The Secession Movement, 1860-1861

The Secession Movement, 1860-1861

The Secession Movement, 1860-1861

The Secession Movement, 1860-1861

Excerpt

This monograph was submitted originally to the Board of Graduate Studies in the University of Michigan in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

I have attempted to state the premises upon which the several groups of Southerners justified resistance to the federal government, and to trace the process of secession. Such a study, of necessity, emphasizes constitutional interpretations and touches more lightly the important social and economic factors involved. By the same tenets, the question of slavery in the territories, as one phase of the abstract rights of slavery under the Constitution, looms larger than it would in a definitive study of the origins of the war.

It has been my constant concern to detach myself from the tradition that the Civil War was irrepressible. That idea implies that the American people were incapable of solving a difficult problem except by bloodletting, and confuses the designs of party politicians with the arts of statesmanship.

That a twofold revolution was in progress scarcely can be disputed. It is equally clear that the movement at the South was under skillful direction; and, although in no sense a political conspiracy, was well organized from the very first. An exhaustive study of newspaper sources has brought to light material of great value; because news-

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