We discussed the causes and phases that led to the American Civil War. Now we will understand how the Great President of America Abraham Lincoln solved this biggest problem after the independence of America. 🙂
Abraham Lincoln’s Regime
In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected as the President of United States, and his election was followed by the breakaway of southern states from the union. Though Lincoln was opposed to slavery, but still he had made it clear that there would be no interference with it where it existed.
But the southern states were not appeased by this assurance and in 1861, the southern states, under the Presidentship of Davis Jefferson formed ‘The Confederate States’. Lincoln’s attempts to avoid Civil War initially failed. In April 1861 the Civil War begin and lasted for four years, during which many brothers fought against his brother and many a friend against a friend. Huge armies grew up as the war continued.
The northern states had many advantages. It had a much bigger population and greater wealth. Being a manufacturing and industrial area, its resources were far greater, and it had good infrastructure. But southern states had the better soldiers, especially General Lee, and all the early victories went to southern states. But ultimately the south was worn out.
Role of Abraham Lincoln
Power and Diplomacy
During Civil War, Britain’s opinion about the war was generally biased towards southern states or at any general terms, the opinion of the wealthier classes was in favour of the South. The radical elements favoured the North.
Lincoln adopted the policy of power and diplomacy to check this external opinion to influence the internal crisis of America. Under this, American Navy encircled the entire eastern coast of America to prevent outside support to southern states. Along with this he also succeeded on the diplomatic ground when he convinced Britain to be neutral in the America’s internal crisis.
Slavery was not the principal cause of the Civil War. Lincoln also gave assurances that he would respect slavery wherever it existed. The real trouble arose from the different and somewhat conflicting economic interests of the northern and southern states.
So with the beginning of the war, Lincoln declared that the slavery was not a matter of concern rather, immediate priority was the protection of American Union, which was achieved by the sacrifice of their ancestors. This created an emotional wave and also confused the rival states because they were fighting on the issue of slavery.
Proclamation of Emancipation
Lincoln proposed first that government should free the slaves after giving compensation to the owners. Later he gave up this idea of compensation. Finally, in September 1862, he issued Proclamation of Emancipation. In which he declared that the slaves in all the states in rebellion against the government should be free on and after January 1st, 1863. The reason for this proclamation was probably to weaken the southern states in the war. It resulted in
The reason for this proclamation was probably to weaken the southern states in the war. It resulted in 4,000,000 slaves being freed. It was hoped that these would create trouble in the Confederate States. From this step, a huge population of slaves were in support of Lincoln. Now he played his master card and southern states were not in the condition to fight for the cause of slavery.
1865, 13 Amendment
The Civil War ended in 1865 and the southern states thoroughly exhausted. Lincoln abolished slavery in America. In this way when the opposition was on the verge of defeat he got the support of the large population of slaves in America. Therefore, irrespective of all odds Lincoln was successful in completing the impossible task of protecting American union.
War at any time is a terrible affair, but civil war is often more horrible still. The burden of four years of this awful struggle fell most of all on the Lincoln. The result was largely due to his cool determination to persevere in spite of all disappointments and disasters.
He was out not only to win but to make a union, a real union of hearts and not a forced one. Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest of American heroes. The history of United States of America from 1783 became the inspiration for the entire world.
The infant nation after this horrible civil war though remained sometimes in shock but revived soon. And soon became the topmost Industrialised country.
In the next post, we will read about the circumstances that led to the Industrialisation of America. 🙂
Thank you so much 🙂 Stay connected 🙂