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150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #16
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Slavery was certainly a main issue, but there was so much more to it-expansion, economics, states vs. federal rights. It was such a turning point in our history. But if it happened today, I wonder what kind of response Lincoln's actions would take today. One of the knocks against his predecessors-Buchanan and Pierce-was that they didn't take any action. But their argument was basically that their hands were tied constitutionally, if I recall correctly.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:12 PM   #17
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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My great great grandfather's 2 older brothers died in the war, one in Sulfolk Va another taken prisoner at Gettysburg and died in a POW camp at Point Lookout Md. after spending time at Fort Delaware prison camp.
That's remarkable
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #18
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Slavery was certainly a main issue, but there was so much more to it-expansion, economics, states vs. federal rights.
Agreed. I doubt, however, anyone was going to war over tarriffs - all the economic aspects of St. v. Fed rights could have eventually been worked out through the political system in existence at the time. As to slavery, on the other hand, and as one writer recently put it, each side was convinced with religious fervor of the moral correctness of their side on the issue [Slave owners placed heavy reliance on the "Natural Order" and quoted the Bible liberally in support of the institution of slavery.]

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It was such a turning point in our history. But if it happened today, I wonder what kind of response Lincoln's actions would take today. One of the knocks against his predecessors-Buchanan and Pierce-was that they didn't take any action. But their argument was basically that their hands were tied constitutionally, if I recall correctly.
For all his brilliance (and he was stunningly brilliant with insane political instincts - think Clinton/Reagan but exponentially better then both combined), Lincoln was all about the Union and broadly interpreted the Constitution to achieve his ends.

As an example, there was never a "declared war" between North and South b/c, if the Congress had ever issued a formal declaration of war, the CSA would have been entitled to all sorts of benefits due a belligerent under international law and would have probablly received recognition from both France & Britain. Despite the lack of a declaration of war, Lincoln interpreted the Constitution in a way that allowed him broad powers that had previously been reserved for use only during formally declared wars. Including, most famously, the suspending of the Writ Habeus Corpus to imprison prominent American citizens who were southern sympathizers (Think of the Gitmo prisoners but applied to Martin O'Malley). Not until the Korean/Vietnamese Wars did Presidents again so blatantly assume the Commander-In-Chief role without actual declared wars. Now, it is almost a given that the President can order troops into danger prior to receiving Congressional approval.

Despite vastly expanding the powers of the Presidency and Federal Govt. & changing their role forever in the US, Lincoln always sought and provided a Constitutional basis for his actions. Sometimes those basis were more tenuous than others.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #19
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Well that's basically my point. Lincoln was basically a loose constructionist who took certain liberties, I guess you could say, with his power. I just wonder what kind of reaction some of his actions would take today
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #20
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

How ironic: Last president to own a slave?

... Ulysses S. Grant
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #21
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Well that's basically my point. Lincoln was basically a loose constructionist who took certain liberties, I guess you could say, with his power. I just wonder what kind of reaction some of his actions would take today
Tea Party'ers would probably say he was "Betraying the party of Lincoln". lol.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #22
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

JoeRedskin, the two major parties have switched and changed roles, beliefs and even names several times throughout history. First it was the Democrat-Republicians vs the Federalists. Then the Republicans and Dems. Now the newer Republicans and the newer Dems.

With a few other wrinkles(populists, whigs, etc.).
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:49 PM   #23
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Yup. I am aware of the historical twists and turns of our, essentially, two party system.

My point, however, (half-facetiously) was that modern day Republicans often cling to the "Party of Lincoln" legacy when, in fact, Lincoln expanded the Federal govt.'s authority further than any President before him and, for all practical intents and purposes, destroyed the original federalistic system created by the Founders. Concepts contrary to current Republican doctrine and anti-thetical to the Tea Party portion of the party.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #24
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Well that's basically my point. Lincoln was basically a loose constructionist who took certain liberties, I guess you could say, with his power. I just wonder what kind of reaction some of his actions would take today
I know. But unlike me, you didn't take half a page to say what only needed a sentence. Sometimes, I just like to convince myself of my own brilliance and that, generally, takes at least a page and a half.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #25
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Yup. I am aware of the historical twists and turns of our, essentially, two party system.

My point, however, (half-facetiously) was that modern day Republicans often cling to the "Party of Lincoln" legacy when, in fact, Lincoln expanded the Federal govt.'s authority further than any President before him and, for all practical intents and purposes, destroyed the original federalistic system created by the Founders. Concepts contrary to current Republican doctrine and anti-thetical to the Tea Party portion of the party.
Like this classic exchange on 30 Rock (tried to find the video clip, couldn't so I just pilfered this straight from IMDB)

Jack asks Tracy if he supports lower taxes -- he would if he paid them. Gun ownership? Tracy says, "Go on...' States rights? He loves states rights! Jack also mentions that Lincoln was a Republican, and Dotcom chimes in.

"Actually, today's Republican party would be unrecognizable to Lincoln. He fought a war to preserve federal authority over the states, that's not exactly small government." Jack says Dotcom's need to be the smartest guy in the room is off-putting.

Dotcom hangs his head and says "I guess that's why I'm still single."
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #26
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

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Originally Posted by Chico23231 View Post
My great great grandfather's 2 older brothers died in the war, one in Sulfolk Va another taken prisoner at Gettysburg and died in a POW camp at Point Lookout Md. after spending time at Fort Delaware prison camp.

Most interesting time our history, and im a little of an amature buff myself. The evil of Slavery no doubt was the cause of the war, but I think if you asked the average southern soldier back then, when the yanks sent an armed invasion force cross the Mason-Dixon line, that was the reason men took up arms, and enlistment then sky-rocketed. Why did they fight, well cause there were armed men in his backyard.

You gotta tip your hat to Lincoln, most important President of all time because he did end up preserving the union.
Wow, your family history is amazing.

I grew up about 20 minutes from Gettysburg so I was there all the time, especially during the summer, I'd be walking the battlefield most weekends.

The PA Monument is one of my favorites, I've found my name on there at least 4-5 times...not my last name, my actual name. It's a great monument, has an internal spiral staircase where you can go up 110 feet to a roof balcony to get a great view of the battlefield. It also has the names of every Pennsylvanian that served.

I read Civil War encyclopedias and watched the Ken Burns series when I was a kid, probably odd, but I've always loved Civil War history. Instead of green army men, I had blue and gray ones.

In fact, I watched the Burns series again last week.

PA Memorial monument (bronze plaques have thousands of names):


To get an idea of the size:
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:35 PM   #27
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

^Gettysburg is great. Went there on a family trip..gosh...like 20 years ago. Seeing Little and Big Round Top was incredible. My relative that fought there was in an artillery unit, cant even to begin to imagine...War back then was just such a slaughter.

I read once at the end of the cold war, when USSR was sending its leaders and ambassadors over in talks and what not...when asked where they wanted to visit and see while they had the chance, most in politics were ex military in USSR, they chose Gettysburg. Worldwide its known as really the "game changer". Lee needed to bring the war up North and needed a substantial win there...if the south would have driven the North in retreat, it could be a very different place where we live.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:00 PM   #28
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This is pretty interesting

West Virginia: The state that said no - The Washington Post
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:05 PM   #29
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Interesting discussion, fellas. Here's a great recent NY Times article about the somewhat organic way that slavery became a central issue in the war. It includes an amazing history I had never heard of:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/ma...ewanted=1&_r=1
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #30
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Re: 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

I really enjoy Civil War history. I've been to Gettysburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Manassas, the place in Spotsylvania where Stonewall Jackson died, and others. I loved the Killer Angels and Confederates in the Attic, and, of course, the Ken Burns' special. One of the more notable things I've come across in visiting Civil War sites was the grave of a confederate soldier at the Appomattox site. A short distance away from his grave is a stand that identifies his history (his grave is pretty nondescript). Clink on this link (Pretty remarkable): Pvt Jesse H. Hutchins ( - 1865) - Find A Grave Memorial

On a lighter note, one of my favorite passages from Confederates in the Attic is the author describing a conversation he had with a NPS employee at the Fort Sumter monument, in which the NPS guy related the story of being asked by a visitor one day why it was that so many Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites.
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