June 15, 1858 Lincoln's "House Divided" Speech

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Code Blue, post 9:

Lincoln wants war
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He didn't want war, he wanted the Union preserved. At that time, that necessitated war.
 

Code Blue

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He didn't want war, he wanted the Union preserved. At that time, that necessitated war.
That is a difference without a distinction. If he didn't "want" war, all he had to do was - not have war.
And "preserve/" When he was inaugurated, the union had already been divided. One cannot "preserve" what does not exist.
 
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Maki

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That is a difference without a distinction. If he didn't "want" war, all he had to do was - not have war.
That would have been his end. The war started after Sumter and the North was quite unified regarding the Sumter issue.
 

Code Blue

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That would have been his end. The war started after Sumter and the North was quite unified regarding the Sumter issue.
There was no war under Buchanan. Then there was a peace commission. Lincoln falsely promised the commission that Sumter would be evacuated, and then he sent war ships, which he had to know would be construed by the foreign power under the law of nations as an act of war, because he wanted...uh...peace(?)..

Make you case. Lincoln, the man of peace. lol

Quite unified? You have the Gallup Polls on that?
Lincoln unconstitutionally invaded states that voted not to secede like Missouri and Kentucky, (arresting the fmr Governor on no changes; and trying to arrest Breckenridge and leading citizens). He was cutting a swath across eastern Kentucky to make invasion on the deep south, and had to use force because his war was not...uh...popular(?).

There is no doubt, Lincoln used the so-called first shot to energize many a gullible young man. That's why I said, he'd use white or black. It is amazingly easy for the politicians to make people stampede like bulls or bolt like a herd of sheep.

Did it ever cross your mind that even after Sumter (or Pearl Harbor or The Maine or alleged WMD or Tonkin ) negotiation was still an option? Or that these first shots are often fired someplace the US ships did not have to be, like Charleston Harbor? (Did I mention the Straits of Hormuz, yet? Oh, hat's right, this is history not future).

It's amazing how well the US government has its citizens acculturated to believe and argue that every affront justifies annihilation as a response. (Oh, sorry, did I nuke you. Well, you shouldn't have thrown that stone).
 
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Maki

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First, I never said Lincoln was committed to peace at all costs. After all, he opposed surrendering Sumter even though most of his cabinet advised him to do so. And it was William H. Seward that promised the surrender of Sumter to the Confederates, not Lincoln (J. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pg. 268; W. Stahr, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man, pg. 262).

Second, yeah, we do have a clear picture of the North in 1861. The North was not universally behind Lincoln, but they absolutely opposed any concessions regarding Sumter. Headlines such as "Have we a government?" and the NYT's "The Administration must have a policy of action". Northern citizens claimed that "if Fort Sumter is evacuated, the new administration is done forever". Even the Democrats wanted to reinforce a "gallant band who are defending their country's honor and its flag in the midst of a hostile and traitorous foe". In fact, it was this Northern resolve that hardened Lincoln and emboldened him to continue holding his hard stance on Sumter.
 

Code Blue

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First, I never said Lincoln was committed to peace at all costs.
That sentence would make more sense without the word "costs."

Second, yeah, we do have a clear picture of the North in 1861. The North was not universally behind Lincoln, but they absolutely opposed any concessions regarding Sumter. Headlines such as "Have we a government?" and the NYT's "The Administration must have a policy of action". Northern citizens claimed that "if Fort Sumter is evacuated, the new administration is done forever". Even the Democrats wanted to reinforce a "gallant band who are defending their country's honor and its flag in the midst of a hostile and traitorous foe". In fact, it was this Northern resolve that hardened Lincoln and emboldened him to continue holding his hard stance on Sumter.
Fact? Yankees forced Lincoln to war? Forced him to send ships to Sumter?

I am not sure how clear a picture can be 150 years down the road. And I don't think for a second, you have this picture clear. There are a lot more editorials noting the legality of secession than the other way around. You can find hostile anti-southern editorials much more easily in NY and Boston. I agree Massachusetts was "unified," even before Lincoln, the Wide Awakes and the Society of Odd Fellows were already training for war.

And consider that editorial that says traitorous. Has it ever occurred to you that the federal government is not a principal in the compact between the states? The states are. And that up until the Civil War, the country was "unified" in that opinion? What are states supposedly traitorous tp? What are they rebelling against? This mythical "the union" that Lincoln invented? Propaganda.

And as I posted here, and to you last week, Lincoln invaded at least three states that did not secede, but where most did not want to fight their "brothers."

Picture getting clearer?


My apologies to the OP. I will self suspend to stop interfering with any House Divided talk that might occur - and before a referee has to come in and break up Maki and me, again.
 
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Maki

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There are a lot more editorials noting the legality of secession than the other way around.
Even if what you say is true, my quotes have nothing do with the legality of secession. They are there to show that the North opposed conceding to the CSA regarding Ft. Sumter and their sentiment was known to Lincoln.
 

Code Blue

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Since a week has passed and no comments to the OP have appeared, I will resume with Mr. Maki.
Even if what you say is true, my quotes have nothing do with the legality of secession. They are there to show that the North opposed conceding to the CSA regarding Ft. Sumter and their sentiment was known to Lincoln.
Of course, your quotes go to the legality of secession. What is the reference to "traitorous foe?"

It is a mistake to conflate the "Republicans" and the "North." The Republicans were somewhat unified. The "North" was not. This is why Lincoln had to conquer the North in order to conquer the South. He had to arrest Northern elected and appointed officials, and shut down over 300 newspapers? Because they said things like this.

“The Constitution provides no means of coercing a state in the Union; nor any punishment for secession.”
Kenosha Wisconsin Democrat, January 11, 1861

“The people are the ruling judges, the States independent sovereigns. Where the people chose to change their political condition, as our own Declaration of Independence first promulgated, they have a right to do so. If the doctrine was good then, it is good now. Call that right by whatever name you please, secession or revolution, it makes no sort of difference.”
The Washington, D.C. States and Union, March 21, 1861

There is no discussion of these issues that can escape:
1. Republican and abolitionists insistence that slavery was morally wrong
2. Southern insistence that slavery and secession were legal rights.
One cannot 'justify' Lincoln without encountering #2.

IMO, it is also a key dividing issue that:
"Union" a voluntary relationship between ratifying States (is not the same as)
"The Union" an apparently sovereign entity ruled by Lincoln (and any opponent is a "traitorous foe."

And with respect to the OP, the House Divided speech may not provide a window to the soul of Lincoln re "the Negro," but the speech was perceived as one of several serioius threats to the to the slave States, and the nature of "Union," (defined as the relationship between the States established by the Constitution). Seward's Irrepressible Conflict, Lincoln's House Divided, the idolizing of John Brown, were part of a series of open and increasing threats to "exterminate" the southern way of life.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other."
 
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Maki

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Of course, your quotes go to the legality of secession. What is the reference to "traitorous foe?"
Yes, the belligerent Northerners, especially Republicans, considered the Southerners as traitors. Whether or not that is a true statement is not the topic of this discussion.

It is a mistake to conflate the "Republicans" and the "North." The Republicans were unified. The "North" was not. This is why Lincoln had to conquer the North in order to conquer the South. He had arrest elected and appointed officials, and shut down over 300 newspapers? Because they said things like this.
I was not talking about the entire war, but about the Sumter issue of 1861. Even the Democrats opposed giving the fort to the Confederacy. I never claimed the North always supported Lincoln. In fact, I literally said the opposite:
The North was not universally behind Lincoln
 

Code Blue

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But you keep making these universal sounding statements that need to be qualified; or making qualified states that still sound near-universal.

Even the Democrats opposed giving the fort to the Confederacy. :
Every one of them? Universal agreement?

When you say "not universally behind Lincoln," and that this is "opposite" of unified?"
You and I are not using the same forms of arithmetic. What is the "opposite" of 100%?

How "not universal" is support for Lincoln?
Stopping just short of universal, at say, 99% Or is his support less than 50%?
I think it is less than 50%.

His party loses seats in 62. And he uses the military to "guard" the ballot boxes, especially in 64, in what would never pass as a 'free and fair election.'
And how much opposition is pre-suppressed because editors and opposing politicians are still locked up or have spent time locked up in one of his gulags (Fort Lafayette or Fort McHenry).

This is why he is such a verbal contortionist and has to go through extraordinary and unconstitutional machinations to raise and army; after facing desertion and riots when he switches from "preserving" to "abolishing" as war aims, moving to a 'mercenary' army, disproportionately immigrant, paid for in unconstitutional paper money (Greenbacks) Never saw that?
 
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