Happy Thanksgiving everyone. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln passed a law making Thanksgiving a national holiday. Previous to this, the holiday was only celebrated in the Northeastern states.
Most would say that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks, however, Licoln's motive was to use the holiday in order to bring together a country that was divided and to subdue those who opposed federal rule in Washington.
So what caused this divide and was this divide lawful?
Most would say that slavery was the cause of the divide. However, Lincoln and Congress were pushing the Corwin Amendment, that basically would have added to the Constitution the protection of slaves states to remain slave states. In fact, Lincoln wrote the governors of each Southern state personally stating that he was more than willing to preserve slavery in order to avoid any more talk of succession.
So the question begs, if the South had been given the oppurtunity to preserve slavery via the Constitution, what was all the fighting about? It seems to me that the South simply wanted to be free from federal rule from Washington. However, this legal dilemma was never heard before the Supreme Court because Lincoln forbad it from ever reaching SCOTUS. Why? Could it be to avoid people like Chief Justice Roger B Taney? Taney swore Lincoln into office, but later became one of his greatest critics. Taney proclaimed Licoln's actions as illegal, unconstitutional, and criminal. Here are a list of the allegations.
1. Violation of the Constitution and his oath of office by invading and waging war against states that had legally and democratically withdrawn their consent from his government, inaugurating one of the cruelest wars in recent history.
2. Subverting the duly Constituted governemnts of states that had not left the union, thereby subverting their constitutional right to "republican form of government".
3. Raising troops without approval from Congress and expending funds without appropriation.
4. Suspending the writ of habeas Corpus and interfering with the press without due process, imprisoning thousands of citizens without charge or trial, and closing courts by military force where no hostilities were ocurring.
5. Corrupting the currency by manipulation and paper swindles unheard of in US history.
6. Fraud and corruption by appointees and contractors with his knowledge and connivance.
7. Continuing the war by raising ever larger bodies of troops by conscription and hiring foreign merceneries and refusing to negotiate in good faith for an end to hostilities.
8. Confiscation of millions of dollars of civilian property by his agents in the South, especially cotton, without any legal proceedings.
9. Waging war against women, children, civilians, and civilian property as the matter of policy e.g. Sherman's March.
In short, what is the price of the union? Is the price1,030,000 causualties, 620,000 deaths, and 10,500 battles? Is the price suspending Constitutional rights and trampling the rule of law so long as it is done in the name of preserving the union? Would it have been OK if Licoln and Congress passed the Corim Amendment to make slavery Constitutional for the Southern states? If so, why?