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Sephirstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:11 PM
Original message
Question about Robert E. Lee...
Is it true that he opposed both slavery and secesion and only served in the civil war out of loyalty to Virginia?
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Both are, in fact, true.
Lee freed his own slaves, and followed VA out of the Union out of loyalty, not conviction.
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mlawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. That is the popular version.
I am not certain that he opposed slavery, but I *think* he opposed succession. If this is all true, then it shows how dangerous blind loyalty can be.
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. He Chose Sides . . .
He chose his side. He picked up arms. He fought against America.

It was enough to get John Walker Linde 20 years in Club Fed. Unlike Linde, Lee spent his later years as a university president.

Why would anyone care what his reasons were?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. He wasn't fighting AGAINST America...
he was fighting FOR Virginia (which he saw as his country). You have to remember that at the time the conception of the United States was very different. They were seen as just that...united STATES. Not as one single inviolable political entity. Secession was widely held as a Constitutional right, and was even taught as such at West Point. And Lee did what he did reluctantly, and with a heavy heart, but he felt his first loyalty was to Virginia.
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mlawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. So it was My Country, Right or Wrong.
OMG, that is a dangerous sentiment. Blind unquestioning loyalty from his generals got Hitler a LONG way towards his goals.
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Bullbleep he wasn't fighting against America.
America had a national government in 1861. America had a Senate. Virginia's senators resigned from it. Virginia seceded from America by a vote of its state legislature. America had an army, the U.S. Army. Lee raised an army against it. Lee fought against it and his soldiers killed Americans.

Thus, Lee was as much a traitor as John Walker Linde.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Bullbleep yourself
You're understanding of History is limited, the person you're replying to is correct, in 1861 people held more loyalty to their individual states than to the federal government. Read up a little
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JohnnyAmerica Donating Member (186 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
46. Back in 1861....
People would say "The United States are", whereas today people say "The United States is".
Youngred is right. Citizens of the US back then saw nothing wrong with their State leaving, especially southern states and their belief in States Rights, which they saw as overriding all.
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
58. "Read up a little"
Friend:

The difference between you and me is that I decided a long time ago that the Southern fixation on the "Compact Theory" (i.e., that the States' sovereignty was superior to that of the federal government) was horsebleep, self-serving twaddle invented by Souther slaveowners to justify a power grab over the western territories.

This was just as true in 1861 as it was in 1963, when George Wallace ran it up the flagpole (together with the Stars and Bars) in front of the Alabama statehouse. You may recall that led to some trouble too.

I simply reject pro-Confederacy propaganda whenever and wherever I see it. And by the way, I've read plenty of books. Unless you've got a graduate degree in History you're messing with the wrong DU member. Friend.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. I completely agree its bullshit
but that doesn't mean it isn't what they thought in 1861. The fact is at the time that is what they believed. Saying that it was wrong is one thing, ignoring historical fact is a completely different monster. It's not Pro-Confederacy propaganda at all.
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ma4t Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #58
66. read up a little more
Actually the "compact theory" was put forward by some of the New England states in the 1830s when a few of them threatened succession. Although they did not actually succeed they did advance the "voluntary in, voluntary out" argument.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. He Believed In State's Rights
And saw the Union as an American USSR.

Never also forget that a Union General started burying the dead on his estate arbitrairly and R.E. Lee just "walked away" from what is now Arlington National Cemetary.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Half of America fought against half of America.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 06:29 PM by rezmutt
The Civil War, tragically, was necessary for an adolescent nation to truly cement a union, and to rid it of one of its worst sins, slavery.

Our country's second worst sin? Reconstruction, and how it was carried out. With Lincoln dead, an entire people were basically told, You're free, now hit the road. No attempt was made to weave former slave families into the fabric of society. No "40 acres and a mule" as promised. Just apartheid, North and South.

And this was the victorious *federal* government that turned its back on African Americans.


edit: typos
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Yeah
and Arlington Cemetary was land taken from his home so he'd have to trip over the Union dead everyday for the rest of his life.

Why would anyone care? Are you seriously asking that question?
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Basically true. Remember, Lincoln offered him command...
of the Federal army on the eve of the Civil War, and Lee gave it careful consideration, only to conclude that "I cannot draw my sword against my country." (Meaning Virginia.)

The Lee/slave issue has been debated. It appears by some accounts that either he didn't pay his black servants (and therefore, perhaps slavery), or that he lacked the money to pay them.

Upon surrendering, however, he urged his troops to immediately "make good citizens."
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes both of them are true
a great general who didn't agree with his country's political leadership on the wrong side of History (see also Rommel).

The reason he fought for Virginia was up until the Civil War Americans thought of themselves as more loyal to their state than the federal government.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. If they were so concerned about states rights...
then why the fuck did the deep south care if slavery expanded westward? Those state's self-determination had nothing to do with the states rights of Mississippi or Virginia. More likely it was a selfish/greedy power play to ensure the ascendency of slavery at the FEDERAL level.


P.S. Robert E. Lee was an honorable man who fought for the wrong side.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. It was to insure survival of their peculiar institution
Southern Paranoia about the possibility of losing slavery (their economic lifeblood) was extreme. They thought anytime the Non-Slave states got a majority in congress the first thing to go would be slavery. That is why they fought to push it west, and is the basis for all the compromises in the 50 years leading up to the way.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Don't Forget Southern Baptists Too
They split off the main group because "they" believed in slavery.

It was a very bad time and the affects haunt us to this day.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
34. The same Southern Baptists that supported Gulf War II?
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
64. Wrong Church
R.E. Lee was a memember of the Church of England
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. Every soldier that has killed in war . .
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 06:56 PM by msmcghee
. . and every soldier that has died in war, did it "for their country". That includes the German soldiers in WWII who did it for a nation that exterminated over 6 million "undesirables".

Robert E. Lee chose to fight for his country - a country that went to war to secede from the "United States" of America - to preserve his country's right to own other humans as private property.

The history books I have read show him as a good person, wise in many ways. He still made the wrong choice - and hundreds of thousands of Americans on both sides of the Mason - Dixon line died because of that choice.

There is no greater responsibilty for a soldier than to choose to be on the side that he takes in war. To be on the moral side, placing your life at risk protecting the weak from abuse using military force when no other options are available - is one of the most noble, unselfish acts a person can make in life.

Taking the wrong side, using violent force to preserve a nation's right to abuse others - is one of the worst, most immoral acts available to humankind.

Unlike many soldiers in that conflict, Lee actually had a free choice and he made it. He was a traitor in the worst sense of the word.

I now live in a nation that has elected leaders to high office that have no respect for the gravest decision we can make as a nation, going to war - leaders including Reagan and Johnson as well as Bush I and II, that have deceptively and willingly put our nation on the wrong side of that equation. This makes me question what it means to be an American. When will I have to make a better choice than Robert E. Lee - or consider myself a traitor?



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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
38. great post!
I've read a lot about the Civil War, and initially bought into the lionization of Robt. E. Lee - but over the years I've come to feel the same things you've expressed. Lee had a clear and free choice -
and he chose to fight for slavery. I have read so much about what a good man he was, and how his intentions were honorable -
still, the road to perdition in Lee's case ran with the blood of hundreds of thousands.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
43. You're very ignorant of many facts, I'm afraid...
I repeat again: THE SOUTHERN STATES HAD A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SECEDE. Read ANY work of Constitutional scholarship from the period, and you'll see that, in the context of the times, I am right. Lincoln prosecuted war against the Confederacy because he refused to recognise that right. And Lee fought not to preserve slavery, but to defend his home state of Virginia. Not only that, the central issue of the Civil War was NOT slavery. Slavery was a contributing factor, but ultimately the war was about other things.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
16. a great general who happened to take up arms against his sworn oath
to protect and defend the constitution and the united states of america.

gee, moral relavitism pops up in the strangest places.

pass it on.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Technically when Virginia succeeded Lee lost his citizenship
Thanks to a clerical error Robert E. Lee died a citizen of the C.S.A and not the U.S. long after most confederates had been repatriotated.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. What was he supposed to do....
Stay in the army and INVADE HIS HOMELAND, killing people just like his family in a war of aggression (which is what it was)????

Oncce he resigned, his oath became null and void. It's not like he stayed with the Union and then led the army incompetently on purpose to protect his State.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. He should have stayed in . .
. . and moved his family north for the duration.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Right....
waging war on his extended family and neighbors...THAT's a good solution...

If your home was attacked, what would you do? Collaborate with the attackers, or fight like hell?
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. My home was attacked on 9/11.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:10 PM by msmcghee
Does that make it morally right for our nation to invade Iraq?

The south attacked Fort Sumpter. They were spoiling for war and were determined to start it - they wanted to run things their way. To have all the power and control in their own hands with no need to cooperate or consider the right or wrong of it. Just like the repukes they eventually became.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. What does Iraq have to do with anything?
They had no connection to September 11th.

They were spoling to get rid of the "abolitionist" Lincoln.

I'm not defending the South by any means, but some of your facts are askew
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Our attack on Iraq is the same . .
. . as the south's attack on Fort Sumpter. It was starting a war for immoral reasons.

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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Oy making my head spin here
what does that have to do with September 11th?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. So, you live in NYC?
If not, then your "home" wasn't attacked.

And the South was INVADED, as well...and there's a bit of a difference there, I'd say. And the South felt justified in attacking Fort Sumter (note proper spelling, please) because they viewed Lincoln's attempt to resupply and reinforce the garrison as provocation.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. So, you lived in the WTC?
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:36 PM by msmcghee
If not your home was not attacked. See how silly that is?

Actually my brother in law lives in N. NJ and spent a lot of time in the WTC on business. He wasn't there fortunately on 9/11/. But all American's homes were attacked on 9/11 - as I'm sure you understand.

It's provocative to send supplies to a fort that is part of your nation's defenses?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. "all Americans' homes attacked on 9/11"...
is an absurd generalisation. The centre of America's economic and military strength was attacked, yes. No one's HOME was. (Sorry, I have a tendency to be irritatingly precise. I think in specifics. Not generalities.)

And it's provocative to send supplies to a fort that is on foreign soil (as Sumter technically was after South Carolina's secession from the Union), and might be construed, in fact, as a prelude to an act of aggression.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. You have a tendency to be irritatingly . .
. . unwilling to understand the larger point - and argue over insignificant details that miss the main argument about the morality of war and a citizen's responibility in it.

I have no interest in technicalities. Please don't bother justifying them.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #50
55. at least they've got the facts straight
....
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #50
56. I see no larger point.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 08:03 PM by Spider Jerusalem
YOU have a tendency to be willfully blind to the facts, preferring, it seems, to dismiss them as "insignificant details". You seem to be incapable of understanding that "morality", as you call it, is a matter of personal perspective and a relative thing. Not an absolute. And that from the viewpoint of those you're impugning, their actions were moral. I have nothing to justify to you, I am merely trying to EXPLAIN...but it seems that your obtuseness and utter inability to accept the validity of any viewpoint save your own, regardless of context, makes that impossible.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. I know that you see no larger point. n/t
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #30
54. Nope....BUT....
here's a hypothetical for you. Let's say an Iraqi immigrates to America and joins the army as an officer. Then let's say it becomes obvious that we're going to invade Iraq. Is resigning his commission and returning home to defend his people against American aggression somehow supposed to be wrong?

If I recall history correctly, the South tried to negotiate the abandonment of ft. Sumpter. The Union engaged in negotiations, while secretly reinforcing the garrison. In other words, they acted in bad faith. How was the South supposed to respond to a bad faith effort to maintain a foreign military post in their territory?
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djg21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. He also attempted to end war earlier . . .
he and Breckinridge were at odds with Jefferson Davis. He had hoped to negotiate better terms and spare the South fro the total devestation that ensued.
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. thus, folks, the moral relavitism of lee's decision
and whenever the arguments from the right touch upon their distaste for "moral relavitism" mention robert e. lee.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. As far as he was concerned he WAS defending the Constitution.
Secession was considered a Constitutional right by the most eminent legal scholars in the land and most of the Supreme Court. Lee saw nothing unconstitutional in the actions of the Southern states (as, in fact, there WASN'T anything unconstitutional in those actions, else Lee and Jefferson Davis would have been tried for treason, which neither was). Not to mention that said oath was no longer binding once he resigned his commission.
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Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
20. His Citizenship was Eventually Restored
When FDR was president, the last of the Civil War soldiers were dying, so he gathered them together and proclaimed that they were all heroes, all fighting for the perceived legacy of the founding fathers.

When Carter became President, he pardoned both Lee and Davis.
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random Donating Member (252 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
23. Slavery was not an issue until late in the Civil War.
Lee opposed slavery and did not own slaves. The Civil War was fought over an industrial North taking extreme advantage of resource rich South, period. Lincoln only introduced the slavery issue late to keep England and France from supporting the South. If you don't believe me, try Ken Burns.
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youngred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. That's part of the equation
but not even close to all of it.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. So Preston Brooks beat Senator Charles Sumner over economics issues?
n/t
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. nope, the gamecocks who fired on ft. sumter know why they did. slavery
you must be ignorant of facts.

Cornerstone Speech
Savannah; Georgia, March 21, 1861

"The Cornerstone Speech was delivered extemporaneously by Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, and no official printed version exists. The text below was taken from a newspaper article in the Savannah Republican, as reprinted in Henry Cleveland, Alexander H. Stephens, in Public and Private: With Letters and Speeches, before, during, and since the War, Philadelphia, 1886, pp. 717-729"

http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/corner.html

FYI

".......The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind -- from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics; their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just -- but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal."



no one, simply no one mistook that which the confederacy stood for; the continual and perpetual legal sanction of slavery. lee supported the confederacy.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
51. Revisionist history
Only someone who hasn't read any of the newspapers or historical documents of the time would even pretend to believe that- Ken Burn's documentary (which was meant to address the war itself from the participants' perspectives) notwithstanding.

The trade issues were minor compared with the institution of slavery, which had festererd and dividied the nation since Franklin's time. Congress throughout the first half of the 19th century were dominated by fierce debates (including the brutal beating of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner) over the issue of slavery and its expansion into the western states culminating in legislation such as the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas & Nebraska Act. The Southern succession debates were framed almost entirely within the issue of slavery. With the election Lincoln- a perceived opponent of slavery- succession was assured.
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birdman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
53. Yeah. those people ran up Cemetary Ridge over tarriffs
Anybody home there ?

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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
25. Virgil quick come see!
There goes Robert E. Lee!
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DemVet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
29. Robert E. Lee had no slaves....
...and paid his workers a wage. One of Lee's Corps Commanders and one of the Confederacy's best known Generals, Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, also started the first Sunday School for Blacks in Virginia.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. MANY Southerners believed slavery was morally wrong...
... but also believed that it was protected by the Constitution, which it was, at the time.
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Fixated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
32. .....
In short, yes. He wasn't a slave-owner and was actually asked by Lincoln to command for the North. He couldn't betray his home state.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
44. "He couldn't betray his home state"
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:45 PM by msmcghee
People wonder why humans have always gone to war. That is the reason.

The only hope for mankind is for every one of us to accept personal responsibility for the choices that our leaders make - they may choose to take our nation to war for the wrong reasons, as Bush has done. Because of his deception and lies it was only a strong hunch, not a certainty at the time it happened. Which makes Bush's deception that much more vile and despicable.

To support his "home state" is no more noble than choosing Georgia Tech over VMI in a football game. Nobility comes from making moral choices - not blindly killing others for the bars and stars and dear old Dixie.

Of course they call people who don't side with their home team, traitors - as I was called when I resisted the war in Viet Nam. But you make your choices and you pay the price. That's all we can do.

The only payoff you may get is knowing - on your death bed - that you took the right path when you had the choice. For some that's not as important as cheering for the home team - and that's why there will always be wars.

Added on edit: In no way do I condemn or criticize any person who fights in war believing honestly that he or she is doing the right thing. Most who fought in Viet Nam, many of them my friends, believed so when they enlisted or were drafted. Once they were in they pretty much had to see it through and I only have the greatest respect for them and the terrible ordeal they experienced. The same is true for the vast numbers of civil war soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War. It is our leaders who must be held to account - not cheered on with our silly flags like we're at some damned football game.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
41. Robert E. Lee was a traitor because he
lost. Simple as that. All this attempt to make him "honorable" etc.
is pure vanity. He's unusual in that even though he committed treason, he gets a free ride, and is even praised.
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FARAFIELD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
42. BLIND LOYALTY?
Anyone that would say LEE's Loyalty was blind is way off. He detested slavery AND he oppposed secession. But saw his first duty to VIrginia which he saw as his home. Im not from the South Im from CAlifornia, but let me drop 2 things on you that most people never consider. FIrst RObert E. Lee was offered command (based on the recommendation of the General of the US Army) of the UNION Army. He was never at any time offered command of the Confederate Army. IN fact for a year after the war began. Lee wasnt in charge of anything. It was only after A.S. Johnston was killed at Shiloh AND Joe Johnston was wounded at the Penisula that Lee was offered command of an Army. Also something for you to consider. If your home state was being invaded where would you fall? Would you follow your "country" or your family. Think about it.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. If it were my country invading my state
I'd have to go with the country. Sorry. (And don't give me that "people looked at it differently then" thing). You asked the question.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
63. It is a good thing we are not both in CA, then...
... because we would be on opposite sides of the war. :(
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RummyTheDummy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
49. It's true, but not a popular viewpoint on this board
Things here are either black or white (no pun intended)since most people can't accept anything else and the conventional wisdom is that the civil war was entirely based on slavery when in fact it was not. That translates into Lee=Hitler for many.

Lee was a great leader and perhaps one of the most misunderstood figures in US History.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Yeah, just like Pvt. Eddie Slovik. n/t
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Starpass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
57. Either way
they were a part of a nation. They decided to leave that nation (can you imagine any of us getting away with that today and not being called traitors). They fought against that nation. They did nothing more or less than our Taliban boy did. They were traitors to their nation since it was a nation at that point; they fought it; and Jeff Davis killed 360,000 people doing it. And then they still want to raise the flag over their states that commemorate it all. Just finished Al Franken's book today that addresses that (and I can see that a number of you have read it by your replies). He said that a Southener said that we hated Germany buy now drive Voltswagons (sp.?) and Al's reply was "but we don't try to fly one over the state capitol". They fought this nation in order to retain the right to use and abuse slaves and talked a whole bunch of ignorant common folk into fighting it for them who did not own slaves and didn't know what the fuck they were fighting for-----------some things never change, do they???????
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. Everyone is part of a nation.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 09:19 PM by msmcghee
The important thing is the values your nation stands for and what you do if your nation renounces those values - and becomes an immoral aggressor.

The basic rule that people must follow in order to live in peace is that it is immoral to initiate force, coersion or deceit against another . . . person or nation.

If your nation does that then you must make a hard choice. The best path in a democracy like ours is to treat elections as an important test of values and morality - rather than a high school popularity contest. That way you can avoid those hard choices down the road. Unless you enjoy attacking other nations and killing thousands of people to enhance the encumbent president's chances for re-election.

Lee was faced with that tough choice. He picked being liked by his family and southern slave holding friends over the notion that all of us were created equal. No amount of apologizing for him will change that.

PS On edit - I am agreeing with the post above. My purpose was to amplify it - but I'm letting my emotions get in the way - and it might seem I was arguing with you. I need to calm down. :think:
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. In WWII there were French people who did what you seem to support...
they were called "nazi collaborators", and many of them were tried after the war.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. You make sentences like you are smart.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 09:15 PM by msmcghee
But the content belies that. I said, "The important thing is the values your nation stands for and what you do if your nation renounces those values - and becomes an immoral aggressor."

Was France an immoral aggressor? Perhaps I slept during that chapter of the history of WWII.

The reason you are confused is because you have learned well what they teach in school - that loyalty to one's team is the most important virtue - above honesty and the need to respect others. It makes no difference if your team cheats, uses steroids and bribes the ref - winning is all that matters in the end. My country right or wrong. Love it or leave it.

On edit: Whoa - Reading this back now I think I went way over the line and kind of attacked you personally. I got a little carried away. Sorry.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. No problem...I'm used to it. Compared to the Gun Dungeon, it's mild.
I'm wondering what you thought of the Iraqi immigrant hypothetical.

Marshall Petain thought he was doing what was best for the people of France when he did what he did. He made a political accomodation with an enemy of his people. He has been routinely criticized for what he did, and was tried and convicted afterwards. If you refer to a Frenchman as a "Petain", you'll get punched. He's THAT loathed.

If Lee had stayed with the Union, and the South had won it's Independence, he'd have been rightly reviled in his homeland.
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