The Radical And The Republican Analysis

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The Radical and the Republican by James Oakes is a historical retelling about the struggle of two men, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, to put an end to slavery and the formation of their partnership that led to the ending of slavery. Both men came from vastly different backgrounds, but both strongly believed that slaves should be emancipated and given the benefits from their hard labor. However, in the beginning, their similarities ended there and they were not willing to be friends nor partners. Oakes argues that things could not remain this way due to the need for the passionate reformation and impulsive nature of Douglass paired with the practical political leadership that was exemplified by Lincoln were needed to finally liberate …show more content…
At this meeting, Lincoln confessed that he was worried that the slaves did not know that they were being emancipated and could move up north. He could not understand why they were staying in the South and not moving up North where they could live in freedom. Lincoln also confessed that he was worried that the Civil War would come to an end and that slaves would continue living in the South making the entire battle worthless. These concerns are what prompted Lincoln to seek out and request the help of Douglass to spread the word about the emancipation and greatly urged the slaves to move up North. Douglass agreed to Lincoln’s request and at the same time changed his long standing opinion about the other man and confessed that he was no longer suspicious of the …show more content…
By having the majority of the book rooted on things straight from the source, this book could be used in classrooms and other settings to retell this portion of history. However, while Oakes book paints both Lincoln and Douglass in an extremely positive light, Oakes seems to be a bit more critical of Douglass. Oakes finds Douglass to be naïve when he first began to follow William Lloyd Garrison’s teachings and called the pair, “a less than perfect match for the movement that claimed him,”. Oakes also critiques Douglass’s support in Gerrit Smith radical abolition politics and John Brown’s associated actions. One final thing, Oakes seems to under play Douglass’s support for emigration before the Civil War by noting that he was, “less skeptical than usual,” on the subject. Oakes support his observation by noting that Douglass at this time was planning a ten-week trip to investigate Haiti with the intentions of moving there if it proved to be worthy. While alternatively, Oakes praised Lincoln for keeping his to his moderate antislavery sentiments to gain favor with the mass public. Even in Lincoln’s 1861 speech urging for congressional appropriation to buy out colonies for freed slaves to live is hailed as being “classic Lincoln, employing

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