Was Lincolns war for ending slavery or maintaining the Union

Was Lincolns war for ending slavery or maintaining the Union ?


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Remington 1858

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Dec 1, 2020
The court doesn't create reality with its rulings.
I’m sorry but that is exactly what it does. It interprets the constitution and makes it’s interpretation the real law.
try violating a law decided constitutional by the court that carries a penalty of imprisonment and see if you don’t really end up in jail.
 

Andersonh1

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I’m sorry but that is exactly what it does. It interprets the constitution and makes it’s interpretation the real law.
try violating a law decided constitutional by the court that carries a penalty of imprisonment and see if you don’t really end up in jail.

Historical reality is what it is, regardless of what the court said. If they said that Washington wasn't the first President, would that make it true, just because the court ruled? Of course not.

And the courts do not make law.
 

Remington 1858

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the Court’s power of judicial review was not confirmed until 1803, when it was invoked by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison. In this decision, the Chief Justice asserted that the Supreme Court's responsibility to overturn unconstitutional legislation was a necessary consequence of its sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. That oath could not be fulfilled any other way. "It is emphatically the province of the judicial department to say what the law is," he declared. (Supremecourt.gov)
The Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus (legal orders compelling government officials to act in accordance with the law). A suit was brought under this Act, but the Supreme Court noted that the Constitution did not permit the Court to have original jurisdiction in this matter. Since Article VI of the Constitution establishes the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, the Court held that an Act of Congress that is contrary to the Constitution could not stand. In subsequent cases, the Court also established its authority to strike down state laws found to be in violation of the Constitution.
(UScourts.gov)
 

Remington 1858

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Like Lee’s fight , it must be hard the argue when you know you are wrong. Always arguing from a defensive position and trying to take the offensive but continually beaten back by the facts and realities.
 
And the courts do not make law.

Actually, in a way they do.

"A majority opinion in countries which use the common law system becomes part of the body of case law. Such decisions can usually be cited as precedent by later courts. In some courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority opinion may be broken down into numbered or lettered sections."
 

Johhny Quest

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Nov 11, 2020
Lincoln was a Republican so I would point you towards the Republican Party Platform of 1860.

Specifically, look at item #7

7. That the new dogma that the Constitution, of its own force, carries slavery into any or all of the territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country.​

The importance of this was apparent to anyone who looked at a map of North America and saw the potential for many more states being added. (In fact, there were 33 in 1860 and we eventually added 17 more.)

From the very beginning (1780s), the South had a fear of Northern political power and a number of compromises and Compromises (official ones) were made. The election of the Republicans meant an end to the era of compromise and eventually the decline and end of Southern political power (as they saw it).

I'm not a Lincoln expert but I think Lincoln truly believed that Secession was something being done by Southern elites and not the average Southern man or woman. Therefore, Lincoln never considered that the "South" was in rebellion but only a part of the South (the very rich and privileged). So in that sense, I think you can argue that Lincoln was an ardent "Unionist."

I also believe that Lincoln thought slavery was unjust and cruel. As a child of poverty, he would have identified with the Slave far more than the Slave Owner. But, I think this belief was private and he focused on the Constitution and Union rather than on blacks.

Just my two cents.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
How Is it possible for the smaller and overall poorer Southern white demographic to purchase far more imported goods then the larger white Northern demographic group?
Leftyhunter
In a smaller and overall poorer demographic...the tariffs would hit them the hardest. It wasnt the ave poor southerner that was impacted the hardest...it was the rich southerner. The rich southerner/s were the ones that made the decision to secede...a poll wasnt taken that took into account the poor whites of the south's opinion. The rich made the decision to secede over the potential for harsh tariffs in the future akin to the tariffs of abominations (which almost lead to secession then if not for Jefferson's swift actions) and the potential for loss of power/seats in the congress as the US expanded west. The rich have always had the poor fight for their interests...and they did in 1860.
 

Joshism

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Lincoln was a "free soiler"...not an abolitionist.

Lincoln was clear that he thought slavery was wrong, but he wanted it ended under rule of law. Lincoln was an idealist yet also a realist.

Most abolitionists were idealists who wanted slavery ended immediately without any concern for the consequences.

Lincoln's concerns about the impact of ending slavery and the difficulty of peaceful white-black coexistence in a post-slavery America were prescient.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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Lincoln was a "free soiler"...not an abolitionist.
"We think slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the territories, where our votes will reach it."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at New Haven, Connecticut" (March 6, 1860), p. 16.

"In 1841 you and I had together a tedious low-water trip, on a Steam Boat from Louisville to St. Louis. You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter to Joshua F. Speed" (August 24, 1855), p. 320.

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Letter to Albert G. Hodges" (April 4, 1864), p. 281.

"I think slavery is wrong, morally, and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio" (September 17, 1859), p. 440.
 

unionblue

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In a smaller and overall poorer demographic...the tariffs would hit them the hardest. It wasnt the ave poor southerner that was impacted the hardest...it was the rich southerner. The rich southerner/s were the ones that made the decision to secede...a poll wasnt taken that took into account the poor whites of the south's opinion. The rich made the decision to secede over the potential for harsh tariffs in the future akin to the tariffs of abominations (which almost lead to secession then if not for Jefferson's swift actions) and the potential for loss of power/seats in the congress as the US expanded west. The rich have always had the poor fight for their interests...and they did in 1860.

The above post is pretty good until...

"The rich made the decision to secede over the potential for harsh tariffs in the future akin to the tariffs of abominations..."

The tariff was instituted as a means of financing the Federal Government because 1. the Southern slaveholding States did not want a tax based on population that included their slaves and 2. because it was the least intrusive on the general population as those who actually imported products and goods from overseas would be the ones who would pay the tariff. Yes, the cost of the tariff would be passed on to any consumer, but that was passed on to ALL consumers, North and South, as neither section had a Tariff Exemption card.

As for the idea of the Southern rich being concerned over the "potential for loss/seats in the congress as the US expanded west" yep, they did have that concern, hence the reason the slaveholding South did it's utmost to obtain more territory for slaves and slave states in the west.
 
Joined
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The above post is pretty good until...
Thank you.
neither section had a Tariff Exemption card.
Maybe, if you didnt import what the north bought then no one in the North paid. If tariffs were uniform and everyone was equally negatively impacted, why were there so many compromises that benefitted the south? Or more plainly why so many compromises period? Obviously tariffs were a hugely problematic issue for the south...just an 80,000 feet high view of this issue one can see that it was. There isnt even a need to get into the weeds about it...if it wasnt a problem...there wouldnt have been so many "compromises". Its kinda self evident.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
In a smaller and overall poorer demographic...the tariffs would hit them the hardest. It wasnt the ave poor southerner that was impacted the hardest...it was the rich southerner. The rich southerner/s were the ones that made the decision to secede...a poll wasnt taken that took into account the poor whites of the south's opinion. The rich made the decision to secede over the potential for harsh tariffs in the future akin to the tariffs of abominations (which almost lead to secession then if not for Jefferson's swift actions) and the potential for loss of power/seats in the congress as the US expanded west. The rich have always had the poor fight for their interests...and they did in 1860.
While it's true the rich get the poor to do their dirty work the Secessionists were not fighting for lower tarriff's but soley to preserve and expand slavery. The average Southener wasn't going to die to pay a bit less for a given item.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
As for the idea of the Southern rich being concerned over the "potential for loss/seats in the congress as the US expanded west" yep, they did have that concern, hence the reason the slaveholding South did it's utmost to obtain more territory for slaves and slave states in the west.
...and seceding if that prospect looked unattainable. No need to battle it out in an ever expandingly hostile congress when you can form one on your own.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
"We think slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the territories, where our votes will reach it."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at New Haven, Connecticut" (March 6, 1860), p. 16.

"In 1841 you and I had together a tedious low-water trip, on a Steam Boat from Louisville to St. Louis. You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter to Joshua F. Speed" (August 24, 1855), p. 320.

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Letter to Albert G. Hodges" (April 4, 1864), p. 281.

"I think slavery is wrong, morally, and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union."
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio" (September 17, 1859), p. 440.
I appreciate the out of context cherry picked comments...i do, but this still does not make him an abolitionist. Lincoln (as one of your quotes stated) didnt want it to spread. He believed that all future states be "free soil"...thus making him a free soiler. He was not originally a republican (they were abolitionists), he joined the party because it gave him a better chance to win.

Lincoln was a career politician, so with respect to slavery, he was whatever he and his handlers thought he needed to be. You can see (even in the selected quotes) that his views changed with the winds if you look at his views about slavery over his entire career, and not just his presidency.

That said, he privately abhorred slavery and wanted it abolished. Publicly, his positions always favored an end to slavery, but without going so far as calling for abolition (abolitionists were relegated to the political margins).

His and the republican political platform called for an end to the expansion of slavery to new territories. That was the essence of the Free Soil movement.

From History.com:

Abolitionists, by contrast, knew exactly what should be done about it: Slavery should be immediately abolished, and freed enslaved people should be incorporated as equal members of society. They didn’t care about working within the existing political system, or under the Constitution, which they saw as unjustly protecting slavery and enslavers. Leading abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison called the Constitution “a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell,” and went so far as to burn a copy at a Massachusetts rally in 1854.

Though Lincoln saw himself as working alongside the abolitionists on behalf of a common anti-slavery cause, he did not count himself among them. Only with emancipation, and with his support of the eventual 13th Amendment, would Lincoln finally win over the most committed abolitionists.
 
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unionblue

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Thank you.

Maybe, if you didnt import what the north bought then no one in the North paid. If tariffs were uniform and everyone was equally negatively impacted, why were there so many compromises that benefitted the south? Or more plainly why so many compromises period? Obviously tariffs were a hugely problematic issue for the south...just an 80,000 feet high view of this issue one can see that it was. There isnt even a need to get into the weeds about it...if it wasnt a problem...there wouldnt have been so many "compromises". Its kinda self evident.

The one significant reason there were so many compromises for the South is that for nearly 70 years before the Civil War they pretty much controlled the federal government. Even the Walker Tariff was done mainly for the benefit of the South by Southern officials in the government.

Your post above implies if the South didn't like a proposed tariff, they could get compromises to benefit their region over others.

The big difference? Nobody threatened war over the tariff.
 

jackt62

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New York City
...and seceding if that prospect looked unattainable. No need to battle it out in an ever expandingly hostile congress when you can form one on your own.

The southern slave states took that gamble and lost. They may not have had the votes and population to stem the forward movement to limit slavery in the territories, but had they not seceded, the system of chattel slavery may have existed for much longer than it actually did.
 
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