Trump’s Question Was One Real Historians Always Ask!

As a non-American whose degree was in politics and modern history and whose post-grad diploma was in – wait for it!- Soviet and East European Studies (taken on the principle that a good doctor should study disease) I was amazed at the furore over President Trump’s sensble question –


‘’People don’t realize, you know, the civil war – if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a civil war? Why could that one not have been worked out?”


The whole point of being a serious historian is that one asks questions.

Some people don’t.

They either don’t care enough to do so, or as in the case of an ex ABCNightline hack named Tom McCarthy…



..writing in the UK’s left-liberal Guardian, they are so infatuated with the ideological appeal of one possible answer stuck in that airy space between their ears that they just won’t have it budged by questions.

. The civil war was fought over slavery – the enslavement in the United States of African Americans – and related territorial, economic and cultural struggles.

No, it was fought on the issue of whether America was a federal or confederal union.

The latter alternative definition was favoured by The Southern States, where it was taken to mean they had a right to secede.

Lincoln ( who held views on race relations that would nowadays get him targetted by witch-hunting gangs like SPLC!) did not accept any such breakaways as legitimate.


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Fort Sumter, April, 1861


Had the war been about the enslavement in the United States of African Americans then Lincoln would have issued his emancipation edict before the fighting started or during the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

In fact slavery was AN issue, but not the main one that divided North and South, and not all slave ‘states’ adhered to the Confederate cause.

Slaves in Kentucky, Delaware, Missouri and Maryland were not included in Lincoln’s Emancipation, which came nearly two years after the first shots were fired.

It was merely a support strategy for the Northern war effort.


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I realise this is will be read by many Americans, and they may disagree with some or all of what I have said.

Unlike the media mug McCarthy, though, I hope they will put forward their positions and support them with history-based arguments     – not seek to impose one opinion as if it were a matter of Papal Infallibity