41 votes
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Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

The tensions between North and South had been growing since long before Lincoln was elected. While it is true than many in the South believed that Lincoln supported the forced suppression of slavery, ...
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26 votes
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Did Abraham Lincoln have a duel with cannons?

Abe Lincoln did fight a duel in 1842. He was blamed by James Shields for an editorial. He chose extremely large broadswords, to improve his reach. I have heard that he joked at the choice of weapons ...
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23 votes
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What is the context of Lincoln saying: "if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it"

Lincoln needed to write this letter because as a war-time president, two months before the mid-term election, he could not ignore an article in one of the most popular newspapers, written by a very ...
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17 votes
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Under what legal theory was Mary Surratt hanged as an assassin of President Lincoln in 1865?

This is a legal issue that is perhaps better for Law SE than History SE (I'm on both sites). Mary Surratt was found guilty of "conspiracy" to kill Lincoln. Under that legal theory, being part of a ...
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15 votes
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When did Lincoln claim that "Vicksburg is the key" to winning the civil war?

The quote is from the recollection of someone who was there, Admiral David Dixon Porter. You can find it on page 95 of his book, Incidents and Anecdotes of the Civil War, published in 1886 (emphasis ...
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  • 34k
13 votes

Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

tl;dr Slavery and state's rights were an existential issue for the South; they could no longer contemplate "compromise" or "moderation". From before the foundation of the Republic, there was an ...
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10 votes

What is the context of Lincoln saying: "if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it"

Horace Greeley was a "Radical" Republican, whose primary interest was the freeing of the slaves. In this, he differed from "mainstream" Republicans who were driven by economic interests (pro business, ...
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9 votes
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How did Lincoln know to stick with Grant before the completion of the Vicksburg campaign?

Lincoln himself answered this question, responding on demands to fire Grant after Shiloh: "I can't spare this man, he fights" After heavy loses on the first day of battle, most Union commanders ...
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7 votes
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How did Lincoln legitimize the constitutionality of his Emancipation Proclamation?

Fairly early in the war Lincoln (actually one of his generals, but he endorsed the measure) took the position that human "property" in a rebellious state could be confiscated by Federal forces upon ...
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6 votes

How did Lincoln know to stick with Grant before the completion of the Vicksburg campaign?

Preface @JMS - I don't offer this answer as a substitute, but in addition to yours. @dwstein - The source for information cited and provided below comes from: John Y. Simon, Lincoln and Grant (...
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  • 6,087
6 votes

Did freed slaves keep a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the wall?

Most likely, yes Lincoln was very popular among Blacks in US right until 1960's and rise of leftist Democrats whom somewhat tarnished his image (Lincoln was Republican, of course) . This essay ...
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5 votes

Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

Nо, the timing of secession and Lincoln's election are not coincidence, and Southern states were not reacting to Lincoln as person; they were reacting to political platform of winning party. ...
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5 votes

Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

Lincoln, like the majority of the North, likely believed that abolishing slavery would lead to civil war, and so did not consider it a practical option. Of course, once the South seceded and ...
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5 votes
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Did Abraham Lincoln kill the man who murdered his mother?

Abraham Lincoln's birth mother, Nancy Lincoln, died when Abraham was 9 of either milk sickness or possibly consumption. Milk sickness is from drinking milk contaminated with the poison tremetol by the ...
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5 votes

Could the 1864 US presidential election have been postponed?

Article 2 of the United States Constitution states that: The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four ...
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  • 76.2k
4 votes

What prompted Lincoln to change his mind about ending slavery?

"Why was Lincoln initially opposed to ending slavery? What prompted Lincoln to change his mind?" Lincoln was never opposed to ending slavery. In his First Inaugural Address, he stated that he has no ...
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4 votes

Did Lincoln ever publicly blame James Buchanan?

Unlikely. In the book "Abraham Lincoln. Speeches & Writings 1859-1865", Random House; Library of America, 1989 (which is a comprehensive collection of Lincoln's speeches and letters) ...
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  • 6,021
4 votes

Did Abraham Lincoln send a letter to Jefferson Davis about allowing slavery if he rejoined the Union?

This is probably referring to the preliminary announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. The preliminary version was announced on 22 Sept 1862, announcing the Emancipation Proclamation would take ...
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3 votes

Did Lincoln provoke the US civil war?

There were long unresolved problems that lay behind the US Civil War. At most, the election of Lincoln as President was just a catalyst. What follows is copied from my answer here. The tensions ...
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  • 76.2k
3 votes

What is the context of Lincoln saying: "if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it"

Lincoln's personal feelings about slavery aside, his policy has to reflect the collective will of his constituency and in particular the union bourgeoisie that financed his campaign and the war. The ...
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3 votes

Why did Abraham Lincoln decline the governorship of Oregon Territory in 1849?

I haven't been able to find anything written by Abraham Lincoln himself explicitly explaining his reasons for declining the position of Governor of the Territory of Oregon in September 1849. The ...
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  • 76.2k
3 votes

Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

In 1860, with 40% of the vote, Abraham Lincoln won a victory in the electoral college by sweeping nearly all of the Northern states, as well as the two Western states (California and Oregon). Not a ...
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2 votes

Why did Abraham Lincoln decline the governorship of Oregon Territory in 1849?

Oregon was too far away. It meant that his wife Mary would have to leave her friends in Illinois, (and elsewhere in the Midwest and the South). Also, Lincoln's political connections were there, which ...
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  • 103k
2 votes

Did Lincoln provoke the US civil war?

“Provoke” connotes intent. Lincoln had no such intent. On one hand, legal slavery was falling from favor in most countries and essentially disappeared within decades of the Civil War. But Lincoln’s ...
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  • 456
2 votes

Was Alexander Coffroth for or against slavery? And in what instances?

Coffroth was a moderate When we talk about American society during and immediately before Civil War, we could roughly divide it into three groups. First were abolitionists, centered among Republicans, ...
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