The Sunken Fact: Lincoln Instigated the War


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#2
Something tells me that the people who refer to Rhea as a "part time historian" and such are not going to hold that against Joe Ryan, but the people who have studied this in depth will notice its resemblance to other demolished arguments.
 
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#5

Thank you Barrydog !

Respectfully,

William
Something tells me that the people who refer to Rhea as a "part time historian" and such are not going to hold that against Joe Ryan, but the people who have studied this in depth will notice its resemblance to other demolished arguments.

I have not yet seen this demolished, I have seen different interpretations and denials. I have, myself conducted a great deal of study into this subject and have found it hold water. You may and probably do disagree and that is fine.

Respectfully,

William
 
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#6
Ryan's attempts to treat the subject like it was a court case before a jury where his job is to make a believable-sounding argument instead of like a historian whose job is to report the facts weakens an already dubious proposition.

I would hope that any study on your part rests on a better foundation than how any proposition can be presented as if it was true without regards for whether actual facts are used or if they are, to present them as they were rather than how suits one's case.

I have not read Godwin's work, so I have no intention of claiming anything on it in particular.
 
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#8
americancivilwar.com/authors/Joseph_Ryan/Articles/Lincoln-Instigated-War/The-Buried-Fact-Record.html


Respectfully,

William

With all due respect there is nothing new in that. Just the same old claim that Lincoln's refusal to allow the Sumter garrison to be starved into surrender was an act of aggression that caused the war and forced the Confederacy to fire.
 
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#11
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#16
What Ryan is doing is akin to selling something, not interpretation of the past.
I am not speaking of Ryan's article; I am talking about the study and writing of history in general. Historians do not just recite facts. They interpret those facts and then present them, often in the form of a thesis statement or argument, defended with evidence.

Often historians do present their work to a reader as an attorney would make a case to a jury.
 
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#17
No. Historians present the past and explain why events occurred the way they did by presenting evidence- if it must be argued it's because they're busy shoving dead red fish under the sofa with one foot.
The term "argument" in this matter does not mean screaming and yelling, but presenting a specific interpretation. Historical scholarship and writing requires an element of interpretation, which in turn requires the presentation of an argument (ie. thesis) supported by facts.

Not all interpretations or arguments are equal, of course.
 
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#19
I am not speaking of Ryan's article; I am talking about the study and writing of history in general. Historians do not just recite facts. They interpret those facts and then present them, often in the form of a thesis statement or argument, defended with evidence.

Often historians do present their work to a reader as an attorney would make a case to a jury.
A (credible) historian writes about the facts and how they come together to present the truth. Neglecting or misrepresenting inconvenient facts to strengthen an argument is the stuff of polemics and hagiography, not history.

To the extent a historian treats the subject of presenting the truth as equivalent to presenting an argument before a jury where "a convincing argument" does not have to be a factual one, a historian is not doing his job.

If I wrote an essay on - for example - the subject at hand (the coming of the Civil War), it is my responsibility as a historian, if an amateur one, to present what happened whether it supports or undermines Lincoln's decisions, and if the facts produce a different result than I might like, that's my problem and not an excuse to neglect facts contrary to my beliefs.

Facts are not obligated to be likable or convenient - just as when talking about scientific study.
 
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