Abraham Lincoln: Peacemaker Or Catalyst?

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Abraham Lincoln: Peacemaker or Catalyst? The increasingly diverging economies of the North and South resulted in the development of different political and social ideologies. The South’s agrarian economy resulted in wealthy plantation owners investing their money into slaves, leading to weak institutions and little innovation. While New England’s economy benefited from factories and business ventures. New Englanders invested in transportation and internal improvements. Divisions surrounding taxes, tariffs, internal improvements and states rights versus federal rights was most prominent during the 1850’s. This period was most renown for it’s political compromises and violence between pro-slavery and anti-slavery figures. Growing sectionalism …show more content…

Although the two regions had always been divided, their intentions were never for war. Slavery proved to be an economic issue for the South, while Northerners viewed it as a moral dilemma. Failed compromises such as the Missouri Compromise, Wilmot Proviso, and the Compromise of 1850 demonstrated the desire for peace, but their inability to find compromise led to violence. The Civil War could’ve been avoided up to the Election of 1860 if any capable politician had provided reasonable terms for a compromise between the North and South. In addition, if any other candidate had been elected whose position on slavery wasn’t as firm and were more willing to compromise, solutions could’ve been found through politics instead of violence. However, once Lincoln was elected, any hopes for compromise or negotiation were shattered. Lincoln was firm in his beliefs and wasn’t willing to compromise with the South, ultimately leading to the Civil …show more content…

Lincoln's election lead to the belief that Southern interests were no longer considered in the federal government, and that the government would outlaw slavery. However, Lincoln's only agenda was to preserve the union and restrict slavery where it already resided. Despite receiving no votes from Southerners, Lincoln was still able to win the election. Southerners viewed this as Northern conspirators planning the destruction of Southern institutions. Southerners virtually lost all political power due to the influx of immigrants in the North and the election of Lincoln. Southerners feared Lincoln would use federal power to push through the abolition of slavery. Lincoln’s desire to restrict slavery caused many Southerners to feel as though their constitutional rights were violated. With no representation in government Southerners felt the only solution was to secede from the Union and form their own government. In addition, Lincoln’s inaugural address made it clear that “the Union of these states is perpetual,” making clear that secession would not be tolerable. Lincoln's attitudes and policies after winning the Election of 1860 fueled the secessionist’s arguments of the South. If any other candidate had been elected, who was more willing to compromise, war would’ve been avoided and concessions could’ve been made to both sides. However, Lincoln couldn’t compromise with the South,

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the diverging economies of the north and south resulted in different political and social ideologies. lincoln's election in 1860 led to the american civil war.
  • Explains that the north and south tried to reconcile relations through compromises that might have made the war avoidable. lincoln was firm in his beliefs and wasn't willing to compromise with the south, ultimately leading to the civil war.
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