Civil Rights Groups Slam Trump’s Claim on Negotiable Civil War

( – The American Civil War, which ran from April 12, 1861, to May 26, 1865, is a source of pain, pride, and fascination for people all over the world. It was a turbulent period in time that pitted countrymen against their own people and yet still resulted in a single unified nation. It created a new America without slavery and with a civilized and humane attempt to rebuild what had been destroyed and reconcile the opposing factions.

While some things about the Civil War are simple unadorned facts, professional historians and amateur history enthusiasts have been arguing over the details, the meaning, and the motivations since before it even ended. That time period is also an area of interest to civil rights activists, politicians, sociologists, scientists and even medical professionals. There are always new books and papers about the Civil War, as well as new examinations of older books and primary sources like contemporary journals, articles, and letters.

At a rally in Iowa on Saturday, January 6, former President Trump commented that he believed the Civil War could have been avoided if it had only been properly negotiated. This is not the first time he, or anyone else, has made this claim. Armchair generals have been examining the Civil War and arguing about how it could have been done better, or more effectively, for over 100 years and usually in a way that reflects their interests and expertise. So, a civil rights activist would have an entirely different way of looking at the Civil War than a CEO would because they are viewing the conflict through their own interests and perspectives.

However, many people are calling his comment a “dog-whistle” to white supremacists and claiming that he believes he could have negotiated the Civil War so that the Southern states could keep the institution of slavery. While some could certainly interpret it that way, he gave no actual indication that he meant that. He also said that if President Lincoln had successfully negotiated the Civil War he might not be as well remembered today. Indeed, many of America’s former presidents are barely remembered by the public at large, but whether the Civil War was won with words or muskets, it doesn’t seem likely that President Lincoln would have been forgotten.

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