After futile pleas to the border states to free slaves
voluntarily, Lincoln in the summer of 1862 decided that emancipation was
a military and political necessity. The Emancipation Proclamation
transformed the war from a conflict to save the Union to a war to
abolish slavery. It authorized the enlistment of African Americans;
220,000 served during the war, helping to ensure the destruction of
slavery. This was the big political event during the Civil War
Political Consequences and Political
Actions During the War
1. How the Civil War Started. The
U.S. Senate is given to power to "declare war" on another nation. Did
it happen this way when Fort Sumter was fired on?
Read about how the Civil War
During the war Congress adopted policies that
altered American society.
The Homestead Act of 1862
offered free public land to western settlers. Huge
land grants supported construction of a transcontinental railroad.
The government raised the tariff, imposed new
taxes, enacted the first income tax, and established a system of
federally-chartered banks, a national currency (green-backs).
Civil War Banking Acts and
Greenback Currency &
Civil War Income Tax
Huge land grants supported construction of a
The Union lost about 360,000 troops during
the Civil War and the Confederacy about 260,000. This is almost as many
soldiers as have died in all other American wars.
Read the N.Y. Times Article about "a new estimate Raises Civil War Death
For 110 years, the numbers stood as gospel:
618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000
from the South — by far the greatest toll of any war in American
history. But new research shows that the numbers were far too low.
Read the new total and how it was determined.
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1862.
This was an executive order by the President to free the slaves in the
Confederate States. There were political and practical reasons for
The 13th Amendment, ratified in December 1865, ended slavery in
the United States. Slavery was over, but life for the free blacks in America would not be
happened after the 13th Amendment: Reconstruction
and Freemen after the War
Transcontinental Telegraph System was enacted in 1860, and was
operational for use by the country in 1861.
10. How did
Lincoln's elections go? Click
here for data about the elections.
PRESIDENT SECOND TERM WON
President Lincoln would be elected to a second term against a
popular Democrat, George McClellan (former general under Lincoln).
Study how Abraham Lincoln could maintain the leadership to "cause" all these
great political events to occur. The Civil War was not popular with all people,
and when conscription (the draft) was initiated, many citizens up-roared and
protested. Lincoln and the Union Army remained on-task and would of course win
the war. Just looking at the figures of killed soldiers on both sides, this war
had more American deaths than any war before or after.
Take each of the three important political actions
listed above and complete the information table:
[Use the links above to read about each and answer the questions]
|When did this occur, and what was did it accomplish?
|How does this Action effect us in the 21st Century?
|Military Deaths Total
|How was the Civil War death count
reported to the public? How did the constant huge numbers of
deaths effect the politics of the time? What did it take to
over-ride the public's disgust with huge death reporting?
|Make a comparison of deaths
due to war (killing, disease, and suicides). What would Americans
think now if the number of dead was proportionate to Civil War years.
Click the N.Y. Times article about Civil War deaths.
|Define what the Homestead
Act did. How did this act effect secondary education, housing for
Americans, growth of the country, and other ways. Read about this
act, and write an essay to describe the act.
|Are there still
any opportunities for citizens of America to claim land to make a farm
or home? What was ethnic backgrounds of Americans that took
advantage of the Homestead Act? Would this act pass in today's
political climate? Why would it or why would it not?
Name some of America's large colleges that were started from the
The Homestead Act of 1862
|Tariffs, Income Tax,
Greenback Currency and National Banking, and an Income Tax
Civil War Banking Acts
and Greenback Currency and
the Morrill Tariff of 1861
was an increased
adopted on March 2, 186. The Morill Tariff is often said to be the
cause of secession.
The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864, and the OCC
were passed. "Greenback" currency was established.
The First Federal Income Tax Act was in
1861. It started out with a fixed rate for all, and was changed in
|We still have the income
tax in the present day.
The Morill Tariff of 1861 was replaced
Revenue Act of 1913, but the need of a tariff on foreign imports was
Civil War Banking Acts and
greenback (paper currency-- printed in green
on one side was issued by the
United States during the
American Civil War.
The Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) was
|Read about the Emancipation
Proclamation (an executive order from President Lincoln). What
slaves were freed from the Proclamation? Where did they live?
Were there other slaves not freed from the Proclamation? Why did
President Lincoln write and present the Emancipation Proclamation?
Was the Proclamation an abolitionist act? What would happen to the
freed slaves after the war, if the 15th Amendment (stopping slavery) had
not been passed?
|Because the Emancipation
Proclamation was an executive order from President Lincoln, look up
Presidential Executive Orders in Google. Make a list of of three
or four presidents that issued orders, what the orders were to do, and
how these orders were accepted by the public. Compare President G.W. Bush with President Baraq Obama, on the number of executive orders
issued, and what they were about. Choose any executive orders you
study, and give your opinion in an essay, as to whether they were right
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1862
|The 13th Amendment
The 13th Amendment
to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction." Formally abolishing slavery in the
United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January
31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865
|Abraham Lincoln was a
master politician. It took him years to get his sometimes
unfriendly congress, disagreeable cabinet, and the public to support the
big amendment. Lots of questions were riding with just what to do
about all the free slaves that will inhabit the country. There
will be no Fugitive Slave Law, but even more evil things would exist all
over the nation against the free black Americans.
the 13th Amendment site to find directions to learn more about the 13th
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