• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Lincoln vs. Davis in the Civil War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lincoln vs. Davis in the Civil War Both Lincoln and Davis were effective leaders in their own right but we must measure their respective achievements in terms of the extent to which they overcame the different challenges they faced. Lincoln's was to employ the full capacity of the North's superior resources whilst unifying disparate Northern opinions behind the war effort. He also had to preclude Britain's involvement in the war; if Britain took sides and aided the South, the North would be facing a far greater adversity. Davis' challenge was to solicit Britain's help and maintain support, both within his cabinet and, more generally, within the South. Of course, he also had to muster all the resources and supplies that the southern economy had to offer, while sustaining the war effort for some length of time at least. We can compare both leaders had by observing their success in fulfilling four requirements: the mobilisation of the war effort; the mobilisation of the home front; strategies and military appointments; and diplomacy. One factor to consider was each leader's mobilisation of the war effort. As we have said, Lincoln's primary objective was to bring to bear upon the South the full extent of the North's resources. He managed to raise two billion dollars in bonds with which to invest in the war effort and equip the Army of the Potomac. ...read more.

Middle

Lincoln ordered thousands of arrests, kept political enemies in prison without bringing charges against them, refused these hapless men their right to trial by a jury of their peers, and ignored orders from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to release them. In his first few months in office he made the most direct violations of the Constitution in the Nation's history. He increased the size of the Regular Army without Congressional approval, spent money without Congressional authorisation, suspended the writ of habeas corpus without authority and avoided consultation with the other two branches of the government. He neglected the Constitution but managed to retain the popular appeal of the masses. Davis, contrarily, was handicapped by the excessive individualism which characterised the South's ruling classes and did little to disband these divisions. The individualism was a product of the plantation system. Each planter was in effect a petty sovereign and his exalted status tended to make him self-reliant, proud, resentful of opposition, and averse to teamwork. Davis lacked popular appeal. At no time in his life did he mingle freely with the masses under circumstances that might have enabled him to develop an appreciation of their aspirations and virtues. He never felt close to them, nor they to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

They fought McClellan to a standstill with their backs to the Potomac. They remained on the field for another day, when they could have retreated. Lee gave Davis all of the ammunition required for a diplomatic stratagem. Nothing Lee or the other war heroes of the Confederacy did on the battlefield measured up to what Lincoln did with manipulating public opinion both home and abroad. In making comparisons with the Revolutionary War, which many historians prefer to do, it will be remembered that the future of the Revolution looked bleak until the Continental army's victory over the British and Hessians at Saratoga. However, this victory alone accomplished nothing. It was very important to have strong statesmen in foreign capitals extolling the accomplishments of the armies in the field. At this, the Continental Congress was very proficient but the Confederate diplomats were not so perceptive. Quite simply the South failed to attain the only asset that would enable victory. In summary, Lincoln was superior in the areas of leadership that mattered most. He was better war leader, with the courage and tenacity to go to great lengths to achieve victory. Davis was perhaps too cautious in some respects but he cannot be solely imputed for the South's defeat since there are many aspects of leadership that he fulfilled adequately; there were circumstances that could not be overcome and determined that the South would lose despite Davis' best efforts. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. To what extent do you agree with Abraham Lincoln that slavery was 'somehow the ...

    Cotton became a great importance in the Southern economy when Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This was a revolution to Southern agriculture. Cotton farming was a very lucrative business and the Southern farmers earned a lot of money from it.

  2. Compare The Political Leadership Of Lincoln and Davis.

    In a sense the Northern economy ran itself. Fortunately for Lincoln, Northern factories were able to meet all the needs of the war- and more. After 1863 the Northern economy boomed. The fact that the Union was able to produce both 'guns' and 'butter' helped Northern morale.

  1. What is the short term significance of the Emancipation Proclamation?

    What was clear from this was that the US army was microcosm of the US society. Abraham Lincoln was known as the 'Great Emancipator' after he declared the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln did not want black Americans to be equal to white Americans, his decision to free them some would argue

  2. Why were the Liberals defeated in the general election of 1874?

    Finally, the third part was meant for the uplift of charitable institutions, such as asylums and hospitals. His second major reform in Ireland was the Land Act of 1870. The essence of this legislation was that it legalised a custom that had been prevailing in Ulster province, by which the

  1. Assess the Generalship of Robert E. Lee

    This however, was a national strategy that was up to Jefferson Davis and not a military strategy. McPherson states that "National Strategy, the defining of a nation's political goals In time of war; and military strategy, the ways in which armed forces are used to achieve these goals".

  2. America's Reconstruction as Revolution

    Not long after the denial of the Freedman's Bureau Bill, congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This act was meant to extend all the rights of the whites to the blacks, except for the right to vote.

  1. US Popular Culture - Woody Guthrie Biography

    When Will Geer left California for New York , he insisted on Woody to visit. A few months later, opportunities in Los Angeles dried up, so Woody moved his family back to Texas before he could visit New York in 1940.

  2. Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

    any other book in the language, and this was apparent, both from his style of his illustrations, so often taken from that book. He verified the maxim that it is better to know thoroughly a few good books than to read many" (Internet).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work