BECK index

Volume 19: AMERICA & Civil Wars 1845-1865

by Sanderson Beck

America & Civil Wars 1845-1865 has been published as a book.
For ordering information, please click here.


South America 1845-65

Brazil 1845-65
Argentina and Paraguay 1845-65
Chile 1845-65
Venezuela 1845-65
New Granada (Colombia) 1845-65
Bolivia 1845-65
Ecuador 1845-65
Peru 1845-65

Caribbean & Central America 1845-65

Haiti and Santo Domingo 1845-65
Puerto Rico, Cuba & West Indies Colonies 1845-65
El Salvador, Honduras & Union 1845-65
Costa Rica and Guatemala 1845-65
Nicaragua 1845-65
Panama 1845-65

Mexico and Civil Wars 1845-65

Mexico and the American War 1845-48
Mexico and Santa Anna 1848-55
Mexico’s Reforms and Civil War 1856-60
Mexico’s Juárez and the French 1861-64
Mexico and Emperor Maximilian 1864-65

Polk and the US-Mexican War 1845-49

Polk, Texas & Manifest Destiny in 1845
Polk Begins War Against Mexico in 1846
US Conquest of California & New Mexico 1846-49
Polk’s War Against Mexico in 1847
Mexican Cession and the 1848 US Election

US of Taylor, Clay & Fillmore 1849-52

Whigs and Taylor in 1849
Whigs and Taylor in 1850
Fillmore & Clay’s Compromise of 1850
United States Elections & Census of 1850
Fillmore Maintains the Union 1851-53

US of Pierce & Kansas Conflicts 1853-56

Pierce Administration in 1853
Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
Kansas Conflict in 1855
Kansas Conflict Resolved in 1856
United States Politics & Elections of 1856

US Western Expansion & Indians 1845-65

Native Tribes in the West 1845-65
New Mexico Territory 1845-56
New Mexico, Colorado & Arizona 1858-65
California Gold Rush & Politics 1848-65
California Indian Killing
Mormons, Brigham Young & Utah
Oregon & Washington Territory 1845-65

Black Americans & Abolitionists 1845-65

Black Progress in the North 1845-53
Black Progress in the North 1853-60
Blacks During Slavery in the South 1845-60
Harriet Tubman and Solomon Northup
Sojourner Truth and Harriet Jacobs
Frederick Douglass 1845-55
Frederick Douglass 1856-65

United States & Buchanan 1857-59

Buchanan, Dred Scott & Panic in 1857
Kansas & Conflicts over Slavery 1857-58
Lincoln & the Douglas Debates
Buchanan and Elections in 1858
United States in 1859
John Brown’s Crusade Against Slavery

United States Dividing 1860-61

United States in 1860
United States Elections in 1860
United States & Secession in Late 1860
United States & Secession in Early 1861

Lincoln’s War for Union in 1861

Lincoln’s Inauguration March 1861
North & South War Begins in April 1861
Confederate Congress on April 29
North & South Mobilization in May 1861
US Civil War June-July 1861
US Civil War August-October 1861
US Civil War November-December 1861

Lincoln’s War for Union in 1862

US Civil War January-February 1862
US Civil War March-May 1862
US Civil War June-July 1862
US Civil War August-October 1862
US Civil War November-December 1862

Lincoln’s War for Emancipation in 1863

US Civil War January-February 1863
US Civil War March-April 1863
US Civil War May-July 1863
US Civil War August-October 1863
US Civil War November-December 1863

Lincoln’s War for Emancipation in 1864

US Civil War January-February 1864
US Civil War March-April 1864
US Civil War May-June 1864
US Civil War July-August 1864
US Civil War September-October 1864
US Civil War November-December 1864

United States Victory in 1865

US Civil War January-February 1865
US Civil War March 1865
United States Victory in April-May 1865

Canada and British Provinces 1845-65

Canada West & East 1845-49
Canada West & East 1850-56
Canada West & East 1857-65
British Provinces in North America 1845-65

US Peacemakers & Women Reformers 1845-65

American Peacemakers & Abolitionists
Burritt and Ballou on Peace
Thoreau’s Walden & “Civil Disobedience”
Emerson on War, Great Men & Conduct
Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the 19th Century
Mrs. Stanton, Lucretia Mott & Lucy Stone
Susan B. Anthony
Lydia Child, Dorothea Dix & Oneida

American Literature 1845-56

Lowell, Longfellow & Whitman
Stowe & Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Hawthorne’s Novels
Melville’s Sea Novels
Melville’s Satirical Novels

Preventing United States Civil War

How Lincoln Could Have Prevented Civil War
US Civil War Atrocities
How US History Might Have Been Better

Summary & Evaluating America 1845-1865

South America 1845-65
Central America 1845-65
Mexico 1845-65
United States & Mexican War 1845-1852
United States 1853-1859
US Western Expansion & Indian Tribes 1845-65
United States Slavery & Division 1845-60
United States Civil War 1861-1862
United States Civil War 1863-1865
Canada 1845-65
American Reformers & Literature 1845-65
What Could Have Prevented US Civil War?
Evaluating America in 1845-65


World Chronology
Chronology of America to 1865


      This is my fourth volume on the history and ethics of North America and South America and covers the years 1845-1865. During this period most of the people in Latin America had been liberated from colonial domination by Spain and other European powers. Several of these nations abolished slavery in this era without a devastating civil war as occurred in the United States after the election in 1860 of the Republican Abraham Lincoln. The United States with the Monroe Doctrine had previously promised to protect the western hemisphere from interference by European empires. However, President James K. Polk wanted to expand the United States westward, and some Democrats aimed to extend slavery into new states. These desires led to an aggressive war by invading Mexico, and the uneven match of military power resulted in the United States taking over about half of Mexico’s territory. In a way this too was a kind of civil war with a close neighbor while it was per capita the most deadly foreign war in the history of the United States. Mormons went west to Utah, and many people sought gold in California. Native tribes suffered from conflicts with the United States government and military which imposed treaties that were often violated.
      Senator Henry Clay initiated a compromise over slavery in 1850 that President Fillmore approved. Yet the problem of whether slavery would be allowed in territories and new states led to a violent competition in Kansas that those opposing slavery won there by democratic means despite President Pierce’s support for the proslavery side. Presidents Pierce and Buchanan were northern Democrats allied with southerners. James Buchanan had diplomatic experience and opposed war while several states seceded after Lincoln’s election.
      Meanwhile some slaves were educating themselves, writing narratives of their lives, and outstanding individuals like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth worked with other abolitionists to end slavery and for women’s rights. Harriet Tubman and abolitionists helped fugitive slaves. Some women also worked to get educated and wrote books and became abolitionists such as Lucretia Mott and Lydia Child. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and others worked for women’s rights. Emersonian Transcendentalists included Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller. Burritt, Ballou, Garrison, Senator Sumner, and others worked for peace. Harriet Beecher Stowe taught the evils of slavery in her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Hawthorne and Melville explored ethical themes in novels. The poets James Russell Lowell, Longfellow, and Walt Whitman inspired many.
      Latin American nations had their internal conflicts too, and some experienced less destructive civil wars such as the conservative reaction to the Juarez government in Mexico in the late 1850s. When the French invaded Mexico in the 1860s, the United States was busy with its Civil War.
      I have written a series of screenplays about Abraham Lincoln and have admired him for many of his wonderful qualities. Yet in analyzing the consequences of his policies as President in going to war against the newly formed Confederate States of America, it could be seen as perhaps the worst decision in American history. Obviously slavery is a great evil and needed to be abolished, but abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison and others believed that it could be done without violence. Lincoln developed the imperial presidency based on military power, and I believe the United States is in need of many nonviolent changes. I invite readers to examine this history and consider the case I offer in the chapter “Preventing United States Civil War.”

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