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Old 25 September 2018, 02:24 AM
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Join Date: 10 July 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,591

That is a really good question, ASL. My theory was simply that Lincoln knew he had enough enemies as is and didn’t need to make more, when he was struggling with the ones he already had. However satisfying it may be to tell them off, the border states had resources he needed, and it’s a good rule of life to try to keep your enemies list as short as reasonably possible.

Though I heard that many of these slave-owning states, eventually voted to free their slaves in elections held during the war. On some level, even they realized “Wait, we’re fighting a war against slavery, while owning slaves. This is kind of messed up.” Though that may be another motive when it came to Lincoln’s decision. Not only did leaving them out of the Emancipation leave people off his enemies list, if he had demanded that these states give up their slaves, the best case scenario is that they dig in their heels, say, “STFU!” and generally refuse to lend Lincoln any further support. Worst case, they might decide to join in the secession.

While I know the South fired the first shot in all this by shelling Fort Sumter, thus making peaceful secession impossible, there are times I still wonder what would have happened if the US just let the NFBSKers secede. Given that the South sucked at everything except human rights violations, I frankly think they wouldn’t have lasted long.

Take into account that the South had a total population of nine million, of which four million were slaves. Also nearly every state in the Confederacy contained microstates made up of people who refused to go along with the secession and did what they could to support the Union. The whole thing would collapse like wet cardboard once faced with the slightest stress and rebelling against a larger, better armed opponent is the very definition of stress.
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