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Response to mitch96 (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:07 PM

12. Mitch96, it's complicated. Lincoln strongly felt slavery was evil. But he believed his first duty

was to keep the Union whole. The south seceded largely because Lincoln and the Republican Party were actively working to keep slavery from spreading to new states. Rather than go to war, Lincoln wanted to work on abolishing slavery gradually. After all, it was embedded in the Constitution and, except in time of war, a constitutional amendment would have been required to abolish slavery. Yes, the Emancipation Proclamation was partly a political move, because it had no effect on the South until it surrendered, and it did indeed bring England over to the side of the Union. However, it also had a military strategic role because it encouraged enslaved workers in the South to escape to the north for freedom, which damaged the Southern war effort when their manpower was radically reduced.

We will never know how Reconstruction would have proceeded had Lincoln lived to carry it out as he intended. I believe our history would have been very different had he lived. As it is, his Vice President, a Democrat, had Southern sympathies and failed to help build a society in the South were African-Americans could achieve social, economic and political equality. Southern states instituted laws that denied African-Americns basic rights and kept them under the thumb of the White population.

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