Secretary of State William H. Seward

major bill

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William H. Seward was considered the leading candidate for the Republican party's choice to run for president. Although he was anti slavery his strong support for immigrants and Catholics probably cost him his chance to be the presidential candidate. I am not sure he would have won the presidency as the Republican candidate. He certainly was more experienced in politics than Lincoln, but how would he have performed as president? I think we can assume that the southern states would have seceded if he had won the presidency. Could Seward have found a way to keep the War from occurring?

My next question is how effective was Seward as Secretary of State? Who else could have Lincoln have appointed as Secretary of State other than Seward?
 

gentlemanrob

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William H. Seward was considered the leading candidate for the Republican party's choice to run for president. Although he was anti slavery his strong support for immigrants and Catholics probably cost him his chance to be the presidential candidate. I am not sure he would have won the presidency as the Republican candidate. He certainly was more experienced in politics than Lincoln, but how would he have performed as president? I think we can assume that the southern states would have seceded if he had won the presidency. Could Seward have found a way to keep the War from occurring?

My next question is how effective was Seward as Secretary of State? Who else could have Lincoln have appointed as Secretary of State other than Seward?
Well I Mean if you look at the purchase of Alaska and Seward's involvement it certainly must be looked at. Secondly maybe Charles Francis Adams could have been looked at as a possible Secretary of State.
 

Polloco

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No one is in indispensable, I'm sure Lincoln would have found someone who was competent. There was a reason Seward was chosen though. I always thought Seward to be a pretty good pick except for his proposal about wanting to start a fight with European powers to unite the states. Other than that proposal I feel he was competent (Andrew Johnson kept him on). Oh, that proposal of his just may have worked though,But I just feel it was not the proper way to handle domestic matters.
 

Polloco

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I think Grant's second pick(Hamilton Fish)would have made a good secretary of state for Lincoln. But definitely not Grant's first pick, Elihu Washburne, this was more of a "thank you" from Grant rather than picking Washburne for his diplomatic talents.
 

jackt62

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At the start of the election season, Seward was considered the favorite of the Republicans because of his long standing support by influential members of that party and his senior position in politics. But regardless, once the Democrats split into 2 parties (North nominating Douglas and South nominating Breckenridge), any Republican candidate would have won election in 1860.
 

jackt62

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I consider Seward to be an effective Secretary of State. Although he can be criticized for his initial maneuvering behind Lincoln's back when he tried to be a "shadow" president, Seward should be credited with preventing Britain and other European nations from mediating in the conflict and recognizing the Confederacy. That alone was probably one of the most important steps in ensuring a Union victory.
 

major bill

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I believe the Southern states would have still seceded if Seward would have won the presidency. Seward probably would have handled the the seceding states differently than Lincoln. However, we will never know if Seward different way of handling the seceding states would have been better or worse. We also can not know how good of war time president Seward would have been.
 
I believe the Southern states would have still seceded if Seward would have won the presidency. Seward probably would have handled the the seceding states differently than Lincoln. However, we will never know if Seward different way of handling the seceding states would have been better or worse. We also can not know how good of war time president Seward would have been.
Seward being a leading abolitionist in the U. S. Senate and the author of the 1850 "Higher Law" speech and the 1858 "Irrepressible Conflict" speech which were extremely anti-slavery and anti-Southern orations, would have caused the Southern States to secede as soon as he was appointed the Republican presidential candidate, imho.
 
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