as Jefferson Davis.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 1:55 PM

I had no idea we had this many anti-Lincoln revisionists around here. Kinda makes me sad, actually.

Bottom line, it was about slavery. Had there not been slavery in the South, the war would not have happened. End of story.

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

WitchDoctor on November 20, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Kafir on November 20, 2010 at 8:26 AM

It is doubtful slavery was going to end in a couple decades.

The CSA Constitution was clear about who was deemed a slave and required the government to protect the institution of slavery.

The black codes and 100 years of Jim Crow laws disprove your assertion as well.

The civil war really was fought by the CSA to protect slavery.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM

TXUS on November 20, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Who was the real tyrant in the eyes of the slave?

The CSA really was fighting to protect the institution of slavery.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 1:59 PM

blockquote>pugwriter on November 20, 2010 at 8:59 AM

+ infinity

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Tim Burton on November 20, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Right on cue here is Mr. Burton to profess his hate of all things Lincoln.

You have been told this before by unclesmrgol, Lincoln did free a slave.

Next time say Lincoln did not free a “male” slave.

You complain that he shredded the Constitution out of one side of your mouth, then use specious arguments asserting he wanted slavery forever because he actually respected the Constitution.

Read the Emancipation Proclamation.

Fact is, the CSA did not honor the USA Constitution which is why they discarded it and wrote their own. The tyrant was the slaveholding CSA.

The new PR machine is now Dilorenzo.

However, credit is due to you for not making another specious claim about Jim Limber.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:07 PM

WitchDoctor on November 20, 2010 at 1:56 PM

+ infinity

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM

AZ_Reneck on November 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

The CSA posed a threat by firing on Fort Sumter. Davis. Davis. The CSA violated the USA Constitution by discarding it . Lincoln. Both. Lincoln. Both. Lincoln. Lincoln. Both. Both. Both. Both. Davis. Both, but Davis was not the American President. Specious. Specious. Specious. Both. Lincoln, but the USA rate was 3%, CSA rate was 10%. Davis. Lincoln.

100%.

Fun exam though.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:22 PM

They’re unable to grok the mindset of the founders, and the time in which the founders lived.

Wind Rider on November 20, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Nice reference. :) :) :)

Theophile on November 20, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Few people are aware that quite possibly the greatest speech in American political history was an afterthought.

“Greatest speech” and it wasn’t Obama’s?

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Didn’t Lincoln suspend habeas corpus and threaten to remove the Supreme Court by violence? What a “great” American. Tyrants always have excuses for their power grabs, and the winners can always paint halos for themselves afterwards. He is the reason 650,000 Americans were killed and the reason we no longer have a limited federal government.

In the words of J. W. Booth (and still the Virginia motto) “Sic semper tyrannus!” So sad the government runs our education system.

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 3:07 PM

I forgot some + infinities to:

Key West Reader on November 20, 2010 at 9:44 AM
hawkdriver on November 20, 2010 at 9:46 AM
AYNBLAND on November 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM
Dusty on November 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM
Proud Rino on November 20, 2010 at 10:47 AM
shades_of_gasden on November 20, 2010 at 11:57 AM
BierManVA on November 20, 2010 at 1:00 PM

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 3:56 PM

One of my enduring memories is singing The Gettysburg Address in choir in high school. It was haunting.

Common Sense on November 20, 2010 at 4:05 PM

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 3:07 PM

You failed to mention Jefferson Davis suspended habeas corpus as well.

You are correct in your assertion that tyrants have excuses for power grabs. Those tyrants being the powerful slave owners who decided to discard the US Constitution.

The ultimate tyrant, the CSA, is indeed responsible for the 650,000 dead.

Lincoln’s hands were tied by the US Constitution and the Dred Scott decision. He respected this fact. The CSA did not.

In the end, the anticipation of the CSA was too much of a burden to bear, and Fort Sumter was fired upon. Had they not done so, this country would be something unrecognizeable.

As a Texan, I am glad it’s not named the Jefferson Davis Memorial.

I have Lincoln to thank for that.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 4:14 PM

CSA was a tyrant? LOL.
Just like AZ and TX today?
You can justify anything you want. That’s the problem with politics. That’s why our Founders wanted a government handcuffed by the Constitution. But Lincoln wanted absolute power, like his European counterparts. The bloodiest president we’ve ever had, and he met an apropos end.

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM

CSA was a tyrant?

Yes. In the eyes of slave, and mine. Odd you would find slavery funny.

Just like AZ and TX today?

Does not follow.

You can justify anything you want. That’s the problem with politics.

As can you, yet you have only given your opinion, I have given my opinion and facts.

That’s why our Founders wanted a government handcuffed by the Constitution.

Yep, government to include the State government, lest you forget.

But Lincoln wanted absolute power, like his European counterparts.

If you believe it to be true, it must be true.

He was responding to a hostile enemy in his backyard and in his house.

The bloodiest president we’ve ever had, and he met an apropos end.
shawk on November 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM

That phrase does not mean what you think it means.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The bloodiest president we’ve ever had, and he met an apropos end.

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM

You get a lot of drinks thrown in your face, No?

I normally don’t stupe to namecalling but you really are a moron.

hawkdriver on November 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM

LOL Oh my goodness. I thought our side was the intelligent, analytical, genuinely educated side. Many of the comments here sound like they were written by kool aid drinking, brainwashed, useful idiot zombie leftists who never learned anything more than the publik skrool version of history. It’s actually embarrassing reading these comments they are so uninformed: cluelessly repeating, without question, research or critical analysis, what they’ve heard. Despite the mountains of evidence all around them that contradicts their “facts”. Never connecting the dots. Please fellow conservatives, educate yourselves.

“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 solders in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

H. L. Mencken on the Gettysburg Address. From “Five Men at Random,” Prejudices: Third Series, 1922, pp. 171-76.First printed, in part, in the Smart Set, May, 1920, p. 141

JimP on November 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM

I normally don’t stupe to namecalling but you really are a moron.

hawkdriver on November 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM

I have another name for shawk (her),
but I dare not use it here.

OmahaConservative on November 20, 2010 at 7:26 PM

“… The Union solders in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

[JimP on November 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM]

Really? Self-determination? There were about 4 million who weren’t allowed to partake in that decision. Neither were they allowed to vote their minds with their feet. They were called slaves.

So, according to Mencken, and you, some in the South were fighting for their personal self-determination to decide who they could deny self-determination to and that was about it, as without this issue of slavery there was no other contention about equality, liberty, or self-determination between those living in the North and those living in the South.

Dusty on November 20, 2010 at 7:38 PM

LOL Oh my goodness. I thought our side was the intelligent, analytical, genuinely educated side.

LOL, Oh my goodness. My side is the intelligent, analytical, genuinely educated side.

It’s a shame you find yourself on the side that isn’t.

Many of the comments here sound like they were written by kool aid drinking, brainwashed, useful idiot zombie leftists who never learned anything more than the publik skrool version of history.

Amusing. Your comment sounds like it was written by the kool aid drinking, brainwashed, useful idiot zombie Dilorenzo who never learned anything.

It’s actually embarrassing reading these comments they are so uninformed: cluelessly repeating, without question, research or critical analysis, what they’ve heard.

It’s actually embarrassing reading your comment, it is so uninformed: cluelessly repeating, without question, research or critical analysis, what you have read by Dilorenzo.

This document and this document are quite clear.

If you want to hear them, you might try investing into a word translator for the blind.

Despite the mountains of evidence all around them that contradicts their “facts”. Never connecting the dots.

Despite mountains of evidence all around you that contradicts your “opinion”. Never connecting the dots, nor offering any evidence to support your side.

Please fellow conservatives, educate yourselves.

JimP on November 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM.

Please JimP the Confederate apologist, educate yourself.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 8:17 PM

hawkdriver on November 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM
OmahaConservative on November 20, 2010 at 7:26 PM
Dusty on November 20, 2010 at 7:38 PM

You have been given promotions to + infinity and beyond.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Like it or not slavery was legal at the time. Not once before the war did the north or Lincoln offer any easement or restitution in regards to slaveowners in the south. Lincoln was willing to and did confiscate legally held private property unconstitutionally. I guess he really did want to send
all those slaves to Liberia. Well, that was until Frederick Douglas smacked him down.

warren1816 on November 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Funny how we’ve been programmed to lionize tyrants. The first American president to use the U.S. Army to attack his political opposition. 650,000 Americans dead because of one president. The Federal Gov’t has not stopped growing since. But according to gov’t education, he’s some kind of God. Any guess how the public school system will portray Obama in 100 years?

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Ah, the Lost Cause rears its ugly head.

Of course, slavery had nothing to do with this — South Carolina’s secession and bombarding of a Federal installation was all about State’s Rights — never mind that it was a particular State’s Right they were fighting for.

His opposition was purely political? It seems to me that there was a bit of gunfire involved, and that the political also extends to enforcing our Constitution as well. Withdrawal (secession) from the United States was the equivalent to denying the rights of our Constitution to every person in the seceded State.

Lincoln was right to do what he did. He is our greatest President.

I know you mourn the loss of your slaves, but take my word for it — it was for the better.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Like it or not slavery was legal at the time. Not once before the war did the north or Lincoln offer any easement or restitution in regards to slaveowners in the south. Lincoln was willing to and did confiscate legally held private property unconstitutionally. I guess he really did want to send
all those slaves to Liberia. Well, that was until Frederick Douglas smacked him down.

warren1816 on November 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

It is legal to take and deny to the enemy war materiel. Slaves, as property, are war materiel.

Hence, the Emancipation Proclamation was completely valid, since it denied the South, which was in a state of rebellion against the United States, needed war materiel

You will note that Lincoln did not free the slaves in the United States (or in areas of the Confederacy captured and returned to the Union), because he was Constitutionally unable to do so. Remedy of that Constitutional defect required the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments — and Section 4 of the 14th Amendment specifically made part of the Constitution a denial of payment for slaves. Prior to the 14th Amendment, the slaves of Washington, DC had been freed in 1863 via payment to their masters.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 2:50 AM

Well, that was until Frederick Douglas smacked him down.

warren1816 on November 20, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Yes, Lincoln did at one point support the establishment of a black homeland in Liberia. And yes, he did have many fights with Frederick Douglass about said position. In fact, he had many fights with Douglass about freeing the slaves in the South as well. Douglass had wanted the Emancipation Proclamation to be issued much earlier. Lincoln was a pragmatist, and, given that the war was not going well for the Union, had to wait until a major victory before issuing the Proclamation. If he issued it when Douglass desired, it would have been viewed as a morale booster by the South and an indication of desperation by the North. By waiting until the needed victory, Lincoln assured that the Proclamation was issued from a position of strength, and that its net result would be demoralization in the South rather than a boost in morale.

Lincoln the pragmatist, by issuing the Proclamation when he did, brought to a complete halt any success the South had attained in having Great Britain recognize it as an independent state. Given that (a) the Union had just defeated the Confederates on the battlefield, and (b) that the Proclamation was first and foremost a statement against slavery — a business now uniformly detested in England — Lincoln assured that the south would remain an illegitimate state.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Didn’t Lincoln suspend habeas corpus

Yes, as is Constitutionally permitted in times of rebellion.

and threaten to remove the Supreme Court by violence?

No.

What a “great” American.

Yes.

Tyrants always have excuses for their power grabs, and the winners can always paint halos for themselves afterwards.

And some losers will always have Lost Causes.

He is the reason 650,000 Americans were killed and the reason we no longer have a limited federal government.

No. Lincoln would have been powerless to do anything affecting slavery (which, as South Carolina admitted in its articles of secession, was the reason it was seceding), absent a rebellion. If South Carolina had done nothing, then no Federal installations would have been attacked, no Federal property would have been seized, no rebellion would have ensued, and slavery probably would still have been in force 50 years later, long after Lincoln’s Presidency had passed and he was dead in his grave.

But that’s not what happened. South Carolina used military force against a Federal installation, and allowed — nay — required — Lincoln to invoke his Constitutional powers to suppress the rebellion.

That wars cause growth in Government is certain. If you look at the Government of the Confederates States of America, you discover a Government whose sole occupation was warfare — so much so that it never allocated enough funds to get its Supreme Court off the ground.

In the words of J. W. Booth (and still the Virginia motto) “Sic semper tyrannus!” So sad the government runs our education system.

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 3:07 PM

You do have that consolation prize. But we have the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments — which never would have passed had the South stayed in the Union. I think 650,000 casualties was a pretty light retribution from God for what our country did to the slaves over the centuries.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 3:12 AM

JimP on November 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Mencken had his view of history. The poor man. The ultimate libertarian discovers that a country composed completely of separate states — some of which wouldn’t even let their militias fight outside their state — couldn’t stand up to the unified might of a superstate.

As for Lincoln, how could he let any area of the United States rebel without calling it such and invoking the necessary articles of the Constitution to counter same? The rights given under the Constitution require the military power of the United States for their guarantee. As is obvious from even a quick perusal of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, many rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution would have been lost had Lincoln not acted. Lincoln was fighting to reassert the sovereignty of the United States, as well as all of its laws, over an area in rebellion.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 3:23 AM

unclesmrgol, you miss the major point. it was not constitutionally in lincoln’s power to decide if the u.s. should remain half slave and half free. south carolina and many other southern colonies agreed to join the union with slavery being one of the prerequisites. neither was it in his power to call for volunteers to put down the so-called rebellion of south carolina seeking to simply leave the union. lincoln pursued an unjust and illegal war against his fellow citizens. not-to-mention centralizing the majority of power in the federal instead of state governments. what was it that madison said? if you don’t like how one state is being run then you can vote with your feet and move to another. now washington tells states how to run and not the other way around.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 3:37 AM

Next time say Lincoln did not free a “male” slave.

You’re right, I should have stated, Lincoln never represented a slave, he was too damn greedy representing the slave owners. He did free one slave as an aside to a case. It was more of an F-U legal act to the opposition than it was a moral act.

So the guy who was morally against slavery, never could get around to working for slaves. He wanted money…Oh, maybe that explains where his priorities were.

You complain that he shredded the Constitution out of one side of your mouth, then use specious arguments asserting he wanted slavery forever because he actually respected the Constitution.

Uh, I think logic fails you. Since when doesn’t a politician say one thing and do another. He tried to get the original group (The Deep South) to return. When they refused, he then defied the Xth Amendment. Since $ecession is not specifically banned in the Constitution, it’s legal.

He did violate the Constitution on many areas, including habess corpus and an income tax. This isn’t to mention the invasion into the South.

I’m still waiting for you to explain why Lincoln was letting the Corwin Amendment move through the Congress and his party controlled both Houses. If he was so against slavery why didn’t he come out and condemn the Amendment when he gave that speech?

You are ignoring the elephant in the room to claim the moral superiority of the EP, which did nothing to free the slaves.

Read the Emancipation Proclamation.

I did, it didn’t free slaves. It was a PR move to keep England from recognizing the CSA.

Fact is, the CSA did not honor the USA Constitution which is why they discarded it and wrote their own. The tyrant was the slaveholding CSA.

They did honor it, they used basically the same Constitution and then improved upon it.

I’m confused here, how is it that EVERY SINGLE* WESTERN NATION FREED THEIR SLAVES PEACEFULLY, but it took Lincoln invading another nation to free a set, specifically when they weren’t the last holders of slave in the Americas?

* Few regions had issues, but the nations did it peacefully.

The new PR machine is now Dilorenzo.

However, credit is due to you for not making another specious claim about Jim Limber.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Yes, because we know that the Davis family didn’t spend huge amounts of money searching for him, because he was nothing more than a slave. That argument makes absolutely no sense. They claimed he was family and their use of funds to find him appears to justify that claim.

I’m still waiting for you to address why West Virginia was allowed to secede, but not Virginia. The only difference is one left a state that lost a brutal war, the other joined the winning side. Since you believe in forced re-unification, I expect you to call for either WV to peacefully return or be invaded by Virginia, kinda like the Lincolnphile Foner did when he encouraged the Soviet Union to smash the seceding Eastern Bloc in 1991.

I’m also waiting to hear from you how Timothy Pickering was an enemy of the State. In the North he was a hero, yet he was pushing secession and if trade was not opened up during the War of 1812, the New England states would have left. No one questioned the right to secession at that point at time.

Finally, when and where are there limits to Federal Power? If secession is illegal, if Congress decides to vote a tyrannical law and the Supreme Court upholds it, what check is left for liberty? By your logic none. I’ll stand on the side of allowing the ultimate check against tyranny.

Tim Burton on November 21, 2010 at 3:42 AM

Next time say Lincoln did not free a “male” slave.

You’re right, I should have stated, Lincoln never represented a slave, he was too damn greedy representing the slave owners. He did free one slave as an aside to a case. It was more of an F-U legal act to the opposition than it was a moral act.

So the guy who was morally against slavery, never could get around to working for slaves. He wanted money…Oh, maybe that explains where his priorities were.

You complain that he shredded the Constitution out of one side of your mouth, then use specious arguments asserting he wanted slavery forever because he actually respected the Constitution.

Uh, I think logic fails you. Since when doesn’t a politician say one thing and do another. He tried to get the original group (The Deep South) to return. When they refused, he then defied the Xth Amendment. Since $ecession is not specifically banned in the Constitution, it’s legal.

He did violate the Constitution on many areas, including habess corpus and an income tax. This isn’t to mention the invasion into the South.

I’m still waiting for you to explain why Lincoln was letting the Corwin Amendment move through the Congress and his party controlled both Houses. If he was so against slavery why didn’t he come out and condemn the Amendment when he gave that speech?

You are ignoring the elephant in the room to claim the moral superiority of the EP, which did nothing to free the slaves.

Read the Emancipation Proclamation.

I did, it didn’t free slaves. It was a PR move to keep England from recognizing the CSA.

Fact is, the CSA did not honor the USA Constitution which is why they discarded it and wrote their own. The tyrant was the slaveholding CSA.

They did honor it, they used basically the same Constitution and then improved upon it.

I’m confused here, how is it that EVERY SINGLE* WESTERN NATION FREED THEIR SLAVES PEACEFULLY, but it took Lincoln invading another nation to free a set, specifically when they weren’t the last holders of slave in the Americas?

* Few regions had issues, but the nations did it peacefully.

The new PR machine is now Dilorenzo.

However, credit is due to you for not making another specious claim about Jim Limber.

rukiddingme on November 20, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Yes, because we know that the Davis family didn’t spend huge amounts of money searching for him, because he was nothing more than a slave. That argument makes absolutely no sense. They claimed he was family and their use of funds to find him appears to justify that claim.

I’m still waiting for you to address why West Virginia was allowed to $ecede, but not Virginia. The only difference is one left a state that lost a brutal war, the other joined the winning side. Since you believe in forced re-unification, I expect you to call for either WV to peacefully return or be invaded by Virginia, kinda like the Lincolnphile Foner did when he encouraged the Soviet Union to smash the seceding Eastern Bloc in 1991.

I’m also waiting to hear from you how Timothy Pickering was an enemy of the State. In the North he was a hero, yet he was pushing $ecession and if trade was not opened up during the War of 1812, the New England states would have left. No one questioned the right to $ecession at that point at time.

Finally, when and where are there limits to Federal Power? If $ecession is illegal, if Congress decides to vote a tyrannical law and the Supreme Court upholds it, what check is left for liberty? By your logic none. I’ll stand on the side of allowing the ultimate check against tyranny.

Tim Burton on November 21, 2010 at 3:49 AM

Whatever revisionists.

I still have my 10″ bust of the greatest president “Lincoln” sitting right in front of me on my computer desk as I type.

100 years from now when we’re all gone, his history will still be written and none of your comments will have an effect on his legacy.

hawkdriver on November 21, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Zounds! I think my heritage has been called into question.

Many people, mainly Northerners, are emotionally invested in the idea that the North was on the side of the angels and fought a righteous crusade to free the black slaves against the forces of evil, tyrannous bigots in the South who mercilessly and endlessly beat and abused the slaves. In their minds they are better people for being born outside the South or siding with the Union. This may make people feel good about themselves, but it is NOT historically accurate. It is so inaccurate, as a matter of fact, that it turns the “Civil” War into a fairy tale.

In truth the North had slavery itself but couldn’t make it pay. When the North ended slavery in its states, they sold the vast majority of their slaves to Southern slave owners. Northern Black Codes were already in place relegating the free Northern Blacks to second class citizen status. Even after ending slavery in its states, the North was still deeply, and very willingly, involved in the continuation of slavery in the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere via the African slave trade which they continued right up to the beginning of the war. There were no Southern slave trading ships. Yes, the enlightened, freedom loving, ‘morally superior’ Northerners were only too happy to continue the slave trade for 60+ years. A part of which included the infamous “middle passage” wherein 1/3 of the slaves perished. The fortunes that financed the industrial revolution were amassed via the slave trade.

Northern leaders- political, opinion making and economic- had agendas, motives and incentives, other than freeing slaves or saving the Union to conduct the war. The North willingly reaped enormous financial benefits from the slave produced agricultural products of the South: and willingly tolerated the continuation of the New England slave trade, after it was outlawed by Congress in 1809, and reaped enormous financial benefits from it, as already stated.

Lincoln went to war to enforce the Morill Tariff. The Morill Tariff tripled taxes on 1/3 of the population (the South). Four of the Confederate States (VA, NC, TN, AR) didn’t secede until Lincoln called for volunteers to invade the original seven Confederate states to collect the taxes. The South at that time was already paying 70+% of all Federal taxes, yet the vast majority of the taxes collected were spent on ‘Shovel Ready Projects’ in the North. If the South was allowed to secede, the tax base to fund the GOP’s mercantilist plans would disappear, and the North’s economy would be devastated if its economic hegemony over the low tax South ceased to exist.

In January 1863 Lincoln came up with the cynical political ploy of The Emancipation Proclamation as a means of dissuading Great Britain from recognizing the Confederacy and aiding the Southern cause. The Proclamation only ‘freed’ slaves in Confederate States and only in those areas still controlled by the Confederacy. No slaves in border states (MD, KY, WV) were freed. At the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of February 1865, which was initiated by Lincoln, he stated that the Proclamation was only a war measure and as soon as(if) the war ceased, it would have no operation for the future. Thus leaving those slaves still in bondage, in bondage: and also making suckers out of those very few Northerners who were actually fighting to free the slaves. So much for the righteous crusade. Also, Lincoln never gave up on the idea of deporting ALL Black people back to Africa, or Central America or the Carribean, or wherever, just anywhere but here after the war. Hmmm. I’m not feeling the love of freedom for everybody in this. Are you?

In 1848 while serving as a Congressman from Illinois, Lincoln in a session of the House said:“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.”

These are all verifiable, undisputed historical, REAL facts. Somehow, I don’t get the whole ‘the war was to free the slaves, and secession is illegal’ vibe from these inconvenient REAL facts that I have noted above. Maybe it’s just me. LOL

Another true fact is that Hitler and Stalin were both great admirers of Lincoln, his war against the Confederacy and his methods. Two brutal, mass murdering tyrants thought Abe was The Man. Wouldn’t we all like to have those references on our resumes.

JimP on November 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Another true fact is that Hitler and Stalin were both great admirers of Lincoln, his war against the Confederacy and his methods. Two brutal, mass murdering tyrants thought Abe was The Man. Wouldn’t we all like to have those references on our resumes.

JimP on November 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Zounds! I think my heritage has been called into question.

Even if, as you claim, Hitler and Stalin were great admirers of Lincoln, the overwhelming number of good people in the United States who fought Hitler and Stalin held/hold him in esteem as well.

As for the Emancipation Proclamation, that was indeed a stroke of genius on Lincoln’s part. It prevented Great Britain from recognizing the Confederacy, and went as far as Lincoln could go in subverting the slavery clauses in our own Constitution without violating them. Lincoln comandeered the property of the Southerners in rebellion, giving that “property” great hope and increasing substantially the amount of “contrabands” crossing the lines.

In the end, your heritage is rooted in slavery. That is the one “right” South Carolina cited in its statement of secession, and is the root of the Lost Cause which you hold.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I’m confused here, how is it that EVERY SINGLE* WESTERN NATION FREED THEIR SLAVES PEACEFULLY, but it took Lincoln invading another nation to free a set, specifically when they weren’t the last holders of slave in the Americas?

Tim Burton on November 21, 2010 at 3:49 AM

You’ll have to ask the South Carolinans why.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 9:27 AM

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 3:37 AM

The war was completely just, from both the standpoint of sovereignty of the United States as enshrined in the Constitution, and from the standpoint of Just Warfare as enunciated by the Catholic Church.

Absent South Carolina’s act of rebellion, the United States would have been powerless, based on its Constitution, to do anything affecting slavery. In fact, the South was consistently winning the slavery question — Congress and the President had rendered the concept of a free state a nullity with the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Supreme Court had ratified and extended that decision with Dredd Scott, which found the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional.

So what changed everything was South Carolina’s secession and its attack on a military installation which was the property of the United States of America. Every citizen of South Carolina was, by that act, stripped of their rights as Citizens of the United States, and the United States had to act to maintain its sovereignty over those citizens, and to enforce their rights.

As for the centralization of power, the warmaking power was always centralized, as was the power of the United States to put down rebellion. No nation can survive without the means of enforcing sovereignty. As for the rest of it, a quick perusal of the history of the Transcontinental Railroad is in order; most citizens, Democrat or Republican, both wanted the force of the Feds behind that endeavor. In fact, both the Democratic and Republican party platforms had planks supporting the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad. We may argue about the extent of Federal power, but the fact that the Feds would exert power between the States and externally is a given.

Ed was recently in the South, and there is one interesting fact about one city (Ocean Springs) which he visited. When Union forces entered that city for the first time, one of the first places they went to was the Confederate Post Office there, and found and seized a postal scale labelled USDPO. In a nutshell, that describes a claim the US made upon every work which it had installed in the South.

And it’s a valid claim.

As for the aggregation of power caused by the 14th Amendment, if the South hadn’t continued, after defeat, to deny the rights engendered in the 13th Amendment to their citizens, it would not have been necessary.

All this creeping lawmaking at the federal level overriding state law was the result of the predations of those in the South. If you guys had lost gracefully rather than trying to hang on to your peculiar institution, there would be no 14th Amendment to hamstring state law.

That the 14th was needed is a given — just look at all the Jim Crow laws which existed nearly into the present.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

I’m still waiting for you to address why West Virginia was allowed to secede, but not Virginia. The only difference is one left a state that lost a brutal war, the other joined the winning side.
Tim Burton on November 21, 2010 at 3:42 AM

In one case the State did not secede from the United States — it seceded from another State which was in rebellion. I believe, by logic, “not rebellion” was the condition West Virginia placed itself into by opposing “rebellion”
Virginia tried to reacquire West Virginia but they failed. That’s the difference, I think. Not that Virginia didn’t try…

You are raising red herrings here, and they are very red indeed.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 10:16 AM

south carolina and numerous other southern states had invested heavily in a constitutionally protected enterprise called slavery. northern businesses and the federal government were rewarded handsomely with profits gained from said enterprise for a long period of time. the majority of the north didn’t give a hoot about slavery, but there was a vocal minority that called for violence against the south. enter lincoln calling for an end to slavery with nary a mention of restitution or easement to southern slaveownwers. south carolina had northern newspapers calling for the destruction of its white population and letting the slaves have the whole state for themselves. south carolina said if lincoln was elected they would have to leave the union for economic self preservation. lincoln was elected and said he didn’t really mean what he said about ending slavery. south carolina didn’t believe him. that’s why south carolina left. they knew lincoln spoke out of both sides of his mouth. that was proven when he sent a ship with reinforcements and supplies for fort sumpter while still in talks with south carolina on turning it back over to them. that action by lincoln started the war. south carolina already had control of all other federal installations in the state.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Lincoln was constrained by the Constitution, Congress, and the Taney Court with respect to slavery all the way up until the first shot fired by South Carolina. He stated his intent in his First Inaugural Address to observe ALL portions of the Constitution.

Whatever South Carolina’s motivation, they had the force of the Constitution behind them right up until that point.

They gave away the farm by that simple action.

And, by the way, kind of you to admit that slavery was indeed the driver for the entire War.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 12:44 PM

You’re right, I should have stated, Lincoln never represented a slave, he was too damn greedy representing the slave owners. He did free one slave as an aside to a case. It was more of an F-U legal act to the opposition than it was a moral act.

Lincoln never represented a slave, but he did free one slave (by representation, of course). His non-representation (and winning ultimate freedom) of said slave was a sign of his greedy nature and immoral. Got it.

Uh, I think logic fails you. Since when doesn’t a politician say one thing and do another. He tried to get the original group (The Deep South) to return. When they refused, he then defied the Xth Amendment. Since $ecession is not specifically banned in the Constitution, it’s legal.

Ah, another genius filled with so much logic but lacking the most basic human quality called common sense. Yes he did try to get the States to return via the Corwin Amendment. The Amendment process was the only Constitutionally prescribed mechanism at his disposal. If you will recall, seven States had already discarded the US Constitution and wrote their own before he was even inaugurated as President.

Lincoln did not defy Amendment X. The CSA did. By leaving the protection of the US Constitution, the State (i.e. powerful slave owners) imposed it’s will on many citizens that had no desire to leave the Union. No matter to the CSA, those caught that did not want to support the Lost Cause met their fate. Some did not want to fight at all and ended up like this. Others wanted to rejoin the Union and ended up like this.

You are ignoring the elephant in the room of the CSA trampling US citizens’ individual rights to claim the moral superiority of the CSA, whose primary purpose was to strengthen the institution of slavery.

I did, it didn’t free slaves. It was a PR move to keep England from recognizing the CSA

It freed the slaves on your side, approximately 4 million of them. Brilliant!

They did honor it, they used basically the same Constitution and then improved upon it.

Improved for everyone on your side but the slaves and those who were on the wrong side of the line, simply due to the place they called home. Imagine that.

Yes, because we know that the Davis family didn’t spend huge amounts of money searching for him, because he was nothing more than a slave. That argument makes absolutely no sense. They claimed he was family and their use of funds to find him appears to justify that claim.

You claimed Jim Limber was adopted by the Davis family. First, adoption is a legal process that did not exist at that time. Second, had the Davis family been “attached” to the child as their own, one would think that they would have spent their entire fortune and the rest of their lives locating him. Yet the historical record contains no evidence to support your assertion. In fact, your assertion about the Davis family spending huge amounts of money seems to appear only in sympathetic writings of those that support the Confederacy.

Though it is mentioned in some of the more sympathetic biographies of Jefferson Davis that he never stopped searching for Jim Limber, this search seems to be recorded only in oral history as it is not mentioned in his voluminous surviving correspondence for the last two decades of his life in which mention at all of Jim Limber is fleeting.

In none of the memoirs she wrote later in life did Varina Howell Davis ever make reference to attempts to locate Jim Limber; however, she consistently and fondly recalled his time with the family.

I’ll stand on the side of allowing the ultimate check against tyranny.
Tim Burton on November 21, 2010 at 3:42 AM.

As will I, to protect my family from having their Constitutional rights denied by the likes of you.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 12:53 PM

lincoln was constrained by the constitution? that’s funny. lincoln didn’t give a hoot about the constitution. slavery/private property/investment call it whatever you want. i’m not a proponent of slavery just like i’m not a proponent of abortion, but slavery was legal at the time as abortion is now, and the u.s. is supposed to be a nation of laws and not men. if a president or another section of the country continually threatened to abolish that right by extra-legal means i’d have a serious problem with that. that’s the predicament south carolina found itself in. the right of a state to secede was a given at that time. it was even taught at west point. lincoln should have never fought that war. he should have never confiscated indian land for the transcontinental railroad, either, but that’s another story.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM

And, by the way, kind of you to admit that slavery was indeed the driver for the entire War.
unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 12:44 PM

It can’t be. JimP and Thomas Dilorenzo said so! /s

Thank you for whacking the bushwackers that popped up while I slept. I learn much from your debating techniques.

For that, I have created a special promotion just for you:
Infinity + infinity and beyond + beyond.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM

In fact, your assertion about the Davis family spending huge amounts of money seems to appear only in sympathetic writings of those that support the Confederacy.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Oops. My mistake. The above statement should read:

In fact, your assertion about their use of funds to find him seems to appear only in sympathetic writings of those that support the Confederacy.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 1:48 PM

rukiddingme, how much would one of those Infinity+infinity and beyond+beyond special promotions cost in confederate dollars?

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 2:03 PM

lincoln was constrained by the constitution?

Yes.

that’s funny. lincoln didn’t give a hoot about the constitution.

Your opinion, not borne out by fact.

slavery/private property/investment call it whatever you want. i’m not a proponent of slavery just like i’m not a proponent of abortion, but slavery was legal at the time as abortion is now, and the u.s. is supposed to be a nation of laws and not men.

Lincoln opposed slavery by legal means. We all have the right and obligation to work toward just laws. To Lincoln, slavery was unjust and he vowed to work legally to restrain it. It is the same position many of us take with abortion today. Freely available abortions may be the law of the land, but we can work to change that — since the right to an abortion is not truly rooted in the Constitution.

His First Inaugural Address spells out his position with regard to slavery exactly. He makes the point, as you do, that slavery is the law of the land, and he will uphold the law of the land, even as he works to change it.

if a president or another section of the country continually threatened to abolish that right by extra-legal means

Lincoln never tried to abolish slavery by extra-legal means, nor did he claim any right to do so as President.

But he was quite prescient as to what would have to happen to the country. The Taney Court had moved the needle to “all slave” — slaves could be brought into free states and used there without penalty to the owner — a position which is well founded in the Constitution itself. The Taney Court found the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional — henceforth, all new states would be slave states.

i’d have a serious problem with that. that’s the predicament south carolina found itself in. the right of a state to secede was a given at that time.

No, that was not the situation South Carolina found itself in, and it was not the right, nor was it ever the right, for a state to secede once it entered the Union. The Union replaced the earlier, very weak, Confederation, and was designed to be an indissolvable whole.

it was even taught at west point.

If it was, it was taught by people who should have known better. Secession denies the population of the rebelling area the laws and protections of the United States Government, and, if sovereignty is to be assured, must be repulsed by force of arms as necessary.

lincoln should have never fought that war.

I disagree. The moment rebellion started and federal forces were fired upon, Lincoln had no choice but to respond. The sovereignty of the United States was being challenged. The slavery thing is an added bonus — rebelling southerners lost their rights to their property, under the principles enunciated in 1814 in Brown v. United States, which held the following:
a) confiscation of the property in enemy territory is unrelated to the guilt of the holder. The holder can be a citizen, an enemy national, or even a neutral bystander.
b) the confiscation may be rooted in a foundation of coercion, in which the confiscation of the property denies the enemy the use of the property and impairs his ability to use the property against the invading power, while at the same time furnishing the invading power the ability to carry on war.
c) the confiscation is not challengable by either the 5th or 6th Amendments.

This reasoning was used to confiscate maritime vessels, cotton, slaves, and even clothing mills. It is the reasoning used by Sherman in his march to the sea.

he should have never confiscated indian land for the transcontinental railroad, either, but that’s another story.

The Railway Enabling Act, which confiscated Indian lands, was passed in 1866, and was signed into law by Andrew Johnson — Lincoln’s successor in office. At that point, Lincoln had been dead for over a year.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM

The Lost Cause is still lost.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

the right of a state to secede was a given at that time.

As Professor unclesmrgol has taught me, that phrase does not mean what you think it means.

As I noted in my examples above, the CSA trampled on the rights of US citizens that did not support the war. It is quite amusing when the Confederate apologists claim the war was about the States rebelling against tyranny while conveniently ignoring the fact those same States were tyrannical to some of its’ citizens.

lincoln should have never fought that war.

The CSA started the war. No amount of revisionist history changes this fact.

What you are asserting is Lincoln should have done nothing and let the CSA not only take federal property, but take individual US citizens’ property as well. Furthermore, he should have turned his back on the CSA starting a war and continue to let the CSA trample the rights of US citizens.
I am quite thankful that he did not.

how much would one of those Infinity+infinity and beyond+beyond special promotions cost in confederate dollars?

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 2:03 PM

It cost many individuals their lives. It can not be enumerated in any form of currency.

Of course, you have the CSA to thank for that.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Here is the Other Gettysburg Address — the one given by Edward Everett

An excerpt from that address:

Certainly I do not deny that the separate States are clothed with sovereign powers for the administration of local affairs. It is one of the most beautiful features of our mixed system of government; but it is equally true, that, in adopting the Federal Constitution, the States abdicated, by express renunciation, all the most important functions of national sovereignty, and, by one comprehensive, self-denying clause, gave up all right to contravene the Constitution of the United States. Specifically, and by enumeration, they renounced all the most important prerogatives of independent States for peace and for war,–the right to keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, or to engage in war unless actually invaded; to enter into compact with another State or a foreign power; to lay any duty on tonnage, or any impost on exports or imports, without the consent of Congress; to enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; to grant letters of marque and reprisal, and to emit bills of credit–while all these powers and many others are expressly vested in the General Government. To ascribe to political communities, thus limited in their jurisdiction–who cannot even establish a post office on their own soil–the character of independent sovereignty, and to reduce a national organization, clothed with all the transcendent powers of government, to the name and condition of an ‘agency’ of the States, proves nothing but that the logic of secession is on a par with its loyalty and patriotism.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 4:05 PM

It cost many individuals their lives. It can not be enumerated in any form of currency.

Of course, you have the CSA to thank for that.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM

In another sense, we have the founding fathers to thank. They forged a Union by acceding that certain men might have fewer rights than others, and made that accession part of our Constitution. The Taney Court was completely correct in its assertion that the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to the blacks. That said,

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 5:12 PM

you can call me a revisionist or a traitor or anything you like. i see things differently. the way i read it south carolina was similar to those GM bondholders that obama screwed. the difference was south carolina still held their legally obtained property(slaves) in their hand and tried to get out before they were confiscated. south carolina and the southern states had already compromised greatly with the deires of the north and the federal government regarding slavery and other issues. that’s why south carolina caused the nullification crisis(tax issue not slave) years before. of course slavery was a major part of the conflict. read my posts. i’ve never denied that, but please don’t try to gloss over the states rights issue or the states who joined the confederacy because they didn’t believe the federal government could coerce let alone invade a sovereign state. if you want to honor lincoln fine. i choose not too and based on the facts as i see them. if you can’t accept that then that is a good illustration of the problem the south had with the north. southerners have never tried to change the north, but the north is still trying to change the south and a midwesterner is writing this.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

In another sense, we have the founding fathers to thank. They forged a Union by acceding that certain men might have fewer rights than others, and made that accession part of our Constitution. The Taney Court was completely correct in its assertion that the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to the blacks.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I don’t disagree with this, but I would make one small correction and replace blacks in the last sentence with slaves. Not all blacks were slaves and Dred Scott himself was born into slavery.

In my opinion, the Founding Fathers, as brilliant as they were, punted on this issue out of necessity. Had they insisted on removing Article IV, section 2, clause 3 from the Constitution, this great country would have never seen the light of birth.

Yet in punting on the issue, they seemed to foresee the need to end slavery when they included Article I, section 9, clause 1 in the Constitution, This seems to be supported by the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807.

This nation paid a bloody price over slavery. I find it it disappointing that some conservatives try to ignore this fact, make the specious argument about States’ rights, and point their finger solely at Lincoln.

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 8:36 PM

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

I do not want to call you a traitor or anything else. You have been civil in your disagreement and for that I respect you.

What I do want you to consider is when you declare States’ rights, what is it that you are declaring?

You seem to be declaring that the State has the right to leave the Union. Once again I ask that you consider what the State is doing to those US citizens within the State that do not agree with the States’ decision. In short, the State is trampling on the rights of those US citizens and forcing them against their will to leave the protections of the US Constitution. In the links I provided earlier, I gave you examples of what the State has done in the past to those that disagreed with the State. That, my friend, is the same level of tyranny that the State is claiming to escape.

This was true before the war as it is to this very day.

To further my point, Amendment XIV was added to the Constitution and section 1 declares:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Regards,

rukiddingme on November 21, 2010 at 8:42 PM

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Then South Carolina did all of us an injustice — they attacked the United States of America, which responded not only with military force but, when the South did us the further injustice of refusing to accord their freed slaves the rights of citizenship, the United States responded with the 14th Amendment which required the Federal Government to compel the States to allow their new citizens suffrage.

Previous to the 14th Amendment, States had been free to determine who was a citizen of that State and who was not; after the 14th, it was the Federal Government who guaranteed citizenship rights.

If your stupid South had just sat tight, none of this would have come to pass. Instead, they acted, and the reaction was far more powerful.

There is a good side effect — citizens of the United States may now move freely between the States, acquiring citizenship merely by habitation.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 9:27 PM

rukiddingme, i try my best to look at it through the eyes of the people at the time. there was much hatred between north and south and not just over slavery. the north made it a habit to denigrate the south. for decades the south(south carolina in particular) thought they were punitively taxed and that their money was being lavished upon projects that solely benefitted the north. compromise after compromise was made with the north over slavery. the revolutionary war was still vivid in southern minds. back then the people didn’t call themselves americans. they identified themselves by their home state. the southern colonies and later the republic of texas(secession clause) had joined the union only after extreme deliberation. i cannot believe logically that they voluntarily surrendered the right to leave the union if it proved detrimental to them. the united states were seperate sovereign entities held together by a legal agreement before the war. after the war they became the united state held together by a centralized government in washington d.c.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Another true fact is that Hitler and Stalin were both great admirers of Lincoln, his war against the Confederacy and his methods. Two brutal, mass murdering tyrants thought Abe was The Man. Wouldn’t we all like to have those references on our resumes.

JimP on November 21, 2010 at 8:19 AM

This is the stupidest thing ever posted on the internet.

Ted Torgerson on November 21, 2010 at 10:57 PM

unclesmrgol, south carolina and the other southern states did what they thought they had to. i tend to defer to r e lee on the subject who said, “duty and honor demanded no less”. lee’s common sense regarding all aspects of that war is unmatched in my opinion. lincoln’s intellect was like a child in comparison.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 11:27 PM

unclesmrgol, south carolina and the other southern states did what they thought they had to. i tend to defer to r e lee on the subject who said, “duty and honor demanded no less”. lee’s common sense regarding all aspects of that war is unmatched in my opinion. lincoln’s intellect was like a child in comparison.

warren1816 on November 21, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Duty and honor required that R.E.Lee uphold his Oath to the United States of America. You are welcome to your opinion, but Lee correctly lost his home to Arlington Cemetery, where much of his handiwork were buried.

I was unaware that there had been any intelligence contest between Lee and Lincoln, but if I were to hazard one, I would say that in the area of military strategy Lee was superior, but in the understanding of our Constitution, Lincoln outshone him.

South Carolina and the other southern states did what they thought they had to, and the United States did what it thought it had to. The United States rightly won, and that’s the world we live in today, much as you might regret it.

The Lost Cause is still lost.

unclesmrgol on November 22, 2010 at 12:31 AM

This is the stupidest thing ever posted on the internet.

Ted Torgerson on November 21, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Not quite, but it does come close.

Now what did George Patton say about Americans and winners?

I think JimP got his material from LewRockwell.com — one of those right wing sites that’s so far right wing that it looks left:

age 566 of the 1999 Mariner/Houghton Mifflin edition of Mein Kampf Hitler clearly expresses the Lincoln/Jaffa view: “[T]he individual states of the American Union . . . could not have possessed any state sovereignty of their own. For it was not these states that formed the Union, on the contrary it was the Union which formed a great part of such so-called states.”

This is consistent with the argument put forth in Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861) where he said: “[T]he Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence . . . by the Articles of Confederation in 1778 . . . and establishing the Constitution. . . . It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union . . .” Jaffa has spent a lifetime repeating this theory.

Hitler (p. 567) mocked what he called “so-called sovereign states” in Germany because they stood in the way of a centralized Reich with their “impotence” and “fragmentation.” Such impotence and fragmentation of government was purposely designed by some of the American founders precisely because they wanted to limit the powers of the central government.

So, Lincoln, who stated that the maintenance of the Constitution required a strong central government, and that the history of the 13 Colonies showed a unionist tendency toward stronger and stronger central government, is beloved by Hitler, who wanted Germany to have a strong central government. If you read the article, you can see the same sorts of conflation linking Lincoln to Hitler. That Hitler might have agreed with Lincoln’s assertions about the indissolubility of the United States no more sullies Lincoln than Hitler’s marriage to Eva Braun sullies marriage.

We are all aware of the disadvantages of a strong central government, but there are advantages as well, particularly with regard to the common defense. The South never had a strong central government — some state militias refused to serve outside the boundaries of their states, and Lee’s army existed only at the will of the governors of the states supplying the militiamen who comprised his army.

In the end, the conclusion of the conflict showed the power of a strongly centralized Government over a decentralized one.

unclesmrgol on November 22, 2010 at 12:53 AM

unclesmrgol, there seem to be numerous things you are unaware of. officers are not enlisted men. lee was free to relinquish his commission at the time just like officers of today. lee was intelligent enough to know that the UNITED states truly ceased being the UNITED states when the southern states tried to leave and then were forced to return after their subjugation by the northern states. lincoln seemed oblivious to the fact that the union and the mutual spirit that created it were dissolved. lee never violated the constitution once while lincoln did numerous times. “lost cause”, i look at it more like a just cause. as for regretting the outcome of that war, i guess i do to an extent, but that didn’t stop me from serving 7 of the best years of my life in the damned yankee army.

warren1816 on November 22, 2010 at 1:13 AM

unclesmrgol, there seem to be numerous things you are unaware of. officers are not enlisted men. lee was free to relinquish his commission at the time just like officers of today.

He betrayed his Oath. I think “relinquish his commission” doesn’t relieve him of the requirement to honor his Oath.

lee was intelligent enough to know that the UNITED states truly ceased being the UNITED states when the southern states tried to leave and then were forced to return after their subjugation by the northern states.

It looks like Lee wasn’t smart enough to realize that the United States would continue to claim sovereignty over its territory and fight any rebellion within said territory.

lincoln seemed oblivious to the fact that the union and the mutual spirit that created it were dissolved.

So was the Congress and the Supreme Court oblivious. Few of Lincoln’s acts were found to be unconstitutional — and none of his acts with regard to the rebellion were.

lee never violated the constitution once while lincoln did numerous times. “lost cause”, i look at it more like a just cause.

It’s still a Lost Cause, with all that entails. Lee participated in rebellion — in treason against the United States. I would say that’s a pretty serious violation of the Constitution.

as for regretting the outcome of that war, i guess i do to an extent, but that didn’t stop me from serving 7 of the best years of my life in the damned yankee army.

warren1816 on November 22, 2010 at 1:13 AM

I don’t regret it at all. Thank you for your service to the United States.

unclesmrgol on November 22, 2010 at 1:37 AM

unclesmrgol, i don’t require any gratitude for enlisting in a voluntary army. save that for those who were drafted and had to serve involuntarily. as for the war we’ll have to agree to disagree.

warren1816 on November 22, 2010 at 3:58 AM

Umm, Lincoln was not a “uniter”; he was a “divider”. So divisive that at least 11 states seceded at his election. He then murdered hundreds of thousands to forcibly retake the territory in the name of the Almighty Federal Government. The limited government our Founders fought so hard to establish was slaughtered, never to return.

shawk on November 20, 2010 at 8:09 AM

It was the South who slaughtered our country — and the South who, with their obstainate desire to put down the blacks even after they lost, which slaughtered small government.

As for Lincoln, nobody ever claimed he was the Great Uniter — for nobody could have been in his time — his correct title is Great Emancipator.

There is no irony. Whenever libertarians attempt to take what they think are their God-given rights and intrude into the rights of others, that is the point at which the others demand more laws. Such was the case with the South.

unclesmrgol on November 22, 2010 at 11:54 AM

unclesmrgol, i don’t require any gratitude for enlisting in a voluntary army. save that for those who were drafted and had to serve involuntarily. as for the war we’ll have to agree to disagree.

warren1816 on November 22, 2010 at 3:58 AM

Voluntary enlistment is one of the highest forms of service to the Nation. In the wars where there was a draft, we really didn’t distinguish between those who served as a result of the draft, or those who served voluntarily, for the draftee’s blood ran as red as the volunteer’s in battle. But voluntary service deserves high praise of itself.

Again, thank you for your service.

unclesmrgol on November 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

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