View single post by BHR62
 Posted: Mon Jul 4th, 2011 12:47 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 12th, 2010
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 242

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The southerner that was Sec of War under Buchanan purposely scattered the army and emptied out its arsenals and sent guns south during the Lincoln transition.  Evidently he knew war was coming with the north.  Lincoln had no desire to abolish slavery where it existed.  He hated it but it was in the Constitution so he was willing to tolerate it.  But he was going to confine it to the south and let the institution die of natural causes.  Lincoln's 1861 innaugaration speech he held out an olive branch to the south to come back and discuss things.  In return the south fired on Ft Sumter and it was on.  The war was a long time coming.  Compromises had been made throughout the years and not solved anything.  Really wasn't any other way of dealing with it all except through war by 1861.

Lincoln in his 2nd Innaugral speech was very open to the south being reintegrated once again into the Union.  He even spoke of black equal rights and voting priviledges.  Booth determined at that moment to kill him.  The Reconstruction would have been much kinder if Lincoln had lived.  Grant and Sherman gave very lenient surrender terms to Lee and Johnston in 1865 after meeting with Lincoln and getting his post war plans.  When Lincoln died, the wrath of the North was unleashed upon the South. 

The one game changer idea the Radical Republicans had was to give freed slaves 40 acres and a mule.  If that had been followed through, race relations would be completely different today.  Slaves would have had hard assets and generated their own wealth changing the whole equation between white and blacks.  Instead Johnson basically allowed slavery to be reimposed in all but name.

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