The Secession Crisis of 1860, which precipitated the outbreak of the American Civil War, was triggered by the election of Abraham Lincoln earlier that same year. Southerners viewed Abraham Lincoln in particular, and the rising Republican Party in general, as an existential threat to their economy and way of life. In short, the Southern perception of Lincoln did not match the reality of Lincoln.
Using the Mississippi Declaration of Secession, Alexander Stephens’ Cornerstone Speech, and Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address as sources, identify the specific matter in which the perception and reality of the incoming Lincoln Administration were at odds. Why did Southern States feel justified in seceding from the Union, and how did Abraham Lincoln factor into their decision to secede? Additionally, when taking the rest of this week’s material into consideration, what did this crisis expose about the overall health of American politics in 1860?
Open a thread and write a post of at least 250 words to address this prompt. Make sure to reference the three assigned readings specifically identified in the prompt, and use specific examples from all three to support your ideas.