Mar 4, 1861: Lincoln Inaugurated

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th president of the United States. Although he extended an olive branch to the South, he also made it clear that he intended to enforce federal laws in the seceded states.

Since Lincoln’s election in November, seven states had left the Union. Worried that the election of a Republican would threaten their rights, especially slavery, the lower South seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. In the process, some of those states had seized federal properties such as armories and forts. By the time Lincoln arrived in Washington for his inauguration, the threat of war hung heavy in the air. Lincoln took a cautious approach in his remarks, and he made no specific threats against the southern states. As a result, he had some flexibility in trying to keep the states of the upper South–North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware–in the Union.

In his address, Lincoln promised not to interfere with the institution of slavery where it existed, and he pledged to suspend the activities of the federal government temporarily in areas of hostility. However, he also took a firm stance against secession and the seizure of federal property. The government, insisted Lincoln, would “hold, occupy, and possess” its property and collect its taxes. He closed his remarks with an eloquent reminder of the nation’s common heritage:

“In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend” it…We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Six weeks later, the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Civil War began.

Advertisements

Activist, Unplugged from the Matrix. Action for Freedom!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. You have full control over the frequency of emails you receive, and you can unsubscribe at any time. We will NOT share your email address with anyone, ever!

Join 737 other followers

Member of The Internet Defense LeagueBloggers' Rights at EFF
%d bloggers like this: