- May 12, 2019
- Reaction score
Lincoln also believed that he did not have the authority to grant secession, only Congress and Congress was not in session. Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, was not briefed about Fort Sumter by Buchanan. Steward's meddling did not help and Fort Sumter was fired on April 12, 1861 about 6 weeks after Lincoln took the office. If the South wanted a negotiation, there was time, but the default was war and not peace.My two cents worth is the secessionist states were determined to bring on a conflict. There was a popular fantasy of a second revolution, a second bid for independence from an oppressive tyrant. They wanted 13 states, just like 13 colonies and so accepted Missouri and Kentucky whether they had decided or not! The Union did not act like Britain had - the British did not want the American colonies badly enough to bring the full weight of their impressive military to the fight. I do believe negotiations would not have been productive unless Lincoln nodded his head yes to everything the Confederates wanted. After the shooting war opened, he simply could not negotiate, at least not openly, because his position was there was nobody to negotiate with. Such a procedure would legitimatize the secession and recognize the CSA.