Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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Was secession the best course available to the South following the election of Abraham Lincoln?

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Secession was probably the only course South Carolina saw available to it if it's culture and lifestyle were to be maintained. Prior to formation of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln had been a Whig. The Republican Party formed from the old Whig Party to oppose the spread of slavery into the Western territories. South Carolina saw the election of Lincoln as an indication that slavery would be confined to the South; expansion into the West was a dead letter. This prospect would not be so terrible (in fact most Northerners were happy to see it continue only in the South) except South Carolina knew that Western territories would one day be States; that those States would come in as free States, and the necessary constitutional amendment to end slavery was a foregone conclusion. This was the reasoning behind the South's insistence that the balance of free and slave states remain the same, --the reasoning behind the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850--slavery would thereby...

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