8.3CivilWarPolitics - 8.3 Politics and Economics During the...

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8.3 Politics and Economics During the Civil War I. Lincoln’s early presidency A. Inaugural 1.Vowed to preserve the Union; to “hold, occupy, and possess” Federal propertyin the South a. “Physically speaking, we cannot separate” b. He was careful not to offend border slave states with hawkish rhetoric c. Republicans & Democratic unionists supported the speechd. Lower South saw it as a war message B. Cabinet 1. William H. Seward , one of America’s best secretaries of state 2. Salmon P. Chase , treasury sec. -- A leading abolitionist; had presidential hopes -- Eventually appointed by Lincoln as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court 3. Edwin M. Stanton : “War Democrat” later appointed as secretary of war. 4. Cabinet often at odds with each other or with Lincoln C. Lincoln an able and savvy leader 1. Perceptive at interpreting public opinion and acting accordingly 2. Charitable toward South and patience with feuding cabinet members 3. Walked a fine line between racists and abolitionists when running for president II. Attack on Fort Sumter A. Located at mouth of Charleston Harbor, Ft. Sumter was one of two last remaining federal forts in the South. 1. The day after inauguration, Lincoln notified by Major Robert Anderson that supplies to the fort would soon run out and he would be forced to surrender. 2. Lincoln faced with choices that were all bad a. No supplies would mean surrender; would ruin his credibility to “hold, possess, and occupy” federal forts b. Sending reinforcements would surely provoke the South into Civil War with the North seen as the aggressor. -- Moreover, Union detachments not available on such short notice. Use space below for notes
c. Solution: Lincoln notified South Carolinians of an expedition to send supplies to the fort, not to reinforce it with men or weapons -- If a war were to begin, Lincoln would let the South fire the first shot. 3. April 9, 1861 -- A ship carrying supplies for Fort Sumter sailed from New York. -- Seen by S.C. as an act of aggression; “reinforcement” B. April 12: Fort Sumter bombarded by more than 70 Confederate cannon 1. Anderson’s garrison held for 34 hours until he surrendered at 2:30 P.M. the next day. 2. Anderson’s men allowed to return North. 3. No loss of life during bombardment; fort heavily damaged C. Lincoln called for volunteers, inresponse 1. Before the attack , many northerners felt that the South had the right to secede and should not be forced to stay. 2. Attack on Sumter provoked the North to fight for their honor & the Union. -- Lincoln’s strategy paid off; South seen as the aggressors North as the victim 3. April 15, Lincoln issued call to the states for 75,000 militiamen ; 90 day service 4. April 19, Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of Southern seaports -- Initially ineffective; but eventually strangled the South.

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