2 thoughts on “Debating Lincoln at Springfield

  1. Jeffry Burden February 15, 2012 / 6:57 am

    Interesting range of answers to the question of what was Lincoln’s biggest mistake in 1862, and all defensible.

    But did Ms. Manning really say, as reported, that the addition of thousands of black troops to the Union forces caused Confederates to fight with more “veracity”? Of course, it is important for warriors to be truthful about the cause for which they fight…

  2. Lyle Smith February 15, 2012 / 9:52 am

    I can’t agree or disagree with Professor Manning’s point about Lincoln’s 1862 miscue, but to maintain that it was unreasonable for people to remain loyal to the Confederacy in 1862 (if I’m understanding the quote correctly — which is probably out of context, so I might not understand correctly) seems to fail to understand why people supported secession in the first place, i.e. that it was reasonable to defend slavery. The Civil War doesn’t happen if defending slavery was truly thought to have been an unreasonable position in 1860-61.

    The question on Syria is interesting. There are differences though. Unless the DiLorenzo school of Lincoln is correct, Lincoln wasn’t primarily targeting civilians to maintain his Presidency. A just war reason exists to intervene in Syria now, as it did with Qaddafi in Libya. I’m not sure Great Britain could have relied on just war theory to intervene of the Confederacy’s behalf.

    That said it doesn’t look like we will be intervening in Syria. Russia and China don’t support it, because they prefer the status quo. And without their acquiescence there will be no United Nations security council resolution supporting any kind of military action against the Baathist regime in Syria. Then again, whose to say a UN security council resolution is needed when there is just war theory.

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