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 Posted: Mon Feb 27th, 2012 01:14 pm
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Savez
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BHR62 wrote: I think you are selling Lincoln far, far short by saying he did it purely for political reasons.  He was a typical white guy of the 1800's.  It was taken for granted in the north and south that blacks were inferior.  He and the north just didn't believe in human bondage for the most part.  His 1858 Senatorial run against Douglas was extremely appalling as far as race relations is concerned.  Democrats went after him full force using every racial slur they could possibly think of on him and the Republicans.  His long term goal in coming into office was to confine slavery to the south with the hope of it whithering away peacefully.  The south thought he was a fire breathing abolitionist to the point they broke away.  So he had anti-slavery views already expressed before taking office.

His post war ideas ranged widely on what to do with the freed blacks.  He considered shipping them all to Africa and I think he even considered Central America as a possible place...which was an impossible task.  From what I can remember he gave up on these ideas and was in the process of setting a post war policy towards the south and the freed slaves when he was shot.  When he died the radicals took over with the full intention of making the south suffer terribly for the war. 

The reasons Lincoln (as well as most Northerners) did not want slavery to expand was not for moral reasons. It was about "free soil". The Republican party was anti-slavery because they did not want the average farmer having to compete with slave labor. It wasn't morality. That is "treasury of virtue" stuff.  A poorer free soil farmer and his family working a farm could not compete with a farmer and his family working a farm along with five slaves. The slaveowner has the advantage. Only the abolitionists were opposed to slavery on moral grounds and most of them were hypocrits. The same thing was happening to poorer farmers in the South. They couldn't compete in some regions. These nonslaveholding southerners were starting to realize this. The southern elite especially in the lower south, were starting to worry about an anti-slavery sentiment in the South on the same grounds as the "free soil". I think that is one reason they acted so quickly on secession after Lincoln's election.

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