28 November 2011
Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for Union and Emancipation
President Lincoln knew that he would not have an easy job when he took the Presidency. South Carolina had threatened to secede if Lincoln was elected into office and true to their word; South Carolina seceded four days after Lincoln was sworn into office. Then within the following six weeks, six more states also seceded from the Union. And with this, President Lincoln made it his goal to preserve the Union, through any means necessary.
Lincoln admitted in a speech to a Committee of Religious Denominations in Chicago that slavery was the root of rebellion (B). However, Lincoln also knew that he would not have full support if he declared that a goal of the war was to free the slaves. So in the beginning of the Civil War, the goal was simply to preserve the Union. This tactic worked in favor for the president because if not, he might have lost support from the Border States of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.
President Lincoln was willing to do almost anything and everything in order to keep the Union together, so he sent troops to western Virginia, which did not want to secede like the rest of the state, and he sent troops to Missouri to secure those areas. As well, President Lincoln declared Martial law in Maryland. Some of these acts were of dubious legality, but it just showed how determined the President was at trying to preserve his country. He even tried to propose a plan that would appeal to the states that had already seceded by proposing to Congress to cooperate with any state that adopted the plan of gradual abolishment of slavery (A).
This idea did not materialize, and the President soon realized that he would in fact have to declare emancipation. And by declaring emancipation, President Lincoln hoped to not only gain foreign help from Europe, but he realized that it...