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John Bach McMaster

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

OUR BOUNDARIES. - By the treaty of 1783 our country was bounded on the north by a line (very much as at present) from the mouth of the St. Croix River in Maine to the Lake of the Woods; on the west by the Mississippi River; and on the south by the parallel of 31° north latitude from the Mississippi to the Apalachicola, and then by the present south boundary of Georgia to the sea. [1]

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