|Image courtesy of IMDb.|
If you watch Steven Spielberg's latest film, Lincoln, hoping to witness a prolonged sequence of bloody Civil War battle scenes, you might be slightly disappointed. The movie begins with one, but that's not what defines this masterpiece.
If, instead, you're interested in an impeccable depiction of 1865 America — including the country's most pressing social and political issues of the time, as well as an intimate portrayal of the president who saved this nation — then you'll enjoy the film as much as I did.
Set during the final months of the American Civil War (and Abraham Lincoln's life), the movie provides some fascinating insight into the struggles involved with the passage and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which cemented an end to legal slavery and involuntary servitude in the U.S. Constitution.
During this racially charged era, social and ideological differences played a central role in the fight over whether to apply transformational change to America's most sacred document, as would inevitably also be the case in the year 2012.
Indeed, many of the arguments of 147 years ago sound similar to those we're confronted with today, albeit in reference to a different battle.
Opponents of the anti-slavery amendment (mostly Democrats) contended that it would create equity among two "classes" of human beings who were, by their interpretation, intrinsically different; and that it would lay ruin to cultural norms and tradition. They also asserted that its passage would create a slippery slope: What if this amendment someday led to suffrage for blacks? Or women? What would we do then?