“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 do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”
~ Abraham Lincoln, letter to Horace Greeley (August 22, 1862)
What does this quotation reveal about Abraham Lincoln’s primary concern during the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Do you agree or disagree with President Lincoln? Explain your answer. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Do you think Harriet Beecher Stowe agree with President Lincoln? Explain your answer. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Analyze the following chart:
A Nation Divided
Formation of the Confederacy:
South Carolina led the way for the formation of the Confederacy when it adopted, through the use of a popularly elected convention, an “Ordinance of Secession” in December 1860.
Ten additional states eventually followed South Carolina’s example [Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas].
The Confederate States of America was formed in February 1861, with Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as President.
In seceding from the Union, the Southern states affirmed the compact theory of the Constitution and claimed that it was the Northern states that had broken the compact by obstructing the constitutionally mandated return of fugitive slaves.
Lincoln and the Constitutional Issues of the War:
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, raise and support armies, maintain a navy, and to provide for the regulation of the land and naval forces, including militia.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that the President is Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy.
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states that the President is vested with full executive power of the government.
Lincoln believed that the oath he had taken to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” obligated him to resort to practically any action necessary to maintain the Union.
At the outset of the Civil War, the federal government had been careful to insist that it was fighting to preserve the Union and not to free the slaves.
In this way, proslavery forces, primarily in the border states, who were sympathetic to the Union cause were kept with the North.
Yet as the war progressed, Congress moved in the direction of emancipation.
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that “all slaves in those regions still in rebellion on that date would be free.”
Not applying to border states or the regions under Union control, but only to those under Confederate control, the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free any slaves.
The actual end of slavery did not come until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.
Constitutional Significance of the Civil War:
With the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House on April 1, 1865, the Civil War came to an end.
Perhaps the most important constitutional result of the Civil War was the repudiation of state sovereignty and the compact theory of union.
The concepts of states’ rights of secession and the United States as a “league” of states were ended and the nation emerged as a true sovereign entity.
~ U.S. History and Government
What state led the way for the formation of the Confederacy? ________________________________________________________________________
What eleven states made up the Confederacy? ________________________________________________________________________
What did Lincoln believe during the Civil War regarding Executive Power and the Constitution? ________________________________________________________________________
What was the Federal Government stance on slavery at the outset of the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________
Why was this the Federal Government’s stance at the outset of the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________
How did the Emancipation Proclamation reveal a change in the Federal Government’s stance on slavery during the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________
When did the Civil War come to an end? ________________________________________________________________________
What was the most important constitutional result of the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________
What changes occurred as a result of the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1858
According to this quotation, Abraham Lincoln believed that
slavery was immoral and should be abolished immediately
Believed State’s rights superseded Federal rights.
Felt they were losing power in the Senate because of population shifts, prompting them to secede.
Believed that the Industrial Revolution was a threat to lives.
What state was the first to secede the Union?
Southern states threatened this if
Lincoln was elected.
Which of the following statements is true?
The South was becoming urbanized
The South was becoming industrialized
Only 1/3 of Southerners owned slaves
Southern factories depended on slaves
Why the North Won:
“The North possessed immense long-term advantages: a larger population, more money, more railroad lines, greater manufacturing facilities, and superior naval power. The South depended on exporting cotton and other cash crops in order to import manufactured goods. Lincoln imposed a naval blockade on the south. Despite its advantages, the North took four years to defeat the South.”
~ The Key to Understanding U.S. History and Government
Identify five reasons for the North’s victory in the Civil War:
November 19, 1863 [On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.” ~ nps.gov]
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. The text above is from the so-called “Bliss Copy,” one of several versions which Lincoln wrote, and believed to be the final version. Questions:
What does President Abraham Lincoln believe is being tested during the Civil War? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What has Lincoln come to dedicate? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
According to Lincoln, who really has consecrated the field? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
According to Lincoln, what is the task remaining for the American people? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Analyze the political cartoons:
Punch, a London magazine, accurately predicted, as many in Americans were beginning to realize, that the business of slavery was tearing the nation apart. Here, a slave, standing between a southern planter (rough-hewn and armed) and a contemplative businessman from the North, tears apart a map of the United States, seeming to follow the Mason-Dixon Line (the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, a geographic, if not political, dividing line between North and South). ~ teachingamericanhistory.org
Prior to being hired by Harper’s Weekly, Thomas Nast published cartoons for the New York Illustrated News. In this cartoon, Nast’s first, represents the differing images of Lincoln as perceived by both northerners and southerners. In the North, Lincoln was hailed as a man of reason who would stand on legal principle, keeping the peace throughout the land by weighing carefully the claims of both the North and the South. But in the South, Lincoln was portrayed as an oppressor, the uncompromising Black Abolitionist whose intentions were to make war against southerners and subjugate the region to the rule of the North.
What do the images reveal about the conflict between the North and the South? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________