The Civil War was prompted by differing interpretations by the North and South of economic and political issues, such as free labor ideology and the spread of slavery, as seen through the analysis of documents dating prior to the beginning of the war. The abolitionist movements predating the Civil War did not have an effect on the instigation of the war because the tensions the movement created were not about morality at all. Some Southerners were angered enough by Northern abolitionists who wrote about the need for immediate abolition of slavery to make it a felony in the South, but even these frictions were not about morality (American Peoples, 28). Instead they were caused by the fact that the South did not want the slaves to know of the movement in the North as to insure there would ... ... middle of paper ... ... did he feel the need to completely abolish slavery in the South. Lincoln’s main priorities were to preserve the Union, and reserve the republic.
He ran against Stephen Douglas and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates are the most famous political debates to this day. Douglas was not for the abolition of slavery; he believed that the government should not “regulate the relations between master and servant.” (Fiero 392) This brought in a good number of votes for him but didn’t agree with the majority of people in the north. Lincoln went with the honest route. Lincoln was for the abolition of slavery and as a compromise he talked about relocating them back to Africa. He wanted all men to have their unalienable rights but still felt they were not as good as whites.
Lincoln stated that he is not, or has ever been, in favor of freeing slaves and giving them social equality. Lincoln stated... ... middle of paper ... ... he gave conflicting beliefs about slavery to attain the necessary votes to elect him to office. Then, once the Civil War began, he was merely trying to preserve what was left of an unstable union. The true “Emancipators” of slavery lie in the grass roots people of that time, the abolitionists, Frederick Douglas, and the slaves themselves. The slaves earned their freedom.
Lincoln was definitely interested in and enthusiastic about this idea, and somewhat deluded about how many freed slaves would want to emigrate. In his 1861 message to Congress, he asked for funds to finance colonization efforts. “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know”. (Wilberforce) Although people know that something is wrong or immoral they tend to look the other way because they feel as if its easier to turn the other cheek then to do something about it. Abraham Lincoln decided not to turn the other cheek, but instead he decided to make history and free the slaves which made him very unpopular.
Some of the Northern delegates were outraged, but none more than John Adams. A renowned proponent of equal rights, he was one of few that saw the irony in establishing a free society without freeing those in bondage. John Adams seems now more like Nostrodamus when he voiced his concern about the slavery issue for future generations. He did not know it, but the couldn’t have been more right.
If asked, nearly every person will unquestionably state that it was Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves from their southern bondage. In his article “Who Freed the Slaves?” John Green claims “this telling of history oversimplifies the truth so much as to render it useless.” . As the factuality of this great American historical antecedent has been called into question, the question still stands, if Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves, who did? This also poses the question Lincoln’s involvement, if he had any, in the fight against slavery. While it is true that Lincoln fundamentally opposed slavery, he could not actively fight against the institution.
However many of them also wanted to free slaves as well. Stephen Brooks, who wrote Understanding American Politics (2013,109), said, “Some of the founders were downright racist, and it is fair to say that even among the most enlightened of them, not a single one would have found interracial marriage or even racially mixed schools to be acceptable.” As Brooks said some were racist and would not like to consider African Americans as their equal. While some were willing to free slaves, others would not even consider it. Our first president, George Washington, owned slaves but having the discussion about whether we should have slaves or not. He decided to set his slaves free.
In fact, he states at one point during the debates between Douglas and himself, “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races” (Borrit 2002). In regards to forcing Blacks to work for whites under harmful circumstances, he states the people did not deserve to be treated like animals, but at the same time, they had their places. The only concern with his disagreement of slavery was that it went against the foundation of America (i.e. the Constitution). Lincoln believed that colonization was the solution to the problem stripping the nation of its characterizations.
Causes of the Civil War Although some historians feel that the Civil War was a result of political blunders and that the issue of slavery did not cause the conflict, they ignore the two main causes. The expansion of slavery, and its entrance into the political scene. The North didn't care about slavery as long as it stayed in the South. South Carolina seceded, because Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was voted into office. The Republican party threatened the South's expansion and so Southerners felt that they had no other choice.
All of the major details were included such as the Corwin amendment and issue of black military service but the book stated pressure from military losses as the cause of emancipation rather than political exchanges. Either way, Give Me Liberty fits into the anti-great emancipator school although it does recognize the positive significance of Lincoln’s actions. Richard’s Who Freed the Slaves? takes an almost identical approach to Lincoln and slavery. Although Richards argues that Lincoln did not play the biggest role in the goals of antislavery and definitely did not support racial equality, he does admit that Lincoln did play an important role in America’s development during the civil war.