John Kelly: US Civil War caused by 'lack of compromise'


Jan 2015
Left coast
This is getting a lot of attention on social media. I think it's Kelly's first public gaff. Will there be more?

John Kelly: US Civil War caused by 'lack of compromise'

President Trump's chief of staff, General John Kelly, claims an inability to compromise caused the American Civil War.

Speaking to Fox News, Gen Kelly was discussing efforts to remove Confederate monuments and symbols.

Confederate symbols have been a source of controversy in the US. Some see them as an offensive reminder of America's history of slavery while others view their removal as an effort to subvert US history and southern culture.

His remarks prompted a furious discussion on social media. The phrase "Civil War" was trending in the US - used more than 30,000 times on Twitter since Mr Kelly made his remarks on Monday night.

Chelsea Clinton and Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, were among those to voice their opposition.
The article continues at: John Kelly: US Civil War caused by 'lack of compromise' - BBC News
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Council Hall
Dec 2007
Pennsylvania, USA
Compromise? As in "Okay, you can keep some slaves, but not as many?"

If anyone wants to know the underlying causes of the civil war, there is no higher authority than the Declarations of Secession issued by seceding states. They are literally the codified reason for their session, written by the seceding governments.

The Declarations of Secession for Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia are linked here. Word for word. No spin. No bias.

If you're using the Chrome browser, you can search the page for a single word, and all instances of that word will light up. Search for instances of the string "econom" (covering "economics," "economy," "economical," etc. Search for instances of the string "tax."

Now search for the string "slave."

Case closed.
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Jan 2015
Left coast
Wasn't one of the proposals put forward by one side but rejected by the other that certain states could keep their slaves but other territories and any new states would not be allowed slaves?

Not that I think it would have made much difference in the end.
Likes: 1 person
Nov 2014
North Carolina
What compromise was available? Allowing more slave states?
Lincoln attempted to compromise on slavery through-out the Civil War. The extremists (on both sides) would have none of it - and many Civil War Historians believed that is what ultimately lead to war.

This is not a controversial view. At least not for anyone who understands the Civil War.


Jul 2014
I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly said. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

“That statement could have been given by [former Confederate general] Jubal Early in 1880,” said Stephanie McCurry, a history professor at Columbia University and author of “Confederate Reckoning: Politics and Power in the Civil War South.” “What’s so strange about this statement is how closely it tracks or resembles the view of the Civil War that the South had finally got the nation to embrace by the early 20th century,” she said. “It’s the Jim Crow version of the causes of the Civil War. I mean, it tracks all of the major talking points of this pro-Confederate view of the Civil War.”

Kelly makes several points. That Lee was honorable. That fighting for state was more important than fighting for country. That a lack of compromise led to the war. That good people on both sides were fighting for conscientious reasons. Both McCurry and David Blight, a history professor at Yale University and author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” broadly reject all of these arguments. “This is profound ignorance, that’s what one has to say first, at least of pretty basic things about the American historical narrative,” Blight said. “I mean, it’s one thing to hear it from Trump, who, let’s be honest, just really doesn’t know any history and has demonstrated it over and over and over. But General Kelly has a long history in the American military.”

Blight described Kelly’s argument in similar terms as McCurry — an “old reconciliationist narrative” about the Civil War that, in the past half a century or so has “just been exploded” by historical research since. It was not about slavery, it was about honorable men fighting for honorable causes?” McCurry said. “Well, what was the cause? . . . In 1861, they were very clear on what the causes of the war were. The reason there was no compromise possible was that people in the country could not agree over the wisdom of the continued and expanding enslavement of millions of African Americans.

This is so disappointing. Here I thought he would be the voice of reason within this administration. But after he lied about Wilson and now this...seems like he is all aboard the crazy Trump train.
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