Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Lincoln" is now available on DVD

Rightardia got the movie from a dispenser like Red Box at the Palm Harbor library.

What a great movie  Of course, Stephan Spielberg was the director of the movie. Have never seen a bad Spielberg movie.

The movie addressed the last 4-5weeks before the Civil War ended  Lincoln had already signed the Emancipation Proclamation and union forces were using it as the legal basis for liberating slaves from plantations as as they swept through the south.

However, Lincoln was afraid the wartime Emancipation Proclamation might be thrown out by the courts after the war ended  so he wanted the 13th Amendment passed. The amendment had cleared the Senate  but stalled in the House because of a coalition of conservative Democrats and Republicans.

This conservative group had the standard conservative"sky is falling" warnings about change  What will happen to the Negroes after the war.? What if they vote? What if they intermarry?

The plantation owners of that time were equivalent to big family owned agribusinesses. Because labor costs were marginal, small farmers could not compete with the plantation owners. The plantation owners were the one per centers of the Civil War era.

The plantation owners were the one per cent of the civil war era. 

While Lincon was politicking to get the amendment passed, a three person delegation form the confederacy including Alexander Stephans, the vice president of the confederacy, wanted to meet with Lincoln to work out a peace agreement.

On March 21, 1861, Stephens had given his Cornerstone Speech in Savannah, Georgia. He declared that slavery was the natural condition of blacks and the foundation of the Confederacy. 

Stephens declared, 

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. 

Ulysses S. Grant knew to war was coming to the end and rebuffed the confederate delegation at Petersburg, VA.  They never got the meet Lincoln. 

The remainder of the movie explained the gnarly politics of getting the 13th Amendment passed. Two scalawags were hired to offer patronage positions to politicians who were voting against the amendment. Eventually, there were 21 holdouts who were needed to get the amendment passed. It was clear these people were bribed for their vote.

Daniel Day Connor certainly deserved the Academy award for best Actor. He portrayed Lincoln as a low key sensitive president with a fierce resolve to end slavery. 
Thaddeus Stevens 

Tommy Lee Jones was excellent as Thaddeus Stevens, the leader of the radical Republcians. Stevens was s strong proponent of full equality for slaves.  Although Stevens never married, though there were rumors about his 23-year relationship with his widowed quadroon housekeeper, Lydia Hamilton Smith.

Lydia Hamilton Smith 

A quadroon usually had one bi-racial parent and one that was caucasian. It is quaint term that is rarely used today. 

This is a great movie for adults and children because their is so much misunderstanding about this war. 

Many of the controversies about race relations are still on-going today. After Lincoln was assassinated, reconstruction stalled. Lincoln's vice president was a conservative Democrat, Andrew Johnson.

Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, that led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives. The first American president to be impeached, he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

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