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The year 1860 was a very
important year in the history of the United States for various reasons, mainly the
fact that Abraham Lincoln became the countries president and that seven
southern states immediately seceded from the Union after this election. The central
factor in their separation was the fact that they did not trust their newly
found president in working to support slavery even after Abraham stated that he
was not an abolitionist. Lincoln notably reminded the South through his
campaign that if he was able to save the Union by supporting slavery, he would,
as this was his first priority. Lincoln, however also stressed that he would
make sure that the slavery did not spread across the nation. This overall fed
the perception that the welfare of the Southern states was coming into question
by the federal government, and that this direction would ultimately overpower the
institution of slavery or get rid of it all together.


Nonetheless, the South ultimately
did not trust Abraham Lincoln enough to hold on to his declaration and
therefore separated from the Union. The reasons for this mistrust were clearly
shown by their concern for their own wellbeing. The South was taken back by the
election as Lincoln had been chosen without any support from them as he was not
even a candidate on most ballots taken in the South. Once the presidency was official,
the Southern states gathered that they had no influence in the Union and felt that
the North would soon outlaw their way of life which centered itself around

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From this it is able to be concluded
that the secession of the seven states was ultimately determined by the primary
objective of the South’s leadership, which was the perseveration of slavery and
sequentially its economy. The
Southerners were convinced that once slavery was abolished by Lincoln that their
economy would be destroyed. Its now, all these years later able to seen that if
that was the point of their strategy it really was a great disaster.


Also, the white southerners
back in 1860 lived in endless fear of a slavery revolution. The Southern states
experienced violence from slaves in previous years such as the Turner’s
rebellion which took place in August 1831 in Virginia. Where Nat Turner a
leader of rebel slaves killed about 65 people which equated to the largest
slave uprising in the country’s history. They also faced the Haitian Revolution
which was a similar rebellion in the sugar colonies of the south, this action
was taken by self liberated slaves. Preserving these organizations involved
with slavery was a matter of life or death for these white southerners which of
course was the reason why the South left the Union leading to the civil war.

While many southern may have
even thought that ending slavery might have just been the right thing to do,
being able to actually get it done would be close to impossible due to the
great interference it would cause to their economies. Diving a little deeper, a
question that had definitely needed to be answered was what would have been done
with all the slaves once released. If they were free they might take action and
take up arms against the Southern States to get revenge which I’m sure they did
not want to risk. Another question in need of an answer would be the free
blacks competing with the poor whites, again creating competition in wages,
economics and their lifestyle. Abraham Lincoln talks about this in his inaugural
speech to the United States stating he was fearful of what might happen “Apprehension
seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of
a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal
security are to be endangered.” However, ended with a solution that the
Confederate States may acquire new territory while negro slavery will be still
protected by Congress and the territorial government.

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