Whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some transatlantic giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe and Asia could not by force take a drink from the Ohio river or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we will live forever, or die by suicide. - Abraham Lincoln, 1837
We haven’t yet reached such an extreme, but we’re certainly more divided as a nation now (politically, perhaps culturally) than we have been for decades. I feel like no matter what happens, a better understanding of what divided the nation in the 19th century could provide some insight into what is fracturing us in the 21st.
Do you have recommendations for me for books and/or documentaries about the Civil War? Apart from what I picked up during my formal education the only thing I’ve read relevant to the topic is David Herbert Donald’s biography “Lincoln.” I’m currently watching the PBS documentary “Ken Burns: The Civil War” on Netflix. I’d like to go deeper.
Another poignant Lincoln quote from the Ken Burns documentary:
“As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We now practically read it ‘All men are created equal except Negroes.’ Soon it will read ‘All men are created equal except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.’ When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
In how many cities do you interact with people? Do you know people across the United States?
I have a friend who used to live in Florida. On the “Space Coast.” He said it felt like a third world country and he couldn’t wait to get out of there. And not because of “illegals,” but because the white males there, young and old, had no conception of the work ethic, etc.