The Civil War. 1861-1865. The BIG IDEA. Sectional differences led to a Civil War between North and South that tested the Constitution Soon after the election of 1860, 11 states seceded from the Union
Sectional differences led to a Civil War between North and South that tested the Constitution
“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it.“
“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.“
In resupplying the garrison, Lincoln risked war. However, if he ordered the troops to surrender the fort, he would be capitulating to the rebels.
Although Lincoln would take no military action until the South started fighting, he made known his intention to resupply the beleaguered Union garrison at Fort Sumter with provisions.
What was Lincoln’s “paramount object” at the start of the Civil War?
What actions did Lincoln take to achieve this aim?
Were Lincoln’s actions constitutional?
“I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution…If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union…
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”
Lincoln took the following measures:
A paper effigy of American liberties in Revolutionary War garb is being burned by actions supposedly taken by the Lincoln administration – Emancipation, the Draft, and Suspension of Habeas Corpus. President Lincoln crouches in front, saying: “I’ll warm yer! Your old Constitution won’t do for U.S.!”
Lincoln’s actions broadened or increased the power of the executive branch. They also raised troubling constitutional questions:
Historically, presidential power increases in times of war
Name three other examples of increased presidential powers during wartime.
Historically, how has the increase of presidential power during wartime been a threat to civil liberties?
In order to help finance the Civil War, Congress created a new federal banking system, establishing a national currency. The currency was backed by government bonds and issued by new federal banks.
This was the first centralized banking system since Andrew Jackson vetoed the recharter of the Bank of the United States in 1832
During the war, Congress passed four major acts to facilitate economic growth and promote the development and settlement of the West
The National Conscription Act, passed in March of 1863, made all single men aged twenty to forty-five and married men up to thirty-five subject to a draft lottery. In addition, the act allowed drafted men to avoid conscription entirely by supplying someone to take their place or to pay the government a three hundred-dollar exemption fee. Not surprisingly, only the wealthy could afford to buy their way out of the draft.
From on onset of the Civil War, many Republicans and abolitionists (including Horace Greely, publisher of the New York Tribune) criticized Lincoln for his failure to take action against slavery. Lincoln’s carefully measured position on the issue of slavery took into account political, as well as strategic and military considerations. Lincoln’s concerns included:
Although many criticized the Proclamation for freeing slaves only where the government could not enforce the measure, while permitting it where it could act, the Proclamation was of major importance