Explain the military and social reasons for the North’s victory and the South’s loss in the Civil War (CO#3, CO#5)
Examine and describe the Lower South states’ arguments for seceding from the Union after the election of 1860 and the initial reaction to secession by the Union and President Lincoln (CO#4, CO#5)
Chronicle and explain the shift in Union war aims in 1861 and 1862 from suppressing rebellion to ending slavery. (CO#5)

The Lower South states repudiated the election of 1860 by seceding. In doing so they explained their actions in published ordinances and declarations. Over early 1861, the last few attempts at compromise worked their way through Congress, ultimately failing to stave off the inevitable conflict. Likewise, President Abraham Lincoln attempted during his inaugural address to downplay the controversy as a way of providing room for reconciliation. Once war began, both sides had to reconsider their initial plans and adjust their tactics. The war was not yet a total war in terms of goals or methods (such as economic and popular mobilization) but was fast becoming so.
By the end of 1862, the Civil War had transformed from a quick war to secure independence or to suppress a rebellion (depending on whether you were in the United States or the Confederacy) into a four year conflict that killed more than 600,000 people (2% of the total population). Despite the Confederacy’s military efforts, by the end of 1863 Union forces had gained the upper hand.
In this discussion you will consider the arguments for and against secession and the reason for the Confederacy’s loss and the Union’s victory. Both sides brought with them advantages and disadvantages which they respectively sought to exploit or to minimize. Ultimately, though, the United States prevailed.
In preparation for our discussion be sure to read the Modules Notes, Chapter 14: “The Civil War (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” in The American Yawp, and view Most Hallowed Ground (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Please also read the following primary sources: South Carolina’s Declaration of the Immediate Causes (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (1860), and First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (1861).
Choose either the South or the North to focus on in depth in this discussion, using the sources listed above. Then, examine the following in a post of at least 250 words:

The South: What arguments did Southern states make in favor of secession? What were the Confederacy’s military and societal strengths and weaknesses? What were the most important factors, in the end, in explaining why the Confederacy lost?
The North: What arguments did Union leaders like President Lincoln make regarding secession and slavery in 1861 and how did those arguments change over the course of the war? What were the Union’s military and societal strengths and weaknesses? What were the most important factors, in the end, in explaining why the Union won?

Then, over the course of the week, respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates, including at least one classmate who chose the opposite topic from you.
Your initial post is due by Thursday at 11:59PM. Your responses are due by Sunday at 11:59PM.
Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.” This is a “post first” discussion forum. You must submit your initial post before you can view other students’ posts.
To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.
This discussion will be graded using a rubric. Please review this rubric prior to beginning your work. View the rubric by clicking on the gear icon at the top right side of this page or on the Course Rubrics page within the Start Here module. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade.

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