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Secession and the Civil War


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Secession and the Civil War

  1. 1. Lincoln’s election led to secession by 7 states in the Deep South but that did not necessarily mean “civil war” Two things had to happen first:  One last failed attempt to reconcile the North & South  The North had to use its military to protect the Union
  2. 2. The Decision to Secede
  3. 3. The Southern decision to secede was based on old arguments:  The USA was a “compact between states,” not a national gov’t “above the states”  Therefore, states could leave the Union freely & peacefully  States’ rights must be protected as a guarantee of liberty On Feb 4, 1861, the Confederate States of America were formed The CSA constitution resembled the U.S., but with 4 key changes: (1) it protected states’ rights, (2) guaranteed slavery, (3) referenced God, & (4) prohibited protective tariffs
  4. 4. Secession & the Formation of the Confederate States of America
  5. 5. Moderate Republicans proposed the Crittenden Compromise to lure the South back into the Union:  offered to extend the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific  promised a Constitutional amendment to protect slavery Both Lincoln & Davis rejected the compromise leaving the North with 2 choices…  Allow for peaceful separation or fight to preserve the Union  The South rejected it because they had created a new nation
  6. 6. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the North had lots of advantages:  Larger population for troops  Greater industrial capacity  Huge edge in RR transportation Problem for the North:  Had to invade the South to win  Difficult to maintain enthusiasm & support for war over time
  7. 7. Resources of the Union and the Confederacy, 1861
  8. 8. Although outnumbered & less industrial, South had advantages:  President Davis knew that they did not have to “win” the war; the South only had to drag out the fight & make the North quit  Had the best military leaders  England & France appeared more willing to support the South
  9. 9.  Southern strategy was an “offensive defense”: drag out the war & strategically attack the North to destroy Northern morale  Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan  Blockade the Southern coast  Take control of the Mississippi River  Take the CSA capital at Richmond  Divide the West from South George McClellan was in charge of Army of the Potomac Ulysses Grant in the West
  10. 10.  Lincoln expanded his powers:  declared martial law  imprisoned “subversives”  briefly closed down a few newspapers  Davis was less effective:  concerned mainly with military duties  neglected the economy  obstructed by state governors who resisted conscription
  11. 11. From 1861 to 1862, the South used “cotton diplomacy” to get England & France to aid them:  Napoleon III favored the South but wanted England to do so 1st  England offered “belligerent” status to the CSA; but otherwise chose a hands-off policy By 1863, “King Cotton” diplomacy failed because Egyptian & Indian cotton filled the European demand
  12. 12. 1st battle was Bull Run (Manassas, VA) on July 21, 1861; “On to Richmond” campaign was repulsed by “Stonewall” Jackson From 1861-1863, the South consistently beat the North due to poor Union leadership & the Southern defensive strategy The U.S. & CSA forces fought to a draw at Antietam in Sept 1862—the single bloodiest day of the Civil War
  13. 13.  One reason why the Civil War was so lethal was the introduction of improved weaponry.  Cone-shaped bullets replaced musket balls  smooth-bore muskets were replaced with rifles with grooved barrels  The new weapons had appeared so suddenly that commanders did not immediately realize that they needed to compensate for the increased range and accuracy of rifles. The Civil War was the first war in which soldiers used repeating rifles (which could fire several shots without reloading), breech loading arms (which were loaded from behind the barrel instead of through the muzzle), and automated weapons like the Gatling gun. The Civil War also marked the first use by Americans of shrapnel, booby traps, and land mines.  Outdated strategy also contributed to the high number of casualties. Massive frontal assaults and massed formations resulted in large numbers of deaths. In addition, far larger numbers of soldiers were involved in battles than in the past.  The Civil War separated families in unprecedented numbers and freed women to assume many new roles. With the departure of many men into the military, women entered many occupations previously reserved for men only.  But it was as nurses that women achieved particular prominence. Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton were among thousands of women, North and South, who carried supplies to soldiers and nursed wounded men on the battlefield and in hospitals.  Initially, Lincoln and his generals anticipated a conventional war in which Union soldiers would respect civilians' property. Convinced that there was residual unionist support in the South, they expected to preserve the South's economic base, including its factories and rail lines. But as the war dragged on, the Civil War became history's first total war, a war in which the Union sought the Confederacy's total defeat and unconditional surrender. To achieve success, Union officers such as Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman believed that it was necessary to break the South's will to fight.
  14. 14. The Civil War was the world’s 1st “total war” in which the entire economy was devoted to winning:  North & South drafted soldiers  North & South employed female workers to meet supply demands  New weapons, old tactics, & sheer numbers of troops in battle led to massive casualties
  15. 15. Battle of the Ironclads (1862): CSS Virginia vs. USS Monitor Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia was built using the remains of the USS Merrimack USS Monitor was a revolutionary design: rotating turret & low profile
  16. 16. Casualties of the Civil War
  17. 17. Both the North & South faced problems supporting the war:  Both sides began running out of troops; in 1862, the North & South began conscription (draft) The draft was unpopular among Southern governors & Northern, antiwar “Copperheads”  Funding the war was difficult; both sides printed paper money (greenbacks) to accommodate spending needs; led to runaway inflation (9,000% in the South)
  18. 18. At the beginning of the war, the North was fighting to preserve the Union, not to abolish slavery By mid-1862, many Northerners called for immediate emancipation  Congress refused a gradual plan  Many thought immediate freedom for slaves would lure England & France into alliance  Southern victories pressured the North to “strike back”
  19. 19. Union “success” at Antietam led Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863:  Lincoln freed all slaves in Confederate territories  This did not free a single slave but it gave the North a new reason fight the Civil War  Inspired slaves to flee North  Pushed for the 13th Amendment  Passed after the Civil War ended on Jan 31, 1865
  20. 20. Emancipation in 1863
  21. 21. By early 1863, the North & South both faced morale problems:  South—economic & diplomatic collapse, runaway slaves, & many yeomen refused to fight  North—consistent losses against Lee, draft riots in NYC, anti-war “Copperheads” played on war failures & racial anxieties
  22. 22. New York City Draft Riot
  23. 23.  But by 1863, the war began to turn in favor of the North:  Northern supremacy in industry & manpower began to take its toll on the exhausted South  The North began enlisting blacks into the Union army; 200,000 fought as soldiers & many others served as labor in the Northern war effort  William Sherman began his “march to the sea” (Atlanta to Savannah) & destroyed everything of military value  Lee led an attack into the North, but lost at Gettysburg; North’s 1st real victory in the east  In July 1863, General Grant took Vicksburg & gained control of the Mississippi River  Due to Grant’s success in the west, Lincoln made Grant supreme commander of Union army in 1864; Grant devised a strategy to invade the South on all fronts  Grant began a siege on Richmond
  24. 24. 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. Abraham Lincoln November 19, 1863
  25. 25. Meanwhile, Lincoln faced a tough re-election in 1864 against General George McClellan:  War failures were a key issue  Radical Republicans considered dropping Lincoln from the ticket But, when Atlanta fell during Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” Lincoln regained support and was overwhelmingly reelected In his 2nd inaugural address, Lincoln promised a Reconstruction Plan for the Union with “malice towards none & charity for all”
  26. 26. Union Gains in the Civil War by 1865 In April 1865, Grant faced off with Lee outside Richmond; Lee was cut off from the South
  27. 27. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, ending the fighting of Civil War
  28. 28.  Social changes:  618,000 troops were dead  Women in both the North & South were forced to take on more non-domestic roles  13th Amendment ended slavery  Nativism decreased as many immigrants fought in Civil War  Political changes:  The Civil War established that the national gov’t is supreme over the states  With no Southern opposition, Republicans passed new laws: Homestead Act (1862), Morrill Act (1862), a protective tariff, land grants to RR companies, & a national banking system