(Page 7 of 8)
I am not sure the reason for fighting was correctly stated in Ms McLemore’s note. But it sure made me cry, and I guess this is why we cannot forget the South’s incredible bravery, or the North’s, and the catastrophic and unnecessary loss. Many thanks, Ben
Mr. Stein raises an interesting question — need the Civil War have been fought? If you do the calculations, if the South had not fired on Sumter that faithful day, the war may not have been fought for at least another year if at all. The North, though amply stocked, was not prepared for combat as the personnel were not readily available. McClelland was known as a meticulous planner with the pace of a snail. The war may not have started till the Spring of 1862. And I say not at all, for if the South had mustered the support of England and France early and taken a defensive position along the border states, the North may have wavered, looking for a political solution.
And if it had been political, the South might have prevailed. Clearly the Constitution does not speak one way or the other as to the issue of Succession. In the climate of the time, States Rights were clearly preeminent as Federalism as we know it was still in its formative stages. The whole issue could have landed in the laps of the Supreme Court. And here it gets interesting.
The Court at the time was clearly divided (e.g. consider the Dread Scott decision). John Campbell (Alabama) would have been a clear leader of the Southern cause on the court. Had Peter Daniel (Virginia), a clear States Rights advocate, not died; and Benjamin Curtis’ seat remained vacant. The court may have ruled, the succession of the states having been completed in an orderly fashion is constitutional. At that juncture, any actions open to Lincoln would have been few.
Slavery, the scourge that it was, would not persist for much longer regardless of the war. The beginning of the industrial revolution was in flower at the time the war ensued. The economics of slavery as an institution would have seen its demise one state at a time. The fact is three men running a combine would replace hundreds of pickers were but 40 years away.
But Mr. Stein did not ask the best question of them all: What if Mr. Lee had accepted the appointment of the General of the Army of the North? It is recorded that Lincoln offered Lee the commission first. Lee resigned, joined Virginia, leaving Lincoln to select McClelland. A torrent of questions ensue. Would Virginia have gone neutral in the conflict? (Such was Lee’s stature.) Would Gettysburg ever happen or maybe been the Battle of Richmond in 1862? Might Grant never reached the heights that he did for Grant was a boozer and rabble rouser while Lee was steel and contemplation mixed with action? Clearly Grant would not have been Lee’s choice for the Western front on personal differences alone. Would Lee have been the 18th President of the U.S., instead of Grant, regardless of the war’s outcome? And clearly the Lee residence in Arlington Virginia would not today be a national cemetery.p>But a great article nonetheless. br> — John McGinnis br> Arlington, Texas /p>
Fascinating, and many thanks, Ben
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?