About Abraham Lincolns Civil War

How did Abraham Lincoln influence the American Civil War (1861-1865)?

Plan of Investigation:

This investigation evaluates how Abraham Lincoln affected the Civil War, before and after it occurred. To observe Lincoln's influences in the Civil War, it should be evaluated what exactly happened before Abraham was elected and from that a series of events occur that lead to the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination. Many proceedings happened as the early winter secession in late 1860's to 1861 to Lincoln's election. They are extremely important to truly understand why he had such a great affect during the war. Two sources being assessed are the website Wikipedia that is an online website displaying information on the Civil War, and Encarta Encyclopedia the article on The American Civil War are then compiled and assessed of their authenticity, origins, values, and limitations.

This investigation does not assess the causes of the Civil War and its affects on the people. It also does evaluate how slavery was one of the main reasons of the secessions, and many other reasons that affected the outcome of the war; like the battles.

Summary of Evidence:

As Lincoln's election became more feasible, secessionists made it clear that their states would leave the Union. South Carolina took the lead followed by six other cotton-growing states in the Deep South.[1] When Lincoln had been elected, the seceded states had already been established and were a strong nation. Although being advised to let the confederate states succeed he did not because a few Democratic Nationalists took control of Buchanan's Cabinet causing him not to let the southern states succeed. He alleged that he would not attack unless they do first.[2] Then eventually the confederates attacked in a battle known as Fort Sumter, this has started the Civil War.[3] In July 1862, Lincoln wanted to make slaves owned by rebels free, which lead into the Emancipation Proclamation. For Lincoln to end the war he had to destroy the South. He did not care about ending slavery in the South, Lincoln only abolished it because he figured it would slow down the south bringing their economy down, making them easy to fight, but this took quite a long time, and many people started becoming aggravated. Then Lincoln said:

"I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." 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 save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."[4]

This made the Emancipation Proclamation to be passed causing the slaves to be free as once as they enter the Union states. Then Lincoln did something people thought as horrible which was to suspend The Habeas Corpus which was the right against arbitrary imprisonment. In the battles, Lincoln made three mistakes that cost him these battles. The first mistake did not comprehend the strength of the confederates. Second he thought that the military protection at the Border States was strong, and that made him lose them. Third he did not understand that the Unionists at the Border States would not fight if the Confederates come waging a battle. Lincoln's strategies were weak and nearly cost him some states.[5] Reconstruction of the Southern states was during the war and was difficult to do. Lincoln had to find a fast appropriate way of re grouping the states back before the Southerners permanently isolate from the U.S. Eventually most of the States were taken back causing America to be whole again. Finally, on April 9, 1865, General Lee surrendered and the Unions won the war.[6] Lincoln's speech on The Gettysburg Address was to remember all the people that died in The Battle of Gettysburg, which gained him the status of a "Constitutional Document". Another factor that helped the Union win the war was once Lincoln allowed Grant to destroy the civilian infrastructure that was keeping the Confederacy alive, which was hopefully to destroy their motivation and their economy so that they would have no financial support during the war, which gave a huge advantage for the Union. For the Emancipation proclamation to have been released, the Union had to win a battle called The Battle of Antietam, which was lead, by General McClellan.[7] The Union's main general; Ulysses S. Grant had strong victories, was brought up by Lincoln. Even though Lincoln had no Military experience he assisted Grant in a strong war strategy called War of Attrition.[8]

Evaluation of Sources:

"Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War" by John Broughton was put together by a series of official references. It was compiled from a series of books such as Allan Nevins, the Improvised War, 1861-1862 and Lincoln addressed the issue of his consistency in an 1864 letter to Albert G. Hodges[9]. Either these books were mostly speeches and letter that were from Lincoln or he was receiving them. In addition, they originate from newspaper articles, but mostly the inferred most of the information from letters and speeches. The internet articles mainly focus on Abraham Lincoln's choices and decisions. In addition, how he had a great influence on the Civil War. This source seems very reliable, as it has cited its references on the bottom and all information seem accurate and non-bias. The main purpose of this article is to inform the people on how Abraham Lincoln had such a tremendous role to play in the war. The limitations of this online article is that it is being constantly changed by the people that read it, either added valuable information, or alter it as a hoax. In all, this source provides excellent detail in Lincoln's influence, and seems it has been dedication just to find Lincoln's effect in War. This source was probably unfair because it was written in the northern states of New York, and should be assessed of its accuracy.

"Civil War - Abraham Lincoln and Freedom" is a more accurate article as it cannot be altered in any ways. This source is more detailed as it goes in depth of Lincoln's decisions. As the same source previously, it has originated from other sources and all put together for displaying Abraham Lincoln's decisions in the war. The values of this source are that the information is very detailed and all sourced so that the information can be authenticated. The use of quotes that Lincoln has said adds a sense of "real" in the article. The limitations in the source are minimal because it expresses true information that can be proved by the referenced works. Because the war has happened many years ago, bias has occurred over the years. Some of the references used in the article are personal opinion of people in the present and in the past. Therefore, it will be hard to use the source. This can be later an investigation for accuracy and bias.

Analysis:

Abraham Lincoln's movement towards the Emancipation Proclamation was inevitable. This made Lincoln seem like a hero to the people. Abraham Lincoln did not seem interested in slavery, but only in winning the war. Since the Southern confederate states tried to succeed, Abraham Lincoln was trying to do everything possible to stop them. Except start a war, unless they started the war first. Lincoln did not seem interested in the slavery issues but he once said, "On the one hand, he opposed the abolitionists of the Garrisonian type, 'those who would shiver into fragments the Union of these States; tear to tatters its now venerated constitution; and even burn the last copy of the Bible, rather than slavery should continue a single hour.' On the other hand, he opposed the propagandists of the Calhounian line, those 'who, for the sake of perpetuating slavery, are beginning to assail and to ridicule the white-man's charter of freedom the declaration that 'all men are created free and equal.'"[10] This explains that even though he did not care about slavery and for him to be able to pass the Emancipation Proclamation he had to identify that all men are created equal and they deserve freedom.

There were three reasons why Lincoln would tolerate slavery. The first reason was the Constitution gave the federal government no power to proceed against slavery within the states. The Union has been made into this powerful strong nation by Lincoln's strong tolerance against the Confederates and slavery.[11] The second reason was even if the government had the power to abolish slavery; the abolition would create more problems with the confederates and make them succeed faster. The third reason was why Lincoln did not really care about slavery. It was because Lincoln knew that eventually slavery would end if it were only allowed in the Confederate states. This patience is what made the Union a strong nation.[12]

At a time when Lincoln was desperate because his military was being pushed back, he thought that making the Emancipation Proclamation would extend things. This turned out to be Lincoln's greatest decision. It turned out that this would make them win the war. Lincoln had said, "It is my last card, and I will play it and may win the trick".[13] Abraham Lincoln's willingness to be patient turned out to be Lincoln's greatest significance in winning the war. This patience made Lincoln not start the war even though he wanted to stop the Confederates from succeeding. The indication of Lincoln's importance in re grouping the states was again his patience. This was a political significance to the battle Antietam, which is what, won the war.

Judging by Lincoln's leading in the war, and when he won it, made the abolishment of slavery slow because some states still wanted it. Even when the Emancipation Proclamation came out the state of Virginia still did not abolish slavery. Probably because the Emancipation did not make sense to them. Then eventually all states abolished slavery and the reconstruction of the United States began, which was probably a hard decision as they thought if the should reintegrate The Confederates back into the Union.

Conclusion:

President Abraham Lincoln was indeed the main reason for the Union's victory over the Confederates. With his undeniable patience, he managed to stop the Confederates, Abolish slavery, and accomplish the reconstruction of the Confederates to the Union. Abraham Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined."[14] Abraham Lincoln is now known as to America as The Liberator of the Black man, which commonly suited Abraham because he was a good leader which did many wrong decisions, but turned out to work against him. The Emancipation was supposed to be something to give the Union a little extra time because at that point the Confederates were beating them. Who knew that the Emancipation Proclamation won them thee war. Lincoln was very devoted to the cause of keeping the United States a strong unified country, and that is why he did not want the Confederates to succeed. Even though he did not care much for slavery, he believed in the constitution, which is that all men are created equal. That is why he saved the Black Man.

Bibliography

"Abraham Lincoln." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

Broughton, John. "Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War." Emancipation Proclamation (2000) 1. 11 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War>.

Gallagher, Gary. "American Civil War." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

"Ulysses S. Grant." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

Basler, Roy. "Letter to Albert G. Hodges." Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (2008) 13 May 2008 <http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/hodges.htm>.

Richard Nelson Current, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, p. xix.

"Civil War." Mr. Lincoln and Freedom (2002) 14 May 2008

Richard Nelson Current, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, p. xvi.

Don E. and Virginia E. Fehrenbacher, editor, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 360 (Conversation with Edwards Pierrepont and James S. Wadsworth).

Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p. 485 (Speech at the Freedmen's Monument, April 16, 1876).


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War

[3] "Abraham Lincoln." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

[4] Broughton, John. "Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War." Emancipation Proclamation (2000) 1. 11 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War>.

[5] Broughton, John. "Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War." Fighting begins 18611862 (2000) 12 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War>.

[6] Broughton, John. "Reconstruction." Civil liberties suspended (2000) 12 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_the_Civil_War>.

[7] Gallagher, Gary. "American Civil War." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

[8] "Ulysses S. Grant." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

[9] Basler, Roy. "Letter to Albert G. Hodges." Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (2008) 13 May 2008 <http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/hodges.htm>.

[10] Richard Nelson Current, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, p. xix.

[11] "Civil War." Mr. Lincoln and Freedom (2002) 14 May 2008 <http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=27&subjectID=3>.

[12] Richard Nelson Current, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, p. xvi.

[13] Don E. and Virginia E. Fehrenbacher, editor, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 360 (Conversation with Edwards Pierrepont and James S. Wadsworth).

[14] Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, p. 485 (Speech at the Freedmen's Monument, April 16, 1876).

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