John Bach McMaster

POPULATION. - In the twenty years which had elapsed since 1840 the population of our country had risen to over 31,000,000. In New York alone there were, in 1860, about as many people as lived in the whole United States in 1789.

THE SITUATION IN 1754. - The French were now in armed possession of the Ohio valley. Their chain of forts bounded the British colonies from Lake Champlain to Fort Duquesne. Unless they were dislodged, all hope of colonial expansion westward was ended. To dislodge them meant war, and the certainty of war led to a serious attempt to unite the colonies.

THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA. - After Lincoln's election, the cotton states, one by one, passed ordinances declaring that they left the Union. First to go was South Carolina (December 20, 1860), and by February 1, 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas had followed. On February 4 delegates from six of these seven states met at Montgomery, Alabama, framed, a constitution, [1] established the "Confederate States of America," and elected Jefferson Davis [2] and Alexander H. Stephens provisional President and Vice President.

The French and Indian War gave the colonists valuable training as soldiers, freed them from the danger of attack by their French neighbors, and so made them less dependent on Great Britain for protection. But the mother country took no account of this, and at once began to do things which in ten years' time drove the colonies into rebellion.

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN, 1863. - After the defeat at Fredericksburg, Burnside was removed, and General Hooker put in command of the Army of the Potomac. "Fighting Joe," as Hooker was called, led his army of 130,000 men against Lee and Jackson, and after a stubborn fight at Chancellorsville (May 1-4, 1863) was beaten and fell back. [1] In June Lee once more took the offensive, rushed down the Shenandoah valley to the Potomac River, crossed Maryland, and entered Pennsylvania with the Army of the Potomac in hot pursuit.

LEXINGTON, 1775. - When the second Continental Congress met (May 10, 1775), the mother country and her colonies had come to blows.

THE SOUTHERN COAST BLOCKADE. - The naval war began with a proclamation of Davis offering commissions to privateers, [1] and two by Lincoln (April 19 and 27, 1861), declaring the coast blockaded from Virginia to Texas.

BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. - When Howe sailed from Boston (in March, 1776), he went to Halifax in Nova Scotia. But Washington was sure New York would be attacked, so he moved the Continental army to that city and took position on the hills back of Brooklyn on Long Island.

THREE ISSUES. - After the collapse of the Confederacy, our countrymen were called on to meet three issues arising directly from the war: -

1. The first was, What shall be done to destroy the institution of slavery? [1]

2. The second was, What shall be done with the late Confederate states? [2]

3. The third had to do with the national debt and the currency.

THE WEST. - After Great Britain obtained from France the country between the mountains and the Mississippi, the British king, as we have seen (p. 143), forbade settlement west of the mountains. But the westward movement of population was not to be stopped by a proclamation. The hardy frontiersmen gave it no heed, and, passing over the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, they hunted, trapped, and made settlements in the forbidden land.

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