The author depicts times and periods when America was suffering from civil wars between 1861and 1865. Confederates led by Jefferson Davis fought for their recognition and to be declared independent whereas the federalist who constituted the executive government of the United States led by President Abraham Lincoln stood on their ground. They demanded for unconditional surrender of the confederates, who adamantly refused, heightening the civil war. Negotiations did not prove to be the best idea to bring peace and therefore, the only arbitration method that would bring peace in America was the sword. This marks a remarkable history of Americans that reminds them of challenges they had to cope with before they achieved the current peace.
The issues, through which these wars developed, freedom versus slavery, union versus disunion, could not allow peace to be negotiated. It was believed that for peace to prevail then one of two events was required to occur. This was either making sure that union is maintained, which indicated that rebellion of the south must be crushed, or a nation being conceived on slavery established successfully. The condition left no chance for compromise.
The president of United States at the time, Abraham Lincoln, refused to rely on negotiation as a means of bringing peace. The refusal was instigated by the fact that if United States negotiated treaty, it would have constituted to recognition of confederate sovereignty being a separate nation. Although formal negotiations were rebuffed, numerous efforts that were directed to achieving peace were embraced. These efforts happened in stages which included quasi-official conversations, foreign mediations and unofficial contacts but they all failed.
Foreign countries tried to initiate mediation process but this was bluntly refused by the federalist who claimed that they would break relations with agencies and governments that will recognize confederacy. This painted the situation as hopeless and led to loss of trust of the American president. The federalists maintained there was no existence of another administration in American land.
Lincoln’s administration was striving to have confederacy surrender unconditionally whereas Jefferson Davis’ administration argued that confederate independence must be recognized unconditionally. This made the possible chances for negotiated peace become nil. Later Lincoln offered pardon to confederates who were ready to take oath of allegiance to America agreeing to obey the states laws. This was meant to retail a policy on unconditional surrender which very few people took advantage of.
Meanwhile, exchange of fire had become order of the day heightening the civil war. This affected the northerners to a point of believing that confederacy would not be defeated and any attempt to win will result to a too heavy load for them to bear. This made many to start calling for peace negotiations again and a cease-fire. Many people had suddenly become tired of bloodshed and were demanding for peace negotiation even if it meant confederates taking the day.
The demands for peace hit Lincoln’s deaf ears who remained rigid to his former decision. He then saw a chance where he would rally the northern opinion and demonstrate that acceptable peace will only prevail through the victory of the military. His intention by allowing propositions for peace, through accepting union’s integrity and abolition of slavery, were to not only to bring out his conditions but also to put away confederacy unacceptable offers. This was totally unacceptable to confederates and accused president Lincoln of shedding crocodile tears over the issue.
Conquering of the confederates
The refusal by confederates led to realization of a possible failure in the coming elections. But then, there was a turn around that oversaw change in everything. After Lincoln was reelected again back to the presidency he faced the issue head on for there to exist honorable peace. This will only come through conquering the enemies of peace, who according to the president, were the confederates. The confederates’ leader stated that they could only obtain peace through war, and actually they fought it out for another two months. The fight that led the unconditional surrender of confederates was responsible for the death of thousands of young men. This was the fight that oversaw the end of civil war in the United States and peace flourishing again.
The author depicts that sometimes there are no possibility of having peace without victory. This will occur when there exists two options which prove impossible to mediate or there is occurrence of disputes which involve matters concerning principle and only two options can be reliable: yes or no. according to such a case, yes would mean one side winning whereas no indicates the victory of the other side.
Moreover, there are also some conflicts which arise from misunderstanding. In conflicts, such as labor unions, there are possibilities of striking a compromise that would lead to establishment of peace that would satisfy both sides. Although this is true, not all conflicts come to an end following this clear understanding by the two bargaining sides. The conflict between the confederates and federalist fell in this category. No group was ready to consider propositions from the other party. Therefore, the solution to the civil war did not lie in mediation or negotiation but in another approach.
No peace without victory is an analogy that depicts war is a good method of solving conflicts where consensus cannot be reached. Although numerous negotiation processes were embraced to calm the civil war that arose in America in 1861, they did not pay. The condition that had led to the war between confederates and federalists demanded for a method that would solve the issue completely and give way to peace. American president at the time, Abraham Lincoln asked for unconditional surrender of confederates of confederates which they refused and thus winning the war was only thing that could save the country. Thus, there is no peace without victory.