The Civil War was the worst crisis in American history, pitting two sides of a split nation against one another in bloody battles that persisted for four exhausting years. It was a war that neither side claimed to want, and that neither side claimed to start. Although popular belief places the blame with the South because they fired the first shot, there is considerable evidence that Lincoln, realizing war was inevitable, coerced the South into firing that first fateful shot.
At the time of Lincoln’s inauguration, the tension between the North and the South was nearing a breaking point. Seven states—South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas—had already seceded from the Union, although the federal government refused to recognize their government, the Confederate States of America. And eight other slave states—Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas—strongly sympathized with the Confederates. President James Buchanan seemed to have been waiting for his term to end, thereby avoiding making an actual decision. Thus, the public realized that the handling of this delicate and potentially explosive issue rested on the shoulders of the new government and the new president, Abraham Lincoln.
As the people watched and waited, all questioned what Lincoln’s position would be. Their first clue was his Inaugural Address. In this speech, he said that he would use his power to “hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government” (Doc. 1). This statement seemed to imply that Lincoln would maintain the status quo—keeping what he had, but not seeking more. Perhaps a better indic...
... middle of paper ...
...rawford, May 6, 1882.
Document 22: Letter from Captain H. A. Adams, commanding U. S. S. Brooklyn and U.S. Frigate Sabine off Pensacola, to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. The letter is dated April 1, 1861.
Document 30: Letter from Lincoln to Robert S. Chew, Special Messenger of the State Department, April 6, 1861.
Document 34: Letter from General Beauregard, C. S. A., to Major Anderson, April 11.
Document 35: Major Anderson to General Beauregard, April 11.
Document 37: Anderson to Beauregard, April 12, between one and two a.m.
Document 38: Letter from James Chesnut, Jr., and Stephen D. Lee, aides to General Beauregard, to Major Anderson. Written at Fort Sumter, 3:20 a.m., April 12, 1861.
Document 39: Excerpt from the diary of Orville H. Browning, United States Senator from Illinois and a friend of Lincoln. Entry is for July 3, 1861.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In April 1861, the United States declared a state of insurrection against the Confederacy of rebellious southern states. In Europe, the ordeal was referred to as "The American Question." The question could not be evaded; a choice had to be made between neutrality and intervention. European attitudes towards the American Civil War would have a significant effect on the war's ultimate outcome (Randall and Donald 355). Throughout the early months of the conflict, the reaction of Europe was of great interest to both sides; Queen Victoria's Great Britain, in particular.... [tags: US History Civil War]
1711 words (4.9 pages)
- In the history of the United States, African Americans have always been discriminated against. When Africans first came to America, they were taken against their will and forced to work as laborers. They became slaves to the rich, greedy, lazy Americans. They were given no pay and often badly whipped and beaten. African Americans fought for their freedom, and up until the Civil War it was never given to them. When the Civil War began, they wanted to take part in fighting to free all slaves. Their opportunity to be soldiers and fight along side white men equally did not come easily, but eventually African Americans proved themselves able to withstand the heat of battle and fight as true Ame... [tags: American History Civil War]
2409 words (6.9 pages)
- On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered by Abraham Lincoln. This bold and progressive move by the President declared that "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" (The Library of Congress, 2014). While Lincoln now harbors the fame for ending slavery, his proclamation initially only ended slavery in those states that attempted to separate from the union.... [tags: ending slavery, civil war, inequalities]
882 words (2.5 pages)
- The Civil War is known for its brutality and fierce fighting on both sides that led to one of the greatest wars in the history of the world. The war was vigorously contested and fought with courage and pride for one’s beliefs. The war would tear apart a country and reunite it stronger than ever, the country regrouped and began building a stronger infrastructure and a brighter future. The Civil War will never be forgotten and will always help define a country, a people, and a way of life. The Civil War has revolutionized the United States, and greatly affected not only the United States but also the world.... [tags: people, life, war, change, factors]
775 words (2.2 pages)
- Abraham Lincoln is perhaps one of the most interesting characters to have ever graced the American political arena and presidency. He is most noteworthy, obviously, for his role in saving the United States from its own destruction and the eradication of the vile Southern tradition of slavery. However, upon deeper inspection, one finds there was much more to Lincoln than his political achievements. Throughout his years as a politician, there's a noticeable shift in terms of his character, and political persona.... [tags: politics, slavery, growth]
1077 words (3.1 pages)
- Indeed, with the topic of War as our main theme this year, I have come to the conclusion that it certainly brings immeasurable mass destruction. War is an unfortunate event that leads to violence, destruction, slaughter as well as annihilation. The last few centuries mark a significant era of Wars that have killed millions of people. These wars, particularly the U.S. Civil War in 1861 and the Second World War in 1939, give us a broader understanding of the horrors that an individual faced during a violent period.... [tags: War, American History]
1463 words (4.2 pages)
The Outbreak of the American Civil War as a Result of a Concerted Campaign of Aggression by the Deep South
- The Outbreak of the American Civil War as a Result of a Concerted Campaign of Aggression by the Deep South The Origins of the American Civil War lay in the complicated set of problems of slavery, expansion, sectionalism and politics of the antebellum era. As territorial expansion forced the United States to confront the question of whether territories were to be slave or free, as the power of slaveholders in Congress decreased, and as the North and the South developed obviously different economies and societies, the disruptive issues of sectionalism propelled the nation into the Civil War.... [tags: Papers]
1054 words (3 pages)
- During the time period of 1860 and 1877 many major changes occurred. From the beginning of the civil war to the fall of the reconstruction, the United States changed dramatically. Nearly one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence which declared all men equal, many social and constitutional alterations were necessary to protect the rights of all people, no matter their race. These social and constitutional developments that were made during 1860 to 1877 were so drastic it could be called a revolution.... [tags: American History]
941 words (2.7 pages)
- The American Civil War was a chaotic and bloody conflict for the United States. While the Civil War was not strictly fought over slavery, it was a central factor. At the outbreak of the war, there were approximately four million slaves in the Union. With Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, those slaves were declared free men. However a large majority of those slaves were located in territory held by the Confederacy, and it was not until the end of the conflict that that these men and women actually saw their freedom.... [tags: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln]
2549 words (7.3 pages)
- Abraham Lincoln was a man who was best known for bold standing against the difficult problems of his day. Issues such as slavery, negro social and political rights, and saving the Union in a nation based on the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln had many strength as well as flaws. He considered himself a common man and was not interested in his ancestry. Lincoln was a self educated man, who had never had a full year of schooling in his life. But, the 16th President of the United States became "a casualty of conflict".... [tags: essays research papers]
1130 words (3.2 pages)