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Week 3 Notes - HIST 202

by: Alex Tucker

Week 3 Notes - HIST 202 HIST 202

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Alex Tucker

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Week 3 Notes
Nineteenth Century American History
Steve Beda
Class Notes
HIST 202, history, UO, Beda, week 3
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alex Tucker on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 202 at University of Oregon taught by Steve Beda in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Nineteenth Century American History in History at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 02/09/16
The Sectional Crisis (Day 7) 1/20/16 - Abraham Lincoln, the Election of 1860, and the Beginning of the Civil War - What is the popular perception of Abraham Lincoln? - He could do no wrong - “father of US” - Lincoln in reality - Did not have widespread political support; 19 C Republicans didn’t think he was the best choice - Lincoln did not go to the war to abolish slavery - Went to war to preserve Union - Tried to prevent war; did everything he could - A Quick Summary of the Political Landscape - Democrats - Mostly southern party; some are Northern - Preserving slavery - Whigs - Almost entirely Northern - Committed to free-soil ideology - Election of 1860 - The Democrats & the Dred Scott Decision - In Scott v. Sanford (1857), Supreme Court ruled slaves had no rights in court - Federal government had no right to exclude slavery in new territories - Stephen Douglass & the Freeport Doctrine - In infamous Lincoln-Douglass debates, (Freeport, Illinois) Stephen Douglass articulated views on popular sovereignty & believed popular sovereignty could & should override Dred Scott Decision - Did not sit well w/ fellow Democrats - Jefferson Davis & the Territorial Slave Code - In opposition to Douglass, Jefferson Davis campaigned on platform that made slaveholding a guaranteed federal right, by Constitutional Amendment if necessary - Splitting the Democratic Party - Neither Douglass nor Davis could muster the 2/3 majority required to secure the nomination. The party split between N & S Democrats. - June 1860, N Democrats nominated Douglass; S Democrats nominated Breckinridge - From Whigs to Republicans: Kansas-Nebraska Act & the Birth of the Republican Party The Sectional Crisis (Day 7) 1/20/16 - Republican party emerged after Bleeding Kansas & radical Whigs felt party hadn’t stood up to the “Slave Power Conspiracy”. Republican Platform written to appeal immigrants. It was premised on free-soil ideology, including creation of homestead law in West. - The Republicans: “The Shouters Convention” - William H. Seward, senator from New York & staunch abolitionist (leading contender) - Salmon Chase, former Democrat from Ohio (also staunch abolitionist, opposed to Compromise of 1850) - Abraham Lincoln, unknown & inexperienced politician (House in 1840s) - However, he had 2 things going for him: 1) Not too opposed to slavery 2) Was from West (Kentucky & Illinois); would attract Western voters - Lincoln on Slavery - “I suppose [slavery] may long exist, and perhaps the best way for it to come to an end peaceably is for it to exist for a length of time. But I say that the spread and strengthening and perpetuation of it is an entirely different proposition” – Speech @ Chicago, Illinois March 1, 1859 - “We think slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the territories, where our votes will reach it.” - Speech @ New Haven, Connecticut March 6, 1860 - The Constitutional Union Party - “defense of the Union and enforcement of the law” = platform of Constitutional Union Party - remnants of Whig Party who did not join new Republican Party (chose John Bell of Tennessee as presidential nominee) - Election of 1860 The Sectional Crisis (Day 7) 1/20/16 - The Secession Crisis - We are “not in rebellion against the United States” but rather exercising our “sovereign power” as a state to withdraw.” – Statement of S Carolina Secession Convention - On Dec 20, 1860, S Carolina held a secession convention and voted to secede from Union - Mississippi Jan 9, 1861 - Florida Jan 10, 1861 - Alabama Jan 11, 1861 - Georgia Jan 19, 1861 - Louisiana Jan 26, 1861 - Texas Feb 1, 1861 - Fort Sumter & Lincoln’s “April Policy” - Jan 9, 1861, Lincoln sent resupply ship to soldiers in Fort Sumter (S Carolina) - Called “humanitarian mission” - Cadets from Citadel prevented ships from resupplying Union soldiers barricaded in fort - Apr 11, Confederate militias bombard fort - Apr 14, Union surrendered fort - Apr 15, Lincoln issued Executive Order calling for 75,000 volunteers to “put down a domestic insurrection” - Newspapers & Southerners interpret this as war - The Confederacy The Sectional Crisis (Day 7) 1/20/16 - Virginia Apr 17, 1861 - Arkansas May 6, 1861 - N Carolina May 20, 1861 - Tennessee Jun 8, 1861 - Why did the South do it? - Slavery was central to South’s economy, society, & culture; felt slavery was under attack by abolitionists, politicians, & radicals. Slavery had to expand or die - Lincoln’s election was the proverbial straw that broke the Southern camel’s back - “its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition” – Alexander Steven’s “Cornerstone Speech” Savannah, Georgia, Mar 21, 1861 - “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union” – Lincoln, letter to Horace Greeley, Aug 22, 1862 - Abraham Lincoln: In Myth & Memory - “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races … I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” – June 16, 1856 - Why is this guy ^ remembered as this guy: The Sectional Crisis (Day 7) 1/20/16 Days of Jubilee (Day 8) 1/22/16 - The Causes & Meanings of Emancipation - A Quick Review - The North did not want to go to war to end slavery. The North went to war to preserve the Union. - Recall Abraham Lincoln’s words: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves I would do it; and leaving others alone I would do that” – Lincoln, letter to Horace Greeley, Aug 22, 1862 - Or, as the famous former slave & radical abolitionist said, “The Civil War was begun in the interest of slavery on both sides. The South was fighting to take slavery out of the Union, and the North fighting to keep it in the Union.” - However, the Civil War becomes a war about slavery. - There are 3 reasons for this: 1) Slaves made it a war about slavery. Slaves were key players in transforming the meaning of the war. As to the question: who freed the slaves? The answer is: slaves freed themselves. 2) Soldiers experiencing unprecedented trauma on the battlefield make the Civil War a war about slavery. As they’re wounded, as their friends die, as their ranks are decimated by bullets and disease, Union soldiers begin to believe that the war has to be about something more than just preserving the country. 3) Emancipation Proclamation turns Civil War into a war of liberation. - General Strike of Slaves - Union Invasion of South - With only a few exceptions, the Civil War took place on Confederate soil - Slaves & the Union Army - In his seminal work, Black Reconstruction in America 1860 – 1880 (1935), the historian, author, & civil rights activist W.E.B. st DuBois estimated that during the 1 year of war, between 500,000 & 750,000 slaves crossed over Union lines - DuBois called the massive exodus the GENERAL STRIKE of slaves. - “Contraband Camps” - Not only did runaway slaves cripple the Southern economy, freed slaves followed military units in “contraband camps,” voluntarily aiding the army & contributing their labor to the war effort - A Humanitarian & Legal Crisis - “Prosperity of whatever nature, used or capable of being used for warlike purposes, and especially when being so used, may be captured and held either on sea or on shore as property in Days of Jubilee (Day 8) 1/22/16 human beings is a question upon which some of us might doubt.” – General Benjamin F. Butler - Death, Dying, & the Search for a Cause - Death & Dying in the Civil War - Civil War = highest casualties US military faced in all wars fought - “The Ministers of Death” - most soldiers were afraid of bullets when they should have been afraid of malaria, typhoid, & small pox - “Most of the operating tables were placed in the open where the light was best … There stood the surgeons, their sleeves rolled up to their elbows, their bare arms as well as their linen aprons smeared with blood, their knifes not seldom held between their teeth … As a wounded man was lifted on the table, often shrieking with pain as the attendants handled him, the surgeon quickly examined the would, resolved upon cutting off the injured limb … The surgeon snatched his knife from between his teeth, wiped it rapidly once or twice across his bloodstained apron, and the cutting began. The operation accomplished, the surgeon would look around with a deep sigh, and then say ‘Next’.” - General Carl Schurz, Gettysburg, 1863 - From a War for the Union to a Moral Crusade - With death all around them, Northern soldiers began to believe God would not allow such brutality & horror for a cause as benign as “saving the Union”. - As the death toll mounted, Union soldiers began to feel this death & dying meant something. Death & dying would only mean something if they were fighting a moral crusade, & as the war continued Union soldiers increasingly interpreted the war as a moral crusade. - The Emancipation Proclamation - The Proclamation: “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a States, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” - The Proclamation as Military Policy - “I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the Negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever Negroes can be got to do as soldiers leaves just so much less for white soldiers to Days of Jubilee (Day 8) 1/22/16 do in saving the Union … Negroes like other people, act upon motives. Why would they do anything for us if we will do nothing for them?” - Lincoln to James Conkling, Aug 26, 1863 - “And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed services of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.” - Emancipation Proclamation, Jan 1, 1863 - Proclamation as Psychological Warfare - Allowing freed blacks to serve in US army served another crucial function. What were white Southerners most afraid of? - The “White Savior”: “White Saviors” in History - What’s wrong w/ the “white savior” narrative? - Why is is the “white savior” so prominent in pop culture? Why does the “white savior” mythology continue to cloud our vision of history? - Why do most people think Lincoln freed the slaves? Why do so few people argue that the slaves freed themselves? Discussion # 2 1/21/16 - Obstacles to Freedom - Other than the use of physical brutality, how is the institution of slavery maintained and protected in the South? How does the South manage to avert revolts and rebellions and prevent slaves from successfully running away? - Paying them on weekends - People working w/ sheriffs to catch runaways (slaves w/o permits) - Physically chained; can’t run - Not allowing education - No swim classes - Separation of families / kinship patterns - Bass vs. Epps – Liberal White Savior? 1. What arguments does Bass make against slavery? 2. How does this compare to the arguments made by the Abolitionist movement? 3. How do you interpret Bass’ role in helping secure Northrup’s freedom? - Historical Memory - What modern-day issues shape how we interpret slavery? - Black Lives Matter movement - Police brutality - Oscars protest - Racial inequality Structural Racism is a system of social structures that produces & reproduces cumulative, durable, race-based inequalities. Don’t require racist actors or individual acts of racism. - Examples: - Police brutality, education disparities, housing & employment inequality, black mass incarceration, environmental racism, access to health care, voter ID laws …


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