» Abraham Lincoln took the presidential oath on March 4, 1861. He came into Washington disguised to escape assassins. He thus became the president of the dis- United States of America. American people would endure four years of anguish and bloodshed, and Lincoln would face tortuous trials of leadership such have been visited upon few presidents. » Lincoln’s address was firm and that there wouldn’t be any conflict unless the South provoked it. Secession, the president declared, was wholly impractical because physically they can’t. » Uncontested secession would create new controversies. What share of the national debt should the south be forced to take with it? How would the fugitive slave law be resolved, and the Underground Railroad would certainly redouble its activity, and it would have to transport its passengers only across the Ohio River, not all of the way to Canada. » The United States had been paramount republic in the Western Hemisphere. If this powerful democracy should break into two parts, and the European nations would be delighted. European with no unified republic to stand across their path could more easily defy the Monroe Doctrine and seize territory in the Americas. » » The issue of the divided Union came to a head over the matter of federal forts in the South. As the states left they seized the United States arsenals, mints, and other public property within their borders. Fort Sumter was in Charleston harbor, with fewer than a hundred men. Fort Sumter was in need of supplies, if no supplies were coming, its commander would have to surrender, without firing a shot. Lincoln did not feel that such a weak course squared with his obligation to protect federal property. If they went and resupplied this Fort, the South Carolinians would fight back. They would not tolerate a federal fort blocking the mouth of their Atlantic seaport. » Lincoln made a middle of the road solution. He notified South Carolina that they are going to resupply the fort. He promised that there would be no arms, ammunition, but to the Southern eyes still spelled reinforcement. » A Union force was set out for Fort Sumter, a move that the South sought as an act of aggression. On April 12, 1861, the cannon open fired on the Fort. After a 34 hour standoff, the fort surrendered. » The assault on Fort Sumter provoked the North to a fighting pitch: the fort was lost, but the Union was saved. Lincoln issued a call to the states for 75 thousand militia-men, and volunteers sprang to the colors in many numbers. On April 19 and 27, the president proclaimed a blockade of Southern seaports. » The call for troops, in the North and the attack on Fort Sumter in the South was now both a call to wage war against each other. » The only slave states left were the crucial Border States. This group consisted of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and later West Virginia. » In dealing with Border States, President Lincoln did not rely solely on morality, he worked the legality method. In Maryland he declared martial law where needed and sent in troops, because this state threatened to cut off Washington from the North. Lincoln also deployed in Missouri, where they fought side by side Unionists in a local civil war within they larger Civil War. » The South seemed to have great advantages. The confederacy could fight defensively behind interior lines. The North had to invade the Confederacy, and drag it back to the Union side. » The South did not have to win the war in order to win its independence, they just had to fight back and stand firm. » Militarily the South from the opening of the war had the most talented officers. General Robert E. Lee, embodied the southern ideal, and at first Lincoln offered him to fight on the Union side, but when Virginia fell into the Southern side he felt obligated to fight with him home state. There was also Stonewall Jackson. » Besides their leaders, the Southerners were also bred to fight. They were accustomed to managing horses and they made excellent cavalrymen and foot soldiers. Weaknesses of the South » The South had fewer factories. Yet by seizing federal weapons, running Union blockades, and developing their own ironworks. » » » » Advantages of the North Nevertheless, as the war dragged on, grave shortages of shoes, uniforms, and blankets disabled the South. The economy was the greatest Southern weakness; it was the North’s greatest strength. The North was not only a huge farm but a sprawling factory as well. The north had about ¾’s of the nation’s wealth, and it included ¾’s of the 30 thousand miles of railroad. The North also controlled the sea. Their navy established a blockade that will choke off Southern supplies, and eventually shattered Southern morale. The sea power also enabled the North to exchange huge amounts of grain for ammunitions and supplies from Europe. The Union also enjoyed a much larger reserve of manpower. Their population was around 22 million; the seceding states had 9 million people, including 3.5 million slaves. Large numbers of them were induced to enlist in the Union army. Altogether about one-fifth of the Union forces were foreign-born, and in some units military commands were given in four different languages. North Weaknesses The North was less fortunate in it higher commanders. Lincoln was forced to use a costly trial and error method to sort out effective leaders form the many horrible officers, until Ulysses S. Grant, who was determined to win at any cost. » In the long run, the north had the advantage, but the south and their chances for independence were favorable. » Southerners counted on hard economic need to bring Britain to their aid. Why did King Cotton fail them? It failed because he had been so lavishly productive in the immediate prewar years of 18701860. Enormous amounts of cotton in those years had piled up in British warehouses. » After a year and a half of not producing any cotton, there was a cotton famine in Britain. Britain looked elsewhere for their cotton, and Egypt and India responded to Britain and increased their output and captured share of the world’s cotton market. Finally, booming war industries in England, which supplied both the North and South relieved unemployment. » The north was able to produce many amounts of grain, and at that time Britain suffered with a series of bad harvests. They were forces to import huge quantities of grain from America, which happened to be the cheapest and most abundant supply. » Jefferson Davis was tense, humorless, legalistic, and stubborn- and was repeatedly in hot water. He was an excellent orator and an able administrator; he at no time enjoyed real personal popularity and was often at odds with his congress. » Davis was somewhat inclined to defy rather than lead public opinion. He suffered from nervous disorders, including a tic. He overworked himself with the government and military operations. No one doubted his courage, sincerity, integrity, and devotion to the South. » Lincoln also had his troubles, but on the whole they were less troubling. The North enjoyed the prestige of a long established government, financially stable and fully recognized at home and abroad. As the war dragged on, old Abe grew tactful, quiet, patient, yet firm, he developed a genius for interpreting and leading public opinion. » During the war he demonstrated charitableness toward the South and forbearance toward backbiting colleagues. » When Lincoln took the oath of office, he swore that he would uphold the constitution. But when war broke out Congress was not in session. Brushing up against objections, he boldly proclaimed a blockade. He also increased the size of the Federal army. He suspended the precious privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, so that anti-unionists might be arrested. Lincoln’s regime was guilty of many other high handed acts. » Jefferson Davis was less able than Lincoln, because he encouraged intense spirit of localism and states’ rights. The South seemed willing to lose the war before it would surrender local rights-and it did. » More than 90 percent of the Union troops were volunteers, since social and patriotic pressures to enlist were strong. Most volunteers would pocket more than 1000. » Like the North, the South at first relied mainly on volunteers. But since the Confederacy was much less populous, it scraped the bottom of its manpower. » The north was blessed with the excise tax on tobacco and alcohol. An income tax was levied and although the rates were painlessly low by later standards, they netted a million dollars. » Congress passed the Morrill Tariff act which increased existing duties some 5 to 10 percent and this boost pushed sharply upward by the necessities of war. » The Washington Treasury also issued greenbacks, which was paper money that totaled 450 million at face value. Greenbacks fluctuated and at one point only worth 39 cents. » An impoverished South was beset by different financial problems. Custom duties were choked off as the blockade continued. Confederate bonds were sold at home and abroad to nearly 400 million. Only about 1 percent of the total income was raised in this way. » As their income was drying up, the Confederate government was forced to print paper money. That Confederate money finally sank to the point where it was worth 1.6 cents when Lee surrendered. Overall, the war inflicted a 9000 percent inflation rate on the Confederacy, contrasted with 80 percent for the Union. » The South fought to the point of exhaustion. The suffocation caused by the blockade, together with the destruction wrought by invaders, took a terrible toll. » Possessing 30 percent of the national wealth in 1860, but by 1870 they only claimed 12 percent. The South’s bid for independence exacted a cruel and devastating cost. » Transportation collapsed. The South was driven to the economic craziness. They melted window weights into bullets; gourds replaced dishes; pins became scare that they were loaned with reluctance. » Now cotton capitalism had lost out to industrial capitalism. The South of 1865 was to be rich in little but amputees, war heroes, ruins, and memories.