Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln, (1809-1865) 16th US President

Famous Abraham Lincoln Quote

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln
~ Abraham Lincoln

Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862

Ratings and Comments

Jonathan Liem, Singapore

Emperor Abe's "cause" was the prevention of the Southern market from leaving the empire. If this were permitted to happen, the entire Yankee industrial monopoly would have collapsed and what was left of the empire would further disintegrate. Therefore, the bloodsuckers in Washington D.C. would be left with nothing to do.

A. Jurgensen, Stuart, FL

Old Abe was a true pol... he played both ends against the middle whenever he needed to.

Wilson, USA

President Lincoln did whatever was necessary, in a time of our greatest national emergency, to fulfill his oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC...even to the point of suspending individual rights recognized by it (e.g habeas corpus, draft, income taxes, etc.). Had he given in to political pressure (from Democrats) to sue for peace, the United States would not have become the great nation it became...and quite possibly the world, itself would be much different (how would you feel about Singapore under Imperial Japanese rule in the 21st Century?) At a time now where we are faced with an evil that would place the entire planet under the facist rule of islam... a clearly stated goal of modern islamists (trust me, you do not want to live under shirea law)... it is high time that President Bush & Tony Blair copy a page or two from Lincoln's playbook in order to save the USA (and the REST OF THE WORLD) from this threat. "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". --George Santayana "If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union [on] this voyage nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at Cleveland, Ohio" (February 15, 1861), p. 216. It's about time to start throwing some folks overboard if we want to save the ship.

Bill, Boston

Abe Lincon destroyed the USA

edward, smithfield
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edward, smithfield Bill, Boston 5/19/19

you sir are an idiot that ignores the facts and twisted them to suit your opinion that is based apon lies

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Anonymous    11/21/05

Oh please, Lincoln destroyed the USA? No, he RESTORED the USA to the principles it had been founded on.

Tyler, Spartanburg

A good idea for the wrong reason

Steven, Ann Arbor, MI

A wonderful example of taking something out of context; later in the same letter Lincoln wrote another famous quote: "If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong."

Joel, Spokane

Wilson, the secessionist Southern States could hardly be defined as "domestic enemies". They did not want to take over, or over throw, the Federal Government, they just wanted to leave it. Would a man be justified in beating and killing his wife if she tried to kill him? Sure. Would he be justified in beating and killing her if she was just trying to leave and go away? Absolutely not. We show our maturity when we give up the political fairy tales of our youth, and face the truth like men.

E Archer, NYC

Lincoln saved the Union at the expense of the Republic. The Southern states fought for self-determination, and the Northern states declared war on them. The Southern states were defeated and forcibly attached to the Union. The Southern senators were replaced by appointees from the North, and the Reconstruction Amendments were passed which in essense turned all sovereign state citizens to Federal citizens (the equivalent of a government employee). The Constitution is in fact mute and without a constituency. Slavery was wrong, but it wasn't until the South separated that slavery became an issue. The Northern armies accepted southern slaves as free men (sort of) while leaving the northern slaves in tact. Students have been sold a bill of goods -- history is written by the victors. Lincoln did, however, try to free the nation from the grip of the banks, and it was that act that cost him his life.

krishna b.k., pokhara

I assure you that he is one of the greatest personalities of 21st century. Each and every word he has spoken are heart rendering. I would like to thank him though he has past away. I wish for his peaceful rest in the heaven.

Jefferson Davis, Richmond

Lincoln "defended" the Constitution by trashing the Bill of Rights and the Declaration? What "Union" did he preserve? Certainly not the one our Founders gave to us. We were a voluntary union of co-equal States who created the Federal government to serve them collectively. When one group of states forces another group of States to remain in the compact, they are then no longer co -equal or voluntary members, our Constitution is violated and we are nothing more than an empire. The servant (Federal Government) became the master with the coup of the Radical Republicans. Even though the South bore the brunt of Lincoln's wrath, we all lost that struggle if ideals. An unchecked central government (our Founders nightmare) will continue to amass more power until it becomes the monster we have today.

Robert, Fort Stockton TX baby

It was super sweet

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    anonmys    5/3/07

    hi mean forever in your presents

    nl, va
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    nl, va    5/11/07

    Lincoln did not "save the Union" nor was that really his goal. Lincoln went to war and destroyed the voluntary union described in Andrew Jackson's farewell address just to save the Northern economy and prevent the loss of Southern taxes (the South paid three-fourths of all federal taxes at that time). Lincoln was fighting for money.

    R.G. Miller, Alturas, [Occupied] Florida

    "In Saving the Union, I have destroyed the Republic, before me have I the Confederacy wich I loathe, but behind me have I the bankers wich I fear" Even in his own words, Emperor Lincoln admitted he destroyed the voluntary Union of our Forefathers, and instituted an EMPIRE. Now, we have a Yankee Empire ruling from Washington. Oh, Wilson, would defending the Constitution, be, in your book, invading a sovereign Nation, making the Constitution Null and void, and making a Constitutional Right, secession, null and void? Well, then your dang right, he was the CHAMPION of defending the Constitution. Sic Semper Tyrannis! Deo Vindice!

    Robert, Sarasota

    I cannot believ he said that in public - what an unparalleled and ignorant remark - there is no cause that supports slavery. Let the chips fall on the right decision and not chance your fate on supposition. P.s. I agree with Bill and Archer AL destroyed the Republic.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    I know of no group of people that are more patriotic than southerners. They may not see every thing the same way on national issues as the NE, NW or Left Coast but in pure expression of patriotism they are second to none. As far as empire the South had ideas too. After winning the war they figured they would spread their economic system (slavery) to South America and beyond, maybe all of the way to Singapore. After all they were successful in immigrating to Texas with their slaves and the Texans managed to fight a war and win their freedom from Mexico where slavery was illegal. Lincoln's assertion that his interest was in saving the union and not ending slavery is not untrue or out of context. In his house divided speech he did not say that he hated slavery but simply said that the Union could not exist with two different legal systems. As far as the money issue their is some truth all around. Northern industrialists were probably jealous of their Southern cousins easy riches. And yes Southern money created by slavery contributed heavily to the Revolutionary War effort (tobacco). One could argue that our freedom from England was purchased by slavery. The primary beneficiary of slavery was actually Europe who really created the idea in order to feed their insatiable appetite for tobacco and sugar and later cotton. As far as lawyers in the government or the White House which many deplore, Lincoln was probably the best. His intellect, linguistic abilities and unconventional spirituality and fortitude to do the right are generally universally admired. (Mr. Miller did you know that before the war we had a southern empire ruling from Washington. The constituition required the inclusion of the slave population into the census for determing the number of Representatives sent to Congress. Two slaves equaled a little more than one person in the census. As the slavery population grew the political power of the south grew and yet these people could not even vote for the increased number of representatives.) The south had the country by the you know what or in a political bind on slavery that only a war could resolve.

    Mike, Norwalk

    What a diverse group I agree here with. Bill, Joel, Archer, nl, Miller, and Robert all said very well. Bruce, check your times, the slavers didn't make a push into South America until they weren't sure things were going their way; and, last time I read the Constitution, I missed that part about a slave census. There was legislation to that effect. The slave issue was not a political issue in the war between the States. The slave issue was a moral issue exploited by large industry and the media to assure sufficient army size.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    Mike Article 1, Section 2 para 3 states, "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned .......by adding to then Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, (indentured servants) and excluding Indians not taxed, THREE FIFTHS OF ALL OTHER PERSONS." My understanding of some Southern sentiments on empire and expansion of their economic system (slavery) comes from reading of an historical novel written I believe by Thomas Fleming in which he traces the politics of slavery through the Presidents from 1820 to 1860. I read other historical novels by Fleming ("Over There" about WWI and "Liberty Tavern" about the ambivalent citizens of New Jersey during the revolution) but can not find the name of this one at the moment.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    Mike I just found a book on the net entitled "The Southern Dream of a Caribbean Empire 1854-1861" by Robert E. May.

    Mike, Norwalk

    I'll look it up, thanks Bruce

    warren, olathe

    The south declared war on the north. GET IT RIGHT. Lincoln had his priorities right. The Union was to be saved first. Every thing else came after. He was no doubt the second best president we have had after Washington. This quote has constantly been used to support the lie that Lincoln was not against slavery or that slavery was not the cause of the war. That is wishful thinking on the part of racist/leftist idiots across the country.

    Bruce, 'Bama

    Straight thinking Warren.

    Anonymous, Anonymous

    I think that people should bugg of and respect other's opinions. Not EVERYONE on this earth believes Lincoln was the best president in the world, even some people in the 1800's didn't feel that way. Apparently someone disliked him cause he got shot. For example, my opinion is that Lincoln was raised to believe slavery was a bad thing, and that he should become and Abolishionist...but he never did, did he??? He just cared about slavery because it would help the Union, not because of this own personal feelings. SO, now, don't go judging my opinion cuase its mine.

    Kris, california

    Lincoln wanted to keep the union together because of the threat of the Europe, and their designs of influencing and controlling the rising American power. Europe already had enthusiastic supporters amongst the southerners. The southerners wanted closer ties and allegiances with Europe. Lincoln, as an ardent supporter of a strong centralized United states, the beginning of an empire, would not allow the threat of European influence to come to the North American shores. Lincoln, as an intelligent man versed in economics, knew the Confederacy would inevitably come to depend on the Europe. This is why Lincoln was willing to save the Union at all costs, to create an American empire without any of the European powers to contend with on the American continent. This is why he would st brother against brother, in the bloodiest war (people killed per capita) in US history

    DGR, ann arbor

    Only the naive and the heartless could believe that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. Slavery was an institution that infected the entire nation and was in fact the the economic power of the south upon which were based their political and moral views. The north was a willing partner for the most part. It doesn't matter what Lincoln or Jefferson Davis said about the war. In retrospect, it is obvious that slavery was the catalyst and in the end the "only" reason for the war.

    Johnny, Podunk

    "If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation... to a continuance in union... I have no hesitation in saying, 'let us separate.'" ~ Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to W. Crawford, June 20, 1816 "To coerce the States is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised.... Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself – a government that can only exist by the sword? ~ Alexander Hamilton, during the Constitutional Convention. "The Union, in any event, won't be dissolved. We don't want to dissolve it, and if you attempt it, we won't let you. With the purse and sword, the army and navy and treasury in our hands and at our command, you couldn't do it.... We do not want to dissolve the Union; you shall not." ~ Lincoln, in a campaign speech in Galena, Illinois, Aug. 1 1856. Abraham Lincoln was a dictatorial fool at best, a mass murderer at worst. Because of his refusal to respect the Constitution and southern rights, because of his greed for money and power, and because of his consistent demonstrations that he valued tax dollars and supremacy over human life or the Supreme Law of the Land(Article 6), he was most certainly the worst president. Perhaps greatest of all, the man who many see as a great abolitionist was one of the most blatant racists of his time. Unfortunately for America, the victors write the history books, hence the pervasive ignorance of our people towards the truth. If you'd care to have a mature conversation about it, my email is thedebategenius@gmail.com . I'd be more than happy to elaborate on my reasoning.

    Anonymous, los angeles

    abrham lincoln is a great person he set all the slaves free and any body that thinks we should still have slaves is wrong!

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    Anonymous    4/29/08

    bill is wrong

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    Anonymous    5/23/08

    I think Abraham Lincoln did a great thing by freeing all of the slaves.

    Anonymous, New Jersey

    i think this speech was genius.

    Anonymous, norwalkkkkk

    all of you are wrong ll -

    Brian Amrstrong, Detroit

    People need to get their facts straight: the states were sovereign nations, and therefore Lincoln was the most deranged maniacal dictator in world history. Even the dictators of the 20th century took lessons from him -- i.e. do whatever it takes to gain power, and back it up with pompous windbag speeches.

    Dave, Alaska

    Slavery became an issue because "We don't want you to sell cotton to England!" is a lousy battle cry.

    Gene, Toledo, OH

    20-20 Hindsight is great. I am glad I did not live in that period of our nation's history and have to have made the incredibly hard decisions. Slavery was tolerated by the founders only because it stood in the way of ratification of the constitution. It was put on the shelf to be dealt with at a later date. That date had arrived by mid-century as most other countries had abolished slavery previously. The Republican party was founded on the basis of eliminating slavery and their accession to power galvanized the status quo. Much of what is written here is true regarding the economic factors, European designs, etc., but the fact remains that the South's fear of eliminating slavery is what prompted them to act. As a republic we lost a lot to the federal government, but would you prefer that we were now two nations? Slavery would have ended sooner or later, and that antebellum way of life would have changed eventually. Today the federal government has way overstepped its bounds by pols who have to pass laws that help ensure their re-election. But that's fodder for another forum.

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    Anonymous    1/13/09

    He sent a powerful message, I for one personaly think slavery is wrong and if it did exist once more, why was it African America? Why not white? Whites are rude, i meant one man that was obsessed with white man domonating the world. And he was a 5th grade teacher.

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    Anonymous    1/13/09

    HES SO HOT!!!!!!!!!1

    Nicky, Europe

    How can you racists say your wrong? Slavery was WRONG! And do you see us commented on your beliefs? If anything is wrong its slavery got that? Its wrong to discrimnate against color of your skin ya like anyone may help it?!?! What happen if you were in their position years ago? how would YOU feel?

    Gene, Toledo, OH

    You pompous, self-righteous Europeans were happy to side with the South to ensure your supply of cheap cotton. Sure, you banned slavery a few years before the US, but you figured the South could maintain your supplies if they won the war. England and France eagerly accepted Confederate ambassadors and traded as much as possible via blockade runners with the South. France under Napoleon would have sent Maximilian north from Mexico if the Brits had shown any inclination to support them. It took the US army after the war to kick Max out of Mexico and give it back to the Mexicans. England almost started a war with the North over the Trent affair. Don't preach to us about slavery and domination. Look in the mirror.

    johnbrown, russia

    Gene of Toledo you are truly an intellectual giant. The US kicked Maximillian out of Mexico did they? I could have sworn that Louis Napoleon, for a number of reasons that had nothing to do with North America, decided not to support his erstwhile relative and left him to face the Mexican revolutionaries alone. Maximillia, to his credit, actually believed that he was helping and after he was captured he turned down at least two rescue attempts and died alone, thousands of miles from Europe in front of a firing squad. The US in the Mexican wars had, by the way, taken all Mexican land North of the Rio Grande and never ceded it back, hardly the act of a country keen to give anything back. Also for information North America consumed the vast majority of all the cotton produced in the south, by the time of the Civil war the great textile mills of Europe were a mere shadow of their former glory.

    Ronald Reb, Floral Park

    Abe had some great things to offer to the US. Is he the Great Liberator? Who really knows?

    nejhajaienad, adsjfeia;dbdfncjeye

    Abraham Lincoln Is the best president EVER!!!!

    Anonymous, Cranston, RI

    Lincoln's personal conviction was that slavery was a grave moral evil, and that the Union that institutionalized such evil could never survive. God would eventually judge us, and find us wanting. This is what he meant in the above quotation. You have to know the context in which he was saying it to properly understand it. Otherwise, it sounds like he was being pragmatic rather than principled - and everything we know about Lincoln shows that he was principled.

    Eric, Altamont

    Lincoln was a clearly a proponent of the ideals of Democracy, it was the ideal of Democracy that fueled his greatness. Southerners often sight the right to secede and that Lincoln was a horrible tyrant for not allowing it. But what is a democracy if it cannot maintain its integrity? And what is democracy when that secession is founded on the right to enslave another. Slavery was the main issue of the war, it was the foundation of South Carolina's secession absolution. There were many people throughout the south who were opposed to the idea of secession and attempted to voice that opposition. However, the Confederate government enacted martial law against these areas of resistance and took away those same rights southerners claim to have had taken away from them. Lincoln suspended habeus corpus to protect the government from spies and those who wished to compromise the government. He never supressed the First Amendment right to free speech. He took heavy criticism along with praise during his Presidency and never did he jail any one for doing so. The fact is Lincoln abhorred slavery, and altough he was no radical abolitionist, southerners feared he was and declared so in particular in SC's secession absolution. He never found it within his power to free the slave and believed his overriding duty was to preserve the union...The war changed that power however and he was allowed the power to free the slave as a war aim through the Emancipation Proclamation and had it followed up with the passage of the 13th amendment afterwords. Lincoln was indeed one of our Greatest Presidents, he was the best friend the South had after the war, and had he lived, the south would not have suffered during Reconstruction and I guarantee they would all have a different opinion of him today.

    Eric, Altamont

    I Should also add that the "big tyrannical government" that so many speak of didn't really even come about until the Progressive Era, and even then it was by no means tyrannical. Teddy Roosevelt expanded his power to strike down massive trusts that monopolized and dominated free market and suppressed workers rights. Big government does not mean tyranny, it can be used as protection to citizens and to the foundations of capitalism. If state's rights became the sole foundation of our government, then acts like the Civil Rights would have to be declared unconstitutional because it would infrige upon the right of a state to enact its own laws, regardless if they discriminate against people. A state cannot declare its right to self government when its own government contradicts the ideals of democracy and liberty that the country was founded upon.

    Michael, Ponoka

    The problem is that people to day think the U.S.A is a democracy. It's not. It's a Constitutional Republic and that's not the same thing. A Democracy implies a rule of the land by the majority, a Constitutional Republic implies a rule of the land by THE RULE OF LAW. The rule of law is not negotiable, it can't be suspended, removed, or invalidated. It is binding to all men both small and large. You can not disregard the Constitution and claim to uphold it. It's a lie if you claim as such. Slavery is evil this is a FACT. The draft is a form of Slavery, as it says that you (A person) are the property of an other (The Government). Therefor the idea that Lincon fought a war to defeat slavery is null and void given that , through the draft, he USED slavery to fight the South. All that said if you look at the writing of many soldiers on BOTH sides you will see a reacquiring sentiment that the Civil War was a Rich Mans war. Rich men taking the masses and sending them forth to slaughter to preserve their fortunes. ON BOTH SIDES. People have it in their heads that there is this imaginary line in the country back then, and on the North side was all slavery hating heroes fighting for the liberation of the slave population and on the South Side was all slavery loving racists. This...is a bloody fallacy and a lie, no little strip of land can so widely separate ideology. There were many pro-slavery people in the north and many anti-slavery people in the South. But when people invade your home and kill your people you don't stop to point that out. Lincon's freeing of the slaves is demonstratably, by his own words and writings, a means to an end of his objective. To keep the Union together no matter the cost. Was he a man TRYING to build an Empire and TRYING to destroy the Constitution? Personally I don't think so. I think he was a man that was trying to do what he thought was best for the country, and I can respect that even though I disagree with his methods.

    Key Lawson, Hermosa Beach, CA

    Steven from Ann Arbor, MI is incorrect. Nothing was taken out of context. Lincoln's letter to Greeley did not contain Steven's quotation or anything like it.

    Jim, Satsuma, FL

    It's hard to say you have a free country when some people are bought and sold. On the other hand, the Southern States wanted out of the Union, and Federal ships fired on them at Fort Sumpter in SC.

    Jill, Wilmington, NC

    Lincoln did not free the slaves, the thirteenth amendment did that. If upholding the Constitution includes imprisoning newspaper owners that disagreed with him and throwing a state's legislators in jail and replacing them with ones who wouldn't vote for secession, then I guess Lincoln upheld the Constitution. As for Lincoln's own words, here are some for you to chew on: "... when they [slaveowners] remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them, not grudgingly but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the claiming of their fugitives." ~ Lincoln, speaking in support of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. "...in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you... I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that 'I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.' " "I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable." ~ Lincoln, speaking in regards to slavery and in support of a proposed Thirteenth Amendment to explicitly guarantee slavery. "The whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these territories. We want them for the homes of free white people." ~ Lincoln, on whether blacks ■ slave or free ■ should be allowed in the new territories in the west, October 16, 1854. "I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary." ~ Lincoln, Aug. 21, 1858, in remarks stating his belief that blacks were naturally inferior to whites, which was a nearly universal belief on the part of whites in both the North and South long before and long after the Civil War. "They had better be set to digging their subsistence out of the ground." ~ Lincoln in a War Department memo, April 16, 1863 "Send them to Liberia, to their own native land." ~ Lincoln, speaking in favor of ethnic cleansing all blacks from the United States. "I cannot make it better known than it already is, that I favor colonization." ~ Lincoln, in a message to Congress, December 1, 1862, supporting deportation of all blacks from America.

    sam, new york

    Superior and Inferior I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. Giving Freedom to the Slave In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. Paramount Object in this Struggle My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.

    jharry3, Occupied CSA

    Some of you seem to think that being anti-Lincoln = being pro-slavery. The opinions are exclusive. Lincoln destroyed State's Rights and killed anyone who disagreed with him. Lincoln said the Southern States could not secede but then didn't let their citizens vote in the 1864 Federal Elections - Either they were still citizens and could vote or were not and could not. He wanted it both ways because he would have lost the election if the southern states had voted in the Presidential election.

    Jax, Sydney
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    Jax, Sydney    5/5/10

    Slavery was going to die eventually anyways. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson agreed to this and even stated that slavery was an "unfortunate inheritance." the problem with the way abolitionists wanted to free slaves was the fact that there would be mass poverty. Slavery wasn't something that could be ended over night and everything be fine. Contrary to popular belief many Southerners wanted this same thing. the U.K. was an anti-slavery country, the U.K. also was very close to joining in the war on the side of south, it wasn't until then that Lincoln came up with the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln did not adhere to the Constitution, even though slavery is wrong Lincoln was still a failure as a U.S. President and successful as a dictator. I highly recommend reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War. Would you rather something be politically correct or the truth?

    Anonymous, California

    You people are CRAZY! gosh get a life dudes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Paul, New England

    It is horrible that tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of northern and southern boys died or were permanently maimed in a futile attempt to keep a relative handful of southern plantation owners rich.

    Jack Goldman, St. Paul, MN

    The horrible shame is the states were not allowed to exercise their right to cede from the Union when the Union was harmful. The Union was taxing the South and sending the money to Washington DC and New York City, as it still is today. The lucky slaves who came to America were the only 5% of the slaves. America was the LAST industrial nation to abolish slavery, which was legal for ten thousand years. We still suffer from the Bible, written by people who believed the Earth was flat, the Sun circled the Earth at the center of the Universe, and the Hebrew racist terrorist God was the top deity. How primitive and crude we human mammals still are. This war rages in Israel/Iraq/Afghanistan today. It's always about the money. Is debt slavery any better than chained slavery? Lincoln wasn't good or bad. Lincoln, like Hitler, Hussein, Stalin, Churchill, Obama, Bush were all just government employees collecting a check to do a job for the money. Winners love wars. Losers hate wars. It's that simple.

    Joe, Houston

    the states are not and were not sovereign... not since the Articles of Confederation was superseded by the Constitution.

    Rick, Safety Harbor

    The war had NOTHING to do with slavery. Slavery was brought into the mix by Lincoln to keep Europe out of the fight. England and France were siding with the south. They had already ended slavery, and when Lincoln made it about slavery, they could not step in and side they the CSA any more without the obvious hypocrisy. The emancipation proclamation was a joke. It freed no one. Lincoln was the worst president in the history of the USA. The Declaration of Independence alone gives states the president to secede from the VOLUNTARY union.

    Tim Westhoven, Bowling Green

    This quote, taken out of context, would suggest Lincoln didn't care about the issue of slavery. Everyone trying to make this point starts the quote with "My paramount. . ." instead of the beginning. It wasn't that Lincoln didn't want to eliminate slavery, it's just that he place preserving the Union over that issue. Here's the entire letter: Executive Mansion, Washington, August 22, 1862. Hon. Horace Greeley: Dear Sir. I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right. As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free. Yours, A. Lincoln.

    marxbites, jupiter

    Jeffery Rogers Hummel wrote a book called "Freeing the Slaves and Enslaving Free Men", (http://www.amazon.com/Emancipating-Slaves-Enslaving-Free-Men/dp/0812693124) the gist of which was his ending the states rights that had way more to do with Fed'l revenues from the south than slavery. The FedGov collected 75% of its revenues from Southern tariffs, then spent that money largely on its Northern crony "capitalists" [in name only].

    Randy Minnick, Springville, CA

    There was no "United States" until AFTER the war of northern agression. We had a republic that followed the MANDATES of the Contitution. The war was about "state's rights". Only the Yankees considered slavery but even then as an adjunct and as a politically motivating tool (just as today). If we but consider the obvious in our own time, we don't have states rights today! We only have what Lincoln and his band of thugs gave us. Now we have a new band of thugs and even fewer rights. The states need to obey the Constitution but the Federals will fight them tooth and nail just as did Lincoln.

    Terry, Ft Worth

    A few points about above posts. The partially quoted letter to Horace Greeley ended with, "I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free. Someone inferred Andrew Jackson supported secession. Nothing could be farther from the truth. "The Constitution... forms a government not a league... To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union is to say that the United States is not a nation." He was ready to go to war with South Carolina over it. Lincoln's position on the war was to save the union. The south had seceded to save slavery. The reason being that slavery was going to be prohibited in new territories so as states were added the south would lose its slavery-anti-slavery balance in congress. The Emancipation was a carrot to get the south back. Come back or lose your slaves. When it went to effect, it did free some slaves. Slaves in the areas of the confederacy then under union control. Most of the other stuff posted on here is hogwash.

    Brian, Rome, Ga, USA

    Slavery, state's rights, tariffs, etc. were the issues that brought about secession, not the war. There is no constitutional concept of a perpetual or indissoluble union. The Constitution was a contract (not a binding one, mind you) between the member states, which retained the right to withdraw at their discretion. A state that could voluntarily accede could voluntarily secede. (To this day, I will not say "one nation indivisible" when pledging the U.S. flag. That phrase was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance by Francis Bellamy, an American socialist, who wrote the Pledge in 1892 and was an advocate for its adoption nationally. The Constitution's Framers (especially the Anti-Federalists) clearly feared a consolidated national government and never used the word "indivisible" and for that matter, opposed use of the words "nation" or "national.") We know the 10th Amendment: " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Secession is not mentioned in the Constitution, so it was not a Federal issue. By ignoring the 10th Amendment (ratified in 1791), thereby ignoring the right of the people to secede, Lincoln is responsible for the needless deaths of over 600,000 American lives. That is criminal. Lincoln can burn in hell, for all I care.

    Mike Lamb, Stokesdale

    US Constitution Article 3 Section 3 Clause 1 states: "Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court." James Buchanan stated that he didn't have the power and authority to force South Carolina back into the union. That it was unconstitutional for him to do so. Now we have Lincoln who in is speech to congress on July 4, 1861 declared he did have authority to force them back. Reading his address it becomes obvious that Lincoln had no intention of letting states secede peacefully. This is the reason he conspired to to reinforce Fort Sumter and doing it in such a way as to incite the South to fire on it. The letter to G V Foxx goes a long way in proving this by the manner in which Lincoln wrote. So we now have two presidents with different views on the right of secession or forcing a state to stay in the union by waging war on it. The seceding states were NOT waging war against the US to over throw it or even rebel against it, they simply wanted to leave as peacefully as possible. Therefore this in NO WAY constitutes rebellion against the US Government. And if one claims the CSA started the war by firing on Fort Sumter, then by the right of secession and according to the US Constitution concerning State's Right's, the US Government should have withdrawn and left the CSA after their thoughts of *revenge* of Fort Sumter. As it stands Fort Sumter was just the pretext for Lincoln's excuse to attack the CSA and conquer them to force them back into the union. The result was Lincoln's quote: "In saving the union I have destroyed the Republic." Lincoln destroyed the Republic by committing treason according my quote from the US Constitution concerning "NOT" waging war against any state. This in turn, turned the US Constitution from being interpreted strictly into being interpreted as a "Living Document", and that is why we have our problems today in government, such as the recent HealthCare ruling from SCOTUS. Not only have I lost my country 150 years ago. Today you are just beginning to see you have lost yours because of the same war! Michael-- Deo Vindicabamur occupied CSA

    Deborah, TN

    On THIS comment: I think Abraham Lincoln did a great thing by freeing all of the slaves. -- Anonymous You are incorrect, and ANYONE who thinks this is true...is INCORRECT.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Lincoln went to war to preserve the industrial north and its tax base at the behest of the central bankers of the day. Every war needs a moral banner under which to conduct itself...so freeing the slaves became that banner. Escaped or freed blacks were forced to serve one year in the Union Army where they were used as cannon fodder. And why didn't Lincoln mention the slaves of the north in his Emancipation Proclamation? It was a political war not an act of humanitarianism. And as a point of interest, at the outset of the war, Ulysses S Grant was a slave owner, Robert E Lee was not.

    RB, Stuart

    I think the Chickens have come home to roost. Political power, objective morals and what is right be damned. Like Satan tricking the world, that he does not exist is the same after Lincoln disguising himself as an elected President were he really was an Emperor and his will is the law. Our country runs by this principle and we are only free till the government sees it fit. Look at how our country hides behind the Bible until it does not fit its moral authority. We are fighting Communism we at "In God We Trust", then we promote Abortion. We talk about freedom and the Government takes our money and uses it for whatever it deems just. Now we have become a Democracy, majority rules. Give people free stuff, just like a crack dealer does a junkie and you get the votes. It is so IRONIC that we free the black man and now we are being enslaved by the black man. Not saying it is all Obama's fault, it stems from Lincoln.

    Denise, FL

    Somebody up above said: "You can not disregard the Constitution and claim to uphold it. It's a lie if you claim as such." President Obama is an expert at disregarding our constitution and using his executive order powers to push his agenda onto the people and the states. Obamacare is a prime example. Eventually his fans are going to realize that our country cannot sustain his policies and handouts and he will achieve his goal of seeing us all living in poverty and dependent on big corrupt government leaders like himself.

    Remmie, New York

    Just saw the movie "Lincoln!" I enjoyed it, but fellow movie friends didn't. Too long, just like a "PBS mini-series" and I appreciate their perspective. I actually was dissapointed myself in the movie; I still do not understand why Lincoln would put the freeing of slaves, over reuniting the "union." Every recent thing I read states the Civil War was about 'preserving the Union, not slavery." If so, why was ending the war about "ending slavery and NOT perserving the Union?" Perhaps I haven't read the "accepted current perspective on the Civil War" but I would like to to!! I am open to the answers,

    Eric, Billings, MT.

    It is evident from the commentary here that the Civil War has not ended completely. Ever since the late 60's, the arguement about "states rights" has been the code language for supporting Southern racism. But no, people, we are not a coalition of 50 soverign nations, we are one Nation, the United States of America, and people who talk secession are traitors, just like the Confederates.

    pharaoh, philadelphia

    The union or northern states was pushing capitalism. This letter is about capitalism vs slavery. They both couldnt exist at the same time because they cancel out each other. He only freed slaves in rebelling slave states. Stop giving this fraud credit for nothing.

    Stevn, columbus

    What Abraham Lincoln meant by this quote based on the ideals of democracy.

    Mike Jackson, San Diego

    There was more than enough hypocrisy (and still is) on both sides of the "state's rights" issue. For example, prior to the Civil War, the Southern states were more than willing to use the powers of the federal government to force states that had outlawed slavery within their own borders to recognize the "rights" of slave owners who traveled to a Northern state accompanied by their slaves (i.e., the slaves would become freemen upon entering the Northern state, especially if the slave owner had freely agreed to allowing his or her slaves to enter that Northern state). If the Southern states really and truly believed in "state's rights", then they should have just told their citizens to avoid traveling to the Northern states accompanied by their slaves and that if they did so and as a consequence lost their slaves then they were on their own, and not to rely on the (big bad) federal government to come to their rescue (i.e., force one state to follow the laws of another state). What the Southern states really wanted, and often did, was to use the federal government to enforce their "right" to own other human beings by forcing those who viewed slavery as an abject, immoral evil to participate in this evil. So much for those who argue that the Civil War was really about "state's rights", and without slavery there would likely have been no war to begin with!

    Anonymous, Marshall

    Independance was ok in 1776? But not 1861? Hypocrites!

    scott, hawaii

    A Civil War is when one group is trying to take over the government, what happen in 1860's was a war of independence

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Eric in Billings, you are by definition wrong. The Unites States, or States United are an assembly of individual sovereign states, each with its own powers of legislation. The Federal Government is limited by the Constitution as to what's its duties are NOT. It has nothing to do with racism whatsoever.

    Sarah Goodwich, Freetown, USA


    Zig... HEIL!

    zig.... HEIL!

    zig.. HEIL!

    Destiney, NC

    "Slavery, state's rights, tariffs, etc. were the issues that brought about secession, not the war. There is no constitutional concept of a perpetual or indissoluble union. The Constitution was a contract (not a binding one, mind you) between the member states, which retained the right to withdraw at their discretion. A state that could voluntarily accede could voluntarily secede. (To this day, I will not say "one nation indivisible" when pledging the U.S. flag.
    -- Brian, Rome, Ga, USA" and

    "The war had NOTHING to do with slavery. Slavery was brought into the mix by Lincoln to keep Europe out of the fight. England and France were siding with the south. They had already ended slavery, and when Lincoln made it about slavery, they could not step in and side they the CSA any more without the obvious hypocrisy. The emancipation proclamation was a joke. It freed no one. The Declaration of Independence alone gives states the president to secede from the VOLUNTARY union.
    -- Rick, Safety Harbor"
    are both completely right!

    Tau, Illinois

    To the gentleman in Ann Arbor, the initial quote is from a letter to a Mr.Greeley, the quote you posted is to a Mr. Hodges. The two quotes do not appear in the same letter.

    drjoe, Chickamauga

    Why do y'all limit your concept of slavery to just black and white? Why not rich and poor? Then you would see that slavery still exists here, and while we may be the richest serfs on earth, we are still serfs -to insurance companies, banks and legislators who get to change the rules whenever they see a profit: use your bank card, pay a fee; don't use your bankcard, pay a non-usage fee. Lincoln didn't free any north Americans from that. Don't forget to vote for one of the millionaires running in the next election.

    hi, yo!!!
    • Reply
    hi, yo!!!    3/6/16

    BOOOO!!!!!! :( :( :( :( :(

    edward radford, smithfield nc.

    If honest abe was freeing slaves, what the hell was he doing to the Indians at the same time, They were already free. blacks,whites and Indians were all made slaves to the federal gov.it was nothing less than an industrial fueled corporate take over.we the people have been had. 100 black soldiers killed the buffalo to starve out the Indians and in turn made reservation slaves out of the Indians.the rest of the world aka Britain bought and freed slaves without a war.think about it. propaganda is desighned to divide and conquer .so is democrat and republican, we were the democratic republican party which meant that the people could keep the gov in check in a republic. now that the republic is gone the people are divided and given a bone to argue over and we don't even get to choose the bone,the gov just sides with the group that is arguing in their favor and bam its over. pyramid scheme 101,thats why its illegal for us to have a pyramid scheme because the federal gov has the only one that they are going to allow.


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