1860 - 1865 Civil War

1860 - 1865 Civil War - Lincoln Lincoln long believed...

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Lincoln Lincoln long believed slavery was an unjust institution that should be tolerated only to the extent the Constitution and the tradition of sectional compromise required Lincoln’s election provoked southern secession Why Lincoln was effective: Some of his training as a prairie politician proved extremely useful Lincoln’s immediate problem was how to respond to the secession of the Deep South, but secession was just an expression of the larger question: Did the authority of the federal government outweigh the power of the individual states? What the Civil War did: Put on trial the very principle of democracy Showed the shortcomings of a purely white man’s democracy Brought the first hesitant steps toward black citizenship Pre-War Conditions Two things happened to turn a “cold” war into a “hot” one: (1) Final effort to defuse the conflict by compromise had to fail (2) North needed to develop a firm resolve to maintain the Union by military action Those who advocated immediate secession by each state individually vs. Cooperationists (believed slave states should act as unit) Constitutional theory behind secession: the Union was a “compact” among sovereign states, each of which could withdraw from the Union by the vote of a convention similar to the one that had ratified the Constitution in the first place South Carolina was first state to secede on December 20, 1860 (unanimous by legislature) Unilateral action set precedent that weakened Cooperationist’s cause By February 1, 1861 – SC, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, & Texas had seceded February 4, 1861 – delegates from Deep South met in Montgomery, AL, to establish the Confederate States of America Resulting constitution similar to US – most differences merely spelled out traditional southern interpretation of character Fed gov required to pass laws protecting slavery in territories Jefferson Davis as president w/ VP Alexander Stephens Moderation resulted from desire to win support for cause in reluctant states of upper South Proslavery reactionaries who wanted aristocratic nation never gained majority support Goal was to re-create the Union as it had been before the rise of new Republican party, not create slaveholder’s utopia The only justification for southern independence on which a majority could agree was the need for greater security for the “peculiar
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1860 - 1865 Civil War - Lincoln Lincoln long believed...

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