Lincoln Unmasked

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Review by David Gordon by David Gordon

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Thomas DiLorenzo calls attention to a vital fact that demolishes the popular view that one of Lincoln’s primary motives for opposing secession in 1861 was his distaste for slavery. Precisely the opposite was the case. It is well known that, in an effort to promote compromise, a constitutional amendment was proposed in Congress that forever forbade interference with slavery in states where it already existed. Lincoln referred to the proposal, the Corwin Amendment, in his First Inaugural, stating that he was not opposed to the amendment, since it merely made explicit the existing constitutional arrangement regarding slavery. Of course, Lincoln was here characteristically mendacious; nothing in the constitution prior to the amendment prohibited amendments to end slavery.

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