The Intrigues of the Reactionary Republicans in 1864-5
The assassination made easier the job for the Republicans not answering why did they made a conflict that resulted in a huge destruction including at least 600,000 Americans dead. They could have make the conflict smaller scale or negotiate a settlement during 4 years of the civil war. They also had to answer why they violated Habeas Corpus, civil rights in the north and the south, as well as other actions they made against the constitution.
Lysander Spooner, an abolitionist, in a letter to Charles Sumner, blames the bloodshed of the civil war on selfish Republican Establishment economic and centralization interests:
“Your concessions, as to the pro-slavery character of the constitution, have been such as, if true, would prove the constitution unworthy of having one drop of blood shed in its support. They have been such as to withhold from the North all the benefit of the argument, that a war for the constitution was a war for liberty. You have thus, to the extent of your ability, placed the North wholly in the wrong, and the South wholly in the right. And the effect of these false positions in which the North and the South have respectively been placed, not only with your consent, but, in part, by your exertions, has been to fill the land with blood.
The South could, consistently with honor, and probably would, long before this time, and without a conflict, have surrendered their slavery to the demand of the constitution, (if that had been pressed upon them) and to the moral sentiment of the world; while they could not with honor, or at least certainly would not, surrender anything to a confessedly unconstitutional demand, especially when coming from mere demagogues, who were so openly unprincipled as to profess the greatest moral abhorrence of slavery, and at the same time, for the sake of office, swear to support it, by swearing to support a constitution which they declared to be its bulwark.”
For Lincoln the war was about to put the Union integrity above States interests so America would be more power and well-being.
Accordingly with Lincoln views as a statesman, a nation can do better if all states are united. For the seceding states and some constitutionals in the North the struggle was to keep the state liberties and rights above DC and the Industrial Complex interests. Train, shipping, Banking, Manufacturing companies and bureaucracy agenda was to maximize profits, federal bid favoritism, political appointments, tariff favoritism and taxation from as many states as possible under one federal government.
The war was about to put the Union rights above States rights. As Lincoln put it in his letter to the press in a letter to Horace Greeley on August 22, 1862:
“If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union… “
Accordingly with constitutionals of that time the states signed for the Constitution only if the constitution guarantees and prioritizes state rights over central government agenda. Their claims are based on the interpretation that the Constitution allows them to secede and supports the guidlene that state rights are to be superimposed on central government actions.
In that sense, Lincoln won the war because from then on all states would no secede and the reconstruction made nationalism and Americanism and supreme court supersede the states self government and interests.
Although the mainstream media and historians blame the south for the Lincoln Assassination, it was the Republican Establishment, who did put him in office, got the political and material benefits from the event. In that sense it may be argued that Lincoln was the “Manchurian Candidate” of the Republican Establishment. Some evidence might point to that from the following issues:
- Why Stanton which was part of the establishment wasn’t in the assassination list since the confederates regarded secretary of war Stanton as bigger enemy then Lincoln
- The fact that Lincoln assassination was right after the war end just before reconstruction and right after Lincoln intended to reconcile with the south. Lincoln gave Grant a free hand to free General Lee at Appomattox Courthouse without trial against Republicans Reactionaries will. In that sense this contradicts the previous orders to execute or try whoever acted for the secession with charges of treason both in the south and in the north.
- The premise that the Republican Establishment wanted to centralize state power and takeover taxes and tariffs from the south as well as to control the exporting ports of the south.
- The fact the Republican Establishment got a free hand to make the reconstruction violent in the south using the Assassination conspiracy as a tool
- The fact that the Republican Reactionary Establishment used Lincoln as a martyr to their agenda and media publications
- Jefferson Davis and General Lee non-trial makes some sense when considering what he could have disclosed the Republican Reactionary Establishment collusion in a trial
- The machinations of the Republicans media and Establishment and impeachment effort against President Johnson reconciliation steps once the conspirators couldn’t kill him.
Even if the assassins were opposed to Lincoln, someone from the governments lowered the alert and guarding attention when the stakes were high. Some of the plotters might have double agents infiltrated in the John Wilkes Booth group, because this is what the Secret service and Pinkerton was paid to to do. It is also confirmed in the trials, biographies and witness documents that some unionist were aware of the plot. The hunt for the plot members had many informants that made it easy to catch the plotters.
Having said that, even if the Establishment was wrong in the decision making, one of the end results is the civil war, the reconstruction and the assassination is that states would be more afraid to secede, or to nullify federal decisions or would be more hesitant to challenge higher federal taxes and actions even if those federal steps would be against the Constitution or the founding fathers constitutional spirit.
In retrospective the question must be asked, were the decision makers in the Republican Reactionary Establishment involved in the Assassination conspiracy?
Does the similarity creates a deja-vu with the Kennedy Assassination?
One curious anecdote: the vice president or replaced the assassinated president had the same last name in both cases.
Related Sources & Links:
Lincoln reasoning for the war
Lysander Spooner against the way the war was conducted
Lincoln was torn from both sides
Letter from Lincoln to the press