The reading on chapters three and four of George Mcgovern’s, Abraham Lincoln, are about how the Southern States wanted to secede from the United States; beginning with South Carolina. In chapter four, the main focus of the chapter was the Emancipation proclamation that would free slaves in the Southern States. The author’s purpose is to inform the reader of the events leading up to the Civil War, how it ended, and how Abraham Lincoln handled the situation. The author provides evidence such as quotes from Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address in March 4, 1861. Mcgovern also provides quotes from historians such as Richard Striner.
The Author does not really present a point of view, the purpose is
to inform readers and present their own point of view. The author
expresses how Abraham Lincoln was highly criticized by Southerners and
other politicians. For instance, when Lincoln read his draft of the
Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, Salmon Chase and Montgomery
Blair thought that the idea was beyond the president’s power and would
make the border southern states into the Confederacy. Another example on
how Lincoln pushed the boundaries on what was legal was the removal of
habeas corpus and enacting the very first military draft. We heard the
Southerners’ point of view, which was that the government should not
interfere with state laws in order to protect slavery. The voices that
were left unheard were the bordering Southern states.
The in class discussion to the reading better helped my
understanding as to why the Civil War happened. For example, the class
activity in reading the Inaugural Address and summarizing paragraphs
helped me understand that Lincoln was criticized for being a hypocrite
about not having any interest in changing the slavery laws and after he
ordered that the “rebelling” states give up their slaves. After having
further discussions in class, it was concluded that yes, Lincoln was
hypocritical but that the Secession and the Civil War was inevitable and
it took a man like Lincoln to resolve the issues regardless of the
approval of the American people. Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union
and would do whatever it took.
In a separate discussion with Professor Arrowsmith, we spoke
about how Senator Henry Clay came up with the Great Compromise of 1850
to resolve issues between the North and the South and settled other
disputes regarding territory. But the compromise was only a temporary
solution and with the ongoing feud between the north and south. We
concluded that Abraham Lincoln was the one that would find the solution
whether his ideas were popular or not. The questions that still remain
is if Lincoln’s critics changed the way they viewed him as a President;
if he became more respected or more hated.