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Comparing The Civil War And Abraham Lincoln's Rejection Of Democracy

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Comparing The Civil War And Abraham Lincoln's Rejection Of Democracy
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Essay Question: “Southerners maintained that secession was the ultimate expression of democracy, while Lincoln claimed it was rejection of democracy. How

did they explain and justify their principles.”

On December 20, 1860, the Confederacy was born when South Carolina

seceded from the federal Union. The Union and the Confederacy severely clashed in

their views on the Constitution; the South felt that individual states should have the right

to nullify laws, while Abraham Lincoln believed the federal government should appoint

representatives for individual states. The South and Abraham Lincoln contrasted

sharply on the idea of secession because the Constitution was ambiguous regarding
…show more content…
John B. Baldwin also warned the South that crops from

eastern Virginia were sold in Baltimore and cities of the Northwest, thus, abandoning

the Union would ultimately terminate trading abilities. “ [Lincoln and the Unionists were

also worried that] deep southern secessionists intended to reopen the African slave

trade [after the North and South were divided], thereby depressing slave prices and

benefitting the slave importation of the slave-exporting states in the upper South” (107).

Lincoln worried about the interpretation of the Declaration of Independence statement

that “all men are created equal.” “The Founding Fathers included blacks in their

reference to ‘men’ in the Declaration and thus made ‘the great fundamental principle

upon which our free institutions rest’ ” (Jones 24). Likewise, Lincoln feared that

southern misunderstanding of northern intentions would create a threat leading to a civil

war. This notion lead the North to blame secessionists for distorting northern intentions.

As a final plea, Lincoln restated his intention to the southerners that he would leave

them alone, and in no way interfere with their institution. Furthermore, in his

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