History Chapter 14
Terms in this set (60)
The Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy was the most costly of all American wars in terms of the loss of human life and also the most destructive war ever fought in the Western Hemisphere.
Death of 750,000 people. The Civil War freed 4 million people from slavery, giving the nation what Lincoln called "a new birth of freedom."
The war also transformed American society by accelerating industrialization and modernization in the North and destroying much of the South.
These changes were so fundamental and so profound that some historians refer to the Civil War as the Second American Revolution.
In his inaugural address, Lincoln assured Southerners that he would not interfere with slavery. At the time, he warned, no state had the right to break up the Union.
"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you, you can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.
Despite the Lincoln's message of both conciliation and warning, the danger of a war breaking out was acute. Most critical was the status of two federal forts in states that had seceded. One of these, Fort Sumter was cut off from vital supplies by Southern control of the harbor.
Lincoln announced that he was sending provisions to Fort Sumter. He gave SC the choice of permitting the fort to hold out or opening fire with its shore batteries. Carolina's guns thundered their reply and thus, on April 12, 1861, the war began.
Use of Executive Power
Lincoln acted in unprecedented ways, drawing upon his powers as both chief executive and commander in chief, often without the authorization of Congress. He had to take strong measures without congressional approval "as indispensable to the public safety."
After it became clear that Lincoln would use troops in the crisis,
Four states of the South, VA, NC, TN, and AR, also seceded and joined the Confederacy. The Confederates then moved their capital to Richmond, VA.
Keeping the border states in the Union was a primary military and political goal for Lincoln.
Their loss would have increased the Confederate population by more than 50 percent and would have severely weakened the North's strategic position for conducting the war.
Wartime Advantages and Disadvantages
The Union and Confederacy each started the war with some strengths and some weaknesses.
Military - Confederacy
1. Fight only a defensive war to win
2. Had to move troops and supplies a shorter distance than the Union
3. Indented coastline that was difficult to blockade
4. Experienced military leaders and high troop morale.
Military - Union
1. Union had to conquer an area as large as Western Europe.
2. Population of 22 million against the Confederate's population of 5.5 million.
3. Population enhanced by 800,000 immigrants.
4. Emancipation brought 180,000 African Americans.
5. Could count on a loyal U.S. Navy.
Economic - Union
1. Dominated the nation's economy, controlling most of the banking and capital of the country, more than 85% of factories, more than 70% of the railroads, and even 65% of the farmland.
Economic - Confederacy
Confederates hoped that European demand for its cotton would bring recognition and financial aid.
Political - Confederacy
1. The Confederates were struggling for independence.
2. The ideology of states' rights proved a serious liability for the new Confederate government. The irony was that in order to win the war, the Confederates needed a strong central government with strong public support.
Political - Union
1. Fighting to preserve the Union.
2. Had a well-established central government.
3. Experienced politicians with a strong popular base.
The Confederate constitution was modeled after the U.S. Constitution, except
That it provided a single six-year term for the president and gave the president an item veto. Its constitution denied the Confederate congress the powers to levy a protective tariff and to appropriate funds for internal improvements, but it did prohibit the foreign slave trade.
The Confederacy was chronically short of money. It tried loans, income taxes, and even impressment of private property.
Paid for only small part of war costs. Government issued $1 billion in paper money, severe inflation, one dollar was less than two cents.
People at first expected the war to last no more than a few weeks. Lincoln called up the first volunteers for an enlistment period of only 90 days. "On the Richmond!" was the optimistic cry, but
As America soon learned, it would take almost 4 years of ferocious fighting before Union troops finally did march into the Confederate capital.
First Battle of Bull Run
First major battle of the war (July 1861), 30,000 troops marched to attack Confederate forces at Virginia. Union forces seemed close to victory, Confederate reinforcements under General Thomas Stonewall Jackson counterattacked and sent Union troops in panicky flight. Battle ended the illusion of short war and also promoted the myth that the Rebels were invincible in battle.
General-in-Chief Winfield Scott devised a three-part strategy for winning a long war:
1. Use the U.S. Navy to blockade Southern ports (called the Anaconda Plan), cutting off essential supplies from reaching the Confederacy
2. Take control of the Mississippi River, dividing the Confederacy in two
3. Raise and train an army 500,000 strong to conquer Richmond
General George McClellan, commander of Union army in East, insisted his troop be given a long period of training before going into battle. McClellan's army invaded Virginia in March 1862. Union army stopped as a result of brilliant tactical moves by Confederate General Robert Lee. McClellan replaced by General Pope John.
Second Battle of Bull Run
Lee took advantage of the change in Union generals to strike quickly at Pope's army in Virginia.
Following up his victory at Bull Run, Lee led his army across the Potomac into enemy territory in Maryland. In doing so, he hoped that a major victory would convince Britain to give official support to the Confederacy. Restored McClellan to command. McClellan had advantage of knowing Lee's battle plan, because a copy of it had been dropped accidentally by a Confederate officer. The Union army intercepted invading Confederates at Antietam Creek. Here the bloodiest single day of combat in the entire war took place. 22,000 soldiers were killed or wounded.
Lee's army retreated. Disappointed with McClellan for failing to pursue Lee's weakened and retreating army, Lincoln removed him for a final time. While a draw on the battlefield, Antietam proved to be a decisive battle because the Confederates failed to get what they so urgently needed, aid from a foreign power.
Replacing McClellan, aggressive General Ambrose Burnside, Lincoln discovered that reckless attack could have even worse consequences than caution and inaction. Attacked Lee's army and suffered immense losses.
Monitor vs. Merrimac
The Union's hope for wining the war depended on its ability to maximize its economy and naval advantages by an effective blockade of Confederate ports. The Union's blockade was placed in jeopardy by the Confederate ironclad ship the Merrimac that attacked and sunk several Union ships. However, Union's own ironclad, the Monitor, engaged the Merrimac in a 5 hour duel. Battle ended in a draw. Turning point in naval warfare, wooden ships replaced by ironclads.
Union's campaign for control of the Mississippi River was partly under the command of Ulysses S. Grant. 1862. Used a combination of gunboats and army maneuvers to capture Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.
These stunning victories opened up Mississippi to a Union attack. Grant's drive down the Mississippi was complemented by the capture of New Orleans.
Confederate leaders fully expected that cotton would indeed prove to be "king" and induce Britain or France to give to the war effort.
From the Union's point of view, it was critically important to prevent the Confederacy from gaining the foreign support and recognition that it desperately needed.
Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell were traveling to England on a British steamer, the Trent, on a mission to gain recognition for their government. A Union warship stopped the British ship, removed Mason and Slidell, and brought them to the U.S. as prisoners of war. Britain threatened war over the incident unless the two diplomats were released. Lincoln gave in to British demands. Failed to obtain full recognition of the Confederacy.
The U.S. minister to Britain, Charles Francis Adams, prevented a potentially more serious threat, Confederate raiders.
Learning that the Confederacy had arranged to purchase Laird rams from Britain for use against the Union's naval blockade, Adams persuaded the British government to cancel the sale rather than risk war with the United States.
Europe found ways of obtaining cotton from other sources.
Egypt and India.
Even though Lincoln in the 1850s spoke out against slavery as an unqualified evil, as president he seemed hesitant to take action against slavery as advocated by many of his Republican supporters.
Lincoln's concerns included keeping the support of the border states, the constitutional protections of slavery, the racial prejudice of many northerners, and the fear that premature action could be overturned in the next election.
Early in the war, Union General Benjamin Butler refused to return captured slaves to their confederate owners, arguing that they were "contraband of war." The power to seize enemy property used to wage war against the United States was the legal basis for the first Confiscation Act passed by Congress in August 1861
Soon after the passage of this act, thousands of contrabands were using their feet to escape slavery by finding their way into union camps. In July 1862, Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act and freed persons enslaved by anyone engaged in rebellion against the United States. It also empowered the president to use freed slaves in the Union Army in any capacity, including battle.
After the battle of Antietam, on September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a warning that enslaved people in all states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863 would be "then, thenceforward and forever free." As promised, on the first day of the new year, the president issued his Emancipation Proclamation after listing states from Arkansas to Virginia that were in rebellion, the proclamation stated:
"I do order and declared that all persons held as slaves within said designated states and participate in our calm and henceforward shall be, free; and that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities there of, so recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons."
Lincoln's proclamation immediately freed only about 1% of slaves. The proclamation was of major importance because it enlarged the purpose of the war.
For the first time, Union armies are fighting against slavery, not merely against secession. The proclamation added weight to the Confiscation Acts, increasing the number of slaves who sought freedom by foot to union lines. Authorized the use of freed slaves as Union soldiers.
Standing in the way of emancipation were phrases in the U.S. Constitution that had long legitimized slavery. To free all enslaved people in the border states, the country needed to ratify a constitutional amendment. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
After the Emancipation Proclamation, hundreds of thousands of Southern blacks, approximately one quarter of the slave population, walked away from slavery.
Almost 200,000 African-Americans served in the Union Army and Navy. Black Units. Won respect of Union white soldiers. More than 37,000 African-American soldiers died in what became known as the Army of Freedom.
By early 1863, the fortunes of war were turning against the Confederates.
The Confederate economy was in desperate shape, as planters and farmers lost control of their slave labor force.
The decisive turning point in the war came in the first week of July when the Confederacy suffered a crushing defeat in the West and in the East.
Federal warships now controlled the full length of the Mississippi and cut off Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas from the rest of the Confederacy.
Lee again took the offensive by leading an army into enemy territory. If they could either destroy the Union Army or capture a major northern city, Lee hoped to force the Union to call for peace. On July 1, 1863, the invading Confederate Army surprised Union units at Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania. The following was the most crucial battle of the war and the bloodiest, with more than 50,000 casualties. Destroyed a key part of the Confederate Army. What was left of Lee's forces retreated to Virginia, never to regain the offensive.
Grant in Command
Lincoln finally found the general who could fight and win. He brought Grant East to Virginia and made him commander of all the Union armies. Grant settled on a strategy of war by attrition. Wear down the Confederate Army and systematically destroy their vital lines of supply.
Instrument of Grant's aggressive tactics for subduing the South was a hardened veteran, General William Tecumseh Sherman. Leading a force of 100,000 men. Campaign of deliberate destruction that went clear across the state of Georgia and swept North and South Carolina. Destroyed everything in their path, burning cotton fields, barnes, and houses, everything the enemy might use to survive. Hoping to break the spirit of the Confederacy and destroying its will to fight on.
The Election of 1864
The Republicans rename their party the Unionist Party as a way of attracting the votes of "War Democrats."
The effects of the Union blockade, combined with Sherman's March of Destruction, brought hunger through much of the south in the winter of 1864 through 1865.
On the battlefront in Virginia, Grant continued to outflank Lee's lines until they collapsed around Petersburg, resulting in the fall of Richmond on April 3, 1865. Everyone knew the end was near.
Surrender at Appomattox
The Confederate government tried to negotiate for peace, but Lincoln would except nothing short of restoration of the Union, and Jefferson Davis still wanted nothing less than independence. He retreated from Richmond with an army of less than 30,000 men. He tried to escape to the mountains, only to be cut off and forced to surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.
Assassination of Lincoln
Second inaugural address. He urged the defeated South to be treated benevolently, with "malice toward none; with charity for all." On April 14, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, shot and killed the president while he was attending a performance in Ford's theater in Washington. On the same night, a co-conspirator attack but only wounded Secretary of State William Seward.
Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus early in the war. Suspension of this constitutional right meant that persons could be arrested without being informed of the charges against them. During the war, an estimated 13,000 people were arrested on suspicion of aiding the enemy. Without a right to habeas corpus, many of them were held without trial. Democrats argued that Lincoln acted no better than a tyrant.
In the case of Ex Parte Milligan, The Supreme Court ruled that the government had acted improperly in Indiana where, during the war, certain civilians had been subject to a military trial.
When the war began in 1861, those who fought were volunteers. However, as the need for replacements became acute, the union and the Confederacy resorted to conscripting or drafting into service.
Conscription Act, March 1863, made all men between the ages of 20 and 45 liable for military service but allowed a draft to avoid service by either finding a substitute to serve or paying a $300 exemption fee. Brought about fierce opposition among poorer laborers.
The union financed the war chiefly by borrowing $2.6 billion, obtained through the sale of government bonds.
Not enough, so congress tariffs, excise taxes, and instituted the first income tax. Prices rose about 80%, Congress created a national banking system in 1863.
Republican politics played a major role in stimulating economic growth. Taking advantage of their wartime majority in Congress, the Republicans passed an economic program
That included a national banking system and the following: the Morrill Tariff Act, the Homestead Act, the Morrill Land Grant Act, and the Pacific Railway Act.
The Morrill Tariff Act
Raised tariff rates to increase revenue and protect American manufacturers. Its passage initiated a Republican program of high protective tariffs to help industrialists.
The Homestead Act
Promoted settlement of the Great Plains by offering parcels of 160 acres of public land free to any person or family that farmed that land for at least five years.
The Morrill Land-Grant Act
Encouraged states to use the sale of federal land grants to maintain agricultural and technical colleges.
The Pacific Railway Act
Authorized the building of the transcontinental railroad over a northern route in order to link the economies of California and the western territories but the eastern states.
Women at Work
The absence of millions of men from their normal occupations in fields and factories added to the responsibility of women in all regions. Operating farms and plantations and taking factory jobs customarily held by men. In addition, women played a critical role as military nurses and as volunteers in soldiers' aid societies.
Women at Work
The Civil War had at least two permanent effects on American women. First, the field of nursing was now open to women for the first time; previously, hospitals and employed only men as doctors and nurses. Second, the enormous responsibilities undertaken by women during the war gave impetus to the movement to obtain equal voting rights for women.
While four years of nearly total war, the tragic human loss of 750,000 lives and an estimated $15 billion in war costs and property losses had enormous effects on the nation, far greater changes were set in motion.
The Civil War destroyed slavery and devastated the Southern economy, and it also acted as a catalyst to transform America into a complex modern industrial society of capital, technology, national organizations, and large corporations. During the war, the Republicans were able to enact the pro-business Whig program that was designed to stimulate the industrial and commercial growth of the United States. The characteristics of American democracy and its capitalist economy were strengthened by this Second American Revolution.
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