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Comments about ‘In our opinion: A new birth of freedom’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Interesting piece... . and you would think this would be universally accepted, and yet, there are those who consider lincoln's act as extra-constitutional and wrong... denying people of their property without compensation.

The notion that another human being could be personal property in of itself is mind blowing... the defense of slavery is unimaginable in todays society (for the most part - some backward pockets persist), but this was a debatable act back during lincoln's day. To understand how some today feel we have eroding rights only highlights how little of our history some really do understand.

SEY
Sandy, UT

It's ironic that we hold in such high esteem a president who declared war on and invaded the South via unconstitutional means. It should be clear to any serious student of history that the invasion was not intended to rid the country of the scourge of slavery. Instead, it was to keep the southern states in tow as the economic slave of northern ambitions. Losing the southern states would have ruined Lincoln's crony capitalism he and other Republicans had established to enrich themselves,especially through the construction of railroads.

As for the 13th Amendment, the movie version of Lincoln's attitude was purest fiction. Secretary of State William Seward said at the time, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." It makes for a good story, but is diametrically opposed to fact. Lincoln had no wish to abolish slavery any more that he wanted to give black Americans equality. To his dying day, his plan was to deport blacks out of the U.S.

The Lincoln Republican legacy is one of Constitutional demolition, crony capitalism and totally unnecessary war.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

SEY,

Oh please.

The war was to keep the union together. The dissolution of the union was fired by the battle of southern vs. northern influence in the new territories for which the bogey was slavery. The southern reaction to Lincoln was largely due to his stand on slavery and not allowing its expansion (see the Cooper Union speech).

The emancipation proclamation was a political move - the best he could do at the time. But his attitudes against slavery were clear. Not to say that he viewed the preservation of the union as key.

Did he (and many others) think that resettlement in Africa was the best option for former slaves? Sure.

Was there crony capitalism? Not sure it is EVER otherwise (business always seeks to influence law).

Was the war unnecessary? Only if there was to be a United States.

Just to be clear, the Confederacy were no champions of the rights to life, liberty, and property. Unless we think that some can forfeit the most basic human rights permanently due to the accident of their birth.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I would like to see a new birth of freedom in America, even an Emancipation Proclamation for the slaves of today.

The slaves of today have highly restricted freedom, diminished educational opportunities, discouraged from forming groups, and only slightly protected by their government. The slaves of today are know as employees.

Employees are in effect “voluntary slaves” who trade a major portion of the freedom, time and effort for the opportunity to live. They are voluntary only to the extent they wish to eat and enjoy other benefits of having money to spend.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Ultra Bob: just where could we find this "worker's paradise" you're envisioning? Has it ever existed, and if so, where?

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@SEY - Per Lincoln himself at the Douglas/Lincoln debate;

"When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him,—at least, I find it so with myself; but when misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him."

He goes on to say'

"let me say I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce it."

"When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way"

"But all this, to my judgment, furnishes no more excuse for permitting slavery to go into our own free territory than it would for reviving the African slave-trade by law. "

Those are Lincoln's words. Not some interpretation of them. The speech goes on at length about his feeling on slavery and african Americans. Read it, learn it, there is lots more.

Let's stop twisting history to serve our own purposes.

CLM
Draper, UT

Lincoln was not an abolitionist, per se. These are also Lincoln's words, in a letter (1862) to Horace Greely, editor of the New York Tribune:

“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.”

Lincoln also proposed a "forever" amendment (1861) to the Constitution, which would protect slavery for all time. He contacted the governors of every state, encouraging their support. This amendment reads, in part:

"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State. (See U.S. House of Representatives, 106th Congress, 2nd Session, The Constitution of the United States of America: Unratified Amendments, Doc. No. 106-214).

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"Lincoln was not an abolitionist, per se"

You have to remember the term "abolitionist" had a whole set of connotations attached to it, including we can relate to today as "extremist". This doesn't mean he was not anti slavery, he just wasn't going to let himself be labelled today as the days "tea party" crowd. While the quest of the abolishist might of been pure, the tactics were often far short of that.

Lincoln also didn't see the races as being "equal"... but not to the point of seeing these differences justifying the act of slavery.

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