Was Lincoln a Realpolitik, Jingoist, Nationalist or Patriot?

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#1
Before anyone zooms in here and says they are basically all the same, think again. Imo, he definitely wasn't a conservative or a liberal according to 21st Century political ideology. I'm leaning towards realpolitik cloaked in patriotism. But I'm re-reading the book I have on him, so I might change my mind.
 

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#3
Why do you want to label him? Just think about the things he did as President, which you can consider good, bad or something in between.
No, what compelled him to do things he did or things(good or bad) he didn't do? What was the motivating force behind his all-inclusive purpose? I don't believe it was because he was staunch conservative, moderate or liberal.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#5
I would say he was a realpolitik pragmatist like most good politicians case in point how he handled the Fremont proclamation controversy in Missouri and its effect on other border states like Kentucky, since this was early in the Civil War and the allegiances of the two aforementioned states was in flux Lincoln knew that any explicit abolition of slavery there would only upset Missourians and Kentuckians possibly even getting them to switch sides to the Confederacy as he put himself it would harm any Unionists in the border and Southern states.
 

wbull1

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#6
I would say Lincoln was a political genius. Doris Kearns Goodwin used the description before I did. IMHO he did not change his belief that slavery was immoral at any time and once he decided that slavery needed to be abolished (I cannot give you a specific day and time for that) he inched toward that goal while getting scorn from abolitionists and slavery supporters for moving too slowly/too quickly. "I walk slowly but I do not walk back." He certainly ducked questions and allowed people to assume he agreed with whatever point of view they had. I believe he transcended political categories like DiVinci cannot be adequately described as a painter, sculptor, engineer or inventer. He did all that and more.
 

5fish

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#7
might change my mind.
Lincoln was a Whig even after becoming a Republican and once in office put forth long wanted whig policies...

With no Southerners in Congress and Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig from Illinois, in the White House, the Republican Party finally passed much of the economic legislation regarding banking and tariffs that had long been advocated by the Whigs.

He was pushed to changed his views on slavery by the radicals and the war. He was a moderate push to the left by the radicals.
 

WJC

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#8
He was a moderate push to the left by the radicals.
I don't believe anyone "pushed" Lincoln into changing his views, particularly on slavery, which he always considered an abomination. Certainly, he changed his views on how to best deal with that divisive issue, a change he consciously formulated himself after discussing it with others, including Frederick Douglass and other Blacks.
 

WJC

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#9
"Was Lincoln a Realpolitik, Jingoist, Nationalist, or Patriot?"
Using Merriam-Webster's definitions
Realpolitik: "Politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives". Yes.
Jingoist: One whose views are characterized by "extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy". No.
Nationalist: An advocate for "national independence or strong national government". No.
Patriot: "One who loves and supports his or her country". Yes.
 

wbull1

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#10
Lincoln's thinking about slavery certainly evolved. Even before the presidency he knew and was friends with William de Fleurville a highly intelligent free black man. During his presidency, he came to know Frederick Douglass, black physicians, writers and clergy who he recognized as well-educated professionals which may well have changed his ideas about the race. He knew and praised the courage of black soldiers. Lincoln was always learning and thinking.
 
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#11
Realpolitik: "Politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives". Yes.
Not sure about this. Realpolitiks is generally understood that a ruler does something strictly for the state and disregards ethical or a moralistic approach to government and that harsh punishment could be used to control a populace. If you look at Lincoln's use of pardons and the EP in general, that clearly falls outside the guidelines of realpolitiks. His restraint in almost coddling the border states could also be seen as a theory to keep them from rebelling. So I would lean towards a no on realpolitik. To understand realpolitik a bit better, one can read Machiavelli's The Prince to see how different that approach is to Lincoln.

But of course the rub is people rarely stay within one political label and often respond to a situation based on a number of factors.
 



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