OT: LINCOLN

User Forum Topic
Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 25, 2012 - 8:46am

had a great time at that movie!

was the incredible contempt reublicans and democrats had for each other in the movie historically accurate?

I was weeping at several points. He was so courageous.

Submitted by UCGal on November 25, 2012 - 10:34am.

I saw an interview with the screenwriter yesterday.... it looks like an awesome movie.

Submitted by spdrun on November 25, 2012 - 10:41am.

I'm bringing rotten tomatoes. Not because I expect the movie to be bad, but because "Honest Abe" was one of the worst things to happen to the US.

We should have let the South and Bible Belt go straight to Hell in 1861 -- withdrawn all troops, relinquished all forts, and left them to f**k themselves. Slavery would have ended naturally due to mechanization, and this country would be much less politically divided right now.

Submitted by Blogstar on November 25, 2012 - 11:56am.

spdrun wrote:
I'm bringing rotten tomatoes. Not because I expect the movie to be bad, but because "Honest Abe" was one of the worst things to happen to the US.

We should have let the South and Bible Belt go straight to Hell in 1861 -- withdrawn all troops, relinquished all forts, and left them to f**k themselves. Slavery would have ended naturally due to mechanization, and this country would be much less politically divided right now.

And the slaves naturally should wait, until mechanization freed them? Freed them to what?

Submitted by spdrun on November 25, 2012 - 12:12pm.

A gradual increase in freedom, as happened in Brazil since 1888. (As also happened in the US South since the 1950s.)

Actually, had there not been a war and if emancipation had come from within, there would likely have been less push to create racist laws for purposes of revenge.

Submitted by Hatfield on November 25, 2012 - 1:15pm.

Horseshit. "As happened in the South since the 1950s?" This increase in freedom did not happen on its own, it happened because the federal gov't intervened. The Civil Rights movement in the South would have stalled and probably failed had it not been for federal intervention. How anyone could argue otherwise is utterly beyond comprehension.

Getting back to the topic on hand, I enjoyed Lincoln and was pleased that Doris Kearns Goodwin assisted with the screenplay. Daniel Day Lewis (once again unrecognizable) will probably win an Oscar for his nuanced performance. Can't recommend the film highly enough.

Submitted by spdrun on November 25, 2012 - 1:28pm.

International pressure can go a long way, even if Federal pressure didn't exist. Regardless of the possible fate of the slaves, I'm not changing my opinion that the US would be better off today without legislators from the South and Southern Midwest obstructing progress in DC.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on November 25, 2012 - 2:57pm.

It's an interesting exercise in counterfactual history. The human cost of the war was so large, that it makes us wonder whether allowing slavery to persist a little longer would have been an acceptable trade off.

The Union could have said to the South: OK, secede, but I'm not buying your cotton, and I'm not selling you anything either. Would the south had declared war to open markets to its products? Probably not: easier to trade with Europe, Latin America, etc.

My guess is that before long: (1) the Union would have been restored, and (2) slavery would have been abolished in the southern states.

Latest research puts the war's death toll at 750,000. Too high a cost was paid by a country of 31 million.

Submitted by Hatfield on November 25, 2012 - 3:26pm.

spdrun wrote:
I'm not changing my opinion that the US would be better off today without legislators from the South and Southern Midwest obstructing progress in DC.

On this much we agree. Have you read Ask Not What Good We Do?

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on November 25, 2012 - 4:08pm.

Diego Mamani wrote:
It's an interesting exercise in counterfactual history. The human cost of the war was so large, that it makes us wonder whether allowing slavery to persist a little longer would have been an acceptable trade off.

The Union could have said to the South: OK, secede, but I'm not buying your cotton, and I'm not selling you anything either. Would the south had declared war to open markets to its products? Probably not: easier to trade with Europe, Latin America, etc.

My guess is that before long: (1) the Union would have been restored, and (2) slavery would have been abolished in the southern states.

Latest research puts the war's death toll at 750,000. Too high a cost was paid by a country of 31 million.

Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

A common mistake, and one that clearly informs spdrun's thinking, is that the Civil War was fought over slavery and thus slavery (versus abolition) was the primary driving force. It wasn't. This was an inevitable collision between two cultures: the rapidly industrializing and modern North and the agrarian and antebellum South.

Slavery was a factor, but not the primary factor, thus the Emancipation Proclamation was not signed until 1863, well into the war.

Submitted by flyer on November 25, 2012 - 4:59pm.

The film was moving. Can't beat Daniel-Day Lewis and Spielberg.

Two of my kids who work on the corporate side of the entertainment industry have friends who worked on the movie, and they said it was a phenomenal experience.

Also check out Skyfall, Silver Linings Playbook and Flight--a bit fantastical--but still entertaining. (and no, MOST pilots don't have the problems the character in the movie has--and as for the technical issues in the film--here's a pretty good explanation from one of my peers. . .)

http://blogs.airspacemag.com/view/2012/1...

Submitted by SK in CV on November 25, 2012 - 6:26pm.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

A common mistake, and one that clearly informs spdrun's thinking, is that the Civil War was fought over slavery and thus slavery (versus abolition) was the primary driving force. It wasn't. This was an inevitable collision between two cultures: the rapidly industrializing and modern North and the agrarian and antebellum South.

Slavery was a factor, but not the primary factor, thus the Emancipation Proclamation was not signed until 1863, well into the war.

I think that's an over-simplification. The conflict was centered on social/economic differences between the north and the south. But the primary difference, both socially and economically was slavery. The north was industrial. The south was agrarian, and integral to the southern economy was cheap slave labor. If not but for that slave labor, the war would not have happened. It was pretty much a done deal as soon as Lincoln was elected.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on November 25, 2012 - 7:37pm.

SK in CV wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

A common mistake, and one that clearly informs spdrun's thinking, is that the Civil War was fought over slavery and thus slavery (versus abolition) was the primary driving force. It wasn't. This was an inevitable collision between two cultures: the rapidly industrializing and modern North and the agrarian and antebellum South.

Slavery was a factor, but not the primary factor, thus the Emancipation Proclamation was not signed until 1863, well into the war.

I think that's an over-simplification. The conflict was centered on social/economic differences between the north and the south. But the primary difference, both socially and economically was slavery. The north was industrial. The south was agrarian, and integral to the southern economy was cheap slave labor. If not but for that slave labor, the war would not have happened. It was pretty much a done deal as soon as Lincoln was elected.

SK: Oversimplification? Crap, I thought I had captured the entire casus belli in those three brief paragraphs!

No argument that slave labor underpinned the Southern economy, but slavery was not the primary factor behind the opening of hostilities. Lincoln struggled against quite a few Northerners who were adamantly opposed to abolition. It took over two years of war the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Submitted by as on November 25, 2012 - 9:28pm.

Just watched it this afternoon. Great movie!

Submitted by moneymaker on November 25, 2012 - 9:35pm.

Not having seen the movie or read a history book in over 30 years I'm pretty sure if any state in the union tried to secede (ok except Alaska or Hawaii) the troops would be called in.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on November 25, 2012 - 9:46pm.

moneymaker wrote:
Not having seen the movie or read a history book in over 30 years I'm pretty sure if any state in the union tried to secede (ok except Alaska or Hawaii) the troops would be called in.

I'm pretty sure we'd let Mississippi go. And maybe Kansas. And Iowa.

Submitted by no_such_reality on November 26, 2012 - 4:54pm.

Actually, the civil war was really about State Authority versus Federal Authority.

Submitted by dumbrenter on November 27, 2012 - 12:32am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

Could you elaborate on why the Union had to be preserved at all costs by Lincoln? Curious as to what you think the reasons are.
If the States did not really have a right to secede, then I guess we are not really a union of States!

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on November 27, 2012 - 9:05am.

dumbrenter wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

Could you elaborate on why the Union had to be preserved at all costs by Lincoln? Curious as to what you think the reasons are.
If the States did not really have a right to secede, then I guess we are not really a union of States!

DR: Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech lays out his case that secession was unconstitutional and would lead to anarchy or dictatorship. He cites the constitutional requirement that the"Laws of the Union faithfully be executed in all the States".

NSR is correct that the Confederacy thus saw the war as state's rights versus Federalism. The majority of the Confederate rank-and-file were not landed gentry, nor Southern aristocracy, nor were they fighting to preserve slavery, anymore than Lincoln was fighting to abolish it. He favored gradual emancipation using federal monies. However, when the initial group of Southern states seceded, he believed disunion would be the death knell of the United States and moved for a diplomatic solution. The Confederate shelling of Fort Sumter put paid to that.

This is the simplified explanation. Lincoln's speeches on the Kansas-Nebraska Act and a "House Divided" offer a lot more background.

Submitted by dumbrenter on November 27, 2012 - 10:15am.

Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
dumbrenter wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

Could you elaborate on why the Union had to be preserved at all costs by Lincoln? Curious as to what you think the reasons are.
If the States did not really have a right to secede, then I guess we are not really a union of States!

DR: Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech lays out his case that secession was unconstitutional and would lead to anarchy or dictatorship. He cites the constitutional requirement that the"Laws of the Union faithfully be executed in all the States".

NSR is correct that the Confederacy thus saw the war as state's rights versus Federalism. The majority of the Confederate rank-and-file were not landed gentry, nor Southern aristocracy, nor were they fighting to preserve slavery, anymore than Lincoln was fighting to abolish it. He favored gradual emancipation using federal monies. However, when the initial group of Southern states seceded, he believed disunion would be the death knell of the United States and moved for a diplomatic solution. The Confederate shelling of Fort Sumter put paid to that.

This is the simplified explanation. Lincoln's speeches on the Kansas-Nebraska Act and a "House Divided" offer a lot more background.

Thanks for both the elaboration and for speech references.
If the confederate rank and file had no land or property (slaves), then why / how were motivated to fight for their state rights? What did state's right even mean to them?
Wonder what was in it for them. They obviously could not have gone through the constitution and decided to stand up for their state's rights.
Maybe it was something about preserving their way of life or culture or something like that. And may be many of them were led to believe that the north had no stomach for a fight.

Submitted by no_such_reality on November 27, 2012 - 11:18am.

That's easy. We have the same issue today.

The perception of big government nannyism telling you what to do.

Think 'death panels' and Obamacare.

Think 'no child left behind'.

Imagine a Federal Same Sex Marriage law.

etc.

Submitted by all on November 27, 2012 - 11:18am.

My kids liked his silver-plated ax.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on November 27, 2012 - 2:21pm.

dumbrenter wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:
dumbrenter wrote:
Allan from Fallbrook wrote:

Except for the fact that Lincoln had no such option. He had to preserve the Union at all costs and when it became apparent that the Southern states were bent on secession, war was inevitable.

Could you elaborate on why the Union had to be preserved at all costs by Lincoln? Curious as to what you think the reasons are.
If the States did not really have a right to secede, then I guess we are not really a union of States!

DR: Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech lays out his case that secession was unconstitutional and would lead to anarchy or dictatorship. He cites the constitutional requirement that the"Laws of the Union faithfully be executed in all the States".

NSR is correct that the Confederacy thus saw the war as state's rights versus Federalism. The majority of the Confederate rank-and-file were not landed gentry, nor Southern aristocracy, nor were they fighting to preserve slavery, anymore than Lincoln was fighting to abolish it. He favored gradual emancipation using federal monies. However, when the initial group of Southern states seceded, he believed disunion would be the death knell of the United States and moved for a diplomatic solution. The Confederate shelling of Fort Sumter put paid to that.

This is the simplified explanation. Lincoln's speeches on the Kansas-Nebraska Act and a "House Divided" offer a lot more background.

Thanks for both the elaboration and for speech references.
If the confederate rank and file had no land or property (slaves), then why / how were motivated to fight for their state rights? What did state's right even mean to them?
Wonder what was in it for them. They obviously could not have gone through the constitution and decided to stand up for their state's rights.
Maybe it was something about preserving their way of life or culture or something like that. And may be many of them were led to believe that the north had no stomach for a fight.

DR: The Civil War was the first "documented" war, in terms of the writings of the enlisted soldier (letters home, diaries/journals, etc) and it illuminates how both Union and Confederate soldiers viewed the conflict, especially the "why" of it.

As far as the North not having the stomach for a fight, First Bull Run and the battles leading to Antietam would certainly bear that out, as would the timidity of Union generals like McClellan or the incompetence of generals like Burnside (who had a golden opportunity to end the war at Antietam, but failed to aggressively pursue Lee after).

The Confederacy certainly boasted excellent leadership, like Longstreet, Jackson, Stuart, etc and the elan of Southern soldiers was legendary (the dreaded "Rebel Yell" comes immediately to mind). However, once Jackson was killed and Gettysburg showed Lee's weaknesses as a field commander and Lincoln appointed Grant to the top spot, the momentum shifted.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.