- Aug 16, 2015
I agree. The marvel of Civil War America is that it mobilized for war, instituted reasonable war time restrictions, had elections with vicious attacks by Lincoln opponents, no mass executions and then returned to normal politics.All we are left with is the nation Lincoln helped to preserve, the country we all were born, raised, and lived in all of our lives.
"Out of the many, one."
We could have been left with a lost worse.
No, that's not true. The Civil war, or history for that matter, is not the exclusive domain of Historians, or those gathering "just the facts." Philosophy & Ethics has no historic boundaries. Jurisprudence has no time limit. Jurisprudence is understanding what is "written" and "what is meant."Still Too Close to Call-Rethinking Stampp's the Concept of a Perpetual Union Emphasis mine.
This is not to say that legal historians of the Civil War are predominantly presentist, or that they are only interested in whether Lincoln was right. This is to say that there is in much Civil War history a central presentist preoccupation that does not loom as large in any other era, namely, whether particular legal and constitutional actions were justified in some absolute sense. We historians do not generally ask whether Lord Grenville was right to issue the Stamp Act, or whether Jackson was right to crush the Bank of the United States or whether Wilson was right to sign the Treaty of Versailles. We do not, in other words, usually ask whether a historical actor was right or wrong by our lights. Yet we cannot resist asking this about legal actors during the Civil War, particularly Lincoln. I simply do not know if Lincoln was right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and I maintain we cannot answer this question historically. We might be able to explain why he suspended the writ, or the effects of its suspension then and afterwards. We can also bring to light the competing legal arguments made at the time, and explain why some won and others lost. But we cannot survey the sources and come to a definitive ruling on the merits on these central legal questions any more than we can come to definitive understanding of the original meaning of the due process clause. We will never know if Lincoln was right or justified in his legal actions any more than we will know whether Cromwell and his supporters were right to execute Charles I.
are not history. Ethics is a subset of philosophy.Philosophy & Ethics
He had Congress at his inauguration and failed to call them together in an emergency.Yes, he did suspend all those amendment in the North and South.
But the Constitutional question is "was it necessary in a time of rebellion for the more important aim of Preserving the Union?"
And the Constitution does give him the right to do so in time of rebellion.
Then it's ok to discuss the jurisprudence of President Lincoln suspending habeas corpus, or the morality of slavery in the South?are not history. Ethics is a subset of philosophy.
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. ... Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime.Ethics - Wikipedia
Thought provoking comments--thanks. I would love to see a philosophical discussion of Ex parte Merryman.
That is largely to Lincoln's credit. All of the acts violating our Constitution were temporary. Those rights were fully reinstated as the crisis passed.We are very fortunate we didn't end up with a dictatorship as a result of Lincoln's actions. Many other nations have not been so fortunate when the man at the top seized powers to get through a crisis.
Morality has the taint of both theology and philosophy about it. Slippery because everyone figures they know all about morality but don't. Jurisprudence is limited, but we can discuss.Then it's ok to discuss the jurisprudence of a President Lincoln suspending habeas corpus, or the morality of slavery in the South?
'Where's the beef?' The article you referenced in any no way suggests that Lincoln's actions and statements are above examination and criticism.The Principles of the Constitution construed in Lincoln's mind may never be truly known, but the Principles of the Constitution applied and spoken about by Lincoln is open to ethical, moral, and legal discussion.
"We will never know if Lincoln was right or justified in his legal actions any more than we will know whether Cromwell and his supporters were right to execute Charles I" is the statement in the post in this thread I responded too.'Where's the beef?' The article you referenced in any no way suggests that Lincoln's actions and statements are above examination and criticism.
He thru everybody else in Prison. Even for what someone Thought or for Inaction. Breckinridge knew he was being sought for Arrest. He was forced out of KY. Look what happened to Vallandigham. Republicans viewed McClellan as a Traitor. Not much room for error!Speculation.