The Radical And The Republican By James Oakes

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In the book, The Radical and the Republican: Fredrick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the triumph of Antislavery Politics, written by James Oakes connected the politics and the point of views of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass towards the issue of slavery and the emancipation of slaves. Oakes interpretations of both men were very detailed in showing their reason and politics behind their positions they served in society on the topic of slavery. Abraham Lincoln, the republican, and Fredrick Douglass, the radical, two incredibly distinct people, yet both shared similar views towards their hatred on the institution of slavery and their highest hopes for freedom. How can a relationship so different, yet a like lead to the road to emancipation …show more content…
By 1858 Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were ]preaching the same antislavery politics. Liberty or Slavery must become law of the land” Beyond Garrisonian newspapers, he began to embrace abolitionist politics and the idea that the Constitution supported slave freedom. “Lincoln saw the Constitution as neither a clarion call to abolition on a proslavery scandal. It was a compromise. It recognized slavery, but only out of necessity and only three times. Lincoln believed the founding fathers imagined the end of slavery for the United States in the future. According to Oakes, they both believed that slavery was not well suited for American values. But if expansion of slavery continued it would soon end up in a moral and political disaster. Overtime Lincoln began to believe that slavery corrupted the American experiment and that it must be done away …show more content…
He viewed the Constitution as a compromise between slavery and antislavery forces. Lincoln and Douglass had not met but both were speaking publically on this slavery topic. His obligation was to prevent the spread of slavery; at the same time, he held onto a belief that over time slavery would end because he felt this bad trait shouldn’t be shared among Americans. Part of Oakes’ argument is that Lincoln, somewhat counter intuitively, needed Douglass’ criticism. Lincoln took care to position himself outside of the abolitionist camp; yet he needed the abolitionist voice to be heard. Lincoln needed Douglass’ criticism because it “made Lincoln seem more conservative than he actually was.” Yet Douglass’ opinion was not shared by the majority of Northerners. On the other hand, Douglass criticized Lincoln’s conservatism, without recognizing all of Lincoln’s radical moves toward emancipation. To an instinctive reformer like Douglass, this was no time to ease up on the critics .The closer Lincoln came to the conclusion that emancipation was essential to the control of the southern rebellion , the more frustrated Douglass seemed to become.” “He wanted people to read the impending proclamation as a conservative gesture.” Lincoln and Douglass met twice, in 1863 and in1864, but throughout those times they conversed of the matter of the emancipation such as how many slaves would join the war and

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