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The Civil War

The Civil War

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The Civil War

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  1. 1861-1865 The Civil War

  2. Great Emancipator or White Supremacist? • “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon equal footing of perfect equality; inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I…am in favor of the race which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary.” -Abraham Lincoln

  3. Taking Sides • The Confederate States of America • Most Southerners believed that the Rep victory posed an unacceptable threat to the Southern way of life • They assumed that the Western territories would become free states thus increasing the political imbalance in the Senate between free and slave states • Led by SC, 7 states in the Deep S seceded before Lincoln took office

  4. Taking Sides • The firing upon Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops forced the states in the Upper S to take sides • It is important to note that slaves were scarce and Union support was strong in eastern TN, western VA, and western NC • Nonetheless, VA, NC, TN, and AR all seceded • The Confederate Congress meeting in Montgomery welcomed these states and moved its capital to Richmond, VA

  5. Taking Sides • The Border States • DE, MD, KY, and MO all slaveholding Border States that remained in the Union • KY provided especially important industrial and agricultural resources that proved vital to the Union • Lincoln recognized KY’s strategic importance when he declared, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have KY”

  6. The Balance of Power • Northern advantages • More people • In 1861, the 23 states in the Union had a population of about 22 million versus the 11 Confederate states had just 9 million people, about 1/3 of whom were slaves • More industrial capacity • Produced over 90% of the nation’s manufactured goods • Had far more wagons, ships, and miles of railroad track than the Confederacy • Better leadership • Lincoln was inspiring and a forceful commander-in-chief • He successfully held the Rep Party together despite its internal conflicts

  7. The Balance of Power • Northern disadvantages • When the war began, the N lacked an able group of military commanders • Lincoln had to frequently replace generals as he searched for commanders who could rival those of the S • When the war began, the N did not agree on war aims • Preserve the Union • End slavery • Although most northern Democrats supported a war to save the Union, a vocal group of “Copperheads” called for peace by negotiation even if it risked the Union

  8. The Balance of Power • Southern advantages • Fighting a defensive war on its own familiar territory • S needed only to hold back the invading Union armies and wait for the N to tire of fighting a prolonged and costly war • Strong military tradition that produced an exceptional group of experienced commanders • Enjoyed the initial advantage of believing that G.B. would aid the Confederacy because its textile industry would grind to a halt without Southern cotton • Proved to be illusory when “King Cotton diplomacy” failed

  9. The Balance of Power • Southern disadvantages • The inequality in population, industrial capacity, and railroad mileage meant that the S could not sustain a prolonged war • Jefferson Davis proved to be an ineffective political and military leader • He frequently quarreled with his Cabinet and failed to implement a consistent military strategy • The Confederacy was founded on the principle of preserving states’ rights • But a strong central government is needed to conduct an efficient war effort • Independent-minded Confederate governors often frustrated the Davis government’s attempts to raise the money and troops it needed to fight the war

  10. Key Civil War Battles • Antietam/Sharpsburg • Lee and his battle-tested troops crossed the Potomac River into Maryland • Lee’s objectives included seizing the vital rail center at Harrisburg, PA, isolating D.C. from the rest of the N and convincing BR and FR to recognize the Confederacy • The 2 armies fought the bloodiest 1-day battle of the war • The battle ended in a narrow Union victory forcing Lee to withdraw back across the Potomac into VA • Disappointed by McClellan’s failure to pursue Lee and gain a decisive victory, Lincoln removed his popular but hesitant general from command of the Army of the Potomac

  11. Key Civil War Battles • The Union victory at Antietam persuaded GB and FR to remain neutral and enabled Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation

  12. Key Civil War Battles • Vicksburg • Vicksburg was a seemingly impregnable fortress that commanded a key portion of the Mississippi River • Led by General Ulysses S. Grant, the Union forces captured Vicksburg following a long siege • The fall of Vicksburg gave the Union control of the Mississippi River thus splitting the Confederacy in half

  13. Key Civil War Battles • Sherman’s March to the Sea • Sherman captured Atlanta in September 1864 • His victory helped boost Lincoln’s sagging popularity thus enabling the President to defeat the Democratic candidate General McClellan in the November election • Sherman burned Atlanta on November 15, 1864 • He then began his famous “March to the Sea” • Determined to wage a total war on the people of Georgia, Sherman’s army promptly made the Georgians “feel the hard hand of war” • His soldiers burned homes, ruined crops, killed animals, and destroyed railroad tracks as they left a path of destruction 60 miles wide • Sherman arrived in Savannah in time to present the city to President Lincoln as a Christmas present

  14. Key Congressional Actions • The Rep Congress • During the 1840s and 1850s, Southern congressmen consistently blocked tariff, railroad, banking, and land policies favored by the N and W • The secession of the Southern states enabled the Rep to dominate Congress • They promptly passed a series of landmark acts with far-reaching social and economic consequences

  15. Key Congressional Actions • The Homestead Act, 1862 • Under the terms of the HA a settler 21 years old or older could acquire a free tract of 160 acres of surveyed public land • Title to the land went to the settler after 5 years of continuous residence • The HA opened the Great Plains to settlers • By 1935, 1.6 million homesteaders received 270 million acres of federal lands

  16. Key Congressional Actions • The Morrill Land Grant Act, 1862 • The MLGA stipulated that public lands be donated to the states for the purpose of providing colleges to train students in agriculture and mechanical arts • Land-grant colleges played an important role in promoting agriculture, engineering, and veterinary medicine

  17. Key Congressional Actions • The First Transcontinental Railroad, 1862 • Prior to the Civil War, Southern congressmen strongly supported a transcontinental railroad that would link NO with LA • Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Congress approved a transcontinental route connecting Omaha, NE with Sacramento, CA • The government provided the Central Pacific and Union Pacific companies with generous loans and extensive land grants

  18. Key Congressional Actions • The National Banking Act of 1863 • Banking policies had been a source of contention since the formation of the First National Bank in 1791 • The rising cost of financing the Civil War highlighted the urgent need for a national currency and orderly banking system • The NBA of 1863 established a national banking system to provide a uniform national currency • No additional important changes were made in the nation’s banking system until the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913

  19. African Americans and the Civil War • Contraband • The Civil War disrupted plantation life throughout the S • Soon thousands of escaped slaves sought refuge behind Union lines • Contraband was the official term given to fugitive slaves who sought protection behind Union lines • The First Confiscation Act authorized Union troops to seize all property, including slaves, used on behalf of the Confederacy

  20. African Americans and the Civil War • The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 • President Lincoln issued the EP on New Year’s Day, 1863 • The proclamation declared that all slaves in the areas “wherein the people…are this day in rebellion…are, and hence forward shall be free” • It is important to understand that the EP only freed slaves living in states that had rebelled against the Union • It did not free slaves in Border States such as KY and MO • Slavery was not legally and completely abolished until the enactment of the 13th Amendment in 1865 • The EP strengthened the Union’s moral cause • The Civil War was now widened into a crusade against slavery • With slavery doomed, public opinion in BR and FR swung decisively behind the Union cause • The EP thus ended any chance that the European powers would support the Confederacy

  21. African Americans and the Civil War • Black soldiers • The EP permitted blacks to join the federal army • Frederick Douglass urged blacks to rally to the Union cause • “The iron gate of our prison,” he told them, “stands half open” • Approximately 180,000 African Americans served in the Union army • Although black soldiers fought with a great valor, they were paid less than white soldiers of equal rank • More than 38,000 black soldiers lost their lives during the Civil War