Friday, August 31, 2012

The Most Important Event in 1860

It occurred at Cooper Union, in New York City. It was Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech. After the speech was reported he became a political personality with national leadership capabilities.

The speech was a piercing objective analysis of the subject of slavery and its status in law. Lincoln outlined the constitutional history of slavery and by addressing the institution head on he highlighted that it was the hottest political issue of the day.

Slavery by itself did not start the Civil War but it was by far the most powerful and main topic of concern of the southern plantation politicians. It’s inclusion in many of the ordinances of secession help to lend credence to this notion.

Lincoln essentially grabbed the bull by the horns in the Cooper Union speech and that eventually catapulted him into the Republican nomination and eventually the presidency. It also gave the hot headed and misguided southerners a reason for secession. Their mistake was they never thought the Unionists, north or south would go to war to save the country they cherished.

Once slavery was the decisive issue it had to be dealt with for a final solution. Lincoln brilliantly used his executive powers for emancipation (a military tactic that had been used for centuries) to his advantage. It was the snowball that rolled down the hill to become the biggest avalanche in American history. It lead to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments which not only rocked the foundations of the American democracy but made slavery a bane of civilized governments on a worldwide basis.

The year 1860 was defined by a speech given by a lawyer from Illinois, in New York City on February 27, 1860. The country still trembles from its connotations.

Read Lincoln's Cooper Union Speech here.

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