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Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States of America.

Updated on January 21, 2012

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A Brief History of Jefferson Davis and The Confederacy



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Jefferson Davis was born in a log cabin in Kentucky the same year as Abraham Lincoln. He grew up in Mississippi and served that state in the United States Congress.


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Davis graduated from the West Point military academy, fought in the Mexican War, and served as Secretary of War in the administration of Franklin Pierce.


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He opposed the Compromise of 1850 as being unfair to the South. He also demanded protection by legislation for slavery in the territories.


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In February of 1861, delegates from seven seceding states elected Jefferson Davis president of The Confederate States of America. He served in that capacity until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Davis succeeded in eluding the Federal troops who captured Richmond and escaped into South Carolina where he was eventually captured posing as a woman.


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For many years after the American Revolution, state legislatures and the United States Congress debated about slavery. Many prominent legislators and senators such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and others proposed legislation to appease those who advocated abolishing slavery and at the same time ease tensions between the southern states and the North. One of the centerpieces of the slavery question was what to do about slavery in the territories that were administered by the United States. Territories including soon-to-be states, such as Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas, and California, were coming into the union and there was great controversy as to whether they should be allowed to approve of slavery or be forced to entry into the union as a free state.


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Senators in the United States Congress proposed the Compromise of 1850 that was accepted by some and heatedly condemned by others. Eventually it passed and in 1861 Virginia seceded from the United States over the issue of States Rights, followed rapidly by South Carolina and the remaining states that formed The Confederate States of America. South Carolina declared war on the United States and fired artillery at Federal forces in FortSumter located in Charleston harbor.


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Federal and Confederate forces clashed at Bull Run, or Manassas, near WashingtonD.C. in the first major battle of the war and were soundly beaten.


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Robert E. Lee, a former colonel in the United States Army, was appointed to take command of all the Confederate forces and led The Army of Virginia throughout the Civil War. His mandate from The Confederate government was simply to protect Richmond, Virginia, the capitol of the Confederacy. He routinely defeated Union forces in battle after battle until a little known general from the west became head of the union armies, Ulysses S. Grant.


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Through Grant’s bulldog persistence, he forced Lee into surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia and the Civil War came to an end. The Confederacy was disbanded and Federal forces maintained martial law for a number of years in the South until Reconstruction came to an end.

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    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      It never seemed to me that Lincoln was that bothered by slavery.

    • bgpappa profile image

      bgpappa 8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Good Hub. Lincoln wasn't bothered by slavery until later on in his life. He was never perfect on the issue.

    • Jerry Watson profile image
      Author

      Jerry Watson 8 years ago from Hermitage, Tennessee

      Lincoln wasn't a fan of slavery but didn't feel the need to condon it or condemn it by way of legislation. Radical Republicans and abolitionists nationwide pretty much forced his hand to issue the emancipation proclamation, that and an upcoming election. Thanks for reading my hub! I appreciate your comments!

    • Mike Hunt profile image

      Mike Hunt 8 years ago from A bunker deep in the woods somewhere in Missouri

      Very Nice Thank You

    • Jerry Watson profile image
      Author

      Jerry Watson 8 years ago from Hermitage, Tennessee

      YOu're welcome, Mike. Thanks for reading this hubpage! Have a great weekend!

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

      Lincoln asked Frederick Douglas to prepare an evacuation plan to lead the slaves out of the south, in case they lost the war. The truth being, Freeing the slaves cause Lincoln his life.

    • Jerry Watson profile image
      Author

      Jerry Watson 7 years ago from Hermitage, Tennessee

      Hello Ms. Morton,

      I don't deny that freeing the slaves cost Mr. Lincoln his life indirectly, and I'm aware of Mr. Douglas but in all the reading I've done about Mr. Lincoln, the Civil War, and the issues of slavery and states rights, I have not come across the evacuation plan you speak of. Could you send me your references for that please? In case who lost the war, the south or the north? Thanks for reading my posts. I also appreciate your comments.

      Best Regards,

      Jerry

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

      In case the North lost the War. The south wanted to keep their slaves. That what the war was all about. I will have to look throught my documents. but I am sure you might be able to pull up something with Google.

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

    • profile image

      Jerry 7 years ago

      Very interesting. I appreciate you sending me that link. Thanks again.

    • Hi-Jinks profile image

      Hi-Jinks 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      You did Jefferson David proud. Four paragraphs.

      Lincoln had to fight one war and issue at a time, and smart enough to do it.

      Do a piece on Robert E. Lee. He is the key and the cause.

    • profile image

      Jerry Watson 7 years ago

      Thanks, Hi-Jinks. I just might do that. But at some point in the future, I'm afraid. Writing for money and working on a first draft of my third novel first. Check out my historical novel, The Antiquarian Chronicles, at http://JerryWatsonCommunications.com or http:JerryWatson.wordpress.com You can also find it on Amazon.com or through your friendly neighborhood bookstore.

    • Hi-Jinks profile image

      Hi-Jinks 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I used to be a Civil War buff-rein-actor. I too am a writer. Do you need ideas to write a provocative American Civil War novel?

    • profile image

      Jerry Watson 7 years ago

      Civil War reenacting always looked like fun to me. I have a small collection of black powder replica guns but can't buy black powder around here anymore. Glad to hear you're a writer. What do you write? I'm working on a sequel to my first novel, The Antiquarian Chronicles, right now while working on getting a publisher for my second novel about the Spanish American War called, Time of Decision. So, I've got a lot of material to work on when I'm not freelance writing. But thanks for the offer.

    • profile image

      Michael DeShazo 7 years ago

      It is sad that once the war was over the Federals did very little to prepare the freedmen for freedom, as a result the American Negro suffered over a century of hardship and depravation. I'm a proud southerner who is proud of Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee. Having said that slavery was a poor economic vehicle for production and inhumane to boot. We are still paying for the divisions created by that period of insanity.

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