1. The KillerFrogs

Randolph Clark's exact words about Addison's role in the Civil War

Discussion in 'Killingsworth Court, Formerly The General Forum' started by JurisFrog, Aug 10, 2015.

    The war didn't immediately end slavery.  At least not for Northern slave owners.  But yes it is/was a despicably immoral institution.  
    I don't know you and forgive me if I'm wrong but with all due respect, you sound like a whiney low-information Obama voter.
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    You're 100 percent wrong.
    The question of whether the Civil War was fought over slavery should have nothing to do with current partisan politics. In fact, there is a stronger argument that the conservative Republican position is to acknowledge the war was about slavery.
    My gg grandfathers were Republicans that fought for individual liberty within a capitalist system. They fought aganist Democrats that believed in an elite-dominated society based on class and race within a non-capitalist system.
    Now, remind me, which side are you defending?
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  4. I agree, unfortunately it seems that even though I don't know anyone today who would remotely advocate for slavery, many of those on the current progressive/liberal/democrat side today like to paint today's conservatives as archaic supporters of slavery.
    I'm defending modern conservatism and the stance that slavery is morally repugnant.
  5. I think a lot of times the disconnect comes between talking about soldiers in the Civil War vs the government they were fighting for. Confederate soldiers weren't like, say, the Japanese during World War II where pretty much all of them was fighting for ethnic superiority over "lesser" humans and took a sadistic pleasure in their eradication. While there certainly were soldiers that fought for the preservation of the right to own people, there were plenty of soldiers that simply felt more loyalty to their state and to the country of the United States, and viewed the US as the aggresors (they weren't, but I can see where that mentality came from). Most notable in that group was Robert E Lee.

    The people who say the Civil War was fought over slavery, myself included, do so based on the stated purpose of secession proposed by the Confederate States. Almost all of the states that seceded included slavery as a reason, either explicitly or implicitly, and as quoted before the Vice President of the Confederacy out and out states that the number one reason for secession was the threat the Republican Party (founded as an abolitionist party) and their newly elected President presented to that institution.
    Doesn't that seem to contradict what Lincoln wrote?  It seems that to him it was first to save the union and deal with the "traitors".  Yes he opposed slavery but maybe had both sides stuck to it they could've ended it without so much death and carnage??  And also Lee maintained it was about Federal Govt overstepping it's authority.  I just don't get why Lincoln was so against the breakup of the US in that form.  I wouldn't care if 10 states wanted to break off today.  I darn sure wouldn't fight them over it.  However if my state wanted to break off for a reason I supported then I could see fighting on some level for it.  Very complex issue and this obviously isn't a great forum for this type of discussion.
    On Aug. 22, 1862, President Lincoln wrote a letter to Horace Greeley, abolitionist editor of the New York Tribune, that stated: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
    “I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.” 
      Robert E. Lee
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  7. Ahhhhh so many times, I get on here and write some self aggrandizing treatise only to delete it.  I think steel is the only one that can capture our attention, my opinion is of no consequence here delete, delete, delete.  The number of posts, is the only true way to measure a posters worth, it is quantitative. 
    The Mateo Grande comment that today's Soldiers fight for world domination and big oil, stirred a response.  About half way through that response my emotions related to my combat experience made me significantly emotional and I stopped writing.  I probably should have kept on for some sort of exercising of those demons. I have never let them out in written form before.  I graze the surface talking about my time in both theaters to people that wouldn't understand the deep dive anyway.  That was the first time I took to writing about some of my feelings on that subject.  Who knew? But they are safely packed away for a latter date and not on a public forum.  So that has been added to my todo list.  
    Thanks for the invite to your tutelage BLF, I will keep your offer in mind.  
    What gets me riled up about this debate, is the deeply ingrained narrative that people from the south--even to this day--are stupid and racist.  Almost everyone from the north I have known personally, has this bigotry tattooed on their very being.  I cannot think of one person I know from that area of the country that does not fit this, and I still call them friend.  Maybe this is exclusive to the circles I run in, but I don't think so.  While everyone from the south, thinks people from the north are rude, as a counter point.  I talked to a Harvard man about this very subject just two weeks ago, he brought it up, and blamed it on the directness of northerners and the social pleasantries adhered to by southerners.  I agreed because there is some truth to that but I didn't tell him my whole opinion.  
     Of course, a person from the north will always seem rude to the people they hold in such low regard.  Anytime you here someone talk with a southern accent you automatically think: inbred, stupid, hick, racist.  How can educated people stick to such a simple, narrow interpretation of that war?  I deplore slavery.  I think there is some shallow truth to the sentiment if you cast your lot for the south than you were supporting slavery.  To me that statement makes sense, but it isn't the whole story.   If only life was that simple.  It is illogical to think that such a terribly horrendous event could be summed up in one word, and that everyone that fought for the confederacy was fighting to preserve it.    
    My last anecdote.  As even more counter argument to the Colonels argument that the southern folk just aren't smart enough to accept that all their ancestors were stupid slavery loving inbreed hicks.   The professor on the stage in front of us proposed---what started the Civil War and the K-State history professor behind me said the stupid southerners.  Thus proving the point of his lesson in Civil War pedagogy.      
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  8. Two things:

    1). Lincoln was a politician. He knew that "defending the union" would garner more support than "fight to end slavery", especially in those border states (some of which still allowed slavery).

    This is the same reason we saw (and continue to see) the South portraying themselves as the victims of "Northern Aggression" when they were the ones to fire the first shots, they were the ones that took Sumter. They knew "All we ask is to be left alone" would play better with the public.

    2). The fact that the North fought to "preserve the union' rather than explicitly abolitionist does not address the reason for disunion in the first place, the reason the south seceded. By their own admission, that reason was slavery.

    The idea of the United States being a permanent union, one that the states (yes, even Texas) were not free to secede from is not "government overstepping it's authority". It was a debate that pre-dated the Civil War by about 75 years.
  9. So you don't think this private letter was a reflection of his true feelings?  We was just pandering to Mr. Greeley?
    I understand the idea you speak of yet it still stands today that many rational well educated Americans contend the federal government oversteps their authority on a regular basis.  It can be debated ad nauseam.  When the people wield the power and grant authority to those they elect to representatively govern them then they also get to determine when the governments oversteps its bounds.  I guess my main point is that legal precedent is not relevant in this argument.  In other words, when enough of the people say it's government overreach then it's government overreach.  It may cease to be the government of some one way the other.
    Bottom line, slavery is bad.  Many honest feelings and opinions on both sides.  Many dishonest and hypocritical actions on both sides.  It was a long time ago and it's almost football season.
    Please note that my statement was draped in sarcasm.  And while I may never know the true reasons behind our wars, I know a lot of good honorable men have served and continue to serve with a clear conscience in their mission.
  11. I forgot to mention I understood your tone.
  12. The letter was not a private one, it was an open "letter to the editor" in response to an editorial written by Greeley in the New York Tribune 5 days earlier:

    Did he really mean it? Well, look at the date. It was only a few months before he published the Emancipation Proclamation (and had probably completed the draft before the letter was written), which while it had limited practical effect, it did make the abolition of slavery a goal of the war (rather than simply reunifying the Union).

    I don't disagree with the rest of your point that the government has, and does, over-reach on the scope of it's power. That's an ideological debate that has always raged from the start of the nation. On the specific issue of secession, I personally side with the Federalists and the belief that the States did not retain the right to secede...but that's just me.
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  13. Right on here. Slavery was not the only cause, but it was the central cause, the one around which the others stuck. however, a vote was taken, and people tend to go with the majority. this fact many modern historians give short shrift to. this post from Addison Clark is very interesting and enlightening. thanks.

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