From Lincoln to Obama, the Value of Peace Talkstags: Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln
(CNN) -- As negotiations with Iran are about to resume in Vienna, some of President Obama's friends, not to mention his enemies, are appalled by the very idea of what they consider a deal with the devil.
One congressman called November's interim agreement a betrayal "worse than Munich" before he had even seen it. Incapable of joining forces on anything else, some Democrats, Republicans and Iranian hardliners refuse to give peace a chance. A century and a half ago, a recalcitrant alliance of the same improbable ilk caused literally fatal consequences.
On February 5, 1865, Abraham Lincoln designed a simple compromise to end the Civil War. It would have saved thousands of lives, abolished slavery and enticed the departed states to disarm and return voluntarily in exchange for fair concessions. It never made it out of the White House. The purists in his Cabinet rejected it, and the moderates would not cross them.
A few days earlier, Lincoln and his secretary of state, William Seward, a liberal former senator and a defeated candidate for president, had welcomed a rebel peace delegation to the presidential steamboat River Queen, the Air Force One of her day....
comments powered by Disqus
- Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible
- Parsing Ronald Reagan’s Words for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- Historians make it easy for visitors to DC to understand the history of the Mall
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- If historians have their way, Americans will soon learn how important religion has been in US history