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Unformatted text preview: LPK Holt HIUS 309 January 22, 2008 The Civil War and Presidential Leadership Holt’s questions: Why did the Union win? What is the significance of the war? The North was more unified, disciplined, and modern than the South The Civil War caused a growth of power in the position of the presidency Lincoln actively usurped powers belonging to Congress and to the federal government The contrast in presidents directly affected the outcome of the war Lincoln was a much better strategist than his military leaders; brilliant definer of the Northern cause; widely popular and accepted leader that held the North together; his flexibility as accepting emancipation; masterful use of the English language (a wonderful writer) Lincoln’s contribution to the Northern win: “the great man theory” – Lincoln was not universally loved during the war; he gained popularity when he was assassinated; criticized for his western background, squeaky voice and homely appearance – but most of all, he was hated because he was such a powerful president Buchanan (D) – a particular target for contempt; poorly handled the secession crisis; a “rotten” president; prayed every night for a solution; was obsessed with what his reputation would be – wanted to leave office before war actually broke out; his administration was extremely corrupt Throughout 1860, SC threatened to secede if a Republican won the election – Lincoln won and within days SC called for a convention to decide on secession On December 3 rd Buchanan sent his state of the union message to Congress – denied the federal government had the power to stop states from seceding but also believed the states didn’t have the right to secede No other deep South state seceded until the second week in January – about a 3 week difference SC demanded that Buchanan turn over the forts in Charleston harbor; Buchanan refused – Pinckney, Moultrie, Sumter Major Robert Anderson commanded forces at these forts – received orders from Buchanan to avoid conflict and protect the forts from seizure – took his men from Fort Moultrie to Sumter – this outraged the South Carolinians Buchanan sent troops (unannounced) to reinforce Anderson’s men in Sumter – traveled on the merchant ship, The Star of the West – fired on by SC and failed to land the reinforcements Buchanan gave Congress the right to use military force against anyone that went against the federal troops In December and January, Buchanan hoped a compromise would be worked out in Congress – the Committee of Thirty-Three (House) and the...
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- Spring '08
- American Civil War, Confederate States of America, McClellan Lincoln