Was war inevitable once a Republican was elected President?

Was war inevitable once a Republican was elected President?

  • Yes

    Votes: 16 84.2%
  • No

    Votes: 3 15.8%

  • Total voters
    19

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
If anyone else can provide evidence that Lincoln ever showed any interest in understanding and finding a peaceful way out of the impasse with the secessionists, please let me know. ...

In his inaugural address he stated "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
In his proclamation of April 15 he stated " I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this date."
So he showed an interested in a peaceful outcome by offering the law breakers a chance to step back from the edge.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
In his inaugural address he stated "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
In his proclamation of April 15 he stated " I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this date."
So he showed an interested in a peaceful outcome by offering the law breakers a chance to step back from the edge.

What result did Lincoln expect from this approach?
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
The key to Lincoln's election in 1860 was the breakup of the Democratic party into 2 wings with the nomination of Douglas in the north and Breckenridge in the south.
I question this. The Republican upper north was already solid by 1856 and could be counted on in 1860 to deliver 118 of the needed 152 electoral votes no matter what. All they needed to win was Pennsylvania and Indiana , both of which swung majority Republican in the congressional election of 1858. So by 1860, the Republicans were in a very strong position to win even if Douglas was the unified Democratic candidate.

I think the fireeaters like Yancey understood this -- that Douglas would probably lose and the best thing for them to do was to fire up the base by breaking up the party and making the impending Republican victory a call to arms
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
What rule of law might that be?
Rule of law is a concept that we as a society are governed by a set of predetermined and publically-known laws which are applied consistently through agreed upon rules. John Adams famously put it, we are "a government of laws and not of men". The primary law in the US has been the Constitution that, as we have discussed many times, states that the constitution, federal laws, and federal treaties are the supreme rules that govern us.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Rule of law is a concept that we as a society are governed by a set of predetermined and publically-known laws which are applied consistently through agreed upon rules. John Adams famously put it, we are "a government of laws and not of men". The primary law in the US has been the Constitution that, as we have discussed many times, states that the constitution, federal laws, and federal treaties are the supreme rules that govern us.
True. But, that is not what I asked of you. Oh well, you won’t give me a direct answer if I keep askin. I’m out of here.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
I question this. The Republican upper north was already solid by 1856 and could be counted on in 1860 to deliver 118 of the needed 152 electoral votes no matter what. All they needed to win was Pennsylvania and Indiana , both of which swung majority Republican in the congressional election of 1858. So by 1860, the Republicans were in a very strong position to win even if Douglas was the unified Democratic candidate.

I think the fireeaters like Yancey understood this -- that Douglas would probably lose and the best thing for them to do was to fire up the base by breaking up the party and making the impending Republican victory a call to arms
The issue might be whether Douglas, as the single candidate of a unified Democratic Party in 1860, would have commanded enough support to carry those northern states that went for Buchanan in 1856, but went Republican in 1860. But the Democratic party was torn apart in 1860 because of Douglas's "popular sovereignty" position on the question of slavery in the territories, a position that appealed neither to the slave owning south or to many in the north. So I would agree with your point that for that reason, Douglas was a weakened candidate from the viewpoint of the "fire-eaters." Nevertheless, a unified Democratic Party in 1860 (and presuming the absence of Bell's Constitutional Union party) might still have been able to carry an election by hanging on to the states it carried in 1856. But Yancey et al. had set their sights on provoking a crisis that would lead to secession; the quickest and surest way to do this would be to break up the traditional Democratic coalition in 1860.
 
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