Preview

The Pros And Cons Of The Civil War

Better Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1087 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
The Pros And Cons Of The Civil War
The Civil War was a decisive and important part of American history. The north and south had radically different ideas of the direction the country should take and tension had reached a boiling point. The two different viewpoints can be seen in speeches made by John Smith Preston and Abraham Lincoln. John Preston’s speech to the Virginia state legislature outlined the south’s viewpoint and reasons for seceding while Abraham Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address outlined why the south could not succeed and his duties as president.
John Preston quickly established the viewpoint of the south in his speech: the states had the right to secede. The premise of his argument was that each state had given power to the federal government but still retained “sovereign capacity” (Preston 1). Sovereign capacity meant that the
…show more content…
President Abraham Lincoln did not believe that the south could legally secede from union because the states could not get rid of a government they made without collapsing anarchy. Lincoln called the Union a “contract” (Lincoln 2) between the states and the contract could not be dissolved without the consent of all the states. Since the North did not believe the southern slave states had ample reason to secede, all the states were not in accord, so the “contract” (Lincoln 2) was still valid. If the legal matter was not reason enough against secession, the resulting anarchy from a new government should have been a deterrent. The federal government was not able to please everyone, but no government would be able to please everyone. If the new southern government could form on basis of pleasing everyone, it would dissolve into chaos. The new government would be mob rule and it would encourage other factions to break off from the union if they became dissatisfied. It would plunge both countries into a mad power scramble and it could not be allowed even if it was legal, which it was

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    One of the main unresolved issues of the Constitution was succession. The writers of this document did not consider that any state would ever wish to leave the union, and so did not address whether or not a state could secede. As a result of the Constitution's failure to address this issue, when the southern states wanted to leave the union, it was considered unconstitutional to use force to stop this uprising. James Buchanan was in support of the states' rights to leave the union if they did not feel they were properly represented. He stated in Document G, "The Southern States, standing of the basis of the Constitution, have a right to demand this act of justice from the States of the North." He also comments on the power of Congress to use force in keeping a state from succeeding, saying "... no such power has been delegated to Congress." Abraham Lincoln thought the opposite, and did not support the southern states' movement toward succession. He believes that because no state has ever been a state outside of the union, it does not have the right to…

    • 737 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    APUSH Ch 15 Essays

    • 971 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In this document, Lincoln argued that the Founders in 1776 created a single nation and not thirteen independent sovereign states. This did not give any state the legal authority to leave the union on its own. His adversary on this point was John C. Calhoun. Calhoun took the opposite position by declaring that the Declaration of Independence created thirteen “free and independent states”. This stated that the states having created the union therefore had the right to nullify unconstitutional laws. This also gave them the right to even secede from the union. Both sides of the argument could find justification for their points in the history of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution. This is part of the reason why it took a civil war to settle the issue. Lincoln saw both sides of the argument, but he still believed that the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence with the idea of a single growing nation. This did not give states the right to leave or secede from the Union on their own will.…

    • 971 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860. As a president of the United States, Lincoln’s goal was to keep the Union together. The problem of slavery and the secession by the South are mainly the two issues that lead to the dissolve of the Union, in which Lincoln put all his efforts to deal with during his presidency. “He believes this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. He does not expect the Union to be dissolved; He does not expect the house to fall; but he does expect it will cease to be divided.” Lincoln claimed that it is either all free or all slaves in the Union, the Union cannot tolerate half free and half slaves. Lincoln viewed slavery as “a moral, social, and political wrong”. He “does not believe it is a constitutional right to hold slaves in a territory of the United States” (Paul Boyer 360). Lincoln’s dream was to free all the slaves, but this dream can only go by gradually, he cannot end slavery immediately because it will further the dissolve of the Union. However, Southerners viewed his victory of being a president of the United States as a victory for abolition. Here the problem raised, southern states decided to begin the process of secession from the Union. Lincoln’s hard time began from now on. How was he going to solve this problem? Lincoln help preserved the Union in three different aspects which are economic, military and political policies. His economic strategy was to use capital, weapon and trade; his military strategy was the war of attrition and the three-part strategy to take over the control of Mississippi River and Richmond; his political strategy was to promise he will not end slavery immediately but gradually and establish the Emancipation of Proclamation to claim that every slaves in South will be free so that they will…

    • 1398 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The original seceding states of the Confederacy consisted of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. The people of these states saw themselves extremely different than that of the northern states both politically and culturally, and felt continuous pressure from the population dominating in the northern states to conform to northern ideals. It seemed the only and best option to keep the southern way of life was to become an independent Confederate nation. That idea to become a separate nation was not a sudden idea when Lincoln came into office; it was simply not recognized by previous presidents, which would allow for the issue to hit its climax when he was elected. By the time Lincoln came into office, talks of revolution were already at its tipping point, but as stated by Lincoln, “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.” Feeling sympathy and the same operation as the seceding states Virginia, North Carolina,…

    • 1651 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Civil War, Edward L. Ayers

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages

    As children are taught in grade school, the Civil War happened because the North wanted to outlaw slavery, and the South did not. The newly elected Republican Party had thwarted the spread of slavery; however, the South was still very dependent on it due to their labor intensive crops. The United States was not united, but rather a divided country. The 1860 Presidential election, in which Lincoln won, triggered the start of states seceding. By the time Lincoln took office in March of 1861 seven states had seceded from the union (). The eyes of the world were on America as the Civil War was played out; both sides, the North and South, appealed to the world. In the North, Lincoln says that this “embraces more than the date of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic or democracy . . . can, or cannot maintain its territorial integrity” (Lincoln). The Struggle, was for “a vast future,” (Lincoln) a struggle to give all men “a fair chance in the race of life” (Lincoln).…

    • 1158 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Andrew Jackson stated that, “The union was formed for the benefit of all...Everyone must see that the other States, in self-defense, must oppose secession at all costs”. The nullifiers stated that if the federal government tried to use its strength against South Carolina, then the state would form its own independent government and retreat from the union. Jackson opposed nullification, and believed it would end the United States as a nation. Andrew Jackson does not want to ignore the sacrifices made to form the…

    • 509 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In conclusion, the South would want to secede because Lincoln went against their views,they would lose to the North in a war, and popular sovereignty could prove dangerous. Were they justified for doing this? In my opinion no way. I think those are selfish reasons to leave the country. We need to stick together as a whole since the North and the South aren’t the only battles. You still have foreign countries and we need the Union as a whole to win those…

    • 440 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In this source, Lincoln explains how the house would not stay the way it was, which was divided. Half of the United States supported slavery and the other half did not. Lincoln states, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, concluding that something needed and was going to happen to change that. When relating this to the question of whether the Civil War was inevitable or not, this supports that is was indeed inevitable. The question of slavery was too grand of an issue to not result in some type of event in order for it to change. The events previous to the Civil War, such as the growing abolition movement and “Bleeding Kansas”, helped the tension between the North and the South grow.…

    • 491 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reconstruction Dbq

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Prior to 1860 the America was already split into two sides, the north and south. To prevent too much conflict, they implemented numerous compromises such as the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850. Although these did ease tensions to some degree, they only temporarily delayed the problems. It started when Abraham Lincoln was elected as president. South Carolina was the leader of the southern states and was the first to secede in 1860 of the states. After Lincoln was inaugurated in 1860 seven states ceded from the Union and soon after four more joined them. The south believed that they had the constitutional right to secede (Doc A). South Carolina feared that the north would gain enough power over the south that they would abolish slavery in the south. South Carolina felt that their powers were being overpowered so they had no choice but to secede from the Union. This of course was the start of a very bloody war for both the northern and southern states. This struggle led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the freeing of the slaves in the confederacy. However this was only the beginning of the revolution, which the nation was going through.…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Secession Dbq Essay

    • 1828 Words
    • 8 Pages

    First and foremost was their concern for what they perceive as violations by the federal government in enforcing both article IV of the constitution and the requirements of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Interestingly, not one state in writing their Ordinance of Secession referenced the tenth amendment which purportedly was the foundation of later arguments on states’ rights. Essentially, the states right argument supposes the states have a right to secede as all “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States…” Although none of the seceding states in their Ordinance of Secession proclamations make any reference to their independent and sovereign status as rationalization for secession, John Grahm in his book A Constitutional History of Secession makes several references to the fact that the states maintained their independence and sovereignty as states, primarily based on their status under the Articles of Confederation. However, Grahm further supports his position that the states were independent and sovereign by referencing King George IIIs statement at the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War where the King referred to each state by name and claimed they be “free, sovereign, and independent states.” They were; from British…

    • 1828 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Civil War ended in April of 1865, and it left many things behind to be dealt with. There were many issues, and in a lot of them the North and South had different point of views. Although the North was very rich, the South was tremendously poor. Despite the result of the Civil War, the Union acted like they were in control, and the South couldn’t do anything about it. One controversy that the North had was if they should allow the Southern states govern themselves. The North should not let the states in the South lead their own government. It would be too dangerous and would be a major setback toward the North.…

    • 115 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Real Lincoln Analysis

    • 1900 Words
    • 8 Pages

    I feel that Lincoln had the right intentions in mind but went about it in the wrong way. Everyone knows “Abe never told a lie” but he was sure a hypocrite. It surprises me that even though everyone said the south had a right to secede that he would still wage a war over it. Even more, people let him do this. Now, im not saying Lincoln is a bad man, but his methods of doing some things were unorthodox. He was however a great president but like all great presidents he made some…

    • 1900 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The constitution is a contract between states and federal government that create fundamental principles and established precedents on how a state will be governed. This contract, in the opinion of the Confederate States of America, has been broken by the federal government, which has lead to the secession of South Carolina. In document Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina, the main purpose is to justify their leaving the Union. The document argues that the government became “destructive of the ends for which it is instituted.” This is the justification of the State of South Carolina; if the government can break the contract that is the constitution then the state can leave the…

    • 671 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln delivered his Second Inaugural Address. The man known as “Honest Abe” was the sixteenth president of the United States of America who was an abolitionist of the Republican party. About forty-thousand people were present at the U.S. Capitol to witness Abe’s speech after his reelection. Now, President Lincoln’s first inauguration was the last straw for South Carolina, as they seceded from the U.S. with others to follow. But now about four years later Abraham Lincoln’s goal was to unite the North and the South and to end the war; furthermore, events such as the conclusion of the Civil War reveal that this goal was achieved.…

    • 534 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In New York, people are outraged with how everyone is treating each other and how the military forces them around and hurt them. Plus, with the disrespect, racism and violence from everyone it’s impossible to get through anything. No one agrees with each other and no one trusts anyone. One day, a teenage boy around the age 18, and a couple of his friends decided to speak up about the violence that’s going on around there. Devin, David and Michelle thinks that they should control the parts of New York.…

    • 884 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays