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Thread: 2010 - The Second American Revolution

  1. #51
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    it is also very interesting to read what Robert E. Lee had to say about slavery, enlisting blacks, and the reason the war came to be fought.

    i admire him very much. he was definitely a man who had strong convictions and was torn between his duty as a soldier and his duty as a Virginian.

    you are right to be proud to be related to him, Julie. not that you needed me to tell you so.-Paul
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    The proud southern heritage is that of the United States. A few hundred thousand men died to preserve the union, and keep the flag of the United States the flag we still fly today. No, of course not all who display the confederate flag are racist, but MANY are, so you can quit being offended...I am not judging you on your heritage.

    As for the causes of the Civil War (I will refrain from calling it the "war of southern rebellion" if you don't call it the "war of northern aggression") to quote Abraham Lincoln:

    The institution of slavery "created a powerful interest in the states where it existed. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the objective for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war...Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."

    Maybe since he was President of the United States, his view was biased you say? Here is a quote from Alexander Stephens, vice president of the CSA:

    that slavery was the immediate cause of the late rupture and the present revolution of Southern independence

    And that the confederacy in contrast, is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundation are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based on this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.


    This Mighty Scourge, Perspective on the Civil War, McPhereson 2007 p. 3

    To say the war was about economics, not slavery is like saying our dogs are about fetching, not retrieving. The entire economy of the south relied on slavery, and they faced economic collapse if slavery was abolished! The two issues were so closely intertwined, they were inseparable.
    While not all those that display the confederate flag are racist, it is a symbol of a society and way of life that embraced the horrors and brutality of slavery, racism & hatred. That symbol is probably as offensive to blacks as the Nazi flag is to Jews. I’m sure most Germans are proud of their heritage, but most do not openly display the Nazi flag.

    The causes of the Civil War were more related to a series of events and issues rather than just one. However, I would have to agree with Julie that economic issues and states rights played the greatest roll leading to the south’s decision to secede from the Union, and the start of the war. Without a doubt slavery was tied directly to the economic prosperity of the south. However, slavery could not have been the main cause of the war for a couple of reasons:

    1) The U.S. Government did not intend to end slavery in southern states. They only sought to prevent the expansion of slavery into other states, existing states and newly established states. The south felt this would halt their ability to expand and stregthen their economic interests. They also feared prohibiting the expansion of slavery, and the growing abolistionist movement in the north, would eventually bring about the end to slavery, which would destroy them economically.

    2) With the level of racism that existed in the north at the time, it is not reasonable for think that whites would have been willing to lay their lives and, the lives of their sons, on the line to liberate blacks. They fought to preserve the Union.

    3) The Civil War started in April of 1861. Lincoln did not free slaves by issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation until Feb. 1863. If slavery had been the issue, why wasn’t the order to free slaves not issued from the beginning?

    To further illustrate this, you have to read the entire quote from Abraham Lincoln’s response to the editorial written by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune which had urged complete abolition:

    “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

    I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”


    Therefore, the freeing of slaves was more of a by-product of the war, not the cause of the war. As usual, the victors write history their way, and it sounds more noble to have fought a war for the human rights and liberties of others, but it’s not true.
    Last edited by Blackstone; 11-05-2009 at 11:59 AM.

  3. #53
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    Robert E. Lee disagreed as to the cause for the war. here is a quote:

    "so far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, i am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. i believe it will be greatly for the interest of the south. so fully am i satisfied of this that i would cheerfully have lost all that i have lost by the war, and have suffered all that i have suffered to have this object obtained."-Paul
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    No, of course not all who display the confederate flag are racist, but MANY are, so you can quit being offended...

    As for the causes of the Civil War (I will refrain from calling it the "war of southern rebellion" if you don't call it the "war of northern aggression") to quote Abraham Lincoln:

    The institution of slavery "created a powerful interest in the states where it existed. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the objective for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war...Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."

    Maybe since he was President of the United States, his view was biased you say?
    First of all, you don't get to decide what offends me, thank you very much.

    And second, I'd say Lincoln's views were quite biased; but the history books have been scrubbed clean and re-written I guess because his bias would be found so offensive by today's PC society. I'm too lazy to look them up there are plenty of examples. This one's an excerpt from one of my father's textbooks, from a history class he took either at U.Va. or the Naval Academy:

    "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

    (Abraham Lincoln, as cited in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln," Roy Basler, ed. 1953 New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press)

    ... To say the war was about economics, not slavery is like saying our dogs are about fetching, not retrieving. The entire economy of the south relied on slavery, and they faced economic collapse if slavery was abolished! The two issues were so closely intertwined, they were inseparable.
    Just like you don't get to decide what offends me, you need to study your history a bit better. The war was, indeed about economics, and states' rights. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't even abolish slavery in one Confederate and four Union states: Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and West Virginia.

    THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION:
    Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
    "That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free...
    Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued."

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    it is also very interesting to read what Robert E. Lee had to say about slavery, enlisting blacks, and the reason the war came to be fought.

    i admire him very much. he was definitely a man who had strong convictions and was torn between his duty as a soldier and his duty as a Virginian.

    you are right to be proud to be related to him, Julie. not that you needed me to tell you so.-Paul
    I guess whether Lee should be admired or reviled depends on your point of view.

    From all accounts I have read about Lee, he believed slavery was a moral and political evil. However, he though it was a greater evil to whites than it was to blacks (I would have loved to have heard his logic on that one). He felt blacks were better off being slaves than they were being free in Africa. Like many southern Christians of the time, he justified slavery as necessary for the betterment of blacks, and existed because God willed it. They believed slavery would end when God thought it was time (another act of evil committed in the name of God). Here is an excerpt from a letter he wrote to his wife in 1856:

    “ ... In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

    Despite Lee’s belief that slavery was evil, he seemed to have little aversion to profiting from it. When Lee’s father-in-law, George Washington Parke Custis died in 1857, Lee, as one of the executors of the Custis estate, determined slave labor was necessary to improve Arlington, VA's financial status. Custis’ will provided for the slaves to be emancipated "in such a manner as to my executors may seem most expedient and proper," providing a maximum of five years for the legal and logistical details of manumission. Lee was in need of money to pay his father-in-law's debts and repair the properties, so even though the will was probated 2 months later, he kept the slaves in bondage for another 5 years, making money by working them on the plantation, and hiring them out to neighboring plantations and to eastern Virginia plantations.

    The slaves on the Custis plantation had been led to believe by Custis that they would be freed upon his death. When they realized Lee had no plans of emancipating them in the immediate future, some rebelled, and were jailed. Three others (family members) attempted to run away to the north. Unfortunately, they were recaptured before they could reach the PN border. They were forceably returned to Arlington and “taught a lesson.” Following is the testimony given by one of the slaves:

    “My name is Wesley Norris; I was born a slave on the plantation of George Parke Custis; after the death of Mr. Custis, Gen. Lee, who had been made executor of the estate, assumed control of the slaves, in number about seventy; it was the general impression among the slaves of Mr. Custis that on his death they should be forever free; in fact this statement had been made to them by Mr. C. years before; at his death we were informed by Gen. Lee that by the conditions of the will we must remain slaves for five years...we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget...we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty...[Mr. Gwin] had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to ““lay it on well,”” an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done...After this my cousin and myself were sent to Hanover Court-House jail, my sister being sent to Richmond to an agent to be hired; we remained in jail about a week...what I have stated is true in every particular, and I can at any time bring at least a dozen witnesses, both white and black, to substantiate my statements.”
    —Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 467-468

    Lee finally filed the deed of manumission freeing the slaves in December 1862, five years, two months after Custis’ death.

    As far as Lee’s opinion of blacks in the Confederate Army, there was evidence that Lee was for the enlistment of blacks into the Confederate Army near the end of the war. The south had suffered losses in troop numbers they could not replace. Lee agreed they would be hard pressed to win in Virgina by the spring of of 1865 unless they enlisted blacks.
    Last edited by Blackstone; 11-05-2009 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie R. View Post
    First of all, you don't get to decide what offends me, thank you very much.

    And second, I'd say Lincoln's views were quite biased; but the history books have been scrubbed clean and re-written I guess because his bias would be found so offensive by today's PC society. I'm too lazy to look them up there are plenty of examples. This one's an excerpt from one of my father's textbooks, from a history class he took either at U.Va. or the Naval Academy:

    "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

    (Abraham Lincoln, as cited in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln," Roy Basler, ed. 1953 New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press)



    Just like you don't get to decide what offends me, you need to study your history a bit better. The war was, indeed about economics, and states' rights. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't even abolish slavery in one Confederate and four Union states: Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and West Virginia.

    THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION:
    Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
    "That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free...
    Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued."
    As well, you need to study history also. The reason Lincoln could NOT free slaves in the northern states, was he used a war powers act, claiming that the economic and manpower use of slaves against the united states was illegal. Since the northern states were not warring against the US, it did not apply.

    Again, to say the war was about economics and state's rights but not slavery makes no sense whatsoever, since the largest looming issue of states rights, and the largest economic force in the south was.....come on, you know....SLAVERY. Plus, I quoted the vice president of the confederate states coming right out and saying so. If you're too lazy by your own admission to cite examples...oh well.

    Interestingly, most accounts of the "lost cause" of the south were agreed upon for years after the war, until we decided to 'sanitize' the south's support of slavery. It was not valourous anymore to use slavery as a raison-d'etre in the modern era, so we invented all these other reasons with little or no backing in the written records.

    If you're interested in Lincoln's philosophy and actions regarding slavery in a concise, historically and factually accurate read, Abraham Lincoln by James M. McPhereson, Oxford 2009 is an excellent review.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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