pat gilbert


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Was Abraham Lincoln a hero or a traitor?

Most countries ended slavery without war and 600,000 dead citizens.

  • Oct 16 2012: "Mainly Lincoln was worried about the federal government loosing income at the ports if the south seceded as 75% of it's income came from the southern ports.
    Etc., etc, etc,"

    Pat, several times you have written statements about Lincoln's motives as though you could read his thoughts. Lincoln's actual motives can be known only to Lincoln. The revenue from the southern ports might have been part of Lincoln's thinking, but no one really knows that. We know for sure that even before Lincoln was elected he made statements that if the Southern states attempted to secede, he would not allow it because, in his opinion, it would lead to the destruction of the Union. It is also worth noting that he was elected by a majority of the electorate after having made this position clear.

    Also, the loss of revenue from those southern ports did not seriously hurt the Union's ability to finance the war. So it does not appear that those revenues were very important. When all the known facts are considered without bias, the facts do not support your statement.
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      Oct 16 2012: I was mainly going by what Judge Napolitano said regarding this.

      A person's motive is determined by his actions. You are right no one knows for sure but you can get a pretty good idea by his actions. The facts are that 600,00 people died in a war started by Lincoln, when all other countries that ended slavery in the 19th century did it peacefully. He made money from his positions in the government. He arrested 3000 journalists violating habeas corpus part of the bill of rights. He violated the constitutional right of the states to secede he literally changed the definition of the country.

      Dr. DiLorenzo says that Lincoln started the war just to maintain the Union. Typically when you investigate a situation you look at the money trail, I would have to say that Judge Napolitano's idea on this is probably closer to the truth.

      He talked about not allowing secession but coaxed West Va into seceding from VA in order to gain 2 senators voting his way. Apparently he wasn't real adamant about secession?

      The Union financed the war by borrowing the money and by an income tax.
  • Oct 17 2012: "Before the war, the USA was called THESE United States of America. After the war, THE United States of America."

    I am not arguing a point here, but trying to clarify the situation, which IMO is more complicated than the above statement.

    First, the original wording of the preamble of the Constitution of the United States (please note the last "the").:

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    Second, the framers used the word Union to mean a single, whole entity, not a bunch of separate states forming a treaty.

    Third, The purpose of the Constitutional Convention was to form a government that would correct the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Consider Article II of the Articles of Confederation:

    Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

    In contrast, the Constitution does not say that each state is sovereign. I think it is safe to say that this change was intentional.

    Fourth, The Constitution was a political document and the result of many compromises. The document does not specifically state that secession is legal or not. This may have been the result of a compromise that was not recorded in history.

    Fifth, It is certainly true that prior to the Civil War many citizens thought that secession was their legal right, and that the states were sovereign. I will grant you that many people probably did say "These United States." And lest you think I have some bias in this regard, in my opinion the states did have a legal right to secede.
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    Oct 16 2012: Pat, I try to do my homework prior to answering. Lincoln was obsessed in a few areas. He was a whig who become a Republican .... the National Bank was a issue and on the table ... He had Hamilton and Clay pushing him on the British Mercentile System ... The South wanted out of the Union but contributed 75% of the tax income ... He denied the Constitutional right to sucede .... He waved Habius Corpus ... Had Admiral Fox standing by to help get people at Fort Sumpter to start shooting and sent a letter thanking him for the desired results .... He by todays standards would be closest to KKK in thoughts on blacks and expressed it often ... His plan was Colonization for blacks in Hati or Lyberia .... His wifes family in Kentucky was a large plantation owners and kept many slaves. Lincoln wrote that he would do anything to keep the union in tact .... Slaves were not part of the equation .. He posed working alternatives with and without slavery. .... The emancipation Proclamation was only valid if you were under Union control, it did not apply to areas controlled by the Southern states. He signed the rail act after ensuring that his property in Iowa would be the hub for the rail system He was a rail attorney and later sued them for a bill of $10,000 for services that they refused to pay. ... He had the biggest house on a eliete street in springfield ... In my opinion his nickname of "Honest Abe" is a literary fantansy.

    The good thing is that all of this is well documented and his personal letters state his beliefs and plans. These are facts that cannot be brushed aside.

    Having said that to destroy his rep would serve no purpose. The thing I have learned here is that people attach their own sense of values to the issues.

    Dr DeLorenzo has a degree in Public Choice (the combination of Poly sci and Econ) I had never heard of this. I like it. I think that this illustrates the importance of economics in history and our lives.

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      Oct 16 2012: You are one of the few that even looked at the videos and then went beyond that, is a breath of fresh air when someone actually communicates about this rather than just regurgitating opinions as if they were facts.

      I have learned a lot from this I had no idea that this was such a myth. You, TED Lover, and Edward were very enlightening.

      Thank you to all of you.
    • Oct 16 2012: "He by todays standards would be closest to KKK in thoughts on blacks and expressed it often"

      This is simply false. Lincoln cared for African Americans, considered them people, and when he came into contact with them he treated them as equals even though that was politically unwise. Some of his words and ideas have been taken out of context. His idea to send them back to Africa was based on his very accurate perception that the former slaves would not be accepted into American society by any whites, either South or North. Lincoln understood the people of his time and would not have been surprised by the cruel treatment of African Americans following the civil war.

      All that said, keep in mind that the prevailing scientific consensus at that time was that the darker races were genetically inferior to the whites. If my memory serves correctly, Lincoln's biographers have said that Lincoln thought this was probably true.

      Lincoln was never an abolitionist. Lincoln was never an idealist. His thoughts and actions regarding African Americans were always shaped within a political context of what was practical in the society of that time. Judging Lincoln by comparing him to his super-hero reputation is not fair and misleading.

      'In my opinion his nickname of "Honest Abe" is a literary fantansy. '

      Yes, it was fantasy. It was a campaign slogan, not of Lincoln's making. At that time political campaigns were much less polite than they are today, and if the truth got in the way of getting your candidate elected, then the truth was ignored.
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        Oct 16 2012: By Lincolns own hand, the documents available, and the real reasons for war I would say that you are incorrect. As I stated people attach their own sense of values to the issue.

        I respect your opinion and still must stand by my statement based on facts.

        Thanks for the reply.
        • Oct 17 2012: Robert, I may have misinterpreted your statement; I now think "simply false" is probably an overstatement.

          For me, the mention of the KKK brings to mind lynchings, burning and mindless hate. My emotional reaction to the KKK overly influenced my reply. I think you will agree that Lincoln did not advocate for any harm to come to African Americans.

          Further reading of Lincoln's own words confirm that he did indeed believe that the darker races were inferior. If that is what you meant by your statement, then it is true. It is also true that Lincoln held no hatred toward them. He advocated for colonization back to Africa as the best result for both races.
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        Oct 17 2012: Indeed I did not mean that he thought they should be lynched but as you say inferior.

        You response is generous. Thank you.

  • Oct 14 2012: " Your question assumes I endorse slavery or that is my view, Me thinks the good Dr misunderstands my comment."

    I don't think my question assumes that at all. You asked who would treat their valuable property poorly in some sort of callous attempt to prove slave masters had economic incentive to not kill their slaves, that they would have just let them go eventually. All I said was that was the exact same argument the leaders of the south made to north. As if keeping a slave is healthy for the slave or that they were actually treated well.

    Maybe Im way off Pat?
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      Oct 14 2012: They would have incentive to keep their slaves healthy. If a person is brought up in a culture that tolerates slavery they likely did not consider it at all.

      My comment was in response to John stating "How many slaves would have died or see their lives destroyed if America had waited for slavery to go away peacefully" which infers that the slave owners mistreated their slave which was not the case. In their minds it likely was not considered one way or the other. Not to mention that their way of life depended on slaves.

      Just to be clear I'm not defending slavery. But Lincoln did NOT fight the war to end slavery, that was the canard that he used to start the war which was unnecessary.
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        Oct 15 2012: "If a person is brought up in a culture that tolerates slavery they likely did not consider it at all."

        "Which infers that the slave owners mistreated their slave which was not the case"

        Owning a human being is wrong. People have known that for thousands of years. It has been outlawed by good human beings, and then re instituted by evil human beings over and over again. Jefferson wanted it outlawed in the constitution.

        People in the south knew exactly what they were doing... and here's the big secret Pat... It was about economics... Free labor, cannot compete with slave labor. A society that believes in a free market, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, must refuse to trade with a nation that does not... or else it will be out competed. Hence many of our current problems. Lincoln was both... At the end of the day, the main right the states fought for, was the right to own slaves... It takes two armies to fight a war.

        People willing to die for the right to own other people... Should not be looked at as heroes.
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          Oct 15 2012: it is a trick .both romony and obama wants to get elected ,it is impossible foe them to reduce the cost of military.that is a lier .when get elected .there will be another policy on foreign policy ..

          everyone knows what obama promises you american ,how much does he achieve .policans can control themselves when elected ,they must put policy acrodding to the interests of some people and cmpanies that he represest ,..
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          Oct 15 2012: David as usual your post is ambiguous.

          You would be amazed at what people don't know is wrong. In Mexico the drug gangs literally do not know that murdering someone is wrong. Consider that if they are co opted into a gang at a young age at are exposed to people who murder regularly then they do not know any better. To them it was just a way of life. You and the good Dr appear to think I'm defending the South and slavery, read what I'm saying.

          It was about economics but not about labor it was about federal income at ports.

          Neither should Lincoln be looked upon as a hero.
        • Oct 17 2012: "At the end of the day, the main right the states fought for, was the right to own slaves."

          "People willing to die for the right to own other people... Should not be looked at as heroes"

          David, I agree with almost everything you say here. But I can still respect the southern soldiers, and some of them as heroes. Most southerners thought they were fighting the revolutionary war again. They were not fighting for slavery, but for the right to live according to their own values, without the tyranny of outsiders imposing foreign values. Slavery was just one of many cultural differences between the north and south, and they were not about to let the north tell them how they should live in any respect. They absolutely would not give up the right to secede.

          Ethically, morally, and legally, the Civil War was full of gray areas and hypocrisy. The south considered the Confederacy as a hero of individual rights, but when they could not recruit enough volunteers they started conscripting soldiers.
        • Oct 18 2012: David there is a lot of misinformation about that time period. PBS produced a great documentary on Lincoln that shows a much more realistic view of the era. This video shows the true nature of the war wasn't about slavery. The northern states were more densely populated. That gave them more seats in the Legislative Branch, and the power to tax the southern states unfairly. The northern states actually have the largest slave cemetery in the country located in Manhattan. I remember reading about this when it was first discovered. There are skeletal remains of children that were worked so hard that the muscles tore away bone chips in their arms. I would not defend what anyone did at that time, but slavery was not confined to North America by any means. When you look at history worldwide at the time Great Britain and America did something that no other country had ever done to end slavery. Heck there were white slaves in Africa. The marine hymn talks about Tripoli were slaves were freed from the Barbary Pirates. Today 27 million people are still enslaved including in the US. For all the talk we do about the past, we have little regard for the present. Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery I think many Americans like to point their fingers at southern states, because they do not want to admit their ancestors roles in things like slavery, slaughtering of Native Americans, burning of China Town twice in California, theft of Bikini Island, city ordinances that segregated New York City, and the Japanese internment camps just to name a few. Did you know that slaves from Africa were very valuable at the time, and that there were also white slaves? White slaves (indentured servants) were mistreated even worse than African slaves.
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        Oct 15 2012: Didn't Lincoln suffer from depression? and his main general was constantly skipping close to treasonous behavior?

        So Lincoln was just another politician that used a convenient vehicle to begin hostilities, like Bush did with WMD's? So what's Obama got up his sleeve?
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          Oct 15 2012: No... We had a constitution... The states ratified it. Some politicians in the south saw a change to the constitution coming, abolishing slavery... So they decided to leave, and form their own country, where you could own people.

          Lincoln said "Hey... You can't do that"... Legally, yes, technically he was wrong, and that makes him a violent dictator... Morally it's a very grey area.

          Obama is going where the UN wants US intervention... Unless Israel goes batshit crazy of course. Romney on the other hand... Who knows, Romney's foreign policy pretty much offers up the world as a buffet to defense contractors. He's the only educated person I've ever seen suggest that America doesn't spend enough on its military.
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          Oct 15 2012: Ken

          It appears he was a sociopath and I'm sure after he committed that many transgressions even a sociopath would become depressed. His main general was no worse then he was.

          Bush doesn't strike me as sociopath.
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        Oct 15 2012: Pat... You may have the single worst moral compass, I have ever seen in another human being. The darkness and evil that pours out of you here, is fascinating.

        Lincoln is a tyrant, who knew better. But human beings who own slaves, and drug gangs who murder children, don't know any better. Bush doesn't strike you as a sociopath? The guy who ignored constant warnings from the CIA about the attack on 9/11, and then used the attack to murder hundreds of thousands of muslim civilians in a country that had nothing to do with it... Isn't a sociopath... but how dare Lincoln tell the south they couldn't leave the country, because they wanted to own people.

        People you defend in this piece, are some of the most evil, disgusting human beings, who have ever lived. They owned, beat, and raped people, with legal help from the government. This is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen written in the modern world... and I am a fan of offensive nonsense.
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          Oct 15 2012: You have preconceived notions that prevent you from just following what I'm saying which is a prerequisite to weighing what I'm saying.

          Your delusions do not count as facts.

          The thing about morality is that it is what a culture agrees is " right and wrong" which very often is not the most ethical. E.G. the Mexican drug gang members accept murder as right. 4 million slaves who were very valuable were mistreated according to you. This is illogical and you don't present any fact to demonstrate this. But starting a war that caused the death of 600,000 American citizens, who were not enemies, was ok? Between the 2 transgressions Lincoln's was by far the worst.

          By the way it was the states constitutional right to secede for whatever reason, denying which was Lincoln's most unethical and immoral act by far.
      • Oct 15 2012: Pat, it may or may not be true that Lincoln waged the war with ulterior motives, but you cant make the argument and be taken seriously by claiming that the slaveowners would have just let their slaves go. Or that Lincoln should have stayed so steadfast to the constitution that he should have just shamefully stood by and watched slave owning pigs get rich on the backs of their human property. These people were highly intelligent, capable of making intelligible arguments for the owning of slaves, and many lived under extreme oppression in England. They knew what they were doing and justified it based on racist, ethnocentric, and economic themes that are still present in the world.

        "4 million slaves who were very valuable were mistreated according to you. This is illogical and you don't present any fact to demonstrate this"
        Again your making the exact same argument that slaveowners used to justify their ownership. This is just disgusting, your not this ignorant so I have to conclude that your so wrapped up in libertarian ideology that you cant see yourself. Illogical hmmm well lets think about what kind of things you had to do in order to stop a rebellion, how about no access to education, whippings, beatings, and rape in order to induce submission, no access to religion, death penalty for trying to escape etc... If anyone was to do this on a micro scale you would be calling for an execution.

        please look at this...

        Really think about what it is your saying here....Lincoln is an immoral scumbag because he broke the constitution and started a major war, however the slaveowners were just victims of the cultural mores of their time. Lincoln probably did not care as much about slavery as our history books would tell us, but I think in hindsight most would agree that the ending of slavery and the brutality that occurred in this wretched institution was worth it.
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          Oct 16 2012: Ok lets stink about this. What do people do that is questionable.

          In some parts of South America they did eat humans, in some places they cut off the clitoris of young women, cut the end of the penis off of babies, have a belief called Eugenic that led to 10s of thousand of psychologists determining whether or not certain people should be cleansed from the world in fact more were executed than all of the slaves who were in slavery in the U.S.. They were treated with far less regard than the slaves.

          But under no circumstances was it a better option than dealing with the slave problem in other ways. Not that Lincoln cared about slavery at all. Not to mention the toll it took on the country because of what he did to the constitution which it is not possible to calculate but suffice it to say it was a huge toll that was taken.

          Why do people do this? According to you they knew what they were doing. Yet they did this with full awareness of what they were doing to their victims?

          No they did not know what they were doing you give man too much credit. Most humans are asleep they are not fully aware and very susceptible to suggestion like memes, culture, preconceived ideas, illogical concepts, and other things that make them easy prey for people who manipulate for dubious reasons like Lincoln.
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        Oct 18 2012: I provide no evidence that slaves were mistreated... You need evidence that "slaves" were "mistreated"... The words "owned property" and "slave" aren't enough mistreatment for you...

        The idea... That you believe, one human being, can own another, based on their skin color... without it being "mistreatment". Is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard.

        Lincoln may have been a traitor, I already agreed he was both. It's a grey area. I'm a big fan of the constitution... but you keep talking about why Lincoln declared war. You refuse to talk about why the south left the union... Why the south, abandoned the constitution, you pretend to care about, their right to own people. It was one country when Lincoln took office.

        No matter how many times you say "I'm not defending slavery"... When you say that slavery wasn't mistreatment... That is exactly what you are doing... and it explains so much of your philosophy of life to me... it really is beautiful that you took the time to explain this. I now understand you so much better. You believe that owning is better than renting... even when it comes to human life.

        It is the most disgusting, and disturbing viewpoint I have ever heard expressed by a human being living in 2012... but it is very enlightening. I don't disagree with your sources take on Lincoln, save it being black and white. I disagree with you on slavery not being mistreatment... and I can cite mountains of evidence.
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    Gail .

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    Oct 14 2012: He was a traitor. Until the Civil War, states had the right to secede. States were technically still nations, and though the Supreme Court said otherwise, it did so unconstitutionally.

    When states have the right to secede, the federal government is held in check. When we are one nation, rather than the treaty organization we were designed as, the one government becomes all-powerful, as it is today. Nothing can hold it in check.

    Slavery would have ended 20 years later on its own, with the invention of the tractor. A tractor was far cheaper than slaves. With that invention, tenant farmers were evicted from the land and they headed north to cities. That doesn't mean that I think that it should have been allowed to continue, but it should have been discontinued legally as soon as possible. Destroying the union and making it a nation was just plain wrong.

    I don't know why the government sponsored educations we were all subjected to tell us that he was a hero, other than they don't want us to know the truth about American history. Most people believe that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, but it didn't. It exempted Kentucky & New Orleans for example, and it did not free the slaves in any union state, such as Maryland or those forced to work on the docks in DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia & New York, with their wages being sent directly to their masters.

    How can we fix what is so wrong with our country when our country lies to us about our own history?
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      Oct 14 2012: Other nations accomplished the end of slavery without war there were other motivations namely there must have been a 3rd party that benefited as all conflict is caused by a 3rd party. This is not mentioned in the videos but this must have been the case.

      You are very knowledgeable about this how did you learn about this?
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        Gail .

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        Oct 14 2012: Some years ago, my worldview crashed. I suddenly saw that all that I believed about America was a lie (liberty, justice, and equality for all). So I started reading original documents for a more accurate understanding.

        I began with the Articles of Confederation, I learned as much as I could about the Jay Rebellion, I read letters written among those involved in the constitutional convention, I read the constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist papers, the Articles of Ratification of the 13 states, the original constitutions of all the 13 states, and I saw that the government we have was not the government we were given.

        So I went looking for how that happened. I learned about the introduction of the notion of "implied powers" and found the beginning, but that didn't fully explain it. So I started looking for Supreme Court Decisions and there it was. The Supreme Court threw out the Constitution as the Law of the Land in 1819, when the Federalist government wanted to establish an unconstitutional national bank. (Mc Culloch v. Maryland).

        I learned about Lincoln in the process, because by then I knew that the USA was established as a treaty organization. I also learned that George Washington was no hero either. He was perhaps the dimmest candle in the chandelier, which is why he was chosen as leader. His hero reputation was invented by Congress to encourage donations for the war effort. He single-handedly started the French & Indian War because he wanted to annex land to Mt. Vernon as far west as the Mississippi River..

        Almost all that we teach our students about American history, and much about world history is a lie, as a lot of documentary evidence proves.

        Oh, I also read the Emancipation Proclamation. I do not trust educators to tell me the truth when it comes to history. When I have a question, I go for original documents, not text books that cover up crimes with lies.
        • Oct 14 2012: The original documents are merely (sometimes conflicting) opinions by flawed, mortal men, men who allowed slavery and inequality to persist even though they painted themselves as bearers of freedom. It is a good thing that later generations of Americans have been able to change their country as the world changed around them.

          Your inability to perceive America's flaws (every country has flaws) when you were younger should not be an excuse to seek refuge with the original founders, they were no saints and could not have envisioned the world as it is today, making their ideas, by definition, incomplete.

          The rest of the world views Lincoln as a hero because its judgment is not clouded by an obsessive reverence of America's founding fathers. You complain about American history books lying about America (the ones that I've read were not so apologetic, but then again they were printed long after you graduated highschool), while you cling to that biggest myth of all, the reverence of the founding fathers, or "framers" and their intentions, as if god gave them the right to decide how millions of people, centuries later, should live.
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          Oct 14 2012: Interesting, during Lincoln's time who was the 3rd party? Was it Hamilton and whomever his cronies were?
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          Oct 14 2012: Kudos for your energy and refusal to be influenced by the opinions of others. Truth is elusive but not non-existent.
    • Oct 14 2012: "He was a traitor. Until the Civil War, states had the right to secede. States were technically still nations, and though the Supreme Court said otherwise, it did so unconstitutionally."

      What good is a constitution that allows for slavery? Lincoln would have been an "I-was-just-following-orders" kind of traitor had he not disregarded the constitution.

      "Slavery would have ended 20 years later on its own, with the invention of the tractor."

      The tractor was invented in 1892, not 1880, and of course it remained prohibitively expensive (just like cars), until Ford started mass-producing them in 1917. Meanwhile this would do nothing to help people who were enslaved sex workers. It does not follow that the tractor would have lead to the abolition of slavery. There had already been organized violent rebellions that included not only slaves but also free blacks and white abolitionists, and Great Britain (the most powerful country in the world at the time) was crusading against slavery worldwide, there is no telling how ugly things would have gotten without the war anyway. In any case 600.000 soldier's lives (many of whom were pro-slavery scum) are nothing compared to centuries of freedom for many millions
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        Gail .

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        Oct 14 2012: John. I am not pro-slavery. Had I been a white man with land-holdings in 1789, I would not have voted for ratification of the constitution. (The rest couldn't vote).

        I am anti-slavery. I objected when the USA went into Kuwait to defend it from Iraq's Hussein, and the slaves that were brought to England with their masters (mostly women) flocked into English and US embassies asking for asylum. They were turned away because we didn't want to get involved in Kuwait's inner workings.

        I object when christians want women to be slaves to a zygote or a fetus or their God.

        I object to slave labor around the world.

        I object to the tacit slavery that our economic model imposes upon all of us. (the freedom you mention is a myth)

        But the constitution was supposed to have been our protection, and slavery would have ended on its own. As it was, it simply moved from "slavery" to "prison labor" as blacks in the south were routinely arrested as "vagrants" because they walked down the street when working people worked. They were then put to work on the Sheriff's or Judge's friends' farms, where they earned nothing for their labors, and where they waited until their hearing or where they worked out their sentences. The 14th amendment was used more for supporting corporate rights than ex-slave rights. This didn't change until WW1 when the US needed more soldiers but Jim Crow hung around.

        I can't change what was, no matter how offensive I find slavery. But I also know the effect that the invention of the tractor had on farming. I've actually taken the time to learn about it. I learned about it when I began learning about the history of Memphis.

        And though slave women were expected to allow rape, the introduction of christianity to keep slaves in control lessened this offense. The autobiography of Frederick Douglass is very illuminating when it comes to mythbusting. The Library of Congress also has good information.

        Your anger is misplaced on me.
        • Oct 14 2012: I did not believe you were pro-slavery. I believe you are overly optimistic in your prediction of what would have happened to slavery without the American civil war. I also believe Lincoln cannot be blamed for abuse of former slaves and segregation. Lincoln had to make a choice: on one hand there were Southerners who interpreted the constitution in such a way that states could seccede and coud decide on slavery themselves, on the other hand there were 4 million slaves being abused every day, the South was poor and unable to be a competitive economy or survive prolonged warfare with Mexico and European powers, Lincoln thought the latter side weighed more heavily, and that was the right choice. He called the Southern leaders on their BS (calling Lincoln a tyrant while being slaveholders and feudal lords over poor white southerners themselves). Lincoln did what was both necessary and the right thing to do, instead of cowering behind convenient interpretations of unjust, hypocritical laws.
    • Oct 14 2012: "Slavery would have ended 20 years later on its own, with the invention of the tractor. A tractor was far cheaper than slaves. With that invention, tenant farmers were evicted from the land and they headed north to cities"
      How could Lincoln or anybody know that the invention of the tractor was going to occur 20 years later?

      Do you think the slave owners would just release people they held for years in bondage to just go live down the road?

      You don't think the slaveowners would be a little nervous about, say, having revenge be exacted on them for crimes against humanity?
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      Oct 15 2012: "Slavery would have ended 20 years later on its own, with the invention of the tractor"

      Pardon my French... but WTF are you talking about? Slavery is still a serious world problem in 2012, and sex slavery still exists in the United States. If South Carolina was a country right now it would be the number one destination for sex tourism.
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        Gail .

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        Oct 15 2012: David, the conversation is about whether or not Lincoln was a hero. Lincoln didn't give a crap about slavery.

        Slavery is thriving in the world, as I have said. Not the least of which is the slavery to debt that our current economic model demands. And again, not the least of which is the slavery to the Abrahamic God that our government demands.

        the reason I stress the Constitution is because if the rules are set in place, then we, the people, get to have a say in our government. When government assumes total power, the goal post is always in motion, and we are powerless within that government - as we are today - thus slaves to it.

        I recently moved to South Carolina, and will be leaving when my husband dies in the relatively near future. It's a horrible place but it serves me right now. I certainly don't hold SC beliefs, and my part of SC is made up mostly of Northern retirees - though not in large enough numbers to affect an election. We just got gerrymandered out of our voice and even write-in votes are illegal.
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          Oct 15 2012: I'm not arguing your stressing of the constitution... I am saying that hundreds of thousands of African Americans would have remained slaves in the south, for generations, had the north not forced them into the modern world. The original language, written into the constitiution by Jefferson, was designed to end slavery. What Lincoln did, may have been wrong, but it was nowhere near as wrong, as fighting for the right to own people.
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        Gail .

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        Oct 16 2012: The Constitution was written to protect slavery. It specifically says that states are required to return property that is in another state to its owner. This was written to protect slave holders from run-away slaves. Houses don't run across the border.

        But there were other ways to attempt to end slavery. The northern states could have boycotted the slave-owners and England's slave-made products (cotton and tobacco being the biggest share). The majority of southern farmers were non-slaveholding farmers. They were free to do so, though there would have been sacrifices. I've read that the southern economy was already having its problems because of disparity of wealth (just as today). Most rich people were slave owners. Most poor people were not, and the vast majority of the wealthy lived in the south. The union could have dissolved the unconstitutional national bank that supported the wealthiest at the expense of the majority (as it does today). When Lincoln's administration started issuing greenbacks (fiat money), prosperity blossomed.

        Look at the history of abolition around the world, and see that nations around the globe were abolishing slavery at a faster and faster clip. It was on its way out. If the union had trade treaties with these slave-free nations, the south would have supported them because it would have seemed to strengthen their holdings. They had no problem with many of them. But with slavery already a near-global concern, (even serfdom was being abolished), Awareness could have been promoted and it could have been forced out.

        Then northern states and territories could have boycotted slave products. They apparently didn't want to.

        I don't see the moral distinction you made. Wrong is wrong. There are other ways to make a point other than forming a national army.
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          Oct 18 2012: The Constitution was written by Jefferson, with the intent to end slavery. It was then beat up, argued about, and deliberated for almost a year before Franklin and others crafted language to basically let them have their cake and eat it too. The person who could actually write in a manner which common people understood, and who forged the constitution, wanted it to end slavery... My point was, that they had argued about it for a century, people in the south knew it was wrong, and most people couldn't afford slaves anyway. It's always the few psychopaths messing it up for everyone.

          Again you're ignoring something important... The south disbanded the union... We were no longer a country, we were two, and most of the people in the north would have refused ANY trade with the south. Local boycotts wouldn't have been enough, they would have become a sanctioned nation, that the north refused to trade with.

          Just like today, rich people were moving to the places where you could do the most hedonistic and disturbing things on the planet... provided you had money. And, just like today... war loomed on the horrizon. PS... There were wars over way less noble causes than owning people, long after 1865. So you are just ignoring the times. The next three major wars were over "Our country should rule the world, and every one else should die". America hasn't fought that war yet, though we were basically founded on the European version of it, and carried it out west pretty brutally.

          In fact... I think because of our youth and multicultural societies. America, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, may be the only nations that haven't fought the "We're the best, and you all suck" war yet... We also haven't lost it to someone else yet though.
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        Gail .

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        Oct 16 2012: Barry

        Article IV, Section 2, paragraph 3

        No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
  • Oct 13 2012: "Was Abraham Lincoln a hero or a traitor?

    Most countries ended slavery without war and 600,000 dead citizens."

    How many slaves would have died or see their lives destroyed if America had waited for slavery to go away peacefully (there were 4 million American slaves in 1860)? Besides, many Union soldiers volunteered or at least supported the war in order to end slavery, while many confederate soldiers (though not all, some were conscripted against their will) were pro-slavery scumbags that we shouldn't mourn anymore than we should be mourning SS-soldiers.

    Abraham Lincoln was a hero (as were the Union troops) from a bygone era when the republican party was on the right side of history.
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      Oct 13 2012: Slavery was ended in other countries without a war. Slaves were valuable property, who would destroy or mistreat their valuable property?
      • Oct 13 2012: "Slavery was ended in other countries without a war."

        Those other countries didn't have to deal with the Confederacy

        "Slaves were valuable property, who would destroy or mistreat their valuable property?"

        Slavery itself IS mistreatment, a violation of fundamental human dignity. If you think it's so wonderful I'm sure there are still some places in Africa and the Middle East where you can experience the joys of being a slave... (hint, hint)

        I wasn't going to dignify your nonsense with more words, but it seems you just don't give up. I'll spell it out for you: 1) A slave could be raped with no legal consequences for the rapist, some people held slaves for this very reason (and some still do), if you don't consider rape "mistreatment" then might I suggest you offer your own freedom to an Albanian sex-slave ring of your choosing? 2) What part of slavery do you not consider an intrinsic violation of basic freedoms? Is it the part where you don't get paid for your work, the part where you can be left in a ditch pennyless once your master think you're too old to work, the part where you don't get to have a family unless your master lets you, the part where you don't get to choose your "employer", nor get to "quit" your "job", the part where your master could beat and torture you whenever he pleased (gouging out an eye is not destruction of property when a slave only needs one eye to pick cotton, right?), the part where you don't have any freedom of movement, or, you know, the part where you are "property" of another human being?

        Let me put it in words even your teabagging ass can understand: slavery was like living under Stalin's rule (evil totalitarian dicatorship and all that, I'm sure you've heard about those words on fox news), with Stalin personally coming by your shack every other day to beat you, rape you or piss in your mouth, depending on his mood.
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          Oct 13 2012: Your answer is Non Sequitur
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        Oct 13 2012: "Slaves were valuable property, who would destroy or mistreat their valuable property?"

        This statement alone highlights your ignorance of history as well as your personal bias of the subject at hand.

        Lincoln was a hero who salvaged a nation from the worst of its citizenry. The South fought a stupid war, stupidly, for the most stupid of reasons.
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          Oct 13 2012: How so?
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          Gail .

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          Oct 14 2012: Before the war, the USA was called THESE United States of America. After the war, THE United States of America.

          The south had the legal right to secede. Read Virginia's ratification of the Constitution for proof.

          The movement toward secession was hardly stupid. Look at the state of our government today and realize the role Abe had in those problems.

          Yes, I'm very anti-slavery. I would not want to own a lave, just as I do not want to be owned by laws that make me a slave to a zygote or fetus.

          This nation was never established as "a" nation. It was established as a treaty organization and Abe gave America its final blow.

          Most people do not know that the Constitution was only conditionally ratified, which is why we have the Bill of Rights.
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          Oct 14 2012: In the videos they said not so honest Abe convinced West Virginia to separate from Virginia so he could gain 2 additional senators.

          Can you explain more about the constitution being conditionally ratified?
      • Oct 14 2012: "Slavery was ended in other countries without a war. Slaves were valuable property, who would destroy or mistreat their valuable property?"

        Pat this is the exact argument that the leaders of the south made against the northerners and supporters of lincoln. They essentially said slaves are our capital we own them and are far more likely to treat them better because of this, they claimed you northerners are the racists you just want to rent them in some type of wage slavery situation. The question they were raising is do you treat something more fair and just that you own or rent? This was also why lincoln was opposed to wage slavery as was the republican party, they viewed it as just demeaning and the exact opposite of what liberty was meant to be.

        My question to you is how do you not treat a slave poorly, are you really dehumanizing a person to the level of capital as if slaves are equivalent to a car or a rocking chair etc..?
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          Oct 14 2012: Your question assumes I endorse slavery or that is my view, Me thinks the good Dr misunderstands my comment.
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    Oct 19 2012: Final comment on this thread:

    This was interesting to me. There were some very knowledgeable commentors on this thread that gave me a lot more certainty on the subject, which is controversial in that points can be made on both sides by people who I respect.

    I looked at this with no idea some of the things Lincoln did because of his "notion" about the union. Which illustrates the importance of the constitution and an educated citizenry that is willing to do what needs to be done.


  • Oct 19 2012: Okay. So what?
    Our history books are filled with lies to deceive us.
    Let's do something about the most recent deceptions that are killing us.

    Hones Abe vs. Dishonest Abe.

    Who cares? Close to 100% of all U.S. politicians are traitors. Taking care of that is of utmost importance. Not deciding whether the Tall one with the tall hat was.

    It only serves to turn people's attention from what really matters today!
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      Oct 19 2012: I find it interesting that there is such a big disparity between the truth and what we are told. He changed the definition of the country by violating the constitution. He got 600,000 citizens unnecessarily killed. Lincoln was an idealistic tyrant.

      It is not possible to calculate the cost to the U.S. of the centralizing of government that Lincoln instituted it and may be THE reason for the of the death of the country.

      As you come up history we see where Wilson implemented the Federal Reserve Bank and it's impact as well as income tax and not as obviously damaging but in the opinion of many the very damaging 17th amendment and it incalculable cost on the country as at that moment it became less of a Republic. Wilson was a tyrant.

      Then FDR saddled the country with a Ponzi scheme called social security Which has caused incalculable damage to country. Not to mention extending the depression to 15yr, bty why did it last that long only one reason FDR was an idealistic tyrant.

      LBJ gives us medicare which is another Ponzi scheme and ramps up the Vietnam War, another idealistic tyrant. If anything medicare will break the country.

      Another prize wining move was when Nixon dissolved Bretton Woods and the impact on government spending.

      All of these actions have created our current situation and culture of "who cares".

      So in today survey I will put you down as who cares, so far in the survey you are in the majority.
  • Oct 17 2012: "Lincoln didn't give a crap about slavery. "

    Now this really is simply false.

    Lincoln's letters and speeches make it clear that he was personally against slavery. He desired a nation and a world where all men were free. He also said that in his official capacity as President he was required to follow the laws and the Constitution even when he did not personally agree with them.

    It is very easy to demonize Lincoln with the truth.
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      Oct 17 2012: Then why did he not free the slaves in the emancipation proclamation?

      "It is very easy to demonize Lincoln with the truth."

      Non Sequitar?
      • Oct 17 2012: We are talking politics, not ideals.

        The Emancipation Proclamation was carefully crafted for political effect. Most northerners would not have supported a war with the single purpose of ending slavery. The border states were supporting the Union even though slavery was legal there. As it was, many northern troops deserted because of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln was completely focused on the goal of preserving the Union by winning the war, and the purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation was to help win the war.

        Lincoln was personally against slavery. His record on that is clear, regardless of his wife's family. I expect that many of us have in-laws that disagree with our personal ethics.
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          Oct 17 2012: 51 seconds into the top link Judge Napolitano ( I have listened to him many times he is a good source) states that Lincoln did not care if we freed the slaves or not.

          Lincoln quote:

          "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."

          He was apparently against slavery but not at the expense of the union. He was in treason against the Constitution.

          Another Lincoln quote:

          "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

          Apparently slavery was the only aspect that he was against?

          USSR leaders and Hitler speak of Lincolns efforts to have centralized power as laudable, I suppose when you are applauded by these people it makes a statement?

          The purpose of the Constitution above anything else was to limit centralized power. The rub in history was when you ask a person to limit his power. That is the true touch stone of the leader, of which Lincoln failed the test.

      • Oct 17 2012: Pat, we agree more than disagree.

        "He was apparently against slavery but not at the expense of the union." Exactly.

        The reason the southern states seceded was specifically because Lincoln opposed slavery.

        Your long quote, "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor ,,,"
        was taken from the fourth debate between Lincoln and Douglas. The speech continues:

        "I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.] My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes."

        The whole debate is here:

        "Apparently slavery was the only aspect that he was against?" If "aspect" is referring to racial inequality, Yes, exactly correct.

        Lincoln explains his opposition to the expansion of slavery in this letter to Joshua Speed, August 24, 1855:

        Lincoln explains that he is personally opposed to slavery, but that his oath of office "forbade me to practically indulge my primary abstract judgment on the moral question of slavery."
        In this letter to A.g. Hodges, 4 April 1864:

        Lincoln in fact did limit his own power, though not to the extent that we both wish he had. We must also remember that there is not the slightest shred of evidence that Lincoln would have tried to continue in power if he had lost the election of 1864.

        Pat, I think our main area of disagreement is that you see this issue in black and white and I see it in shades of gray, some of them extremely dark.
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          Oct 18 2012: My main disagreement is the violation of the Constitution and a war that killed 600,000 and yes these are yes or no type questions that I cannot hang with at all.
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    Oct 17 2012: "The Southern Poverty Law Center considers DiLorenzo one of the most important intellectuals "who form the core of the modern neo-Confederate movement." They believe DiLorenzo's depiction of president Abraham Lincoln paints Lincoln as a "paragon of wickedness, a man secretly intent on destroying states' rights and building a massive federal government."

    Beirich, Heidi; Potok, Mark (Winter 2004). "The Ideologues". Intelligence Report. Issue 116.
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      Oct 17 2012: DiLorenzo talks about his detractors at about 44 minutes into his video.

      He clearly was intent on destroying states rights as that is what he did.

      He also talks about his belief in Hayek, Mises, and Friedman which indicates that he is against big government so it would be consistent with what they are saying, but so what?
  • Oct 17 2012: I belive he was a hero not a traitor. It is like why could not we avoid the Civil War, and I think right we could not.
    In the early days one of the driving factors were the owners of big farms and plantants where they keeped slaves. Well even if Araham Lincoln did not started the war some other leader would had have done so. In, Washington they were making laws to cancel slavery, but the rich in the South would not obey for that.
    think that was the main issue to start the the Civil War.
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      Oct 17 2012: I disagree. War is the last resort unless you are a madman desperately trying to solve a problem. Sane men solve problems differently than sociopaths. Sociopaths solve problems without empathy or talk.
      • Oct 17 2012: I respect your ideas and beliefs. From history books you probably agree that Abraham Lincoln did not just started a war for nothing. First of all, as a great politician, he could not come to deal with rich of the South. the second thing is that great Civil War actually was a push to development and come under one greatcountry USA.
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          Oct 17 2012: It just boiled down to power and money.
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    Oct 16 2012: Perhaps another driving factor for war was the possability that after the southern states seceded fomring two seperate States ie USA and maybe CSA there would have been a mass migration of assylum seeking African Americans heading north which may have resulted in a war anyway.
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      Oct 16 2012: Yea but if that were true we would be at war with Mexico now.
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        Oct 16 2012: The difference is that the southern states would have seen offering assylum to escaped slaves as theft of property. Whereas Mexico benefits from people going north. I'm sure the Mexican government doesn't mind a whole bunch of the unemployed ducking over the border. Maybe the US should start encouraging the unemployed to duck into Canada ;-)
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          Oct 17 2012: Yea maybe but I'm sure Canada get their share as well. But I'll bet that Australia could use some Mexicans, they would love it to because you have the $18.00 minimum wage. I wonder if coyotes would be willing to take to the ocean? Hmm (8^(l)
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    Oct 15 2012: I think you can divide your question into 2 views: one US-centric and one "world-centric".
    In school books around the world, he remains the man who stood up against slavery but everyone knows the causes are diverse and history is always written by the winners.

    But why "traitor"? That must be a US-centric question. As a non-US citizen, I'm curious.
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      Oct 15 2012: If you watch the videos.

      The emancipation proclamation did not free the slaves. Lincoln did not care if we freed the slaves.

      He jailed 3000 northern journalists because they spoke badly about the war.

      He argued against the right to secede while hypocritically convincing West Va to secede from Va so he could have 2 more senators.

      He made money off of deals concerning the railroad.

      His troops fighting a defensive war raped, robbed banks, burned towns.

      He sent troop to Maryland when they were voting on legislature he didn't like.

      And mostly a unnecessary war that killed 600,000 soldiers

      Mainly Lincoln was worried about the federal government loosing income at the ports if the south seceded as 75% of it's income came from the southern ports.
      Etc., etc, etc,

      Contrary to nice story they tell children this guy was a tyrant who violated the constitution wholesale as indicated by Ted Lover who has done extensive study on the disingenuous nature of the history books. His legacy may be the undoing of the U.S. by taking away the power from the states and centralizing it at the federal government.
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    Oct 15 2012: I always got the impression the any relationship between the civil war and ending slavery was kinda spurious. It would be very unusual for one state to go to war with another state for the good of people who live in the other state. Like why would you send troops to a whole other sovereign nation just because you disagree with the way their head of state runs the country? Normally there's some other motivation like oil. Hey I see a pattern forming here.
  • Oct 14 2012: It is possible he was both, or neither.

    Abraham Lincoln was certainly a man, trying his best to do a job that was bigger than he was.

    Abraham Lincoln considered letting the Southern states secede, and concluded that the Union could not survive if individual states were allowed to secede. Suppose Lincoln had allowed the South to secede. In 1860 the world was a very hostile place. It was entirely plausible that the Southern states would soon be invaded by a foreign power. Then what was left of the Union might be drawn into a war, possibly a war it could not win. Today, the primary language of TED might be Spanish. And the Constitution of the USA would be an historical curiosity.

    Ever since high school I have wondered why this country holds Lincoln in such high regard. The man swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, then (mis-)interpreted it to suit his purposes. It is easy to deify him and just as easy to demonize him. The whole truth is anything but simple.
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      Oct 14 2012: So you learned about this in high school?

      There are few holes in our education, economics being one of them, this is an area where the U.S. education system is second to China and other countries.
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    Oct 14 2012: In my station I study Abraham Lincoln is a hero!!! why do you say this ?
    You nation tell the world Lincoln is a hero Dut you suspect its truth
    Could you tell me why?
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      Oct 14 2012: Watch the videos
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      Oct 14 2012: Wang

      What does your country say about Chairman Mao?
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    Oct 14 2012: why that.did you have set of Jurisdiction to the people who can comment

    no doubt that lincoln is a great man. what you should think more is .after the war what it brings to america .
    ecomic flying and people live a much better life.and land compelet .he solve many problems which may happen in the future .if not him maybe there will be two americas in the world and we can see the super country .now

    at this point i think he is a great man .and also he is mordered his life is full of pain .
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    Oct 14 2012: Not to derail the conversation, but the Union position in the U.S. civil war, using today's slogan-happy system, might well have been called "Pro-Life", while the Confederate position would have been called "Pro-Choice." My point is doesn't one's view of the issue determine whether each side's champion is considered to be a hero or a traitor?
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      Oct 14 2012: As usual Edward good point. However 600,000 dead the most losses in any war for the U.S., nothing justifies that.

      From what the experts are saying in the videos, Lincoln did not want the south to secede despite their constitutional right to do so. And maybe more importantly 75% of the federal revenue came from southern ports. He did not care about slavery and even looked for a way to ship the slaves back to Africa. He jailed 3000 northern reporters who spoke out against the federal government violating their 1st amendment. His troops robbed banks, raped women, killed civilians on a large scale. NO this is not a case of "pro-life verses pro-choice", it is a case of a tyranny that history made out to be another "good guy" that we should deify despite the fact that he is dubious or just plain evil.
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        Oct 14 2012: You give me more credit for depth of meaning than I intended Pat. My point is that the South was pro-choice on the issue of slavery, believing that each of the states had a right to choose whether they allowed slavery in their state or not. Whereas Abe felt it was not just a choice, but a moral question of foundational importance to be imposed on all states. 600,00 dead, countless horribly wounded, and the loss of state's rights is a serious , if not eventually fatal, event for the union to endure.
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          Oct 14 2012: Excellent analogy but the videos explain that the primary motivation was money.

          Do you feel that taking away the rights of the states to secede will eventually be the undoing of the U.S.? or is that accomplished with 17th amendment anyway?
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        Oct 14 2012: RE: "Excellent analogy. . . "
        50 years prior to the 17th Amendment states rights were reassigned to the federal government. Restoration of state's rights would require nothing less than a revolution of civil war proportions. America's voters are now 94% polarized with 47% on each side of the question of where authority to rule rightly belongs. Blue and grey has evolved to blue and red. I think the decline of America is primarily attributable to the loss of state's rights resulting from Pres. Lincoln's actions. Perhaps it is collateral damage, perhaps it was the plan all-along with slavery/preserving the union being a red-herring. Either way both sides of the story have not been heard equally.
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          Oct 14 2012: Good Post, thank you. It is interesting that the areas of trouble come from the centralizing, of which the only thing that stands in the way of that is the Constitution.
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    Oct 13 2012: Interesting view point of your history Pat, i'm glad you brought it up, again i learn something new about another countries history though i like Ron, Isn't he a bit long in the tooth?
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      Oct 14 2012: Yup he is way long in the tooth, not that he did not accomplish anything, if a 3rd party comes to being it will be Ron Paul who did it. His son Rand is a senator so who knows? But until enough of us smell the coffee it doesn't matter.
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        Oct 14 2012: His tenacity for staying in the game and his voting public only can be given grudging respect, i hope his son carries torch.