An Unbreakable Union Essay

1204 Words 5 Pages
An Unbreakable Union As Abraham Lincoln was sworn into the office of President of the United States of America, the nation was deeply divided, with several states having seceded to form the Confederate States of America. He promised to “preserve, protect, and defend” (Doc #1) the Union and its federal forts and property in the Confederacy that were being dismantled and appropriated by the South. Lincoln further promised in his address that “no State can lawfully [leave] the Union” (Doc #1) and that he would reassert the laws of the Union in the rebellious states. What role did Lincoln take in the events between his inauguration and the outbreak of the Civil War? Was he preparing for peace, or planning for war? Lincoln took a direct role …show more content…
Writing to a Georgian politician named Alexander Stephens, Lincoln told him that the South had nothing to fear from him, and that their quarrel was simply a matter of morality, a “rub” between people who believed “slavery is right and ought to be extended” and those who think “it is wrong and ought to be restricted” (AL 28). Once in office, Lincoln’s inauguration speech on March 4, 1861 affirmed his belief in the unbreakable Union, that no state could leave it lawfully, that federal property in the secessionist states still belonged to the federal government, and his promise to not interfere with slavery in the slave states. However, he promised to reestablish the authority of the government in the secessionist states, branding their actions as rebellious, and not sovereign. Some Republicans viewed his speech as both reconciliatory and authoritative; an “iron hand in a velvet glove.” Although the image of Lincoln as heavy-handed is exaggerated, his speech combined a thinly-veiled intention to somehow bring the South back into the Union and his promise not to interfere with the internal policies of the Southern states. Although the speech was designed to appear reconciliatory, the underlying premise was to reaffirm his commitment to restore federal rule in the South (Doc #1).
Prior to the inauguration of Lincoln, Confederate

Related Documents

Qatar Riyal | Gerard Butler | Season 6 Episode 7 The Broken Man