Lincoln’s First Crisis concerns five of the most consequential months in American history: December 1860 through April 1861. When Abraham Lincoln swore his oath as president, the United States was disintegrating. Seven states had seceded, and as many as eight seemed poised to join them, depending upon how the new president handled the secession crisis and its flashpoint: Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the heart of the rebellion. The fate of the republic hung in the balance. The Sumter crisis has been hotly debated and deeply researched for more than 150 years. In this thoughtful reassessment, William Bruce Johnson combines thorough research and the latest historiography with a litigator’s methodical analysis and a storyteller’s eye for meaningful detail. Shortly after taking office, Lincoln decided upon a plan to avoid war with the seceded states while keeping his inaugural promise to maintain a Union military presence in the South. Because he chose not to reveal his plan to anyone, rumors soon spread that he was simply afraid to act. One source of such rumors was Lincoln’s secretary of state, William Henry Seward. Resentful that Lincoln had deprived him of the Republican nomination and convinced that Lincoln lacked the political sophistication necessary to deal with the secession crisis, Seward decided to negotiate with the Confederacy on his own and in secret. General Winfield Scott, meanwhile, the Union’s most senior military officer, had for a decade depended upon Seward for political advice, and now considered himself under orders from Seward, not the president. Johnson traces how Seward and Scott sabotaged Lincoln’s plan. From this account, from his examination of various personalities (such as that of Fort Sumter’s commander, Major Robert Anderson), and from his granular research into aspects of the Order of Battle in Charleston, Johnson has here constructed a new narrative of this crucial period, culminating in a new theory of how and why the Civil War began as it did, and how and why, if the new president’s orders had been properly carried out by Seward and Scott, it might have been averted.
While Abraham Lincoln was taking center stage in a divided country, a political rival-turned-ally was exerting a major influence on national affairs. William Henry Seward, U.S. senator and former New York governor, lost the Republican Party nomination but aided Lincoln by touring the country on behalf of the Republican ticket. As Southern states prepared to withdraw from the Union, Secretary of State Seward sought to reunite the country. This biography explores Seward’s political power and the theory that, as president, he might have prevented the Civil War.
Release on 2005-04 | by John Mack Faragher,Mari Jo Buhle,Daniel Czitrom,Susan H. Armitrage
A History of the American People
Author: John Mack Faragher,Mari Jo Buhle,Daniel Czitrom,Susan H. Armitrage
Pubpsher: Prentice Hall
TheOut of Many Teaching and Learning Classroom Editionbrings together a wide array of assets to provide a completely integrated multimedia learning experience. This path breaking text weaves together the complex interaction of social, political, and historical forces that have shaped the United States and from which the American people have evolved by telling stories of people and of the nation and emphasizing that American history has never been the preserve of any particular region.The text's trademark continental approach has been expanded to incorporate a greater hemispheric perspective, while community and memory feature analyzes the role and the conflict of historical memory in shaping communities' understanding of the past.For individuals interested in United States history.
What did Abraham Lincoln envision when he talked about "reconstruction?" Assassinated in 1865, the president did not have a chance to begin the work of reconciling the North and South, nor to oversee Reconstruction as an official postwar strategy. Yet his final speech, given to thousands gathered in the rain outside the White House on April 11, 1865, gives a clear indication of what Lincoln's postwar policy might have looked like-one that differed starkly from what would emerge in the tumultuous decade that followed. In Lincoln's Last Speech, renowned historian and author Louis P. Masur offers insight into this critical address and its vision of a reconstructed United States. Coming two days after Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox and a week after the fall of Richmond, Lincoln's speech was expected to be a victory oration. Instead, he looked to the future, discussing how best to restore the seceded states to the national government, and even endorsing limited black suffrage. Delving into the language and arguments of Lincoln's last address, Masur traces the theme of reconstruction as it developed throughout his presidency, starting with the very earliest days of the war. Masur illuminates the evolution of Lincoln's thinking and the national debate around reconstruction, touching on key moments such as the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863, and Lincoln's pocket veto of the Wade-Davis bill in July 1864. He also examines social reconstruction, including the plight of freedmen and the debate over the place of blacks in society; and considers the implications of Lincoln's speech after April 1865, when Andrew Johnson assumed office and the ground was laid for the most radical phases of the postwar policy. A nuanced study of Lincoln's views on national reconciliation, this work gives us a better understanding of the failures that occurred with postwar Reconstruction and the eventual path that brought the country to reunion.
Release on 2010-12-16 | by William D. Pederson,Frank J. Williams,Robert P. Watson, Lynn University; author of Affairs of State, The Presidents’ Wives, and America’s First Crisis
Perspective from Great Thinkers, Great Leaders, and the American Experiment
Author: William D. Pederson,Frank J. Williams,Robert P. Watson, Lynn University; author of Affairs of State, The Presidents’ Wives, and America’s First Crisis
Pubpsher: Lexington Books
This collection of highly readable and accessible essays on Lincoln's legacy offers a wide array of perspectives on the enduring impact of the nation's greatest president on leaders, thinkers, and American history. The book explores how Lincoln's words and deeds have influenced the pursuit of justice and freedom and the practice of democracy in the century and a half since he governed.