Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lincoln Ch 7 & 8 by E. C.

 In Abraham Lincoln chapter 7, author George McGovern writes about the ways which Lincoln  utilized federal power for the war effort. After his reelection, Lincoln happy gun to replace many of his cabinet members. He would hire her man he greatly respected such as Secretary of State William Seward, but he would even hire men whom he didn't get along with personally, but would form great working relationships with them, such as his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton.  Lincoln put aside his personal views and pride for the good of the country.  Lincoln was very pleased with the make up of his second cabinet, choosing men such as Gideon Wells as Secretary of the Navy, John Usher as Secretary of the Interior, and Edward Bates as Attorney General. After Bates was called home to St. Louis by his family, Lincoln chose Joshua Speed as attorney general.  Mc govern also explains that financial measures to fund the war had been enacted such as the Legal Tender Act of 1862, which authorized the production of paper money to fuel the bond program, the Internal Revenue Act of 1861, which was the first federal income tax, The Subsequent Revenue Acts of 1862 and 1864 which created moderately progressive tax brackets and set rates at 5, 7.5, and 10 percent.  These measures greatly reversed the downward spiral of the trends issued by the Democratic Congress. The author also tells us about the landmark acts, the Homestead Act of 1862 which made it possible for any adult citizen to obtain 160 acres of land just by living on it for five years, the Morril Land Grant College Act, which gave federal lands to states to establish agricultural and mechanical arts colleges, and the US department of agriculture to look after farmers.  Lincoln also proposed the Ten Percent Plan, Which allowed states back into the Union as long as 10% of its citizens gave an oath of allegiance to the national government. We also read about how Lincoln worked tirelessly to gain votes for a new constitutional amendment, which was passed by a vote of 119 to 58. McGovern uses evidence to support his claim by giving specific dates and locations, making his claims credible.  Chapter 7 gives us readers an insight of how Lincoln dealt with the political aftermath of the war.
In Abraham Lincoln, chapter 8, make a governor examines the toll that the war took on both the people and Lincoln. The four years of hard, bloody war had begun to drain Lincoln,he did not eat or sleep very well and people who are close to him commented that he was extremely depressed and his same to you are hardly ever appeared, the weight of thousands of deaths weighing on his shoulders. Though physically, he was weak, Hisperia remain strong and he had to bend his faith in God. The author also describes the battle against Lee and his honorable surrender. McGovern uses the last few pages to recollect the death of Lincoln at Ford's theater and the happiness he had experienced in the moments before. Much like chapter 7,The author uses specific dates and even specific times as evidence.
The authors main purpose in these two chapters is to dig deeper into Lincoln's political choices at the end of the war and explain the negative told that the war took on Lincoln. From the authors point of view, Lincoln did everything he could to stabilize the country and put it back together in the end, even if it meant losing hundreds of thousands of lives.we mainly here Lincoln's voice in chapter 8, but I would like to hear you little more about his opinion on the many acts passed in the early 1860s, as discussed in Chapter 7. Did he agree with all of them?
in class, we formed groups of three to discuss some of Lincolns views. In Lincoln's point of view, we were to finish the sentences, "I believe that..." "I hope that..." and "I insisted that…" How would he finish the sentences? For the first, I am reminded of a quote of Lincoln in chapter 7. "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." I feel that these two statements work well together. "I believe that if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." For "I hope that..." I think Lincoln would choose to say, "I hope that our nation can unify and become one as the Union again. For "I insist that..." I think that "I insist that all men are created equal and United States is stronger when we are unified." We also read "War by the Numbers" which debunks the previous death total of the war at 620,000 as calculated by two amateur historians to the new 2012 estimation of 750,000 as reported by Dr. J. David Hacker. This is possibly the closest number, but we will never really know for sure because no one ever kept any proper death tolls back then. Our discussions in class helped us get a better understanding of Lincoln's views and choices at the end of the Civil War.
We also discussed in class some historical questions we had about the reading. One question was, "after the war, how would the states make sure that no one was illegally  owning slaves?" According to our teacher, states would hire agents to make sure everyone was abiding by the law. Another question was, "what does the author do well?"in my opinion, the author uses direct quotes from Lincoln along with his claims to prove that it's not only his opinion, but also Lincoln's opinion. We also discussed how the war affected soldier's family members. They upset Stover dying soldiers constantly, asking, "did they have a proper death?" "Did they have any last words?" "Did they die with others around them or were they all alone?" Proper deaths were very important to people in the 19th century, especially to wives and mothers. These questions really helped us dig deeper and better understand the reading.
Some questions still remain: were the financial acts well accepted? Were they successful? Did Lincolns former cabinet members still remain in politics? Were they angry with him because they let them go?