Trump tells Time Magazine the South overplayed its hand in the Civil War

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tags: Civil War, election 2016, Trump

HNN Editor Donald Trump's comments on the Civil War echo a viewpoint advanced in the 1920s and 1930s by historians disillusioned with World War I.  Their argument was based on the belief that the Civil War was the result of the handiwork of a "bungling generation." By the time Trump attended college in the 1970s this viewpoint had long ago been abandoned as short-sighted as it was based on the belief that the war was fought over issues that wise leaders could have settled.  Once historians came to believe that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, a belief now held by most, few thought that the North and the South could have reached an amiable compromise as politicians in the past had. A deal along the lines of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 or the Compromise of 1850 was no longer possible once the South pressed for the extension of slavery into the West.

“I’ll tell you what does stick with me: the Civil War. Lee and Lincoln and Davis. These are unbelievable historical figures. I think that anything having to do with the Civil War has always been very interesting to me, much more so than even the founding of the country.”

“I think they could have settled without going to war,” he said. “I always felt that the South overplayed their hand.”

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