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A Critique of DiLorenzo's The Real Lincoln

Powerful Essays
A Critique of the Real Lincoln

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo completely shatters the illusion of the 16th President as the liberator of the slaves. DiLorenzo provides convincing evidence for Lincoln’s overt racism as expressed in his documented views on racial supremacy as stated in his desire to colonize all American blacks outside the United States (p. 4); Lincoln’s views were matched by the majority in the North who used such tools as state constitutional amendments to prohibit the emigration of black people into Northern states like Lincoln’s home of Illinois (p. 4); and that the Presidents war which killed 620, 000 Americans and destroyed 40% of the economy, was a singularly terrible, unjustified conflict given the proven success in the 19th century of the peaceful end to slavery through the policy of compensated emancipation (p. 4). DiLorenzo accordingly notes that, “Between 1800 and 1860, dozens of countries, including the entire British Empire, ended slavery peacefully; only in the United States was war involved (p. 4). DiLorenzo documents that history’s claims that the abolition of slavery as the leading motive behind the Union’s aggression against the South is untrue. He states that Lincoln’s motives were economic and political and in no way altruistic. Lincoln did oppose slavery, but his opposition did not stem from any moral motive. He wished to preserve white labor, and to avoid artificial inflation of Southern representation in Congress under the three-fifths clause of the Constitution, under which every five slaves counted as three free persons for the purpose of allotting number of congressional seats.

DiLorenzo explains that from th...

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...ding Fathers had tried to institute through the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas DiLorenzo does a good job in documenting Lincoln’s ruthlessness and hypocrisy and how historians have covered it up. The founding fathers had a fear of federal governmental abuse. They saw state sovereignty as a protection. That’s why they gave us the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. I found this book very interesting and it makes you wonder what else we may have learned growing up that could be completely untrue according to your elementary school history books. I do however understand that there is two sides to every story and I wish DiLorenzo did a better job at explaining why history has painted Lincoln as such a hero.

Works Cited

DiLorenzo, Thomas. The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. Three Rivers Press, 2003.
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