Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural, the legality of secession, and the Union Cause

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GwilymT

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tariffs were a major reason for war. in Lincoln's first inaugural address it was one of HIS reasons for war...slavery was not, however
I don’t really agree that his ingaugural statement amounts to a “reason for war”, taking it in the context it seems to me merely as a declaration that he would uphold the law and the constitution, as he had just minutes before sworn to do.
 

Patrick Sulley

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I don’t really agree that his ingaugural statement amounts to a “reason for war”, taking it in the context it seems to me merely as a declaration that he would uphold the law and the constitution, as he had just minutes before sworn to do.
he promised he would invade any state that failed to collect tariffs in order to enforce them ..."invade"...i can find no other use for the word other than war.
 

GwilymT

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he promised he would invade any state that failed to collect tariffs in order to enforce them ..."invade"...i can find no other use for the word other than war.
Actually, he didn’t quite say what you imply. He said:

“I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and Ishall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.”


Clearly, he states that he must act to uphold the law and that there need be no bloodshed or violence unless forced upon the national authority. Forcing bloodshed and violence upon the national authority is exactly what the secessionist rebels did.
 
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Patrick Sulley

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but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion
let's further examine this portion of the text. He is saying that beyond the collection of tariffs...there will be no invasion...implying explicitly that not collecting and turning over to the federal government those tariffs would provoke an invasion
 

GwilymT

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let's further examine this portion of the text. He is saying that beyond the collection of tariffs...there will be no invasion...implying explicitly that not collecting and turning over to the federal government those tariffs would provoke an invasion
Beyond upholding the law:

“The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”

There was no “invasion” until after the rebels had raised an army, taken government property at gun point, Andy fired on federal soldiers thus forcing “violence upon the national authority”.

However, this has nothing to do with the Walker Tariff. If you’d like to explore the 1st inaugural in another thread, we can move those last few posts and continue there.
 
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