|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Fri Aug 15th, 2008 02:26 pm||
Okay- we agree to some degree. We agree that, militarily, the Confederacy was defeated by late 1864. But the Confederates were still fighting. The most important factor at that point was the national will of the United States Government and populace.
First of all, I would maintain that if it was not for the fact that Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, the Federal armies probably would not have been in the field in 1861 to begin with, or pursued their military objectives as continually as they did. The democrats certainly should have won in 1860, but they chose to split their party, thus allowing Mr. Lincoln to win with less than 40% of the vote. If a democrat had been elected instead of Mr. Lincoln, the whole affair would have been different.
As for 1864- if Mr. Lincoln had lost the election, it would have indicated that the northern people had a different mindset than the one they actually had. What a President McClellan would have done can only be speculated on, but a look at the Democratic Platform in 1864 indicates that it called for an immediate ceasefire.
Democratic Party Platform, 1864 (See Paragraph 2)
The Platform assails the war as a failure and destroyer of the Constitution. It calls for a convention of the states in order to achieve unity. How that might have played out is anyone's guess.
My argument is that if the northern people were of the attitude to buy that in 1864, and a ceasefire had taken place, then ultimately it might not have mattered that the Confederacy was defeated militarily. But the people in the north by that time were not willing to accept that. A small majority of civilians, 53%, voted for Mr. Lincoln. More significantly, 78% of Union soldiers voted for him. There was only one way that they wanted the conflict to end. Many of them would have said that it was politicians who got them into that mess, and they weren't going to leave it to politicians to mess it up again in the end.