Essay on Jefferson Davis: Man of the Year

Essay on Jefferson Davis: Man of the Year

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History is not so much a series of events as it is a series of influential people whose radical actions and ideas changed the world. While one can point to many people and call them influential, a good gauge for seeing which people had a large impact in society is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue. Past receivers of the title include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Adolf Hitler, all of whom have inarguably had an immense effect on the world. But the title did not always exist, so people who lived before the 20th century are, of course, ineligible. It is possible to argue over which person in 1865, the end of the American Civil War, would have received the title, but there is a simple answer. Jefferson Davis is Time’s Person of the Year because his actions caused the Confederacy to lose the Civil War. He was confident enough to convince many people to lend him their support, his handling of the military was that of a neophyte, and he refused to cater to the common people.
Much of Jefferson Davis’s influence on the outcome of the Civil War comes from his confidence. Historian William C. Davis writes, “Never by specific act or design did [Jefferson Davis] seem to confer his mantle of leadership on another. Rather, Davis seems to have assumed it, probably unconsciously” (193). Davis believed himself to be right regardless of evidence and facts, causing him to seem like he knew what he was talking about (“Jefferson Davis Biography”). It was this trait of his that made him appealing to the people who elected him, as he seemed like an embodiment of the superego; he was known as cold, but most people assumed it was because his mind was made of pure intellect. Though this trait was also his undoing when he entered of...

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... numbered footnotes that contain all his sources that he got from)

"Jefferson Davis Biography." Home of the Civil War. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. .
(The page has a bibliography at the end, citing several books as sources)

“Judah P. Benjamin Biography.” Home of the Civil War. Web. 26 Apr. 2012.
(The page has a bibliography at the end, citing several books as sources)

Rafuse, Ethan S. "Jefferson Davis (1808–1889)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Ed. Brendan Wolf. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 5 Apr. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. .

Sword, Wiley. Shiloh: Bloody April. New York: Morrow, 1974. Print.
(Wiley sword was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won a Fletcher Pratt Award in 1992 for the best book on the Civil War.)

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