Given more time, Could the Lincoln Administration Prevent Secession?

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Apr 4, 2017
Denver, CO
Given just slightly more time the fears of the secessionists that Lincoln could put slavery on the path towards elimination would have been fulfilled.

First the administration would tell Maryland politicians that due to the threat of secession, the national capital must be removed to Columbus, OH. If Maryland adopted a New Jersey plan for elimination of slavery, that relocation could be prevented.

Similarly, the administration would tell people in Missouri that due the threat of secession, the National Railroad would be built straight west from Dubuque, IA with a US bridge across the Missouri.

Similarly Congress would propose legislation to make the enforcement of the return of fugitive slaves a state responsibility in any situation in which the President declares that their is a state of emergency in the US due to an armed enemy pursuing the alleged fugitives.

Finally the Constitution's example of ending the international slave trade in 21 years would be followed and the interstate slave trade would be ended in 21 years after 1861.

The Homestead legislation would be written to exclude any person who resided in a state that had seceded from the US, unless such person took an oath of allegiance to the US constitution.

Furthermore, as a military measure, the US would adopt legislation granting citizenship and due process rights to any person swearing allegiance to the US and volunteering to serve in the US armed services.

What would the secessionist states get from this program? Probably an acknowledgement of their right to secede.

In summary, the peace would be bolstered by showing explicitly the cost of secession in an attempt to intimidate the five border areas.

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