The Manufactured Crisis

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Jason Bouck
03/12/13
HIST 0132 US History Since 1865
Spring 2013
Section 006

The book The Real Lincoln A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War is a biography of Abraham Lincoln by Thomas J. DiLorenzo back in 2002. This biography differs very broadly from other biographies of President Lincoln. In the discussion of Lincoln, DiLorenzo talks about civil liberties Lincoln abuses such as the suspension of habeas corpus, violations of the First Amendment, war crimes committed by generals in the American Civil War, and the expansion of government power. He argues that Lincoln's views on race displayed forms of prejudice that are commonly overlooked today. DiLorenzo also reasons that Lincoln initiated the Civil War to centralize power and not over slavery. He also tried to enforce the strongly protectionist Morrill Tariff. DiLorenzo critiques Lincoln for his strong support of Henry Clay's American System. It’s amazing how when we were all growing up, we’ve learned by our teachers all the great things that President Abraham Lincoln did for our country. It’s quite amazing to finally read what kind of person he actually was as president.

In the Foreword to his book, Walter E. Williams supports DiLorenzo's case by saying that "Abraham Lincoln’s direct statements indicated his support for slavery." He also boosts that he "defended slave owners’ right to own their property" by supporting the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

DiLorenzo explains how Lincoln was very obsessed with constructing and increasing a grand American “giant.” There were many reasons why Lincoln was like this. Lincoln’s had hatred for the rule of law for the local and federal powers. He wanted to wipe out the powers of the states and put it all towards the national government. “When, before the war, he was asked what should be done with the salves were they ever to be freed, he said, ‘Send them to Liberia, to their own native land.’” Lincolns “passion” to free the slaves was actually simply just move them back to Africa and not free them with all the same rights has white people did at the time. “As a member of the Illinois legislature, he urged his colleagues to appropriate money to remove all of the free blacks from the state of Illinois.” Lincoln’s passion towards freeing the blacks from slavery was all true as long as they were deported to African, South American, and Latin American countries and out of the United States. He really wanted them out of the country. It didn’t seem like he really liked the blacks as much as people thought he did. He made himself appear to be this huge iconic person so that everybody would vote for him in the presidential election and what do you know, it worked. Lincoln said that sending the blacks back to their African countries would verify to be a good thing to the most unfortunate “portion of the globe.”

Lincoln is opposed to slavery, but his political views were more based on economics. He wanted to elude inflation of Southern representation in Congress under the three-fifths clause of the Constitution, where only three-fifths of the slave population counted as the actual population. Lincoln never really thought about freed blacks voting. He thought more about deporting the freed blacks, continuing on with a purely white nation. It doesn’t seem like Lincoln was the person we thought he was.

Lincoln actually didn’t have any right under the Constitution to have the authority to free any of the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to rebel territory, it didn’t actually free the slaves. “Lincoln’s own secretary of state, William Seward, mocked the Emancipation Proclamation by saying, ‘We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.’” It just goes to show that the slaves could not be freed. At one point in the book, DiLorenzo states, “It was not to end slavery...
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