First Two Years Of Civil War, 1861 1862

3006 words - 12 pages

What caused the American Civil War was the institution of slavery, which dates back during early colonial times. During the American Revolution, all men were supposedly have been created equal but slavery was still legal in all thirteen colonies. It was only a matter of time before slavery would be abolished in the north. It was still a part of the American way, protected within the body of the Constitution. Also, prior to the Civil War southerners believed that state laws should be above federal laws and they should abide by state rulings first. This issue would be called State's Rights, eventually giving southerners the mindset of sectionalism leading to Civil War.On November 6,1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the Union. Three months after his election, seven democratic states did not agree with Lincoln the republican being elected as President and decided to leave the Union. These states were Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and leading the way was South Carolina. They did not like the fact that a Republican was elected because the views of the Republican North (anti-slavery) were different than the Democratic South (pro-slavery). The election of Lincoln was they're reasoning to secede from the Union and start the Confederate States of America.On February 18, 1861 the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as their president after adopting a constitution ten days earlier. Montgomery, Alabama became the capitol of the South and the now infamous flag the "Bars and Stars" was adopted. The name "United States of America" was considered to be dissolved by the southern states that defected from the Union. Therefore signaling that civil war was inevitable and giving Davis authorization to raise 100,000 troops.The following month during President Lincoln's inaugural speech, he tried to avoid conflict by saying that he had no intention "to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." He added: "The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without yourselves being the aggressors" (, 2001).Confederate President Davis took the position that federal ports in states that seceded became the property of that state. By the time President Lincoln had taken office in March he knew he had to do something about the seizures of federal property by the South. Lincoln did not want to draw first blood and be criticized for stating a civil war. Lincoln had received word that the confederates had surrounded Fort Sumter in Charleston South Carolina, demanding that the Union troops surrender the fort. On April 12th of 1861 the Confederates fired upon Fort Sumter engaging in a 34-hour fight. Lincoln had wanted the South to be the aggressor and not the north because he then could point the finger at them and counter attack. The Union troops fought until all their supplies and ammunition...

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