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Abraham Lincoln And His Effect On The Civil War

1529 words - 7 pages

When war broke out, no one was surprised, especially because it was soon after Abraham Lincoln being inaugurated President and the subsequent mass succession of States from the Union. It was only a month after his inauguration that Fort Sumter was bombarded and the war began. Lincoln is apportioned blame for the start of the war yet his most influential tool were his speeches .These were some of his most powerful and interesting contributions to the outbreak of war.Lincoln was apposed to slavery as he believed it was detrimental to the political stability of America as it divided the country too much. He wanted unity, as unity was power and the constitutional values of equality and liberty ...view middle of the document...

He should not really be blamed for starting the Civil War although it was his attitude that made the South take action. He was seen as a threat to slavery, and after passing the emancipation Proclamation in 1863 this threat was realised, yet this was not the cause of the war (it happened two years into the war). The South had many more problems with the Northern Institution than Abraham Lincoln. Slavery was the main foundation of the Civil War yet the presidency of Abraham Lincoln is often described as the "Last Straw".During the war Lincoln further impacted on the situation by setting up a blockade from South Carolina to Texas and making the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves. He was also busy in Congress, constantly discussing issues although not focusing on battles as such, he was most interested on formulating ways to deal with reconstruction and slavery, he seemed as interested in the North winning as the chance to see the South lose and make changes in that respect. He threw many thousands of people in jail, fired his Generals at will and generally was a harsh individual who often went against his own people, the Constitution and convention. He was not overly popular but was not despised by the Union. During the war he gained tyrant status with the south more than ever ,as the death and violence was traced in their minds back to him, and the arrogance of declaring emancipation when the South was destined to lose anyway was seen as cowardice and disrespect for what the Confederacy was.When the War finally ended around April 1865 the South was devastated. Mostly because of the war, a lack of resources and money, the emancipation of slaves and a weak population degraded by hostility within it. This was a destroyed agricultural society that had a greedy and totally dominant power to make decisions for it's future. At the head of this power was the president Abraham Lincoln, the man who had the main duty of reconstruction. The most important thing to note about Lincoln's proposed reconstruction was that it was not the radical approach that most Unionists were in favour of. His vision was for a gradually absorbed acceptance to gain popularity in the Confederate states instead of another war of economic and social invasion. On December 8 1863 Lincoln stated his plan of reconstruction. He granted to them "a full pardon" and provided that they are allowed a "restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves (Commager, 1973: 430)." He also wished them to pledge allegiance to the Union by reciting a legally binding statement that included swearing support to the United States and a pledge to not keep slaves.Lincoln was shot in the Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth, April 14 1865. When he died the old spirit of the North was lost, the moderate vision of reconstruction was lost and the problem of southern racism escalated as radicals thought they were doing the correct thing but in reality were causing tension. Lincoln "was...

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