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Lincoln’s war against Southern independence came to represent the centuries-old conflict of central authority vs. subsidiarity. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who also advocated the supremacy of a powerful central government, recognized the significance of Lincoln’s war for their own cause and wholeheartedly threw their support behind the North. They closely followed the events of the war, commentating on it in letters and newspapers of the times.
Marx, indeed, affirmed: “The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American anti-slavery war will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead the country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.” (2)
Under Lincoln, legitimate regional authority was crushed. Northern civilians and politicians who opposed his actions – or often even just questioned them – were imprisoned without trial. Beginning with the Legal Tender Act of 1862, Lincoln spearheaded the circulation of government printed greenbacks that were the ancestors of our modern currency. When in need of money, Lincoln’s government could simply print it.
His policies essentially became a prototype of the Socialist States of the following hundred years; bloating the federal government to monstrous proportions, drafting citizens to fight for the purposes of the State, printing currency to substitute real wealth, denying the constitutionally guaranteed rights of local governments and private citizens, and ignoring or imprisoning fellow politicians who questioned or opposed his actions.
Foreign socialists also flocked to enlist, with huge numbers of communist German immigrants, men who had fled Europe following their failed revolutions of 1848, signing up to fight with Lincoln’s armies. Following their centralist ideals, the socialists of the world, thus, took common cause to protect Lincoln and the North.
Following Lincoln’s re-election in 1864, Karl Marx wrote him a letter, signed by the leaders of the First International Workingman’s Association, congratulating Lincoln on his political victory and urging him to crush the ‘Slave Power’ of the South.
Lincoln’s legacy as a centralizer and enemy of regional independence would attract the praise of socialists and communists for over a century. Lenin cited the Civil War as a landmark in American history, writing to American workers to tell them that their country had a history of liberating wars that set the precedence to wage armed revolution against the propertied class.
Gorbachev, when trying to retain the Soviet Union, was also compared to Lincoln by many supporters of the communist cause. In China, Lincoln has been invoked as a model to impose Chinese control of Tibet. Lincoln’s centralist policies even attracted the admiration of the national socialist Hitler, who praised the Northern War effort as an assertion of strong central government.
During the Civil War, Lincoln continuously circumvented the law and in many cases suspended the Constitution altogether. In doing so, Lincoln denied the rights of citizens he was sworn to protect. He suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus, closed courts by force, and arrested citizens and elected officials without cause. Lincoln also raised troops without the consent of Congress, closed-down newspapers whose writers displayed any dissent to U.S. policy.
Lincoln’s troops razed the South and doomed to poverty–generations of Southerners for many years to come. General Sherman‘s “March to the Sea” was nothing more than a marauding rampage filled with robbery, rape, and murder. These men were less soldiers on a military mission and more common thugs on a crime spree. Northern armies brought war to women, children, and privately held property as a matter of official policy (rather than as so-called “collateral damage”).
Lincoln ordered the arrest of Baltimore police chief George P. Kane, police commissioner Charles Howard, as well as fellow commissioners: William H. Gatchell, John W. Davis, and Charles D. Hinks. Baltimore Mayor George W. Brown was arrested and sent to Fort McHenry. The men were incarcerated because they dared to publicly disagree with Lincoln and refused to carry-out the President’s tyrannical orders.
Baltimore was placed under federal control and a military police force was formed.
Both the continents of Europe and South America ended the practice of slavery, and unlike the United States government–they did so without murdering 700,000 of their own citizens. The abhorrent practice of slavery could have and would have been ended in this country, without ever firing a shot.
Contrary to popular belief (as perpetuated by government schools), slavery was a national institution, it was not unique to the South. Upon his inauguration, Lincoln could have freed the slaves in the Northern states which would have put severe diplomatic pressure on the South. However, Lincoln besides being a tyrant was also an incredible hypocrite. Lincoln’s multitude of personal letters show his outright disgust for the black man and his truly racist views.
Consider a few rarely spoken facts:
- -Northern General U.S. Grant continued to hold a slave for nearly a year after the war. In fact, it took an act of Congress to finally free the man from Grant’s possession.
- -Northern General Tecumseh Sherman was arrested many times for brutally abusing several of his slaves.
- Conversely, Confederate General Robert E. Lee freed all of his slaves prior to the start of the war. That act by the military leader of the South truly displays that for the Confederacy, the war was only about states’ rights and a just rebellion against tyranny–not about slavery!
Lincoln’s War (otherwise known as the Civil War), was much less about freeing oppressed blacks and much more about the federal government exerting complete control over all citizens. Lincoln’s actions were a direct assault upon the wishes of our founding fathers. Lincoln cared very little for the rule of law, as evidenced by his numerous suspensions of U.S. Constitutional rights.
I believe that had Lincoln survived his second term–his place in this nation’s history would be seen in a much different light. Furthermore, had the Civil War ended with a different outcome, Lincoln and many of his generals would have been deservedly tried as war criminals.
In his first inaugural address, Lincoln stated clearly that (1) he had no legal authority to interfere with slavery where it existed, (2) that he had no inclination or intention to do so even if he had the legal authority, (3) that he would enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, returning runaway slaves escaping to the North to their masters in the South, and (4) that he fully supported the Thirteenth Amendment then being debated in Congress which would protect slavery in perpetuity and was irrevocable. He later famously stated, “Do not paint me with the Abolitionist brush.”
Although there was some opposition to slavery in the country, the government was willing to concede everything the South wanted regarding slavery to keep it in the Union. Given all these facts, the idea that the South seceded to protect slavery is as absurd as the idea that Lincoln fought the war to end slavery. Lincoln himself said in a famous letter after the war began that his sole purpose was to save the Union, and not to either save or end slavery; that if he could save the Union without freeing a single slave, he would. Nothing could be clearer.
Lincoln was the greatest tyrant and despot in American history. In the first four months of his presidency, he created a complete military dictatorship, destroyed the Constitution, ended forever the constitutional republic which the Founding Fathers instituted, committed horrendous crimes against civilian citizens, and formed the tyrannical, overbearing and oppressive Federal government which the American people suffer under to this day. In his first four months, he
These are just a few of the most egregious things Lincoln did during his despotic presidency. He set himself up as a tyrannical dictator with powers never before utilized or even imagined by any previous administration. During this four years of terrible war he was one of the greatest despots the world has ever known, his tyranny focused against his own countrymen, both North and South. He was called a despot and tyrant by many newspapers and citizens both North and South, until he had imprisoned nearly all those who dared to simply speak out against his unconstitutional usurpations of power. Those who disagreed with him were branded as “traitors”, just as were the brave and honorable men in the states which had legally seceded from the Union over just such issues as these criminal abuses of power by the Federal government.
The Union army, under Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and President Lincoln, committed active genocide against Southern civilians—this is difficult for some to believe, but it is explicit in their writings and dispatches at the time and indisputable in their actions. Tens of thousands of Southern men, women and children—civilians—white and black, slave and free alike—were shot, hanged, raped, imprisoned without trial, their homes, lands and possessions stolen, pillaged and burned, in one of the most horrific and brutal genocides ever inflicted upon a people anywhere; but the Yankee myth of history is silent in these well-documented matters. For an excellent expose of these war crimes and their terrible extent, see War Crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Brian Cisco.
Only after the Union had suffered two years of crushing defeats in battle did Lincoln resolve to “emancipate” the slaves, and only as a war measure, a military tactic, not for moral or humanitarian purposes. He admitted this, remarking, “We must change tactics or lose the game.” He was hoping, as his original draft of the document shows, that a slave uprising would occur, making it harder for Southerners to continue the war. His only interest in freeing the slaves was in forcing the South to remain in the Union. His Emancipation Proclamation was denounced by Northerners, Southerners and Europeans alike for its absurdity and hypocrisy; for, it only “freed” the slaves in the seceded states—where he could not reach them—and kept slavery intact in the North and the border states—where he could have freed them at once.
The checks and balances of powers, the separation of powers, the constitutional constraints so carefully and deliberately put into place by the Founding Fathers, had all been destroyed in Lincoln’s first months. The Republic which the Founders gave us had been completely destroyed and a new nation-state was set up; one in which the free and sovereign States would afterward be only vassals and tributaries, slaves to an all-powerful, oppressive Federal government. This new nation-state is completely different in both nature and consequence to the original American Republic. One only has to look around today to see the end results and legacy of Lincoln’s war, his destruction of freedom, and his institution of despotic, centralized governmental power and tyranny.
This is the book that made it happen: the nationwide revision concerning the man who they tried to tell us was a great liberator. Dictator and slayer of liberty is more like it. Lincoln was not the godlike figure of myth and legend but an unusually cruel political operator who exploited the moment for personal gain, just as we’ve come to expect of modern politicians.
In this blockbuster, Thomas DiLorenzo calls for a complete rethinking of a central icon of American historiography. He looks at the actions and legacy of Abe Lincoln from an economics point of view to show that Lincoln’s main interest was not in opposing slavery but in advancing mercantilism, inflationism, and government spending: the “American system” of Henry Clay.
Through extensive historical investigation, DiLorenzo shows that the high tariff pushed by Northern industries, at the expense of Southern agriculture, was the main cause of the sectional conflict. Further, Lincoln’s goal in preventing Southern secession was the consolidation of federal power and the collection of revenue, not the elimination of slavery.
Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized—as the Founding Fathers intended—to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, was the South, with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade. To accomplish his goals, Lincoln subverted the Constitution, trampled states’ rights, and launched a devastating Civil War, whose wounds haunt us still. According to this provacative book, 600,000 American soldiers did not die for the honorable cause of ending slavery but for the dubious agenda of sacrificing the independence of the states to the supremacy of the federal government, which has been tightening its vise grip on our republic to this very day.
You will discover a side of Lincoln that you were probably never taught in school—a side that calls into question the very myths that surround him and helps explain the true origins of a bloody, and perhaps, unnecessary war.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo, who ignited a fierce debate about Lincoln’s legacy with his book The Real Lincoln, now presents a litany of stunning new revelations that explode the most enduring (and pernicious) myths about our sixteenth president. Marshaling an astonishing amount of new evidence, Lincoln Unmasked offers an alarming portrait of a political manipulator and opportunist who bears little resemblance to the heroic, stoic, and principled figure of mainstream history.
In addition to detailing Lincoln’s offenses against the principles of freedom, equality, and states’ rights, Lincoln Unmasked exposes the vast network of academics, historians, politicians, and other “gatekeepers” who have sanitized his true beliefs and willfully distorted his legacy. DiLorenzo reveals how the deification of Lincoln reflects a not-so-hidden agenda to expand the size and scope of the American state far beyond what the Founding Fathers envisioned—an expansion that Lincoln himself began.
What if you were told that the revered leader Abraham Lincoln was actually a political tyrant who stifled his opponents by suppressing their civil rights? What if you learned that the man so affectionately referred to as the “Great Emancipator” supported white supremacy and pledged not to interfere with slavery in the South? Would you suddenly start to question everything you thought you knew about Lincoln and his presidency?