In 1861 the bloodiest and one of the most important revolutions in American History
began, The Civil War. Socially this war had been brewing since the beginning of slavery.
This controversial subject had been the object of debate mainly because it required a
balance between free and slave states. Slavery was also a big issue between the
Democrats in the 1860 election because they could not agree on the issue of popular
sovereignty. This eventually led to their splitting which opened up the doors for Lincoln
to take office. After Lincoln was inaugurated in 1860 seven states ceded and later four
more. The south believed they were within their constitutional right to cede. In South
Carolina's Declaration of Causes for Session the state says, "Powers not delegated to the
United States by the constitution...are reserved to the states (Doc A)." This leaves
Lincoln at a quandary over the age old constitutional issue of Nullification and session
debated back in the day of the Virginia Kentucky resolutions and Hartford Convention.
He resolves that it is not within the states power to cede and brings the nation to war. The
eventual victory for the North would bring about one of the greatest changes in history;
the Emancipation Proclamation that forever ended slavery and changed the southern way
With Slavery no more and a Southern society in ruins more changes had to be made in the
Reconstruction revolution. After Lincoln's and Johnson's plans for reconstruction failed,
the Republicans who now controlled congress took the reigns. Socially there was the
large issue of all these freedmen with nowhere to go, who are now demanding equality. In
a petition written just after the war in 1865 from African Americans to the Tennessee
Convention the blacks say, "If we are called to military duty...should...