United States Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1044 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

South Carolina did not want to act alone, however, which caused them to move forward somewhat cautiously, and with ample planning.

Before Lincoln could even take office, secession rallies began erupting across the Southern states. Because of their immense supporters, the elected secession delegates of South Carolina decided to move ahead earlier than planned, on December 20, 1860 (451). The following year in February, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana followed suit (451).

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Lincoln's Presidential Inaugural Address was meant to calm the fears of Southerners, along with smooth over the immediate threats to peace, while buying time in the hopes that a resolution could be worked out (454). He attempted to calm a fear that "seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered...never been any reasonable cause for such" (Inaugural Address). He continued declaring that, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists...I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so" (Inaugural Address). In his closing statements, Lincoln stated that In 'your' hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in 'mine', is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail 'you'. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. 'You' have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it." (Inaugural Address) which was seen to some southerners as a threat of violence against their secession. Many felt it was a "potent mixture of firmness and generosity" while others chose to interpret his speech as further evidence that the secessions must continue (454). Regardless of how it was construed, Lincoln's election was no sooner declared official before the breakdown of America as it was known began.

Term Paper on United States, at the Beginning Assignment

Again, there were many contributing factors to the Civil War. Slavery was the hot topic, and the citizenship of "free slaves," or other African-Americans was the cause for much animosity between the Northern states and the Southern states from 1855 until the Civil War, and beyond. The Dred Scott case, the Kansas conflicts that were always making headlines, and the raid on Harper's Ferry - each of these events added to the rising tensions in America. However, the clear point at which the nation was set on the path to war, and could not be averted from that path was the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, after which the southern states began to secede from the Union.

Ayers, Edward. American Passages. Harcourt College Publishers, © 1999

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. A Compilation of Messages and Papers of the Presidents, volume VI. New York: Bureau of National Literature, 1914. 5ff Online Version:

http://azimuth.harcourtcollege.com/history/ayers/chapter13/13.4.lincoln.html. American Passages Website.

The Day of Battle," Richmond "Enquirer," November 6, 1860. Online Version:

http://azimuth.harcourtcollege.com/history/ayers/chapter13/13.4.battle.html. American Passages Website.

The News of Lincoln's Election," The Charleston Mercury, November… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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