Parallels in History | Beaufort County Now | History repeats itself

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Parallels in History

By:  Charles Williams

  • In 1861 Lincoln, after promising not to reinforce Fort Sumter to Confederate negotiators, surreptitiously sought to re-supply and reinforce the fort by sea resulting in the onset of the War of Northern Aggression.
  • In 2022 Putin promised not to invade Ukraine and used “red flag” incidents and propaganda to invade the country.
  • Lincoln proclaimed the war against the South was to Save the Union.
  • Putin proclaimed that Ukraine was historically part of Russia and he was saving the country from “corrupt” leaders and Nazi influence.
  • Ukraine operates as a democratically elected western democracy whose economy is based on free capitalism.
  • The Confederate States were formed by the free exercise of the democratic process in the member states in the same manner as these states had chosen to join the United States after the revolution of 1776.
  • Lincoln and his political friends in the North sought to strangle the South with a blockade by sea and navigable rivers.
  • Putin seeks to strangle Ukraine by blockading the country by Naval and land forces.
  • The North sought total war by total destruction through robbery, rape, and murder of the civilian population in the South. A notable example being the shelling of Atlanta and Sherman’s march to the sea in Georgia and his “bummers”, along with burning Columbia SC,
  • Putin is indiscriminately shelling Ukrainian cities sheltering civilian populations including women and children.
  • After the war, military rule was enforced for 8 years over 11 states that were supposedly reclaimed into the American Union.
  • Putin seeks to install his own government (tyranny) in Ukraine.
  • As a result of the war and the Northern Narrative, Lincoln was enshrined in national glory.
  • Hopefully 50 years from now, Putin will not be enshrined in national glory as a result of Russian propaganda.

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( May 25th, 2022 @ 6:01 pm )
Your analogy linking Russia with the Unionist north of the War for Southern Independence period played out in the breakup of the Soviet Union, when anti-communist demonstrators carried the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of liberty and overthrowing the communist yoke in demonstrations against communist rule.

I had a friend who spent several weeks in Berlin during the period before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On a number of days before the wall actually fell, he had gone to a place he could overlook the wall and see the demonstrators on the other side. As a Southerner, he immediately noticed a large Confederate battle flag being waved by two men in the anti-communist demonstration. He noted the same men with that flag on a number of different occasions, and also noted a few smaller Confederate flags among the demonstrators. After the wall fell, his curiosity about the Confederate flags led him to make inquiries of East Germans who had flooded into West Berlin. What he learned was that Gorbachev had made a speech that was widely reported in communist countries comparing himself to Lincoln and "saving the [Soviet] union". That speech had led to anti-communists adopting the Confederate flag as a symbol, and apparently it was used in other anti-communist demonstrations in places other than Berlin.
( May 25th, 2022 @ 1:40 pm )
As to the democratic nature of the Confederate government, it was organized around the limited government principles of Thomas Jefferson, as opposed to the big government Hamiltonian principles of the Lincoln government. Sir Winston Churchill wrote that this friction between Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian principles was the main cause of secession and the War Between the States.

A post-war letter from the great British political philosopher Lord Acton (best known for his famous quote that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely") to Robert E. Lee, Acton set out his views on the Confederate Constitution and government:

"Without presuming to decide the purely legal question [on the legality of secession], on which it seems evident to me from Madison’s and Hamilton’s papers that the Fathers of the Constitution were not agreed, I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic [the United States] have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."
( May 25th, 2022 @ 7:58 am )
Great analysis. The north's war crimes in the War Between the States against Southern civilians, in clear violation of both the existing Common Law of War and of the Geneva Convention of 1863, were not a lot different that Russian behavior in Ukraine. Sherman and Sheridan, in particular should have been indicted as war criminals, and Lincoln condoned their actions.

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