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Was Robert E. Lee guilty of treason?

 
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 02:50 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
And there were plenty of southerners who decided that they wouldn't betray their country by joining the rebellion, such as George Thomas and Montgomery Meigs


There was no reason that George Washington should not had been loyal to the crown as after all even Franklin son William Franklin remain loyal to the crown.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 02:59 pm
Lee and all southern generals were caught in a no-win situation, because-
1- If they'd fought on the North's side the South would have called them traitors.
2- They chose to fight on the South's side and got called traitors by the North.
3- If they'd chosen not to fight on any side, both the North and South would have called them traitors!
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 03:05 pm
@BillRM,
Who said George Washington wasn't a traitor?
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 03:32 pm
@Setanta,
I think I already pointed out in my post that Lee always wore a Colonel's insignia on his Confederate uniform.
Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 03:38 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Lustig Andrei wrote:
Lee felt he had no choice, no options. He was, in his own mind, first of all a Virginian.

There was nothing unusual about this sort of sentiment.

It doesn't matter that Lee shared his mistaken beliefs with a bunch of other people. That just means that everyone else who thought the same way was also a traitor. And there were plenty of southerners who decided that they wouldn't betray their country by joining the rebellion, such as George Thomas and Montgomery Meigs.


That's easy for us to say from a post-bellum 20th century perspective. If Lee's beliefs were "mistaken," it was a mistake shared by the majority of the populations of the several states. Monday-morning quarterbacking is always fun but usually couner-productive. Would you really deem that three-quarters of the US population (or whatever the actual percentage was) could be considered traitors under 19th century standards?
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 03:42 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
Who said George Washington wasn't a traitor?


LOL that my point as if Lee is a traitor for siding with his home state instead of the whole US then Washington is similarly a traitor for siding with the same state Virginia and the united states in the process of being born instead of the English empire.

People will from time to time find themselves in positions of divide loyally where it is not fair to declare them traitors for picking one or the other sides that have claims on that loyally..
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 03:57 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I need to wonder how Joe would feel if he is found wanting morally under standards that hardly exist during his lifetime.

The nation was not one nation in the same sense it happen to be now in the first half of the 1800s and it was not the southern states that first threaten to break away from the union for that matter.
Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 04:07 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

The nation was not one nation in the same sense it happen to be now in the first half of the 1800s and it was not the southern states that first threaten to break away from the union for that matter.



It was, in fact, my former home state of New Hampshire, as I already pointed out in my original post.
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 04:18 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Quote:
It was, in fact, my former home state of New Hampshire, as I already pointed out in my original post.


There was even a Jame Bond type of British agent trying to promote the breakup of the US at the time.

Facts are always stranger then fiction it would seems



0 Replies
 
Benson-In-A-Box
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 05:59 pm
George Washington actually did come up in the course of our discussion. Said friend brought up the fact that there's a statue of Robert E. Lee in our capitol and wondered why there would be a statue of a traitor in a place of honor. My response was that there's a statue of president Washington in Trafalgar Square. Very Happy

Thank you for all of the responses. Every bit of info and perspective is appreciated.
roger
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 06:35 pm
@Benson-In-A-Box,
Good discussion, Benson. Drop in more often.
panzade
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 06:44 pm
@roger,
Yes. I enjoyed it
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 08:17 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:
That's easy for us to say from a post-bellum 20th century perspective.

It was just as easy to say that from a 19th century antebellum perspective. Do you seriously think that none of Lee's contemporaries considered him to be a traitor to the USA? They didn't call it a rebellion for nothing, you know.

Lustig Andrei wrote:
If Lee's beliefs were "mistaken," it was a mistake shared by the majority of the populations of the several states.

So there were a lot of other people who were just as traitorous as Lee. Your point?

Lustig Andrei wrote:
Would you really deem that three-quarters of the US population (or whatever the actual percentage was) could be considered traitors under 19th century standards?

Absolutely. Everyone who bore arms against the USA was a traitor under the standards that existed at that time. What in god's name makes you think they weren't?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 08:21 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
LOL that my point as if Lee is a traitor for siding with his home state instead of the whole US then Washington is similarly a traitor for siding with the same state Virginia and the united states in the process of being born instead of the English empire.

Washington was a traitor. So was Lee.

BillRM wrote:
People will from time to time find themselves in positions of divide loyally where it is not fair to declare them traitors for picking one or the other sides that have claims on that loyally.

Virginia had no claim on Lee's loyalty that superseded that of the US. It's true that Lee made a choice between Virginia and the US. He chose ... poorly.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 08:33 pm
Quote:
Joe said: Lee made a choice between Virginia and the US. He chose ... poorly.

If the South's leaders had sat down with their pocket calculators they'd have realised that starting the war would be a lost cause anyway because the North had numerically superior manpower, more manufacturing capacity and a bigger navy.
http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/martin_awl/medialib/download/MARTFIG152.gif

Likewise Hitler lost the Russian war for forgetting to use his calculator, he realised his mistake later and said- "If I had known the true figures for Russian tank production I would never have started this war"
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 08:54 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
Virginia had no claim on Lee's loyalty that superseded that of the US. It's true that Lee made a choice between Virginia and the US. He chose ... poorly.


Virginia was his home and his "country" and unlike you I am not going to second guess those emotions.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 09:10 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
Quote:
If the South's leaders had sat down with their pocket calculators they'd have realised that starting the war would be a lost cause anyway because the North had numerically superior manpower, more manufacturing capacity and a bigger navy


True if the North was willing to go all out at great cost in both treasure and blood the South could not win however that was an open question at the start of the conflict.

The largest riot in this nation history was the draft riot in New York City right after the death tolls was reported in the papers from the Gettysburg battle.

So it was not a sure thing until at least two years into the war whether the Federal government could keep the public support needed to pursue the war to the end point.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 09:25 pm
Quote:
BillRM said: @RF- True if the North was willing to go all out at great cost in both treasure and blood the South could not win however that was an open question at the start of the conflict

Yes the South's leaders gambled that the North wouldn't respond in force.
But by shelling Ft Sumter and marching an army on Washington the South left the North NO OPTION but to respond in self-defence under such armed provocation.
"Morality ends where a gun begins." - Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 09:37 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
Quote:
Yes the South's leaders gambled that the North wouldn't respond in force.
But by shelling Ft Sumter and marching an army on Washington the South left the North NO OPTION but to respond in self-defence under such armed provocation.


Self defense?.....LOL

Oh the north was going south in the first major battle of the war not the other way around.....marching on Washington indeed.

Of course if the south had a more blooded army at the time they could has indeed had march on Washington after their victory and likely ended the war.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 10:06 pm
Quote:
BillRM said: Self defense?.....LOL
...marching on Washington indeed.

I was presenting the North's perspective; they knew that the South had marched a 20,000 strong army under Beauregard in a show of force to within 25 miles of Washington (spitting distance), making the citizens sweat and begin demanding action which triggered the Battle of First Manassas as a self-defence action.

Iran threatened to do a similar "show of force" thing a few years ago by sailing a flotilla of warships to within sight of the American coastline in international waters, but I'm sure America wouldn't have stood for that..Smile
 

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