Thursday, May 4, 2017

Balkinization: Why Did We Have to Have a Civil War?

Gerard Magliocca, Indiana law professor, - and a political conservative - is the author of a very good biography of John Bingham (principal architect of the 14th Amendment), and a biography of Andrew Jackson's constitutional views.
Balkinization: Why Did We Have to Have a Civil War?
by Prof. Gerard Magliocca 

President Trump offered some commentary on the Civil War in an interview today:

"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn't have had the Civil War," he said. "He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said 'There's no reason for this.'" 
"People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"
As the author of a book on Andrew Jackson's constitutional philosophy, I want to point out that this utter nonsense. Jackson was against secession. He was also for slavery and owned many slaves.  (Maybe "big-hearted" means that he only whipped his slaves every once in a while--I'm not sure what the President is talking about. Big-hearted is a term I would definitely not associate with Jackson.)

Sure, Jackson would have worked things out to avoid a civil war.  And government of slavery, for slavery, and by slavery would have taken much longer to perish from the Earth.

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