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Lincoln and the Decision for WarThe Northern Response to Secession$
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Russell McClintock

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831885

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807886328_mcclintock

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One's Opinions Change Fast in Revolutionary Times: January–February

One's Opinions Change Fast in Revolutionary Times: January–February

Chapter:
(p.133) Chapter 6 One's Opinions Change Fast in Revolutionary Times: January–February
Source:
Lincoln and the Decision for War
Author(s):

Gary W. Gallagher

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807886328_mcclintock.10

This chapter focuses on the period after South Carolina's attack on the Star of the West, during which the country stood poised on the threshold of war. With mass Union rallies, letter-writers, and editors of all parties calling for the defense of the flag, the president would have had no trouble finding popular support for a military response. Once Buchanan chose to acquiesce in a makeshift truce at Charleston harbor, however, the furor passed with surprising rapidity. As the immediate danger of war receded, conciliationist leaders searched desperately for a peaceful way to salvage the Union. With secession now a reality in the Deep South, they shifted to a new objective: if the border slave states were prevented from seceding, they argued, the Southern confederacy was bound to fail and the cotton states would return.

Keywords:   South Carolina, Union rallies, military response, Charleston harbor, makeshift truce

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