This book examines how Lincoln's opposition to amending the Constitution evolved during his political career, shaped his policies leading up to his election as president, and culminated in his support for the Thirteenth Amendment in 1864-65. It also places into context Lincoln's support of the Amendment for moral, political, and wartime reasons and shows how Lincoln helped shape the constitutional debate about slavery.
Between 1840 and 1860, as Abraham Lincoln pursued his law career, more than four and a half million citizens of other countries became residents of the United States. The annexation of Texas and the outcome of the Mexican War meant that hundreds of thousands of Mexicans had become Americans, and a huge influx of newcomers arrived from northern and western Europe, while a smaller number came from China. Although some Americans sought to make immigration more difficult and to curtail the rights afforded to immigrants, Lincoln advocated for full protection of the rights of all legal residents. In this succinct study, Jason H. Silverman investigates Lincoln's evolving personal, professional, and political relationships with the wide variety of immigrant groups he encountered throughout his life, revealing the ways in which Lincoln differed from his contemporaries in his acceptance and interaction with these newcomers. From an early age, Silverman shows, Lincoln developed an awareness of and a tolerance for different peoples and their cultures. While no doubt a man of his time, Lincoln nevertheless refused to let his environment blind him to the strengths of diversity. His travels at a young age to the port of New Orleans exposed Lincoln to the sights, sounds, and tastes of a world unlike any he had ever seen and established in him a lifelong empathy for the foreign-born. Throughout his legal and political career, he displayed an affinity for immigrants, especially those of German, Irish, Jewish, and Scandinavian descent. Recognizing the need for immigrant labor, Lincoln saw that America could be a land of opportunity for newcomers. Consequently, he opposed the Know Nothing Party and the antiforeign attitudes of those in his own Republican Party. Revealing how immigrants affected Lincoln's presidential policies, Silverman details the importance of German support to Lincoln's 1860 presidential victory, his appointment of political generals of varying ethnicities, his reliance on an immigrant for the literal rules of war, and the issues that these and other dealings created for him. The first book to examine Lincoln and the place of the immigrant in America's society and economy, Silverman's pioneering work offers a rare new perspective on the renowned sixteenth president.
"The book fulfills the need for a concise account of Lincoln and Congress's efforts in winning the Civil War, destroying slavery, and, in the process, accomplishing other changes that affected postwar America. The relationship of the president and Congress, though sometimes contentious, was one of partners rather than adversaries"--
Medford chronicles Lincoln's transition from advocating gradual abolition to campaigning for immediate emancipation for the majority of the enslaved, a change effected by the military and by the efforts of African Americans. The author argues that many players--including the abolitionists and Radical Republicans, War Democrats, and Black men and women--participated in the drama through agitation, military support of the Union, and destruction of the institution from within. Medford also addresses differences in the interpretation of freedom: Lincoln and most Americans defined it as the destruction of slavery, but African Americans understood the term to involve equality and full inclusion into American society. An epilogue considers Lincoln's death, African American efforts to honor him, and the president's legacy at home and abroad.
In 1865 Americans faced some of the most important issues in the nation’s history: the final battles of the Civil War, the struggle to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, the peace process, reconstruction, the role of freed slaves, the tragedy of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and the trials of the conspirators. In this illuminating collection, prominent historians of nineteenth-century America offer insightful overviews of the individuals, events, and issues on 1865 that shaped the future of the United States. Following an introduction by renowned Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, nine new essays explore the end of the Civil War, Lincoln’s death, and the start of the tentative peace in 1865. Michael Vorenberg discusses how Lincoln shepherded through the House of Representatives the resolution sending the Thirteenth Amendment to the states for ratification, John F. Marszalek and Michael B. Ballard examine the partnership of Lincoln’s war management and General Ulysses S. Grant’s crucial last thrusts against Robert E. Lee, and Richard Striner recounts how Lincoln faced down Confederate emissaries who proposed immediate armistice if Lincoln were to reverse the Emancipation Proclamation. Ronald C. White Jr. offers a fresh look at Lincoln’s second inaugural address, and Richard Wightman Fox provides a vivid narrative of Lincoln’s dramatic walk through Richmond after the Confederates abandoned their capital. Turning to Lincoln’s assassination, Edward Steers Jr. relates the story of Booth’s organizational efforts that resulted in the events of that fateful day, and Frank J. Williams explains the conspirators’ trial and whether they should have faced military or civilian tribunals. Addressing the issue of black suffrage, Edna Greene Medford focuses on the African American experience in the final year of the war. Finally, Holzer examines the use of visual arts to preserve the life and legacy of the martyred president. Rounding out the volume are a chronology of national and international events during 1865, a close look at Lincoln’s activities and writings from January 1 through April 14, and other pertinent materials. This thoughtful collection provides an engaging evaluation of one of the most crucial years in America’s evolution.
Most Americans have considered, and still consider, Abraham Lincoln to be a heroic figure. From his humble beginnings to his leadership of a divided nation during the Civil War to his early efforts in abolishing slavery, Lincoln’s legacy is one of deep personal and political courage. In this unique and concise retelling of many of the key moments and achievements of Lincoln’s life and work, Frank J. Williams explores in detail what it means to be a hero and how Lincoln embodied the qualities Americans look for in their heroes. Lincoln as Hero shows how—whether it was as president, lawyer, or schoolboy—Lincoln extolled the foundational virtues of American society. Williams describes the character and leadership traits that define American heroism, including ideas and beliefs, willpower, pertinacity, the ability to communicate, and magnanimity. Using both celebrated episodes and lesser-known anecdotes from Lincoln’s life and achievements, Williams presents a wide-ranging analysis of these traits as they were demonstrated in Lincoln’s rise, starting with his self-education as a young man and moving on to his training and experience as a lawyer, his entry onto the political stage, and his burgeoning grasp of military tactics and leadership. Williams also examines in detail how Lincoln embodied heroism in standing against secession and fighting to preserve America’s great democratic experiment. With a focused sense of justice and a great respect for the mandates of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Lincoln came to embrace freedom for the enslaved, and his Emancipation Proclamation led the way for the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. Lincoln’s legacy as a hero and secular saint was secured when his lifeended by assassination as the Civil War was drawing to a close Touching on Lincoln’s humor and his quest for independence, justice, and equality, Williams outlines the path Lincoln took to becoming a great leader and an American hero, showing readers why his heroism is still relevant. True heroes, Williams argues, are successful not just by the standards of their own time but also through achievements that transcend their own eras and resonate throughout history—with their words and actions living on in our minds, if we are imaginative, and in our actions, if we are wise. Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 3, Number 2 June 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor's Note William Blair Articles Stephen Cushman When Lincoln Met Emerson Christopher Phillips Lincoln's Grasp of War: Hard War and the Politics of Neutrality and Slavery in the Western Border Slave States, 1861–1862 Jonathan W. White The Strangely Insignificant Role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Civil War Review Essay Yael Sternhell Revisionism Reinvented? The Antiwar Turn in Civil War Scholarship Professional Notes Gary W. Gallagher The Civil War at the Sesquicentennial: How Well Do Americans Understand Their Great National Crisis? Book Reviews Books Received Notes on Contributors The Journal of the Civil War Era takes advantage of the flowering of research on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century.
Only hours into the new year of 1863, Abraham Lincoln performed perhaps his most famous action as president by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Rather than remaining the highlight of the coming months, however, this monumental act marked only the beginning of the most pivotal year of Lincoln’s presidency and the most revolutionary twelve months of the entire Civil War. In recognition of the sesquicentennial of this tumultuous time, prominent Civil War scholars explore the events and personalities that dominated 1863 in this enlightening volume, providing a unique historical perspective on a critical period in American history. Several defining moments of Lincoln’s presidency took place in 1863, including the most titanic battle ever to shake the American continent, which soon inspired the most famous presidential speech in American history. The ten essays in this book explore the year’s important events and developments, including the response to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation; the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and other less-well-known confrontations; the New York City draft riots; several constitutional issues involving the war powers of President Lincoln; and the Gettysburg Address and its continued impact on American thought. Other topics include the adaptation of photography for war coverage; the critical use of images; the military role of the navy; and Lincoln’s family life during this fiery trial. With an informative introduction by noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer and a chronology that places the high-profile events of 1863 in context with cultural and domestic policy advances of the day, this remarkable compendium opens a window into a year that proved decisive not only for the Civil War and Lincoln’s presidency but also for the entire course of American history.
The book covers the dramatic final five months of the war and Lincoln s role in it. It highlights his final message to Congress in December 1864, passage of the 13th Amendment, his Second Inaugural, his16 days at the front before Appomattox, his unprecedented visit to Richmond after it fell, and the end of the war."
Although Abraham Lincoln dominates the literature on the American Civil War, he remains less commonly associated with reconstruction. Previous scholarly works touch on Lincoln and reconstruction, but they tend either to speculate on what Lincoln might have done after the war had he not been assassinated or to approach his reconstruction plans merely as a means of winning the war. In this thought-provoking study, John C. Rodrigue offers a succinct but significant survey of Lincoln’s wartime reconstruction initiatives while providing a fresh interpretation of the president’s plans for postwar America. Revealing that Lincoln concerned himself with reconstruction from the earliest days of his presidency, Rodrigue details how Lincoln’s initiatives unfolded, especially in the southern states where they were attempted. He explores Lincoln’s approach to various issues relevant to reconstruction, including slavery, race, citizenship, and democracy; his dealings with Congressional Republicans, especially the Radicals; his support for and eventual abandonment of colonization; his dealings with the border states; his handling of the calls for negotiations with the Confederacy as a way of reconstructing the Union; and his move toward emancipation and its implications for his approach to reconstruction. As the Civil War progressed, Rodrigue shows, Lincoln’s definition of reconstruction transformed from the mere restoration of the seceded states to a more fundamental social, economic, and political reordering of southern society and of the Union itself. Based on Lincoln’s own words and writings as well as an extensive array of secondary literature, Rodrigue traces the evolution of Lincoln’s thinking on reconstruction, providing new insight into a downplayed aspect of his presidency.