From Neutrality to Unionism
When President Lincoln recruited Southerners to help Northerners squelch the Confederacy, he had unyielding priorities: First go after whites; only then go after blacks. The first priority helped make Lincoln no Great Emancipator in the 1861–;62 years. By rejecting federally imposed emancipation, the early Civil War president maneuvered to hold Border South neutrals in the Union and to lure Union supporters from the Confederacy's Middle South white belts. He succeeded on both scores. His double success with southern whites gave the Union greater manpower, a stronger economy, and a larger domain. These slave state resources boosted free labor states' capacity to shoulder the Union's heavier Civil War burden. 1
As war began, Lincoln considered Border South neutrality as malignant as disunion. Yet Lincoln treated the malign with remarkable tact. Partly a border
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Publication information: Book title: The South vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War. Contributors: William W. Freehling - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 47.
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