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Доклад: History of the USA бесплатно рефераты

groups--Irish Catholics and Germans--concurred, voting strongly Democratic in

order to ward off the imposition of Yankee morals. During the presidency of

Martin VAN BUREN (1837-41), Democrats succeeded in entirely separating

banking and government in the INDEPENDENT TREASURY SYSTEM, by which the

government stored and controlled its own funds. A brief Whig interlude under

William Henry HARRISON (1841) and John TYLER (1841-45) was followed by the

presidency of the Democrat James K. POLK (1845-49), who in the Walker Tariff

(1846) brought the United States closer to a free-trade basis.

Growing Sectional Conflicts

President Polk's war with Mexico ripped open the slavery question again. Was

it to be allowed in the new territories? The WILMOT PROVISO (1846), which

would have excluded slavery, became a rallying point for both sides, being

voted on again and again in Congress and successfully held off by

southerners. Abolitionism, led by William Lloyd GARRISON and others and now

strong in many northern circles, called for the immediate emancipation of

slaves with no compensation to slaveowners. Most northern whites disliked

blacks and did not support abolition; they did want to disallow slavery in

the territories so they could be preserved for white settlement based on

northern ideals: free labor, dignity of work, and economic progress.

In 1848 northerners impatient with both of the existing parties formed the

FREE-SOIL PARTY. By polling 300,000 votes for their candidate, Martin Van

Buren, they denied victory to the Democrats and put the Whig Zachary TAYLOR

in the White House (1849-50; on his death Millard FILLMORE became president,

1850- 53). The COMPROMISE OF 1850 seemed to settle the slavery expansion

issue by the principle of POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY, allowing the people who lived

in the Mexican cession to decide for themselves. A strong FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW

was also passed in 1850, giving new powers to slaveowners to reach into

northern states to recapture escaped slaves.


As the 1850s began, it seemed for a time that the issue of slavery and other

sectional differences between North and South might eventually be reconciled.

But with the westward thrust of the American nation, all attempts at

compromise were thwarted, and diverging economic, political, and

philosophical interests became more apparent. The resulting civil war

transformed the American nation.

Political Fragmentation

In 1854 the KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT threw open the huge unorganized lands of the

Louisiana Purchase to popular sovereignty, repealing the Missouri Compromise

line of 1820. The North exploded in rage. Thousands defected from the Whig

party to establish a new and much more antisouthern body (and one wholly

limited to the northern states), the REPUBLICAN PARTY. The Republicans were

aided by an enormous anti-Catholic outburst under way at the same time, aimed

at the large wave of Irish Catholic immigration. Anti-Catholicism was already

draining away Whigs to a new organization, the American party, soon known as

the KNOW-NOTHING PARTY. When in 1856 it proved unable to hold together its

members, north and south, because of disagreements over slavery, the anti-

Catholics joined the Republicans.

In Kansas civil war broke out between pro-slavery and anti- slavery

advocates, as settlers attempted to formalize their position on the

institution prior to the territory's admission as a state. The Democratic

presidents Franklin PIERCE (1853-57) and James BUCHANAN (1857-61) appeared to

favor the pro-slavery group in Kansas despite its use of fraud and violence.

In 1857 the Supreme Court, southern dominated, intensified northern alarm in

its decision in the case of DRED SCOTT V. SANDFORD. The Court ruled that

Congress had no authority to exclude slavery from the territories and thus,

that the Missouri Compromise line had been unconstitutional all along.

Thousands of northerners now became convinced that a "slave conspiracy" had

infiltrated the national government and that it intended to make slavery a

nationwide institution.

In 1860 the political system became completely fragmented. The Democrats

split into northern and southern wings, presenting two different candidates

for the presidency; the small CONSTITUTIONAL UNION PARTY attempted to rally

the former Whigs behind a third. The Republicans, however, were able to

secure the election of Abraham LINCOLN to the White House.

Southerners had viewed the rise of the Yankee-dominated Republican party with

great alarm. They were convinced that the party was secretly controlled by

abolitionists (although most northerners detested the abolitionists) and that

Yankees believed in using government to enforce their moralistic crusades. In

1859, John BROWN led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va.,

hoping to incite a slave insurrection. His action--and his subsequent

deification by some northerners- -helped persuade southerners that

emancipation of the slaves, if northerners obtained control of the country,

was sooner or later inevitable.


Southern leaders had threatened to leave the Union if Lincoln won the

election of 1860. Many South Carolinians, in particular, were convinced that

Republican-sponsored emancipation would lead to bloody massacres as blacks

sought vengeance against whites. In order to prevent this horror South

Carolina seceded in December 1860, soon after the victory of Lincoln, an

undeniably sectional candidate; it was optimistic about the eventual outcome

of its action. Before Lincoln's inauguration (March 1861) six more states

followed (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas). In

February their representatives gathered in Montgomery, Ala., to form the

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. On Apr. 12, 1861, when President Lincoln moved

to reprovision the federal troops at FORT SUMTER, in Charleston Harbor,

Confederate shore batteries launched a 34-hour battering of the installation,

forcing its surrender. The U.S. CIVIL WAR had begun.

The War between the States

Lincoln moved swiftly. On April 15 he called the remaining states to provide

75,000 troops to put down the Confederacy; Virginia, Arkansas, North

Carolina, and Tennessee reluctantly seceded. The capital of the Confederacy

moved to Richmond. On July 21, 1861, the first major battle between Union and

Confederate forces occurred--at Bull Run (see BULL RUN, BATTLES OF), south of

Washington, D.C.--resulting in a dramatic southern victory. Thereafter, both

sides settled down to a long conflict.

It became an immense struggle. With a total U.S. population of fewer than 32

million, the number of dead reached 620,000 (360,000 northerners out of an

army of about 1.5 million and 260,000 southerners in an army of about 1

million). In contrast, during World War II, when the American population was

135 million and its military forces fought for 4 years throughout the world,

the total dead reached 400,000. In 1861 about 22 million people lived in the

North, as against some 9 million people in the South, of whom 3.5 million

were black. Although the North possessed a vigorous system of industry and a

well-developed railroad network, Europeans were highly skeptical of a

northern victory because the Confederacy was practically as large as Western

Europe and fought with a determined passion for its independence. The North

had to invade and defeat the opposition in order to win; the South had only

to defend its borders. The conflict was not so uneven as it seemed.

Lincoln launched an all-out effort: he declared a naval blockade of the

Confederacy; worked hard to maintain the loyalty of the slaveholding border

states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri); invaded Tennessee to

gain a base of power in the heart of the Confederacy; cut the South in two by

taking the Mississippi River; and looked for a general who could win. This

last task took him 2 years. Gen. George B. MCCLELLAN proved disappointingly

conservative, and his successors were bumblers. After Gen. Ulysses S. GRANT

won major victories in the western theater, Lincoln brought him to Washington

in 1864 to face the brilliant Confederate commander, Robert E. LEE.

By mid-1863 the South was in desperate straits, lacking both food and

supplies. A great northward thrust was turned back at Gettysburg, Pa., in

July of that year (see GETTYSBURG, BATTLE OF). Thereafter, Grant mounted a

relentless campaign that hammered down toward Richmond, at hideous cost in

casualties. Union Gen. William T. SHERMAN, meanwhile, was slashing through

Georgia to the sea, leaving a wide swath of total destruction, and then

turning northward through the Carolinas. By April 1865, Grant had finally

rounded Lee's flank, and on the 9th of that month, Lee surrendered at

APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE. Confederate president Jefferson DAVIS intended to

fight on, but it was hopeless. The Civil War was over.

A Nation Transformed: The North

The war had transformed both North and South. On Jan. 1, 1863, Lincoln had

issued his EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, declaring slavery dead wherever

rebellion existed (in the border states, it was terminated by later local

action). In addition, the enormous war effort taught the North lessons in

modern organization and the use of large corporations. In Washington the

Republican majority enacted a classically Hamiltonian program: high

protective tariffs, lavish aid to capitalists to build railroads and exploit

natural resources, free homestead grants for settlers, and banking and

currency legislation that created one national system of paper money. The

MORRILL ACT of 1862 provided grants of land for the establishment of land-

grant universities in each state to train the agriculturalists, engineers,

and other professionals needed to run an industrialized economy.

The two-party system survived in the North despite the war. Democrats never

sank below 40 percent of the vote because many northerners opposed the

conflict, or at least Republican policies. In the DRAFT RIOTS of 1863, Irish

Catholics and other New Yorkers fiercely protested the new conscription law,

which seemed a special hardship to poor people. The rioters, as well as many

other northerners, were hostile toward abolition; they feared that Republican

policies would send hordes of freed slaves northward to compete for jobs.

Democrats also opposed the powerful centralizing tendencies of the programs

pushed by the Republicans, as well as their aid to capitalists.


A week after Appomattox, Lincoln was assassinated. Now Andrew JOHNSON assumed

office and moved quickly to establish a plan for RECONSTRUCTION. He asked

southern whites only to repudiate debts owed by the Confederacy, declare

secession null and void, and ratify the 13TH AMENDMENT (which declared

slavery illegal). When Congress convened in December 1865, newly elected

southerners were already on the scene waiting to be admitted to their seats.

Many of them had been elected on the basis of BLACK CODES, established in the

southern states in 1865-66 to restore a form of quasi-slavery. To the shocked

and angered North, it seemed that the sufferings endured in the war had been

in vain: politics as before the war--only now with a powerful southern

Democratic bloc in Congress--would resume.

The Republican majority in Congress refused to admit southern legislators to

their seats until a congressional committee reexamined the entire question of

Reconstruction. Soon, Radical Republicans (those who wished to use the

victory as an opportunity to remake the South in the Yankee image) were in

open conflict with Johnson. He attempted to terminate the FREEDMEN'S BUREAU

(an agency established in 1865 to aid refugees) and to veto legislation aimed

at protecting the civil rights of former slaves (see CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS). In

the congressional election of 1866 a huge majority of Republicans was

elected, and the Radicals gained a precarious ascendancy. Senator Charles

SUMNER of Massachusetts and Representative Thaddeus STEVENS (New England-

born) of Pennsylvania were among the leaders of the Radical cause.

The 14TH AMENDMENT (enacted in 1866; ratified in 1868) made all persons born

or naturalized in the country U.S. citizens and forbade any state to

interfere with their fundamental civil rights. In March 1867 all state

governments in the South were terminated and military occupation established.

Federal commanders were charged with reconstructing southern governments

through constitutional conventions, to which delegates were to be elected by

universal male suffrage. After a new state government was in operation and

had ratified the 14th Amendment, its representatives would be admitted to

Congress. In February 1868 an impeachment effort sought unsuccessfully to

remove President Johnson from office.

The Republican majority in Congress made no significant effort to create

social equality for blacks, but only to give them the vote and to ensure them

equal protection under the law (trial by jury, freedom of movement, the right

to hold office and any employment, and the like). This political equality

would give blacks an equal start, Republicans insisted, and they would then

carry the burden of proving themselves equal in other ways. Yet Republicans

well knew that antiblack attitudes persisted in the North as well as in the

South. Until ratification (1870) of the 15TH AMENDMENT, which made it illegal

to deny the vote on the grounds of race, most northern states refused blacks

the vote.

A Nation Transformed: The South

Like the North, the South was transformed by the Civil War and its aftermath.

Southerners had learned lessons in the effectiveness of a strong central

government and realized the impossibility of continuing the old ways of the

antebellum period. Former Whigs in the South, often called Conservatives,

pushed eagerly to build industry and commerce in the Yankee style. Meanwhile,

reconstructed southern state governments enacted many reforms, establishing

free public schools for all, popular election of all officials, more

equitable taxes, and more humane penal laws.

Republican Ulysses S. Grant was elected president in 1868 with electoral

votes gained in occupied southern states. Democrats alleged that Radical

Reconstruction was not genuinely concerned with aiding black people, but with

using southern black votes to keep the Republicans in power in Congress and

to retain their protective tariffs and other aids to industrialists. When

evidence of corruption surfaced during the Grant administration, Democrats

declared that it proved that the outcome of Republican friendliness to

capitalists was graft and plunder.

By 1870 the antisouthern mood that had supported Radical Reconstruction had

faded, as had the surge of concern for southern blacks. New domestic problems

were pushing to the fore. A resurgence of white voting in the South, together

with the use of violence to intimidate blacks and their white sympathizers,

brought southern states back into Democratic hands. Northerners, awakened to

economic questions by the great depression that began in 1873 and lasted for

5 years, tacitly agreed to return the race issue to the control of southern


After the disputed election of 1876, amid evidence of electoral corruption,

the Republican presidential candidate promised to withdraw the last federal

occupation troops from the South. The election was decided by a congressional

electoral commission, and Rutherford B. HAYES became president. As promised,

he withdrew (1877) the troops; Reconstruction was over.


The era known as the GILDED AGE (1870s to 1890s) was a time of vigorous,

exploitative individualism. Despite widespread suffering by industrial

workers, southern sharecroppers, displaced American Indians, and other

groups, a mood of optimism possessed the United States. The theories of the

English biologist Charles Darwin--expounded in The Origin of Species (1859)--

concerning the natural selection of organisms best suited to survive in their

environment began to influence American opinion. Some intellectuals in the

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