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Federal Home Front and Lincoln

Federal Home Front and Lincoln

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Federal Home Front and Lincoln

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  1. Federal Home Front and Lincoln Lsn 22

  2. Lincoln • Self-made man who taught himself law • Elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834 and served four consecutive terms • In 1837 stated that the institution of slavery was “founded on both injustice and bad policy” • Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1846 • His opposition to the Mexican War hurt him politically • Did not run for reelection • Returned to Illinois and focused on law practice

  3. Lincoln • Returned to politics because of his opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 • 1858 Senate race pitted Lincoln as a Republican against Stephen Douglas • Lincoln lost but became a national figure as a result of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates • Declared “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

  4. Lincoln • Was the Republican nominee for president in 1860 • Became the first Republican president • Won entirely on the strength of his support in the North • Three opponents split the other votes • Election motivated South Carolina to secede

  5. Lincoln • Inherited a mess from out-going President Buchanan who told Lincoln, “My dear sir, if you are as happy on entering the White House as I on leaving, you are a very happy man indeed.” • Buchanan left Lincoln to deal with the growing Fort Sumter crisis

  6. Lincoln • Lincoln had little to suggest he would be a good wartime president, especially in contrast to Jefferson Davis • Lincoln had no significant military experience • Served as a captain in the Illinois militia during the Black Hawk War but never saw combat • In actuality he was an excellent commander in chief who was well ahead of his early generals in his strategic thinking

  7. Lincoln • Almost from the beginning of the war Lincoln urged his generals to make the enemy armies their objective and to move all Federal forces simultaneously against the Confederate line • Many of his early generals, especially McClellan, arrogantly minimized Lincoln thinking war was to be carried on by military professionals without interference from civilians and without political objectives

  8. Lincoln • Many of Lincoln’s generals clung to strategies of limited war and conciliation toward the Confederacy • McClellan stated, “I have not come here to wage war upon non-combatants, upon private property, nor upon the domestic institutions of the land.” • Meade thought the North should prosecute the war “like the afflicted parent who is compelled to chastise his erring child, and who performs the duty with a sad heart” • Lincoln did not find a soul mate in this strategic approach until Grant

  9. Lincoln • Lincoln saw his objective as to restore the Union and anything concerning slavery was relative to that: • “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. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

  10. Lincoln • When he does issue the Emancipation Proclamation he changes the very nature of the war, giving it a completely new objective • Conciliation was no longer an option • Represented a move toward total war • The North was now not merely fighting to restore a union it thought was never legitimately separated. It was fighting for freedom of a race. • The South was no longer fighting merely for independence. It was fighting for survival of its way of life.

  11. Lincoln • Lincoln faces opposition from critical newspaper editors such as Horace Greeley and Peace advocates such as the Copperheads • He is quick to seize additional presidential powers and restrict civil liberties in order to meet the emergencies of war • Suspends habeas corpus • Censors newspapers • Takes several measures to facilitate the Republican vote amongst soldiers

  12. Lincoln • Continually challenged by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War • Established in 1861 after the disaster at Ball’s Bluff • Greatly politicizes prosecution of the war • Senators Zachariah Chandler, Benjamin Wade, and other Radical Republicans push Lincoln for more aggressive policies Among other things, Wade was very critical of Lincoln’s Reconstruction plan

  13. The Federal Home Front • Challenges • Resources • Politics • Social life • Wartime life

  14. The Federal Home Front: Challenges • Less compelling of a reason to fight than in the Confederacy • Have the resources to win. The challenge will be finding the will to win. • Diverse population • About 1/5 of the 20 million population was foreign-born • Immigrants generally stuck together creating political constituencies that Lincoln could not ignore

  15. The Federal Home Front:Challenges • Vocal peace party represented by the Peace Democrats or Copperheads • Led by Ohio Congressman Clement Vallandigham • Potentially more dangerous secret pro-Southern Knights of the Golden Circle especially active in the Midwest • Several hostile newspapers such as the New York Daily News owned by Copperhead Congressman Benjamin Wood and Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune Clement Vallandigham

  16. The Federal Home Front:Challenges • Slightly less than 1% of the Northern population was black • The Northern population was largely ambivalent on the subject of slavery • Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland were slave states • Slavery was not abolished in Washington, DC until April 1862 • Lincoln’s own views on race were contradictory, pragmatic, and evolving • Much tension between abolitionists, segregationists, and pro-slavery people

  17. The Federal Home Front:Resources • 20 million people • 110,000 manufacturing establishments • 22,000 miles of railroad • 75% of nation’s total wealth • 16,000 man Army and 90 ship Navy • “This vast productive ability made the Union armies the best fed, the best clothed, the best cared for that the world had ever seen.” • Richard Current, “God and the Strongest Battalions”

  18. The Federal Home Front: Politics • As the war progressed, politics became increasingly polarized with the Radical Republicans on one end and the Peace Democrats on the other • Lincoln had to be very politically astute to forge a rough consensus • The election of 1862 was particularly challenging to Lincoln • Democrat Horatio Seymour who favored war to restore the Union but not to abolish slavery defeated staunch abolitionist Republican James Wadsworth • Five states that Lincoln had carried in the presidential election--NY, PA, OH, IN, and IL (Lincoln’s home state)– all sent a majority of Democrats to the House of Representatives where Republicans were reduced to only an 18 vote majority

  19. The Federal Home Front: Politics • Radical Republicans continually challenged Lincoln, even unsuccessfully pressuring him to reorganize his cabinet to promote their favorite, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, at the expense of moderate Secretary of State William Seward • George McClellan, running on a peace platform, challenged Lincoln in the 1864 Presidential election • Sherman’s success in the Atlanta Campaign sealed the victory for Lincoln

  20. The Federal Home Front:Politics • Lincoln’s need to address his varied constituencies led him to appoint many political generals • Franz Sigel and German emigrants in Missouri • John McClernand and the Illinois War Democrats • John Fremont, the first Republican candidate for President and a staunch abolitionist

  21. The Federal Home Front: Social Life • Although the North was more urbanized than the South at the beginning of the war, several events created an increase in farming during the war • Most farm states experienced population growth during the war from births, foreign immigration, and refugees from border states • Labor-saving equipment and commercial fertilizers increased yields • The Homestead Act of 1862 resulted in 2.5 million acres of prairie and plain being converted to homesteads

  22. The Federal Home Front: Social Life • A major component of America’s westward expansion and the effort to unite the country in the midst of the Civil War were railroads • In 1862, Congress authorized a transcontinental railroad • On May 10, 1869 the Union Pacific tracks joined those of the Central Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah

  23. The Federal Home Front: Social Life • Women and children assumed responsibilities vacated by men who joined the Army • Groups of women formed groups to sew items of clothing and solicit donations for soldiers • Women such as Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, and Mary Ann Bickerdyke made extraordinary contributions to medical and health care for Federal soldiers After initial resistance, Clara Barton eventually won permission to deliver medical supplies to Civil War battlefields

  24. The Federal Home Front: Social Life • Women and philanthropists mobilized their resources to help abate the soldiers’ suffering • Following the example of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, activists such as George Templeton Strong, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Mary Livermore established the United States Sanitation Commission • Military authorities were at first cool to this civilian competition • Lincoln himself feared it might become “a fifth wheel on the coach”

  25. The Federal Home Front: Social Life • Under the direction of Frederick Law Olmsted, the USSC proved its value • Among its most important work was publishing and distributing literature about how disease could be prevented by basic sanitation

  26. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • The Northern home front was spared much of the hardship that plagued the South • With the exception of Antietam, Gettysburg, and a few minor forays, the war was not fought on Northern soil • While the national debt rose, the North avoided the ruinous inflation that hit the Confederacy • The first income tax was approved in 1861 • There were no serious shortages or paralyzing interruptions in trade

  27. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • The North’s industrial and economic might became centralized during the war • The war helped encourage monopolistic practices • The Western Union Telegraph Company absorbed 50 local telegraph companies providing regional services • Railroads merged and absorbed smaller lines • Producers’ organizations such as the National Paper Manufacturers’ Association fixed prices • Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, Studebacker, and Armour all shaped their business approach during the war

  28. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • Established conscription in 1863 • The draft proved to be an inefficient system for raising troops because of exemptions, substitutions, commutations, and expenses • Only six per cent of the total Union manpower was raised by conscription • Its greatest contribution seems to have been to encourage voluntary enlistments

  29. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • Resentment at draft inequities combined with hostilities toward blacks to create the New York Draft Riot of 1863 • White workingmen were manipulated by agitators such as Democratic Congressman Samuel Cox of Ohio who warned that blacks would take their civilian jobs because of the draft • Irish immigrants in New York were especially vulnerable to such rhetoric because they were hurting from wartime inflation and were outraged that blacks had been used to replace striking Irish longshoremen

  30. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • Statements by Democratic New York Governor Seymour about the “inequality and injustice” of the draft and former New York Democratic Mayor Fernando Wood’s proposal the city leave the Union rather than lose Southern trade fanned the flames • The situation was made worse by the fact that many New York militia units that could have kept the peace were still on duty in Pennsylvania because of Gettysburg Fernando Wood

  31. The Federal Home Front: Wartime Life • As the drafted men’s names were published, gangs attacked the draft office and a crowd of rioters swept throughout New York City • Blacks were particularly targeted • In four days of violence, 119 people were killed, 306 were injured, and $1.5 million worth of property was damaged

  32. Next • Grant and Sherman