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Abe Lincoln.....Hero or Villain?

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posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 12:41 AM
Majic's Political Easter Eggs

Originally posted by JohnDoe43
Lincoln was a Whig

And quite a Whig, too -- that's why he needed such a tall hat.

500 PTS Points!

posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 01:05 AM

Majic's Political Easter Egg: Be the first to post the name of the political party Lincoln was a member of before joining the Republican Party in this thread and send Majic a U2U with a link to your post, and you will be awarded 500 PTS points.

[edit on 7/15/2006 by Majic]

it was the Grand Old Party

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 12:36 AM

Originally posted by Amuk
He destroyed any illusion of states rights, he destroyed the America of our Founding Fathers and he should have been shot.

In a sense. And I do agree, a state should be able to secede from the union. Under the constitution. I don't think he should have been shot, tho,.. as he was.

I think he did the best he could under the most trying of circumstances. Whatever powers he took during that time of war, he handed back after the last shot was fired. And this union (the USA) has been a world powerhouse ever since.

He has my vote for best president.

posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 04:42 PM
The argument here is that Lincoln was a villain because, after his administration and the Civil War that occurred under it, the United States had a greatly strengthened federal government and greatly curtailed states rights. As a statement of fact, this is certainly true, but we need to ask ourselves whether Lincoln had any practical alternative.

Once the states had seceded, the union crafted by the framers of the Constitution was dead. Either it had to be replaced by another form of union, or it had to be allowed to dissolve.

Nor would the dissolution likely have been confined to the Confederate States. There were other fault lines in both the remaining Union and the Confederacy. Virginia differed sharply from Alabama, and Texas from either one, on many issues, while New England and Illinois were far from eye-to-eye. To cite the most obvious, there were several slaveholding states (Maryland, Kentucky) that remained in the U.S. Once the precedent had been set that a state could freely and peacefully secede from the union, others would have done so in time, and from the Confederacy as well, and the entire United States would have fractured into multiple small nations.

Human behavior being what it is, the likelihood that these small nations could have remained at peace with each other thereafter is vanishingly small. In fact, I believe there are several of the Federalist Papers that addresses this point quite well. Links provided as follows.

Federalist Paper No. 6

Quote from that source:

So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States, in the event of disunion, that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics, that vicinity or nearness of situation, constitutes nations natural enemies. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "NEIGHBORING NATIONS (says he) are naturally enemies of each other unless their common weakness forces them to league in a CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC, and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions, extinguishing that secret jealousy which disposes all states to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors."11 This passage, at the same time, points out the EVIL and suggests the REMEDY.

Federalist Paper No. 7

And on the consequences to liberty of fracturing the union and so creating perpetual threat of internal war:

Federalist Paper No. 8

Quote from same:

The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters, is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions, to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power.

To sum up:

The original Constitution of 1789 provided a central government that, though considerably strengthened compared to that of the Articles of Confederation, remained too week to hold the union together in the face of the serious regional differences that beset it.

That government could not be preserved, and so Lincoln cannot be blamed for failing to preserve it.

His only voluntary choice was to implement a new and strengthened union to replace the old one, rather than see it dissolve.

The consequences of allowing it to dissolve would likely have been far more damaging to liberty than the alternative.

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