The Presidents' Decisions During The Civil War



During the 1800's the United States was severely torn over sectional issues, being political, social as well as economic in nature. The principle struggle between the North and South arose over slavery. This controversy came to be so divisive that the Southern Democrats who favored the continuation and expansion of the slave institution, threatened to secede if Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Candidate who favored the containment of slavery where it had previously existed, was elected to serve as the President of the United States. Lincoln did win the Election of 1860 and even before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven of the Southern States had already seceded from the Union to ...

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established his headquarters at Fort Sumter. The fort itself was militarily unimportant to either side, yet it later became a significant symbol to both the North and the South. In the controversy that surrounded Fort Sumter, both Presidents attempted to act in the best interest of their nations. While Abraham Lincoln's decision superficially seems to be the wiser as the North won the war, Jefferson Davis's decisions truly proved to be more self serving to his nation's cause.
As the number of Southern States that seceded increased, the federal forts captured or on the verge of being taken over by the Southern Confederacy also increased. At the time that Lincoln entered into office he had to decide what course of action to follow concerning the takeover of properties belonging to the United States in the South. Lincoln realized that if he sent a garrison into the Southern States it would be viewed as an act of war and most certainly ignite an armed confrontation. Yet if ...

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States and if the action was delayed, the people might lose faith in the Confederacy. This was made clear in a Mobile, Alabama newspaper which commented on the need of the Southern Confederacy to make a bold attack on Fort Sumter or forfeit the confidence of its citizens. Yet at the same time others were heedful such as Robert Toombs, the Confederate Secretary of State, who indicated to Davis that an attack on Fort Sumter would lead to a great war among the states and would assuredly result in the collapse of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis was forced to make his decision with the aid of an incompetent Cabinet and received the tremendous opposition from his Vice President, ...

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Added: 10/22/2004 09:13:31 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1417
Pages: 6

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