Strategic Objective Of Northern And Southern Interests From 1830 To 1862

1148 words - 5 pages

Strategic Objective of Northern and Southern Interests from 1830 to 1862
From 1830 to 1862, there were major differences in the strategic objectives of Northerners and Southerners. Before the war, the objectives of Northern Whigs, Republicans, and Southern Democrats varied from the objectives of the Union and the Confederacy in the first two years of the war itself. As the war began to materialize and fighting began, one can say that the overall objectives of each side started to change.
Established in 1834, the Whig party began as a reaction to the policies of President Andrew Jackson. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were the luminaries of the Whig party. After the Mexican American ...view middle of the document...

108). They stressed the importance of free labor institutions over the slave system in the South. They insisted in stopping the spread of slavery to the new territories. Though this opposition to slave labor was not rooted in morality, but rather it focused on the benefits that would accrue to white labors living without competition from slaves (Green, pg. 110). Republicans idealized the industrial worker who sold his own labor and, through thrift and hard work, achieved independence and social position (Soos, pg. 2). They believed labor was to be dignified. The anti-slavery ideology of the Republican Party was not religiously based, nor did the Party’s opposition to slavery rest upon moral grounds as often put forward by abolitionists. It was strictly a political and economic ideology (Soos, pg. 2). The idea of free labor represented a model society, one that was superior to the slave society in the South. It offered the average worker the opportunity to obtain the fruit of his labor, to move up in the world, and to create not only wealth for himself but also economic opportunity for others. Republicans believed that the slave system did not encourage industry, innovation, or creativity, but instead it encouraged discouraged economic growth and implied that labor was undignified (Soos, pg. 3).
Before the war began, Southern Democrats sought to preserve and extend the use of slave labor. They believed that a Republican administration could wipe out four hundred and thirty million dollars of capital investment in slaves (Goldfield, ch. 7). They claimed that the Union would be steeling from them, as southern property was in slaves. Southern slave owners insisted that there were many benefits to slavery. They said that free labor in the North is no better than slave labor, because it is essentially “wage slavery” (Soos, pg. 8). Slaveholders insisted that the slave system was the best system for the black man. It provided food, shelter, clothing, etc. In contrast, the free laborer of the North did not always have the basics for survival; they would need to provide them for themselves. Southern Democrats pushed for popular sovernty; where each territory or state would come up with their own rules on slaves (Goldfield, pg. 124). They feared that slave states would be under represented. It was imperative for Southern states to maintain at least an even amount of slave state and free state Senators, so that...

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