GDG- NPs & Slavery

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at kc.rr.com
Tue Jan 3 09:50:25 CST 2012


I think that you ar saying that the root cause of the war was not slavery?

Lincoln had said he would not extend slavery into the territories. that 
caused seccession.

Regards,

jack

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Ryan" <pennmardel at mchsi.com>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 9:42 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- NPs & Slavery


> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Pete,
>
> I agree that the CW timeline at the VC is an excellent idea, since it 
> places
> the Battle of Gettysburg in perspective.  However, the argument here seems
> to be a necessity to inform visitors about the slavery issue related to 
> the
> CW -- as if slavery was the central focus of the war.
>
> The reason the war was fought was not over slavery, but over secession.
> Lincoln's first inaugural address made this abundantly clear.  While the
> Southern states seceded over the slavery issue, the North went to war to
> preserve the Union -- and for no other reason.
>
> Even when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in January 1863, the
> purpose was to make slavery a war-related issue not a moral or political
> one.
>
> In a nutshell, the heavy focus of the introductory film at the Gettysburg 
> VC
> tends IMO to distort these important facts, and to emphasize slavery 
> beyond
> its true significance regarding the war itself.  While slavery was the key
> factor for secession, it played virtually no role in the decision of the
> North to invade the South in retaliation for firing on Fort Sumter.
>
> Therefore, the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg and the campaign
> should be placed in the context of preserving the Union, since it had no
> direct bearing on the slavery issue whatsoever.
>
> Tom Ryan
>
> --------------------
>
> One of my initial impressions of the new VC the first time I was there 
> (back
> when the museum was free) was that I LOVED the approach of walking through
> the entire timeline of the war - they didn't just include Gettysburg.  My
> thoughts then (and now) echo yours - Gettysburg will probably be the first
> (if not only) exposure that many people get to the Civil War, and people
> travel from all over the country - from all over the world, in fact - to
> visit.  The inclusion of more information will not only lead to better
> contextual understanding in the grand scheme of where the war fits in US
> history, but also where Gettysburg fits in Civil War history (i.e. it was
> not the ONLY battle).
>
> Someone visiting from Tennessee might learn of Chattanooga, Franklin, or
> Nashville and go see the battles that happened closer to home.  A family
> from Mississippi might decide to check out Vicksburg as a day trip. 
> Someone
> from Kansas may leave with an appreciation for the events of "Bleeding
> Kansas."  Heck, even British visitors may acquire some understanding of 
> how
> their country's dependence on cotton factored into the events leading up 
> to
> the Gettysburg campaign.
>
> We all know that the more personal a connection you can make to something,
> the more it will stick.  The more information included at the most-visited
> battlefield park in the country, the more chance that new interests will
> form, and that new historians will be born.
>
> - Pete
>
>
>
>
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