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michaeled314
May 17th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Many people look to Abraham Lincoln as a hero because he freed to African-American generation in the US, but he really did do it reluctantly and he was even a Confederate and supported slavery. And he did it reluctantly (freeing the slaves.)



Is Abraham Lincoln a hero for (reluctantly) freeing the slaves or is he not a hero but was FORCED to do it

My opinion is HE IS NOT A HERO

Castle
May 17th, 2009, 01:39 PM
Lincoln was not a Confederate (I mean, seriously? He was president of the other side) nor did he support slavery. In fact, he was personally opposed to slavery. It is true that he didn't particularly care about ending slavery; he felt (probably correctly) that doing so would overstep the bounds of his office. It's misleading to say he was "reluctant" about ending slavery, though, IMO.

Also, there's a compelling argument that Lincoln was a hero not because he freed the slaves, but because he won the Civil War and kept the US together.

Wolf Myth
May 17th, 2009, 05:35 PM
Many people look to Abraham Lincoln as a hero because he freed to African-American generation in the US, but he really did do it reluctantly and he was even a Confederate and supported slavery. And he did it reluctantly (freeing the slaves.)



Is Abraham Lincoln a hero for (reluctantly) freeing the slaves or is he not a hero but was FORCED to do it

My opinion is HE IS NOT A HERO

Whatever his motives, as a strategic war move or because he despised slavery, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in America. Unless you think slavery is a good thing, then Lincoln is clearly an American hero because he brought liberty to an oppressed people. Please try to understand this section of our Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Charlatan
May 17th, 2009, 05:45 PM
A hero doesn't sit behind a desk and order his army to overwhelm the opposition so that they win a war for good or bad, a hero is someone that runs into a building to save people when there is a fire. To be a hero you need a challenge, not simply using your fellowships strength to do your dirty work for you, so he was ordinary in this respect, I agree with Michael.

Now what he proclaimed might make him a hero? If you state a righteous thing, that is easy too. You could take some bum off the street and say to them that there is a problem, and that the people want this or that, and all they have to do is agree with it.

In granting everybody rights you remove rights from others, a right to have slaves. Replacing one right with another is progress towards nirvana, but if you make everyone equal then what about getting an education? Educated people make money for the rest to recieve charity for, so all men are not equal. Some make life better for others, like policemen, and others make life worse for others, like criminals. They are not even equal when they are born, as some are destined to be criminals due to determinism.

If you believe in palmistry then you can see what people are like already. There is no need to treat everyone as equals when they are not.

Castle
May 17th, 2009, 06:32 PM
Whatever his motives, as a strategic war move or because he despised slavery, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in America.
False. The Emancipation Proclamation freed all the slaves in the rebelling states...over which Lincoln had no legal control (it did not free the slaves in border states which supported the Union). Basically, it was a symbolic document with no real legal importance.

Wolf Myth
May 17th, 2009, 06:37 PM
There is no need to treat everyone as equals when they are not.

We are talking about an equal opportunity in America to make something of yourself, not equal as in our life decisions. I would say a vast majority of people here really have that opportunity of they just work at it. Some don't want to do the work, so they sit around being lazy and feeding off the system. Some, despite all odds, find a way to get a college degree and move to areas where there are good jobs, and make their lives and their children's lives better. Slaves didn't have that opportunity to make a better lives for themselves, even if they were able to buy themselves out of slavery. They did not have equal opportunity in America even after their freedom.

Wolf Myth
May 17th, 2009, 06:39 PM
The Emancipation Proclamation freed all the slaves in the rebelling states...over which Lincoln had no legal control

Was Lincoln not president of the Confederacy states as well?

Castle
May 17th, 2009, 06:41 PM
Was Lincoln not president of the Confederacy states as well?
Only in the sense that George III was King of America in 1777. Certainly not in the sense of "could enforce his laws there".

Apokalupsis
May 17th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Lincoln was sincere in his distaste for slavery despite revisionist history.

He was not expecting a 2nd term re-election. He understood that his executive order to free slaves, could be rescinded by his replacement. So he and Frederick Douglas hatched a scheme in 1864 to "enlist an unofficial army of black volunteers to head south into Confederate territory and inform as many slaves there as possible that, under the terms of Lincoln's proclamation, they were 'forever free.'"

Of course, he was re-elected, so it made the scheme unnecessary, but it paints an interesting picture of Lincoln. He anticipated his successor reversing his order, an important order to Lincoln. So his preemptive action was to minimize the damage that would be done by a pro-slavery President.

Of Lincoln's character and position on slavery and equality, Frederick Douglas said that he [Lincoln] was "the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely, who in no single interview reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, or the difference of color. . . . [T]here was safety in his atmosphere."

Lincoln's passion for ending slavery, was indeed, sincere.

And on top of that, never before in history had an election (a voice of the people) taken place during a civil war...never. In fact, it was unnecessary...Lincoln, according to the laws at the time (or lack thereof regarding the matter), could have decided to remain acting President until the end of the war. Lincoln however, in addition to abolishing slavery, had a passion for democracy. In fact, he said the election was necessary. "We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us".

More: http://www.neh.gov/wtp/heroes/holzerlecture.html

If you are going to argue that Lincoln was not a great President (and/or hero), you'll have to support the argument with evidence. Not everyone agrees with you that he was "not a hero" or "not a great President". It is not a premise in which needs to be accepted...but rather...defended (by you).

Castle
May 17th, 2009, 07:14 PM
Lincoln's passion for ending slavery, was indeed, sincere.
Essentially false. He personally opposed slavery but hadn't intended to make any effort to end it across the nation:

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. 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.

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.

Apokalupsis
May 17th, 2009, 10:01 PM
Essentially false. He personally opposed slavery but hadn't intended to make any effort to end it across the nation:
You confuse prioritizing with lack of passion. You also ignore the virtue of "prudence" (as described by Aristotle, to be the most important characteristic of the statesmen).

Prudence is the practical wisdom that seeks the best means for achieving fixed ends. Since the ends are fixed, prudence is concerned with deliberating well about those things that can be other than they are (means). In political affairs, prudence requires the statesman to be able to adapt universal principles to particular circumstances in order to arrive at the means that are best given existing circumstances. For Lincoln to achieve the end of ending slavery while preserving the Union, he had to choose the means necessary and proper under the circumstances.
Lincoln set plans in motion prior to even becoming President that would result in the freeing of slaves.

Lincolnís "face was set toward the goal of emancipation from the day he first took the presidential oath." To achieve this goal, he planned to pursue a policy of legislated, gradual, compensated emancipation from the very outset of his presidency. He believed he could convince Congress to appropriate funds for compensating slave owners to gradually free their slaves. His plan was to begin where slavery was weakest: in the northern most slave states, especially Delaware.

The key to his strategy was to convince the legislatures of slave states to changes their statutes relating to slavery. The Constitution after all left the issue of slavery to the states. This state legislative strategy also offered the best chance for keeping the issue of emancipation out of the federal court system, where an unfavorable judgment could set back its prospects. This strategy also explains what seems to be his total lack of concern about the consequences of the proposal at the beginning of his term for an amendment foreclosing forever the possibility that the federal government could interfere with the institution of slavery, even by future amendment.

I highly recommend this thorough and evidence riddled study: http://www.amazon.com/Lincolns-Emancipation-Proclamation-Slavery-America/dp/0743221826/ref=rsl_mainw_dpl

A summary can be found here:
http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/owens/04/guelzo.html

Sekhmet
May 18th, 2009, 07:58 AM
We are talking about an equal opportunity in America to make something of yourself.


Lincoln never felt that former slaves should be seen or even treated as equals. While he was against the spread of slavery, for its inhumane practices, he in no way thought that they should be seen or treated on the same level as whites.



I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two which, in my judgment probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; inasmuch as it becomes 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.

Apokalupsis
May 18th, 2009, 08:53 AM
Lincoln never felt that former slaves should be seen or even treated as equals. While he was against the spread of slavery, for its inhumane practices, he in no way thought that they should be seen or treated on the same level as whites.
Couple issues...you didn't finish the quote...


...but I hold... there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.... I agree with Judge Douglas he [the negro] is not my equal in many respects.... But in the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas and the equal of every living man.

Also, rarely does a single quote, tell the whole story. For example, from the following, it would seem that Lincoln felt otherwise...


We are told by Lincoln that he is utterly opposed to the Dred Scott decision, and will not submit to it, for the reason that he says it deprives the negro of the rights of... citizenship. [laughter and applause]... I ask you, are you in favor of conferring upon the negro the rights and privileges of citizenship? [No! No!] Do you desire to strike out of our State Constitution that clause which keeps slaves and free negroes out of the State, and allow free negroes to flow in, [Never!] and cover your prairies with black settlements? Do you desire to turn this beautiful State into a free negro colony...? If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible for office,... then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro.
---- Stephen Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois, August 21, 1858
Context...is important. Also, making a case out of a single quote almost always, results in failure.

Sekhmet
May 18th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the constructive criticism!!! I will be sure to keep that in mind for the future.

The point that I was trying to make was more based on the issue of freeing the slaves was not to give them equal rights politically or socially, but rather to make them just be seen as a human being and not as anotherís property.
If I had use the whole quote as you suggested doing that may have been more accurately portrayed.

I donít feel though that Lincolnís motives issuing the Emancipation Proclamation were to benefit slaves or African American race, but rather it was simply a ploy to Lincolnís original purpose of the Civil War to preserve the Union. By him freeing the slaves in the rebellious states (which technically he couldnít free them, because he had no power of those states) it allowed for those slaves to join the Union Army and fight against the Confederacy.

Apokalupsis
May 18th, 2009, 07:37 PM
The point that I was trying to make was more based on the issue of freeing the slaves was not to give them equal rights politically or socially, but rather to make them just be seen as a human being and not as anotherís property.
The provided ideas and statements from Lincoln and Douglas seem to indicate otherwise.



If I had use the whole quote as you suggested doing that may have been more accurately portrayed.
The quote focuses on giving equal rights. It doesn't say what you think it means.



I donít feel though that Lincolnís motives issuing the Emancipation Proclamation were to benefit slaves or African American race, but rather it was simply a ploy to Lincolnís original purpose of the Civil War to preserve the Union.
I brought up his passion and his actions in a prior post. I also mentioned the virtue of prudence. You have to remember that Lincoln had no authority or power to end all slavery with some kind of end-all-be-all executive order. Democracy is rule, not Kingship. In order to end slavery, the methods used had to be timed as well as executed well to gain support.

I provided a link that went into more detail about this.



By him freeing the slaves in the rebellious states (which technically he couldnít free them, because he had no power of those states) it allowed for those slaves to join the Union Army and fight against the Confederacy.
Yup. And see the link (summary) above for much more.

Castle
May 18th, 2009, 09:11 PM
You confuse prioritizing with lack of passion. You also ignore the virtue of "prudence" (as described by Aristotle, to be the most important characteristic of the statesmen).

Prudence is the practical wisdom that seeks the best means for achieving fixed ends. Since the ends are fixed, prudence is concerned with deliberating well about those things that can be other than they are (means). In political affairs, prudence requires the statesman to be able to adapt universal principles to particular circumstances in order to arrive at the means that are best given existing circumstances. For Lincoln to achieve the end of ending slavery while preserving the Union, he had to choose the means necessary and proper under the circumstances.
Lincoln set plans in motion prior to even becoming President that would result in the freeing of slaves.

Lincolnís "face was set toward the goal of emancipation from the day he first took the presidential oath." To achieve this goal, he planned to pursue a policy of legislated, gradual, compensated emancipation from the very outset of his presidency. He believed he could convince Congress to appropriate funds for compensating slave owners to gradually free their slaves. His plan was to begin where slavery was weakest: in the northern most slave states, especially Delaware.

The key to his strategy was to convince the legislatures of slave states to changes their statutes relating to slavery. The Constitution after all left the issue of slavery to the states. This state legislative strategy also offered the best chance for keeping the issue of emancipation out of the federal court system, where an unfavorable judgment could set back its prospects. This strategy also explains what seems to be his total lack of concern about the consequences of the proposal at the beginning of his term for an amendment foreclosing forever the possibility that the federal government could interfere with the institution of slavery, even by future amendment.

I highly recommend this thorough and evidence riddled study: http://www.amazon.com/Lincolns-Emancipation-Proclamation-Slavery-America/dp/0743221826/ref=rsl_mainw_dpl

A summary can be found here:
http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/owens/04/guelzo.html
I feel like your playing "Link Wars" here, appealing to lengthy expert opinion in lieu of a concise, to-the-point, evidenced argument. Your link has lots of claims, but is lacking in evidence that Lincoln really was planning to free the slaves all along. It shows how you could read the history that way, but you could read it my way as well...and Lincoln's own words seem to support my view of his motivations. Find me something he wrote or said or did that says different.

Apokalupsis
May 18th, 2009, 09:33 PM
It shows how you could read the history that way, but you could read it my way as well...and Lincoln's own words seem to support my view of his motivations.
I provided far more evidence that you offered (zero). And you responding with a mere "nuh-uh" post, doesn't cut it (you know this by now). Also, see my last 2 posts that expand a little bit more on the issue (in response to other members).

In summary, provide a cogent argument as a rebuttal if your response is expected to be considered as a rebuttal.

Comtesse
May 18th, 2009, 09:45 PM
Many people look to Abraham Lincoln as a hero because he freed to African-American generation in the US, but he really did do it reluctantly and he was even a Confederate and supported slavery. And he did it reluctantly (freeing the slaves.)



Is Abraham Lincoln a hero for (reluctantly) freeing the slaves or is he not a hero but was FORCED to do it

My opinion is HE IS NOT A HERO

I think the facts oppose EVERYTHING you said...

He was a supporter of emancipation, and was enthusiastic about civil rights.
Although, the Emancipation was a declaration of these certain conditions:

-All slaves in the SOUTH were freed.

*Which means that if you were a slave, you knew nothing about words and probably 4/5ths of the slaves will never hear of the Proclamation.

-The E.P. was a military tactic to take away much of the Southern workforce.

*Didn't work out so well anyway.

-------------------

About the point of him NOT being a hero. How can someone who had to bring his country back together by fighting his own fellow countrymen and seeing his homeland torn apart WHILE going through the death of his son at the end NOT a be a hero? The amount of things he put together, the work he had to do, the sacrifices he made, should have brought any man apart. But not him. He went through it with willpower and strength.

Thus, in my opinion, Lincoln was a HERO.

Castle
May 18th, 2009, 10:16 PM
I provided far more evidence that you offered (zero).
Not true. I provided direct quotes from Lincoln himself proving my point. You offered zero quotes from Lincoln. Zero primary source evidence at all, actually. You just quoted someone making the unsubstantiated claim (with, again, no primary source evidence) that you are right. Give me some primary source evidence, not someone else's conclusions.


And you responding with a mere "nuh-uh" post, doesn't cut it (you know this by now).
I know that. Obviously. Please don't patronize me. The issue is whether my post was truly a "nuh-uh" post, not whether "nuh-uh" posts constitute acceptable debate. I think my post was not, as it made two substantive points against your argument:
1) You're playing "link wars"
2) You're lacking in evidence


Also, see my last 2 posts that expand a little bit more on the issue (in response to other members).
The quote from Lincoln suggests that, as I said, he was personally opposed to slavery. The quote from Douglas is a mischaracterization of Lincoln's position that Lincoln sought strenuously to correct.


In summary, provide a cogent argument as a rebuttal if your response is expected to be considered as a rebuttal.
Again, please don't patronize me. You may assume that every post I write is intended as a cogent argument; if you disagree, take issue with the post, but don't assume I'm trying to write a bad argument.

Apokalupsis
May 19th, 2009, 07:36 AM
Castle, I'm not trying to be abrasive or rude, I just don't see the soundness in your objections here so I'm wanting you to be more specific, support your own claims, examing really what was posted, etc... It to me, just doesn't seem like that has been done.

That being said...

Not true. I provided direct quotes from Lincoln himself proving my point. You offered zero quotes from Lincoln. Zero primary source evidence at all, actually. You just quoted someone making the unsubstantiated claim (with, again, no primary source evidence) that you are right. Give me some primary source evidence, not someone else's conclusions.
You ignoring Lincoln's quotes and the posts I made in response to other members, isn't helping this "rebuttal".



I know that. Obviously. Please don't patronize me. The issue is whether my post was truly a "nuh-uh" post, not whether "nuh-uh" posts constitute acceptable debate. I think my post was not, as it made two substantive points against your argument:
1) You're playing "link wars"
2) You're lacking in evidence
Both "objections" here lack credibility considering that it isn't link warz to summarize, quote then post a link to source it (I should know pretty well what link warz is, considering it's my very own rule). I appreciate your concern however, but I think it's best to get back to the debate instead of sidestep. ;)

As far as the evidence, I provided full context of another Lincoln's quote to gain a deeper perspective, I provided the backdrop, his intent, a scholar's conclusion, the argument of the virtue of prudence, a brief explanation as to why it isn't a Presidential decision to immediately end slavery with executive order, etc... Would you like to speak with Lincoln's ghost personally or something? What else do you want here?

Take a breather, go back, re-read the posts (including the ones in response to other posters - which I mention in my previous posts). Perhaps the bigger picture will appear. I just don't think you are seeing the forest through the trees here.

If you object to a specific point, then make the objection and we'll address it/them. Vague, dodging "nuh-uh" responses aren't appropriate rebuttals and that's all I see here. Be more specific.



The quote from Lincoln suggests that, as I said, he was personally opposed to slavery. The quote from Douglas is a mischaracterization of Lincoln's position that Lincoln sought strenuously to correct.
Hmmm...you demand evidence (which has been presented), yet insist on being able to make claims without evidence. Why the double-standard? Do you believe this is appropriate debate?


Again, please don't patronize me. You may assume that every post I write is intended as a cogent argument; if you disagree, take issue with the post, but don't assume I'm trying to write a bad argument.
Then actually do it please. As I mention above, I'm not intentionally being abrasive, but I don't find any validity in your current objections. You'll need to be much more specific, explain why said evidence also points in your favor, explain why a partial quote makes for a full case (I explain why this is erroneous in a previous post), etc...

To me, it doesn't seem like you've read all the posts in this discussion Castle.

Castle
May 19th, 2009, 01:39 PM
You ignoring Lincoln's quotes and the posts I made in response to other members, isn't helping this "rebuttal".
I didn't. *sigh* These are all of the quotes you have posted from Lincoln:

"We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us".
Irrelevant to our debate

...but I hold... there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.... I agree with Judge Douglas he [the negro] is not my equal in many respects.... But in the right to eat the bread without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas and the equal of every living man.
Supports my view of "Lincoln personally opposed slavery".

That's it. That's all the quotes from Lincoln you've posted in this thread, and neither of them are evidence against me (thus my claim of "no evidence").


I provided the backdrop, his intent, a scholar's conclusion, the argument of the virtue of prudence, a brief explanation as to why it isn't a Presidential decision to immediately end slavery with executive order, etc...
You did not provide "his intent"; you provided a scholar's opinion of his intent. Your prudence arguments demonstrates, at best, that your version of events is compatible with the events of history; it certainly doesn't disprove my argument. As for your scholar, I'm debating with you, not with him. His conclusions are not historical fact; for historical fact, we should look to primary sources, like the speeches and writings of Lincoln himself.


Would you like to speak with Lincoln's ghost personally or something? What else do you want here?
I want a direct quote from Lincoln saying "I always wanted to end slavery, but due to the political situation, it took a while", or words to that effect. I have found direct quotes from Lincoln saying exactly the opposite, suggesting rather strongly that you are wrong.


Take a breather, go back, re-read the posts (including the ones in response to other posters - which I mention in my previous posts). Perhaps the bigger picture will appear. I just don't think you are seeing the forest through the trees here.
Just FYI, it's passages like this that I find patronizing and that I would prefer you avoid.


Hmmm...you demand evidence (which has been presented), yet insist on being able to make claims without evidence. Why the double-standard? Do you believe this is appropriate debate?
I will elaborate:

It is obvious that the Lincoln quote you posted suggests that Lincoln was personally opposed to slavery. But that quote doesn't say anything about whether Lincoln planned to use his presidential power to end slavery.

Anyone familiar with the historical context here (you see how it's insulting of me to assume you aren't familiar with the context here?) should know that the Douglas quote you referenced occurred during the heated Stephen-Douglas debates for an Illinois Senate seat, and that Douglas spent much of the debates trying to make Lincoln out to be a rabid abolitionist while Lincoln spent lots of time trying to prove himself more moderate. Even without that level of knowledge, I can't imagine why you'd take the word of a major opponent of Lincoln as to Lincoln's views. The bias should be clear.


To me, it doesn't seem like you've read all the posts in this discussion Castle.
Another example of stuff I'd prefer you avoid. There's this assumption running through your posts that anyone who disagrees with you must be an idiot who hasn't done the proper research. To quote Wikipedia: "Assume good faith." Assume that we reasonably disagree until proven otherwise.