Jefferson asked Lewis to fully explain to the Indians that the white explorers were interested in trade, not in seizing their lands (Ambrose 154). This showed that Jefferson used a steady hand and smart policies regarding the Western frontier and that he understood diplomacy with the Native Americans, whom he respected very much.
The Civil War: The fact is, most Americans probably believe that the only issue that precipitated the Civil War was slavery, and though slavery was at the center of the north-south feud, it was not alone as a spotlighted issue. The bottom line issue that tore the country apart was state's rights; in other words, did states have a right to go against the will of the national government? Could a Southern state continue to keep slaves in bondage because their cotton crops (hence, their economic power to survive) depended on slave labor? The answer of course is no, states may not make up their own laws that supercede federal legislation in matters of national interest that have been passed by Congress.
Author James McPherson writes that the defeat of the Confederate army was due partly to the "loss of the will to fight" after key losses. That loss of will occurred because "…Defeat causes demoralization and the loss of will; victory pumps up morale and the will to win." One interesting irony that needs to be emphasized is that on March 25, 1862, runaway slaves actually replaced Southern sailors (who had abandoned efforts to ram the ironclad USS Merrimack), according to an article in the New York Amsterdam News...
And the Merrimack was not sunk by the Union army; instead, after the rebel forces surrendered Norfolk, Virginia, Capt. Tattnall "ordered his ship blown up to prevent the U.S. from seizing her" (McPherson).
As to end result of the bloody Civil War, during which an estimated 360,000 Union army troops and 260,000 rebel troops were killed McPherson makes several key points. One, it can be said that four million slaves were liberated; two, the union was preserved; three, while 11 of the initial 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had "…limited the powers of the national government," six of the first seven following the Civil War "vastly expanded those powers at the expense of the states" (McPherson, 859). And also, interestingly and somewhat ironically, during the first 72 years of the republic (up to the year 1861), 49 of those years the president of the U.S. had owned slaves (two-thirds of the time). But after the Civil War, a hundred years passed before a resident of a state that had been under the confederacy was elected president.
Ambrose, Stephen E. (1996). Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson,
and the Opening of the American West. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Jones, Robert Francis. (2002). George Washington: ordinary man, extraordinary leader.
Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press.
McPherson, James M. (1988). Battle Cry of Freedom: the Civil War Era. New York:
Miller Center. (2008). American President: An Online Reference Resource / Thomas
Jefferson. Retrieved June 25, 2009, from http://millercenter.org.
Rozell, Mark J., Pederson, William D., and Williams, Frank J. (2000). George
Washington and the origins of the American presidency. Abingdon, UK:…
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