Saturday, January 22, 2011

I've been closely following the NYT's Disunion series. There have been many interesting posts, but I'll limit this post to two things:

1) Did Buchanan provoke two states' secessions?

But the question remains: Wouldn’t the six other Lower South states have joined South Carolina in January in any case, even if Buchanan had prolonged his December stall on military intervention? Probably. In Florida and Mississippi, the military excitements could have only fattened the secessionists already huge majorities. But elsewhere, the aftermath of Buchanan’s Star of the West decision just may have deflected the verdict. Especially in closely contested Georgia and Louisiana, public uproars may have boosted the secessionists to their razor-thin victories.
2) If Lincoln had known how long and bloody the Civil War had would be, I wonder if he would have stuck to his principles, opposing any compromise that left open a possible future conquest of Cuba and the expansion of slavery thereto.


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