History: Abraham Lincoln and his Moral Victory

Dinner Topics for Monday

keyAbraham Lincoln is an Epic Hero. He secured a moral victory by abolishing slavery and uniting America.

Quotes

Lincoln

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. ~Abraham Lincoln

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War–its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis.[2][3] In so doing he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the national government and modernized the economy.

Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was a self-educated lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the Congress during the 1840s. He promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, canals, railroads and tariffs to encourage the building of factories; he opposed the war with Mexico in 1846. After a series of highly publicized debates in 1858 during which he opposed the expansion of slavery, Lincoln lost the U.S. Senate race to his archrival, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln, a moderate from a swing state, secured the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1860. With almost no support in the South, Lincoln swept the North and was elected president in 1860. His election prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederacy. No compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery.

When the North enthusiastically rallied behind the national flag after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Lincoln concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war effort. His goal was to reunite the nation. He suspended habeas corpus, arresting and temporarily detaining thousands of suspected secessionists in the border states without trial. Lincoln averted British intervention by defusing the Trent affair in late 1861. His numerous complex moves toward ending slavery centered on the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, using the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging the border states to outlaw slavery, and helping push through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including commanding general Ulysses S. Grant. He made the major decisions on Union war strategy, Lincoln’s Navy set up a naval blockade that shut down the South’s normal trade, helped take control of Kentucky and Tennessee, and gained control of the Southern river system using gunboats. He tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. Each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another until finally Grant succeeded in 1865.

lincolnAn exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, Lincoln reached out to “War Democrats” (who supported the North against the South), and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election. As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, confronted Radical Republicans who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats who called for more compromise, Copperheads who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists who plotted his death. Politically, Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory.[4] His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became an iconic statement of America’s dedication to the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by a confederate sympathizer. Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars[5] and the public[6] as one of the greatest U.S. presidents.

Read more about Abraham Lincoln

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History Facts: Thomas Jefferson Facts vs. Liberal Lies about Black Civil Rights Advocates

History Facts, Book Review:

Thomas Jefferson Facts vs. Liberal Lies

Part 1

The Jefferson Lies

David Barton

Why does the Left continue to misquote Jefferson, accuse him of being anti-God, and attribute evil deeds to him? Because they know that if they are able to discredit and dismiss Jefferson and our other Founders, then we are that much closer to surrendering our birthright and our natural freedoms. These myths have flourished in our e3ducational institutions in recent years and have become accepted as truth. It’s a poison in our nation’s system that can only be flushed out by light and truth. ~Glenn Beck, Foreword

 

LIE:

Thomas Jefferson Was a Racist who opposed Equality for Black Americans 

In previous generations, leading civil rights advocates, both black and white, regularly invoked Jefferson as an inspiration for their own efforts, point to his lengthy record of legislative proposals and writings on the subject of emancipation and civil rights. ~David Barton, p. 119

History Facts:

1820— Missouri Compromise

Retained a ban on slavery in the Kansas-Nebraska territory (which included parts of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota).

1854—Kansas-Nebraska Act

Reversed those 1820 restrictions, allowing slavery into even more federal territory.

Lincoln invoked Jefferson to condemn that act:

Mr. Jefferson . . . conceived the idea of taking that occasion to prevent slavery ever going into the northwestern territory. . .Thus, with the author of the Declaration of Independence, the policy of prohibiting slavery in new territory originated. Now Congress declares this [antislavery law constructed by Jefferson] ought never to have been.

Black civil rights advocates such as Fredrick Douglass also regularly invoked Jefferson to assist their efforts. Concerning Jefferson, Douglass declared:

“God has no attribute that could take sides with the oppressor in such a contest. I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Such is the warning voice of Thomas Jefferson, and every day’s experience since its utterance until now confirms its wisdom and commends its truth.

At a speech in Virginia following the Civil War, Douglass declared:

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), former slave and abolitionist broke whites’ stereotypes about African Americans in the decades prior to the U.S. Civil War. His literary and oratorical excellence, and his dignified bearing, converted many to support the abolition of slavery in the United States. 1855 portrait. (Newscom TagID: evhistorypix007462.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

“I have been charged with lifelong hostility to one of the cherished institutions of Virginia [i.e., slavery]. I am not ashamed of that lifelong opposition. . . . It was, Virginia, your own Thomas Jefferson that taught me that all men are created equal. . . .”Jefferson was not ashamed to call the black man his brother and to address him as a gentleman.”

Other Black Civil Rights Advocates Quote Thomas Jefferson

On numerous other occasions Douglass similarly used Jefferson as an authority in his crusade to end slavery and achieve full equality and black civil rights. Additional black civil rights advocates who likewise invoked Jefferson in a positive manner included Henry Highland Garner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Colin Powell, and others. ~Barton, 147-148

Was Jefferson impeccable on race and civil rights? Certainly not. He recognized and admitted that he had some prejudices, but he also openly acknowledged that he wanted to be proven wrong concerning those views. Yet despite his self-acknowledged weaknesses, Jefferson faithfully and consistently advocated for emancipation and civil rights throughout his long life, even when it would have been easier and better for him if he had remained silent or inactive.

Had Jefferson been free from the laws of his own state—that is, had he lived in a state such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Connecticut—he likely would be hailed today as a bold civil rights leader, for his efforts and writings would certainly compare favorably with those of great civil rights advocates in the Northern states.

In fact, if Jefferson had proposed his various pieces of legislation in those states, they would certainly have passed, and he would have been deemed a national civil rights hero. But his geography and circumstances doomed him to a different fate. Modern writers now refuse to recognize what previous generations openly acknowledged: Jefferson was a bold, staunch, and consistent advocate and defender of emancipation.  ~Barton, 149