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 Lincoln's Marxists

 Lincoln's Marxists

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Published by Paige Quintel

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Published by: Paige Quintel on Feb 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lincoln's Marxists [Hardcover]
From the Inside Flap
"Benson and Kennedy have provided an exhaustively researched treatment of the connections of Lincoln's enthusiastic immigrant supporters with the communists' movements of Europe, then and later.They have made a vital contribution to uncovering the true story of the War Between the States."-Clyde Wilson, distinguished professor of history emeritus, University of South Carolina In the mid-nineteenth century, a group of radical socialists known as the Forty-Eighters brought their views to theUnited States, seeking to change its government and society. These advocates of big governmentsupported the ideologies of Abraham Lincoln and endorsed him as a presidential candidate. Thiscompelling book follows the rise of the early Republican Party, describing how a group of extremesocialists set the tone for today's Leviathan government. Eighteen chapters offer an in-depthexplanation of the Forty-Eighters, noting their origins in Europe, where the socialist revolutions took  place; their influence on the election of 1861; and their role in the Union army.Sections question the high regard that such communists as Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels held for Lincoln. Lincoln's Marxists also scrutinizes Lincoln's religious views, disputing the common belief thathe was a pious Christian. Addenda include profiles of early American communists and socialists, anarticle on twenty-first century secession movements, and a recommended reading list. Pictures of historical figures provide a visual reference. Through cogent examinations, the authors reveal a side of Abraham Lincoln's life that has remained shrouded in obscurity. Al Benson, Jr., is the editor and publisher of the Copperhead Chronicle, a newsletter that presents history from a pro-Southern andChristian perspective. In addition to writing for Southern Patriot and other publications, he is a member of the Confederate Society of America and the League of the South.Benson resides in Sterlington, Louisiana. Walter Donald Kennedy is an outspoken advocate of limitedgovernment and states' rights. He continues to engage his audience at Tea Party events and Southernheritage conferences throughout the country. In addition to contributing articles to numerous publications, he has appeared on such television programs as Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect. He isthe coauthor of the best-selling The South Was Right!, Was Jefferson Davis Right?, Why Not Freedom!America's Revolt Against Big Government, and Nullifying Tyranny: Creating Moral Communities inan Immoral Society and the author of Myths of American Slavery, all published by Pelican. Kennedylives in Downsville, Louisiana.
German Revolution of 1848
[n.b.: this quick explanation of a major European Revolution is necessarily reductive and woefullyincomplete. The purpose of this page is to put the Wisconsin Forty-Eighters' political activism intosome sort of context.]Europe in the mid-19th Century was ripe for revolution. After the Napoleonic Wars, many Europeancountries were in disarray. Citizens that had hoped for democracy and the establishment of constitutional governments were disappointed. As Rudolf Cronau puts it, "The rulers, forgetful that the people had saved their thrones, denied [the people constitutional government ], and opened instead a
long period of reaction which manifested its triumph in dark acts of oppression and tyranny" ("TheMen of 1848," German Corner). Add to this economic crises and failed harvests, and many citizenswere ready to revolt.The first revolutionary lob came from Paris in February of 1848. Louis Blanc and other socialistsoverthrew King Louis Phillipe and established the Second Republic. The revolutionary spark spread toGermany, leading to armed uprisings in Vienna and Berlin. Students were particularly active in fightingin the revolutionary army against the forces Prussian Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm IV.Liberals had long wanted a unified Germany instead of a fragmented and quasi-feudal Germany. Tothis end, the National Assembly was convened.The National Assembly, convened in Frankfurt on May 18, 1848, sought to:
Write a national constitution
Create a centralized government
Guarantee freedom of the press, trial by jury, and other basic rights by codifying the "BasicRights for the German People"However, the National Assembly itself was not a unified group, and infighting as well as outsideopposition eventually led to its downfall. For example, the Assembly could not agree on the borders of a German nation-state--especially in terms of Austria and the Hapsburg empire. In terms of outsideforces, Austrian Prince Felix Schwarzenberg proposed a centralized Imperial constitution for the entireAustrian empire and offered Prussian Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm IV the unifying crown. However, theKaiser refused and spoke against any type of unification. In effect, the ideas of the National Assemblywere going nowhere (and several liberals left the Assembly). The Assembly was disbanded by militaryforce; the German Revolution of 1848 was effectively over.Historians often see the Forty-Eighters as the inheritors of the liberal tradition of Kant and Schiller,Washington and Jefferson (Tolzmann, German Corner). And while the ideals of the German Revolutionwere not successful in 1848, they provided a base for the Weimar Republic and for German unificationin 1989.For more on the German Revolution, seeUnity and Justice and Freedom: The German Revolution of 1848/49by the German Information Center.[Contributions of the '48ers] [Prominent '48ers][German Revolution of 1848]
Prominent Wisconsin Forty-Eighters
Carl Schurz (1829-1906):
The most famous and influential of the Wisconsin 48ers. In 1848, Schurzled students at the University of Bonn against Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm IV's regime and became alieutenant in the revolutionary army. After the failed revolution, Schurz fled to Paris (he also made adaring return to Germany under a false passport to rescue a professor from the Spandau prison). After living in New York and Philadelphia, Schurz and his wife, Margarethe Meyer Schurz, came toWisconsin in 1855, first settling in Watertown. In America, Schurz continued his political activism. InWisconsin and elsewhere, he championed freedom and anti-slavery ideals, often using his journalism background to speak his mind. Also, Schurz became known as a leading spokesman for the newlyformedRepublican party.Highlights of his political and public career include:
1857: Unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor. Starts the
Watertown Advertiser 
, a newspaper that would "advocate anti-slavery principles"
1859: Sets up legal practice in Milwaukee
1860: Heads Wisconsin delegation to Republican convention
1861: Appointed minister to Spain by President Lincoln
1862: Fights in Civil War in General Freemont's Virginia division
1869: Elected U.S. Senator from Missouri
1877-1881: Serves as Secretary of the Interior 
1882: Helps found New York Evening Post
1892-1895: President of the National Civil Service Reform League
1892-1898: Writes editorials for Harper's Weekly
Margarethe Meyer Schurz (1833-1876)
: Margarethe Meyer met Carl Schurz in London in 1852 andmoved to New York with him as his wife later that year. While often in poor health, Margarethe Schurz played a crucial role in introducing the idea of kindergarten to America. She had long been interested inthe work of Friedrich Froebel, the founder of the kindergarten movement. She had helped her sister with an experimental school in London before moving to America. In 1856, she used her home inWatertown, Wisconsin, as a kindergarten for her daughter and other neighborhood children. Her friendElizabeth Peabody was so inspired by this model that she started the first public kindergartens in St.Louis. 

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