1. Membership in the Union became involuntary and enforceable by military invasion."
True. However, this conflict was inevitable.
"Over 600,000 Americans died whereas slavery was ended without bloodshed in much of the world."
There is this Ron Paul fantasy that the North could have ended slavery without bloodshed, by just purchasing the slaves from the South. Yeah, with whose permission? You think the South would have agreed to give up such a valuable economic rule?
Both in terms of its role in the economy, as well as the sheer number of slaves, the US was in a very unique position. Plus, the other countries had more authoritarian governments...government who COULD unilaterally free all slaves with no protest, for fear of reprisal.
If having a weaker government, means war has to break out for slavery to end, so be it. The alternative would have been to save those 600,000 lives at the expensive of a much more authoritarian regime.
"Lincoln's main goal was to preserve the Union, and if the Southern states would have agreed to rejoin under the condition that slavery not be abolished, Lincoln would have accepted those terms."
Again, Lincoln says he would. What assurances could he give the South that slavery would never be targeted again? After all, he can't unilaterally change the Constitution. The fact is, Lincoln also had to deal with a large number of abolitionists in his own party, individuals who would not have stood for slavery ending. You forget that there were 13 free states and multiple no-slave territories that would have fought strongly against slavery.
That is the main issue in the war. The South rightfully feared that their right to own slaves would always be threatened.
"Lincoln damaged the economy and financially strapped many people in the South by instituting tariffs to 'protect' manufacturing in the North (another big cause for secession)."
True. Although the tariffs only really affected the richest Southerners. And Lincoln did not single-handedly enact those tarriffs; Congress did. And, FYI, the Morrill tarriff was not signed by Lincoln. AND, the Confederancy upon its creation also implemented a tarriff, effective at 21%..the Morrill tarriff was effctive at 26%. Plus, effective rates were lower than historical norms (like in 1828)
"Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and the 1st Amendment which led to the detainment of many people in the press that spoke out against him - setting a very bad precedent."
True. Washington was the first violator when he squashed the Whiskey Rebellion. Oh, and of course, Thomas Jefferson with the naval heatlh insurance act.
Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:
Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a
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