10.28- Lincoln and Slavery

10.28- Lincoln and Slavery - 10/28/08 Lincoln and Slavery...

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10/28/08 Lincoln and Slavery I. “Mythic” Lincoln -the myth of Lincoln pervades public culture -difficult to lecture on Lincoln -2 basic components to the Lincoln myth 1. “Democratic” myth -representative of the people -quintessential American “common man” -born in a log cabin -self-educated -honesty, humility, plain, physically awkward…etc. -exploited this in his political career 2. “Christian” myth -compassion and martyrdom -Christ-like persona -takes on the torment and moral burdens of a sinful people -redeems these people with the virtues of Christ -destroyed, killed, “crucified” at the height of his success -through his death, America is vicariously redeemed -this mythos makes it difficult to view Lincoln as the politician that he was -he was a politician most of his life -did not rise from anon II. Lincoln’s Anti-Slavery Views -from 1854 on, Lincoln begins publicly denouncing slavery as morally repugnant -p 650- “I hate slavery because of the monstrous injustice…” -slavery violated basic Lockean ideals of individual determinism -p652-3- “the doctrine of self-government…” -Lincoln turns away from the Constitution as the source of American ideals and
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10.28- Lincoln and Slavery - 10/28/08 Lincoln and Slavery...

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