|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Fri Dec 21st, 2012 03:19 pm||
Like you, I have grave doubts that the peaceful reunification of the states could ever have taken place after 1864. My view of the presidential campaign of the Democrats in that year is that they were trying to have things both ways. (General Mclellan certainly was).
The Peace Democrats managed to get into the party platform a plank calling for the end of the war. (This was attacked by the Republicans as being: "Traitorous.") General McClellan declined to endorse this part of his party's platform. He promised that he could conduct the war: "More skillfully" than Mr. Lincoln could.
The Peace Democrats also managed to secure the vice presidential nomination for George H. Pendleton, whose views on the continuation of the war differed from General McClellan's.
George H. Pendleton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Mr. Pendleton at least deserves credit for helping to reform the civil service system.
I believe that the Republicans were successful in portraying the Peace Democrats as being disloyal.They also suggested that the Democrats' plan for ending the war would leave the institution of slavery in place, which by 1864 Mr. Lincoln was no longer willing to do.
In the end, though, I think that the Lincoln presidency was saved by Union military successes in the months leading up to the election. Most notable of these, of course, was General Sherman's taking of Atlanta and the beginning of the March to the Sea.
These events showed that the CSA was becoming a hollow shell that could no longer defend its territory. They served to buoy up the spirits of the northern populace which had been at a low ebb earlier in 1864.
As a result, the majority of northerners chose to keep Mr. Lincoln and thereby pay whatever the price would be required to carry on the war to complete military victory.
For those with the time and the inclination to read it, here is a detailed explanation of the political events and maneuverings involved in the election campaign of 1864:
Abraham Lincoln and the Election of 1864 - Abraham Lincoln's Classroom
Last edited on Fri Dec 21st, 2012 03:31 pm by Texas Defender