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Stewart and Judge Napolitano Battle over the Necessity of the Civil War to End Slavery

In a boisterous interview Tuesday night, Daily Show host Jon Stewart debated Fox News anchor and judge Andrew Napolitano over the latter’s recent comments that President Abraham Lincoln gratuitously pursued the Civil War when slavery as an institution could have died a non-violent death.

Stewart argued that the lack of moral imperative to end slavery by any mean possible sat poorly with Napolitano’s love of the American Revolution, which used armed secession as a means to achieve liberty. Napolitano countered that Lincoln did not exhaust all non-violent options before pursuing war and, in fact, prosecuted the Civil War to gain dominance over southern whites and their economy.

“Why is the onus on Lincoln and not the southern states?” Stewart asked. “They seceded from the union—before he took office, as a matter of fact.”

“The leaders of the southern states perpetuated this immoral system, I have no praise for them whatsoever,” Napolitano replied. “Lincoln could have undone it without spending 6.6 billion and causing the death of 785,000 human beings.”

Watch the full interview below, via Comedy Central:

[Image via screengrab]

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