Category Archives: Slavery

The Racism of Abraham Lincoln, Part 4

The Emancipation of Abraham Lincoln The pivotal moment in both the Civil War and in Lincoln’s views on race occurred on January 1, 1863, when Lincoln signed the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation. While criticized by contemporaries and scholars for … Continue reading

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The Racism of Abraham Lincoln, Part 3

From Colonization to Emancipation Thus far, we have examined Lincoln’s words to understand his racism. That’s important because statesmen (especially Lincoln) live by their words. But we must also examine his deeds—specifically, we need to look at Lincoln’s policy initiatives … Continue reading

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The Racism of Abraham Lincoln, Part 2

The Context of Lincoln’s Racism So let’s start with absolute reality, stripped of both wishful thinking and ideology: Abraham Lincoln was a racist. Yes, it’s true. For many of us, this is disappointing. But the simple fact that Lincoln was a … Continue reading

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The Racism of Abraham Lincoln, Part 1

The Racism of Abraham Lincoln In early August, this  came across my feed: Lincoln’s handwriting confirmed in nineteenth-century book on racism Experts have confirmed that handwriting in an Illinois library’s copy of Types of Mankind is that of the Great … Continue reading

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Secession, the Expansion of Slavery, and Race

The inimitable defender of Confederate heritage, George Purvis, who blogs at Cold Southern Steel, posted a comment here recently that I think warrants a post of its own. In part, George wrote: You are taking a narrow view of the … Continue reading

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“We Must Disenthrall Ourselves”

“We Must Disenthrall Ourselves” In an interview promoting the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, Daniel Day Lewis discussed how he read Lincoln’s speeches as a way to prepare his epic performance. In particular, Day Lewis told the interviewer, he was surprised … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 4

Slavery and Society The Confederate states seceded, then, because they suspected Lincoln and the North would, sooner or later, abolish slavery. They clearly dreaded the end of slavery. I trust the previous posts have shown this, but there’s one last … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 3.

Slavery and Power Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution reads: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding … Continue reading

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Yes, Slavery Did Cause the Civil War, Part 2

The Ultimate Basis of Slavery But to begin at the very beginning, it is important to remember something I always tell my students: first and foremost, above and beyond all other considerations, slavery is based on violence. It is impossible … Continue reading

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