My Answer to: Why Did Lincoln Continue the Civil War in Spite of the Many Deaths it Cause?

wbull1

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#1
Because the alternative was worse. Lincoln tried to avoid war. He was also very clear that as president he was pledged to “protect and defend” the Constitution, which meant that he had to respond to the acts of war committed by some southern states starting even before he was inaugurated. I believe any president except the hapless Buchanan would have been obligated to do the same. Neither side expected the terrible health toll that ensued.

Keep in mind that the conflict was international as well as national. The United States was the primary democracy in the world. The war was, in part, a test to see if the “last best hope” for republican government could survive or if monarchies would prove to be the only feasible form of government. During the war, the elected government of Mexico was forcibly replaced by an emperor. Spain attempted to recolonize Santo Domingo to end its independence.

Gradually during the course of the war, which the Confederacy clearly stated they began in order to expand and protect slavery, ending slavery became one of the goals of the union. Shortly after the union victory, slavery in the Americas ended after centuries of existence. European countries gave up their colonies in the Americas. Government by the people was initiated in Spain and France and England took serious steps in that direction.

If a nation had been founded with the principle that slavery was a God-ordained benefit to slaveholder and the enslaved, if the primary democracy in the world had failed, the world would be a much darker place.
 

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#8
We are all far better off with the preservation of the Union and the destruction of the Confederacy.

Period.
I also contend, however, that without the War of the Rebellion (in spite of the loss of life) our Nation would never have become so strong.

The war had a unifying effect on the American Psyche, creating a National Identity that would have otherwise been difficult.
 

Ole Miss

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#9
Lincoln was elected as the President of the United States of America and was determined to be the President of the United States at the end of his tenure without having states secede from the Union. He was determined to preserve the nation regardless of the cost and believed it to be his responsibility.
Regards
David
 
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wbull1

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#10
Lincoln was elected as the President of the United States of America ans was determined to be the President of the United States at the end of his tenure without having states secede from the Union. He was determined to preserve the nation regardless of the cost and believed it to be his responsibility.
Regards
David
Yes, he took an oath to defend the United States and he took the oath seriously.
 

JeffBrooks

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#11
This is no mystery, for Lincoln spelled it all out in the Gettysburg Address. The United States was created by the Founding Fathers as a revolutionary type of nation and government. It was a grand experiment to see if people could govern themselves. If the cause of the United States lost, then the experiment would be proven a failure. The global forces of tyranny and oppression would be enhanced by the knowledge that the world's first great democracy had failed.
 
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#12
There was no option until Vicksburg and Port Hudson surrendered to the United States forces. After that the war could have been turned into a cold war. Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi would have supplied sufficient cotton for the US market.
A cold war would have placed the burden of the war on the enslaved and the women and children of the south. Would 6-8 years of that suffering been preferable to another summer of violence?
A cold war solution would have prolonged the cotton shortage in Britain. The British would have broken the blockade, or mandated mediation and separation.
By 1864 the British wanted the Confederate raiders ended, and cotton production restored. The ability of the Confederates to pay for goods was almost drained.
It took more than one summer to end the war, which was more severe than anticipated. But when the last Confederate port open to blockade runners was closed in January 1865, the war ended in 3 months. No one knew the completion of the blockade would force a rapid end to the war.
 

diane

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#13
Lincoln believed it was his sworn duty to preserve the Union, as he told the secessionists. He said he was bound by an oath but they were not. There were other regions in the country who were restless - Wisconsin, Maine, New York and others. Should he let the Southern states go their way, what then would he say to the rest who wished to leave for their own reasons? We'd have a whole bunch of smaller nations now. The people who would have benefited most by that event would be the tribes!
 

major bill

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#15
I believe the Confederacy would have shattered into other tiny countries without a common enemy to hold those states together.
I do believe that in an independent Confedercy slave owners would have been in much the same position in 50-75 years. Some of the Confederate states would want to end slavery. The Slave owners in the states were slavery was most profitable would need to leave a Confedercy once some Confederate states wanted to end slavery. If not, by 1920 or 1930, chattel slavery would be threatened even in an independent Confedercy.
 

wbull1

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#16
I do believe that in an independent Confedercy slave owners would have been in much the same position in 50-75 years. Some of the Confederate states would want to end slavery. The Slave owners in the states were slavery was most profitable would need to leave a Confedercy once some Confederate states wanted to end slavery. If not, by 1920 or 1930, chattel slavery would be threatened even in an independent Confedercy.
And why would the citizens of Texas be willing to share the wealth discovered underground with other states? They have a history of wanting to be an independent nation.
 

JeffBrooks

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#18
I believe the Confederacy would have shattered into other tiny countries without a common enemy to hold those states together.
It might have been worse than that. If the Confederacy succeeded, the idea of secession would have been vindicated. Assuming that some sort of official recognition was granted by the United States government to the Confederacy, the right of any state to secede from the Union would be validated. And so the United States itself might have broken apart into smaller nations.

North America would have become like Europe, divided up into God knows how many smaller nation-states.
 



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