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Girding for War: The North & The South 1861-1865. The American Pageant Chapter 21. Pres. of Disunited States. Lincoln’s inaugural: no war unless South started it, seces-sion was physically impractical. How could North/South solve problems of sharing debt & territories, FSL?

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Girding for war the north the south 1861 1865 l.jpg

Girding for War:The North & The South1861-1865

The American Pageant

Chapter 21


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Pres. of Disunited States

  • Lincoln’s inaugural: no war unless South started it, seces-sion was physically impractical.

  • How could North/South solve problems of sharing debt & territories, FSL?

  • Split US could not defend Monroe Doct. against Europe.


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S.C. Assails Fort Sumter

  • Federal forts in South, not debt or territories became issue.

  • Fort Sumter in Charleston was most important remaining in Federal control, but needed supplies by April, 1861.

  • Lincoln’s dilemma: let fort fall without fight, or risk war?


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S.C. Assails Fort Sumter (2)

  • Middle position: notify SC that sending provisions, not reinforcements, Union naval force began trip.

  • South regarded this as aggression, opened fire on fort on April 12, 1861. Fort surrendered, no lives lost.


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S.C. Assails Fort Sumter (3)

  • Attack provoked North to fight: Lincoln called for 75,000 militia, ordered blockade of Southern seaports.

  • Call for troops provoked South, VA, AR, TN & NC join Confederacy, capital moved to Richmond, VA.


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Border Blood

  • Crucial border slave states (MO, KY, MD, DE, later WV) may have seceded had North been aggressor, would have doubled manufacturing capability of South.

  • Lincoln declared martial law in MD to protect DC.


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Border Blood (2)

  • Sent Union soldiers to western VA and MO to fight with local unionists in local civil wars.

  • To satisfy border states, But-ternut region, Lincoln pro-claimed initially that goal was not to free blacks – publicly war was for union only.


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Border Blood (3)

  • In OK most of 5 Civilized Tribes sided with South, Plains Indians with North.

  • In some cases, brothers fought on opposing sides. Mountain whites of South provided 50,000 Union troops, border states sent 300,000 to South.


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Balance of Forces

Southern Strengths:

  • Fighting defensive battle, Union had to conquer South.

  • Higher morale initially.

  • More talented military officers (Lee, Jackson).

  • Southern men better soldiers.


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Balance of Forces (2)

Southern Weaknesses:

  • Few factories: had enough weapons but ran low of shoes, uniforms, blankets.

  • Transportation: could not move supplies (e.g. food) well.

  • Economy weaker than North.


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Balance of Forces (3)

Northern Strengths:

  • Economy: 3/4 of wealth & RR.

  • Superior navy: controlled sea, allowed North to trade grain for arms with other nations, blockade South.

  • More manpower: 22M to 9M, growth from immigration.


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Balance of Forces (4)

Northern Weaknesses:

  • Northern men less ready to be soldiers.

  • Less capable military leaders.

  • Evaluation: South had reasonable opportunity to win.


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Dethroning King Cotton

  • South counted on foreign intervention – ruling class of Europe preferred South’s aristocratic social order.

  • But masses of England wanted end to slavery, tied government hands.


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Dethroning King Cotton (2)

  • Yet 75% of Britain cotton sup-ply came from South, wouldn’t they be forced to help?

  • Very productive years of 1857-60 produced cotton surpluses in Britain.

  • Unemployed English helped by US food/cotton deliveries.


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Dethroning King Cotton (2)

  • South got some cotton through blockade.

  • Egypt & India increased output of cotton.

  • Actually, Britain ended up relying on Northern grain & corn more than cotton due to bad British harvests.


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Decisiveness of Diplomacy

  • Late 1861: Union warship stopped British steamer Trent and forcibly removed Confederate diplomats.

  • Britain prepared for war, Lincoln released prisoners (“One war at a time”).


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Decisiveness of Diplomacy (2)

  • 2nd crises with Britain developed over Confederate warships built in Britain, e.g. the Alabama.

  • Alabama captured over 60 northern commercial ships, diverted Union naval strength, finally sunk.


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Decisiveness of Diplomacy (3)

  • Britain outlawed practice, but some ships still built, captured over 250 Northern commercial ships.

  • Northerners talked of revenge by taking Canada after war.


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3 Foreign Flare-Ups

  • (1) 1863: 3rd US-British crisis instigated by Laird Rams.

  • Could be used by South to destroy US warships, would have brought war with Britain.

  • US threatened war, London relented, bought for own navy.


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Foreign Flare-Ups (2)

  • (2) Confederates used Canada as base for raids, angry Irish-Americans responded in kind.

  • (3) Napoleon III gambled on collapse of Union, violated Monroe Doct. by taking Mexico. After Union victory he abandoned puppet gov’t.


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Davis vs. Lincoln

  • Confederate gov’t founded by secessionist/states’ rights sentiments, had fatal problems attempting to fight war.

  • Pres. Davis often could not get states to commit troops outside their borders, unable to effectively lead Confederacy.


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Davis vs. Lincoln (2)

  • Lincoln had smaller problems due to long-established and financially stable gov’t.

  • He was more flexible than Davis, able to interpret and lead public opinion.

  • Was charitable to South and political enemies.


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Limitation on Liberties

  • Lincoln took liberties with Constitution in order to save Union. Congress accepted as necessary for crisis.

  • Congress not in session when war started, Lincoln acted unilaterally to…


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Limitation on Liberties (2)

1. Proclaimed naval blockade.

2. Increased size of federal army.

3. Directed Sec. of Treasury to give $2M to private citizens for military purposes.

4. Suspended habeas corpus to arrest anti-Unionists.


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Limitation on Liberties (3)

  • Lincoln also arranged “supervised” voting in border states and suspended certain newspapers, arresting editors.

  • Davis less able to exercise powers due to states’ rights.


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Volunteers & Draftees

  • 1863: Volunteers ran out, Congress passed conscription law.

  • Rich could hire substitutes or purchase exemption for $300.

  • Draft resulted in riots (NY Irish), protests.


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Volunteers & Draftees (2)

  • Over 90% of Union troops were volunteers, and fed/state/ local gov’ts offered bounties.

  • Many “bounty boys” deserted, and then re-enlisted elsewhere to pocket more.

  • Both armies suffered many desertions (200,000 for Union).


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Volunteers & Draftees (3)

  • April, 1862: South forced to conscript almost a year before North, took men 17-50.

  • Southern draft also benefited rich: could hire substitute, owner of 20 or more slaves was exempt.


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Economic Stresses of War

  • North increased taxes on tobacco/alcohol, began low income tax, raised millions.

  • After Southern reps left, Congress raised tariff rates moderately – identified Republican party with protective tariff, industrialists.


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Economic Stresses of War (2)

  • North also issued paper money, inadequately supported by gold so value fluctuated along with Union fortunes.

  • Biggest money raiser was borrowing: raised $2B through bonds.


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Economic Stresses of War (3)

  • 1863: Congress creates National Banking System to establish standard bank-note currency.

  • South had it much worse: Union blockade reduced customs duties, but did raise $400M in bonds.


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Economic Stresses of War (4)

  • Southern states’ righters opposed to heavy taxation, limited tax collection.

  • Confederates forced to print money: 9,000% inflation by end of war, compared to 80% for Union.


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North’s Economic Boom

  • North emerged even more prosperous after war.

  • Protective tariff, inflation helped factories.

  • War bred millionaire class.

  • Many Northerners defrauded gov’t: blind horses, cardboard shoes, “shoddy millionaires.”


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North’s Economic Boom (2)

  • New machinery increased production even though war took away labor.

  • (1) Sewing machine helped make uniforms, shoes, led to standard-sized clothing.

  • (2) Mechanical reapers produced surpluses of grain.


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North’s Economic Boom (3)

  • Oil discovery led “59ers” to PA, new petroleum industry.

  • Gold, draft, & Homestead Act of 1862 led 300,000 west.

  • Shipping was only industry to suffer setback due to Confed-erate commerce-raiders.


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North’s Economic Boom (4)

  • Departing soldiers left oppor-tunities for women, especially “government girls,” sewing industry.

  • 400 women involved in war posing as men, others as spies.

  • Blackwell, Barton, Dix, Tompkins developed nursing.


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Crushed Cotton Kingdom

  • South had 30% of wealth in 1860, only 12% in 1870.

  • Per capita income went from 2/3 of North to 2/5.

  • Supplies such as RR tracks, dishes, pins were scarce.

  • Southern women took pride in avoiding silks & satins.


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