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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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The Storm is Weathered: January–February, Revisited

The Storm is Weathered: January–February, Revisited

(p.165) Chapter 7 The Storm is Weathered: January–February, Revisited
Lincoln and the Decision for War

Gary W. Gallagher

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the period during late January and mid-February, when the crisis had stalled and when many proponents of compromise were giving in to frustration and hopelessness, respectively. Despite a sharp burst of initial excitement and anxiety, even the opening of yet another front for the crisis debates in the form of a national peace conference in Washington did little more than prolong the incessant and fruitless arguing for a few more weeks. By early March, in Congress and in the state legislatures, the Republican coalition had withstood the buffeting of internal division and external demands, and prevented any significant action on compromise, due in large part to the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of Abraham Lincoln. To that point, Lincoln's most powerful tool was silence: delaying announcements of both patronage and secession policies enabled Lincoln to retain the loyalty of both of his party's dueling factions.

Keywords:   proponents of compromise, crisis debates, national peace conference, Washington, Republican coalition, Abraham Lincoln

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