The National Archives in Washington opens the second part of its magnificent “Discovering the Civil War” on Nov. 10 with a whole new assortment of fascinating, little-known and never-seen treasures from its vast holdings. And it tops even that with...
Had Lincoln lost the election of 1860, there most certainly would have been a war, but perhaps it would have come later. Other candidates would have waffled and delayed secession, but the issue of slavery in the territories, nay slavery itself, would have reared its ugly head again.
Abraham Lincoln’s election precipitated the attempt at secession by the Southern states. Without Lincoln’s election, those states would have been deprived of their loudly proclaimed reason for leaving the Union. Thus, no President Lincoln meant no secession.
Without a Lincoln victory in November 1860, war would not have broken out exactly when and how it did.
If Abraham Lincoln had lost the election to the (Northern) Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas, I do not believe that seven states of the Deep South would have seceded so quickly or formed a government in Montgomery, Ala., by February 1861
The election of Lincoln did not start the Civil War all by itself. But it certainly was a critical ingredient
Given the realities of electoral politics in 1860, it is almost impossible to imagine how Abraham Lincoln could have lost. It is even more difficult to say what the election of Stephen A. Douglas — the only one of the other three candidates who stood even a remote chance of success — would have elicited in the way of responses across the nation.
Abraham Lincoln’s election provoked secession all right (unjustifiably, one might persuasively argue), but it was secession that provoked the standoff at Fort Sumter and, ultimately, triggered rebellion and war.
For this panel, we solicited about 25 historians, professors, archivists, authors and assorted others with extensive knowledge of the war to answer questions posed by The Washington Post and our readers.
During Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s famous 1862 Valley Campaign, he surprised and routed a Union contingent at Front Royal before pushing on to Winchester. Although the campaign is well documented and many books have been written about it, the area...