"Secession is nothing but Revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacyu at will. It was intended for "perpetual union," so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissoved by revolution or by all the people in convention assembled. It is idle to talk of secession. Anarchy would have been established, not a government, by Washington, Hamilton,jefferson, Madison, and the other patriots of the Revolution..."(my emphasis) Ltr. from Rob't E. Lee to his son Rooney, Jan. 21, 1861
Lee goes on in the letter to bemoan secession, but cannot(or will not?) abandon Va. Clearly, Lee was making his decision almost entirely on emotion and not intellect.
A life lived entirely by intellect, and not emotion, would be a pretty empty one indeed.Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me. I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind. If the Union is dissolved, and the government disrupted, I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people; and, save in defense, will draw my sword on none.
Keep building the mountain. Ike seems to have admired Lee as an honorable man, which he was, and didn't concern himself with the right or wrong of Lee's participation.
A life lived entirely by intellect, and not emotion, would be a pretty empty one indeed.
But I really don't think we can defend his choice on any other terms than respecting his right to follow his opinion.
I'll go along with that, El. I do respect his opinion, and I don't think he would care a whit whether you or I or anyone else here would defend him or not.
But I do think it's important, for my own personal benefit, to try to understand his decision. And I find that's really not all that hard to do.
I don't know if I agree with this, but I don't disagree with it enough to want to start an argument. What about Ike makes him one of your heroes, though?
I have a feeling I won't disagree with the reasons.
That's almost the way I read it Robert. I'm sure he had his opinion, but it didn't show in his letter.Ike apparently didn't believe there was any right or wrong concerning secession prior to the CW, as it was an unsettled question. I happen to agree.
A paragraph of interest in Ike's speech to Congress 1/5/57I don't know enough about Eisenhower's idea of military spending to compare it to what I think. And I have mixed feelings about the idea of military intervention as a means of foreign policy.
Done well, a very admirable thing.
But I have the unhappy suspicion that Ike's intentions were nobler than the use of the concept that we can and will intervene anywhere for our purposes.
Not that this is a slight on Eisenhower, but its an unhappy consequence of any policy based on opposing the Spread of _____, with ____ being anyone else.
And I do not feel supportive of any ideology based on the idea that Communism Must be Stopped Everywhere. Not out of any fondness for the Soviet Union, but out of a distinct lack of fondness for "but he's our son of a -----" (someone's statement about a dictator during FDR's administration, I think) and preference for pro-American over democratic when there's a conflict.
But that's another story.
Eisenhower himself can sit next to Grant and Washington so far as I'm concerned.
Read what he wrote again. It's one sentence.The Facft remains, that Lee would have resigned and fought against the United States, no matter what he thought as to the legality or even the 'rightness' of Va.'s decision. His decision was not made on rational thought, but on what Va. did; no matter what.
A paragraph of interest in Ike's speech to Congress 1/5/57
"Let me refer to the requested authoity to employ the armed forces of the United States to assist to defend the territorial integrity and the politcal independence of any nation against armed communist aggression,
Such authority would not be exercised , except at the desire of the nation attacked. Beyond this it is my profound hope that this authority would never be exercised at all"
" In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,whether sought or unsought,by the the miitary-industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
|★ Dwight, William Jr.||Biographies of the Civil War||3|
|★ Terry, Henry Dwight||Biographies of the Civil War||0|
|1||Missouri secession||Additional Discussion on Secession||17|
|A||Secession and the CS constitution||Additional Discussion on Secession||19|
|A||Letcher and Va. secession||Additional Discussion on Secession||0|