Essay about Kentucky's Divided Loyalties During the Civil War

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A border state, Kentucky attempted to remain neutral during the Civil War but was unsuccessful because of its strategic location and the divided loyalties of its citizens. Farmers who used the Ohio and Mississippi rivers for transporting their produce wanted access to both waterways and the international port of New Orleans. If the South separated itself from the North, this free access would be impeded. On the other hand, influential plantation owners and state rights advocates sided with the Confederacy. As a result, Kentuckians could be found in both Union and Confederate armies. What side was the State of Kentucky on and was she truly neutral in the beginning. Lowell H. Harrison's argued in his book that for the Union to be…show more content…
The reasons were; Kentucky had a large population of small farmers who had no economic interest in slavery, Louisville was the greatest commercial city on the Ohio and depended on the North than the South on trade, and finally she relied on the account of historical consideration there was more love for the Union as an idea in Kentucky. Kentuckians wished above all things to avoid having their state become the battle ground in a war which they had not wished, and for which they in no way held themselves responsible. Professor Coulter began by saying that "Kentuckians were not like other people." With a southern sentiment as opposed to a northern sentiment, but with a devotion to the Union as opposed to devotion to a section, Kentucky was unable to adjust its conflicting loyalties after vain attempts to compromise, to take refuge in neutrality. There is no such thing as neutrality; there can be no such thing, as the neutrality of the State in the struggle now going on in this country. The great issue of the times involves the existence of the Constitution which comprehends all the States of the Union, which includes all the States. This theory of neutrality involves the idea of two rightfully existing powers struggling against each other; with which Kentucky have nothing to do. Allegiance is due to it from every citizen, and it is his duty to defend and uphold it in its unity always. Kentucky is as

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