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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  July 29, 2016 11:56am-1:04pm EDT

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bogus. but that doesn't mean that it's easily dealt with, especially in the minds of the southern people who so strongly hold on to it. and so you didn't get into that issue of the mindset that helps propagate the myth. i'm wondering if you have any comment on that. >> okay. well, i think that when you look at the minds behind the succession resolutions, the confederate constitution, the outreach to other states, et cetera, that were occurring at that time, which we can put our fingers on and say, it was -- these were all about slavery. now if you back off and say, well, what about the people and their morale, then you get into an almost insoluble dilemma about individual soldiers fought for different reasons. individual people felt different
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ways about the war. and so it's very hard to -- it's very hard to pin that down. but i really think that the kinds of evidence that i'm looking at, it is not just data. these are the words that the participants used, and everyone says nothing but slavery. now you mentioned in passing, reconstruction. that's a whole nother book and whole nother field. but basically my take on reconstruction, very subjective. just like everything else i've been saying. reconstruction would not have been so bad if the southerners had done -- had responded appropriately to what the war was about, and that, in good faith, ended slavery and truly ended slavery, and slavery relate practices and provided blacks with the right to participate in politics, to
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vote, and to have representatives in government which was only allowed for the short time while the north was there to enforce it. so the stories about all the economic ravages on the south, there wasn't much left to ravage. and what the south was really concerned about, southerners as a rule were concerned about, that blacks were being given rights. and this was not something that they could tolerate. and so they -- once we stopped it, you had jim crow laws and you did not have legitimate black rights until at least the mid 1960s. so i think there are a lot of aspects of the myth that carry over into what was reconstruction all about. i'm not an expert in reconstruction. there are those who are, but again i would approach the
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traditional view of reconstruction with a great deal of skepticism. yes, sir, last question. >> should lee have been executed as a traitor? and if he had, what effect would that have had on the myth of the lost cause? >> okay. executing lee as a traitor would have been totally inconsistent with what lincoln wanted to do and would have served no real purpose. it would have served no real purpose. and it might very well have aggravated the south so that the myth would even be worse than it is. that would be an extreme step but lincoln would not have wanted to do that. okay. thank you very much again, ladies and gentlemen.
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this week in prime time, c-span3 has been showing american history tv programs. tonight's focus is the civil war. starting at 8:00, it is a class on the evolving aims of the north during the conflict between unionism and emancipation. at about 9:10, the president of the georgia historical society talks about union general william sherman, his background, the march to the sea, and how he's remembered. after that, how post-war arguments made by confederates sought to justify their split from the union. all of this tonight in prime time on american history tv on c-span3. coming up this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday night at 8:00 eastern on collection tulectures in hist instructional films that were made during the cold war out of fear the u.s. population was
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falling behind the soviet union in science education. and sunday morning at 10:00 on road to the white house remind, the 1952 and 1948 national conventions. in 1952, dwight eisenhower accepted the republican nomination and adelaide stephenson received the democratic nomination on the third ballot. in 1948, the first televised conventions where president harry truman accepted his party's nomination. >> the failure to do anything about high prices, and the failure to do anything about housing. my duty as president requires that i use every means within my power to get the laws the people need on matters of such importance at urgency. >> and at 6:00 on american artifacts, we'll take an early look at the new smithsonian museum of african-american history and culture with its director, lonnie bunch. the you moo semuseum opens its the public in early september. >> we got an amazing collection
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of movie posters such as the ones behind you. that's an early oscar michelle movie poster from the 1920s. part of our job is to help people relearn history they think they know. that movie poster is from spencer williams. he's known by most people as playing in "amos and andy. . "yet he was one of the most important film directors in the late '30s and '40s. sunday night at:00 on the presidency, historians jon meacham, annette gordon reed and ron chernow talk about the process of writing a presidential biography. go to for our complete schedule. wheaton college history professor tracy mckenzie teaches class on the evolving northern war aims during the civil war between unionism and emancipation. he dedescribes how public support for emancipation correlated with whether union forces were perceived to be winning the civil war. he also argues that lincoln's re-election and even his presidential nomination was seen as unlikely because of the state of the war in 1863.
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his class is about an hour. now this morning we're really going to be more or less wrapping up the chronological overview of the war, moving at a very rapid pace. our focus today is going to be on the period roughly from lincoln's announcement of the emancipation proclamation through the end of the war. i'll try to emphasize some theme matt iemphasis. but just to go back to what we think our primary areas of concern for this part of the course. someone mention one major theme in mind? >> views on race and slavery. >> one of the things we're going to come back to over and over again, trying to think carefully about what our visitation of the american civil war tells us
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about popular american attitudes in two regards, attitudes with regard to slavery, attitudes with regard to racial equality. always reminding ourselves that the interrelationship between those two is very complicated. it is not in any sense a simple kind of relationship. yes, it is one of the themes. >> transformation of northern aims? >> transformation of northern war aims is something that we have already visited somewhat, how the civil war begins as a war. >> announcer: which the only focus is preservation of the union.hich the only focus is preservation of the union.which preservation of the unioarwhich preservation of the unioewhich preservation of the unio which preservation of the union. a lot of what we're going to be talking about this morning is the way in which northern popular opinion responds to that tro transformation of war aims. i think it will help us deal with the first theme which is the relationship of attitudes between slavery and attitudes toward race. those are probably the two
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themes that are most relevant this morning. just keep those in mind as you interact, as you listen. i think it will help us in gleaning what's most important here. so let's touch base where we ended last time. that is just to remember that by december of 1862 abraham lincoln for variety of reasons came to the conclusion there is a window of opportunity to strike out slavery that he did not anticipate when the war began. we talked about variety of factors at play. the length and cost of the war in and of itself is polarizing northern opinion and at least creating a kind of opportunity in terms of popular opinion to pursue a more aggressive war effort. that's part of what's going on. there is also a constitutional window of opportunity that
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lincoln believes the war has presented to him. the role of the enslaved people themselves in eliminating any kind of neutral role that the north might play with regard to slavery i think is a factor, also. two other things, quickly. lincoln had been hesitant to strike at slavery in 1861 in part because he was concerned about the border states. you recall that. one thing i think that lincoln has concluded by summer of 1862 is border states don't play the role they would have in 1861. part of that is because of what the war has done itself. the war has drawn about 100,000 pro-confederates from the border states into the confederate army. but in a very interesting way now they cease to play a political role at that point. they're not going to vote. they're not in the union states at all anymore in most cases. and the fear that the border states now might switch sides and support the confederacy is no longer very pressing in
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lincoln's mind. remember also he had been concerned about having bipartisan support for the emancipation policy if he ever went in that direction. knowing that he could not have any kind of bipartisan support for it. by the summer of 1862 i think lincoln has pretty much given up on the possibility of bipartisan support for the war, generally. the democratic party in the north is opposing him on just pretty much every kind of congressional initiative. the idea that this war is not going to be one that divides the north politically is something i think lincoln, more or less, has abandoned. what we see is new factor making emancipation desirable, auld kinds of obstacles failing by the wayside with the result that by august, if not earlier of 1862, lincoln has decided that when the time is right,of o= = wayside with the result that by august, if not earlier of 1862, lincoln has decided that when the time is righp3f3fkinds of o the wayside with the result that
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by august, if not earlier of 1862, lincoln has decided that when the time is right, he will announce a new aim to the war effort which will add to the effort union freedom. in summer of 1862 with lincoln's announcement of the preliminary emancipation proclamation effectively defining it as a war measure in slavery in any area actively in rebellion against the authority of the united states government. it is not going to apply to the border apply. not to the areas of the confederacy now subdued and under military occupation. entire state of tennessee is is exincluded, part of louisiana is excluded. but even with those exceptions, no one denies the war has been fundamentally redefined. what we want to focus on this morning is the aftermath of that. one thing that i think james mcpherson's book is helpful for, it shows you that union has the potential to unify northern opinion. emancipation always divides.
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it's always a divisive issue in northern opinion, and we see that in the years after the announcement of the policy. i want to begin with just some images that give us a sense of the way in which northern opinion is to some degree polarized. let's start with this popular image. this is a paint being that's done in 1864, and it is aimed at in some sense sort of imaginatively recreating the context of lincoln's fashioning of the emancipation policy. some of the details i'm sure are just too small for us to pick up on. but i think there are some things that i could call your attention to. first this is supposed to be lincoln's study in the executive mansion. all kinds of paraphernalia scatter around him. the far right hand, supposed to be a map of the united states.
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the artist has put this sword hanging down across the map, sort of figuratively showing how war has divided the country. some of the pieces of paper to our right, to lincoln's left, are various petitions from antislavery organizations that are imploring the president to strike against human bondage. behind lincoln is a copy of his presidential oath. why lincoln would have a copy of his oath hanging up, it's hard for us to imagine. but the artist puts it there for a reason. on the shelf opposite lincoln is in fact the bust of andrew jackson who in the context of the 1860s is probably the embodiment of the kind of staunch preservation of the union and the willingness to use whatever means necessary to maintain a national supremacy. on lincoln's lap, copy of the bible. all right? so the artist is telling us this is the context in which the
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emancipation proclamation is ultimately -- from which it is emerging. can you think outloud with me just a little bit about the message here? what is the artist wanting to convey about the prom cla macla about how americans should think of it? any thoughts at all? christian, you have a thought? >> well, the bible is kind of like an illustration of a more like moral ideal when it comes to emancipation, but then his oath is like what he is sworn to do and then andrew jackson obviously preserving the union. so his goal is to preserve the union, but at the same time he has these moral obligations to free the slaves. >> does that resonate with the rest of you? you see that the artist is really trying to show ot collectithe complexity, motives, the way
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lincoln is balancing these competing loyalties. the bible sort of the embodiment of moral obligation. the oath on the wall the embodiment of constitutional. you have the sense the artist is saying that what lincoln is doing is trying to resolve that tension between moral obligation and his constitutional responsibility and we're supposed to see the emancipation policy as successfully doing that. with the flag over the window, with the bust of andrew jackson, we always have that commitment to union. i think this is the message, very sympathetic message. and it is really the way i think lincoln would want northern opinion to think of his policy. we've talked about lincoln as being a constitutional anti-slavery politician, always wanting to present his views as consistent with the constitution but always wanting some kind of moral dimension palpably there, if possible. compare that image with this
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one. so this is a kind of pencil sketch. it is not colorful in the way that the drawing that we just looked at is. this comes from an immigrant to the united states who comes to the united states before the civil war from one of the german states. he lives in baltimore. he is a northern democrat who is very critical of the policy. i don't know if you can see the tail on this image well enough to pick up on the message. can you see any details well enough? kyle, what do you see? >> he's standing on the bible, his foot's stomping on it. >> rather than having the bible on his lap where he's cherishing it, he's standing on it, showing contempt. what? >> there appears to be a demon on the table. >> there appears to be a demon. i think that's fair enough. if that's an imp of help or something, yeah. >> it is like a st. lee representation of john brown. >> in the back if you can see the framed picture on the wall
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is supposed to be john brown who is best known for the raid at harper's ferry in 1859. brown's carrying one of those pipes that he actually had built specifically to arm slaves after the raid at harper's ferry was the plan. he has a say low. he -- halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john.halo. he's sort of st. john. what do you think is the significance of brown being shown positively? >> maybe like brown was sort of reckless or overly violent and didn't really consider and light weigh other possibilities or options. >> yeah. brown is sort of the embodiment of violent fanaticism. compare it again to the previous picture where lincoln is weighing the constitution very carefully versus his moral obligation. brown doesn't do that.
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brown, if the constitution defends slafb very, the constitution is simply part of the problem and violence is the answer. >> also like in the last picture his study was like a mess and it looked like he was really laboring over the document. this one kind of insinuates that this is just kind of a fabrication of his own thinking. >> fair enough. there's not those influences. there is not the constitution here. he is doing this either alone or we might say in consultation with the devil. right? finally, what little offering lincoln? it's almost certainly meant to be alcohol. there's a decanter on the far side table. this devil's offering him a drink at the moment for inspiration. this sort of -- i think these two pictures encapsulate that kind of polarization that the emancipation policy creates in
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the north. back to the theme union u.n. nu, emancipation always divides. i want to put this in a larger context. emancipation is not the only issue that makes the middle of the civil war in the north an extremely contentious period. we're not going to have time to develop this a lot but we can list other factors at play. probably the most important that's linked to emancipation is the recruitment of black soldiers into the united states armed forces. united states congress had authorized the president of the united states to employ men of color for military purposes as early as the summer of 1862. but in the summer of 1862 lincoln is not prepared to take that step seeing it as far too controversial. he authorizes some experiments with the enlistment of black soldiers as early as the summer of 1862 but he keeps it under the radar.
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in areas on the coast of south carolina, areas out in kansas, on the far remote frontier, there will begin to be the enlistment of black soldiers. but in areas that would attract attention, that doesn't happen until after his emancipation policy is announced. when it is announced, lincoln authorizes in a very aggressive way the recruitment of black soldiers. you begin to see posters like this one. this is a poster that is publish in philadelphia in 1863. "some and join us, brothers." these kinds of appeals ultimately will lead to the enlistment of somewhere along the number of 180,000 men in the american armed forces. always in segregated forces called the united states colored troops. maybe as many as a quarter of a million other african-american males serve in non-military
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ways, in labor details and other capacities with united states forces. so it is a very large addition to the armed forces of the united states. i would argue that the sort of government impromter, if i asked is you why, do you have a thought? why is this kind of image if anything even more troubling? >> it implies a sort of equality between the two races that just emancipation doesn't really do on its own. >> michael says there is an implication of equality here that emancipation doesn't necessarily provide. >> well, maybe if they're being concerned, they're putting weapons in people's hands that they enslaved, so the worry that
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like they've been freed, now if you give them weapons they might turn against the white men in the army. >> taylor raises a concern that in reality is often linked to the policy in southern white perspectives which is that putting weapons into the hands of former enslaved people may even be inviting, if not encouraging retribution. some sort of violent response against white civilians. i think that's a factor as well. i think one of the things that we've tried to identify already is that if you're an american in the northern state, in the middle of the 19th century, you can oppose slavery for many reasons separate from a principle commitment to racial equality. that might be your motive but it need not be. when we begin to talk about the recruitment of black soldiers, northern popular opinion cannot separate that from a policy pointing toward racial equality.
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so in a certain way i think this policy is more controversial, even more divisive simply than emancipation itself. we could add to the list of controversial issues. i won't go into as much detail, but i will mention that in the summer of 1862, the north begins to move toward a conscription policy, meaning the forcible draft of soldiers. they do that calling for nine-month volunteers in the summer of 1862, or nine-month draftees. in the spring of 1863 they move toward a much more all-encompassing draft law. anyone between the ages of 20 and 45, any white male is subject to the draft. and it begins to have a very significant impact on popular opinion. one of the things that you guys have been reading is short excerpt of the diary of this new
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york republican named george templeton strong. george templeton strong is riding in the summer of 1862, goes downtown, new york city, there is major battle raging in virginia at the time and as strong describes what he sees in new york city, he says you would never know a war was going on. do you remember that? men and women are in their carriages. children are giggling. economy seems to be booming. no one seems to be acknowledging that men are fighting and dying. in a sense before conscription is added into the formula, it is possible if you live remote from the theater of war, for the war to be a total abstraction. conscription makes potentially every adult male in the military service. that's a factor.
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a final factor i would mention very quickly is the lincoln administration's record on civil liberties. one of the things that strong writes in his diary as well when he talks about the political opposition to the lincoln strax, he says that civil liberties may be as important as emancipation in some areas in promoting opposition to republican incoln presidency determines there will be times when he needs to take extraordinary steps to crack down on voices that might weaken the war effort. now under the constitution, article 1 section 9, congress is given the authority to withdraw, at least temporarily, something called the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. have you guys heard of habeas corpus? the phrase habeas corpus comes from the latin meaning literally to have the body. what the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is effectively
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accomplishing constitutionally is preventing the government from arbitrarily imprisoning civilians and not giving them due process and not giving them the right to a trial before the jury of their peers. under the constitution, if some government official were to throw you in prison without trial, someone could go to a court on your behalf, request that a judge issue an order releasing this political prisoner, a writ order of habeas corpus, an order to have the body. but the constitution says that this privilege may be withdrawn or repealed temporarily in times of insurrection or invasion. lincoln at different times during the war starting as early as april of 1861 sort of broadening the policy into the late months of 1862 will authorize the arrest of civilians without trial.
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one historian who's very systematically reviewed that policy estimates that somewhere along the lines of about 15,000 civilians are arrested at some point during the war. relatively to our population today that would be something like 225,000 to 250,000 civilians arrested. typically for a few months at a time, many will always released, but yet this is going on. so this is another factor that is a source of considerable political opposition. we have opposition to emancipation. opposition to the enlistment to black soldiers. opposition to conscription. opposition to civil liberties. always, always behind these particular concerns are anxieties about the way the war
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is going. nothing informs popular support for, or opposition to, the war more than the momentum on the battlefield. it's going to sound like a gross oversimplification, but it's more or less something that has been verified by systematic analysis, the single most important factor that determines popular attitudes toward war in a particular context is, does it appear that the war is being won. wars that are being bon, wars where victory seems tangible and at hand are popular wars. wars that are not being won, wars in which victory seems remote, if at all likely, tend to be unpopular wars. this brings us back full circle to the emancipation policy. because how had lincoln presented emancipation as a
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military act. right? as a military act under his authority as commander in chief for the army and navy, as a military act that would help to bring victory and shorten the war. we see that just one other image, this is one of my favorite images from the civil war. this is one of the ways in which we see that justification of emancipation embodied. here we have a print that's done -- i don't know the exact date. 1862 or 1863. it was produced by courier and ives which was a very popular commercial house that produced pretty inexpensive wartwork for private homes and public places. this particular drawing you have a justification of emancipation as a military act. the symbolism i think we can define fairly quickly. you have jefferson davis who is the president of the confederacy
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on your far left. we're supposed to think of davis as a side show barker, sort of thing where he calls the passing visitors to the carnival, step right up, give me two bits and try your hand at such and such. what he's inviting people to do is to step up and try to break the backbone of the rebellion and make sure we follow the symbolism. we have this enormous vicious looking dog with the word "rebellion" written along the backbone. you have a variety of northern figures that most readers would immediately recognize or know of. these northern figures have in various ways tried to break the backbone of the rebellion, tried to bring union victory. in the back sitting dejectedly with his head in his hands is a man named john kritttendon. he was a congressman who in the winter of 1861 had tried to come up with a compromise that would
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avoid war. so krittendon has a tiny little hammer labeled "compromise." we're supposed to see how woefully inadequate that was. then you have a variety of other northern figures. one general with a much larger hamill labeled "skill." another with a hammer labeled "strategy." these are well known union generals. next comes the secretary of war, a man named edwin stanton. stanton is talking to president ache h abraham lincoln. stanton tells lincoln these generals may try their skill, they may try their strategy, but i think my hammer is going to be the one that breaks the backbone of the rebellion. his is labeled "draft." is the draft is what's going to bring us over the top for military success. lincoln always with the stereotype of the rail splitter with his ax over his shoulder says to secretary of war stanton, you can try him with
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that. but i believe that this ax of mine is the only thing that will fetch him. the only thing that will do the trick. the ax is label emancipation proclamation. this symbol here is all about bringing victory. emancipation is justified, it is a military necessity on my authority as commander in chief of the army and navies of the united states. here we see the relationship between success on the battlefield and popular support for emancipation. if we graft support for emancipation in the north it would correlate pretty closely with popular perception of whether the war was being won, whether progress was being made or not. now the unfortunate thing, if you're abraham lincoln, or any republican advocate of emancipation, is that in the aftermath of lincoln's proclamation, the union war
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effort takes a nose dive. the preliminary emancipation proclamation is announced in date september of 1862. there is not a significant union military victory for the next nine months. and in that period, roughly until july of 1863, popular support for emancipation, popular support for the republican administration, goes down, down, down. now, we don't have a lot of time in this class because we're going so quickly in our overview of the war to talk about specifics militarily. let me just remind you a little bit of broad overarching pattern. so we have this map. you have some sense of what this map is conveying because we have talked about that. the grand strategy of the lincoln administration when war began was primarily centered on three components.
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a blockade of the confederate states, a thrust toward the confederate capital which had been moved to richmond, and a campaign to take control of the mississippi river. if we were going to make a broad generalization, you've heard this from me before. in the first year of the war, in the eastern part of the theater of war, particularly in the fighting around virginia, the confederacy was doing very well. but the farther west you went into the western theater of war, union success was more and more and more striking. you have this pattern of union victory in the west, confederate victory, or at least union sort of stalemate in the east. what happens in the nine months after the emancipation proclamation is that that pattern falls apart, and the republicans cannot point to significant success anywhere. the campaign for control of the mississippi river is bogged down
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badly in a very expensive, slow, costly siege of a town called vicksburg, which is one of the last outposts on the mississippi. there is a very expensive bloody battle in central tennessee that accomplishes nothing in late 1862. there are major confederate victories in the eastern theater in virginia in december 1862 and on in to the spring of 1863. one string of successive confederate victories with staggering human costs. now this is interrupted temporarily. july of 1863 is a hugely significant moment in the civil war because in the span of 24 hours, there's a major union victory at gettysburg, blunting a confederate invasion of pennsylvania. gettysburg is at the very top of the map. at the very next day, vicksburg, which was the last stronghold on the mississippi river of the
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confederacy, surrenders to union forces. the rest of 1863 it appears that union military momentum is building on that. by the end of that year, tennessee has been completely rid of confederate forces. union armies are now in northern georgia. union armies are threatening within 30 miles or so of the confederate capital. everything seems to be pointing toward a regain of union momentum and the likelihood that the war will end by the following spring. one of the things that really adds to that perception certainly abraham lincoln's perception that victory is now likely is that lincoln has identified a new general. if you know anything about the military history of the civil war, one of the things you know is that lincoln has a very difficult time ever identifying a successful commander in the eastern theater of the war. but at the end of 1863, lincoln
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brings this man, ulysses grant, from the western theater to the east. he had been very successful in fighting in tennessee. he had been very successful in fighting in mississippi. and now he has brought to command ultimately all union armies in all theaters of war. lincoln and grant talk a lot during the winter of 1863, 1864. lincoln is convinced that grant has the plan to end the war as soon as the weather improves enough to resume campaigning in the spring of that year. the story of 1864 in terms of the civil war is a story of the way in which that expectation ultimately comes crashing down. in the spring of 1864, there's going to be significant fighting in two areas. i don't care that you remember these specific details. but i want you to try to put
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yourself in the perception -- or in the perspective of northern civilians who are already in the throes of a war that's vastly longer, vastly more expensive than anyone had ever anticipated when the war broke out, and ask yourself how it would inform your anticipation of the future. two areas of fighting primarily. it is more complicated than this but we can focus on these two areas. one is in the area of virginia in between washington, d.c. and richmond. richmond is right down here. there's going to be fighting starting in early spring, 1864, between an an army commanded by ulysses grant and an army commanded by robert e. lee north of richmond. the union army is going to perpetually move east and south, east and south, east and south, always trying to get around the confederate army defending richmond and strike directly at
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the capital, or get between the confederate capital and the confederate army. doesn't succeed in one sense. what it leads to is a series of very, very costly battles. the rule the is that from early may, 1864, to early june, early to mid-june, of 1864, there are a series of battles with casualty levels that dwarf anything that had ever been recognized before this. the pattern of military history in the civil war in its first half is a pattern in which two large armies would come together and they would clash -- sort of monumentally clash of humanity, wreaking untold casualties, and then the armies would separate from one another an take weeks, often months, to recover and to
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re-equip themselves to resume the fighting. what changes in the spring of 1864 is that one battle gives way almost seamlessly to the next. and for a period of almost six weeks, the armies in northern virginia are constantly in contact with one another, and they are inflicting casualties on one another that are astounding. let me just give you an example of grant's army. grant strikes south the first week of may -- actually the first day of may with an army of approximately 115,000 soldiers. in the next six weeks, that army will sustain 64,000 casualties. now that's killed, wounded and missing. we would add to those 64,000 casualties the fact that the terms of service of many of his soldiers are expiring. many of them had enlisted in the first year of the war to serve for three years. to those 64,000 who are taken
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out of action, 18,000 go home. because their term has expired. so the army that grant began with in may of 115,000 men has now only little less than one-third of that original army left under arms just six weeks later. it is a degree of devastation no one had witnessed, as far as we know, in the western hemisphere ever before. ultimately, this campaign bogs down. it doesn't lead quickly to victory. it leads instead to a siege of a well defended city south of richmond called petersburg. that siege is pretty much in place by mid-june and it is not going to be broken until early april the next year. so grant's hope for a very quick campaign that would capture the confederate capital has been totally frustrated, and the
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cost, the human cost involved, has been staggering. at the same time that there's fighting going on in northern virginia, there's fighting going on in northern georgia. i'm not going to go into much detail here at all except to say that there is a union army that had struck south from an area around chattanooga on the tennessee-georgia border around is trying to move on to atlanta. atlanta is one of the very important really transportation crossroads in the western theater at this time. as sort of like is going on in northern virginia, it is going to be union army, this army under command of man named william sherman. union army, confederate army, constant conflict as they are engaged in a kind of two-step dance for the defense of atlanta. let me add up for you what happens in these two campaigns in the spring of 1864. the total number of casualties,
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if you combine the casualties in northern georgia and northern virginia, 89,000. that's 89,000 in less than three months. i don't know if that sounds like a lot to you or not. i hope that it sounds like a lot to you. the population of the free states or the loyal states in 1864 is about 20 million. if we take those casualty figures and try to translate them into our population today, for the united states forces to experience the same proportional loss, today would require casualties of 1.5 million. so if we want to imagine in the span of less than three months, united states is involved in a war taking 1 1/2 million soldiers. that's not all fatalities. that's wound, killed or missing. 1 1/2 million out of action.
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what would be the popular response? what would be the popular response? it is hypothetical but just think outloud with me. what would it be? >> overwhelmingly negative. >> christian says overwhelmingly negative. >> other thoughts. this is hypothetical. what do any others of you think? >> i think people would just want it to be over. they probably wouldn't care what they were fighting over innie more. they'd just want it to end. >> so some people would say i'm sick of this, cost is too great, nothing can justify this kind of sacrifice. any other kind of response? >> some of them might think that such a high human cost requires them staying the course and justifying the sacrifice of so many people. >> does that make sense to you? joe is saying rather than the high human cost being an argument for disengagement, the
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high human cost becomes an argument for persistence, perpetuation. the argument is going to be, if we back out now, all those who have made this sacrifice will have done so in vain. right? which is actually language that abraham lincoln uses in his gettysburg address. we hereby highly resolve the dead did not die in vain. so what really happens, i would say more than one kind of response, we have kind of bifurcated response. greater polarization. as more and more americans say this cost is too high, and more and more americans say we must do whatever it takes to vindicate the sacrifices that have been made. let me complicate things a little bit more. let's imagine the united states is involved in a war. in the last three months, 1 1/2 million casualties have been
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sustained. the president of the united states goes before american people in a press conference which would never have happened in 1860s but would happen today, and he, reading from the teleprompter, tells the country that he's calling for more -- we'll. you the this in quotation marks -- volunteers. and the number of volunteers he needs he specifies clearly. he says i need 8 million more. and "volunteers" we put in quotation marks. why? because there is a draft law in place. and if volunteers are not forthcoming, there will be another may to ensure the manpower need is met. when i say 8 million, i'm putting that in our numbers today. what abraham lincoln asks for in july of 1864 in the aftermath of all of those casualties in virginia and georgia is 500,000 more volunteers which in our numbers today would be between 8
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and 8 1/2 million. final detail. imagine that the united states is currently involved in a war. 1 1/2 million casualties in the last three months. a president who says he need 8 million more volunteers. finally, that same president is running for re-election on his war record. so let's add the that to the mix. because at the same time that abraham lincoln is asking for half a million more volunteers, he's also asking for the american people to support him for a second term. it's impossible for us to feel the weight of contingency in the summer of 1864 unless we let it sort of sink in how unlikely abraham lincoln's re-election really was. certainly lincoln at various
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times believes that his re-election is unlikely. so what i'd like us to do in the time that we have remaining is just to take a quick visit of the 1864 presidential election. keep those big themes in mind about the war as a window into attitudes of the american people, and in particular the relation between attitudes toward slavery and attitudes toward racial eqlity. i think you are going to find a lot that's embedded in the campaign that is relevant. first of all, a little bit of context. when lincoln is seeking a nomination for a second term, he is doing something that today we absolutely take for granted. we assume that incumbent presidents will be candidates for second term. and we assume that they'll get the nomination. we may not assume that they will
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be re-elected, but we know that statistically incumbents have pretty good chances. that's not the case in the middle of the 19th century. the last president to be re-elected to a second term was andrew jackson. that was in 1832. so 32 years have transpired since the last time a president was re-elected. last time an incumbent was even nominated for a second term had been 1840. almost a quarter century had passed since that happened. so no one is sort of automatically assuming within the republican party in spring, early summer 1864, that lincoln's renomination is inevitable, or even desirable. in fact, there are a lot of individuals in the party that would like to replace lincoln. some of them want to replace him because they simply have presidential aspirations of
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their own. lincoln's cabinet member, second tar of t secretary of the treasury, and others with aspirations. others of the republican party just simply don't think lincoln is re-electable. for that reason, with the concern for the war effort, a concern for the future of the party, they believe that replacing lincoln is probably the wiser course to follow. ultimately lincoln is going to be re-elected -- excuse me, renominated in the summer of 1864. but with really pretty muted enthusiasm. the stories would say, almost by default. although there were other aspirants for the nomination, no one person was able to develop a broad enough base of support to unseat lincoln. so lincoln is going to be nominated in june of 1864.
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but way in which he is nominated and the rhetoric and the strategy that's going to be followed by the republican party is very key. so i want us to look at some images that will get us thinking about the strategy of the party. i want you guys to tell me what you see and try to make some inferences about what this tells us about campaign strategy in that election. so let's begin with this. this is a poster that would have been widely circulated in the state of new york. it's showing nominations at various levels of public office starting with president but going down to variety of offices at the new york state level. so just look at that poster and tell me what you see or don't see. i know you can't read some of the fine print. >> it doesn't say republican nomination. it says union nominations. >> let's start right there. do you notice that?
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opponents of the republican party in 1864 are not going to be using the label republican in talking about their rivals. republicans don't use the label very much at all in 1864. they're going to use the label national union. national union. national union nominations here here, we see. so let's start there. before we move to anything else, talk to me about that. talk to me about that strategy and what it seems to be suggesting. >> it's interesting because with the emancipation, they kind of demonstrated a shift in focus towards oma manman manomans pagt
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by using union it's more popular and focused on keeping the union together. >> samantha is saying what we see here here is kind of what m look as a kind of backtracking in the announcement of the emancipation policy, there was a very clear definition of republican war aims, now this seems to be returning to the earlier fox us. anyone else have thaoughts abou that? abby? >> it seems like they are trying to attract northern democrats who are on the fence about whether they want to support the party because they weren't originally supporting the party but they support the union. >> so in part, part of the strategy is it is an obvious effort and an obvious effort to say regardless of party if you
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stand for what we stand for you need to be with us. what do they stand for? according to their label, union. picking up on what samantha said, i think they would try to argue, in emphasizing union, we're pro pet waiting what we're always emphasizing cheing becau emancipation had always been about the union. anything else that jumps out at you? have in my in particular the vice presidential nomination. -- or nominee. if i asked you and i won't -- and i won't because life is too short. if i asked you who lincoln's vice president was in his first term you might not immediately know to answer hanible hanlan had been his vice president in the convention of june of 1884.
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the republicans calling themselves national units kick out their vice presidential person on the ticket. hanible had been an anti-slavery pop pop politician from new england, and wanted to put a prominent new englander with a prominent westerner, and he had done his job, but his representation was too strongly anti-slavelranti-s want to deflect emancipation, not only do they drop the label "republican," but they drop their vice president and replace him with andrew johnson. andrew johnson, we would talk more about more if we were moving into the reconstruction period. we know he will follow centrally in that era of american history. real quickly, what do we know about him? andrew johnson had been born and raised in the south, risen to
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maturity in the national prominence in tennessee, a slave-holding state. he had owned slaves himself, and he was a democrat. the only other thing we might add was that he was a stanch, stanch unionist. so when we think about it, the republican -- or i should say national union ticket in 1864, has the northern anti-slavery, republican lincoln, paired with the southern -- i don't know if i would call johnson pro-slav y pro-slavery, but he's not opposed to slavery on anymore grounds. he is a democrat. what do they have in common in almost nothing but they do have one thing in common, christian? >> reservation of the unionists. >> they're unionists. these two have almost nothing in
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common other than their political values, expect union, is driving home the point. this is a union coalition aimed as preseverirving the union, a tent, on the issues of slavery. we see this in a variety of ways. just a few more images, just real fast. this is a campaign banner, put out by the republican party, the label again, "grand national uni union banner." the slogan in bottom says "liberty union and victory." the platform of the national union party in 1864, has about i think 11 or 12 points. the very first one is going to say "this is paramount. it is the highest duty" right? the highest duty of every american citizen to maintain against all their enemies, the
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sb integrity of the union and the paramount of the constitution and laws of the united states. as we go on this particular plank in the platform, going to talk about quelling the rebellion, about bringing traders to justice. the national union party is all about preserving the union. but look at a phrase, still, this very long sentence, after we were talking about the paramount authority and the laws of the constitution of the united states, the resolution says, "laying aside all differences of political opinion, we pledge ourselves to this". so, it's a fiction largely, but the strategy here is to say this is not the old republican party. this is an entirely new movement. it is a new by partisan coalition that has as its only sort of cementing blue commitme commitment to union. they will endorse emancipation
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and endorses the constitutional amendment that would end slavery in all the us but look how it phrases that. this is the third placank plank platform "resolve that safely was the cause and now constitutes the strength of this rebellion. and as it is hostile in the principles of republican, it doesn't mean republican party, but government grounded in the consent of the government. we are in favor" and it goes on to say "the constitutional amendment to end slavery everywhere." but that gets to the link, as something you said, samantha, we are opposing slavery, but doing so as part of our commitment to preserve the union. this is the cause what sustains the repebellion and it must be ended if we are to end the rebellion. this is the approach of the republican party in 1864.
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lincoln as late as the end of the sum early in 1864 is basically resigned to the inn innefitability to his defeat, more weariness seems to be mounting. he does not expect to win. in fact, don't have time to sketch all the details, but one of the most striking episodes i think in lincoln's presidency, 23rd of august he goes into a cabinet meeting with a memo that he has written in which he basically says, it is exceedingly probably th robo bl will not be reelected. the democratic party is just preparing to meet in its convention in chicago, very near us, in chicago illinois, and that convention will ultimately nominate as its standard
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bearers, these two individuals. the presidential nominee on the left side of the banner, we've met before. this is george mclelland, the commander of the army of the potomac early in the war, a very prominent, very famous and well-known union general. mclelland within the democratic party represented a faction known as war democrats. war democrats were members of the northern democratic party that favored the prosecution of the war very aggressively, definitely wanted to continue the war to preserve the union, but always opposed emancipation. his rung mate is a man who you'll heard of as george pendleton, a congressman from ohio. he's significant in this regard because he wants a party called pie peace of the democratic or copper heads if you ever come
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across that label. peace democrats had basically arrived at the cause that war is a fall and you are continuing the war was a tragic mistake. the democratic party will put these two member together on the same ticket. war democrat and peace democrat. mclelland, even earlier in the war, he takstaked out his posit to regard with abraham linkon. so mclelland's position, continue the war, absolutely reputiate slavery. now the democratic party is closely enough divided between it's peace and war wings there are a lot of peace democrats at chicago, not very happy mclelland is the nominee because
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he's a dem kraocrat. the party lets them write the platform, which is utterly bazabazawi bizarre, but they're going to have a war democrat lead the democrats. this is what they come up with. after four years of failure, to restore the union by the experiment of war, we demand that immediate efforts made for a cessation of hostileities, peace may be restored on the basis of the federal union. what the platform is saying immediately ceasefire negotiation with the south, the only issue, union. emancipation completely off the table. this then is the two sides.
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the two sides are drawn, but one very significant thing happens before the general election. the momentum on the field of battle turns. if there's single critical event, it is the fall of atlanta, which had been the object of union attention since the spring, fall of atlanta on the second of september. this is immediate greeted with jubilation across the north, and may have been the single thing what turns the tied of the northern opinion. in the election that follows, you see two very queer strategies. if you are a democrat, you're going to emphasize race. what nowherthern democrats are going to do throughout the election of 1864 is constantly remind northern voters this is
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an unnecessary war fought to establish racial equality. in the interest of time i'm going to pass over one image here and just move to another one really quickly. this is a drawing that appears in the summer of 1864 that is picking up on a theme that emerges in democratic strategy at the end of 1863. at the end of 1863, a democratic journalist for "the new york world" anonymously authored a pat pamphlet, when he said the agenda of the us, what this author called mesegonation. that term is not much used anymore. it's invented in 1863. it comes from two latin root words which mean it's the verb for to mix, and you guys would recognize the latin word geanous. so it means to mix species
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almost literally, or as typically used here to talk about mixing of the races. this particular author is saying the republican party wants not only total racial equality, it a pyaspires to the inner mixing o races. here we have a drawing of the mesogenation ball. this is what it's going to be like after abraham lincoln is reelected. at the inaugural ball celebrating his re-election, you will have this gathering and what jumps out at you? can you see it well enough to pick up on the message of the artist? kyle? >> yeah, all of the -- lots of white people dancing with african-america african-americans. >> i think if i haven't missed something, every single couple there is inter racial.


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