Why did They Fight?
Before I get to the post there is something that I need to get off my chest……
Have you noticed that the Right wing to insult their detractors call them “apologist”….and then when something derogatory is written about the person they support then they go off making excuses for the failure……and they call me an apologist…..go figure.
Yes I am a history geek….I love doing research that involves historical events to see how they connect with today’s world…..
It is NO secret that our new president is not the sharpest tack in the box when it comes to history…..he did not seem to know much about Fredrick Douglass and recently he made a statement about the American Civil War…..I admit that this part of American history is not that important to me other than to study the conflict…..but at least I know enough not to make a Trumpian statement……
As Day 100 beckoned, President Trump sat for an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito that ran on Sunday. An exchange between the two about the Civil War apparently didn’t make the cut, but it will air on Sirus XM Monday afternoon (this clip has been released), and a bit the president had to say about President Andrew Jackson and the Civil War hasn’t been too well received.
- It all started with a comparison Trump made between his campaign and Andrew Jackson’s that ended up going here: “He was a swashbuckler. … Had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. .. He saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said there’s no reason for this. People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War, why couldn’t that one have been worked out?”
- The Atlantic is succinct in its response to Trump’s “why”: slavery. David A. Graham notes that even with his tony education, Trump, like many Americans, may be “ill-served by his education when it comes to the Civil War. Many Americans are still taught, incorrectly, that the war was essentially a conflict over state’s rights, with abolition as a byproduct of the war. This revisionist view flourished after the war, and though gradually being displaced, is common across the country.”
- As far as history goes, the AP points out what most reports on the exchange do: Jackson died in 1845, 16 years before the war’s 1861 start. Though Trump rightly points out Jackson would have had to come “later,” some are jumping on Trump saying he “saw what was happening.”
- And then there’s Jackson himself, whom Slate points out owned 161 slaves and framed abolitionism as a threat to the “safety of our country, commerce, and our revenue.” Slate’s view is that any alterna-history that saw Jackson averting war would have involved the continuation of slavery.
- As everyone piles on Jackson, referred to by Trump as having a “big heart,” TPM points out he signed an act that paved the way for the Trail of Tears, which led to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans.
- The Washington Post recalls that just last week Trump said much the same thing about a different conflict, telling Reuters, “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” What jumps out at Aaron Blake is that such comments sound like that of a “lefty pacifist,” not someone warning of “major, major conflict” with North Korea.
- It’s not the first time a Civil War-era comment of Trump’s has been picked apart by the media: The president in February said, “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice,” leading to an outcry over his use of the present tense.
So everyone jumped on the bandwagon assisting Trump to get a hold on the causes of the Civil war….which is helpful…..but Trump is in good company, most Americans do not know why the war ended other than a Lee surrender….
People deal with political trauma in different ways. After the 2016 election, yuppies who once scoffed at preppers found themselves stockpiling canned goods. Barack Obama went parasailing. Hillary Clinton hiked in the woods. Hundreds of thousands of people began meeting in small groups—”for the first time in my life,” many told reporters—to organize a resistance. Some people bought bourbon, some people bought dogs, and I found myself reading about Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
In the years before the Civil War, Higginson, the abolitionist scion of a powerful Boston Brahmin family, had run for Congress, dabbled as a Unitarian minister, bankrolled John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and even sustained a sword wound to his face while breaking into a Massachusetts jail to rescue a fugitive slave. He prayed for a great cleansing war to rid the nation of slavery and when it came, he cheerfully enlisted. Then, in the fall of 1862, Higginson embarked on one of the most radical projects in American history.
There you have your small history lesson….hopefully it was some help.
Day’s done…I need some rest…..please enjoy the rest of your day…..I shall return tomorrow…..chuq