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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #21

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To put it simply, you don't think it was sort of a cop-out for Lincoln to say he wanted slavery to die on its own without intervention? I'm not saying for him to actually do it.


What are your opinions on the others?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #22

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To put it simply, you don't think it was sort of a cop-out for Lincoln to say he wanted slavery to die on its own without intervention? I'm not saying for him to actually do it.
First of all, he didn't say that. He said he was going to stop the expansion of slavery, so that it could die. If the expansion of slavery was not stopped, if there was no intervention, the conventional wisdom at the time is that it could survive indefinitely.

And no, I don't think it's a cop-out for him to say that. If he were to say he was going to invade the Southern states to forcibly put an end to slavery where it already existed, how on earth would that have made things any better for anybody? Again, you seem to be advocating John Brown for President.

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What are your opinions on the others?
I actually believe George Washington, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams also took meaningful steps towards the gradual elimination of slavery. Zachary Taylor might also have, if he had lived. But I believe most of the others were too willing to turn a blind eye to it, or even actively support it.

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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #23

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Lol I agree. He wanted to stop the expansion so it would gradually die. My question is why didn't he just say he wanted it dead now. Not telling people they're forcibly removing it or anything. Why didn't he take that leap?

As for the others jefferson seemed to be struggling with it and Washington was apparently 'nice' relatively to his slaves. Yet neither of them just straight up said its wrong and shouldn't exist. They said things like wolf by the ears. And wasn't it Robert lee who didn't own slaves who said it was a necessary evil. Why the indirectness?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #24

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I keep seeing a theme come up in our history. I'm one of the people who love to have celebrities and people to idolize so I hate when you see bad things they did, but this one has really stuck with me. The founding fathers, and Abe Lincoln, with all of the radical, extreme, life threatening, political suicidal, and ballsy (for lack of a better word) things that they did, they saw slavery as bad (for the most part) yet no one wanted to touch it and take the leap to stand up against it. It really bothers me to see men like Jefferson and Lincoln preferring to keep their hands off and "let it die on its own" yet they were willing to risk everything for their own freedoms or advancements. Anyone else get this vibe? Considering writing a research paper on it..
Benjamin Franklin at the end of his life released his slaves and was an anti slavery activist for a considerable amount of time in his life.
Franklin Petitions for Abolition of Slavery
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #25

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That's awesome. Great news. Ben Franklin was awesome too. Thansk
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #26

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Benjamin Franklin at the end of his life released his slaves and was an anti slavery activist for a considerable amount of time in his life.
Franklin Petitions for Abolition of Slavery
Ah, good point. Yes, add Ben Frankin to my list.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #27

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Thomas Paine is credited to have writen the pamphlet "African Slavery in America", he was also anti slavery.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #28

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Lol I agree. He wanted to stop the expansion so it would gradually die. My question is why didn't he just say he wanted it dead now. Not telling people they're forcibly removing it or anything. Why didn't he take that leap?

As for the others jefferson seemed to be struggling with it and Washington was apparently 'nice' relatively to his slaves. Yet neither of them just straight up said its wrong and shouldn't exist. They said things like wolf by the ears. And wasn't it Robert lee who didn't own slaves who said it was a necessary evil. Why the indirectness?
There were people who were saying that they wanted slavery dead "now". They were called "abolitionists". They were considered fanatics and were universally loathed and reviled. But most of them were good people, despite what people thought about them then and what a lot of people still think about them now. In fact I have a thread about some of them here:

http://www.historum.com/american-his...pley-ohio.html

They did play a very important role in the whole story. But their role was to talk (and to help slaves escape). It was up to others to act. An abolitionist wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected President or getting anything done. Lincoln didn't want to just talk. He was a pragmatic man, and he knew that moderation was the best chance of accomplishing his goal.

P.S. - And Lee DID own slaves, by the way.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #29

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Ahh so it was abe politicking because otherwise he wouldn't have been elected?

Also jefferson was pretty upset over king George wanting to arm the slaves. Didn't he even write about it in the Virginia constitution? As for lee, I thought it was just his wife's family who owned slaves. Ill google it
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #30

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Ahh so it was abe politicking because otherwise he wouldn't have been elected?
No, it was Abe being practical. Freeing all the slaves "now" would have been impossible without civil war. And even if it could be done, there would have been tremendous problems with what to do about all of them. You can't just free 4 million people and dump them on the streets. Especially given the racial attitudes of the day.

As much as anyone may have wanted slavery to end immediately, the practical people realized that it just couldn't happen that way. So there was no point in talking about it. The conversation was much better spent on finding practical ways to get it done gradually. Lincoln talked about many alternatives, including compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization. But nothing could be accomplished without first stopping the expansion of slavery.

Let me give you an analogy. You're the coach of a football team. Your team gets the ball on your own 20 yard line, first down and 10 yards to go. You want to score a touchdown, of course. So what do you do? You call a series of runs and passes, getting one first down at a time, as your team works its way down the field and eventually into the end zone.

And here I am, sitting in the stands, yelling and screaming at you for not getting it done "now"! Throw the Hail Mary pass, you wuss! What are you doing dinking around with all these running plays and short passes? Throw the Hail Mary on the very first play!! And keep throwing it until you get a touchdown!!
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