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Old 04-17-2010, 07:45 PM   #31
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From Robert. E. Lee:


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Now we are in a state of war which will yield to nothing...I am unable to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and save in the defense of my native State (with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed) Robert E. Lee letter to his sister 1861
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #32
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Its also a historical fact that Robert E. Lee led Marines to help put down the start of a slave revolt in Hapers Ferry Virginia.
Yes, United States Marines...


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Well, the Union would say such a vote was illegal. .
Understood - hence the war that followed....


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Its also true that he believed the institution of slavery was evil. He initially prefered a more gradual process to end it without a sudden action that could split the nation and cause a war. This would of course prove to be impossible. .
From what I've read this seems accurate. However, Lincoln and most of his cabinet certainly didn't see blacks as a potential equals to the whites, but that didn't mean they should be treated harshly. These men are on record as thinking it best that blacks found a home elsewhere.

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Not necessarily. There was already violence in Kansas and Missouri over the issue which likely would have continued and could have grown. In addition, by 1900, 60% of the country(higher in the southern states) were still engaged in agriculture for a living. Even in 2010, mechanization has not replaced all manual labor jobs which are often filled by millions of illegal and legal imigrants from latin America.
Good point. What I meant to point out that the Civil War - as we know it - would not have occurred. Who can tell what would have happened down the line. It is interesting you mentioned Latin America - Brazil is currently accused of using slavery to supply sugar at competitive prices.

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Even in the 21st century, there are still area's of the world where the institution of slavery still exists.
I agree. And what's being done about it? Where is the outrage?

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I've not heard of this.
Here is a quote from Lincoln...

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If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. Abraham Lincoln, speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854 .
Here is another Lincoln quote...

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There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races ... A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation - Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, on June 26, 1857
And of course, from the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates...

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I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so...
I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position - Abraham Lincoln, August 21, 1858 (a few years before the Civil War)


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That was only true of the original 13 colonies. States formed since the Revolution were formed on land owned by the United States government.
Are you then conceding the Southern states that were original colonies had a legitimate case for secession?


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Not true. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 alone led to more deaths than the US Civil War.
You are correct about total numbers. The book I was reading was referring to the casualty rate as a percentage of the male population compared to other wars. Even so - it is definitely the bloodiest American war with a casualty number higher than all our other wars combined. It would be the equivalent of losing about 5 million men in a war today.

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Historical Fact: Lincoln said the following about slavery in his inaugural address in 1865: "All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war".
see above Lincoln comments form 1858...
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:10 PM   #33
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--they're continuing the same devil's bargain their ancestors made, and they're accountable for the consequences of that--but I did always find it sad.
You are correct -this thread has veered off course a bit. However, I did think it was necessary to point out that the belief in the superiority of the white race was not limited to the ancestors of the present day-Southerners, but also the antebellum Northerners (and as I pointed - Abraham Lincoln).
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:37 PM   #34
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From what I've read this seems accurate. However, Lincoln and most of his cabinet certainly didn't see blacks as a potential equals to the whites, but that didn't mean they should be treated harshly. These men are on record as thinking it best that blacks found a home elsewhere.
Well, eventually they did decide they were capable of helping fight the war and began to enlist them. Perhaps these individuals views on the issue were evolving at the time.

Again, shipping 3.5 million people to africa at the time is not something that was really feasible, so any statement to do that probably should not be taken seriously.

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Here is a quote from Lincoln...
The quote starts off with: " If all earthly power were given me". This shows that Lincoln understood that such a thing was not really possible.

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see above Lincoln comments form 1858...
A qoute in an inaugural address as President of the United States 7 years later should be given more emphasis. The experience and knowledge gained during those 7 years clearly influenced his view on the issue.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:03 PM   #35
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A qoute in an inaugural address as President of the United States 7 years later should be given more emphasis. The experience and knowledge gained during those 7 years clearly influenced his view on the issue.
I respectfully disagree. I think genuine motives are best understood from the rhetoric before the war, not after victory had been secured.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:16 PM   #36
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Are you then conceding the Southern states that were original colonies had a legitimate case for secession?
I think they have a case worth looking at compared to the other states that had none.

But when Andrew Jackson was President, the whole issue of states rights came up with South Carolina, with South Carolina claiming they had the right to ignore federal laws and succeed if need be. Andrew Jackson was ready to use military force with South Carolina over the issue, especially if it came to succession by South Carolina. South Carolina claimed the constitution gave them the right to ingore federal laws, but James Madison, the chief writer of the constitution, refuted that.

Many people forget that the Civil War almost happened in the 1830s while Andrew Jackson was President.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:21 PM   #37
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I think they have a case worth looking at compared to the other states that had none.

But when Andrew Jackson was President, the whole issue of states rights came up with South Carolina, with South Carolina claiming they had the right to ignore federal laws and succeed if need be. Andrew Jackson was ready to use military force with South Carolina over the issue, especially if it came to succession by South Carolina. South Carolina claimed the constitution gave them the right to ingore federal laws, but James Madison, the chief writer of the constitution, refuted that.

Many people forget that the Civil War almost happened in the 1830s while Andrew Jackson was President.
That South Carolina has always been a little rascal of a state...

Thanks for this response. It shows you know your history and I appreciate that.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:26 PM   #38
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I respectfully disagree. I think genuine motives are best understood from the rhetoric before the war, not after victory had been secured.
I don't think you can deny that what motivates someone can change over time. Experience and new knowledge can have an impact on ones thinking about certain issues. Abraham Lincoln was one of the least experienced Presidents in terms of holding elected office before he became President. I think the exposure to so much more information and knowledge as President had to have had an impact.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #39
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I don't think you can deny that what motivates someone can change over time. Experience and new knowledge can have an impact on ones thinking about certain issues. Abraham Lincoln was one of the least experienced Presidents in terms of holding elected office before he became President. I think the exposure to so much more information and knowledge as President had to have had an impact.
Strongbow, do you think it is morally justifiable to sacrifice oneself for a country?
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:40 PM   #40
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As a general point, wars are mainly fought over land, resources, and the construct known as 'countries' or 'states', etc. No offense to anyone, but it strikes me as irrational to enlist in armies. Even in this recession-hit time, there are always other options and opportunities. In a globalised world, it is self-evident that a piece of land is no more than a construct.

Generally speaking, the people that are the strongest advocates for war have never actually fought in one - i.e., moral cowards.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:42 PM   #41
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Strongbow, do you think it is morally justifiable to sacrifice oneself for a country?
In a war? Unless one is a pacifist, the answer to this question is yes.

How is this question related to the issue of states rights and slavery?
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:49 PM   #42
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In a war? Unless one is a pacifist, the answer to this question is yes.
I am probably slow on the uptake.

Why is it morally correct to sacrifice oneself for a country?
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:55 PM   #43
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Why is it morally correct to sacrifice oneself for a country?
I think the general idea is that it is considered honorable to set aside the fears of losing your own life in order to save the lives of others (which in your example, happens to be fellow countrymen)

Also, if another country’s army suddenly landed on your shores and began burning buildings and killing your neighbors – I’m guessing you might want to defend your life and the lives of your family.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:01 PM   #44
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I did think it was necessary to point out that the belief in the superiority of the white race was not limited to the ancestors of the present day-Southerners, but also the antebellum Northerners (and as I pointed - Abraham Lincoln).
Yeah-correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the KKK formed in Ohio? I know that group came a bit later, but still...

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As a general point, wars are mainly fought over land, resources, and the construct known as 'countries' or 'states', etc. No offense to anyone, but it strikes me as irrational to enlist in armies. Even in this recession-hit time, there are always other options and opportunities. In a globalised world, it is self-evident that a piece of land is no more than a construct.
I fully agree with you on this. But I think most people who enlist don't actually think about things like land or resources. They mainly just do so because they want to protect their country from attackers, be they real or imagined. Then they get into the conflict, and realize they were way in over their heads, that it's not at all what they thought it would be.

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Generally speaking, the people that are the strongest advocates for war have never actually fought in one - i.e., moral cowards.
That's certainly true. That's why I find it odd that McCain ran in 2008 on his war service to the point where he was almost bragging about it, all the while pushing for more of our time in the Middle East. Generally, as I understand it. most war veterans, especially ones who've been through the kind of hell McCain went through, rarely, if ever, talk about their service, and when they do, it's never in bragging terms. I remember reading magazines like Time and Newsweek prior to our going into Iraq, and there were LOTS of letters from WW2 veterans who were heavily against the idea. They've been there. They know what it's really like. And they don't want others to go through the same nightmare.

My dad also noted once that he found it rather funny that the Republicans were acting like they were the better choice in terms of how to handle national defense, because if you look back through our recent history, a lot of our wars were actually started by Democrats.

Angela
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:03 PM   #45
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I am probably slow on the uptake.

Why is it morally correct to sacrifice oneself for a country?
It is morally correct to the degree that such a sacrifice will protect the lives, well being, and way of life of the citizens of that country.
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