American Civil War (War Between the States)

Civil War BY Dalts100 The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, the War of the Rebellion, or simply the Civil War, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 in the United States after several Southern slave states declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America . The states that remained were known as the “Union” or the “North”. The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Foreign powers did not intervene.

After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 soldiers dead nd destroyed much of the South’s infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and the difficult Reconstruction process of restoring national unity and guaranteeing rights to the freed slaves began. In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, opposed the expansion of slavery into United States’ territories. Lincoln won, but before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.

Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln’s inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. A peace conference failed to find a compromise, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on “King Cotton” that they would intervene; none did and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.

Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, a key fort held by Union roops in South Carolina. Lincoln called for each state to provide troops to retake the fort; consequently, four more slave states Joined the Confederacy, bringing their total to eleven. The Union soon controlled the border states and established a naval blockade that crippled the southern economy. The Eastern Theater was inconclusive in 1861-62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaign into Maryland ended with Confederate retreat at the Battle of Antietam, dissuading British intervention. nd an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Historian John Huddleston estimates the eath toll at ten percent of all Northern males 20-45 years old, and 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18-40. Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election.

After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they felt as if they were losing representation, which hampered their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies. Slavery The slavery issue was primarily about whether the system of slavery was an anachronistic evil that was incompatible with Republicanism in the United States, or a state-based property system protected by the Constitution. The strategy of the anti- slavery forces was containment??”to stop the expansion and thus put slavery on a path to gradual extinction.

To slave holding interests in the South, this strategy was perceived as intringing upon their Constitutional rights. Slavery was being phased out of existence in the North and was fading in the border states and urban areas, ut was expanding in highly profitable cotton districts of the south. Despite compromises in 1820 and 1850, the slavery issues exploded in the 1850s. Causes include controversy over admitting Missouri as a slave state in 1820, the acquisition of Texas as a slave state in 1845 and the status of slavery in western territories won as a result of the Mexican-American War and the resulting Compromise of 1850.

Following the U. S. victory over Mexico, Northerners attempted to exclude slavery from conquered territories in the Wilmot Proviso; although it passed the House, it failed in the Senate. Northern readers recoiled in anger at the horrors of slavery as described in the novel and play Uncle Tom’s Cabin by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Irreconcilable disagreements over slavery ended the Whig and Know Nothing political parties, and later split the Democratic Party between North and South, while the new Republican Party angered slavery interests by demanding an end to its expansion.

Most observers believed that without expansion slavery would eventually die out; Lincoln argued this in 1845 and 1858. Meanwhile, the South of the 1850s saw an increasing number of slaves leave the border states through sale, manumission nd escape. During this same period, slave-holding border states had more free African-Americans and European immigrants than the lower South, which increased Southern fears that slavery was threatened with rapid extinction in this area. With tobacco and cotton wearing out the soil, the South believed it needed to expand slavery.

The Southern states had advocates arguing to reopen the international slave trade to populate territory that was to be newly opened to slavery. Southern demands for a slave code to ensure slavery in the territories repeatedly split the Democratic Party between North and South by widening margins. To settle the ispute over slavery expansion, Abolitionists and proslavery elements sent their partisans into Kansas, both using ballots and bullets. In the 1850s, a miniature civil war in Bleeding Kansas led pro-South Presidents Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan to attempt a forced admission of Kansas as a slave state through vote fraud.

The 1857 Congressional rejection of the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution was the first multi-party solid-North vote, and that solid vote was anti-slavery to support the democratic majority voting in the Kansas Territory. Violence on behalf of Southern honor reached the floor of the Senate when a Southern Congressmen, Preston Brooks, physically assaulted Republican Senator Charles Sumner when he ridiculed prominent slaveholders as pimps for slavery. The earlier political party structure failed to make accommodation among sectional differences. Disagreements over slavery caused the Whig and “Know-Nothing” parties to collapse.

In 1860, the last national political party, the Democratic Party, split along sectional lines. Anti- slavery Northerners mobilized in 1860 behind moderate Abraham Lincoln because he was most likely to carry the doubtful western states. In 1857, the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision ended the Congressional compromise for Popular Sovereignty in Kansas. According to the court, slavery in the territories was a property right of any settler, regardless of the majority there. Chief Justice Taney’s decision said that slaves were “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect”.

The decision overturned the Missouri Compromise which banned slavery in territory north ot the 3 ‘ parallel. Republicans denounced e re Scott decision and promised to overturn it; Abraham Lincoln warned that the next Dred Scott decision could threaten the Northern states with slavery. The Republican party platform called slavery “a national evil”, and Lincoln believed it would die a natural death if it were contained. The Democrat Stephen A. Douglas developed the Freeport Doctrine to appeal to North and South. Douglas argued, Congress could not decide either for or against slavery before a territory was settled.

Nonetheless, the anti- slavery majority in Kansas could stop slavery with its own local laws if their police laws did not protect slavery introduction. Most 1850 political battles followed the arguments of Lincoln and Douglas, focusing on the issue of slavery expansion in the erritories. But political debate was cut short throughout the South with Northern abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry Armory in an attempt to incite slave insurrections. The Southern political defense of slavery transformed into widespread expansion of local militias for armed defense of their “peculiar” domestic institution.

Lincoln’s assessment of the political issue for the 1860 elections was that, “This question of Slavery was more important than any other; indeed, so much more important has it become that no other national question can even get a hearing Just at present. The Republicans gained majorities in both House and Senate for the first time since Democrats in the 1856 elections, they were to be seated in numbers which Lincoln might use to govern, a national parliamentary majority even before pro- slavery House and Senate seats vacated.

Meanwhile, Southern Vice President, Alexander Stephens, in the Cornerstone Speech, declared the new confederate “Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions??”African slavery as it exists among us??”the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. ” The Republican administration enacted the Confiscation Acts that set conditions for emancipation of slaves prior to the official proclamation of emancipation. Likewise, Lincoln had previously condemned slavery and called for its “extinction. Considering the relative weight given to causes of the Civil War by contemporary actors, historians such as Chandra Manning argue that both Union and Confederate fghting soldiers believed slavery to be the cause of the Civil War. Union men mainly believed the war was to bring emancipation to the slaves. Confederates fought to protect southern society, and slavery as an integral part of it. Addressing the causes, Eric Foner would relate a historical context with multidimensional political, social and economic variables. The several causes united in the moment by a consolidating nationalism.

A social movement that was individualist, egalitarian and perfectionist grew to a political democratic majority attacking slavery, and slavery’s defense in the Southern pre-industrial traditional society brought the two sides to war. States’ rights Everyone agreed that states had certain rights??”but did those rights carry over when citizen left that state? The Southern position was that citizens of every state had the right to take their property anywhere in the U. S. and not have it taken away??” specifically they could bring their slaves anywhere and they would remain slaves.

Northerners rejected this “right” because it would violate the right of a free state to outlaw slavery within its borders. Republicans committed to ending the expansion of slavery were among those opposed to any such right to bring slaves and slavery into the free states and territories. The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 olstered the Southern case within territories, and angered the North. Of the states carved out of these territories by 1845, all had entered the union as slave states: Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Texas, as well as the southern portions of Alabama and Mississippi.

And with the conquest of northern Mexico, including California, in 1848, slaveholding interests looked forward to the institution flourishing in these lands as well. Southerners also anticipated garnering slaves and slave states in Cuba and Central America. Northern free soil interests vigorously sought to curtail any further expansion of slave soil. It was these territorial disputes that the proslavery and antislavery forces collided over. The existence of slavery in the southern states was far less politically polarizing than the explosive question of the territorial expansion of the institution westward.

Moreover, Americans were informed by two well-established readings of the Constitution regarding human bondage: first, that the slave states had complete autonomy over the institution within their boundaries, and second, that the domestic slave trade – trade among the states – was immune to federal interference. The only feasible strategy available to attack lavery was to restrict its expansion into the new territories. Slaveholding interests fully grasped the danger that this strategy posed to them.

Both the South and the North drew the same conclusion: “The power to decide the question of slavery for the territories was the power to determine the future of slavery itself. ” By 1860, four doctrines had emerged to answer the question of federal control in the territories, and they all claimed to be sanctioned by the Constitution, implicitly or explicitly. Two of the “conservative” doctrines emphasized the written text and historical precedents f the founding document, while the other two doctrines developed arguments that transcended the Constitution.

The first of these “conservative” theories, represented by the Constitutional Union Party, argued that the historical designation of free and slave apportionments in territories should become a Constitutional mandate. The Crittenden Compromise of 1860 was an expression of this view. The second doctrine of Congressional preeminence, championed by Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, insisted that the Constitution did not bind legislators to a policy of balance – hat slavery could be excluded altogether in a territory at the discretion of Congress – with one caveat: the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment must apply.

In other words, Congress could restrict human bondage, but never establish it. The Kansas- Nebraska Act of 1854 legislated this doctrine. The fourth in this quartet is the theory of state sovereignty, named after the South Carolinian political theorist and statesman John C. Calhoun. Rejecting the arguments for federal authority or self- government, state sovereignty would empower states to promote the expansion of lavery as part of the Federal Union under the US Constitution – and not merely as an argument for secession. The basic premise was that all authority regarding matters of slavery in the territories resided in each state.

The role of the federal government was merely to enable the implementation of state laws when residents of the states entered the territories. The Calhoun doctrine asserted that the federal government in the territories was only the agent of the several sovereign states, and hence incapable of forbidding the bringing into any territory of anything that was legal roperty in any state. State sovereignty, in other words, gave the laws ot the slaveholding states extra-jurisdictional effect. “States’ rights” was an ideology formulated and applied as a means of advancing slave state interests through federal authority.

As historian Thomas L. Krannawitter points out, “he Southern demand for federal slave protection represented a demand for an unprecedented expansion of federal power. ” By 1860, these four doctrines comprised the major ideologies presented to the American public on the matters of slavery, the territories and the US Constitution. National elections Beginning in the American Revolution and accelerating after the War of 1812, the people of the United States grew in their sense of country as an important example to the world of a national republic of political liberty and personal rights.

Previous regional independence movements such as the Greek revolt in the Ottoman Empire, division and redivision in the Latin American political map, and the British-French Crimean triumph leading to an interest in redrawing Europe along cultural differences, all conspired to make for a time of upheaval and uncertainty about the asis of the nation-state. In the world of 19th century self-made Americans, growing in prosperity, population and expanding westward, “freedom” could mean personal liberty or property rights.

The unresolved difference would cause failure??”first in their political institutions, then in their civil life together. Nationalism and honor Nationalism was a powerful force in the early 19th century, with famous spokesmen such as Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster. While practically all Northerners supported the Union, Southerners were split between those loyal to the entire United States and those loyal primarily to the southern region and then the Confederacy. the National Banking Act and the authorization of United States Notes by the Legal Tender Act of 1862.

The Revenue Act of 1861 introduced the income tax to help finance the war. States align Confederate states Seven Deep South cotton states seceded by February 1861 , starting with South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. These seven states formed the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as president, and a governmental structure closely modeled on the U. S. Constitution. Following the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln called for a volunteer army from each state.

Within two months, an additional four Southern slave states declared their secession and Joined the Confederacy: Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee. The northwestern portion of Virginia subsequently seceded from Virginia, Joining the Union as the new state of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. By the end of 1861, Missouri and Kentucky were effectively under Union control, with Confederate state governments in exile. Among the ordinances of secession passed by the individual tates, those of three – Texas, Alabama, and Virginia – specifically mentioned the plight of the ‘slaveholding states’ at the hands of northern abolitionists.

The rest make no mention of the slavery issue, and are often brief announcements of the dissolution of ties by the legislatures, however at least four states – South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas – also passed lengthy and detailed explanations ot their causes tor secession, all ot which laid the blame squarely on the influence over the northern states of the movement to abolish slavery, something regarded as a Constitutional right by the laveholding states.

Union states Twenty-three states remained loyal to the Union: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. During the war, Nevada and West Virginia Joined as new states of the Union. Tennessee and Louisiana were returned to Union military control early in the war. The territories of Colorado, Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington fought on the Union side.

Several slave-holding Native American tribes supported the Confederacy, giving the Indian Territory a small, bloody civil war. Mobilization As the first seven states began organizing a Confederacy in Montgomery, the entire US army numbered 16,000, however Northern governors had begun to mobilize their militias. The Confederate Congress authorized the new nation up to 100,000 troops sent by governors as early as February in the opinion of historian E. Merton Coulter.

After Fort Sumter, Lincoln called out 75,000 three-month volunteers, by May Jefferson Davis was pushing for 100,000 men under arms for one year or the duration, and that as answered in kind by the U. S. Congress. In the first year of the war, both sides had far more volunteers than they could effectively train and equip. After the initial enthusiasm faded, reliance on the cohort of young men who came of age every year and wanted to Join was not enough. Both sides used a draft law??”conscription??”as a device to encourage or force volunteering; relatively few were actually drafted and served.

The Confederacy passed a draft law in April 1862 for young men aged 18 to 35; overseers of slaves, government officials, and clergymen were exempt. When the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in January 1863, ex-slaves were energetically recruited by the states, and used to meet the state quotas. States and local communities offered higher and higher cash bonuses for white volunteers. Congress tightened the law in March 1863. Men selected in the draft could provide substitutes or, until mid-1864, pay commutation money. Many eligibles pooled their money to cover the cost of anyone drafted.

Families used the substitute provision to select which man should go into the army and which should stay home. There was much evasion and overt resistance to the draft, especially in Catholic areas. The great draft riot in New York City in July 1863 involved Irish immigrants who had been signed up as citizens to swell the vote of the city’s Democratic political machine, not realizing it made them liable for the draft. Motivation Perman and Taylor say that historians are of two minds on why millions of men seemed so eager to fght, suffer and die over four years: Naval war The small U.

S. Navvy of 1861 was rapidly enlarged to 6,000 officers and 45,000 men in 1865, with 671 vessels, having a tonnage of 510,396. Its mission was to blockade Confederate ports, take control of the river system, defend against Confederate aiders on the high seas, and be ready for a possible war with the British Royal Navvy. Meanwhile, the main riverine war was tougnt in the West, where a series ot major rivers gave access to the Confederate heartland, if the U. S. Navvy could take control.

In the East, the Navvy supplied and moved army forces about, and occasionally shelled Confederate installations. Union blockade By early 1861, General Winfield Scott had devised the Anaconda Plan to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible. Scott argued that a Union blockade of the main ports would weaken the Confederate economy. Lincoln adopted parts of the plan, but he overruled Scott’s caution about 90-day volunteers. Public opinion however demanded an immediate attack by the army to capture Richmond.

Modern naw evolves The Civil War prompted the industrial revolution and subsequently many naval innovations emerged during this time, most notably the advent of the ironclad warship. It began when the Confederacy, knowing they had to meet or match the Union’s naval superiority, responded to the Union blockade by building or converting more than 130 vessels, including twenty-six ironclads and floating batteries. Only half f these saw active service. Many were equipped with ram bows, creating “ram fever” among Union squadrons wherever they threatened.

But in the face of overwhelming Union superiority and the Union’s own ironclad warships, they were unsuccessful. The Confederacy experimented with a submarine, which did not work well, and with building an ironclad ship, the CSS Virginia, which was based on rebuilding a sunken Union ship, the Merrimac. On its first foray on March 8, 1862, the Virginia decimated the Union’s wooden fleet, but the next day the first Union ironclad, the USS Monitor, arrived to challenge it. The Battle of the Ironclads was a draw, but it marks the worldwide transition to ironclad warships.

The Confederacy lost the Virginia when the ship was scuttled to prevent capture, and the Union built many copies of the Monitor. Lacking the technology to build effective warships, the Confederacy attempted to obtain warships from Britain. Blockade runners British investors built small, very fast, steam-driven blockade runners that traded arms and luxuries brought in from Britain through Bermuda, Cuba, and the Bahamas in return for high-priced cotton. The ships were so small that only a small amount of cotton went out.

When the Union Navvy seized a blockade runner, the ship and cargo were condemned as a Prize of war and sold with the proceeds given to the Navvy sailors; the captured crewmen were mostly British and they were simply released. The Southern economy nearly collapsed during the war. There were multiple reasons for this: the severe deterioration of food supplies, especially in cities, the failure of Southern railroads, the loss of control of the main rivers, foraging by Northern armies, and the seizure of animals and crops by Confederate armies.

Historians agree that the blockade was a major factor in ruining the Confederate economy. However, Wise argues that they provided Just enough of a lifeline to allow Lee to continue fighting for additional months, thanks to fresh supplies of 400,000 rifles, lead, blankets, and boots that the homefront economy could no longer supply. Economic impact Surdam argues that the blockade was a powerful weapon that eventually ruined the Southern economy, at the cost of very few lives in combat. Practically, the entire Confederate cotton crop was useless, costing the Confederacy its main source of income.

Critical imports were very scarce and the coasta I trade was largely ended as well. The measure of the blockade’s success was not the few ships that slipped through, but the thousands that never tried it. Merchant ships owned in Europe could not get insurance and were too slow to evade the blockade; they simply stopped calling at Confederate ports. To fght an offensive war the Confederacy purchased ships from Britain, converted them to warships, and raided American merchants ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Insurance rates skyrocketed and the American flag virtually disappeared from international waters.

However, the same ships were reflagged with European flags and continued unmolested. After the war, the U. S. demanded that Britain pay for the damage done, and Britain paid the U. S. $15 million in 1871. Rivers The 1862 Union strategy called for simultaneous advances along four axes. McClellan would lead the main thrust in Virginia towards Richmond. Ohio forces were to advance through Kentucky into Tennessee, the Missouri Department would drive south along the Mississippi River, and the westernmost attack would originate from Kansas.

Ulysses Grant used river transport and Andrew Foote’s gunboats of the Western Flotilla to threaten the Confederacy’s “Gilbraltar of the West” at Columbus, Kentucky. Grant was rebuffed at Belmont, but cut off Columbus. The Confederates, lacking their own gunboats, were forced to retreat and the Union took control of western Kentucky in March 1862. In addition to ocean-going warships coming up the Mississippi, the Union Navvy used timberclads, tinclads, and armored gunboats. Shipyards at Cairo, Illinois, and St. Louis built new boats or modified steamboats for action.

They took control of the Red, Tennessee, Cumberland, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers after victories at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, and supplied Grant’s forces as he moved into Tennessee. At Shiloh, in Tennessee in April 1862, the Confederate made a surprise attack that pushed Union forces against the river as night fell. Overnight, the Navvy landed additional reinforcements, and Grant counter-attacked. Grant and the Union won a decisive victory – the first battle with the high casualty rates that would repeat over and over. Memphis fell to Union forces and became a key base for further advances south along the Mississippi River.

In April 1862, US Naval forces under Farragut ran past Confederate defenses south of New Orleans. Confederates abandoned the city, which gave the Union a critical anchor in the deep South. Naval forces assisted Grant in his long, complex campaign that resulted in the surrender of Vicksburg in July 1863, and full Union control of the Mississippi soon after. Eastern theater Because of the fierce resistance of a few initial Confederate forces at Manassas, Virginia, in July 1861, a march by Union troops under the command of Maj.

Gen. Irvin McDowell on the Confederate forces there was halted in the First Battle of Bull Run, or First Manassas, Roving Confederate bands such as Quantrill’s Raiders terrorized the countryside, striking both military installations and civilian settlements. The Sons of Liberty” and “Order of the American Knights” attacked pro-lJnion people, elected officeholders, and unarmed uniformed soldiers. These partisans could not be entirely driven out of the state of Missouri until an entire regular Union infantry division was engaged.

By 1864, these violent activities harmed the nationwide anti- war movement organizing against the re-election of Lincoln. Missouri not only stayed in the Union, Lincoln took 70 percent ot the vote tor re-election. Areas south and west of Missouri saw numerous small-scale military actions which sought to control Indian Territory and New Mexico Territory for the Union. Confederate incursions into New Mexico were repulsed in 1862, the exiled Arizona government withdrew into Texas. In the Indian Territory, civil war broke out inside the tribes.

About 12,000 Indian warriors fought for the Confederacy, and smaller numbers for the Union. The most prominent Cherokee was Brigadier General Stand Watie, the last Confederate general to surrender. After the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863, General Kirby Smith in Texas was informed by Jefferson Davis that he could expect no further help from east of the Mississippi River. Although he lacked resources to beat Union armies, he built up a ormidable arsenal at Tyler, along with his own Kirby Smithdom economy, a virtual “independent fiefdom” in Texas, including railroad construction and international smuggling.

The Union in turn did not directly engage him. Its 1864 Red River Campaign to take Shreveport, Louisiana was a failure and Texas remained in Confederate hands throughout the war. End of war Conquest of Virginia At the beginning of 1864, Lincoln made Grant commander of all Union armies. Grant made his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, and put Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. Grant understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Lincoln and Sherman, that only the utter defeat of Confederate forces and their economic base would end the war.

On June 23, 1865, Cherokee leader Stand Watie was the last Confederate General to surrender his forces. Diplomacy Europe in the 1860s was more fragmented than it had been since before the American Revolution. France was in a weakened state while Britain was still shocked by its own poor performance in the Crimean War. Civil War historian Shelby Foote expressed this view succinctly: “l think that the North fought that war with one hand ehind its back If there had been more Southern victories, and a lot more, the North simply would have brought that other hand out from behind its back.

I don’t think the South ever had a chance to win that War. ” One reason for the high number of battle deaths during the war was the use of Napoleonic tactics, such as charging. With the advent of more accurate rifled barrels, Mini?© balls and repeating firearms such as the Spencer Repeating Rifle and the Henry Repeating Rifle, soldiers were mowed down when standing in lines in the open. This led to the adoption of trench arfare, a style of fighting that defined the better part of World War l. The wealth amassed in slaves and slavery for the Confederacy’s 3. million blacks effectively ended when Union armies arrived; they were nearly all freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves in the border states and those located in some former Confederate territory occupied prior to the Emancipation Proclamation were freed by state action or by the Thirteenth Amendment. The war destroyed much of the wealth that had existed in the South. All accumulated investment Confederate bonds was forfeit; most banks and railroads were bankrupt. Income per person in the South ropped to less than 40% of that of the North, a condition which lasted until well into the 20th century.

Southern influence in the US federal government, previously considerable, was greatly diminished until the latter half of the 20th century. Abraham Lincoln consistently made preserving the Union the central goal ot the war, though he increasingly saw slavery as a crucial issue and made ending it an additional goal. Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation angered both Peace Democrats and War Democrats, but energized most Republicans. By warning that free blacks would flood the North, Democrats made gains in the 1862 lections, but they did not gain control of Congress.

The Republicans’ counterargument that slavery was the mainstay of the enemy steadily gained support, with the Democrats losing decisively in the 1863 elections in the northern state of Ohio when they tried to resurrect anti-black sentiment. Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation enabled African-Americans, both free blacks and escaped slaves, to Join the Union Army. About 190,000 volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally ndermining the legitimacy of slavery.

During the Civil War, sentiment concerning slaves, enslavement and emancipation in the United States was divided. In 1861, Lincoln worried that premature attempts at emancipation would mean the loss of the border states, and that “to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. ” Copperheads and some War Democrats opposed emancipation, although the latter eventually accepted it as part of total war needed to save the Union. At first, Lincoln reversed attempts at emancipation by Secretary of War Simon Cameron and Generals John C. Fr?©mont and David Hunter to keep the loyalty of the border states and the War Democrats.

Lincoln warned the border states that a more radical type of emancipation would happen if his gradual plan based on compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization was rejected. But only the District of Columbia accepted Lincoln’s gradual plan, which was enacted by Congress. When Lincoln told his cabinet about his proposed emancipation proclamation, Seward advised Lincoln to wait for a victory before issuing it, as to do otherwise would seem like “our last shriek on the retreat”. Lincoln laid the groundwork for public support in n open letter published letter to abolitionist Horace Greeley’s newspaper.

In September 1862, the Battle of Antietam provided this opportunity, and the subsequent War Governors’ Conference added support for the proclamation. Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, and his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. In his letter to Albert G. Hodges, Lincoln explained his belief that “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this Judgment and feeling I claim not to have controlled vents, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Lincoln’s moderate approach succeeded in inducing border states, War Democrats and emancipated slaves to fight for the Union. The Union-controlled border states and Union controlled regions around New Orleans, Norfolk and elsewhere, were not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation. All abolished slavery on their own, except Kentucky and Delaware. Since the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the President’s war powers, it only included territory held by Confederates at the time. However, the Proclamation became a symbol of the Union’s growing commitment to add