Lincoln and the Agony of War I - Secession 

  1. Growing differences reached peak as Republicans win 1860 election
    1. Economy, culture, and views on slavery all different
    2. Unity increases after Brown raid, especially in South
    3. South increasingly intransigent over what it calls "state's rights" (Calhoun)
  2. The Lower South secedes
    1. South Carolina is first (Dec. 20, 1860) - legislature votes unanimously
      1. Based largely on Calhoun's theory of state sovereignty and nullification
      2. Also argued that North had elected a sectional president that did not represent whole nation
    2. Radicals vs. cooperationists
      1. Radicals in other states argued that each state should immediately secede
      2. Cooperationists wanted South to act as a whole
      3. South Carolina made any delay difficult
      4. In Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia, radicals elected to secession convention - all out by Feb. 1, 1861.
      5. Northern South holds off - stronger unionist feeling
    3. Lower South states immediately meet in Montgomery, AL to write a constitution and form Confederacy
    4. Attempts at compromise to avoid secession fail
      1. Congress immediately decided to support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing Southern slavery forever (Feb., 1861)
      2. Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois immediately passed it
      3. Failed - would have been 13th Amendment
    5. Crittenden Compromise
      1. Proposed by Sen. John Crittenden of Kentucky
      2. Would have extended Missouri Compromise line to Pacific
      3. Guaranteed slavery in the slave states
      4. Probably would have passed in national referendum
      5. Republicans reject it
        1. Believe the South is bluffing
        2. Would be giving in to threats
        3. Would be giving up fundamental beliefs
  3. Upper South Secedes
    1. Fort Sumter
      1. Garrison in Charleston harbor held by Union forces
      2. Lincoln orders it resupplied
      3. Confederacy saw this as a hostile act and attacked
      4. Sumter surrendered on April 13, 1861
    2. Virginia, which had rejected secession, changes its mind
    3. Within a month, NC, Tennessee, Arkansas follow suit
    4. Believed Lincoln had violated the natural right of Southern states to seceded
    5. Now or never mentality - North at height of its power, would only get stronger