Thursday, November 20, 2003

Charles Adams Destroys the Gettysburg Address

Tom DiLorenzo provides a brief synopsis of Charles Adams's "common sense dissection" of the Gettysburg Address, from Adams's book; 'When in the Course of Human Events'...

"Four Score and Seven Years Ago . . ." was 1776, but as the New York World newspaper remarked at the time, "This United States was not created by the Declaration of Independence but . . . the Constitution" more than a decade later.

"Our Fathers Brought Forth on This Continent A New Nation. . ." Wrong again. The colonists created a compact among the thirteen free, independent, and sovereign states, and did not create a "nation." The "new nation" was created in 1865 at gunpoint.

"Today We Are Engaged in A Great Civil War . . ." It wasn't a civil war, because it wasn't fought over control over the central government, as with the English Civil War. Jefferson Davis did not want to run the government in Washington any more than George Washington wanted to run the government in London. It was a War to Prevent Southern Independence.

Testing Whether That Nation Can Long Endure . . ." What nonsense. Robert E. Lee never intended to conquer the North.

"Those Who Here Gave Their Lives That That Nation Might Live." More nonsense on stilts. The "dying nation" proceeded to field the largest army in the history of the world for four years.

"And That Government Of The People, By the People and For the People Shall Not Perish From the Earth . . ." If the Confederates had won, democracy would have still existed in the North, the South, in England, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, etc., etc. As Jeff Hummell says in Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men, this is "just plain nonsense."

When I was a young lad I once wrote out this speech on the top of one of my skateboards, I was so impressed by the idealism. My friends thought it quite odd, but for reasons other than Adams's critique. Fortunately, shortly thereafter I learned of the true folly of Lincoln's war.

Lincoln failed in business and was bankrupt by 1831. He was defeated for the legislature in 1832. He had a nervous breakdown in 1836 after his fiancee dies. He was again defeated in an election in 1836. Again, defeated in a race for U.S Congress in 1843. And once again defeated for U.S. Congress in 1848. Defeated for U.S. Senate in a race in 1855. Then defeated in the 1856 election for vice president. In 1858, he was defeated again in a race for the U.S. Senate.

In 1860...well you know the rest. It is no wonder why he acted the way he did.

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