Lincoln Debunked

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In Charles Adams' book, "For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization" (1993), he writes on the cause of the Civil War:

"One of the most popular myths in American history is that the Civil War was started over slavery and that Lincoln as the Great Emancipator, drove the nation into a bloody war to break the chains of bondage that shackled over three and a half million black Americans. This popular childhood history story is fable."

With the Dred Scott decision in 1857 and during his campaign in 1860, "Lincoln repeated he would not interfere with slavery in the South." (p. 323)

"Federal import tax laws were, in [Sen. John C.] Calhoun's view, class legislation against the South. Heavy taxation on the South raised funds that were spent in the North. This was unfair. Calhoun argued further that high import taxes forced Southerners to pay either excessive prices for Northern goods or excessive taxes... The first rebellion in the South over high import taxes came in 1832. A convention was called in South Carolina to nullify the new federal import duties. The duties were declared unconstitutional, and the governor was authorized to resist any attempt at enforcement by the national government. Andrew Jackson reacted strongly and it looked as if a civil war was in the making. Cool heads prevailed and a compromise was worked out. The tariff (import taxes) was to be reduced over the next few years to levels South Carolina would tolerate. This was the great Compromise of 1833." [pp.326-7]

"...the South paid about three-quarters of all federal taxes, most of which were spent in the North." [pp. 326-7]

In the Feb. 1998 issue of the "Laissez Faire Books" catalog, p. 5, in Charles Adams' new book, "Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: The Tax Revolts That Built America," reviewer Jim Powell wrote:

"Abraham Lincoln strongly believed in an income tax, and when an opponent criticized it during the 1864 election campaign, Adams explained, 'Lincoln was so upset...that he had this Democratic candidate arrested and tried before a military court in Ohio for the trumped-up charge of expressing treasonable sentiments.

Lincoln personally signed the order banishing him from the country, notwithstanding the advice of his Attorney General that Lincoln was depriving an innocent man of his constitutional rights (free speech)'."

"Those Dirty Rotten Taxes" (hardcover) 232 pp. for $19.95 + $3.50 s&h, Laissez Faire Books. CA residents, add CA sales tax. Call 1-800-326-0996, fax: 415-541-0597, or e-mail: More reviews on their web site:

In Adams' book, "For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization" (1993), he goes into detail on this (pp. 328, 330 ):

"Lincoln was the most powerful president the United States has ever known. He was often brutal. Civilians were tried by military courts so they could be denied a jury trial and other proper judicial procedures. People who disapproved of his policies were locked up without a trial. One shocking example involved a Northern Democrat from Ohio named Clement Vallandigham. He was a 'dove'. he opposed the war and advocated peace. In March 1863, before a political meeting in Ohio, he denounced the war as 'wicked and cruel' and charged that it was undertaken to 'enthrone Republican despotism on America'. He called Lincoln a dictator and denounced his income tax policy in these words: 'Through a tax law, the like of which has never been imposed upon any but a conquered people, they [the Republicans] have possession...of the entire property of the people of the country'.

Lincoln reacted with a fury. Mind you, this was a political rally for the Democratic Party. It wasn't the first time a U.S. president had been called a tyrant by the opposition. There was nothing in Vallandigham's sharp remarks that was not part of the rough-and-tumble of American politics. But Vallandigham was arrested and charged before a military court in Ohio, even though civilian courts were open and Ohio was not a war zone. The military court found him guilty of expressing 'treasonable sentiments'. Rather than have Vallandigham locked up or shot, Lincoln had him forcibly exiled to the South. He wasn't a Southerner, so Vallandigham fled to Canada and from there he was able to get the Democratic Convention in 1864 to brand the war a failure.

Vallandigham's conviction by a military court for expressing 'treasonable sentiments' is akin to past practices of the former Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn was thrown out of the Soviet Union for the same reason that Lincoln threw Vallandigham out of the United States. Just imagine--the Soviets could have used Abraham Lincoln as an authority for deporting Solzhenitsyn and other Russian dissidents!"

"...Lincoln was supported in his bid for the presidency by the rich industrialists of the North. He was their man and he had long been their lawyer." [His platform was a return to high import taxes (tariffs), as in the Tariff of 1832, which almost started the War 29 years earlier.]

"No sooner had Congress assembled in 1861 than the high tariff was passed into law and signed by Lincoln. The Morrill Tariff, as it was called, was the highest tariff in U.S. history. It doubled the rates of the 1857 tariff to about 47 percent of the value of the imported products. This was Lincoln's big victory. His supporters were jubiliant. He had fulfilled his campaign and IOUs to the Northern industrialists. By this act, he had closed the door for any reconciliation with the South. In his inaugural address he had also committed himself to collect customs in the South even if there were a secession. With slavery, he was conciliatory; with the import taxes, he was threatening. Fort Sumter was at the entrance to the Charleston Harbor, filled with federal troops to support U.S. Customs officers. It wasn't too difficult for angry South Carolinians to fire the first shot." [p. 330]

"Secession by the South was a reaction against Lincoln's high-tax policy. In 1861 the slave issue was not critical. Lincoln and the Congress gave unequivocal assurance that slavery in the South would be respected, yet the South would not budge from its secessionist plans. The leaders of the South believed secession would attract trade to Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans, replacing Boston, New York, and Philadelphia as the chief trading ports of America, primarily because of low taxes. This was the pot of gold behind secessionist dreams."[p.290-1]

"The institution of slavery was never more secure than it was in 1860." [p. 332]


"The Westers, Clays, and Calhouns, who had held the Union together through compromise were gone. It takes great leadership and ability to settle differences through peaceful means. Any idiot can start a war. This was a generation of idiots." [p. 333]

"After the war ended, the slave did not do so well. When the chips were down in a tight presidential race, the Republicans sold the black man down the river for a couple of electoral votes. The Supreme Court followed suit and gave full support for segregation. ["Separate and equal"] ...Armed with the power to segregate, Southern legislators pushed the black man back into economic servitude, educational illiteracy, and social 'Uncle Tomism'.

If slavery had been such an important issue in the Civil War, in which a third [half] of a million men died, why was the black man's struggle for freedom nipped in the bud?" [p. 333]

"The North and South struggled over trade, with all Northern businesspeople threatened by extremely low import taxation in the South that could bring economic ruin to trade and commerce in the North...the North did not go to war to free the slaves, and the South did not secede because of a trigger-happy antislavery crusader in the White House."

For all Southerners in all walks of life, Lincoln's tariff in 1861 meant higher prices, a higher cost of living, fat profits for the Yankees up North, and Southern money in the national coffers for Lincoln to spend for the Republican Party and its supporters. Secession offered a release from Republican bondage. In addition, it opened up opportunities for the South to replace the North in New World trade." [p. 334]

It just re-affirms that freedom of trade is necessary for peace and proves once again Bastiat's maxim that, "if goods don't pass borders, armies will." In this case, the goods were much higher priced due to the import taxes and the South was impoverished due to them.

"For Good and Evil" by Charles Adams (1993), is a great book on the history of taxation and how it can alter civilizations.

In the new March issue of The Ludwig Von Mises Institute's "The Free Market", pp. 7-8, ["Henry Clay: National Socialist"] Dr. Thomas J. DiLorenzo (economics teacher at Loyola College), explains how Lincoln fully implemented Henry Clay's "American System" of promoting mercantilism, corporate subsidies, protectionism with high tariffs, inflationary finance through central banking, and other centralized government measures.

Henry Clay has now been touted by those conservatives at the "Weekly Standard" as their first political icon. "Clay was a 'corrupt statist' who upon first entering Congress in 1811 he helped persuade the government to attempt to conquer Canada, which it tried to do three times. He waged a thirty-year battle with James Madison, John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and other defenders of the Constitution over federally funded corporate welfare... He used his power as Speaker of the House in the early 1820s to push through the first protectionist trade bill in U.S. history."

As Dr. DiLorenzo writes: "Lincoln was the first Republican president and considered himself the political heir to Clay, whom Lincoln eulogized in 1852 as 'the beau ideal of a statesman' and the 'great parent of Whig Principles'. 'During my whole political life', Lincoln stated, 'I have loved and revered [Clay] as a teacher and leader'."

" 'From the moment Lincoln first entered political life', writes Lincoln biographer Robert W. Johannsen, 'he had demonstrated an unswerving fidelity to the party of Henry Clay and to Clay's American System, the program of internal improvements [i.e., corporate welfare for railroad and steamship businesses], protective tariffs, and centralized banking."

"Henry Clay died in 1852 without seeing his 'American System' put fully into place. But the man who eulogized him at his Washington, DC, funeral service, Abraham Lincoln, implemented it fully during his administration."

"The National Currency Act of 1862 established central banking and fiat currency; massive subsidies were given to railroads, the steamship industry, and hundreds of other rent-seeking businesses; tariffs were increased threefold and remained high for decades; an internal revenue buracracy was created; and the federal government was massively centralized."

"After the War, the federal government completed its program of ethnic cleansing by killing off most of the Plains Indians and putting the survivors on reservations where" [as Gen. William Sherman said], 'they can be watched'. By 1890 Henry Clay's 'American System' had finally been realized."

   The Free Market
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Amaze your friends with information not seen anywhere else! Anti-establishment, but pro-Constitution to the max! Highly recommended!

It's a shame we can't have this kind of objective reporting on what a president does and how these activities violate our national charter, i.e., our Constitution that all government officers are sworn to support, and specifically by our president, who swears an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" it. [Art. 2, Sec. 1]

Instead, we get Lincoln lionized as "America's greatest president" and other praiseworthy terms practically deifying him, instead of the more accurate, "one of the worst presidents ever" as his wartime episode by Laissez Faire Books and Charles Adams' book, and Dr. DiLorenzo's article, documents.

The next time somebody tries to tell you how "great" a president Lincoln was, just remember Clement Vallandigham, who Lincoln exiled from his own country, violating his free speech rights, and then all his other documented activities that are diametrically opposed to our Constitution, that Lincoln swore to "preserve, protect, and defend."

All that nonsense about how Lincoln was so concerned about "freedom" and the "common man" ring hollow when you examine the real history and how he abused his constitutional powers, like all the rest of the presidents, save four who were the most respectful of their powers: Jackson, Cleveland, Jefferson, and Harding; in declining order, in my opinion.

It just goes to show you how every president classified as "great" (except for Jefferson) by the media and historians are only for those presidents who value central planning, huge taxes, more government, and even dictator-type actions; all ostensibly for the "common good." The tendency is for the media, public intellectuals and pundits to worship the office of the presidency so much that we just have embarrasing displays of sycophancy and other "yes" men who encourage the president's dirty work without thinking what immoral, illegal, and/or unconstitutional activities they are actually promoting.


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