I think its important to point out that many, I know I was, have been more or less educated that the ‘north was the good guys-the south was the bad guys.’ It was all about slavery.
Concur; and thank you for acknowledging this, as many Northerners will deny this till they’re blue in the face…all the while echoing their indoctrination as though it were original thought, elementary, and common sense.
Only naivete can keep one entrenched in the simplicity of the good-bad dichotomy in life. Would but that the world were ever so simple.
Lincoln has been forever venerated in the country but I would read H.W. Crockers book on the “Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War.” This is the same guy who wrote “Triumph” a book about the history of the Catholic Church. I have found much of the veneration of Lincoln is questionable for reasons I won’t elaborate on.
Lincoln was as ‘great’, as he was horrible.
From the preservation of the Union perspective, he was (is?) as good as advertised. Miraculous, even.
From a states’ rights, strict constructionist, fidelity to the integrity of the Constitution perspective, he was an unmitigated disaster.
From the slaves’ perspective, he was certainly beneficial–though no where near to the degree that the Northerner holds him. However, ‘the Slave’, wasn’t the thing to Lincoln, nor ‘human rights’, nor ‘human dignity’–these noble concepts were mostly political tools used to further or buttress what was ‘the thing’ to him–the Union. IOW: Lincoln was much more pragmatist, than idealist.
What I think is significant is what Alexis De Tocqueville said when visiting the US and observing blacks and slavery all over the country: [R]ace prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known." --Alexis De Tocqueville, �Democracy in America�
De Tocqueville’s observations were not only incredibly accurate; they proved incredibly prescient, as the phenomenon remains to this day. I grew up on the South, but have lived and traveled extensively throughout the Northern states, and can say without reservation, that the racism I’ve witnessed north of the Mason Dixon line would make the average southerner blush. Boston. Chicago. Philly. Indiana, Ohio, Michigan… These places make the likes of New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte (cities to cities), and Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia (states to states), seem down right enlightened in their genuine diversity (as the neo-liberal establishment likes to champion the concept).
I have heard it said that one of the biggest motivations, or selling points to Northerners, for fighting “…to extinguish slavery”, was because as long as the South had slaves, blacks tried to (and did in large numbers) seek to escape the South…to the North. Hence by eliminating the ‘force’ that drove them South to North, they would significantly stem the tide of such flow (hence the true motivation was nothing nearly so noble as ‘freeing slaves’, but at its core, very much racist).
I have never been able to find any hard evidence to support this…hypothesis…but the anecdotal evidence certainly makes it seem rather plausible.
Clever! Is that a play on K of C’s “Vivat Jesus”?