Two Presidents: Comparing Lincoln And Davis Fair Or Biased

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John Hartwell

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Don't know what book you're talking about. But, whether or not you consider it biased will likely depend on whether you agree with its conclusions. It is possible to compare them using fair and impartial parameters, but there seem to be so many committed partisans around here that probably wouldn't be recognized.
 
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Ara Oko

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OK. Books aside, let's talk about this. It's important.
We know a great deal about Lincoln, his oratory and his hands-on command style.
By contrast, Davies seems to have deferred military affairs to Lee.
I don't hear of his history, or speeches, or even any interesting anecdotes.
I reckon a part of this is due to the records in Richmond burning, but it doesn't explain everything.
Was Lee the de facto Commander in chief of the Confederacy during the war?
 

archieclement

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Seems a bit odd, it does seem I've heard more about Lincoln then Davis.......

But Lincoln was more hands on? Like standing by some like Grant while replacing others for lack of offensive spirit?.......Sounds like Davis standing by Bragg while replacing others for lack of fighting such as JJ.....

And Lee as some de facto C and C for the war? One of the few faults historians find with him was he never did view things as a C and C......instead he only looks at Virginia. And never had any real say outside the AoNV. Nor seemed to wish to provide much direction outside the AoNV.

Also agree as pointed out in different thread, no biographer can spend years researching a single person without forming their own favorable or unfavorable view of them which is going to be reflected......so any reviewers opinion of "biased and fair" is also largely dependent on how it meshes with the reviewers personal opinion........

The thing is facts are impersonal actions......but interpreting the action as "good or bad", "correct or incorrect thing to do" or "moral or immoral" are are all subjective personal opinions.......
 
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jackt62

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Haven't heard of this book, but historians have debated comparisons between Lincoln and Davis for years. Just to throw out one big difference between the two men; Lincoln was a more highly skilled politician than Davis, which allowed Lincoln to successfully maneuver among competing factions (Radical Republicans, War Democrats, etc.) and viewpoints (abolish slavery, fight a hard or a soft war). In contrast, Davis was unable to keep a lid on his opposition, in part because of Davis' difficulty in compromising and his outspoken favoritism to certain individuals. Lincoln was able to bear criticism in silence, whereas Davis would not accept any signs of disloyalty.
 
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wausaubob

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Lincoln had control of a functioning national government that could pay its bills. He had an immense power to bargain with railroads and financiers. So called President Davis did not have that funding, and typically resorted to allowing people to take what was needed.
Lincoln's economy was expanding and Davis' economy was contracting. There was no comparison.
 

wausaubob

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Davis allowed people to steal railroad equipment in both KY and VA. The entire US railroad and finance community watched that and made certain conclusions.
 

wausaubob

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Lincoln and Wells bought ships and hired sailors. Davis authorized privateers. Lincoln worked within the British blockade experience. Davis confiscated debts owed to northerners.
 
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archieclement

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Actually between the two, personally I would think Davis would considered himself more hands on concerning the military then Lincoln...........But Davis was also a west point graduate and former secretary of war.
 

Ara Oko

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Seems a bit odd, it does seem I've heard more about Lincoln then Davis.......

But Lincoln was more hands on? Like standing by some like Grant while replacing others for lack of offensive spirit?.......Sounds like Davis standing by Bragg while replacing others for lack of fighting such as JJ.....

And Lee as some de facto C and C for the war? One of the few faults historians find with him was he never did view things as a C and C......instead he only looks at Virginia. And never had any real say outside the AoNV. Nor seemed to wish to provide much direction outside the AoNV.

Also agree as pointed out in different thread, no biographer can spend years researching a single person without forming their own favorable or unfavorable view of them which is going to be reflected......so any reviewers opinion of "biased and fair" is also largely dependent on how it meshes with the reviewers personal opinion........

The thing is facts are impersonal actions......but interpreting the action as "good or bad", "correct or incorrect thing to do" or "moral or immoral" are are all subjective personal opinions.......
Fascinating. Thankyou.
 
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Ara Oko

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Seems a bit odd, it does seem I've heard more about Lincoln then Davis.......

But Lincoln was more hands on? Like standing by some like Grant while replacing others for lack of offensive spirit?.......Sounds like Davis standing by Bragg while replacing others for lack of fighting such as JJ.....

And Lee as some de facto C and C for the war? One of the few faults historians find with him was he never did view things as a C and C......instead he only looks at Virginia. And never had any real say outside the AoNV. Nor seemed to wish to provide much direction outside the AoNV.

Also agree as pointed out in different thread, no biographer can spend years researching a single person without forming their own favorable or unfavorable view of them which is going to be reflected......so any reviewers opinion of "biased and fair" is also largely dependent on how it meshes with the reviewers personal opinion........

The thing is facts are impersonal actions......but interpreting the action as "good or bad", "correct or incorrect thing to do" or "moral or immoral" are are all subjective personal opinions.......
This is a good piece, but for the very last paragraph is a bit wooly It is in every soldiers own and collective interest to stick to what they are taught. And they know the rules of War. They usually do. But sometimes bad things happen. It's the nature of war, and a very gervious thing it is.
 

archieclement

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This is a good piece, but for the very last paragraph is a bit wooly It is in every soldiers own and collective interest to stick to what they are taught. And they know the rules of War. They usually do. But sometimes bad things happen. It's the nature of war, and a very gervious thing it is.
It remains the action itself is still simply an impersonal event............to spin it good or bad, or justifiable or not is personal opinion.
 
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Ara Oko

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Never been the military, always been a military history buff, think that tended to discourage me ever volunteering.
Don't volunteer. There are plenty of jarheads to do that for you now. But I have to say that being a military vet does put a certain perspective on things. I cannot say in truth whether this is at all useful in peacetime, but let's be positive and do what wa can.
 
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