Abraham Lincoln and the Threat of Slave Insurrection

We are often told a reductionist version of history that credits Abraham Lincoln with the emancipation of America’s slaves. In his capacities as Commander in Chief of the Union armies, skillful politician, and staunch moralist, Lincoln single-handedly broke the bonds of the nation’s blacks and died a martyr’s death shortly after the war was won. However, another and more recent thesis contends that it was the blacks who freed themselves. This position argues that without the presence of the thousands of black slaves who deserted their owners to fight on the front lines of the civil war, the South would have won, thereby extinguishing the chances for both rapid abolition and a stable union. Moreover, it is claimed that blacks put the necessary pressure on Lincoln, who was hesitant at times to make a move towards emancipation. It would be accurate to recognize that both of the aforementioned positions have their own merits.



About D C

Robot anarchist View all posts by D C

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