Civlil War Dbq

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At the outset of the Civlil War, Lincoln originally wanted to limit the amount of bloodshed and destruction as much as humanly possible. The goal was not to destroy the south, or to engage in any prolonged warfare costing valuable lives and resources for the Union. “Erring secessionist staes were to be taken back into the Union, and Southern society was to be reshaped (80).” McGovern further adds that “The authoirty of the national government was to be reestablished by respecting, not abusing, the constitutional rights of the rebels (80).” However, this turned out not to bode well for Union forces. Though the gaol was to avoid “A harsh, vindictive war [that] would inflame the passions of the rebels and only delay reunion (80),” it seems, given the political and social climate of the times, that the storm of war was …show more content…

This then lead to a change in the Union’s military strategy, from limited war, to total war, which soon seemed to become the only option the north had in settling its dispute with th e south, and visa versa. Lincoln “would never again adhere to the position that a passive containment strategy would suffice to bring the Confederates to their senses and win the war (83).” And so he redesigned the Union’s battlepalns to focus on taking the Mississippi Valley, using the superior numbers, weapons, and industry of the north to muster up forces that would threaten the position of Confederate forces throughouthe south, namely by forcing them to relocate their forces which were stong in one area, to match the Union presence in the other, thereby weaking the Confederate position in the former. This was the concept of total war that Lincoln came to espouse and implement in Union military

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