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Civil War Questions

By KayElizabeth Feb 13, 2012 745 Words
*Why did the South secede? Would the North have acquiesced in peaceful coexistence if the South had not fired on Fort Sumter?
Today everyone says the reason the South left the Union was; Slavery. Slavery was not the only factor that led the South to secede. In fact, some of the wealthiest slaveholders opposed secession. They believed, for good reason, that slavery would actually be safer in the Union than out of it. Most people aren’t aware that, even as president, Lincoln supported a proposed constitutional amendment that would have guaranteed slavery’s continuation forever. Lincoln mentioned his support for this amendment in his first inaugural address. Another factor that led to the South seceding was the way the North Republicans and the way they voiced their feelings towards the south. I believe the North would have put up a protest towards the South, but nothing as big and bloody and unnecessary as what initially ended up happening between the states. *Compare and contrast the military strategies of the North and South as the war began.

The Anaconda plan, proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, was strategically simplistic and of course tactically difficult to implement. It included controlling the Mississippi (which would split the Confederacy) and blockading the South to prevent exports (which would be used to pay for weapons). The main southern strategy was to defeat the attacking Union forces and force the northern states to negotiate. Later in the war, a slightly altered strategy was to take a major northern city, in order to force the north to negotiate terms favorable to the south. This led to the Battle of Gettysburg. *To what extent did the draft riots and opposition to the war effort have in the North?

Opposition to the Civil War was widespread. Although there were many attempts at compromise prior to the outbreak of the War, there were those who felt the War could still be ended peacefully or believed it should not have occurred in the first place. Opposition was from both the North which believed the South had the right to be independent and those in the South that wanted neither war nor a Union advance into the newly declared Confederate States of America. Draft riots were the largest civil rebellion in American history, apart from the Civil War. The rioters were mainly working class men, resentful, because the draft unfairly affected them while sparing the lives of the wealthier men whom could afford to pay the $300 fee to exclude themselves from the draft. *Constitutional guarantees of freedom suffer infringement during major wars. To what extent did this occur during the Civil War? Provide examples.

The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 stated "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal Border States. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory. *Lincoln’s two speeches- The Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address- are inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial. In what ways do they constitute a fitting summation of Lincoln’s views on the war?

Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 during the dedication ceremony for the Soldiers' National Cemetery. This address was selected for its familiarity to many, but because it also displayed the president's strength and determination to see a successful conclusion to the American Civil War. That successful conclusion meant not just reuniting the nation, but finishing what our founders had started. This nation must be one in which all were “…created equal" was the rule of law and of practice. Lincoln's March 4, 1865 Second Inaugural Address, that speech, delivered just one month before the conclusion of the Civil War, creates a policy for reuniting the divided states. The reelected president firmly believed that the northern states should welcome their southern sisters and brothers back into the Union with open arms. But the feeling among many northerners at the end of the Civil War was anger toward the South for having left the Union. Lincoln's willingness to show compassion to the southern people, "…with malice towards none; charity for all," helped quell the hostility among northerners.

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