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Hi everyone! Since everyone here has presumably some interest in the Late Unpleasantness, I thought it might be fun to try and make a thread for fun, interesting, or thought provoking questions about the Civil War!

So I'm thinking this thread could be that! If you've got a question about the war or its aftermath, post away! If you've got an answer to a question, give a post! All I ask is that any responses are respectful in two ways. 1) Respectful of the person who posted the answer and/or question. 2) Respectful of academia. This one is a bit tricky, but basically I think any answer posted here should strictly rely on primary sources and reliable, peer-reviewed academic secondary sources. Basically, if you're quoting pseudo-intellectuals like Thomas D. Lorenzo, or outright anti-intellectual works such as "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War" then you're in the wrong thread, Buster ;)! Think carefully about where you are getting your info! If this thread is a hit, then let's keep it smart! :D 


So, fire away! How did Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation really affect slavery? What was the difference between "anti-slavery" and "abolition?" When did the Civil War truly end? What kinds of rifles did men use in the war? Which battle was really the most important and why? Can we interpret Grand Strategy in the Civil War from the lens of Clausewitz? Was the Civil War a Modern War? Was it a Total War?Why did the "preservation of the Union" matter so much to Americans? What were the Confederates fighting for? Was Chamberlain's moustache really that sexy!? (it was) Was the Civil War really caused by the institution of slavery? (it was) 


:D So, if anyone is interested, pop a question! :D 
 

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Here's one for you...why such political austerity from the north? Yes, slavery was abhorrent, but it was the lynch pin of the southern economy. Wouldn't it have made more sense to industrialize the south instead? It's analogous to having oil outlawed tomorrow and forcing us all to buy cold fusion. Nobody likes fossil fuels unless you're an oil barron, but we need a transition period. In that spirit, I've thought of the Gettysburg Address as less of a unifying speech for unionists, and more of a radicalizing motivator for the confederates.

In other words, I wonder if it would've been feasible to "wean" the confederates off of slavery by providing economic alternatives and avoiding the war. 

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21 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

Here's one for you...why such political austerity from the north? Yes, slavery was abhorrent, but it was the lynch pin of the southern economy. Wouldn't it have made more sense to industrialize the south instead? It's analogous to having oil outlawed tomorrow and forcing us all to buy cold fusion. Nobody likes fossil fuels unless you're an oil barron, but we need a transition period. In that spirit, I've thought of the Gettysburg Address as less of a unifying speech for unionists, and more of a radicalizing motivator for the confederates.

In other words, I wonder if it would've been feasible to "wean" the confederates off of slavery by providing economic alternatives and avoiding the war. 

That is the great 'what if'. 

By today's standards there were trillions of dollars invested. A quality slave would cost between $30,000 to $50,000 in our currency. 

One: how do you talk the nation into paying the bill. 

Two: how do you get the Fire-eaters to accept fair reparations. 

Three: who harvests the cotton. 

Four: what do you do with the ex-slaves. 

In an ideal world, you would have kicked in something like the Jewish laws of slavery and build in the Year of Jubilee. Tax credits would be issued over a seven year period, and slaves became wage earning citizens thereafter. 

But, alas. Slavery was ended in the absolute worst manner possible to have any hope of a happy outcome for the enslaved. Whatever hatred for the black man existed before the war was increased by the order of a magnitude after the war. Whose repercussions are felt on the front pages even today. 

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17 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

Here's one for you...why such political austerity from the north? Yes, slavery was abhorrent, but it was the lynch pin of the southern economy. Wouldn't it have made more sense to industrialize the south instead? It's analogous to having oil outlawed tomorrow and forcing us all to buy cold fusion. Nobody likes fossil fuels unless you're an oil barron, but we need a transition period. In that spirit, I've thought of the Gettysburg Address as less of a unifying speech for unionists, and more of a radicalizing motivator for the confederates.

In other words, I wonder if it would've been feasible to "wean" the confederates off of slavery by providing economic alternatives and avoiding the war. 

No need to start with an easy question, right? :P 

Ok so I'm going to keep this short because its 3 am where I live lol ;). The short answer to your question is, they tried exactly what you are saying they should have tried. 

First off, you are absolutely right that the Northern free labour economy and Southern slave-labour economy were totally co-dependent. Northern free labour growth was promoted by, and at times out right buoyed by the slightly more consistent slave labour economy of the South. Conversely, slave-labour's ennorvative affects on Southern industry were mitigated by the presence of Norther industrial expansion. Slavery was a national problem (or economic strength, if we want to look at things from a very cold, calculated perspective). In the wake of the Panic of 1857, Pro-Slavery polemicist and South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond went so far as to pronounce that the millions of bales of cotton produced by the South had "saved you [the Free Labour North]" and that "Cotton was King."

The recognition that a sudden transformation from chattel slavery to free-labour would be economically devastating was one of the core arguments against abolition. Indeed, even anti-slavery men such as Abraham Lincoln recognised that the sudden transition would cause almost unimaginable political and social upheavel. In his debates with Stephen Douglas, the recognition of this problem led Lincoln to conclude that while it was his personal wish to see all men free, and that though he felt slavery to be a vile evil, he could not condemn the South for having no solution to a problem which he himself could not solve. This argument, that slavery was an evil that could not simply be dispensed with, was not new. indeed, one of America's first anti-slavery political thinkers, Thomas Jefferson, argued that slavery was an economic burden, laden by the British on to the Americans. He lamented that rather then being a hypocrisy to American liberty, that the tyrannical British had cursed the young Republic with a dependence on slavery before the nation was even born. Indeed, slavery's existence was therefore an argument for, rather then against, the legitimacy of a revolution for American liberty. "Slavery," said Jefferson, "is a wolf held by the ears. We don't like it, but we dare not let it go."

Fundamentally, Lincoln and the anti-slavery Republicans understood this problem, and so proposed a gradual solution. His party would enact a strict restriction on slavery's expansion. While he would do no harm to slavery where it existed, no new slave territory or states could be organised. Slowly, this restriction of slavery would reduce the value in slaves. As the slave population grew and plantation territory dwindled, the value of slaves would decline. At this point, the government would begin to offer gradual emancipation packages, which would allow the states to set a timeline for state abolition, in which the government would purchase the slaves at retail value. As states began to accept these packages, the value of slaves would decline percipitatiously. Soon, each state would be economically pressured to end slavery. Thus, with a restriction policy, slavery would "be set on a course of natural extinction" (as Lincoln had said in his famous "House Divided Speech"). 

Lincoln ran on this proposal. Since the time of Jefferson, the fireeaters of the South had moved from slavery apologetics to the radically conservative position that all the territory of the United States should be open to slavery, and that it must be recognised as a "positive good." When the nation took the first steps in actuating Lincoln's gradual emancipation plan by electing him and the Republican party in 1860, the slave holding states (most of them) recognised that this restriction plan would lead to gradual emancipation. South Carolina responded by declaring itself as seceded from the Union. 

Things escalated from there. 

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3 minutes ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

That is the great 'what if'. 

By today's standards there were trillions of dollars invested. A quality slave would cost between $30,000 to $50,000 in our currency. 

One: how do you talk the nation into paying the bill. 

Two: how do you get the Fire-eaters to accept fair reparations. 

Three: who harvests the cotton. 

Four: what do you do with the ex-slaves. 

In an ideal world, you would have kicked in something like the Jewish laws of slavery and build in the Year of Jubilee. Tax credits would be issued over a seven year period, and slaves became wage earning citizens thereafter. 

But, alas. Slavery was ended in the absolute worst manner possible to have any hope of a happy outcome for the enslaved. Whatever hatred for the black man existed before the war was increased by the order of a magnitude after the war. Whose repercussions are felt on the front pages even today. 

This is an interesting response. I can't say I agree with all of it :P. 

It wasn't trillions though. I believe the conventional estimate of the money invested in slave property was about $4 billion. Granted, that does not necessarily account for the income those slaves would generate on a year-by-year bases.

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55 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

Here's one for you...why such political austerity from the north? Yes, slavery was abhorrent, but it was the lynch pin of the southern economy. Wouldn't it have made more sense to industrialize the south instead? It's analogous to having oil outlawed tomorrow and forcing us all to buy cold fusion. Nobody likes fossil fuels unless you're an oil barron, but we need a transition period. In that spirit, I've thought of the Gettysburg Address as less of a unifying speech for unionists, and more of a radicalizing motivator for the confederates.

In other words, I wonder if it would've been feasible to "wean" the confederates off of slavery by providing economic alternatives and avoiding the war. 

So can we consider the first question of Game-Lab's hottest new thread answered? ;) 

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

So can we consider the first question of Game-Lab's hottest new thread answered? ;) 

Yes. Quickly. Before First Vermont cuts and pastes the text of the Kansas-Nebraska Act off his thumb drive. 

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25 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

Fundamentally, Lincoln and the anti-slavery Republicans understood this problem, and so proposed a gradual solution. His party would enact a strict restriction on slavery's expansion. While he would do no harm to slavery where it existed, no new slave territory or states could be organised. Slowly, this restriction of slavery would reduce the value in slaves. As the slave population grew and plantation territory dwindled, the value of slaves would decline. At this point, the government would begin to offer gradual emancipation packages, which would allow the states to set a timeline for state abolition, in which the government would purchase the slaves at retail value. As states began to accept these packages, the value of slaves would decline percipitatiously. Soon, each state would be economically pressured to end slavery. Thus, with a restriction policy, slavery would "be set on a course of natural extinction" (as Lincoln had said in his famous "House Divided Speech"). 

Such a fair and equitable solution...and you say the fireaters responded with a demand that slavery be made constitutional? That's just childish, but you see the same crap today.

I wonder if this petulant response reflected the majority view of their constituents?

Who are fireaters anyway? A clade?

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Just now, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Yes. Quickly. Before First Vermont cuts and pastes the text of the Kansas-Nebraska Act off his thumb drive. 

 

Just now, Andre Bolkonsky said:

Ahahaha! Yes we're not having that here! 

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4 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

Such a fair and equitable solution...and you say the fireaters responded with a demand that slavery be made constitutional? That's just childish, but you see the same crap today.

I wonder if this petulant response reflected the majority view of their constituents?

Who are fireaters anyway? A clade?

The Fire Eaters were rabid seccessionists. They would be the same type you'd hear today discussing the fact Texas can leave the Union whenever we damn well choose. 

This is the trap of slavery. The slave owners were indoctrinated from the cradle to believe what must be believed to enslave and brutalize another human being. Under such circumstances, decision making becomes very rigid, brittle, and just snaps in the end. 

What is maddening are the Social Justice Warriors who sit in forum chat rooms in an ivory tower and discuss how THEY would never have owned a slave or had anything to do with the trade. Applications of modern morals to past problems is a pet peeve, I fear. 

Edited by Andre Bolkonsky

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Just now, GeneralPITA said:

Such a fair and equitable solution...and you say the fireaters responded with a demand that slavery be made constitutional? That's just childish, but you see the same crap today.

I wonder if this petulant response reflected the majority view of their constituents?

Who are fireaters anyway? A clade?

Ah, I should probably have explained that. 

The Fireeaters were hard pro-slavery conservatives. John C. Calhoun, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Robert R. Toombs, Howell Cobb and John C. Breckenridge are staple examples. Other Southrons, such as Alexander Stephens and Jefferson Davis, represented the more moderate wing of the pro-slavery movement. They wanted slavery to thrive, but thye didn't believe in domineering the US government, and sought conciliation between the sections. 

Granted, when the time of trial came, both groups were ready to risk everything for the preservation of slavery. 

Its difficult to say how much this reflected the constituency. There were serious pockets of Unionism in the South, and about 100 000 white men from the Confederate States fought for the Union. Their constituents did elect them (though South Carolina was a state where poor voters had very little actual say in elections). Confederate men were willing to fight for slavery, but its hard to say they were infuriated over an unwillingness to allow slavery to expand. Their concerns were that slavery would be abolished by the Republicans. 

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35 minutes ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

That is the great 'what if'. 

By today's standards there were trillions of dollars invested. A quality slave would cost between $30,000 to $50,000 in our currency. 

One: how do you talk the nation into paying the bill. 

Two: how do you get the Fire-eaters to accept fair reparations. 

Three: who harvests the cotton. 

Four: what do you do with the ex-slaves. 

In an ideal world, you would have kicked in something like the Jewish laws of slavery and build in the Year of Jubilee. Tax credits would be issued over a seven year period, and slaves became wage earning citizens thereafter. 

But, alas. Slavery was ended in the absolute worst manner possible to have any hope of a happy outcome for the enslaved. Whatever hatred for the black man existed before the war was increased by the order of a magnitude after the war. Whose repercussions are felt on the front pages even today. 

One: Nobody pays a bill if innovation allows slave labor to be replaced. Complacency and status quo are the culprits here. Bottom line is plantation owners didn't have much incentive to innovate.

Two: Good question, since bipartisanship doesn't sound like their bag.

Three: Machinery of some sort, which nobody bothered to R&D cuz they had so many slaves available.

Four: Give them factory jobs, create service industries, start a foreign war and draft the poor. You pick. 

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2 minutes ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

The Fire Eaters were rabid seccessionists. They would be the same type you'd hear today discussing the fact Texas can leave the Union whenever we damn well choose. 

This is the trap of slavery. The slave owners were indoctrinated from the cradle to believe what must be believed to enslave and brutalize another human being. Under such circumstances, decision making becomes very rigid, brittle, and just snaps in the end. 

What is maddening are the Social Justice Warriors who sit in forum chat rooms in an ivory tower and discuss how THEY would never have owned a slave or had anything to do with the trade. Applications of modern morals to past problems is a pet peeve, I fear. 

I'm an SJW who feels he probably would not have held slaves ;) 

Its important to remember that there were members of the slave owning class that became anti-slavery advocates, or even outright abolitionists. The Grimke sisters ought to come to mind immediately. 

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

I'm an SJW who feels he probably would not have held slaves ;) 

Its important to remember that there were members of the slave owning class that became anti-slavery advocates, or even outright abolitionists. The Grimke sisters ought to come to mind immediately. 

There were also abolitionist minded officers that fought for the south, such as Mr. Lee. To fight for your home state, or civil rights...tough choice. 

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1 minute ago, GeneralPITA said:

One: Nobody pays a bill if innovation allows slave labor to be replaced. Complacency and status quo are the culprits here. Bottom line is plantation owners didn't have much incentive to innovate.

Two: Good question, since bipartisanship doesn't sound like their bag.

Three: Machinery of some sort, which nobody bothered to R&D cuz they had so many slaves available I'm guessing.

Four: Give them factory jobs, create service industries, start a foreign war and draft the poor. You pick. 

One: You look at it from a modern perspective. No one in 1860 could conceive of the Combine Harvester. Lots of technology has to be developed before that can come online. Unless you believe a steam powered picker is a possibility. 

Two: it wasn't

Three: Yes. The solution is Combine Harvester. You need an internal combustion engine and electrical conections to start. Lots of technology lies along that path. The agricultural workers would have continued doing that they were doing. Just like they did after the war, as wage earning laborers. 

Four: This isn't a video game were you can cut and paste industry into a vital secort. Doesn't work that way. You either send them back to Africa, like Lincoln wanted to do; or assimilate them peacefully. The proper choice is the latter one. And, unfortunately, everything happened but that. 

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Also, the issue of innovation and industry in the South is coming up a bit. Contrary to popular belief, the South actually was industrialising before the war. In the 1850s, urged by forward thinking pro-slavery publications such as the New Orleans Pyccanue and especially DeBow's Review, the South began to experiment with slave based industry. In fact, secession fireeaters were explicit in their promise that an independent South would "be free to industrialize in its own time, and its own way" (emphasis obviously added lol).In fact, it was this early industrial effort that allowed the Confederacy to wage war against the old Union. Had it not been for this initial spurt, it is unlikely that the Confederate States would have possessed the necessary material to expand their military production during the war. In the effort to create a hybrid industrial-plantation-slave trade economy, Southern states like Virginia laid the foundations for the Confederate industrial war-making machine. 

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9 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

There were also abolitionist minded officers that fought for the south, such as Mr. Lee. To fight for your home state, or civil rights...tough choice. 

Lee wasn't abolitionist minded :P. I'll copy and paste an explanation of this I wrote for Col_Kelly...hold on lol. 

If there were any abolitionist officers in the Confederate ranks, I've yet to encounter them in a decade of studying the war. 

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2 minutes ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

 

Four: This isn't a video game were you can cut and paste industry into a vital secort. Doesn't work that way. You either send them back to Africa, like Lincoln wanted to do; or assimilate them peacefully. The proper choice is the latter one. And, unfortunately, everything happened but that. 

Lincoln's Africa proposal was short lived, and more an effort to appease the racist ranks amongst the conservative factions (both Republican and Democrat). He was disabused of the notion in early 1862, and never again appealed to it. 

Its a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I had to address that bit :P.

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20 minutes ago, GeneralPITA said:

There were also abolitionist minded officers that fought for the south, such as Mr. Lee. To fight for your home state, or civil rights...tough choice. 

Ok my friend, just for you, here's a bit on Lee and slavery

...ok technically I wrote this last week for Col_Kelly, but if you'd asked first, I'd have written it for you :P lol 


Lee's views on slavery are in turn simple and complex. To state them in their most forthcoming form, Lee believed that slavery was a necessary evil in the preservation of what he called "the social order." This social order was a deeply gentrified system, in which white men of means, like himself, were the natural captains of society, with smaller land holding classes, forming the lower rungs of white society. All of white society was elevated to a certain position of superiority due to the presence of the inferior slave class. In many respects, this reflects the ideas of Southern Sociology, as espoused by pro-slavery Southern intellectuals, such as George Fitzhugh. Slavery made all white men a master, but the actual pecuniary ownership of slaves elevated certain white men to leadership within the master race. Professor Elizabeth R. Varron uses the term Herrenvolk democracy to describe this (while slightly anachronistic, it works as a Civil War neo-logism). 

Broadly speaking, Lee saw this gentrified aristocratic society as being the foundation of order in Virginia, and all other slave states. He feared that the loss of slavery would result in the disorder of society, in which individuals challenged those above their station, and the wealthy elite aristocrats were not the heir to power and authority (ie the Free Labour North)Lee believed that Virginia was the natural leader of the United States, and that the rich old families of the Old Dominion State (such as his) were its natural aristocrats. All of this was premised on slavery, which gaurnteed a suppression of Free Labour, and elevated white men into this master class race. 

All of this having been said, Lee did acknowledge the enervating affects of slavery, and did fear that slavery could be harmful for a civilization's growth and development. Open access to human chattel also provided opportunities for sinful and wicked behaviour (ie sexual licentiousness).Lee therefore felt that slavery was at times an evil for white men. For the actual slaves, he felt that slavery was a harsh but loving blessing from God, which would elevate their people to Christianity and civility. Naturally, this required Lee to actively ignore a great deal of slavery's reality, and the rather obvious fact that black men and women were in no way inferior, but this kind of hypocrisy was a ubiquitous characteristic throughout the slave owning South. 

As for an end to slavery, Le, like many slavery apologists, appealed to God magically extinguishing it in his own given time, which of course is a vague and pathetic excuse. What sets Lee apart somewhat from his contemporaries is his ambivalence towards slavery. By 1860, most Southron gentleman argued that slavery was a positive good, Lee was amongst the minority that still held it to be a necessary evil. Lee would not want to see slavery extinguished. This is not because Lee hated "big government," though. Lee was actually a Whig before the war. He would be against it because he was opposed to slavery's termination, based on the above. 

During the war, Lee made these feelings clear when he called for the arming of black soldiers. He stated that they would not fight without the promise of freedom (even though he personally felt it was not in their best interest). However, he explained that it was better to risk some harm to slavery, rather then allow the North to win and let it be destroyed entirely, which he said would be an utter calamity. 

At the close of the war, Lee would conclude this feelings well. In 1866 he is recorded to have said (while in one of his "savage moods"), "I believe Virginia would be better off without them [black Americans]. This is not a new feeling, I have always felt this way." No longer slaves, he saw black people as nothing more then a threat to the social order, which he had given so much to defend. His Social Order, that is. 
 

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18 minutes ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

 

Two: it wasn't

 

Lmao! If I got understatement of the year, then this at least deserves understatement of the month :P 

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25 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

Lee wasn't abolitionist minded :P. I'll copy and paste an explanation of this I wrote for Koro...hold on lol. 

If there were any abolitionist officers in the Confederate ranks, I've yet to encounter them in a decade of studying the war. 

 

22 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

Lincoln's Africa proposal was short lived, and more an effort to appease the racist ranks amongst the conservative factions (both Republican and Democrat). He was disabused of the notion in early 1862, and never again appealed to it. 

Its a bit of a pet peeve of mine, so I had to address that bit :P.

You are proving my point. You choose to see this thing from your perspective. No one elses. A modern Robert Gould Shaw. It is easy to sit in Boston an look down on slavery, but Boston is its own form of hypocrisy. 

I see through the eyes of Robert E. Lee, who is famously quoted as having written to his wife that slavery is an evil inflicted on any country. The effect is worse upon whites than upon blacks because of the moral degredation they have to endure to enslave another and witness the attrocities the institution produces. And the effect on the Negro, well, no one wants that. 

To your point; history is full of slave owners who despise slavery. This is nothing new. You think Jefferson didn't see the hypocrisy inherent in the system? He was a genius, and president, and was powerless. How much could you have done differently, born to similar circumstances with your entire family's fortune riding on the outcome? 

The desire to own slaves did not drive the Confederacy. The key to that lies in a quote Shelby Foote loves to tell: a Confederate, ragged and starving, was captured by the North. He had no slaves, nothing, really, but his uniform. The Union soldiers asked why he was fighting. The repy, 'because you're down here'. That's the mentality that drove the war. 

BTW. Lincoln suggested the idea of Liberia, it was the logical solution for him as he saw the incredible hostility they would face if they stayed. The Black leaders he brought to Washington told him in no uncertain terms that the United States was their home, and they had no intention of going to a land they've never seen. That is what killed that idea. 

Edited by Andre Bolkonsky

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Just now, Andre Bolkonsky said:

 

You are proving my point. You choose to see this thing from your perspective. No one elses. A modern Robert Gould Shaw. It is easy to sit in Boston an look down on slavery, but Boston is its own form of hypocrisy. 

I see through the eyes of Robert E. Lee, who is famously quoted as having written to his wife that slavery is an evil inflicted on any country. The effect is worse upon whites than upon blacks because of the moral degredation they have to endure to enslave another and witness the attrocities the institution produces. And the effect on the Negro, well, no one wants that. 

To your point; history is full of slave owners who despise slavery. This is nothing new. You think Jefferson didn't see the hypocrisy inherent in the system? He was a genius, and president, and was powerless. How much could you have done differently, born to similar circumstances with your entire family's fortune riding on the outcome? You might just as well say in Russia you would have outlawed serfdom in your province and snapped your finger at your neighbors and the Tzar. Sounds great on paper, difficult to acheive when your entire family is at stake. 

BTW. Lincoln suggested the idea of Liberia, it was the logical solution for him as he saw the incredible hostility they would face if they stayed. The Black leaders he brought to Washington told him in no uncertain terms that the United States was their home, and they had no intention of going to a land they've never seen. That is what killed that idea. 

I don't think that's quite a fair representation of what I've said...especially since I actually just posted a rather long explanation of how Lee felt about slavery :P. I've actually spent a good deal of time studying the Southern view of slavery. In fact, that was originally the going to be the focus of my Master's Thesis (until I totally changed my topic lol). Have you read Chandra Manning's work on the subject? 

I also posted on Jefferson and his views on slavery :P. 

There are actual examples of slave owners freeing their slaves and risking their financial future because of their views on slavery. Or, in the Grimke sisters' case, destroying all of their ties to home, family, and wealth due to their conversion to Abolitionism. You might be surprised at the moral courage exhibited by the very rare individual. Some of the most ardent Abolitionists were the children of slave owners. Broadly speaking, I think its rather silly to say "what I would have done" et cetera, because its really impossible to say what kind of person someone might be in such a radically different context. I just happen to be a proud SJW, so I had to tease a little ;)

To your last point, yes I was referring to that meeting when I said he was "disabused of the notion" :P. That and the fact that the first Liberia experiment was a ghastly failure. Lincoln did not hold orgininality for the idea though, it had been floated long before he was even a candidate. Also, the fact that he invited the opinion of black civic leaders and intellectuals was nothing short of extraordinary for a president in 1862. It was an error on his part to consider Liberia, but it was a blip. People tend to act as if it was the sum total of his complex views on Abolition, which is the germ of my pet peeve. I don't wish to accuse you of that, of course, but it is why I always respond to that.

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Might I interject that Mercanto's post about Lee (albeit thoughtful and authored by himself) was copy & pasted. I'm 86ing ctrl+v for this thread.

 

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