doofiegirl BTO-t- BCRA-F ~PWCM~ 2012/06/26 00:29:37
“And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.” –January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation
The question for consideration is this: In what way was Abraham Lincoln driven by his own religious convictions when developing policy regarding the Civil War and the institution of slavery? Lincoln seemed to measure religion by the inevitability of the progress of ideas and society. I don’t know if Lincoln could have been too familiar with Darwin’s Origin of the Species because it wasn’t published until 1859, but he certainly seemed to entertain a belief in the idea of the evolutionary progress of society, and this idea most certainly was shattered by a country divided by war. He may have embraced the idea that as society matured, slavery would eventually fade away, but the war brought that hope of peaceful resolution to an end. His friend Frank Carpenter recorded that Lincoln shared his conversion experience with an acquaintance and told her that he began to understand the tenants of Christianity when his son Willie died. “I think I can say with sincerity that I hope that I am a Christian. I had lived until my boy, Willie, had died without fully realizing these things.” (The Religious Views Of Abraham Lincoln, p. 27)
The words of Lincoln’s widow also lend credibility to his claim to Christianity, “…from the time of the death of our little Edward, I believe my husband’s heart was directed towards religion and as time passed on – when Mr. Lincoln became elevated to Office…then indeed to my knowledge – did his great heart go up daily, hourly, in prayer to God – for his sustaining power. When too – the overwhelming sorrow came upon us, our beautiful bright angelic boy, Willie was called away from us, to his Heavenly Home, with God’s chastising hand upon us – he turned his heart to Christ.” – Mary Todd Lincoln to Rev. James Smith, June 8, 1870. Was Lincoln’s motivation for declaring the Emancipation Proclamation a move to satisfy political expediency, or was it a personal conviction of his that slavery was immoral?
I think it could be safely argued that in the beginning of the war, Lincoln interpreted the conflict as a contest to preserve the union. In his letter to James Conklin, Lincoln wrote, “You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.” “If they (slaves) stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive–even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.” – (Letter written to James Conklin.) Was Lincoln using freedom as a ‘carrot at the end of the stick’ to lure slaves into fighting to preserve a union that had thus far failed to free them, or did he genuinely believe slavery was immoral in the eyes of God? However, Lincoln was conflicted about the fact that good Christians were warring against each other while calling on the same God for favor and grace. His final conclusion to this dilemma is found in his Second Inaugural Address:
“Both (North and South) read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.”

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  • themadhare ~IJM 2012/06/26 05:28:07 (edited)
    themadhare ~IJM
    It was designed to counter the desire of many Europeans to intervene on behalf of the Confederacy internationally, and in particular to bulwark prime minister Palmerston's administration against southern sympathizers in England.
  • Arizona1950 2012/06/26 02:43:49
    Hmmm ... I think it was more a political cause that got out of hand.

    In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, ... the Republicans strongly advocated nationalism, and in their 1860 platform they denounced threats of disunion as avowals of treason.

    The Civil War was fought from 1861 - 1865

    It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land and naval forces engaged in suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign intervention and invasion.
    Abraham Lincoln
    Proclamation, April 10, 1862

    I think he thought this would be the end of it.
  • I. Car Rus 2012/06/26 00:55:17
    I. Car Rus
    It was political, purely and simply.
  • MarinerFH 2012/06/26 00:51:31
  • pdarkow 2012/06/26 00:45:37
    I think the immancipation proclimation came from a strong belief in the United States founding principals of being a free country. This country claims to be founded on freedom but if it was to be founded on freedom that means freedom for all who live within this country. That leaves this question to ponder How can you found a country on freedom then turn around and allow slavery? That is the reason I believe Abraham Lincoln started the emancipation proclimation. I am not sure whether it would be politically motivated or religiously motivated. That is debatable. I think Abraham Lincoln saw a wrong that he had the opportunity to make right and he took advantage of that opportunity which made him a great man and a great president.
  • Savior pdarkow 2012/06/26 01:02:01
    do you think slavery could have ended without government intervention? (I think it could have, governments were protecting slave owners, the only things that made them change their mind was fear of losing office to someone who would)
  • pdarkow Savior 2012/06/26 20:33:01
    That is debatable I think in time it would have ended with or without government intervention.
  • Yoru 2012/06/26 00:34:49
    I did not know president Lincoln nor do i know the motivation for his actions. As such , i will refrain from claiming either reason that are online by the original question.

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