A Summary of: The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda and an Unnecessary War
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Compiled and Edited by
Dr. Jimmy T. (Gunny) LaBaume
Chapter 1: Introduction
The War of Yankee Aggression fundamentally transformed the nature of our government. Before the war it was highly decentralized and limited. But, the war created the highly centralized state that we suffer under today. It transformed the purpose of government from the defense of individual liberty to the quest for empire.
During almost three decades before becoming president, Lincoln was almost single-mindedly devoted to the economic agenda that Henry Clay called “the American System.” He was devoted to protectionist tariffs, taxpayer subsidies for railroads and other corporations and the nationalization of the money supply. But, the constitution stood in the way of this agenda.
Lincoln was heir to the Hamiltonian tradition, which sought a centralized government that would plan economic development with corporate subsidies financed by protectionist tariffs and the printing of money. This, his real agenda, was fully implemented during the first two years of his administration.
Before 1854, Lincoln hardly ever mentioned slavery. Chapter 2 sheds great doubts on his supposed commitment to racial equality. He stated over and over that he was opposed to political or social equality of the races. He was not an abolitionist. To the contrary, he denigrated and distanced himself from them. His primary means of dealing with racial problems was to create colonies for American blacks in other countries—anywhere but in the united States.
Chapter 2 also shows the views on race of the overwhelming majority of white Northerners, which raises serious questions about the extent to which racial injustice in the South motivated such a long and bloody war.
Chapter 3 poses the key question of why Lincoln did not do what much of the rest of the world did in the 19th century and end slavery peacefully through compensated emancipation. Literally dozens of countries ended slavery peacefully this way as opposed to killing 620,000 of their own people (the modern day equivalent of 5 million).
Chapter 4 outlines Lincoln ‘s real agenda which was Henry Clay’s “American System.”
Chapter 5 chronicles the long history of the right of secession in America , beginning with the Declaration of Independence, which was itself a “secession” from England . Until 1861 the states right to secede was taken for granted. In fact, the principle was even taught to the cadets at West Point. Lincoln ‘s insistence that no such right existed has no basis whatsoever in history or fact. He simply invented a new theory and waged the bloodiest war in history to “prove” it to be true.
Chapter 6 deals with the strange claim that Lincoln “saved” the Constitution by suspending constitutional liberty. In the name of “saving” the constitution, he launched a military invasion without the consent of Congress, suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned citizens without trial, censored telegraph communications, imprisoned opposition newspaper publishers, nationalized the railroads, used Federal troops to interfere with elections, confiscated firearms, and deported a member of Congress. These precedents did permanent and irreparable damage to constitutional liberty in America.
In addition, Lincoln abandoned international law and the moral code of civilized societies by waging war on innocent civilians. Chapter 7 details these criminal atrocities.
Lincoln ‘s political legacy is explored in Chapter 8. Reconstruction (1865-1877) plundered the South for 12 years after the war. Puppet governments raised taxes but provided few public benefits. Much of the money was simply stolen by Republican Party activists. Adult male ex-slaves were given the right to vote (even though blacks could not vote in several Northern states) while most Southern white males were disenfranchised. Using ex-slaves as political pawns in such a corrupt way poisoned race relations in the South beyond repair.
Lincoln’s policy of crushing dissenters continued after the war with the eradication of the Plains Indians by many of the same generals. The stated purpose was to make way for subsidized transcontinental railroads—all a part of the quest for empire.
Chapter 9 describes Lincoln ‘s economic legacy which is the realization of Henry Clay’s American System. Southern statesmen had opposed this system as being nothing more than the corrupt “mercantilist” system that prevailed in England at the time of the Revolution. So powerful was this opposition that the Confederate Constitution outlawed both protectionist tariffs and internal improvement subsidies. Lincoln ‘s war created the “military-industrial complex” 90 years before Eisenhower coined the phrase.
Chapter 10 explains how the death of federalism was the biggest cost of Lincoln ‘s war. He stated over and over that his purpose was to “save the Union ” (which was just another way of saying abolish states rights). He destroyed the idea of the Union as a voluntary association of states by forcing the Southern states to stay in the Union at gunpoint. Indeed, he saved the Union , but only in a geographical sense.
In sum, Lincoln ‘s war was not necessary to free the slaves. However, it was necessary to destroy the primary check on central government—the right to secession.
The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.
You might be interested in the other two volumes of this three volume set: The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty and The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic.