The United States Civil War was initially clashed to bring the rebellious South back in to the Union according to Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. In his speech Lincoln says, “..to saving the Union without war,” he means here that at his first inaugural address, everyone was trying to desperately avoid a civil war, but still would do anything to help their cause. Lincoln then goes on to say, “..accept war rather than let it perish.” Here is talking about how the North changed in the sense that they would do anything to help their cause, even if it means war. Lincoln’s reason for why the war was originally started was the fact that the North knew war was the only option to preserve the Union
Although President Abraham Lincoln originally said the cause of the war was to defend the Union, he then states that the new purpose of the war was to free the slaves. He says, “These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war.” Lincoln specifically states here that slaves have all always been one of the greatest controversies of his time, and they ended up being the true purpose of the Civil War. Freeing slaves had always been an issue in America, only now, bloodshed was being cast in order to defend or uphold it.
Lincoln’s post war plans for the Union are evident in this line, “let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him…to achieve…everlasting peace.” Abraham Lincoln brilliantly writes here that even if he beats up or wounds the South, he wants them back, as a part of the country. Also, not only does he want the South back, but he wants them to come back right away. Lincoln’s main goal was keeping the Union together, and he made sure his post-war plans continued this idea.