Lincoln was convinced that the Confederate states had seceded from the Union for the sole purpose of maintaining slavery. Like President Jackson before him, he considered the Union to be permanent, an agreement by the people and not just of the states. Further, he strongly agreed with the sentiments voiced by Daniel Webster (1782-1852), when that Whig Senator declared in 1830, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." Lincoln, too, believed that a strong Union provided the only firm safeguard for American liberties and republican institutions. By attacking Fort Sumter, the Confederacy had directly challenged federal authority. And so the war came.
Lincoln responded to the attack on Fort Sumter by calling on the states to provide 75,000 militiamen for 90 days service. Twice that number volunteered. But the eight slave states still in the Union refused to furnish troops, and four--Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia--seceded.
One individual who felt especially torn by the decision to support the Union or join the Confederacy was Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) of Virginia. Lee was Winfield Scott's choice to serve as field commander of the Union army, but when a state convention voted to secede, he resigned from the U.S. army, announcing to his sister that he could not "raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children. Save in defense of my native state, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword." After joining the Confederate army, he predicted "that the country will have to pass through a terrible ordeal, a necessary expiation perhaps for national sins."
Prospects for Victory
Many Northerners felt confident of a quick victory. In 1861, the Union states had 22.5 million people, compared to just 9 million in the Confederate states (including 3.7 million slaves). Not only did the Union have more manpower, it also had a larger navy, a more developed railroad system, and a stronger manufacturing base. The North had 1.3 million industrial workers, compared to the South's 110,000. Northern factories manufactured nine times as many industrial goods as the South; seventeen times as many cotton and woolen goods; thirty times as many boots and shoes; twenty times as much pig iron; twenty-four times
as many railroad locomotives--and 33 times as many firearms.
But Confederates also felt confident. For one thing, the Confederacy had only to wage a defensive war and wait for northern morale to erode. In contrast, the Union had to conquer and control the Confederacy's 750,000 square miles of territory. Further, the Confederate army seemed superior to that of the Union. More Southerners had attended West Point or other military academies, had served as army officers, and had experience using firearms and horses. At the beginning of 1861, the U.S. army consisted of only 16,000 men, most of whom served on the frontier fighting Indians. History, too, seemed to be on the South's
side. Before the Civil War, most nations that had fought for independence, including, of course, the United States, had won their
struggle. A school textbook epitomized southern confidence: "If one Confederate soldier can whip seven Yankees," it asked, "how many soldiers can whip 49 Yanks?"
Why the Civil War Was So Lethal
The Civil War was the deadliest war in American history. Altogether, over 600,000 died in the conflict, more than World War I and World War II combined. A soldier was 13 times more likely to die in the Civil War than in the Vietnam war.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
Civil War (Občianska vojna v USA) - complete version
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Zdroje: Digital History