Do you think another president should of been elected?

Discussion in 'Civil War' started by cameronpalte, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. cameronpalte

    cameronpalte Member

    Do you think that how everything worked out and the building of the anger of everyone do you guys think that another president should of been elected to make things work out and do you think that things would of actually worked out?

    I personally think that the tension was so great that it would of exploded into war soon afterwards however I was wondering what you guys think would of happened if another president was elected.
  2. Steed

    Steed Member

    I agree cameronplate, the tension was so great that the powder keg was set to explode whatever President was in office at that time., although the Presidents immediately prior to the outbreak of hostilities at Fort Sumter weren't noted for their leadership quality. They were always ducking the burning question of slavery.

    I see 2 massive forces at work to divide North and South: 1) Slavery and 2) The industrial North's treatment of the agricultural South with respect to import/export tariffs .
    Slavery was a problem that had been festering since the birth of the USA, but it was coming to the boil with events like the Dredd Scott case.The pressure of the bigger population of the abolitionist Northern states was to finish slavery then and there.
    The import/export tariffs were clearly discriminatory against the Southern states. If a farmer in Alabama wanted to sell his cotton crop to Europe, for example, he only got the market price for it. But if he needed to buy tools from Europe instead of tools produced in the North, he had to pay market price plus an extra tariff.
    This is an often overlooked grievance when considering the causes of the South to break away and form a separate independent government.
  3. Jameson

    Jameson History Repeats Itself

    I'm not sure a new President would have solved the issues of the Civil War. When looking at the causes of the Civil War, especially from a Southern perspective; you're looking at a lot of state's rights issues. When considering slavery, tariffs, etc., most of those lie in the realm of a state's right to self-determination. The seat of the President can in no-way single-handily change the constitution to give more rights to the states. It would have to be a cooperative effort on behalf of all elected officials. I think the focus of the politics from the executive branch may have played a role, but the cause of the Civil War definitely was not solely to blame on the President.
  4. Steed

    Steed Member

    Exactly, Jameson. And it's important not to forget that the President's powers today are way stronger than they were in the middle of the 19th century.

    When the Constitution was drawn up, the President's function was designed to be quite discreet. Since then, the Presidency has acquired more power in two fields that were simply not envisaged by the Founding Fathers.

    The first is in the national economy, assumed by FD Roosevelt when he took the radical and unprecedented step of launching the New Deal in 1932. The second is the role of national military leader, taken on precisely by Lincoln when he ordered the Union troops into the South to restore national unity.

    So in 1859 any President would have been much less influential on national and international politics than we take for granted today. No President could have stopped the forces that were being unleashed.
  5. CinnamonBear

    CinnamonBear New Member

    Although the hostility of the South was focused on Lincoln before the election, it's pretty clear that any presidential nominee put forth by the Republican (i.e. "Northern") Party during the Civil War would have experienced the same hatred as Lincoln.

    Basically, southerners felt that their interests would be better served by a Democrat. Don't forget, one of the main issues of contention at the time had to do with taxing cotton, and the policies of the Republican Party were against the South's interests when it came to cotton import/export taxes and other economic issues.
  6. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I think there was already way too much tension at the time. Whether or not Lincoln was in office, there probably would have been a war. Lincoln was not the only man who wanted the south to end slavery.
  7. mlacombe

    mlacombe New Member

    I agree with you completely. I don't think another president would have been able to do anything different. The Civil War was going to happen regardless of who was in office.
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

    I am not sure whether a civil war should have happened had Stephen A. Douglas or John Bell won the 1860 POTUS elections. John Bell was a plantation owner, but he claimed neutrality on the issue of slavery. I don't know much about Douglas, but he took enough votes away from Breckinridge to make ensure victory for Lincoln.
  9. While Lincoln did not support slavery, his biggest concern was holding the Union together. If the Southern States had not seceded when he was elected, I doubt very much that he would have declared war on them or actually done anything to stop slavery, at least not as drastic as the Emancipation Proclamation, which was little more than a political ploy at the time it was given, since the areas he said the slaves were free in did not recognize his authority at the time.
  10. pietastesgood

    pietastesgood Member

    If another president had been elected, it's most probable that the US would now be split into two. While Lincoln's election antagonized the south, tensions were at such a level that some issue or another would have made them secede at some point.

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