Friday, April 12, 2013
The war that began 152 years ago today did enable Lincoln to “save” the Union, but only in a geographic sense. The country ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign states. Instead, America became a “nation” with a powerful federal government.
Although the war freed four million slaves into poverty, it did not bring about a new birth of freedom, as Lincoln and historians such as James McPherson and Henry Jaffa say. For the nation as a whole the war did just the opposite.
It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America, as historians Charles Adams and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have argued – Adams in his book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession(published in 2000); and Hummel in his book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996).